First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Gabriel GarciaFollow

Mentor/s

Dr. LaTina Steele

Participation Type

Poster

Abstract

Restoration can combat declines in salt marshes and recover lost ecosystem services. To determine if restored marshes performed functions similar to those of a natural marsh, we conducted Spartina alterniflora surveys and field predation experiments in two restored marsh areas of differing ages and in a natural marsh. Asian shore crabs (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) were tethered in three locations at Stratford Point (restored marshes planted in 2015 and 2017, unvegetated sand/mud) and in two locations at Milford Point (natural marsh, unvegetated mud) using two tether lengths at each location. The number of S. alterniflora stems and stem height were measured in the areas where tethering occurred. Data analysis is underway. Based on previous work, we expect S. alterniflora stem density to be higher in the older restored marsh area than in the younger restored area and the natural marsh. ANOVA showed that plants from the natural marsh were significantly taller than plants from either restored area at Stratford Point and that plants from the area at Stratford Point that were planted in 2015 had significantly higher plant density than the reference marsh at Milford Point. Crab survival was slightly higher in unvegetated than vegetated areas and on longer tethers compared to shorter tethers, but these differences were not statistically significant. Restored marsh areas differed in structure from the natural marsh, but marsh vegetation did not significantly affect crab survival, suggesting that both the restored and natural marshes maintained similar functions as foraging grounds for predators feeding on small crabs.

College and Major available

Biology

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

BI-390-L

Location

Digital Commons & West Campus West Building

Start Day/Time

4-29-2022 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-29-2022 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Gabriel Garcia, Biology Major, graduation year 2022

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Apr 29th, 1:00 PM Apr 29th, 4:00 PM

Restored Marsh Structure and Potential to Function as a Refuge for Invasive Crabs

Digital Commons & West Campus West Building

Restoration can combat declines in salt marshes and recover lost ecosystem services. To determine if restored marshes performed functions similar to those of a natural marsh, we conducted Spartina alterniflora surveys and field predation experiments in two restored marsh areas of differing ages and in a natural marsh. Asian shore crabs (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) were tethered in three locations at Stratford Point (restored marshes planted in 2015 and 2017, unvegetated sand/mud) and in two locations at Milford Point (natural marsh, unvegetated mud) using two tether lengths at each location. The number of S. alterniflora stems and stem height were measured in the areas where tethering occurred. Data analysis is underway. Based on previous work, we expect S. alterniflora stem density to be higher in the older restored marsh area than in the younger restored area and the natural marsh. ANOVA showed that plants from the natural marsh were significantly taller than plants from either restored area at Stratford Point and that plants from the area at Stratford Point that were planted in 2015 had significantly higher plant density than the reference marsh at Milford Point. Crab survival was slightly higher in unvegetated than vegetated areas and on longer tethers compared to shorter tethers, but these differences were not statistically significant. Restored marsh areas differed in structure from the natural marsh, but marsh vegetation did not significantly affect crab survival, suggesting that both the restored and natural marshes maintained similar functions as foraging grounds for predators feeding on small crabs.

 

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