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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Structural Complexity And Location Affect The Habitat Value Of Restored Oyster Reefs, Melissa Karp, Rochelle Seitz Oct 2015

Structural Complexity And Location Affect The Habitat Value Of Restored Oyster Reefs, Melissa Karp, Rochelle Seitz

Presentations

Oyster reefs provide a suite of valuable ecosystem services, such as water filtration, nitrogen sequestration, and provision of habitat and foraging grounds. The global decline of these habitats has had negative economic and ecological impacts to coastal waters worldwide. In the Chesapeake Bay, < 1% of the historic oyster population remains and efforts to restore oyster populations and the services they provide have been increasing. Building reefs that successfully provide specific ecosystem services may require different techniques then previously used, and success may depend on reef morphology, location, and environmental conditions. Settling trays were embedded into previously restored oyster reefs that varied in their structural complexity (rugosity) in multiple rivers in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Trays were collected after 7-weeks, sorted, and species identified and weighed (ash-free dry weight) to obtain species diversity, abundance, and biomass. Species composition data was analyzed using nMDS plots, which showed that salinity was an important driver of differences in species composition. Results of an ANOVA analysis found that species diversity was significantly greater on reefs in the high-salinity rivers compared to reefs in low-salinity rivers. Total organism abundance and biomass were positively correlated with reef structural complexity measures, such as rugosity, oyster clump volume, and oyster biomass. These results suggest that more complex oyster reefs in higher salinity locations may support more diverse and productive benthic communities. This study provides insight into the driving factors that structure oyster reef communities and has important implications for oyster reef restoration design and management.


Re-Emergence Of The Harmful Algal Bloom Species Alexandrium Monilatum In The Chesapeake Bay: Assessing Bloom Dynamics And Potential Health Impacts, Sarah K.D. Pease, Kimberly S. Reece, Wolfgang K. Vogelbein Oct 2015

Re-Emergence Of The Harmful Algal Bloom Species Alexandrium Monilatum In The Chesapeake Bay: Assessing Bloom Dynamics And Potential Health Impacts, Sarah K.D. Pease, Kimberly S. Reece, Wolfgang K. Vogelbein

Presentations

Effective management of harmful algal blooms (HABs) within a region requires an understanding of species-specific HAB spatial and temporal distributions, bloom dynamics, as well as potential health impacts. In 2007, the southern Chesapeake Bay witnessed its first blooms of the HAB species Alexandrium monilatum. Since then, A. monilatum has bloomed in the region almost annually. A. monilatum produces the toxin ‘goniodomin A’ and is suspected in local mass mortalities of oyster larvae (Crassostrea virginica) grown for aquaculture and restoration projects. Representatives from Virginia’s multimillion dollar oyster aquaculture industry recently expressed great concern over A. monilatum impacts to their businesses ...


Ecological Forecasting Of Vibrio Sp. In U.S. Coastal Waters Using An Operational Platform, Bob Daniels Oct 2015

Ecological Forecasting Of Vibrio Sp. In U.S. Coastal Waters Using An Operational Platform, Bob Daniels

Presentations

The Pathogens group of the NOAA Ecological Forecasting Roadmap has begun a range of efforts to monitor and predict potential pathogen occurrences in shellfish and in U.S. Coastal waters. NOAA/NCOSS along with NMFS/NWFSC have led the Pathogens group and the development of web based tools and forecasts for both Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. A strong relationship with FDA has allowed the team to develop forecasts that will serve U.S. shellfish harvesters and consumers. NOAA/NOS/CSDL has provided modeling expertise to help the group use the hydrodynamic models and their forecasts of physical variables that ...


Added Value Of Combining Multiple Optical And Acoustic Instruments When Characterizing Fine-Grained Estuarine Suspensions, Grace M. Cartwright, Carl T. Friedrichs, Lawrence P. Sanford, S. Jarrell Smith Oct 2015

Added Value Of Combining Multiple Optical And Acoustic Instruments When Characterizing Fine-Grained Estuarine Suspensions, Grace M. Cartwright, Carl T. Friedrichs, Lawrence P. Sanford, S. Jarrell Smith

Presentations

Various optical and acoustic instruments have specific advantages and limitations for characterizing suspensions, and when used together more information can be obtained than with one instrument alone. The LISST 100X, for example, is a powerful tool for estimating particle size distribution, but because of the inversion method used to determine the size distribution, it is difficult to distinguish two dominate populations that peak close to one another, especially among larger grain sizes. In the York River estuary, VA, additional information obtained through the deployment of a RIPScam camera system and an ADV along with the LISST 100X allowed differentiation between ...


Snorkeling A 323myo Paleozooic Bay Community Structure And Depositional Environment Of The Bear Gulch Limestone Of Montana, Eileen D. Grogan, Richard Lund Oct 2015

Snorkeling A 323myo Paleozooic Bay Community Structure And Depositional Environment Of The Bear Gulch Limestone Of Montana, Eileen D. Grogan, Richard Lund

Presentations

The Carboniferous Bear Gulch Limestone of Montana preserves the fauna and flora of a shallow, tropical marine bay, providing a rare glimpse into bay ecology and community structure in deep time. We discuss how museum fish collections are vital resources that assist us in resurrecting the fossil fish and how we derived a depositional model that explains the quality of preservation in this lagerstatte and records the diversity of its fishes (chondrichthyan, sarcopterygian and actinopterygians).


Antibiotic Effects On Microbial Communities Responsible For Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Miguel Albergaria Furtado Semedo, Bongkeun Song, Tavis Sparrer, Carl Croizer, Craig Tobias, Rebecca Phillips Oct 2015

Antibiotic Effects On Microbial Communities Responsible For Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Miguel Albergaria Furtado Semedo, Bongkeun Song, Tavis Sparrer, Carl Croizer, Craig Tobias, Rebecca Phillips

Presentations

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful greenhouse gas generated by nitrification and denitrification. The goal of this project is to examine the effects of antibiotics on microbial communities responsible for N2O emissions from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We conducted laboratory and mesocosm experiments in soil samples. Higher N2O production was observed in soils exposed to tetracycline. This was associated with reduction of bacterial denitrifiers abundance and enhanced fungal abundance.


Past, Present And Future Of Research At Vims, Mark Lukenbach Oct 2015

Past, Present And Future Of Research At Vims, Mark Lukenbach

Presentations

Mark Luchenbach, Virginia Institute of Marine Science and School of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, Associate Dean of Research and Advisory Services, presents the research of the institute, highlighting the exponential growth of research output.

As part of the year-long 75th anniversary celebration, this symposium brings together presentations from both alumni and current students to provide a historical and forward-looking perspective on the impacts that members of the VIMS community have made to the world.


Diel Vertical Distribution Patterns Of Zooplankton Along The Western Antarctic Peninsula, Patricia S. Thibodeau, John A. Conroy, Deborah K. Steinberg Oct 2015

Diel Vertical Distribution Patterns Of Zooplankton Along The Western Antarctic Peninsula, Patricia S. Thibodeau, John A. Conroy, Deborah K. Steinberg

Presentations

The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a region that has undergone significant change over the past several decades due to unprecedented increases sea surface temperature and decreases in sea ice cover. The ongoing Palmer Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (PAL LTER) study shows that these environmental changes are significantly affecting the marine pelagic ecosystem along the WAP. The goal of this study was to analyze diel vertical distribution patterns of zooplankton along the WAP.


Impact Of Anguillicolides Crassus On American Eels (Anguilla Rostrata), Andrew Wargo, Rob Latour, Troy Tuckey, Wolfgang K. Vogelbein Oct 2015

Impact Of Anguillicolides Crassus On American Eels (Anguilla Rostrata), Andrew Wargo, Rob Latour, Troy Tuckey, Wolfgang K. Vogelbein

Presentations

American eels Anguilla rostrata are infected by an introduced parasitic nematode Anguillicoloides crassus, which can cause extreme necrosis of their swimbladders, yet effects on the eel population are currently unknown. We collected 3 eel life stages (glass, elver, and yellow) and the presence of A. crassus and swimbladder damage in each eel was quantified. The preliminary data show over 60% prevalence and an even higher prevalence of damaged swimbladders.


Quantifying Finfish And Blue Crab Use Of Created Oyster Reefs In The Lower Chesapeake Bay, Bruce W. Pfirrmann, Rochelle Seitz Oct 2015

Quantifying Finfish And Blue Crab Use Of Created Oyster Reefs In The Lower Chesapeake Bay, Bruce W. Pfirrmann, Rochelle Seitz

Presentations

Structurally complex reefs created by the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica provide a host of ecosystem services yet have experienced significant declines, prompting extensive restoration efforts. We investigate the use of created oyster reefs in the lower Bay by mobile finfish and blue crabs with field surveys and diet analysis. The results of this study provide insight into how restoration activities influence estuarine community dynamics and the provision of ecosystem services.


The Relationship Between Reproduction And Mortality In Triploid Crassostrea Virginica: A Matter Of Economic Importance, Joseph L. Matt, Standish K. Allen Oct 2015

The Relationship Between Reproduction And Mortality In Triploid Crassostrea Virginica: A Matter Of Economic Importance, Joseph L. Matt, Standish K. Allen

Presentations

The goal of this project is to maximize survival for commercially produced triploid Crassostrea virginica oysters in Virginia. Over the last few years, commercial oyster growers in Virginia have reported significant mortality events of triploid oysters during the spring and summer months. The summer of 2014 was the worst yet, as growers across the state reported summer mortality, most severe on the Eastern shore and in some cases as high as 85% of the crop (Karen Hudson, personal communication). Surviving oysters from some of these mortality events were sent to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and several of the ...


Living Shorelines: A Novel Remedial Approach For Contaminated Sediments, Christian Hauser Oct 2015

Living Shorelines: A Novel Remedial Approach For Contaminated Sediments, Christian Hauser

Presentations

From 1926 to 1986, the former Lordship Gun Club, located on Long Island Sound in Stratford, Connecticut, was operated as a trap and skeet shooting facility, which resulted in the discharge of lead shot into surrounding waters and sediments. Between 1987 and 2000, studies were conducted to inform remedial decision-making; remediation occurred in several phases from 2000 to 2011. Remedial action involved excavation of shot-containing sediments and associated vegetation from the intertidal zone, lead shot extraction from excavated sediments, and replacement of sediments to their native locations. Subsequent monitoring has revealed that this action destabilized intertidal sediments and led to ...


Detecting And Understanding Threats To Eelgrass In The Gulf Of Maine: The Times, They Are A-Changin’, Hillary A. Neckles Oct 2015

Detecting And Understanding Threats To Eelgrass In The Gulf Of Maine: The Times, They Are A-Changin’, Hillary A. Neckles

Presentations

Eelgrass forms extensive meadows in coastal and estuarine waters throughout northern New England and Atlantic Canada. Threats to ecosystem stability include indirect impacts of watershed development and direct physical alterations associated with coastal construction, boating operations, and commercial fishing. Effects of human activities are exacerbated by natural disturbances such as severe weather events and biotic, geomorphic, and climatic processes. Spatial simulation models have shown even small scale disturbances in eelgrass meadows to require decades for full recovery. However, lack of consistent trend data of sufficient duration, spatial extent, and resolution often impedes anticipating threats before management solutions become cost prohibitive ...


Integrative Taxonomy, A New Tool For Fisheries Conservation, Adela Roa-Varon, Eric J. Hilton Oct 2015

Integrative Taxonomy, A New Tool For Fisheries Conservation, Adela Roa-Varon, Eric J. Hilton

Presentations

Species delimitation is becoming increasingly objective and integrative. Sequence capture approaches allow collection of 1000s of loci for 100s of individuals. New approaches address the computational challenges of large datasets and offer potential for genome-wide sampling of variation at different evolutionary scales. These new approaches also allow integration of genetic and non-genetic data in a unified framework. Despite these advances, few studies have attempted to combine genetic and morphological data for delimiting species. Hakes (Merluccius spp.) are an ideal group for an empirical test of the power and applicability of these new methods because they are morphologically conserved and have ...


Inspiring A Community To Participate In Restoring The Lynnhaven River’S Water Quality (Virginia Beach, Virginia), Laurie Carroll Sorabella Oct 2015

Inspiring A Community To Participate In Restoring The Lynnhaven River’S Water Quality (Virginia Beach, Virginia), Laurie Carroll Sorabella

Presentations

Ten years ago, bacteria levels in 99% of the Lynnhaven River exceeded the Department of Health’s limits for shellfish consumption. Lynnhaven River NOW is a community-based organization with a clean and healthy river as our goal. We track the area of the river that meets shellfish standards in order to measure water quality progress. We have engaged residents, the city, and partners in the restoration effort and have now improved water quality such that 42% of the river meets the stringent standards.


Efficacy Of Sediment Remediation Efforts On Pah Contaminant Flux Via Porewater Advection At The Sediment-Surface Water Interface, Julie L. Krask, Michael A. Unger, George G. Vadas, Michele A. Cochran, Aaron J. Beck Oct 2015

Efficacy Of Sediment Remediation Efforts On Pah Contaminant Flux Via Porewater Advection At The Sediment-Surface Water Interface, Julie L. Krask, Michael A. Unger, George G. Vadas, Michele A. Cochran, Aaron J. Beck

Presentations

Groundwater advection at the sediment-surface water interface is an important biogeochemical mechanism controlling the transport and bioavailability of contaminants in estuaries. At sites along the Elizabeth River (VA, USA) where the subterranean environment is heavily contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-rich dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL), consideration of groundwater-surface water dynamics and associated chemical exchange is critical for effective remediation. Preliminary data suggest that porewater advection in permeable sediments at this location is controlled by a host of physical forcing mechanisms that correspond with total flow estimates of up to 15,000 centimeters/year. Here, the efficacy of sediment ...


Ontogeny, Behavior, And Ecology Of The Sea Turtle "Lost Years", Kate L. Mansfield Oct 2015

Ontogeny, Behavior, And Ecology Of The Sea Turtle "Lost Years", Kate L. Mansfield

Presentations

Very little is known about sea turtles during their first years at sea, a period described as the sea turtle “lost years”. Filling these data gaps required a new technological approach including the use of small, solar-powered satellite tags and novel tag attachment methods. Data from the first long-term tracks of oceanic stage "lost years" sea turtles provide new insights to early sea turtle life history and ontogeny, revolutionizing how we now perceive the sea turtle “lost years”.


Effects Of Commercial Clam Aquaculture On Biogeochemical Cycling In Shallow Coastal Ecosystems, Annie E. Murphy, Iris C. Anderson, Mark W. Luckenbach Oct 2015

Effects Of Commercial Clam Aquaculture On Biogeochemical Cycling In Shallow Coastal Ecosystems, Annie E. Murphy, Iris C. Anderson, Mark W. Luckenbach

Presentations

The bivalve aquaculture industry is expanding worldwide; sustainability requires improved understanding of its interactions with the environment. As suspension feeders, bivalves, such as clams, reduce primary production through feeding, and thus dampen eutrophication. Additionally, enhanced rates of denitrification, the microbial removal of reactive nitrogen, have been reported in bivalve sediments due to increased organic matter supply through biodeposition; another potential, yet indirect, control on eutrophication. Simultaneously, bivalves can influence local ‘bottom-up’ effects on production by enhancing nutrient regeneration through excretion and microbial mineralization of biodeposits. At clam aquaculture sediments, respiration and nutrient regeneration rates were significantly higher compared to uncultivated ...


School Of Marine Science History And Current Status, Linda Schaffner Oct 2015

School Of Marine Science History And Current Status, Linda Schaffner

Presentations

This presentation opened the VIMS 75th Anniversary Alumni Research Symposium. Dr. Linda Schaffner, VIMS Alumnus and Associate Dean of Academic Studies for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, presents history and current state of the school.

As part of the year-long 75th anniversary celebration, this symposium brings together presentations from both alumni and current students to provide a historical and forward-looking perspective on the impacts that members of the VIMS community have made to the world.


Reflections From A (Mostly) Non-Academic Career: Looking Back And Moving Forward, Paul Sandifer Oct 2015

Reflections From A (Mostly) Non-Academic Career: Looking Back And Moving Forward, Paul Sandifer

Presentations

Dr. Sandifer, retired Chief Science Advisor for NOAA's National Ocean Service, presents his experiences at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and his service as a scientist for government agencies.

As part of the year-long 75th anniversary celebration, this symposium brings together presentations from both alumni and current students to provide a historical and forward-looking perspective on the impacts that members of the VIMS community have made to the world.