Floods, Droughts, & River Food Webs, By Dr. Mary E. Power - FSUCML Conservation Lecture Series

Different river flow regimes lead to alternate algal-based summer food weds, with consequences for linked upland and coastal ecosystems.  Flowing floods that rejuvenate food webs and scour away grazers, filamentous green macroalgae often proliferate.  Over time, surfaces of macroalgal streamers become covered by nutritious films of epiphytic diatoms.  These assemblages support aquatic grazers, and through them, fish and other predators in food webs.  But nutritious diatom rich algal assemblages persist only when sufficient summer base flows gently flush sunny channels, and keep temperatures from getting too warm.  If drought for human water extraction allow sunlit channels to warm and stagnate, benthic cyanobacteria can overgrow the nutritious algal assemblages.  Over the last decade, these toxic cyanobacteria have killed over a dozen dogs in the Eel and Russian Rivers.  US Santa Cruz researchers linked sea otter deaths off Monterrey Bay to river produced cyanotoxins.  We need to quantify and document how human perturbation of hydrologic regimes, as well as our impacts on heat, nutrient, sediment, and carbon loading into rivers, will affect river food weds, and their linkages with upland and coastal ecosystems.  by Dr. Mary Power |Department of Integrative Biology | University of 
California, Berkeley |   For more information:  marinelab.fsu.edu 

Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory, Auditorium 3618 Highway 98. St. Teresa, Fl 32358

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