Mud Flats Habitat

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Mud flats are a vital type of marine habitat that provide several different functions for various marine invertebrates. They provide both permanent and temporary homes to small invertebrates including several species of worms, crabs, snails, and other benthic fauna. These organisms are responsible for the breakdown of organic materials often deposited here, as well as filling the role of prey for many predators that hunt in the shallow waters (Dyer et al., 2000). Mud flats are most often composed of fine sediment bottoms that exhibit low oxygen content and rarely, if ever, subjected to impacts from currents or other disturbances (Pollock, 1998). Most organisms that inhabit low oxygen habitats such as these are often specially adapted to deal with such conditions (Raffaelli, Hawkins, 1999). …show more content…
Because of the high volume of organisms either passing through or fully settled in the mud flats, it was determined that this would be the ideal location to deploy the artificial habitats. The purpose of this was to be able to examine what organisms would colonize which habitat, and in what numbers. Based on the location and the preexisting knowledge of the organisms found in the area, it was predicted that the habitat consisting of oyster shells in a mesh bag would be the habitat colonized most successfully in both species abundance and

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