Sara Gonzalez

Sara Gonzalez, PhD Student

Terrestrial, intertidal, and marine ecosystems are all connected through the exchange of energy and nutrients. I am interested in studying habitat connectivity at the land-sea interface and how human activities alter this connectivity.

Coastal sandy beaches are excellent systems for studying habitat connectivity because they are strongly influenced by the availability of drifting marine macrophytes such as algae and seagrass. Through upwelling and ocean currents, these nutrient “subsidies” are delivered to the shore, where they provide food and habitat for invertebrates. However, it remains unclear how marine subsidies and anthropogenic alteration to these subsidies impact assemblages of higher-level consumers like shorebirds.

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