Program & Agenda

Session Schedule

092 - Canopies in aquatic ecosystems: integrating form, function, and biophysical processes

This session will focus on the interplay between physical and biological processes in aquatic canopies, including hydrodynamics, mass transport, nutrient cycling, and light availability. Previous work in terrestrial canopy ecosystems has revealed the complex interactions between hydrodynamics (including turbulent fluxes), gas exchange, light availability, and primary production. In aquatic sciences, the canopy concept remains less developed. Over the past decade, however, research on underwater canopies has shifted to a more integrated approach with increasing recognition of the algal and coral canopy concept. At past ASLO meetings, presentations on the topic have been scattered among sessions focusing mostly on hydrodynamics or nutrient cycles. This session aims at exploring and integrating different approaches to the canopy concept in aquatic ecosystems: the photosynthetic canopy and its role in light (re)distribution, canopy hydrodynamics, the role of canopy structure and biomechanics in nutrient fluxes, cycling and fixation, and the functional ecology of canopies creating specific niches within ecosystems. We welcome contributions from all fields and encourage the use of varied tools such as empirical data, physical and computational simulations, mathematical modeling, and field data. We are especially looking forward to contributions integrating different approaches (e.g.: the interactions between hydrodynamics and nutrient cycling in a canopy).


Virginia Pasour , Department of Mathematics - UNC Chapel Hill

Julia Samson , Biology Department - UNC Chapel Hill

Brian White , Department of Marine Sciences - UNC Chapel Hill