Oviatt, C. . Marine Biological Laboratory, coviatt@gsosun1.gso.uri.edu

 
MARINE ECOLOGY NEEDS TO ENHANCE THE EXPERIMENTAL ECOSYSTEM APPROACH
 
Why have biological oceanographers and estuarine ecologists taken so little advantage of experimental ecosystem approaches? With the notable exceptions of IronEx I and II, biological oceanographers fail to use one of their most powerful tools for budgeting and quantifying cycles in carbon and nutrients, for quantifying fish recruitment, for quantifying pollutant impacts, and for describing the behavior of fauna in response to physical water column structures. Over 27 years ago, fresh water scientists in Canada began the experimental lakes project in Ontario. In one simple experiment, David Schindler and colleagues convinced the scientific community and the public that phosphorous was the leading cause of eutrophication in freshwater systems. Laws to limit phosphorous in detergents effected a rapid improvement in freshwater systems in consequence. Yet federal funding agencies for marine studies, with the exception of the EPA, have continued to insist on expensive, detailed field studies which usually fail to answer questions or test the most simplistic hypotheses. Why do scientists that believe in experiments in petri dishes and flasks not see the value of experimental ecosystem studies? Several arguments for the experimental ecosystems approach have been posed in marine environments which elaborate the strengths and complimentary breadths of this approach with field studies and simulation models. How will we develop new predictive theories without this multidisciplinary research which integrates into holistic ideas? Let the power of IronEx I and II convince marine scientists that we should catch up with the limnologists in this regard.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 04:30 - 05:00pm
Location: Eldorado Hotel
 
Code: TS03TH0430E