Marine Biology Seminar: Dr. Jeremy Long (San Diego State University)
"Anthropogenic impacts on marine subsidies to coastal ecosystems"
Abstract: Resources associated with seabirds and marine detritus subsidize coastal ecosystems and profoundly affect community structure, species richness, and ecosystem function. Although the movement of such material is susceptible to human influence, anthropogenic impacts on marine subsidies are poorly known beyond the disruption of subsidies to islands by invasive predators like rats, cats, and foxes. For example, humans are changing 1) the composition of seaweed wrack (via range shifts and species introductions), 2) coastal herbivore populations (via overharvesting), and 3) baitfish availability for seabirds (via coastal fish pen aquaculture) – yet there is a paucity of information about how these changes will impact recipient coastal ecosystems. Further, it is unclear how multiple stressors will interact, and whether humans can enhance, as opposed to disrupt, the movement of oceanic material onto land. Using local examples of marine subsidies to islands, I will highlight the need for conservation and biosecurity programs to better consider the diversity of ways in which we modify these subsidies.