#MarshChat with Rebecca Atkins (@RL_Atkins on twitter)
This week’s #marshchat is with Rebecca Atkins, a PhD student at the University of Georgia. Take a look at our chat where we talk about how different sized snails affect the marsh differently. We also chat about some of the insights Rebecca has gotten from travelling to tons of marshes from Florida to Virginia. What areas have the biggest snails? What has the smallest? What does that mean for the marsh?!
Rebecca’s work is ongoing but she has published some previous work on snail body size, metabolic demand, and marsh productivity that you can find here:
EDIT: I just realized that I messed up during the MarshChat and didnt have any of the pictures that we were talking about displayed. So they are displayed here!
As part of our MIT Sea Grant project on marsh life (which funds this site!), we’re beginning a series of conversations with Salt Marsh scientists, managers, and folk who just plain love salt marshes. Marc Hensel, our Mr. Marsh, will be hosting. We’re kicking it off today with Christine Angelini at the University of Florida. So come on by and check it out! #marshlife!
Also, the paper Christine and Marc referenced about mussels is
Angelini C, van der Heide T., Griffin J.N., Morton J.P., Derksen-Hooijberg M., Lamers P.M., Smolders A.J.P., Silliman B.R. Foundation species’ overlap enhances biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality from the patch to landscape scale. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 2015.0421. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1811/20150421
The pictures we posted of Squantum Marsh (and more on that soon) were pretty dramatic. But it is not that way everywhere. Down further south, in Nantucket, while snows have raged, the temperatures – both air and sea – are warmer, leading to a different suite of processes that govern the marsh in winter. Our intrepid undergrad, Farah, sent these pictures back where she’s setting up some winter experiments. One of the cool things about looking at marshes in the south and north is that we may begin to get some idea of how marshes in New England may change over time as the whole region begins to warm up. But for now, the marsh in winter at the UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station are equally beautiful in a quite different way.