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Old 02-07-2019, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathGeek View Post
One important source of energy at the bottom of the food web is detrius - decaying organic matter that the small stuff feeds on. Hurricanes like Rita put tons and tons of detrius into the water, and this creates a significant boost in production. In the years following Rita, saltwater intrusion into the marsh also killed many, many tons of vegetation creating detrius. But this is not a sustainable situation - one gets a short term boost in production but pays a high cost in terms of lost marsh.

A second contributing factor to the boom years after Rita were high oyster populations in the estuary. Oysters provide a variety of essential ecosystem services ranging from filtering water (increasing light penetration and primary production) to improved habitat and structure. Abundant oyster reefs also tend to hold fish in easily identifiable locations making them easier to catch. A few years after Rita, oyster overharvesting hit big lake really hard (high harvest pressure, mechanical dredges, etc.) resulting in a steep decline in oyster populations. This also had a negative impact on production at about the same time that the weirs were rebuilt and restored to their original management plan.

Thanks for all your info! FACTS over Feelings!
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