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        Oyster Reef | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Oysters are important as more than just food. Oysters build an ecosystem that efficiently filters water and houses small invertebrates, which in turn are eaten by commercially important fish and crab species. Dr. David Kimbro and Dr. Randall Hughes are interested in fear on the oyster reef. When oysters sense predators and stop filtering water, how does that affect water cleanliness and oyster growth?  Oysters also need fresh water and nutrients to survive. When the flow of Apalachicola River was reduced, Florida’s largest oyster fishery crashed and Dr. Kimbro investigated.

        Learn more about ecology in North Florida by visiting the WFSU Ecology blog.

        Oyster Reef Species | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Species typical to a north Florida oyster reef, categorized by trophic level (who eats whom).

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        Oysters are More than Food | In the Grass, On the Reef

        The intertidal oyster reefs along Florida’s Gulf Coast are highly productive ecosystems, but they are threatened by rapid decline. Dr. Kimbro is studying this economically important habitat in order to find a way to restore it.

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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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        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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        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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        Nutrients and Oysters | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Dr. David Kimbro explains the nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen is necessary for all life, but an excess of the synthetic nutrients added to fertilizers can have a negative impact on water quality. Oyster can filter excess nutrients from the water

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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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        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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