It has been a busy summer for the Davidson lab. My students, collaborators, and I have surveyed several estuaries on the Pacific coast (Coos Bay, Oregon, San Francisco Bay, and Panama canal zone, Panama) for wood boring invertebrates and are still working through the dozens of samples we obtained. Our preliminary data indicates that we may have even found a new invasive wood-borer in Coos Bay, Oregon, although we are still confirming those results.
A summer research student, Ethan Roberts, finished up an interesting study investigating how the burrows created by invasive boring isopods, Sphaeroma quoianum (image above), may provide a more buffered microhabitat for other species such as other isopods, amphipods, and snails. Through field and lab experiments, he found that burrow microhabitats are more humid and provide more desiccation resistance compared to exposed areas. These results suggest that these microhabitats may help marine animals better cope with desiccation stresses of living in the intertidal. During his studies, he also discovered dozens of individuals of New Zealand Mud Snails near Benicia in San Francisco Bay. It is unusual to find freshwater snails in such salty waters (10 ppt).
Finally, I have established pilot experiments for a new study seeking to understand how ecosystem engineering by wood-borers may influence community composition and diversity in San Francisco Bay. I hope this experiment will help provide key data in support of a grant proposal.
Day/time: Sunday, February 12; doors open at 2pm, event at 2:30 pm
Location: John Smith Hall, La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael
Presenter: Thomas H. Suchanek
Dr. Suchanek has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and professional reports and his research addresses critical questions in marine ecology, the impacts of environmental contaminants (such as mercury) in the aquatic environment, and the impacts of climate change.
His talk is titled: The Reality Of Climate Change: A Path Forward
Cost: $5 for students, $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Multiple internships in California through COAST for summer 2017. Applications due March 6, 2017.