We started our week off by heading to several different oyster reefs around Estero Bay. At each site, one half of the research team picked up lift nets, which were later sifted through to identify and count the different organisms within the quadrant. The other half of the research team searched around the area and identified as many organisms as they could. After visiting several oyster reefs around Estero Bay, we headed back to the Vester Marine Lab and sat down to identify as many species as possible. After we gathered as much information as possible, we performed several tests such as a Shannon's and Pielou's index to determine diversity and evenness between each of the sites.
On Tuesday, we switched gears a little bit. Instead of looking at biodiversity between sites, we took core samples from a few different locations. The process of taking a core sample was pretty fun! The core tube needs to be cut and labelled properly, then inserted into the ground. It takes a bit of effort to get the core a few meters down, but the results were definitely worth it! When we arrived back at Vester, we cut open the cores and observed the contents. What we found was amazing! We were able to view the history of the small patch of land we were standing on during the sample. We were able to observe when that piece of land was underwater and when it was a mangrove forest. Our professor told us that the oldest part of the core sample was about 4000 years old!
Preparing to take the core sample!
|Analyzing the samples for flora and fauna!|
Waiting to retrieve the grapefruit!
Overall, this week was pretty great! There were some long nights filled with excel spreadsheets and various field guides, but it was all worth it in the end. Now we're on to USF St. Pete!!!