The Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) Consortium came together to investigate how biodiversity influences an ecosystem’s resilience, or its ability to resist and recover from disturbance, specifically the ecosystems of the northern Gulf of Mexico to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. ACER is focusing on the coastal ecosystems (marshes, beaches and estuaries) of the northern Gulf of Mexico.
ACER scientists are examining the relationship between genetic, taxonomic and functional diversity and ecosystem resilience at several scales and in many different groups of organisms to oil exposure. Divided into 7 integrated research groups focusing on the coastal ecosystems of the northern Gulf of Mexico extending from the mid-continental shelf to inshore oyster reefs and coastal wetlands. Research results will not only allow for an assessment of oil spill impacts, but more generally, may help to predict the impacts of other types of disturbance and the importance of these coastal habitats.