Rocky shores host diverse communities dominated by invertebrate and algal species that, in many cases, remain unknown to the general public. Two major research foci at EBLB are to understand the biology, interactions and distribution patterns of rocky shore species and to inventory rocky shore biodiversity both regionally and nationally.
Ecosystem engineering is the ability of organisms to modify their environment via their presence or their activities. Our staff investigates to what degree the biodiversity and functioning of local ecosystems depends on engineers such as mussels, rock boring bivalves, and dune plants.
Most local ecosystems are undergoing invasions by species that were introdeced from other parts of the world, either intentionally or accidentally. Current research projects investigate the spread mechanisms and impacts of invasive algae, dune plants, and invertebrates on native species and their ecosystems.
There are nearly 100 species of fiddler crabs, most of which occur in the tropics. Our region represents the Southern limit of distribution of the Southwestern Atlantic fiddler crab (Uca uruguayensis), Research at EBLB investigates the life history, behavior, and ecological role of these hidden, though visually appealing invertebrates.