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.
Researchers Release 'Frankenturtles' into Chesapeake Bay
It was a dark and stormy night in the laboratory, and jagged bolts of lightning lit the sky as Dr. Kaplan and his assistant Bianca stitched the pieces of the lifeless creature back together. Actually, it was a sunny day on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, but recent sea turtle research by Assistant Professor David Kaplan of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and graduate student Bianca Santos easily brings to mind the classic tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his makeshift monster.
Study Predicts Salt Marshes Will Persist Despite Rising Seas
A new study in Nature Climate Change contends that traditional assessment methods overestimate the vulnerability of salt marshes to sea-level rise because they don't fully account for processes that allow the marshes to grow vertically and migrate landward as water levels increase.
Removal of Derelict Fishing Gear Has Major Economic Impact
A new study by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that removal of derelict fishing gear could generate millions of dollars in extra harvest value for commercial fisheries worldwide. The study focused on a 6-year, collaborative program to remove derelict crab pots from Chesapeake Bay, showing that the effort generated more than $20 million in harvest value for area watermen.
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.