The Consumer group is examining the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill on consumer resiliency by investigating food web function and the taxonomic and functional biodiversity of consumers. Prior DwH oil spill research on consumer populations has been inconclusive: some studies indicated that oil had little or no effects whereas others indicated a positive effect on the fish populations. The Consumer group has hypothesized that a mass migration of predators from the affected regions may have led to an increase in top down pressure on juvenile fishes and crustaceans that reduced their abundance. They have also hypothesized that areas with higher taxonomic diversity will have food webs with greater trophic diversity and less trophic redundancy. ACER scientists are conducting field collections consisting of trawl and bottom longline surveys in spring and summer as well as large scale laboratory manipulations (i.e. mesocosms) to investigate the extent of these food web changes.
Analysis of Long-term Datasets indicates Heterogeneous Impacts Resulting from the DwH Accident on Nekton in the northcentral Gulf of Mexico.
Authors: Valentine, J.F.; Martin, C.W.; Drymon, M.; Spearman, T.; Powers, S.P.
Poster presentations at: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference (Feb 1-4, 2016); Benthic Ecology Meeting (Mar 16-19, 2016)
Species and functional diversity of apex and mesopredators in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Authors: Seubert, E.A.; Drymon, J.M.; Valentine, J.
Oral presetntations at American Elasmobranch Society Conference/ Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (July 7-10, 2016); MS/AL Bays and Bayous Symposium (Nov 30-Dec 1, 2016)