Thursday, January 27, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

FL Researchers Study Links Between Prey Fish, Predators and Algal Blooms

Play

Friday, June 11, 2021   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For the most part, if you're a fish, you're either prey or predator, but Florida research is finding the symbiotic relationship is at risk after outbreaks of harmful algal blooms.

Dakota Lewis, a graduate student at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and a 2020 fellow in the Forage Fish Research Program, has studied algal blooms and fish kills in the Indian River Lagoon, which stretches along 40% of Florida's East Coast.

Using data sets from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a new computer-modeling framework, she found faster declines of forage fish, like mullet and anchovies, after an algal bloom, and years of decline for fish-eating species, like trout and redfish.

"And so, there's a potential for a loss of that balance, due to that decoupling of those two communities that are so intertwined and, in the food web, related to one another," Lewis outlined.

Lewis thinks shifts in community dynamics for forage fish and sport fish could have harmful effects on popular recreational fisheries, now and in the long term. Lewis' research is published in the journal Ecological Indicators.

Emily Farrell, another UCF graduate student, uses an emerging new genetic technique, known as environmental DNA or 'eDNA,' to help get a high-resolution snapshot of the marine ecosystem in the lagoon.

"The dust in our houses is mostly shed skin cells; that would be environmental DNA," Farrell explained. "But in a fisheries context, it's mucus or scales, or other things that fish are releasing into the water by swimming through it."

Farrell's method can account for even the smallest species, like forage fish, simply by collecting seawater samples along the lagoon. The eDNA analysis will help create a map of local biodiversity hotspots.

The Forage Fish Research Program is a public-private partnership between Florida Wildlife Research Institute, leading academics and a coalition led by the International Game Fish Association.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email
Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…


Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…


By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …

Environment

New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021