Fish

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brent Meister- I love answering questions.

     Elizabeth S. sec. 51: I was wondering about your hydrophone. Maybe you said this already but are you able to record the sound or do you just listen to it and evaluate it somehow? If you can record it, are you also able to upload it so we can hear what it sounds like? And once you record it, how do you evaluate or measure the sound? How do you use it in your research?

     To start, with my hydrophone and the use of the ISHMAEL software I am able to record sound and save it to my computer so I can listen and evaluate it later. I have recently gone out and recorded some sound which I am not to pleased with and will have to go out again. Once I am happy with my recording I will post it to the blog spot so every one can listen to the sounds of the inter-coastal waterway. Now how I measure sound is by frequency in the units of Hertz. All marine mammals rely on frequencies to communicate. Frequencies are sound waves and there are ranges we can't hear and certain animal can, for instance a dog whistle can be quit loud to dogs but it doesn't bother us. A lot of people get confused when they see something expressed in decibels. Don't be worried by this as this is just a measurement of how intense the sound is, or how loud. Its kind of like if someone pulled up next to you in a car with their stereo turned up all the way; you can hear the sound so its in the frequency that people can hear however the music is really loud or intense because its right next to you and that is a measurement in decibels. I use this in my research by collecting and evaluating sound, on a frequency standpoint, and seeing if it is within the auditory range of marine mammals. this could cause a problem if the mammals cant communicate they can run into boats mare frequently or just leave the area completely disrupting the balance in the ecosystem.

This is some of the stuff I can look at in ISHMAEL
      Also if you want to listen to sound before mine is up you can go to falcon online and go to the class page. Then Click content and go down the list until you see a section labeled Marine sounds-- audio and Dr. Woodall has some mammal sound from all sorts of marine mammals in the list. Below I will post the link however you will have to sign into Falcon online first.
https://class.daytonastate.edu/d2l/le/content/251590/Home?itemIdentifier=D2L.LE.Content.ContentObject.ModuleCO-2580824

Samm, UR - The Time Has Finally Come!

After only taking about a day and a half for my sunscreen materials to get here, I was able to start my project!
My water samples in the UV Box.

Making the zinc oxide paste.
I decided that, instead of using the 1.5 gallon fish tanks, that I would use 250-mL beakers, due to a suggestion from Heather about the concentration of sunscreen to water. There was also the hurdle of how I was going to "mix" the sunscreen into the water. With the beakers, I was able to spread the sunscreen across the sides and bottom with one of my fingers. Then, I would fill the beakers with DI water (deionized water). The sunscreen coated on the sides would represent how we put sunscreen on our bodies, and the action of it slowly leeching into the water.

I ended up using only 20g of sunscreen, since I didn't account for how many grams were in the Babo Botanical sunscreen (and I only thought to order one). I think in the end though, 20g was enough. I had a heck of a time making sure that I could get as much sunscreen onto the beaker as possible, there was just so much!

The next challenge was figuring out how to spread the pure zinc oxide over the inside of the beaker. After doing some small experiments, I found out that zinc oxide makes a nice paste when mixed with water. A couple drops here, and a few more there, and I had a relatively nice, thick paste that I could spread. It was a little more difficult to spread than the pre-made sunscreen, and my finger was on fire by the time I was spreading the paste!
Control (left) and Babo sample 1 (right)
test strips.
Comparing the Babo sample 1 with
the colour chart.

In total, I have 7 beakers: 3 coated with the Babo Botanical sunscreen, 3 coated with the zinc oxide paste, and one control (DI water ONLY), filled up to 250 mL. Today I finished Day 3 of testing, and this method of using the SenSafe test strips has opened my mind to a lot of questions. On the left is a picture of my test strips side by side. The orange colour on the control means that there was <10 µg of heavy metals in the water. Now the test strip on the right is where all this gets tricky. All of my sunscreen water samples have come out with this red/purple colour.

My test strips drying before I put them into a baggy together.
The corresponding colours on the bottle of test strips are all a tan/brown colour, and because all of my tested strips are red/purple, it's been hard to determine if there is indeed 1000 µg/L of heavy metals, or if it's a smaller number and my samples will get darker as my testing goes on. Today, it looked like one of my pure zinc samples was a little darker than all the rest of them, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll start to see a difference in intensity of colour!

Tomorrow, I'm going to set up another beaker with what little of the Babo Botanical sunscreen I have left, but use a smaller amount of DI water. I was beginning to think that maybe I had too much concentration of sunscreen for the amount of water, so I'm going to do a small side experiment to see if there is any truth to my thoughts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mike Salisbury, UR - Q & A

Jason Vise sec. 51. So based on your observations, what do you think the bird populations would look like if there were no human activities on the beach. I mean you talk about the gull/terns looking for humans so they seem to accumulate there. Would we see them or as many of them if humans were not around? and what about the wading birds. Why are they rare? Is it because of us or some other reason?

This is a great question! Well, where to begin. Let’s be extreme for a moment… If we could remove humans from the planet, including all anthropogenic influences past and present, there would be a higher number of many species (including seabirds). Let’s get back to reality. Coastal development, over population, tourism, and overall lack of caring has resulted in a decrease in many species of seabirds. Some species are even endangered or extinct because of this.  How do seabirds compensate for these anthropogenic disturbances? They adapt, and the birds who don’t adapt die. This is natural selection with a human touch. So, gulls/terns are attracted to humans because of food, but this is a result from our own doing.


Many people bring food to the beach and feed the birds. This is consistent enough to condition some birds into thinking “where there are people there will be food.” Birds, like all animals, have temperaments. These temperaments vary with species/individual, so not all birds feel comfortable enough to take this risk.

Let’s say we remove humans from the planet including all anthropogenic influences tomorrow. Things would get wacky for a bit, but eventually the ecosystem would balance.  This is because we have heavily influenced the coastal ecosystem. Some species may rely on us for food. In contrast, we are decreasing the number of some species through coastal development, over population, tourism, etc. In conclusion, certain species would decrease in number, while others would increase.  

Wading birds have a broad habitat, so this might be one reason they are rare to see on the beach. Although, the only wading birds I have seen were at Site C (no beach driving and few disturbances). Maybe anthropogenic disturbances heavily influence wading birds.


Why are seabirds important? Seabirds are a keystone species. A keystone species is a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically. For the sake of this explanation let’s say all seabirds eat crabs. If we take the seabirds out of the coastal ecosystem there would be an explosion in the crab population. This would result in a decrease in the food crabs eat and so on. The important thing here is moderation. It’s not disturbances vs. zero disturbances because this will never happen on our beaches. It’s being mindful of things and not ignoring a species until they are almost extinct.

John’s Pass Area, Pinellas County, Florida 
   Think about what would be here if the buildings, roads, etc. were gone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rebecca UR - I spy with my little eye...



My previous project was to create a middle school lesson plan that included an online component. I used a virtual lab about conserving water and created a worksheet that had students calculate their water bill. My next project will also require me to create a lesson plan that can be used in middle school classrooms but this time I have to create it using one of my classmates’ research projects as the starting point. While all of the projects interest me, I have to consider which project will translate well into a middle school classroom.  This would unfortunately eliminate projects that require sophisticated or expensive equipment.  This makes Mike the winner!  

Click here to check out Mike's project.

      Looking at his project, I really like how it uses one of the most simple and often overlooked steps of the scientific method, observations. Making an observation is the first and most vital part of science. It's something we do everyday and I know I often find myself asking questions. Why is that turtle trying to cross the street? Why is the car next to mine always parked over the line? Why is it always gorgeous outside when I have to work all day? All questions, based on observations, that could be the start of a scientific experiment. So Mike's question, what disturbs sea birds, is not only based on an observation but can be answered by making more observations. I think middle school students would get a great understanding of what science is along with the steps of the scientific method while completing a lesson that follows along with Mike's methodology.


Scientific Method in meme form


Questions from my last Blog post:
Caleb Douglas (Sec. 2) What are some special uses for water with the virtual lab that can help us conserve it? The virtual lab suggest conserving water in several ways. It gives the option of using low flow aerators on sinks, taking 5 minute showers instead of baths and using 'grey' water to water your lawn. It has water saving options for daily household activities like doing laundry, brushing your teeth and washing dishes as well.

Kelly Cameron (Sec. 02) Is there a way to make the parents more involved in this water conservation lab so they will teach their children to practice water conservation at home? This is part of the reason I included a worksheet that had students calculating their water bill after the lab was completed.  If students are committed to reducing water use in their home, they will go home and tell their parents what they learned during this lesson. They can even tell their parents that by watering the lawn at night and not in the afternoon they can save x amount of dollars.
 

Samm, UR - Questions, questions, questions...

Over the past week, I have been polishing my IRP. First off, I have tweeked my scientific question.

When under ultraviolet light, how will sunscreens containing zinc oxide concentrations change over time in fresh water?

Originally, I was going to use two different sunscreens containing zinc oxide as the sole UV filter. Instead of two different brands of sunscreen, I am now going to use Babo Botanicals 30 SPF Clear Zinc Sunscreen and pure zinc oxide. The pure zinc oxide will represent my constant in my research. Along with Heather, the test strips for my IRP will only tell me if there are heavy metals leeching into the water. I haven't started my project yet, so until then I will just answer some questions!
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Kristen Copp Section 51.
Very interesting topic, Samm! I really enjoyed hearing about your findings and wish you the best of luck on your research journey! I am curious to know, when you attempted your first experiment to test and see if the sunscreen, when exposed to UV rays, turns into hydrogen peroxide, how much sunscreen did you allow in the tanks? And was it in correlation to the amount of water you had to try and balance things out? Thank you and God Bless!!

I have yet to start my experiment, although I have been thinking about the amount of sunscreen I'll use. The tanks I will be using should hold two gallons of water, and I'm thinking of using 30 mL (two tablespoons) of each sunscreen. Two tablespoons is what most homemade sunscreens recipes use.

Amanda Sterns (sec. 51)--I haven't had a lot of chemistry. Would you mind explaining that chemical equation you posted in your picture? What is going on and/or reacting with what? And you say your research will be on zinc oxide yet the equation is for titanium I believe. Would zinc have the same chemical reaction?

The last time I took a chemistry class was my sophomore year in high school, just about seven years ago.The equation is certainly a lot to take in when you have little to no chemistry knowledge! Luckily, with the amazing, combined help from Dr. Woodall, her husband Paul, and my classmate Brent, they were able to help me find a basic understanding of the equation.


  • TiO2 + hv : This is titanium dioxide reacting with ultraviolet light

  • TiO2 (e- + h+) : Because of this, electrons are excited into a higher state, leaving a hole in it's old state. Excitation is the process when an electron gains energy and cannot remain it it's particular orbit, so it goes to another orbit with higher energy. (the e- represents the excited electron, and the h+ represents the hole). We'll come back to the excited electron in a moment.

  • h+ + H2O --> OH + H+ : The hole causes water (H2O) to break apart a become a free radical which mixes with hydrogen.Free molecules are molecules with unpaired electrons. They are active, constantly trying to find anything to pair itself with (OH represents the free radicals, H+ the hydrogen).

  • e- + O2 --> O2 > h+ -->HO2 > HO2 --> H2O2 : So, this last part of the equation is kind of tricky. To talk about it simply, the excited electron mixes with the oxygen in the water. That plus the Hydrogen from the hole all help to form hydrogen peroxide. This part of the equation is tricky because there either seems to be some form of typo or mistake. None of us could quite figure out the dot in the second O2 molecule, and why it was needed. Also, that part of the equation was not balanced correctly. Unfortunately, because I have limited access to the original study, I can't find out anything more about this particular equation to see if anyone commented on it.
I would believe that zinc oxide would have a similar chemical reaction. TiO2 and ZnO are both mineral UV filters, and would produce the free radicals that help create hydrogen peroxide.

Hi.
Tamika Henry OCE1001 02
I was wondering when you say that you are going to sample the water for zinc and create a representative graph from the data you have collected...are you trying to find out of the chemical increased or decrease under UV rays or are you looking for another chemical reaction? And as you charting your findings what type of graph will you use to help the reader understand your project and it's results?

When I begin my testing of the water I am going to be looking for the level of zinc in the water since it was introduced to the tank. Similar to my classmate Heather, my test strips can only tell me if metals are leeching into the water, I will not be able to differentiate between the metals, but it can tell me if metals are being leeched, like zinc oxide. As for my graph, I am going to use a line graph to show the amount of metals in the water over time.

Is there any other chemical that can be used in sunscreen that would still protect us but keep harmful toxins out of the ocean? Could an alternative to sunscreen be to wear hats and bring umbrellas?

Wearing hats, clothing, and bring umbrellas are definitely good ways to help protect us from the sun! I have also heard that some people use coconut oil on their skin for light protection (SPF 4). Sunburns are an inflammation , and diet can play big factor in sun protection. Eating healthy and eliminating foods like processed foods and sugar can help your body fight off sunburns. There are also supplements that help improve sun tolerance that include
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin C
  • Coconut oil melted into herbal tea
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil / High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend
  • Astaxanthin
Last month, I posted a blog about sunscreen made from fish bones. A group of Portuguese researchers were developing a sunscreen filter made from the bones of the Atlantic Cod fish treated in iron chloride. When the researchers tested the material under light, they found no radical detection, unlike zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. And since cod is a popular fish to eat, the bones would be recycled and put to good use!


Mike Salisbury, UR - Progress

So far I have gathered some interesting data: Site C (no beach driving/less disturbances) has the
greatest species diversity. Site A (beach driving), on average, has the highest gull/tern numbers, and Site B (usually crowded/no beach driving) has been a wildcard.

I’ve noticed sargassum seaweed can affect species number and diversity. On Tuesday November 4th there was quite a bit of sargassum weed at Site C and few disturbances. This resulted in 32 shorebirds and 11 gulls/terns. 

Here is a picture of Site C from November 4th. It’s hard to see any birds in this picture because of their size and color, but that day/site had one of the highest numbers of shorebirds yet.

Site C November 4th


Sargassum 

Here are a few observations I’ve made:
  • Gulls/terns will flock where there is food and space. As mentioned last week, gulls/terns think of food when they see humans, so these birds have a tendency to flock near humans if there is a comfortable amount of space.
  • Shorebirds are skittish, so they are more sensitive to disturbances.
  • Wading birds are rare to see on the beach compared to shorebirds and gulls/terns.

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Comments from last week:

Deb 'n Paul
Are there any local conservation efforts to 'put a bird on it'? meaning--are there any conservation efforts by local /government organizations directed towards helping beach-loving birds?

Florida Fish and Wildlife developed The Florida Bird Conservation Initiative, which has advanced bird conservation in Florida; this includes the bird types I have been researching. Florida Fish and Wildlife has several conservation programs that are worth checking out.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Heather Talley, UR- Too soon to go up in smoke? Pt. 1

Last week I was presented with a question from Caleb on my Hot and Salty blog stating: 

Hi Heather this is Caleb Douglas from OCE1001_02. Whenever I go to the Beach I think it is a disgrace to see people throwing their cigarettes on to the sand so that they can get washed up in the ocean and ruin the environment. How much tobacco will it take to raise the ocean's salinity level?
 
Well to begin the introduction of tobacco into the marine environment will not affect the salinity concentrations; HOWEVER, I will be testing to see if the increased salinity will have an effect on the heavy metals leaching out of the tobacco and filters of a cigarette butt. It has been shown that increased acidity will increase the rate of heavy metal leaching, ocean water is basic with a pH reading of around 8.2 where as fresh water is about 7. This is due to the fact that salt is an alkaline and increases the pH so there should be a correlation between increased salinity and increased pH and hopefully a decrease in the heavy metal concentrations (fingers crossed). This is important because with the increased CO2 in the atmosphere making the oceans more acidic this could pose an issue of increased heavy metal contamination.
Amanda Sterns (sec. 51) asked:

I go to the beach a lot and can't stand the fact that smokers are constantly using the beach sand as their ash tray. I would think that the sand would really get far hotter than ocean surface water. Do you think the heating of these hundreds (if not millions) of cigarette butts in the sand combined with incoming tides, etc. would be an even bigger problem with leaching of cadmium and arsenic? Whatever--just YUK!!!!

When an individual throws a cigarette butt onto the top of the sand there is a higher risk of the butt being carried by the wind to other locations (including the water) or the cigarette butt being picked up by a bird when it confuses it as a food source. After talking with Dr. Bell about this issue she confirmed my thought that that though the sand will heat up the cigarette butts it will not reach a high enough temperature to release chemicals that would be released by actually burning the cigarette. Cigarettes are made so that they will remain stable in hot situations like leaving them in a hot car all day, it’s the water that will actually break the cigarette apart since at this moment cigarettes aren’t made to swim. When a cigarette butt becomes wet the water will begin to break down the glue and paper holding the plastic filter and the tobacco in place. This glue and tobacco begin to break down releasing any of the chemicals that were used to treat and process them including heavy metals and pesticides used on the tobacco plant, leaving behind the cellulose acetate filter to further leach chemicals and cause a risk to organisms that may consume it. So the cigarette butts in the sand does cause an issue when animals or the wind carry them into the water, but the temperature of the sand isn’t a pressing issue to a cigarette butt. What I am trying to test and what the article in my blog “would you like some heavy metal with your aphrodisiac” shows that the increase in water temperature speeds up this breaking down process.  
On my blog Would you like some heavy metal with your aphrodisiac?  I was asked the following questions:

Tamika henry from class OCE1001_02

People eat oysters, if cadmium is toxic what effects will it have on the human consumer after eating an oysters that's is effected with high levels of cadmium.... how high the levels must be to negatively affect a person and low the level must be to non-toxic?

Well unfortunately the test strips that I will be using do not differentiate between what heavy metals are leaching into the water but cadmium is one of them so I will get a general idea that heavy metals including cadmium may be leaching into the water. As for the answer to your question I’m not sure if you have ever heard of a disease called itai itai disease… possibly not but it is actually a disease that happened from a cadmium contamination in japan after cadmium was polluting the local Jinzu river from a mining source. What happened was the cadmium started to bioaccumulate in the sediments of the river then that water was used to irrigate the rice fields, where the rice absorbed the heavy metals including cadmium. This water was also used for washing, drinking water, fishing, etc. When the locals consumed the rice the cadmium accumulated in their kidneys and bones. The cadmium replaces the calcium in the body causing bones to become porous and brittle and causes kidney failure. The Epa has a regulation on the amount of cadmium in drinking water and food sources and it is set as “The Reference Dose (RfD) for cadmium in drinking water is 0.0005 milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg/d) and the RfD for dietary exposure to cadmium is 0.001 mg/kg/d.” As I stated cadmium isn’t released from the body it builds up over time storing in the bones and kidneys until levels reach such toxic levels that they cause death. This becomes a problem for people who rely on the contaminated water as a main source of food and drinking water because they have a higher exposer to the cadmium than a person who eats oysters every once and a while. 

Tamika also followed up with:

 How does cadmium affect the marine animals that consume contaminated (high levels of cadmium) oysters?

When cadmium enters the marine environment it settles out into the sediments and is taken up by plants and algae that are eaten by insects and then fish eat the insects and we eat the fish… increasing the concentration in the food chain known as biomagnification. The metal will accumulate in fish’s gills, liver, and kidneys from eating contaminated food sources and “breathing” contaminated water. Cadmium has been shown to cause high blood pressure, iron-poor blood, liver disease, and nerve/ brain damage in animals that have consumed it. Cadmium also effects the birth weight and skeleton development in animals. Fish with cadmium poisoning will often have a poorly developed or crooked spine.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Brent Meister: answering some good questions

     Since I have not yet been out into the field to collect data due to work I really have nothing to report. However I do have some really great questions I get to answer. I'm looking at going out in the field this weekend, however to collect data.

     Kelly Cameron from section 2 askedWhen did we first realize that we generated noise pollution in the ocean through shipping noise, sonar, and air gun arrays, which was causing blue whales to die? What was the initial reaction?

  • We have been generating noise pollution since the industrial revolution. However the noise was never really bad. It has only been within the past 20 years that people have really taken action against boat traffic, sonar, and air gun arrays. It really is a combination of all three that cause blue whales to die. A ships propeller runs on the same frequency as blue whale communication causing accidental collisions between boat traffic and blue whales leaving scars or even killing them when they collide. Sonar is a high frequency sound, which is very close and similar to killer whale communication. This drives blue whales away from the area and blocks communication because they think a predator is in the area and drives them away from there food or onto a beach. An air gun array just messes everything up. If you were in the water when one went off your eardrums would explode instantly. This messes with communication and disorients the whale causing it to beach itself. The initial reaction was very low. Nobody fully understood the importance and the balance that the oceans play in our lives. many people saw a beached whale and said aww poor thing but never really understood that they had a hand in causing it. Today however is a different story because we understand just how much the oceans mean to us.
Prop marks on the back of a humpback whale

     Jessica D. from section 52 asked Brent, I don't know a whole lot about sound. I was wondering, if I was under water and a gun array went off a few miles away or some submarine somewhere used their sonar, what would I hear? How is my hearing different from dolphins and whales?


  • To start water amplifies and carries sound for a very long distance. So if you were a few miles away from an air gun array you would hear it because the frequency of the noise is within human auditory range. Now if a submarine started its sonar a couple miles away you wouldn't hear it because the frequency is out of our auditory range but it is still there. What I mean by frequency is wave length. the shorter the wave length the more intense the sound, and the longer the wave length the lower the sound. Now the human auditory range can hear a certain range a frequencies from 20 Hertz to 20 Kilohertz, and a Whales auditory range can stretch anywhere from 10 Hertz to 31 Kilohertz giving them a much wider auditory range. Which is why Whales often collide with ships and beach themselves because of sonars to escape what they think is a predator because sonars very closely resemble the frequency of a killer whale which is know to feed on other whales.
Some noises in the ocean natural and non natural

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mike Salisbury, UR - Food for Thought


Here's a link to the graphs/blog from last week

Site B
Notice how Site B has the least amount of gulls/terns in the graph from last week? This has been a common occurrence during my observations. I've come up with a few ideas why Site B consistently has fewer birds. If you look at this picture of Site B you can see people hang out from the water line to the trash cans, this is basically the entire beach. It is worth noting this is an uncrowded day at Site B.





Site A

Let’s take a look at Site A. I’ve noticed people generally stay close to their vehicles on the west side of the traffic lane. On crowded summer days, people spread out, but the traffic lane breaks up the crowd. This means the traffic lane is an abiotic ecological factor in the coastal ecosystem (where there is beach driving). This break in the crowd provides space for birds to congregate/flock.  






It seems like we have conditioned birds to a certain extent (particularly gulls/terns); when these birds see people, they think food.  Like all animals, birds need space. Site B, on average, doesn’t provide them with a comfortable amount of space (too many people/disturbances).  So gulls/terns are attracted to people because of conditioning, but only when there is enough space.  As a result, Sites A and C have the most gulls/terns. 

Mike’s gull/tern equations:
People + very little space = very few gulls/terns
People + space = hungry gulls/terns
People + food + space = more hungry gulls/terns
People + feeding the birds+ space = a lot of gulls/terns

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Comments from last week:

Amanda Sterns (sec. 51)--I've been to the beach but I've never seen a bird's nest. Where do they build their nests and is nesting seasonal?

Shorebirds build nests during spring and summer on Florida beaches. Depending on bird species, nests can be anywhere above the high-tide mark, on the beach or in the dunes. Coastal development has forced some birds to nest on gravel roofs as well. This is a problem because chicks have been known to walk off these roofs. Additionally, these nests are more vulnerable to avian predators such as hawks, crows, gulls, herons, etc. 
Nesting Snowy Plover

Black Skimmers nesting on Daytona Beach


This is a close up of a nesting Black Skimmer
 
Nesting Wilson’s Plover on Flagler Beach




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mike Salisbury, UR - Data, Data Everywhere

Whew -- this semester has been flying by. I began collecting data on October 12th, and so far the results have been really interesting.  Here are two graphs that illustrate last week’s data:




What does this data show us?  Let’s do a quick recap of my scientific question for this project: “How do anthropogenic disturbances alter bird species number and diversity on Volusia County beaches?”   

Here are a few observations/interpretive statements based on last week’s graphs:
  1. Shorebirds prefer a beach with less anthropogenic disturbances; shorebirds are more common at Site C, compared to Sites A and B (20, 2 and 2, respectively). This could be a problem, as many shorebirds are beach-nesters (piping plovers, snowy plovers, etc.). These birds are an important part of the coastal ecosystem. Here is a link to a video that provides some general information on ecosystems
  2. Gulls/terns prefer locations where there are anthropogenic food sources (feeding).  I noticed gulls/terns aren't as sensitive to disturbances, compared to shorebirds. This means they will risk more to feed.  
  3. Adults are responsible for more than 50% of total disturbances at each site. There are signs on Volusia County beaches that provide information on sea turtle nesting/anthropogenic disturbance. Is it time for bird nesting/anthropogenic disturbance signs?  
Together, these graphs provide a lot of useful information; I’m excited to see the final results.