A study of horse fly (Tabanidae) populations and their food web dynamics as indicators of the effects of environmental stress on coastal marsh health.
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program
Human and/or Institutional Capacity
Microsatellite genotyping of six pristine and seven oiled saltmarsh greenhead (T. nigrovittatus) populations detected genetic bottlenecks in five of the oiled populations after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. We propose to follow up that study with a longitudinal population genetic study of horse flies as bioindicators of marsh health and recovery. We will use this information to develop a time- and cost-efficient PCR-based diagnostic method to differentiate between healthy and biologically depleted marsh soil for use in intensive sampling. The development of PCR diagnostic tools for food web detection fits our reductionist approach to develop and verify tools that can be used by coastal ecologists to evaluate tidal marsh health.