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  1. Raina, Jean-Baptiste (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Predicting outcomes of marine disease outbreaks presents a challenge in the face of both global and local stressors. Host-associated microbiomes may play important roles in disease dynamics but remain understudied in marine ecosystems. Host–pathogen–microbiome interactions can vary across host ranges, gradients of disease, and temperature; studying these relationships may aid our ability to forecast disease dynamics. Eelgrass, Zostera marina , is impacted by outbreaks of wasting disease caused by the opportunistic pathogen Labyrinthula zosterae . We investigated how Z. marina phyllosphere microbial communities vary with rising wasting disease lesion prevalence and severity relative to plant and meadow characteristics like shoot density, longest leaf length, and temperature across 23° latitude in the Northeastern Pacific. We detected effects of geography (11%) and smaller, but distinct, effects of temperature (30-day max sea surface temperature, 4%) and disease (lesion prevalence, 3%) on microbiome composition. Declines in alpha diversity on asymptomatic tissue occurred with rising wasting disease prevalence within meadows. However, no change in microbiome variability (dispersion) was detected between asymptomatic and symptomatic tissues. Further, we identified members of Cellvibrionaceae, Colwelliaceae, and Granulosicoccaceae on asymptomatic tissue that are predictive of wasting disease prevalence across the geographic range (3,100 kilometers). Functional roles of Colwelliaceae andmore »Granulosicoccaceae are not known. Cellvibrionaceae, degraders of plant cellulose, were also enriched in lesions and adjacent green tissue relative to nonlesioned leaves. Cellvibrionaceae may play important roles in disease progression by degrading host tissues or overwhelming plant immune responses. Thus, inclusion of microbiomes in wasting disease studies may improve our ability to understand variable rates of infection, disease progression, and plant survival. IMPORTANCE The roles of marine microbiomes in disease remain poorly understood due, in part, to the challenging nature of sampling at appropriate spatiotemporal scales and across natural gradients of disease throughout host ranges. This is especially true for marine vascular plants like eelgrass ( Zostera marina ) that are vital for ecosystem function and biodiversity but are susceptible to rapid decline and die-off from pathogens like eukaryotic slime-mold Labyrinthula zosterae (wasting disease). We link bacterial members of phyllosphere tissues to the prevalence of wasting disease across the broadest geographic range to date for a marine plant microbiome-disease study (3,100 km). We identify Cellvibrionaceae, plant cell wall degraders, enriched (up to 61% relative abundance) within lesion tissue, which suggests this group may be playing important roles in disease progression. These findings suggest inclusion of microbiomes in marine disease studies will improve our ability to predict ecological outcomes of infection across variable landscapes spanning thousands of kilometers.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 30, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Community Geography offers researchers, community groups, and students opportunities to engage in action oriented applied geographical research. Creating and sustaining these research programs can be challenging, programs can involve many partners from both academic and the community, have different goals and purposes, and utilize a variety of methods to perform research. In this paper we offer a framework of three primary overarching principles for implementing CG projects; (1) Who, (2) Why, and (3) How. (1) “Who” describes who is involved in CG, including researchers, community partners, academic institutions, (2) “Why” describes the justifications and benefits of taking this approach. (3) “How” explains how CG borrows methodologies from many disciplines within geography and beyond. Our examples are not exhaustive; rather, they serve as starting points to inspire researchers interested in CG.
  4. Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drone technologies, with their high spatial resolution, temporal flexibility, and ability to repeat photogrammetry, afford a significant advancement in other remote sensing approaches for coastal mapping, habitat monitoring, and environmental management. However, geographical drone mapping and in situ fieldwork often come with a steep learning curve requiring a background in drone operations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and related analytical techniques. Such a learning curve can be an obstacle for field implementation for researchers, community organizations and citizen scientists wishing to include introductory drone operations into their work. In this study, we develop a comprehensive drone training program for research partners and community members to use cost-effective, consumer-quality drones to engage in introductory drone mapping of coastal seagrass monitoring sites along the west coast of North America. As a first step toward a longer-term Public Participation GIS process in the study area, the training program includes lessons for beginner drone users related to flying drones, autonomous route planning and mapping, field safety, GIS analysis, image correction and processing, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification and regulations. Training our research partners and students, who are in most cases novice users, is the first step inmore »a larger process to increase participation in a broader project for seagrass monitoring in our case study. While our training program originated in the United States, we discuss our experiences for research partners and communities around the globe to become more confident in introductory drone operations for basic science. In particular, our work targets novice users without a strong background in geographic research or remote sensing. Such training provides technical guidance on the implementation of a drone mapping program for coastal research, and synthesizes our approaches to provide broad guidance for using drones in support of a developing Public Participation GIS process.« less
  5. Through the voices of both faculty and student authors, we discuss the intentional integration of neurodiversity in an undergraduate, community geography research program. This exploratory case study takes conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion from theory to practice presenting the development of an inclusive learning community through the lens of education and geoscience education frameworks. Through multiple perspectives advocating for systemic change for inclusive community geography, this paper presents actionable recommendations others in geography can draw from in their own efforts to broaden participation within geography field programs.
  6. High resolution mapping of coastal habitats is invaluable for resource inventory, change detection, and inventory of aquaculture applications. However, coastal areas, especially the interior of mangroves, are often difficult to access. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), equipped with a multispectral sensor, affords an opportunity to improve upon satellite imagery for coastal management because of the very high spatial resolution, multispectral capability, and opportunity to collect real-time observations. Despite the recent and rapid development of UAV mapping applications, few articles have quantitatively compared how much improvement there is of UAV multispectral mapping methods compared to more conventional remote sensing data such as satellite imagery. The objective of this paper is to quantitatively demonstrate the improvements of a multispectral UAV mapping technique for higher resolution images used for advanced mapping and assessing coastal land cover. We performed multispectral UAV mapping fieldwork trials over Indian River Lagoon along the central Atlantic coast of Florida. Ground Control Points (GCPs) were collected to generate a rigorous geo-referenced dataset of UAV imagery and support comparison to geo-referenced satellite and aerial imagery. Multi-spectral satellite imagery (Sentinel-2) was also acquired to map land cover for the same region. NDVI and object-oriented classification methods were used for comparison betweenmore »UAV and satellite mapping capabilities. Compared with aerial images acquired from Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the UAV multi-spectral mapping method used in this study provided advanced information of the physical conditions of the study area, an improved land feature delineation, and a significantly better mapping product than satellite imagery with coarser resolution. The study demonstrates a replicable UAV multi-spectral mapping method useful for study sites that lack high quality data.« less