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:6/30/2017)... Va. , June 30, 2017 ... leading developer and supplier of face and eye ... ATA Featured Product provider program. ... an innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness ... greatly from being able to detect fatigue and ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at VivaTech ... startups and global businesses, taking place in Paris ... will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM Watson ... France is one of the most dynamic ... in the number of startups created between 2012 and 2015*, ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro ... of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it ... Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to ... symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: