Sargassum Accumulations on Caribbean Beaches

Over the last 8 years or so, many Caribbean Islands have been challenged by massive Sargassum algae accumulations on beaches (a Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute fact sheet here, and a high resolution link to the poster here). These accumulations may have many deleterious effects on species that utilize beach habitat, including for nesting turtles. See for instance this short paper by NCSU graduate student Andy Maurer. I havent heard much about any extreme cases in The Bahamas, but something to keep an eye on.

By | 2018-11-14T19:59:00-05:00 May 7th, 2018|Categories: Beaches, Featured, Sargassum, Turtles, Uncategorized|1 Comment

About the Author:

Craig Layman
My lab’s interdisciplinary pursuits provide for a multi-faceted understanding of environmental change in the coastal realm. We are ecologists, asking questions that span population, community, ecosystem and evolutionary sub-disciplines. We often use a food web based perspective, exploring top-down (e.g., predation) and bottom-up (e.g., nutrient excretion) mechanisms by which animals affect ecosystem processes. All of our efforts are framed within a broader outreach framework, directly integrating science and education, using approaches such as this website.

One Comment

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    Ali ball May 9, 2018 at 7:38 am

    It seems to me that an important issue here is whether the amount of sargassum is going to keep increasing, or if this is just a short-term phenomenon. You talk about a “peak year” in 2011. Does that mean levels have decreased ever since, or do they fluctuate? And are there any theories as to what is causing this to happen? Something that will cause a constant increase (like global warming) or a more temporary cause (like El Niño)? Interesting stuff – let’s hope the turtles can survive the change.

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