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VIMS study: Propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs
Date:4/19/2011

ncreased from 7.7% outside the wakes to 14.3% inside the wakes.

The researchers were careful in both cases to minimize turbulence from their own vessel, using a rowboat for the Hampton River study and maintaining an idle during sampling in the York.

The team's final experiment took place in the laboratory, where they exposed copepods to turbulence from a small motor calibrated to mimic the effects of different boat propellers. Their results again confirmed their earlier findings, with a clear link between mortality and increasing levels of turbulent energy.

Their experiments also show that natural turbulence from tides, currents, and waves is unlikely to stress or kill copepods other than perhaps during an extreme storm event such as a hurricane or nor'easter.


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Contact: David Malmquist
davem@vims.edu
804-684-7011
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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