Site: Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER

Alligators are one of several mobile apex predators in southeastern estuaries.
Credit: James Nifong

Mobile predators like alligators move between fresh and marine habitats, consume a variety of estuarine prey, and alter the behavior of intermediate predators such as blue crabs. A predator exclusion experiment initiated in 2016 indicated that blue crabs and large fish alter the abundance of marsh invertebrates such as snails and fiddler crabs, which in turn mediate plant production and soil biogeochemistry.