Welcome to Life in the Dead Zone! This blog is a collaborative effort by a number of scientists who are working on aquatic “Dead Zones”, specifically in the Chesapeake Bay.
A Dead Zone is a region of an aquatic ecosystem that has low dissolved oxygen, which leads to stress and death of many organisms that are not tolerant of low oxygen. However, many organisms are tolerant, at least to some degree and to some level of low oxygen, leading to “Life in the Dead Zone”!
Dead zones occur when organic matter sinks to the bottom of the water and it is decomposed (using up the oxygen) faster than oxygen is resupplied. This can happen in a variety of settings and can be exacerbated by many factors including weather patterns, warming, or increased nutrient inputs.
On these pages you will read reports from many scientists involved in different aspects of this research, from shipboard observations, laboratory experiments, and modeling. We hope you enjoy it.