Coastal processes and Presque Isle (PLE day 7)
The Pymatuning wetlanders began the day with an overview of salt marsh ecology and biogeochemistry, including examples of trophic cascades in these ecosystems. Although salt marsh food webs are typically detritus-based, numerous examples of trophic cascades have emerged in recent years, particularly in response to human-caused changes (e.g., overfishing, land-use changes). We then drove north to Presque Isle to observe and discuss coastal processes (e.g., longshore drift, erosion, deposition) and the implications of this dynamic environment for the development of wetlands.
We had lunch on beach #11, and then hiked the Gull Point Trail to the tip of the youngest portion of Presque Isle. The students were able to observe the pond and dune successional patterns along the way (a chronosequence!). It was an enjoyable and relatively low-key day….perfect for the day before a midterm. We ended a little early to give the students some additional time to
Some additional pictures….