Project

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are a new and relatively untapped resource for coastal surveying within the USGS and the scientific community, and offer a number of advantages over ground-based surveys and manned aerial systems, including the ability to rapidly deploy and efficiently collect remote sensing data and derive high-resolution elevations over variable terrain. The project provided a low-risk, low-cost means to explore the utility of UAS for coastal mapping on beaches and marshes, and developed methodology and capacity to acquire, process, and analyze data. The collaborative project brought together USGS scientists and technical staff, with Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) researchers and students, and supported both research and education through coursework including observational biodiversity and informatics, system design, and both field and laboratory collaboration

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Linda Deegan - The role of freshwater input in determining the contributions of different primary production sources to estuarine food webs in a tidal river_0.jpg
Project

This project addresses a complex local scale conservation problem: managing the impacts associated with sea level rise and coastal flooding on migratory waterbirds and their habitat.  Decisions made by a conservation manager are complicated by three elements that can be expected to occur in almost any of these management situations.  Interactions among dynamic physical and biological processes affect both waterbirds and their habitat and food resources; these processes operate at local to flyway scales and are challenging to represent and analyze.  These natural physical and biological systems are coupled with human systems; decisions made by nearby landowners or jurisdictions can have an impact on conservation resources.  Finally, decisionmakers are still developing the experience and expertise to perceive, understand, and deal with the implications of the first two elements in making timely and effective decisions

Project

We examine the impacts of moderate nutrient enrichment on the production mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, as part of a 10-year whole ecosystem experiment in a Plum Island Sound saltmarsh. In the initial stages of nutrient enrichment we observed a classic bottom up stimulation response in fish production. However, after the first six years fish production declined rapidly. The mechanism for the decline is not known but we hypothesize indirect interactions with other saltmarsh consumers may play an important role, as well a habitat alteration. Our results demonstrate that long-term nutrient enrichment can have complex impacts on the production of saltmarsh fish that are not predictable by classic bottom up/ top down control theory. Our findings suggest that eutrophication and climate change induced sea level rise will have synergistic negative effects on the production of saltmarsh fish primarily through habitat alteration and loss

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