Environmental factors affecting bay and estuarine ecosystems of the Texas Coast (final report).
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Over 200,000 data points relating to range of environmental factors in all major Texas estuaries from Louisiana to Mexico were utilized to establish variability of total salinity and constituent ions in these estuaries. This was done to determine possible effects of oil field brines upon Texas coastal ecosystems. Diversity and faunal abundance were compared with environmental variability. Baseline values for benthic and nektonic populations were established for both undisturbed and industrially disturbed estuaries. In all bays, salinity and temperature variations were very pronounced, geographically and temporally. Range of variation and mean winter and summer salinities could be directly correlated with sizes and diversity of animal populations and with major changes from year to year to seafoods. Data from 572 stations relating to ionic constituents of Texas bay waters were statistically evaluated from their variability and translated into 'ionic balance' format. Extreme variability from time to time and place to place demonstrated that this concept of 'ionic balance' is invalid in estuarine systems.