Sea through the eyes of a marine botanist
with Dr. Erin Cox, Assistant Professor, University of New Orleans
DATE: July 16, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION: Plants are the foundation of productive, bountiful coastal ecosystems. These marine plants include intricate microscopic organisms, colorful seaweeds, and green underwater ‘grasses’ which all rely on photosynthesis- the process of harvesting light-energy for food. In addition, plants are important because they provide refuge and food for animals such as crabs, fish, and shrimp that humans consume, and they protect the coast from storm surge and land loss. Therefore, it is alarming that there have been reports of plant decline or blooms of their growth linked to human alterations of the water quality (e.g. temperature, light, nutrients). Furthermore, effects on the plants often cascade to negatively affect other animals that depend upon them. In this talk, I will give a brief background on marine plants and I will discuss the role of plants in supporting production at shallow artificial reefs and seagrass beds located within the northern Gulf of Mexico. Lastly, I will discuss how changing ocean chemistry will affect seagrass beds while demonstrating a technical system that allows for underwater manipulations.
RECORDING: Did you miss this talk? You can watch the recording by clicking this link.