Winter Sampling in LI Sound
New York Coastlines, Winter 2011

Well prepared for winter sampling in their survival gear, lab assistant Lucas Merlo (left) and Sea Grant Scholar Laura Treible are looking at the diet of tiny invertebrates called copepods to determine the effects of climate change on the food web of Long Island Sound. They’ve found fairly large copepods in their sample and gut analysis will show just how much microscopic plankton is in their diet. Increases in the Sound’s winter temperature may increase winter grazing by the copepods and thus suppress the usual spring plankton bloom. These dynamic changes in production caused by a changing climate have serious implications for the development of the condition of reduced oxygen (hypoxia), feeding relationships, and ultimately fisheries production in Long Island Sound.

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