Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

These Shells Don't Clam Up: Innovative Technique To Record Human Impact On Coastal Waters

Date:
December 13, 2008
Source:
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Summary:
Using stable isotope techniques, scientists have demonstrated it is possible to identify and trace wastewater inputs to estuaries and coastal food webs by studying the organic matrix in the shell of the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria.

Stable isotope techniques used on Mercenaria mercenaria have yielded valuable information on wastewater inputs in coastal waters.
Credit: Dr. Ruth Carmichael, Dauphin Island Sea Lab

With their sedentary lifestyles and filter-feeding habits, clams have been silent witnesses to the changes that humans have inflicted upon their waters. These clams are silent no more, as Dr. Ruth H. Carmichael of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and her colleagues have reported in their recent paper in the prestigious journal Aquatic Biology.

Related Articles


Using stable isotope techniques, Carmichael demonstrated it is possible to identify and trace wastewater inputs to estuaries and coastal food webs by studying the organic matrix in the shell of the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria.

This work presents a novel application of established biochemical techniques that can be applied to refine diet analyses for shellfish, trace nitrogen entry to coastal waters relative to changes in urbanization or climate, and help discern natural from human-driven influences on coastal ecosystems.

Using this new technique will allow coastal researchers and managers to document increases in waste loadings to coastal waters over longer periods of environmental change.

"This technique is exciting because it gives scientists and coastal managers a way to look into the past and trace human influences, in this case wastewater pollution, into local waters and ultimately into the organisms living there," said Dr. Carmichael. "Tools that help us define and trace specific sources of human-influence on our coastal waters are essential to inform management and future research efforts."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carmichael RH, Hattenrath T, Valiela I, Michener RH. Nitrogen stable isotopes in the shell of Mercenaria mercenaria trace wastewater inputs from watersheds to estuarine ecosystems. Aquatic Biology, AB - Vol. 4, No. 2 [link]

Cite This Page:

Dauphin Island Sea Lab. "These Shells Don't Clam Up: Innovative Technique To Record Human Impact On Coastal Waters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202133226.htm>.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab. (2008, December 13). These Shells Don't Clam Up: Innovative Technique To Record Human Impact On Coastal Waters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202133226.htm
Dauphin Island Sea Lab. "These Shells Don't Clam Up: Innovative Technique To Record Human Impact On Coastal Waters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202133226.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 28, 2015) Heavy rain and flooding sweep through parts of Bolivia causing damage and leaves more than 2,000 people homeless. Sophia Soo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) The presidents of France and the Philippines issue a joint appeal for a binding agreement on climate change. Katie Sargent reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins