#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:
We just had another awesome MarshChat, this time with Dr Gina Wimp from Georgetown! Gina is a fantastic ecologist who focuses on the effects of changes (i.e. fragmentation, nutrients) on the UNREAL marsh arthropod food web. Seriously, its crazy! Gina tells me about intense specialization by plant hoppers and their predators and I even heard a story about spider nuptials.
I added a new feature to the MarshChat this week which was the Marsh Rapid Fire Round, where we learned that Gina’s marshes feature some of the coolest marsh animals, Diamondback Terrapins, and that her former advisor, the legendary Bob Denno, once laid under a giant fallen tree branch, pretending to have been hit by it to mess with his students
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