Seagrass Spill the Beans on Ecosystem Health

The rocky shoreline of the West Coast is a beautiful, yet perilous place. Humans can add to stress to the ecosystem through overfishing, pollution, and development. A research team assessed the health of this environment by studying seagrass beds along the coast. Seagrasses are critical in this habitat, as they provide shoreline protection for humans, and food and shelter for marine critters. Their results showed that highly developed areas are contributing nitrogen pollution and causing a decline in the seagrass population. Luckily, action can be taken to help reduce these impacts and restore the health of this ecosystem.

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Autonomous vehicle helps measure gases in coastal ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems play an important role in the cycling of carbon, an element essential for life. However, coastal ecosystems are complex making it difficult to determine their exact contribution to carbon cycling with single point measurements. In the study highlighted here, David Nicholson and his colleagues introduce an autonomous (driver-less) surface vehicle that will allow for a better understanding of carbon cycling in coastal ecosystems.

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