URI biologist to monitor salt marshes in national parks

December 06, 2002

URI Graduate School of Oceanography biologist Mary-Jane James-Pirri has received a $221,000 grant from the National Park Service to implement a program to monitor vegetation and free-swimming fish and decapod crustaceans (nekton) at several park units throughout the coastal northeast.

James-Pirri will select the study sites where salt marsh vegetation and nekton communities will be monitored within each park based on a review of aerial photography, field visits, and interviews with park staff. In order to detect long-term ecosystem changes, sites will be selected that are relatively undisturbed. In addition, one or two more locations within each park may be monitored that are of particular interest to park resource managers. For example, if a marsh has undergone restoration activities, such as the installation of a culvert, or is experiencing some other change or disturbance, James-Pirri may monitor that location in addition to the undisturbed marsh to track the progress or decline of the disturbed marsh.

"Salt marshes are sensitive to natural and human-induced disturbances, such as nutrient enrichment, watershed development, tidal alteration, ditching, storms, sea level rise, oil spills, and climate change," said James-Pirri. "Long-term monitoring of vegetation and nekton will allow for the detection of ecosystem changes and enable resource managers to anticipate detrimental changes and design management strategies."

The parks where salt marsh vegetation and nekton communities will be monitored are Assateague Island National Seashore (Maryland and Virginia), Colonial National Historic Park (Virginia), Fire Island National Seashore (New York), Gateway National Recreation Area (New York and New Jersey), George Washington Birthplace National Monument (Virginia), Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (New York), Thomas Stone National Historic Site (Maryland), Acadia National Park (Maine), and Boston Harbor Island National Park Area (Massachusetts).
-end-
The URI Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the country's largest marine science education programs, and one of the world's foremost marine research institutions. Founded in 1961 in Narragansett, RI, GSO serves a community of scientists who are researching the causes of and solutions to such problems as acid rain, harmful algal blooms, global warming, air and water pollution, oil spills, overfishing, and coastal erosion. GSO is home to the Coastal Institute, the Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography, and the National Sea Grant Library.

University of Rhode Island

Related Ecosystem Articles from Brightsurf:

Breast cancer 'ecosystem' reveals possible new targets for treatment
Garvan researchers have used cellular genomics to uncover promising therapy targets for triple negative breast cancer.

Unparalleled inventory of the human gut ecosystem
Scientists gathered and published over 200 000 genomes from the human gut microbiome.

Cycad plants provide an important 'ecosystem service'
A study published in the June 2020 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Horticulturae shows that cycads, which are in decline and among the world's most threatened group of plants, provide an important service to their neighboring organisms.

More ecosystem engineers create stability, preventing extinctions
Biological builders like beavers, elephants, and shipworms re-engineer their environments.

Ecosystem degradation could raise risk of pandemics
Environmental destruction may make pandemics more likely and less manageable, new research suggests.

Improving the operation and performance of Wi-Fi networks for the 5G/6G ecosystem
An article published in the advanced online edition of the journal Computer Communications shows that the use of machine learning can improve the operation and performance of the Wi-Fi networks of the future, those of the 5G/6G ecosystem.

A lost world and extinct ecosystem
The field study site of Pinnacle Point, South Africa, sits at the center of the earliest evidence for symbolic behavior, complex pyrotechnology, projectile weapons, and the first use of foods from the sea, both geographically and scientifically, having contributed much on the evolutionary road to being a modern human.

Ecosystem services are not constrained by borders
What do chocolate, migratory birds, flood control and pandas have in common?

Late cretaceous dinosaur-dominated ecosystem
A topic of considerable interest to paleontologists is how dinosaur-dominated ecosystems were structured, how dinosaurs and co-occurring animals were distributed across the landscape, how they interacted with one another, and how these systems compared to ecosystems today.

How transient invaders can transform an ecosystem
Study finds microbes can alter an environment dramatically before dying out.

Read More: Ecosystem News and Ecosystem Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.