Effects of an eruptive event over intertidal creatures

The recent eruptive event at El Hierro is, without a doubt, a remarkable opportunity to dig into how marine assemblages respond to different environmental scenarios: acidification, abrupt high turbidity events, anoxia, etc. These severe, short-term, disturbances have, indeed, already cause large mortalities of some organisms, e.g. fishes. Last week, we had the change to fly over El Hierro to sample intertidal habitats and their inhabitants. We observed pretty interesting stories: for, example, you can check out the decalcification of the apical tip of the shell of this whelk (picture below). Briefly, we counted organisms, collected samples to determinate accumulation of toxins, and assessed the physiological performance of some seaweeds in locations directly affected by a large plume coming inland from the volcano, as well as some unaffected locations. We’re looking forward to repeat the sampling soon¡

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