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Biological Resources - Estuarine Living Marine Resources (ELMR) Contributor: Kindinger
- Estuarine Living Marine Resources (ELMR)
In order to determine abundance of Estuarine Living Marine Resources (ELMR) in the Gulf of Mexico, analysis of fisheries-independent monitoring (FIM) data was used to develop an ELMR relative abundance rank. This data is based on the average catch per unit effort for each estuary/species/month/salinity zone combination. Thus, the distribution of the data is used to identify natural statistical breaks. These quantile breaks served to parse the state catch data into five categories for comparison with ELMR relative abundance calls. If the FIM catch is 0 individuals/hr for a particular case, it is categorized as ELMR score = 0. If the FIM catch record is between 0 and the 10th quantile, it is categorized as ELMR score = 2 (rare). If it is between the 10th and 50th quantile, it is categorized as ELMR score = 3 (common). If it is between the 50th and 90th quantile, it is categorized as ELMR score = 4 (abundant), and if it is greater than the 90th quantile it is categorized as ELMR score = 5 (highly abundant). Applying these relative abundance scores to the salinity zones in each estuary as the zones are defined during a salinity season produces a map of a species' relative abundance distribution (Orlando et al. 1993, Czapla et al. 1991, Pattillo et al. 1997, and U.S. Department of Commerce NOAA).
By focusing on temporal and spatial distribution in the Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Mississippi River, and Breton/Chandeleur Sounds estuaries, species can be accounted for by their monthly relative abundance in each estuary and their life stages.
The temporal distribution tables of the six estuary areas concentrate on 24 specific species and their seven life stages ranging from egg to spawning adults. These species are plotted for relative abundance for each month in the specific estuaries.
The spatial distribution tables also plot relative abundance with 45 distinct species and their seven life stages in the same six estuary regions as the temporal distribution tables. However, the spatial distribution tables are plotting the relative abundances and life stages against particular salinity zones such as, tidal fresh, mixing, seawater, and no salinity within each estuary.
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