Sapelo marsh paper highlighted in Scientific American

A recent paper that looked at changes in tidal creeks in southeastern marshes found that the purple marsh crab, Sesarma, is reshaping the landscape. The paper, which appeared in PNAS, was highlighted in the January 2021 issue of Scientific American. The researchers provide evidence that rising seas are increasing inundation of tidal creeks, making them softer and hence easier for the crabs to burrow. This is an intriguing idea that suggests that there are feedbacks between crabs and marsh drainage. The team conducted much of its field work at Sapelo and included many familiar faces (Sinead Crotty, who did much of her graduate research at UGAMI and is now at Yale, was the lead author of the paper). The Scientific American article, which can be found here, also gives a shout out to UGAMI. Check it out!

Purple marsh crab, Sesarma reticulatum. Credit: Sinead Crotty