This Spring, CBESS partners have continued full steam with processing of the 20,000+ ecological samples that were collected during the field campaigns last year. Both Bangor and Southampton Universities have provided updates which give an insight into the processing process. Continue reading
Coastal protection is an important hazard regulation ecosystem service and measurements of wave energy dissipation over mudflats and salt marsh surfaces have been a key component of the CBESS research programme at field sites in the Essex Estuaries and Morecambe Bay.
The Bangor University and CEH-Bangor team have had a great summer campaign, sampling salt marsh vegetation, spiders and beetles, and sediment cores for our erosion studies.
The University of Southampton is tasked with assessing the biodiversity of the soils and sediments across six different marsh and mudflat systems in Essex and Morecambe.
Staff and students (*) from Queen’s University Belfast spent a muddy, but productive, four weeks in Morecambe Bay and the Essex marshes as part of the CBESS 2013 summer campaign.
We deployed double Fyke nets for 24 hours at each quadrat, using these nets to collect meiofauna and floating seaweeds, and also collected quadrat sediment cores, giving us a good overview of meiofaunal species richness. Additional deployments of seine and push nets were carried out to supplement the Fyke net catches and improve the baseline for trophic web analysis.
Our summer Fyke net catches were much higher than in winter, with Morecambe Bay yielding large numbers of flounder and brown wracks, and Essex yielding very high numbers of crabs and the green sea lettuces (Ulva spp.); many less common species (e.g. jellyfish, eels, Crangon) were also observed at each site. All collected net samples have been preserved in formaldehyde and will be processed over the autumn for the stable isotope analysis that will allow us to build meiofaunal trophic webs.
We have also begun the hire process for our ecoinformatic Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, and expect to appoint towards the end of Nov 2013.
* In alphabetical order: Lydia Bach, John Bothwell, Mark Emmerson, Justin Grainger, and Carl Reddin
As part of the fieldwork campaigns, The University of St Andrews has been measuring the community metabolism of salt marsh and mudflat areas, i.e. the CO2 fluxes due to either primary production or respiration of the mud or marsh and everything living in and on it.
If you missed it Dr Iris Moeller was on BBC News at Ten, talking about the importance of natural sea defences like salt marshes in light of the 60th anniversary of the great flood the devastated east and south-east coasts of England. Continue reading
A grim saga of ignorance and incompetence that allowed a vicious storm to kill more than 300 people is remembered in dozens of coastal communities today.
Andrew Bomford of Radio 4 chats with the CBESS Team to find out why a team of scientists is out on the Essex Marshes.
Four days left to listen to Prof. Graham Underwood on BBC Essex talking to Dave Monk. Continue reading