A recent paper from researchers at the University of Georgia, in collaboration with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, uses oxygen isotope analysis of mollusk shells found at archaeological sites to show how ancestral Muskogean villages collectively, and sustainably, managed shellfish harvest.
“We know that salt marsh plants face stressors like sea level rise, drought, and excess nutrient runoff. What is more difficult to predict is the localized response to these stressors,” writes Kyle Runion of his
Ecosystems resist devastation from hurricanes by choosing either of two strategies: high resistance or high resilience.
GCE LTER researchers simulated the effects of long term (press) and short term (pulse) salt water intrusions in tidal freshwater marshes. Press conditions were more disastrous for the ecosystem, altering the N cycle, while the landscape was able to recover from pulse conditions.
On the boundaries of fresh and saltwater systems, coastal marshes give rise to diverse, productive ecosystems that act as carbon sinks. Their secret? Freshwater marsh plants receive just the right amount of nutrients and salt from periodic seawater tides to thrive. However, incursions of saltwater into these systems are increasing —often caused by drought and… Read more »
Parking under a bridge, I walked down a short dirt road to the cutgrass (Zizaniopsis miliacea) marsh. The bright green stalks waved overhead, completely immersing me as I stepped onto a narrow boardwalk that provides access to the gridded plots. The air was hot and humid, t-shirts and shorts sticking to arms and legs as students and researchers moved amid the marsh.
Every month, Field Technician Tim Montgomery loads his equipment onto a center console motorboat and heads off into the marshes surrounding Sapelo Island, Georgia. Over the course of several hours, he stops at multiple sites to check on the Georgia Coastal Ecosystem LTER network of data loggers continually collecting water quality parameters as they gently bob in the water. On one particular morning, I had the opportunity to go with him.
The National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network presents an overview of the rich and varied research taking place at its 28 sites. In 2018, the topic of this annual half-day symposium is ocean ecosystems and their connections to marine species and human well-being.
During their week out at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, teachers divide their time between assisting with research in outdoor settings alongside GCE scientists and graduate students and discussing the implementation of the information and experiences into their own teaching settings.
Five thousand years ago, Native Americans lived and thrived on Georgia’s coast. Shellfishing, especially the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica), was a significant cultural practice of these coastal Natives Americans. Today, Georgia’s coast is peppered with oyster shell deposits from long-term native American consumption. While studying archaeological shell deposits on Georgia’s coast, researchers with the Georgia Coastal… Read more »