Pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum spatiotemporal abundance trends along an urban, subtropical shoreline slated for restoration
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The Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands (BBCW) project of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) aims to reduce point-source freshwater discharges and spread freshwater flow along the mainland shoreline of southern Biscayne Bay. These actions will be taken to approximate conditions in the coastal wetlands and bay that existed prior to construction of canals and water control structures. An increase in pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum) density to ≥ 2 individuals m-2 during the wet season (i.e., August-October) along the mainland shoreline was previously proposed as an indication of BBCW success. This study examined pre-BBCW baseline densities and compared them with the proposed target. Densities were monitored by seasonal (wet, dry) throw-trapping (1 m2 replicated in triplicate) at 47 sites along ~22 km of the southwestern Biscayne Bay coastline over 10 years (2007–2016). Densities varied across years and were most often higher in dry seasons. Quantile regression revealed density limitation by four habitat attributes: water temperature (°C), depth (m), salinity (ppt), and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV: % cover). Procrustean analyses that tested for concordance between the spatial and temporal distributions of shrimp densities and habitat metrics found that water temperature, water depth, and salinity explained ~ 28%, 28%, and 22% of density variability, respectively. No significant relationship with SAV was observed. Hierarchical clustering was used to identify spatially and temporally similar groupings of pink shrimp densities by sites or season-years. Significant groupings were then investigated with respect to potentially limiting habitat attributes. Six site and four year-season clusters were identified. Although habitat attributes significantly differed among spatial clusters, within-cluster median pink shrimp densities did not correlate with within-cluster minima, maxima, medians, or standard deviations of habitat attributes. Overall, pink shrimp density ( = 0.86, SD = 1.32 shrimp m-2) was significantly lower (t(α = 0.10,2),939 = -26.53, P <0.0001) than the 2 shrimp m-2 CERP Interim Goal target. Pink shrimp density corresponded significantly with salinity and appeared limited to density < 2 shrimp m-2 by salinity < ~18 ppt. Salinity is an environmental attribute that will be directly influenced by CERP implementation.