Benthic organisms are animals, plants and bacteria that live on or at the bottom of water bodies. These benthos are an important part of the food web, as they consume phytoplankton and in turn are consumed by larger organisms, including finfish. Another service benthic organisms perform is to break down organic matter that collects on the bottom of the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Program monitors the health of these benthic communities using both fixed and random stations. The results of this monitoring are compiled into an Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI).
Author: Howard Weinberg
Date created: Jan 31 2008 / Download ( 1.47 MB )