Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Frederick T Short


Zostera marina L., eelgrass, and Crassostrea virginica, the eastern oyster, atone or in combination, can have a significant effect on the clarity of estuarine waters. A mesocosm study was utilized to investigate the filtration capabilities, the rate of particle removal from the water column, using several fractions of the naturally occurring seston. A series of experimental seston additions were made to twelve mesocosm tanks with the four treatments of eelgrass atone, oysters atone, eelgrass + oysters and no eelgrass or oysters (control) to determine the rate of water column filtration. The results demonstrated differences in the capability of the four treatments to remove the various fractions of the seston from the water column. The filtration rates calculated from the experimental seston additions to the treatments of eelgrass atone and oysters atone were applied to Great Bay, N.H., U.S.A. to determine the potential filtration of these two important estuarine species.