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Seaweed Faceoff! Devil Weed vs. Giant Kelp – Zoom Evening Meeting Reminder: Tuesday, 10 November, 7:30 p.m.

November 10, 2020

Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society
is putting on our second ZOOM evening meeting.
You’re all invited.

On November 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm, Join the Zoom Presentation by CLICKING HERE
Beach wrack test piles

Is invasive “Devil Weed” (Sargassum horneri) impacting a key ecosystem subsidy? [Subsidy = a resource that comes from one community into another, such as marine kelp washing onto a sandy beach.] When algae washes ashore it creates beach wrack, an important resource subsidy that provides nearshore communities both habitat and food. Lauren is studying how Sargassum horneri (“devil weed”) wrack compares to native Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp) as a resource on sandy beaches.

As wrack decays on the beach, birds come and feed on the bugs hiding within the wrack. These birds then fertilize the hillsides. I expected to observe birds such as plovers picking amphipods from the wracks. I spent a lot of time observing the wracks hoping to see a difference in bird activity between the two wrack species, but I had no bird visitors. (I may ask your members for input on why that might have been!). I think my observations may have been different if I conducted the experiment on the mainland. I think the results are still relevant because one wrack may provide more resources to birds even if I did not observe them.

Lauren Smith, 5th year PhD Candidate at UCLA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She grew up in southern California and developed a passion for the ocean which inspired her to pursue a career in marine ecology. Many years later, she now conducts algae research on Catalina island!

Lauren has received two research grants from SMBAS and she gave us a short presentation of her work at our March 2019 evening meeting.

On November 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm, Join the Zoom Presentation by CLICKING HERE

(If this button isn’t working for you, see detailed zoom invitation below the double lines.)

Meeting ID: 833 3713 8382
Passcode: 929897
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[Chuck Almdale]

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