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Sample records for muhl coastal marshes

  1. Defining restoration targets for water depth and salinity in wind-dominated Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl. coastal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nyman, J.A.; La Peyre, M.K.; Caldwell, A.; Piazza, S.; Thom, C.; Winslow, C.

    2009-01-01

    Coastal wetlands provide valued ecosystem functions but the sustainability of those functions often is threatened by artificial hydrologic conditions. It is widely recognized that increased flooding and salinity can stress emergent plants, but there are few measurements to guide restoration, management, and mitigation. Marsh flooding can be estimated over large areas with few data where winds have little effect on water levels, but quantifying flooding requires hourly measurements over long time periods where tides are wind-dominated such as the northern Gulf of Mexico. Estimating salinity of flood water requires direct daily measurements because coastal marshes are characterized by dynamic salinity gradients. We analyzed 399,772 hourly observations of water depth and 521,561 hourly observations of water salinity from 14 sites in Louisiana coastal marshes dominated by Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl. Unlike predicted water levels, observed water levels varied monthly and annually. We attributed those observed variations to variations in river runoff and winds. In stable marshes with slow wetland loss rates, we found that marsh elevation averaged 1 cm above mean high water, 15 cm above mean water, and 32 cm above mean low water levels. Water salinity averaged 3.7 ppt during April, May, and June, and 5.4 ppt during July, August, and September. The daily, seasonal, and annual variation in water levels and salinity that were evident would support the contention that such variation be retained when designing and operating coastal wetland management and restoration projects. Our findings might be of interest to scientists, engineers, and managers involved in restoration, management, and restoration in other regions where S. patens or similar species are common but local data are unavailable. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Defining restoration targets for water depth and salinity in wind-dominated Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl. coastal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nyman, J.A.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Caldwell, Andral W.; Piazza, Sarai C.; Thom, C.; Winslow, C.

    2009-01-01

    Coastal wetlands provide valued ecosystem functions but the sustainability of those functions often is threatened by artificial hydrologic conditions. It is widely recognized that increased flooding and salinity can stress emergent plants, but there are few measurements to guide restoration, management, and mitigation. Marsh flooding can be estimated over large areas with few data where winds have little effect on water levels, but quantifying flooding requires hourly measurements over long time periods where tides are wind-dominated such as the northern Gulf of Mexico. Estimating salinity of flood water requires direct daily measurements because coastal marshes are characterized by dynamic salinity gradients. We analyzed 399,772 hourly observations of water depth and 521,561 hourly observations of water salinity from 14 sites in Louisiana coastal marshes dominated by Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl. Unlike predicted water levels, observed water levels varied monthly and annually. We attributed those observed variations to variations in river runoff and winds. In stable marshes with slow wetland loss rates, we found that marsh elevation averaged 1 cm above mean high water, 15 cm above mean water, and 32 cm above mean low water levels. Water salinity averaged 3.7 ppt during April, May, and June, and 5.4 ppt during July, August, and September. The daily, seasonal, and annual variation in water levels and salinity that were evident would support the contention that such variation be retained when designing and operating coastal wetland management and restoration projects. Our findings might be of interest to scientists, engineers, and managers involved in restoration, management, and restoration in other regions where S. patens or similar species are common but local data are unavailable.

  3. EFFECT OF NUTRIENT LOADING ON BIOGEOCHEMICAL AND MICROBIAL PROCESSES IN A NEW ENGLAND HIGH SALT MARSH, SPARTINA PATNES, (AITON MUHL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal marshes represent an important transitional zone between uplands and estuaries and can assimilate nutrient inputs from uplands. We examined the effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization on biogeochemical and microbial processes during the summer growing sea...

  4. Impacts of marsh management on coastal-marsh bird habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, L.R.; Gabrey, S.; Marra, P.P.; Erwin, R.M.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of habitat-management practices in coastal marshes have been poorly evaluated. We summarize the extant literature concerning whether these manipulations achieve their goals and the effects of these manipulations on target (i.e., waterfowl and waterfowl food plants) and non-target organisms (particularly coastal-marsh endemics). Although we focus on the effects of marsh management on birds, we also summarize the scant literature concerning the impacts of marsh manipulations on wildlife such as small mammals and invertebrates. We address three common forms of anthropogenic marsh disturbance: prescribed fire, structural marsh management, and open-marsh water management. We also address marsh perturbations by native and introduced vertebrates.

  5. Methane flux from coastal salt marshes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartlett, K. B.; Harriss, R. C.; Sebacher, D. I.

    1985-01-01

    It is thought that biological methanogenesis in natural and agricultural wetlands and enteric fermentation in animals are the dominant sources of global tropospheric methane. It is pointed out that the anaerobic soils and sediments, where methanogenesis occurs, predominate in coastal marine wetlands. Coastal marine wetlands are generally believed to be approximately equal in area to freshwater wetlands. For this reason, coastal marine wetlands may be a globally significant source of atmospheric methane. The present investigation is concerned with the results of a study of direct measurements of methane fluxes to the atmosphere from salt marsh soils and of indirect determinations of fluxes from tidal creek waters. In addition, measurements of methane distributions in coastal marine wetland sediments and water are presented. The results of the investigation suggest that marine wetlands provide only a minor contribution to atmospheric methane on a global scale.

  6. Methane flux from coastal salt marshes

    SciTech Connect

    Bartlett, K.B.; Harriss, R.C.; Sebacher, D.I.

    1985-06-20

    The seasonal flux of methane to the atmosphere from salt marsh soils was examined in three different vegetation zones within a single marsh near Yorktown, Virginia. A total of 100 measurements were made over a 2-year period, with maximum rates occurring during summer and fall. Spatial and temporal variability in fluxes was high; rates ranged from -2.4 to 21.3 x 10/sup -3/ g CH/sub 4//m/sup 2//d. Estimates of annual methane losses to the atmosphere were 0.43 g CH/sub 4//m/sup 2/ for a salt meadow zone, 1.3 g CH/sub 4//m/sup 2/ for short Spartina alterniflora, and 1.2 g CH/sub 4//m/sup 2/ for tall creek-bank S. alterniflora. A total of 63 flux measurements, made in a variety of other coastal salt marshes along the east coast of the US, suggest that the Virginia site may be fairly typical for this region. In addition to diffusional losses across the air-soil interface, methane can be lost from the marsh system to the atmosphere through the lateral movement of pore waters supersaturated with methane into tidal creeks, with subsequent degassing across the water-air interface. Estimates of the magnitude of methane input to the atmosphere by this mechanism indicate it may be as important as diffusional losses across the air-soil interface. These data suggest that salt marshes of this type make only a minor contribution to global atmospheric methane.

  7. Coastal eutrophication as a driver of salt marsh loss.

    PubMed

    Deegan, Linda A; Johnson, David Samuel; Warren, R Scott; Peterson, Bruce J; Fleeger, John W; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Wollheim, Wilfred M

    2012-10-18

    Salt marshes are highly productive coastal wetlands that provide important ecosystem services such as storm protection for coastal cities, nutrient removal and carbon sequestration. Despite protective measures, however, worldwide losses of these ecosystems have accelerated in recent decades. Here we present data from a nine-year whole-ecosystem nutrient-enrichment experiment. Our study demonstrates that nutrient enrichment, a global problem for coastal ecosystems, can be a driver of salt marsh loss. We show that nutrient levels commonly associated with coastal eutrophication increased above-ground leaf biomass, decreased the dense, below-ground biomass of bank-stabilizing roots, and increased microbial decomposition of organic matter. Alterations in these key ecosystem properties reduced geomorphic stability, resulting in creek-bank collapse with significant areas of creek-bank marsh converted to unvegetated mud. This pattern of marsh loss parallels observations for anthropogenically nutrient-enriched marshes worldwide, with creek-edge and bay-edge marsh evolving into mudflats and wider creeks. Our work suggests that current nutrient loading rates to many coastal ecosystems have overwhelmed the capacity of marshes to remove nitrogen without deleterious effects. Projected increases in nitrogen flux to the coast, related to increased fertilizer use required to feed an expanding human population, may rapidly result in a coastal landscape with less marsh, which would reduce the capacity of coastal regions to provide important ecological and economic services. PMID:23075989

  8. Spatial response of coastal marshes to increased atmospheric CO2

    PubMed Central

    Ratliff, Katherine M.; Braswell, Anna E.; Marani, Marco

    2015-01-01

    The elevation and extent of coastal marshes are dictated by the interplay between the rate of relative sea-level rise (RRSLR), surface accretion by inorganic sediment deposition, and organic soil production by plants. These accretion processes respond to changes in local and global forcings, such as sediment delivery to the coast, nutrient concentrations, and atmospheric CO2, but their relative importance for marsh resilience to increasing RRSLR remains unclear. In particular, marshes up-take atmospheric CO2 at high rates, thereby playing a major role in the global carbon cycle, but the morphologic expression of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, an imminent aspect of climate change, has not yet been isolated and quantified. Using the available observational literature and a spatially explicit ecomorphodynamic model, we explore marsh responses to increased atmospheric CO2, relative to changes in inorganic sediment availability and elevated nitrogen levels. We find that marsh vegetation response to foreseen elevated atmospheric CO2 is similar in magnitude to the response induced by a varying inorganic sediment concentration, and that it increases the threshold RRSLR initiating marsh submergence by up to 60% in the range of forcings explored. Furthermore, we find that marsh responses are inherently spatially dependent, and cannot be adequately captured through 0-dimensional representations of marsh dynamics. Our results imply that coastal marshes, and the major carbon sink they represent, are significantly more resilient to foreseen climatic changes than previously thought. PMID:26644577

  9. Spatial response of coastal marshes to increased atmospheric CO2.

    PubMed

    Ratliff, Katherine M; Braswell, Anna E; Marani, Marco

    2015-12-22

    The elevation and extent of coastal marshes are dictated by the interplay between the rate of relative sea-level rise (RRSLR), surface accretion by inorganic sediment deposition, and organic soil production by plants. These accretion processes respond to changes in local and global forcings, such as sediment delivery to the coast, nutrient concentrations, and atmospheric CO2, but their relative importance for marsh resilience to increasing RRSLR remains unclear. In particular, marshes up-take atmospheric CO2 at high rates, thereby playing a major role in the global carbon cycle, but the morphologic expression of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, an imminent aspect of climate change, has not yet been isolated and quantified. Using the available observational literature and a spatially explicit ecomorphodynamic model, we explore marsh responses to increased atmospheric CO2, relative to changes in inorganic sediment availability and elevated nitrogen levels. We find that marsh vegetation response to foreseen elevated atmospheric CO2 is similar in magnitude to the response induced by a varying inorganic sediment concentration, and that it increases the threshold RRSLR initiating marsh submergence by up to 60% in the range of forcings explored. Furthermore, we find that marsh responses are inherently spatially dependent, and cannot be adequately captured through 0-dimensional representations of marsh dynamics. Our results imply that coastal marshes, and the major carbon sink they represent, are significantly more resilient to foreseen climatic changes than previously thought. PMID:26644577

  10. Recent Advances in Studies of Coastal Marsh Sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasternack, G. B.; Leonard, L. A.

    2001-05-01

    Limited understanding of sedimentation processes in coastal marshes is a key constraint on the management of environmental impacts associated with sea level rise, degrading quality and quantity of aquatic habitats, and downstream impacts of watershed land use. The problem is exacerbated by complex interactions among physical, ecological, and chemical variables that impact sedimentation over a large range of spatio-temporal scales. These challenges are being met by increasingly sophisticated approaches which cross-fertilize from other disciplines or go even further to integrate multidisciplinary perspectives. One example of the former has been improved precision of fine scale measurements of fluid mechanics and sediment transport over marsh plains and application of those measurements in geomorphologic and coastal engineering models. This advancement has improved our understanding of marsh dynamics at a mechanistic level, which is key for improving the predictive capabilities of wetland models. An example of a multidisciplinary approach that has become very common is the combined usage of multiple monitoring, isotopic, and palynological methods for estimating sedimentation and erosion at a site over a range of time scales. By applying such combinations, it has been possible to piece apart the relative roles of natural processes such as sea level rise and storms from human impacts such as flow constrictions, channel dredging, and sediment supply changes. Beyond improving approaches used to study marshes, past work has led to new questions about marsh morphodynamics and how coastal marshes interact with upland watersheds. With the aid of chaos theory, some recent studies have asserted that coastal marsh channels are fractal and thus must follow universal laws in common with watershed drainages and other dendritic systems. Also, where marshes exist among a mosaic of habitats on a delta, research has revealed the relative roles of watershed versus coastal processes in

  11. Hydrology of Fritchie Marsh, coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuniansky, E.L.

    1985-01-01

    Fritchie Marsh, near Slidell, Louisiana, is being considered as a disposal site for sewage effluent. A two-dimensional, finite element, surface water modeling systems was used to solve the shallow water equations for flow. Factors affecting flow patterns are channel locations, inlets, outlets, islands, marsh vegetation, marsh geometry, stage of the West Pearl River, flooding over the lower Pearl River basin, gravity tides, wind-induced currents, and sewage discharge to the marsh. Four steady-state simulations were performed for two hydrologic events at two rates of sewage discharge. The events, near tide with no wind or rain and neap tide with a tide differential across the marsh, were selected as worst-case events for sewage effluent dispersion and were assumed as steady state events. Because inflows and outflows to the marsh are tidally affected, steady state simulations cannot fully define the hydraulic characteristics of the marsh for all hydrologic events. Model results and field data indicate that, during near tide with little or no rain, large parts of the marsh are stagnant; and sewage effluent, at existing and projected flows, has minimal effect on marsh flows. (USGS)

  12. Ecological effects of coastal marsh impoundments: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montague, Clay L.; Zale, Alexander V.; Percival, H. Franklin

    1987-11-01

    Many coastal resource managers believe estuarine marshes are critically important to estuarine fish and shellfish, not only because of the habitat present for juvenile stages, but also because of the export of detritus and plant nutrients that are consumed in the estuary. Concern has been widely expressed that diking and flooding marshes (impounding) for mosquito control and waterfowl management interferes with these values of marshes. Major changes caused by impoundment include an increase in water level, a decrease in salinity, and a decrease in the exchange of marsh water with estuarine water. Alteration of species composition is dramatic after impoundment. Changes in overall production and transport phenomena, however—and the consequences of these changes— may not be as great in some cases as the concern about these has implied. Although few data are available, a more important concern may be the reduction of access by estuarine fish and shellfish to the abundant foods and cover available in many natural, as well as impounded, marshes. Perhaps even more important is the occasional removal of free access to open water when conditions become unfavorable in impounded marsh that is periodically opened and closed. Collection of comparative data on the estuarine animal use of various configurations of natural and impounded marshes by estuarine animals should lead to improved management of both impounded and unimpounded marshes.

  13. Assessing the sedimentation deficit problem in Louisiana's coastal salt marshes

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, D.J.

    1990-09-01

    The imbalance between relative sea-level rise and vertical marsh accretion is frequently cited as a major factor in the problem of wetland loss in coastal Louisiana. Relative sea-level rise rates are high, compared to the rest of the Gulf coast, owing to subsidence of Holocene Mississippi deltaic plain sediments, and although marsh accretion rates are also high, in comparison with other coastal areas of the US, they are usually insufficient to maintain the relative elevation of the marsh surface. This situation is commonly referred to as a sedimentation deficit. One of the problems with evaluating the magnitude of the sedimentation deficit problem in Louisiana, and its spatial variation, is that measurements of subsidence and marsh accretion or sedimentation are rarely made on similar time scales. Subsidence affecting the marsh surface is composed of a number of factors, including compaction of recently deposited sediments, regional downwarping, and diagenesis of underlying Pleistocene and earlier sediments. The total effect of these factors, in combination with eustatic sea-level rise, is frequently obtained from tide gauge measurements over the last 50 years or so. Subsidence is also measured by dating sedimentary horizons of known depth that characterize surface environments. Carbon-14 is a common tool for this type of study and subsidence is then averaged over periods of up to several thousand years. In comparison, marsh accretion or sediment deposition can be measured over periods from several hundred years, using Lead-210 dating, to several days, using marsh surface sediment traps. The many techniques available for measuring the sedimentary status of the marsh surface can provide a variety of information concerning the processes responsible for sediment deposition and vertical accretion.

  14. Salt marshes: An important coastal sink for dissolved uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Church, T.M.; Sarin, M.M.; Fleisher, M.Q.; Ferdelman, T.G.

    1996-10-01

    The global budget for marine uranium demands another geochemical sink other than deep-sea systems, and the coastal environment may host some or all of this missing sink. In a previous paper, we have shown that some large subtidal estuaries are seasonal summer sinks at low salinities. In this paper, we show that intertidal salt marshes are even stronger sinks at all salinities, if for somewhat different reasons. Uranium was sampled in dissolved and particulate fractions over several tidal cycles and seasons for a lower Delaware Bay salt marsh (Canary Creek, Lewes, Delaware, USA), and uniquely, during summer months, the dissolved uranium is nonconservative. Moreover, because uranium extraction is greater on higher tides and occurs over the entire salinity gradient, this processing appears associated with surface of vegetated high marsh, We hypothesize that either (1) uranium scavenging occurs during the process of tidal mixing and attendant flocculation of humic acids and iron oxides-favoring this process is the presence of sulfonate complexes in salt marsh humic substances, and iron coprecipitation during its extensive redox cycling in the salt marsh-or (2) uranium extraction occurs at the marsh surface during extensive flooding of the salt marsh surface sediments-favoring this process is the increase in sulfuric acidity at the summer salt marsh surface that could destabilize the tetracarbonate species of U(VI). The latter option is favored by both field observations of maximum removal at the surface during the spring and summer tide conditions, and selective extraction of sediment phases where uranium is found as adsorbed and complexed forms in the ascorbate-citrate and humic acid fractions, respectively. Mass balance calculations show that under steady-state conditions, nearly two-thirds of the uranium extracted from tidal waters is retained in the sediments, while one-third is exported as U-enriched particles during ebbing tides. 41 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  15. Coastal Marsh Monitoring for Persistent Saltwater Intrusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Callie M.

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews NASA's work on the project that supports the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Governors Action Plan to monitor the coastal wetlands for saltwater intrusion. The action items that relate to the task are: (1) Obtain information on projected relative sea level rise, subsidence, and storm vulnerability to help prioritize conservation projects, including restoration, enhancement, and acquisition, and (2) Develop and apply ecosystem models to forecast the habitat structure and succession following hurricane disturbance and changes in ecological functions and services that impact vital socio-economic aspects of coastal systems. The objectives of the program are to provide resource managers with remote sensing products that support ecosystem forecasting models requiring salinity and inundation data. Specifically, the proposed work supports the habitat-switching modules in the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration (CLEAR) model, which provides scientific evaluation for restoration management.

  16. Decomposition of saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens) in Louisiana coastal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foote, A.L.; Reynolds, K.A.

    1997-01-01

    In Louisiana, plant production rates and associated decomposition rates may be important in offsetting high rates of land loss and subsidence in organic marsh soils. Decomposition of Spartina patens shoot and leaf material was studied by using litter bags in mesohaline marshes in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins of coastal Louisiana. Spartina patens decomposed very slowly with an average decay constant of 0.0007, and approximately 50% of the material remained after 2 years in the field. Material at the Barataria site decomposed faster than did Terrebonne material with trend differences apparent during the first 150 days. This difference might be explained by the higher content of phosphorus in the Barataria material or a flooding period experienced by the Barataria bags during their first 10 days of deployment. Nitrogen and carbon content of the plant material studied did not differ between the two basins. We detected no consistent significant differences in decomposition above, at, or below sediment/water level. Because S. patens is the dominant plant in these marshes, and because it is so slow to decompose, we believe that S. patens shoots are an important addition to vertical accretion and, therefore, marsh elevation.

  17. Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Saltwater Intrusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalcic, Maria; Hall, Callie; Fletcher, Rose; Russell, Jeff

    2009-01-01

    Primary goal: Provide resource managers with remote sensing products that support ecosystem forecasting models requiring salinity and inundation data. Work supports the habitat-switching modules in the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration (CLEAR) model, which provides scientific evaluation for restoration management (Visser et al., 2008). Ongoing work to validate flooding with radar (NWRC/USGS) and enhance persistence estimates through "fusion" of MODIS and Landsat time series (ROSES A.28 Gulf of Mexico). Additional work will also investigate relationship between saltwater dielectric constant and radar returns (Radarsat) (ROSES A.28 Gulf of Mexico).

  18. Development of a Climate-Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems in Southern New England USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sea level rise is accelerating throughout the U.S. Northeast causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat ...

  19. Development of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems in Southern New England USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sea level rise is accelerating throughout the U.S. Northeast causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat ...

  20. COASTAL SALT MARSH COMMUNITY CHANGE IN NARRAGANSETT BAY IN RESPONSE TO CULTURAL EUTROPHICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal salt marshes are susceptible to cultural eutrophication, particularly the over-enrichment of nitrogen, because they are often located where surface water and groundwater discharge into estuaries. In this report, the current areal extent of coastal salt marshes in Narrag...

  1. Biostimulation For The Treatment Of An Oil-Contaminated Coastal Salt Marsh

    EPA Science Inventory

    A field study was conducted on a coastal salt marsh in Nova Scotia, Canada, during the summer of 2000. The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of biostimulation in restoring an oil-contaminated coastal marsh dominated by Spartina alterniflora under north...

  2. Phenological Impacts of Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Gustav (2008) on Louisiana Coastal Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mo, Y.; Kearney, M.; Riter, A.

    2015-12-01

    Coastal marshes provide indispensable ecological functions, such as offering habitat for economic fish and wildlife, improving water quality, protecting inland areas from floods, and stabilizing the shoreline. Hurricanes—though helping to maintain the elevation of coastal wetlands by depositing large amounts of sediments—pose one of the largest threats for coastal marshes in terms of eroding shorelines, scouring marsh surfaces, and resuspending sediments. Coastal marshes phenologies can be important for understanding broad response of marshes to stressors, like hurricanes. We investigated the phenological impacts of Katrina and Gustav (Category 3 and 2 hurricanes at landfall in southeast Louisiana on 29 August, 2005, and 1 September, 2008, respectively) on freshwater, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes in southeastern Louisiana. Landsat-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data were processed using ENVI 4.8. Phenological patterns of the marshes were modeled using a nonlinear mixed model using SAS 9.4. We created and compared marsh phenologies of 1994 and 2014, the reference years, to those of 2005 and 2008, the hurricane years. Preliminary results show that in normal years: (1) the NDVI of four marsh types peaked in July; (2) freshwater marshes had the highest peak NDVI, followed by intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes; and (3) the growth durations of the marshes are around three to six months. In 2005, the major phenological change was shortening of growth duration, which was most obvious for intermediate and brackish marshes. The peak NDVI values of the four marsh types were not affected because the hurricane occurred at the end of August, one month after the peak NDVI time. By comparison, there was no obvious phenological impact on the marshes by Gustav (2008) with respect to peak NDVI, peak NDVI day, and growth duration.

  3. A New Approach to Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Flooding

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalcic, M. T.; Undersood, Lauren W.; Fletcher, Rose

    2012-01-01

    Many areas in coastal Louisiana are below sea level and protected from flooding by a system of natural and man-made levees. Flooding is common when the levees are overtopped by storm surge or rising rivers. Many levees in this region are further stressed by erosion and subsidence. The floodwaters can become constricted by levees and trapped, causing prolonged inundation. Vegetative communities in coastal regions, from fresh swamp forest to saline marsh, can be negatively affected by inundation and changes in salinity. As saltwater persists, it can have a toxic effect upon marsh vegetation causing die off and conversion to open water types, destroying valuable species habitats. The length of time the water persists and the average annual salinity are important variables in modeling habitat switching (cover type change). Marsh type habitat switching affects fish, shellfish, and wildlife inhabitants, and can affect the regional ecosystem and economy. There are numerous restoration and revitalization projects underway in the coastal region, and their effects on the entire ecosystem need to be understood. For these reasons, monitoring persistent saltwater intrusion and inundation is important. For this study, persistent flooding in Louisiana coastal marshes was mapped using MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) time series of a Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). The time series data were derived for 2000 through 2009, including flooding due to Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. Using the NDWI, duration and extent of flooding can be inferred. The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT), developed at NASA SSC, is a suite of software developed in MATLAB(R) that enables improved-quality time series images to be computed using advanced temporal processing techniques. This software has been used to compute time series for monitoring temporal changes in environmental phenomena, (e.g. NDVI times series from MODIS), and was modified and used to

  4. A New Approach to Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Flooding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalcic, M. T.; Underwood, L. W.; Fletcher, R. M.

    2012-12-01

    Many areas in coastal Louisiana are below sea level and protected from flooding by a system of natural and man-made levees. Flooding is common when the levees are overtopped by storm surge or rising rivers. Many levees in this region are further stressed by erosion and subsidence. The floodwaters can become constricted by levees and trapped, causing prolonged inundation. Vegetative communities in coastal regions, from fresh swamp forest to saline marsh, can be negatively affected by inundation and changes in salinity. As saltwater persists, it can have a toxic effect upon marsh vegetation causing die off and conversion to open water types, destroying valuable species habitats. The length of time the water persists and the average annual salinity are important variables in modeling habitat switching (cover type change). Marsh type habitat switching affects fish, shellfish, and wildlife inhabitants, and can affect the regional ecosystem and economy. There are numerous restoration and revitalization projects underway in the coastal region, and their effects on the entire ecosystem need to be understood. For these reasons, monitoring persistent saltwater intrusion and inundation is important. For this study, persistent flooding in Louisiana coastal marshes was mapped using MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) time series of a Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). The time series data were derived for 2000 through 2009, including flooding due to Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. Using the NDWI, duration and extent of flooding can be inferred. The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT), developed at NASA SSC, is a suite of software developed in MATLAB® that enables improved-quality time series images to be computed using advanced temporal processing techniques. This software has been used to compute time series for monitoring temporal changes in environmental phenomena, (e.g. NDVI times series from MODIS), and was modified and used to

  5. [Emissions of methyl halides from coastal salt marshes: A review].

    PubMed

    Xie, Wen-xia; Zhao, Quan-sheng; Cui, Yu-qian; Du, Hui-na; Ye, Si-yuan

    2015-11-01

    Methyl halides are the major carrier of halogens in the atmosphere, and they play an important role in tropospheric and stratospheric ozone depletion. Meanwhile, methyl halides can act as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and they are also environmentally significant because of their toxicity. Coastal salt marshes, the important intertidal ecosystems at the land-ocean interface, have been considered to be a large potential natural source of methyl halides. In this paper, the research status of the natural source or sink of methyl halides, the mechanisms of their emission from coastal salt marshes and affecting factors were summarized. In view of this, the following research fields need to be strengthened in the future: 1) Long time-scale and large region-range researches about the emission of methyl halides and the evaluation of their source and sink function, 2) Accurate quantification of contribution rates of different plant species and various biological types to fluxes of methyl halides, 3) Further researches on effects of the tidal fluctuation process and flooding duration on methyl halides emission, 4) Effects of the global change and human activities on methyl halides emission. PMID:26915215

  6. Anthropogenic Impacts on the Evolution of Estuarine Fringe-marsh Shorelines: Implications of Coastal Setting on Marsh Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattheus, C. R.; Rodriguez, A. B.; McKee, B. A.; Currin, C.

    2009-12-01

    Fringe marshes, which are common to estuarine shorelines, provide essential ecosystem services to coastal regions, including carbon sequestration, provision of shelter and nursery grounds for aquatic and terrestrial animals, and buffering of lowland areas from marine flooding. Thousands of acres of intertidal wetlands are lost each year in the U.S., in part due to a recent acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise. The ability of a marsh to sustain itself by vertical accretion is generally limited by inorganic sediment supply. Despite a continuing global population boom, models attempting to forecast marsh response to future sea-level rise do not take land-use changes into account, which have the potential to alter sediment sources and modify or disrupt established sediment pathways. This study investigates how landscape modifications can alter nearshore sedimentation regimes and influence marsh-edge evolution. Marshes in this study are located in similar hydrologic and geographic settings within coastal North Carolina and have comparable vegetation densities; however, their respective coastal environments are affected by different land-use modifications. Site A is situated within an upper bay environment, whereas Site B is located along the estuarine shoreline of a barrier island. Both sites are part of the same estuarine system. Marsh-shoreline positions and surface elevations were monitored at the sites over a two-year period using high-resolution terrestrial LIDAR. This data set was supplemented with accretion rates obtained from radioisotope analysis, precipitation records, and information on land-use changes in an effort to develop an understanding of their effect on marsh evolution. The study region has undergone significant land-use changes, including the introduction of tree farming in the lower reaches of a tributary creek to the upper bay. Widespread deforestation in this watershed led to increased upland erosion and higher sediment-supply rates to the

  7. Accelerating sea-level rise and coastal marsh stability: Insights from an early Holocene stratigraphic record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Tornqvist, T. E.; Kohl, B.; Kuykendall, J.

    2011-12-01

    The increasingly recognized economic and ecologic value of coastal ecosystems and growing concerns about the fate of coastal wetlands in the face of anticipated accelerating sea-level rise in the next century provide the impetus to understand coastal marsh stability under climate warming conditions. This problem is strikingly exemplified by the Mississippi Delta, where wetland loss rates are among the highest in the world. Direct field observations of marsh responses to rising seas are helpful to understand marsh stability over short (annual to decadal) timescales. However, knowledge about marsh stability over longer timescales is largely lacking. Here we present an early Holocene stratigraphic and foraminiferal record from the Mississippi Delta to examine marsh responses to relative sea-level (RSL) rise at rates within the range of what is commonly predicted for the latter portion of the 21st century. While field monitoring of modern marshes has suggested that they may survive rates of RSL rise on the order of 1 cm/yr, our results show that marshes can persist only for up to a century, and often much shorter, with rates of RSL rise of ~0.7 cm/yr. We therefore conclude that the tipping point beyond which coastal marshes in this region become unsustainable may be reached earlier than what previous studies have suggested. These findings may be instrumental in long-term planning and mitigating impacts of anticipated sea-level rise on coastal ecosystems.

  8. The Protective Role of Coastal Marshes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, Christine C.; Crain, Caitlin M.; Beck, Michael W.

    2011-01-01

    Background Salt marshes lie between many human communities and the coast and have been presumed to protect these communities from coastal hazards by providing important ecosystem services. However, previous characterizations of these ecosystem services have typically been based on a small number of historical studies, and the consistency and extent to which marshes provide these services has not been investigated. Here, we review the current evidence for the specific processes of wave attenuation, shoreline stabilization and floodwater attenuation to determine if and under what conditions salt marshes offer these coastal protection services. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a thorough search and synthesis of the literature with reference to these processes. Seventy-five publications met our selection criteria, and we conducted meta-analyses for publications with sufficient data available for quantitative analysis. We found that combined across all studies (n = 7), salt marsh vegetation had a significant positive effect on wave attenuation as measured by reductions in wave height per unit distance across marsh vegetation. Salt marsh vegetation also had a significant positive effect on shoreline stabilization as measured by accretion, lateral erosion reduction, and marsh surface elevation change (n = 30). Salt marsh characteristics that were positively correlated to both wave attenuation and shoreline stabilization were vegetation density, biomass production, and marsh size. Although we could not find studies quantitatively evaluating floodwater attenuation within salt marshes, there are several studies noting the negative effects of wetland alteration on water quantity regulation within coastal areas. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that salt marshes have value for coastal hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation. Because we do not yet fully understand the magnitude of this value, we propose that decision makers employ natural

  9. Nonlinear responses of coastal salt marshes to nutrient additions and sea level rise

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increasing nutrients and accelerated sea level rise (SLR) can cause marsh loss in some coastal systems. Responses to nutrients and SLR are complex and vary with soil matrix, marsh elevation, sediment inputs, and hydroperiod. We describe field and greenhouse studies examining sing...

  10. Coastal Wetland Deterioration, Climate Change and Nutrient Inputs in California and Southern New England Salt Marsh

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal salt marshes provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including habitat for protected vertebrates and ecologically valuable invertebrate fauna, flood protection, and improvements in water quality for adjacent marine and estuarine environments. Here, we consider the i...

  11. Patterns of Seasonal Abundance and Social Segregation in Inland and Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrows in a Delaware Tidal Marsh

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana nigrescens, CPSS) breeds in the coastal brackish marshes of the North American Mid-Atlantic States. During the non-breeding season, coastal brackish marshes are occupied by both this subspecies and two far more widespread inte...

  12. Landsat Detection of the Effects of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey Coastal Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riter, A.; Kearney, M.; Mo, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Hurricane Sandy, an extremely large (1611 km in diameter) and destructive extratropical storm, made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey on October 29, 2012. We used twenty Landsat Thematic Mapper data sets collected between 1984 and 2011 and four Landsat Operational Land Imager data sets collected between 2013 and 2015 to examine the effect of Sandy on the New Jersey Atlantic coastal marshes between Sandy Hook and Cape May. Landsat data was unavailable between the 2011 failure of Landsat TM and the launch of Landsat OLI in April of 2013. Preliminary results suggest that most of the New Jersey marshes were relatively stable with some interannual variation between 1984 and 2005. Between 2006 and 2015, marsh area generally declined, with the greatest decline occurring in the small discontinuous marshes north of Barnegat Light. The marshes which were closest to where Sandy made landfall seem to have sustained less damage than the marshes north of Barnegat Light. The marshes west of the lagoon bar systems between Seaside Heights and Sandy Hook, that bore the brunt of Sandy's storm surge (from 1.5 to 2.6 meters) and the greatest wave action (Blake et al, 2013), display an increase in pond area within the marshes. As stated above, recent increases in pond size and area as well as the overall decline in marsh coverage began before Hurricane Sandy. This suggests that the even the most at-risk marshes were not as affected by Sandy's storm surge and waves as the barrier islands.

  13. Marsh collapse thresholds for coastal Louisiana estimated using elevation and vegetation index data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Couvillion, Brady R.; Beck, Holly

    2013-01-01

    Forecasting marsh collapse in coastal Louisiana as a result of changes in sea-level rise, subsidence, and accretion deficits necessitates an understanding of thresholds beyond which inundation stress impedes marsh survival. The variability in thresholds at which different marsh types cease to occur (i.e., marsh collapse) is not well understood. We utilized remotely sensed imagery, field data, and elevation data to help gain insight into the relationships between vegetation health and inundation. A Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset was calculated using remotely sensed data at peak biomass (August) and used as a proxy for vegetation health and productivity. Statistics were calculated for NDVI values by marsh type for intermediate, brackish, and saline marsh in coastal Louisiana. Marsh-type specific NDVI values of 1.5 and 2 standard deviations below the mean were used as upper and lower limits to identify conditions indicative of collapse. As marshes seldom occur beyond these values, they are believed to represent a range within which marsh collapse is likely to occur. Inundation depth was selected as the primary candidate for evaluation of marsh collapse thresholds. Elevation relative to mean water level (MWL) was calculated by subtracting MWL from an elevation dataset compiled from multiple data types including light detection and ranging (lidar) and bathymetry. A polynomial cubic regression was used to examine a random subset of pixels to determine the relationship between elevation (relative to MWL) and NDVI. The marsh collapse uncertainty range values were found by locating the intercept of the regression line with the 1.5 and 2 standard deviations below the mean NDVI value for each marsh type. Results indicate marsh collapse uncertainty ranges of 30.7–35.8 cm below MWL for intermediate marsh, 20–25.6 cm below MWL for brackish marsh, and 16.9–23.5 cm below MWL for saline marsh. These values are thought to represent the ranges of

  14. Microbial Community Analysis of a Coastal Salt Marsh Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    PubMed Central

    Beazley, Melanie J.; Martinez, Robert J.; Rajan, Suja; Powell, Jessica; Piceno, Yvette M.; Tom, Lauren M.; Andersen, Gary L.; Hazen, Terry C.; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Mortazavi, Behzad; Sobecky, Patricia A.

    2012-01-01

    Coastal salt marshes are highly sensitive wetland ecosystems that can sustain long-term impacts from anthropogenic events such as oil spills. In this study, we examined the microbial communities of a Gulf of Mexico coastal salt marsh during and after the influx of petroleum hydrocarbons following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Total hydrocarbon concentrations in salt marsh sediments were highest in June and July 2010 and decreased in September 2010. Coupled PhyloChip and GeoChip microarray analyses demonstrated that the microbial community structure and function of the extant salt marsh hydrocarbon-degrading microbial populations changed significantly during the study. The relative richness and abundance of phyla containing previously described hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria (Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria) increased in hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments and then decreased once hydrocarbons were below detection. Firmicutes, however, continued to increase in relative richness and abundance after hydrocarbon concentrations were below detection. Functional genes involved in hydrocarbon degradation were enriched in hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments then declined significantly (p<0.05) once hydrocarbon concentrations decreased. A greater decrease in hydrocarbon concentrations among marsh grass sediments compared to inlet sediments (lacking marsh grass) suggests that the marsh rhizosphere microbial communities could also be contributing to hydrocarbon degradation. The results of this study provide a comprehensive view of microbial community structural and functional dynamics within perturbed salt marsh ecosystems. PMID:22815990

  15. Coastal marsh response to rising sea levels in the Grand Bay, MS estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alizad, K.; Hagen, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Medeiros, S. C.; Bilskie, M. V.; Passeri, D. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Grand Bay estuary, situated along the border of Alabama and Mississippi, is a marine dominant estuary. Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora cover approximately 49% of the estuary (Eleuterius and Criss, 1991); However, this marsh system is prone to erosion more than other marsh systems in the state (Mississippi Department of Marine Resources 1999). Water level and wind-driven waves are critical factors that cause erosion in the Grand Bay estuary. Sediment transport induced by wave forces from the Gulf of Mexico and sea level rise force salt marshes to migrate landward (Schmid 2000). Understanding projected variations in vegetation can aid in productive restoration planning and coastal management decisions. An integrated hydro-marsh model was developed to incorporate the dynamic interaction between tidal hydrodynamics and salt marsh system. This model projects salt marsh productivity by coupling a two-dimensional, depth-integrated ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) finite element model and a parametric marsh model (Morris et al., 2002). The model calculates marsh productivity as a function of mean low water (MLW), mean high water (MHW), and the elevation of the marsh platform. The coupling exchange process is divided into several time intervals that capture the rate of sea level rise, and update the elevation and bottom friction from the computed marsh productivity. Accurate description of salt marsh platform is necessary for calculating accurate biomass results (Hagen et al. 2013). Lidar-derived digital elevation models (DEM) over-estimate marsh platform elevations, but can be corrected with Real Time Kinematic (RTK) survey data (Medeiros et al., 2015). Using RTK data, the salt marsh platform was updated and included in a high resolution hydrodynamic model. Four projections of sea level rise (Parris et al., 2012) were used to project salt marsh productivity for the year 2100 for the Grand Bay, MS estuary. The results showed a higher productivity under low sea

  16. Abstracts from "Coastal Marsh Dieback in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Extent, Causes, Consequences, and Remedies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, Robert E., Jr.,(Edited By); Proffitt, C. Edward; Charron, Tammy Michelle

    2001-01-01

    In the spring of 2000, scientists discovered a new and unprecedented loss of salt marsh vegetation in coastal Louisiana and other areas along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This dieback of salt marsh vegetation, sometimes called the brown marsh phenomenon', primarily involved the rapid browning and dieback of smooth cordgrass (Spanina alterniflora). Coastal Louisiana has already undergone huge, historical losses of coastal marsh due to both human-induced and natural factors, and the current overall rate of wetland loss (25-35 sq mi 65-91 SQ KM each year) stands to threaten Louisiana's coastal ecosystem, infrastructure, and economy. On January 11-12, 2001, individuals from Federal and State agencies, universities, and the private sector met at the conference 'Coastal Marsh Dieback in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Extent, Causes, Consequences, and Remedies' to discuss and share information shout the marsh dieback. Presentations discussed trends in the progress of dieback during the summer of 2000 and in environmental conditions occurring at field study sites, possible causes including drought and Mississippi low flow' conditions, changes in soil conditions (salinity, the bioavailability of metals, pathogens, etc.), the potential for wetland loss that could occur if above and below normality occurs and is sustained over an extended period, advanced techniques for tracking the dieback via aerial photography and remote sensing, linkages of marsh hydrology to the dieback, and mechanisms of modeling dieback and recovery. In addition, presentations were made regarding development of a web site to facilitate information sharing and progress in preparation for requests for proposals based on an emergency appropriation by the U.S. Congress. All findings tended to support the idea that the dieback constituted a continuing environmental emergency and research and natural resource management efforts should be expended accordingly.

  17. Different time and energy budgets of Lesser Snow Geese in rice-prairies and coastal marshes in southwest Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.

    2006-01-01

    Many bird species use human-made habitats and an important issue is whether these are equally suitable foraging habitats as are historical, natural habitats. Historically, Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens, hereafter Snow Geese) wintered in coastal marshes in Louisiana but began using rice-prairies within the last 60 years. Time spent feeding was used as an indicator of habitat suitability and time and energy budgets of Snow Geese were compared between rice-prairies and coastal marshes in southwest Louisiana. Composite diets of Snow Geese have a lower energy density in the rice-prairies than in coastal marshes; thus, we predicted that Snow Geese would spend relatively more time feeding in rice-praires to obtain existence energy. However, time spent feeding was higher in coastal marshes and thus, not proportional to energy density of composite diets. Snow Geese in coastal marshes ingested less apparent metabolizable energy than did Snow Geese in rice-prairies. In rice-prairies, juveniles spent more time feeding than did adults; however, time spent feeding was similar between age classes in coastal marshes. Undeveloped foraging skills probably cause juvenile Snow Geese to forage less efficiently in coastal marshes than in rice-prairies. These findings are consistent with recent trends in Snow Goose numbers, which increased in rice-prairies but remained stable in coastal marshes.

  18. Analysis of change in marsh types of coastal Louisiana, 1978-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linscombe, Robert G.; Hartley, Stephen B.

    2011-01-01

    Scientists and geographers have provided multiple datasets and maps to document temporal changes in vegetation types and land-water relationships in coastal Louisiana. Although these maps provide useful historical information, technological limitations prevented these and other mapping efforts from providing sufficiently detailed calculations of areal changes and shifts in habitat coverage. The current analysis of habitat change draws upon these past mapping efforts but is based on an advanced, geographic information system dataset that was created by using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery and digital orthophoto quarter quadrangles. The objective of building this dataset was to more specifically define land-water relationships over time in coastal Louisiana, and it provides the most detailed analysis of vegetation shifts to date. In the current study, we have attempted to explain these vegetation shifts by interpreting them in the context of rainfall records, data from the Palmer Drought Severity Index, and salinity data. During the 23 years we analyzed, total marsh acreage decreased, with conversion of marsh to open water. Furthermore, the general trend across coastal Louisiana was a shift to increasingly fresh marsh types. Although fresh marsh remained almost the same during the 1978-88 study period, there were greater increases during the 1988-2001 study periods. Intermediate marsh followed the same pattern, whereas brackish marsh showed a reverse (decreasing) pattern. Changes in saline (saltwater) marsh were minimal. Interpreting shifts in marsh vegetation types by using climate and salinity data provides better understanding of factors influencing these changes and, therefore, can improve our ability to make predictions about future marsh loss related to vegetation changes. Results of our study indicate that precipitation fluctuations prior to vegetation surveys impacted salinities differently across the coast. For example, a wet 6 months prior to the survey

  19. Regeneration of coastal marsh vegetation impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Middleton, B.A.

    2009-01-01

    The dynamics of plant regeneration via seed and vegetative spread in coastal wetlands dictate the nature of community reassembly that takes place after hurricanes or sea level rise. The objectives of my project were to evaluate the potential effects of saltwater intrusion and flooding of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on seedling regeneration in coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast. Specifically I tested hypotheses to determine for species in fresh, brackish and salt marshes of the Gulf Coast if 1) the pattern of seed germination and seedling recruitment differed with distance from the shoreline, and 2) seed germination and seedling recruitment for various species were reduced in higher levels of water depth and salinity. Regarding Hypothesis 1, seedling densities increased with distance from the shoreline in fresh and brackish water marshes while decreasing with distance from the shoreline in salt marshes. Also to test Hypothesis 1, I used a greenhouse seed bank assay to examine seed germination from seed banks collected at distances from the shoreline in response to various water depths and salinity levels using a nested factorial design. For all marsh types, the influence of water level and salinity on seed germination shifted with distance from the shoreline (i.e., three way interaction of the main effects of distance nested within site, water depth, and salinity). Data from the seed bank assay were also used to test Hypothesis 2. The regeneration of species from fresh, brackish, and salt marshes were reduced in conditions of high salinity and/or water, so that following hurricanes or sea level rise, seedling regeneration could be reduced. Among the species of these coastal marshes, there was some flexibility of response, so that at least some species were able to germinate in either high or low salinity. Salt marshes had a few fresher marsh species in the seed bank that would not germinate without a period of fresh water input (e.g., Sagittaria lancifolia) as well

  20. Modelling coastal marsh stability in response to sea level rise: a case study in coastal Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chmura, G.L.; Costanza, R.; Kosters, E.C.

    1992-01-01

    In some regions coastal marsh stability is threatened by high rates of sea level rise. The deltaic plain of the Mississippi River is a natural laboratory for the study of marsh stability under conditions of rising sea level because it has been experiencing high rates of local submergence which cause relatively high rates of apparent sea level rise. We constructed a dynamic simulation model to study the relationship of accretion to three components of relative sea level rise: compaction, eustatic rise and submergence. The model is then used to project marsh stability under various future scenarios of sea level rise as well as enhancement of sediment supplies and marsh accretion. The model was calibrated to a 14C-dated sediment deposit which provides a long-term record of sediment accretion. Results indicate that an equilibrium between relative sea level and accretion rates can be attained, but that in this region of coastal Louisiana only the most optimistic assumptions yield coastal marshes that are stable in the long term. ?? 1992.

  1. Backfilling canals to mitigate Wetland dredging in Louisiana coastal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neill, Christopher; Turner, R. Eugene

    1987-11-01

    Returning canal spoil banks into canals, or backfilling, is used in Louisiana marshes to mitigate damage caused by dredging for oil and gas extraction. We evaluated 33 canals backfilled through July 1984 to assess the success of habitat restoration. We determined restoration success by examining canal depth, vegetation recolonization, and regraded spoil bank soils after backfilling. Restoration success depended on: marsh type, canal location, canal age, marsh soil characteristics, the presence or absence of a plug at the canal mouth, whether mitigation was on- or off-site, and dredge operator performance. Backfilling reduced median canal depth from 2.4 to 1.1 m, restored marsh vegetation on the backfilled spoil bank, but did not restore emergent marsh vegetation in the canal because of the lack of sufficient spoil material to fill the canal and time. Median percentage of cover of marsh vegetation on the canal spoil banks was 51.6%. Median percentage of cover in the canal was 0.7%. The organic matter and water content of spoil bank soils were restored to values intermediate between spoil bank levels and predredging marsh conditions. The average percentage of cover of marsh vegetation on backfilled spoil banks was highest in intermediate marshes (68.6%) and lowest in fresh (34.7%) and salt marshes (33.9%). Average canal depth was greatest in intermediate marshes (1.50 m) and least in fresh marshes (0.85 m). Canals backfilled in the Chenier Plain of western Louisiana were shallower (average depth = 0.61 m) than in the eastern Deltaic Plain (mean depth range = 1.08 to 1.30 m), probably because of differences in sediment type, lower subsidence rate, and lower tidal exchange in the Chenier Plain. Canals backfilled in marshes with more organic soils were deeper, probably as a result of greater loss of spoil volume caused by oxidation of soil organic matter. Canals ten or more years old at the time of backfilling had shallower depths after backfilling. Depths varied widely

  2. Implications of Vegetation Shifts on Greenhouse Gas Production in a Coastal Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouni, S.; Corbett, J. E.; Peteet, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    Methane production in salt marshes is understudied, although these anaerobic environments store vast amounts of carbon and may release large quantities as climate shifts. Studies show ranges of salt marsh methane emissions that vary widely from 0.4-160 g CH4 m-2 y-1. CH4 production in salt marshes is governed by several variables. Due to high sulfate concentrations in these environments, less CH4 is expected to form and escape from the subsurface. However, vascular plants allow greater amounts of CH4 escape from subsurface porewater and produce more labile organic carbon substrates, which support higher rates of microbial decomposition. Coastal salt marshes are also dominated by various vascular plant species both native and invasive which may allow for greater amounts of CH4 formation and escape than previously thought. To better understand CH4 dynamics in coastal salt marshes, pore water samples were collected from various depths in Piermont salt marsh, NY (40 ̊00' N, 73 ̊55'W), a tidal wetland that has been invaded in the last century by Phragmites australis. Dissolved organic carbon lability was measured, previously developed isotope-mass balance equations were utilized, and root depth and density were analyzed from several vegetation zones. Areas dominated by invasive Phragmites australis vegetation contain deeper and denser root zones and are expected to produce more subsurface methane and release more methane than areas dominated by native vegetation types. This study will allow us to identify zones more likely to contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and increase knowledge of CH4 production and release in coastal salt marshes.

  3. Geochemistry of selenium in a coastal salt marsh

    SciTech Connect

    Velinsky, D.J.; Cutter, G.A. )

    1991-01-01

    The cycling of sedimentary selenium was examined over a one-year period in the Great Marsh, Delaware (USA). While total selenium and elemental selenium decrease with depth in the sediments at similar rates, Se(IV + VI) exhibits pronounced seasonality related to the redox conditions of the marsh. Porewater selenium reflects the diagenetic cycling of Se(IV + VI) in the sediments and suggests that a partial remobilization of sedimentary selenium occurs when the upper sediments become oxidizing. Diagenetic and mass-balance models indicate that the major sources of selenium to the marsh are creek waters and atmospheric deposition, while total selenium may be removed from the sediments via the flux of volatile selenium compounds.

  4. Using Nitrogen Stable Isotope Tracers to Track Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Salt Marshes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Climate change impacts on coastal salt marshes are predicted to be complex and multi-faceted. In addition to rising sea level and warmer water temperatures, regional precipitation patterns are also expected to change. At least in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S., more severe s...

  5. Geomorphic and ecological effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on coastal Louisiana marsh communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piazza, Sarai C.; Steyer, Gregory D.; Cretini, Kari F.; Sasser, Charles E.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Holm, Guerry O.; Sharp, Leigh Anne; Evers, D. Elaine; Meriwether, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in 2005, subjecting the coastal marsh communities of Louisiana to various degrees of exposure. We collected data after the storms at 30 sites within fresh (12), brackish/intermediate (12), and saline (6) marshes to document the effects of saltwater storm surge and sedimentation on marsh community dynamics. The 30 sites were comprised of 15 pairs. Most pairs contained one site where data collection occurred historically (that is, prestorms) and one Coastwide Reference Monitoring System site. Data were collected from spring 2006 to fall 2007 on vegetative species composition, percentage of vegetation cover, aboveground and belowground biomass, and canopy reflectance, along with discrete porewater salinity, hourly surface-water salinity, and water level. Where available, historical data acquired before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were used to compare conditions and changes in ecological trajectories before and after the hurricanes. Sites experiencing direct and indirect hurricane influences (referred to in this report as levels of influence) were also identified, and the effects of hurricane influence were tested on vegetation and porewater data. Within fresh marshes, porewater salinity was greater in directly impacted areas, and this heightened salinity was reflected in decreased aboveground and belowground biomass and increased cover of disturbance species in the directly impacted sites. At the brackish/intermediate marsh sites, vegetation variables and porewater salinity were similar in directly and indirectly impacted areas, but porewater salinity was higher than expected throughout the study. Interestingly, directly impacted saline marsh sites had lower porewater salinity than indirectly impacted sites, but aboveground biomass was greater at the directly impacted sites. Because of the variable and site-specific nature of hurricane influences, we present case studies to help define postdisturbance baseline conditions in

  6. Microbial community analysis of an Alabama coastal salt marsh impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beazley, M. J.; Martinez, R.; Rajan, S.; Powell, J.; Piceno, Y.; Tom, L.; Andersen, G. L.; Hazen, T. C.; Van Nostrand, J. D.; Zhou, J.; Mortazavi, B.; Sobecky, P. A.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial community responses of an Alabama coastal salt marsh environment to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill were studied by 16S rRNA (PhyloChip) and functional gene (GeoChip) microarray-based analysis. Oil and tar balls associated with the oil spill arrived along the Alabama coast in June 2010. Marsh and inlet sediment samples collected in June, July, and September 2010 from a salt marsh ecosystem at Point Aux Pines Alabama were analyzed to determine if bacterial community structure changed as a result of oil perturbation. Sediment total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations ranged from below detection to 189 mg kg-1 and were randomly dispersed throughout the salt marsh sediments. Total DNA extracted from sediment and particulates were used for PhyloChip and GeoChip hybridization. A total of 4000 to 8000 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected in marsh and inlet samples. Distinctive changes in the number of detectable OTUs were observed between June, July, and September 2010. Surficial inlet sediments demonstrated a significant increase in the total number of OTUs between June and September that correlated with TPH concentrations. The most significant increases in bacterial abundance were observed in the phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia. Bacterial richness in marsh sediments also correlated with TPH concentrations with significant changes primarily in Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Nitrospirae, and Proteobacteria. GeoChip microarray analysis detected 5000 to 8300 functional genes in marsh and inlet samples. Surficial inlet sediments demonstrated distinctive increases in the number of detectable genes and gene signal intensities in July samples compared to June. Signal intensities increased (> 1.5-fold) in genes associated with petroleum degradation. Genes related to metal resistance, stress, and carbon cycling also demonstrated increases in oiled sediments. This study

  7. Testing two potential fates for coastal marshes: Greenhouse gas emissions from native, Phragmites australis-invaded, and permanently inundated zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Martin, R.; Tang, J.; Morkeski, K.; China, I.; Brannon, E.; Watson, E. B.

    2014-12-01

    Global changes such as biological invasions and sea level rise can significantly affect GHG emissions from coastal wetlands by changing plant community composition and/or environmental conditions. To first characterize GHG fluxes across major plant-defined marsh zones, CO2, N2O, and CH4 fluxes were compared between S. patens- dominated high marsh and S. alterniflora low marsh during 2012 and 2013 growing seasons in 3 New England marshes. To test how these fluxes may change in response to biological invasions and sea level rise, GHG fluxes were then compared between native, P.australis- invaded, and permanently inundated marsh zones at these sites in 2013 and 2014. GHG emissions were analyzed simultaneously from marsh ecosystems using infrared-based spectrometers connected to static flux chambers. Daytime CO2 uptake rates (ranging on average between -2 and -21 μmol CO2 m-2s-1) were generally greater in S. alterniflora low marsh zones than in S. patens high marsh among all 3 sites. Methane fluxes were generally low in both native marsh zones (< 50 μmol CH4 m-2 h-1) and N2O emissions were rare. However, CO2 uptake and CH4 emissions from P. australis zones were typically more than an order of magnitude greater than those of either native marsh zone. In contrast, permanently inundated marsh soils had similar GHG emissions to native marsh zones. . Though large, the P. australis CH4 emissions are estimated to offset less than 5% of observed CO2 uptake rates based on a global warming potential of 25 (100 years). These results suggest that two alternative fates for coastal marshes in the future- conversion to P. australis marshes or to standing water with sea level rise- will substantially affect CO2 and CH4 emissions. Net impacts on climatic forcing of these ecosystems will depend on how long term C sequestration is affected as these emissions shift.

  8. Consequences of Climate Change, Eutrophication, and Other Anthropogenic Impacts to Coastal Salt Marshes: Multiple Stressors Reduce Resiliency and Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal salt marshes provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including habitat for protected vertebrates and ecologically valuable invertebrate fauna, flood protection, and improvements in water quality for adjacent marine and estuarine environments. Here, we consider the ...

  9. Relationships between watershed emergy flow and coastal New England salt marsh structure, function, and condition.

    PubMed

    Brandt-Williams, Sherry; Wigand, Cathleen; Campbell, Daniel E

    2013-02-01

    This study evaluated the link between watershed activities and salt marsh structure, function, and condition using spatial emergy flow density (areal empower density) in the watershed and field data from 10 tidal salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, RI, USA. The field-collected data were obtained during several years of vegetation, invertebrate, soil, and water quality sampling. The use of emergy as an accounting mechanism allowed disparate factors (e.g., the amount of building construction and the consumption of electricity) to be combined into a single landscape index while retaining a uniform quantitative definition of the intensity of landscape development. It expanded upon typical land use percentage studies by weighting each category for the intensity of development. At the RI salt marsh sites, an impact index (watershed emergy flow normalized for marsh area) showed significant correlations with mudflat infauna species richness, mussel density, plant species richness, the extent and density of dominant plant species, and denitrification potential within the high salt marsh. Over the 4-year period examined, a loading index (watershed emergy flow normalized for watershed area) showed significant correlations with nitrite and nitrate concentrations, as well as with the nitrogen to phosphorus ratios in stream discharge into the marshes. Both the emergy impact and loading indices were significantly correlated with a salt marsh condition index derived from intensive field-based assessments. Comparison of the emergy indices to calculated nitrogen loading estimates for each watershed also produced significant positive correlations. These results suggest that watershed emergy flow is a robust index of human disturbance and a potential tool for rapid assessment of coastal wetland condition. PMID:22535367

  10. Effects of Marsh Pond Terracing on Coastal Wintering Waterbirds Before and After Hurricane Rita

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell, Jessica L.; Nyman, John A.

    2011-11-01

    From February to March 2005-2006, we surveyed wintering waterbirds to test effects of terracing on coastal pond use before and after Hurricane Rita. Marsh terracing is intended to slow coastal marsh loss in the Chenier Plain by slowing marsh erosion and encouraging vegetation expansion. Terraces also increase marsh edge in ponds, possibly benefiting waterbirds. We monitored paired terraced and unterraced ponds in three sites within southwestern Louisiana's Chenier Plain. Waterbirds were 75% more numerous in terraced than unterraced ponds. Waterbird richness was similar among ponds when corrected for number of individuals, suggesting terracing increased bird density but did not provide habitat unique from unterraced ponds. Birds were 93% more numerous following Hurricane Rita, mostly due to an influx of migrating waterfowl. Year round residents were similar in number before and after Hurricane Rita. Resident richness did not differ among years after correcting for number of observed individuals. Wading and dabbling foragers were more abundant in terraced ponds and these two guilds represented 74% of birds observed. We detected no difference among ponds for other guilds, i.e., probing, aerial, and diving foragers. Increasing proportion of mash edge increased bird density disproportionately: On average ponds with 10% edge had 6 birds observed and ponds with 30% edge had 16 birds observed. Terraces increased habitat interspersion and were an effective tool for increasing numbers of wintering waterfowl and wading birds. The extent to which terraces were sustainable following hurricane forces is unknown.

  11. Coastal Marsh Sediments from Bodega Harbor: Archives of Environmental Changes at the Terrestrial-Marine Interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rademacher, L. K.; Rong, Y.; Hill, T. M.; Hiromoto, C.; Fisher, A.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal marsh sediments provide an important archive of environmental changes at the terrestrial-marine interface. Over the last century, humans have significantly altered the coastal environment near Bodega Bay, California, through changes in hydrology, sediment sources, and the dominant ecosystem. Previous investigations of recent coastal marsh sediments (< 50 years) suggest that physical barriers, such as roads, which limit the connection between Bodega Bay and the marshes, alters biogeochemical cycling (including carbon storage) in the coastal environment. The present study extends the record of changes in biogeochemical cycling in the coastal marshes back more than 100 years (approximately 90 cm) through the use of grain size analysis, C and N isotopes, and age dating. Sediments were analyzed for grain size distribution, the amount of carbon and nitrogen, and the stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in 1 cm intervals throughout the core. In addition, a subset of eight samples was analyzed for sediment age using a combination of Pb-210 and Cs-137 techniques. Sediments from >40 cm and <55 cm depth have a higher percentage of fine-grained sediment (>2%). In addition, these sediments also contain higher levels of total organic carbon and nitrogen, higher C:N ratios, we well as heavier carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures. The sediments likely correspond to a pre-1900 depositional environment based on Pb-210 dates, when development in the region was increasing. These results suggest a stronger influence of the marine environment during that time. Interestingly, smaller transitions in sediment properties toward what appears to reflect a more marine environment also occur near the top of the core (<10 cm depth) and near the bottom of the core (>75 cm depth). Although these transitions are less pronounced, the significant shift in sediment properties suggests a less stable environment with greater communication between the terrestrial and marine environments

  12. Limits on the adaptability of coastal marshes to rising sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Morris, James T.; Mudd, Simon M.; Temmerman, Stijn

    2010-01-01

    Assumptions of a static landscape inspire predictions that about half of the world's coastal wetlands will submerge during this century in response to sea-level acceleration. In contrast, we use simulations from five numerical models to quantify the conditions under which ecogeomorphic feedbacks allow coastal wetlands to adapt to projected changes in sea level. In contrast to previous sea-level assessments, we find that non-linear feedbacks among inundation, plant growth, organic matter accretion, and sediment deposition, allow marshes to survive conservative projections of sea-level rise where suspended sediment concentrations are greater than ~20 mg/L. Under scenarios of more rapid sea-level rise (e.g., those that include ice sheet melting), marshes will likely submerge near the end of the 21st century. Our results emphasize that in areas of rapid geomorphic change, predicting the response of ecosystems to climate change requires consideration of the ability of biological processes to modify their physical environment.

  13. Assessing wildlife benefits and carbon storage from restored and natural coastal marshes in the Nisqually River Delta: Determining marsh net ecosystem carbon balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Frank; Bergamaschi, Brian; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Woo, Isa; De La Cruz, Susan; Drexler, Judith; Byrd, Kristin; Thorne, Karen M.

    2016-01-01

    Working in partnership since 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nisqually Indian Tribe have restored 902 acres of tidally influenced coastal marsh in the Nisqually River Delta (NRD), making it the largest estuary-restoration project in the Pacific Northwest to date. Marsh restoration increases the capacity of the estuary to support a diversity of wildlife species. Restoration also increases carbon (C) production of marsh plant communities that support food webs for wildlife and can help mitigate climate change through long-term C storage in marsh soils.In 2015, an interdisciplinary team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers began to study the benefits of carbon for wetland wildlife and storage in the NRD. Our primary goals are (1) to identify the relative importance of the different carbon sources that support juvenile chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) food webs and contribute to current and historic peat formation, (2) to determine the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) in a reference marsh and a restoration marsh site, and (3) to model the sustainability of the reference and restoration marshes under projected sea-level rise conditions along with historical vegetation change. In this fact sheet, we focus on the main C sources and exchanges to determine NECB, including carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake through plant photosynthesis, the loss of CO2 through plant and soil respiration, emissions of methane (CH4), and the lateral movement or leaching loss of C in tidal waters.

  14. A meta-analysis of vertical accretion data in North American Coastal Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmquist, J. R.; Brown, L. N.; MacDonald, G. M.

    2014-12-01

    North America's coastal marshes are uniquely vulnerable to sea-level rise (SLR), and coastal subsidence (Torio and Chmura, 2013). While many studies have measured rates of vertical accretion in marshes, none have synthesized accretion rates to report basic summary statistics or make geographical comparisons. In this meta-analysis we synthesized accretion data, and SLR estimates when available, from 75 different sources reporting 704 measures from artificial plots, Cs-137 dates, Pb-210 dates, pollen horizons in sediment cores, and C-14 dates. Accretion generally decreased over longer time spans, likely due to a combination of shallow autocompaction, below ground carbon loss, and the recent acceleration of SLR. Artificial plots had an average time span of ~4 years and had the highest average accretion rate of all methods (7.8±9.9 mm/yr). Cs-137 and Pb-210 dates represented ~30 and ~100 years of accretion respectively, and had relatively moderate rates of accretion, 5.6±3.8 and 4.0±2.5 mm/yr respectively. C-14 dates had the lowest accretion rates (average = 2.5±2.5 mm/yr), and represented the longest records ranging from 206-9000 years. A subset of 15 studies (n=130) reported Cs-137 and tide gauge data in order to calculate accretion relative to eustatic SLR and coastal subsidence/uplift. A cursory analysis of these studies indicates that the subsiding regions of the Gulf Coast are the most vulnerable to SLR, while tectonically uplifting regions of the West Coast are the most resilient. The mapped deficits are overly optimistic as Cs-137 accretion rates do not fully represent net elevation change. Sediment elevation table and modeling data indicate that shallow autocompaction rates range from 1.2-27.8 mm/yr and net elevation gain ranges from -23.4 to 24.9 mm/yr in North America. Despite some methodological inconsistencies, this database indicates that the current relative SLR of ~10 mm/yr is contributing to massive submergence of Gulf Coast marshes. Models predict

  15. Effects of disturbance associated with seismic exploration for oil and gas reserves in coastal marshes.

    PubMed

    Howard, Rebecca J; Wells, Christopher J; Michot, Thomas C; Johnson, Darren J

    2014-07-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances in wetland ecosystems can alter the composition and structure of plant assemblages and affect system functions. Extensive oil and gas extraction has occurred in wetland habitats along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast since the early 1900s. Activities involved with three-dimensional (3D) seismic exploration for these resources cause various disturbances to vegetation and soils. We documented the impact of a 3D seismic survey in coastal marshes in Louisiana, USA, along transects established before exploration began. Two semi-impounded marshes dominated by Spartina patens were in the area surveyed. Vegetation, soil, and water physicochemical data were collected before the survey, about 6 weeks following its completion, and every 3 months thereafter for 2 years. Soil cores for seed bank emergence experiments were also collected. Maximum vegetation height at impact sites was reduced in both marshes 6 weeks following the survey. In one marsh, total vegetation cover was also reduced, and dead vegetation cover increased, at impact sites 6 weeks after the survey. These effects, however, did not persist 3 months later. No effects on soil or water properties were identified. The total number of seeds that germinated during greenhouse studies increased at impact sites 5 months following the survey in both marshes. Although some seed bank effects persisted 1 year, these effects were not reflected in standing vegetation. The marshes studied were therefore resilient to the impacts resulting from 3D seismic exploration because vegetation responses were short term in that they could not be identified a few months following survey completion. PMID:24788940

  16. Effects of Disturbance Associated With Seismic Exploration for Oil and Gas Reserves in Coastal Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Wells, Christopher J.; Michot, Thomas C.; Johnson, Darren J.

    2014-07-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances in wetland ecosystems can alter the composition and structure of plant assemblages and affect system functions. Extensive oil and gas extraction has occurred in wetland habitats along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast since the early 1900s. Activities involved with three-dimensional (3D) seismic exploration for these resources cause various disturbances to vegetation and soils. We documented the impact of a 3D seismic survey in coastal marshes in Louisiana, USA, along transects established before exploration began. Two semi-impounded marshes dominated by Spartina patens were in the area surveyed. Vegetation, soil, and water physicochemical data were collected before the survey, about 6 weeks following its completion, and every 3 months thereafter for 2 years. Soil cores for seed bank emergence experiments were also collected. Maximum vegetation height at impact sites was reduced in both marshes 6 weeks following the survey. In one marsh, total vegetation cover was also reduced, and dead vegetation cover increased, at impact sites 6 weeks after the survey. These effects, however, did not persist 3 months later. No effects on soil or water properties were identified. The total number of seeds that germinated during greenhouse studies increased at impact sites 5 months following the survey in both marshes. Although some seed bank effects persisted 1 year, these effects were not reflected in standing vegetation. The marshes studied were therefore resilient to the impacts resulting from 3D seismic exploration because vegetation responses were short term in that they could not be identified a few months following survey completion.

  17. Effects of disturbance associated with seismic exploration for oil and gas reserves in coastal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Wells, Christopher J.; Michot, Thomas C.; Johnson, Darren J.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances in wetland ecosystems can alter the composition and structure of plant assemblages and affect system functions. Extensive oil and gas extraction has occurred in wetland habitats along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast since the early 1900s. Activities involved with three-dimensional (3D) seismic exploration for these resources cause various disturbances to vegetation and soils. We documented the impact of a 3D seismic survey in coastal marshes in Louisiana, USA, along transects established before exploration began. Two semi-impounded marshes dominated by Spartina patens were in the area surveyed. Vegetation, soil, and water physicochemical data were collected before the survey, about 6 weeks following its completion, and every 3 months thereafter for 2 years. Soil cores for seed bank emergence experiments were also collected. Maximum vegetation height at impact sites was reduced in both marshes 6 weeks following the survey. In one marsh, total vegetation cover was also reduced, and dead vegetation cover increased, at impact sites 6 weeks after the survey. These effects, however, did not persist 3 months later. No effects on soil or water properties were identified. The total number of seeds that germinated during greenhouse studies increased at impact sites 5 months following the survey in both marshes. Although some seed bank effects persisted 1 year, these effects were not reflected in standing vegetation. The marshes studied were therefore resilient to the impacts resulting from 3D seismic exploration because vegetation responses were short term in that they could not be identified a few months following survey completion.

  18. Tidal Marsh Outwelling of Dissolved Organic Matter and Resulting Temporal Variability in Coastal Water Optical and Biogeochemical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tzortziou, Maria; Neale, Patrick J.; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Butterworth, Megan; Jaffe, Rudolf; Yamashita, Youhei

    2010-01-01

    Coastal wetlands are highly dynamic environments at the land-ocean interface where human activities, short-term physical forcings and intense episodic events result in high biological and chemical variability. Long being recognized as among the most productive ecosystems in the world, tidally-influenced coastal marshes are hot spots of biogeochemical transformation and exchange. High temporal resolution observations that we performed in several marsh-estuarine systems of the Chesapeake Bay revealed significant variability in water optical and biogeochemical characteristics at hourly time scales, associated with tidally-driven hydrology. Water in the tidal creek draining each marsh was sampled every hour during several semi-diurnal tidal cycles using ISCO automated samplers. Measurements showed that water leaving the marsh during ebbing tide was consistently enriched in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), frequently by more than a factor of two, compared to water entering the marsh during flooding tide. Estimates of DOC fluxes showed a net DOC export from the marsh to the estuary during seasons of both low and high biomass of marsh vegetation. Chlorophyll amounts were typically lower in the water draining the marsh, compared to that entering the marsh during flooding tide, suggesting that marshes act as transformers of particulate to dissolved organic matter. Moreover, detailed optical and compositional analyses demonstrated that marshes are important sources of optically and chemically distinctive, relatively complex, high molecular weight, aromatic-rich and highly colored dissolved organic compounds. Compared to adjacent estuarine waters, marsh-exported colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) was characterized by considerably stronger absorption (more than a factor of three in some cases), larger DOC-specific absorption, lower exponential spectral slope, larger fluorescence signal, lower fluorescence per unit absorbance, and higher fluorescence at visible wavelengths

  19. Monitoring duration and extent of storm-surge and flooding in Western Coastal Louisiana marshes with Envisat ASAR data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey, E.; Lu, Zhiming; Suzuoki, Y.; Rangoonwala, A.; Werle, D.

    2011-01-01

    Inundation maps of coastal marshes in western Louisiana were created with multitemporal Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture (ASAR) scenes collected before and during the three months after Hurricane Rita landfall in September 2005. Corroborated by inland water-levels, 7 days after landfall, 48% of coastal estuarine and palustrine marshes remained inundated by storm-surge waters. Forty-five days after landfall, storm-surge inundated 20% of those marshes. The end of the storm-surge flooding was marked by an abrupt decrease in water levels following the passage of a storm front and persistent offshore winds. A complementary dramatic decrease in flood extent was confirmed by an ASAR-derived inundation map. In nonimpounded marshes at elevations 80cm during the first month after Rita landfall. After this initial period, drainage from marshes-especially impounded marshes-was hastened by the onset of offshore winds. Following the abrupt drops in inland water levels and flood extent, rainfall events coinciding with increased water levels were recorded as inundation re-expansion. This postsurge flooding decreased until only isolated impounded and palustrine marshes remained inundated. Changing flood extents were correlated to inland water levels and largely occurred within the same marsh regions. Trends related to incremental threshold increases used in the ASAR change-detection analyses seemed related to the preceding hydraulic and hydrologic events, and VV and HH threshold differences supported their relationship to the overall wetland hydraulic condition. ?? 2010 IEEE.

  20. Global warming, sea-level rise, and coastal marsh survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, Donald R.

    1997-01-01

    Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. These wetlands at the land-ocean margin provide many direct benefits to humans, including habitat for commercially important fisheries and wildlife; storm protection; improved water quality through sediment, nutrient, and pollution removal; recreation; and aesthetic values. These valuable ecosystems will be highly vulnerable to the effects of the rapid rise in sea level predicted to occur during the next century as a result of global warming.

  1. The effects of herbivory on neighbor interactions along a coastal marsh gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, K.L.; Grace, J.B.; Marx, B.D.

    1997-01-01

    Many current theories of community function are based on the assumption that disturbances such as herbivory act to reduce the importance of neighbor interactions among plants. In this study, we examined the effects of herbivory (primarily by nutria, Myocastor coy-pus) on neighbor interactions between three dominant grasses in three coastal marsh communities, fresh, oligohaline, and mesohaline. The grasses studied were Panicum virgatum, Spartina patens, and Spartina alterniflora, which are dominant species in the fresh, oligohaline, and mesohaline marshes, respectively. Additive mixtures and monocultures of transplants were used in conjunction with exclosure fences to determine the impact of herbivory on neighbor interactions in the different marsh types. Herbivory had a strong effect on all three species and was important in all three marshes. In the absence of herbivores, the impact of neighbors was significant for two of the species (Panicum virgatum and Spartina patens) and varied considerably between environments, with competition intensifying for Panicum virgatum and decreasing for Spartina patens with increasing salinity. Indications of positive neighbor effects (mutualisms) were observed for both of these species, though in contrasting habitats and to differing degrees. In the presence of herbivores, however, competitive and positive effects were eliminated. Overall, then, it was observed that in this case, intense herbivory was able to override other biotic interactions such as competition and mutualism, which were not detectable in the presence of herbivores.

  2. Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Flooding and Salinity Stress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalcic, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Our objective is to provide NASA remote sensing products that provide inundation and salinity information on an ecosystem level to support habitat switching models. Project born out of need by the Coastal Restoration Monitoring System (CRMS), joint effort by Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey, for information on persistence of flooding by storm surge and other flood waters. The results of the this work support the habitat-switching modules in the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration (CLEAR) model, which provides scientific evaluation for restoration management. CLEAR is a collaborative effort between the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Anticipated results will use: a) Resolution enhanced time series data combining spatial resolution of Landsat with temporal resolution of MODIS for inundation estimates. b) Potential salinity products from radar and multispectral modeling. c) Combined inundation and salinity inputs to habitat switching module to produce habitat switching maps (shown at left)

  3. Dynamics of mangrove-marsh ecotones in subtropical coastal wetlands: fire, sea-level rise, and water levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Thomas J., III; Foster, Ann M.; Tiling-Range, Ginger; Jones, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Ecotones are areas of sharp environmental gradients between two or more homogeneous vegetation types. They are a dynamic aspect of all landscapes and are also responsive to climate change. Shifts in the position of an ecotone across a landscape can be an indication of a changing environment. In the coastal Everglades of Florida, USA, a dominant ecotone type is that of mangrove forest and marsh. However, there is a variety of plants that can form the marsh component, including sawgrass (Cladium mariscus [L.] Pohl), needlegrass rush (Juncus roemerianus Scheele), and spikerush (Eleocharis spp.). Environmental factors including water depth, soil type, and occurrence of fires vary across these ecotones, influencing their dynamics. Altered freshwater inflows from upstream and increasing sea level over the past 100 years may have also had an impact. We analyzed a time series of historical aerial photographs for a number of sites in the coastal Everglades and measured change in position of mangrove–marsh ecotones. For three sites, detailed maps were produced and the area of marsh, mangrove, and other habitats was determined for five periods spanning the years 1928 to 2004. Contrary to our initial hypothesis on fire, we found that fire did not prevent mangrove expansion into marsh areas but may in fact assist mangroves to invade some marsh habitats, especially sawgrass. Disparate patterns in mangrove–marsh change were measured at two downstream sites, both of which had multiple fires over from 1948 to 2004. No change in mangrove or marsh area was measured at one site. Mangrove area increased and marsh area decreased at the second of these fire-impacted sites. We measured a significant increase in mangrove area and a decline in marsh area at an upstream site that had little occurrence of fire. At this site, water levels have increased significantly as sea level has risen, and this has probably been a factor in the mangrove expansion.

  4. Responses of eastern Chinese coastal salt marshes to sea-level rise combined with vegetative and sedimentary processes.

    PubMed

    Ge, Zhen-Ming; Wang, Heng; Cao, Hao-Bin; Zhao, Bin; Zhou, Xiao; Peltola, Heli; Cui, Li-Fang; Li, Xiu-Zhen; Zhang, Li-Quan

    2016-01-01

    The impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) on coastal ecosystems have attracted worldwide attention in relation to global change. In this study, the salt marsh model for the Yangtze Estuary (SMM-YE, developed in China) and the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM, developed in the U.S.) were used to simulate the effects of SLR on the coastal salt marshes in eastern China. The changes in the dominant species in the plant community were also considered. Predictions based on the SLAMM indicated a trend of habitat degradation up to 2100; total salt marsh habitat area continued to decline (4-16%) based on the low-level scenario, with greater losses (6-25%) predicted under the high-level scenario. The SMM-YE showed that the salt marshes could be resilient to threats of SLR through the processes of accretion of mudflats, vegetation expansion and sediment trapping by plants. This model predicted that salt marsh areas increased (3-6%) under the low-level scenario. The decrease in the total habitat area with the SMM-YE under the high-level scenario was much lower than the SLAMM prediction. Nevertheless, SLR might negatively affect the salt marsh species that are not adapted to prolonged inundation. An adaptive strategy for responding to changes in sediment resources is necessary in the Yangtze Estuary. PMID:27334452

  5. Responses of eastern Chinese coastal salt marshes to sea-level rise combined with vegetative and sedimentary processes

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Zhen-Ming; Wang, Heng; Cao, Hao-Bin; Zhao, Bin; Zhou, Xiao; Peltola, Heli; Cui, Li-Fang; Li, Xiu-Zhen; Zhang, Li-Quan

    2016-01-01

    The impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) on coastal ecosystems have attracted worldwide attention in relation to global change. In this study, the salt marsh model for the Yangtze Estuary (SMM-YE, developed in China) and the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM, developed in the U.S.) were used to simulate the effects of SLR on the coastal salt marshes in eastern China. The changes in the dominant species in the plant community were also considered. Predictions based on the SLAMM indicated a trend of habitat degradation up to 2100; total salt marsh habitat area continued to decline (4–16%) based on the low-level scenario, with greater losses (6–25%) predicted under the high-level scenario. The SMM-YE showed that the salt marshes could be resilient to threats of SLR through the processes of accretion of mudflats, vegetation expansion and sediment trapping by plants. This model predicted that salt marsh areas increased (3–6%) under the low-level scenario. The decrease in the total habitat area with the SMM-YE under the high-level scenario was much lower than the SLAMM prediction. Nevertheless, SLR might negatively affect the salt marsh species that are not adapted to prolonged inundation. An adaptive strategy for responding to changes in sediment resources is necessary in the Yangtze Estuary. PMID:27334452

  6. Responses of eastern Chinese coastal salt marshes to sea-level rise combined with vegetative and sedimentary processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Zhen-Ming; Wang, Heng; Cao, Hao-Bin; Zhao, Bin; Zhou, Xiao; Peltola, Heli; Cui, Li-Fang; Li, Xiu-Zhen; Zhang, Li-Quan

    2016-06-01

    The impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) on coastal ecosystems have attracted worldwide attention in relation to global change. In this study, the salt marsh model for the Yangtze Estuary (SMM-YE, developed in China) and the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM, developed in the U.S.) were used to simulate the effects of SLR on the coastal salt marshes in eastern China. The changes in the dominant species in the plant community were also considered. Predictions based on the SLAMM indicated a trend of habitat degradation up to 2100; total salt marsh habitat area continued to decline (4–16%) based on the low-level scenario, with greater losses (6–25%) predicted under the high-level scenario. The SMM-YE showed that the salt marshes could be resilient to threats of SLR through the processes of accretion of mudflats, vegetation expansion and sediment trapping by plants. This model predicted that salt marsh areas increased (3–6%) under the low-level scenario. The decrease in the total habitat area with the SMM-YE under the high-level scenario was much lower than the SLAMM prediction. Nevertheless, SLR might negatively affect the salt marsh species that are not adapted to prolonged inundation. An adaptive strategy for responding to changes in sediment resources is necessary in the Yangtze Estuary.

  7. Remote Sensing of Vegetation Parameters for Modeling Coastal Marsh Response to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrd, K. B.; Windham-Myers, L.; Warzecha, B.; Crowe, R.; Vasey, M. C.; Ferner, M.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal planners are seeking ways to prepare for the potential impacts of future climate change, particularly sea level rise though management of future risks is complicated by uncertainty in the timing, distribution and extent of these impacts. Sea level rise impacts will be most evident at the regional level where decisions related to climate change adaptation including those related to land use planning and habitat management typically occur. To aid coastal managers with decision-making we are integrating remote sensing data with the marsh equilibrium model (MEM3) to project coastal marsh habitat response to future sea level rise. MEM3 is a 1-dimentional, calibrated Excel-based model that incorporates both physical and biological feedbacks to changing relative elevations. Modeled future elevations are then distributed at the regional scale with LiDAR DEMs to project changes to coastal habitats and dependent wildlife. Because plant biomass and structure influence both organic and inorganic accretion, MEM3 includes multiple vegetation input variables. Deriving these variables, including maximum and minimum elevations of marsh vegetation, peak aboveground biomass, and elevation at peak biomass from remote sensing will enable the model to have spatially variable inputs across sites. We are evaluating 30m Landsat 8 and 2m World View-2 (WV2) satellite data for mapping peak biomass at Rush Ranch, a highly diverse brackish marsh in the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The high spatial resolution of WV2 produces greater variability in plant reflectance at the pixel scale than Landsat 8. Initial results show the need for plant community-specific biomass models with WV2 to account for differences in plant structure and canopy architecture. When removing plots dominated by Salicornia pacifica and Lepidium latifolium, peak biomass is best estimated with an NDVI-type vegetation index based on WV2 near infrared bands 7 and 8 (R2 = 0.21, RMSE = 318 g/m2

  8. Development of a marsh-based upwelling injection system to treat domestic wastewater from coastal dwellings

    SciTech Connect

    Rusch, K.A.; Jones, S.C.

    1999-07-01

    The objective of this study was the design, construction and evaluation of a natural, marsh-based system using a sand/soil bed in a shallow upwelling field to remove fecal coliforms from coastal dwelling wastewater. Wastewater was injected at a 15 foot depth and movement of the wastewater was monitored with wells at 5, 10, and 15 foot depths. Monitoring salinity showed development of an extensive fresh water plume at the 5 foot depth, less at the 10 foot and none at the 15 foot depth; the system effectively reduced the fecal coliform concentrations to <1 colony per 100 mL as the wastewater traveled through the soil.

  9. Generation of coastal marsh topography with radar and ground-based measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey, Elijah W., III; Nelson, G.A.; Laine, S.C.; Kirkman, R.G.; Topham, W.

    1997-01-01

    A topographic surface of a low lying coastal marsh was created by using three flood extent vectors digitized from ERS-1 SAR images and two elevation contours from U.S. Geological Survey topographic quadrangles. Point measurement of water depth at the times of the SAR collections allowed conversion of the radar measured flood extent vectors to topographic contours. Generation of the topographic surface was accomplished with a surface gridding algorithm. SAR and on-site measures. Errors in the generated topography were mainly associated with the lack of input contours covering narrow to broad plateaus and topographic highs and lows. The misplacement of SAR derived flood extent vectors also caused errors in sparsely vegetated high marsh at convoluted marsh-forest boundaries, and at topographic depressions. Overall, the standard deviation of differences between measured and predicted elevations at 747 points was 19 cm. Excluding the above mentioned abrupt boundaries and topographic highs and lows outside the range of available contours, standard deviation differences averaged about 14 cm, but most often averaged about 8 cm. This suggested a 5 to 9 factor improvement over the 150 cm topographic resolution currently available for this area.

  10. Generation of coastal marsh topography with radar and ground-based measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey, Elijah W., III; Nelson, G.A.; Laine, S.C.; Kirkman, R.G.; Topham, W.

    1998-01-01

    A topographic surface of a low lying coastal marsh was created by using three flood extent vectors digitized from ERS-1 SAR images and two elevation contours from U.S. Geological Survey topographic quadrangles. Point measurement of water depth at the times of the SAR collections allowed conversion of the radar measured flood extent vectors to topographic contours. Generation of the topographic surface was accomplished with a surface gridding algorithm, SAR and on-site measures. Errors in the generated topography were mainly associated with the lack of input contours covering narrow to broad plateaus and topographic highs and lows. The misplacement of SAR derived flood extent vectors also caused errors in sparsely vegetated high marsh, at convoluted marsh-forest boundaries, and at topographic depressions. Overall, the standard deviation of differences between measured and predicted elevations at 747 points was 19 cm. Excluding the above mentioned abrupt boundaries and topographic highs and lows outside the range of available contours, standard deviation differences averaged about 14 cm, but most often averaged about 8 cm. This suggested a 5 to 9 factor improvement over the 150 cm topographic resolution currently available for this area.

  11. Latitudinal trends in Spartina alterniflora productivity and the response of coastal marshes to global change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, M.L.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Morris, J.T.

    2008-01-01

    Marshes worldwide are actively degrading in response to increased sea level rise rates and reduced sediment delivery, though the growth rate of vegetation plays a critical role in determining their stability. We have compiled 56 measurements of above-ground annual productivity for Spartina alterniflora, the dominant macrophyte in North American coastal wetlands. Our compilation indicates a significant latitudinal gradient in productivity, which we interpret to be determined primarily by temperature and/or the length of growing season. Simple linear regression yields a 27 g m-2 yr -1 increase in productivity with an increase of mean annual temperature by one degree C. If temperatures warm 2?4 C over the next century, then marsh productivity may increase by 10?40%, though physiological research suggests that increases in the north could potentially be offset by some decreases in the south. This increase in productivity is roughly equivalent to estimates of marsh lost due to future sea level change. If a warming-induced stimulation of vegetation growth will enhance vertical accretion and limit erosion, then the combined effects of global change may be to increase the total productivity and ecosystem services of tidal wetlands, at least in Northern latitudes.

  12. Tidal Influences on Belowground Methane Dynamics in a Mesohaline Coastal Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, M. C.; Tripathee, R.; Pal, D.; Schafer, K. V.; Jaffe, P. R.

    2012-12-01

    The influence of tidal hydrology on belowground distributions and atmospheric fluxes of methane (CH4) remain poorly understood. The greenhouse gas balance of coastal wetland systems is a topic of increasing importance due to mounting proposals for coastal wetland preservation and/or restoration for carbon sequestration purposes, so it is essential that the effects of tides on methane dynamics be more fully understood. Here we describe a set of porewater measurements intended to clarify the influence of tides on belowground CH4 dynamics and their consequent effects on atmospheric emissions. Monthly measurements were conducted for one year in a marsh with mixed Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australis vegetation and in an adjacent intertidal mud flat. The site is located in the Hackensack Meadowlands in northern New Jersey and is mesohaline, with a range of salinities from 4 - 8 ppt. Measurements indicate major differences in the spatial and temporal dynamics of belowground CH4 between the low marsh and mud flat sediments, though both are characterized by very high dissolved CH4 concentrations of >1,000 μM in summer months. A particularly important distinction is that mud flat porewaters remain saturated with dissolved CH4 into early winter, while low marsh porewarers never reach CH4 saturation and rapidly fall off to negligible concentrations in the autumn months. We attribute this long-term CH4 storage to differences in low-tide water table depths between the mud flat and low marsh, as well as the ventilating effects of macrophytes in the low marsh. We hypothesize that CH4-enriched gas bubbles are produced in mud flat sediments in summer, and then slowly dissolve over the fall and early winter months to maintain near-saturation concentrations in porewater. Static flux chamber measurements conducted at the same site, and discussed in detail in a separate submission, confirm the importance of mud flat CH4 storage in contributing to significant CH4 emissions

  13. Oil detection in a coastal marsh with polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey, Elijah W., III; Rangoonwala, Amina; Suzuoki, Yukihiro; Jones, Cathleen E.

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's airborne Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) was deployed in June 2010 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. UAVSAR is a fully polarimetric L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor for obtaining data at high spatial resolutions. Starting a month prior to the UAVSAR collections, visual observations confirmed oil impacts along shorelines within northeastern Barataria Bay waters in eastern coastal Louisiana. UAVSAR data along several flight lines over Barataria Bay were collected on 23 June 2010, including the repeat flight line for which data were collected in June 2009. Our analysis of calibrated single-look complex data for these flight lines shows that structural damage of shoreline marsh accompanied by oil occurrence manifested as anomalous features not evident in pre-spill data. Freeman-Durden (FD) and Cloude-Pottier (CP) decompositions of the polarimetric data and Wishart classifications seeded with the FD and CP classes also highlighted these nearshore features as a change in dominant scattering mechanism. All decompositions and classifications also identify a class of interior marshes that reproduce the spatially extensive changes in backscatter indicated by the pre- and post-spill comparison of multi-polarization radar backscatter data. FD and CP decompositions reveal that those changes indicate a transform of dominant scatter from primarily surface or volumetric to double or even bounce. Given supportive evidence that oil-polluted waters penetrated into the interior marshes, it is reasonable that these backscatter changes correspond with oil exposure; however, multiple factors prevent unambiguous determination of whether UAVSAR detected oil in interior marshes.

  14. Fresh and weathered crude oil effects on potential denitrification rates of coastal marsh soil.

    PubMed

    Pietroski, Jason P; White, John R; DeLaune, Ronald D; Wang, Jim J; Dodla, Syam K

    2015-09-01

    On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform experienced an explosion which triggered the largest marine oil spill in US history, resulting in the release of ∼795 million L of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Once oil reached the surface, changes in overall chemical composition occurred due to volatilization of the smaller carbon chain compounds as the oil was transported onshore by winds and currents. In this study, the toxic effects of both fresh and weathered crude oil on denitrification rates of coastal marsh soil were determined using soil samples collected from an unimpacted coastal marsh site proximal to areas that were oiled in Barataria Bay, LA. The 1:10 ratio of crude oil:field moist soil fully coated the soil surface mimicking a heavy oiling scenario. Potential denitrification rates at the 1:10 ratio, for weathered crude oil, were 46 ± 18.4% of the control immediately after exposure and 62 ± 8.0% of the control following a two week incubation period, suggesting some adaptation of the denitrifying microbial consortium over time. Denitrification rates of soil exposed to fresh crude oil were 51.5 ± 5.3% of the control after immediate exposure and significantly lower at 10.9 ± 1.1% after a 2 week exposure period. Results suggest that fresh crude oil has the potential to more severely impact the important marsh soil process of denitrification following longer term exposure. Future studies should focus on longer-term denitrification as well as changes in the microbial consortia in response to oil exposure. PMID:25929872

  15. The interactive effects of fire and herbivory on a coastal marsh in Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, M.A.; Grace, J.B.

    1998-01-01

    Both vertebrate herbivores and fire have long been known to have dramatic and important effects on wetland vegetation. However, the interactive effects of burning and herbivory have received less attention. In this study, conducted in the coastal marshes of the Pearl River Basin in Louisiana, USA, both the effects of herbivory and fire as well as the interaction between these effects were examined in three marsh com-munity types: Sagittaria lancifolia, PanicUm virgatum, and Spartina patens. At five sites for each of the three community types, the effects of burning and fencing to exclude herbivores were determined over two years. Results showed that total biomass was reduced by burning but increased by fencing, with no interactive effects on total biomass. Species density (the number of species per unit area) was enhanced in plots that were both burned and fenced. Spartina patens was an important component in all three communities. Cover estimates indicated that S. patens responded to burning and fencing differently from the other dominant species. In the Panicum virgatum community, P. virgatum cover was enhanced by burning and fencing while S. patens cover was reduced. In the Sagittaria lancifolia community, S. lancifolia and Vigna luteola were enhanced by burning and fencing while S. patens was reduced. In the S. patens community, Scirpits americanus was enhanced by fencing, but burning had no significant effect on cover of either dominant species. These and other data are generally consistent with the hypothesis that herbivory favors S. patens while burning favors other dominant species. Thus, the relative effects of fire and herbivory have an influence (along with other factors such as salinity) on the dominance of S. patens in coastal marshes.

  16. Lower Miocene plant assemblage with coastal-marsh herbaceous monocots from the Vienna Basin (Slovakia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kvaček, Zlatko; Teodoridis, Vasilis; Kováčová, Marianna; Schlögl, Ján; Sitár, Viliam

    2014-06-01

    A new plant assemblage of Cerová-Lieskové from Lower Miocene (Karpatian) deposits in the Vienna Basin (western Slovakia) is preserved in a relatively deep, upper-slope marine environment. Depositional conditions with high sedimentation rates allowed exceptional preservation of plant remains. The plant assemblage consists of (1) conifers represented by foliage of Pinus hepios and Tetraclinis salicornioides, a seed cone of Pinus cf. ornata, and by pollen of the Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, Pinus sp. and Cathaya sp., and (2) angiosperms represented by Cinnamomum polymorphum, Platanus neptuni, Potamogeton sp. and lauroid foliage, by pollen of Liquidambar sp., Engelhardia sp. and Craigia sp., and in particular by infructescences (so far interpreted as belonging to cereal ears). We validate genus and species assignments of the infructescences: they belong to Palaeotriticum Sitár, including P. mockii Sitár and P. carpaticum Sitár, and probably represent herbaceous monocots that inhabited coastal marshes, similar to the living grass Spartina. Similar infructescences occur in the Lower and Middle Miocene deposits of the Carpathian Foredeep (Slup in Moravia), Tunjice Hills (Žale in Slovenia), and probably also in the Swiss Molasse (Lausanne). This plant assemblage demonstrates that the paleovegetation was represented by evergreen woodland with pines and grasses in undergrowth, similar to vegetation inhabiting coastal brackish marshes today. It also indicates subtropical climatic conditions in the Vienna Basin (central Paratethys), similar to those implied by other coeval plant assemblages from Central Europe

  17. Consequences of climate change, eutrophication, and other anthropogenic impacts to coastal salt marshes: multiple stressors reduce resiliency and sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, E. B.; Wigand, C.; Nelson, J.; Davey, E.; Van Dyke, E.; Wasson, K.

    2011-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including habitat for protected vertebrates and ecologically valuable invertebrate fauna, flood protection, and improvements in water quality for adjacent marine and estuarine environments. Here, we consider the impacts of future sea level rise combined with other anthropogenic stressors to salt marsh sustainability through the implementation of field and laboratory mesocosms, manipulative experiments, correlative studies, and predictive modeling conducted in central California and southern New England salt marshes. We report on measurements of soil respiration, decomposition, sediment accumulation, and marsh elevation, which considered jointly suggest an association between nitrate input and marsh elevation loss resulting from mineralization of soil organic matter. Furthermore, use of imaging techniques (CT scans) has shown differences in belowground root and rhizome structure associated with fertilization, resulting in a loss of sediment cohesion promoted by fine root structure. Additionally, field and greenhouse mesocosm experiments have provided insight into the specific biogeochemical processes responsible for plant mortality at high immersion or salinity levels. In conclusion, we have found that poor water quality (i.e. eutrophication) leads to enhanced respiration and decomposition of soil organic matter, which ultimately contributes to a loss of salt marsh sustainability. However, marsh deterioration studied at field sites (Jamaica Bay, NY and Elkhorn Slough, CA) is associated not only with enhanced nutrient loads, but also increased immersion due to tidal range increases resulting from dredging. To ensure the continuation of the ecosystem services provided by tidal wetlands and to develop sustainable management strategies that provide favorable outcomes under a variety of future sea level rise and land use scenarios, we need to develop a better understanding of the relative impacts of the

  18. Winter climate change and coastal wetland foundation species: salt marshes vs. mangrove forests in the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Osland, Michael J; Enwright, Nicholas; Day, Richard H; Doyle, Thomas W

    2013-05-01

    We live in an era of unprecedented ecological change in which ecologists and natural resource managers are increasingly challenged to anticipate and prepare for the ecological effects of future global change. In this study, we investigated the potential effect of winter climate change upon salt marsh and mangrove forest foundation species in the southeastern United States. Our research addresses the following three questions: (1) What is the relationship between winter climate and the presence and abundance of mangrove forests relative to salt marshes; (2) How vulnerable are salt marshes to winter climate change-induced mangrove forest range expansion; and (3) What is the potential future distribution and relative abundance of mangrove forests under alternative winter climate change scenarios? We developed simple winter climate-based models to predict mangrove forest distribution and relative abundance using observed winter temperature data (1970-2000) and mangrove forest and salt marsh habitat data. Our results identify winter climate thresholds for salt marsh-mangrove forest interactions and highlight coastal areas in the southeastern United States (e.g., Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Florida) where relatively small changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme winter events could cause relatively dramatic landscape-scale ecosystem structural and functional change in the form of poleward mangrove forest migration and salt marsh displacement. The ecological implications of these marsh-to-mangrove forest conversions are poorly understood, but would likely include changes for associated fish and wildlife populations and for the supply of some ecosystem goods and services. PMID:23504931

  19. Vertebrate herbivory in managed coastal wetlands: A manipulative experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, L.A.; Foote, A.L.

    1997-01-01

    Structural marsh management and nutria herbivory are both believed to strongly influence plant production in the brackish, deltaic marshes of coastal Louisiana, USA. Previous studies have tested the effects of structural management on aboveground biomass after implementing management, but very few studies have collected data before and after management. Thus, to test the effects of structural marsh management on Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl. and Scirpus americanus Pers., the aboveground biomass of both species was estimated before and after the construction of shallow, leveed impoundments. The water level in each impoundment was managed with a single flap-gated culvert fitted with a variable crest weir. Additionally, the influence of nutria grazing on aboveground biomass was measured by nondestructively sampling fenced (ungrazed) and unfenced (grazed) plots in both managed and unmanaged areas. While there was no significant difference in S. patens production between managed and unmanaged areas, marsh management negatively affected Sc. americanus production the two species also differed in their responses to grazing. Grazing dramatically reduced the sedge, Sc. americanus, while the grass, S. patens, remained at similar biomass levels in grazed and ungrazed plant stands. These findings support the belief that herbivory has a strong influence on plant production, but do not support the claim that management increases plant production in the deltaic marshes of Louisiana.

  20. Evaluation of sensor types and environmental controls on mapping biomass of coastal marsh emergent vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Byrd, Kristin B.; O'Connell, Jessica L.; Di Tommaso, Stefania; Kelly, Maggi

    2014-01-01

    There is a need to quantify large-scale plant productivity in coastal marshes to understand marsh resilience to sea level rise, to help define eligibility for carbon offset credits, and to monitor impacts from land use, eutrophication and contamination. Remote monitoring of aboveground biomass of emergent wetland vegetation will help address this need. Differences in sensor spatial resolution, bandwidth, temporal frequency and cost constrain the accuracy of biomass maps produced for management applications. In addition the use of vegetation indices to map biomass may not be effective in wetlands due to confounding effects of water inundation on spectral reflectance. To address these challenges, we used partial least squares regression to select optimal spectral features in situ and with satellite reflectance data to develop predictive models of aboveground biomass for common emergent freshwater marsh species, Typha spp. and Schoenoplectus acutus, at two restored marshes in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, California, USA. We used field spectrometer data to test model errors associated with hyperspectral narrowbands and multispectral broadbands, the influence of water inundation on prediction accuracy, and the ability to develop species specific models. We used Hyperion data, Digital Globe World View-2 (WV-2) data, and Landsat 7 data to scale up the best statistical models of biomass. Field spectrometer-based models of the full dataset showed that narrowband reflectance data predicted biomass somewhat, though not significantly better than broadband reflectance data [R2 = 0.46 and percent normalized RMSE (%RMSE) = 16% for narrowband models]. However hyperspectral first derivative reflectance spectra best predicted biomass for plots where water levels were less than 15 cm (R2 = 0.69, %RMSE = 12.6%). In species-specific models, error rates differed by species (Typha spp.: %RMSE = 18.5%; S. acutus: %RMSE = 24.9%), likely due to the more vertical structure and

  1. Links Between Watershed Activities and the Degradation of Coastal, Tidal Salt Marshes in Southern New England USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human activities (e.g., land development, wastewater) in coastal watersheds in New England USA are linked with community- and system-level changes in tidal, organic-rich salt marshes. Significant relationships between various indicators of watershed activities and ecosystem stru...

  2. Remote sensing for monitoring of wildlife habitat: Lesser snow geese and sub-Arctic coastal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gadallah, Fawziah L.

    Human environmental impact has occurred on a global scale. Effective management of problems occurring over broad regions requires monitoring and intervention over large extents of space and time. Remote sensing provides an attractive data source, particularly as satellite data have been consistently collected over both space and time and present a readily available, inexpensive archive. At best, however, remote sensing provides proxy data for the underlying variables of interest. Here remotely sensed data are used to measure habitat degradation at a lesser snow goose colony. An increase in goose numbers has led to a loss of forage vegetation in the arctic and sub-arctic marshes where the geese nest and raise their young. In particular, isostatic rebound has generated extensive coastal marshes along the west coast of Hudson Bay, and lesser snow geese colonized such a marsh at La Perouse Bay in the late 1950's. This well-studied colony is used to assess the feasibility of mapping decadal change with Landsat imagery. A baseline map is developed using satellite data, aerial photography, and a knowledge of vegetation dynamics at the site. Calibration equations, relating the quantity of above-ground vegetation and its reflectance, are developed using cross-validation and goodness-of-prediction measures for field data collected on-site. To detect changes in vegetation state, tree-classification and cross-validation were applied to ground data. Using satellite imagery, changes in vegetation quantity and type could be detected against a background of mineral soil, but not against a background of mosses. Even in this site with low topographic variability, few species and few strong driving forces (i.e. isostatic rebound and herbivory), multiple change trajectories are possible. As different trajectories have different influences on both the reflectance of the surface and the expected behaviour and functioning of the system, each must be accounted for separately. Failure to

  3. Shifts in methanogen community structure and function across a coastal marsh transect: effects of exotic Spartina alterniflora invasion

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Junji; Ding, Weixin; Liu, Deyan; Kang, Hojeong; Xiang, Jian; Lin, Yongxin

    2016-01-01

    Invasion of Spartina alterniflora in coastal areas of China increased methane (CH4) emissions. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms, we measured CH4 production potential, methanogen community structure and biogeochemical factors along a coastal wetland transect comprised of five habitat regions: open water, bare tidal flat, invasive S. alterniflora marsh and native Suaeda salsa and Phragmites australis marshes. CH4 production potential in S. alterniflora marsh was 10 times higher than that in other regions, and it was significantly correlated with soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and trimethylamine concentrations, but was not correlated with acetate or formate concentrations. Although the diversity of methanogens was lowest in S. alterniflora marsh, invasion increased methanogen abundance by 3.48-fold, compared with native S. salsa and P. australis marshes due to increase of facultative Methanosarcinaceae rather than acetotrophic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Ordination analyses suggested that trimethylamine was the primary factor regulating shift in methanogen community structure. Addition of trimethylamine increased CH4 production rates by 1255-fold but only by 5.61- and 11.4-fold for acetate and H2/CO2, respectively. S. alterniflora invasion elevated concentration of non-competitive trimethylamine, and shifted methanogen community from acetotrophic to facultative methanogens, which together facilitated increased CH4 production potential. PMID:26728134

  4. Shifts in methanogen community structure and function across a coastal marsh transect: effects of exotic Spartina alterniflora invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Junji; Ding, Weixin; Liu, Deyan; Kang, Hojeong; Xiang, Jian; Lin, Yongxin

    2016-01-01

    Invasion of Spartina alterniflora in coastal areas of China increased methane (CH4) emissions. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms, we measured CH4 production potential, methanogen community structure and biogeochemical factors along a coastal wetland transect comprised of five habitat regions: open water, bare tidal flat, invasive S. alterniflora marsh and native Suaeda salsa and Phragmites australis marshes. CH4 production potential in S. alterniflora marsh was 10 times higher than that in other regions, and it was significantly correlated with soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and trimethylamine concentrations, but was not correlated with acetate or formate concentrations. Although the diversity of methanogens was lowest in S. alterniflora marsh, invasion increased methanogen abundance by 3.48-fold, compared with native S. salsa and P. australis marshes due to increase of facultative Methanosarcinaceae rather than acetotrophic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Ordination analyses suggested that trimethylamine was the primary factor regulating shift in methanogen community structure. Addition of trimethylamine increased CH4 production rates by 1255-fold but only by 5.61- and 11.4-fold for acetate and H2/CO2, respectively. S. alterniflora invasion elevated concentration of non-competitive trimethylamine, and shifted methanogen community from acetotrophic to facultative methanogens, which together facilitated increased CH4 production potential.

  5. Identification of marsh vegetation and coastal land use in ERTS-1 imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemas, V.; Daiber, F. C.; Bartlett, D. S.

    1973-01-01

    Coastal vegetation species appearing in the ERTS-1 images taken of Delaware Bay on August 16, and October 10, 1972 have been correlated with ground truth vegetation maps and imagery obtained from high altitude RB-57 and U-2 overflights. The vegetation maps of the entire Delaware Coast were prepared during the summer of 1972 and checked out with ground truth data collected on foot, in small boats, and from low-altitude aircraft. Multispectral analysis of high altitude RB-57 and U-2 photographs indicated that five vegetation communities could be clearly discriminated from 60,000 feet altitude including: (1) salt marsh cord grass, (2) salt marsh hay and spike grass, (3) reed grass, (4) high tide bush and sea myrtle, and (5) a group of fresh water species found in impoundments built to attract water fowl. All of these species are shown in fifteen overlay maps, covering all of Delaware's wetlands prepared to match the USGS topographic map size of 1:24,000.

  6. Adjusting lidar-derived digital terrain models in coastal marshes based on estimated aboveground biomass density

    SciTech Connect

    Medeiros, Stephen; Hagen, Scott; Weishampel, John; Angelo, James

    2015-03-25

    Digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from airborne lidar are traditionally unreliable in coastal salt marshes due to the inability of the laser to penetrate the dense grasses and reach the underlying soil. To that end, we present a novel processing methodology that uses ASTER Band 2 (visible red), an interferometric SAR (IfSAR) digital surface model, and lidar-derived canopy height to classify biomass density using both a three-class scheme (high, medium and low) and a two-class scheme (high and low). Elevation adjustments associated with these classes using both median and quartile approaches were applied to adjust lidar-derived elevation values closer to true bare earth elevation. The performance of the method was tested on 229 elevation points in the lower Apalachicola River Marsh. The two-class quartile-based adjusted DEM produced the best results, reducing the RMS error in elevation from 0.65 m to 0.40 m, a 38% improvement. The raw mean errors for the lidar DEM and the adjusted DEM were 0.61 ± 0.24 m and 0.32 ± 0.24 m, respectively, thereby reducing the high bias by approximately 49%.

  7. Adjusting lidar-derived digital terrain models in coastal marshes based on estimated aboveground biomass density

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Medeiros, Stephen; Hagen, Scott; Weishampel, John; Angelo, James

    2015-03-25

    Digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from airborne lidar are traditionally unreliable in coastal salt marshes due to the inability of the laser to penetrate the dense grasses and reach the underlying soil. To that end, we present a novel processing methodology that uses ASTER Band 2 (visible red), an interferometric SAR (IfSAR) digital surface model, and lidar-derived canopy height to classify biomass density using both a three-class scheme (high, medium and low) and a two-class scheme (high and low). Elevation adjustments associated with these classes using both median and quartile approaches were applied to adjust lidar-derived elevation values closer tomore » true bare earth elevation. The performance of the method was tested on 229 elevation points in the lower Apalachicola River Marsh. The two-class quartile-based adjusted DEM produced the best results, reducing the RMS error in elevation from 0.65 m to 0.40 m, a 38% improvement. The raw mean errors for the lidar DEM and the adjusted DEM were 0.61 ± 0.24 m and 0.32 ± 0.24 m, respectively, thereby reducing the high bias by approximately 49%.« less

  8. Winter climate change and coastal wetland foundation species: salt marshes vs. mangrove forests in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osland, Michael J.; Day, Richard H.; Doyle, Thomas W.; Enwright, Nicholas

    2013-01-01

    We live in an era of unprecedented ecological change in which ecologists and natural resource managers are increasingly challenged to anticipate and prepare for the ecological effects of future global change. In this study, we investigated the potential effect of winter climate change upon salt marsh and mangrove forest foundation species in the southeastern United States. Our research addresses the following three questions: (1) What is the relationship between winter climate and the presence and abundance of mangrove forests relative to salt marshes; (2) How vulnerable are salt marshes to winter climate change-induced mangrove forest range expansion; and (3) What is the potential future distribution and relative abundance of mangrove forests under alternative winter climate change scenarios? We developed simple winter climate-based models to predict mangrove forest distribution and relative abundance using observed winter temperature data (1970–2000) and mangrove forest and salt marsh habitat data. Our results identify winter climate thresholds for salt marsh–mangrove forest interactions and highlight coastal areas in the southeastern United States (e.g., Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Florida) where relatively small changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme winter events could cause relatively dramatic landscape-scale ecosystem structural and functional change in the form of poleward mangrove forest migration and salt marsh displacement. The ecological implications of these marsh-to-mangrove forest conversions are poorly understood, but would likely include changes for associated fish and wildlife populations and for the supply of some ecosystem goods and services.

  9. Invasion chronosequence of Spartina alterniflora on methane emission and organic carbon sequestration in a coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Jian; Liu, Deyan; Ding, Weixin; Yuan, Junji; Lin, Yongxin

    2015-07-01

    Spartina alterniflora was intentionally introduced to China in 1979 for the purpose of sediment stabilization and dike protection, and has continuously replaced native plants or invaded bare mudflats in the coastal marsh. To evaluate the spatial variation of CH4 emission and soil organic carbon (SOC) storage along the invasion chronosequence, we selected four sites including bare mudflat (Control, as first year invasion), and marshes invaded by S. alterniflora in 2002 (SA-1), 1999 (SA-2) and 1995 (SA-3), respectively, in Sheyang county, Jiangsu, China and set up the marsh mesocosm system for flux measurement. The mean accumulation rate of SOC in the 0-30 cm layer exponentially increased with the invasion time, ranging from 1.08 (over the first 9 years) to 2.35 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (over the period of 12-16 years). The cumulative CH4 emission during the growth season was 20.5, 75.4, 81.0 and 92.2 kg CH4 ha-1 in Control, SA-1, SA-2 and SA-3, respectively, and there was a binomial relationship between CH4 emission and invasion time. Cumulative CH4 emission was logarithmically increased with SOC concentration; however the ratio of CH4 emission to SOC concentration was inversely correlated with the invasion time in the S. alterniflora marsh, suggesting that the less increased SOC in the S. alterniflora marsh was converted into CH4. The net global warming potential (GWP) was estimated at 733 kg CO2-eq ha-1 yr-1 in the tidal mudflat and reduced to -1273 (SA-1) to -2233 kg CO2-eq ha-1 yr-1 (SA-3) in the S. alterniflora marsh. Our results indicated that S. alterniflora invasion effectively sequestrated atmospheric CO2 and mitigated GWP in the coastal marsh of China.

  10. Experimental restoration of a salt marsh with some comments on ecological restoration of coastal vegetated ecosystems in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koo, Bon Joo; Je, Jong Geel; Woo, Han Jun

    2011-03-01

    Since the 1980s, the coastal wetlands in Korea have been rapidly degraded and destroyed mainly due to reclamation and landfills for coastal development. In order to recover damaged coastal environments and to develop wetland restoration technologies, a 4-year study on ecological the restoration of coastal vegetated ecosystems was started in 1998. As one of a series of studies, a small-scale experiment on salt marsh restoration was carried out from April 2000 to August 2001. The experiment was designed to find effective means of ecological restoration through a comparison of the changes in environmental components and species structure between two different experimental plots created using sediment fences, one with and one without small canals. Temporal variation in surface elevation, sedimentary facies, and benthic species were measured seasonally in each plot and in the adjacent natural reference sites. Monthly exposure occurred from 330 cm to mean sea level, which represents the critical tidal level (CTL) at which salt marsh plants colonize. Vegetation, especially Suaeda japonica, colonized the site the following spring and recovered to a similar extent in the natural marshes 16 months later. The sedimentary results indicated that the sediment fences had effects on particle size and sediment accumulation, especially in the plot with small canals. This experiment also showed that tidal height, especially that exceeding the CTL, is an important factor in the recovery of the benthic fauna of salt marshes. From these results, we suggested that designs for the restoration of salt marsh ecosystems must consider the inclusion of a tidal height exceeding CTL, as this may allow reconstruction of the previous natural ecosystem without artificial transplanting.

  11. Use of historical and geospatial data to guide the restoration of a Lake Erie coastal marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kowalski, Kurt P.; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    1999-01-01

    Historical and geospatial data were used to identify the relationships between water levels, wetland vegetation, littoral drift of sediments, and the condition of a protective barrier beach at Metzger Marsh, a coastal wetland in western Lake Erie, to enhance and guide a joint federal and state wetland restoration project. Eleven sets of large-scale aerial photographs dating from 1940 through 1994 were interpreted to delineate major vegetation types and boundaries of the barrier beach. A geographic information system (GIS) was then used to digitize the data and calculate the vegetated area and length of barrier beach. Supplemented by paleoecological and sedimentological analyses, aerial photographic interpretation revealed that Metzger Marsh was once a drowned-river-mouth wetland dominated by sedges and protected by a sand barrier beach. Extremely high water levels, storm events, and reduction of sediments in the littoral drift contributed to the complete destruction of the barrier beach in 1973 and prevented its recovery. The extent of wetland vegetation, correlated to water levels and condition of the barrier beach, decreased from a high of 108 ha in 1940 to a low of 33 ha in 1994. The lack of an adequate sediment supply and low probability of a period of extremely low lake levels in the near future made natural reestablishment of the barrier beach and wetland vegetation unlikely. Therefore, the federal and state managers chose to construct a dike to replace the protective barrier beach. Recommendations stemming from this historical analysis, however, resulted in the incorporation of a water-control structure in the dike that will retain a hydrologic connection between wetland and lake. Management of the wetland will seek to mimic processes natural to the wetland type identified by this analysis.

  12. Shifts and dynamics of greenhouse gas fluxes in coastal marshes: Responses to short- and long-term nitrogen additions (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Kroeger, K. D.; Tang, J.; Fisher, K.; Bratton, J. F.; Crusius, J.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal wetlands are estimated to sequester carbon at faster rates than most ecosystems, and thus they are appealing targets for efforts to ameliorate climate change through biological C storage. However, to accurately estimate the climatic impact of such strategies, we must simultaneously consider fluxes of greenhouse gases from these ecosystems, including CH4 and N2O. Coastal salt marshes are currently thought to represent minor sources of greenhouse gases relative to freshwater wetlands, but the few measurements that exist for N2O and CH4 fluxes in these systems have not spanned the range of their dynamic environmental conditions. Further, multiple anthropogenic sources have disproportionately increased nitrogen loads in coastal ecosystems, which we hypothesized may significantly enhance N2O emissions from salt marshes. We tested this hypothesis with short- and long-term manipulative experiments at low to moderate nitrogen loads in pristine temperate Spartina patens marshes at Plum Island (MA). In July 2009, we compared background greenhouse gas fluxes with those measured immediately after either a single addition of nitrate (equivalent to 1.4g N m -2) or a control solution of artificial seawater. Prior to manipulations, the salt marsh sediments represented small sinks of N2O, as fluxes averaged -33 μmol N2O m-2 day-1. Yet, within one hour of manipulations, the plots with nitrate additions became sources of N2O, with fluxes averaging 42 and 108 μmol N2O m-2 day-1 in light and dark chambers, respectively. These exceeded fluxes in control plots by more than an order of magnitude. Respiratory CO2 fluxes were also significantly higher in nitrate-enriched plots (4.4 +/- 1 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) than in controls (2.4 +/- 0.3 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) immediately following the nitrate additions. Methane fluxes were not affected by nitrogen, but they varied spatially, ranging from 7.5 to 2200 μmol CH4 m-2 day-1. Although the enhanced N2O fluxes did not persist after 2 days, the

  13. Shifts in vegetation affect organic carbon quality in a coastal marsh along the Hudson River Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, A. H.; Corbett, J. E.; Tfaily, M. M.; Martin, I.; Ho, L.; Sun, E.; Sevilla, L.; Vincent, S.; Newton, R.; Peteet, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    To better understand carbon storage in coastal salt marshes, samples were collected from Piermont Marsh, NY (40 ̊00' N, 73 ̊55'W) located within the Hudson River Estuary. Porewater from three different vegetation sites was analyzed to compare the quality of the dissolved organic carbon. Sites contained either native or invasive vegetation with variations in live plant root depth. Porewater was taken from 0-3m in 50cm intervals, and sites were dominated either by invasive Phragmites australis, native Eleocharis , or native mixed vegetation (Spartina patens, Scirpus, and Typha angustifolia). Sites dominated by invasive Phragmites australis were found to have lower dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, lower cDOM absorption values, and more labile organic carbon compounds. The molecular composition of the DOC was determined with Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). Labile DOC components were defined as proteins, carbohydrates, and amino sugars while recalcitrant DOC components were defined as lipids, unsaturated hydrocarbons, lignins, tannins, and condensed hydrocarbons. For the Phragmites, Eleocharis, and mixed vegetation sites, average DOC concentrations with depth were found to be 1.71 ± 1.06, 4.64 ± 1.73, and 4.62 ± 3.5 (mM), respectively and cDOM absorption values with depth were found to be 13.22 ± 4.81, 49.42 ± 10.8, and 35.74 ± 17.49 (m-1). Additionally, DOC concentrations increased with depth in the mixed vegetation and Eleocharis sites, but remained relatively constant in the Phragmites site. The percent of labile compounds in the surface samples were found to be 19.02, 14.64, and 14.07% for the Phragmites, Eleocharis, and mixed vegetation sites, respectively. These findings suggest that sites dominated by Phragmites may have more reactive DOC substrates than sites dominated by native vegetation. These results indicate that the carbon storage in marshes invaded by Phragmites would be expected to decrease over time.

  14. Spatial and Temporal Variability in Carbon Dioxide Fluxes at Three Coastal Marshes Along a Salinity Gradient in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: how Susceptible are Coastal Marshes in the Region to Future Wariming?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortazavi, B.; Wilson, B.; Kiene, R. P.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon gas fluxes in tidal marshes vary spatially and temporally because of vegetation cover, subsurface biogeochemical processes, and environmental forcing and predicting the impact of climate change on greenhouse gas fluxes from wetlands remains challenging. We examined how ecosystem carbon gas exchange varies along a salinity gradient (0-32 ppt) in three marshes along an estuary in the northern Gulf of Mexico, USA. Midday net ecosystem exchange (where a negative rate indicates net carbon assimilated through photosynthesis) was greatest at the most freshwater site (4.8 ± 0.3 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1), followed by the saline (2.8 ± 1.0 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) and brackish (1.4 ± 0.6 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) sites. However, net ecosystem exchange integrated diurnally revealed each marsh to be a net CO2 source to the atmosphere as a result of high ecosystem respiration with no significant difference across the fresh (105.5 ± 28.9 mmol CO2 m-2 d-1), brackish (100.1 ± 36.5 mmol CO2 m-2 d-1), and salt marsh (78.3 ± 28.6 mmol CO2 m-2 d-1) sites. The large loss of carbon from these ecosystems is suggested to be a contributing factor to the disappearances of marshes in the region. Fifty percent of coastal Alabama wetlands, for examples, have disappeared from 1780 to 1980, and between 1955 and 1979 the percent loss (29%) in the region has exceeded the national average by a factor of three. While future warming is not expected to impact carbon assimilation significantly, our warming simulations suggest that carbon loss in these ecosystems can be enhanced by 12 to 26%, potentially exasperating the loss of marshes in the region.

  15. Variations in organic carbon chemistry in the Gulf Coast and coastal marshes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, J. M.; Orem, W. H.; Aiken, G.; Varonka, M. S.; Butler, K.; Kokaly, R. F.

    2011-12-01

    Record volumes of oil released from the Macondo well following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico significantly impacted coastal marshes in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. Remote sensing and water sampling was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey to evaluate the extent of impact. Water samples were collected offshore from near the spill site July 5-10, 2010 to characterize molecular organic carbon chemistry on unfiltered samples and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on filtered samples. Three field visits were conducted in July 7-10, August 12-14, and August 24-26, 2010, to collect samples from the soil-water interface in coastal marshes along lower Barataria Bay and the Bird's Foot Delta at the distal end of the Mississippi River Delta. Visible oil in the marsh was observed as thick coatings on vegetation and soil and as sheens at the water surface. Samples were extracted for hydrocarbons with dichloromethane, separated into aliphatic, aromatic and polar compound classes using standard column techniques, and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A significant amount of oil was observed "dissolved" in the water column with a hydrocarbon distribution resembling that of the surface oil slick. While oils maintained many of the more volatile lower molecular weight components near the spill site, these were mostly gone in the onshore Barataria Bay samples, leaving mostly higher molecular weight components. Dissolved organic carbon was characterized using concentration, fluorescence index (FI), specific ultratviolet absorbance (SUVA) and excitation/emission fluorescence (EEM). Offshore samples had distinctive EEMs patterns, SUVA and FI. With few exceptions, marsh samples had EEMs patterns more similar to previously extracted organic matter from the Mississippi River than to the offshore oil. In spite of visible oil sheen in unfiltered water from contaminated shorelines and no visible sign of impact on

  16. [Evolvement of soil quality in salt marshes and reclaimed farmlands in Yancheng coastal wetland].

    PubMed

    Mao, Zhi-Gang; Gu, Xiao-Hong; Liu, Jin-E; Ren, Li-Juan; Wang, Guo-Xiang

    2010-08-01

    Through vegetation investigation and soil analysis, this paper studied the evolvement of soil quality during natural vegetation succession and after farmland reclamation in the Yancheng coastal wetland of Jiangsu Province. Along with the process of vegetation succession, the soil physical, chemical, and biological properties in the wetland improved, which was manifested in the improvement of soil physical properties and the increase of soil nutrient contents, microbial biomass, and enzyme activities. Different vegetation type induced the differences in soil properties. Comparing with those in salt marshes, the soil salt content in reclaimed farmlands decreased to 0.01 - 0.04%, the soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities increased, and the soil quality improved obviously. The soil quality index (SQI) in the wetland was in the order of mudflat (0.194) < Suaeda salsa flat (0.233) < Imperata cylindrica flat (0.278) < Spartina alterniflora flat (0.446) < maize field (0.532) < cotton field (0.674) < soybean field (0.826), suggesting that positive vegetation succession would be an effective approach in improving soil quality. PMID:21043105

  17. What happens to soil organic carbon as coastal marsh ecosystems change in response to increasing salinity? An exploration using ramped pyrolysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Elizabeth K.; Rosenheim, Brad E.

    2015-07-01

    Coastal wetlands store vast amounts of organic carbon, globally, and are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of anthropogenic sea level rise. To understand the effect of sea level rise on organic carbon fate and preservation in this global sink, it is necessary to characterize differences in the biogeochemical stability of coastal wetland soil organic carbon (SOC). Here we use ramped pyrolysis/oxidation decomposition characteristics as proxies for SOC stability to understand the fate of carbon storage in coastal wetlands comprising the Mississippi River deltaic plain, undergoing rapid rates of local sea level rise. Soils from three wetland types (fresh, brackish, and salt marshes) along a salinity gradient were subjected to ramped pyrolysis analysis to evaluate decomposition characteristics related to thermochemical stability of SOC. At equivalent soil depths, we observed that fresh marsh SOC was more stable than brackish and salt marsh SOC. Depth, isotopic, elemental, and chemical compositions, bulk density, and water content of SOC all exhibited different relationships with SOC stability across the marsh salinity gradient, indicative of different controls on SOC stability within each marsh type. The differences in stability imply stronger preservation potential of fresh marsh soil carbon, compared to that of salt and brackish marshes. Considering projected marsh ecosystem responses to sea level rise, these observed stability differences are important in planning and implementing coastal wetland carbon-focused remediation and improving climate model feedbacks with the carbon cycle. Specifically, our results imply that ecosystem changes associated with sea level rise will initiate the accumulation of less stable carbon in coastal wetlands.

  18. Role of salt-marsh erosion in barrier island evolution and deterioration in coastal Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, D.J. )

    1989-09-01

    Barrier shoreline erosion in Louisiana reaches over 10 m/year, and island area decreased by 40% between 1880 and 1979. Salt-marsh erosion is an important factor in evolutionary barrier shoreline development and is presently contributing, both directly and indirectly, to the deterioration of Louisiana's barrier islands. The marshes originally developed as fresh marshes associated with regression of Mississippi River delta lobes. After abandonment, salinity gradually increased and natural habitat change occurred as subsidence of deltaic sediments and transgression of the coastline by marine processes proceeded. The marsh surface is subjected to relative sea level rise and unless there is sufficient sedimentation to maintain marsh elevation, erosional processes become dominant. Increased inundation of marsh vegetation stresses even halophytic vegetation and leads to plant death. Examination of variations in marsh topography over an area of approximately 1 ha. revealed marked variations in the frequency and duration of tidal inundation. Increased flooding of lower areas can be sufficient to cause plant death and the opening of marsh ponds. As small ponds expand and coalesce to form larger areas of open water, wave action becomes important in eroding pond banks and mobilizing sediment from the bed causing pond deepening. Fragmentation of the marsh by these subsidence-induced processes is part of the evolution of morphostratigraphic forms in the Mississippi deltaic plain from erosional headland with flanking barriers to barrier island arc.

  19. Loss of ‘Blue Carbon’ from Coastal Salt Marshes Following Habitat Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Macreadie, Peter I.; Hughes, A. Randall; Kimbro, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Increased recognition of the global importance of salt marshes as ‘blue carbon’ (C) sinks has led to concern that salt marshes could release large amounts of stored C into the atmosphere (as CO2) if they continue undergoing disturbance, thereby accelerating climate change. Empirical evidence of C release following salt marsh habitat loss due to disturbance is rare, yet such information is essential for inclusion of salt marshes in greenhouse gas emission reduction and offset schemes. Here we investigated the stability of salt marsh (Spartinaalterniflora) sediment C levels following seagrass (Thallasiatestudinum) wrack accumulation; a form of disturbance common throughout the world that removes large areas of plant biomass in salt marshes. At our study site (St Joseph Bay, Florida, USA), we recorded 296 patches (7.5 ± 2.3 m2 mean area ± SE) of vegetation loss (aged 3-12 months) in a salt marsh meadow the size of a soccer field (7 275 m2). Within these disturbed patches, levels of organic C in the subsurface zone (1-5 cm depth) were ~30% lower than the surrounding undisturbed meadow. Subsequent analyses showed that the decline in subsurface C levels in disturbed patches was due to loss of below-ground plant (salt marsh) biomass, which otherwise forms the main component of the long-term ‘refractory’ C stock. We conclude that disturbance to salt marsh habitat due to wrack accumulation can cause significant release of below-ground C; which could shift salt marshes from C sinks to C sources, depending on the intensity and scale of disturbance. This mechanism of C release is likely to increase in the future due to sea level rise; which could increase wrack production due to increasing storminess, and will facilitate delivery of wrack into salt marsh zones due to higher and more frequent inundation. PMID:23861964

  20. Relationships Between Watershed Emergy Flow and Coastal New England Salt Marsh Structure, Function, and Condition

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study evaluated the link between watershed activities and salt marsh structure, function, and condition using spatial emergy flow density (areal empower density) in the watershed and field data from 10 tidal salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, RI. The field-collected data wer...

  1. Rapid climatic change in coastal southern California inferred from pollen analysis of San Joaquin Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Owen K.

    1992-01-01

    Pollen analysis and five radiocarbon dates of a 687-cm core provide a detailed chronology of environmental change in a marsh at the head of Newport Bay, Orange County, California. Sediment deposition kept pace with sea-level rise during the early history of the marsh. From ca. 7000 to 4500 yr B.P. the site was a freshwater marsh, trees were more abundant than today, and grassland was the regional vegetation. As sea level rose, salt marsh gradually invaded the site. Brief periods of freshwater marsh 3800, 2800, 2300, and after 560 yr B.P. correlate with episodes of global cooling during the Neoglacial. The historic period is marked by the appearance of exotic species (particularly Erodium cf. cicutarium and Eucalyptus) and the spores of fungi ( Sporormiella and Thecaphora). Peak influx of pollen, spores, and charcoal probably reflect greater frequency of flooding and erosion ca. 5000 yr B.P. and during the last 1000 yr.

  2. Salt Marsh as a Coastal Filter for the Oceans: Changes in Function with Experimental Increases in Nitrogen Loading and Sea-Level Rise

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Joanna L.; Zavaleta, Erika S.

    2012-01-01

    Coastal salt marshes are among Earth's most productive ecosystems and provide a number of ecosystem services, including interception of watershed-derived nitrogen (N) before it reaches nearshore oceans. Nitrogen pollution and climate change are two dominant drivers of global-change impacts on ecosystems, yet their interacting effects at the land-sea interface are poorly understood. We addressed how sea-level rise and anthropogenic N additions affect the salt marsh ecosystem process of nitrogen uptake using a field-based, manipulative experiment. We crossed simulated sea-level change and ammonium-nitrate (NH4NO3)-addition treatments in a fully factorial design to examine their potentially interacting effects on emergent marsh plants in a central California estuary. We measured above- and belowground biomass and tissue nutrient concentrations seasonally and found that N-addition had a significant, positive effect on a) aboveground biomass, b) plant tissue N concentrations, c) N stock sequestered in plants, and d) shoot:root ratios in summer. Relative sea-level rise did not significantly affect biomass, with the exception of the most extreme sea-level-rise simulation, in which all plants died by the summer of the second year. Although there was a strong response to N-addition treatments, salt marsh responses varied by season. Our results suggest that in our site at Coyote Marsh, Elkhorn Slough, coastal salt marsh plants serve as a robust N trap and coastal filter; this function is not saturated by high background annual N inputs from upstream agriculture. However, if the marsh is drowned by rising seas, as in our most extreme sea-level rise treatment, marsh plants will no longer provide the ecosystem service of buffering the coastal ocean from eutrophication. PMID:22879873

  3. The shift from hold-the-line to management retreat and implications to coastal change: Farlington Marshes, a case of conflicts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esteves, L. S.; Foord, J.; Draux, H.

    2012-04-01

    Although it can be argued that coastal erosion is primarily a natural process, in many developed coasts it has been triggered or intensified by human-induced activities affecting local sediment budget and pathways. For a long time, coastal engineering works have been used to reshape the world's coastlines to accommodate for social and economic needs. The realisation that such interference with natural processes would result in cascading environmental impacts at various temporal and spatial scales is relatively recent. As a result, a series of regulations have been implemented to mitigate further damage to coastal environments and compensatory measures are now required as part of licensing approval for certain coastal activities. For example, the construction and upgrade of coastal defences are now constrained due to potential detrimental impacts caused on adjacent designated European habitats or species. This study evaluates how a shift from socio-economic needs to a natural-conservancy focus is influencing coastal management approaches in England and the implications for coastal evolution. More specifically, Farlington Marshes (Portsmouth, southern England) will be used as a case study to assess how complex interactions between natural coastal processes, coastal defences and the need for environmental conservation are affecting shoreline changes, evolution of intertidal habitats and biodiversity. Farlington Marshes are designated grazing marshes of national and European importance and a valued recreational area used by local residents. Seawalls built in the 18th century protect the freshwater habitats from flooding but cause detrimental impact on intertidal habitats of Langstone Habour, which are also designated conservation areas (Ramsar, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Sites of Special Scientific Interest). The presence of seawalls has caused erosion and coastal squeeze, which are the main causes of the rapid loss of saltmarshes observed

  4. Coastal flood protection by a combined nature-based and engineering approach: Modeling the effects of marsh geometry and surrounding dikes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, Jeroen; Plancke, Yves; Ides, Stefaan; Meire, Patrick; Temmerman, Stijn

    2016-06-01

    As ecosystem-based adaptation to global change is gaining ground, strategies to protect coastal and estuarine areas from increasing flood hazards are starting to consist of natural tidal wetland conservation and restoration in addition to conventional coastal defense structures. In this study, the capacity of tidal wetlands to locally attenuate peak water levels during storm tides is analyzed using a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model (TELEMAC2D) for a 3000 ha intertidal marsh (SW Netherlands). Model results indicate that peak water level reduction largely varies between individual flooding events and between different locations in the marsh. Model scenarios with variable dike positions show that attenuation rates can be minimized by blockage and set up of water levels against dikes or other structures confining the marsh size. This blockage only affects peak water level attenuation across wetlands if the duration of the flood wave is long compared to the marsh size. A minimum marsh width of 6-10 km is required to completely avoid blockage effects for the storm tidal cases assessed in this study. If blockage does not affect flood wave propagation, variations in attenuation rates between different locations in the marsh and between tides with varying high water levels can be explained with a single relationship based on the ratio between the water volume on the marsh platform and the total water volume on the platform and in the channels. Attenuation starts to occur when this ratio exceeds 0.2-0.4 and increases from there on up to a maximum of 29 cm/km for a ratio of about 0.85. Furthermore, model scenarios with varying marsh channel depth show that marsh scale attenuation rates increase by up to 4 cm/km if the channel elevation is raised by 0.7 m on average. Conversely, marsh scale attenuation rates decrease by up to 2 cm/km for scenarios in which the channels are lowered by 0.9 m on average. The marsh platform elevation has little effect on the maximum attenuation

  5. Coastal flood protection by a combined nature-based and engineering approach: Modeling the effects of marsh geometry and surrounding dikes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, Jeroen; Plancke, Yves; Ides, Stefaan; Meire, Patrick; Temmerman, Stijn

    2016-06-01

    As ecosystem-based adaptation to global change is gaining ground, strategies to protect coastal and estuarine areas from increasing flood hazards are starting to consist of natural tidal wetland conservation and restoration in addition to conventional coastal defense structures. In this study, the capacity of tidal wetlands to locally attenuate peak water levels during storm tides is analyzed using a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model (TELEMAC2D) for a 3000 ha intertidal marsh (SW Netherlands). Model results indicate that peak water level reduction largely varies between individual flooding events and between different locations in the marsh. Model scenarios with variable dike positions show that attenuation rates can be minimized by blockage and set up of water levels against dikes or other structures confining the marsh size. This blockage only affects peak water level attenuation across wetlands if the duration of the flood wave is long compared to the marsh size. A minimum marsh width of 6-10 km is required to completely avoid blockage effects for the storm tidal cases assessed in this study. If blockage does not affect flood wave propagation, variations in attenuation rates between different locations in the marsh and between tides with varying high water levels can be explained with a single relationship based on the ratio between the water volume on the marsh platform and the total water volume on the platform and in the channels. Attenuation starts to occur when this ratio exceeds 0.2-0.4 and increases from there on up to a maximum of 29 cm/km for a ratio of about 0.85. Furthermore, model scenarios with varying marsh channel depth show that marsh scale attenuation rates increase by up to 4 cm/km if the channel elevation is raised by 0.7 m on average. Conversely, marsh scale attenuation rates decrease by up to 2 cm/km for scenarios in which the channels are lowered by 0.9 m on average. The marsh platform elevation has little effect on the maximum

  6. Coastal marsh response to historical and future sea-level acceleration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, M.; Temmerman, S.

    2009-01-01

    We consider the response of marshland to accelerations in the rate of sea-level rise by utilizing two previously described numerical models of marsh elevation. In a model designed for the Scheldt Estuary (Belgium-SW Netherlands), a feedback between inundation depth and suspended sediment concentrations allows marshes to quickly adjust their elevation to a change in sea-level rise rate. In a model designed for the North Inlet Estuary (South Carolina), a feedback between inundation and vegetation growth allows similar adjustment. Although the models differ in their approach, we find that they predict surprisingly similar responses to sea-level change. Marsh elevations adjust to a step change in the rate of sea-level rise in about 100 years. In the case of a continuous acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise, modeled accretion rates lag behind sea-level rise rates by about 20 years, and never obtain equilibrium. Regardless of the style of acceleration, the models predict approximately 6-14 cm of marsh submergence in response to historical sea-level acceleration, and 3-4 cm of marsh submergence in response to a projected scenario of sea-level rise over the next century. While marshes already low in the tidal frame would be susceptible to these depth changes, our modeling results suggest that factors other than historical sea-level acceleration are more important for observations of degradation in most marshes today.

  7. A comparison between conventional and AMS [sup 14]C dates on basal salt marsh peats from coastal Maine. [Accelerator Mass Spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Gehrels, R.W.; Belknap, D.F. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    This study reports AMS dates from four Maine salt marshes: Webbannet Marsh (Wells), Morse and Sprague River marshes (Phippsburg), and Sanborn Cove marsh (Machiasport). The AMS dates are compared with conventional dates on bulk samples obtained from either the same cores or from other cores at comparable depths. Four AMS dates from the Webhannet and Sanborn Cove marshes were considerably older than their conventional counterparts, by as much as 1,000 years. Three causes for this age discrepancy are suggested. First, under slow rates of marsh accretion, peats remain within the root zone of modern plants for a relatively long period, causing a continued input of younger carbon. Intruded roots are undetectable in the highly macerated, 4,000--5,000 C-14 year old peats. Another source of contamination is the percolation of mobile humic acids along the impermeable Pleistocene substrate. Finally, a date on a bulk peat of 10 cm vertical extent represents an average age for a portion of peat that spans a time interval possibly of several centuries. The age difference between the bulk date and the AMS date from the base of the peat increases with decreasing rates of marsh accretion. The forested steep slopes of the upland surrounding the marsh seem a likely source of old carbon that can easily be washed onto the marsh surface. The slow rate of late-Holocene sea-level rise in Maine, as well as the geologic and hydrologic setting of the salt marshes, make conventional C-14 dating of salt marsh peats in Maine a problematic affair. This study implies that AMS dates may be needed to verify Holocene sea-level curves from other coastal areas that have hitherto been based solely on conventional C-14 peat dates.

  8. Exotic Spartina alterniflora invasion alters ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CH4 and N2O and carbon sequestration in a coastal salt marsh in China.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Junji; Ding, Weixin; Liu, Deyan; Kang, Hojeong; Freeman, Chris; Xiang, Jian; Lin, Yongxin

    2015-04-01

    Coastal salt marshes are sensitive to global climate change and may play an important role in mitigating global warming. To evaluate the impacts of Spartina alterniflora invasion on global warming potential (GWP) in Chinese coastal areas, we measured CH4 and N2O fluxes and soil organic carbon sequestration rates along a transect of coastal wetlands in Jiangsu province, China, including open water; bare tidal flat; and invasive S. alterniflora, native Suaeda salsa, and Phragmites australis marshes. Annual CH4 emissions were estimated as 2.81, 4.16, 4.88, 10.79, and 16.98 kg CH4 ha(-1) for open water, bare tidal flat, and P. australis, S. salsa, and S. alterniflora marshes, respectively, indicating that S. alterniflora invasion increased CH4 emissions by 57-505%. In contrast, negative N2O fluxes were found to be significantly and negatively correlated (P < 0.001) with net ecosystem CO2 exchange during the growing season in S. alterniflora and P. australis marshes. Annual N2O emissions were 0.24, 0.38, and 0.56 kg N2O ha(-1) in open water, bare tidal flat and S. salsa marsh, respectively, compared with -0.51 kg N2O ha(-1) for S. alterniflora marsh and -0.25 kg N2O ha(-1) for P. australis marsh. The carbon sequestration rate of S. alterniflora marsh amounted to 3.16 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1) in the top 100 cm soil profile, a value that was 2.63- to 8.78-fold higher than in native plant marshes. The estimated GWP was 1.78, -0.60, -4.09, and -1.14 Mg CO2 eq ha(-1) yr(-1) in open water, bare tidal flat, P. australis marsh and S. salsa marsh, respectively, but dropped to -11.30 Mg CO2 eq ha(-1) yr(-1) in S. alterniflora marsh. Our results indicate that although S. alterniflora invasion stimulates CH4 emissions, it can efficiently mitigate increases in atmospheric CO2 and N2O along the coast of China. PMID:25367159

  9. Sediment redistributed by coastal marsh mosquito ditching in Cape May County, New Jersey, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirby, Ronald E.; Widjeskog, Lee E.

    2013-01-01

    Effects of mosquito ditching on salt marsh sediment budgets have not been quantified for lack of sufficient records, but such information is necessary to provide historical context for current management objectives. We were able to do so in Cape May County New Jersey where Mosquito Extermination Commission records reported 1,493,900 m3 of spoil redistributed through ditching from1902 to 1974. The amount of spoil redistributed rose to 2,240,850 m3–22,987,800 m3 overall when ditch cleaning efforts were included. On a 54 km2 study area, 161,560 m of ditches removed as much as 99,000 m3 of material. If all such sediment stayed in the system and was deposited in open water, it would have added 0.082 mm/yr to those areas. If the sediments had accumulated only in the larger water bodies, it would have been sufficient to add 0.16 mm/yr to those areas. Alternatively, if the material had been deposited only on the marsh surface, the material displaced by mosquito ditching was capable of adding only 0.036 mm/yr. These rates are inconsequential in a system infilling at a rate of 4.4–7.4 mm/yr. Materials released by mosquito ditching thus have added to the sediment budgets of this coastal system, but shoaling of bays and sounds in recent centuries is a consequence of increases in all sediment sources including many of anthropogenic origin. Nonetheless, other consequences of ditching to the marsh (e.g., increased drainage, transport of water, and erosion of ditch banks) are not negligible in consideration of all anthropogenic effects. These data can help parameterize models of salt marsh accretion in the face of climate change.

  10. High Biomass Specific Methyl Halide Production Rates of Selected Coastal Marsh Plants and its Relationship to Halide Content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manley, S. L.; Wang, N.; Cicerone, R. J.

    2002-12-01

    Salt tolerant coastal marsh plants (halophytes) have previously been shown to be globally significant producers of methyl chloride (MeCl) and methyl bromide (MeBr). While halophytes are known for their high salt content, there are few reports of their halide content. Our studies have attempted to quantify biomass specific methyl halide (MeX) production from these plants and relate it to tissue halide levels. MeCl, MeBr and MeI production rates and tissue chloride, bromide and iodide concentrations from selected coastal marsh plants were measured for nearly a year. Certain halophyte species (i.e. Batis and Frankenia) have very high summer biomass specific production rates for MeX (e.g. Frankenia: 1 ug MeCl /gfwt/hr; 80 ng MeBr/gfwt/hr; 8 ng MeI/gfwt/hr). These rates of MeCl and MeBr production are much higher than those from other coastal marsh plants or seaweeds. Plant halide levels remain high throughout the year, while MeX production peaks at a high level in mid summer falling to low winter rates. This implies a linkage to plant growth. Higher levels of chloride and bromide were seen in the fleshy marsh plants such as Batis (saltwort, approximately 20 percent dry wt chloride, 0.4 percent dry wt bromide) and Salicornia (pickleweed) than in the others such as Frankenia (alkali heath) approx 7 percent dry wt chloride, 0.1 percent dry wt bromide) or Spartina (cordgrass). No such trend was seen for iodide, which ranged from 4 - 10 ppm. Calculations show the daily halide losses from MeX production are far less than the variability in tissue halide content. MeX production removes a small fraction of the total tissue halide from these plants suggesting that MeX production is not a mechanism used by these species to control internal halide levels. Saltwort cell-free extracts incubated with bromide or iodide in the presence of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) produced the corresponding MeX. MeBr production was inhibited by caffeic acid the substrate of lignin-specific O

  11. Problems, Prescriptions and Potential in Actionable Climate Change Science - A Case Study from California Coastal Marsh Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, G. M.; Ambrose, R. F.; Thorne, K.; Takekawa, J.; Brown, L. N.; Fejtek, S.; Gold, M.; Rosencranz, J.

    2015-12-01

    Frustrations regarding the provision of actionable science extend to both producers and consumers. Scientists decry the lack of application of their research in shaping policy and practices while decision makers bemoan the lack of applicability of scientific research to the specific problems at hand or its narrow focus relative to the plethora of engineering, economic and social considerations that they must also consider. Incorporating climate change adds additional complexity due to uncertainties in estimating many facets of future climate, the inherent variability of climate and the decadal scales over which significant changes will develop. Recently a set of guidelines for successful science-policy interaction was derived from the analysis of transboundary water management. These are; 1 recognizing that science is a crucial but bounded input into the decision-making processes, 2 early establishment of conditions for collaboration and shared commitment among participants, 3 understanding that science-policy interactions are enhanced through greater collaboration and social or group-learning processes, 4 accepting that the collaborative production of knowledge is essential to build legitimate decision-making processes, and 5 engaging boundary organizations and informal networks as well as formal stakeholders. Here we present as a case study research on California coastal marshes, climate change and sea-level that is being conducted by university and USGS scientists under the auspices of the Southwest Climate Science Center. We also present research needs identified by a seperate analysis of best practices for coastal marsh restoration in the face of climate change that was conducted in extensive consultation with planners and managers. The initial communication, scientific research and outreach-dissemination of the marsh scientfic study are outlined and compared to best practices needs identified by planners and the science-policy guidelines outlined above

  12. Historic topographic sheets to satellite imagery—A methodology for evaluating coastal change in Florida's Big Bend tidal marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raabe, Ellen A.; Streck, Amy E.; Stumpf, Richard P.

    2004-01-01

    This open-file report details the methodology used to rectify, digitize, and mosaic nineteen 19th century topographic sheets on the marsh-dominated Big Bend Gulf coast of Florida. Historic charts of tidal marshes in Florida's Big Bend were prepared in a digital grid-based format for comparison with modern features derived from 1995 satellite imagery. The chart-by-chart rectification process produced a map accuracy of ± 8 m. An effort was made to evaluate secondary map features, such as tree islands, but changes during the intervening years exceed standard surveying errors and rendered the analysis ineffective. A map, at 1:300,000 comparing historic and modern features, is provided to illustrate major changes along the coastline. Shoreline erosion is exceeded by the inland migration of the intertidal zone onto adjoining coastal forest lands. While statements of mapping accuracy are provided in the text, graphic representation of changes in the intertidal zone may be inexact at any given location. Thus caution is advised for site-specific applications. Maps and digital files provided should be used to visualize overall trends and regional anomalies, and not used to critically assess features at a particular location. Final product includes mosaic of historic coastal features and comparison to modern features.

  13. Influence of the Wax Lake Delta sediment diversion on aboveground plant productivity and carbon storage in deltaic island and mainland coastal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLaune, R. D.; Sasser, C. E.; Evers-Hebert, E.; White, J. R.; Roberts, H. H.

    2016-08-01

    Coastal Louisiana is experiencing a significant loss of coastal wetland area due to increasing sea level rise, subsidence, sediment starvation and marsh collapse. The construction of large scale Mississippi River sediment diversions is currently being planned in an effort to help combat coastal wetlands losses at a rate of >50 km-2 y-1. The Wax Lake Delta (WLD) is currently being used as a model for evaluating potential land gain from large scale diversions of Mississippi River water and sediment. In this study, we determine the impact of the WLD diversion on plant production at newly formed islands within the delta and adjacent, mainland freshwater marshes. Plant aboveground productivity, sediment nutrient status and short term accretion were measured at three locations on a transect at each of three fresh water marsh sites along Hog Bayou and at six newly formed emerging island sites in the delta. Spring flooding has resulted in a greater increase in plant production and consequently, greater carbon sequestration potential in adjacent mainland marshes compared to the newly formed island sites, which contain less total carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) in the sediment. While sediment diversions are predicted to create land, as seen in island formation in the WLD, the greatest benefit of river sediment diversions from a carbon credit perspective might be to the adjacent freshwater mainland marshes for several reasons. Both greater plant production and sediment C accumulation are two important factors for marsh stability, while perhaps even more critical, is the prevention of the loss of stored sediment C in the marsh profile. This stored C would be lost without the introduction of freshwater, nutrients and sediment through river sediment diversion efforts.

  14. Threats to Marsh Resources and Mitigation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Salt marshes inhabit low-energy, intertidal shorelines worldwide and are among the most abundant and productive coastal ecosystems. Salt-marsh ecosystems provide a wide array of benefits to coastal populations, including shoreline protection, fishery support, water quality impr...

  15. VARYING STABLE NITROGEN ISOTOPIC RATIOS OF DIFFERENT COASTAL MARSH PLANTS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH WASTEWATER NITROGEN AND LAND USE IN NEW ENGLAND, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable nitrogen isotopic ratios of coastal biota have been used as indicators of sources of anthropogenic nitrogen. In this study the relationships of the stable nitrogen isotopic ratios of salt marsh plants, Iva frutescens (L.), Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin ex Steud, Spar...

  16. Groundwater dynamic, temperature and salinity response to the tide in Patagonian marshes: Observations on a coastal wetland in San José Gulf, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez, María del Pilar; Carol, Eleonora; Hernández, Mario A.; Bouza, Pablo J.

    2015-10-01

    The processes regulating the relationship between tidal flows and shallow groundwater dynamics, temperature and salinity in a coastal wetland in an arid climate are analysed in a detailed field study carried out in the marsh located at Playa Fracasso (Argentina). The continuous records of groundwater level, temperature and electrical conductivity from a transect perpendicular to the coastline were studied during a period ranging from summer to winter, together with the information obtained in hydrogeomorphological field surveys and soil profiles. An assessment of the processes conditioning marsh hydrology was carried out contemplating seasonal (summer-winter) and periodical variations caused by tidal flows. The study showed that the dynamics of groundwater in relation to tidal flows depends almost exclusively on the infiltration of tidal water when the marsh is flooded during spring tides (syzygy), with an increase in the groundwater discharge level at the onset of syzygy. The differences in temperature between sea and continental water were very useful in defining the origin of the different contributions. Groundwater salinity is mainly associated with the leaching of the soil salts that enter with the sea water infiltrating during flood events. The presence of saline soils in the marsh is regulated by the evapotranspiration predominating in arid zones. The conceptual hydrological model suggested may help in the understanding of the hydrological processes in other similar marshes of Patagonia, as well as in coastal wetlands of arid zones worldwide.

  17. Forcing functions governing salt transport processes in coastal navigation canals and connectivity to surrounding marshes in South Louisiana using Houma Navigation Canal as a surrogate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snedden, Gregg

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how circulation and mixing processes in coastal navigation canals influence the exchange of salt between marshes and coastal ocean, and how those processes are modulated by external physical processes, is critical to anticipating effects of future actions and circumstance. Examples of such circumstances include deepening the channel, placement of locks in the channel, changes in freshwater discharge down the channel, changes in outer continental shelf (OCS) vessel traffic volume, and sea level rise. The study builds on previous BOEM-funded studies by investigating salt flux variability through the Houma Navigation Canal (HNC). It examines how external physical factors, such as buoyancy forcing and mixing from tidal stirring and OCS vessel wakes, influence dispersive and advective fluxes through the HNC and the impact of this salt flux on salinity in nearby marshes. This study quantifies salt transport processes and salinity variability in the HNC and surrounding Terrebonne marshes. Data collected for this study include time-series data of salinity and velocity in the HNC, monthly salinity-depth profiles along the length of the channel, hourly vertical profiles of velocity and salinity over multiple tidal cycles, and salinity time series data at three locations in the surrounding marshes along a transect of increasing distance from the HNC. Two modes of vertical current structure were identified. The first mode, making up 90% of the total flow field variability, strongly resembled a barotropic current structure and was coherent with alongshelf wind stress over the coastal Gulf of Mexico. The second mode was indicative of gravitational circulation and was linked to variability in tidal stirring and the longitudinal salinity gradients along the channel’s length. Diffusive process were dominant drivers of upestuary salt transport, except during periods of minimal tidal stirring when gravitational circulation became more important. Salinity in the

  18. Effects of freshwater input on trace element pollution in salt marsh soils of a typical coastal estuary, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Junhong; Zhao, Qingqing; Lu, Qiongqiong; Wang, Junjing; Reddy, K. Ramesh

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater input is an important pathway for the restoration of degraded coastal wetlands, however, little information is available on the negative effects of freshwater inputs on salt marsh soils in restored wetlands. Soil profile samples to a depth of 70 cm were collected in both degraded wetland (DW) and freshwater restored wetland (RW) in the Yellow River Delta of China to analyze the trace element pollution effects of freshwater input on coastal wetland soils. Heavy metals (i.e. Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and arsenic (As) concentrations were determined using the inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectrometry to investigate their distributions, sources and ecotoxicity in marsh soils from both wetlands. Our results showed that these trace elements had moderate spatial variability in both DW and RW soils. The concentrations of As, Cr, Pb and Cd in all soil layers were generally higher in RW soils than those in DW soils (p < 0.05), whereas the concentrations of Zn and Cu were higher in DW soils. Heavy metals had similar source in both wetlands, however, As and Zn in DW or As, Zn and Ni in RW might have another similar origin. The enrichment factor (EF) values for Cu, Ni and Pb in both wetlands indicated minimal enrichment levels, whereas both As and Cd were significantly enriched with EF values 3 or 6 times greater than 1.5, implying a significant natural or anthropogenic origin. As and Ni exceeded the effect range low (ERL) and threshold effect level (TEL) in both wetlands, even As exceeded the probable effect level (PEL) in RW soils. Cr, Cu and Cd were grouped into TELs-PELs, moreover, Cr concentrations in RW soils exceeded the ERL. However, both Pb and Zn concentrations were below the TELs in both wetlands. Generally, The toxic unit in more than 85% of DW or RW soil samples showed low toxicity with higher contribution of As and Ni. It is necessary to monitor and control trace elements in the freshwater supplied to restored wetlands in coastal wetland

  19. A nitrogen-rich septage-effluent plume in a coastal aquifer, marsh, and creek system, Orleans, Massachusetts; project summary, 1988-95

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weiskel, P.K.; DeSimone, L.A.; Howes, B.L.

    1996-01-01

    A report summarizing the major findings of an ongoing study of a nitrogen-rich septage-effluent plume in Orleans, Massachusetts has been published. The study is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Watershed Management, with additional support from the Cape Cod Commission. The report describes the history of the septage-effluent plume in the coastal aquifer and the results of baseline water-quality, sediment, and vegetation monitoring in Namskaket Marsh and Namskaket Creek, the expected discharge areas for the effluent plume. Namskaket Marsh has been recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and Namskaket Creek, which flows through the marsh, has been designated as an Outstanding Resource Water. Peter Weiskel, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist and principal author of the report, said that discharge of effluent from the treatment facility since February 1990 has resulted in a plume of nitrogen-rich (10 to 40 milligrams of nitrogen per liter) ground water that is travelling at about 0.4 feet per day westward and northwestward toward Namskaket Marsh and Cape Cod Bay. Seepage zones near the marsh-upland boundary and the bottoms of Namskaket Creek and tributaries are the most likely discharge areas for the effluent plume. High rates of ground-water discharge (averaging 0.30 gallon per square foot per hour) have been measured in these zones during the ebb-tide. Measurements of nitrate uptake by sediments in these zones indicate considerable potential for nitrate removal during plume discharge through these zones. The marsh vegetation is dominated by Phragmites australis (common reed) in the seepage zone near the upland boundary, and by Spartina patens (salt-meadow grass) in the interior areas of the marsh. Further study is required to (1) continue mapping the progress of the plume toward the marsh and creek, (1) define the potential

  20. Ecogeomorphology of Spartina patens-dominated tidal marshes: Soil organic matter accumulation, marsh elevation dynamics, and disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, D.R.; Ford, M.A.; Hensel, P.F.

    2004-01-01

    Marsh soil development and vertical accretion in Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.-dominated tidal marshes is largely dependent on soil organic matter accumulation from root-rhizome production and litter deposition. Yet there are few quantitative data sets on belowground production and the relationship between soil organic matter accumulation and soil elevation dynamics for this marsh type. Spartina patens marshes are subject to numerous stressors, including sea-level rise, water level manipulations (i.e., flooding and draining) by impoundments, and prescribed burning. These stressors could influence long-term marsh sustainability by their effect on root production, soil organic matter accumulation, and soil elevation dynamics. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the interactions among vegetative production, soil organic matter accumulation and marsh elevation dynamics, or the ecogeomorphology, of Spartina patens-dominated tidal marshes. Additional studies are needed of belowground production/decomposition and soil elevation change (measured simultaneously) to better understand the links among soil organic matter accumulation, soil elevation change, and disturbance in this marsh type. From a management perspective, we need to better understand the impacts of disturbance stressors, both lethal and sub-lethal, and the interactive effect of multiple stressors on soil elevation dynamics in order to develop better management practices to safeguard marsh sustainability as sea level rises.

  1. Effects of dispersant used for oil spill remediation on nitrogen cycling in Louisiana coastal salt marsh soil.

    PubMed

    Pietroski, Jason P; White, John R; DeLaune, Ronald D

    2015-01-01

    On April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) offshore oil platform experienced an explosion which triggered the largest marine oil spill in US history. Approximately 7.9 million liters of dispersant, Corexit EC9500A, was used during the spill between May 15th and July 12th. Marsh soil samples were collected from an unimpacted marsh site proximal to coastal areas that suffered light to heavy oiling for a laboratory evaluation to determine the effect of Corexit on the wetland soil microbial biomass as well as N-mineralization and denitrification rates. Microbial biomass nitrogen (N) values were below detection for the 1:10, 1:100 and 1:1000 Corexit:wet soil treatments. The potentially mineralizable N (PMN) rate correlated with microbial biomass with significantly lower rates for the 1:10 and 1:100 Corexit:wet soil additions. Potential denitrification rates for Corexit:wet soil ratios after immediate dispersant exposure were below detection for the 1:10 treatment, while the 1:100 was 7.6±2.7% of the control and the 1:1000 was 33±4.3% of the control. The 1:10000 treatment was not significantly different from the control. Denitrification rates measured after 2 weeks exposure to the surfactant found the 1:10 treatment still below detection limit and the 1:100 ratio was 12±2.6% of the control. Results from this lab study suggest that chemical dispersants have the potential to negatively affect the wetland soil microbial biomass and resultant microbial activity. Consequences of exposure led to reductions in several important microbial-regulated ecosystem services including water quality improvement (denitrification) and ecosystem primary productivity (N-mineralization). Future studies should investigate the longer-term impacts of dispersant exposure on the microbial consortia to determine if microbial activity recovers over time. PMID:25123788

  2. NITROGEN CONCENTRATIONS IN LOADING SOURCES FOR THREE COASTAL LAGOONS FROM ATMOSPHERIC AND WATERSHED SOURCES, ADJACENT COASTAL MARSHES, TIDAL EXCHANGES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract and Oral Presentation Gulf Estuarine Research Society.

    Standing stocks and inputs of total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) to three coastal lagoons, hereafter referred to as Kee's Bayou, Gongora, and State Park, with varying adjacent land-use, geomorphology, and water re...

  3. Changes in soils and vegetation in a Mediterranean coastal salt marsh impacted by human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez-Rogel, J.; Jiménez-Cárceles, F. J.; Roca, M. J.; Ortiz, R.

    2007-07-01

    This paper reports changes in vegetation distribution and species cover in relation to soil factors and hydrology in a semiarid Mediterranean salt marsh adjacent to the Mar Menor saline lagoon. Species cover, soil salinity, and the groundwater level were monitored between 1991 and 1993 and between 2002 and 2004, and total organic carbon, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, nitrates, ammonium and exchangeable phosphorus were measured in the soils in both study periods. In addition, three soil profiles were described in August 1992 and August 2004. The results indicate an elevation of the water table throughout the 13-year period, which was attributable to water flowing from areas with intensive agriculture. Flooding increased and soil salinity dropped in the most saline sites and increased in the least saline ones. The morphology of the soil profiles reflected the increase in flooding periods, due to the appearance of a greyer matrix in the deeper horizons and a more diffuse pattern of Fe mottles. Following these environmental changes, Sarcocornia fruticosa, Phragmites australis and Juncus maritimus strongly expanded at the wettest sites, which led to the disappearance of the original zonation pattern. The cover of Limonium delicatulum, in turn, decreased with the increase in moisture but increased following the increase in salinity. Changes in soil nutrients were only very evident in the sandy soils of the beach, probably due to the influence of organic debris deposited on the shoreline by the storms and due to the strong increase in the colonisation of this habitat by perennial species. According to the results obtained, control measures are needed in order to preserve habitat diversity in this and other salt marshes of this area. Monitoring of the vegetation distribution could be a useful tool to identify environmental impacts, in order to implement remedial actions.

  4. USEPA RESEARCH ON FISH - HABITAT RELATIONSHIPS IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL MARSHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite numerous studies documenting fish use of particular habitat elements, the role of habitat mosaics in supporting wetland fishes is poorly understood. USEPA's Mid-Continent Ecology Division has initiated research to identify relationships of fish and habitat in coastal mars...

  5. Phylogenetic diversity of Archaea in sediment samples from a coastal salt marsh.

    PubMed Central

    Munson, M A; Nedwell, D B; Embley, T M

    1997-01-01

    The Archaea present in salt marsh sediment samples from a tidal creek and from an adjacent area of vegetative marshland, both of which showed active methanogenesis and sulfate reduction, were sampled by using 16S rRNA gene libraries created with Archaea-specific primers. None of the sequences were the same as reference sequences from cultured taxa, although some were closely related to sequences from methanogens previously isolated from marine sediments. A wide range of Euryarchaeota sequences were recovered, but no sequences from Methanococcus, Methanobacterium, or the Crenarchaeota were recovered. Clusters of closely related sequences were common and generally contained sequences from both sites, suggesting that some related organisms were present in both samples. Recovery of sequences closely related to those of methanogens such as Methanococcoides and Methanolobus, which can use substrates other than hydrogen, provides support for published hypotheses that such methanogens are probably important in sulfate-rich sediments and identifies some likely candidates. Sequences closely related to those of methanogens such as Methanoculleus and Methanogenium, which are capable of using hydrogen, were also discovered, in agreement with previous inhibitor and process measurements suggesting that these taxa are present at low levels of activity. More surprisingly, we recovered a variety of sequences closely related to those from different halophilic Archaea and a cluster of divergent sequences specifically related to the marine group II archaeal sequences recently shown by PCR and probing to have a cosmopolitan distribution in marine samples. PMID:9406392

  6. Level and degradation of Deepwater Horizon spilled oil in coastal marsh sediments and pore-water.

    PubMed

    Natter, Michael; Keevan, Jeff; Wang, Yang; Keimowitz, Alison R; Okeke, Benedict C; Son, Ahjeong; Lee, Ming-Kuo

    2012-06-01

    This research investigates the level and degradation of oil at ten selected Gulf saltmarsh sites months after the 2010 BP Macondo-1 well oil spill. Very high levels (10-28%) of organic carbon within the heavily oiled sediments are clearly distinguished from those in pristine sediments (<3%). Dissolved organic carbon in contaminated pore-waters, ranging up to hundreds of mg/kg, are 1 to 2 orders of magnitude higher than those at pristine sites. Heavily oiled sediments are characterized by very high sulfide concentrations (up to 80 mg/kg) and abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria. Geochemical biomarkers and stable carbon isotope analyses fingerprint the presence of oils in sediments. Ratios of selected parameters calculated from the gas chromatograph spectra are in a remarkable narrow range among spilled oils and initial BP crude. At oiled sites dominated by C(4) plants, δ(13)C values of sediments (-20.8 ± 2.0‰) have been shifted significantly lower compared to marsh plants (-14.8 ± 0.6‰) due to the inflow of isotopically lighter oil (-27 ± 0.2‰). Our results show that (1) lighter compounds of oil are quickly degraded by microbes while the heavier fractions of oil still remain and (2) higher inputs of organic matter from the oil spill enhance the key microbial processes associated with sulfate reducing bacteria. PMID:22571231

  7. Diversity of Vibrio spp in Karstic Coastal Marshes in the Yucatan Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coastal bodies of water formed by the combination of seawater, underground rivers and rainwater comprise the systems with the greatest solar energy flow and biomass production on the planet. These characteristics make them reservoirs for a large number species, mainly microorganisms. Bacteria of the genus Vibrio are natural inhabitants of these environments and their presence is determined by variations in the nutrient, temperature and salinity cycles generated by the seasonal hydrologic behavior of these lagoon systems. This study determined the diversity of the genus Vibrio in 4 coastal bodies of water on the Yucatan Peninsula (Celestun Lagoon, Chelem Lagoon, Rosada Lagoon and Sabancuy Estuary). Using the molecular technique of 454 pyrosequencing, DNA extracted from water samples was analyzed and 32,807 reads were obtained belonging to over 20 culturable species of the genus Vibrio and related genera. OTU (operational taxonomic unit) richness and Chao2 and Shannon Weaver diversity indices were obtained with the database from this technique. Physicochemical and environmental parameters were determined and correlated with Vibrio diversity measured in OTUs. PMID:26252792

  8. Decomposition and heavy metal variations of the typical halophyte litters in coastal marshes of the Yellow River estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhigao; Mou, Xiaojie; Sun, Wanlong

    2016-03-01

    The concentrations of C, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni and Mn were determined in decomposing litters of Phragmites australis, Suaeda salsa and Suaeda glauca in three plots of the Yellow River estuary to investigate the variations of metal stocks. Results showed that the decomposition rates significantly differed among species (p < 0.05), in the order of S. glauca (0.002010 d(-1)) > S. salsa (0.000814 d(-1)) > P. australis (0.000766 d(-1)). The concentrations of Cu and Zn in the three litters (particularly S. glauca) generally showed increasing tendency, while those of Pb, Cr, Ni and Mn exhibited different temporal variations. Compared to P. australis and S. salsa, the key mechanisms affecting the variation of metals in S. glauca might be more complex. In most periods, Pb stocks in P. australis, S. salsa and S. glauca, Zn stocks in S. salsa and S. glauca, and Cr, Ni and Mn stocks in P. australis and S. glauca were lower than the initial ones, implying that release exceeded incorporation. Comparatively, Zn stocks in P. australis, Cr, Ni and Mn stocks in S. salsa and in particular Cu stocks in the three litters were generally positive, evidencing incorporation of these metals in most sampling times. The three halophytes were particular efficient in binding Cu and releasing Pb, indicating that the potential eco-toxic risk of Pb exposure might be serious. This study emphasized the strong influences of key biotic (litter types, carbon/metal ratios and activities of microbial organisms) and abiotic variables (salinity, sediment resuspension induced by tidal inundation and passive sorption onto recalcitrant organic fractions) on metal cycling in coastal marshes of the Yellow River estuary. PMID:26766352

  9. Salt marsh dieback in coastal Louisiana: survey of plant and soil conditions in Barataria and Terrebonne basins, June 2000-September 2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, Karen L.; Mendelssohn, Irving A.; Materne, Michael D.

    2006-01-01

    Sudden and extensive dieback of the perennial marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora Loisel (smooth cordgrass), which dominates regularly flooded salt marshes along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines, occurred in the coastal zone of Louisiana. The objectives of this study were to assess soil and plant conditions in dieback areas of the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine system as well as vegetative recovery during and after this dieback event. Multiple dieback sites were examined along 100 km of shoreline from the Atchafalaya River to the Mississippi River during the period from June 2000 through September 2001. The species primarily affected was S. alterniflora; sympatric species such as Avicennia germinans (L.) Stearn (black mangrove) and Juncus roemerianus Scheele (needlegrass rush) showed no visible signs of stress. The pattern of marsh dieback was distinctive with greatest mortality in the marsh interior, suggesting a correlation with local patterns of soil chemistry and/or hydrology. Little or no expansion of dieback occurred subsequent to the initial event, and areas with 50 percent or less mortality in the fall of 2000 had completely recovered by April 2001. Recovery was slower in interior marshes with 90 percent or greater mortality initially. However, regenerating plants in dieback areas showing some recovery were robust, and reproductive output was high, indicating that the causative agent was no longer present and that post-dieback soil conditions were actually promoting plant growth. Stands of other species within or near some dieback sites remained largely unchanged or expanded (A. germinans) into the dead salt marsh. The cause of the dieback is currently unknown. Biotic agents and excessive soil waterlogging/high sulfide were ruled out as primary causes of this acute event, although they could have contributed to overall plant stress and/or interacted with the primary agent to cause plant mortality. Our observations over the 15 month study

  10. Bottom-up and top-down human impacts interact to affect a protected coastal Chilean marsh.

    PubMed

    Fariña, José M; He, Qiang; Silliman, Brian R; Bertness, Mark D

    2016-03-01

    Many ecosystems, even in protected areas, experience multiple anthropogenic impacts. While anthropogenic modification of bottom-up (e.g., eutrophication) and top-down (e.g., livestock grazing) forcing often co-occurs, whether these factors counteract or have additive or synergistic effects on ecosystems is poorly understood. In a Chilean bio-reserve, we examined the interactive impacts of eutrophication and illegal livestock grazing on plant growth with a 4-yr fertilization by cattle exclusion experiment. Cattle grazing generally decreased plant biomass, but had synergistic, additive, and antagonistic interactions with fertilization in the low, middle, and high marsh zones, respectively. In the low marsh, fertilization increased plant biomass by 112%, cattle grazing decreased it by 96%, and together they decreased plant biomass by 77%. In the middle marsh, fertilization increased plant biomass by 47%, cattle grazing decreased it by 37%, and together they did not affect plant biomass. In the high marsh, fertilization and cattle grazing decreased plant biomass by 81% and 92%, respectively, but together they increased plant biomass by 42%. These interactions were also found to be species specific. Different responses of plants to fertilization and cattle grazing were likely responsible for these variable interactions. Thus, common bottom-up and top-down human impacts can interact in different ways to affect communities even within a single ecosystem. Incorporating this knowledge into conservation actions will improve ecosystem management in a time when ecosystems are increasingly challenged by multiple interacting human impacts. PMID:27197391

  11. Species profiles: Life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (Mid-Atlantic): Atlantic marsh fiddler

    SciTech Connect

    Grimes, B.H.; Huish, M.T.; Kerby, J.H.; Moran, D.; National Wetlands Research Center, Slidell, LA )

    1989-09-01

    The Atlantic marsh fiddler is the only endemic species of Uca in the Mid-Atlantic region. Males display a series of visual and acoustical displays during mating, with a weak waving and bleaching of the larger claw. Egg clutch size in female varies. Larvae are released in phase with nocturnal high tides. The 5 zoeal and 1 megalops stages compose much of the estuarine plankton. First and second crab stages are weak and unable to burrow. Adult lifespan is 1--1.5 years with 1--2 molts per year. Molting is temperature dependent and ceases below 20{degree}C. Crabs feed by scrubbing the preferred muddy substratum for diatoms, fungi, vascular plants, and debris, bioturbating and recycling the marsh surface. This crab is eaten regularly by estuarine birds, fish, crabs, and some mammals. This fiddler can acclimate to lower temperatures, but dies below 2-3{degree}C or above 40{degree}C. It prefers seawater, lacking freshwater tolerance. Oxygen uptake correlates with activity. Preferred habitats are muddy substrata and short smooth cordgrass. Burrow density decreases from low to high marsh. The Atlantic marsh fiddler has the highest radiation LD-50 of sympatric species of fiddler crabs. Insecticides Temefos, DDT, DDF, Aldrin, and Dieldrin, and contaminant PCB's, mercury, and cadmium reduce populations of fiddlers, some being concentrated in their tissues. 90 refs., 4 figs.

  12. Effects of weir management on marsh loss, Marsh Island, Louisiana, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyman, John A.; Chabreck, Robert H.; Linscombe, R. G.

    1990-11-01

    Weirs are low-level dams traditionally used in Louisiana's coastal marshes to improve habitat for ducks and furbearers. Currently, some workers hope that weirs may reduce marsh loss, whereas others fear that weirs may accelerate marsh loss. Parts of Marsh Island, Louisiana, have been weir-managed since 1958 to improve duck and furbearer habitat. Using aerial photographs, marsh loss that occurred between 1957 and 1983 in a 2922-ha weir-managed area was compared to that in a 2365-ha unmanaged area. Marsh loss was 0.38%/yr in the weir-managed area, and 0.35%/yr in the unmanaged area. Because marsh loss in the two areas differed less than 0.19%/yr, it was concluded that weirs did not affect marsh loss. The increase in open water between 1957 and 1983 did not result from the expansion of lakes or bayous. Rather, solid marsh converted to broken marsh, and the amount of vegetation within previously existing broken marsh decreased. Solid marsh farthest from large lakes and bayous, and adjacent to existing broken marsh, seemed more likely to break up. Marsh Island has few canals; therefore, marsh loss resulted primarily from natural processes. Weirs may have different effects under different hydrological conditions; additional studies are needed before generalizations regarding weirs and marsh loss can be made.

  13. Marsh Soil Responses to Nutrients: Belowground Structural and Organic Properties

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal marsh responses to nutrient enrichment apparently depend upon soil matrix and whether the system is primarily biogenic or minerogenic. Deteriorating organic rich marshes (Jamaica Bay, NY) receiving wastewater effluent had lower belowground biomass, organic matter, and soi...

  14. Marsh Soil Responses to Nutrients: Belowground Structural and Organic Properties.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal marsh responses to nutrient enrichment apparently depend upon soil matrix and whether the system is primarily biogenic or minerogenic. Deteriorating organic rich marshes (Jamaica Bay, NY) receiving wastewater effluent had lower belowground biomass, organic matter, and soi...

  15. MARITIME FOREST RIDGE AND MARSH RESTORATION AT PORT FOURCHON, LA MX974883

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Louisiana Coastal Zone is experiencing serious coastal erosion and wetland deterioration. This continued loss of interior vegetative marsh will result in the loss of estuaries and the wetlands that they protect. Interior vegetative marshes, shorelines, chenier ridges, bay a...

  16. HUMAN IMPACTS ON NEW ENGLAND SALT MARSHES: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Results from this research will explain differences between coastal marshes with different histories of human disturbance and distinguish between natural features of coastal marshes and features that are artifacts of human land use.

  17. Comparison of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in plants from disturbed and adjacent undisturbed regions of a coastal salt marsh in Clinton, Connecticut, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooke, John C.; Lefor, Michael W.

    1990-01-01

    Roots of salt marsh plant species Spartina alterniflora, S. patens, Distichlis spicata, and others were examined for the presence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi. Samples were taken from introduced planted material in a salt marsh restoration project and from native material in adjacent marsh areas along the Indian River, Clinton, Connecticut, USA. After ten years the replanted area still has sites devoid of vegetation. The salt marsh plants introduced there were devoid of VAM fungi, while high marsh species from the adjacent undisturbed region showed consistent infection, leading the authors to suggest that VAM fungal infection of planting stocks may be a factor in the success of marsh restoration.

  18. Fate and Transport of Organic Contaminants in Coastal Marsh Sediments Resulting from the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natter, M.; Keevan, J.; Lee, M.; Keimowitz, A.; Savrda, C.; Son, A.; Okeke, B.; Wang, Y.

    2011-12-01

    The devastating explosion and subsequent sinking of the oil platform Deepwater Horizon at the British Petroleum Macondo-1 well in the Northern Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, released approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf before the well was capped on July 15, 2010. Although most light compounds of oil may be easily degraded by natural microbes on the short term, saturated heavy oil (e.g., asphaltenes, resins, polycyclic aromatics, etc.) and those adsorbed by sediments could persist in the environment for decades. The long-term effects of high levels of persistent oil compounds on biogeochemical evolution and ecosystems of salt marshes remain unclear. This research investigates the spatial range and changes in levels of oil and their biogeochemical impacts. A total of ten marsh sampling sites that varied from pristine, non-effected marshes (e.g., Weeks Bay and Wolf Bay, Alabama) to heavily oiled wetlands (e.g., Bay Jimmy and Bayou Dulac, Louisiana) were utilized for this study. Sediment cores, bulk sediments, surface water samples, degraded oil, oiled dead marsh grass, and live marsh grass were collected from these sites in an attempt to study the source, distribution, and evolution of organic compounds and oil present in sediments and pore-waters. Geochemical analyses show alarmingly high organic carbon loads in pore-waters and sediments at heavily contaminated sites months after the influx of oil ceased. Very high levels (10-28%) of total organic carbon (TOC) within the heavily oiled sediments (down to 30 cm) are clearly distinguished from those found in pristine wetland sediments (generally < 5%). TOC levels are elevated in the deeper sediments while being depleated in the uppermost ones at certain locations. The TOC contents in uppermost sediments may be reduced by microbial degradation, water mixing, and the use of oil dispersants. Furthermore, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) levels of pore-waters extracted from oiled sediments, ranging

  19. Effects of sediment burial disturbance on macro and microelement dynamics in decomposing litter of Phragmites australis in the coastal marsh of the Yellow River estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhigao; Mou, Xiaojie

    2016-03-01

    From April 2008 to November 2009, a field decomposition experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of sediment burial on macro (C, N) and microelement (Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni, and Mn) variations in decomposing litter of Phragmites australis in the coastal marsh of the Yellow River estuary. Three one-off sediment burial treatments [no sediment burial (0 mm year(-1), S0), current sediment burial (100 mm year(-1), S10), and strong sediment burial (200 mm year(-1), S20)] were laid in different decomposition sites. Results showed that sediment burials showed significant influence on the decomposition rate of P. australis, in the order of S10 (0.001990 day(-1)) ≈ S20 (0.001710 day(-1)) > S0 (0.000768 day(-1)) (p < 0.05). The macro and microelement in decomposing litters of the three burial depths exhibited different temporal variations except for Cu, Zn, and Ni. No significant differences in C, N, Pb, Cr, Zn, and Mn concentrations were observed among the three burial treatments except for Cu and Ni (p > 0.05). With increasing burial depth, N, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Mn concentrations generally increased, while C, Pb, and Zn concentrations varied insignificantly. Sediment burial was favorable for C and N release from P. australis, and, with increasing burial depth, the C release from litter significantly increased, and the N in litter shifted from accumulation to release. With a few exceptions, Pb, Cr, Zn, and Mn stocks in P. australis in the three treatments evidenced the export of metals from litter to environment, and, with increasing burial depth, the export amounts increased greatly. Stocks of Cu and Ni in P. australis in the S10 and S20 treatments were generally positive, evidencing incorporation of the two metals in most sampling times. Except for Ni, the variations of C, N, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, and Mn stocks in P. australis in the S10 and S20 treatments were approximated, indicating that the strong burial episodes (S20) occurred in P. australis

  20. The effects of vertebrate herbivory on plant community structure in the coastal marshes of the Pearl River, Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, K.L.; Grace, J.B.

    1995-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the impacts of herbivory by the introduced aquatic herbivore, nutria (Myocastor coypus), on three marsh communities of the Pearl River using fenced exclosures and control plots. Although total community above-ground biomass was reduced by 30% in the plots exposed to herbivory as compared to those protected from herbivory, we found species richness to be unaffected. When individual species were examined within each community,Panicum virgatum andAster subulatus were found to be significantly reduced by herbivory in the freshwater community,Panicum virgatum andVigna luteola were significantly increased by herbivory in the oligohaline community, and no species were significantly affected in the mesohaline community. We conclude that this herbivory has some specific effects on some plant species as well as having a general community effect.

  1. FROM MARSHES TO THE CONTINENTAL SHELF: RESULTS OF THE WESTERN COMPONENT OF THE USEPA NATIONAL COASTAL ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The National Coastal Assessment of the US EPA began field work in the Western US in 1999 -2000. Probabilistic sampling for biotic and abiotic condition indicators was conducted at 381 stations within estuaries of Washington, Oregon and California. In 2002, intertidal and low sal...

  2. Salt marshes. (Latest citations from Oceanic abstracts). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the environmental protection of coastal marshes. The citations explore the fauna and flora of the marshes, geological and ecological processes, and the effects of marine pollution. Seasonal and environmental variations, the effects of erosion, and stabilization techniques of marshes are also considered. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  3. Microbial Community Structure Responses to Long-Term Acid-Mine Drainage Contamination in a Coastal Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreau, J. W.; Zierenberg, R. A.; Banfield, J. F.

    2004-12-01

    Constructed wetlands for in situ bioremediation of metals and acid mine drainage (AMD) require the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to sequester dissolved metals into metal-sulfide precipitates (e.g. Webb et al. 1998). Factors such as low pH and high dissolved [Cu] will constrain the growth of SRB (Sani et al. 2001). Unintentional stimulation of the growth of sulfuric acid-generating microbes, such as Thiomicrospira, would also decrease bioremediation efficiency. Few studies of natural wetlands under long-term forcing by AMD and metals have been performed. We characterized the microbial diversity, mineralogy and geochemistry of a contaminated salt marsh at the Richmond Field Station along the East San Francisco Bay. For over 50 years, this marsh has received pH ˜2, metal-rich groundwaters from near-surface pyrite tailings and paint and explosives manufacturers. Sediment cores (30-40 cm long) were taken from contaminated sites with pH ˜2 and ˜8. Whole-sediment analyses showed As, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, and Pb are present at 100s of ppm (URS Corp. 2001). ICP-AES analyses of pore waters showed 10-50 ppb As. All cores contained fine-grained black muds and exhibited a noticeable sulfide odor. Transmission electron microscope studies of marsh sediments support the sequestration of metals into aggregates of nanocrystalline sulfides. Isotopic analyses of pore-water sulfate taken at several depths within cores of AMD pool (SMR-1) and tidal slough sediments (SM148-1) at pHs 2-3 and 7-8, respectively, all yielded significant negative δ 34S values (-25 to -35 ‰ ) consistent with bacterial sulfate reduction. However, values of the upper 10 cm of SMR-1 are roughly 10 ‰ heavier than seawater and support a significant contribution of dissolved sulfate from direct oxidation of pyrite tailings. 16S gene clone libraries revealed significantly different microbial community structures in cores SMR-1 and SM148-1. Roughly 40% of the library from SMR-1 consisted of

  4. Long-Term Effect of Agricultural Reclamation on Soil Chemical Properties of a Coastal Saline Marsh in Bohai Rim, Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yidong; Wang, Zhong-Liang; Feng, Xiaoping; Guo, Changcheng; Chen, Qing

    2014-01-01

    Over the past six decades, coastal wetlands in China have experienced rapid and extensive agricultural reclamation. In the context of saline conditions, long-term effect of cultivation after reclamation on soil chemical properties has not been well understood. We studied this issue using a case of approximately 60-years cultivation of a coastal saline marsh in Bohai Rim, northern China. The results showed that long-term reclamation significantly decreased soil organic carbon (SOC) (−42.2%) and total nitrogen (TN) (−25.8%) at surface layer (0–30 cm) as well as their stratification ratios (SRs) (0–5 cm:50–70 cm and 5–10 cm:50–70 cm). However, there was no significant change in total phosphorus (TP) as well as its SRs under cultivation. Cultivation markedly reduced ratios of SOC to TN, SOC to TP and TN to TP at surface layer (0–30 cm) and their SRs (0–5 cm:50–70 cm). After cultivation, electrical conductivity and salinity significantly decreased by 60.1% and 55.3% at 0–100 cm layer, respectively, suggesting a great desalinization. In contrast, soil pH at 20–70 cm horizons notably increased as an effect of reclamation. Cultivation also changed compositions of cations at 0–10 cm layer and anions at 5–100 cm layer, mainly decreasing the proportion of Na+, Cl− and SO42−. Furthermore, cultivation significantly reduced the sodium adsorption ratio and exchangeable sodium percentage in plow-layer (0–20 cm) but not residual sodium carbonate, suggesting a reduction in sodium harm. PMID:24695526

  5. Long-term effect of agricultural reclamation on soil chemical properties of a coastal saline marsh in Bohai Rim, northern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yidong; Wang, Zhong-Liang; Feng, Xiaoping; Guo, Changcheng; Chen, Qing

    2014-01-01

    Over the past six decades, coastal wetlands in China have experienced rapid and extensive agricultural reclamation. In the context of saline conditions, long-term effect of cultivation after reclamation on soil chemical properties has not been well understood. We studied this issue using a case of approximately 60-years cultivation of a coastal saline marsh in Bohai Rim, northern China. The results showed that long-term reclamation significantly decreased soil organic carbon (SOC) (-42.2%) and total nitrogen (TN) (-25.8%) at surface layer (0-30 cm) as well as their stratification ratios (SRs) (0-5 cm:50-70 cm and 5-10 cm:50-70 cm). However, there was no significant change in total phosphorus (TP) as well as its SRs under cultivation. Cultivation markedly reduced ratios of SOC to TN, SOC to TP and TN to TP at surface layer (0-30 cm) and their SRs (0-5 cm:50-70 cm). After cultivation, electrical conductivity and salinity significantly decreased by 60.1% and 55.3% at 0-100 cm layer, respectively, suggesting a great desalinization. In contrast, soil pH at 20-70 cm horizons notably increased as an effect of reclamation. Cultivation also changed compositions of cations at 0-10 cm layer and anions at 5-100 cm layer, mainly decreasing the proportion of Na+, Cl- and SO4(2-). Furthermore, cultivation significantly reduced the sodium adsorption ratio and exchangeable sodium percentage in plow-layer (0-20 cm) but not residual sodium carbonate, suggesting a reduction in sodium harm. PMID:24695526

  6. What's the Use of a Salt Marsh?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Raalte, Charlene

    1977-01-01

    Summarizes information about salt marshes, including descriptions of their development and structure, details of their values in terms of commercial fishing, stabilization of coastal zones, "reclamation" for grazing and cropfields, recreation and aesthetics. (CS)

  7. The role of epibenthic predators in structuring the marine invertebrate community of a British coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frid, C. L. J.; James, R.

    The marine fauna of salt marshes are subjected to predation by birds, tidally feeding flatfish, crabs, prawns and small gobiid fish. The role of these epibenthic predators in structuring the community was investigated using cages to exclude predators. A range of designs of cages and partial cages was employed to control for artefacts due to caging, and sufficient cages were employed so that each cage was only sampled once to prevent the compounding of disturbance due to predation and sampling. Two mesh sizes were employed, a fine mesh excluding epibenthic predators and a coarse mesh allowing access by small crabs, prawns and gobiid fish but excluding birds and larger fish. The exclusion was maintained for 2 years. The presence of any experimental structure had a significant effect on the sedimentary regime within the cage. Epibentic predator exclusion let to an increase in infaunal predator density, but had no significant effect on the infaunal deposit feeders. There was some evidence that predators limit the surface deposit feeding gastropood Hydrobia ulvae during the winter. The gastropod Littorina littorea responded positively to the presence of any caging structure; this may be the result of changes in the availability of food, as the sides of a cage support a diatom flora which this species can exploit. The lack of a response from the infaunal deposit feeders is attributed to their horizontal mobility within the sediment. The possible interactions between epibenthic and infaunal predators are discussed.

  8. Phenological development stages variation versus mercury tolerance, accumulation, and allocation in salt marsh macrophytes Triglochin maritima and Scirpus maritimus prevalent in Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Anjum, Naser A; Ahmad, Iqbal; Válega, Mónica; Figueira, Etelvina; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, Eduarda

    2013-06-01

    Efficient and sustainable management of rapidly mounting environmental issues has been the focus of current intensive research. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of plant phenological development stage variation on mercury (Hg) tolerance, accumulation, and allocation in two salt marsh macrophytes Triglochin maritima and Scirpus maritimus prevalent in historically Hg-contaminated Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal). Both plant samples and the sediments vegetated by monospecific stands of T. maritima and S. maritimus were collected from reference (R) and sites with moderate (M) and high (H) Hg contamination in Laranjo bay within Ria de Aveiro lagoon. Hg tolerance, uptake, and allocation in T. maritima and S. maritimus, physico-chemical traits (pH, redox potential, and organic matter content) and Hg concentrations in sediments vegetated by these species were impacted differentially by phenological development stages variation irrespective of the Hg contamination level. In T. maritima, Hg concentration increased with increase in Hg contamination gradient where root displayed significantly higher Hg followed by rhizome and leaf maximally at H. However, in S. maritimus, the highest Hg concentration was perceptible in rhizome followed by root maximally at M. Between the two studied plant species, S. maritimus displayed higher Hg tolerance index (depicted by higher plant dry mass allocated to reproductive stage) and higher available Hg at M (during all growth stages) and H (during senescent stage) when compared to T. maritimus. Both plant species proved to be Hg excluder (low root/rhizome-leaf Hg translocation). Additionally, T. maritima also acted as Hg stabilizer while, S. maritimus as Hg accumulator. It can be inferred from the study that (a) the plant phenological development stage variations significantly influenced plant Hg sensitivity by impacting sediment chemistry, plant growth (in terms of plant dry mass), Hg accumulation, and its subsequent

  9. Seasonal variation of North American form of Gigantolaelaps mattogrossensis (Acari: Laelapidae) on marsh rice rat in southern coastal Texas.

    PubMed

    Carmichael, Joseph A; Strauss, Richard E; McIntyre, Nancy E

    2007-01-01

    The ectoparasites of a small mammal community within an intertidal zone in the upper Gulf coast region of Texas were studied to assess the seasonal variation in abundances of the mite Gigantolaelaps mattogrossensis (Fonseca) (Acari: Laelapidae) on the marsh rice rat, Oryzomys palustris (Harlan). Further study into the ecology and dynamics of this parasite-host relationship was deemed to be necessary to expand the understanding of these potential participants in the ecology of Bayou Hantavirus, an important causative agent of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of five predictor variables on mite abundance: prevalences of hosts, relative humidity, precipitation, temperature, and length of daylight. Mite abundance was modeled as a function of the five variables with analyses of variance and multiple regressions; however, because the predictor variables pertain to the sampling period rather than to the individual rodent host, the effective sample size was small and thus the sums of squares and cross products matrix was singular. We therefore developed and used a new method for estimating regression coefficients based on the "noise-addition method" (random residual variation) combined with a bootstrap step converting the reduced rank data to full rank, providing realistic estimates of confidence intervals for the regression statistics. The population abundances of mites fluctuated significantly across collecting periods. Humidity and precipitation were the most influential variables in explaining the variation in abundances of mites. Model interpretation suggests that G. mattogrossensis is a nidicolous parasite. These results provide a baseline understanding of the seasonal interactions between parasite and host. PMID:17294924

  10. Sea level driven marsh expansion in a coupled model of marsh erosion and migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Walters, David C.; Reay, William G.; Carr, Joel A.

    2016-05-01

    Coastal wetlands are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, where ecosystem services such as flood protection depend nonlinearly on wetland size and are threatened by sea level rise and coastal development. Here we propose a simple model of marsh migration into adjacent uplands and couple it with existing models of seaward edge erosion and vertical soil accretion to explore how ecosystem connectivity influences marsh size and response to sea level rise. We find that marsh loss is nearly inevitable where topographic and anthropogenic barriers limit migration. Where unconstrained by barriers, however, rates of marsh migration are much more sensitive to accelerated sea level rise than rates of edge erosion. This behavior suggests a counterintuitive, natural tendency for marsh expansion with sea level rise and emphasizes the disparity between coastal response to climate change with and without human intervention.

  11. A preliminary evaluation of the airborne electromagnetic bathymetry system for characterization of coastal sediments and marsh soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelletier, R. E.; Wu, S. T.

    1989-01-01

    Airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data acquired over a coastal region of North Carolina as part of a prototype testing program is analyzed with emphasis on multiple transects crossing a variety of geomorphic/landscape types as a means of conducting a preliminary evaluation of the sensor's ability to determine water depth and characterize a number of water and sediment physical properties such as water conductivity, sediment conductivity, sediment porosity, and sediment density. The study site is described, along with the flight line mission plan and data acquisition and processing. Good agreement between AEM-measured bathymetry and ground truth is reported, and it is concluded that in the marine environment, this system can traverse areas more rapidly than ships with acoustic systems and can collect data from shallow or inaccessible regions.

  12. Centuries of Human-Driven Change in Salt Marsh Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gedan, K. Bromberg; Silliman, B. R.; Bertness, M. D.

    2009-01-01

    Salt marshes are among the most abundant, fertile, and accessible coastal habitats on earth, and they provide more ecosystem services to coastal populations than any other environment. Since the Middle Ages, humans have manipulated salt marshes at a grand scale, altering species composition, distribution, and ecosystem function. Here, we review historic and contemporary human activities in marsh ecosystems—exploitation of plant products; conversion to farmland, salt works, and urban land; introduction of non-native species; alteration of coastal hydrology; and metal and nutrient pollution. Unexpectedly, diverse types of impacts can have a similar consequence, turning salt marsh food webs upside down, dramatically increasing top down control. Of the various impacts, invasive species, runaway consumer effects, and sea level rise represent the greatest threats to salt marsh ecosystems. We conclude that the best way to protect salt marshes and the services they provide is through the integrated approach of ecosystem-based management.

  13. Centuries of human-driven change in salt marsh ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gedan, K Bromberg; Silliman, B R; Bertness, M D

    2009-01-01

    Salt marshes are among the most abundant, fertile, and accessible coastal habitats on earth, and they provide more ecosystem services to coastal populations than any other environment. Since the Middle Ages, humans have manipulated salt marshes at a grand scale, altering species composition, distribution, and ecosystem function. Here, we review historic and contemporary human activities in marsh ecosystems--exploitation of plant products; conversion to farmland, salt works, and urban land; introduction of non-native species; alteration of coastal hydrology; and metal and nutrient pollution. Unexpectedly, diverse types of impacts can have a similar consequence, turning salt marsh food webs upside down, dramatically increasing top down control. Of the various impacts, invasive species, runaway consumer effects, and sea level rise represent the greatest threats to salt marsh ecosystems. We conclude that the best way to protect salt marshes and the services they provide is through the integrated approach of ecosystem-based management. PMID:21141032

  14. Marsh canopy leaf area and orientation calculated for improved marsh structure mapping

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey III, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.; Bannister, Terri

    2015-01-01

    An approach is presented for producing the spatiotemporal estimation of leaf area index (LAI) of a highly heterogeneous coastal marsh without reliance on user estimates of marsh leaf-stem orientation. The canopy LAI profile derivation used three years of field measured photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) vertical profiles at seven S. alterniflora marsh sites and iterative transform of those PAR attenuation profiles to best-fit light extinction coefficients (KM). KM sun zenith dependency was removed obtaining the leaf angle distribution (LAD) representing the average marsh orientation and the LAD used to calculate the LAI canopy profile. LAI and LAD reproduced measured PAR profiles with 99% accuracy and corresponded to field documented structures. LAI and LAD better reflect marsh structure and results substantiate the need to account for marsh orientation. The structure indexes are directly amenable to remote sensing spatiotemporal mapping and offer a more meaningful representation of wetland systems promoting biophysical function understanding.

  15. A Hydro-marsh equilibrium model for marsh system response to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alizad, K.; Hagen, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Bacopoulos, P.

    2013-12-01

    and associated salt marsh systems and their response to sea level rise scenarios. These examples show that this comprehensive model is an advanced tool that can be utilized in different sites to capture sea level rise effects on the salt marsh systems. References: Hagen, S., Morris, J., Bacopoulos, P., and Weishampel, J. (2013). 'Sea-Level Rise Impact on a Salt Marsh System of the Lower St. Johns River.' J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 139(2), 118-125. Morris, J. T., Sundareshwar, P. V., Nietch, C. T., Kjerfve, B. and Cahoon, D. R. (2002). Responses of coastal wetlands to rising sea level. Ecology, 83(10), 2869-2877.

  16. Simulation of Water Levels and Salinity in the Rivers and Tidal Marshes in the Vicinity of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Coastal South Carolina and Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrads, Paul A.; Roehl, Edwin A.; Daamen, Ruby C.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2006-01-01

    The Savannah Harbor is one of the busiest ports on the East Coast of the United States and is located downstream from the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the Nation?s largest freshwater tidal marshes. The Georgia Ports Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funded hydrodynamic and ecological studies to evaluate the potential effects of a proposed deepening of Savannah Harbor as part of the Environmental Impact Statement. These studies included a three-dimensional (3D) model of the Savannah River estuary system, which was developed to simulate changes in water levels and salinity in the system in response to geometry changes as a result of the deepening of Savannah Harbor, and a marsh-succession model that predicts plant distribution in the tidal marshes in response to changes in the water-level and salinity conditions in the marsh. Beginning in May 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey entered into cooperative agreements with the Georgia Ports Authority to develop empirical models to simulate the water level and salinity of the rivers and tidal marshes in the vicinity of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and to link the 3D hydrodynamic river-estuary model and the marsh-succession model. For the development of these models, many different databases were created that describe the complexity and behaviors of the estuary. The U.S. Geological Survey has maintained a network of continuous streamflow, water-level, and specific-conductance (field measurement to compute salinity) river gages in the study area since the 1980s and a network of water-level and salinity marsh gages in the study area since 1999. The Georgia Ports Authority collected water-level and salinity data during summer 1997 and 1999 and collected continuous water-level and salinity data in the marsh and connecting tidal creeks from 1999 to 2002. Most of the databases comprise time series that differ by variable type, periods of record, measurement frequency, location, and

  17. Ecogeomorphic Heterogeneity Sculpts Salt Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonardi, N.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2014-12-01

    We present cellular automata simulations and high-resolution field measurements of five sites along the United States Atlantic Coast, to investigate the erosion of marsh boundaries by wave action. For several years, we tracked marsh contours of three sites in Plum Island Sound and two sites in the Virginia Coastal Reserve using a Real-Time-Kinematic GPS, and measurements were collected up to 20 cm apart. The cellular automata model consists of a 2D square lattice, whose elements have randomly distributed resistance. Randomly distributed resistance values are meant to take into account the variety of biological and geomorphologic processes affecting each portion of the marsh. Among others, seepage erosion, crab burrowing, vegetation and sediment cohesion make difficult to predict which portion of the marsh will collapse first. In case of high wave power, erosion proceeds uniformly because each marsh portion has similar resistance if compared to the main external driver. On the contrary, when wind waves are weak and the local marsh resistance is strong, jagged marsh boundaries form. From a statistical viewpoint, the system behaves differently for the two extreme conditions of very low and very high wave power. The frequency magnitude distribution of erosion events approaches a Gaussian distribution in case of high wave power. In case of low wave power, the frequency magnitude distribution is characterized by a long-tailed power-law distribution. For the low wave power case, a long time is required to erode very resistant cells. However, once the most resistant cells are eliminated, several weak sites remain exposed and can be rapidly removed, with consequent generation of large-scale failures. Field data confirm model results, and show the passage from a logarithmic frequency magnitude distribution of erosion events to a Gaussian distribution for increasing wave power exposure. The logarithmic frequency magnitude distribution suggests the emergence of a critical

  18. Vegetation, substrate and hydrology in floating marshes in the Mississippi river delta plain wetlands, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sasser, C.E.; Gosselink, J.G.; Swenson, E.M.; Swarzenski, C.M.; Leibowitz, N.C.

    1996-01-01

    In the 1940s extensive floating marshes (locally called 'flotant') were reported and mapped in coastal wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta Plain. These floating marshes included large areas of Panicum hemitomon-dominated freshwater marshes, and Spartina patens/Scirpus olneyi brackish marshes. Today these marshes appear to be quite different in extent and type. We describe five floating habitats and one non-floating, quaking habitat based on differences in buoyancy dynamics (timing and degree of floating), substrate characteristics, and dominant vegetation. All floating marshes have low bulk density, organic substrates. Nearly all are fresh marshes. Panicum hemitomon floating marshes presently occur within the general regions that were reported in the 1940's by O'Neil, but are reduced in extent. Some of the former Panicum hemitomon marshes have been replaced by seasonally or variably floating marshes dominated, or co-dominated by Sagittaria lancifolia or Eleocharis baldwinii. ?? 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  19. Application of Remote Sensing for Parameterization and Validation of a Coupled Hydrodynamic - Marsh Equilibrium Model for the Coastal Landscapes of the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weishampel, J. F.; Alizad, K.; Angelo, J. J.; Bacopoulos, P.; Bilskie, M. V.; Daranpob, A.; Hagen, S. C.; Medeiros, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Passeri, D.; Smar, D. E.

    2012-12-01

    To simulate the complex spatial patterns of tidal marsh responses to sea level rise requires linking local-scale vegetative growth and associated sediment feedbacks to estuary-wide hydrological processes. The strategy employed by the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico project (EESLR-NGOM) is to combine a high-resolution process-based model (i.e., Marsh Equilibrium Model) with a broad-scale hydrodynamics model (i.e., ADCIRC). Because of the large spatial extent of these heterogeneous wetland systems in the NGOM, remote sensing is required to initialize the model and to assess its performance. A LiDAR-derived digital elevation model (DEM) constrained by field-based real time kinematic (RTK) measures provide the topography of the marsh platform, adjacent upland berms, and the distribution of tidal creeks which influences the reciprocal dynamic between hydrologic flows and biomass accumulation. Statistical relationships between the aboveground biomass levels of the dominant species (i.e., big cordgrass - Spartina cynosuroides and black needlerush - Juncus roemerianus) and passive (e.g., Landsat and ASTER) and active (e.g., LiDAR and IfSAR) remote sensing provide the initial conditions of the vegetation across the salt marsh landscapes. The remotely-sensed patterns of biomass will also serve as a spatial validation of the coupled model. However, preliminary analyses of the remotely sensed and field data for the estuarine marsh vegetation at Apalachicola Bay revealed significant intra- and inter-annual differences in the biomass relationships. This high degree of spatio-temporal variation suggests that a more qualitative approach (e.g., high, medium, and low biomass levels) may be needed to interpret model accuracy.;

  20. Nonlinear responses in salt marsh functioning to increased nitrogen addition.

    PubMed

    Vivanco, Lucía; Irvine, Irina C; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2015-04-01

    Salt marshes provide storm protection to shorelines, sequester carbon (C), and mitigate coastal eutrophication. These valuable coastal ecosystems are confronted with increasing nitrogen (N) inputs from anthropogenic sources, such as agricultural runoff, wastewater, and atmospheric deposition. To inform predictions of salt marsh functioning and sustainability in the future, we characterized the response of a variety of plant, microbial, and sediment responses to a seven-level gradient of N addition in three Californian salt marshes after 7 and 14 months of N addition. The marshes showed variable responses to the experimental N gradient that can be grouped as neutral (root biomass, sediment respiration, potential carbon mineralization, and potential net nitrification), linear (increasing methane flux, decreasing potential net N mineralization, and increasing sediment inorganic N), and nonlinear (saturating aboveground plant biomass and leaf N content, and exponentially increasing sediment inorganic and organic N). The three salt marshes showed quantitative differences in most ecosystem properties and processes rates; however, the form of the response curves to N addition were generally consistent across the three marshes, indicating that the responses observed may be applicable to other marshes in the region. Only for sediment properties (inorganic and organic N pool) did the shape of the response differ significantly between marshes. Overall, the study suggests salt marshes are limited in their ability to sequester C and N with future increases in N, even without further losses in marsh area. PMID:26230015

  1. DENITRIFICATION IN FRINGING SALT MARSHES OF NARRAGANSETT BAY, RHODE ISLAND, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the past century, loading of terrestrial inorganic nitrogen to coastal receiving waters has increased dramatically. Salt marshes, because of their location between upland regions and coastal waters and their recognized role as nutrient transformers, have the potential to ameli...

  2. Regional assessment of sediment contamination from marshes to the continental shelf: Results of the western component of the US EPA National Coastal Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA National Coastal Assessment (NCA) program on the U.S. West Coast was designed as a pilot project to explore assessment of new components of coastal resources not previously incorporated in the NCA. The Western Regional component of the NCA program began with a two yea...

  3. Ecosystem level methane fluxes from tidal freshwater and brackish marshes of the Mississippi River Delta: Implications for coastal wetland carbon projects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holm, Guerry O.; Perez, Brian C.; McWhorter, David E.; Krauss, Ken W.; Johnson, Darren J.; Raynie, Richard C.; Killebrew, Charles J.

    2016-01-01

    Sulfate from seawater inhibits methane production in tidal wetlands, and by extension, salinity has been used as a general predictor of methane emissions. With the need to reduce methane flux uncertainties from tidal wetlands, eddy covariance (EC) techniques provide an integrated methane budget. The goals of this study were to: 1) establish methane emissions from natural, freshwater and brackish wetlands in Louisiana based on EC; and 2) determine if EC estimates conform to a methane-salinity relationship derived from temperate tidal wetlands with chamber sampling. Annual estimates of methane emissions from this study were 62.3 g CH4/m2/yr and 13.8 g CH4/m2/yr for the freshwater and brackish (8–10 psu) sites, respectively. If it is assumed that long-term, annual soil carbon sequestration rates of natural marshes are ~200 g C/m2/yr (7.3 tCO2e/ha/yr), healthy brackish marshes could be expected to act as a net radiative sink, equivalent to less than one-half the soil carbon accumulation rate after subtracting methane emissions (4.1 tCO2e/ha/yr). Carbon sequestration rates would need case-by-case assessment, but the EC methane emissions estimates in this study conformed well to an existing salinity-methane model that should serve as a basis for establishing emission factors for wetland carbon offset projects.

  4. Vegetation change on a northeast tidal marsh: Interaction of sea-level rise and marsh accretion

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, R.S.; Niering, W.A. )

    1993-01-01

    Increasing rates of relative sea-level rise (RSL) have been linked to coastal wetland losses along the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. Rapidly rising RSL may be affecting New England tidal marshes. Studies of the Wequetequock-Pawcatuck tidal marshes over four decades have documented dramatic changes in vegetation apparently related primarily to differential rates of marsh accretion and sea-level rise though sediment supply and anthropogenic modifications of the system may also be involved. When initially studied in 1947-1948 the high marsh supported a Juncus gerardi-Spartina patens belting pattern typical of many New England salt marshes. On most of the marsh complex the former Juncus belt has now been replaced by forbs, primarily Triglochin maritima, while the former S. patens high marsh is now a complex of vegetation types-stunted Spartina alterniflora, Distichlis spicata, forbs, and relic stands of S. patens. The mean surface elevation of areas where the vegetation has changed is significantly lower than that of areas still supporting the earlier pattern (4.6 vs. 13.9 cm above mean tide level). The differences in surface elevation reflect differences in accretion of marsh peat. Stable areas have been accreting at the rate of local sea-level rise, 2.0-2.5 mm/yr at least since 1938; changed areas have accreted at about one half that rate. Lower surface elevations result in greater frequency and duration of tidal flooding, and thus in increased peat saturation, salinity, and sulfide concentrations, and in decreased redox potential, as directly measured over the growing season at both changed and stable sites. These edaphic changes may have combined to favor establishment of a wetter, more open vegetation type. Similar changes have been observed on other Long Island Sound marshes and may be a model for the potential effects of sea-level rise on New England tidal salt marshes. 39 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Potential N processing by southern Everglades freshwater marshes: Are Everglades marshes passive conduits for nitrogen?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wozniak, Jeffrey R.; Anderson, William T.; Childers, Daniel L.; Gaiser, Evelyn E.; Madden, Christopher J.; Rudnick, David T.

    2012-01-01

    The degree of hydrological connectivity in wetlands plays a vital role in determining the flux of energy, material, and nutrients across these wet landscapes. During the last century, compartmentalization of hydrologic flows in the Florida Everglades by canals and levees has had a profound impact on the natural timing and supply of freshwater and nutrients across the southern Everglades. Nitrogen (N) is an understudied nutrient in the phosphorus-limited Everglades; it plays an important role in many Everglades processes. To gain a better understanding of the overall N-dynamics in southern Everglades' marshes and the role that canals play in the distribution of N across this landscape, we analyzed δ 15N natural abundance data for the primary ecosystem components (the macrophyte Cladium jamaicense, marl soils, peat soils, and periphyton). Three sample transects were established in the three main basins of the southern Everglades: Shark River Slough, Taylor Slough, and the C-111 basin. Each transect included sample sites near canal inflows, in interior marshes, and at the estuarine ecotone. Natural abundance δ 15N signatures provided insights into processes that may be enriching the 15N content of ecosystem components across the marsh landscape. We also conducted a combined analysis of δ 15N data, tissue N concentrations, and water column N data to provide a broad overview of N cycling in the freshwater marshes of the southern Everglades. The primary trend that emerged from each basin was a significant 15N enrichment of all ecosystem components at near-canal sites, relative to more downstream sample sites. These data suggest that the phosphorus-limited marshes of the southern Everglades are not inactive conduits for N. Rather, these marshes appear to be actively cycling and processing N as it flows from the canal-marsh interface through downstream freshwater marshes. This finding has important implications to downstream coastal estuaries, including Florida Bay, and

  6. Sea-Level Rise Impacts on Hudson River Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooks, A.; Nitsche, F. O.

    2015-12-01

    The response of tidal marshes to increasing sea-level rise is uncertain. Tidal marshes can adapt to rising sea levels through vertical accretion and inland migration. Yet tidal marshes are vulnerable to submergence if the rate of sea-level rise exceeds the rate of accretion and if inland migration is limited by natural features or development. We studied how Piermont and Iona Island Marsh, two tidal marshes on the Hudson River, New York, would be affected by sea-level rise of 0.5m, 1m, and 1.5m by 2100. This study was based on the 2011-2012 Coastal New York LiDAR survey. Using GIS we mapped sea-level rise projections accounting for accretion rates and calculated the submerged area of the marsh. Based on the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve Vegetation 2005 dataset, we studied how elevation zones based on vegetation distributions would change. To evaluate the potential for inland migration, we assessed land cover around each marsh using the National Land Cover Database 2011 Land Cover dataset and examined the slope beyond the marsh boundaries. With an accretion rate of 0.29cm/year and 0.5m of sea-level rise by 2100, Piermont Marsh would be mostly unchanged. With 1.5m of sea-level rise, 86% of Piermont Marsh would be flooded. For Iona Island Marsh with an accretion rate of 0.78cm/year, sea-level rise of 0.5m by 2100 would result in a 4% expansion while 1.5m sea-level rise would cause inundation of 17% of the marsh. The results indicate that Piermont and Iona Island Marsh may be able to survive rates of sea-level rise such as 0.5m by 2100 through vertical accretion. At rates of sea-level rise like 1.5m by 2100, vertical accretion cannot match sea-level rise, submerging parts of the marshes. High elevations and steep slopes limit Piermont and Iona Island Marsh's ability to migrate inland. Understanding the impacts of sea-level rise on Piermont and Iona Island Marsh allows for long-term planning and could motivate marsh conservation programs.

  7. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Temmerman, Stijn; Skeehan, Emily E.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-03-01

    Coastal marshes are considered to be among the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems on Earth, where the imminent loss of ecosystem services is a feared consequence of sea level rise. However, we show with a meta-analysis that global measurements of marsh elevation change indicate that marshes are generally building at rates similar to or exceeding historical sea level rise, and that process-based models predict survival under a wide range of future sea level scenarios. We argue that marsh vulnerability tends to be overstated because assessment methods often fail to consider biophysical feedback processes known to accelerate soil building with sea level rise, and the potential for marshes to migrate inland.

  8. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Temmerman, Stijn; Skeehan, Emily E.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Coastal marshes are considered to be among the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems on Earth, where the imminent loss of ecosystem services is a feared consequence of sea level rise. However, we show with a meta-analysis that global measurements of marsh elevation change indicate that marshes are generally building at rates similar to or exceeding historical sea level rise, and that process-based models predict survival under a wide range of future sea level scenarios. We argue that marsh vulnerability tends to be overstated because assessment methods often fail to consider biophysical feedback processes known to accelerate soil building with sea level rise, and the potential for marshes to migrate inland.

  9. Large methyl halide emissions from south Texas salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhew, R. C.; Whelan, M. E.; Min, D.-H.

    2014-06-01

    Coastal salt marshes are natural sources of methyl chloride (CH3Cl) and methyl bromide (CH3Br) to the atmosphere, but measured emission rates vary widely by geography. Here we report large methyl halide fluxes from subtropical salt marshes of south Texas. Sites with the halophytic plant, Batis maritima, emitted methyl halides at rates that are orders of magnitude greater than sites containing other vascular plants or macroalgae. B. maritima emissions were generally highest at midday; however, diurnal variability was more pronounced for CH3Br than CH3Cl, and surprisingly high nighttime CH3Cl fluxes were observed in July. Seasonal and intra-site variability were large, even taking into account biomass differences. Overall, these subtropical salt marsh sites show much higher emission rates than temperate salt marshes at similar times of the year, supporting the contention that low-latitude salt marshes are significant sources of CH3Cl and CH3Br.

  10. Large methyl halide emissions from south Texas salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhew, R. C.; Whelan, M. E.; Min, D.-H.

    2014-11-01

    Coastal salt marshes are natural sources of methyl chloride (CH3Cl) and methyl bromide (CH3Br) to the atmosphere, but measured emission rates vary widely by geography. Here we report large methyl halide fluxes from subtropical salt marshes of south Texas. Sites with the halophytic plant, Batis maritima, emitted methyl halides at rates that are orders of magnitude greater than sites containing other vascular plants or macroalgae. B. maritima emissions were generally highest at midday; however, diurnal variability was more pronounced for CH3Br than CH3Cl, and surprisingly high nighttime CH3Cl fluxes were observed in July. Seasonal and intra-site variability were large, even taking into account biomass differences. Overall, these subtropical salt marsh sites show much higher emission rates than temperate salt marshes at similar times of the year, supporting the contention that low-latitude salt marshes are significant sources of CH3Cl and CH3Br.

  11. Freshwater river diversions for marsh restoration in Louisiana: Twenty-six years of changing vegetative cover and marsh area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearney, Michael S.; Riter, J. C. Alexis; Turner, R. Eugene

    2011-08-01

    The restoration of Louisiana's coastal wetlands will be one of the largest, most costly and longest environmental remediation projects undertaken. We use Landsat data to show that freshwater diversions, a major restoration strategy, have not increased vegetation and marsh coverage in three freshwater diversions operating for ˜19 years. Two analytic methods indicate no significant changes in either relative vegetation or overall marsh area from 1984 to 2005 in zones closest to diversion inlets. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, these zones sustained dramatic and enduring losses in vegetation and overall marsh area, whereas the changes in similar marshes of the adjacent reference sites were relatively moderate and short-lived. We suggest that this vulnerability to storm damage reflects the introduction of nutrients in the freshwater diversions (that add insignificant amounts of additional sediments), which promotes poor rhizome and root growth in marshes where below-ground biomass historically played the dominant role in vertical accretion.

  12. Structural classification of marshes with Polarimetric SAR highlighting the temporal mapping of marshes exposed to oil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey III, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.

    2015-01-01

    Empirical relationships between field-derived Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Leaf Angle Distribution (LAD) and polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) based biophysical indicators were created and applied to map S. alterniflora marsh canopy structure. PolSAR and field data were collected near concurrently in the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in coastal marshes, and PolSAR data alone were acquired in 2009. Regression analyses showed that LAI correspondence with the PolSAR biophysical indicator variables equaled or exceeded those of vegetation water content (VWC) correspondences. In the final six regressor model, the ratio HV/VV explained 49% of the total 77% explained LAI variance, and the HH-VV coherence and phase information accounted for the remainder. HV/HH dominated the two regressor LAD relationship, and spatial heterogeneity and backscatter mechanism followed by coherence information dominated the final three regressor model that explained 74% of the LAD variance. Regression results applied to 2009 through 2012 PolSAR images showed substantial changes in marsh LAI and LAD. Although the direct cause was not substantiated, following a release of freshwater in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the fairly uniform interior marsh structure of 2009 was more vertical and dense shortly after the oil spill cessation. After 2010, marsh structure generally progressed back toward the 2009 uniformity; however, the trend was more disjointed in oil impact marshes.             

  13. Marsh expansion at Calaveras Point Marsh, South San Francisco Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Elizabeth Burke

    2008-07-01

    Studies of shoreline progradation along low-energy vegetated shorelines have been limited, as these environments are generally experiencing erosion rather than deposition, with extreme erosion rates frequently found. This study examined yearly changes along a vegetated shoreline at Calaveras Point Marsh, South San Francisco Bay, California, using aerial photography, to determine the roles of climatic, watershed, and coastal process in driving shoreline changes. In addition, sediment accumulation was monitored on a yearly basis at 48 locations across the marsh to determine the role of geomorphic factors in promoting accumulation. Calaveras Point Marsh was found to have expanded from 49.26 ± 5.2 to 165.7 ± 4.7 ha between 1975 and 2005. Although the rate of marsh expansion was not positively correlated with yearly variability in precipitation, local streamflow, delta outflow, water level observations, population growth, or ENSO indices, marsh growth was greater during years of higher than average temperatures. Warmer temperatures may have promoted the recruitment and growth of Spartina foliosa, a C 4 grass known to be highly responsive to temperature. Other factors, such as the formation of a coastal barrier, a recent change in the location of the mouth of the Guadalupe River, and channel readjustment in response to diking are credited with driving the bulk of the marsh expansion. Sediment accumulation was found to be high closest to channels and to the shoreline, at low elevations and in recently vegetated marsh. Globally, the pace of sea level rise exerts the primary control on wetland development and persistence. However, at local geographic scales, factors such as tectonic events, modifications to natural sediment transport pathways or land use changes may overwhelm the effects of regional sea level rise, and allow for wetlands to develop, expand and persist despite rapid sea level rise.

  14. Conservation of tidal marshes

    SciTech Connect

    Daiber, F.C.

    1986-01-01

    This book is the first attempt to examine collectively the various uses and the consequences of marsh conservation efforts. Author Franklin Daiber emphasizes tidal marsh conservation from a holistic perspective rather than from the perspective of a single purpose or special economic interest. He addresses a topic receiving increasing attention, namely the concept of open marsh management as a means of controlling mosquito production without harmful effects on other marsh organisms. Topics considered include: water management; dikes, impoundments, ponds and ditches; reclaimed land and impoundments; ditching and ponding for mosquito control; sewage disposal and waste treatment; dredge material for wetland restoration; insecticides; oil pollution; and petroleum hydrocarbon interactions.

  15. Assessing the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Plum Island Estuary Marshes Using a Hydrodynamic-marsh Modeling Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demissie, H. K.; Bilskie, M. V.; Hagen, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Alizad, K.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) can significantly impact both human and ecological habitats in coastal and inland regions. Studies show that coastal estuaries and marsh systems are at the risk of losing their productivity under increasing rates of SLR (Donnelly and Bertness, 2001; Warren and Niering, 1993). The integrated hydrodynamic-marsh model (Hagen et al., 2013 & Alizad et al., 2015) uses a set of parameters and conditions to simulate tidal flow through the salt marsh of Plum Island Estuary, Massachusetts. The hydrodynamic model computes mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) and is coupled to the zero-dimensional Marsh Equilibrium Model (Morris et al. 2002) to estimate changes in biomass productivity and accretion. The coupled hydrodynamic-marsh model was used to examine the effects of different scenarios of SLR (Parris et al., 2012) on salt marsh productivity for the year 2100 in the Plum Island Estuary. In this particular study, responses of salt marsh production for different scenarios of SLR were compared. The study shows higher productivity of salt marsh under a low SLR scenario and lower productivity under the higher SLR. The study also demonstrates the migration of salt marshes under higher SLR scenarios. References: Alizad, K., S. C. Hagen, Morris, J.T., Bacopoulos, P., Bilskie, M.V., and John, F.W. 2015. A coupled, two-dimensional hydrodynamic-marsh model with biological feedback. Limnology and Oceanography, In review. Donnelly, J.P., and M.D. Bertness. 2001. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98: 14218-14223.Hagen, S.C., J.T. Morris, P. Bacopoulos, and J. Weishampel. 2013. Sea-Level Rise Impact on a Salt Marsh System of the Lower St. Johns River. ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, Vol. 139, No. 2, March/April 2013, pp. 118-125.Morris, J.T., P.V. Sundareshwar, C.T. Nietch, B. Kjerfve, and D.R. Cahoon. 2002. Responses

  16. Impacts of Adjacent Land Use and Isolation on Marsh Bird Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Lyndsay A.; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2010-05-01

    Over the next half century the human population is expected to grow rapidly, resulting in the conversion of rural areas into cities. Wetlands in these regions are therefore under threat, even though they have important ecosystem services and functions. Many obligate marsh-nesting birds in North America have shown declines over the past 40 years, and it is important to evaluate marsh bird community response to increased urbanization. We surveyed 20 coastal marshes in southern Ontario, Canada, and found that obligate marsh-nesting birds preferred rural over urban wetlands, generalist marsh-nesting birds showed no preference, while synanthropic species showed a trend towards increased richness and abundance in urban marshes. The Index of Marsh Bird Community Integrity (IMBCI) was calculated for each wetland and we found significantly higher scores in rural compared to urban wetlands. The presence of a forested buffer surrounding the marsh was not an important factor in predicting the distribution of generalists, obligates, synanthropic species, or the IMBCI. More isolated marshes had a lower species richness of obligate marsh-nesters and a lower IMBCI than less isolated marshes. Based on our results, we recommend that urban land use is not the dominant land use within 1000 m from any wetland, as it negatively affects the abundance and richness of obligate marsh-nesters, and the overall integrity of the avian community. We also recommend that all existing wetlands be conserved to mitigate against isolation effects and to preserve biodiversity.

  17. Fasciolosis in cattle in Louisiana. II. Development of a system to use soil maps in a geographic information system to estimate disease risk on Louisiana coastal marsh rangeland.

    PubMed

    Zukowski, S H; Wilkerson, G W; Malone, J B

    1993-03-01

    A geographic information system (GIS) model of habitat for Lymnaea bulimoides, the snail intermediate host of Fasciola hepatica and the rumen fluke, Calicophoron microbothrioides, on the Chenier Plain of southwest Louisiana was revised to incorporate broad (greater than 100 m) chenier (relict beaches) along with adjacent marsh and transitional soils associated with spatial distribution of L. bulimoides habitat. The proportion of farmland comprised of soils of the GIS model coincided with actual habitat from a previous survey with a sensitivity of 91.3% and a specificity of 80.1%, and regressed significantly against the proportion of farmland comprised of L. bulimoides habitat (n = 12, P = 0.01, r2 = 0.50, slope = 0.015). A soil model index was calculated to incorporate (1) the proportion of farmland comprised of soils of the GIS model and (2) stocking rate. Fluke egg shedding indices (mean egg count multiplied by prevalence) were calculated for each fluke species on nine farms at four sampling times over a 2-year period. The maximum egg shedding indices for each farm, taken to indicate potential fluke transmission intensity, were correlated for the two fluke species on herds not recently treated for fasciolosis (n = 9, P = 0.004, r2 = 0.72, slope = 0.2), although at no one sampling period were shedding indices of the two fluke species significantly correlated. Egg shedding of C. microbothrioides by cattle correlated with the proportion of farmland comprised of soils included in the GIS model (n = 9, Spearman's rank coefficient was 0.7, P = 0.05). We conclude that (1) the maximum of several observations of the C. microbothrioides egg shedding index may be useful as a surrogate for F. hepatica in estimating risk from snail habitat on a farm when regular flukicide treatment interferes with F. hepatica egg shedding, and (2) the GIS model may estimate site-specific differences in fasciolosis risk to cattle operations in the Chenier Plain based on the association of

  18. Freshwater Marsh. Habitat Pac.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    The materials in this educational packet are designed for use with students in grades 4 through 7. They consist of an overview, three lesson plans and student data sheets, and a poster. The overview describes how the freshwater marsh is an important natural resource for plant, animal, and human populations and how the destruction of marshes causes…

  19. Common Marsh Plants of the United States and Canada. Resource Publication 93.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hotchkiss, Neil

    Described in this guide are the emergent and semiemergent plants most likely to be found in inland and coastal marshes. The guide is intended for field identification of marsh plants without resources to technical botanical keys. The plants are discussed in seven groups. Within each group the kinds which resemble one another most closely are next…

  20. IMPACTS OF NITROGEN LOADING ON SALT MARSH INTEGRITY IN NEW ENGLAND, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Salt marsh habitat integrity is linked with the ability to provide good water quality and high biodiversity. We measured high denitrification enzyme activity (DEA) in ten coastal salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island (seasonal means ranging from 7,476 - 53,494 kg N-1ha-...

  1. ASSESSING NEW ENGLAND COASTAL WETLANDS USING A SYSTEMATIC REFERENCE-BASED APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US Environmental Protection Agency, Atlantic Ecology Division is working collaboratively with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management to implement landscape and rapid assessments of coastal salt marshes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Using a 3-tiered approach, the coastal ...

  2. Coastal resilience and late Holocene tidal inlet history: The evolution of Dungeness Foreland and the Romney Marsh depositional complex (U.K.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, A. J.; Waller, M. P.; Plater, A. J.

    2006-12-01

    Dungeness Foreland is a large sand and gravel barrier located in the eastern English Channel that during the last 5000 years has demonstrated remarkable geomorphological resilience in accommodating changes in relative sea-level, storm magnitude and frequency, variations in sediment supply as well as significant changes in back-barrier sedimentation. In this paper we develop a new palaeogeographic model for this depositional complex using a large dataset of recently acquired litho-, bio- and chrono-stratigraphic data. Our analysis shows how, over the last 2000 years, three large tidal inlets have influenced the pattern of back-barrier inundation and sedimentation, and controlled the stability and evolution of the barrier by determining the location of cross-shore sediment and water exchange, thereby moderating sediment supply and its distribution. The sheer size of the foreland has contributed in part to its resilience, with an abundant supply of sediment always available for ready redistribution. A second reason for the landform's resilience is the repeated ability of the tidal inlets to narrow and then close, effectively healing successive breaches by back-barrier sedimentation and ebb- and/or flood-tidal delta development. Humans emerge as key agents of change, especially through the process of reclamation which from the Saxon period onwards has modified the back-barrier tidal prism and promoted repeated episodes of fine-grained sedimentation and channel/inlet infill and closure. Our palaeogeographic reconstructions show that large barriers such as Dungeness Foreland can survive repeated "catastrophic" breaches, especially where tidal inlets are able to assist the recovery process by raising the elevation of the back-barrier area by intertidal sedimentation. This research leads us to reflect on the concept of "coastal resilience" which, we conclude, means little without a clearly defined spatial and temporal framework. At a macro-scale, the structure as a whole

  3. Sea level rise, drought and the decline of Spartina patens in New England marshes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Already heavily impacted by coastal development, estuarine vegetated habitats (seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves) are increasingly affected by climate change via accelerated sea level rise, changes in the frequency and intensity of precipitation and storms, and warmer ocean...

  4. Examining effects of sea level rise and marsh crabs on Spartina patens using mesocosms

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal salt marshes provide essential ecosystem services but face increasing threats from habitat loss, eutrophication, changing precipitation patterns, and accelerating rates of sea level rise (SLR). Recent studies have suggested that herbivory and burrowing by native salt mars...

  5. Restoring Ecological Function to a Submerged Salt Marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stagg, C.L.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2010-01-01

    Impacts of global climate change, such as sea level rise and severe drought, have altered the hydrology of coastal salt marshes resulting in submergence and subsequent degradation of ecosystem function. A potential method of rehabilitating these systems is the addition of sediment-slurries to increase marsh surface elevation, thus ameliorating effects of excessive inundation. Although this technique is growing in popularity, the restoration of ecological function after sediment addition has received little attention. To determine if sediment subsidized salt marshes are functionally equivalent to natural marshes, we examined above- and belowground primary production in replicated restored marshes receiving four levels of sediment addition (29-42 cm North American Vertical Datum of 1988 [NAVD 88]) and in degraded and natural ambient marshes (4-22 cm NAVD 88). Moderate intensities of sediment-slurry addition, resulting in elevations at the mid to high intertidal zone (29-36 cm NAVD 88), restored ecological function to degraded salt marshes. Sediment additions significantly decreased flood duration and frequency and increased bulk density, resulting in greater soil drainage and redox potential and significantly lower phytotoxic sulfide concentrations. However, ecological function in the restored salt marsh showed a sediment addition threshold that was characterized by a decline in primary productivity in areas of excessive sediment addition and high elevation (>36 cm NAVD 88). Hence, the addition of intermediate levels of sediment to submerging salt marshes increased marsh surface elevation, ameliorated impacts of prolonged inundation, and increased primary productivity. However, too much sediment resulted in diminished ecological function that was equivalent to the submerged or degraded system. ?? 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  6. Comparative Geomorphology of Salt and Tidal Freshwater Marsh Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasternack, G. B.

    2002-05-01

    Temperate estuaries include a spectrum of coastal marshes ranging from highly saline near the ocean to fresh in tributaries with substantial watershed drainage. While the hydrologic, sedimentary, and geomorphic dynamics of salt marshes have been thoroughly investigated, those aspects of tidal freshwater marshes have only begun to be addressed. Based on a recent burst in research on tidal freshwater systems in Chesapeake Bay by different universities, an attempt is made here to provide comparative geomorphology. In terms of similarities, both have tidal channels whose hydraulic geometry is primarily controlled by the tidal prism. Both show decreasing sedimentation and increasing organics with elevation and distance from channels. At seasonal to interannual time scales, the morphodynamics of both show similarities in the interplay among hydroperiod, vegetation, and geomorphology. Rather than simply evolving from youth to maturity, both systems exhibit strong evidence for dynamic equilibrium between process and morphology. Despite these similarities, there are key differences that motivate further research of tidal freshwater marshes. First, whereas salt marshes are limited by sediment supply, tidal fresh ones may not be limited depending on upstream basin size. E.g., fringing marshes along Pumunkey River have very low sediment supply, while deltaic marshes in Bush River and Sassafras River are not supply-limited. Instead, the growth of deltaic fresh marshes is transport limited, as winds and tides can only generate low momentum and turbulence for sediment transport. As illustrated in multiple systems, a constant availability of sediment leads to higher sedimentation in fresh marshes. Second, in high latitude salt marshes where the tidal range is large and the climate cold, ice acts as a strong erosional agent. In fresh marshes, ice serves to sequester sediment and buffer the erosional impact of autumnal vegetation dieback. Third, the high spatial variation in plant

  7. The mapping of marsh vegetation using aircraft multispectral scanner data. [in Louisiana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butera, M. K.

    1975-01-01

    A test was conducted to determine if salinity regimes in coastal marshland could be mapped and monitored by the identification and classification of marsh vegetative species from aircraft multispectral scanner data. The data was acquired at 6.1 km (20,000 ft.) on October 2, 1974, over a test area in the coastal marshland of southern Louisiana including fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline zones. The data was classified by vegetational species using a supervised, spectral pattern recognition procedure. Accuracies of training sites ranged from 67% to 96%. Marsh zones based on free soil water salinity were determined from the species classification to demonstrate a practical use for mapping marsh vegetation.

  8. Hydrological Functioning of Rochefort Marsh : From Field Measurements To Numerical Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, Ph.; Fleury, P.; Giraud, F.; Chevallier, C.

    The purpose of our research project is to establish the water budget of an agricultural coastal marsh of 150 km2. The Rochefort marsh is located on the French Atlantic coast, at about 150 km north from Bordeaux. Numerous drillings were made to de- termine the 3D geometry of the upper clay deposits that form the marsh. The study site was then intensively instrumented with piezometers at different depths, in order to quantify the volume of water flowing from the underlying Kimmeridgian aquifer to the marsh. Main rivers that flow through the marsh were gauged and water levels were recorded. Tensiometers and TDR probe were also used to investigate the unsaturated zone. Hydrological modelling of the marsh was then built using the MARTHE calcu- lation code which includes both saturated and unsaturated flows, and water exchange between the wetland and the rivers.

  9. Can Oregon Marshes Keep Up With The Rising Tide? A Study of Short and Long Term Marsh Accretion.

    EPA Science Inventory

    More frequent inundation of Oregon coastal marshlands associated with rising sea level threatens these important and diverse habitats. Study plot accretion rates determined by the marker horizon method and longer term peak Cs137 detection in eight marsh systems from Coquille to ...

  10. Can Oregon marshes keep up with the rising tide? A study of short and long term marsh accretion - CERF 2015

    EPA Science Inventory

    More frequent inundation of Oregon coastal marshlands associated with rising sea level threatens these important and diverse habitats. Accretion rates determined by the marker horizon method and longer term peak Cs137 detection in nine marsh systems from Coquille to Tillamook we...

  11. Hurricane Influences on Vegetation Community Change in Coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steyer, Gregory D.; Cretini, Kari Foster; Piazza, Sarai C.; Sharp, Leigh Anne; Snedden, Gregg A.; Sapkota, Sijan

    2010-01-01

    The impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 on wetland vegetation were investigated in Louisiana coastal marshes. Vegetation cover, pore-water salinity, and nutrients data from 100 marsh sites covering the entire Louisiana coast were sampled for two consecutive growing seasons after the storms. A mixed-model nested ANOVA with Tukey's HSD test for post-ANOVA multiple comparisons was used to analyze the data. Significantly (p<0.05) lower vegetation cover was observed within brackish and fresh marshes in the west as compared to the east and central regions throughout 2006, but considerable increase in vegetation cover was noticed in fall 2007 data. Marshes in the west were stressed by prolonged saltwater logging and increased sulfide content. High salinity levels persisted throughout the study period for all marsh types, especially in the west. The marshes of coastal Louisiana are still recovering after the hurricanes; however, changes in the species composition have increased in these marshes.

  12. A linear relationship between wave power and erosion determines salt-marsh resilience to violent storms and hurricanes

    PubMed Central

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Ganju, Neil K.; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Salt marsh losses have been documented worldwide because of land use change, wave erosion, and sea-level rise. It is still unclear how resistant salt marshes are to extreme storms and whether they can survive multiple events without collapsing. Based on a large dataset of salt marsh lateral erosion rates collected around the world, here, we determine the general response of salt marsh boundaries to wave action under normal and extreme weather conditions. As wave energy increases, salt marsh response to wind waves remains linear, and there is not a critical threshold in wave energy above which salt marsh erosion drastically accelerates. We apply our general formulation for salt marsh erosion to historical wave climates at eight salt marsh locations affected by hurricanes in the United States. Based on the analysis of two decades of data, we find that violent storms and hurricanes contribute less than 1% to long-term salt marsh erosion rates. In contrast, moderate storms with a return period of 2.5 mo are those causing the most salt marsh deterioration. Therefore, salt marshes seem more susceptible to variations in mean wave energy rather than changes in the extremes. The intrinsic resistance of salt marshes to violent storms and their predictable erosion rates during moderate events should be taken into account by coastal managers in restoration projects and risk management plans. PMID:26699461

  13. Marine fungal diversity: a comparison of natural and created salt marshes of the north-central Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Walker, Allison K; Campbell, Jinx

    2010-01-01

    Marine fungal communities of created salt marshes of differing ages were compared with those of two reference natural salt marshes. Marine fungi occurring on the lower 30 cm of salt marsh plants Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus were inventoried with morphological and molecular methods (ITS T-RFLP analysis) to determine fungal species richness, relative frequency of occurrence and ascomata density. The resulting profiles revealed similar fungal communities in natural salt marshes and created salt marshes 3 y old and older with a 1.5 y old created marsh showing less fungal colonization. A 26 y old created salt marsh consistently exhibited the highest fungal species richness. Ascomata density of the dominant fungal species on each host was significantly higher in natural marshes than in created marshes at all three sampling dates. This study indicates marine fungal saprotroph communities are present in these manmade coastal salt marshes as early as 1 y after marsh creation. The lower regions of both plant hosts were dominated by a small number of marine ascomycete species consistent with those species previously reported from salt marshes of the East Coast of USA. PMID:20524584

  14. A linear relationship between wave power and erosion determines salt-marsh resilience to violent storms and hurricanes.

    PubMed

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Ganju, Neil K; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Salt marsh losses have been documented worldwide because of land use change, wave erosion, and sea-level rise. It is still unclear how resistant salt marshes are to extreme storms and whether they can survive multiple events without collapsing. Based on a large dataset of salt marsh lateral erosion rates collected around the world, here, we determine the general response of salt marsh boundaries to wave action under normal and extreme weather conditions. As wave energy increases, salt marsh response to wind waves remains linear, and there is not a critical threshold in wave energy above which salt marsh erosion drastically accelerates. We apply our general formulation for salt marsh erosion to historical wave climates at eight salt marsh locations affected by hurricanes in the United States. Based on the analysis of two decades of data, we find that violent storms and hurricanes contribute less than 1% to long-term salt marsh erosion rates. In contrast, moderate storms with a return period of 2.5 mo are those causing the most salt marsh deterioration. Therefore, salt marshes seem more susceptible to variations in mean wave energy rather than changes in the extremes. The intrinsic resistance of salt marshes to violent storms and their predictable erosion rates during moderate events should be taken into account by coastal managers in restoration projects and risk management plans. PMID:26699461

  15. Restoring marsh elevation in a rapidly subsiding salt marsh by thin-layer deposition of dredged material

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, M.A.; Cahoon, D.R.; Lynch, J.C.

    1999-01-01

    Thin-layer deposition of dredged material on coastal marsh by means of high-pressure spray dredging (Jet-Spray??2) technology has been proposed as a mechanism to minimize wetland impacts associated with traditional bucket dredging technologies and to restore soil elevations in deteriorated marshes of the Mississippi River delta. The impact of spray dredging on vegetated marsh and adjacent shallow-water habitat (formerly vegetated marsh that deteriorated to open water) was evaluated in a 0.5-ha Spartina alterniflora-dominated salt marsh in coastal Louisiana. The thickness of dredged sediment deposits was determined from artificial soil marker horizons and soil elevation change was determined from sedimentation-erosion tables (SET) established prior to spraying in both sprayed and reference marshes. The vertical accretion and elevation change measurements were made simultaneously to allow for calculation of shallow (~5 m depth) subsidence (accretion minus elevation change). Measurements made immediately following spraying in July 1996 revealed that stems of S. alterniflora were knocked down by the force of the spray and covered with 23 mm of dredged material. Stems of S. alterniflora soon recovered, and by July 1997 the percent cover of S. alterniflora had increased three-fold over pre-project conditions. Thus, the layer of dredged material was thin enough to allow for survival of the S. alterniflora plants, with no subsequent colonization by plant species typical of higher marsh zones. By February 1998, 62 mm of vertical accretion accumulated at this site, and little indication of disturbance was noted. Although not statistically significant, soil elevation change was greater than accretion on average at both the spray and reference marshes, suggesting that subsurface expansion caused by increased root biomass production and/or pore water storage influence elevation in this marsh region. In the adjacent shallow water pond, 129 mm of sediment was deposited in July

  16. Coatal salt marshes and mangrove swamps in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Shi-Lun; Chen, Ji-Yu

    1995-12-01

    Based on plant specimen data, sediment samples, photos, and sketches from 45 coastal crosssections, and materials from two recent countrywide comprehensive investigations on Chinese coasts and islands, this paper deals with China’s vegetative tidal-flats: salt marshes and mangrove swamps. There are now 141700 acres of salt marshes and 51000 acres of mangrove swamps which together cover about 30% of the mud-coast area of the country and distribute between 18°N (Southern Hainan Island) and 41 °N (Liaodong Bay). Over the past 45 years, about 1750000 acres of salt marshes and 49400 acres of mangrove swamps have been reclaimed. The 2.0×109 tons of fine sediments input by rivers into the Chinese seas form extensive tidal flats, the soil basis of coastal helophytes. Different climates result in the diversity of vegetation. The 3˜8 m tidal range favors intertidal zone development. Of over 20 plant species in the salt marshes, native Suaeda salsa, Phragmites australis, Aeluropus littoralis, Zoysia maerostachys, Imperata cylindrica and introduced Spartina anglica are the most extensive in distribution. Of the 41 mangrove swamps species, Kandelia candel, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Excoecaria agallocha and Avicennia marina are much wider in latitudinal distribution than the others. Developing stages of marshes originally relevant to the evolution of tidal flats are given out. The roles of pioneer plants in decreasing flood water energy and increasing accretion rate in the Changjiang River delta are discussed.

  17. Common marsh plants of the United States and Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hotchkiss, Neil

    1970-01-01

    This is the fourth of a series of publications on field identification of North American marsh and water plants. It describes the emergent and semiemergent plants most likely to be found in inland and coastal marshes. It omits hundreds of uncommon marsh plants and plants less characteristic of marshes than of marsh edges, lake and stream shores, or wet meadows. The first of the series, "Pondweeds and Pondweedlike Plants of Eastern North America," Circular 187, was broadened in scope as Resource Publication 44, "Underwater and Floating-leaved Plants of the United States and Canada," and is superseded by it. The present publication, widens the scope of "Bulrushes and Bulrushlike Plants of Eastern North America," Circular 221, and contains most of the species listed therein. This guide is designed for identification of marsh plants without recourse to technical botanical keys. To use it, read pages 1 to 4 and then look at the drawings. To identify a plant, find the group in which it fits, then find a drawing and description that match it.

  18. Methylmercury production in a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Carl P. J.; Gilmour, Cynthia C.

    2008-06-01

    In a detailed study of the biogeochemical factors affecting the methylation of mercury in a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh, we examined relationships between mercury methylation and numerous variables, including sulfate reduction rates, organic carbon mineralization rates, iron and sulfur chemistry, and the character of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Our data show that salt marshes are important sites of de novo methylmercury (MeHg) production in coastal ecosystems. Some of the controls on MeHg production that have been well-described in other ecosystems also impacted MeHg production in this salt marsh, specifically the effect of sulfide accumulation on mercury bioavailability. We observed some novel biogeochemical relationships with Hg(II)-methylation and MeHg accumulation, particularly the positive association of Hg(II)-methylation with zones of microbial iron reduction. On the basis of this relationship, we suggest caution in wetland and groundwater remediation approaches involving iron additions. Aqueous phase Hg complexation appeared to be the dominant control on Hg bioavailability across the marsh sites examined, rather than Hg partitioning behavior. A detailed examination of DOM character in the marsh suggested a strong positive association between Hg(II)-methylation rate constants and increasing DOM molecular weight. Overall, our results indicate that net MeHg production is controlled by a balance between microbial activity and geochemical effects on mercury bioavailability, but that a significant zone of MeHg production can persist in near surface salt marsh soils. Production of MeHg in coastal marshes may negatively impact ecosystems via export to adjacent estuaries or through direct bioaccumulation in birds, fish and amphibians that feed in these highly productive ecosystems.

  19. Marsh nesting by mallards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Talent, L.G.; Dwyer, T.J.

    1979-01-01

    Nest-site selection by mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) hens was studied on a 52-km2, privately owned area in the Missouri Coteau of south-central North Dakota during 1974-77. Sixty-six percent of 53 nests initiated by radio-marked and unmarked hens were in wetlands in dense stands of emergent vegetation and usually within 50 m of the wetland edge. These findings and other sources of information suggest that significant numbers of mallards breeding in the Prairie Pothole Region nest in marsh habitat. Potential factors contributing to mallard use of marsh habitat for nesting purposes are discussed. Management considerations associated with marsh nesting by mallards are described and research needs are identified.

  20. Effects of long-term grazing on sediment deposition and salt-marsh accretion rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elschot, Kelly; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Temmerman, Stijn; Bakker, Jan P.

    2013-11-01

    Many studies have attempted to predict whether coastal marshes will be able to keep up with future acceleration of sea-level rise by estimating marsh accretion rates. However, there are few studies focussing on the long-term effects of herbivores on vegetation structure and subsequent effects on marsh accretion. Deposition of fine-grained, mineral sediment during tidal inundations, together with organic matter accumulation from the local vegetation, positively affects accretion rates of marsh surfaces. Tall vegetation can enhance sediment deposition by reducing current flow and wave action. Herbivores shorten vegetation height and this could potentially reduce sediment deposition. This study estimated the effects of herbivores on 1) vegetation height, 2) sediment deposition and 3) resulting marsh accretion after long-term (at least 16 years) herbivore exclusion of both small (i.e. hare and goose) and large grazers (i.e. cattle) for marshes of different ages. Our results firstly showed that both small and large herbivores can have a major impact on vegetation height. Secondly, grazing processes did not affect sediment deposition. Finally, trampling by large grazers affected marsh accretion rates by compacting the soil. In many European marshes, grazing is used as a tool in nature management as well as for agricultural purposes. Thus, we propose that soil compaction by large grazers should be taken in account when estimating the ability of coastal systems to cope with an accelerating sea-level rise.

  1. Relationship between anthropogenic sewage discharge, marsh structure and bird assemblages in an SW Atlantic saltmarsh.

    PubMed

    Cardoni, D A; Isacch, J P; Fanjul, M E; Escapa, M; Iribarne, O O

    2011-03-01

    One of the main effects of urbanization on coastal areas is through the discharge of sewage, which increases nutrient concentrations in the receiving environment. Salt marshes, like other coastal marine environments, are limited by nutrients, mainly nitrogen, and thus increasing nutrient loadings to a marsh may have consequences on marsh characteristics. We evaluated how the effects of nutrient enrichment in the form of sewage input, affected the vegetation structure and bird assemblages in a Spartina alterniflora salt marsh system near Bahía Blanca, Argentina (39° 01' S - 56° 25' W). Surveys of nutrient concentration, vegetation and birds were made at three different distances from the sewage discharge source. The concentration of ammonium, phosphate, and nitrate and the percent organic matter was higher in marshes nearest to the sewage discharge source. Bird composition and abundance, and vegetation physiognomy changed along a gradient of nutrient concentration. The increased habitat complexity found near the areas of higher nutrient concentration was exploited by birds that use neighboring interior and coastal habitats, including Spartina densiflora marshes, freshwater marshes and upland shrubby habitats. Our results show that local increases of nutrient inputs directly changed the vegetation physiognomy, and indirectly the composition and abundance of bird assemblages. PMID:21227503

  2. Expansive Tidal Marshes on the North American Eastern Seaboard: Relics of Colonial Deforestation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, A.; Kirwan, M.

    2013-12-01

    Experiments using a numerical model of tidal marsh ecomorphodynamic evolution suggest that changes in sediment supply (suspended sediment concentrations) reaching tidal marshes can play a role as strong as sea-level-rise rate in determining the extent and elevation of coastal wetlands. Testing a model-generated hypothesis, sediment coring and radiocarbon dating in the Plum Island Estuary marshes, Massachusetts, USA, suggested that marshes prograded rapidly and substantially following colonial deforestation (Kirwan et al., Geology, 2011). This controversial claim has been questioned, in part because historical maps from 1780 and 1830 show that the marsh had already attained most of its modern extent by that time--which is earlier than some of the of the radiocarbon mid-point dates (Priestas et al., Geology Forum, Dec. 2012). However, given the uncertainties in the radiocarbon dates, and in identifying the earliest marsh-derived layers in sediment cores, the maps and the dating are broadly consistent (Kirwan and Murray, Geology Forum, Dec. 2012). In addition, previous studies have shown that considerable land-use change had already occurred in this small coastal watershed by the late 17th Century, with local laws against tree cutting in place by 1660, and evidence for regional deforestation by 1700. Our field evidence, combined with the historical maps, indicates that this early colonial development lead to an expansion of marshes by approximately 50 percent within the studied area. Given the widespread and pervasive nature of subsequent land-use changes on the Eastern Seaboard from colonial through civil war periods, many of the currently expansive marshes on the East Coast may be relict. Numerical modeling suggests that when sediment concentrations fall below the values required to form a marsh, the marsh will be metastable, with vegetation feedbacks able to maintain the relict morphology and ecology, but susceptible to irreversible loss in response to disturbances

  3. Gross nitrous oxide production drives net nitrous oxide fluxes across a salt marsh landscape.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wendy H; Silver, Whendee L

    2016-06-01

    Sea level rise will change inundation regimes in salt marshes, altering redox dynamics that control nitrification - a potential source of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2 O) - and denitrification, a major nitrogen (N) loss pathway in coastal ecosystems and both a source and sink of N2 O. Measurements of net N2 O fluxes alone yield little insight into the different effects of redox conditions on N2 O production and consumption. We used in situ measurements of gross N2 O fluxes across a salt marsh elevation gradient to determine how soil N2 O emissions in coastal ecosystems may respond to future sea level rise. Soil redox declined as marsh elevation decreased, with lower soil nitrate and higher ferrous iron in the low marsh compared to the mid and high marshes (P < 0.001 for both). In addition, soil oxygen concentrations were lower in the low and mid-marshes relative to the high marsh (P < 0.001). Net N2 O fluxes differed significantly among marsh zones (P = 0.009), averaging 9.8 ± 5.4 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) , -2.2 ± 0.9 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) , and 0.67 ± 0.57 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) in the low, mid, and high marshes, respectively. Both net N2 O release and uptake were observed in the low and high marshes, but the mid-marsh was consistently a net N2 O sink. Gross N2 O production was highest in the low marsh and lowest in the mid-marsh (P = 0.02), whereas gross N2 O consumption did not differ among marsh zones. Thus, variability in gross N2 O production rates drove the differences in net N2 O flux among marsh zones. Our results suggest that future studies should focus on elucidating controls on the processes producing, rather than consuming, N2 O in salt marshes to improve our predictions of changes in net N2 O fluxes caused by future sea level rise. PMID:26718748

  4. Assessing tidal marsh vulnerability to sea-level rise in the Skagit Delta

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hood, W. Gregory; Grossman, Eric; Curt Veldhuisen

    2016-01-01

    Historical aerial photographs, from 1937 to the present, show Skagit Delta tidal marshes prograding into Skagit Bay for most of the record, but the progradation rates have been steadily declining and the marshes have begun to erode in recent decades despite the large suspended sediment load provided by the Skagit River. In an area of the delta isolated from direct riverine sediment supply by anthropogenic blockage of historical distributaries, 0.5-m tall marsh cliffs along with concave marsh profiles indicate wave erosion is contributing to marsh retreat. This is further supported by a “natural experiment” provided by rocky outcrops that shelter high marsh in their lee, while being bounded by 0.5-m lower eroded marsh to windward and on either side. Coastal wetlands with high sediment supply are thought to be resilient to sea level rise, but the case of the Skagit Delta shows this is not necessarily true. A combination of sea level rise and wave-generated erosion may overwhelm sediment supply. Additionally, anthropogenic obstruction of historical distributaries and levee construction along the remaining distributaries likely increase the jet momentum of river discharge, forcing much suspended sediment to bypass the tidal marshes and be exported from Skagit Bay. Adaptive response to the threat of climate change related sea level rise and increased wave frequency or intensity should consider the efficacy of restoring historical distributaries and managed retreat of constrictive river levees to maximize sediment delivery to delta marshes.

  5. A global analysis of the seaward salt marsh extent: The importance of tidal range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balke, Thorsten; Stock, Martin; Jensen, Kai; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Kleyer, Michael

    2016-05-01

    Despite the growing interest in ecosystem services provided by intertidal wetlands, we lack sufficient understanding of the processes that determine the seaward extent of salt marsh vegetation on tidal flats. With the present study, we aim to establish a globally valid demarcation between tidal flats and salt marsh vegetation in relation to tidal range. By comparing results from a regional GIS study with a global literature search on the salt marsh-tidal flat border, we are able to define the global critical elevation, above which salt marsh plants can grow in the intertidal zone. Moreover, we calculate inundation characteristics from global tide gauge records to determine inundation duration and frequency at this predicted salt marsh-tidal flat border depending on tidal range. Our study shows that the height difference between the lowest elevation of salt marsh pioneer vegetation and mean high water increases logarithmically with tidal range when including macrotidal salt marshes. Hence, the potentially vegetated section of the tidal frame below mean high water does not proportionally increase with tidal range. The data analysis suggests that inundation frequency rather than duration defines the global lower elevational limit of vascular salt marsh plants on tidal flats. This is critical information to better estimate sea level rise and coastal change effects on lateral marsh development.

  6. Effects of invasive cordgrass on presence of Marsh Grassbird in an area where it is not native.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhijun; Gan, Xiaojing; Choi, Chi-Yeung; Li, Bo

    2014-02-01

    The threatened Marsh Grassbird (Locustella pryeri) first appeared in the salt marsh in east China after the salt marsh was invaded by cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), a non-native invasive species. To understand the dependence of non-native Marsh Grassbird on the non-native cordgrass, we quantified habitat use, food source, and reproductive success of the Marsh Grassbird at the Chongming Dongtan (CMDT) salt marsh. In the breeding season, we used point counts and radio-tracking to determine habitat use by Marsh Grassbirds. We analyzed basal food sources of the Marsh Grassbirds by comparing the δ(13) C isotope signatures of feather and fecal samples of birds with those of local plants. We monitored the nests through the breeding season and determined the breeding success of the Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT. Density of Marsh Grassbirds was higher where cordgrass occurred than in areas of native reed (Phragmites australis) monoculture. The breeding territory of the Marsh Grassbird was composed mainly of cordgrass stands, and nests were built exclusively against cordgrass stems. Cordgrass was the major primary producer at the base of the Marsh Grassbird food chain. Breeding success of the Marsh Grassbird at CMDT was similar to breeding success within its native range. Our results suggest non-native cordgrass provides essential habitat and food for breeding Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT and that the increase in Marsh Grassbird abundance may reflect the rapid spread of cordgrass in the coastal regions of east China. Our study provides an example of how a primary invader (i.e., cordgrass) can alter an ecosystem and thus facilitate colonization by a second non-native species. PMID:24405105

  7. Carbohydrates, carbon and nitrogen in soils of a marine and a brackish marsh as influenced by inundation frequency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, Marie; Giani, Luise

    2012-07-01

    Marshes on the southern North Sea coast store large amounts of organic matter (OM). The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of inundation frequency on carbohydrates, organic carbon (OC), inorganic carbon (IC) and nitrogen (N) in a marine and a brackish marsh. To gain insights into the origin of OC in the marshes we used monosaccharides as biomarkers. We studied soils in a marine and a brackish marsh along a gradient of inundation frequency. It was found that TOC and N stocks in soils of a marine and a brackish marsh increased with decreasing inundation frequency. Concentrations of carbohydrates were significantly higher in the topsoils of the marine marsh than of the brackish marsh. In the upper mid-zone of the marine marsh, which is inundated by the sea approximately 20-times a year, carbohydrate stocks were up to 2.4-times higher than in the upper mid-zone of the brackish marsh with the same inundation frequency. Differences in carbohydrate concentrations can be attributed to differences in the abundance of fine and medium roots in these soils. In the daily-inundated soils of both marshes we observed high hexose-to-pentose ratios, indicating a microbial origin of the carbohydrates, while the hexose-to-pentose ratios were significantly lower in the middle and upper zone of the two marshes, indicating a high proportion of plant-derived carbohydrates. This study shows that monosaccharides are useful biomarkers to explore the origin of OM in coastal soils.

  8. Sensitivity of hurricane surge to morphological parameters of coastal wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loder, N. M.; Irish, J. L.; Cialone, M. A.; Wamsley, T. V.

    2009-10-01

    Given the history and future risk of storm surge in the United States, functional storm protection techniques are needed to protect vital sectors of the economy and coastal communities. It is widely hypothesized that coastal wetlands offer protection from storm surge and wave action, though the extent of this protection is unknown due to the complexities of flow through vegetation. Here we present the sensitivity of storm-surge numerical modeling results to various coastal wetlands characteristics. An idealized grid domain and 400-km 2 marsh feature were used to evaluate the effects of marsh characteristics on hurricane surge, including the effects of bottom friction, elevation, and continuity (the ratio of healthy marsh to open water area within the total wetland area). Through coupled hydrodynamic and wave model simulations, it is confirmed that increased bottom friction reduces storm-surge levels for most storms. However, increases in depth associated with marsh elevation loss generally results in a reduction of surge. As marsh continuity is decreased, coastal surge increases as a result of enhanced surge conveyance into and out of the marsh. Storm surge is parameterized in terms of marsh morphology, namely marsh elevation, frictional characteristics, and degree of segmentation, which will assist in the justification for and optimization of marsh restoration in terms of storm protection.

  9. Surface water and groundwater interactions in coastal wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ling; Xin, Pei; Shen, Chengji

    2014-05-01

    Salt marshes are an important wetland system in the upper intertidal zone, interfacing the land and coastal water. Dominated by salt-tolerant plants, these wetlands provide essential eco-environmental services for maintaining coastal biodiversity. They also act as sediment traps and help stabilize the coastline. While they play an active role in moderating greenhouse gas emissions, these wetlands have become increasingly vulnerable to the impact of global climate change. Salt marshes are a complex hydrological system characterized by strong, dynamic interactions between surface water and groundwater, which underpin the wetland's eco-functionality. Bordered with coastal water, the marsh system undergoes cycles of inundation and exposure driven by the tide. This leads to dynamic, complex pore-water flow and solute transport in the marsh soil. Pore-water circulations occur at different spatial and temporal scales with strong link to the marsh topography. These circulations control solute transport between the marsh soil and the tidal creek, and ultimately affect the overall nutrient exchange between the marsh and coastal water. The pore-water flows also dictate the soil aeration conditions, which in turn affect marsh plant growth. This talk presents results and findings from recent numerical and experimental studies, focusing on the pore-water flow behaviour in the marsh soil under the influence of tides and density-gradients.

  10. Effects of climate change on tidal marshes along a latitudinal gradient in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorne, Karen M.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Ambrose, Rich F.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Freeman, Chase M.; Janousek, Christopher N.; Brown, Lauren N.; Holmquist, James R.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Powelson, Katherine W.; Barnard, Patrick L.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2016-01-01

    Public SummaryThe coastal region of California supports a wealth of ecosystem services including habitat provision for wildlife and fisheries. Tidal marshes, mudflats, and shallow bays within coastal estuaries link marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats, and provide economic and recreational benefits to local communities. Climate change effects such as sea-level rise (SLR) are altering these habitats, but we know little about how these areas will change over the next 50–100 years. Our study examined the projected effects of three recent SLR scenarios produced for the West Coast of North America on tidal marshes in California. We compiled physical and biological data, including coastal topography, tidal inundation, plant composition, and sediment accretion to project how SLR may alter these ecosystems in the future. The goal of our research was to provide results that support coastal management and conservation efforts across California. Under a low SLR scenario, all study sites remained vegetated tidal wetlands, with most sites showing little elevation and vegetation change relative to sea level. At most sites, mid SLR projections led to increases in low marsh habitat at the expense of middle and high marsh habitat. Marshes at Morro Bay and Tijuana River Estuary were the most vulnerable to mid SLR with many areas becoming intertidal mudflat. Under a high SLR scenario, most sites were projected to lose vegetated habitat, eventually converting to intertidal mudflats. Our results suggest that California marshes are vulnerable to major habitat shifts under mid or high rates of SLR, especially in the latter part of the century. Loss of vegetated tidal marshes in California due to SLR is expected to impact ecosystem services that are dependent on coastal wetlands such as wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, improved water quality, and coastal protection from storms.

  11. Does vegetation prevent wave erosion of salt marsh edges?

    PubMed Central

    Feagin, R. A.; Lozada-Bernard, S. M.; Ravens, T. M.; Möller, I.; Yeager, K. M.; Baird, A. H.

    2009-01-01

    This study challenges the paradigm that salt marsh plants prevent lateral wave-induced erosion along wetland edges by binding soil with live roots and clarifies the role of vegetation in protecting the coast. In both laboratory flume studies and controlled field experiments, we show that common salt marsh plants do not significantly mitigate the total amount of erosion along a wetland edge. We found that the soil type is the primary variable that influences the lateral erosion rate and although plants do not directly reduce wetland edge erosion, they may do so indirectly via modification of soil parameters. We conclude that coastal vegetation is best-suited to modify and control sedimentary dynamics in response to gradual phenomena like sea-level rise or tidal forces, but is less well-suited to resist punctuated disturbances at the seaward margin of salt marshes, specifically breaking waves. PMID:19509340

  12. Soil Carbon Stocks in a Shifting Ecosystem; Climate Induced Migration of Mangroves into Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, L.; Osborne, T.; Feller, I. C.

    2015-12-01

    Across the globe, coastal wetland vegetation distributions are changing in response to climate change. The increase in global average surface temperature has already caused shifts in the structure and distribution of many ecological communities. In parts of the southeastern United States, increased winter temperatures have resulted in the poleward range expansion of mangroves at the expense of salt marsh habitat. Our work aims to document carbon storage in the salt marsh - mangrove ecotone and any potential changes in this reservoir that may ensue due to the shifting range of this habitat. Differences in SOM and C stocks along a latitudinal gradient on the east coast of Florida will be presented. The gradient studied spans 342 km and includes pure mangrove habitat, the salt marsh - mangrove ecotone, and pure salt marsh habitat.This latitudinal gradient gives us an exceptional opportunity to document and investigate ecosystem soil C modifications as mangroves transgress into salt marsh habitat due to climatic change.

  13. Indirect Human Impacts Reverse Centuries of Carbon Sequestration and Salt Marsh Accretion

    PubMed Central

    Coverdale, Tyler C.; Brisson, Caitlin P.; Young, Eric W.; Yin, Stephanie F.; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Bertness, Mark D.

    2014-01-01

    Direct and indirect human impacts on coastal ecosystems have increased over the last several centuries, leading to unprecedented degradation of coastal habitats and loss of ecological services. Here we document a two-century temporal disparity between salt marsh accretion and subsequent loss to indirect human impacts. Field surveys, manipulative experiments and GIS analyses reveal that crab burrowing weakens the marsh peat base and facilitates further burrowing, leading to bank calving, disruption of marsh accretion, and a loss of over two centuries of sequestered carbon from the marsh edge in only three decades. Analogous temporal disparities exist in other systems and are a largely unrecognized obstacle in attaining sustainable ecosystem services in an increasingly human impacted world. In light of the growing threat of indirect impacts worldwide and despite uncertainties in the fate of lost carbon, we suggest that estimates of carbon emissions based only on direct human impacts may significantly underestimate total anthropogenic carbon emissions. PMID:24675669

  14. Regional ontogeny of New England salt marsh die-off.

    PubMed

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Bertness, Mark D; Altieri, Andrew H

    2013-10-01

    Coastal areas are among the world's most productive and highly affected ecosystems. Centuries of human activity on coastlines have led to overexploitation of marine predators, which in turn has led to cascading ecosystem-level effects. Human effects and approaches to mediating them, however, differ regionally due to gradients in biotic and abiotic factors. Salt marsh die-off on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (U.S.A.), triggered by a recreational-fishing-induced trophic cascade that has released herbivorous crabs from predator control, has been ongoing since 1976. Similar salt marsh die-offs have been reported in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay (U.S.A.), but the driving mechanism of these die-offs has not been examined. We used field experiments to assess trophic interactions and historical reconstructions of 24 New England marshes to test the hypotheses that recreational fishing and predator depletion are a regional trigger of salt marsh die-off in New England and that die-offs in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay are more recent than those on Cape Cod. Predator depletion was the general trigger of marsh die-off and explained differences in herbivorous crab abundance and the severity of die-off across regions. Die-offs in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay are following a trajectory similar to die-off on Cape Cod, but are approximately 20 years behind those on Cape Cod. As a result, die-off currently affects 31.2% (SE 2.2) of low-marsh areas in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay, less than half the severity of die-off on Cape Cod. Our results contribute to the growing evidence that recreational fishing is an increasing threat to coastal ecosystems and that studying the effects of human activity at regional scales can provide insight into local effects and aid in early detection and potential remediation. PMID:23566036

  15. Geographic Variation in Plant Community Structure of Salt Marshes: Species, Functional and Phylogenetic Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A.; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M.; Pennings, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  16. Final report for sea-level rise response modeling for San Francisco Bay estuary tidal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Spragens, Kyle A.; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Overton, Cory T.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    The International Panel on Climate Change has identified coastal ecosystems as areas that will be disproportionally affected by climate change. Current sea-level rise projections range widely with 0.57 to 1.9 meters increase in mea sea level by 2100. The expected accelerated rate of sea-level rise through the 21st century will put many coastal ecosystems at risk, especially those in topographically low-gradient areas. We assessed marsh accretion and plant community state changes through 2100 at 12 tidal salt marshes around San Francisco Bay estuary with a sea-level rise response model. Detailed ground elevation, vegetation, and water level data were collected at all sites between 2008 and 2011 and used as model inputs. Sediment cores (taken by Callaway and others, 2012) at four sites around San Francisco Bay estuary were used to estimate accretion rates. A modification of the Callaway and others (1996) model, the Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER), was utilized to run sea-level rise response models for all sites. With a mean sea level rise of 1.24 m by 2100, WARMER projected that the vast majority, 95.8 percent (1,942 hectares), of marsh area in our study will lose marsh plant communities by 2100 and to transition to a relative elevation range consistent with mudflat habitat. Three marshes were projected to maintain marsh vegetation to 2100, but they only composed 4.2 percent (85 hectares) of the total marsh area surveyed.

  17. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merley, Michael; Peteet, Dorothy; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Salt marshes are constant depositional environments and as a result contain accurate indicators of past relative sea level rise and salinity. The Hudson River marshes are at least twice as deep when compared to coastal marshes on either side of the mouth of the Hudson. The reason for this difference in sedimentation is unclear. This study uses macrofossil data as well as sediment stratigraphy in order to understand the formation and evolution of these marshes. The composition of seeds, roots, shoots and foraminifera, are used to indicate past sea levels. The four sites involved in this study are, from south to north, the Arthur Kill Marsh in Staten Island (40 36 N, 74 77W), Piermont marsh (N 4100; 73 55W) Croton Point (41 14 N; 73 50W) and Iona Island (41 18N, 73 58W). These are all tidally influenced but with increasing distances from the New York Bight, which gives a good spectrum of tidal influence. AMS-C14 dates on basal macrofossils will document the time of each marsh formation. Basal material from Arthur Kill (8 m) includes freshwater seeds such as Viola, Potomageton and Alnus along with Salix buds. Basal material from Croton Point (10 m) includes fibrous woody material, foraminifera and Zanichellia seeds and other brackish vegetational components. The basal material from Piermont (13.77 m) is lacking any identifiable macrofossils between 150 and 500 microns. The basal material from Iona Island (10 m) has vegetation such as Scirpus and Cyperus seeds, probably implying a brackish environment. The freshwater origin of the Arthur Kill marsh in Staten Island is significant because it predates either sea level rise or the western channel incision. Additional implications for this study include evidence for changes in river channel geomorphology. Reasons for the relatively deeper river marshes include possible basal clay compaction, high production due to river and marine nutrients as well as tectonic activity. This study provides the groundwork for more high

  18. Biosphere 2's Marsh Biome

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Molnar, Jennifer; Goodridge, Kelven

    1997-01-01

    The Marsh Biome, which was modeled after the mangroves and marshes of southwest Florida, has an area of 441.2 sq m separated into three hydrologically independent sections: the Freshwater, Oligohaline and Salt Marshes. The divisions are made based on their salinity (approximately 0, 4, and 34 ppt. respectively), but they also contain different biological communities. The Freshwater and Oligohaline Marshes are mostly filled with various grasses and several trees, while the Salt Marsh houses regions of red, black, and white mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, and Languncularia racemosa respectively). Overall, there are an estimated 80 species of plants within the biome. Water in the Salt Marsh follows a meandering stream from the algal turf scrubbers (apparatuses that clean the water of its nutrients and heavy metals while increasing dissolved oxygen levels) which have an outlet in the Salt Marsh section near sites 4 and 5 to the Fringing Red Mangrove section. The sections of the Salt Marsh are separated by walls of concrete with openings to allow the stream to flow through. Throughout this study, conducted through the months of June and July, many conditions within the biome remained fairly constant. The temperature was within a degree or two of 25 C, mostly depending on whether the sample site was in direct sunlight or shaded. The pH throughout the Salt Marsh was 8.0 +/- 0.2, and the lower salinity waters only dropped below this soon after rains. The water rdepth and dissolved oxygen varied, however, between sites.

  19. Vegetation Influences on Tidal Freshwater Marsh Sedimentation and Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadol, D. D.; Elmore, A. J.; Engelhardt, K.; Palinkas, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    Continued sea level rise, and the potential for acceleration over the next century, threatens low-lying natural and cultural resources throughout the world. In the national capital region of the United States, for example, the National Park Service manages over 50 km^2 of land along the shores of the tidal Potomac River and its tributaries that may be affected by sea level rise. Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on the Potomac River south of Washington, DC, is one such resource with a rich history of scientific investigation. It is a candidate for restoration to replace marsh area lost to dredging in the 1960s, yet for restoration to succeed in the long term, accretion must maintain the marsh surface within the tidal range of rising relative sea level. Marsh surface accretion rates tend to increase with depth in the tidal frame until a threshold depth is reached below which marsh vegetation cannot be sustained. Suspended sediment concentration, salinity, tidal range, and vegetation community all influence the relationship between depth and accretion rate. The complex interactions among these factors make sedimentation rates difficult to generalize across sites. Surface elevation tables (SET) and feldspar marker horizons have been monitored at 9 locations in Dyke Marsh for 5 years, providing detailed data on sedimentation, subsidence, and net accretion rates at these locations. We combine these data with spatially rich vegetation surveys, a LiDAR derived 1-m digital elevation model of the marsh, and temperature-derived inundation durations to model accretion rates across the marsh. Temperature loggers suggest a delayed arrival of tidal water within the marsh relative to that predicted by elevation alone, likely due to hydraulic resistance caused by vegetation. Wave driven coastal erosion has contributed to bank retreat rates of ~2.5 m/yr along the Potomac River side of the marsh while depositing a small berm of material inland of the retreating shoreline. Excluding sites

  20. The persistence of endangered Florida Salt Marsh Voles in salt marshes of the central Florida Gulf Coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hotaling, A.S.; Percival, H.F.; Kitchens, W.M.; Kasbohm, J.W.

    2010-01-01

    Two endangered Microtus pennsylvanicus dukecampbelli (Florida Salt Marsh Vole) were captured at a new location, in February of 2009, at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Since the species discovery in 1979, only 43 Florida Salt Marsh Voles (hereafter FSM Vole) have been captured. Outside of the type locality, this is only the second documented location for the FSM Vole. Given the difficulty in trapping this species and the lack of information about its life history, its discovery in a new location lends itself to the possibility that it is more widespread in the Central Florida Gulf Coast than previously thought. Although much of the salt marsh in the area is in public ownership, a good deal of it has already been altered by logging or development and is threatened by global climate change. More research is needed to adequately protect and manage the habitat for the FSM Vole. A study of FSM Vole coastal salt marsh habitat could also serve as a valuable monitoring tool for subtle changes in salt marsh habitats as global climate change progresses.

  1. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Salt Marsh Periwinkles (Littoraria irrorata).

    PubMed

    Zengel, Scott; Montague, Clay L; Pennings, Steven C; Powers, Sean P; Steinhoff, Marla; Fricano, Gail; Schlemme, Claire; Zhang, Mengni; Oehrig, Jacob; Nixon, Zachary; Rouhani, Shahrokh; Michel, Jacqueline

    2016-01-19

    Deepwater Horizon was the largest marine oil spill in U.S. waters, oiling large expanses of coastal wetland shorelines. We compared marsh periwinkle (Littoraria irrorata) density and shell length at salt marsh sites with heavy oiling to reference conditions ∼16 months after oiling. We also compared periwinkle density and size among oiled sites with and without shoreline cleanup treatments. Densities of periwinkles were reduced by 80-90% at the oiled marsh edge and by 50% in the oiled marsh interior (∼9 m inland) compared to reference, with greatest numerical losses of periwinkles in the marsh interior, where densities were naturally higher. Shoreline cleanup further reduced adult snail density as well as snail size. Based on the size of adult periwinkles observed coupled with age and growth information, population recovery is projected to take several years once oiling and habitat conditions in affected areas are suitable to support normal periwinkle life-history functions. Where heavily oiled marshes have experienced accelerated erosion as a result of the spill, these habitat impacts would represent additional losses of periwinkles. Losses of marsh periwinkles would likely affect other ecosystem processes and attributes, including organic matter and nutrient cycling, marsh-estuarine food chains, and multiple species that prey on periwinkles. PMID:26713547

  2. A Baseline Study of Piermont Marsh as Nekton Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega, M.; Bloomfield, F.; Torres, T.; Ward, J.; Sanders, D.; Lobato, A.

    2011-12-01

    Between 2007 and 2011 we have conducted a study of fish populations and water quality in the Piermont Marsh, a brackish tidal wetland about 40 km north of Manhattan. This 5-year period represents the baseline for an ongoing ecological study of the marsh. The marsh, along with similar wetlands between the Federal Dam at Troy and the Battery, is an important refuge for juvenile fish, and it is believed that estuarine wetland dynamics are critical in population recruitment for coastal fisheries. Piermont Marsh has undergone a rapid transition from a primarily Spartina alternaflora and Spartina pattens setting to one dominated by an invasive genotype of common reed Phragmites australis. The impact of this shift on local fish populations, species diversity, and adult recruitment are not well understood. The long term goal of this study is to tease apart factors in by use of the marsh as a nekton habitat. Fish were collected in unbaited minnow gee traps which were deployed at slack tide and left for 24 hours. Samples were preserved in 10% buffered formalin. All organisms were identified to the lowest practical taxonomic level, enumerated, and measured. Gross weight was recorded for each sample set. Water quality measurements such as temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen were collected concurrently with all sampling events. Sample collections were focused on the tidal creeks crossing the marsh, which provide the primary exchange of water and nutrients between the marsh interior and Hudson River estuary. As expected, most minnows captured were Fundulus heteroclitus. However a wide variety of other nekton, including species that are important to commercial and recreational coastal Atlantic fish stocks, was recorded as well. Comparisons are made between habitats such as erosional and depostional banks, rivulets, and exterior and interior marsh settings. Also involved were transient conditions such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen levels, and hydroperiod

  3. Coastal Studies in a Comprehensive Summer Field Geology Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Barry; Jones, Richard J.

    1979-01-01

    Describes a college geology course that incorporates a coastal segment. Field studies are done on Plum Island and include examining beaches, dune fields, and an adjacent marsh and spit. Topics include sedimentation, coastal geomorphology, botanical effects, and coastal studies methodology. (MA)

  4. Tagus estuary and Ria de Aveiro salt marsh dynamics and the impact of sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentim, J. M.; Vaz, N.; Silva, H.; Duarte, B.; Caçador, I.; Dias, J. M.

    2013-09-01

    Different characteristics of Spartina maritima found in two distinct salt marshes located in different estuaries were analysed through interpretation of their local hydrodynamic patterns, as well as the impact of sea level rise on physical processes and consequently on plant dynamics and salt marshes stability. These salt marshes are situated in two of the most important Portuguese coastal systems, Tagus estuary (Rosário salt marsh) and Ria de Aveiro lagoon (Barra salt marsh), which are dominated by physical processes that induce strong tidal currents. They were monitored during one year and plant and sediment samples of S. maritima were collected quarterly in order to determine the vegetation coverage, above and belowground biomass, organic matter and sediment moisture. Residual circulation, tidal asymmetry and tidal dissipation were determined from numerical modelling results of the MOHID 2D model that was applied to each coastal system, considering the actual sea level and a sea level rise (SLR) scenario. Results suggest that the different characteristics found for Spartina maritima in the Rosário and the Barra salt marshes may be related with the diverse hydrodynamic conditions identified for each salt marsh. Consequently, the exploration of SLR scenario predictions indicates how these salt marshes could evolve in the future, showing that the important changes in these hydrodynamic parameters under climate change context might induce significant modifications in the salt marshes dynamics and stability. SLR scenario could lead to changes in nutrients and sediments patterns around the salt marshes and thus vegetation coverage percentage would be affected. Additionally, as a consequence of flood duration increase, sediment moisture will increase causing a stress condition to plants. Hence, the ratio below/aboveground biomass might increase, becoming critical to plants survival under conditions of accelerated sea level rise. Accordingly, both SLR and expected

  5. Nutrient Cycling in Piermont Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, K.; Reyes, N.; Gribbin, S.; Newton, R.; Laporte, N.; Trivino, G.; Ortega, J.; McKee, K.; Sambrotto, R.

    2011-12-01

    We investigate the cycling of nutrients through a brackish tidal wetland about 40 km north of Manhattan in the Hudson River estuary. As part of a long-term ecological study of Piermont Marsh, a NOAA reference wetland managed by the NY State DEC, we are measuring dissolved inorganic nutrients on the Marsh surface and its drainage channels. The marsh occupies 400 acres along the southwest corner of Haverstraw Bay with approximately 2 km frontage to the estuary. It is supplied with nutrient-rich water and drained primarily along several tidal creeks and the hundreds of rivulets that feed them. During most tidal cycles the silty berm bounding the marsh is not topped. Human influence in the marsh's surrounding area has had profound effects, one of the most fundamental of which has been the shift from native grass species, predominantly Spartina alterniflora, to an invasive genotype of common reed, Phragmites australis. Along with this shift there have been changes in the root bed, the effective marsh interior and berm heights, the hydroperiod and, as a result, the ability of the marsh to be utilized by various types of Hudson estuary fish. The vegetative shift is believed to be anthropogenic, but the connection is not well understood, and it is not known what role biogeochemical perturbations are playing. We present two field seasons of nitrate, phosphate and silicate measurements from Sparkill Creek, a freshwater stream draining the surrounding highlands constitutes the northern boundary, two tidally driven creeks transect the Marsh from West to East: the Crumkill and an unnamed creek we have dubbed the "Tidal", Ludlow Ditch, a no-longer-maintained drainage channel grading gently from the northern part of the marsh to the South terminates in a wide tidal outlet that is its southern boundary. Net tidal cycle fluxes and fluxes resulting from runoff events are presented. Deviations from Redfield ratios and limiting nutrients are analyzed. Piermont Marsh data is compared

  6. Coastal Studies for Primary Grades.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Venetia R.; Roach, Ellen M.

    1986-01-01

    Describes a set of field trips for participants of the Coastal Environmental Education for Primary Grades program in Georgia. Includes a sample of the activities used by first- and second-grade students. Discusses follow-up activities and the need for more educational programs dealing with sand dunes and saltwater marshes. (TW)

  7. Coastal Adaptation and Ecological Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheong, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Ecological engineering combines ecology and engineering to sustain coastal environment and facilitate adaptation to climate change. This paper discusses how the cases of mangroves, oyster reefs, and marshes help mainstream climate change with ecosystem conservation. It demonstrates the benefits of combining strategies to combat changing climate given the financial and political constraints.

  8. PARASITE FACILITATES PLANT SPECIES COEXISTENCE IN A COASTAL WETLAND.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent advances in ecology suggest that processes influencing community structure are a balance between competitive and facilitative biological interactions. Parasitic angiosperms are prevalent in many North American and European coastal salt marshes, and consumer-resource interactions between para...

  9. Long-term changes and historical uses of one of the largest French salt-marshes since 1705

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godet, Laurent; Pourinet, Laurent; Decaulne, Armelle

    2014-05-01

    The salt-marshes of the Baie de l'Aiguillon (Western France) are among the largest of Western Europe. Thanks to exceptional historical data, including old maps, manuscripts and aerial photographs, we propose one of the first long-term accurate cartographies of such a large salt-marsh, dating back to the beginning of the 18th century. Like other salt-marshes in Western Europe, including those of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (France), we found that they are expanding for the three last decades. However, our historical analysis also reveals that the area of these salt-marshes shrinked by two thirds over the last three centuries, due to massive land-reclamations starting from the mid-17th century. As revealed by historical testimonies and archeological remains, we also demonstrated that these salt-marshes were actively mowed as soon as the 1700s. In consequence, the oldest and the non-used parts of such salt-marshes correspond to very restricted patches that may present a high conservation stake. In the context of massive land-use and land-cover changes along the European coastal zones, historical analyses exploring long-term changes and historical uses of coastal habitats may help to identify old and natural patches of coastal habitats. Salt-marshes, that are easy to map and monitor, are good candidates for such investigations.

  10. The Dynamics of Sediment Oxygenation in Marsh Rhizospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koop-Jakobsen, K.

    2014-12-01

    Many marsh grasses are capable of internal oxygen transport from aboveground sources to belowground roots and rhizomes, where oxygen may leak across the rhizodermis and oxygenate the surrounding sediment. In the field, the extent of sediment oxygenation in marshes was assessed in the rhizosphere of the marsh grass; Spartina anglica, inserting 70 optical fiber oxygen sensors into the rhizosphere. Two locations with S. anglica growing in different sediment types were investigated. No oxygen was detected in the rhizospheres indicating that belowground sediment oxygenation in S. anglica has a limited effect on the bulk anoxic sediment and is restricted to sediment in the immediate vicinity of the roots. In the laboratory, the presence of 1.5mm wide and 16mm long oxic root zones was demonstrated around root tips of S. anglica growing in permeable sandy sediment using planar optodes recording 2D-images of the oxygen distribution. Oxic root zones in S. anglica growing in tidal flat deposits were significantly smaller. The size of oxic roots zones was highly dynamic and affected by tidal inundations as well as light availability. Atmospheric air was the primary oxygen source for belowground sediment oxygenation, whereas photosynthetic oxygen production only played a minor role for the size of the oxic root zones during air-exposure of the aboveground biomass. During tidal inundations (1.5 h) completely submerging the aboveground biomass cutting off access to atmospheric oxygen, the size of oxic root zones were reduced significantly in the light and oxic root zones were completely eliminated in darkness. Sediment oxygenation in the rhizospheres of marsh grasses is of significant importance for marshes ability to retain inorganic nitrogen before it reaches the coastal waters. The presence of oxic roots zones promotes coupled nitrification-denitrification at depth in the sediment, which can account for more than 80% of the total denitrification in marshes.

  11. Salt marsh and seagrass communities of Bakkhali Estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hena, M. K. Abu; Short, F. T.; Sharifuzzaman, S. M.; Hasan, M.; Rezowan, M.; Ali, M.

    2007-10-01

    The species identification, distribution pattern, density and biomass of salt marsh and seagrass plants with some of the ecological parameters were studied in the Bakkhali river estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh during the first half of 2006. Two salt marsh species ( Spartina sp. and Imperata cylindrica) and one seagrass species ( Halophila beccarii) were identified during this investigation, providing the first reports of Spartina sp. and H. beccarii in coastal Bangladesh. Seagrass H. beccarii was found in an accreted area and co-existing with salt marsh, and scattered sparsely in the salt marsh habitat and macroalgae Ulva intestinalis. Flowering and fruiting were recorded from the seagrass H. beccarri during January and February. No flowers and fruits were observed for the salt marsh Spartina sp. during the study period. Results showed that the shoot density of Spartina ranged from 400 to 2875 shoots m -2 with the highest total biomass (165.80 g dry weight (DW) m -2) in March. Shoot density of H. beccarii ranged from 2716 to 14320 shoots m -2 in this estuarine coastal environment. The total biomass of seagrass was higher (17.56 g DW m -2) in March compared to the other months. The highest H. beccarii above ground (AG) biomass and below ground (BG) biomass were 9.59 g DW m -2 and 9.42 g DW m -2, respectively. These parameters are comparable with those generally observed for the salt marsh and seagrass species in the other places of the world.

  12. Modern salt-marsh and tidal-flat foraminifera from Sitkinak and Simeonof Islands, southwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kemp, Andrew C.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Culver, Stephen J.; Nelson, Alan R.; Briggs, Richard W.; Haeussler, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    We describe the modern distribution of salt-marsh and tidal-flat foraminifera from Sitkinak Island (Trinity Islands) and Simeonof Island (Shumagin Islands), Alaska, to begin development of a dataset for later use in reconstructing relative sea-level changes caused by great earthquakes along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone. Dead foraminifera were enumerated from a total of 58 surface-sediment samples collected along three intertidal transects around a coastal lagoon on Sitkinak Island and two intertidal transects on Simeonof Island. Two distinctive assemblages of salt-marsh foraminifera were recognized on Sitkinak Island. Miliammina fusca dominated low-marsh settings and Balticammina pseudomacrescens dominated the high marsh. These two species make up >98% of individuals. On Simeonof Island, 93% of individuals in high-marsh settings above mean high water were B. pseudomacrescens. The tidal flat on Simeonof Island was dominated by Cibicides lobatulus (60% of individuals), but the lower limit of this species is subtidal and was not sampled. These results indicate that uplift or subsidence caused by repeated earthquakes along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone could be reconstructed in coastal sediments using alternating assemblages of near monospecific B. pseudomacrescens and low-marsh or tidal-flat foraminifera.

  13. Hydrologic modeling as a predictive basis for ecological restoration of salt marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roman, C.T.; Garvine, R.W.; Portnoy, J.W.

    1995-01-01

    Roads, bridges, causeways, impoundments, and dikes in the coastal zone often restrict tidal flow to salt marsh ecosystems. A dike with tide control structures, located at the mouth of the Herring River salt marsh estuarine system (Wellfleet, Massachusetts) since 1908, has effectively restricted tidal exchange, causing changes in marsh vegetation composition, degraded water quality, and reduced abundance of fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Restoration of this estuary by reintroduction of tidal exchange is a feasible management alternative. However, restoration efforts must proceed with caution as residential dwellings and a golf course are located immediately adjacent to and in places within the tidal wetland. A numerical model was developed to predict tide height levels for numerous alternative openings through the Herring River dike. Given these model predictions and knowledge of elevations of flood-prone areas, it becomes possible to make responsible decisions regarding restoration. Moreover, tidal flooding elevations relative to the wetland surface must be known to predict optimum conditions for ecological recovery. The tide height model has a universal role, as demonstrated by successful application at a nearby salt marsh restoration site in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Salt marsh restoration is a valuable management tool toward maintaining and enhancing coastal zone habitat diversity. The tide height model presented in this paper will enable both scientists and resource professionals to assign a degree of predictability when designing salt marsh restoration programs.

  14. Importance of allochthonous material in benthic macrofaunal community functioning in estuarine salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kon, Koetsu; Hoshino, Yukihiro; Kanou, Kouki; Okazaki, Daisuke; Nakayama, Satoko; Kohno, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Allochthonous input provides important food and spatial resources for estuarine benthic fauna. While it is known that autochthonous materials are important for fauna occupying small marshes, here, we present the significance of allochthonous materials for benthic fauna inhabiting a large salt marsh. To assess the effects of allochthonous input on benthic macrofaunal communities in estuarine salt marshes, we determined the source of substrate sediments and food resource utilisation patterns of benthic invertebrates in 2 temperate estuaries (the Tama River and the Obitsu River estuarine outlets into Tokyo Bay) by using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. In the Tama River estuary, which has small patches of marsh vegetation upstream of the river mouth, there was an input of sedimentary organic matter from autochthonous sources (i.e. common reed and microphytobenthos). In the Obitsu River estuary salt marsh, which is situated immediately upstream of the river mouth and is well connected to the sea, sediment consists of allochthonous sources (i.e. imported phytoplankton), along with microphytobenthos. Isotope analysis indicated that most benthic invertebrates in the Tama River estuary depend on benthic microalgae (autochthonous) as a food resource, whereas the macrofauna in the Obitsu River estuary are supported by drift macroalgae (allochthonous), in addition to microphytobenthos or phytoplankton. Our results indicated that allochthonous material provides a food resource and potential habitat for benthic macrofauna in extensive salt marshes that have a strong connection to the sea but is not substantial in smaller marshes with limited connectivity to coastal water.

  15. Lignocellulose-responsive bacteria in a southern California salt marsh identified by stable isotope probing

    PubMed Central

    Darjany, Lindsay E.; Whitcraft, Christine R.; Dillon, Jesse G.

    2014-01-01

    Carbon cycling by microbes has been recognized as the main mechanism of organic matter decomposition and export in coastal wetlands, yet very little is known about the functional diversity of specific groups of decomposers (e.g., bacteria) in salt marsh benthic trophic structure. Indeed, salt marsh sediment bacteria remain largely in a black box in terms of their diversity and functional roles within salt marsh benthic food web pathways. We used DNA stable isotope probing (SIP) utilizing 13C-labeled lignocellulose as a proxy to evaluate the fate of macrophyte-derived carbon in benthic salt marsh bacterial communities. Overall, 146 bacterial species were detected using SIP, of which only 12 lineages were shared between enriched and non-enriched communities. Abundant groups from the 13C-labeled community included Desulfosarcina, Spirochaeta, and Kangiella. This study is the first to use heavy-labeled lignocellulose to identify bacteria responsible for macrophyte carbon utilization in salt marsh sediments and will allow future studies to target specific lineages to elucidate their role in salt marsh carbon cycling and ultimately aid our understanding of the potential of salt marshes to store carbon. PMID:24917856

  16. Temperature sensitivity of organic-matter decay in tidal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Langley, J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Approximately half of marine carbon sequestration takes place in coastal wetlands, including tidal marshes, where organic matter contributes to soil elevation and ecosystem persistence in the face of sea-level rise. The long-term viability of marshes and their carbon pools depends, in part, on how the balance between productivity and decay responds to climate change. Here, we report the sensitivity of labile soil organic-matter decay in tidal marshes to seasonal and latitudinal variations in temperature measured over a 3-year period. We find a moderate increase in decay rate at warmer temperatures (3-6% per °C, Q10 = 1.3-1.5). Despite the profound differences between microbial metabolism in wetlands and uplands, our results indicate a strong conservation of temperature sensitivity. Moreover, simple comparisons with organic-matter production suggest that elevated atmospheric CO2 and warmer temperatures will accelerate carbon accumulation in marsh soils, and potentially enhance their ability to survive sea-level rise.

  17. Utilization of a saltwater-marsh ecosystem for the management of seafood-processing wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-10-01

    The report presents the results of a cooperative study that examined the potential for using a saltwater wetland to manage seafood-processing wastewater. An irregularly flooded black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh located at Point aux Pins in coastal Alabama was selected for the study. The study determined that the application of seafood-processing wastewater to the marsh affected a number of the marsh's water-quality characteristics in direct relation to the wastewater loading rate. However, monitoring of the marsh flora and fauna showed virtually no impact at any of the experimental loading rates. As a result of the study a number of design and loading criteria are suggested for any future projects involving wastewater discharges to saltwater wetlands.

  18. Effects of environmental changes on marsh vegetation with special reference to salinity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smalley, A. E.; Thien, L. B.

    1976-01-01

    A literature survey primarily concerned with brackish and salt marshes located along the eastern coast of North America and the Gulf Coast was presented. The review concentrated upon the vegetation of the marshes, particularly in regard to distribution, composition, succession, and productivity. Special efforts were made to include major works concerned with the Louisiana and Mississipi coastal marshes. It appears that spring to early summer (weeks 18-34 of the year; April - mid-July) is the best period of time to categorize the communities. It is during this time of the year that the communities appear most stable in regard to species composition. This allows a strong correlation to be drawn between the salinity of the region and the dominant species of the community. As such, this would seem to be best period in which to sample the marsh via air or land for differences in vegetation and salinity.

  19. Inventory and protection of salt marshes from risks of sea-level rise at Acadia National Park, Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dudley, Robert W.; Nielsen, Martha G.

    2011-01-01

    Recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) climate studies in the northeastern United States have shown substantial evidence of climate-related changes during the last 100 years, including earlier snowmelt runoff, decreasing occurrence of river ice, and decreasing winter snowpack. These studies related to climate change are being expanded to include investigation of coastal wetlands that might be at risk from sealevel rise. Coastal wetlands, particularly salt marshes, are important ecosystems that provide wildlife nursery and breeding habitat, migratory bird habitat, water quality enhancement, and shoreline erosion control. The USGS is investigating salt marshes in Acadia National Park with the goal of determining which salt marshes may be threatened by sea-level rise and which salt marshes may be able to adapt to sea-level rise by migrating into adjacent low-lying lands.

  20. The Role of Phragmites australis in Mediating Inland Salt Marsh Migration in a Mid-Atlantic Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Joseph A. M.

    2013-01-01

    Many sea level rise adaptation plans emphasize the protection of adjacent uplands to allow for inland salt marsh migration, but little empirical information exists on this process. Using aerial photos from 1930 and 2006 of Delaware Estuary coastal habitats in New Jersey, I documented the rate of coastal forest retreat and the rate of inland salt marsh migration across 101.1 km of undeveloped salt marsh and forest ecotone. Over this time, the amount of forest edge at this ecotone nearly doubled. In addition, the average amount of forest retreat was 141.2 m while the amount of salt marsh inland migration was 41.9 m. Variation in forest retreat within the study area was influenced by variation in slope. The lag between the amount of forest retreat and salt marsh migration is accounted for by the presence of Phragmites australis which occupies the forest and salt marsh ecotone. Phragmites expands from this edge into forest dieback areas, and the ability of salt marsh to move inland and displace Phragmites is likely influenced by salinity at both an estuary-wide scale and at the scale of local subwatersheds. Inland movement of salt marsh is lowest at lower salinity areas further away from the mouth of the estuary and closer to local heads of tide. These results allow for better prediction of salt marsh migration in estuarine landscapes and provide guidance for adaptation planners seeking to prioritize those places with the highest likelihood of inland salt marsh migration in the near-term. PMID:23705031

  1. WATER LEVEL AND OXYGEN DELIVERY/UTILIZATION IN POROUS SALT MARSH SEDIMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increasing terrestrial nutrient inputs to coastal waters is a global water quality issue worldwide, and salt marshes may provide a valuable nutrient buffer, either by direct removal or by smoothing out pulse inputs between sources and sensitive estuarine habitats. A major challen...

  2. GUIDANCE DOCUMENT ON THE BIOREMEDIATION OF OIL-CONTAMINATED SALT MARSHES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive guidance document that includes all known information about the implementation of bioremediation for cleanup of oil-contaminated coastal salt marshes was developed and the project completed. The document is the second in a series of two that has been produced. The...

  3. OUTLINE OF A NEW APPROACH TO EVALUATE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY OF SALT MARSHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The integrity of coastal salt marshes can be determined from the extent to which they provide key ecosystem services: food and habitat for fish and wildlife, good water quality, erosion and flood control, and recreation and cultural use. An outline of a new approach for linking e...

  4. Hydrology in a peaty high marsh: hysteretic flow and biogeochemical implications

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial nutrient input to coastal waters is a critical water quality problem worldwide, and salt marshes may provide a valuable nutrient buffer (either by removal or by smoothing out pulse inputs) between terrestrial sources and sensitive estuarine habitats. One of the major...

  5. A WATERSHED APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING ANTHROPOGENIC INFLUENCES ON STREAMS AND THEIR RECEIVING SALT MARSHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fresh and saltwater ecosystems have customarily been assessed separately. By taking a watershed approach, we are exploring the linkages between stream conditions, the biotic integrity of coastal salt marshes, and land use. Watersheds provide a pathway for point and nonpoint pollu...

  6. Macrofaunal Succession and Community Structure in Salicornia Marshes of Southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talley, T. S.; Levin, L. A.

    1999-11-01

    Lack of basic understanding of ecosystem structure and function forms a major impediment to successful conservation of coastal ecosystems. This paper provides a description of the fauna and examines faunal succession in Salicornia -vegetated sediments of southern California. Environmental attributes (vegetation and sediment properties) and macrofaunal (animals ≥0·3 mm) community structure were examined in sediments of five natural, southern California Salicornia spp. marshes (Tijuana Estuary, San Diego Bay, Mission Bay, Upper Newport Bay and Anaheim Bay) and in created Salicornia marshes 16 months to 10 years in age, located within four of the bays. Oligochaetes and insects were the dominant taxa in both natural (71 to 98% of total fauna) and created (91 to 97%) marshes. In San Diego, Newport and Anaheim Bays, macrofaunal densities were generally higher in the created marshes (88 000 to 290 000 ind m -2) than in their natural counterparts (26 000 to 50 000 ind m -2). In the youngest system, Mission Bay, the reverse was true (natural: 113 000 vs created: 28 000 ind m -2). Similar species numbers were recorded from the created and adjacent natural marshes. Insects, especially chironomids, dolichopodids, and heleids, as well as the naidid oligochaete, Paranais litoralis, characterize early successional stages. Enchytraeid and tubificid oligochaetes reflect later succession evident in natural and older created marshes. Sediment organic matter (both combustible and below-ground plant biomass) was the environmental variable most commonly associated with densities of various macrofaunal taxa. These relationships were generally negative in the natural marshes and positive in the created marshes. Within-bay comparisons of macrofauna from natural Salicornia- vs Spartina -vegetated habitat in San Diego and Mission Bays revealed lower macrofaunal density (San Diego Bay only), proportionally fewer oligochaetes and more insects, and no differences in species richness in the

  7. Marsh loss from 1984 - 2011 in the Breton Sound, Barataria and Terrebonne Basins, Louisiana, U.S.A.: Impacts of hurricanes and excess nutrients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riter, J. C.; Kearney, M. S.; Turner, R.

    2012-12-01

    Twenty-four Landsat data sets (1984-2011), collected as close to peak vegetation growth as possible, were used to evaluate marsh vegetation health and marsh loss in Terrebonne, Barataria, and Breton Sound Basins. Marsh loss varies spatially and temporally in the basins: freshwater and most intermediate marshes located west of the Mississippi River and more than 40 km from the coast were determined to be more stable than marshes closer to the coast. In most areas of the three basins, vegetation health and marsh area from 1984-1992 were relatively stable with minor inter-annual fluctuations throughout each basin and only a few areas of localized marsh loss. By 1994, shoreline erosion, tidal creek erosion, and erosion of soil banks adjacent to canals had increased in marshes located <40 km from the Gulf of Mexico, although some sites suffered substantially greater erosion than most coastal areas. Wave erosion also increased around the shores of Lakes Salvador, Cataouatche, Levy and other large lakes by 1994. Marsh loss also occurred in marshes immediately west of the Mississippi River, especially in areas close to diversion inlets. Hurricane Ivan in 2004 produced little sustained widespread damage in the basin marshes. However, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Gustav and Ike in 2008 caused extensive erosion of vegetation and the marsh substrate, especially near the inlet to Caernarvon diversion, but also near the Naomi and West Point a La Hache diversions inlets. We attribute the significant marsh damage from hurricanes to greater flooding, and greater wave and storm surge impacts due to diminished marsh soil strength from the effects of excess nutrients causing lower rhizome and root biomass and increased substrate decomposition rates.

  8. Are expansive North American marshes a relict of historical land use change? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.; Murray, A. B.; Donnelly, J. P.; Corbett, D. R.

    2010-12-01

    Fluctuations in sea level rise rates are thought to dominate the evolution of coastal wetlands. Indeed, many salt marshes developed during a late-Holocene deceleration in sea level rise, vertical accretion rates commonly mimic rates of sea level rise, and observations of degradation in marshes today are often attributed to high relative sea level rise rates. Here, we consider a contrasting scenario in which land-use related changes in sediment delivery rates drive the formation of expansive marshland, and vegetation feedbacks maintain the morphology of marshes despite recent sediment supply reduction and sea level acceleration. Our stratigraphic analysis suggests that much of the Plum Island Estuary (MA) existed as a shallow subtidal bay with marshes occupying high elevations along its perimeter. Around 1800 AD, salt marshes rapidly prograded across the basin, constricting the bay into a well defined marsh-channel network system. We attribute this marsh expansion to increased rates of sediment delivery associated with regional deforestation associated with European settlement. Expansive marshland exits along the North American coast today despite 20th century sea level acceleration and sediment supply reduction associated with dam construction and reforestation. Numerical modeling suggests that these factors lead to deepening of marsh elevations relative to sea level, but that ecogeomorphic feedbacks that enhance accretion and limit channel erosion allow marshes to persist in a metastable equilibrium even under conditions in which they could not develop. If true, expansive marshland along the North American coast is a relict feature of high 19th century sediment delivery rates, and marshland lost today will not be recovered in the future, even if rates of sea level rise and sediment delivery were to stabilize.

  9. Are expansive North American marshes a relict of historical land use change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M.; Murray, A. B.; Donnelly, J.

    2009-12-01

    Fluctuations in sea level rise rates are thought to dominate the evolution of coastal wetlands. Indeed, many salt marshes developed during a late-Holocene deceleration in sea level rise, vertical accretion rates commonly mimic rates of sea level rise, and observations of degradation in marshes today are often attributed to high relative sea level rise rates. Here, we consider a contrasting scenario in which land-use related changes in sediment delivery rates drive the formation of expansive marshland, and vegetation feedbacks maintain the morphology of marshes despite recent sediment supply reduction and sea level acceleration. Our stratigraphic analysis suggests that much of the Plum Island Estuary (MA) existed as a shallow subtidal bay with marshes occupying high elevations along its perimeter. Around 1800 AD, salt marshes rapidly prograded across the basin, constricting the bay into a well defined marsh-channel network system. We attribute this marsh expansion to increased rates of sediment delivery associated with regional deforestation associated with European settlement. Expansive marshland exits along the North American coast today despite 20th century sea level acceleration and sediment supply reduction associated with dam construction and reforestation. Numerical modeling suggests that these factors lead to deepening of marsh elevations relative to sea level, but that ecogeomorphic feedbacks that enhance accretion and limit channel erosion allow marshes to persist in a metastable equilibrium even under conditions in which they could not develop. If true, expansive marshland along the North American coast is a relict feature of high 19th century sediment delivery rates, and marshland lost today will not be recovered in the future, even if rates of sea level rise and sediment delivery were to stabilize.

  10. WASTEWATER TREATMENT BY NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL MARSHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Investigations were conducted on the use of artificial and natural marshes as purifiers of effluent from municipal treatment plants. Observations were made on marsh influent and effluent quality. Phosphorus distribution in the ecosystem and removal by harvesting were studied. Res...