Historical ecology of Charleston waters - 2012

As part of our Marine Invertebrate Zoology class (Spring 2012 - Graduate Program in Marine Biology - College of Charleston), we have attempted to document the marine invertebrate species at 3 different local sites: the Folly Beach groin, Ft. Johnson, and Murrells Inlet. All three of these sites have been surveyed in the past, and we aim to document the changes in community composition at each location.

Significant findings at each site include:

Folly Beach:
  • Community composition by phyla was similar between historical and current surveys, but species differed.
  • Two invasive species were identified in the current survey that were not found in the historical survey.

Murrells Inlet:
  • Number of species per phyla similar between historical and current surveys in all but annelida and arthropoda
  • Of the 58 species found historically and 20 found in 2012, only 8 were the same. Differences are likely due to methodology and community succession.  

Ft. Johnson:
  • Similar species were found in the area between historical and current surveys, but substrate type impacts the community composition.
  • Many limitations existed in comparing the two studies due to ambiguous notes on historical methods and exact sampling sites.