GEOGRAPHIC AND SUBSTRATE DISTRIBUTION OF HOLOCENE MOLLUSKS IN MID-ATLANTIC OFFSHORE DEPOSITS (U.S.A.)
Forty-one vibracores were sampled from sites offshore of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, with core lengths ranging from 0-6.1m. Sampling methods for molluscan populations varied depending on density; large shells or fragments were sampled individually, while bulk samples were collected from shell beds with an interval of 0.045m, yielding a total of 311 samples. Taxon identification was based on apices, apertures, and ornamentation for gastropods and hinge structure and ornamentation for bivalves. Substrate was sampled once every 0.3m, at intervals of 0.045m, yielding 129 samples. Sediment samples were analyzed for grain size using a full set of half phi sieves.
Preliminary results suggest a high abundance of Mulinia and Spisula in the sampled vibracores. A few genera display substrate preferences, including Ensis, Cyclocardia, Gouldia, and Crepidula. Molluscan community structure appears to vary according to latitude and water depth. By studying the correlations between mollusks and the substrate they are found in, we can more effectively map potential sources of sand for beach nourishment.