Kenneth Dunton
Research Interests

Benthic marine plants, whether they include the kelp of the Polar Ocean or the seagrasses of the subtropical Gulf of Mexico, are extremely valuable resources to coastal ecosystems. They are critical components of estuarine and coastal food webs, providing structural habitat for aquatic invertebrates and fish and a large source of reduced carbon. In addition, seagrasses, macroalgae and marsh plants can be used as indicators of ecosystem health and as tracers of anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen. Habitat degradation is a serious problem that can have a profound effect on the productivity of these systems. Professor Dunton's current and future research addresses the response of these estuarine habitats to such impacts as nitrogen loading (eutrophication), decreased water transparency (from increased water turbidity), physical disturbances (boat and ship traffic, construction activities) and global climate change.

Affiliated Departments