THE EFFECT OF SUMMER STORM EVENTS AS A DISTURBANCE ON THE MOVEMENT BEHAVIORS OF BLACK SEA BASS IN THE SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC BIGHT
Wiernicki, Caroline Jane
Secor, David H
MetadataShow full item record
Storm events are a key disturbance in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB), driving thermal, hydrodynamic, and acoustic perturbations on demersal fish communities. Black sea bass are a model MAB species as their sedentary behavior exposes them to storm disturbances. I coupled biotelemetry with an oceanographic model, monitoring black sea bass movement behaviors during the summer-fall of 2016-2018. Storm-driven changes in bottom temperature (associated with rapid destratification) had the greatest effects on fish movement and evacuation rates, while the cumulative effects of consecutive storms had little to no observed effect. Storms also generate substantial noise, but the hearing frequencies of black sea bass are currently unknown. I conducted a quantitative literature analysis on fish hearing based on swim bladder elaboration, successfully classifying detected sound frequency ranges among fishes, including black sea bass. Climate change will likely alter the intensity of MAB storms, prioritizing research on their impacts to fish communities.