HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Surprising killer of southeastern salt marshes: Common sea snails

Periwinkles, the spiral-shelled snails commonly found along rocky U.S. shorelines, play a primary role in the unprecedented disappearance of salt marsh in the southeastern states, according to new research published in Science.

Based on extensive field studies, the work challenges six decades of salt marsh science. Ecologists have long thought that stressed soil too much salt, not enough oxygen was the main killer of this critical marine habitat.

But Brian Silliman, a Brown University research fellow and a University of Florida assistant professor, said drought-stressed soils pave the way for predatory periwinkles that spread fungal disease as they graze on cordgrass.

"Snails can transform healthy marsh to mudflats in a matter of months," said Silliman, lead author of the Science paper. "This finding represents a huge shift in the way we see salt marsh ecology. For years, scientists thought marsh die-off was simply a 'bottom-up' problem related solely to soil conditions. We found that the trouble also comes from the top down. Drought makes the marsh vulnerable, then the snails move in."

Thousands of acres of salt marsh have disappeared from South Carolina to Texas since 2000, according to several scientific studies. In Louisiana alone, more than 100,000 acres of marsh were severely damaged between June 2000 and September 2001. This drastic decline poses a serious threat to the ecology and economy of the southeastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast. Salt marshes serve as nursery grounds that support commercial fisheries, protect coastline from storm-induced floods, and filter fresh water before it flows out to sea.

Mark Bertness, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown and a co-author of the paper, said a better understanding of the causes of salt marsh loss will point to better ways to protect them.

"Loss of blue crabs and turtles, which prey on periwinkles, allows the snails to flourish," Be
'"/>

Contact: Wendy Lawton
Wendy_Lawton@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
15-Dec-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Surprising new species of light-harvesting bacterium discovered in Yellowstone
2. Surprising origin of cells internal highways
3. Surprising airbag hazards among research findings at hearing safety conference
4. Surprising symbiosis: Glassy-winged sharpshooter eats with friends
5. Surprising genetic differences id-ed in southern house mosquito
6. Growing lymph vessels with macrophages? Surprisingly, yes!
7. Surprisingly complex behaviors appear to be hard-wired in the primate brain
8. Surprising study reveals how cancer-causing protein activates
9. Aphids make chemical weapons to fight off killer ladybirds
10. Revealed -- Mosquito genes that could be controlling the spread of killer viruses
11. Common cancer gene sends death order to tiny killer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/2/2020)... ... March 02, 2020 , ... Nominations are now being accepted for ... Security Industry Association (SIA) and SecureIDNews and co-presented with sponsors ... Forum . The recipients of this year’s Women in Biometrics Awards will be honored ...
(Date:2/28/2020)... ... ... Meridian Clinical Research , a leading investigative research network, is a ... Clinical Trial Site. Meridian is also the largest member of Platinum Research Network ... were the result of two voting rounds, and winners will be announced at the ...
(Date:2/28/2020)... ... February 27, 2020 , ... An upcoming episode of Advancements ... maladies, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), specifically Crohn’s Disease (Crohn’s), and Oncology. ... a novel platform developed by Deka Biosciences, Inc. (Deka Biosciences), that will enable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/12/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... March 12, 2020 , ... ... of atomic force microscopy (AFM) technology, increases the business investment in Europe by ... , The Grand Opening Ceremony of the new Nanoscience Center Europe took ...
(Date:3/4/2020)... ... March 04, 2020 , ... ... antibody products and services, today announced the launch of its FleXpress™ high-throughput ... a large number of antibodies at 80 ml scale. All production occurs ...
(Date:3/2/2020)... FREDERICK, Md. (PRWEB) , ... March 02, 2020 , ... ... Top Patent Firms 2019 list in the field of Biotechnology and Organics. , According ... counsel on a total of 259 patents issued in technology center 1600 during 2019. ...
(Date:2/21/2020)... , ... February 20, 2020 ... ... exquisite capability to perform complex, efficient and elegant chemistry. Humans have been ... to our own goals. , Through rapidly evolving technologies and strategies for ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: