Life in an ancient undersea forest: the secrets of a marine ecosystem powered by wood.
|Sometime in the late Pleistocene, sea level rose and buried a coastal bald cypress forest beneath the sea floor. The trees and wood were preserved under the sediment for the next 60,000 years until recently exposed by hurricane waves. Once uncovered the ancient wood formed the foundation of one of the most unique marine environments ever discovered. The site now hosts a diverse marine community, fueled by wood, and dominated by wood-eating bivalves and other wood-associated marine invertebrates. I will discuss the diversity of organisms that thrive in this environment and the special role played by wood-eating bivalves (shipworms) and the cellulolytic bacteria that enable their unusual woody diet.
|Life in an ancient undersea forest: the secrets of a marine ecosystem powered by wood.
|Chemistry and Physics Department and the Charles Albert Read Trust
|February 15, 2023