Current Research Projects: Local Adaptation

1. Is there evidence of local adaptation in eelgrass growing at differe sites and tidal heights within the harbor?

To test for local adaptation in the eelgrass growing in Bodega Harbor I set up a couple of different reciprocal transplant experiments, one between sites in the intertidal and one between subtidal and intertidal plants growing at one site. The two intertidal sites I used were Campbell Cove (CC) and Westside Park (see map of Bodega Harbor). I collected plants with at least two shoots from each site or tidal height and planted one shoot of each plant back to its home site and the other shoot to the foreign site. This allows be to see how well shoots grow in there home location compared to a foreign location.

This program was pretty fun and basically involved a lot of eelgrass gardening!

My subtidal vs. intertidal transplants were also fun because I got to scuba dive to collect and plant shoots in the subtidal!

Below you can see a picture of my intertidal plots (with the poles and orange flags) and the tiny dot out in the water that is circled in red in a buoy marking my subtidal plot.

Setting up an experiment underwater was a new challenge for me and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The conditions weren’t always ideal and sometimes I could barely see what i was doing, but with the help of many of the other experienced divers at the Bodega Bay Marine Lab, I was able to make it work!

Below are some underwater shots of my sutidal plot. You can tell the water can be pretty murky and a lot of algae grows down there!

And one last shot of my fabulous dive buddy and labmate, Olivia!

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