Environmental change and oyster colonization within the Hudson River estuary linked to Holocene climate

LDEO Publication: 
Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2004
Authors  Carbotte, S. M.; Bell, R. E.; Ryan, W. B. F.; McHugh, C.; Slagle, A.; Nitsche, F.; Rubenstone, J.
Journal Title  Geo-Marine Letters
Volume  24
Issue  4
Pages  212-224
Journal Date  Nov
ISBN Number  0276-0460
Accession Number  ISI:000224885600002
LDEO Publication Number  6595
Key Words  sea-level rise; chesapeake bay; new-york; variability; stratigraphy; vegetation; gas; age; ka

Geophysical mapping and sampling data provide a record of changing environmental and faunal conditions within the Hudson River estuary during the mid- to late Holocene. On the shallow, broad marginal flats of the mesohaline Hudson, fossil oyster beds ( Crassostrea virginica) are found exposed on the river bottom and buried by sediment. The shallowest beds are well imaged in chirp sub-bottom and side-scan sonar data and form discrete flow-perpendicular bands, 0.6 - 1.0 km wide and up to 3 km long, which cover 30% of the river bottom. Radiocarbon-dated sediment cores indicate oysters thrived within two time periods from similar to 500 - 2,400 and similar to 5,600 - 6,100 cal. years B. P. Sediment and physical property data indicate a changing depositional regime consistent with the oyster chronology. Similar changes in oyster presence are found in local shell midden sites of the Lower Hudson Valley as well as elsewhere along the Atlantic coast, and may reflect climatic controls associated with warm - cool cycles during the Holocene. Oysters flourished during the mid- Holocene warm period, disappeared with the onset of cooler climate at 4,000 - 5,000 cal. years B. P., and returned during warmer conditions of the late Holocene. The most recent demise of oysters within the Hudson at 500 900 cal. years B. P. may have accompanied the Little Ice Age.


868AZTimes Cited:3Cited References Count:50

URL  <Go to ISI>://000224885600002
DOI  DOI 10.1007/s00367-004-0179-9