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coastal ecology

This tag is associated with 9 posts

Rough, Rocky Shores Acting as Climate Refuges for Kelp Forests

On the coasts of British Columbia, habitat-forming kelp algae are on the decline. Sensitive to increasing temperatures, changing nutrient dynamics, and always at risk of being carved out of their coastal homes by storm activity, kelp seem to be on the losing side of global climate change more often than the winning. Considering the extensive […]

Consider the marsh crab: Climate change shifts which species are key

Munching, nibbling and burrowing their way through life, the humble marsh crab can now add “keystone species” to its ecological resume. As sea level rise has inundated shorelines on the East Coast of the United States, marsh crabs have emerged as important players in shaping how marshes respond to climate change. Kristin HuizengaI am a […]

The lament of sediment: pesticide pollution hurts coastal biodiversity

Although seemingly far removed from the coasts, urban industries, agriculture, and daily human activities contribute pollution that can wind up stuck in the sediments of popular beaches and lagoons. Read on to find out how a recent study measured different kinds of pollutants in the sediment communities of a Mediterranean lagoon, and why long-term monitoring […]

Size Matters in Kelp Forests – Big, Dense Populations Are Better Equipped to Recover from Disturbance

Kelp are habitat-forming species, the “ecosystem engineers” of our coasts. Standing metres tall and sheltering coastal habitats from the full force of the ocean’s waves, kelp provide a refuge for a variety of marine animals and create a forest ecosystem similar to what you might find in the temperate latitudes on land. They are nursery […]

Follow the breadcrumbs: Sponges show how some animals clean up viruses

These days, hunkered down in our homes (if we are lucky) and washing our hands till they’re raw, it can feel like the outside world is a virus soup. However animals in the ocean go swimming through viruses on a daily basis. A new study from the Netherlands shows us that in fact many animals […]

On the case: Scientists use many sources to find the culprit in kelp disappearance

The extensive decline of the Great Barrier Reef has received a lot of press attention in recent years, yet reefs aren’t the only down-under ecosystem struggling. In a recent paper in Estuaries and Coasts, researchers Carnell and Keough from the University of Melbourne and Deakin University have reported an equally alarming decline in kelp forests […]

Turtle hatchlings attracted to artificial light like moths to a flame

On this Turtle Tuesday, find out how artificial lighting along coastlines due to industrial and commercial development is affecting sea turtle hatchling survival. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I use a small-scale computer model to study how physical features like surface waves at the air-sea […]

Methane on the dinner menu

Bacteria in coastal waters can eat methane, a greenhouse gas – but just how much and how fast can they eat? Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes where they are in the seafloor, and what are they […]

Beyond the shell: What are hermit crabs really after?

A favorite activity for beachgoers is to comb the sand and tide pools for marine life, and one of the most familiar tide pool animals is the hermit crab. Kids and parents alike love to find them out on the rocks, but how much do we really know about them? This article explores the important […]

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