Dr. Schafer and Dr. Osborne Publish Paper in Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Published: Monday, June 22, 2020
Congratulations to recent Whitney Ph.D. graduate Dr. Tracey Schafer and Whitney Laboratory's Dr. Todd Osborne who recently published a paper in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering titled "Impacts of Hurricane Disturbance on Water Quality across the Aquatic Continuum of a Blackwater River to Estuary Complex."
Hurricanes cause landscape-scale disturbances that affect biogeochemical cycling and water quality in coastal ecosystems. During Hurricane Irma’s passage through northern Florida, water movements driven by wind velocities up to 105 km h−1 caused a salinity peak in an estuary/blackwater river complex. Water quality was monitored across the 15 km site to detect the magnitude and duration of disturbance. The disturbance caused rapid changes in water quality over a 3-week period, but some effects persisted for longer periods. This disturbance caused shifts in DOM loading, altered salinity dynamics, and reshaped landscapes due to wind and wave surge both in upland marsh and downstream estuary. Hurricane disturbance temporarily and abruptly alters the aquatic continuum, and observations of system response can help us understand the mechanisms associated with ecosystem resilience and recovery.