Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ASLO 2013 is Underway!

There is Super Bowl, there is Mardi Gras, and then there is ASLO 2013 Aquatic Sciences Meeting!!!

Greetings from New Orleans!

Chau, Amanda, Mike Kendrick (a PhD student in Alex Huryn's lab), Mick Demi (a PhD student in the Benstead lab) and I made the trip to New Orleans for the meeting on Sunday. This is my first time to New Orleans and I must say that I really like this city. It's got a lot of charm and there is great food on every corner.
Amanda with her crayfish.

We're having a great time so far but the real reason we are here is the science!

Amanda and I both have posters to present. You probably remember Amanda from previous posts. She was one of the REUs that spent the summer with us in Iceland. Amanda measured respiration rates of stream invertebrates in the lab at different temperatures. These measurements will be used to calculate threshold elemental ratios for the invertebrate species. Amanda was able to get great measurements on the freshwater snail, Radix peregra, from two streams differing in mean annual temperature by approximately 10°C.  She was able to test the metabolic cold adaptation theory which states that at a given temperature, ectotherms form colder environments will have higher metabolic rates compared to those of their counterparts from warmer environments. Amanda found partial support for the metabolic cold adaptation hypothesis with snails from the colder stream having higher respiration rates at 20°C than those from the warmer stream.

My poster provides some very preliminary data regarding the effects of the whole-stream warming experiment on invertebrate and algal biomass. After warming, we have seen an increase in the biomass of the green algae, Ulva. In contrast, total invertebrate biomass has decreased after warming. We'll see if this trend holds throughout the experiment and what this might mean for ecosystem function. Stay tuned!
Aside from these two terrific posters, Mick and Mike are giving talks on their respective projects so we wish them luck. I've already seen some great talks this week with more to come I'm sure.

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