Burrowing shrimp and eelgrass data Washington State, USA

Published: 25 March 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/8frtwd7pxk.1
Wesley Hull


Our goal was to assess the antagonistic engineering effects of Neoptrypaea californiensis (shrimp) on the seagrass Zostera marina (eelgrass) and the contributions of shrimp density and eelgrass life stage to the outcome. We used three approaches: 1) an observational approach to determine whether shrimp densities could explain abrupt habitat borders of eelgrass that were not a function of tidal elevation; 2) an across-site approach of eelgrass transplants into different shrimp densities, at tidal elevations expected to be suitable for eelgrass, and 3) a within-site experiment in which vegetative and seedling eelgrass shoots were transplanted in and out of shrimp exclosures. This data represents information about Zostera marina and Neotrypaea californiensis densities across their habitat borders and associated sediment characteristics, transplanted Z. marina survival across a range of N. californiensis densities, and Z. marina seedling and adult vegetative shoot survival in the presence and exclusion of N. californiensis on tide flats with high- and low-shrimp densities. Notable findings: Habitat borders not attributed to antagonisitc interactions between Z. marina and N. californiensis. Increasing N. californiensis densities negatively impacts Z. marina. Zotera marina seedlings are more suceptable to uprooting or smothering by N. californiensis than adult vegetated shoot. Co-existance between Z. marina and N. californiensis can occur at low densities.


Steps to reproduce

5-core shrimp sampling methodology: Multiple small-diameter cores were used to generate a single sample of shrimp density (“5-core sample”). At each sample position, we cored 5 points within 1 m2. The core was constructed of stainless steel (13 cm diameter, 36 cm long) with an attached handle, so several pulls were required per point to reach the target depth of 70 cm into the sediment. The sediment removed from each core was manually spread out to search for shrimp, which provide a vibrant yellow-pink contrast to sediment. Total shrimp counts can then be scaled to shrimp 1m2 by multipling by 16. Data files with colums labeled "shrimp count" or "total shrimp" represent the total amount of shrimp quantified from a 5-core sample and have not been scaled to 1m2


University of Washington


Ecosystem Ecology, Marine Ecology, Observational Study, Experimental Study, Shrimp, Seagrass, Transplanting