A sucker for ecosystem engineers

Sonoran suckers, like other ecosystem engineers like beavers or salmon, substantially influence the spatial and temporal distribution of their environment’s resources. These fish create divots in soft sediments during their nightly feeding rounds in shallow waters far from where they seek refuge during the day. This feeding and these divots contribute heavily to shaping patterns of aquatic insects and suspended sediment in the Gila River, establishing the suckers as important ecosystem engineers in the river.

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Soil in the Succotash Marsh, Rhode Island: Coring for clues to past coastal storms

When you think of a saltmarsh, what comes to mind? Maybe a place that smells bad and you prefer to avoid? A place to fish? Turns out, salt marshes hold clues to the past. Scientists along the East Coast of the United States, for example, can use the information in salt marsh soils to reconstruct past storms and determine the past sea levels. As scientists in Rhode Island, we were able to easily try and replicate the findings of a previously published study from the Succotash Marsh also located in Rhode Island.

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