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ecology

This tag is associated with 87 posts

Tampering with the food web: what do changes in jellyfish and menhaden populations mean for the ecosystem?

Article: Robinson, K.L., J.J. Ruzicka, F. J., Hernandez, W.M. Graham, M.B. Decker, R.D. Brodeur, and M. Sutor. 2015. Evaluating energy flows through jellyfish and gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) and the effects of fishing on the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv088 Background We’ve all grown up learning “who […]

Better Together: Mutualisms contribute to reef fish recruitment

All other things being equal, would you rather live where mutually beneficial relationships are available or where they aren’t? Well, if you’re like me, you’d prefer beneficial relationships. And I’m not alone in that. It turns out that damselfish on reefs prefer to settle where there are cleaner wrasses to keep them parasite-free. Read on […]

Sea Turtles are Social Too

Ever wonder how sea turtles spend most of their time beneath the waves? Or how they interact with other sea turtles? Researchers put cameras on turtles and see what they see and do to find out! Check out what they found! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the […]

Highlights from the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America

Happy 100th Birthday to the Ecological Society of America! We celebrated your history and the promise of your future during the ESA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD from August 9-14. We took over the Baltimore Convention Center and got lots of exercise moving from room to room in our attempts to absorb as much as […]

Corals better learn to keep up or they may drown!

The coral reefs protecting many islands in the Pacific need to grow quickly in order to keep up with the rising sea levels and increasing ocean temperatures. As of now, researchers are optimistic that some species of corals are up to this challenge, but that relies on the rate of sea level rise. Valeska UphamFor […]

Switching it up: When do predation and habitat control damselfish abundance?

Another tale of how the loss of predators due to overfishing might impact coral reefs, but this one has a twist! Instead of the emphasis being on who’s eating whom, prey fish behavior is the key to what happens to the corals! Learn more in today’s oceanbites! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University […]

Marine invertebrates- no backbone just makes them easier to eat.

Invertebrate fisheries are on the rise, invertebrate fishery management needs to rise along with it. This study examines the the impact of fishing invertebrate species on population numbers of animals in the ecosystem. Sarah GiltzI am a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. My research focuses on the larval dispersal and […]

Sponges Out of Control: Another Effect of Overfishing

When you think about threats to coral reefs, you don’t think “Sponges!”, do you? But you might come up with “overfishing.” While the overfishing of herbivorous (algae-eating) species has grabbed attention, we may need to consider the loss of sponge-eating fish too. Check out some new research that shows an increase in sponge-coral interactions where […]

Toxic meal: Chemical cues from copepods increase red-tide toxicity

Yes, you can purchase a fuzzy red tide-forming algal cell. Aside from being much smaller and lacking any type of eye, these organisms can produce massive, toxin-rich blooms in the ocean. Nasty toxins can be harmful to other organisms in the water and even reach humans via the consumption of shellfish and fish. Through the […]

What would coral reefs be like without human impact?

One would think that an isolated reef ecosystem shielded from the influence of people would provide an ideal benchmark against which other coral reefs can be compared. But in a recent study, researchers found it isn’t that simple. Valeska UphamFor my fisheries and aquatic science PhD I am working on how to tank raise urchins […]

Time to rethink the role of ocean’s microbes?

Have you ever wondered what may live inside the tiniest drops of seawater? Global oceans are dominated by organisms we cannot even see. Marine microbes are resilient, incredibly diverse, and ecologically important. These microbes deserve a closer look. Sean AndersonI am a first year MS candidate at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of […]

Leaving the nursery: fish migration between juvenile and adult habitats

Many fish utilize different habitats as adults than they do as juveniles, but little research has shown how they make the shift between the two habitats. This recent study did just that using acoustic tags! Read to learn more! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of […]

Sunday brunch: Lox with… lice?

Lox and lice. Not a combination of critters you envision when planning your Sunday brunch. Unfortunately, an increase in drug resistant sea lice is threatening both wild and farmed salmonid populations. Sarah FullerWith academic backgrounds in oceanography, geology, and environmental education, Sarah has traveled to far reaches of the planet to learn everything she can […]

Risking It All For Love: Courtship behavior by a reef fish makes it vulnerable to lionfish predation

Paper: Black, A.N., S.R. Weimann, V.E. Imhoff, M.L. Richter, and M. Itzkowitz. 2014. A differential prey response to invasive lionfish, Pterois volitans: Prey naiveté and risk-sensitive courtship. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 460: 1-7. DOI:10.1016/j.jembe.2014.06.002 This story sounds a lot like a bad high school romance. You see your crush across the hall! […]

Don’t let your guard down: a cautionary tale from reef fish in degraded habitat.

Reef fish on degraded reef are somewhat like misguided slasher flick protagonists that ignore all warning cues and are therefore less likely to survive. Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work in southwest Florida, contributing to the management of an […]

Penguins can rock their bodies without eating high trophic level prey

Prey of a higher trophic level does not necessarily translate to a higher body mass in rockhopper penguins. Read more to find out why! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently working at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History […]

The Great Barrier Reef is worth $15 billion – $20 billion AUS a year: A quick lesson in ecosystem economics

When discussing the value of an ecosystem, tensions run high. Some people evaluate ecosystems with heavy emphasis on non-use values, like aesthetics and spiritual appreciation. Other people value ecosystems based on things like natural resource availability and the potential for direct monetary revenue. It is difficult to assess the relative importance (or value) of these […]

The Antarctic minke whale foraging strategy

Filter feeding whales face a body size and feeding strategy trade-off in foraging efficiency. Researchers from the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University studied the foraging strategy of one of the smallest filter feeding whales, the Antarctic minke whale. Lis HendersonI am studying for my doctoral degree at the Stony Brook University School of […]

Zooplankton versus Phytoplankton: a trophic seesaw

NASA satellites reveal artistic swirls of phytoplankton dancing across the ocean surface. This new study explains the dynamic predator-prey imbalances that occur to create these spectacular space-worthy images. Hillary ScannellHillary received her MS in oceanography from the University of Maine in 2014 and works in the Ecosystem Modeling Lab at the Gulf of Maine Research […]

Daredevil: Chilean devil rays dive to extreme depths and escape without brain freeze

Chilean devil rays were previously thought to live near the surface, however, this research reveals they are among the deepest divers! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently working at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Ocean Education. […]

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  • by oceanbites 2 weeks ago
    Happy Earth Day! Take some time today to do something for the planet and appreciate the ocean, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.  #EarthDay   #OceanAppreciation   #Oceanbites   #CoastalVibes   #CoastalRI 
  • by oceanbites 1 month ago
    Not all outdoor science is fieldwork. Some of the best days in the lab can be setting up experiments, especially when you get to do it outdoors. It’s an exciting mix of problem solving, precision, preparation, and teamwork. Here is
  • by oceanbites 2 months ago
    Being on a research cruise is a unique experience with the open water, 12-hour working shifts, and close quarters, but there are some familiar practices too. Here Diana is filtering seawater to gather chlorophyll for analysis, the same process on
  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #oceanbites  we are featuring Hannah Collins  @hannahh_irene  Hannah works with marine suspension feeding bivalves and microplastics, investigating whether ingesting microplastics causes changes to the gut microbial community or gut tissues. She hopes to keep working
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    Leveling up - did you know that crabs have a larval phase? These are both porcelain crabs, but the one on the right is the earlier stage. It’s massive spine makes it both difficult to eat and quite conspicuous in
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Cierra Braga. Cierra works ultraviolet c (UVC) to discover how this light can be used to combat biofouling, or the growth of living things, on the hulls of ships. Here, you
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Elena Gadoutsis  @haysailor  These photos feature her “favorite marine research so far: From surveying tropical coral reefs, photographing dolphins and whales, and growing my own algae to expose it to different
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on Oceanbites we are featuring Eliza Oldach. According to Ellie, “I study coastal communities, and try to understand the policies and decisions and interactions and adaptations that communities use to navigate an ever-changing world. Most of
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Jiwoon Park with a little photographic help from Ryan Tabata at the University of Hawaii. When asked about her research, Jiwoon wrote “Just like we need vitamins and minerals to stay
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring  @riley_henning  According to Riley, ”I am interested in studying small things that make a big impact in the ocean. Right now for my master's research at the University of San Diego,
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Gabby Stedman. Gabby is interested in interested in understanding how many species of small-bodied animals there are in the deep-sea and where they live so we can better protect them from
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Shawn Wang! Shawn is “an oceanographer that studies ocean conditions of the past. I use everything from microfossils to complex computer models to understand how climate has changed in the past
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    Today we are highlighting some of our awesome new authors for  #WriterWednesday  Today we have Daniel Speer! He says, “I am driven to investigate the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics, asking questions about how organisms or biological systems respond
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    Here at Oceanbites we love long-term datasets. So much happens in the ocean that sometimes it can be hard to tell if a trend is a part of a natural cycle or actually an anomaly, but as we gather more
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    Have you ever seen a lobster molt? Because lobsters have exoskeletons, every time they grow they have to climb out of their old shell, leaving them soft and vulnerable for a few days until their new shell hardens. Young, small
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    A lot of zooplankton are translucent, making it much easier to hide from predators. This juvenile mantis shrimp was almost impossible to spot floating in the water, but under a dissecting scope it’s features really come into view. See the
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This is a clump of Dead Man’s Fingers, scientific name Codium fragile. It’s native to the Pacific Ocean and is invasive where I found it on the east coast of the US. It’s a bit velvety, and the coolest thing
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    You’ve probably heard of jellyfish, but have you heard of salps? These gelatinous sea creatures band together to form long chains, but they can also fall apart and will wash up onshore like tiny gemstones that squish. Have you seen
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    Check out what’s happening on a cool summer research cruise! On the  #neslter  summer transect cruise, we deployed a tow sled called the In Situ Icthyoplankton Imaging System. This can take pictures of gelatinous zooplankton (like jellyfish) that would be
  • by oceanbites 10 months ago
    Did you know horseshoe crabs have more than just two eyes? In these juveniles you can see another set in the middle of the shell. Check out our website to learn about some awesome horseshoe crab research.  #oceanbites   #plankton   #horseshoecrabs 
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