Sunday, May 18, 2008

Artificial seagrass has been deployed

After many, many hours of hard work by the Seagrass Rangers in Jim Fourqurean's lab at Florida International University, Carolyn and I were able to start our first artificial seagrass experiment in Florida Bay. We are investigating whether epifauna respond more to canopy complexity or to epiphyte abundance (which we will increase with nutrient addition). Below is an artificial canopy, painstakingly constructed by hand (thanks everyone!!) from polypropylene ribbon, cable ties, and egg crate from light fixtures. This is a dense canopy with short Halodule wrightii and tall Thalassia testudinum. After just a few hours in the field, the "leaves" were already getting colonized by oysters (Pinctada longisquamosa). See more pictures here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thanks to TGLO for a research grant

The Texas General Land Office has awarded a research grant to myself and Dr. Antonietta Quigg to study the efficacy of different restoration techniques in brackish marshes in north Texas. Mounds were created in degraded open water habitat using different pumping and dredging methods and sediment sources. We will be studying these restoration methods using surveys and field experiments. Potential grad students and postdocs: keep an eye on this blog for upcoming job postings...