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Community Structure, Food Web Analysis, and Organic Matter Dynamics in a Brackish Tidal Creek within the Altamaha River Estuary

PIs: Richard G. Wiegert, Charles N. DeCurtis, Jr. and Marirosa Molina (Inst of Ecology, Univ of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA)

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (project number R/EA-21).

Timeframe: 9/1/97 - 2/28/01 (complete)

Project Objectives:

  • To determine the interaction of mesohaline-brackish tidal creeks (and adjacent marsh/wetlands) and estuaries with respect to carbon fixation, community metabolism, benthic processes and tidal subsidies;
  • To describe the food web in the mesohaline-brackish zone of the estuary and to examine diversity across the salinity gradient from river to estuary;
  • To develop a model of the mesohaline-brackish food web/community that will allow interpretation and assessment of trophic linkages and impacts of perturbations to the chemical environment of these systems;
  • To link this model with the comprehensive model of the Altamaha Estuary being created as part of the GA-LMER project.


  • Successfully used enriched stable isotopes to examine trophic structure within Georgia marshes and creeks;
  • Developed a management protocol for the use of natural abundance stable isotopes as short-term "markers" for fish populations; and,
  • Added more data towards the understanding of tidal marsh community dynamics.


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This page was updated October 13, 2006