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        Consumptive/ Nonconsumptive Predator Effects | In the Grass, On the Reef

        When oysters sense consumers, they stop filtering water. When consumers sense predators, they stop eating oysters. Fear can hurt and help oysters. Dr. David Kimbro and Dr. Randall Hughes investigate the relationships between animals on the oyster reefs with an eye towards the ecology of fear. Does the fear of being eaten outweigh the effects of animals eating each other?

        Learn more about fear and the health of the oyster reef by visiting the WFSU Ecology blog.

        Fear and the Choices Oysters Make | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Oysters make two choices that impact their health and the services they provide: where they settle and whether or not they feed (and filter the water). Predators and environmental conditions play a large role in determining these choices.

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        How Fear Rules the Oyster Reef | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Fear plays a large role on the oyster reef. Dr. David Kimbro explains the difference between consumptive and nonconsumptive effects and investigates the impact that each has on the reef and the services provided by oysters.

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        Perfecting the Oyster Spat Tile Experiment | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Dr. Kimbro, Dr. Hughes, and their crew devise an experiment to measure how well juvenile oysters (spat) fare at various test sites. They hope to better understand how predation and environmental factors affect the spat’s chances of survival.

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        Florida Oyster Reefs Under Siege by Snails | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Predatory snails overrun north Florida’s oyster reefs. Dr. David Kimbro investigates what appears to be a hyperlocalized problem: St. Augustine reefs were being decimated by crown conchs. He learns that the same problem is occurring in Apalachicola.

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        Crown Conchs: Friend or Foe of the Salt Marsh? | In the Grass, On the Reef

        The ecology of fear plays itself out in other intertidal ecosystems. Crown conchs can decimate an oyster reef when left unchecked, but they can keep periwinkle snails in check in the salt marsh. The conch’s fear effects vary in different conditions.

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        Predator Diversity at Bay Mouth Bar | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Dr. Kimbro’s graduate student, Tanya investigates the loss of predator diversity at Bay Mouth Bar. Over the last few decades, Bay Mouth Bar lost one of its main predators, the true tulip snail.

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        Can Crabs Hear? | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Dr. David Kimbro and Dr. Randall Hughes investigate a new idea: can crabs hear? Our researchers design an experiment to test their new theory and explore the effects it may have on the crabs.

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