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benthic communities, multibeam sonar


High-resolution backscatter and bathymetric maps created by multibeam and sidescan sonar surveys were used to identify five different seafloor bottom types within Haverstraw Bay. Grab samples were collected within these areas to characterize sediment properties and macrofauna. Selected sampling locations were revisited and seafloor images were obtained with an HD underwater camera. Multivariate analysis was used to identify the most important factors explaining variations in community structure. Results indicated that categorical variables defining bottom types, grain size, and water depth can explain about 42% of community structure variation. In addition, shell length data collected for Rangia cuneata, an introduced species, indicated that successful spawning and recruitment occurred for this species during 2011, 2012, and 2013. An attempt to relate 2012-2014 hydrophone location data for Atlantic and Shortnose sturgeon to identified bottom types did not produce clear bottom preferences.



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