Date of Award
Sphaeroma terebrans (Bate 1866) is an economically and ecologically important cosmopolitan species because this isopod is found burrowed in wood and marine structures of fresh to saline water. Existing literature on S. terebrans focuses on the destruction of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) in India, Pakistan, and Florida. This study concentrates on S. terebrans habitat and boring preferences in bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) in Lake Pontchartrain near the Bonnet Carre Spillway, Louisiana. In addition laboratory experiments for water column distribution and substrate preferences were conducted using cypress, Styrofoam, and balsa. Results indicate that this population may be parthenogenic and that wood or material hardness determines whether S. terebrans burrow when given a choice of substrates. The lake shoreline near the Bonnet Carre Spillway is retreating and the presence of S. terebrans contributes to shoreline erosion by weakening and destroying cypress. This has implications for restoration projects in coastal Louisiana.
Wilkinson, Laura Lee, "The Biology of Spaeroma Terebrans in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana with Emphasis on Burrowing" (2004). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 205.