A study that began as a class project among graduate students at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is now a peer–reviewed research article in Ecology, the flagship journal of the Ecological Society of America. The article, "Physiological effects of diet mixing on consumer fitness: a meta-analysis," is co-authored by VIMS graduate students Jonathan Lefcheck, Matt Whalen, Theresa Davenport, and Josh Stone, along with VIMS Professor J. Emmett Duffy.
Blue Crabs More Tolerant of Low Oxygen Than Previously Thought
Results of a new study led by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science show that adult blue crabs are much more tolerant of low-oxygen, "hypoxic" conditions than previously thought. The findings--based on experiments using high-tech computer-controlled respirometers--contradict earlier studies of the tasty crustacean's ability to function in oxygen-poor waters, thus helping to explain what had been somewhat of an ecological mystery.
VIMS Reports Intense And Widespread Algal Blooms
Water sampling and aerial photography by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science show that the algal blooms currently coloring lower Chesapeake Bay are among the most intense and widespread of recent years.
Biodiversity Promotes Multitasking in Ecosystems
A new study of the complex interplay between organisms and their environment shows that biodiversity--the variety of organisms living on Earth--is even more important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems than previously thought. The findings bolster the view that conservation of biodiversity benefits the plants and animals directly involved, and by extension the human populations that rely on these organisms and ecosystems for food, water, and other basic services.
Study Puts Some Mussels into Bay Restoration
Restoring oysters—and their ability to filter large volumes of water—is widely seen as a key way to improve the health of Chesapeake Bay. New research makes this calculus even more appealing, showing that the mussels that typically colonize the nooks and crannies of a restored oyster reef can more than double its overall filtration capacity.
Study Reveals Strong Links Between Antarctic Climate, Food Web
A long-term study of the links between climate and marine life along the rapidly warming West Antarctic Peninsula reveals how changes in physical factors such as wind speed and sea-ice cover send ripples up the food chain, with impacts on everything from single-celled algae to penguins.
Model Now Capable of Street-level Storm-tide Predictions
The water that surged into the intersection of New York City's Canal and Hudson streets during Hurricane Sandy—to choose just one flood-ravaged locale—was ultimately driven ashore by forces swirling hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic. That simple fact shows not only the scale and power of a tropical cyclone, but the difficulty of modeling and forecasting its potential for coastal flooding on the fine scale needed to most effectively prepare a response.
Study Projects Big Thaw for Antarctic Sea Ice
Antarctica's Ross Sea is one of the few polar regions where summer sea-ice coverage has increased during the last few decades, bucking a global trend of drastic declines in summer sea ice across the Arctic Ocean and in two adjacent embayments of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.
Humans Threaten Wetlands' Ability to Keep Pace with Sea-level Rise
Left to themselves, coastal wetlands can resist rapid levels of sea-level rise. But humans could be sabotaging some of their best defenses, according to a Nature review paper published Thursday from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.