MODELING POTENTIAL HABITAT OF CHESAPEAKE BAY LIVING RESOURCES
Schlenger, Adam James
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A quantitative understanding is needed to identify the impacts of climate change and eutrophication on the habitat of living resources so that effective management can be applied. A systematic literature review was conducted to obtain the physiological tolerances to temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen for a suite of Chesapeake Bay species. Information obtained was used to define required and optimal habitat conditions for use in a habitat volume model. Quality matrices were developed in order to quantify the level of confidence for each parameter. Simulations from a coupled oxygen and hydrodynamic model of the Chesapeake Bay were used to estimate habitat volumes of juvenile sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) and to assess sensitivity of habitat to environmental factors. Temperature and salinity define spring and fall habitat and a combination of salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen influence habitat in summer. Both fixed criteria and bioenergetics habitat volume models yielded similar results.