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GCE-LTER Project News

June 2017 Calendar

(no events scheduled)

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Latest Publications/Presentations

06/01/2017 –
Liu, W., Strong, D.R., Pennings, S.C. and Zhang, Y. 2017. Provenance-by-environment interaction of reproductive traits in the invasion of Spartina alterniflora in China. Ecology. 98(6):1591-1599.
05/09/2017 –
Jung, Y. and Burd, A.B. 2017. Seasonal changes in above- and below-ground non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in Spartina alterniflora in a marsh in Georgia, USA. Aquatic Botany. 140:13-22. (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2017.04.003)

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Latest Data Releases

03/14/2017 – Data Release

Provisional CTD data from the GCE Mini-Cruises are now processed and online.  These data also include CTD profiles taken around the time of Hurricane Matthew (October 2016). https://gce-lter.marsci.uga.edu/private/app/ctd_data.asp

Note that the SeaBird CTD malfunctioned in May 2016, so no CTD profile data were collected for that month.  The June through August surveys were sampled using the Castaway handheld CTD profiler while the SeaBird was getting repaired.  

Also, the October Mini-Cruise data was lost.  We have data from October in the Hurricane Matthew casts, but not from our normal monthly stations. 

02/22/2017 – Data Release

Historic NOAA Palmer Drought Index data sets and plots for Georgia Division 9 (coastal counties; see map) are now available in the GCE Data Portal. These indices are useful for characterizing the timing and severity of drought events in the long-term climate record. The data were downloaded from NOAA and converted into tabular data sets with decoded state and date columns to simplify filtering, plotting and analysis.

Monthly indices are available from 1895 to present, and will be updated approximately quarterly. Complete data sets for all US climate divisions can also be browsed and downloaded for off-line analysis. Separate data sets are provided for four types of drought indices, as described below and in data set metadata:

Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI): attempts to measure the duration and intensity of the long-term drought-inducing circulation patterns. Long-term drought is cumulative, so the intensity of drought during the current month is dependent on the current weather patterns plus the cumulative patterns of previous months. Since weather patterns can change almost literally overnight from a long-term drought pattern to a long-term wet pattern, the PDSI can respond fairly rapidly.

Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI): Operational version of the PDSI. Description available in Heddinghaus and Sabol (1991).

Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI): measures hydrological impacts of drought (e.g., reservoir levels, groundwater levels, etc.) which take longer to develop and longer to recover from. This long-term drought index was developed to quantify these hydrological effects, and it responds more slowly to changing conditions than the PDSI.

Palmer Z Index (ZNDX): measures short-term drought on a monthly scale.

01/26/2017 – Data Release

Finalized 2016 data from the SINERR/GCE weather station at Marsh Landing on Sapelo Island were added to the GCE Data Catalog (MET-GCEM-1701). A cumulative data set covering the period 2003-2016, with tables containing both original 15-minute observations and summarized daily statistics, was also added to the catalog (MET-GCES-1701) and will be updated annually.

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Latest File Uploads

06/06/2017 – Photograph
Ocypode quadrata photograph (details)

04/28/2017 – Document (GCE only)
Local and landscape scale biodeposition by the ribbed mussel, Geukensia demissa (details)

04/25/2017 – Document
Trace metal sampling protocol used for data set CHM-OTH-1702 (Chemical speciation of copper in a salt marsh estuary near Sapelo Island, Georgia) (details)

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GCE Project Announcements

06/19/2017 – Sapelo News

The Creighton University summer crew arrived on June 8 for 10 weeks of geospatial-based coastal research and data analysis. Sarah Anderson (B.S. Environmental Economics from University of Georgia, May 2017) and Nic Nealy (B.S. Biology and B.A. Medical Anthropology from Creighton, May, 2017) are employed as NOAA Enivornmental Cooperative Science Center summer technicians. They are assisting John Schalles in expanding the recent O'Donnell and Schalles (2016, doi:10.3390/rs8060477) Landsat imagery analysis with updated spatial (~ 620 km2 from Saint Simons Sound to the Savannah River) and temporal (addition of Landsat 8 OLI imagery to the present) data to better understand long-term declines in Spartina alterniflora above-ground biomass. The project is utilizing the new, large-scale Georgia coastal habitat mapping product from Christine Hladik (Georgia Southern University). In addition, the Creighton crew is continuing high resolution mapping of tidal creek water variables using their EXO2 sonde, precision GPS, and Surfer (V14) mapping software. Sarah will begin an M.S. degree program in Environmental Economics this fall at UGA. Nic is considering "next steps" and employment after this summer.

(keep reading)

(contact John Schalles for additional information)
06/07/2017 – Sapelo News

The Peterson group from Coastal Carolina University is on Sapelo Island for the next month measuring groundwater inputs to the Duplin River and several creeks.  Austin Waldorf (left; Ph.D. student), Cotie Alsbrooks (right; undergraduate student), and Rick Peterson (not pictured) are measuring dissolved radon-222 concentrations as a tracer of groundwater discharges.  We are maintaining time-series monitoring sites as well as taking intermittent grab samples from the river and groundwater to compute radon budgets in these areas.

(keep reading)

(contact Rick Peterson for additional information)
06/06/2017 – Sapelo News

Kim Prince is continuing to work on her red drum PCB study, as well as sampling the marsh nekton community and monitoring an invertebrate community experiment on Blythe Island with new lab intern, Alexa Cetta. Sinead Crotty and Hallie Fischman (not pictured) will be deploying two experiments to look at the role of marsh infauna in driving tidal creek growth and vertical marsh accretion.

Angelini Lab; Crotty, Cetta, and Prince

(contact Sinead Crotty for additional information)
06/05/2017 – Sapelo News

Steve Pennings and Huy Vu are on Sapelo Island for the summer doing LTER research. Steve is working on long-term vegetation measurements, the high marsh experiment and Saltex. Huy is assisting with the field work on these topics and writing manuscripts from his PhD work. Huy is also looking for jobs, so if you know of good postdoc or agency positions, send them his way.

Steven Pennings and Huy Vu 2017 6

(contact Steve Pennings for additional information)
06/01/2017 – Publication News

Spartina alterniflora, the dominant plant of Georgia salt marshes, is introduced in China, where it has spread to occupy a geographic range similar to that in its native range in North America. Liu et al 2017, Provenance-by-environment interaction of reproductive traits in the invasion of Spartina alterniflora in China, Ecology 98(6):1591-1599, show that, in China, plants at high latitudes are morphologically different and set more seed than plants at low latitudes. Common garden experiments showed that the morphological differences are largely plastic, due to environmental conditions, but that the differences in sexual reproduction are genetic but expressed most strongly in high-latitude gardens (hence the provenance by environment interaction). In the field, the mechanisms of invasion differ by latitude: Spartina spreads by seeds and seedlings at high latitudes but clonal expansion at low latitudes. The lead author, Wenwen Liu, will be spending a year in Steve Pennings' laboratory starting this fall, and hopes to learn more about latitudinal variation in sexual reproduction in Spartina alterniflora in its native range. Surprisingly, we know almost nothing about this topic.

(contact Steve Pennings for additional information)
05/30/2017 – Sapelo News

The Sapelo Ferry will make additional runs from June 8-11, 2017, to support the St. Luke Anniversary celebrations. See the PDF file below for details. Unless otherwise noted, regular runs remain as usual. Note that the regular 5:30 pm run on Thursday will be held until 6:00 pm, and the regular 12:30 pm run on Saturday will be held until 1:00 pm.

St Luke Anniversary Ferry Schedule: Sapelo-Ferry-StLuke-Anniversary17.pdf (198kb)

(contact Fred Hay for additional information)

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959 and OCE-1237140. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.