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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
Doing Business As Name:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
PD/PI:
  • Fredrick J Fodrie
  • (919) 966-3411
  • jfodrie@unc.edu
Award Date:08/10/2016
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 451,039
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 451,039
  • FY 2016=$451,039
Start Date:09/15/2016
End Date:08/31/2020
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:Collaborative Research: Habitat fragmentation effects on fish diversity at landscape scales: experimental tests of multiple mechanisms
Federal Award ID Number:1635950
DUNS ID:608195277
Parent DUNS ID:142363428
Program:BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
Program Officer:
  • Michael Sieracki
  • (703) 292-7585
  • msierack@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:104 AIRPORT DR STE 2200
City:CHAPEL HILL
State:NC
ZIP:27599-1350
County:Chapel Hill
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Institute of Marine Sciences
Street:3431 Arendell Street
City:Morehead City
State:NC
ZIP:28557-0001
County:Morehead City
Country:US
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

Amount and quality of habitat is thought to be of fundamental importance to maintaining coastal marine ecosystems. This research will use large-scale field experiments to help understand how and why fish populations respond to fragmentation of seagrass habitats. The question is complex because increased fragmentation in seagrass beds decreases the amount and also the configuration of the habitat (one patch splits into many, patches become further apart, the amount of edge increases, etc). Previous work by the investigators in natural seagrass meadows provided evidence that fragmentation interacts with amount of habitat to influence the community dynamics of fishes in coastal marine landscapes. Specifically, fragmentation had no effect when the habitat was large, but had a negative effect when habitat was smaller. In this study, the investigators will build artificial seagrass habitat to use in a series of manipulative field experiments at an ambitious scale. The results will provide new, more specific information about how coastal fish community dynamics are affected by changes in overall amount and fragmentation of seagrass habitat, in concert with factors such as disturbance, larval dispersal, and wave energy. The project will support two early-career investigators, inform habitat conservation strategies for coastal management, and provide training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. The investigators plan to target students from underrepresented groups for the research opportunities. Building on previous research in seagrass environments, this research will conduct a series of field experiments approach at novel, yet relevant scales, to test how habitat area and fragmentation affect fish diversity and productivity. Specifically, 15 by 15-m seagrass beds will be created using artificial seagrass units (ASUs) that control for within-patch-level (~1-10 m2) factors such as shoot density and length. The investigators will employ ASUs to manipulate total habitat area and the degree of fragmentation within seagrass beds in a temperate estuary in North Carolina. In year one, response of the fishes that colonize these landscapes will be measured as abundance, biomass, community structure, as well as taxonomic and functional diversity. Targeted ASU removals will then follow to determine species-specific responses to habitat disturbance. In year two, the landscape array and sampling regime will be doubled, and half of the landscapes will be seeded with post-larval fish of low dispersal ability to test whether pre- or post-recruitment processes drive landscape-scale patterns. In year three, the role of wave exposure (a natural driver of seagrass fragmentation) in mediating fish community response to landscape configuration will be tested by deploying ASU meadows across low and high energy environments.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Mahoney, Richard D. and Kenworthy, Matthew D. and Geyer, Julie K. and Hovel, Kevin A. and Joel Fodrie, F. "Distribution and relative predation risk of nekton reveal complex edge effects within temperate seagrass habitat" Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v.503, 2018, p.. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2018.02.004 Citation details  

Livernois, Mariah C. and Grabowski, Jonathan H. and Poray, Abigail K. and Gouhier, Tarik C. and Hughes, A. Randall and O?Brien, Kathleen F. and Yeager, Lauren A. and Fodrie, F. Joel "Effects of habitat fragmentation on Zostera marina seed distribution" Aquatic Botany, v.142, 2017, p.. doi:10.1016/j.aquabot.2017.05.006 Citation details  

Reynolds, Pamela L. and Stachowicz, John J. and Hovel, Kevin and Boström, Christoffer and Boyer, Katharyn and Cusson, Mathieu and Eklöf, Johan S. and Engel, Friederike G. and Engelen, Aschwin H. and Eriksson, Britas Klemens and Fodrie, F. Joel and Griffin "Latitude, temperature, and habitat complexity predict predation pressure in eelgrass beds across the Northern Hemisphere" Ecology, v.99, 2018, p.. doi:10.1002/ecy.2064 Citation details  

Ziegler, Shelby L. and Grabowski, Jonathan H. and Baillie, Christopher J. and Fodrie, F. J. "Effects of landscape setting on oyster reef structure and function largely persist more than a decade post-restoration: Effects of landscape setting on restoration" Restoration Ecology, v.26, 2018, p.. doi:10.1111/rec.12651 Citation details  

Fodrie, F. Joel and Rodriguez, Antonio B. and Gittman, Rachel K. and Grabowski, Jonathan H. and Lindquist, Niels. L. and Peterson, Charles H. and Piehler, Michael F. and Ridge, Justin T. "Oyster reefs as carbon sources and sinks" Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, v.284, 2017, p.. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.0891 Citation details  

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