Enjoy a variety of free online educational presentations hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative. Guest speaker presentations will be held online at 6pm on December 13, January 10 , March 14, and April 11.
Description- Changing ocean conditions have local impacts: Effects of the NE Pacific marine heatwave and sea star wasting disease on rocky intertidal communities
Meet the Speaker– Zechariah Meunier
Zechariah Meunier is a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University, where he is co-advised by Bruce Menge and Sally Hacker. With fellowship support from OSU and the National Science Foundation, Meunier studies rocky intertidal ecosystems of Oregon, California, and Nova Scotia. He is interested in how climate change, disturbance events, diseases, and species interactions influence the dynamics of community succession. Prior to his doctoral studies, Meunier completed his BA in biology and environmental studies at Lawrence University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude in 2015.
Follow Zech on Twitter @zechmeunier
Long-term, large-scale studies of succession provide important understanding of how species assemble into communities and how they respond to changing environmental conditions. When environmental stressors are severe, they can trigger abrupt transitions from one type of community to another in a process called a regime shift. From 2014-2016, rocky intertidal ecosystems in the northeast Pacific Ocean experienced extreme temperatures during a multiyear marine heatwave (MHW; known as “the blob”) and sharp population declines of the keystone predator due to sea star wasting disease (SSWD). In a 15-year succession experiment conducted in Oregon and northern California, Meunier and collaborators measured rocky intertidal communities before, during, and after the MHW onset and SSWD outbreak. In this talk, Meunier will describe evidence of regime shifts associated with the MHW and SSWD.
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