Multi-scale analysis of eelgrass habitat (Zostera marina) in Newman Sound, Newfoundland

O, Miriam (2001) Multi-scale analysis of eelgrass habitat (Zostera marina) in Newman Sound, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

The scale of observation affects how we perceive all ecological patterns and processes. The problem of scale is in finding ways to relate observations across space and time. In this study. I quantified two measures of eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat structure as a function of spatial scale. I determined a scaling law comparing perimeter- to-area ratios of eelgrass habitat over a range of resolutions. I then used this function to compute juvenile cod abundance across scales. I also investigated the effect of spatial scale on the frequency distribution of eelgrass patch sizes. Due to temporally and spatially lagged mechanisms within eelgrass systems, I hypothesized that the frequency distribution of patch sizes for eelgrass would fit a power law. My results support this hypothesis, regardless of observation scale. In this thesis, I demonstrate that measurements taken at coarse resolutions can be used to estimate eelgrass habitat structure and cod abundance at finer resolutions using a simple scaling law. Thus, the frequency distribution of patch sizes at one scale can be computed from the frequency distribution at a scale that may be logistically more convenient to obtain.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1604
Item ID: 1604
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Newman Sound
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Zostera marina--Newfoundland and Labrador--Newman Sound

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