ICES Journal of Marine Science
The importance of estuarine seagrass beds as nurseries for juvenile fish has become a universal paradigm, especially for estuaries that are as important as the Chesapeake Bay. Yet, scientific tests of this hypothesis were equivocal depending on species, location, and metrics. Moreover, seagrasses themselves are under threat and one-third of seagrasses have disappeared worldwide with 65 of their losses occurring in estuaries. Although there have been extensive studies of seagrasses in the Chesapeake Bay, surprisingly few studies have quantified the relationship between seagrass as nurseries for finfish in the Bay. Of the few studies that have directly evaluated the use of seagrass nurseries, most have concentrated on single species or were of short duration. Few landscape-level or long-term studies have examined this relationship in the Bay or explored the potential effect of climate change. This review paper summarizes the seagrass habitat value as nurseries and presents recent juvenile fish studies that address the dearth of research at the long term and landscape level with an emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay. An important conclusion upon the review of these studies is that predicting the effects of climate change on fishery production remains uncertain.
Original Publication Citation
Jones, C. M. (2014). Can we predict the future: Juvenile finfish and their seagrass nurseries in the Chesapeake Bay. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71(3), 681-688. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst142
Jones, Cynthia M., "Can We Predict the Future: Juvenile Finfish and Their Seagrass Nurseries in the Chesapeake Bay" (2014). OES Faculty Publications. 288.