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Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience

The Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) Consortium came together to investigate how biodiversity influences an ecosystem’s resilience, or its ability to resist and recover from disturbance, specifically the ecosystems of the northern Gulf of Mexico to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. ACER is focusing on the coastal ecosystems (marshes, beaches and estuaries) of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Over the next 3 years, ACER scientists will examine the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem resilience across a gradient of oil exposure. Taxonomic, genetic and functional diversity will be considered at several scales and in many different groups of organisms. Experiments will be conducted both in the field and in large-scale controlled environments. Several ecological processes (primary productivity, nitrogen cycling, predation) as well as aspects of ecosystem structure (density, biomass, biodiversity) will be measured. Ecosystem services, such as shoreline stabilization and the availability of habitat, will also be assessed. Research results will not only allow for an assessment of oil spill impacts, but more generally, may also help to predict the impacts of other types of disturbance.

Upcoming Events

May 17th, 2017 5pm to 7pm Mobile Bay Green Drinks with Dr. Behzad Mortazavi: "Will the marsh tell its secret before it becomes just plain old mud?" @ Alchemy Tavern, Downtown Mobile

ACER Happenings

ACER Scientist Spotlight

Friday, April 28th, 2017

ACER would like to welcome our newest post-doctoral researcher, Dr. Kelly Boyle.

Tool Talk: Bottom trawling and longlining

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Ever wondered how scientists estimate the stock size of our fisheries? Obviously, there’s no way they can catch and count every fish in the ocean so they’ve had to come up with other ways of estimating the numbers of individuals in the ocean. This process is called surveying.

This research was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.