Estuarine and Coastal Ecology (OCB-5930, OCE 4930)
Estuaries and coastal zones are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems of the oceans. With their large variety of environments, these systems provide fascinating sites for study and research. Forming the interface between land and ocean, the coastal zone with its estuaries is characterized by steep gradients, abundant life, extreme temporal and spatial heterogeneity, and also by significant anthropogenic impact. The latter is related to the high socio-economical value of these environments that provide the most prolific fishing grounds, important mineral resources, and are the zones for intense ship traffic and other commercial coastal activities.
This interdisciplinary course addresses the ecology of estuaries and that part of the inshore waters with which estuaries directly interact. We will investigate the general ecological principles that govern the productivity and diversity of estuaries, including their hydrodynamics, sedimentology, chemistry and plant and animal community structure. Because most human populations are situated within 200 miles of an estuary, we will also discuss the anthropogenic influence on the estuarine ecosystem. The course includes a field trip with demonstrations of some characteristics of a Gulf of Mexico estuary.
The processes in estuarine and coastal zones affect coastal and oceanic water quality, shelf productivity and the global climate. Investigating, monitoring and protecting these systems, thus, is central in oceanographic and environmental sciences.
Betsiboka Estuary , Madagascar , eobadmin.gsfc.nasa.gov
At the end of this course, the student will be able to
Rio de la Plata estuary ( Argentina ), with input of river water from the Uruguay and Parana rivers ( http://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceancolor/ )
The material will be presented by the instructor and students using Power Point lectures.
Students are expected to give presentations (Power Point format) and to write a summary of research papers selected by the student.
Information resources on the course subjects:
Books (copies at the FSU library):
Coastal Ecosystem Processes by D. M. Alongi, CRC Press 1997, ISBN: 0849384265
Estuarine Ecology by J. W. Day, C. A. S. Hall, W. M. Kemp, A. Yáñez-Arancibia, Wiley-Interscience 1989; ISBN: 0-471-06263-4
Ecology of Coastal Waters: With Implications for Management by K.H., Mann. 2nd edition,Blackwell Publishing, 2000, ISBN: 0865425507
Estuaries: Advances in Ecological Research by D. B. Nedwell, D. G. Raffaelli, A. H. Fitter, Academic Press, 1999, ISBN: 0120139294
Estuarine Science: a Synthetic Approach to Research and Practice by J. E. Hobbie (ed.). Island Press, 2000, ISBN: 1-55963-700-5
Biogeochemistry of Gulf of Mexico Estuaries by T. S. Bianchi , J. R. Pennock, R. R. Twilley (eds). Wiley, 1998, ISBN: 0471161748
Geomorphology and Sedimentology of Estuaries by G. M. E. Perillo, G. M. E. Elsevier Science Ltd 1996, ISBN: 0444825614
Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) image excerpt of the northeast Gulf of Mexico and Florida , showing the black water (colored dissolved organic matter) plume of water from the Suwannee River at center. (http://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceancolor/)