LONG-TERM OYSTER MONITORING
Spat modules mounted on PVC "trees" are being used to assess the growth and long-term survival of oyster spat in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon. These spat modules are used to examine various interstitial spaces and predator densities in the estuary along a salinity gradient. This study will shed light on the differences in growth and mortality rates caused by environmental stressors in oyster spat.
Jensen Beach Impoundment Recovery
We are monitoring hydrology, water quality, vegetation and the resulting effects on ecosystem services along a gradient of mangrove stress in the Jensen Beach Impoundment. These results will help guide future mangrove restoration projects in the area.
We are researching the benthic communities that recruit to our Living Docks. We are interested in understanding how settlement changes spatially and temporally, as well as the impact these communities have on water quality.
We are researching the impact that hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) have on the growth of Shoal Grass (Halodule wrightii) in mesocosm and field experiments. These results will help to improve seagrass and hard clam restoration in the Indian River Lagoon.
Seagrass Mesocosm Experiments
We are investigating the effects of seagrass fragmentation and stranded shoot survival for applications in restoration. Increasing the growth rate and quantity of vulnerable species is crucial both for our outplanting in the Indian River Lagoon and sharing seagrass with other restoration centers.