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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION
Doing Business As Name:Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
PD/PI:
  • Lauren S Mullineaux
  • (508) 289-2898
  • lmullineaux@whoi.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Karl R Helfrich
Award Date:03/05/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 925,421
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 925,421
  • FY 2009=$925,421
Start Date:03/01/2009
End Date:02/28/2015
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Larval Response to Turbulence During Dispersal and Settlement
Federal Award ID Number:0850419
DUNS ID:001766682
Parent DUNS ID:001766682
Program:BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

Awardee Location

Street:183 OYSTER POND ROAD
City:WOODS HOLE
State:MA
ZIP:02543-1041
County:Woods Hole
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Street:183 OYSTER POND ROAD
City:WOODS HOLE
State:MA
ZIP:02543-1041
County:Woods Hole
Country:US
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

The planktonic larval stage of benthic marine invertebrates provides a mechanism for exchange of individuals between remote populations. Dispersal is affected by swimming behaviors, particularly those that alter the larva's vertical position in the water. Larvae of some species change their vertical positions in response to turbulence by ceasing to swim and sinking downward (diving). By doing so, they can alter their horizontal transport in currents and increase their supply to the seafloor. The main objectives of this study are to investigate behavioral responses of oyster (Crassostrea virginica) larvae to turbulence in the water column and at the seafloor, and to determine how these behaviors affect settlement. The investigators hypothesize that diving behavior enhances settlement into suitable habitat, even where mean bed shear stress is high. They expect that once larvae approach the bottom, they can take advantage of temporal and spatial refuges (such as turbulent lulls in the lee of roughness elements) to settle in otherwise harsh conditions. Investigating larval responses to turbulence is a challenge because it requires simultaneous measurement of time-variant flows and larval behaviors. The investigators will modify a conventional particle image velocimetry (PIV) approach so it can be used to track larval motions and fluid velocities simultaneously. PIV provides information on flow kinematics (e.g., rotation and strain rate) in the immediate vicinity of a larva, as well as bulk dissipation rates and measures of Taylor and integral length scales that likely influence larval acceleration. When these measurements are coupled with a larval trajectory, they provide a history of the fluid environment a larva experiences, and can be used to determine what characteristic of turbulence triggers the diving behavior. They also make it possible to calculate the bottom shear stress an individual larva experiences when it encounters the bottom and attempts to settle. The investigators will examine turbulence effects on larval behaviors in the water column using a grid-stirred tank. They will use a racetrack flume to test the hypothesis that larval settlement success depends on the frequency of lulls of sufficient duration for larval attachment. Intellectual merit. Laboratory experiments will provide a mechanistic understanding of larval behavior that can be used in general theoretical models exploring how behavior influences dispersal and population connectivity. The quantified swimming responses of oysters are critical input for coupled bio-physical models of dispersal in the field. An understanding of larval behavior contributes to our ability to predict the effects of natural and anthropogenic perturbations (some of which are linked to global climate change) on benthic communities in coastal ecosystems where turbulence and habitat suitability vary spatially. This information is critical for informed decision making on shellfish management and design of marine reserves. The technique developed for simultaneous PIV and larval tracking will open new questions in larval ecology and be broadly applicable to studies of plankton interactions with turbulence. Broader impacts. Various training and outreach activities that incorporate aspects of this research will be conducted. The investigators will develop an active learning module for the MIT/WHOI Biological Oceanography course based on concepts of organismal responses to flow, and will develop a low-tech version to contribute to the SERC at Carlton College (a web resource for Geoscience faculty). They will provide the graduate student and a series of summer undergraduate research fellows with mentoring and an experience with interdisciplinary research. Co-PI Helfrich will use support to help maintain the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at WHOI, which is recognized as one of the finest facilities of its type and has a tradition of assisting students and scientists in a variety of experiments in fluid dynamics in physical oceanography, geology, and bio-physical interactions.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Metaxas, A., L.S. Mullineaux and J. Sisson "Distribution of echinoderm larvae relative to the halocline of a salt wedge" Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., v., 2009, p.157.

White, M.M., McCorkle, D.C., Mullineaux, L.S., Cohen, A.L. "Early exposure of bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) to High CO2 causes a decrease in larval shell growth" Plos One, v.8, 2013, p.e61065.

Heidi L. Fuchs, Andrew R. Solow, and Lauren S. Mullineaux "Larval responses to turbulence and temperature in a tidal inlet: Habitat selection by dispersing gastropods?" Journal of Marine Research, v.68, 2010, p.153.

Fuchs, Heidi L.; Solow, Andrew R.; Mullineaux, Lauren S. "Larval responses to turbulence and temperature in a tidal inlet: Habitat selection by dispersing gastropods?" JOURNAL OF MARINE RESEARCH, v.68, 2010, p.153-188.

Wheeler, J.D., Anderson, E.J., Helfrich, K.R., McGann, B., Staats, P., Wargula, A.E., Wilt, K., Mullineaux, L.S. "Upward swimming of competent oyster larvae (Crassostrea virginica) persists in highly turbulent flow as detected by PIV flow subtraction" Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., v.488, 2013, p.171.

White, M.M., McCorkle, D.C., Mullineaux, L.S., Cohen, A.L. "Early exposure of bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) to High CO2 causes a decrease in larval shell growth" Plos One, v.8, 2013, p.e61065.

White, M.M., L.S. Mullineaux, D.C. McCorkle, A.L. Cohen "Elevated pCO2 during fertilization of the bay scallop Argopecten irradians reduces larval survival but not shell size" Mar Ecol Prog Ser, v.498, 2014, p.173.

Fuchs, H.L., Solow, A.R. and Mullineaux, L.S "Larval responses to turbulence and temperature in a tidal inlet: Habitat selection by dispersing gastropods?" Journal of Marine Research, v.68, 2010, p.153.

Wheeler, J.D., Anderson, E.J., Helfrich, K.R., McGann, B., Staats, P., Wargula, A.E., Wilt, K. "Upward swimming of competent oyster larvae (Crassostrea virginica) persists in highly turbulent flow as detected by PIV flow subtraction." Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., v.488, 2013, p.171.

Metaxas, A., L.S. Mullineaux and J. Sisson "Distribution of echinoderm larvae relative to the halocline of a salt wedge" Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., v.377, 2009, p.157.

Metaxas, Anna; Mullineaux, Lauren S.; Sisson, Jay "Distribution of echinoderm larvae relative to the halocline of a salt wedge" MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES, v.377, 2009, p.157-168.

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