The sediment plumes visible in the Gulf of Mexico when flying over the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline readily illustrate the influence of our rivers on the ocean. And yet, even when this influence is not visibly apparent, ecological and environmental processes on the coast and upriver in Gulf of Mexico watersheds affect nearshore ocean ecosystems creating a unique habitat known as the coastal ocean.
What good is a salt marsh - and how were they affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? A recent paper published in Environmental Science & Technology by ACER’s Nitrogen Cycling group has added important data to the more recent perspective of salt marshes as critical coastal ecosystems.
The umbrella of diversity includes several different types as seen in our previous Edublog posts on biodiversity and genetic diversity. ACER researchers are considering these different types of diversity in their investigations of ecosystem resilience (ie. resistance) in response to disturbance. This week we explore functional diversity.
Have you ever looked at the stomach contents of a shark and wondered “What has this shark been eating?” Yes, you could sit there and sort through the contents and hope that there’s enough of the “leftovers” to identify them. But did you know that scientists can also learn a good bit about sharks eating habits without having to sort through the stomach contents? In fact, from this alternative method the shark or other marine organism can even swim away afterwards. It’s called stable isotope analysis and it’s the topic for our latest Tool Talk.
A new publication by Dzwonkowski and colleagues from GoMRI funded Consortia CONCORDE and ACER shows that the input of estuarine waters to the Gulf can be important - and not just during high river flow.
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.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab celebrates 20 years of Discovery Day on Saturday, April 8. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public is invited to visit the Sea Lab’s research laboratories, meet scientists and researchers, get a hands-on marine science lesson and learn more about ACER.
Are shorelines ever just straight lines? If you look at a Google Earth image of the Gulf coast, you notice many indentations reaching into the mainland and islands occurring just offshore. The indentations are our estuaries, the islands are barrier islands and together they create important habitats known as back bays or lagoons.
Dispatches of the Gulf shone a light on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Spring 2016. A year later, Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Wiener are continuing the story with a look at the science born from the disaster.