Accession Number:

ADA224840

Title:

Species Profiles. Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (South Florida). Reef-Building Tube Worm.

Descriptive Note:

Biological rept.

Corporate Author:

OKLAHOMA COOPERATIVE FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH UNIT STILLWATER

Report Date:

1989-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

This species profile is one of a series on coastal aquatic organisms. The profiles are designed to provide coastal managers, engineers, and biologists with a brief comprehensive sketch of the biological characteristics and environmental requirements of the species and to describe how populations of the species may be expected to react to environmental changes caused by coastal development. Each profile has sections on taxonomy, life history, ecological role, environmental requirements, and economic importance, if applicable. The reefs constructed by reef-building tube worms along the S.E. Florida coast are significant both geologically and biologically. The ability of the worms to thrive under high-energy breaker conditions and to extend their colonial tube masses upward and seaward by extraction and agglutination of littoral drift materials makes them important vectors in coastline development. Beachrock, converted from the reefs, and sand impounded on their landward sides provide for progradation of beaches. Being wave resistant, the reefs protect the shore against wave attack and retard erosion. It appears likely that these tube worms are at least in part responsible for the formation and maintenance of beaches and barrier islands in S.E. Florida. The reefs provide hard and stable substrate, shelter, and food, and thereby allow many species to inhabit the surf zone. Keywords Polychaeta.

Subject Categories:

  • Ecology
  • Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE