Date of Award

Fall 1979

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Daniel M. Dauer

Committee Member

Raymond W. Alden, III

Committee Member

James F. Matta

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 E93


Species composition, distribution, and abundance of benthic invertebrates of a subtidal community were examined at a location on the lower Delmarva Peninsula near Cape Charles, Virginia. Macrobenthos was sampled quarterly between June, 1977 and June, 1978 at nine sites along a transect in Old Plantation Creek and the adjacent offshore area. Spatial and temporal patterns of numerically important species are discussed.

Sampling sites and species were grouped by a numerical classification strategy which consisted of the Bray-Curtis similarity measure and group-average clustering. Three faunal assemblages were identified with the aid of constancy and fidelity nodal analyses: (1) a tidal creek assemblage characterized by Streblospio benedicti and other euryhaline opportunists, (2) a moderately high energy shoal assemblage numerically dominated by Gemma gemma and haustoriid amphipods, and (3) an offshore assemblage composed of Spiophanes bombyx and other euryhaline marine species characteristic of inner continental shelf sand communities in temperate areas of the eastern United States.


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