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Liana Lerna

Liana is studying the effects that beach raking has on the macroinvertebrate community of South Padre Island, Texas. Beach raking has been practiced on the island for the past fifteen years to enhance the aesthetics and utility of the beach to attract visitors thus sustain tourism. This method of beach cleaning involves the removal of Sargassum spp., a brown seaweed that provides nutrients for the organisms inhabiting the nearshore which include mollusks, amphipods, polychaetes worms, and crustaceans thus, it may represent a vital link in a complex food chain. The study involves the comparison of species abundances and biomass among raked and un-raked beach sites in relation to the volumetric input of seaweed and its total organic content. Following this assessment, results will be presented to the City of South Padre Island so that ecological sound beach management practices may be implemented in the future.  

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