Marine Ecology

Southern California margin benthic foraminiferal assemblages record recent centennial-scale changes in oxygen minimum zone

Microfossil assemblages provide valuable records to investigate variability in continental margin biogeochemical cycles, including dynamics of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). Analyses of modern assemblages across environmental gradients are necessary to understand relationships between assemblage characteristics and environmental factors... Read the full publication by Hannah Palmer, Tessa Hill, et al. in Biogeosciences

High variability of Blue Carbon storage in seagrass meadows at the estuary scale

By Aurora M. Ricart, Ph.D.

Seagrass meadows are considered important natural carbon sinks due to their capacity to store organic carbon (Corg) in sediments. However, the spatial heterogeneity of carbon storage in seagrass sediments needs to be better understood to improve the accuracy of Blue Carbon assessments, particularly when strong gradients are present. We performed an intensive coring study within a sub-tropical estuary to assess the spatial variability in sedimentary Corg associated with seagrasses, and to identify the key factors promoting this variability.

Lost Sea Creatures Wash Up on California Shores as Ocean Climate Shifts

"Five years ago, the Gulf of Alaska warmed to record temperatures, likely due to a sudden acceleration in the melting of Arctic sea ice. Usually a cold southern current flows along California. That year, the warm “blob” spread down the coast and, instead of blocking tropical species from moving north, it served as a balmy welcome to a variety of animals far from home."