Mentor/s

Dr. Latina Steel

Participation Type

Poster

Abstract

Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) provides habitat for many species and prevents erosion along coastlines globally and is a common restoration target. However, restored and natural marshes often have different traits due to genetic or environmental differences. Previous data has shown that S. alterniflora from a restored marsh in Stratford, Connecticut are consistently smaller than those from a naturally occurring marsh in Milford, Connecticut. We aimed to determine whether environmental differences such as nutrients play a role in observed size differences by performing two greenhouse experiments in which we grew S. alterniflora shoots from each location 1) in identical conditions and 2) under nutrient enriched and unenriched conditions. Height and diameter were measured weekly for four weeks in each experiment. When grown in identical conditions, Milford plants were taller with larger diameters than those from Stratford throughout the experiment, but growth rates were similar in plants from the two sites. Although not statistically significant, nutrient enrichment seemed to increase growth rates in plants from Stratford more than plants from Milford, with no difference in growth in unenriched plants from the two sites. These results suggest that environmental factors do play a role in the observed Spartina alterniflora height differences between sites.

College and Major available

Biology, Coastal & Marine Science

Location

Digital Commons & West Campus 2nd Floor University Commons

Start Day/Time

4-28-2023 12:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-28-2023 2:00 PM

Students' Information

Angelina Scarpello

Biology Major, Pre-Med

Graduation May 2023

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 PM Apr 28th, 2:00 PM

Environmental factors may drive plant size differences between a restored and a natural marsh in the Housatonic River Estuary

Digital Commons & West Campus 2nd Floor University Commons

Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) provides habitat for many species and prevents erosion along coastlines globally and is a common restoration target. However, restored and natural marshes often have different traits due to genetic or environmental differences. Previous data has shown that S. alterniflora from a restored marsh in Stratford, Connecticut are consistently smaller than those from a naturally occurring marsh in Milford, Connecticut. We aimed to determine whether environmental differences such as nutrients play a role in observed size differences by performing two greenhouse experiments in which we grew S. alterniflora shoots from each location 1) in identical conditions and 2) under nutrient enriched and unenriched conditions. Height and diameter were measured weekly for four weeks in each experiment. When grown in identical conditions, Milford plants were taller with larger diameters than those from Stratford throughout the experiment, but growth rates were similar in plants from the two sites. Although not statistically significant, nutrient enrichment seemed to increase growth rates in plants from Stratford more than plants from Milford, with no difference in growth in unenriched plants from the two sites. These results suggest that environmental factors do play a role in the observed Spartina alterniflora height differences between sites.

 

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