We’ve been following this study from the very beginning. Browse past “On the Reef” posts here.
Dr. David Kimbro studies predator-prey relationships, and how slight changes to these relationships can have huge consequences by cascading to resources consumed by the prey such as oyster reefs and salt marshes. A delicate balance exists between the denizens of coastal environments. Changes to the overall health and number of any one predatory or prey species can have unforeseen effects on the other species with which it interacts. The main ecosystem he studies currently are oyster reefs.
Oyster reefs are important coastal ecosystems, providing services beyond supporting oyster fisheries. They provide habitat for several commercially important species, and clean the water so that other habitats such as seagrass beds may flourish. For more information on the services provided by oyster reefs, view the In the Grass, On the Reef Master Plan.
David’s study is in collaboration with Dr. Randall Hughes and two other team leaders in South Carolina/ Georgia and North Carolina. David has four Florida sites, locally in Alligator Harbor as well as Cedar Key, Saint Augustine, and Jacksonville.
David and Randall’s study is funded by the National Science Foundation.