Monitoring Nursery Habitats After the Oil Spill

Researchers use a specially designed net to trap animals that use the marsh during high tide.

Researchers use a specially designed net to trap animals that use the marsh during high tide. Credit: Ryan Moody

Salt marshes and seagrass meadows, common across the northern Gulf of Mexico, are highly productive ecosystems that provide critical habitat to many ecologically and economically important species of finfish and shellfish. Juvenile crabs, shrimp and fish that seek refuge in these habitats were threatened during the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Fortunately, scientists are finding no significant changes in Alabama’s marsh and seagrass habitats.

Classroom Activity: Random Sampling
Random sampling methods are used by scientists to estimate species abundance or species diversity in a given area. These methods can easily be adapted for classroom or at-home activities.

LINK – Monitoring Nursery Habitats After the Oil Spill

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