In a new paper in Ecosyststems, Macy et al. compared carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks between marsh-dominated areas and mangrove-dominated areas in a Louisiana coastal wetland. Results suggested that mangrove encroachment can increases C and N in aboveground biomass stocks, but that it may not lead to differences in belowground toot and soil stocks.
We are pleased to welcome Emily Fromenthal and Jake Dybiec to the team. Emily is pursuing her M.S. and plans to research plant-pollinator interactions in natural and restored wetlands along the Mississippi-Alabama coast. Jake is pursuing his Ph.D. and plans to compare climate change impacts on ecosystem functions in natural and restored wetlands.
Congratulations to graduate students Abbey Griffin Wood and Erin Smyth, both of whom successfully defended their thesis research today. Pandemic-caused lab closures couldn't stop these two!
Abbey's thesis research was a mesocosm experiment comparing the effects of nutrient loading on biological contributions to elevation change in vegetated sods collected from natural and constructed marshes along the Fowl River in south Alabama.
Erin's thesis research was a field study comparing biological structure, organic matter decomposition, and carbon stocks in a natural and two constructed tidal marshes along the Fowl River in south Alabama.
Both of their studies are part of the CRIMSON project in the Cherry and Mortazavi Labs at UA.
Congratulations to Cherry Lab member, Amelie Lagarde, who graduated from UA with her B.S. in Environmental Engineering. She will begin her M.S. in Coastal and Ecological Engineering at LSU this fall. Good luck, Amelie, and Roll Tide forever!
As part of a new Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant project, entitled “Assessing Recovery of Ecosystem Structure and Function in Restored Tidal Marshes of the Mississippi-Alabama Gulf Coast,” Drs. Cherry and Mortazavi at the University of Alabama will evaluate ecosystem structure and function in habitat restoration and creation projects of different ages. Their objectives are to compare structural and functional attributes in restored coastal wetlands of different ages to reference wetlands, to estimate recovery trajectories and times to equivalency for these attributes, and to evaluate the relative effectiveness of different habitat restoration projects. They will inventory plant community structure, plant biomass, soil carbon storage, and nitrogen removal capacity via denitrification in 16 coastal wetlands, including 12 created or restored wetlands ranging in age from 4 to 33 years. Through these analyses, they will assess the relative effectiveness of different habitat restoration projects along the Mississippi-Alabama Gulf Coast, which will be used to inform future restoration practices. Thus, this project will provide important baseline information about restoration activities, while also assessing the structural and functional outcomes of projects that used different approaches for wetland restoration or creation.
Congratulations to Abbey Griffin Wood and Erin Smyth on their poster presentations at the Alabama Water Institute's Research Symposium today. They shared findings from their thesis research with other water researchers from across the state.
The Cherry Lab was well-represented this week at the 25th Biennial CERF Conference in Mobile, AL. Erin Smyth presented a poster on carbon storage and decomposition dynamics in natural and constructed tidal marshes, while Dr. Lorae' Simpson gave a talk about decomposition rates in a saltmarsh-mangrove ecotone in Florida. Dr. Cherry presented new information on shifts in microbial and plant communities along a coastal transition in coastal Mississippi, and how those shifts correspond to changes in ecosystem functions. Members of the lab also co-authored work with colleagues in other groups, making this CERF meeting a particularly productive one for the team!
Graduate assistantships in coastal wetland ecology are available in the Cherry Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences beginning in May or August of 2020. Highly motivated students with experience in field ecology, environmental science or related fields are invited to apply to participate in research projects examining the structural and functional outcomes of coastal restoration and the responses of Gulf Coast tidal marshes to sea-level rise and other environmental changes. Students pursuing a Ph.D. are preferred, although opportunities are available for M.S. students as well. Click here for more information.
Cherry Lab News & Accomplishments
Highlighting events and recognizing achievements of Cherry Lab members.