Characterization of phytoplankton functional taxonomic groups in relation to juvenile hard clam production in the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary (BB-LEH)

This study, led by Dr. Monica Bricelj of Rutgers University, focused on identifying the phytoplankton functional taxonomic groups (FTGs) present in Barnegat Bay through a novel process involving chemical analysis of photopigments and comparing the results of that process to that of standard microscopy. Furthermore, the investigators then relate FTG data derived from this project to the field performance (growth and survival) of juveniles of a key suspension-feeder, Mercenaria mercenaria, used as a biosensor of environmental conditions in BB-LEH.