Sample records for salt marsh ecosystem

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The nitrogen budget of a salt marsh ecosystem

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ivan Valiela; John M. Teal

    1979-01-01

    Salt marshes reduce oxidised nitrogenous compounds to ammonium and paniculate nitrogen and export these reduced forms to coastal waters. The internal demands exceed the net inputs of nitrogen by rain, groundwater flow and fixation, suggesting very active uptake, conversion, release and recycling of nitrogen within a marsh ecosystem. Nitrogen losses are mainly through tidal exchanges and denitrification, and these two

  4. Ecosystem engineers activate mycorrhizal mutualism in salt marshes

    E-print Network

    Bertness, Mark D.

    fungi, salt marshes, soil invertebrates­mycorrhizae interactions. Ecology Letters (2007) 10: 902­908 I N to the fungi (Smith & Read 1997). Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (thereafter AMF) are critical in terrestrial otherwise suppress or limit them. Mutualisms between mycorrhizal fungi and plants are key determinants

  5. Salt Marsh

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    High school level and higher description of Spartina salt marshes with pictures. Page is full of fantastic photographs most featuring a descriptive caption. Topics discussed include zonation, succession, and the intertidal zone. The habitat's associated flora and fauna are discussed. Organisms of particular interest include: Spartina alterniflora, Spartina patens, Geukenzia demissa, Mytilus edulis, Distichlis spicata, Salicornia, Melampus bidentatus, Ilyanassa obsoleta, and Hydrobia totteni.

  6. An invasive species facilitates the recovery of salt marsh ecosystems on Cape Cod.

    PubMed

    Bertness, Mark D; Coverdale, Tyler C

    2013-09-01

    With global increases in human impacts, invasive species have become a major threat to ecosystems worldwide. While they have been traditionally viewed as harmful, invasive species may facilitate the restoration of degraded ecosystems outside their native ranges. In New England (USA) overfishing has depleted salt marsh predators, allowing the herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum to denude hundreds of hectares of low marsh. Here, using multiple site surveys and field caging experiments, we show that the subsequent invasion of green crabs, Carcinus maenas, into heavily burrowed marshes partially reverses decades of cordgrass die-off. By consuming Sesarma, eliciting a nonlethal escape response, and evicting Sesarma from burrows, Carcinus reduces Sesarma herbivory and promotes cordgrass recovery. These results suggest that invasive species can contribute to restoring degraded ecosystems and underscores the potential for invasive species to return ecological functions lost to human impacts. PMID:24279265

  7. Diel flux of dissolved carbohydrate in a salt marsh and a simulated estuarine ecosystem

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. M. Burney; K. M. Johnson; J. Mc N. Sieburth

    1981-01-01

    The concentrations of total dissolved carbohydrate (TCHO), monosaccharide (MCHO) and polysaccharide (PCHO) were followed over a total of ten diel cycles in a salt marsh and a 13 m3 seawater tank simulating an estuarine ecosystem. Their patterns are compared to those for total dissolved organic carbon (DOC), SCO2, pH, O2, chlorophyll a, phaeopigments and solar radiation. During 5 of the

  8. Pigment composition and size distribution of phytoplankton in a confined Mediterranean salt marsh ecosystem

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rocío López-Flores; Dani Boix; Anna Badosa; Sandra Brucet; Xavier D. Quintana

    2006-01-01

    Pigment composition and size distribution of phytoplankton were analysed in a group of Mediterranean salt marshes, where hydrology is dominated by sudden inputs during sea storms, followed by long periods of confinement. These marshes are characterized by a low inorganic–organic nutrient ratio, and inorganic nitrogen is especially scarce due to denitrification. Nutrients were the main factor affecting phytoplankton biomass, while

  9. DEVELOPING INDICATORS OF SALT MARSH HEALTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    We relate plant zonation in salt marshes to key ecosystem services such as erosion control and wildlife habitat. Ten salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, with similar geological bedrock and sea exchange, were identified to examine plant zonation. Sub-watersheds adjacent to the salt ...

  10. Ecosystem Functions of Tidal Fresh, Brackish, and Salt Marshes on the Georgia Coast

    E-print Network

    Pennings, Steven C.

    greatest at brackish sites, followed by freshwater then saline sites. Nitrogen stocks in plants and soil estuary, variation in salinity may lead to marked differences in the functioning of tidal marsh plant communities (Odum 1988). Odum argued that salinity-driven stress should reduce plant diversity in tidal salt

  11. Oregon Salt Marshes: How Blue are They?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Two important ecosystem services of wetlands are carbon sequestration and filtration of nutrients and particulates. We quantified the carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates in salt marshes at 135 plots distributed across eight estuaries located in Oregon, USA. Net carbon and ...

  12. Salt marsh geomorphology: Physical and ecological effects on landform Keywords: salt marsh geomorphology; AGU Chapman Conference

    E-print Network

    Fagherazzi, Sergio

    Editorial Salt marsh geomorphology: Physical and ecological effects on landform Keywords: salt marsh geomorphology; AGU Chapman Conference Evidence that the three-dimensional structure of salt marsh, and the ratio of marsh edge:marsh interior have all been shown to affect the distribution and density of salt

  13. A laboratory study on biochemical degradation and microbial utilization of organic matter comprising a marine diatom, land grass, and salt marsh plant in estuarine ecosystems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jihong Dai; Ming-Yi Sun; Randolph A. Culp; John E. Noakes

    2009-01-01

    We studied the biochemical degradation of organic matter comprising marine diatom, land grass, and salt marsh plant in estuarine\\u000a ecosystems in two laboratory microcosms consisting of estuarine sediments and coastal seawater. The materials were incubated\\u000a separately and together under controlled oxic and anoxic conditions to test effects of co-metabolism and redox on overall\\u000a degradation of organic matter. We followed variations

  14. Salt marsh geomorphology: Physical and ecological effects on landform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagherazzi, Sergio; Torres, Raymond; Hopkinson, Charles; Van Proosdij, Danika

    Salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, producing more organic matter per unit area than forests, grasslands, and cultivated fields. Marsh landscapes typically fringe low-energy coastal environments, but in places they may extend inland tens to hundreds of kilometers.As a consequence of their high productivity and interactions with the coastal ocean, salt marshes provide numerous benefits to society. For example, salt marshes are critical habitats for commercially harvested marine and estuarine biota; they filter nutrients and sediment from the water column; and they provide recreational opportunities. In addition, salt marshes help dissipate erosive tide and wave energy and they have intrinsic aesthetic values. All of these societal benefits have a quantifiable economic value, and salt marsh impairment and degradation have associated costs.

  15. 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

  16. The bly creek ecosystem study: Phosphorus transport within a euhaline salt marsh basin, North Inlet, South Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dame, Richard F.; Wolaver, Thomas G.; Williams, Thomas M.; Spurrier, John D.; Miller, Anne B.

    Phosphorus transport through the tidal creek linking the Bly Creek basin (North Inlet, South Carolina) and the surrounding water body was studied on 34 tidal cycles between 20 June 1983 and 19 June 1984. Annual estimates of phosphorus input to the basin via streamwater, groundwater, and via streamwater, groundwater, and rain totalled 19.6 kg P·y -1; PO 4 export from the basin was not significant. Within the basin, the salt marsh was shown to be an important sink for PO 4 (207 kg P·y -1) while the oyster reef community exported a statistically insignificant 7.7 kg P·y -1. The data suggest that the source of the PO 4 to the salt marsh is the water column or benthic sediments of the tidal creek. The salt marsh was a significant sink for particulate phosphorus, but those uptakes were less than the error on the insignificant fluxes into the basin via the water column. The oyster reef community was a statistically significant sink for total phosphorus (98 kg P·y -1).

  17. 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

  18. NITRATE RELEASE BY SALT MARSH PLANTS: AN OVERLOOKED NUTRIENT FLUX MECHANISM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Salt marshes provide water purification as an important ecosystem service in part by storing, transforming and releasing nutrients. This service can be quantified by measuring nutrient fluxes between marshes and surface waters. Many processes drive these fluxes, including photosy...

  19. Hydrocarbon degradation potential of salt marsh plant–microorganisms associations

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Hugo RibeiroAna; Ana P. Mucha; C. Marisa R. Almeida; Adriano A. Bordalo

    2011-01-01

    Estuaries are often considered sinks for contaminants and the cleanup of salt marshes, sensitive ecosystems with a major ecological\\u000a role, should be carried out by means of least intrusive approaches, such as bioremediation. This study was designed to evaluate\\u000a the influence of plant–microorganisms associations on petroleum hydrocarbons fate in salt marshes of a temperate estuary (Lima\\u000a River, NW Portugal). Sediments

  20. Salt Marshes as Sources and Sinks of Silica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, J.; Fulweiler, R. W.

    2014-12-01

    The role of salt marshes in controlling silica exchange between terrestrial and marine environments is unclear. In some studies, large quantities of dissolved silica (DSi) appear to be exported from marshes via tidal exchange, potentially fueling future diatom production in adjacent waters. In contrast, other studies report insignificant DSi export and found instead that salt marshes appeared to be Si sinks. Further, few studies examine salt marsh Si export in relation to inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and phosphorus (DIP). We address these uncertainties by quantifying net fluxes of DSi and biogenic Si (BSi), as well as DIN and DIP during the spring and summer in a relatively undisturbed southern New England salt marsh (Narragansett Bay, USA). Our data demonstrates that during the spring, when estuarine waters are deplete in DSi, the marsh serves as a net sink of BSi (132 mol h-1) and a source of DSi (31 mol h-1) to the estuary. The spring DIN:DSi ratios of ebbing water were more than five times lower than flood waters. Most importantly, the DSi export rates (6.5 x103 mol d-1 km-2) are an order of magnitude larger than the export by rivers in the region (115 mol d-1 km-2), indicating the marsh tidal exchange is vital in supplying the Si necessary for spring diatom blooms in the estuary. Conversely, during the summer the marsh served as a net Si sink, importing on average 59 mol DSi h-1 and 39 mol BSi h-1. These data highlight that the role of salt marshes in silica cycling appears to have a strong seasonality. We hypothesize that net import of Si increases the residence time of Si in estuarine systems, providing an important and previously over-looked ecosystem service. In the absence of salt marshes, ~5.1 x 104 kmol of Si would be exported from this system during the growing season, possibly decreasing Si availability and altering phytoplankton species composition in the estuary.

  1. A comparison of fungal communities from four salt marsh plants using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Albert P. Torzilli; Masoumeh Sikaroodi; David Chalkley; Patrick M. Gillevet

    2006-01-01

    Fungal decomposers are important con- tributors to the detritus-based food webs of salt marsh ecosystems. Knowing the composition of salt marsh fungal communities is essential in under- standing how detritus processing is affected by changes in community dynamics. Automated ribo- somal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was used to examine the composition of fungal communities associated with four temperate salt marsh

  2. Numerical models of salt marsh evolution: Ecological, geomorphic, and climatic factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagherazzi, S.; Kirwan, M.L.; Mudd, S.M.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Temmerman, S.; D'Alpaos, A.; Van De Koppel, J.; Rybczyk, J.M.; Reyes, E.; Craft, C.; Clough, J.

    2012-01-01

    Salt marshes are delicate landforms at the boundary between the sea and land. These ecosystems support a diverse biota that modifies the erosive characteristics of the substrate and mediates sediment transport processes. Here we present a broad overview of recent numerical models that quantify the formation and evolution of salt marshes under different physical and ecological drivers. In particular, we focus on the coupling between geomorphological and ecological processes and on how these feedbacks are included in predictive models of landform evolution. We describe in detail models that simulate fluxes of water, organic matter, and sediments in salt marshes. The interplay between biological and morphological processes often produces a distinct scarp between salt marshes and tidal flats. Numerical models can capture the dynamics of this boundary and the progradation or regression of the marsh in time. Tidal channels are also key features of the marsh landscape, flooding and draining the marsh platform and providing a source of sediments and nutrients to the marsh ecosystem. In recent years, several numerical models have been developed to describe the morphogenesis and long-term dynamics of salt marsh channels. Finally, salt marshes are highly sensitive to the effects of long-term climatic change. We therefore discuss in detail how numerical models have been used to determine salt marsh survival under different scenarios of sea level rise. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.

  3. Wave attenuation over coastal salt marshes under storm surge conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möller, Iris; Kudella, Matthias; Rupprecht, Franziska; Spencer, Tom; Paul, Maike; van Wesenbeeck, Bregje K.; Wolters, Guido; Jensen, Kai; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Miranda-Lange, Martin; Schimmels, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Coastal communities around the world face an increasing risk from flooding as a result of rising sea level, increasing storminess and land subsidence. Salt marshes can act as natural buffer zones, providing protection from waves during storms. However, the effectiveness of marshes in protecting the coastline during extreme events when water levels are at a maximum and waves are highest is poorly understood. Here we experimentally assess wave dissipation under storm surge conditions in a 300-metre-long wave flume tank that contains a transplanted section of natural salt marsh. We find that the presence of marsh vegetation causes considerable wave attenuation, even when water levels and waves are highest. From a comparison with experiments without vegetation, we estimate that up to 60% of observed wave reduction is attributed to vegetation. We also find that although waves progressively flatten and break vegetation stems and thereby reduce dissipation, the marsh substrate remained stable and resistant to surface erosion under all conditions. The effectiveness of storm wave dissipation and the resilience of tidal marshes even at extreme conditions suggest that salt marsh ecosystems can be a valuable component of coastal protection schemes.

  4. Diversity of Ascomycete Laccase Gene Sequences in a Southeastern US Salt Marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. I. Lyons; S. Y. Newell; A. Buchan; M. A. Moran

    2003-01-01

    The diversity of ascomycete laccase sequences was surveyed in a southeastern US salt marsh using a degenerate primer set designed around copper binding sites conserved in fungal laccases. This gene was targeted for diversity analysis because of its potential function in lignin degradation in the salt marsh ecosystem and because few studies have assessed functional gene diversity in natural fungal

  5. Mobile dunes and eroding salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuhaus, R.

    1994-06-01

    The paper deals with general outlines of salt marsh and dune vegetation in the Ellenbogen and Listland area on Sylt (Schleswig-Holstein, FRG). The composition of current salt marsh vegetation is considered to be mainly the result of a long-lasting process of tidal inundation, grazing, and a permanent influence of groundwater seepage from the surrounding dunes. The lower salt marsh communities have shown constancy for 67 years, due to the effect of heavy grazing. The mid-upper salt marsh communities demonstrated a succession from a Puccinellia maritima-dominated community of the lower marsh to a Juncus gerardii-dominated community of the mid-upper salt marsh, which may be due to the transport of sand — over a short time — on the surface of the marsh. The area covered by plant communities of annuals below Mean High Water (MHW) seemed to diminish. Salt marsh soils, especially of the mid-upper marsh, indicate sandy layers resulting from sand drift of the dunes. Dry and wet successional series of the dunes in the Listland/Ellenbogen area both show grassy stages shifting to dwarf shrubs as final stages. White primary dunes can only be found on the accreting shoreline of the Ellenbogen, which is also grazed by sheep; vegetation cover therefore remains dominated by grasses, mosses and lichens. Three mobile dunes (as the most prominent features of this landscape) have been left unaffected by seeding and planting by local authorities. Grazing is considered to be an inadequate tool in nature conservation as long as natural processes are to prevail in the landscape as major determinants.

  6. Carbon and Nitrogen Accumulation Rates in Salt Marshes in Oregon, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Two important ecosystem services of wetlands are carbon sequestration and filtration of nutrients and particulates. We quantified the carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates in salt marshes at 135 plots distributed across eight estuaries located in Oregon, USA. Net carbon and ...

  7. THE EFFECT OF DOMINANT GRASS SPECIES ON NITROGEN CYCLING IN GREAT SIPPEWISSETT SALT MARSH SEDIMENTS

    E-print Network

    Vallino, Joseph J.

    that ranges from 1 ­ 8% per year (Burdick et al. 2001; Weinstein & Balletto 1999). Despite being less tolerant (Burdick et al. 2001). Studies have also shown Phragmites to change the function of salt marsh ecosystems

  8. Salt-Marsh Landscapes and the Signatures of Biogeomorphic Feedbacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2014-12-01

    Salt marshes are coastal ecosystems which play a large role in the bio-geomorphological evolution of intertidal areas. The dense stands of halophytic plants which populate salt-marsh systems largely contribute to govern their dynamics, influencing marsh hydrodynamics and sediment transport through enhanced flow resistance and settling, and direct particle capture by plant stems. In addition, plants are known to increase vertical accretion through direct organic accretion. Looking across the salt-marsh landscape can one see the signatures of feedbacks between landscape and biota? Field evidence and the results of biomorphodynamic models indeed show that the interplay between physical and biological processes generates some striking biological and morphological patterns at different scales. One such pattern, vegetation zonation, consists in a mosaic of vegetation patches, of approximately uniform composition, displaying sharp transitions in the presence of extremely small topographic gradients. Here we extend the model proposed by Marani et al. (2013) to a two-dimensional framework, furthermore including the effect of direct capture of sediment particles by plant stems. This allows us to account for the effect of the drainage density of tidal networks on the observed biogeomorphic patterns and to model the coupled evolution of marsh platforms and channel networks cutting through them. A number of different scenarios have been modelled to analyze the changes induced in bio-geomorphic patterns by plants with different characteristics, within marshes characterized by different drainage densities, or subjected to changing environmental forcing such as rates of relative sea level rise and sediment supply. Model results emphasize that zonation patterns are a signature of bio-geomorphic feedbacks with vegetation acting as a landscape constructor which feeds back on, directly alters, and contributes to shape tidal environments. In addition, model results show that biogeomorphic feedbacks critically affect the response and the resilience of salt-marsh landscapes to changes in the environmental forcing.

  9. Mercury volatilization from salt marsh sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Lora M.; Reinfelder, John R.

    2009-06-01

    In situ volatilization fluxes of gaseous elemental mercury, Hg(0), were estimated for tidally exposed salt marsh sediments in the summer at the urban/industrial Secaucus High School Marsh, New Jersey Meadowlands (Secaucus, New Jersey) and in the early autumn at a regional background site in the Great Bay estuary (Tuckerton, New Jersey). Estimated daytime sediment-air mercury volatilization fluxes at the Secaucus High School Marsh ranged from -375 to +677 ng m-2 h-1 and were positive (land to air flux) in 16 out of 20 measurement events. At the Great Bay estuary, mercury fluxes measured continuously over a 48-h period ranged from -34 to +81 ng m-2 h-1 and were positive during the day and negative at night. At both sites, mercury volatilization fluxes peaked at midday, and cumulative mercury fluxes exhibited strong positive correlations with cumulative solar radiation (r2 = 0.97, p < 0.01) consistent with a light-driven mercury volatilization efficiency of about 15 ng Hg mol PAR-1 or about 0.06 ng Hg kJ-1. No significant correlations were found between mercury fluxes and wind speed, air temperature, or tide height at either site. Thus despite a tenfold difference in sediment mercury concentration, photochemistry appears to be the dominant factor controlling mercury volatilization from these salt marsh sediments. The average mercury volatilization flux estimated for the Great Bay salt marsh in this study (17 ng m-2 h-1) compares well with other micrometeorological mercury fluxes for nonpoint source contaminated salt marsh and forest soils (8-18 ng m-2 h-1) and is more than 10 times higher than the average mercury emission flux from land (˜1 ng m-2 h-1). Annual mercury emissions from salt marsh wetlands may be comparable to individual industrial emissions sources in coastal states of the eastern United States.

  10. Signatures of Biogeomorphic Feedbacks in Salt-Marsh Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea; Marani, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Salt-marsh ecosystems which play a large role in the bio-geomorphological evolution of intertidal areas. Dense stands of halophytic vegetations which populate salt marshes largely control the dynamics of these ecosystems influencing marsh hydrodynamics and sediment transport through enhanced flow resistance and settling, and direct particle capture by plant stems. Moreover, plants are also known to increase vertical accretion through direct organic accretion. Field evidence and the results of biomorphodynamic models indeed show that the interplay between physical and biological processes generates some striking biological and morphological patterns at different scales. One such pattern, vegetation zonation, consists in a mosaic of vegetation patches, of approximately uniform composition, displaying sharp transitions in the presence of extremely small topographic gradients. Here we develop a two-dimensional model which describes the mutual interaction and adjustment between tidal flows, sediment transport and morphology mediated by vegetation influence. The model allows us describe the coupled evolution of marsh platforms and channel networks cutting through them. A number of different scenarios were modelled to analyze the changes induced in bio-geomorphic patterns by plants with different characteristics, within marshes characterized by different drainage densities, or subjected to changing environmental forcing such as rates of relative sea level rise and sediment supply. Model results emphasize that zonation patterns are a signature of bio-geomorphic feedbacks with vegetation acting as a landscape constructor which feeds back on, directly alters, and contributes to shape tidal environments. In addition, model results show that biogeomorphic feedbacks critically affect the response and the resilience of salt-marsh landscapes to changes in the environmental forcing.

  11. New York State Salt Marsh Restoration and Monitoring Guidelines

    E-print Network

    #12;New York State Salt Marsh Restoration and Monitoring Guidelines prepared by: Nancy L. Niedowski;The Salt Marsh Restoration and Monitoring Guidelines were prepared under the National OceanicState,Division of CoastalResources,41 State Street,Albany, New York 12231. December 2000 #12;PREFACE All salt marsh

  12. Long term (>100 years) Carbon Sequestration in California Coastal Salt Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Coastal salt marsh ecosystems rank as one of the ecosystems which sequester the most carbon (C) in the world (Chmura, 2003; Mcleod et al., 2011). California hosts multiple small marsh ecosystems outside of the San Francisco Bay that are limited in geographic extent but still contribute significantly to global soil C. This study evaluates 11 marsh sites along the California coast for annual soil C sequestration rates using 14C, 137Cs, and 210Pb chronologies. Estimates of carbon sequestration for California over the past 100 years from this study average at 49 g C m-2 yr-1. Long term estimates of soil C generally are lower because of natural decomposition of organic C, but this study indicates a persistence of high C storage capacity for coastal marsh systems. These estimates provide valuable insight into the long term capacity for coastal salt marshes to mitigate climate change through sequestration of C.

  13. Spatial and temporal patterns of Lycium carolinianum Walt., the Carolina Wolfberry, in the salt marshes of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas 

    E-print Network

    Butzler, Rachel Elizabeth

    2006-08-16

    Understanding the salt marsh ecosystem in the Guadalupe Estuary is needed because wetlands in this system support the endangered whooping crane (Grus americana). The marsh plant research and monitoring described herein ...

  14. Factors controlling dimethylsulfide emission from salt marshes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dacey, John W. H.; Wakeham, S. G.; Howes, B. L.

    1985-01-01

    The factors that control the emission of methylated gases from salt marshes are being studied. Research focusses on dimethylsulfide (DMS) formation and the mechanism of DMS and CH4 emission to the atmosphere. The approach is to consider the plants as valves regulating the emission of methylated gases to the atmosphere with the goal of developing appropriate methods for emission measurement. In the case of CH4, the sediment is the source and transport to the atmosphere occurs primarily through the internal gas spaces in the plants. The source of DMS appears to be dimethyl sulfoniopropionate (DMSP) which may play a role in osmoregulation in plant tissues. Concentrations of DMSP in leaves are typically several-fold higher than in roots and rhizomes. Even so, the large below ground biomass of this plant means that 2/3 of the DMSP in the ecosystem is below ground on the aerial basis. Upon introduction to sediment water, DMSP rapidly decomposes to DMS and acrylic acid. The solubility of a gas (its equilibrium vapor pressure) is a fundamental aspect of gas exchange kinetics. The first comprehensive study was conducted of DMS solubility in freshwater and seawater. Data suggest that the Setchenow relation holds for H at intermediate salinities collected. These data support the concept that the concentration of DMS in the atmosphere is far from equilibrium with seawater.

  15. Vegetable Oil Spills On Salt Marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Stephen M. Mudge; Ian D. Goodchild; Matthew Wheeler

    1995-01-01

    Following the wreck of the M.V. Kimya during which 1500 tonnes of sunflower oil was spilled, sandy sediments bound together with sunflower oil were discovered on the beach. These are still present 2½ years later. Sunflower and linseed oil were applied to salt marsh sediments to reproduce potential spills. Cores were taken and the vertical migration and degradation rates determined.

  16. Microbial community analysis of a coastal salt marsh affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. Mapping salt marsh vegetation using aerial hyperspectral imagery and linear unmixing in Humboldt Bay, California

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Chaeli Judd; Steven Steinberg; Frank Shaughnessy; Greg Crawford

    2007-01-01

    Composition of salt marsh vegetation is important to wetland ecosystem health, and monitoring invasive species is critical.\\u000a The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of airborne hyperspectral imagery in mapping salt marsh vegetation in\\u000a Humboldt Bay, California, USA. An unmixing algorithm was applied to spatial and spectral image subsets. Overall accuracy among\\u000a Spartina densiflora, Salicornia virginica, and

  19. The Effects of Tidal Export from Salt Marsh Ditches on Estuarine Water Quality and Plankton Communities

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Florian Koch; Christopher J. Gobler

    2009-01-01

    Salt marshes are an important transition zone between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and in their natural state, they\\u000a often function to cycle or trap terrestrially derived nutrients and organic matter. Many US salt marshes were ditched during\\u000a the twentieth century, potentially altering their functionality. The goal of this 4-year study was to assess the impact of\\u000a water from ditches within

  20. [Deposition and burial of organic carbon in coastal salt marsh: research progress].

    PubMed

    Cao, Lei; Song, Jin-Ming; Li, Xue-Gang; Yuan, Hua-Mao; Li, Ning; Duan, Li-Qin

    2013-07-01

    Coastal salt marsh has higher potential of carbon sequestration, playing an important role in mitigating global warming, while coastal saline soil is the largest organic carbon pool in the coastal salt marsh carbon budget. To study the carbon deposition and burial in this soil is of significance for clearly understanding the carbon budget of coastal salt marsh. This paper summarized the research progress on the deposition and burial of organic carbon in coastal salt marsh from the aspects of the sources of coastal salt marsh soil organic carbon, soil organic carbon storage and deposition rate, burial mechanisms of soil organic carbon, and the relationships between the carbon sequestration in coastal salt marsh and the global climate change. Some suggestions for the future related researches were put forward: 1) to further study the underlying factors that control the variability of carbon storage in coastal salt marsh, 2) to standardize the methods for measuring the carbon storage and the deposition and burial rates of organic carbon in coastal salt marsh, 3) to quantify the lateral exchange of carbon flux between coastal salt marsh and adjacent ecosystems under the effects of tide, and 4) to approach whether the effects of global warming and the increased productivity could compensate for the increase of the organic carbon decomposition rate resulted from sediment respiration. To make clear the driving factors determining the variability of carbon sequestration rate and how the organic carbon storage is affected by climate change and anthropogenic activities would be helpful to improve the carbon sequestration capacity of coastal salt marshes in China. PMID:24175538

  1. Temporal relationship between the deposition and microbial degradation of lignocellulosic detritus in a Georgia salt marsh and the Okefenokee Swamp

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ronald Benner; A. E. Maccubbin; Robert E. Hodson

    1986-01-01

    Temperature dependence and seasonal variations in rates of microbial degradation of the lignin and polysaccharide components of specifically radiolabeled lignocelluloses were determined in sediment and water samples from a Georgia salt marsh and the nearby Okefenokee Swamp. Although temperature regimes in the two ecosystems were similar, rates of mineralization ofSpartina alterniflora lignocellulose in salt marsh sediments increased eightfold between winter

  2. 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; Wi?ski, 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 ecosystems with low species diversity, functional and phylogenetic approaches may not provide additional insight over a species-based approach. PMID:26010135

  3. Potential for Carbon Sequestration in Transplanted Salt Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, C.; Davis, J.; Currin, C.

    2014-12-01

    The photosynthetic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by tidal salt marshes results in the long-term storage of carbon in the sediment. In recent decades, pressures such as land-use change and sea level rise have significantly reduced the global extent of salt marshes and increased the need for restoration projects. Restored salt marshes have been shown to provide many of the same ecological and economic benefits as natural marshes, including fish habitat, pollution filtration, and shoreline stabilization. Given the high carbon sequestration capacity of tidal marshes, carbon storage is likely an additional benefit of restoration; however, the degree to which restored marshes achieve equivalency with natural marshes in terms of carbon burial has not been well-defined. In this study, annual carbon sequestration rates in transplanted marshes were estimated and belowground carbon stocks were compared in transplanted versus natural marshes. Sediment cores were collected from five transplanted Spartina alterniflora marshes of known age (12-38 years old) in the Newport River Estuary, NC and from two natural marshes of unknown age. Organic matter content was estimated using the loss on ignition method and carbon content was estimated based on previously established relationships. In transplanted marshes, the rate of carbon sequestration in the top 30 cm decreased with marsh age and ranged from 76.70 g C/m2/yr (38 year old marsh) to 212.83 g C/m2/yr (12 year old marsh). The natural marshes contained significantly larger carbon stocks in the top 30 cm (4534.61 - 7790.18 g C m-2) than the transplanted marshes (1822.97 - 3798.62 g C m-2). However, the annual sequestration rates in the transplanted marshes are similar to those observed by others in natural marshes, and therefore it is likely that over time restored marshes are capable of accreting belowground carbon stocks equivalent to those found in natural marshes.

  4. How will warming affect the salt marsh foundation species Spartina patens and its ecological role?

    PubMed

    Gedan, Keryn B; Bertness, Mark D

    2010-10-01

    Foundation species structure environments and create refuge from environmental stress. In New England high salt marsh, the grass Spartina patens is a foundation species that reduces salinity, anoxia, desiccation, and thermal stresses through canopy shading and root proliferation. In a factorial S. patens-removal and warming field experiment, foundation species removal strongly impacted every aspect of the community, reiterating the important role of the foundation species S. patens in the high marsh. Given this central role, we hypothesized that facilitation by the foundation species would be even more important under warmer conditions by ameliorating more severe thermal stress. However, the ecological role of S. patens was unaffected by experimental warming, and, independent of the presence of the foundation species, warming had only weak effects on the salt marsh ecological community. Only the foundation species itself responded strongly to warming, by significantly increasing aboveground production in warmed plots. Apparently, amelioration of thermal stress is not as important for salt marsh ecosystem function as S. patens' moderation of salinity and desiccation stresses. From these experimental results, we anticipate that climate change-associated thermal stress will not greatly affect S. patens-dominated high marsh communities. In contrast, foundation species loss, an emergent conservation issue in Atlantic salt marshes, represents a critical threat to salt marsh ecosystem function. PMID:20490551

  5. On salt marsh vegetation in North Korea

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ji?í Kolbek; Ji?í Dostálek; Ivan Jarolímek; Ivan Ostrý; Li Sek-Ha

    1989-01-01

    The salt marsh vegetation on the west coast of North Korea was studied by the method of the Zürich-Montpellier school. The\\u000a following communities were distinguished:Suaedetum japonicae, Scirpetum iseensis, Artemisietum fukudo, and the following were described as new:Triglochini maritimae-Phragmitetum communis, Artemisio capillaris-Salsoletum komarovii andSalsolo komarovii-Rosetum rugosae. The phytocoenological material was also analysed by means of numerical techniques.\\u000a \\u000a The population density ofSuaeda

  6. 1 NUMERICAL MODELS OF SALT MARSH 2 EVOLUTION: ECOLOGICAL, GEOMORPHIC,

    E-print Network

    1 NUMERICAL MODELS OF SALT MARSH 2 EVOLUTION: ECOLOGICAL, GEOMORPHIC, 3 AND CLIMATIC FACTORS 4: Fagherazzi, S., et al. (2011), Numerical models of salt marsh evolution: Ecological, geomorphic, and climatic and mediates sediment transport processes. Here 12 we present a broad overview of recent numerical models

  7. Restoration of urban salt marshes: Lessons from southern California

    Microsoft Academic Search

    John C. Callaway; Joy B. Zedler

    2004-01-01

    Extensive restoration efforts in southern California coastal wetlands highlight several challenges for urban salt marsh restoration, including: habitat isolation and fragmentation, impacts from exotic species, the loss of transitional upland habitats, and other alterations to hydrologic and sediment dynamics. Habitat isolation impairs colonization by dispersal-limited plants, so planting becomes essential to achieve diverse salt marshes. Low species richness slows the

  8. Pettaquamscutt Cove Salt Marsh: Environmental Conditions and Historical Ecological Change

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using historic air photos and U.S. Coast Survey maps, historic vegetation changes were identified. Using surveys of vegetation and elevation, we measure elevation of Narrow River salt marshes, and compare it with other salt marshes in Rhode Island and neighboring states. Water ...

  9. Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Southern New England Salt Marshes

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the Northeastern U.S., salt marsh area is in decline. Low sediment supply combined with regionally high rates of sea level rise mean that future salt marsh survival depends primarily on biomass production and organic matter accumulation, which are impacted by high nutrient lo...

  10. Experimental warming causes rapid loss of plant diversity in New England salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Gedan, Keryn B; Bertness, Mark D

    2009-08-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to cause widespread biodiversity loss due to shifts in species' distributions, but these predictions rarely incorporate ecological associations such as zonation. Here, we predict the decline of a diverse assemblage of mid-latitude salt marsh plants, based on an ecosystem warming experiment. In New England salt marshes, a guild of halophytic forbs occupies stressful, waterlogged pannes. At three sites, experimental warming of < 4 degrees C led to diversity declines in pannes and rapid takeover by a competitive dominant, Spartina patens. In Rhode Island, near their southern range limit, pannes were more sensitive to warming than farther north, and panne area also declined in control plots over the three-season experiment. These results suggest that warming will rapidly reduce plant diversity in New England salt marshes by eliminating a high diversity zone. Biodiversity in zoned ecosystems may be more affected by climate-driven shifts in zonation than by individual species' distribution shifts. PMID:19566785

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Indirect human impacts reverse centuries of carbon sequestration and salt marsh accretion.

    PubMed

    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. Development of Salt Marsh Monitoring Methodology Using Remote Sensing and GIS

    E-print Network

    Wang, Y.Q. "Yeqiao"

    Development of Salt Marsh Monitoring Methodology Using Remote Sensing and GIS Y.Q. Wang, PI://www.ltrs.uri.edu #12;New Satellite Data in Salt Marsh Change Monitoring Given that salt marsh monitoring requires update the salt marsh maps are necessary. Recent development of high spatial resolution satellite remote

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. On the Lateral Retreat of Salt Marshes: Field Monitoring in the Venice Lagoon (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solari, L.; Bendoni, M.; Mel, R.; Oumeraci, H.; Francalanci, S.; Lanzoni, S.

    2014-12-01

    Salt marshes are geomorphic structures located in ecotone environments such as lagoon and estuaries, providing lot of ecosystem services to local population. In the last decades they are disappearing due to several factors such as sea level rise, subsidence and edge erosion due to surface waves. The latter is likely the chief mechanism modeling marsh boundaries and leading to the loss of wide marsh areas. In the case of the Venice Lagoon, from the beginning of the last century, the whole salt marsh surface has more than halved and trends indicate that the salt marshes might completely disappear over the next 50 years. Here, we present a field monitoring activity that we are currently carrying out on a retreating salt marsh located in the north part of the Lagoon of Venice (Italy). The marsh is subject to North-East (Bora) wind. Marsh area loss during the last decades has been documented through the comparison of georeferenced aerial photographs showing a retreat rate of the order of 1 m/year. Field measurements started by the end of November 2013 and consist of: salt marsh bank geometry at different cross-sections and wave climate in the lagoon about 30 m in front of the salt marsh. Erosion data are obtained by means of erosion pins located horizontally on the marsh scarp; at higher banks (about 0.9 m), two pins are located along the same vertical direction, for lower banks (about 0.4m), only one pin is employed. Significant wave height has been measured during three storm surges by means of pressure transducers (Pts). The measured wave climate in front of the bank was then put into relationship with the offshore wave climate estimated using wind data (intensity and direction) and bathymetric data. Wind intensity and direction is measured hourly by several measurement stations located in the Lagoon of Venice. In this way, it is possible to extrapolate wave climate hourly at the monitored marsh and calculate the wave power that acted on the bank in a given time interval. Field survey revealed that the main retreating mechanisms are particle by particle erosion alternated to cantilever failures. Preliminary results show a linear relationship between erosion rate and wave energy flux and the existence of a critical threshold for the onset of erosion.

  19. Proximate nutritive value changes during decomposition of salt marsh plants

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Armando A. Cruz

    1975-01-01

    Recognition of salt marsh plant detritus as a nutritious source of food for estuarine consumers prompted investigation of in situ decomposition and proximate nutritive values of three plants and their detritus namely: Spartina cynosuroides and Distichlis spicata (Gramineae) and Scirpus americanus (Cyperaceae) growing abundantly in Mississippi tidal marshes. During decomposition to particulate detritus, these plants retain 60–70% organic content and

  20. PRODUCTION IN COASTAL SALT MARSHES OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Production ecology in southern California coastal salt marshes was investigated by harvesting macrophytes and monitoring environmental factors (substrate salinity, pH, nitrogen, redox, water content, temperature, and tide level) at four locations--Sweetwater River Estuary, Los Pe...

  1. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Salt Marsh Vegetation across Scales 

    E-print Network

    Kim, Daehyun

    2010-10-12

    Biogeographic patterns across a landscape are developed by the interplay of environmental processes operating at different spatial and temporal scales. This research investigated dynamics of salt marsh vegetation on the ...

  2. A comparison of bird use and species diversity of created and natural salt marshes in the Galveston Bay complex, Texas 

    E-print Network

    Melvin, Stefani Lynn

    1996-01-01

    of created and natural marshes differed significantly, however not consistently. Bird abundance was greater in created than natural salt marshes. Young created salt marshes supported more birds than natural or old created marshes. Gulls and tems occurred...

  3. A Field Experiment to Assess the Transplant Success of Salt Marsh Plants into Tidal Wetlands

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Dana Thomsen; Islay D. Marsden; Ashley D. Sparrow

    2005-01-01

    Field plots were used to assess the restoration potential of three salt marsh species, Juncus maritimus, Leptocarpus similis and Schoenoplectus pungens, within an established salt marsh near Christchurch, New Zealand. A split-block design was used to asses the effects of soil type, (soil from a proposed marsh construction site or estuarine mud from a natural salt marsh), species and plant

  4. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in salt marshes in North Carolina

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Marielle H. Hoefnagels; Stephen W. Broome; Steven R. Shafer

    1993-01-01

    The primary objective of this research was to determine if vesicular-arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizal fungi are associated with\\u000a the roots of common plant species found in North Carolina salt marshes. Root samples of Spartina alterniflora, S. patents, S. cynosuroides, Distichlis spicata, and Juncus roemerianus were collected from eight salt marsh sites. With the exception of S. alterniflora, all plant species were

  5. Wave attenuation over coastal salt marshes under storm surge conditions

    E-print Network

    Möller, Iris; Kudella, Matthias; Rupprecht, Franziska; Spencer, Tom; Paul, Maike; van Wesenbeeck, Bregje K.; Wolters, Guido; Jensen, Kai; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Miranda-Lange, Martin; Schimmels, Stefan

    2014-09-29

    requirements11) perspectives. This has resulted in a re-evaluation of coastal flood and erosion risk 35 reduction methods5. Natural coastal landforms, including sand dunes, mudflats and salt marshes, are 36 now widely recognised as potential barriers to wave... dissipation by vegetated beds commonly rely on knowledge of the drag coefficient 87 CD incorporated into a friction factor that takes account of vegetation stem density, height, and 88 diameter. The complex nature of salt marsh vegetation precludes the a...

  6. Effects of global climate change on coastal salt marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. Simas; J. P. Nunes; J. G. Ferreira

    2001-01-01

    A methodology combining ecological modelling with geographical information analysis and remote sensing was employed to determine the effects of sea-level rise in estuarine salt marshes, using the Tagus estuary (Portugal) as a case study. The development of salt marsh vegetation was simulated separately for C3 and C4 plants, using a combined biogeochemical and demographic model. This simulation, which provided small-scale

  7. Degradation and resilience in Louisiana salt marshes after the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Silliman, Brian R; van de Koppel, Johan; McCoy, Michael W; Diller, Jessica; Kasozi, Gabriel N; Earl, Kamala; Adams, Peter N; Zimmerman, Andrew R

    2012-07-10

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they provide (e.g., shoreline protection) are affected by and recover from large-scale disturbance. Here we report on not only rapid salt-marsh recovery (high resilience) but also permanent marsh area loss after the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Field observations, experimental manipulations, and wave-propagation modeling reveal that (i) oil coverage was primarily concentrated on the seaward edge of marshes; (ii) there were thresholds of oil coverage that were associated with severity of salt-marsh damage, with heavy oiling leading to plant mortality; (iii) oil-driven plant death on the edges of these marshes more than doubled rates of shoreline erosion, further driving marsh platform loss that is likely to be permanent; and (iv) after 18 mo, marsh grasses have largely recovered into previously oiled, noneroded areas, and the elevated shoreline retreat rates observed at oiled sites have decreased to levels at reference marsh sites. This paper highlights that heavy oil coverage on the shorelines of Louisiana marshes, already experiencing elevated retreat because of intense human activities, induced a geomorphic feedback that amplified this erosion and thereby set limits to the recovery of otherwise resilient vegetation. It thus warns of the enhanced vulnerability of already degraded marshes to heavy oil coverage and provides a clear example of how multiple human-induced stressors can interact to hasten ecosystem decline. PMID:22733752

  8. Degradation and resilience in Louisiana salt marshes after the BP–Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; van de Koppel, Johan; McCoy, Michael W.; Diller, Jessica; Kasozi, Gabriel N.; Earl, Kamala; Adams, Peter N.; Zimmerman, Andrew R.

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP–Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they provide (e.g., shoreline protection) are affected by and recover from large-scale disturbance. Here we report on not only rapid salt-marsh recovery (high resilience) but also permanent marsh area loss after the BP–Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Field observations, experimental manipulations, and wave-propagation modeling reveal that (i) oil coverage was primarily concentrated on the seaward edge of marshes; (ii) there were thresholds of oil coverage that were associated with severity of salt-marsh damage, with heavy oiling leading to plant mortality; (iii) oil-driven plant death on the edges of these marshes more than doubled rates of shoreline erosion, further driving marsh platform loss that is likely to be permanent; and (iv) after 18 mo, marsh grasses have largely recovered into previously oiled, noneroded areas, and the elevated shoreline retreat rates observed at oiled sites have decreased to levels at reference marsh sites. This paper highlights that heavy oil coverage on the shorelines of Louisiana marshes, already experiencing elevated retreat because of intense human activities, induced a geomorphic feedback that amplified this erosion and thereby set limits to the recovery of otherwise resilient vegetation. It thus warns of the enhanced vulnerability of already degraded marshes to heavy oil coverage and provides a clear example of how multiple human-induced stressors can interact to hasten ecosystem decline. PMID:22733752

  9. Effect of dominant Spartina species on salt marsh detritus production in SW Atlantic estuaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montemayor, Diana I.; Addino, Mariana; Fanjul, Eugenia; Escapa, Mauricio; Alvarez, M. Fernanda; Botto, Florencia; Iribarne, Oscar O.

    2011-08-01

    Two cordgrass species of the genus Spartina cohabit in SW Atlantic (southern Brazil 31º48' S to Argentinean Patagonia, 43º20' S) salt marshes. Some salt marshes are dominated by the dense-flowered cordgrass Spartina densiflora (which inhabits the upper intertidal level) and others by the smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora (which inhabits the lower intertidal level). We investigated how the different species dominance affects the detritus dynamics in the Bahia Blanca estuary (38º47' S, 62º20' W Argentina). Field measurements of annual detritus production using destructive methods show that both plants are similar. However, detritus of S. alterniflora shows higher decomposition rates than that of S. densiflora. This difference may be due to a larger N content, lower lignocellulose content and lower C/N ratio of S. alternifora when compared with S. densiflora. Moreover, field sampling shows that S. alterniflora has a larger amount of trapped litter that, according to the litterbag method, has higher decomposition rates. Therefore it is highly likely that S. alterniflora salt marshes contribute towards more profitable detritus for estuarine food webs than marshes dominated by S. densiflora. These results illustrate that the composition of the coastal plant community can determine the quality and profitability of the detritus that support estuarine food webs. They also illustrate that salt marshes belonging to a same biogeographic group and even coexisting in great proximity can have very different ecosystemic roles.

  10. Effects of nitrogen addition and salt grass ( Distichlis spicata ) upon high salt marsh vegetation in Northern California, USA

    Microsoft Academic Search

    BIBIT HALLIDAY TRAU' T

    2005-01-01

    In the salt marshes of Tomales Bay, California, where grazing by cattle increases the input of nitrogen to the marsh (either\\u000a directly or indirectly as runoff from within the salt marsh watershed), high salt marsh vegetation is dominated byDistichlis spicata and is less diverse than marshes without excess nutrients. Using a field experiment, I investigated the role of soil fertility

  11. Salt stress limitation of seedling recruitment in a salt marsh plant community

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Scott W. Shumway; Mark D. Bertness

    1992-01-01

    Seedling recruitment in salt marsh plant communities is generally precluded in dense vegetation by competition from adults, but is also relatively rare in disturbance-generated bare space. We examined the constraints on seedling recruitment in New England salt marsh bare patches. Under typical bare patch conditions seed germination is severely limited by high substrate salinities. We examined the germination requirements of

  12. Factors influencing algal biomass in hydrologically dynamic salt ponds in a subtropical salt marsh 

    E-print Network

    Miller, Carrie J.

    2009-05-15

    FACTORS INFLUENCING ALGAL BIOMASS IN HYDROLOGICALLY DYNAMIC SALT PONDS IN A SUBTROPICAL SALT MARSH A Thesis by CARRIE J. MILLER Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment... of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE May 2007 Major Subject: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences FACTORS INFLUENCING ALGAL BIOMASS IN HYDROLOGICALLY DYNAMIC SALT PONDS IN A SUBTROPICAL SALT MARSH A Thesis by CARRIE J...

  13. 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 demonstrates the value of applying phylogenetic and functional gene microarray technology to characterize the extensive microbial diversity of marsh environments. Moreover, this technology provides significant insight into bacterial community responses to anthropogenic oil events.

  14. Ecogeomorphic Properties of Flood-ebb Flows on a Coastal North Carolina Salt-marsh Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, S.; Furbish, D.; Mudd, S.

    2006-12-01

    Salt marsh ecosystems play a vital role in nutrient processing, shoreline defense, and as habitats for commercially important species. Along the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina, where the tidal amplitude ranges from 1.0 to 1.5 m, salt marsh communities are expected to undergo a transition from intertidal marshes to subtidal habitats in response to sea-level rise and associated increases in inundation and possibly tidal range. Intertidal areas along the back-barrier sound of Bogue Banks feature well developed networks of tidal channels and exhibit classic macrophyte zonation, with Spartina spp. residing along lower elevations and Juncus roemerianus at higher elevations. As part of a long-term study of macrophyte dynamics, sedimentation and geomorphology in the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds area, here we describe the pattern of flood-ebb flow on a marsh platform. Continuous measurements from a set of pressure transducers arranged along a marsh transect are used to describe spatial variations in the frequency, duration and depth of inundation as a function of platform elevation, macrophyte biomass, and proximity to the tidal creek. Stem density and diameter of Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus affect the magnitude of drag forces on the marsh platform during flooding; our field measurements are used to constrain the relationship between macrophyte stand characteristics and these drag forces.

  15. Living foraminifera and total populations in salt marsh peat cores: Kelsey Marsh (Clinton, CT) and the Great Marshes (Barnstable, MA)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Saffert; E. Thomas

    1998-01-01

    Common species of intertidal agglutinated benthic foraminifera in salt marshes in Massachusetts and Connecticut live predominantly at the marsh surface and in the topmost sediment (0–2.5 cm), but a considerable part of the fauna lives at depths of 2.5–15 cm. Few specimens are alive at depths of 15–25 cm, with rare individuals alive between 25–50 cm in the sediments. Specimens

  16. Impact of sheep grazing on juvenile sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax L., in tidal salt marshes

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    Impact of sheep grazing on juvenile sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax L., in tidal salt marshes P L., from sheep grazed and ungrazed tidal salt marshes were com- pared qualitatively. Juvenile sea bass colonise the salt marsh at ¯ood during 43% of the spring tides which inundate the salt

  17. Herbivory drives the spread of salt marsh die-off.

    PubMed

    Bertness, Mark D; Brisson, Caitlin P; Bevil, Matthew C; Crotty, Sinead M

    2014-01-01

    Salt marsh die-off is a Western Atlantic conservation problem that has recently spread into Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. It has been hypothesized to be driven by: 1) eutrophication decreasing plant investment into belowground biomass causing plant collapse, 2) boat wakes eroding creek banks, 3) pollution or disease affecting plant health, 4) substrate hardness controlling herbivorous crab distributions and 5) trophic dysfunction releasing herbivorous crabs from predator control. To distinguish between these hypotheses we quantified these variables at 14 Narragansett Bay salt marshes where die-off intensity ranged from <5% to nearly 98%. Nitrogen availability, wave intensity and plant growth did not explain any variation in die-off. Herbivory explained 73% of inter-site variation in die-off and predator control of herbivores and substrate hardness also varied significantly with die-off. This suggests that salt marsh die-off is being largely driven by intense herbivory via the release of herbivorous crabs from predator control. Our results and those from other marsh systems suggest that consumer control may not simply be a factor to consider in marsh conservation, but with widespread predator depletion impacting near shore habitats globally, trophic dysfunction and runaway consumption may be the largest and most urgent management challenge for salt marsh conservation. PMID:24651837

  18. Salt marsh vegetation change in response to tidal restriction

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Charles T. Roman; William A. Niering; R. Scott Warren

    1984-01-01

    Vegetation change in response to restriction of the normal tidal prism of six Connecticut salt marshes is documented. Tidal flow at the study sites was restricted with tide gates and associated causeways and dikes for purposes of flood protection, mosquito control, and\\/or salt hay farming. One study site has been under a regime of reduced tidal flow since colonial times,

  19. Making and Measuring a Model of a Salt Marsh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fogleman, Tara; Curran, Mary Carla

    2007-01-01

    Students are often confused by the difference between the terms "accuracy" and "precision." In the following activities, students explore the definitions of accuracy and precision while learning about salt march ecology and the methods used by scientists to assess salt marsh health. The activities also address the concept that the ocean supports a…

  20. Salt marsh ecohydrological zonation due to heterogeneous vegetation - groundwater - surface water interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffett, K. B.; Gorelick, S.; McLaren, R.; Sudicky, E. A.

    2011-12-01

    Among the most fundamental characteristics of intertidal salt marshes are distinctive vegetation zonation and tidally-forced hydrology. Vegetation zones often correlate with tidal hydrology and plant water use is significant in the wetland balance; however, specific links between vegetation zonation, plant water use, and spatiotemporally variable intertidal hydrology have eluded thorough characterization. This investigation developed the first comprehensive salt marsh ecohydrology models integrating the transient, 3D, coupled surface water and groundwater flow and plant water use of an intensively studied salt marsh field site. The physics-based modeling demonstrated that superimposing heterogeneous sediment hydraulic properties, evapotranspiration rates, and rooting depths, together with tidal dynamics, induced surprising spatial variations in root zone hydraulics: variations pronounced enough to constitute wholly different root zone habitats with different pressure heads, saturations, and vertical groundwater velocities. These diverse habitats were apparent only when both hydraulic and vegetative influences were accounted for, leading to their definition as discrete "ecohydrological zones." We distinguished five different ecohydrological zones (EHZs) by distinct combinations of sediment hydraulic properties and evapotranspiration rates and two EHZs by topography. The hydraulic variations among EHZs were masked shortly after a flooding tide, but again became prominent during prolonged marsh exposure. Boundaries between EHZs exhibited large gradients in head, saturation, and vertical flow magnitude and direction due to a combination of vegetation and sediment effects. We suggest that ecohydrological zones, combining spatially-variable topographic, sediment, and vegetation influences, are the fundamental spatial habitat units comprising the salt marsh ecosystem. This perspective contrasts with historical emphasis on vegetation zones as the foremost unit of habitat variation within salt marshes.

  1. Accretion rates and sediment accumulation in Rhode Island salt marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. Bricker-Urso; S. W. Nixon; J. K. Cochran; D. J. Hirschberg; C. Hunt

    1989-01-01

    In order to test the assumption that accretion rates of intertidal salt marshes are approximately equal to rates of sea-level\\u000a rise along the Rhode Island coast,210Pb analyses were carried out and accretion rates calculated using constant flux and constant activity models applied to sediment\\u000a cores collected from lowSpartina alterniflora marshes at four sites from the head to the mouth of

  2. A RAPID NON-DESTRUCTIVE METHOD FOR ESTIMATING ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SALT MARSH GRASSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding the primary productivity of salt marshes requires accurate estimates of biomass. Unfortunately, these estimates vary enough within and among salt marshes to require large numbers of replicates if the averages are to be statistically meaningful. Large numbers of repl...

  3. 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.

  4. Abstract We explored the generality of the processes mediating shrub zonation in western Atlantic salt marsh-

    E-print Network

    Pennings, Steven C.

    salt marsh- es by comparing the results of our experiments in Geor- gia, USA with previous studies from salt marshes. Within the shrub zone, physical stress increased at lower elevations, shrubs at lower gerardi in Rhode Island salt marshes. However, markedly different processes appear to occur further

  5. Habitat selection of wintering passerines in salt marshes of the German Wadden Sea

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jochen Dierschke; Franz Bairlein

    2004-01-01

    The salt marshes of the Wadden Sea are important wintering areas for some species of granivorous passerines, which have declined considerably since the 1960s. We investigated the habitat choice of all wintering passerines in eight study areas in German salt marshes with special consideration of human impact on these habitats. Granivorous species that almost exclusively winter in salt marshes, Shorelark

  6. EVALUATING THE INTEGRITY OF SALT MARSHES IN NARRAGANSETT BAY SUB-ESTUARIES USING A WATERSHED APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    A watershed approach to examine measures of structure and function in salt marshes of similar geomorphology and hydrology in Narragansett Bay is being used to develop a reference system for evaluating salt marsh integrity. We describe integrity as the capability of a salt marsh t...

  7. EVALUATING THE INTEGRITY OF SALT MARSHES IN NARRAGANSETT BAY SUBESTUARIES USING A WATESHED APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    A watershed approach to examine measures of structure and function in salt marshes of similar geomorphology and hydrology in Narragansett Bay was used to develop a reference system for evaluating salt marsh integrity. We describe integrity as the capability of a salt marsh to pro...

  8. Spatial variability of phosphorus sorption dynamics in Louisiana salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marton, John M.; Roberts, Brian J.

    2014-03-01

    Phosphorus (P) biogeochemistry has been studied in multiple wetland ecosystems, though few data exist on P sorption in U.S. Gulf Coast marshes. There also is a limited understanding of how oil spills in coastal zones can influence P dynamics in wetland soils. In this study, we measured P sorption potential, using the P sorption index (PSI), soil properties, and P saturation at increasing distances from the marsh edge in oiled and unoiled marshes in three regions along the southeastern Louisiana coast (Terrebonne Bay, western, and eastern Barataria Bay). Individual PSI values were highly variable, ranging from 19.5 to 175.6 mg P 100 g-1 and varying by at least a factor of five within each of the three regions, and did not significantly differ between regions or between oiled and unoiled marshes. Soil pH, organic matter, total N, N:P ratio, moisture content, cation exchange capacity, and P saturation differed between regions, and all soil parameters showed great variability between and within individual marshes. Extractable iron was the strongest predictor of PSI across all regions, explaining between 51 and 95% of the variability in individual regions. PSI increased with distance from marsh edge in Terrebonne Bay where other soil properties exhibited similar trends. Results suggest mineral composition of marsh soils, influenced by elevation-inundation gradients, are critical in dictating P loading to estuaries and open waters, and overall marsh functioning. Further, within 2 years of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, oiled marshes are able to sorb phosphorus at comparable levels as unoiled marshes.

  9. The Resilience and Recovery of Salt Marshes to Landfalling Storms and Sea-Level Rise, New Jersey, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, B.; Nikitina, D.; Kemp, A.; Vane, C. H.; Engelhart, S. E.; Khan, N. S.

    2014-12-01

    Instrumental and observational records are too short to adequately describe the history of land-falling storms or sea-level rise, especially for extreme and rare events such as Hurricane Sandy. However, the sediment preserved beneath coastal wetlands is an archive of when storms impacted the coast and past changes in sea level, and how long it takes for wetlands recovery from such events. Here, we describe late Holocene sediments beneath the Sea Breeze salt marsh on the New Jersey side of Delaware Bay from more than 200 gouge cores positioned along seven transects. The stratigraphic record documents at least seven depositional sequences consisting of salt-marsh peat and mud couplets that represent dramatic changes in sedimentation regime. There are number of processes that could cause this salt-marsh erosion including lateral migration of tidal creeks, rapid relative sea?level rise, tsunamis, formation and expansion of salt pans, and storms. The abrupt contacts between the salt-marsh peat and overlying intertidal mud suggest that erosion of the peat was followed by rapid infilling of accommodation space. Correlation of erosional surfaces across 2.5 km suggests a common mechanism and we propose that the erosion was caused by hurricanes and/or large winter storms. Further, the changes in salt-marsh sedimentation documented at several sites on the north shore of Delaware Bay were synchronous and broadly correlate with storm over-wash deposits and historical record of hurricane landfalls in New Jersey. We estimated wetland recovery time from hurricane-induced erosion using radiocarbon dates that bracket the erosive event in the sedimentary record. Following erosion and lowering of the marsh surface into the tidal frame a low-marsh ecosystem recolonizes the site, followed by recovery to a high salt-marsh environment. We estimate that this ecological and sedimentary succession can take up to 200 years.

  10. On salt marshes retreat: Experiments and modeling toppling failures induced by wind waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendoni, M.; Francalanci, S.; Cappietti, L.; Solari, L.

    2014-03-01

    Salt marshes are delicate ecosystems which are disappearing in many areas of the world, mainly due to increasing rates of sea level rise, subsidence, and anthropic pressure. The lateral erosion of the edge of salt marshes is one of the most important processes in determining changes in morphology, and wind waves have a key role in this retreat. Lateral retreat occurs by means of several types of mass failure processes, typically cantilever, sliding, and toppling. In the literature, no mechanistic models for the description of toppling failure are available. In this study, we performed a set of experiments to quantify the pressure field and the hydrodynamic forcing induced by wind waves during toppling failures of unstable blocks on a salt marsh edge. We propose a model interpreting toppling failure based on the experimental evidence as well as on the physics of the system. We model the system as a dynamic rigid block of cohesive soil, identified by the presence of a tension crack, subjected to hydrodynamic forces caused by impact of waves and resistive forces due to the block's weight and soil cohesion. The failure of the blocks occurs when the soil tensile strength is exceeded along the failure surface located at the base of the block. The model is able to reproduce failure processes observed in the laboratory. Moreover, the model reveals that the most critical conditions for marsh bank instability due to toppling failure are associated to the presence of water inside the tension crack and low water levels in front of the bank.

  11. Soil Respiration and Belowground Carbon Stores Among Salt Marshes Subjected to Increasing Watershed Nitrogen Loadings in Southern New England

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal salt marshes are ecosystems located between the uplands and sea, and because of their location are subject to increasing watershed nutrient loadings and rising sea levels. Residential development along the coast is intense, and there is a significant relationship between...

  12. Response of salt-marsh carbon accumulation to climate change.

    PubMed

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Mudd, Simon M

    2012-09-27

    About half of annual marine carbon burial takes place in shallow water ecosystems where geomorphic and ecological stability is driven by interactions between the flow of water, vegetation growth and sediment transport. Although the sensitivity of terrestrial and deep marine carbon pools to climate change has been studied for decades, there is little understanding of how coastal carbon accumulation rates will change and potentially feed back on climate. Here we develop a numerical model of salt marsh evolution, informed by recent measurements of productivity and decomposition, and demonstrate that competition between mineral sediment deposition and organic-matter accumulation determines the net impact of climate change on carbon accumulation in intertidal wetlands. We find that the direct impact of warming on soil carbon accumulation rates is more subtle than the impact of warming-driven sea level rise, although the impact of warming increases with increasing rates of sea level rise. Our simulations suggest that the net impact of climate change will be to increase carbon burial rates in the first half of the twenty-first century, but that carbon-climate feedbacks are likely to diminish over time. PMID:23018965

  13. Diversity, composition, and geographical distribution of microbial communities in California salt marsh sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cordova-Kreylos, A. L.; Cao, Y.; Green, P.G.; Hwang, H.-M.; Kuivila, K.M.; LaMontagne, M.G.; Van De Werfhorst, L. C.; Holden, P.A.; Scow, K.M.

    2006-01-01

    The Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicators Research Consortium seeks to develop bioindicators of toxicant-induced stress and bioavailability for wetland biota. Within this framework, the effects of environmental and pollutant variables on microbial communities were studied at different spatial scales over a 2-year period. Six salt marshes along the California coastline were characterized using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis. Additionally, 27 metals, six currently used pesticides, total polychlorinated biphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chlordanes, nonachlors, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane, and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene were analyzed. Sampling was performed over large (between salt marshes), medium (stations within a marsh), and small (different channel depths) spatial scales. Regression and ordination analysis suggested that the spatial variation in microbial communities exceeded the variation attributable to pollutants. PLFA analysis and TRFLP canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) explained 74 and 43% of the variation, respectively, and both methods attributed 34% of the variation to tidal cycles, marsh, year, and latitude. After accounting for spatial variation using partial CCA, we found that metals had a greater effect on microbial community composition than organic pollutants had. Organic carbon and nitrogen contents were positively correlated with PLFA biomass, whereas total metal concentrations were positively correlated with biomass and diversity. Higher concentrations of heavy metals were negatively correlated with branched PLFAs and positively correlated with methyl- and cyclo-substituted PLFAs. The strong relationships observed between pollutant concentrations and some of the microbial indicators indicated the potential for using microbial community analyses in assessments of the ecosystem health of salt marshes. Copyright ?? 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Results of Total Mercury Analysis in Salt Marsh Invertebrates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analysis of blood samples obtained from saltmarsh sparrows revealed high levels (> 1.0 µg/g(wet)) of mercury (Hg) in sparrows inhabiting a salt marsh site in the Narrow River, RI (also known as Pettaquamscutt River). These analyses were conducted by Oksana Lane at the Biodiversit...

  15. Population biology of salt marsh and sand dune annuals

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. R. Watkinson; A. J. Davy

    1985-01-01

    Annuals represent a significant component of the vegetation of coastal salt marshes and sand dunes. From many points of view, the two habitats might appear to have little in common. Yet both are characterized by episodes of low water potential, marked spatial and temporal heterogeneity and a zonation which, within certain limits, reflects successional change.

  16. Vulnerability of Northeastern U.S. Salt Marshes to Climatic and Anthropogenic Stressors

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the Northeastern U.S., salt marsh area is in decline. Habitat change analysis has revealed fragmentation, displacement of high marsh by low marsh species, and marsh drowning, while development of adjacent uplands limits upslope migration. Using inundation experiments, field s...

  17. Effects of open marsh water management on numbers of larval salt marsh mosquitoes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    James-Pirri, Mary-Jane; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Erwin, R. Michael; Taylor, Janith

    2009-01-01

    Open marsh water management (OMWM) is a commonly used approach to manage salt marsh mosquitoes than can obviate the need for pesticide application and at the same time, partially restore natural functions of grid-ditched marshes. OMWM includes a variety of hydrologic manipulations, often tailored to the specific conditions on individual marshes, so the overall effectiveness of this approach is difficult to assess. Here, we report the results of controlled field trials to assess the effects of two approaches to OMWM on larval mosquito production at National Wildlife Refuges (NWR). A traditional OMWM approach, using pond construction and radial ditches was used at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in New Jersey, and a ditch-plugging approach was used at Parker River NWR in Massachusetts. Mosquito larvae were sampled from randomly placed stations on paired treatment and control marshes at each refuge. The proportion of sampling stations that were wet declined after OMWM at the Forsythe site, but not at the Parker River site. The proportion of samples with larvae present and mean larval densities, declined significantly at the treatment sites on both refuges relative to the control marshes. Percentage of control for the 2 yr posttreatment, compared with the 2 yr pretreatment, was >90% at both treatment sites.

  18. NUTRIENT-UPTAKE MODEL IN MARSH ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mechanistic models of nutrient dynamics in natural wetlands were developed and applied in a study of Kissimmee River (Florida) flood-plain marshes. The models describe hydrodynamics and transport diffusion in wetland basins and the ecological processes of nutrient uptake, convers...

  19. The ebb and flood of Silica: Quantifying dissolved and biogenic silica fluxes from a temperate salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieillard, Amanda M.; Fulweiler, Robinson W.; Hughes, Zoe J.; Carey, Joanna C.

    2011-12-01

    Salt marshes are widely studied due to the broad range of ecosystem services they provide including serving as crucial wildlife habitat and as hotspots for biogeochemical cycling. Nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and carbon (C) are well studied in these systems. However, salt marshes may also be important environments for the cycling of another key nutrient, silica (Si). Found at the land-sea interface, these systems are silica replete with large stocks in plant biomass, sediments, and porewater, and therefore, have the potential to play a substantial role in the transformation and export of silica to coastal waters. In an effort to better understand this role, we measured the fluxes of dissolved (DSi) and biogenic (BSi) silica into and out of two tidal creeks in a temperate, North American (Rowley, Massachusetts, USA) salt marsh. One of the creeks has been fertilized from May to September for six years allowing us to examine the impacts of nutrient addition on silica dynamics within the marsh. High-resolution sampling in July 2010 showed no significant differences in Si concentrations between the fertilized and reference creeks with dissolved silica ranging from 0.5 to 108 ?M and biogenic from 2.0 to 56 ?M. Net fluxes indicated that the marsh is a point source of dissolved silica to the estuary in the summer with a net flux of approximately 169 mol h -1, demonstrating that this system exports DSi on the same magnitude as some nearby, mid-sized rivers. If these findings hold true for all salt marshes, then these already valuable regions are contributing yet another ecosystem service that has been previously overlooked; by exporting DSi to coastal receiving waters, salt marshes are actively providing this important nutrient for coastal primary productivity.

  20. SHORT COMMUNICATION Effect of Salt Marsh Drainage on the Distribution ofTabamis

    E-print Network

    larvae most in of marsh, dominated by Spartina altemiflora Loisel short-form. The rate of water drainage deep collected from of salt marsh covered by S. alterniflora short-form. The dried in the Tullgren15TO7 SHORT COMMUNICATION Effect of Salt Marsh Drainage on the Distribution ofTabamis mgromttatus

  1. Long-Term Retention and Loss of Heavy Metals from Experimental Salt Marsh Plots

    E-print Network

    Vallino, Joseph J.

    Long-Term Retention and Loss of Heavy Metals from Experimental Salt Marsh Plots Katie Harrold Sippewissett Marsh I have tested the long-term retention of heavy metals by the marsh. Beginning in the early of fertilization. This could be due to sorbtion to organic matter and metal-oxides. Key Words: heavy metals, salt

  2. Effects of livestock species and stocking density on accretion rates in grazed salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolte, Stefanie; Esselink, Peter; Bakker, Jan P.; Smit, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems, such as salt marshes, are threatened by accelerated sea-level rise (SLR). Salt marshes deliver valuable ecosystem services such as coastal protection and the provision of habitat for a unique flora and fauna. Whether salt marshes in the Wadden Sea area are able to survive accelerated SLR depends on sufficient deposition of sediments which add to vertical marsh accretion. Accretion rate is influenced by a number of factors, and livestock grazing was recently included. Livestock grazing is assumed to reduce accretion rates in two ways: (a) directly by increasing soil compaction through trampling, and (b) indirectly by affecting the vegetation structure, which may lower the sediment deposition. For four years, we studied the impact of two livestock species (horse and cattle) at two stocking densities (0.5 and 1.0 animal ha-1) on accretion in a large-scale grazing experiment using sedimentation plates. We found lower cumulative accretion rates in high stocking densities, probably because more animals cause more compaction and create a lower canopy. Furthermore, a trend towards lower accretion rates in horse-compared to cattle-grazed treatments was found, most likely because (1) horses are more active and thus cause more compaction, and (2) herbage intake by horses is higher than by cattle, which causes a higher biomass removal and shorter canopy. During summer periods, negative accretion rates were found. When the grazing and non-grazing seasons were separated, the impact of grazing differed among years. In summer, we only found an effect of different treatments if soil moisture (precipitation) was relatively low. In winter, a sufficiently high inundation frequency was necessary to create differences between grazing treatments. We conclude that stocking densities, and to a certain extent also livestock species, affect accretion rates in salt marshes. Both stocking densities and livestock species should thus be taken into account in management decisions of salt marshes. In our study accretion rates were higher than the current SLR. Further research is needed to include grazing effects into sedimentation models, given the importance of grazing management in the Wadden Sea area.

  3. Gross nitrous oxide production and consumption along a salt marsh redox gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, W. H.; Silver, W. L.

    2012-12-01

    Coastal wetlands denitrify nitrate (NO3-)-rich urban and agricultural runoff, and thus decrease anthropogenic nitrogen loading on downslope aquatic ecosystems. Elevation gradients in coastal wetlands likely create redox gradients that result in a range of denitrification dynamics. Our objective was to determine if this redox gradient could elucidate the controls on nitrous oxide (N2O) production and consumption in a salt marsh bordering Tomales Bay, CA. We installed soil equilibration chambers to measure soil oxygen (O2) at 10 cm depth along a transect in each of three marsh zones: high, mid, and low (n=4 per zone). We used the stable isotope trace gas pool dilution technique to measure gross rates of N2O production and consumption over three hour sampling periods at low tide when the surface soils were not saturated. Intact soil cores (0-10 cm depth) taken from the flux chamber footprints were extracted for ammonium, NO3-, and ferric and ferrous iron (Fe(III) and Fe(II)) concentrations as well as assayed for denitrifying enzyme activity (DEA). We sampled on four dates to characterize N2O dynamics across a range of environmental conditions. Bulk soil O2 concentrations in the soil equilibration chambers were higher in the high marsh than in the mid and low marshes (p<0.001, n=44). Soil NO3- concentrations were significantly lower and HCl-extractable Fe(II) concentrations were significantly higher in the low marsh compared to the high and mid marshes (NO3- p<0.001, Fe(II) p<0.001, n=44). Despite differences in redox among the marsh zones, neither gross rates of N2O production (Figure 1a) nor consumption (Figure 1b) varied significantly among the zones. DEA also did not differ among marsh zones, with averages ranging from 136 ± 30 ng-N g-1 h-1 in the mid marsh to 550 ± 121 ng-N g-1 h-1 in the low marsh. Overall, this salt marsh was neither an N2O source nor sink, with net N2O fluxes averaging 51 ± 40 ?g-N m-2 d-1 across all marsh zones and sampling dates. However, net N2O fluxes were negative in 29 out of 44 measurements. Sub-atmospheric soil N2O concentrations at 10 cm depth together with the quantification of significant gross N2O consumption rates suggest that the net uptake of atmospheric N2O by the soil occurred in all marsh zones. Boxplots of (1) gross N2O production rates and (2) gross N2O consumption rates along a salt marsh elevation gradient. The y-axes are shown on log10 scale.

  4. Oil bioremediation in salt marsh mesocosms as influenced by nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacterial seeding 

    E-print Network

    Wright, Alan Lee

    1995-01-01

    Glasshouse experiments were conducted to determine the effects of N and P fertilization and bacterial seeding on crude oil degradation in salt marsh mesocosms containing marsh soil and Spartina alterniflora. Fertilization with urea, NH4, and N03...

  5. Algal productivity in salt marshes of Georgia

    Microsoft Academic Search

    1959-01-01

    ABSTRACT Gross primary,production,of algae,in the intertidal,marshes,on the,coast,of Georgia,was measured at various seasons. Measurements were also made of light, temperature, pH, depth of flooding at high tide, and sedimentary chlorophyll. Migration of the algae in t,he sediments,was,observed,along,creek,borders. Production,during,low tide is 150 mg,C\\/m2\\/hr in winter,and 2&30 mg,C\\/mz\\/hr in summer. Production under water, during high tide is 200 mg C\\/m2\\/hr in August and

  6. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merley, M. M.; Peteet, D. M.; Peteet, D. M.

    2001-05-01

    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 41 00; 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 (8m) includes freshwater seeds such as Viola, Potomageton and Alnus along with Salix buds. Basal material from Croton Point (10m) includes fibrous woody material, foraminifera and Zanichellia seeds and other brackish vegetational components. The basal material from Piermont (13.77m) is lacking any identifyable macrofossils between 150 and 500 microns. The basal material from Iona Island (10m) 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-resolution studies of these marshes to understand the fluctuations in salinity caused by relative sea level rise, tectonic faulting and/or changes in precipitation/evaporation.

  7. Biogeochemical effects of seawater restoration to diked salt marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Portnoy, J.W.; Giblin, A.E.

    1997-01-01

    We conducted greenhouse microcosm experiments to examine the biogeochemical effects of restoring seawater to historically diked Cape Cod salt marshes. Peat cores from both seasonally flooded and drained diked marshes were waterlogged with seawater, and porewater chemistry was subsequently monitored for 21 mo. The addition of seawater to highly organic, seasonally flooded peat caused the death of freshwater wetland plants, 6-8 cm of sediment subsidence, and increased N and P mineralization. Also, sulfides and alkalinity increased 10-fold, suggesting accelerated decomposition by sulfate reduction. Addition of seawater to the low-organic-content acidic peat from the drained marsh increased porewater pH, alkalinity, PO4-P, and Fe(II), which we attribute to the reestablishment of SO4 and Fe(III) mineral reduction. Increased cation exchange contributed to 6-fold increases in dissolved Fe(II) and Al and 60-fold increases in NH4-N within 6 mo of sail-nation. Seawater reintroductions to seasonally flooded diked marshes will cause porewater sulfides to increase, likely reducing the success of revegetation efforts. Sulfide toxicity is of less concern in resalinated drained peats because of the abundance of Fe(II) to precipitate sulfides, and of NH4-N to offset sulfide inhibition of N uptake. Restoration of either seasonally flooded or drained diked marshes could stimulate potentially large nutrient and Fe(II) releases, which could in turn increase primary production and lower oxygen in receiving waters. These findings suggest that tidal restoration be gradual and carefully monitored.

  8. Spatial variations of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur in the salt marsh sediments of the Yangtze Estuary in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Junli; Wu, Ying; Kang, Qinshu; Zhang, Jing

    2007-01-01

    Surface sediments and three sediment vibrocores were collected from the salt marsh of the Yangtze Estuary in order to examine the C, N, P and S distributions. Marsh plants and suspended particulate matter (SPM) from the river were also sampled and analyzed in order to determine their elemental compositions. The levels of total organic carbon (0.1-0.7%) and C/N ratios (6-11) in the surface sediments of the Yangtze Estuary salt marsh were relatively low compared with those reported for other salt marshes in European and North American coastal areas. The total organic carbon (TOC) level and C/N ratio of the surface sediments were similar to those of the SPM in the Yangtze Estuary, but were much lower than those of the marsh plant samples. These findings support the view that organic matter in the surface sediments is largely derived from SPM in the river, with minor contributions from the marsh vegetation. Total phosphorus (TP) showed irregular variation in its spatial distribution, whereas the TOC, total nitrogen (TN) and total sulfur (TS) concentrations were highest in the high marsh zones and lowest in the bare flat areas. This pattern was related to the spatial variability of the sediment grain size (i.e. clay-rich sediments in the high marsh zones resulted in elevated TOC, TN and TS contents). Some vibrocore sediments in the mid-depths of the high and low marsh zones, however, showed greater TOC contents than might have been predicted from the TOC-grain size relationship. This suggested the existence of additional organic inputs (i.e. marsh vegetation) for these vibrocore sediment sections, despite their original riverine source. After eliminating the effect of grain size, it was calculated that 22-55% of the TOC and 0.6-35% of the TN in the sediment samples were derived from the marsh vegetation. Considering both the vertical accretion rate and the ecosystem evolution of the salt marsh, it was estimated that the annual contributions of TOC and TN made by the marsh vegetation to the sediments in the Yangtze Estuary were 5.8 × 10 11 g C yr -1 and 2.3 × 10 10 g N yr -1, respectively, with corresponding accumulation rates of 1.1-1.5 × 10 10 g C yr -1 and 4.4-5.8 × 10 8 g N yr -1 at the present time.

  9. Modeling the Effects of Changes to Physical, Hydrological, and Biological Processes on Porewater Salinity Distributions in a Southeastern Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miklesh, D.; Meile, C. D.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal wetlands provide many important ecosystem services, which include carbon and nitrogen sequestration and transformations, the provision of habitats, and the reduction of erosion by the vegetation. Coastal wetlands will be affected by projected climate change and sea level rise and may fail to provide such services, prompting a need to understand the environmental controls on marsh and vegetation distribution. Therefore, as part of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research project, an integrated modeling approach is being developed to simulate how changes in salinity and inundation may change marsh ecosystem services, by coupling a hydrodynamic with a soil and a plant model. In coastal marsh ecosystems, porewater salinity strongly determines vegetation distribution and productivity. We will present the development of the soil model, which is based on mass conservation for water and salt and links physical, hydrological, and biological processes that determine porewater salinity, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, salt exchange between surface and subsurface, drainage, groundwater exchange, tidal inundation, and surface runoff, with the lateral exchange controlled by marsh topography. The model is applied to the Duplin River marsh, Sapelo Island, Georgia. Model validation is performed by comparing model-estimated salinities to porewater salinity measurements taken in different vegetation classes and over a range of marsh elevations. Modeled variability in porewater salinities will be presented over spring-neap, seasonal, and annual time scales. To discuss potential impacts of climate change and sea level rise, a sensitivity analysis will be presented that demonstrates the effect precipitation intensity, evapotranspiration, permeability, and marsh elevation have on porewater salinities.

  10. Disturbance and recovery of salt marsh arthropod communities following BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    McCall, Brittany D; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-01-01

    Oil spills represent a major environmental threat to coastal wetlands, which provide a variety of critical ecosystem services to humanity. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is a hub of oil and gas exploration activities that historically have impacted intertidal habitats such as salt marsh. Following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we sampled the terrestrial arthropod community and marine invertebrates found in stands of Spartina alterniflora, the most abundant plant in coastal salt marshes. Sampling occurred in 2010 as oil was washing ashore and a year later in 2011. In 2010, intertidal crabs and terrestrial arthropods (insects and spiders) were suppressed by oil exposure even in seemingly unaffected stands of plants; however, Littoraria snails were unaffected. One year later, crab and arthropods had largely recovered. Our work is the first attempt that we know of assessing vulnerability of the salt marsh arthropod community to oil exposure, and it suggests that arthropods are both quite vulnerable to oil exposure and quite resilient, able to recover from exposure within a year if host plants remain healthy. PMID:22412916

  11. Temperate mangrove and salt marsh sediments are a small methane and nitrous oxide source but important carbon store

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livesley, Stephen J.; Andrusiak, Sascha M.

    2012-01-01

    Tidal saline wetlands (TSW), such as mangrove and salt marsh systems, provide many valuable ecosystem services, but continue to suffer disturbance, degradation and deforestation. Tropical mangroves perform a critical role in the exchange and storage of terrestrial-marine carbon but can function as a source of methane (CH 4) and nitrous oxide (N 2O). However, little is known of biogeochemical processes in temperate mangrove and salt marsh systems in the southern hemisphere. In this study, the soil/sediment exchange of CO 2, CH 4 and N 2O was measured seasonally along a natural transition from melaleuca woodland, salt marsh and into mangroves along the Mornington Peninsula edge of Westernport Bay, Victoria, Australia. Soil/sediment physiochemical properties and sediment C density were measured concurrently. The melaleuca woodland soil was a constant CH 4 sink of approximately -25 ?g C m -2 h -1 but along the transect this rapidly switched to a weak CH 4 source (<5 ?g C m -2 h -1) in the salt marsh which increased further in the mangrove sediments where emissions of up to 375 ?g C m -2 h -1 were measured in summer. Sediment CH 4 exchange correlated with salinity, pneumatophore number and the redox potential of sediment water at depth. All three ecosystems were a small N 2O source of <10 ?g N m -2 h -1. Soil-atmosphere exchange was dominated by CO 2 which showed a significant response according to ecosystem and season along with soil temperature and salinity. Sediment C density was significantly greater in the salt marsh than the mangrove. Salt marsh sediment C density was 168 Mg C ha -1 which is comparable with that measured globally, whereas the mangrove sediment C density of 145 Mg C ha -1 is among the lowest reported. Contrary to global patterns in terrestrial soil C content and salt marsh sediment C content, data from our study indicate that mangrove sediments from a cooler, drier temperate latitude may store less C than mangroves in warmer and wetter tropical latitudes. Understanding both C storage and the greenhouse gas balance of TSWs will help us to better value these vulnerable ecosystems and manage them accordingly.

  12. Distribution and metabolism of quaternary amines in salt marshes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Gary M.

    1985-01-01

    Quaternary amines such as glycine betaine (GBT) are common osmotically active solutes in much of the marine biota. GBT is accumulated by various bacteria, algae, higher plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates in response to salinity or water stresses; in some species, GBT occurs at tens to hundreds of millimolar concentrations and can account for a significant fraction of total nitrogen. Initial studies suggest that GBT is readily converted to two potential methane precursors, trimethylamine (TMA) and acetate, in anoxic sediments. TMA is apparently the most important methane precursor in surface sediments containing sulfate reducing bacteria. In salt marshes, the bulk of the methane formed may be due to the metabolism of TMA rather than other substrates. Current research is focussed on testing this hypothesis and on determining the role of quaternary amino osmoregulatory solutes in methane fluxes from marine environments. Preliminary studies have dealt with several problems: (1) determination of GBT concentrations in the dominant flora and fauna of salt marshes; (2) synthesis of radiolabelled GBT for metabolic studies; and (3) determination of fates of BGT in marine sediments using radiotracers. Both GC and HPLC techniques have been used to assay GBT concentrations in plant and animal tissues. S. alterniflora is probably the only significant source of GBT (and indirectly of methane) since the biomass and distribution of most other species is limited. Current estimates suggest that S. alterniflora GBT could account for most of the methane efflux from salt marshes.

  13. Response of Salt Marsh Ponds to Eutropication Austin N. Ritter1,3

    E-print Network

    Vallino, Joseph J.

    Response of Salt Marsh Ponds to Eutropication Austin N. Ritter1,3 , David Dodge1 , Linda A. Deegan2 examined the response of New England salt marsh ponds to nutrient loading via flooding tidal water as part of nutrient (70 uM nitrate and 4uM phosphate). Our results indicate that gross nitrate processing in salt

  14. Dual role of salt marsh retreat: Long-term loss and short-term resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariotti, G.; Carr, J.

    2014-04-01

    Two major causes of salt marsh loss are vertical drowning, when sediment accumulation on the platform cannot keep vertical pace with sea level rise, and horizontal retreat, associated with wave-induced marsh boundary erosion. Despite these processes having been extensively documented and modeled, it is unclear which loss modality dominates given a set of environmental parameters. A three-point dynamic model was developed to predict marsh loss as a function of sea level rise, allochthonous sediment supply, wind regime, tidal range, and marsh bank and mudflat erodability. Marsh horizontal and vertical evolutions were found to respond in opposing ways to wave-induced erosion processes. Marsh horizontal retreat was triggered by large mudflats, strong winds, high erodability of marsh bank and mudflat, whereas the opposite conditions acted to reduce the sediment supply to the marsh platform, promoting marsh loss to drowning. With low and moderate rates of sea level rise (˜5 mm/yr), retreat was found to be a more likely marsh loss modality than drowning. However, conditions associated with marsh retreat also increase the system resilience by transferring sediment on the marsh platform and preventing drowning. Our results suggest the use of a modular strategy for short-term marsh management: selectively protect extensive salt marsh regions by maintaining healthy vegetation on the platform, while allowing other areas to retreat, leveraging the natural resilience embedded in the lateral loss of marsh extent.

  15. Salt marsh as a coastal filter for the oceans: changes in function with experimental increases in nitrogen loading and sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    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 (NH(4)NO(3))-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

  16. 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

  17. Mercury Speciation, Retention and Genomics in Fertilized Salt Marsh Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, C. W.; Lamborg, C. H.; Whalen, K.; Mincer, T.; Buchanan, W.; Huber, J. A.; Swarr, G.; Ganguli, P. M.; Bernhard, A.

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that increased nutrient loading and eutrophication can impact the production of monomethylmercury (MMHg) in marine systems. Experimental plots in Great Sippewisset Marsh (GSM), Falmouth, Massachusetts USA, have been chronically treated with a mixed fertilizer during the growing season since 1971, providing nutrients and other elements, including mercury (Hg) to the salt marsh. To assess the retention, release and methylation of Hg in these marsh sediments in response to fertilization, we collected cores from control, low, high, and extra high fertilization plots across low and high marsh settings. We determined total mercury (HgT) and MMHg concentration and accumulation rates and compared them to those of atmospheric deposition and the loading from the mixed fertilizer. Environmental DNA was extracted from the core sub-samples and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect three genes of interest: merA (Hg(II) reducing), hgcA (Hg(II) methylating) and dsrAB (dissimilatory sulfite reduction). Quantitative PCR (qPCR) will be performed in order to overlay the abundance and diversity of the three genes to the Hg profiles and speciation metadata. By comparing the genomic data to the geochemical patterns within the treatment plots we can develop a greater sense of how Hg cycling has changed as a result of fertilization and the overall response of GSM to long-term nutrient loading.

  18. Salt marsh hydrology data web site facilitates research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, L. R.; Reeves, H. W.

    The interface between maritime forests and inter-tidal salt marshes along the southeastern coast of the United States is a major ecological boundary characterized by a sequence of botanical zones that typically consist of pine/ oak forest>Iva>Juncus>Salicornia>Spartina. In addition to questions regarding the physical and chemical factors that govern this ecotone, this interface is of interest because of the potential for groundwater flow to transfer nutrients and pollutants from developed uplands to the adjacent marshes. The interface is also of interest because it is presumably migrating upslope as a result of ongoing sea level rise and concomitant aquifer salinization.A new Web site, http://links.baruch.sc.edu/data/GRNDWATER/data/data.htm, contains long-term and spatially dense measurements of groundwater heads and salinity from a network of nested piezometers that has been installed along three forest-marsh transects across the Crab Haul Creek finger marsh basin at the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Georgetown County South Carolina (Figure 1).

  19. Causes for vegetation dieback in a Louisiana salt marsh: A bioassay approach

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Eric C. Webb; Irving A. Mendelssohn; Brian J. Wilsey

    1995-01-01

    Wetlands in Louisiana are rapidly deteriorating. An important component of the wetland loss process is vegetation dieback. In order to determine the factors causing vegetation dieback in a Louisiana coastal marsh, a manipulative field experiment was conducted where four native salt marsh plant species with different salinity and flooding tolerances were placed at two elevations within a deteriorating marsh: (1)

  20. Effects of warming and altered precipitation on plant and nutrient dynamics of a New England salt marsh.

    PubMed

    Charles, Heather; Dukes, Jeffrey S

    2009-10-01

    Salt marsh structure and function, and consequently ability to support a range of species and to provide ecosystem services, may be affected by climate change. To better understand how salt marshes will respond to warming and associated shifts in precipitation, we conducted a manipulative experiment in a tidal salt marsh in Massachusetts, USA. We exposed two plant communities (one dominated by Spartina patens-Distichlis spicata and one dominated by short form Spartina alternifora) to five climate manipulations: warming via passive open-topped chambers, doubled precipitation, warming and doubled precipitation, extreme drought via rainout shelter, and ambient conditions. Modest daytime warming increased total aboveground biomass of the S. alterniflora community (24%), but not the S. patens-D. spicata community. Warming also increased maximum stem heights of S. alterniflora (8%), S. patens (8%), and D. spicata (15%). Decomposition was marginally accelerated by warming in the S. alternifora community. Drought markedly increased total biomass of the S. alterniflora community (53%) and live S. patens (69%), perhaps by alleviating waterlogging of sediments. Decomposition was accelerated by increased precipitation and slowed by drought, particularly in the S. patens-D. spicata community. Flowering phenology responded minimally to the treatments, and pore water salinity, sulfide, ammonium, and phosphate concentrations showed no treatment effects in either plant community. Our results suggest that these salt marsh communities may be resilient to modest amounts of warming and large changes in precipitation. If production increases under climate change, marshes will have a greater ability to keep pace with sea-level rise, although an increase in decomposition could offset this. As long as marshes are not inundated by flooding due to sea-level rise, increases in aboveground biomass and stem heights suggest that marshes may continue to export carbon and nutrients to coastal waters and may be able to increase their carbon storage capability by increasing plant growth under future climate conditions. PMID:19831068

  1. Rhizosphere heterogeneity shapes abundance and activity of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in vegetated salt marsh sediments

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, François; Giblin, Anne E.; Cardon, Zoe G.; Sievert, Stefan M.

    2014-01-01

    Salt marshes are highly productive ecosystems hosting an intense sulfur (S) cycle, yet little is known about S-oxidizing microorganisms in these ecosystems. Here, we studied the diversity and transcriptional activity of S-oxidizers in salt marsh sediments colonized by the plant Spartina alterniflora, and assessed variations with sediment depth and small-scale compartments within the rhizosphere. We combined next-generation amplicon sequencing of 16S rDNA and rRNA libraries with phylogenetic analyses of marker genes for two S-oxidation pathways (soxB and rdsrAB). Gene and transcript numbers of soxB and rdsrAB phylotypes were quantified simultaneously, using newly designed (RT)-qPCR assays. We identified a diverse assemblage of S-oxidizers, with Chromatiales and Thiotrichales being dominant. The detection of transcripts from S-oxidizers was mostly confined to the upper 5 cm sediments, following the expected distribution of root biomass. A common pool of species dominated by Gammaproteobacteria transcribed S-oxidation genes across roots, rhizosphere, and surrounding sediment compartments, with rdsrAB transcripts prevailing over soxB. However, the root environment fine-tuned the abundance and transcriptional activity of the S-oxidizing community. In particular, the global transcription of soxB was higher on the roots compared to mix and rhizosphere samples. Furthermore, the contribution of Epsilonproteobacteria-related S-oxidizers tended to increase on Spartina roots compared to surrounding sediments. These data shed light on the under-studied oxidative part of the sulfur cycle in salt marsh sediments and indicate small-scale heterogeneities are important factors shaping abundance and potential activity of S-oxidizers in the rhizosphere. PMID:25009538

  2. Loss of 'blue carbon' from coastal salt marshes following habitat disturbance.

    PubMed

    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 m(2) mean area ± SE) of vegetation loss (aged 3-12 months) in a salt marsh meadow the size of a soccer field (7 275 m(2)). 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

  3. Estimates of future inundation of salt marshes in response to sea-level rise in and around Acadia National Park, Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nielsen, Martha G.; Dudley, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    Salt marshes are ecosystems that provide many important ecological functions in the Gulf of Maine. The U.S. Geological Survey investigated salt marshes in and around Acadia National Park from Penobscot Bay to the Schoodic Peninsula to map the potential for landward migration of marshes using a static inundation model of a sea-level rise scenario of 60 centimeters (cm; 2 feet). The resulting inundation contours can be used by resource managers to proactively adapt to sea-level rise by identifying and targeting low-lying coastal areas adjacent to salt marshes for conservation or further investigation, and to identify risks to infrastructure in the coastal zone. For this study, the mapping of static inundation was based on digital elevation models derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) topographic data collected in October 2010. Land-surveyed control points were used to evaluate the accuracy of the LiDAR data in the study area, yielding a root mean square error of 11.3 cm. An independent accuracy assessment of the LiDAR data specific to salt-marsh land surfaces indicated a root mean square error of 13.3 cm and 95-percent confidence interval of ± 26.0 cm. LiDAR-derived digital elevation models and digital color aerial photography, taken during low tide conditions in 2008, with a pixel resolution of 0.5 meters, were used to identify the highest elevation of the land surface at each salt marsh in the study area. Inundation contours for 60-cm of sea-level rise were delineated above the highest marsh elevation for each marsh. Confidence interval contours (95-percent,± 26.0 cm) were delineated above and below the 60-cm inundation contours, and artificial structures, such as roads and bridges, that may present barriers to salt-marsh migration were mapped. This study delineated 114 salt marshes totaling 340 hectares (ha), ranging in size from 0.11 ha (marshes less than 0.2 ha were mapped only if they were on Acadia National Park property) to 52 ha, with a median size of 1.0 ha. Inundation contours were mapped at 110 salt marshes. Approximately 350 ha of low-lying upland areas adjacent to these marshes will be inundated with 60 cm of sea-level rise. Many of these areas are currently freshwater wetlands. There are potential barriers to marsh migration at 27 of the 114 marshes. Although only 23 percent of the salt marshes in the study are on ANP property, about half of the upland areas that will be inundated are within ANP; most of the predicted inundated uplands (approximately 170 ha) include freshwater wetlands in the Northeast Creek and Bass Harbor Marsh areas. Most of the salt marshes analyzed do not have a significant amount of upland area available for migration. Seventy-five percent of the salt marshes have 20 meters or less of adjacent upland that would be inundated along most of their edges. All inundation contours, salt marsh locations, potential barriers, and survey data are stored in geospatial files for use in a geographic information system and are a part of this report.

  4. Gas exchange in the salt marsh species Atriplex portulacoides L. and Limoniastrum monopetalum L. in Southern Portugal

    Microsoft Academic Search

    João Pedro Correia das Neves; Luís Filipe Portugal Ferreira; Maria Margarida Vaz; Luiz Carlos Gazarini

    2008-01-01

    Salt marshes are ecosystems subjected to a variety of environmental stresses like high salinity, water deficit, intense radiation\\u000a or high temperatures. Field measurements were conduced in two halophyte species, Atriplex portulacoides L. and Limoniastrum monopetalum L., in the Reserva Natural do Sapal de Castro Marim, to compare their physiological response, i.e., water potential (?),\\u000a net photosynthetic rate (A), stomatal conductance

  5. Degradation of malathion by salt-marsh microorganisms.

    PubMed Central

    Bourquin, A W

    1977-01-01

    Numerous bacteria from a salt-marsh environment are capable of degrading malathion, an organophosphate insecticide, when supplied with additional nutrients as energy and carbon sources. Seven isolates exhibited ability (48 to 90%) to degrade malathion as a sole carbon source. Gas and thin-layer chromatography and infrared spectroscopy confirmed malathion to be degraded via malathion-monocarboxylic acid to the dicarboxylic acid and then to various phosphothionates. These techniques also identified desmethyl-malathion, phosphorthionates, and four-carbon dicarboxylic acids as degradation products formed as a result of phosphatase activity. PMID:192147

  6. Ability of salt marsh plants for TBT remediation in sediments

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Pedro N. Carvalho; M. Clara P. Basto; Manuela F. G. M. Silva; Ana Machado; A. A. Bordalo; M. Teresa S. D. Vasconcelos

    2010-01-01

    Introduction  The capability of Halimione portulacoides, Spartina maritima, and Sarcocornia fruticosa (halophytes very commonly found in salt marshes from Mediterranean areas) for enhancing remediation of tributyltin (TBT)\\u000a from estuarine sediments was investigated, using different experimental conditions.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a Methods  The influence of H. portulacoides on degradation of the butyltin compounds was assessed in two different ways: (1) a 9-month ex situ study carried out

  7. Copper and lead concentrations in salt marsh plants on the Suir Estuary, Ireland

    Microsoft Academic Search

    E. J Fitzgerald; J. M Caffrey; S. T Nesaratnam; P McLoughlin

    2003-01-01

    Concentrations of Cu and Pb were determined in the roots and shoots of six salt marsh plant species, and in sediment taken from between the roots of the plants, sampled from the lower salt marsh zone at four sites along the Suir Estuary in autumn 1997. Cu was mainly accumulated in the roots of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous species. Pb was

  8. Effects of Nitrate on Decomposition in Salt Marsh Peats Arianna Goodman

    E-print Network

    Vallino, Joseph J.

    Effects of Nitrate on Decomposition in Salt Marsh Peats Arianna Goodman Oberlin College `13 Advisor and loss. Rapid nitrate addition to salt marshes may stimulate bacterial decomposition of existing peat, and the decomposition may contribute to creek bank destabilization and collapse. Alternately, peat deposited in high

  9. 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-...

  10. DENITRIFICATION ENZYME ACTIVITY OF FRINGE SALT MARSHES IN NEW ENGLAND (USA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal salt marshes are a buffer between the uplands and adjacent coastal waters in New England (USA). With increasing N loads from developed watersheds, salt marshes could play an important role in the water quality maintenance of coastal waters. In this study we examined seaso...

  11. 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...

  12. Assessing Wildlife Habitat Value of New England Salt Marshes: II. Model Testing and Validation

    EPA Science Inventory

    We test a previously described model to assess the wildlife habitat value of New England salt marshes by comparing modeled habitat values and scores with bird abundance and species richness at sixteen salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island USA. Assessment scores ranged f...

  13. Recovery of a northern New England salt marsh plant community from winter icing

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Patrick J. Ewanchuk; Mark D. Bertness

    2003-01-01

    High latitude salt marsh plant communities are frequently exposed to conspicuous winter ice disturbances, which trigger secondary succession. In this paper, we document the recovery of a northern New England salt marsh from a severe winter icing event in 1998. Ice disturbances that killed plants but that left the underlying peat intact recovered rapidly. However, ice damage that killed plants

  14. 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...

  15. Vulnerability of Rhode Island Salt Marshes to Sea Level Rise and Poor Water Quality

    EPA Science Inventory

    Across the northeastern Unites States, salt marshes are losing ground. Edges are eroding, tidal channel networks are expanding, and new ponds are forming and expanding within salt marshes. This leaves shorelines - and in some cases houses - more vulnerable to nor'easters and tr...

  16. Salt marsh vegetation promotes efficient tidal channel networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearney, W. S.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2014-12-01

    Tidal channel networks mediate the exchange of water, nutrients and sediment between an estuary and marshes and mudflats. Biology feeds back into channel morphodynamics through vegetation's influence on the cohesive strength of channel banks. Understanding the morphology of a tidal channel network is thus essential to understanding both the biological functioning of intertidal ecosystems and the topographic signature of life. A critical measure of the morphology of a channel network is the unchanneled path length, which is characteristic of the efficiency with which a network dissects the marsh platform. However, the processes which control the formation and maintenance of an efficient tidal channel network remain unclear. Here we show that an unvegetated marsh platform (Estero La Ramada, Baja California, Mexico) is dissected by a less efficient channel network than a vegetated one (Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States). The difference in geometric efficiency reflects a difference in the branching and meandering characteristics of the network, characteristics controlled by the density of vegetation on the channel banks. Our results suggest a feedback between network geometry and vegetation, mediated by fluxes of nutrients and salinity through the channel network, maintains the observed network geometries. An efficient network can support a denser vegetation community which stabilizes channel banks, leading to an efficient meandering geometry.

  17. New England salt marsh pools: A quantitative analysis of geomorphic and geographic features

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adamowicz, S.C.; Roman, C.T.

    2005-01-01

    New England salt marsh pools provide important wildlife habitat and are the object of on-going salt marsh restoration projects; however, they have not been quantified in terms of their basic geomorphic and geographic traits. An examination of 32 ditched and unditched salt marshes from the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound to southern Maine, USA, revealed that pools from ditched and unditched marshes had similar average sizes of about 200 m2, averaged 29 cm in depth, and were located about 11 m from the nearest tidal flow. Unditched marshes had 3 times the density (13 pools/ha), 2.5 times the pool coverage (83 m pool/km transect), and 4 times the total pool surface area per hectare (913 m2 pool/ha salt marsh) of ditched sites. Linear regression analysis demonstrated that an increasing density of ditches (m ditch/ha salt marsh) was negatively correlated with pool density and total pool surface area per hectare. Creek density was positively correlated with these variables. Thus, it was not the mere presence of drainage channels that were associated with low numbers of pools, but their type (ditch versus creek) and abundance. Tidal range was not correlated with pool density or total pool surface area, while marsh latitude had only a weak relationship to total pool surface area per hectare. Pools should be incorporated into salt marsh restoration planning, and the parameters quantified here may be used as initial design targets.

  18. Impacts of Fertilization on Rates of Autotrophic N2 Fixation in Salt Marshes and Cranberry Bogs of Massachusetts

    E-print Network

    Vallino, Joseph J.

    Impacts of Fertilization on Rates of Autotrophic N2 Fixation in Salt Marshes and Cranberry Bogs fixation in salt marshes and cranberry bogs of MA. I measured pools of NH4, NO3, and PO4, in addition to total C and N content of the soils of salt marshes and cranberry bogs, each under two different

  19. Comparison of wetland structural characteristics between created and natural salt marshes in southwest Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, K.R.; Proffitt, C.E.

    2003-01-01

    The use of dredge material is a well-known technique for creating or restoring salt marshes that is expected to become more common along the Gulf of Mexico coast in the future. However, the effectiveness of this restoration method is still questioned. Wetland structural characteristics were compared between four created and three natural salt marshes in southwest Louisiana, USA. The created marshes, formed by the pumping of dredge material into formerly open water areas, represent a chronosequence, ranging in age from 3 to 19 years. Vegetation and soil structural factors were compared to determine whether the created marshes become more similar over time to the natural salt marshes. Vegetation surveys were conducted in 1997, 2000, and 2002 using the line-intercept technique. Site elevations were measured in 2000. Organic matter (OM) was measured in 1996 and 2002, while bulk density and soil particle-size distribution were determined in 2002 only. The natural marshes were dominated by Spartina alterniflora, as were the oldest created marshes; these marshes had the lowest mean site elevations ( 35 cm NGVD) and became dominated by high marsh (S. patens, Distichlis spicata) and shrub (Baccharis halimifolia, Iva frutescens) species. The higher elevation marsh seems to be following a different plant successional trajectory than the other marshes, indicating a relationship between marsh elevation and species composition. The soils in both the created and natural marshes contain high levels of clays (30-65 %), with sand comprising < 1 % of the soil distribution. OM was significantly greater and bulk density significantly lower in two of the natural marshes when compared to the created marshes. The oldest created marsh had significantly greater OM than the younger created marshes, but it may still take several decades before equivalency is reached with the natural marshes. Vegetation structural characteristics in the created marshes take only a few years to become similar to those in the natural marshes, just so long as the marshes are formed at a proper elevation. This agrees with other studies from North Carolina and Texas. However, it will take several decades for the soil characteristics to reach equivalency with the natural marshes, if they ever will.

  20. Salt Marsh Sediment Mixing Following Petroleum Hydrocarbon Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatch, R. S.; Yeager, K. M.; Brunner, C. A.; Wade, T. L.; Briggs, K. B.; Schindler, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    Tidal marshes support valuable ecosystems, but their coastal locations make them susceptible to oil spills. Oil spilled in the ocean is easily transported via tidal and wind-driven currents to the shore and incorporated into sediments. The primary goal of this research was to determine how deeply oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill has penetrated sediments along the Gulf Coast, and whether oil has quantifiably affected benthic ecosystems at these sites. Sediment cores were taken from three marsh environments at sites classified as unoiled, lightly oiled, and heavily oiled based on data from NOAA's Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA). These classifications have been verified by measurements of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ([TPAH] without perylene). Bioturbators, such as polychaetes and oligochaetes, constantly rework sediments as they burrow into them. In this way, bioturbators can play a role in the fate of organic contaminants, either by allowing for natural remediation of contaminants via enhanced microbial degradation, or by mixing oil from the surface deeper into the sediment column. The constant fallout radionuclide 7Be was measured to determine short-term sediment mixing depths. However, there was a conspicuous absence of 7Be at most sites. This could be due to sediment composition constraints on 7Be sorption (coarse-grained sediment, high organic matter contents), or rapid erosion of the marsh surface. Instead, minimum mixing depths were derived from 234Thxs profiles. Thorium-234 is a lithogenic isotope that has widely been used to trace particle mixing on short time scales near that of its mean life (36 days). Penetration depths of 234Thxs ranged between 0.25 and 4.5 cm. Sediment accumulation rates will be determined using 210Pb, with verification from an independent tracer, 137Cs, in selected cores. Preliminary results from 210Pb profiles reveal thorough, long-term (decadal) sediment mixing to at least 40 cm at all sites. Salt marsh sediments of Bay Jimmy, Louisiana were significantly impacted by the DWH oil spill, as indicated by TPAH concentrations up to 18,279 ppb. This is not only well above what is considered to be the upper limit background for this area (1,500 ppb), but also far exceeds the level at which adverse biological effects occur (Effects Range-Low = 4,022 ppb). In addition, benthic foraminifera responded to the heavy oiling at Bay Jimmy by decreases to both standing stock and depth of habitation relative to unoiled sites. Deformed specimens were also found at this site. These data clearly show that oil can be quickly incorporated into salt marsh sediments via mixing, with demonstrable impacts on indigenous benthos.

  1. Ecohydrology of drought in a tide-dominated salt marsh island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, A. L.; Wilson, A. M.; Morris, J. T.

    2010-12-01

    The importance of groundwater flow for wetland zonation and productivity is particularly striking in salt marsh ecosystems, where tidally-influenced groundwater flow controls salinity in addition to saturation state and nutrient transport. Here we describe complex interactions between groundwater, rainfall, evapotranspiration and surface water in an ostensibly simple salt marsh island that was affected by acute marsh dieback in 2001-2002, during a period of severe drought. Two mechanisms by which drought may cause dieback have been hypothesized: (1) soil drying leads to changes in chemistry (pH and/or redox state) and (2) drought leads to high porewater salinities. In addition to assessing these two hypotheses, a further question at our site is how a dearth of rainfall could affect an island that lacks a freshwater lens and is typically inundated by saline surface water twice a day. We instrumented the marsh with a network of piezometers and diffusion samplers in 2006. Hydrologic monitoring revealed rare periods when the marsh was not inundated for several consecutive tidal cycles, but no periods with similar low water levels were found in the tidal record prior to the dieback. Thus, soil drying appears unlikely to have been the cause of dieback at our site. Porewater salinity was monitored via a combination of piezometers and diffusion samplers. We found striking variations in salinity (14 - 40 ppt) in the upper 1 m of the marsh mud, but nearly constant salinity (36 ppt) at depths greater than 1 m. These results suggest significant infiltration of fresh rainwater, despite frequent inundation by surface water, with subsequent increases in salinity via transpiration as water moves downward through the root zone. Simple statistical models suggest that porewater salinity is correlated with surface water salinity and rainfall over periods of 30-60 days, but these models fail to capture the full range of variability in this complex system. Results also suggest that porewater salinity in the island was much higher during the drought of 2001-2002 than it was during the period we monitored, so that hypersaline conditions likely developed. These results can be used to inform process-based numerical models, which in turn can be used to develop quantitative estimates of the timing and duration of hypersaline conditions during the drought.

  2. Seasonal habitat-use patterns of nekton in a tide-restricted and unrestricted New England salt marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raposa, K.B.; Roman, C.T.

    2001-01-01

    Many New England salt marshes remain tide-restricted or are undergoing tidal restoration. Hydrologic manipulation of salt marshes affects marsh biogeochemistry and vegetation patterns, but responses by fishes and decapod crustaceans (nekton) remain unclear, This study examines nekton habitat-use patterns in the tide-restricted Hatches Harbor salt marsh (Provincetown, Massachusetts) relative to a downstream, unrestricted marsh. Nekton assemblages were sampled in tidal creek, marsh pool, and salt marsh surface habitats. Pools and creeks were sampled every two weeks for one year to account for seasonal variability, and the marsh surface was sampled at two-week intervals in summer and fall. Density, richness, and community composition of nekton in creek and marsh surface habitats were similar between the unrestricted and restricted marsh, but use of pools differed drastically on the two sides of the tide-restricting dike. In 95% of the cases tested, restricted marsh habitats provided equal or greater habitat value for nekton than the same habitat in the unrestricted marsh (based on density), suggesting that the restricted marsh did not provide a degraded habitat for most species. For some species, the restricted marsh provided nursery, breeding, and overwintering habitat during different seasons, and tidal restoration of this salt marsh must be approached with care to prevent losses of these valuable marsh functions.

  3. Measuring the Role of Ecological Shift and Environmental Change on Organic Carbon Stocks in Salt Marshes and Mangrove Dominated Wetlands from the Texas Gulf Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norwood, M. J.; Louchouarn, P.; Armitage, A. R.; HighField, W.; Brody, S.; White, N.

    2014-12-01

    Texas coastal wetlands are dynamic marsh-mangrove ecotones that play an important role in fishery recruitment, storm buffering, and carbon storage. Historically, C4 salt marsh plants, such as Spartina alterniflora, have dominated the Texas Gulf Coast. For the past 2-3 decades, some of these ecosystems have experienced community shifts with woody tropical plants (Avicennia germinans) competing for resources. This study presents new results on the carbon sequestration potential following such ecological shifts as well as coastal development and wetland loss along the coast of Texas. The recorded change from native grass-dominated C4 salt marshes to wood-dominated C3 mangroves over the last 20 years (1990-2010: 4,660 km2) leads to a non-significant loss in aboveground organic carbon (OC) stocks (-6.5.106 g OC). The most substantial loss of aboveground OC in Texas coastal salt marshes is due to the transformation of these wetlands into tidal flats and open water (-7.53.108 g OC). Similarly, the largest losses in aboveground OC stocks from mangrove ecosystems (-1.57.107 g OC) are due to replacement by open water. Along with the decrease in aboveground OC stocks, we identified a significant decrease in sedimentary OC inventories due to the loss of salt marsh and mangrove coverage (-3.69.109 g OC and 5.71.107 g OC, respectively). In contrast, mangrove expansion into mudflat and salt marsh environments led to a positive addition in aboveground OC stocks (2.78.108 g OC) and increased OC sedimentary inventories (2.32.109 g OC). Mangrove expansion offsets only 70% of the total calculated OC loss (-4.51.109 g OC) in coastal wetlands along the Texas gulf coast over the 20-year study period. This deficit loss is primarily attributed to environmental pressures on coastal salt marshes (i.e., sea level rise, urban and coastal development, erosion).

  4. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, J P; Bertness, M D

    2001-12-01

    The distribution of New England salt marsh communities is intrinsically linked to the magnitude, frequency, and duration of tidal inundation. Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) exclusively inhabits the frequently flooded lower elevations, whereas a mosaic of marsh hay (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), and black rush (Juncus gerardi) typically dominate higher elevations. Monitoring plant zonal boundaries in two New England salt marshes revealed that low-marsh cordgrass rapidly moved landward at the expense of higher-marsh species between 1995 and 1998. Plant macrofossils from sediment cores across modern plant community boundaries provided a 2,500-year record of marsh community composition and documented the migration of cordgrass into the high marsh. Isotopic dating revealed that the initiation of cordgrass migration occurred in the late 19th century and continued through the 20th century. The timing of the initiation of cordgrass migration is coincident with an acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise recorded by the New York tide gauge. These results suggest that increased flooding associated with accelerating rates of sea-level rise has stressed high-marsh communities and promoted landward migration of cordgrass. If current rates of sea-level rise continue or increase slightly over the next century, New England salt marshes will be dominated by cordgrass. If climate warming causes sea-level rise rates to increase significantly over the next century, these cordgrass-dominated marshes will likely drown, resulting in extensive losses of coastal wetlands. PMID:11724926

  5. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Bertness, Mark D.

    2001-01-01

    The distribution of New England salt marsh communities is intrinsically linked to the magnitude, frequency, and duration of tidal inundation. Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) exclusively inhabits the frequently flooded lower elevations, whereas a mosaic of marsh hay (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), and black rush (Juncus gerardi) typically dominate higher elevations. Monitoring plant zonal boundaries in two New England salt marshes revealed that low-marsh cordgrass rapidly moved landward at the expense of higher-marsh species between 1995 and 1998. Plant macrofossils from sediment cores across modern plant community boundaries provided a 2,500-year record of marsh community composition and documented the migration of cordgrass into the high marsh. Isotopic dating revealed that the initiation of cordgrass migration occurred in the late 19th century and continued through the 20th century. The timing of the initiation of cordgrass migration is coincident with an acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise recorded by the New York tide gauge. These results suggest that increased flooding associated with accelerating rates of sea-level rise has stressed high-marsh communities and promoted landward migration of cordgrass. If current rates of sea-level rise continue or increase slightly over the next century, New England salt marshes will be dominated by cordgrass. If climate warming causes sea-level rise rates to increase significantly over the next century, these cordgrass-dominated marshes will likely drown, resulting in extensive losses of coastal wetlands. PMID:11724926

  6. Exploiting wild population diversity and somaclonal variation in the salt marsh grass Distichlis spicata (Poaceae) for marsh creation and restoration.

    PubMed

    Seliskar, D M; Gallagher, J L

    2000-01-01

    The salt marsh grass Distichlis spicata was regenerated from tissue culture and propagated in a greenhouse. Selected regenerants, along with selections from six wild populations, were grown for two years in a common garden flood-irrigated thrice weekly with tidal creek water. Selected wild and regenerated plants were also planted in a created salt marsh. Significant differences among regenerant and wild population selections were found in several functionally important salt marsh plant characteristics, including potential detritus production, belowground organic matter production, canopy structure, and decomposition rate. A combination of characteristics not found in the wild populations was evident in a regenerated line that exhibited both a high detritus production potential and a high decomposition rate. The amount of variation that occurred among regenerants from one parental line via somaclonal variation was similar to that which occurred among the wild population selections. Results of this study suggest that tissue culture may provide a means of producing marsh grasses with specific characteristics for directing the functional development of newly created salt marshes. PMID:10636837

  7. INTERSPECIFIC INTERACTIONS AMONG HIGH MARSH PERENNIALS IN A NEW ENGLAND SALT MARSH1

    Microsoft Academic Search

    MARK D. BERTNESS

    1991-01-01

    High marsh habitats in New England exhibit conspicuous zonation of vas- cular plants. Spartina patens and Juncus gerardi dominate the seaward and terrestrial borders of the high marsh, respectively, whereas Dist~chlis spicata is common in disturbed habitats. In this paper I examine the role of interspecific interactions among these marsh perennials in maintaining marsh plant zonation. Removal and transplant experiments

  8. 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

  9. A Dynamic Nutrient Budget of Subsystem Interactions in a Salt Marsh Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childers, Daniel L.; McKellar, Henry N.; Dame, Richard F.; Sklar, Fred H.; Blood, Elizabeth R.

    1993-02-01

    In tidal salt marsh estuaries, the different habitats of the ecosystem interact primarily through the tidal creek water column. These interactions include nutrient and materials exchanges with the salt marsh, oyster reefs, creek bottoms, and adjacent uplands. Nutrient budgets are often used to synthesize these kinds of subsystem exchange data, and are usually based on annual totals without accounting for nutrient variability at finer temporal resolutions. In this paper, we present a dynamic budget of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) for the North Inlet estuary, South Carolina that synthesizes subsystem flux data in a new way. We have developed a dynamic budget that uses a tidal hydrology model to generate daily areas of inundated intertidal habitat (i.e. vegetated marsh and oyster reef) from tidal heights calculated hourly and combines them with flux data to determine a net daily input to, or removal from, the water column. Daily surpluses or deficits of each nutrient were compared with daily rates of change in observed tidally-averaged nutrient concentrations. Particular emphasis was placed on evaluating budget output from the intertidal subsystems. We compared our total annual budgets to values from syntheses of two North Inlet flux studies. Although areas of marsh inundated were 150-200 times greater than areas of oyster reef inundated, interactions per unit volume of estuarine water column were comparable in magnitude for soluble reactive P (SRP), particulate organic C (POC), and dissolved organic C (DOC). The marsh dominated the ammonium (NH +4) and nitrate + nitrite (NN) exchanges in the summer but the NH +4 and POC output were particularly sensitive to changes in oyster reef area. Winter and spring DOC release by the marsh coincided closely (in timing and magnitude) with the peak in DOC concentrations observed in the North Inlet estuary, suggesting that forest stream inputs of DOC are not nearly as important as has been hypothesized. Comparison of our budget predictions to a previous synthesis of the same subsytem flux data confirmed the power of using tidal hydrology to estimate subsystem interactions between sampling times. These comparisons also emphasized the importance of (1) water column processes to NH +4 dynamics (2) subtidal benthic fluxes to DOC dynamics, and (3) external inputs to NN dynamics. By incorporating our best current knowledge of estuary-wide subsystem areas, the dynamic budget also allowed us to link subsystem flux data to the results of a study quantifying exchanges between the estuary and the coastal ocean. That comparison indicated the shortcomings of any site-specific extrapolation to whole-system conclusions where a homogeneous ecosystem must be assumed. We used the differences between our total annual C, N, and P budgets and reported exports of those constituents from the system to generate hypotheses and suggest future research efforts both at North Inlet and southeastern salt marsh estuaries in general.

  10. Vulnerability of Northeastern U.S. Salt Marshes to Climatic and Anthropogenic Stressors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, E. B.; Oczkowski, A. J.; Hanson, A.; Davey, E. W.; Crosby, S. C.; Johnson, R. L.

    2014-12-01

    In the Northeastern U.S., salt marsh area is in decline. Habitat change analysis has revealed fragmentation, displacement of high marsh by low marsh species, and ecological drowning, while development of adjacent uplands limits upslope migration. Using inundation experiments, field surveys, and LiDAR datasets, we developed an elevation-productivity relationship for Spartina alterniflora specific to the U.S. Northeast states of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts and located current salt marsh orthometric heights on this curve. We determined that 89% of salt marshes in these Northeastern states are located at elevations where growth is limited by inundation, suggesting links between current salt marsh loss patterns and sea level rise. By manipulating water column nutrients, precipitation, and elevation, we further found that altered precipitation receipt was associated with significant reductions in biomass, and that nutrient enrichment adversely impacts organic matter accumulation and peat formation. These results provide evidence that Northeastern U.S. marshes are vulnerable to the effects of accelerated sea level rise, and that neither precipitation changes, nor cultural eutrophication, will contribute positively to long-term salt marsh survival.

  11. Microbial Indicators of Oil-Rich Salt Marsh Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Hood, M. A.; Bishop, W. S.; Bishop, F. W.; Meyers, S. P.; Whelan, T.

    1975-01-01

    Selected microbial parameters were monitored in sediments from a pristine and an oil-field salt marsh. Although numbers of hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria and fungi were significantly greater in the oil field, the values did not show a strong correlation with levels of hydrocarbons (r = 0.43 and r = 0.49, respectively). However, a high correlation was noted between ratios of hydrocarbonoclastic and total aerobic heterotrophic bacteria and levels of hydrocarbons as well as the relative concentration of hydrocarbons (ratio of hydrocarbons to chloroform extractables) (r = 0.87 and r = 0.77, respectively). Data suggest that this first ratio is a more valid microbial indicator of hydrocarbon abundance than other factors examined. Significant differences in the ratio of pigmented to total colony-forming units, the ratio of different to total colony-forming units, and the diversity index were noted between the natural and oil-field marsh. It is suggested that the presence of hydrocarbons alters the relative abundance of the most predominant aerobic heterotrophic bacteria. PMID:16350047

  12. The Role of Population-based Diversity on Productivity: Considerations for Restored Spartina alterniflora Salt Marshes 

    E-print Network

    Lee, Courtney T

    2014-08-13

    . Instead, restoration iii protocols should ensure collection of native, neighboring plants or multiple, cultivated plants to mimic genetic diversity of local marshes. iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department of Port O’Connor... sprigs (Fig. 1) were collected from the marsh edge within three established salt marshes along the northern Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico: Port O’Connor, Bolivar Peninsula, and Texas Point (Fig. 2). All populations were collected less than 300 km...

  13. Tidal Flushing Restores the Physiological Condition of Fish Residing in Degraded Salt Marshes

    PubMed Central

    Dibble, Kimberly L.; Meyerson, Laura A.

    2012-01-01

    Roads, bridges, and dikes constructed across salt marshes can restrict tidal flow, degrade habitat quality for nekton, and facilitate invasion by non-native plants including Phragmites australis. Introduced P. australis contributes to marsh accretion and eliminates marsh surface pools thereby adversely affecting fish by reducing access to intertidal habitats essential for feeding, reproduction, and refuge. Our study assessed the condition of resident fish populations (Fundulus heteroclitus) at four tidally restricted and four tidally restored marshes in New England invaded by P. australis relative to adjacent reference salt marshes. We used physiological and morphological indicators of fish condition, including proximate body composition (% lipid, % lean dry, % water), recent daily growth rate, age class distributions, parasite prevalence, female gravidity status, length-weight regressions, and a common morphological indicator (Fulton’s K) to assess impacts to fish health. We detected a significant increase in the quantity of parasites infecting fish in tidally restricted marshes but not in those where tidal flow was restored to reduce P. australis cover. Using fish length as a covariate, we found that unparasitized, non-gravid F. heteroclitus in tidally restricted marshes had significantly reduced lipid reserves and increased lean dry (structural) mass relative to fish residing in reference marshes. Fish in tidally restored marshes were equivalent across all metrics relative to those in reference marshes indicating that habitat quality was restored via increased tidal flushing. Reference marshes adjacent to tidally restored sites contained the highest abundance of young fish (ages 0–1) while tidally restricted marshes contained the lowest. Results indicate that F. heteroclitus residing in physically and hydrologically altered marshes are at a disadvantage relative to fish in reference marshes but the effects can be reversed through ecological restoration. PMID:23029423

  14. The effects of marsh edge and surface elevation on the distribution of salt marsh infauna and prey availability for nekton predators

    E-print Network

    Whaley, Shannon Diann

    1997-01-01

    marshes (Weisberg and Lotrich 1982; Zimmerman et aL 1991). Although these infaunal prey populations are an important link in the marsh ecosystem, their spatial and temporal patterns within the intertidal zone have not been adequately described. Among... (Hummel et al. 1986). Zimmerman et al. (1991) found that marsh infaunal populations were also influenced by intense predation pressure at certain times of the year. Intertidal areas near the marsh-open water interface may be more accessible to predators...

  15. Salt Marsh Sediment Biogeochemical Response to the Deep Water Horizon BP Oil Spill (Skiff Island, LA, and Cat Island, Marsh Point, and Salt Pan Island, MS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guthrie, C. L.; McNeal, K. S.; Mishra, D. R.; Blakeney, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    The large scale impact of the Deep Water Horizon BP Oil Spill on biological communities can be better predicted by developing an understanding of how carbon loading from the spill is affecting the microbial and biological communities of salt marshes along the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast. Sediment biogeochemical processes that degrade enriched carbon pools through sulfate reduction are primarily responsible for the biological breakdown of spilled hydrocarbons (Shin et al., 2000). Determination of sulfide concentration in contaminated areas, therefore, allows for an assessment of the oil spill impact on salt marsh at Skiff Island, LA, and Marsh Point, Cat Island, and Salt Pan Island, MS. As a result of carbon loading, porewater hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentrations are expected to show an increase in the largely anoxic wetland sediment, making the sediment more toxic and inhospitable to marsh vegetation (Alber et al., 2008). High sulfide levels due to carbon loading in hydrocarbon contaminated salt marshes cause microbial activity to increase at the plant rhizospere, leading to plant browning and die back (Eldridge and Morse 2000). Preliminary analysis of the Marsh Point study area was conducted in Fall 2010. Sediment cores indicated that sulfate reducing bacteria are significantly more active in contaminated sediments, producing sulfide concentrations 20x higher than in non-contaminated sediments. The difference in the sediment biogeochemistry between the contaminated site and non-contaminated site at Marsh Point, MS indicated that the effects of hydrocarbon contamination on sulfur cycling in salt marshes should be more spatially explored. In Fall 2011, the study was expanded to include Skiff Island, LA, and Cat Island, and Salt Pan Island, MS in addition to Marsh Point, MS. Sediment electrode profiles (H2S, O2, pH, and Eh), degree of hydrocarbon contamination (GC), grain size analysis, microbial community substrate level carbon utilization profiles, and total organic carbon results will be presented on these four locations in order to explore the potential sedimentary geochemical processes impacting salt marsh dieback, which may be enhanced as a result of the Deep Water Horizon BP Oil Spill.

  16. Effects of Tide Stage on the Use of Salt Marshes by Wading Birds in Rhode Island

    EPA Science Inventory

    To determine how tide stage affects wading bird abundance, behavior, and foraging in three Narragansett Bay salt marshes (RI), we conducted surveys at 10-min intervals?across the full tidal range?during six days at each marsh in July/September of 2006. The wading bird community ...

  17. Habitat Characteristics and Eggshell Distribution of the Salt Marsh Mosquito, Aedes vigilax, in Marshes in Subtropical Eastern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Pat E. R.; Knight, Jon; Kay, Brian H.; Chapman, Heather; Ritchie, Scott A.; Brown, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    Research at 10 locations in coastal subtropical Queensland, Australia, has shown that salt marshes contained heterogeneous distributions of eggshells of the pest and vector mosquito Aedes vigilax (Skuse) (Diptera:Culicidae). The eggshell distribution was related to specific vegetation assemblages, with a mix of the grass, Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth (Poales: Poaceae), and the beaded glasswort, Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Bunge ex (Ung.-Stern) A.J. Scott (Caryophyllales: Chenopodiaceae), as significantly higher in eggshells than any other vegetation. There were also high numbers in the mix of S. virginicus with the arrowgrass, Triglochin striata Ruiz & Pavón (Alismatales: Juncaginaceae). Both mixed types are found in relatively wetter areas, despite very few eggshells being found generally in the low marsh. Most sites contained S. virginicus and eggshell locations were variable for this species alone. This was probably related to its life form variability in response to salinity and location on the marsh. Location on the marsh was important for eggshell distribution with most eggshells around the edges of pools and depressions, followed by, but to a significantly lesser extent, the marsh surface. Eggshells were fewest in the low marsh. Partition analysis resulted in a tree that simplified and summarised the factors important for eggshell distribution confirming the individual analyses. The potential effects of climate, sea level and other change are also briefly discussed in the context of likely changes to land cover and relative location on the marsh. For example, increased sea level may lead to low marsh conditions extending into higher marsh area with implications for oviposition and numbers of eggshells. PMID:20233077

  18. Sulfate reduction in a New England salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    ROBERT W. HOWARTH; JOHN M. TEAL

    1979-01-01

    Sulfate reduction rates were measured for 2 years in the peat of a salt mars by a radiotracer technique. Rates are high throughout the peat, from the surface to more than 20 cm deep. The integrated annual rate is about 75 mol SOâ\\/sup 2 -\\/.m⁻².yr⁻¹, the highest yet reported for any natural ecosystem. Sulfate reduction accounts for the consumption of

  19. Native plant restoration combats environmental change: development of carbon and nitrogen sequestration capacity using small cordgrass in European salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Curado, Guillermo; Rubio-Casal, Alfredo E; Figueroa, Enrique; Grewell, Brenda J; Castillo, Jesús M

    2013-10-01

    Restoration of salt marshes is critical in the context of climate change and eutrophication of coastal waters because their vegetation and sediments may act as carbon and nitrogen sinks. Our primary objectives were to quantify carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks and sequestration rates in restored marshes dominated by Spartina maritima to provide support for restoration and management strategies that may offset negative aspects of eutrophication and climate change in estuarine ecosystems. Sediment C content was between ca. 13 mg C g(-1)and sediment N content was ca. 1.8 mg N g(-1). The highest C content for S. maritima was recorded in leaves and stems (ca. 420 mg C g(-1)) and the lowest in roots (361?±?4 mg C g(-1)). S. maritima also concentrated more N in its leaves (31?±?1 mg N g(-1)) than in other organs. C stock in the restored marshes was 29.6 t C ha(-1); ca. 16 % was stored in S. maritima tissues. N stock was 3.6 t N ha(-1), with 8.3 % stored in S. maritima. Our results showed that the S. maritima restored marshes, 2.5 years after planting, were sequestering atmospheric C and, therefore, provide some mitigation for global warming. Stands are also capturing nitrogen and reducing eutrophication. The concentrations of C and N contents in sediments, and cordgrass relative cover of 62 %, and low below-ground biomass (BGB) suggest restored marshes can sequester more C and N. S. maritima plantations in low marshes replace bare sediments and invasive populations of exotic Spartina densiflora and increase the C and N sequestration capacity of the marsh by increasing biomass production and accumulation. PMID:23591677

  20. High Frequency Monitoring of the Quantity and Quality of Dissolved Organic Matter Flux Between Salt Marshes and Plum Island Sound, MA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y.; Raymond, P.

    2012-12-01

    Salt marshes are highly productive continental margin ecosystems, due to abundant solar radiation, water, and nutrients provided by tidal water. The unique bi-directional water movement introduced by tidal effect has a major impact on the formation and productivity of salt marsh and the material exchange between salt marsh and adjacent estuary. As a major term in carbon, energy, and nutrient budget for aquatic ecosystem, dissolved organic matter (DOM) has broad impact on food webs, carbon cycle, and nutrient retention/release. The frequency and period of DOM measurement is greatly increased by the use of reagent-free, low-cost, and reliable measurement with fluorescent and UV sensors measuring the chromophoric fraction of total DOM. Although fluorescent sensors can only measure concentration, UV absorbance in a wide spectral range (200nm-380nm) could potentially provide information on DOM composition. With the help of accurate direct real time water flux measurement and lab analysis of lability, DON, and 3D excitation emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMs), a database of DOM quantity and quality exchanged between several comparative salt marshes and Plum Island Sound, MA could be established to study the dynamics of DOM behavior in the salt marsh-estuary system. Understanding DOM source and fate is very important for evaluating the role of salt marsh in the carbon cycle and food web in coastal and global scale because coastal carbon cycling represents up to 21% of the ocean's primary production (Jahnke 2008). In addition, the approaches outlined in this proposal have broad applicability to study DOM quantity and quality in the material exchange theme between systems.

  1. EXPLOITING WILD POPULATION DIVERSITY AND SOMACLONAL VARIATION IN THE SALT MARSH GRASS DISTICHLIS SPICATA (POACEAE) FOR MARSH CREATION AND RESTORATION1

    Microsoft Academic Search

    DENISE M. SELISKAR; JOHN L. GALLAGHER

    The salt marsh grass Distichlis spicata was regenerated from tissue culture and propagated in a greenhouse. Selected regenerants, along with selections from six wild populations, were grown for two years in a common garden flood-irrigated thrice weekly with tidal creek water. Selected wild and regenerated plants were also planted in a created salt marsh. Significant differences among regenerant and wild

  2. EFFECTS OF MALATHION ON MICROORGANISMS OF AN ARTIFICIAL SALT-MARSH ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Laboratory salt-marsh environments were treated with malathion, an organophosphate insectide, and aerobic heterotrophic bacteria were monitored to determine changes in their microbial ecology. Several physiological activities were assayed in both treated and untreated controls; h...

  3. Factors Affecting Carbohydrate Production and Loss in Salt Marsh Sediments of Galveston Bay 

    E-print Network

    Wilson, Carolyn E.

    2010-10-12

    Benthic microalgae (BMA) living within the surface sediment of salt marshes are highly productive organisms that provide a significant proportion of organic carbon inputs into estuarine systems. BMA secrete extracellular carbohydrates in the form...

  4. Impact of bioaugmentation on crude oil degradation in salt-marsh-sediment microcosms 

    E-print Network

    Neralla, Srinivasan

    1994-01-01

    were used to study the role of bioaugmentation, fertilization and temperature on degradation of oil in simulated salt marsh microcosms. Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were determined by infrared spectrophotometry and oil and grease content...

  5. 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...

  6. Regulation of benthic algal and animal communities by salt marsh plants: Impact of shading

    E-print Network

    Whitcraft, Christine R.; Levin, Lisa A.

    2007-01-01

    of remineralized plant matter, higher salinity, or lessPlant zonation in low-latitude salt marshes: disentangling roles of ?ooding, salinity, andplant cover induced higher soil temperature, increased porewater salinities, and

  7. Effects of Nutrient Additions on Three Coastal Salt Marsh Plants Found in Sunset Cove, Texas

    E-print Network

    Rulon, Leslie

    2012-02-14

    tidal elevations. Snow and Vince (1984) studying four 7 Alaskan salt marsh species at the Susitna Flats (Puccinellia nutkaensis, Triglochin maritimum, Carex ramenskii, and Carex lyngbyei) also found that each species was able to inhabit all...

  8. 75 FR 6696 - Draft Recovery Plan for Tidal Marsh Ecosystems of Northern and Central California

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-10

    ...Suisun thistle), Cordylanthus mollis ssp. mollis (soft bird's-beak), Suaeda...Morro Bay portion of Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. maritimus (salt marsh bird's-beak...Suisun thistle) and Cordylanthus mollis ssp. mollis (soft bird's- beak),...

  9. 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.)

  10. Dependence of fishery species on salt marshes: The role of food and refuge

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Donald F. Boesch; R. Eugene Turner

    1984-01-01

    Salt marshes are widely believed to serve as nurseries for many fishes and crustaceans of fishery value as a result of the\\u000a high production of vascular plant detritus and the protection from predation offered by shallow, spatially complex habitats.\\u000a Comparisons of the yields of species which reside in salt marsh habitats during critical life history stages (such as penaeid\\u000a shrimp)

  11. Comparison of wetland structural characteristics between created and natural salt marshes in southwest Louisiana, USA

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Keith R. Edwards; C. Edward Proffitt

    2003-01-01

    The use of dredge material is a well-known technique for creating or restoring salt marshes that is expected to become more\\u000a common along the Gulf of Mexico coast in the future. However, the effectiveness of this restoration method is still questioned.\\u000a Wetland structural characteristics were compared between four created and three natural salt marshes in southwest Louisiana,\\u000a USA. The created

  12. Differences in the avian communities of natural and created Spartina alterniflora salt marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Stefani L. Melvin; James W. Webb

    1998-01-01

    Birds were surveyed by censusing strip transets, monthly from October 1990 through September 1991 in seven created and seven\\u000a natural salt marshes located in lower Galveston Bay. All birds observed using the transect, the airspace above the transect,\\u000a and 5m of bay bottom adjacent to the transect were recorded. Species richness and species diversity were calculated for each\\u000a salt marsh

  13. An experimental method to increase sediment supply to a salt marsh in subsidence dominated environments

    E-print Network

    Thomas, Robert C.

    2007-09-17

    AN EXPERIMENTAL METHOD TO INCREASE SEDIMENT SUPPLY TO A SALT MARSH IN SUBSIDENCE DOMINATED ENVIRONMENTS A Thesis by ROBERT C. THOMAS Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment... of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE May 2007 Major Subject: Ocean Engineering AN EXPERIMENTAL METHOD TO INCREASE SEDIMENT SUPPLY TO A SALT MARSH IN SUBSIDENCE DOMINATED ENVIRONMENTS A Thesis by ROBERT C...

  14. Biotic interactions mediate the expansion of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) into salt marshes under climate change.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongyu; Zhang, Yihui; Lan, Zhenjiang; Pennings, Steven C

    2013-09-01

    Many species are expanding their distributions to higher latitudes due to global warming. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these distribution shifts is critical for better understanding the impacts of climate changes. The climate envelope approach is widely used to model and predict species distribution shifts with changing climates. Biotic interactions between species, however, may also influence species distributions, and a better understanding of biotic interactions could improve predictions based solely on climate envelope models. Along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, USA, subtropical black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) at the northern limit of its distribution grows sympatrically with temperate salt marsh plants in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. In recent decades, freeze-free winters have led to an expansion of black mangrove into salt marshes. We examined how biotic interactions between black mangrove and salt marsh vegetation along the Texas coast varied across (i) a latitudinal gradient (associated with a winter-temperature gradient); (ii) the elevational gradient within each marsh (which creates different marsh habitats); and (iii) different life history stages of black mangroves (seedlings vs. juvenile trees). Each of these variables affected the strength or nature of biotic interactions between black mangrove and salt marsh vegetation: (i) Salt marsh vegetation facilitated black mangrove seedlings at their high-latitude distribution limit, but inhibited black mangrove seedlings at lower latitudes; (ii) mangroves performed well at intermediate elevations, but grew and survived poorly in high- and low-marsh habitats; and (iii) the effect of salt marsh vegetation on black mangroves switched from negative to neutral as black mangroves grew from seedlings into juvenile trees. These results indicate that the expansion of black mangroves is mediated by complex biotic interactions. A better understanding of the impacts of climate change on ecological communities requires incorporating context-dependent biotic interactions into species range models. PMID:23580161

  15. A comparison of fungal communities from four salt marsh plants using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA).

    PubMed

    Torzilli, Albert P; Sikaroodi, Masoumeh; Chalkley, David; Gillevet, Patrick M

    2006-01-01

    Fungal decomposers are important contributors to the detritus-based food webs of salt marsh ecosystems. Knowing the composition of salt marsh fungal communities is essential in understanding how detritus processing is affected by changes in community dynamics. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was used to examine the composition of fungal communities associated with four temperate salt marsh plants, Spartina alterniflora (short and tall forms), Juncus roemerianus, Distichlis spicata and Sarcocornia perennis. Plant tissues were homogenized and subjected to a particle-filtration protocol that yielded 106 microm particulate fractions, which were used as a source of fungal isolates and fungal DNA. Genera identified from sporulating cultures demonstrated that the 106 microm particles from each host plant were reliable sources of fungal DNA for ARISA. Analysis of ARISA data by principal component analysis (PCA), principal coordinate analysis (PCO) and species diversity comparisons indicated that the fungal communities from the two grasses, S. alterniflora and D. spicata were more similar to each other than they were to the distinct communities associated with J. roemerianus and S. perennis. Principal component analysis also showed no consistent, seasonal pattern in the composition of these fungal communities. Comparisons of ARISA fingerprints from the different fungal communities and those from pure cultures of selected Spartina ascomycetes supported the host/substrate specificity observed for the fungal communities. PMID:17256573

  16. Remote sensing of biomass and annual net aerial primary productivity of a salt marsh

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hardisky, M. A.; Klemas, V.; Daiber, F. C.; Roman, C. T.

    1984-01-01

    Net aerial primary productivity is the rate of storage of organic matter in above-ground plant issues exceeding the respiratory use by the plants during the period of measurement. It is pointed out that this plant tissue represents the fixed carbon available for transfer to and consumption by the heterotrophic organisms in a salt marsh or the estuary. One method of estimating annual net aerial primary productivity (NAPP) required multiple harvesting of the marsh vegetation. A rapid nondestructive remote sensing technique for estimating biomass and NAPP would, therefore, be a significant asset. The present investigation was designed to employ simple regression models, equating spectral radiance indices with Spartina alterniflora biomass to nondestructively estimate salt marsh biomass. The results of the study showed that the considered approach can be successfully used to estimate salt marsh biomass.

  17. A Salt Marsh Erosion Model: Interplay Between Biotic and Physical Factors at the Seaward Edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiner, M. E.; Gilbert, L. A.; Alves, C. L.; Poole, P. A.; Schleicher, S.

    2014-12-01

    We present a new model to monitor the cycle of erosion occurring on the seaward edge of salt marshes as sea level rises. In our model, a southern New England salt marsh edge is stable when the bank edge exhibits a normal slope, is fringed by the low-marsh grass Spartina alterniflora, and the ribbed mussel Guekensia demissa is abundant. As erosion proceeds, the seaward bank becomes vertical (Stage 1), then undercut (Stage 2), then slumped (Stage 3), and finally a detached island (Stage 4) to expose a new vertical bank. If erosion progresses relatively slowly, S. alterniflora will dominate and G. demissa will be abundant. We applied this model to four sites at the Barn Island Salt Marsh in southeastern Connecticut. The central headland of the heavily mosquito-ditched Headquarters Marsh appears to be the most rapidly retreating: from 2006 to 2014, the seaward bank advanced two erosional stages and lost 3 m horizontally. This headland is dominated by low-marsh S. alterniflora, with mid-marsh grasses Distichlis spicata and Spartina patens also present on the seaward edge. By comparison, the nearby seaward edge of Wequetequock Point has only S. alterniflora and bare patches with no mid-marsh species. Wequetequock Point also appears more stable, with about one quarter of the seaward bank on a normal slope and abundant mussels (mean 4,500 m-2; max 20,000 m-2). Repeat surveys since 2006 show mussel vacancy rate is related to the rate of erosion. Open holes appear in normal slope banks due to wave erosion of rocks and other material embedded in the exposed peat. Banks that remain in the same erosion stage for multiple years show increased mussel occupation of these holes. In contrast, rapidly eroding banks at Barn Island Marsh have very few mussels (<100 m-2) and are typically fringed by grasses other than S. alterniflora. Much of the Barn Island Marsh bank is eroding too rapidly for mussel settlement and growth and normal marsh grass succession. In addition to documenting the recent rates and mechanisms of marsh loss, using a model that combines multiple indicators of marsh edge stability can help us assess the vulnerability of salt marshes to sea level rise and storms.

  18. Spring phytoplankton dynamics in a shallow, turbid coastal salt marsh system undergoing extreme salinity variation, South Texas 

    E-print Network

    Hebert, Elizabeth Michele

    2005-08-29

    The contribution of phytoplankton productivity to higher trophic levels in salt marshes is not well understood. My study furthers our understanding of possible mechanisms controlling phytoplankton productivity, abundance, ...

  19. One of the most pervasive human impacts to salt marshes around the world is the introduction of nonnative species. Plant introductions to salt marsh systems have

    E-print Network

    Levin, Lisa

    of nonnative species. Plant introductions to salt marsh systems have resulted in significant changes ranging abundance and diversity. These physical and chemical changes can result in dramatic shifts in benthic the consequences of these changes in the context of plant effects in other coastal systems in order to develop

  20. Feeding Ecology of 0-Group Sea Bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, in Salt Marshes of Mont Saint Michel Bay (France)

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    Feeding Ecology of 0-Group Sea Bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, in Salt Marshes of Mont Saint Michel Bay, France ABSTRACT: 0-group sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, colonize intertidal marsh creeks of Mont Saint young sea bass left tidal marsh creeks, the majority had full stomachs (more than 98%) and diet

  1. Interactions among Plant Species and Microorganisms in Salt Marsh Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Burke, David J.; Hamerlynck, Erik P.; Hahn, Dittmar

    2002-01-01

    The interactions among Spartina patens and sediment microbial populations and the interactions among Phragmites australis and sediment microbial populations were studied at monotypic sites in Piermont Marsh, a salt marsh of the Hudson River north of New York, N.Y., at key times during the growing season. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) effectively colonized S. patens but not P. australis, and there were seasonal increases and decreases that coincided with plant growth and senescence (17 and 6% of the S. patens root length were colonized, respectively). In sediment samples from the Spartina site, the microbial community and specific bacterial populations were at least twice as large in terms of number and biomass as the microbial community and specific bacterial populations in sediment samples from the Phragmites site, and peak values occurred during reproduction. Members of the domain Bacteria, especially members of the ?-, ?-, and ?-subdivisions of the Proteobacteria, were the most abundant organisms at both sites throughout the growing season. The populations were generally more dynamic in samples from the Spartina site than in samples from the Phragmites site. No differences between the two sites and no differences during the growing season were observed when restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses of nifH amplicons were performed in an attempt to detect shifts in the diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Differences were observed only in the patterns generated by PCR or reverse transcription-PCR for samples from the Spartina site, suggesting that there were differences in the overall and active populations of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Regression analyses indicated that there was a positive interaction between members of the ?-subdivision of the Proteobacteria and root biomass but not between members of the ?-subdivision of the Proteobacteria and macroorganic matter at both sites. In samples from the Spartina site, there were indications that there were bacterium-fungus interactions since populations of members of the ?-subdivision of the Proteobacteria were negatively associated with AMF colonization and populations of members of the ?-subdivision of the Proteobacteria were positively associated with AMF colonization. PMID:11872463

  2. Interactions among plant species and microorganisms in salt marsh sediments.

    PubMed

    Burke, David J; Hamerlynck, Erik P; Hahn, Dittmar

    2002-03-01

    The interactions among Spartina patens and sediment microbial populations and the interactions among Phragmites australis and sediment microbial populations were studied at monotypic sites in Piermont Marsh, a salt marsh of the Hudson River north of New York, N.Y., at key times during the growing season. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) effectively colonized S. patens but not P. australis, and there were seasonal increases and decreases that coincided with plant growth and senescence (17 and 6% of the S. patens root length were colonized, respectively). In sediment samples from the Spartina site, the microbial community and specific bacterial populations were at least twice as large in terms of number and biomass as the microbial community and specific bacterial populations in sediment samples from the Phragmites site, and peak values occurred during reproduction. Members of the domain Bacteria, especially members of the alpha-, gamma-, and delta-subdivisions of the Proteobacteria, were the most abundant organisms at both sites throughout the growing season. The populations were generally more dynamic in samples from the Spartina site than in samples from the Phragmites site. No differences between the two sites and no differences during the growing season were observed when restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses of nifH amplicons were performed in an attempt to detect shifts in the diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Differences were observed only in the patterns generated by PCR or reverse transcription-PCR for samples from the Spartina site, suggesting that there were differences in the overall and active populations of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Regression analyses indicated that there was a positive interaction between members of the delta-subdivision of the Proteobacteria and root biomass but not between members of the delta-subdivision of the Proteobacteria and macroorganic matter at both sites. In samples from the Spartina site, there were indications that there were bacterium-fungus interactions since populations of members of the alpha-subdivision of the Proteobacteria were negatively associated with AMF colonization and populations of members of the gamma-subdivision of the Proteobacteria were positively associated with AMF colonization. PMID:11872463

  3. The importance of salt-marsh wetness for seed exploitation by dabbling ducks Anas sp

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ole R. Therkildsen; Thomas Bregnballe

    2006-01-01

    The relationship between the inundation of a salt marsh in southeast Denmark not subject to lunar tides and the availability and predation of seeds of the annuals Salicornia spp. and Suada maritima by autumn staging dabbling ducks was studied by carrying out exclosure experiments over the course of 2 years. There was a marked difference in the wetness of the salt

  4. Germination in relation to salinity in some plants of salt marshes in Otago, New Zealand

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. R. Partridge; J. B. Wilson

    1987-01-01

    Germination characteristics were examined for nine halophytes occurring on Otago salt marshes and were compared with two glycophytes. The seed of most halophytes remained dormant, but viable, in saline solution for at least several months. In comparison, of the two glycophyte species, one germinated in saline solution whereas the other suffered seed mortality. There was a correlation between the salt

  5. Grazing rates of organic matter and living fungal biomass of decaying Spartina alterniflora by three species of salt-marsh invertebrates

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. A. Graça; S. Y. Newell; R. T. Kneib

    2000-01-01

    The pathway for the flow of salt-marsh grass production into marsh food-webs is still not well defined. We compared the abilities\\u000a of three marsh macroinvertebrates [salt marsh periwinkles, Littoraria irrorata (Say) (=Littorina irrorata), salt-marsh coffee-bean snails, Melampus bidentatus (Say); and a talitrid amphipod, Uhlorchestia spartinophila Bounsfield and Heard] to access standing-dead leaves of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora Loisel). The invertebrates

  6. Predation by the black-clawed mud crab, Panopeus herbstii , in Mid-Atlantic salt marshes: Further evidence for top-down control of marsh grass production

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Brian Reed Silliman; Craig A. Layman; Kane Geyer; J. C. Zieman

    2004-01-01

    Although top-down control of plant growth has been shown in a variety of marine systems, it is widely thought to be unimportant\\u000a in salt marshes. Recent caging experiments in Virginia and Georgia have challenged this notion and shown that the dominant\\u000a marsh grazer (the periwinkle,Littoraria irrorata) not only suppresses plant growth, but can denude marsh substrate at high densities. In

  7. 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

  8. Survival, growth and reproduction of the salt-marsh amphipod Uhlorchestia spartinophila reared on natural diets of senescent and dead Spartina alterniflora leaves

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. T. Kneib; S. Y. Newell; E. T. Hermeno

    1997-01-01

    The talitrid amphipod Uhlorchestia spartinophila lives in close association with standing-dead leaves of the smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora Loisel in salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of North America. This study probed the strength of the trophic link between\\u000a the amphipod population and the decomposition process in this detrital-based ecosystem. We measured survival, growth and reproductive\\u000a output in groups of

  9. Middle to Late Holocene Fluctuations of C3 and C4 Vegetation in a Northern New England Salt Marsh, Sprague Marsh, Phippsburg Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, B J; Moore, K A; Lehmann, C; Bohlen, C; Brown, T A

    2006-05-26

    A 3.1 meter sediment core was analyzed for stable carbon isotope composition of organic matter and higher plant leaf wax (HPLW) lipid biomarkers to determine Holocene shifts in C{sub 3} (higher high marsh) and C{sub 4} (low and/or high marsh) plant deposition at the Sprague River Salt Marsh, Phippsburg, Maine. The carbon isotope composition of the bulk sediment and the HPLW parallel each other throughout most of the core, suggesting that terrestrial plants are an important source of organic matter to the sediments, and diagenetic alteration of the bulk sediments is minimal. The current salt marsh began to form 2500 cal yr BP. Low and/or high C{sub 4} marsh plants dominated deposition at 2000 cal yr BP, 700 cal yr BP, and for the last 200 cal yr BP. Expansion of higher high marsh C{sub 3} plants occurred at 1300 and 600 cal yr BP. These major vegetation shifts result from a combination of changes in relative sea-level rise and sediment accumulation rates. Average annual carbon sequestration rates for the last 2500 years approximate 40 g C yr{sup -1} m{sup -2}, and are in strong agreement with other values published for the Gulf of Maine. Given that Maine salt marshes cover an area of {approx}79 km{sup 2}, they represent an important component of the terrestrial carbon sink. More detailed isotopic and age records from a network of sediment cores at Sprague Marsh are needed to truly evaluate the long term changes in salt marsh plant communities and the impact of more recent human activity, including global warming, on salt marsh vegetation.

  10. Enrichment and Association of Bacteria and Particulates in Salt Marsh Surface Water

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, R. W.; Young, L. Y.

    1980-01-01

    Elevated counts of bacteria were found during outgoing tides in surface microlayers (?300 ?m) of Sippewissett salt marsh, Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Palo Alto salt marsh, Palo Alto, California. At both sampling sites, the degrees by which bacteria were concentrated into the surface microlayer were linearly dependent upon surface concentration of particulate material. A significant percentage of bacteria in the microlayer were found to be attached to particulate material, while bacterial populations in the subsurface water were largely planktonic. Proportions of the bacterial populations which could be grown on seawater nutrient agar were also greater in the microlayer than in the subsurface waters and were positively correlated with the fraction of bacteria attached to particulate matter. Data from these studies suggest that particulates in the microlayer waters of the salt marsh influenced the observed increase in both the readily grown and the total numbers of bacteria. PMID:16345554

  11. Trace metal concentrations in Spartina densiflora and associated soil from a Patagonian salt marsh.

    PubMed

    Idaszkin, Yanina L; Bouza, Pablo J; Marinho, Carmen H; Gil, Mónica N

    2014-12-15

    The objectives of this study were to (i) assess in situ trace metal concentrations in soil and in Spartina densiflora in a Patagonian salt marsh (Rawson, Chubut, Argentina) and (ii) investigate the relationship between trace metal concentrations in soils and in plants to improve our knowledge regarding the ability of S. densiflora to take up and accumulate trace metals from the soil within its native region. Our results indicate that the soil and S. densiflora exhibit low metal concentrations in the Rawson salt marsh. S. densiflora accumulates Zn in below- and above-ground plant structures and Cr in below-ground parts. These results suggest at the time of this study there is scarce human impact associated with metals in the Rawson salt marsh. PMID:25457812

  12. Size and species diversity of zooplankton communities in fluctuating Mediterranean salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brucet, Sandra; Boix, Dani; López-Flores, Rocío; Badosa, Anna; Quintana, Xavier D.

    2006-04-01

    Differences in size and species diversity were analysed in a zooplankton community of a Mediterranean salt marsh (Empordà wetlands, NE Iberian Peninsula), where the dominance of a single species was frequent. In the permanent salt marsh, species diversity and size diversity had similar patterns along zooplankton succession. In the temporary salt marsh species diversity was high after flooding and diminished once water inputs ceased. As species diversity declined size diversity increased. Eventually, one species of calanoid dominated the zooplankton community. The high size diversity in situations of calanoid dominance was possibly due to the co-occurrence of different developmental stages, each of which have different diets. Size diversity would thus indicate trophic niche segregation among different sizes. The combined use of species and size diversity values allows the identification of the successional phases.

  13. Anthropogenic modification of New England salt marsh landscapes

    E-print Network

    Bertness, Mark D.

    and eutrophication. On the seaward border of these marshes, nitrogen eutrophication stimulated by local shoreline of the common reed, Phragmites, by means of nitrogen eutrophication caused by the removal of the woody

  14. Using Marker Horizons and Cryogenic Coring to Monitor Sediment Deposition in Salt Marshes of the Bay of Fundy

    E-print Network

    Chmura, Gail L.

    Using Marker Horizons and Cryogenic Coring to Monitor Sediment Deposition in Salt Marshes that has accumulated over the marker horizon is measured. Cryogenic coring is one method of extracting out of the soil, a frozen core of marsh sediment is obtained. Using cryogenic coring to obtain salt

  15. Strontium 90 in Maize Field, Cattail Marsh and Oakwood Ecosystems Author(s): J. D. Ovington and D. B. Lawrence

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    Strontium 90 in Maize Field, Cattail Marsh and Oakwood Ecosystems Author(s): J. D. Ovington and D Ecology. http://www.jstor.org #12;STRONTIUM 90 IN MAIZE FIELD, CATTAIL MARSH AND OAKWOOD ECOSYSTEMS BY J in themilkand vegetationfromfourfarmsin Minnesotaand kindlyagreedto determine strontium90

  16. The Role of Waterlogging in Maintaining Forb Pannes in Northern New England Salt Marshes Author(s): Patrick J. Ewanchuk and Mark D. Bertness

    E-print Network

    Bertness, Mark D.

    The Role of Waterlogging in Maintaining Forb Pannes in Northern New England Salt Marshes Author of America THE ROLE OF WATERLOGGING IN MAINTAINING FORB PANNES IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND SALT MARSHES PATRICK J northern New England salt marshes. These pannes are physically harsh habitats where stress-tolerant forbs

  17. Effect of salt marsh drainage on the distribution of Tabanus nigrovittatus (Diptera: Tabanidae).

    PubMed

    McMahon, M J; Gaugler, R

    1993-03-01

    Immature stages of Tabanus nigrovittatus Macquart inhabit salt marsh sod. A study of the distribution of larvae in relation to the presence or absence of surface water showed that larval densities were higher in salt marsh areas that appeared well drained. Late instars remained above the sod surface more frequently in laboratory conditions mimicking high water-table levels. The development of anaerobic conditions in sod at high water levels probably deterred larvae from burrowing into the sod. Therefore, mosquito control ditches, constructed to augment interstitial drainage inadvertently may have created optimal tabanid larval habitat. PMID:8459426

  18. The role of Phragmites australis in mediating inland salt marsh migration in a Mid-Atlantic estuary.

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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.

  20. Long-Term Sediment Dynamics in a Tidal Salt Marsh, North Inlet, South Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, S.; Voulgaris, G.

    2001-05-01

    The salt marshes along the southeastern U.S. coast are in a delicate balance between rates of sediment accretion and relative sea level rise. Short-term sediment flux studies in the region indicate a net export of suspended sediment out of salt marsh systems despite the necessity for these marshes to import sediment in order to keep pace with relative sea level rise. Long-term suspended sediment concentration data collected daily through the Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) are utilized in this study. The objective of this study is to identify the relative importance of different processes including tidal range, rainfall, winds, water temperature and river discharge in effecting suspended sediment concentrations in salt marsh channels. The study area is a small {\\Spartina}- and {\\Juncus}-dominated salt marsh located at North Inlet, South Carolina. Suspended sediment concentrations were collected daily at 3 sites in the marsh basin at approximately 1000 hrs EST for a period of 10 to 15 years. The determination of how suspended sediment concentrations vary with respect to the tidal cycle required identification of the phase within the cycle that the sample was collected. This was achieved predicting tidal phases using sea surface elevation data. Suspended sediment concentrations collected during periods of different rainfall, tidal ranges, wind conditions, water temperatures and freshwater discharge were used to develop "representative" tidal cycles for each of the aforementioned forcings. Mean suspended sediment concentrations were found to be highest during the ebb tide while the lowest concentrations were found following high and low slack water. These concentrations vary spatially throughout the marsh with the highest concentrations located at the most landward site and lowest at the site nearest the inlet. A seasonal bias of suspended sediment concentrations was observed with highest concentrations in the summer months. Import of sediment in the system coincides with spring tides while export occurs during neap tidal conditions. Rainfall increases sediment concentration in the channels and appears to be associated with periods of sediment redistribution within the marsh. The impact of river discharge on suspended sediment concentrations affects the marsh over longer time intervals with years of low discharge into adjacent Winyah Bay coinciding with periods of low suspended sediment concentrations. Water discharge through each channel will be estimated using harmonic analysis of tidal current records collected over a 30-day period in order to resolve spring-neap variations in tidal velocity. The coupling of mean suspended sediment concentration and water discharge of the same phase will later be used to produce a long-term sediment budget for the marsh basin.

  1. The runnelling method of habitat modification: an environment-focused tool for salt marsh mosquito management.

    PubMed

    Hulsman, K; Dale, P E; Kay, B H

    1989-06-01

    Traditional methods of managing salt marsh mosquitoes focus primarily on maximizing the reduction of mosquito populations, with minimizing environmental impact as a secondary consideration. An environment-oriented approach to salt marsh management for mosquito control, runnelling, is described and compared with other forms of habitat modification such as ditching and Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM). Runnelling alters the salt marsh as little as possible while causing significant reductions in mosquito numbers. The effect of runnelling on the environment was monitored via the following variables: water table level, substrate characteristics (moisture, salinity and pH), vegetation (height and density of each Sporobolus virginicus) and the numbers of mosquito larvae. Runnelling had a statistically significant effect on only two of the seven variables. These were the height of Sporobolus, which increased near runnels, and the number of mosquito larvae, which decreased. The main difference between ditching, OMWM and runnelling lies in the magnitude of the habitat modification. Ditching involves the greatest alteration to the marsh, and runnelling the least. Consequently, runnelling has a smaller effect on the estuarine environment as a whole than does either ditching or OMWM. PMID:2568396

  2. Importance of biogeomorphic and spatial properties in assessing a tidal salt marsh vulnerability to sea-level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorne, Karen M.; Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Perry, William M.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the biogeomorphic processes of a large (309 ha) tidal salt marsh and examined factors that influence its ability to keep pace with relative sea-level rise (SLR). Detailed elevation data from 1995 and 2008 were compared with digital elevation models (DEMs) to assess marsh surface elevation change during this time. Overall, 37 % (113 ha) of the marsh increased in elevation at a rate that exceeded SLR, whereas 63 % (196 ha) of the area did not keep pace with SLR. Of the total area, 55 % (169 ha) subsided during the study period, but subsidence varied spatially across the marsh surface. To determine which biogeomorphic and spatial factors contributed to measured elevation change, we collected soil cores and determined percent and origin of organic matter (OM), particle size, bulk density (BD), and distance to nearest bay edge, levee, and channel. We then used Akaike Information Criterion (AICc) model selection to assess those variables most important to determine measured elevation change. Soil stable isotope compositions were evaluated to assess the source of the OM. The samples had limited percent OM by weight (-3, indicating that the soils had high mineral content with a relatively low proportion of pore space. The most parsimonious model with the highest AICc weight (0.53) included distance from bay's edge (i.e., lower intertidal) and distance from levee (i.e., upper intertidal). Close proximity to sediment source was the greatest factor in determining whether an area increased in elevation, whereas areas near landward levees experienced subsidence. Our study indicated that the ability of a marsh to keep pace with SLR varied across the surface, and assessing changes in elevation over time provides an alternative method to long-term accretion monitoring. SLR models that do not consider spatial variability of biogeomorphic and accretion processes may not correctly forecast marsh drowning rates, which may be especially true in modified and urbanized estuaries. In light of SLR, improving our understanding of elevation change in these dynamic marsh systems will play a crucial role in forecasting potential impacts to their sustainability and the survival of these ecosystems.

  3. Accumulation of plant nutrients and heavy metals through sedimentation processes and accretion in a Louisiana salt marsh

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, C.N.; Delaune, R.D.; Patrick, W.H.

    1981-12-01

    The accumulation of selected plant nutrients and heavy metals in a rapidly accreting Louisiana salt marsh was examined. Sedimentation processes were shown to be supplying large amounts of plant nutrients to the marsh. Accumulation of heavy metals was low and appeared to be associated with the natural heavy metal content of incoming sediment rather than from a pollution source. A large portion of organic carbon from primary production remained in the marsh, contributing to the aggradation process of vertical marsh accretion. Nitrogen accumulated in the marsh at rates as great as 21 g per m/sup 2/ per yr.

  4. Crabs mediate interactions between native and invasive salt marsh plants: a mesocosm study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-Yun; Shao, Jun-Jiong; Wu, Xin-Ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  5. Crabs Mediate Interactions between Native and Invasive Salt Marsh Plants: A Mesocosm Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-yun; Shao, Jun-jiong; Wu, Xin-ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  6. Is Residential Development Adjacent to Salt Marshes Causing Declines in Seaside Sparrows?

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the possible effects of residential development on nesting populations of Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus), we repeated a 1982 survey conducted by Stoll and Golet. In June and July 2007, 23 RI salt marshes were surveyed in their entirety for the presenc...

  7. Temporal and spatial variation in methyl bromide emissions from a salt marsh 

    E-print Network

    Drewer, Julia; Heal, Mathew R; Heal, Kate V; Smith, Keith A

    2006-01-01

    measurements of CH3Br emissions from a salt marsh in Scotland (56°00?N, 2°35?W) were made during one year using eight static enclosures. Net emissions showed both strong seasonal and diurnal cycles. Day-to-day maxima in emissions were associated with sunny days...

  8. Habitat structure and vegetation relationships in central Argentina salt marsh landscapes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Juan José Cantero; Rolando Leon; José Manuel Cisneros; Alberto Cantero

    1998-01-01

    Relationships between habitat structure and spatial variations in vegetation composition were determined in catenas of central Argentina salt marsh landscapes. Vegetation was classified following a multi-technique strategy. An analysis of species distributions along an environmental gradient was made and a redundancy analysis was used to relate the environmental variables to vegetation data. The spatial covariation was evaluated through fractal analysis.

  9. Physiological Integration among Clonal Ramets during Invasion of Disturbance Patches in a New England Salt Marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Scott W. Shumway

    1995-01-01

    Resource sharing between ramets growing across environmental resource gradients may have important consequences for clonal plant populations and community dynamics. As the clonal salt marsh grasses, Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata, vegetatively colonize disturbance-generated bare patches, they span steep gradients in soil salinity and available sunlight. Examination of water relations and carbon translocation in the field and greenhouse revealed that

  10. Effects of nutrient enrichment on Distichlis spicata and Salicornia bigelovii in a marsh salt pan

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Amy Hunter; Nicole M. B. Morris; Céline Lafabrie; Just Cebrian

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how nutrient addition affects the abundance, nutrient storage, and competition between Distichlis spicata and Salicornia bigelovii, two dominant species in salt pans of Northern Gulf of Mexico marshes. Namely, we compared fertilized and unfertilized plots\\u000a in monospecific areas colonized respectively by D. spicata or S. bigelovii, and in a mixed area colonized by the two species. Nutrient addition

  11. Magnetic properties of salt-marsh soils contaminated by iron industry emissions (southeast France)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Hélène Lecoanet; François Lévêque; Jean-Paul Ambrosi

    2001-01-01

    Detailed magnetic properties of salt-marsh soils exposed to intense atmospheric deposition of fly ashes from the iron industry (southeast France) are reported. An enhancement in the concentration of magnetic particles in topsoil through this area is observed. Low values of frequency-dependent susceptibility (?FD) are characteristic of coarse multidomain (MD) grains and were observed in surface samples. Concentration of ferrimagnetic minerals

  12. LINKING PLANT TRAITS TO SPECIES PERFORMANCE IN REMNANT AND RESTORED INLAND SALT MARSH COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research will build upon prior efforts where regression was used to model salt marsh species persistence and productivity along hydrologic and edaphic gradients at the SWB. Upcoming results will enable the optimization of planting combinations at a given salinity leve...

  13. Estimating shallow subsidence in microtidal salt marshes of the southeastern United States: Kaye and Barghoorn revisited

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Donald R. Cahoon; Denise J. Reed; John W. Day

    1995-01-01

    Simultaneous measurements of vertical accretion and change in surface elevation relative to a shallow (3–5 m) subsurface datum were made in selected coastal salt marshes of Louisiana, Florida, and North Carolina to quantitatively test Kaye and Barghoorn's contention that vertical accretion is not a good surrogate for surface elevation change because of autocompaction of the substrate. Rates of subsidence of

  14. Estimation of Water Circulation in a Mediterranean Salt Marsh and its Relationship with Flooding Causes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Xavier D. Quintana

    Variations in water volume in small depressions in Mediterranean salt marshes in Girona (Spain) are described and the poten- tial causes for these variations analysed. Although the basins appear to be endorrheic, groundwater circulation is intense, as estimated from the difference between water volume observed and that expected from the balance precipitation \\/ evaporation. The rate of variation in volume

  15. Denitrification Capacity in a Subterranean Estuary below a Rhode Island Fringing Salt Marsh

    E-print Network

    Gold, Art

    Denitrification Capacity in a Subterranean Estuary below a Rhode Island Fringing Salt Marsh KELLY Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, 105 Coastal Institute in Kingston, One Greenhouse Road, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881 2 Office of Student Programs, College of the Environment

  16. Edaphic characterization and soil ionic composition influencing plant zonation in a semiarid Mediterranean salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Álvarez Rogel; R. Ortiz Silla; F. Alcaraz Ariza

    2001-01-01

    Soil characteristics and plant zonation were studied in a semiarid Mediterranean salt marsh in SE Spain. According to topographic sequences and plants distribution, two transects were established from the border of La Mata lagoon to the upland vegetation limit and soils were described and analysed. Regularly spaced plots were established in these transects in accordance with the stands of vegetation

  17. Honeydew-Feeding Behavior of Salt Marsh Horse Flies (Diptera: Tabanidae)

    E-print Network

    , Tabanus nigrovittatus, honeydew, feeding behavior ALTHOUGH 50% of field-caught fe- males of TabanusHoneydew-Feeding Behavior of Salt Marsh Horse Flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) STEVEN J. SCHUTZ RANDY, Iva frutescens L. Most feeding individuals males. Onset of feeding activity of Tabanus nigromttatus

  18. Monitoring anthropogenic radioactivity in salt marsh environments through in situ gamma-ray spectrometry

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Andrew N. Tyler

    1999-01-01

    Radionuclide bearing effluents discharged into the Irish Sea have resulted in the accumulation of radionuclides in salt marsh environments which can contribute to critical group exposures. Recent developments in in situ gamma-ray spectrometry provide a novel and effective method for monitoring anthropogenic radionuclide concentrations and distributions within these coastal environments. This paper presents the results from an in situ survey

  19. Estimation of primary production using five different methods in a Spartina alterniflora salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Richardus F. Kaswadji; James G. Gosselink; R. Eugene Turner

    1990-01-01

    The aboveground production of Spartina alterniflora in a salt marsh in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA was estimated using five different harvest methods: peak standing crop (PSC), Milner-Hughes, Smalley, Wiegert-Evans, and Lomnicki et al., and a non-destructive method based on measurement of stem density and longevity. Annual production estimates were 831 ± 41, 831 ± 62, 1231 ± 252, 1873 ±

  20. Nitrogen resorption from senescing leaves of three salt marsh plant species

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. Cartaxana; F. Catarino

    2002-01-01

    Seasonalvariation in leaf nitrogen of mature green and senescent leaves and nitrogenresorption efficiency in three plants (Spartina maritima, Halimioneportulacoides and Arthrocnemum perenne) of aTagus estuary salt marsh are reported. Total nitrogen concentrations in greenand senescent leaves were higher during winter (December and March). Soilinorganic nitrogen availability showed an opposite pattern with higherconcentrations during summer (June and September) when total leaf

  1. Effects of increased inundation and wrack deposition on a high salt marsh plant community

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Patricia M. Tolley; Robert R. Christian

    1999-01-01

    Salt marshes respond to both slowly increasing tidal inundation with sea level rise and abrupt disturbances, such as storm-induced\\u000a wrack deposition. The effects of inundation pattern and wrack deposition have been studied independently but not in combination.\\u000a We manipulated inundation of tidal creek water and wrack presence individually and in combination, in two neighboring communities\\u000a within a Virginia high salt

  2. Wind-Driven Sea-Level Variation Influences Dynamics of Salt Marsh Vegetation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Daehyun Kim; David M. Cairns; Jesper Bartholdy

    2011-01-01

    Long-term variation of mean sea level has been considered the primary exogenous factor of vegetation dynamics in salt marshes. In this study, we address the importance of short-term, wind-induced rise of the sea surface in such biogeographic changes. There was an unusual opportunity for examining field data on plant species frequency, sea-level variation, and sedimentation acquired from the Skallingen salt

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Effect of Nitrogen Enrichment on C1-Cycling Microorganisms and Methane Flux in Salt Marsh Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Irvine, Irina C.; Vivanco, Lucía; Bentley, Peris N.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.

    2012-01-01

    Methane (CH4) flux from ecosystems is driven by C1-cycling microorganisms – the methanogens and the methylotrophs. Little is understood about what regulates these communities, complicating predictions about how global change drivers such as nitrogen enrichment will affect methane cycling. Using a nitrogen addition gradient experiment in three Southern California salt marshes, we show that sediment CH4 flux increased linearly with increasing nitrogen addition (1.23??g CH4?m?2?day?1 for each g?N?m?2?year?1 applied) after 7?months of fertilization. To test the reason behind this increased CH4 flux, we conducted a microcosm experiment altering both nitrogen and carbon availability under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Methanogenesis appeared to be both nitrogen and carbon (acetate) limited. N and C each increased methanogenesis by 18%, and together by 44%. In contrast, methanotrophy was stimulated by carbon (methane) addition (830%), but was unchanged by nitrogen addition. Sequence analysis of the sediment methylotroph community with the methanol dehydrogenase gene (mxaF) revealed three distinct clades that fall outside of known lineages. However, in agreement with the microcosm results, methylotroph abundance (assayed by qPCR) and composition (assayed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis) did not vary across the experimental nitrogen gradient in the field. Together, these results suggest that nitrogen enrichment to salt marsh sediments increases methane flux by stimulating the methanogen community. PMID:22470369

  6. Feedbacks underlie the resilience of salt marshes and rapid reversal of consumer-driven die-off.

    PubMed

    Altieri, Andrew H; Bertness, Mark D; Coverdale, Tyler C; Axelman, Eric E; Herrmann, Nicholas C; Szathmary, P Lauren

    2013-07-01

    Understanding ecosystem resilience to human impacts is critical for conservation and restoration. The large-scale die-off of New England salt marshes was triggered by overfishing and resulted from decades of runaway crab grazing. In 2009, however, cordgrass began to recover, decreasing die-off -40% by 2010. We used surveys and experiments to test whether plant-substrate feedbacks underlie marsh resilience. Initially, grazer-generated die-off swept through the cordgrass, creating exposed, stressful peat banks that inhibited plant growth. This desertification cycle broke when banks eroded and peat transitioned into mud with fewer herbivores, less grazing, and lower physical stress. Cordgrass reestablished in these areas through a feedback where it engineered a recovery zone by further ameliorating physical stresses and facilitating additional revegetation. Our results reveal that feedbacks can play a critical role in rapid, reversible ecosystem shifts associated with human impacts, and that the interplay of facilitative and consumer interactions should be incorporated into resilience theory. PMID:23951724

  7. Does the invasive plant Elymus athericus modify fish diet in tidal salt marshes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laffaille, P.; Pétillon, J.; Parlier, E.; Valéry, L.; Ysnel, F.; Radureau, A.; Feunteun, E.; Lefeuvre, J.-C.

    2005-12-01

    The invasion of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay salt marshes (France) by a grass species ( Elymus athericus) has led to important changes in vegetation cover, which is likely to modify the habitat for many invertebrates. Some of them constitute the main food items for several fish species, such as young sea bass ( Dicentrarchus labrax) and sand goby ( Pomatoschistus minutus), that feed in salt marsh creeks during high tides. As a result, fish nursery functions of salt marshes could be modified by the E. athericus invasion. In order to test this hypothesis, gut contents of the two most abundant fish species (sea bass and sand goby) were compared before and after E. athericus invasion in the same salt marsh creek and using the same methodology. The accessibility and availability of the main food item, the semi-terrestrial amphipod Orchestia gammarella, were estimated and compared between invaded (dominated by E. athericus) and original areas (dominated by Atriplex portulacoides). Gut content analysis showed a significantly greater percentage of fish leaving with empty guts from E. athericus areas than from A. portulacoides areas. The sea bass diet composition study showed a major shift in the relative importance of the main food items: before E. athericus invasion, diets were dominated by the semi-terrestrial species O. gammarella, whereas after the E. athericus invasion they were dominated by a marine mysid Neomysis integer. The same trend was found for sand gobies, with a shift of the main food item from O. gammarella before invasion to the polychaete Hediste diversicolor after invasion. These trophic changes may be explained by the lower accessibility and availability of O. gammarella in invaded communities than in natural ones. The E. athericus invasion, observed throughout northern Europe, is thus likely to disturb trophic function of natural salt marshes for fish. This preliminary study of the E. athericus invasion is also an illustration that invasive species are an urgent problem in conservation biology.

  8. The influence of mosquito control recirculation ditches on plant biomass, production and composition in two San Francisco Bay salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balling, Steven S.; Resh, Vincent H.

    1983-02-01

    Vegetation of two San Francisco Bay, California, U.S.A. tidal marshes was examined to determine the effects of recirculation ditches designed to eliminate mosquito-breeding. Salicornia virginica L. biomass and production in Petaluma Marsh and plant species composition in Suisun Marsh were measured with respect to distance from ditches and natural channels. In Petaluma Marsh, both annual above-ground production estimates and infrared aerial photographs indicated that S. virginica growth rates were higher near ditches than in the open marsh. In the floristically diverse, less saline Suisun Marsh, there was a displacement of the more salt tolerant S. virginica by the less tolerant Juncus balticus Willd. and a significantly greater number of species near the ditches. Results in both marshes are correlated with low groundwater salinities near ditches and suggest that tidal circulation within ditches locally ameliorates extremes in soil conditions.

  9. Stability of Juncus roemerianus patches in a salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Mark M. Brinson; Robert R. Christian

    1999-01-01

    In a Virginia (USA) marsh undergoing transgression due to rising sea level, we examined the stability of the boundary between\\u000a nearly monotypic patches ofJuncus roemerianus and adjacent plant communities for 6 years. Patch stability was evaluated by examining interannual changes in 5 cover classes:J. roemerianus, Spartina alterniflora, S. patens, Distichlis spicata, and wrack. Patches were chosen at four sites ranging

  10. Using Projections of Tidal Marsh Ecosystem Response to Sea-Level Rise to Guide Adaptation Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veloz, S.; Nur, N.; Salas, L. A.; Stralberg, D.; Jongsomjit, D.; Wood, J.; Liu, L.; Ballard, G.

    2011-12-01

    The large uncertainty associated with estimating the effects of sea-level rise and climate change on tidal marsh ecosystems exacerbates the difficulty in planning for their effective conservation. To address this uncertainty, we modeled the distribution and abundance of tidal marsh bird species in the San Francisco Estuary for the period 2010 to 2110 in relation to projected changes in sea-level rise, salinity, and sediment availability using four future scenarios with assumptions of low or high suspended sediment concentrations and low or high rates of sea-level rise (0.52 or 1.65 m/100 yr). We used the projections of bird populations the modeled uncertainty to develop spatially explicit priorities for conservation and restoration using Zonation conservation planning software. In our models, marsh bird population generally declined from current levels due to the conversion of high and mid-marsh habitat to low-marsh and mudflats and changes in spring and summer salinity. High sea-level rise scenarios had the biggest impact on bird populations, although the effects were muted under high sediment availability scenarios. There was considerable variation in bird population projections among the four future scenarios we tested and the uncertainty tended to increase from 2030 to 2110. Because so little tidal marsh habitat currently remains in the San Francisco Estuary, the spatial prioritization found that all areas currently open to tidal influence were high priorities for conservation. We repeated this prioritization exercise with all barriers to tidal flow (e.g. levees) removed and identified important locations in which restoration by breaching levees would most efficiently provide long-term benefit to tidal marsh bird populations. The projected species distributions and changes in tidal marsh elevations are available in the form of interactive maps and downloadable GIS layers at: www.prbo.org/sfbayslr. This website can help managers plan effective conservation and restoration strategies to foster adaptation to the effects of future climate change.

  11. A geohydrologic continuum theory for the spatial and temporal evolution of marsh-estuarine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dame, R.; Childers, D.; Koepfler, E.

    Using ecosystem development theory and the River Continuum Concept as starting points, we present a new holistic theory to explain the spatial and temporal behaviour of marsh-estuarine ecosystems Along the marine-estuarine-freshwater gradient in response to sea-level rise. In this theory, a geohydrologic continuum represented by tidal channel provides a predictable physical model of how the marsh-estuarine ecosystem adapts until there is a change of state. North Inlet, South Carolina is used as an example of this marsh-estuarine continuum. Mature creeks are at the ocean-estuary interface and are strongly influenced by marine factors. Further into the estuary, less and less mature creeks are encountered which are dominated by smaller scale spatial and temporal controls such as oyster reefs. Immature or ephemeral creeks import both particulate and dissolved materials, while mature creeks export both forms of nutrients. Mid-aged creeks appear to take up particulate materials and release dissolved constituents. Ultimately, the continuum reaches the fresh-saltwater interface where a very young estuarine ecosystem invades a more mature type, under the influence of disturbance. Our new explanation satisfies most criteria for a good theory by being internally consistent to the location specified, generating testable hypothesis, not blindly adapting existing theories, agreeing with known properties of the ecosystem described and by generating new invigorating discussion within the scientific community.

  12. Variability of fresh- and salt-water marshes characteristics on the west coast of France: A spatio-temporal assessment

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Sébastien Tortajada; Valérie David; Amel Brahmia; Christine Dupuy; Thomas Laniesse; Bernard Parinet; Frederic Pouget; Frederic Rousseau; Benoit Simon-Bouhet; François-Xavier Robin

    2011-01-01

    The degradation of water quality and the multiple conflicts of interest between users make marsh restoration very important. A Water Quality Evaluation System (WQES) was developed for river systems by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Some form of biologically-based, habitat-specific reference standard seems absolutely essential for wise management and stewardship of marsh ecosystems. The goal of this study was

  13. The impact of cattle grazing on salt marsh and elevated hummock vegetation communities of a Texas barrier island 

    E-print Network

    Carothers, James Michael

    2002-01-01

    To assess the effects of cattle herbivory on vegetation community structure and composition in a Texas coastal salt marsh, data measuring several vegetation parameters were collected in four distinct habitats within a ...

  14. Variability of intertidal foraminferal assemblages in a salt marsh, Oregon, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milker, Yvonne; Horton, Benjamin P.; Nelson, Alan R.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Witter, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    We studied 18 sampling stations along a transect to investigate the similarity between live (rose Bengal stained) foraminiferal populations and dead assemblages, their small-scale spatial variations and the distribution of infaunal foraminifera in a salt marsh (Toms Creek marsh) at the upper end of the South Slough arm of the Coos Bay estuary, Oregon, USA. We aimed to test to what extent taphonomic processes, small-scale variability and infaunal distribution influence the accuracy of sea-level reconstructions based on intertidal foraminifera. Cluster analyses have shown that dead assemblages occur in distinct zones with respect to elevation, a prerequisite for using foraminifera as sea-level indicators. Our nonparametric multivariate analysis of variance showed that small-scale spatial variability has only a small influence on live (rose Bengal stained) populations and dead assemblages. The dissimilarity was higher, however, between live (rose Bengal stained) populations in the middle marsh. We observed early diagenetic dissolution of calcareous tests in the dead assemblages. If comparable post-depositional processes and similar minor spatial variability also characterize fossil assemblages, then dead assemblage are the best modern analogs for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. The Toms Creek tidal flat and low marsh vascular plant zones are dominated by Miliammina fusca, the middle marsh is dominated by Balticammina pseudomacrescens and Trochammina inflata, and the high marsh and upland–marsh transition zone are dominated by Trochamminita irregularis. Analysis of infaunal foraminifera showed that most living specimens are found in the surface sediments and the majority of live (rose Bengal stained) infaunal specimens are restricted to the upper 10 cm, but living individuals are found to depths of 50 cm. The dominant infaunal specimens are similar to those in the corresponding surface samples and no species have been found living solely infaunally. The total numbers of infaunal foraminifera are small compared to the total numbers of dead specimens in the surface samples. This suggests that surface samples adequately represent the modern intertidal environment in Toms Creek.

  15. The effects of decreased management on plant-species distribution patterns in a salt marsh nature reserve in the Wadden Sea

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Peter Esselink; Wiebo Zijlstra; Kees S. Dijkema; Rudy van Diggelen

    2000-01-01

    To restore natural salt-marsh habitats, maintenance of the artificial drainage system was discontinued and cattle grazing was reduced in man-made salt marshes in the Dollard estuary, the Netherlands. We studied the vegetation development in these marshes shortly after these marshes became a nature reserve, and again 8–9 years later. Cattle distribution showed a gradient of intensive use close to the

  16. Effects of Life History Strategy on Fish Distribution and Use of Estuarine Salt Marsh and Shallow-Water Flat Habitats

    Microsoft Academic Search

    David L. Meyer; Martin H. Posey

    2009-01-01

    To assess the potential for habitat isolation effects on estuarine nekton, we used two species with different dispersal abilities\\u000a and life history strategies, mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) and pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides) to examine: (1) distribution trends among estuarine shallow-water flat and various intertidal salt marsh habitats and (2)\\u000a the influence of salt marsh habitat size and isolation. Collections were conducted using

  17. Differential effects of salinity and soil saturation on native and exotic plants of a coastal salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Nathan L. Kuhn; Joy B. Zedler

    1997-01-01

    In many southern California salt marshes, increased freshwater inflows have promoted the establishment of exotic plant species.\\u000a A comparative study showed that a native, perennial, high marsh dominant,Salicornia subterminalis, and an invasive, exotic annual grass,Polypogon monspeliensis, responded differently to soil salinity and saturation.Salicornia subterminalis seeds and young plants were more salt tolerant, and the native grew best at high salinities

  18. Sediment quality assessment in tidal salt marshes in northern California, USA: An evaluation of multiple lines of evidence approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hwang, Hyun-Min; Carr, Robert S.; Cherr, Gary N.; Green, Peter G.; Grosholz, Edwin G.; Judah, Linda; Morgan, Steven G.; Ogle, Scott; Rashbrook, Vanessa K.; Rose, Wendy L.; Teh, Swee J.; Vines, Carol A.; Anderson, Susan L.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of integrating a traditional sediment quality triad approach with selected sublethal chronic indicators in resident species in assessing sediment quality in four salt marshes in northern California, USA. These included the highly contaminated (Stege Marsh) and relatively clean (China Camp) marshes in San Francisco Bay and two reference marshes in Tomales Bay. Toxicity potential of contaminants and benthic macroinvertebrate survey showed significant differences between contaminated and reference marshes. Sublethal responses (e.g., apoptotic DNA fragmentation, lipid accumulation, and glycogen depletion) in livers of longjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys mirabilis) and embryo abnormality in lined shore crab (Pachygrapsus crassipes) also clearly distinguished contaminated and reference marshes, while other responses (e.g., cytochrome P450, metallothionein) did not. This study demonstrates that additional chronic sublethal responses in resident species under field exposure conditions can be readily combined with sediment quality triads for an expanded multiple lines of evidence approach. This confirmatory step may be warranted in environments like salt marshes in which natural variables may affect interpretation of toxicity test data. Qualitative and quantitative integration of the portfolio of responses in resident species and traditional approach can support a more comprehensive and informative sediment quality assessment in salt marshes and possibly other habitat types as well.

  19. Sediment quality assessment in tidal salt marshes in northern California, USA: an evaluation of multiple lines of evidence approach.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Hyun-Min; Carr, R Scott; Cherr, Gary N; Green, Peter G; Grosholz, Edwin D; Judah, Linda; Morgan, Steven G; Ogle, Scott; Rashbrook, Vanessa K; Rose, Wendy L; Teh, Swee J; Vines, Carol A; Anderson, Susan L

    2013-06-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of integrating a traditional sediment quality triad approach with selected sublethal chronic indicators in resident species in assessing sediment quality in four salt marshes in northern California, USA. These included the highly contaminated (Stege Marsh) and relatively clean (China Camp) marshes in San Francisco Bay and two reference marshes in Tomales Bay. Toxicity potential of contaminants and benthic macroinvertebrate survey showed significant differences between contaminated and reference marshes. Sublethal responses (e.g., apoptotic DNA fragmentation, lipid accumulation, and glycogen depletion) in livers of longjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys mirabilis) and embryo abnormality in lined shore crab (Pachygrapsus crassipes) also clearly distinguished contaminated and reference marshes, while other responses (e.g., cytochrome P450, metallothionein) did not. This study demonstrates that additional chronic sublethal responses in resident species under field exposure conditions can be readily combined with sediment quality triads for an expanded multiple lines of evidence approach. This confirmatory step may be warranted in environments like salt marshes in which natural variables may affect interpretation of toxicity test data. Qualitative and quantitative integration of the portfolio of responses in resident species and traditional approach can support a more comprehensive and informative sediment quality assessment in salt marshes and possibly other habitat types as well. PMID:23542672

  20. Restoring assemblages of salt marsh halophytes in the presence of a rapidly colonizing dominant species

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Anna R. Armitage; Katharyn E. Boyer; Richard R. Vance; Richard F. Ambrose

    2006-01-01

    Establishing species-rich plant communities is a common goal of habitat restoration efforts, but not all species within a\\u000a target assemblage have the same capacity for recruitment and survival in created habitats. We investigated the development\\u000a of a tidal salt marsh plant community in the presence of a rapidly colonizing dominant species, Salicornia virginica, in a newly created habitat in Mugu

  1. LATITUDINAL VARIATION IN PALATABILITY OF SALT-MARSH PLANTS: ARE DIFFERENCES CONSTITUTIVE?

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Cristiano S. Salgado; Steven C. Pennings

    2005-01-01

    Biogeographic theory argues that consumer-prey interactions are more in- tense, and prey defenses better developed, at lower latitudes. Along the Atlantic Coast of the United States, low-latitude salt marsh plants are less palatable than high-latitude con- specifics. To test the hypothesis that latitudinal variation in palatability would occur in the absence of geographically different environmental cues (i.e., that differences in

  2. Twenty years of salt marsh succession on a Dutch coastal barrier island

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. J. van Wijnen; J. P. Bakker; Y. de Vries

    1997-01-01

    After a formerly grazed salt marsh was released from cattle grazing, changes in plant species composition were monitored for\\u000a 20 yr, using vegetation maps and permanent plots. Three areas, differing in age and nutrient status were compared. The number\\u000a of plant species and plant communities decreased.Elymus athericus (Elytrigia pungens) became dominant in most plant communities after 5–20 yr on the

  3. The effect of grazing by Littorina irrorata on edaphic and epiphytic communities of salt marsh diatoms 

    E-print Network

    Wu, Tsui-Hui

    1994-01-01

    periwinkle, Lirtorina irrorata Say, is a conspicuous macrofaunal consumer in salt marshes on the eastern coast of the United States from Long Island, New York, to Port Isabel, Texas (Bequaert 1943). This species inhabits both the sediment surface... that ingested particles of dead S. alrernt Jfora were egested without significant alteration, owing to the inability of the periwinkles to digest vascular plant tissues. Alexander (1976) concluded, therefore, that vascular plant tissues might contribute less...

  4. Direct counts of bacteria in the sediments of a North Carolina salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Parke Rublee; Bruce E. Dornseif

    1978-01-01

    The number of bacteria in sediments of a North Carolina salt marsh was determined by direct counts with epifluorescent illumination\\u000a and acridine orange stain. Cell number decreased from 8.36–10.90×109 cells\\/cm3 of sediment at the surface to 2.19–2.58×109 cells\\/cm3 of sediment at a depth of 20 cm. No significant difference was found among four stations located on a transect which crossed

  5. Home ranges of brown hares in a natural salt marsh: comparisons with agricultural systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Peter J. G. Kunst; René van der Wal; Sip van Wieren

    2001-01-01

    This is the first study on spatial behaviour of brown haresLepus europaeus Pallas, 1778 based on radio-telemetry in a natural system, which we contrast with data from agricultural systems. Radio tracking\\u000a took place in a Dutch salt marsh over a 10-month period, with intensive tracking sessions during April\\/May and December\\/January.\\u000a Six hares could be followed in both periods and in

  6. Patterns of sulfate reduction and the sulfur cycle in a South Carolina salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gary M. King

    1988-01-01

    Rates of sulfate reduction and the magnitude of various sediment parameters related to the sulfur cycle were measured at about quarterly intervals for a 3-yr period at sites in a South Carolina salt marsh containing tall- or short-form Spartina alternij70ra. Sulfate reduction rates were greater at all times in the short-form sites and decreased markedly with depth. Seasonal changes were

  7. Tidal Creek and Salt Marsh Sediments in South Carolina Coastal Estuaries: II. Distribution of Organic Contaminants

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. M. Sanger; A. F. Holland; G. I. Scott

    1999-01-01

    .   Twenty-eight tidal creeks along the South Carolina coast were sampled during the summer of 1995 to determine the levels\\u000a of sediment contamination including organic chemicals (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs], polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], and DDT and its metabolites) associated with different\\u000a types and varying levels of watershed development (i.e., industrial\\/urban, suburban, forested, and salt marsh). Organic analysis utilized high-performance

  8. Soil salinity and moisture gradients and plant zonation in Mediterranean salt marshes of Southeast Spain

    Microsoft Academic Search

    José Alvarez Rogel; Francisco Alcaraz Ariza; Roque Ortiz Silla

    2000-01-01

    For two years, we measured soil moisture, pH, salinity, and ion concentrations bimonthly from 55 vegetation plots in six Mediterranean\\u000a salt marshes of SE Spain. Edaphic characteristics during dry and wet seasons were compared within six selected plant communities.\\u000a The dominant species in each of these communities were Suaeda vera, Lygeum spartum, Limonium sp, Sarcocornia fruticosa, Halocnemum strobilaceum, and Arthrocnemum

  9. Dynamics of potential waterfowl foods in great salt lake marshes during summer

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Robert R. Cox; John A. Kadlec

    1995-01-01

    Changes in biomass of potential waterfowl foods were investigated in Great Salt Lake marshes during July and August of 1988–89.\\u000a In freshwater habitats, biomass of midge (Chironomidae) larvae and pupae and water boatman (Corixidae) nymphs declined from\\u000a early to late summer. Biomass of mayfly (Ephemeroptera) and damselfly (Zygoptera) nymphs increased over the same time interval.\\u000a Seeds of horned pondweed (Zannichellia

  10. Nesting habitat of Belding’s Savannah sparrows in coastal salt marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Abby N. Powell

    1993-01-01

    Although the Belding’s Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingl) is listed as endangered in California, little is known about the factors that affect its abundance and distribution. Numbers\\u000a of breeding pairs, nesting territory sizes, and vegetation characteristics were measured at fourteen study plots in two southern\\u000a California coastal wetlands, Tijuana Estuary and Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Sparrows nested in middle salt marsh

  11. Seasonal patterns in energy partitioning of two freshwater marsh ecosystems

    E-print Network

    to substantial wetland loss (50% globally) [Mitsch and Gosselink, 2007] and has modified terrestrial energy; Mitsch and Gosselink, 2007], the energy balance has a direct impact on climate and ecosystem processes

  12. Tidal Flooding and Vegetation Patterns in a Salt Marsh Tidal Creek Imaged by Low-altitude Balloon Aerial Photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, S. M.; Madsen, E.

    2013-12-01

    Inundation of marsh surfaces by tidal creek flooding has implications for the headward erosion of salt marsh creeks, effect of rising sea levels, biological zonation, and marsh ecosystem services. The hydroperiod; as the frequency, duration, depth and flux of water across the marsh surface; is a key factor in salt marsh ecology, but remains poorly understood due to lack of data at spatial scales relevant to tracking the spatial movement of water across the marsh. This study examines how hydroperiod, drainage networks, and tidal creek geomorphology on the vegetation at Crab Haul Creek. Crab Haul Creek is the farthest landward tidal basin in North Inlet, a bar-built estuary in South Carolina. This study measures the hydroperiod in the headwaters Crab Haul Creek with normal and near-IR photos from a helium balloon Helikite at 75-100 m altitude. Photos provide detail necessary to resolve the waterline and delineate the hydroperiod during half tidal cycles by capturing the waterline hourly from the headwaters to a piezometer transect 260 meters north. The Helikite is an ideal instrument for local investigations of surface hydrology due to its maneuverability, low cost, ability to remain aloft for extended time over a fixed point, and ability to capture high-resolution images. Photographs taken from aircraft do not provide the detail necessary to determine the waterline on the marsh surface. The near-IR images make the waterline more distinct by increasing the difference between wet and dry ground. In the headwaters of Crab Haul Creek, individual crab burrows are detected by automated image classification and the number of crab burrows and their spatial density is tracked from January-August. Crab burrows are associated with the unvegetated region at the creek head, and we relate their change over time to the propagation of the creek farther into the tidal basin. Plant zonation is influenced by the hydroperiod, but also may be affected by salinity, water table depth, and soil water content. These other factors are all directly affected by the hydroperiod, creating a complex system of feedbacks. Inundation frequencies show a pronounced relationship to zonation. Creek bank height and the hydroperiod have a curvilinear relationship at low bank heights such that small decreases in creek bank height can result in large increases in inundation frequency. Biological zonation is not simply a result of bank height and inundation frequency, other contributing factors include species competition, adaptability, and groundwater flow. Vegetation patterns delineated by a ground-based GPS survey and image classification from the aerial photos show that not all changes in eco-zonation are a direct function of elevation. Some asymmetry across the creek is observed in plant habitat, and eliminating topography (and thereby tidal inundation) as a factor, we attribute the remaining variability to groundwater flow.

  13. Evaluation of the ability of two plants for the phytoremediation of Cd in salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunes da Silva, Marta; Mucha, Ana P.; Rocha, A. Cristina; Silva, Carla; Carli, Carolina; Gomes, Carlos R.; Almeida, C. Marisa R.

    2014-03-01

    Several salt marsh plant species have shown to be able to uptake and concentrate metals in their tissues, showing potential for metal phytoremediation. However, studies in controlled conditions, mimicking as much as possible the plants natural environment, are needed to confirm this potential. For the present study, Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis were collected in an estuary together with the sediment surrounding their roots, put in vessels and maintained in greenhouses under estuarine tidal simulation. After 3 weeks of acclimation, vessels were spiked with two different cadmium concentrations. After 2 months, cadmium was assessed in plant tissues and sediments. Results indicate that both plant species were able to uptake and translocate cadmium into their tissues, contributing also to retain it in rhizosediments and thus reducing the available amount of metal in the environment. Metal was preferentially accumulated in belowground structures, in concentrations not directly proportional to the amount of cadmium present in the sediment. Although no visual toxicity signs were observed, some defence mechanisms were triggered as observed by the changes in carotenoids, lignin, total soluble phenolic compounds and thiolic compounds levels, this response differing between plant species. This work shows that these two salt marsh plants can contribute for the retention of cadmium in salt marshes being useful for the phytostabilization of this metal in estuarine environments.

  14. Copper and lead concentrations in salt marsh plants on the Suir Estuary, Ireland.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, E J; Caffrey, J M; Nesaratnam, S T; McLoughlin, P

    2003-01-01

    Concentrations of Cu and Pb were determined in the roots and shoots of six salt marsh plant species, and in sediment taken from between the roots of the plants, sampled from the lower salt marsh zone at four sites along the Suir Estuary in autumn 1997. Cu was mainly accumulated in the roots of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous species. Pb was mainly accumulated in the roots of monocotyledons, while dicotyledons tended to accumulate Pb in the shoots. In the case of Aster tripolium there was a clear differentiation in the partitioning of Pb within the plant, between low and high salinity sites. At the low salinity sites, Pb accumulated only in the roots while at the high salinity sites there was a marked translocation to the shoots. The increase in Pb concentrations in roots and shoots of A. tripolium was accompanied by a concomitant decrease in sediment concentrations of Pb. This inverse correlation between sediment and plant concentrations of Pb was also recorded for Spartina spp. and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani but in the case of these species the roots contained higher concentrations of Pb regardless of salinity levels. These differences in accumulation of Cu and Pb in various salt marsh species, and the influence of salinity on the translocation of Pb in A. tripolium in particular, should be taken into account when using these plants for biomonitoring purposes. PMID:12663206

  15. Quantification of Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria and Factors Controlling Nitrification in Salt Marsh Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Dollhopf, Sherry L.; Hyun, Jung-Ho; Smith, April C.; Adams, Harold J.; O'Brien, Sean; Kostka, Joel E.

    2005-01-01

    To elucidate the geomicrobiological factors controlling nitrification in salt marsh sediments, a comprehensive approach involving sediment geochemistry, process rate measurements, and quantification of the genetic potential for nitrification was applied to three contrasting salt marsh habitats: areas colonized by the tall (TS) or short (SS) form of Spartina alterniflora and unvegetated creek banks (CBs). Nitrification and denitrification potential rates were strongly correlated with one another and with macrofaunal burrow abundance, indicating that coupled nitrification-denitrification was enhanced by macrofaunal burrowing activity. Ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene copy numbers were used to estimate the ammonia-oxidizing bacterial population size (5.6 × 104 to 1.3 × 106 g of wet sediment?1), which correlated with nitrification potentials and was 1 order of magnitude higher for TS and CB than for SS. TS and CB sediments also had higher Fe(III) content, higher Fe(III)-to-total reduced sulfur ratios, higher Fe(III) reduction rates, and lower dissolved sulfides than SS sediments. Iron(III) content and reduction rates were positively correlated with nitrification and denitrification potential and amoA gene copy number. Laboratory slurry incubations supported field data, confirming that increased amounts of Fe(III) relieved sulfide inhibition of nitrification. We propose that macrofaunal burrowing and high concentrations of Fe(III) stimulate nitrifying bacterial populations, and thus may increase nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification in salt marsh sediments. PMID:15640193

  16. Salt marsh vegetation as a carbonyl sulfide (COS) source to the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whelan, Mary E.; Min, Dong-Ha; Rhew, Robert C.

    2013-07-01

    Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is the most abundant and longest-lived reduced sulfur compound in the atmosphere; changes in its atmospheric concentration could significantly affect global climate and the biogeochemical sulfur cycle. The largest sink of COS in the troposphere is its destruction in plant leaves by the enzymes involved in photosynthesis. In this study, net fluxes of COS were measured from a coastal salt marsh on a subtropical barrier island on the Texas shore of the Gulf of Mexico. We find net emissions from sites with the common salt marsh plant Batis maritima compared to the net uptake from vegetated plots of most previously investigated biomes. The magnitude of the COS production from vegetated plots in this study was twice the emissions of soil-only salt marsh plots. This is the first time that emissions of COS have been found to be significantly enhanced by the presence of vegetation compared to soil alone. COS fluxes exceeded +110 pmol m-2 s-1 for non-inundated plots during daytime hours and were correlated with soil temperature at the depth of 5 cm. Tidal flooding inhibited soil COS exchange; however, we found continued net emissions from emergent B. maritima. This study suggests that emissions of COS resulted from interactions with the plants themselves, which would mean that B. maritima can mediate the production of atmospheric COS.

  17. Alterations to Tidal Marsh Carbon Cycling and Greenhouse Gas Exchange in Response to Sea-Level and Salt-Water Intrusion (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weston, N. B.

    2013-12-01

    Tidal marshes are highly productive ecosystems with the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon. However, tidal wetlands may be sources of the powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), which are produced via microbial metabolic processes. As global climate changes it is increasingly important to understand the factors that control ecosystem productivity, GHG fluxes, and potential feedbacks between global change factors, C cycling, and marsh resilience to sea-level rise (SLR). Field measurements were undertaken to quantify rates of GHG (CO2 and CH4) exchange rates, plant biomass, microbial sulfate reduction and methanogenesis rates, and soil biogeochemistry at three tidal wetland sites along the salinity gradient in the Delaware River Estuary over four years. Despite similar plant productivity between marsh types, differences in microbial processes largely determined the GHG source/sink status of the wetland types. Mesohaline salt-marshes consistently sequestered C (~300 g C m-2 yr-1), and due to negligible CH4 release, were also a GHG sink (~1350 g CO2-eq m-2 yr-1). In contrast, the TFM sequestered C (~350 g C m-2 yr-1) but because of appreciable release of CH4 from freshwater wetland soils was GHG neutral. The oligohaline marsh site experienced significant seasonal salt-water intrusion (SWI) in the late summer during the four year study period, resulting in major alterations to marsh C cycling. The oligohaline marsh did not sequester C (loss of ~45 g C m-2 yr-1) in part due to surprisingly high rates of CH4 release (190 g CH4 m-2 yr-1). The oligohaline marsh undergoing SWI was therefore a significant source of GHG to the atmosphere (~4000 g CO2-eq m-2 yr-1). These results indicate that SWI alters C cycling and GHG exchange in marsh systems, and may accelerate the decomposition of organic matter limiting the ability of marshes to accrete material and keep pace with SLR. The impacts of SWI on TFM soil C cycling were further investigated in a one year laboratory experiment. Microbial organic matter mineralization to CO2 increased following simulated SWI. This was linked to greater availability of sulfate (SO42-) and higher rates of microbial sulfate reduction, resulting in significantly greater flux of CO2 from TFM soils. Rates of CH4 release were also significantly greater from soils following SWI, and microbial acetoclastic methanogensis was not inhibited by the introduction of salt-water, supporting findings from the field measurements. Higher rates of microbial organic matter mineralization via both sulfate reduction and methanogenesis resulted in declining soil organic matter following SWI. A multi-year field manipulation utilizing modified marsh ';organs' to examine the interactive effects of both SWI and SLR indicated that, while N2O emissions decreased with flooding (-0.3 g m-2 yr-1 cm-1), rates of CH4 flux increased with flooding (2.3 g m-2 yr-1 cm-1) corresponding to measured increases in microbial methanogenesis and resulting in a net increase in GHG release. There were complex interactions between changes in plant production and microbial organic matter decomposition with both SLR and SWI, and TFMs experiencing both SLR and SWI simultaneously had reduced C sequestration and increased GHG release. SLR and SWI therefore limit the vertical accretion potential of TFMs, put TFMs at risk of permanent submergence, and produce a feedback to atmospheric GHG concentrations.

  18. Biogeochemical and hydrological controls on fate and distribution of trace metals in oiled Gulf salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keevan, J.; Natter, M.; Lee, M.; Keimowitz, A.; Okeke, B.; Savrda, C.; Saunders, J.

    2011-12-01

    On April 20, 2010, the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the release of approximately 5 million barrels of crude oil into the environment. Oil and its associated trace metals have been demonstrated to have a detrimental effect on coastal wetland ecosystems. Wetlands are particularly susceptible to oil contamination because they are composed largely of fine-grained sediments, which have a high capacity to adsorb organic matter and metals. The biogeochemical cycling of trace metals can be strongly influenced by microbial activity, specifically those of sulfate- and iron-reducing bacteria. Microbial activity may be enhanced by an increase in amounts of organic matter such as oil. This research incorporates an assessment of levels of trace metals and associated biogeochemical changes from ten coastal marshes in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. These sampling sites range in their pollution levels from pristine to highly contaminated. A total digestion analysis of wetland sediments shows higher concentrations of certain trace metals (e.g., Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Sr, Co, V, Ba, Hg, As) in heavily-oiled areas compared to less-affected and pristine sites. Due to chemical complexation among organic compounds and metals, crude oils often contain elevated levels (up to hundreds of mg/kg) of trace metals At the heavily-oiled Louisiana sites (e.g., Bay Jimmy, Bayou Dulac, Bay Batiste), elevated levels of metals and total organic carbon have been found in sediments down to depths of 30 cm. Clearly the contamination is not limited to shallow sediments and oil, along with various associated metals, may be invading into deeper (pre-industrial) portions of the marsh sediments. Pore-waters extracted from contaminated sediments are characterized by very high levels of reduced sulfur (up to 80 mg/kg), in contrast to fairly low ferrous iron concentrations (<0.02 mg/kg). The influx of oil into the wetlands might provide the initial substrate and carbon source for stimulating sulfate-reducing bacteria. The high sulfur levels, coupled with the low levels of iron, indicate that iron-reducing bacteria are outcompeted by sulfate reducers in oiled salt marshes. Moreover, pore-water pH values show a general increasing trend (ranging from 6.6 to 8.0) with depth, possibly reflecting the combined effects of bacterial sulfate reduction and saltwater intrusion at depth. Despite high levels of trace metals in bulk sediments, concentrations of trace metals dissolved in pore-waters are generally low. It is very likely that high organic matter content and bacterially-mediated sulfate reduction promote metal retention through the formation of sulfide solids. Framboidal pyrites, as well as other sulfides, have been identified, and are currently undergoing XRD, SEM, and EDAX analyses. Continued research is needed to monitor possible re-mobilization of trace metals in changing redox and biogeochemical conditions.

  19. Factors influencing algal biomass in hydrologically dynamic salt ponds in a subtropical salt marsh

    E-print Network

    Miller, Carrie J.

    2009-05-15

    naturally migrating population of whooping cranes (Darnell and Smith 2004). This endangered species uses the marsh from mid-October through mid-April as winter feeding grounds, eating primarily Carolina wolfberry (Lycium carolinianum) and blue crabs...

  20. Response of carbon sequestration in salt marshes to changes in nitrogen loading and sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadman, K. J.; Gonneea, M. E.; Kroeger, K. D.; Tang, J.; Moseman-Valtierra, S.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon uptake and storage in marine and terrestrial systems is a topic of considerable importance, given the current rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. This project investigates how sea level rise and nutrient enrichment impact salt marsh accretion in the Waquoit Bay Estuary on the southwest coast of Cape Cod, MA, USA. The region is a recognized hot spot of sea level rise over the past 25 years, and it has experienced accelerated nitrogen enrichment related to population growth over the past 60 years. Eleven piston cores were collected from four marshes experiencing a gradient in nutrient enrichment. Preliminary results are based on a 90 cm core from Sage Lot Pond that spans approximately 490 years. Sediment accretion rates, determined from 137Cs and 210Pb, indicate an acceleration in marsh vertical growth since 1950. Concurrent evaluation of bulk carbon content shows increased carbon burial over the same time period. Additionally, sediment nitrogen content has increased while ?15N values became heavier, potentially indicative of anthropogenic nitrogen loading. These data will contribute to our understanding of the capacity of the marshes to contribute to carbon burial while responding to changes in climate and land use.

  1. MARSH DATA FOR SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT PROJECT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The South Florida Ecosystem Assessment Project is an innovative, large-scale monitoring and assessment program designed to measure current and changing conditions of ecological resources in South Florida using an integrated holistic approach. This data set contains results for f...

  2. MAPPING AND MONITORING OF SALT MARSH VEGETATION AND TIDAL CHANNEL NETWORK FROM HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGERY (1975-2006). EXAMPLE OF THE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL BAY (FRANCE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puissant, A. P.; Kellerer, D.; Gluard, L.; Levoy, F.

    2009-12-01

    Coastal landscapes are severely affected by environmental and social pressures. Their long term development is controlled by both physical and anthropogenic factors, which spatial dynamics and interactions may be analysed by Earth Observation data. The Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (Normandy, France) is one of the European coastal systems with a very high tidal range (approximately 15m during spring tides) because of its geological, geomorphological and hydrodynamical contexts at the estuary of the Couesnon, Sée and Sélune rivers. It is also an important touristic place with the location of the Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey, and an invaluable ecosystem of wetlands forming a transition between the sea and the land. Since 2006, engineering works are performed with the objective of restoring the maritime character of the Bay. These works will lead to many changes in the spatial dynamics of the Bay which can be monitored with two indicators: the sediment budget and the wetland vegetation surfaces. In this context, the aim of this paper is to map and monitor the tidal channel network and the extension of the salt marsh vegetation formation in the tidal zone of the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay by using satellite images. The spatial correlation between the network location of the three main rivers and the development of salt marsh is analysed with multitemporal medium (60m) to high spatial resolution (from 10 to 30 m) satellite images over the period 1975-2006. The method uses a classical supervised algorithm based on a maximum likelihood classification of eleven satellites images. The salt-marsh surfaces and the tidal channel network are then integrated in a GIS. Results of extraction are assessed by qualitative (visual interpretation) and quantitative indicators (confusion matrix). The multi-temporal analysis between 1975 and 2006 highlights that in 1975 when the study area is 26000 ha, salt marshes cover 16% (3000ha), the sandflat (slikke) and the water represent respectively 59% and 25% of the area. In 2006, salt marshes represent more than 3900 ha. Then, in thirty years, salt marshes have increased in average of 29 ha.yr-1. Several periods with different speed can be identified. Moreover, if the global tendency is a progression of salt-marshes, three period of accretion are noticed. Some hypothesis can be formulated about the tidal channel migrations using various data sources as tide levels, wind wave and meteorological data and river discharges. This analysis showed that satellite images are an important information source to locate morphological coastal changes and allows to perform the understanding of a dynamic and complex system such as the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay. It is possible to extract and to monitor coastal objects over a long time series with heterogeneous data such as satellite images with different spatial and spectral resolutions. With the multiplication of very high spatial resolution images, the detection of salt marshes surfaces and tidal channel could ever be more accurate.

  3. The weathering of oil after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: insights from the chemical composition of the oil from the sea surface, salt marshes and sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing; Zhu, Qingzhi; Wu, Wei

    2012-09-01

    The oil released during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill may have both short- and long-time impacts on the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. An understanding of how the composition and concentration of the oil are altered by weathering, including chemical, physical and biological processes, is needed to evaluate the oil toxicity and impact on the ecosystem in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This study examined petroleum hydrocarbons in oil mousse collected from the sea surface and salt marshes, and in oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead after the DWH oil spill. Oil mousses were collected at two stations (OSS and CT, located 130 and 85 km away from the wellhead, respectively) in May 2010, and two sediment samples from stations SG and SC, within 6 km of the wellhead, in May 2011. We also collected oil mousse from salt marshes at Marsh Point (MP), Mississippi, 186 km away from the wellhead in July 2010. In these samples, n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, BTEX (collective name of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and p-, m-, and o-xylenes), C3-benzenes and trace metals were measured to examine how the oil was altered chemically. The chemical analysis indicates that the oil mousses underwent different degrees of weathering with the pattern of OSS < CT < MP. This pattern is consistent with the projected oil mousse movement from the accident site to salt marshes. Also, the contents of trace metals Al, V, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Co, Cu, As and Pb in the oil mousse generally increased along the way to the salt marshes, indicating that these trace metals were perhaps aggregated into the oil mousse during the transport. Petroleum hydrocarbon data reveal that the oil deposited in sediments underwent only light to moderate degradation one year after the DWH oil spill, as supported by the presence of short-chained n-alkanes (C10-C 15), BTEX and C 3-benzenes. The weathering of oil in sediment may result from biological degradation and dissolution, evidenced by the preferential loss of mid-chained n-alkanes C16-C 27, lower ratios of n-C 17/Pr and n-C 18/Ph , and preferential loss of PAHs relative to alkylated PAHs.

  4. Spontaneous tidal network formation within a constructed salt marsh: Observations and morphodynamic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea; Lanzoni, Stefano; Marani, Marco; Bonometto, Andrea; Cecconi, Giovanni; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2007-11-01

    We have monitored and analyzed, through remote sensing and ancillary field surveys, the rapid (O(1) year) development of a tidal network within a newly established artificial salt marsh in the Venice Lagoon. After the construction of the salt marsh, a network of volunteer creeks established themselves away from an artificially constructed main channel (with mean and maximum annual headward-growth rates of 11 m/yr and 18 m/yr, respectively). The rapid formation of this system of tidal creeks provides a unique opportunity to test the reliability of a model of tidal network initiation and development, previously proposed by the authors. The restored marsh presents the characteristics of a controlled environment analogous to a large-scale field laboratory, as it allows comparison of the morphologic features of real and simulated network structures under the reasonable assumption of neglecting accretion and deposition processes over the timescales of observation. Our results compare favorably with observational evidence, showing that the model proves reasonably capable of reproducing the main features of the actual channel-network patterns. The model reproduces statistical network characteristics of eco-morphodynamic and hydrodynamic relevance and captures the dominant modes of the network-incision process.

  5. Field observations and morphodynamic modeling of spontaneous tidal network formation within a constructed salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Lanzoni, S.; Marani, M.; Rinaldo, A.

    2007-12-01

    We have monitored and analyzed, through remote sensing and ancillary field surveys, the rapid (O(1) year) development of a tidal network within a newly established artificial salt marsh in the Venice Lagoon. After the construction of the salt marsh, a network of volunteer creeks established themselves away from an artificially constructed main channel (with mean and maximum annual headward-growth rates of 11 m/yr and 18 m/yr, respectively). The rapid formation of this system of tidal creeks provides a unique opportunity to test the reliability of a model of tidal network initiation and development, previously proposed by the authors. The restored marsh presents the characteristics of a controlled environment analogous to a large-scale field laboratory, as it allows comparison of the morphologic features of real and simulated network structures under the reasonable assumption of neglecting accretion and deposition processes over the timescales of observation. Our results compare favorably with observational evidence, showing that the model proves reasonably capable of reproducing the main features of the actual channel-network patterns. The model reproduces statistical network characteristics of eco-morphodynamic and hydrodynamic relevance and captures the dominant modes of the network-incision process.

  6. Alteration of a Salt Marsh Bacterial Community by Fertilization with Sewage Sludge

    PubMed Central

    Hamlett, Nancy V.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of long-term fertilization with sewage sludge on the aerobic, chemoheterotrophic portion of a salt marsh bacterial community were examined. The study site in the Great Sippewissett Marsh, Cape Cod, Mass., consisted of experimental plots that were treated with different amounts of commercial sewage sludge fertilizer or with urea and phosphate. The number of CFUs, percentage of mercury- and cadmium-resistant bacteria, and percentage of antibiotic-resistant bacteria were all increased in the sludge-fertilized plots. Preliminary taxonomic characterization showed that sludge fertilization markedly altered the taxonomic distribution and reduced diversity within both the total heterotrophic and the mercury-resistant communities. In control plots, the total heterotrophic community was fairly evenly distributed among taxa and the mercury-resistant community was dominated by Pseudomonas spp. In sludge-fertilized plots, both the total and mercury-resistant communities were dominated by a single Cytophaga sp. PMID:16347183

  7. Alteration of a salt marsh bacterial community by fertilization with sewage sludge

    SciTech Connect

    Hamlett, N.V.

    1986-10-01

    The effects of long-term fertilization with sewage sludge on the aerobic, chemoheterotrophic portion of a salt marsh bacterial community were examined. The study site in the Great Sippewissett Marsh, Cap Cod, Mass., consisted of experimental plots that were treated with different amounts of commercial sewage sludge fertilizer or with urea and phosphate. The number of CFUs, percentage of mercury- and cadmium-resistant bacteria, and percentage of antibiotic-resistant bacteria were all increased in the sludge-fertilized plots. Preliminary taxonomic characterization showed fertilization markedly altered the taxonomic distribution and reduced diversity within both the total heterotrophic and the mercury-resistant communities. In control plots, the total heterotrophic community was fairly evenly distributed among taxa and the mercury-resistant community was dominated by Pseudomonas spp. In sludge-fertilized plots, both the total and mercury-resistant communities were dominated by a single Cytophaga sp.

  8. Salt marsh retreat induced by wind waves: experiments, field and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solari, L.; Francalanci, S.; Bendoni, M.; Cappietti, L.

    2013-12-01

    Edge erosion of salt marshes due to surface waves and tide forcing is likely the chief mechanism that models marsh boundaries and by which salt marshes in worldwide areas are being lost. To address this problem, an experimental investigation in a laboratory flume and field measurements collected in the lagoon of Venice were conducted to understand the main processes controlling marsh edge retreat with a focus on the erosion mechanisms caused by the impact of wind waves in the case of various tidal levels. A physical model reproducing a salt marsh bank was built inside a long wave current flume where random surface waves have been generated according to a given wave spectrum. The physical model was constructed with the original soil of salt marshes from the Venice Lagoon, while the wave climate was reproduced according to field measurements. In order to reveal the effect of vegetation on bank stability, two identical banks were built but for the inclusion of halophytic plants. A first set of experiments was conducted reproducing only tidal waves, a second set with wind waves superimposed to the tide. A third set o f experiments were aimed to investigate the dynamic impact and transmission of the waves on and within the bank. The following quantities were collected during the experiments: water content and pore water pressure inside the bank, water levels and velocities at various distances from the bank, dynamic pressures on the bank edge surface and internal pressure fluctuations due to wave impact. Bank geometry profile and bottom topography at different times have also been collected to characterize the erosion rate with time and the evolution of bank retreat. Two types of mass failures were observed during the experiments: slides and toppling failures. The latter were most frequently observed failures, consisting in the toppling of blocks and were often the consequence of the presence of deep tension cracks. In most cases the impact of wind waves caused the overturning of the block. In both the unvegetated and vegetated experiments, mass failures occurred in the first part of the experiment whereas the remaining part was characterized by particle by particle erosion. Effect of vegetation lead to a delay in block failures due the presence of roots, although the total eroded volume differed slightly between the two scenarios. The field measurements were aimed at quantifying the erosion characteristics of marsh soil and the wave climate close to the bank edge during a moderate wind event. Several pressure transducers installed 0.15 m above the bed and adequately spaced were used to collect wave height and wave direction with respect to the edge of the marsh. Then, on the base of experimental and field evidence, a new toppling model is proposed and test against laboratory data: a block of cohesive material at incipient failing condition is attached to the underlying layer and identified by the presence of tension crack; it behaves as a dynamical system subjected to several forces, until the tensile strength of the material is exceed. Test of the model showed its capability at reproducing the failure process and it highlighted which are the most crucial conditions in promoting the failure of a bank edge subjected to wave attack and tide forcing.

  9. Effect of root metabolism on the post-depositional mobilization of mercury in salt marsh soils

    SciTech Connect

    Marins, R.V. [Fluminense Federal Univ., Niteroi (Brazil)]|[Mineral Technology Center, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Lacerda, L.D. [Fluminense Federal Univ., Niteroi (Brazil); Goncalves, G.O.; Paiva, E.C. de [Mineral Technology Center, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    1997-05-01

    Salt marsh soils are an efficient sink for trace metals associated with particulate material in tidal waters and have been proposed as monitors for trace metal contamination in coastal areas, on the basis that vertical profiles provide a record of loading rates. However, the complex nature of the biogeochemical processes occurring in these soils, may prevent this use, since post-depositional mobilization of some trace metals may occur, resulting in their release to pore water, vertical movement through the soil column and exchange with overlying waters. This paper presents and compares the vertical profiles of mercury in soil cores taken under a Spartina altermilflora marsh and in adjacent mod flats without plant cover to characterize the role played by this plant on the post-depositional movement of mercury through the soil and on the possibility of using such profiles as indicators of mercury loading rates in coastal areas. 19 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  10. Primary production of edaphic algal communities in a Mississippi salt marsh

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, M.J.; Moncreiff, C.A.

    1988-03-01

    Primary production rates of edaphic algae associated with the sediments beneath four monospecific canopies of vascular plants were determined over an annual cycle in a Mississippi salt marsh. The edaphic algal flora was dominated by small, motile pennate diatoms. Algal production (as measured by /sup 14/C uptake) was generally highest in spring-early summer and lowest in fall. Hourly rates ranged from a low of 1.4 mg C/m/sup 2/ in Juncus roemerianus Scheele to a high of 163 mg C/m/sup 2/ beneath the Scirpus olneyi Gray canopy. Stepwise multiple regressions identified a soil moisture index and chlorophyll a as the best environmental predictors of hourly production; light energy reaching the marsh surface and sediment and air temperature proved of little value. Adding the relative abundances of 33 diatom taxa to the set of independent variables only slightly increased R/sup 2/; however, virtually all variables selected were diatom taxa. R/sup 2/ was only 0.38 for the Spartina alterniflora Loisel. habitat but ranged from 0.70 to 0.87 for the remaining three vascular plant zones. Annual rates of algal production (g C/m/sup 2/) were estimated as follows: Juncus (28), Spartina (57), Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene (88), and Scirpus (151). The ratio of annual edaphic algal production to vascular plant net aerial production (EAP/VPP) was 10-12% for the first three habitats and 61% for Scirpus. Chlorophyll a concentrations, annual algal production rates, and EAP/VPP values were comparable to those determined in Texas, Delaware, and Massachusetts salt marshes but lower than those reported for Georgia and particularly California marshes.

  11. Separation of Ground and Low Vegetation Signatures in LiDAR Measurements of Salt-Marsh Environments

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Cheng Wang; Massimo Menenti; Marc-Philippe Stoll; Alessandra Feola; Enrica Belluco; Marco Marani

    2009-01-01

    Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been shown to have a great potential in the accurate characterization of forest systems; however, its application to salt-marsh environments is challenging because the characteristic short vegetation does not give rise to detectable differences between first and last LiDAR returns. Furthermore, the lack of precisely identifiable references (e.g., buildings, roads, etc.) in marsh areas

  12. Marsh Equilibrium Theory: A Paleo Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. T.; Kemp, A.; Barber, D. C.; Culver, S. J.; Kegel, J.; Horton, B.

    2014-12-01

    Salt marshes adapt to changes in sea level by means of biogeomorphological feedback. These feedbacks maintain a dynamic equilibrium with sea level, within limits. Reconstructions of sea-level changes derived from salt?marsh sediment provide a paleo perspective for evaluating these feedbacks and for predicting the ecological effects of future sea-level rise. The Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM) was modified to accommodate long records of sea level and sediment physical and chemical variables derived from high resolution (decadal and decimeter) reconstruction of sea level spanning the late Holocene using foraminifera preserved in North Carolina salt-marsh sediments. Model outputs from a run of nearly 1100-yr show periods of time when the marsh was predicted to be positioned near the top of the tidal frame (inundation time near zero) and times when the marsh was much deeper in the intertidal zone (inundation time of ca. 0.4). An elevation at mean sea level would correspond to an inundation time of 0.5, which is close to the lower limit of the vegetation and is indicative of a marsh that is just forming or, alternatively, a marsh that is on the verge of collapse. The model also indicates that the standing biomass on the marsh surface and sediment organic matter (SOM) content would have varied in harmony with the inundation time. In times past when the inundation time and the opportunity for mineral sedimentation decreased, the sediment organic matter (SOM) content increased. The low SOM concentration near the marsh surface today is consistent with a marsh that is low in the tidal frame. The SOM depth profile is a function of the relative elevation of the marsh, as well as changes in the input of inorganic sediment to the estuary. To effectively manage and preserve valuable salt-marsh ecosystems it is critical to accurately predict their response to projected sea-level changes.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    John C. Cooke; Michael W. Lefor

    1990-01-01

    Roots of salt marsh plant speciesSpartina alterniflora, S. patens, Distichlis spicata, and others were examined for the presence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi. Samples were taken from introduced\\u000a planted material in a salt marsh restoration project and from native material in adjacent marsh areas along the Indian River,\\u000a Clinton, Connecticut, USA. After ten years the replanted area still has sites

  14. Use of airborne polarimetric SAR, optical and elevation data for mapping and monitoring of salt marsh vegetation habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Beijma, Sybrand; Comber, Alexis; Lamb, Alistair

    2014-10-01

    Within the Copernicus programme there is much interest in the ability of remote sensing technology to deliver operational solutions to many areas of life including environmental management. This paper describes research focused on the application of Earth Observation for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The main topic of this research is to explore to which extent salt marsh vegetation habitats can be identified from polarimetric SAR remotely sensed data. Multi-frequency, multi-polarimetric SAR images from airborne (S- and X-Band quad-polarimetric from the Astrium airborne SAR Demonstrator) is used to examine salt marsh habitat classification potential in the Llanrhidian salt marshes in South Wales, UK. This is achieved by (1) using both supervised and unsupervised classification routines, using several polarimetric SAR data layers as backscatter intensity, band ratios and polarimetric decomposition products, and by (2) statistical analysis by regression of these different SAR data layers and botanical parameters acquired from recent ecological fieldwork.

  15. Effects of Adding Sewage Sludge and Urea-Phosphate Fertilizers to the Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh, Falmouth, MA on Heavy Metals and Microbial N-Cycling

    E-print Network

    Vallino, Joseph J.

    Effects of Adding Sewage Sludge and Urea-Phosphate Fertilizers to the Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh, microbes, nitrogen cycle, sewage sludge, urea phosphate fertilizer, heavy metals INTRODUCTION Pollution of nitrogen gas in the atmosphere. Salt marshes have been used as disposal sites because they act as filters

  16. Spectroscopic properties of sedimentary humic acids from a salt marsh (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal): comparison of sediments colonized by Halimione portulacoides (L.) Aellen and non-vegetated sediments

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ana Mendonça; Armando C. Duarte; Eduarda B. H. Santos

    2004-01-01

    The influence of the colonization of salt marsh sediments with Halimione portulacoides, on the composition of the sedimentary humic acids was evaluated. For this purpose, cores of colonized and non-colonized sediments from a salt marsh in Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) were collected, and the humic acids of different layers were extracted and characterized by Fourier transform infrared, synchronous molecular fluorescence

  17. Effects of Natural and Anthropogenic Change on Habitat Use and Movement of Endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mice

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Katherine R.; Barthman-Thompson, Laureen; Gould, William R.; Mabry, Karen E.

    2014-01-01

    The northern salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris halicoetes) is an endangered species endemic to the San Francisco Bay Estuary. Using a conservation behavior perspective, we examined how salt marsh harvest mice cope with both natural (daily tidal fluctuations) and anthropogenic (modification of tidal regime) changes in natural tidal wetlands and human-created diked wetlands, and investigated the role of behavioral flexibility in utilizing a human-created environment in the Suisun Marsh. We used radio telemetry to determine refuge use at high tide, space use, and movement rates to investigate possible differences in movement behavior in tidal versus diked wetlands. We found that the vast majority of the time salt marsh harvest mice remain in vegetation above the water during high tides. We also found no difference in space used by mice during high tide as compared to before or after high tide in either tidal or diked wetlands. We found no detectable difference in diurnal or nocturnal movement rates in tidal wetlands. However, we did find that diurnal movement rates for mice in diked wetlands were lower than nocturnal movement rates, especially during the new moon. This change in movement behavior in a relatively novel human-created habitat indicates that behavioral flexibility may facilitate the use of human-created environments by salt marsh harvest mice. PMID:25310800

  18. Suspended sediment deposition and trapping efficiency in a Delaware salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moskalski, Susanne M.; Sommerfield, Christopher K.

    2012-02-01

    This study examined sediment deposition and retention in a section of salt marsh in the St. Jones River estuary in Delaware. Sediment traps, siphon samplers, a LISST particle sizer, and four water level sensors were deployed in a 100 m by 200 m grid over the course of a spring tide in June 2007. The objective was to determine the relative influences of suspended sediment concentration, settling velocity, tidal hydroperiod, and vegetation density on sediment deposition and trapping efficiency within a small section of marsh. Hydroperiod is not a major contributor to sediment deposition in the study plot. Spatial patterns in depositional processes on tidal timescales are instead primarily controlled by overmarsh SSC, settling velocity, and distance from the tidal channel. Trapping efficiency, or the ratio of measured deposition and the amount of sediment available for deposition, decreased with distance away from the tidal channel, indicating that less of the available suspended sediment was deposited in the marsh interior. The suspended particles were flocculated, but floc sizes decreased with distance away from the tidal channel.

  19. Interpreting Sea Level Rise and Rates of Vertical Marsh Accretion in a Southern New England Tidal Salt Marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. A. Orson; R. S. Warren; W. A. Niering

    1998-01-01

    An investigation of marsh accretion rates on a New England type high marsh (Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, Stonington, Connecticut) reveals that this system is sensitive to changes in sea level and storm activity and the peat can accurately record rates of relative submergence as determined by tide gauge records over intervals of 2–5 decades. The results also suggest that

  20. Physical Stress, Not Biotic Interactions, Preclude an Invasive Grass from Establishing in Forb-Dominated Salt Marshes

    PubMed Central

    He, Qiang; Cui, Baoshan; An, Yuan

    2012-01-01

    Background Biological invasions have become the focus of considerable concern and ecological research, yet the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors in controlling the invasibility of habitats to exotic species is not well understood. Spartina species are highly invasive plants in coastal wetlands; however, studies on the factors that control the success or failure of Spartina invasions across multiple habitat types are rare and inconclusive. Methodology and Principal Findings We examined the roles of physical stress and plant interactions in mediating the establishment of the smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, in a variety of coastal habitats in northern China. Field transplant experiments showed that cordgrass can invade mudflats and low estuarine marshes with low salinity and frequent flooding, but cannot survive in salt marshes and high estuarine marshes with hypersaline soils and infrequent flooding. The dominant native plant Suaeda salsa had neither competitive nor facilitative effects on cordgrass. A common garden experiment revealed that cordgrass performed significantly better when flooded every other day than when flooded weekly. These results suggest that physical stress rather than plant interactions limits cordgrass invasions in northern China. Conclusions and Significance We conclude that Spartina invasions are likely to be constrained to tidal flats and low estuarine marshes in the Yellow River Delta. Due to harsh physical conditions, salt marshes and high estuarine marshes are unlikely to be invaded. These findings have implications for understanding Spartina invasions in northern China and on other coasts with similar biotic and abiotic environments. PMID:22432003

  1. Effects of flooding and warming on soil organic matter mineralization in Avicennia germinans mangrove forests and Juncus roemerianus salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, David Bruce; Brown, Jewel A.; Jimenez, Kristine L.

    2014-02-01

    Under a changing climate, coastal wetlands experience sea level rise, warming, and vegetation change, all of which may influence organic matter mineralization. In coastal wetlands of subtropical west-central Florida (USA), we investigated how soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) mineralization respond to soil water, temperature, and ecosystem type (Avicennia germinans mangrove forest vs. Juncus roemerianus salt marsh). We evaluated how soil respiration and mineral N concentration varied along a soil moisture gradient, and whether these relationships differed between ecosystem types. Then, we manipulated soils in a 28-d laboratory incubation to evaluate how potentially mineralizable C and N respond to temperature (23 vs. 27 °C), soil hydroperiod (inundated 4 vs. 20 h/d), and soil source. Soil saturation and inundation suppressed short-term (minutes to weeks) C mineralization from near-surface soils. Soil CO2 efflux declined by 65% as soil moisture increased from 75% to 85%, and potentially mineralizable C was 18% lower with a 20-h hydroperiod than with a 4-h hydroperiod. Organic C quality appears to be greater in A. germinans than in J. roemerianus soils, as A. germinans soils had higher field CO2 efflux rates and greater mineralizable C:N (despite lower total C:N). Increasing incubation temperature from 23 to 27 °C elevated potentially mineralizable C by 40%, indicating that two symptoms of climate change (increased inundation from sea level rise, and warming) may have opposing effects on soil C mineralization. Temperature sensitivity of C mineralization was high for long-hydroperiod soils, however, suggesting that protection of soil organic matter (SOM) due to prolonged inundation will be undermined by warming. Potentially mineralizable N was greater in J. roemerianus soils, although in situ mineral N was not different between ecosystems, instead correlating positively with SOM. These results indicate that models forecasting soil elevation responses to climate change might include inundation effects on mineralization rates.

  2. Physiological Diversity of the Rhizosphere Diazotroph Assemblages of Selected Salt Marsh Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Bagwell, Christopher E.; Piceno, Yvette M.; Ashburne-Lucas, Amy; Lovell, Charles R.

    1998-01-01

    Rhizosphere diazotroph assemblages of salt marsh grasses are thought to be influenced by host plant species and by a number of porewater geochemical parameters. Several geochemical variables can adversely affect plant productivity and spatial distributions, resulting in strong zonation of plant species and growth forms. This geochemically induced stress may also influence the species compositions and distributions of rhizosphere diazotroph assemblages, but little is currently known about these organisms. The diversity and key physiological features of culturable, O2-tolerant rhizosphere diazotrophs associated with the tall and short growth forms of Spartina alterniflora and with Juncus roemerianus were examined. A total of 339 gram-negative strains were isolated by a root stab culture approach and morphologically and physiologically characterized by using API and BIOLOG tests. Eighty-six distinct groups composed of physiologically similar strains were identified. Of these groups, 72% were shown to be capable of N2 fixation through molecular analyses, and a representative strain was chosen from each diazotroph group for further characterization. Cluster and principal-components analysis of BIOLOG data allowed the designation of physiologically distinct strain groupings. Most of these groups were dominated by strains that were not identifiable to species on the basis of API or BIOLOG testing. Representatives of several families including the Enterobacteriaceae, Vibrionaceae, Azotobacteraceae, Spirillaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Rhizobiaceae were recovered, as well as strains with no clear taxonomic affiliations. This study identifies numerous potentially important physiological groups of the salt marsh diazotroph assemblage. PMID:9797277

  3. Interactions between salt marsh plants and Cu nanoparticles - Effects on metal uptake and phytoremediation processes.

    PubMed

    Andreotti, Federico; Mucha, Ana Paula; Caetano, Cátia; Rodrigues, Paula; Rocha Gomes, Carlos; Almeida, C Marisa R

    2015-10-01

    The increased use of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) raises the probability of finding NPs in the environment. A lot of information exists already regarding interactions between plants and metals, but information regarding interactions between metallic NPs and plants, including salt marsh plants, is still lacking. This work aimed to study interactions between CuO NPs and the salt marsh plants Halimione portulacoides and Phragmites australis. In addition, the potential of these plants for phytoremediation of Cu NPs was evaluated. Plants were exposed for 8 days to sediment elutriate solution doped either with CuO or with ionic Cu. Afterwards, total metal concentrations were determined in plant tissues. Both plants accumulated Cu in their roots, but this accumulation was 4 to 10 times lower when the metal was added in NP form. For P. australis, metal translocation occurred when the metal was added either in ionic or in NP form, but for H. portulacoides no metal translocation was observed when NPs were added to the medium. Therefore, interactions between plants and NPs differ with the plant species. These facts should be taken in consideration when applying these plants for phytoremediation of contaminated sediments in estuaries, as the environmental management of these very important ecological areas can be affected. PMID:26094036

  4. Dynamics of Bacterial and Fungal Communities on Decaying Salt Marsh Grass†

    PubMed Central

    Buchan, Alison; Newell, Steven Y.; Butler, Melissa; Biers, Erin J.; Hollibaugh , James T.; Moran, Mary Ann

    2003-01-01

    Both bacteria and fungi play critical roles in decomposition processes in many natural environments, yet only rarely have they been studied as an integrated microbial community. Here we describe the bacterial and fungal assemblages associated with two decomposition stages of Spartina alterniflora detritus in a productive southeastern U.S. salt marsh. 16S rRNA genes and 18S-to-28S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were used to target the bacterial and ascomycete fungal communities, respectively, based on DNA sequence analysis of isolates and environmental clones and by using community fingerprinting based on terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis. Seven major bacterial taxa (six affiliated with the ?-Proteobacteria and one with the Cytophagales) and four major fungal taxa were identified over five sample dates spanning 13 months. Fungal terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) were informative at the species level; however, bacterial T-RFs frequently comprised a number of related genera. Amplicon abundances indicated that the salt marsh saprophyte communities have little-to-moderate variability spatially or with decomposition stage, but considerable variability temporally. However, the temporal variability could not be readily explained by either successional shifts or simple relationships with environmental factors. Significant correlations in abundance (both positive and negative) were found among dominant fungal and bacterial taxa that possibly indicate ecological interactions between decomposer organisms. Most associations involved one of four microbial taxa: two groups of bacteria affiliated with the ?-Proteobacteria and two ascomycete fungi (Phaeosphaeria spartinicola and environmental isolate “4clt”). PMID:14602628

  5. Comparison of Bulk and Compound-Specific Carbon Isotope Analyses and Determination of Carbon Sources to Salt Marsh Sediments Using n-Alkane Distributions (Maine, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, B. R.; Uhle, M. E.; Kelley, J. T.; Mora, C. I.

    2005-12-01

    Sources of sedimentary organic matter to a Morse River, Maine (USA) salt marsh over the last 3390+/-60 RCYBP are determined using distribution patterns of n-alkanes as well as bulk and compound-specific carbon isotopic analysis. Marsh foraminiferal counts indicate the ubiquitous presence of zone 1B deposits, suggesting that the deposits were laid down ~0.2 to 0.5m above mean high water. Distributions of n-alkanes show a primary contribution from higher plants, confirmed by an average ACL value of 27.5 for the core sediments and CPI values above 3. Many sample depths have a maximum abundance at the C25 alkane. Ten low marsh, high marsh, and higher-high marsh plant species common to Maine salt marshes were sampled, including Spartina alterniflora, Spartina patens, Juncus gerardi and Solidago sempervirens. The ACL value for the average of the 10 marsh species is 29.1. Salicornia europa, usually not considered to be a dominant species in Maine marshes, has a similar n-alkane distribution to many of the salt marsh sediments, suggesting that it is an important source to the biomass of the marsh through time. Bacterial degradation or algal inputs to the marsh sediments appear to be minor. Compound specific carbon isotopic analyses of the C27 alkanes are, on average, 7.2ppt. depleted relative to bulk values, but the two records are strongly correlated (R2 = 0.87), suggesting that marsh plants are "swamping" the bulk carbon isotopic signal. The apparent abundance of a subordinate (though common) salt marsh plant species (Salicornia europa) within our core underscores the importance of using caution when applying mixing models of relatively few plant species to marsh sediments.

  6. Seed dispersal and seedling emergence in a created and a natural salt marsh on the Gulf of Mexico coast in Southwest Louisiana, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elsey-Quirk, T.; Middleton, B.A.; Proffitt, C.E.

    2009-01-01

    Early regeneration dynamics related to seed dispersal and seedling emergence can contribute to differences in species composition among a created and a natural salt marsh. The objectives of this study were to determine (1) whether aquatic and aerial seed dispersal differed in low and high elevations within a created marsh and a natural marsh and (2) whether seedling emergence was influenced by marsh, the presence of openings in the vegetation, and seed availability along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. Aerial seed traps captured a greater quantity of seeds than aquatic traps. Several factors influenced aquatic and aerial seed dispersal in a created and a natural salt marsh, including distance from the marsh edge, cover of existing vegetation, and water depth. The natural marsh had a high seed density of Spartina alterniflora and Distichlis spicata, the low-elevation created marsh had a high seed density of S. alterniflora, and the high-elevation created marsh had a high seed density of Aster subulatus and Iva frutescens. The presence of adult plants and water depth above the marsh surface influenced seed density. In the natural marsh, openings in vegetation increased seedling emergence for all species, whereas in the low-elevation created marsh, S. alterniflora had higher seedling density under a canopy of vegetation. According to the early regeneration dynamics, the future vegetation in areas of the low-elevation created marsh may become similar to that in the natural marsh. In the high-elevation created marsh, vegetation may be upland fringe habitat dominated by high-elevation marsh shrubs and annual herbaceous species. ?? 2009 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  7. Invasion of tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in a southern California salt marsh

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plants have been demonstrated to be one of the greatest threats to wetlands, as they are capable of altering ecosystem-wide physical and biological properties. One of the most problematic invaders in the western United States has been salt cedar, Tamarix sp., and the impacts of this species i...

  8. The role of elevation, relative sea-level history and vegetation transition in determining carbon distribution in Spartina alterniflora dominated salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulawardhana, Ranjani W.; Feagin, Rusty A.; Popescu, Sorin C.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Yeager, Kevin M.; Bianchi, Thomas S.

    2015-03-01

    Spartina alterniflora salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems on earth, and represent a substantial global carbon sink. Understanding the spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of both above- and below-ground carbon in these wetland ecosystems is especially important considering their potential in carbon sequestration projects, as well as for conservation efforts in the context of a changing climate and rising sea-level. Through the use of extensive field sampling and remote sensing data (Light Detection and Ranging - LiDAR, and aerial images), we sought to map and explain how vegetation biomass and soil carbon are related to elevation and relative sea-level change in a S. alterniflora dominated salt marsh on Galveston Island, Texas. The specific objectives of this study were to: 1) understand the relationship between elevation and the distribution of salt marsh vegetation percent cover, plant height, plant density, above-and below-ground biomass, and carbon, and 2) evaluate the temporal changes in relative sea-level history, vegetation transitions, and resulting changes in the patterns of soil carbon distribution. Our results indicated a clear zonation of terrain and vegetation characteristics (i.e., height, cover and biomass). In the soil profile, carbon concentrations and bulk densities showed significant and abrupt change at a depth of ?10-15 cm. This apparent transition in the soil characteristics coincided temporally with a transformation of the land cover, as driven by a rapid increase in relative sea-level around this time at the sample locations. The amounts of soil carbon stored in recently established S. alterniflora intertidal marshes were significantly lower than those that have remained in situ for a longer period of time. Thus, in order to quantify and predict carbon in coastal wetlands, and also to understand the heterogeneity in the spatial distribution of carbon stocks, it is essential to understand not only the elevation, the relative sea-level rise rate, and the vertical accretion rate - but also the history of land cover change and vegetation transition.

  9. Geologic and human factors in the decline of the tidal salt marsh lithosome: the Delaware estuary and Atlantic coastal zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraft, John C.; Yi, Hi-ll; Khalequzzaman, Md.

    1992-10-01

    Two to three thousand years ago, the fringing tidal salt marsh wetlands (including brackish and freshwater marsh) of the Delaware coastal zone were three to four times wider than at present. Observed variations in rates of marsh surface aggradation suggest that some areas are undergoing inundation whereas many other areas are undergoing aggradation at rates greater than sea-level rise as measured by a local tidal gauge (average 33 cm/ century based on a 70-year record) and may be undergoing floral succession. Accompanying these sedimentary processes are coastal erosion rates up to 6.9 m/yr along the Delaware estuary, up to 2.8 m/yr along the Delaware Atlantic coast, and ranging from 0.1 m/yr to 0.6 m/yr along the Delaware Atlantic coastal lagoons. Human development has destroyed nearly 9% of Delaware's fringing salt marshes between 1938 and 1975. The rapidly growing trend toward hardening the edge of the adjacent landward uplands leads us to the conclusion that much of the fringing salt marsh of Delaware will disappear over the next two to three centuries with only small remnants declining to extinction ca. 1500-1700 years into the future. Impacts on the State of Delaware, comprised of 13% fringing salt marshes 1/4 century ago, will be profound in terms of destruction of a large segment of the Atlantic coastal or eastern North American migratory bird flyway, and an eventual forced accommodation of the inhabitants of Delaware to these naturally ongoing geological processes.

  10. Examination of Below-Ground Structure and Soil Respiration Rates of Stable and Deteriorating Salt Marshes in Jamaica Bay (NY)

    EPA Science Inventory

    CAT scan imaging is currently being used to examine below-ground peat and root structure in cores collected from salt marshes of Jamaica Bay, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area (NY). CAT scans or Computer-Aided Tomography scans use X-ray equipment to produce multiple i...

  11. Relative contributions of bacteria and fungi to rates of degradation of lignocellulosic detritus in salt-marsh sediments.

    PubMed

    Benner, R; Newell, S Y; Maccubbin, A E; Hodson, R E

    1984-07-01

    Specifically radiolabeled [C-lignin]lignocellulose and [C-polysaccharide]lignocellulose from the salt-marsh cordgrass Spartina alterniflora were incubated with an intact salt-marsh sediment microbial assemblage, with a mixed (size-fractionated) bacterial assemblage, and with each of three marine fungi, Buergenerula spartinae, Phaeosphaeria typharum, and Leptosphaeria obiones, isolated from decaying S. alterniflora. The bacterial assemblage alone mineralized the lignin and polysaccharide components of S. alterniflora lignocellulose at approximately the same rate as did intact salt-marsh sediment inocula. The polysaccharide component was mineralized twice as fast as the lignin component; after 23 days of incubation, ca. 10% of the lignin component and 20% of the polysaccharide component of S. alterniflora lignocellulose were mineralized. Relative to the total sediment and bacterial inocula, the three species of fungi mediated only very slow mineralization of the lignin and polysaccharide components of S. alterniflora lignocellulose. Experiments with uniformly C-labeled S. alterniflora material indicated that the three fungi and the bacterial assemblage were capable of degrading the non-lignocellulosic fraction of S. alterniflora material, but only the bacterial assemblage significantly degraded the lignocellulosic fraction. Our results suggest that bacteria are the predominant degraders of lignocellulosic detritus in salt-marsh sediments. PMID:16346598

  12. The dose-response relationship between No. 2 fuel oil and the growth of the salt marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Qianxin Lin; Irving A Mendelssohn; Makram T Suidan; Kenneth Lee; Albert D Venosa

    2002-01-01

    The effect of No. 2 fuel oil on the biomass production of the salt marsh plant, Spartina alterniflora, was studied in a greenhouse dose-response experiment. S. alterniflora were transplanted into soil with 10 dosage levels of No. 2 fuel oil ranging from 0 to 456 mgg?1 dry soil. Three months after transplantation, values for plant biomass, stem density, and shoot

  13. GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION AND DIVERSITY IN CLAVICEPS PURPUREA (FR.) TUL FROM SALT MARSH HABITATS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF PACIFIC COAST POPULATIONS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Claviceps purpurea that is specific to grasses in salt marsh habitats (G3) has previously been identified on Spartina spp. in two locations: New Jersey, USA and Southern England. We have identified G3 in 11 distinct populations including Western Europe, South America, and along the Atlantic and Paci...

  14. Role of different salt marsh plants on metal retention in an urban estuary (Lima estuary, NW Portugal)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. M. R. Almeida; Ana P. Mucha; M. Teresa Vasconcelos

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to understand the role different salt marsh plants on metal distribution and retention in the Lima River estuary (NW Portugal), which to our knowledge have not been ascertained in this area yet. The knowledge of these differences is an important requirement for the development of appropriate management strategies, and is poorly described for

  15. Intertidal distribution, population dynamics and production of the amphipod Uhlorchestia spartinophila in a Georgia, USA, salt marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. P. Covi; R. T. Kneib

    1995-01-01

    The talitrid amphipod Uhlorchestia spartinophila Bousfield and Heard occurs in close association with the smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora Loisel in salt marshes along the U.S. Atlantic coast. In order to assess its potential as a prey resource for secondary consumers, we followed the population and production dynamics of this amphipod from 3 November 1990 to 2 October 1991 in a

  16. Long-term effects of an oil spill on populations of the salt-marsh crab Uca pugnax

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. T. Krebs; K. A. Burns

    1977-01-01

    A spill of fuel oil at West Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1969, contaminated contiguous salt marshes with up to 6000 micrograms of oil per gram (ppM) of wet mud and affected local populations of Uca pugnax. Directly related to high-sediment oil content were reduced crab density, reduced ratio of females to males, reduced juvenile settlement, heavy overwinter mortality, incorporation of oil

  17. FATE OF FENTHION IN SALT-MARSH ENVIRONMENTS: 1. FACTORS AFFECTING BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC DEGRADATION RATES IN WATER AND SEDIMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fenthion (Baytex), an organophosphate insecticide, is frequently applied to salt-marsh environments to control mosquitoes. hake-flask tests were used to study rates of abiotic and biotic degradation of fenthion and the environmental parameters that affect these rates. Water or wa...

  18. Copper, lead and zinc in salt marsh sediments of the Severn Estuary, UK: The potential for their early diagnetic mobility.

    PubMed

    Rae, J E

    1989-12-01

    A detailed lithostratigraphic analysis already exists for salt marsh sediments of the Severn Estuary, which provides an ideal background for an investigation of phase associations of trace elements within sediment depth profiles. The first stages of a detailed investigation are reported in which phase associations of Cu, Pb and Zn are related to early diagenetic processes. PMID:24202421

  19. New England Salt Marsh Recovery: Opportunistic Colonization of an Invasive Species and Its Non-Consumptive Effects

    PubMed Central

    Coverdale, Tyler C.; Axelman, Eric E.; Brisson, Caitlin P.; Young, Eric W.; Altieri, Andrew H.; Bertness, Mark D.

    2013-01-01

    Predator depletion on Cape Cod (USA) has released the herbivorous crab Sesarmareticulatum from predator control leading to the loss of cordgrass from salt marsh creek banks. After more than three decades of die-off, cordgrass is recovering at heavily damaged sites coincident with the invasion of green crabs (Carcinusmaenas) into intertidal Sesarma burrows. We hypothesized that Carcinus is dependent on Sesarma burrows for refuge from physical and biotic stress in the salt marsh intertidal and reduces Sesarma functional density and herbivory through consumptive and non-consumptive effects, mediated by both visual and olfactory cues. Our results reveal that in the intertidal zone of New England salt marshes, Carcinus are burrow dependent, Carcinus reduce Sesarma functional density and herbivory in die-off areas and Sesarma exhibit a generic avoidance response to large, predatory crustaceans. These results support recent suggestions that invasive Carcinus are playing a role in the recovery of New England salt marshes and assertions that invasive species can play positive roles outside of their native ranges. PMID:24009763

  20. 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 systems to maximize the benefits and ecosystem services provided by salt marshes and exercise caution when making decisions that erode these services. PMID:22132099

  1. Plant communities as indicators of salt marsh hydrology A study at Goose Fare Brook, Saco, Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Millette, P.M. (Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-03-01

    Salt marsh stratigraphy often relies on vegetation fragment distribution as an indicator of paleo-sea level. This study is attempting to validate the use of Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens at Goose Fare Brook in Saco, Maine as paleo-sea level indicators. Plant zones were mapped and each zone boundary was surveyed to describe the relationship between sea level and plant species zonation. Data showing the contact elevations between S. patens and S. alterniflora were examined, and contacts from different environments in the marsh were compared. Differences in contact elevations ranged from only a few centimeters to more than eighty centimeters. Three series of groundwater monitoring wells were installed along transects. Within a single transect, one well was placed in the creek bottom, measuring the free water surface, and one was placed at each of several plant zone boundaries. Strip chart recordings from one series of monitoring wells show the flood dominated patterns of tidally influenced groundwater fluctuations in the wells. Root depths of 100 plugs each of S. alterniflora and S. patens were also measured. A comparison of these measurements and those from monitoring wells will assist in the determination of the average length of submergence time for each species. Preliminary findings suggest that sea level is not the only force affecting the modern zonation of these two indicator plants in Goose Fare Brook.

  2. Ecological Relationships between Meloidogyne spartinae and Salt Marsh Grasses in Connecticut

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, W. H.

    2008-01-01

    Healthy specimens of selected grasses were collected from salt marshes and grown in the greenhouse. Plants were inoculated with Meloidogyne spartinae to determine the host range of this nematode. After 12 weeks, Spartina alterniflora plants formed root galls in response to infection and increased M. spartinae populations. Spartina patens, Spartina cynosuroides, Juncus gerardii and Distichlis spicata were non-hosts. In order to determine the natural distribution of M. spartinae in dieback areas, S. alterniflora plants were sampled from transects adjacent to dieback areas in Madison, CT, at low tide. Plants were sampled at the top or the creek and at 1-m intervals to the lowest area of plant growth at the low tide water's edge. Five samples were taken over an elevation drop of 90 cm. Two transects were taken each day on 21 June and 5 July 2007, and one transect was taken on 31 October 2007. Meloidogyne spartinae galls per gram root were higher at the higher elevations. In late June and early July 2007, M. spartinae developed more quickly in the higher elevations, perhaps because peat and sediments were drier and warmer away from low tide water levels. The effects of M. spartinae on S. alterniflora and the role of the nematode in marsh decline and dieback in the northeast United States remain to be determined. PMID:19440262

  3. Seasonal variation of bromine monoxide over the Rann of Kutch salt marsh seen from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hörmann, Christoph; Beirle, Steffen; Penning de Vries, Marloes; Sihler, Holger; Platt, Ulrich; Wagner, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Bromine monoxide (BrO) is an important catalyst in the depletion of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone (O3). In the troposphere, reactive bromine can be released from sea ice, volcanoes, sea-salt aerosol or salt lakes. For all of these natural sources enhanced BrO vertical column densities (VCDs) have been successfully observed from ground using Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS). Until now, satellite observations were only reported for polar regions during springtime and volcanic emissions (mostly for major eruptions). We present the first satellite observations of enhanced monthly mean BrO VCDs over a salt marsh, the Rann of Kutch (India/Pakistan), during 2004-2014 as seen by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). The Rann of Kutch is a so-called 'seasonal' salt marsh. During India's summer monsoon (June/July - September/October), the flat desert of salty clay and mudflats, which average 15 meters above sea level, fills with standing rain and sea water. With more than 7500 km2 it is the largest salt desert in the world and additionally one of the hottest areas of India with summer temperatures around 50 ° C and winter temperatures decreasing below 0 ° C. Probably due to these rather extreme conditions, the Rann of Kutch has not been yet investigated for atmospheric composition measurements by ground-based instruments. Satellite observations, however, provide the unique possibility to investigate the entire area remotely over a long-time period. The OMI data reveals recurring maximum BrO VCDs during April/May, but no enhanced column densities during the monsoon season while the area is flooded. In the following months the signal only recovers slowly while the salty surface dries up. We discuss the possible effects of temperature, precipitation and relative humidity on the release of enhanced reactive bromine concentrations. In order to investigate a possible diurnal cycle of the BrO concentration, the OMI results (at a local overflight time around ~13:30) are compared to corresponding results from the Global Ozone Monitoring Instrument (GOME-2, local overflight time at ~9:30).

  4. A Tripartite Interaction Between Spartina alterniflora, Fusarium palustre, and the Purple Marsh Crab (Sesarma reticulatum) Contributes to Sudden Vegetation Dieback of Salt Marshes in New England.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Wade H

    2014-10-01

    ABSTRACT Tripartite interactions are common and occur when one agent (an arthropod or pathogen) changes the host plant in a manner that alters the attack of the challenging agent. We examined herbivory from the purple marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum) on Spartina alterniflora following exposure to drought or inoculation with Fusarium palustre in mecocosms in the greenhouse and in crab-infested creek banks along intertidal salt marshes. Initially, drought stress on S. alterniflora and disease from F. palustre were examined in the greenhouse. Then, a second challenger, the purple marsh crab, was introduced to determine how drought and disease from F. palustre affected the attraction and consumption of S. alterniflora. Plant height and shoot and root weights were reduced in plants subjected to severe drought treatment when compared with normally irrigated plants. When the drought treatment was combined with inoculation with F. palustre, plants were significantly more stunted and symptomatic, had less fresh weight, more diseased roots, and a greater number of Fusarium colonies growing from the roots (P < 0.001) than noninoculated plants. The effects were additive, and statistical interactions were not detected between drought and inoculation. Estimates of herbivory (number of grass blades cut or biomass consumption) by the purple marsh crab were significantly greater on drought-stressed, diseased plants than on healthy plants irrigated normally. Drought increased attraction to the purple marsh crab more than inoculation with F. palustre. However, when only mild drought conditions were imposed, plant consumption was greater on inoculated plants. Healthy, nonstressed transplants set into plots in crabinfested intertidal creek banks were grazed less each year than inoculated plants or plants that were exposed to drought. Several hypotheses relating to nutrition, chemotaxis, and visual attraction are presented to explain how stress from drought or disease might favor herbivory. PMID:24679153

  5. Biogeochemistry of the Stable Isotopes of Hydrogen and Carbon in Salt Marsh Biota 1

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Bruce N.; Epstein, Samuel

    1970-01-01

    Deuterium to hydrogen ratios of 14 plant species from a salt marsh and lagoon were 55‰ depleted in deuterium relative to the environmental water. Carbon tetrachloride-extractable material from these plants was another 92‰ depleted in deuterium. This gave a fractionation factor from water to CCl4 extract of 1.147. This over-all fractionation was remarkably constant for all species analyzed. Plants also discriminate against 13C, particularly in the lipid fraction. Data suggest that different mechanisms for carbon fixation result in different fractionations of the carbon isotopes. Herbivore tissues reflected the isotopic ratios of plants ingested. Apparently different metabolic processes are responsible for the different degrees of fractionation observed for hydrogen and carbon isotopes. PMID:16657539

  6. New species of Fusarium associated with dieback of Spartina alterniflora in Atlantic salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Wade H; Marra, Robert E

    2011-01-01

    Sudden vegetation dieback (SVD) is the loss of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) along intertidal creeks in salt marshes of the Atlantic and Gulf states. The underlying cause of SVD remains unclear, but earlier work suggested a contributing role for Fusarium spp. in Louisiana. This report investigated whether these or other Fusarium species were associated with S. alterniflora dieback in mid- to north-Atlantic states. Isolations from seven SVD sites yielded 192 isolates of Fusarium spp., with more than 75% isolated from aboveground tissue. Most isolates (88%) fell into two undescribed morphospecies (MS) distinguished from each other by macroconidial shape, phialide ontogeny and growth rates. Pathogenicity tests on wound-inoculated S. alterniflora stems and seedling roots revealed that isolates in MS1 were more virulent than those in MS2 but no single isolate caused plant mortality. No matches to known species of Fusarium were revealed by DNA sequence queries of translation elongation factor 1-? (tef1) sequences. A phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences of three genes, ?-tubulin (?-tub), calmodulin (cal) and tef1, was conducted on representative isolates from MS1 (n = 20) and MS2 (n = 18); it provided strong evidence that the MS1 isolates form a clade that represents a heretofore undescribed species, which we designate Fusarium palustre sp. nov. Isolates from the more variable MS2 clustered with the F. incarnatum-equiseti species complex as F. cf. incarnatum. Although a strong association exists between both species and declining S. alterniflora in SVD sites, neither appears to play a primary causal role in SVD. However, our findings suggest that F. palustre might play an important secondary role in the ecological disruption of the salt marshes. PMID:21471289

  7. Salt Marsh and Phytoplankton Bloom Influences on the Composition and Metabolism of Organic Matter in a Temperate Estuary, Delaware, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, R. T.; Voynova, Y. G.; Ullman, W. J.; Sikes, E. L.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    Low oxygen levels within the Murderkill Estuary, DE, are largely driven by organic matter (OM) metabolism and chemical oxygen demand within the fringing salt marshes. To assess how the connectivity to and inundation of salt marshes impact OM quality and cycling within the Estuary, fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM) data were used to characterize both dissolved and particulate OM pools. Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC) identified five fluorophores that illustrated greater tidal variation in the particulate (POM) than dissolved (DOM) OM pools. The terrestrial-wetland and marine OM sources were statistically separated using the fluorophores in conjunction with the elemental composition and isotopic signature of particulates, as well as dissolved water chemistry (e.g. salinity, dissolved nitrogen, carbon, silica, and phosphorus). DOM pools in the Murderkill and leaving the marsh are dominated by soil humics, while POM pools have greater contributions of protein-rich sources and are generally are less processed. Tidal survey results point to the salt marshes as a sink of fine particulates, in particular protein rich OM, and a source of coarse particulates and DOM dominated by humic substances. Results from dark 24-hour bioassays suggest that coarse and fine POM pools are larger drivers of oxygen consumption than DOM pools. Correlations between community respiration rates during ebb tide, water chemistry, and OM fractions suggest that biological oxygen demand in the Murderkill is driven, in part, by the metabolism of protein-rich, phytoplankton from Delaware Bay. Thus, while the bulk of oxygen drawdown occurs within the salt marshes, in-stream metabolism appears to be driven by marine OM pools.

  8. Seasonal patterns in energy partitioning of two freshwater marsh ecosystems in the Florida Everglades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, Sparkle L.; Staudhammer, Christina L.; Loescher, Henry W.; Olivas, Paulo; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Ryan, Michael G.; Schedlbauer, Jessica; Starr, Gregory

    2014-08-01

    We analyzed energy partitioning in short- and long-hydroperiod freshwater marsh ecosystems in the Florida Everglades by examining energy balance components (eddy covariance derived latent energy (LE) and sensible heat (H) flux). The study period included several wet and dry seasons and variable water levels, allowing us to gain better mechanistic information about the control of and changes in marsh hydroperiods. The annual length of inundation is ~5 months at the short-hydroperiod site (25°26'16.5?N, 80°35'40.68?W), whereas the long-hydroperiod site (25°33'6.72?N, 80°46'57.36?W) is inundated for ~12 months annually due to differences in elevation and exposure to surface flow. In the Everglades, surface fluxes feed back to wet season precipitation and affect the magnitude of seasonal change in water levels through water loss as LE (evapotranspiration (ET)). At both sites, annual precipitation was higher than ET (1304 versus 1008 at the short-hydroperiod site and 1207 versus 1115 mm yr-1 at the long-hydroperiod site), though there were seasonal differences in the ratio of ET:precipitation. Results also show that energy balance closure was within the range found at other wetland sites (60 to 80%) and was lower when sites were inundated (60 to 70%). Patterns in energy partitioning covaried with hydroperiods and climate, suggesting that shifts in any of these components could disrupt current water and biogeochemical cycles throughout the Everglades region. These results suggest that the complex relationships between hydroperiods, energy exchange, and climate are important for creating conditions sufficient to maintain Everglades ecosystems.

  9. Molecular hydrogen uptake by soils in forest, desert, and marsh ecosystems in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith-Downey, Nicole V.; Randerson, James T.; Eiler, John M.

    2008-09-01

    The mechanism and environmental controls on soil hydrogen (H2) uptake are not well understood but are essential for understanding the atmospheric H2 budget. Field observations of soil H2 uptake are limited, and here we present the results from a series of measurements in forest, desert, and marsh ecosystems in southern California. We measured soil H2 fluxes using flux chambers from September 2004 to July 2005. Mean H2 flux rates and standard deviations were -7.9 + -4.2, -7.6 + -5.3 and -7.5 + -3.4 nmol m-2 s-1 for the forest, desert, and marsh, respectively (corresponding to deposition velocities of 0.063 + -0.029, 0.051 + -0.036, 0.035 + -0.013 cm s-1). Soil profile measurements showed that H2 mixing ratios were between 3% and 51% of atmospheric levels at 10 cm and that the penetration of H2 into deeper soil layers increased with soil drying. Soil removal experiments in the forest demonstrated that the litter layer did not actively consume H2, the removal of this layer increased uptake by deeper soil layers, and the exposure of subsurface soil layers to ambient atmospheric H2 levels substantially increased their rate of uptake. Similar soil removal experiments at the desert site showed that extremely dry surface soils did not consume H2 and that fluxes at the surface increased when these inactive layers were removed. We present a model of soil H2 fluxes and show that the diffusivity of soils, along with the vertical distribution of layers that actively consume H2 regulate surface fluxes. We found that soil organic matter, CO2 fluxes, and ecosystem type were not strong controllers of H2 uptake. Our experiments highlight H2 diffusion into soils as an important limit on fluxes and that minimum moisture level is needed to initiate microbial uptake.

  10. Sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen isotopes used to trace organic matter flow in the salt-marsh estuaries of Sapelo Island, Georgia

    Microsoft Academic Search

    BRUCE J. PETERSON; ROBERT W. HOWARTH

    1987-01-01

    The stable isotopes of sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon were used to trace organic matter flow in salt marshes and cstuarinc waters at Sapelo Island, Georgia. Organic matter inputs from terrestrial sources as detrital input either from forests adjacent to the marshes or from rivers were not dctcctable by their isotopic signatures in estuarine consumers. The results suggest that there are

  11. Object-oriented classification and mapping of salt marsh vegetation using in situ radiometry and multi- seasonal, high resolution satellite remote sensing data

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Martha Gilmore; Emily Wilson; Daniel Civco; James Hurd; Sandy Prisloe; Cary Chadwick; Nels Barrett

    The coastal marsh ecosystems around the Long Island Sound estuary are changing due to anthropogenic pressure, invasive species, habitat restoration and management, and sea level rise. It has become increasingly important to develop methods to characterize and classify marsh vegetation to monitor changes over time, understand the mechanisms of change, and develop baseline data to measure the efficacy of ongoing

  12. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated

    E-print Network

    Bertness, Mark D.

    , whereas a mosaic of marsh hay (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), and black rush (Juncus, whereas a mosaic of marsh hay (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), and black rush (Juncus

  13. VARYING LANDSCAPE STRUCTURE AND POTENTIAL DENITRIFICATION ACTIVITY AMONG SALT MARSHES ALONG AN ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCE GRADIENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marsh landscape structure and denitrification are proposed as indicators of key wetland services, providing animal habitat and water quality maintenance, respectively. We examined marsh landscape structure (i.e., plant species richness and extent of dominant plant species) and po...

  14. EFFECTS OF NUTRIENT LOADING ON BIOGEOCHEMICAL AND MICROBIAL PROCESSES IN A NEW ENGLAND SALT MARSH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal marshes represent an important transitional zone between uplands and estuaries. One important function of marshes is to assimilate nutrient inputs from uplands, thus providing a buffer for anthropogenic nutrient loads. We examined the effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphoru...

  15. An experimental method to increase sediment supply to a salt marsh in subsidence dominated environments 

    E-print Network

    Thomas, Robert C.

    2007-09-17

    of wave induced erosion and direct replacement of marsh substrate through terracing. The restoration project did not address the potential for marsh lost to submergence. As an alternative to geotubes or more permanent breakwater methods, a submerged...

  16. Importance of Vascular Plant and Algal Production to Macro-invertebrate Consumers in a Southern California Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, H. M.

    1997-12-01

    The dietary importance of marsh vascular plants (primarily Salicornia virginica), algae and upland particulate inputs to macro-invertebrate consumers was studied in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, southern California, using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. This marsh is predominantly a marine or hypersaline system and succulents are the most common vascular plant species. Of invertebrates collected from the vegetated marsh, tidal flats and channels, only detritivores from the vegetated marsh ( Traskorchestia traskiana, Melampus olivaceus) had isotope values (? 13C=-20‰) that suggested some use of Salicornia-derived carbon. T. traskianacultured in the laboratory on decomposing S. virginicaor blue-green micro-algal mat had distinctive isotopic signatures, reflecting the capability of this consumer to assimilate carbon and nitrogen derived from these sources. The ? 13C values (generally -16‰ to -15‰) of species from tidal flats and channels (e.g. Cerithidea californica, Protothaca staminea, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Neotrypaea californiensis) were most similar to values for benthic algae and phytoplankton. Specimens of M. galloprovincialisalong a gradient of presumed increase in marine influence had similar isotope values, suggesting little contribution to diet from upland runoff. The present results differ most noticeably from published values in the 13C enrichment of suspension-feeders, suggesting the use of resuspended 13C-enriched benthic microalgae in tidal channels by these consumers, and in the 13C depletion and 15N enrichment of plants and consumers along a portion of the marsh boundary receiving inputs of nutrient-enriched perched groundwater. In general, the isotopic composition of macro-invertebrates indicated the incorporation of algal production rather than of S. virginicaor upland sources into the marsh food web.

  17. The greenhouse gas flux and potential global warming feedbacks of a northern macrotidal and microtidal salt marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chmura, Gail L.; Kellman, Lisa; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2011-01-01

    Conversion of wetlands by drainage for agriculture or other anthropogenic activities could have a negative or positive feedback to global warming (GWF). We suggest that a major predictor of the GWF is salinity of the wetland soil (a proxy for available sulfate), a factor often ignored in other studies. We assess the radiative balance of two northern salt marshes with average soil salinities > 20 ppt, but with high (macro-) and low (micro-) tidal amplitudes. The flux of greenhouse gases from soils at the end of the growing season averaged 485 ± 253 mg m-2 h-1, 13 ± 30 ?g m-2 h-1, and 19 ± 58 ?g m-2 h-1 in the microtidal marsh and 398 ± 201 mg m-2 h-1, 2 ± 26 ?g m-2 h-1, and 35 ± 77 ?g m-2 h-1 in the macrotidal marsh for CO2, N2O, and CH4, respectively. High rates of C sequestration mean that loss of these marshes would have a radiative balance of - 981 CO2_eq. m-2 yr-1 in the microtidal and - 567 CO2_eq. m-2 yr-1 in the macrotidal marsh.

  18. Large-scale effects of a small herbivore on salt-marsh vegetation succession—A comparative study on three Wadden Sea islands

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. P. J. Kuijper; J. P. Bakker

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by livestock is used as a management tool to prevent the dominance of a single tall-growing specises during succession\\u000a on European salt marshes. The effects of natural small herbivores are often neglected by managers. Long-term exclosure experiments\\u000a on the island of Schiermonnikoog show that hares retard vegetation succession at the early stages of salt-marsh development.\\u000a In the present study

  19. The Utilization of Airborne Digital Multispectral Image Dynamics and Kinematic Global Positioning Systems for Assessing and Monitoring Salt Marsh Habitats in Southern California

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Douglas Stow; Alice E. Brewster; Brian K. Bradshaw

    \\u000a The utility of two data acquisition technologies, airborne digital multispectral imaging, and kinematic global positioning\\u000a systems (KGPS), for providing spatially detailed and precise habitat data for salt marsh reserves in southern California is\\u000a assessed. Two case studies demonstrate that by combining these technologies, habitat of endangered bird species that occupy\\u000a these salt marshes can be mapped and analyzed in an

  20. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California Salt Marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, K.D.; Dunham, E.J.

    2005-01-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2005.

  1. Habitat structure modified by an invasive grass enhances inundation withstanding in a salt-marsh wolf spider

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Julien Pétillon; Kevin Lambeets; William Montaigne; Jean-Pierre Maelfait; Dries Bonte

    2010-01-01

    Vegetation and underground structures are known to influence flood avoidance and flood resistance in invertebrates. In bimonthly-flooded\\u000a European salt marshes, recent invasions by the nitrophilous grass Elymus athericus strongly modified usual habitat structure, notably by the production of a deep litter layer. Consequently, invaded habitats\\u000a provide more interstitial spaces that may act as a refuge during flood events. By using

  2. Diversity of the Ring-Cleaving Dioxygenase Gene pcaH in a Salt Marsh Bacterial Community

    Microsoft Academic Search

    ALISON BUCHAN; ELLEN L. NEIDLE; MARY ANN MORAN

    2001-01-01

    Degradation of lignin-related aromatic compounds is an important ecological process in the highly produc- tive salt marshes of the southeastern United States, yet little is known about the mediating organisms or their catabolic pathways. Here we report the diversity of a gene encoding a key ring-cleaving enzyme of the -ketoadipate pathway, pcaH, amplified from bacterial communities associated with decaying Spartina

  3. Relationships between vegetation and environmental characteristics in a salt-marsh system on the coast of Northwest Spain

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. M. Sánchez; X. L. Otero; J. Izco

    1998-01-01

    This study reports an investigation of relationships between environmental variables (electrical conductivity of groundwater, soil redox potential, water-table depth, and high-tide flooding depth) on vegetation zonation in a salt-marsh system on the coast of northwest Spain. Discriminant analysis indicated that conductivity (a measure of salinity) and redox potential are correlated with vegetation type within the study area. Conductivity declines with

  4. Isolation and Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria Associated with the Rhizosphere of Salt Marsh Plants

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. L. Daane; I. Harjono; G. J. Zylstra; M. M. Haggblom

    2001-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria were isolated from contaminated estuarine sediment and salt marsh rhizosphere by enrichment using either naphthalene, phenanthrene, or biphenyl as the sole source of carbon and energy. Pasteurization of samples prior to enrichment resulted in isolation of gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria. The isolates were characterized using a variety of phenotypic, morpho- logic, and molecular properties. Identification of

  5. Natural-abundance radiocarbon as a tracer of assimilation of petroleum carbon by bacteria in salt marsh sediments

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Stuart G. Wakeham; Ann P. McNichol; Joel E. Kostka; Tamara K. Pease

    2006-01-01

    The natural abundance of radiocarbon (14C) provides unique insight into the source and cycling of sedimentary organic matter. Radiocarbon analysis of bacterial phospholipid lipid fatty acids (PLFAs) in salt-marsh sediments of southeast Georgia (USA)—one heavily contaminated by petroleum residues—was used to assess the fate of petroleum-derived carbon in sediments and incorporation of fossil carbon into microbial biomass. PLFAs that are

  6. Competition for food and other niche-related studies of three species of salt-marsh foraminifera

    Microsoft Academic Search

    W. A. Muller

    1975-01-01

    The niches of 3 species of salt-marsh foraminifera, Allogromia laticollaris, Rosalina leei, and Spiroloculina hyalina were assessed in the laboratory. The 3 species reproduce within the following ranges: temperature (10° to 33°C), salinity (12 to 45‰) and pH (5 to 10). Competition for food among the 3 species was evaluated. S. hyalina did not compete with other species. Intraspecific competition

  7. The utilization of an intertidal salt marsh creek by larval and juvenile fishes: Abundance, diversity and temporal variation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jonathan M. Shenker; John M. Dean

    1979-01-01

    The utilization of an intertidal salt marsh creek in South Carolina during January 1977 was determined by sampling every third\\u000a ebb tide for 13 days. All fishes leaving the creek during that period were captured in a channel net. This procedure produced\\u000a a time-series of samples which permitted analysis of the fish community occupying the intertidal creek at all times

  8. Seasonal analyses of arbuscular mycorrhizae, nitrogen-fixing bacteria and growth performance of the salt marsh grass Spartina patens

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Allana K. Welsh; David J. Burke; Erik P. Hamerlynck; Dittmar Hahn

    2010-01-01

    Seasonal variation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in roots of the high salt marsh plant Spartina patens, the diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the rhizosphere and plant growth performance was studied at key stages of the\\u000a growing season coinciding with major plant phenological stages, i.e., vegetative growth, reproduction and senescence. AMF\\u000a colonization was highest during vegetative growth, with values declining

  9. The effect of cattle grazing on the abundance and distribution of selected macroinvertebrates in west Galveston Island salt marshes 

    E-print Network

    Martin, Jennifer Lynn

    2004-09-30

    flooding, such as Salicornia virginica and Batis maritima, with the density of S. alterniflora decreasing steadily with increasing elevation (White et al. 1978, Mendelssohn 1979). Although Salicornia virginica and Batis maritima occur at middle to high... bigelovii and Batis maritima and adjoins a non-vegetated high tidal flat. 4 OBJECTIVES 1. To determine the effects of cattle activity on height, percent cover, and stem density of salt marsh vegetation (Spartina alterniflora, Salicornia virginica...

  10. Interactions between a salt marsh native perennial (Salicornia virginica) and an exotic annual (Polypogon monspeliensis) under varied salinity and hydroperiod

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. C. Callaway; J. B. Zedler

    1997-01-01

    An exotic grass invades salt marshes of southern California in very wet years and where there are sewage spills or urban runoff. A series of growth-chamber, mesocosm, and greenhouse experiments explored whether soil salinity and\\/or waterlogging could explain invasion patterns. In all experiments, salinity significantly affected the growth and distribution of Polypogon monspeliensis (rabbit-foot grass, an exotic annual grass) and

  11. Salt tolerance underlies the cryptic invasion of North American salt marshes by an introduced haplotype of the common reed Phragmites australis (Poaceae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vasquez, E.A.; Glenn, E.P.; Brown, J.J.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Nelson, S.G.

    2005-01-01

    A distinct, non-native haplotype of the common reed Phragmites australis has become invasive in Atlantic coastal Spartina marshes. We compared the salt tolerance and other growth characteristics of the invasive M haplotype with 2 native haplotypes (F and AC) in greenhouse experiments. The M haplotype retained 50% of its growth potential up to 0.4 M NaCl, whereas the F and AC haplotypes did not grow above 0.1 M NaCl. The M haplotype produced more shoots per gram of rhizome tissue and had higher relative growth rates than the native haplotypes on both freshwater and saline water treatments. The M haplotype also differed from the native haplotypes in shoot water content and the biometrics of shoots and rhizomes. The results offer an explanation for how the M haplotype is able to spread in coastal salt marshes and support the conclusion of DNA analyses that the M haplotype is a distinct ecotype of P. australis.

  12. Impact of land-use change and hard structures on the evolution of fringing marsh shorelines

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Christopher R. Mattheus; Antonio B. Rodriguez; Brent A. McKee; Carolyn A. Currin

    2010-01-01

    Estuarine fringe marshes provide essential ecosystem services to coastal regions, including carbon sequestration and provision of shelter and nursery grounds for aquatic and terrestrial animals. The ability of a marsh to sustain itself by vertical accretion in response to sea-level rise is, in part, limited by inorganic sediment supply. Models attempting to forecast salt-marsh response to future sea-level rise commonly

  13. The Relationship of Salt Marsh Vegetation Lateral Obstruction to Vegetation Morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemein, T.; Cox, D. T.; Albert, D.

    2013-12-01

    Vegetation in salt marshes attenuates wave energy while influencing sediment accretion and turbulence in the water column. Modeling the interaction of waves and vegetation has been typically approached through an empirical coefficient of drag variable that is calibrated for a given set of biologic conditions dependent upon stem density and diameter. This method oversimplifies the complexity of vegetation morphology while also requiring assumptions to be made about the vegetation itself (uniform stem diameters for all stems) and leads to large uncertainty in the drag coefficient. As an alternative to the uniform vegetation model, we focus on the variation of the lateral obstruction of vegetation. This measure of cover in the vertical plane over a given horizontal distance is useful for presenting and quantifying complex vegetation morphology from live, in situ, vegetation. We compare the lateral obstruction of two common Pacific Northwest estuarine species, threesquare bulrush (Schoenoplectus pungens), and Lyngbye's sedge (Carex lyngbyei), to their in situ morphologic characteristics (density, height, diameter, aboveground biomass) over varying horizontal distances. From this, the amount of lateral obstruction is used to determine an estimate of the morphologic characteristics of the species in other environments and vice versa, therefore providing a means of making more accurate comparisons between and among species. We anticipate that this method will improve the calibration of the coefficient of drag variable in wave attenuation equations by incorporating the vertical variation of plant density.

  14. Microscale sulfur cycling in the phototrophic pink berry consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh

    PubMed Central

    Wilbanks, Elizabeth G; Jaekel, Ulrike; Salman, Verena; Humphrey, Parris T; Eisen, Jonathan A; Facciotti, Marc T; Buckley, Daniel H; Zinder, Stephen H; Druschel, Gregory K; Fike, David A; Orphan, Victoria J

    2014-01-01

    Microbial metabolism is the engine that drives global biogeochemical cycles, yet many key transformations are carried out by microbial consortia over short spatiotemporal scales that elude detection by traditional analytical approaches. We investigate syntrophic sulfur cycling in the ‘pink berry’ consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh through an integrative study at the microbial scale. The pink berries are macroscopic, photosynthetic microbial aggregates composed primarily of two closely associated species: sulfide-oxidizing purple sulfur bacteria (PB-PSB1) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (PB-SRB1). Using metagenomic sequencing and 34S-enriched sulfate stable isotope probing coupled with nanoSIMS, we demonstrate interspecies transfer of reduced sulfur metabolites from PB-SRB1 to PB-PSB1. The pink berries catalyse net sulfide oxidation and maintain internal sulfide concentrations of 0–500??m. Sulfide within the berries, captured on silver wires and analysed using secondary ion mass spectrometer, increased in abundance towards the berry interior, while ?34S-sulfide decreased from 6‰ to ?31‰ from the exterior to interior of the berry. These values correspond to sulfate–sulfide isotopic fractionations (15–53‰) consistent with either sulfate reduction or a mixture of reductive and oxidative metabolisms. Together this combined metagenomic and high-resolution isotopic analysis demonstrates active sulfur cycling at the microscale within well-structured macroscopic consortia consisting of sulfide-oxidizing anoxygenic phototrophs and sulfate-reducing bacteria. PMID:24428801

  15. Mercury in non-breeding sparrows of North Carolina salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Winder, Virginia L; Emslie, Steven D

    2012-03-01

    We captured Nelson's, Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus and A. maritimus) at three salt marsh sites near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina during five non-breeding seasons (September through April, 2006-2011). We analyzed breast feather samples from all of these seasons and blood and first primary feather (P1) samples from three seasons (2008-2011) for mercury (Hg). Generalized linear models were used to test for the impact of species, season, site and month on blood Hg, species, season and site on P1 Hg and species and season on breast feather Hg. The best-fit model for blood indicated that Hg varied among species, seasons and months. Saltmarsh Sparrows maintain higher blood Hg than Nelson's and Seaside Sparrows during the non-breeding season while they are feeding in mixed flocks. In Nelson's and Seaside Sparrows, blood Hg decreased during mid-winter compared to early fall and late spring. Breast feather and P1 Hg varied among species with Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibiting higher concentrations than the other two species, while Nelson's Sparrows had lower concentrations than the other two species. Breast feather Hg was higher in the final three seasons than in the first two. Our results indicate that Hg exposure on breeding sites may be increasing and that high levels of Hg exposure during the breeding season may affect blood Hg concentrations year-round in Saltmarsh Sparrows. Our data thus provide a baseline for future Hg assessments in these species in NC. PMID:21947667

  16. Microscale sulfur cycling in the phototrophic pink berry consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh.

    PubMed

    Wilbanks, Elizabeth G; Jaekel, Ulrike; Salman, Verena; Humphrey, Parris T; Eisen, Jonathan A; Facciotti, Marc T; Buckley, Daniel H; Zinder, Stephen H; Druschel, Gregory K; Fike, David A; Orphan, Victoria J

    2014-11-01

    Microbial metabolism is the engine that drives global biogeochemical cycles, yet many key transformations are carried out by microbial consortia over short spatiotemporal scales that elude detection by traditional analytical approaches. We investigate syntrophic sulfur cycling in the 'pink berry' consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh through an integrative study at the microbial scale. The pink berries are macroscopic, photosynthetic microbial aggregates composed primarily of two closely associated species: sulfide-oxidizing purple sulfur bacteria (PB-PSB1) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (PB-SRB1). Using metagenomic sequencing and (34) S-enriched sulfate stable isotope probing coupled with nanoSIMS, we demonstrate interspecies transfer of reduced sulfur metabolites from PB-SRB1 to PB-PSB1. The pink berries catalyse net sulfide oxidation and maintain internal sulfide concentrations of 0-500??m. Sulfide within the berries, captured on silver wires and analysed using secondary ion mass spectrometer, increased in abundance towards the berry interior, while ?(34) S-sulfide decreased from 6‰ to -31‰ from the exterior to interior of the berry. These values correspond to sulfate-sulfide isotopic fractionations (15-53‰) consistent with either sulfate reduction or a mixture of reductive and oxidative metabolisms. Together this combined metagenomic and high-resolution isotopic analysis demonstrates active sulfur cycling at the microscale within well-structured macroscopic consortia consisting of sulfide-oxidizing anoxygenic phototrophs and sulfate-reducing bacteria. PMID:24428801

  17. Mineralization of clapper rail eggshell from a contaminated salt marsh system.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Navarro, A B; Gaines, K F; Romanek, C S; Masson, G R

    2002-11-01

    The effect of contamination on eggshell mineralization has been studied for clapper rails (Rallus longirostris) inhabiting a contaminated salt marsh in coastal Georgia. To assess the impact of contaminants, the thickness, microstructure (crystal orientation), mineral composition, and chemistry of shell material were analyzed from a contaminated site and a nearby reference site using optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and gas chromatography with electron capture detector. Eggshells from the contaminated site were generally thinner than those from the reference site. Also, eggshells from the contaminated site were abnormally brittle and contained anomalous microstructural attributes. The combination of reduced shell thickness and anomalous microstructure resulted in weaker eggshells, which in turn could pose a significant threat to the reproductive success of the affected population.PCB concentrations in eggshells were at background levels in both sites. Eggshells from the contaminated site had higher concentrations of heavy metals, specifically mercury, than the reference site. The structural changes observed in eggshells may be related to the concentration of specific metals ( e.g., Mg, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Hg) in shell, however, statistical analyses indicated that metals only explained a small portion of the observed variation in properties ( i.e., thickness, crystal orientation). Further analysis is required to better constrain the factors leading to unusually weak eggshells in the contaminated site. PMID:12399916

  18. Primary productivity of angiosperm and macroalgae dominated habitats in a New England Salt Marsh: a Comparative analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roman, C. T.; Able, K. W.; Lazzari, M. A.; Heck, K. L.

    1990-01-01

    Net primary productivity estimates were made for the major macrophyte dominated habitats of the Nauset Marsh system, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Above-ground primary productivity of short form Spartina alterniflora, the dominant habitat of the system, was 664 g m -2 y -1. Productivity of the other dominant angiosperm ( Zostera marina) was estimated to range from 444-987 g m -2 y -1. The marsh creekbank habitat was dominated by an intertidal zone of fucoid algae ( Ascophyllum nodosum ecad. scorpioides, 1179 g m -2 y -1; Fucus vesiculosus, 426 g m -2 y -1), mixed intertidal filamentous algae (91 g m -2 y -1), and a subtidal zone of assorted macroalgae (68 g m -2 y -1). Intertidal mudflats were dominated by Cladophora gracilis, with net production ranging from 59-637 g m -2 y -1. These angiosperm and macrophyte and macrophyte dominated habitats produce over 3 × 10 6 kg y -1 of biomass (1·2 × 10 6 kg carbon y -1). Twenty-eight per cent (28%) of this carbon production is derived from the Zostera and macroalgae habitats. Although S. alterniflora is considered the major macrophyte primary producer in Nauset Marsh and other north temperate salt marshes, it is concluded that other habitats also contribute significantly to total system carbon production.

  19. Primary productivity of angiosperm and macroalgae dominated habitats in a New England salt marsh: a comparative analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roman, C.T.; Able, K.W.; Lazzari, M.A.; Heck, K.L.

    1990-01-01

    Net primary productivity estimates were made for the major macrophyte dominated habitats of the Nauset Marsh system, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Above-ground primary productivity of short form Spartina alterniflora, the dominant habitat of the system, was 664 g m-2 y-1. Productivity of the other dominant angiosperm (Zostera marina) was estimated to range from 444?987 g m-2 y-1. The marsh creekbank habitat was dominated by an intertidal zone of fucoid algae (Ascophyllum nodosum ecad. scorpioides, 1179 g m-2 y-1; Fucus vesiculosus, 426 g m-2 y-1), mixed intertidal filamentous algae (91 g m-2 y-1), and a subtidal zone of assorted macroalgae (68 g m-2 y-1). Intertidal mudflats were dominated by Cladophora gracilis, with net production ranging from 59?637 g m-2 y-1. These angiosperm and macrophyte and macrophyte dominated habitats produce over 3 ? 106 kg y-1 of biomass (1?2 ? 106 kg carbon y-1). Twenty-eight per cent (28%) of this carbon production is derived from the Zostera and macroalgae habitats. Although S. alterniflora is considered the major macrophyte primary producer in Nauset Marsh and other north temperate salt marshes, it is concluded that other habitats also contribute significantly to total system carbon production.

  20. Plant-soil interactions in salt marsh environments: Experimental evidence from electrical resistivity tomography in the Venice Lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boaga, Jacopo; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Cassiani, Giorgio; Marani, Marco; Putti, Mario

    2014-09-01

    The role of root water uptake in regulating soil water saturation in salt marshes is controversial. Modeling studies suggest that soil aeration is improved by transpiration, with implications for the distribution of vegetation species and of the associated topographic features controlling the hydraulic regime of the marshland and eventually its survival. Marsh vegetation plays a key role in the preservation of such critical environment, which represents unique marker for climatic change and impact studies. However, the direct quantification of space-time aeration patterns has remained elusive, in part, because of the limitations posed by high salinity to conventional observation techniques such as time or frequency domain reflectometry. Here we show that time-lapse microscale electrical resistivity tomography, coupled with tensiometric observations, allows the identification of variably saturated zones and the characterization of space-time soil moisture dynamics in a salt marsh in the Venice Lagoon (Italy). This is the first quantitative observational experiment which confirms that periodically flooded plants are capable of producing a persistently aerated layer below the flooded surface when transpiration proceeds at a sufficiently high rate. The experimental results are compared against previously published model predictions.

  1. Influence of diesel contamination on the benthic microbial/meiofaunal food web of a Louisiana salt marsh

    SciTech Connect

    Carman, K.R.; Fleeger, J.W.; Pomarico, S. [Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States). Dept. of Zoology

    1994-12-31

    The authors studied the influence of diesel-contaminated sediments on the benthic microbial/meiofaunal food web from a Louisiana salt marsh. Diesel-contaminated sediment was added to microcosms (intact cores of marsh mud) in a range of doses, and a suite of microbial and meiofaunal responses were measured over a 28-day period. The authors measured bacterial and microalgal (Chl a) abundance, bacterial and microalgal activity using radiotracers ({sup 14}C-acetate and {sup 14}CO{sub 2}, respectively), meiofaunal grazing on microalgae, meiofaunal community structure, and meiofaunal physiological condition. Preliminary results indicate that diesel-contaminated sediments influence microalgal biomass and activity, as well as the life histories of benthic copepod species.

  2. Raster based coastal marsh classification within the Galveston Bay ecosystem, Texas 

    E-print Network

    Edwards, Aron Shaun

    2009-05-15

    ), and cattail (Typha sp.) compose the low marsh, marshhay cordgrass (Spartina patens), saltwort (Batis maritima), bushy sea ox-eye daisy (Borrichia frutescens), perennial glasswort (Salicornia virginica), annual seepweed (Suaeda linearis), needlerush (Juncus... can be used to distinguish individual vegetation communities such as Spartina alterniflora, Scirpus robustus, 7 and Typha domingensis, which compose the low marsh Spartina patens, Batis maritima, Borrichia frutescens, Salicornia virginica...

  3. Sources and preservation of organic matter in Plum Island salt marsh sediments (MA, USA): long-chain n-alkanes and stable carbon isotope compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.-C.; Chen, R. F.; Berry, A.

    2003-12-01

    Elemental (TOC, TN, C/N) and stable carbon isotopic ( ?13C) compositions and n-alkane ( nC 16-38) concentrations were measured for Spartina alterniflora, a C 4 marsh grass, Typha latifolia, a C 3 marsh grass, and three sediment cores collected from middle and upper estuarine sites from the Plum Island salt marshes. Our results indicated that the organic matter preserved in the sediments was highly affected by the marsh plants that dominated the sampling sites. ?13C values of organic matter preserved in the upper fresh water site sediment were more negative ( -23.0±0.3‰) as affected by the C 3 plants than the values of organic matter preserved in the sediments of middle ( -18.9±0.8‰) and mud flat sites ( -19.4±0.1‰) as influenced mainly by the C 4 marsh plants. The distribution of n-alkanes measured in all sediments showed similar patterns as those determined in the marsh grasses S. alterniflora and T. latifolia, and nC 21 to nC 33 long-chain n-alkanes were the major compounds determined in all sediment samples. The strong odd-to-even carbon numbered n-alkane predominance was found in all three sediments and nC 29 was the most abundant homologue in all samples measured. Both ?13C compositions of organic matter and n-alkane distributions in these sediments indicate that the marsh plants could contribute significant amount of organic matter preserved in Plum Island salt marsh sediments. This suggests that salt marshes play an important role in the cycling of nutrients and organic carbon in the estuary and adjacent coastal waters.

  4. Comparison of bulk and compound-specific ? 13C analyses and determination of carbon sources to salt marsh sediments using n-alkane distributions (Maine, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, Benjamin R.; Uhle, Maria E.; Mora, Claudia I.; Kelley, Joseph T.; Schuneman, Patrick J.; Lane, Chad S.; Allen, Evan S.

    2010-01-01

    Sources of sedimentary organic matter to a Morse River, Maine (USA) salt marsh over the last 3390 ± 60 RCYBP (Radiocarbon Years Before Present) are determined using distribution patterns of n-alkanes, bulk carbon isotopic analysis, and compound-specific carbon isotopic analysis. Marsh foraminiferal counts suggest a ubiquitous presence of high marsh and higher-high marsh deposits (dominated by Trochammina macrescens forma macrescens, Trochammina comprimata, and Trochammina inflata), implying deposition from ˜0.2 m to 0.5 m above mean high water. Distributions of n-alkanes show a primary contribution from higher plants, confirmed by an average chain length value of 27.5 for the core sediments, and carbon preference index values all >3. Many sample depths are dominated by the C 25 alkane. Salicornia depressa and Ruppia maritima have similar n-alkane distributions to many of the salt marsh sediments, and we suggest that one or both of these plants is either an important source to the biomass of the marsh through time, or that another unidentified higher plant source is contributing heavily to the sediment pool. Bacterial degradation or algal inputs to the marsh sediments appear to be minor. Compound-specific carbon isotopic analyses of the C 27 alkane are on average 7.2‰ depleted relative to bulk values, but the two records are strongly correlated ( R2 = 0.89), suggesting that marsh plants dominate the bulk carbon isotopic signal. Our study underscores the importance of using caution when applying mixing models of plant species to salt marsh sediments, especially when relatively few plants are included in the model.

  5. Stratification and loading of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in a tidally muted urban salt marsh.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Karina K; Dorsey, John H; Saez, Jose A

    2015-03-01

    Stratification and loading of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were assessed in the main tidal channel of the Ballona Wetlands, an urban salt marsh receiving muted tidal flows, to (1) determine FIB concentration versus loading within the water column at differing tidal flows, (2) identify associations of FIB with other water quality parameters, and (3) compare wetland FIB concentrations to the adjacent estuary. Sampling was conducted four times during spring-tide events; samples were analyzed for FIB and turbidity (NTU) four times over a tidal cycle at pre-allocated depths, depending on the water level. Additional water quality parameters measured included temperature, salinity, oxygen, and pH. Loadings were calculated by integrating the stratified FIB concentrations with water column cross-sectional volumes corresponding to each depth. Enterococci and Escherichia coli were stratified both by concentration and loading, although these variables portrayed different patterns over a tidal cycle. Greatest concentrations occurred in surface to mid-strata levels, during flood tides when contaminated water flowed in from the estuary, and during ebb flows when sediments were suspended. Loading was greatest during flood flows and diminished during low tide periods. FIB concentrations within the estuary often were significantly greater than those within the wetland tide channel, supporting previous studies that the wetlands act as a sink for FIB. For public health water quality monitoring, these results indicate that more accurate estimates of FIB concentrations would be obtained by sampling a number of points within a water column rather than relying only on single surface samples. PMID:25647802

  6. Sulfate reduction and other sedimentary biogeochemistry in a northern New England salt marsh

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, Mark E.; Knollmeyer, Stephen L.; Tugel, Joyce B.

    1992-01-01

    Sulfate reduction rates, dissolved iron and sulfide concentrations, and titration alkalinity were measured in salt marsh soils along a transect that included areas inhabited by both the tall and short forms of Spartina alterniflora and by Spartina patens. Pore waters were collected with in situ 'sippers' to acquire temporal data from the same location without disturbing plant roots. During 1984, data collected at weekly intervals showed rapid temporal changes in belowground biogeochemical processes that coincided with changes in S. alterniflora physiology. Rates of SO4(-2) reduction increased fivefold (to greater than 2.5 micromol ml(sup -1)d(sup -1)) when plants began elongating aboveground yet decreased fourfold upon plant flowering. This rapid increase in rates of SO4(-2) reduction must have been fueled by dissolved organic matter released from roots only during active growth. Once plants flowered, the supply of oxidants to the soil decreased and sulfide and alkalinity concentrations increased despite decreases in SO4(-2) reduction and increases in SO4(-2):Cl(-) ratios. Sulfide concentrations were highest in soils inhabited by tallest plants. During 1985, S. alterniflora became infested with fly larvae (Chaetopsis apicalis John) and aboveground growth ceased in late June. This cessation was accompanied by decreased rates of SO4(-2) reduction similar to those noted during the previous year when flowering occurred. After the fly infestation, the pore-water chemical profiles of these soils resembled profiles of soils inhabited by the short form of S. alterniflora. The SO4(-2) reduction rates in S. patens soils are the first reported. Rates were similar to those in S. alterniflora except that they did not increase greatly when S. patens was elongating. Tidal and rainfall events produced desiccation-saturation cycles that altered redox conditions in the S. patens soils, resulting in rapid changes in the dissolution and precipitation of iron and in the magnitude and spatial distribution of SO4(-2) reduction.

  7. ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY The effects of tree establishment on water and salt dynamics

    E-print Network

    Nacional de San Luis, Universidad

    ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY The effects of tree establishment on water and salt dynamics in naturally salt an imprint on salt accumulation and distribution patterns. We explored how the conversion of native grasslands to oak plantations affected the abundance and distribution of salts on soils and groundwater

  8. Mercury-resistant bacteria from salt marsh of Tagus Estuary: the influence of plants presence and mercury contamination levels.

    PubMed

    Figueiredo, Neusa L L; Areias, Andreia; Mendes, Ricardo; Canário, João; Duarte, Aida; Carvalho, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of aquatic systems has been recognized as a global, serious problem affecting both wildlife and humans. High levels of Hg, in particular methylmercury (MeHg), were detected in surface sediments of Tagus Estuary. MeHg is neurotoxic and its concentration in aquatic systems is dependent upon the relative efficiency of reduction, methylation, and demethylation processes, which are mediated predominantly by the microbial community, in particular mercury-resistant (HgR) bacteria. Plants in contaminated ecosystems are known to take up Hg via plant roots. Therefore, the aims of this study were to (1) isolate and characterize HgR bacteria from a salt marsh of Tagus Estuary (Rosário) and (2) determine HgR bacteria levels in the rhizosphere and, consequently, their influence in metal cycling. To accomplish this objective, sediments samples were collected during the spring season in an area colonized by Sacocornia fruticosa and Spartina maritima and compared with sediments without plants. From these samples, 13 aerobic HgR bacteria were isolated and characterized morphologically, biochemically, and genetically, and susceptibility to Hg compounds, Hg(2+), and MeHg was assessed by determination of minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). Genetically, the mer operon was searched by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and 16S rRNA sequencing was used for bacterial identification. Results showed that the isolates were capable of growing in the presence of high Hg concentration with MIC values for HgCl2 and MeHgCl in the ranges of 1.7-4.2 ?g/ml and 0.1-0.9 ?g/ml, respectively. The isolates from sediments colonized with Sacocornia fruticosa displayed higher resistance levels compared to ones colonized with Spartina maritima. Bacteria isolates showed different capacity of Hg accumulation but all displayed Hg volatilization capabilities (20-50%). Mer operon was found in two isolates, which genetically confirmed their capability to convert Hg compounds by reducing them to Hg(0). Thus, these results are the first evidence of the relevance of interaction between bacteria and plants in Hg cycling in Tagus Estuary. PMID:25072727

  9. Long-term growth and development of transplants of the salt-marsh grass Spartina alterniflora

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. W. Broome; E. D. Seneca; W. W. Woodhouse

    1986-01-01

    The effect of transplant spacings (45, 60, and 90 cm) on establishment ofSpartina alterniflora along an eroding shoreline in North Carolina was evaluated and annual biomass production of the planted marsh was compared\\u000a to a natural marsh. The 45- and 60-cm spacings were more successful for establishment on marginal sites that were near the\\u000a lower elevation limits ofS. alterniflora. The

  10. Comparison of natural and man-made salt marshes in Galveston Bay Complex, Texas

    Microsoft Academic Search

    James W. Webb; Charles J. Newling

    1984-01-01

    Vegetation characteristics of three natural marshes and one marsh that was experimentally established on dredged material\\u000a in 1976 and 1977 were compared in the Galveston Bay Complex, Texas. During fall 1978, Six replicate samples of below-ground\\u000a and above-ground measurements were taken at each of three elevations. Five elevations were sampled in 1979. Greater quantities\\u000a of live above-ground biomass per m2

  11. Remote sensing of Spartina anglica biomass in five French salt marshes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, M. F.; Klemas, V.; Levasseur, J. E.

    1986-01-01

    The utilization of regression models to estimate Spartina anglica biomass in marshes is studied. Radiance data for five S. anglica plots located along the coast of Brittany, France at 48 deg 40 min N between 1 deg 30 min W- 4 deg 30 min W was collected with a hand-held radiometer. Biomass data is derived from the radiance data, and the radiance and biomass data are employed in the formulation of simple regression models. The models are applied to the radiance data from the other four marshes. It is observed that the models predicted the biomass for all four marshes, and for three of the four marshes the estimated leaf and live biomass are within 1-13 percent of the harvest values. The effects of slit and dead tissues on the radiance from the S. anglica canopies are analyzed. It is noted that simple regression models which correlate radiance data to S. Anglica biomass in one marsh can be applied to the accurate prediction of leaf and live S. anglica biomass in other marshes.

  12. Raster based coastal marsh classification within the Galveston Bay ecosystem, Texas

    E-print Network

    Edwards, Aron Shaun

    2009-05-15

    ), and cattail (Typha sp.) compose the low marsh, marshhay cordgrass (Spartina patens), saltwort (Batis maritima), bushy sea ox-eye daisy (Borrichia frutescens), perennial glasswort (Salicornia virginica), annual seepweed (Suaeda linearis), needlerush (Juncus..., Suaeda linearis, Juncus roemerianus, Distichlis spicata, and Paspalum vaginatum which compose the high marsh Iva frutescens which composes the scrub shrub habitat and Baccharis halimifolia and Spartina spartinae which compose the upland coastal prairie...

  13. Comparison of shallow-water and marsh-surface habitats associated with pipeline canals and natural channels in Louisiana salt marshes

    SciTech Connect

    Rozas, L.P.

    1992-11-01

    The primary objective of the study was to assess the effects of pipeline canals on the habitat function of inside-levee marshes. The degree to which inside-levee marshes function as nursery habitat for nekton residing in canals was examined by comparing densities of nekton on marshes adjacent to pipeline canals (inside-levee marshes) and natural tidal creeks. In addition, shallow subtidal habitats in the two environments (canals and natural channels) were compared by sampling nekton along the marsh edge at low tide and measuring predator encounter rates in both habitats.

  14. Detection of Salt Marsh Vegetation Stress after the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Along the Shoreline of Gulf of Mexico Using Aviris Hyperspectral Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khanna, S.; Ustin, S.; Hestir, E. L.

    2011-12-01

    Coastal wetlands and aquatic environments are highly productive ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. They also provide critically important habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms, many of which have significant economic and recreational importance. The United States Gulf of Mexico coastline is riddled with oil wells (~50,000 wells of which ~30,000 are decommissioned or abandoned), that are subject to frequent oil spills. Oil spills have both short-term and long-term detrimental effects on the coastal environment. Brackish and salt marshes are among the most vulnerable of coastal ecosystems to oil spill impacts because oil tends to have a much longer residence time in marches compared to other environments. Remote sensing has been used extensively to directly map the oil and indirectly to detect wetland plant stress in oil spill impact zones. Using AVIRIS hyperspectral data flown over the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill in July and September of 2010, we tested if oil had any impact on the health of the wetland plant community. Two difference indices, NDVI and NDI, two angle indices, ANIR and ARed, and two continuum removals over water absorption bands, all showed that oiled shoreline index values were significantly lower than that from unoiled shoreline in September. The impact was significant at least 10-12m inland from the shoreline. In the July dataset, the effect of oil stress was not as pronounced. A comparison of the green vegetation fraction between July and September showed no significant difference indicating that there was no significant loss of wetland area between July and September. This study illustrates the use of hyperspectral remote sensing in detecting ecosystem stress and monitoring recovery after a catastrophic event such as an oil spill.

  15. Changes in salt-marsh carabid assemblages after an invasion by the native grass Elymus athericus (Link) Kerguélen

    PubMed Central

    Georges, Anita; Fouillet, Philippe; Pétillon, Julien

    2011-01-01

    Abstract As a result of an invasion by the native grass Elymus athericus (Link) Kerguélen (Poaceae) in the last 10 years, a major change in vegetation cover has occurred in salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel bay, Western France. The impact of such an invasion on carabid assemblages, a dominant group of terrestrial arthropods in these habitats and containing several stenotopic species, is investigated here. In our study site, carabid data are available from 1983 and 1984, allowing a comparison of species distribution ranges in salt marshes before (1983–1984) and after (2002) the Elymus athericus invasion. A total of 16,867 adults belonging to 40 species were caught. By considering the presence-absence of species shared between studies, we show that the invasion by Elymus athericus promoted the progression of non-coastal species (mainly Pterostichus s.l. spp.). This did however not interfere with resident species distributions, finally resulting in higher carabid species richness in the entire area. The species composition and abundances of carabid assemblages were also compared between natural and invaded stations in 2002. The main result is that abundances of some halophilic species decreased in one invaded plot (in case of Pogonus chalceus (Marsham 1802)) whereas the opposite pattern was observed for other species (e.g., Bembidion minimum (Fabricius 1792)). Invaded habitats were characterized by lower percentages of halophilic species and higher total species richness. PMID:21738424

  16. The restoration potential of the Mesopotamian marshes of Iraq.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Curtis J; Reiss, Peter; Hussain, Najah A; Alwash, Azzam J; Pool, Douglas J

    2005-02-25

    Uncontrolled releases of Tigris and Euphrates River waters after the 2003 war have partially restored some former marsh areas in southern Iraq, but restoration is failing in others because of high soil and water salinities. Nearly 20% of the original 15,000-square-kilometer marsh area was reflooded by March 2004, but the extent of marsh restoration is unknown. High-quality water, nonsaline soils, and the densest native vegetation were found in the only remaining natural marsh, the Al-Hawizeh, located on the Iranian border. Although substantially reduced in area and under current threat of an Iranian dike, it has the potential to be a native repopulation center for the region. Rapid reestablishment, high productivity, and reproduction of native flora and fauna in reflooded former marsh areas indicate a high probability for successful restoration, provided the restored wetlands are hydraulically designed to allow sufficient flow of noncontaminated water and flushing of salts through the ecosystem. PMID:15731454

  17. Deposit and mobility of cadmium in a marsh-cove ecosystem and the relation to cadmium concentration in biota.

    PubMed Central

    Kneip, T J; Hazen, R E

    1979-01-01

    The study reported here presents the results of an investigation of a marsh-cove ecosystem heavily contaminated by cadmium. The most contaminated aquatic sediments were dredged in 1972-73, but the resuspension of the sediments and recycle of water from the dredge spoil resulted in reestablishment of a large contaminated sediment bed with concentrations very similar to those observed before dredging. The stability of the sediment concentrations and shallow depth of the cadmium in the sediments indicate that the deposit is relatively stable in agreement with the expectations based on the water chemistry of the system. Uptake does occur in both marsh and aquatic plants and all species of animals tested. Significantly elevated concentrations are observed compared to noncontaminated areas; however, edible portions of most fish do not appear to present a hazard. Crabs appear to present the most likely source of a hazard to humans. This potential hazard is still under investigation. The dredging removed about 5.5 MT of cadmium, about one-fourth of that originally estimated to be present, but twice that amount is found to be in the cove sediments 3 to 4 years after dredging. No appreciable improvement in the ecosystem has been made, and more careful consideration should be given to the need for decontamination and the method of removal of contaminated aquatic sediments in any future case. PMID:488050

  18. Salt tolerance underlies the cryptic invasion of North American salt marshes by an introduced haplotype of the common reed Phragmites australis (Poaceae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vasquez, E.A.; Glenn, E.P.; Brown, J.J.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Nelson, S.G.

    2005-01-01

    A distinct, non-native haplotype of the common reed Phragmites australis has become invasive in Atlantic coastal Spartina marshes. We compared the salt tolerance and other growth characteristics of the invasive M haplotype with 2 native haplotypes (F and AC) in greenhouse experiments. The M haplotype retained 50% of its growth potential up to 0.4 M NaCl, whereas the F and AC haplotypes did not grow above 0.1 M NaCl. The M haplotype produced more shoots per gram of rhizome tissue and had higher relative growth rates than the native haplotypes on both freshwater and saline water treatments. The M haplotype also differed from the native haplotypes in shoot water content and the biometrics of shoots and rhizomes. The results offer an explanation for how the M haplotype is able to spread in coastal salt marshes and support the conclusion of DNA analyses that the M haplotype is a distinct ecotype of P. australis. ?? Inter-Research 2005.

  19. Community Structure of Skin Microbiome of Gulf Killifish, Fundulus grandis, Is Driven by Seasonality and Not Exposure to Oiled Sediments in a Louisiana Salt Marsh.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Andrea M; Bullard, Stephen A; Womble, Matthew; Arias, Covadonga R

    2015-08-01

    Mucus of fish skin harbors complex bacterial communities that likely contribute to fish homeostasis. When the equilibrium between the host and its external bacterial symbionts is disrupted, bacterial diversity decreases while opportunistic pathogen prevalence increases, making the onset of pathogenic bacterial infection more likely. Because of that relationship, documenting temporal and spatial microbial community changes may be predictive of fish health status. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a potential stressor to the Gulf of Mexico's coastal ecosystem. Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA) and pyrosequencing were used to analyze the bacterial communities (microbiome) associated with the skin and mucus of Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis) that were collected from oiled and non-oiled salt marsh sites in Barataria Bay, LA. Water samples and fin clips were collected to examine microbiome structure. The microbiome of Gulf killifish was significantly different from that of the surrounding water, mainly attributable to shifts in abundances of Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria. The Gulf killifish's microbiome was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria, specifically members of Pseudomonas. No significant difference was found between microbiomes of fish collected from oiled and non-oiled sites suggesting little impact of oil contamination on fish bacterial assemblages. Conversely, seasonality significantly influenced microbiome structure. Overall, the high similarity observed between the microbiomes of individual fish observed during this study posits that skin and mucus of Gulf killifish have a resilient core microbiome. PMID:25704317

  20. SYMBIOSIS BETWEEN AN ALPHEID SHRIMP AND A XANTHOID CRAB IN SALT MARSHES OF MID-ATLANTIC STATES, U.S.A.

    E-print Network

    Bermingham, Eldredge

    SYMBIOSIS BETWEEN AN ALPHEID SHRIMP AND A XANTHOID CRAB IN SALT MARSHES OF MID-ATLANTIC STATES, U T Instances of mutualism and commensalism between alpheid shrimp and other marine invertebrates and fish snapping shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) participates in a symbiosis with the black-clawed mud crab

  1. Heavy metal distribution and accumulation in two Spartina sp.-dominated macrotidal salt marshes from the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. B. Cundy; L. Hopkinson; R. Lafite; K. Spencer; J. A. Taylor; B. Ouddane; C. M. Heppell; P. J. Carey; R. Charman; D. Shell; S. Ullyott

    2005-01-01

    The upper intertidal zone, and salt marshes in particular, have been shown by numerous authors to be effective medium to long-term storage areas for a range of contaminants discharged or transported into the estuarine environment. A detailed understanding of the specific controls on the trapping and storage of contaminants, however, is absent for many estuarine systems. This paper examines heavy

  2. DIVERSITY OF ASCOMYCETE LACCASE SEQUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF BACTERIA AND ASCOMYCETOUS FUNGI TO LIGNOCELLULOSE DEGRADATION IN A SOUTHEASTERN U.S. SALT MARSH

    Microsoft Academic Search

    JUSTINE ISABELLE; LYONS MORETA

    In the first part of this study, we used molecular tools to create a database of protein sequences for laccase genes of salt marsh ascomycetes. Laccase is one of the enzymes shown to be involved in fungally-mediated lignin degradation. We then used this database to identify laccase sequences in the natural decomposer community on blades of Spartina alterniflora in two

  3. A neutral DNA marker suggests that parallel physiological adaptations to open shore and salt marsh habitats have evolved more than once within two different species of gastropods

    Microsoft Academic Search

    I. M. Sokolova; E. G. Boulding

    2004-01-01

    Local adaptation is an important mechanism generating physiological diversity and can be especially pronounced in species with restricted dispersal and gene flow such as direct developing snails of the genus Littorina. We compared physiological responses to salinity and desiccation stress in two co-occurring species of northeastern Pacific Littorina ( L. subrotundata and L. sitkana) with salt marsh and open shore

  4. ESTIMATION OF BACTERIAL CELL NUMBERS IN HUMIC ACID-RICH SALT MARSH SEDIMENTS WITH PROBES DIRECTED TO 16S RIBOSOMAL DNA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The feasibility of using probes directed towards ribosomal DNAs (rDNAs) as a quantitative approach to estimating cell numbers was examined and applied to study the structure of a bacterial community in humic acid-rich salt marsh sediments. Hybridizations were performed with membr...

  5. Feeding ecology and trophic relationships of fish species in the lower Guadiana River Estuary and Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Salt Marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rita Sá; Constança Bexiga; Pedro Veiga; Lina Vieira; Karim Erzini

    2006-01-01

    In this study we analyze the feeding ecology and trophic relationships of some of the main fish species (Soleidae, Moronidae, Mullidae, Sparidae, Mugilidae, and Batrachoididae) of the lower Estuary of the Guadiana River and the Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Salt Marsh. We examined the stomachs of 1415 fish caught monthly between September 2000 and August 2001.

  6. A comparison of a new centrifuge sugar flotation technique with the agar method for the extraction of immature Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) life stages from salt marsh soils.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two sampling techniques, agar extraction (AE) and centrifuge sugar flotation extraction (CSFE) were compared to determine their relative efficacy to recover immature stages of Culicoides spp from salt marsh substrates. Three types of samples (seeded with known numbers of larvae, homogenized field s...

  7. Nutrient enrichment and precipitation changes do not enhance resiliency of salt marshes to sea level rise in the Northeastern U.S.

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the U.S. Northeast, salt marshes are exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of accelerated sea level rise as compensatory mechanisms relying on positive feedbacks between inundation and sediment deposition are insufficient to counter inundation increases in low turbidity tida...

  8. Evidence for preferential depths of metal retention in roots of salt marsh plants

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Miguel Caetano; Carlos Vale; Rute Cesário; Nuno Fonseca

    2008-01-01

    Depth variation (2-cm resolution) of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Ni, Cu, As and Cd concentrations were determined in belowground biomass of Spartina maritima and Sarcocornia fruticosa and in sediments between roots from two marshes in Tagus (Rosário) and Guadiana (Castro Marim) estuaries in Portugal with different anthropogenic pressures. Levels of metals were also determined in aboveground plant parts. Metal concentrations

  9. ABOVE- AND BELOWGROUND EMERGENT MACROPHYTE PRODUCTION AND TURNOVER IN A COASTAL MARSH ECOSYSTEM, GEORGIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seasonal patterns of aboveground plant mass and the depth distribution of live roots, rhizomes, and dead belowground organic matter were measured for Spartina alterniflora and Spartina cynosuroides in Georgia tidal marshes. Peak live aboveground biomass was 1.6x higher for S. cyn...

  10. Full-waveform and discrete-return lidar in salt marsh environments: An assessment of biophysical parameters, vertical uncertatinty, and nonparametric dem correction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Jeffrey N.

    High-resolution and high-accuracy elevation data sets of coastal salt marsh environments are necessary to support restoration and other management initiatives, such as adaptation to sea level rise. Lidar (light detection and ranging) data may serve this need by enabling efficient acquisition of detailed elevation data from an airborne platform. However, previous research has revealed that lidar data tend to have lower vertical accuracy (i.e., greater uncertainty) in salt marshes than in other environments. The increase in vertical uncertainty in lidar data of salt marshes can be attributed primarily to low, dense-growing salt marsh vegetation. Unfortunately, this increased vertical uncertainty often renders lidar-derived digital elevation models (DEM) ineffective for analysis of topographic features controlling tidal inundation frequency and ecology. This study aims to address these challenges by providing a detailed assessment of the factors influencing lidar-derived elevation uncertainty in marshes. The information gained from this assessment is then used to: 1) test the ability to predict marsh vegetation biophysical parameters from lidar-derived metrics, and 2) develop a method for improving salt marsh DEM accuracy. Discrete-return and full-waveform lidar, along with RTK GNSS (Real-time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite System) reference data, were acquired for four salt marsh systems characterized by four major taxa (Spartina alterniflora, Spartina patens, Distichlis spicata, and Salicornia spp.) on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These data were used to: 1) develop an innovative combination of full-waveform lidar and field methods to assess the vertical distribution of aboveground biomass as well as its light blocking properties; 2) investigate lidar elevation bias and standard deviation using varying interpolation and filtering methods; 3) evaluate the effects of seasonality (temporal differences between peak growth and senescent conditions) using lidar data flown in summer and spring; 4) create new products, called Relative Uncertainty Surfaces (RUS), from lidar waveform-derived metrics and determine their utility; and 5) develop and test five nonparametric regression model algorithms (MARS -- Multivariate Adaptive Regression, CART -- Classification and Regression Trees, TreeNet, Random Forests, and GPSM -- Generalized Path Seeker) with 13 predictor variables derived from both discrete and full waveform lidar sources in order to develop a method of improving lidar DEM quality. Results of this study indicate strong correlations for Spartina alterniflora (r > 0.9) between vertical biomass (VB), the distribution of vegetation biomass by height, and vertical obscuration (VO), the measure of the vertical distribution of the ratio of vegetation to airspace. It was determined that simple, feature-based lidar waveform metrics, such as waveform width, can provide new information to estimate salt marsh vegetation biophysical parameters such as vegetation height. The results also clearly illustrate the importance of seasonality, species, and lidar interpolation and filtering methods on elevation uncertainty in salt marshes. Relative uncertainty surfaces generated from lidar waveform features were determined useful in qualitative/visual assessment of lidar elevation uncertainty and correlate well with vegetation height and presence of Spartina alterniflora. Finally, DEMs generated using full-waveform predictor models produced corrections (compared to ground based RTK GNSS elevations) with R2 values of up to 0.98 and slopes within 4% of a perfect 1:1 correlation. The findings from this research have strong potential to advance tidal marsh mapping, research and management initiatives.

  11. Seed flotation and germination of salt marsh plants: The effects of stratification, salinity, and/or inundation regime

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elsey-Quirk, T.; Middleton, B.A.; Proffitt, C.E.

    2009-01-01

    We examined the effects of cold stratification and salinity on seed flotation of eight salt marsh species. Four of the eight species were tested for germination success under different stratification, salinity, and flooding conditions. Species were separated into two groups, four species received wet stratification and four dry stratification and fresh seeds of all species were tested for flotation and germination. Fresh seeds of seven out of eight species had flotation times independent of salinity, six of which had average flotation times of at least 50 d. Seeds of Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens had the shortest flotation times, averaging 24 and 26 d, respectively. Following wet stratification, the flotation time of S. alterniflora seeds in higher salinity water (15 and 36 ppt) was reduced by over 75% and germination declined by more than 90%. Wet stratification reduced the flotation time of Distichlis spicata seeds in fresh water but increased seed germination from 2 to 16% in a fluctuating inundation regime. Fresh seeds of Iva frutescens and S. alternflora were capable of germination and therefore are non-dormant during dispersal. Fresh seeds of I. frutescens had similar germination to dry stratified seeds ranging 25-30%. Salinity reduced seed germination for all species except for S. alterniflora. A fluctuating inundation regime was important for seed germination of the low marsh species and for germination following cold stratification. The conditions that resulted in seeds sinking faster were similar to the conditions that resulted in higher germination for two of four species. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  12. Enumeration and Relative Importance of Acetylene-Reducing (Nitrogen-Fixing) Bacteria in a Delaware Salt Marsh

    PubMed Central

    Dicker, Howard J.; Smith, David W.

    1980-01-01

    Three groups of N2-fixing bacteria were enumerated from the top 1 cm of the surface in four vegetational areas in a Delaware salt marsh. The results over the 9-month sampling period showed that there were no discernible seasonal patterns for any of the groups enumerated (Azotobacter sp., Clostridium sp., and Desulfovibrio sp.). Azotobacter sp. was present in numbers of 107 per g of dry mud, whereas the two anaerobic fixers were present in much lower numbers (103 to 104 per g of dry mud). There were no differences in the numbers of each group among the different vegetational areas, indicating that there was a heterogeneous population of N2 fixers present. Additional studies indicate that the activity of sulfate reducers (Desulfovibrio sp.) may account for as much as 50% of the total observed acetylene reduction activity. Oxygen was found to exert little effect on the observed acetylene reduction activity, indicating that stable aerobic and anaerobic microenvironments exist in the surface layer of marsh sediments. PMID:16345564

  13. Shifts in Symbiotic Endophyte Communities of a Foundational Salt Marsh Grass following Oil Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    PubMed

    Kandalepas, Demetra; Blum, Michael J; Van Bael, Sunshine A

    2015-01-01

    Symbiotic associations can be disrupted by disturbance or by changing environmental conditions. Endophytes are fungal and bacterial symbionts of plants that can affect performance. As in more widely known symbioses, acute or chronic stressor exposure might trigger disassociation of endophytes from host plants. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of oil exposure following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on endophyte diversity and abundance in Spartina alterniflora - the foundational plant in northern Gulf coast salt marshes affected by the spill. We compared bacterial and fungal endophytes isolated from plants in reference areas to isolates from plants collected in areas with residual oil that has persisted for more than three years after the DWH spill. DNA sequence-based estimates showed that oil exposure shifted endophyte diversity and community structure. Plants from oiled areas exhibited near total loss of leaf fungal endophytes. Root fungal endophytes exhibited a more modest decline and little change was observed in endophytic bacterial diversity or abundance, though a shift towards hydrocarbon metabolizers was found in plants from oiled sites. These results show that plant-endophyte symbioses can be disrupted by stressor exposure, and indicate that symbiont community disassembly in marsh plants is an enduring outcome of the DWH spill. PMID:25923203

  14. Carbon distributions in Spartina alterniflora dominated salt marshes in Galveston, Texas: The role of elevation, relative sea level history, and land cover conversions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulawardhana, R. W.; Feagin, R. A.; Popescu, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal wetlands, including salt marshes, are considered to be large carbon sinks. Yet, there is little knowledge about how the terrain and land cover of these environments are related to carbon distribution. An understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns of carbon held in both the biomass and soil, and the factors that influence its distribution, will be necessary to allow coastal managers to initiate and verify "Blue Carbon" projects. In this study, we attempt to understand: 1) the temporal changes in salt marsh distributions as affected by marsh submergence, vertical accretion and land cover conversions; 2) patterns of soil carbon across different depths of the soil profile; and 3) to evaluate how changes in relative water level governs the spatial and temporal variability of salt marsh carbon storage ability. Our results indicate that over the study period (1954 to present) a considerable portion of salt marsh extents were submerged, while at the higher terrains these salt marshes indicated a landward shift in response to the sea level rise. Soil carbon measured in the soil profile, revealed a gradual depletion of soil carbon with depth. However, both the soil bulk density and the percent carbon indicated an abrupt and significant change at a depth of 15cm (p=0.05), which we interpreted as distinct of two different environments. As evidenced by historical aerial imagery (1954, 1969), the first (15-30 cm depth) coincided with an unvegetated salt flat at the sample locations, which were then overlain by lower bulk density and higher carbon Spartina alterniflora low marsh (0-15 cm depth) that migrated upslope in response to rapid relative sea level rise. However, within each of these two environments separately, carbon distribution followed a unique pattern with respect to elevation. Our results further point to two different processes, each acting at a different time scale (daily tides versus relative sea level rise), and each results in distinct spatial patterns of carbon deposition with respect to elevation. Thus, local and regional Blue Carbon projects or management actions, and global scale accounting of soil carbon, will need to consider both elevation and sea level history to predict carbon distribution.

  15. Structural Data for the Columbus Salt Marsh Geothermal Area - GIS Data

    SciTech Connect

    Faulds, James E.

    2011-12-31

    Shapefiles and spreadsheets of structural data, including attitudes of faults and strata and slip orientations of faults. - Detailed geologic mapping of ~30 km2 was completed in the vicinity of the Columbus Marsh geothermal field to obtain critical structural data that would elucidate the structural controls of this field. - Documenting E? to ENE?striking left lateral faults and N? to NNE?striking normal faults. - Some faults cut Quaternary basalts. - This field appears to occupy a displacement transfer zone near the eastern end of a system of left?lateral faults. ENE?striking sinistral faults diffuse into a system of N? to NNE?striking normal faults within the displacement transfer zone. - Columbus Marsh therefore corresponds to an area of enhanced extension and contains a nexus of fault intersections, both conducive for geothermal activity.

  16. The effect of rates of sedimentation and tidal submersion regimes on the growth of salt marsh plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boorman, Laurence A.; Hazelden, J.; Boorman, M.

    2001-12-01

    A system of tidal mesocosms has been constructed in order to determine interactions between rates of accretion and duration of inundation. Plants are grown in three tanks in which different tidal regimes are simulated by a system of electronically controlled pumps. Sediment is added to give four different rates of accretion and the mesocosms are run under controlled greenhouse conditions. To date experiments have been conducted with seedlings of Salicornia europaea and Aster tripolium. The longest duration of immersion reduces the growth rate of root and shoot of Salicornia seedlings but Aster was unaffected by 5 h submersion daily. Both species, however, responded positively to all rates of sediment addition up to the equivalent of 60 mm per year. The implication of these findings are discussed in relation to salt marsh development.

  17. Southern California Salt Marsh Dominance Relates to Plant Traits and Plasticity

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Catherine L. Bonin; Joy B. Zedler

    2008-01-01

    The three most abundant tidal marsh species at Tijuana Estuary rank Salicornia virginica > Jaumea carnosa > Frankenia salina in occurrences and cover, despite being equally productive in a greenhouse study. The same abundance ranking (Sv>Jc>Fs) developed\\u000a within 10 years in a restoration site that was planted with near-equal numbers per species. In this paper, we show that resistance\\u000a to invasion

  18. Linking Ecological Function and Ecosystem Service Values of Estaurine Habitat Types Associated with a Barrier Island System

    E-print Network

    Francis, Jeffrey Michael

    2012-12-10

    for the provision of ecosystem services. This study is designed to model each habitat type in an effort to explicitly link the major estuarine habitat types of Mustang Island (oyster reefs, seagrass meadows, and intertidal salt marsh) to their contribution...

  19. Salt marsh sediment characteristics as key regulators on the efficiency of hydrocarbons bioremediation by Juncus maritimus rhizospheric bacterial community.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Hugo; Almeida, C Marisa R; Magalhães, Catarina; Bordalo, Adriano A; Mucha, Ana P

    2015-01-01

    Mitigation of petroleum hydrocarbons was investigated during a 5-month greenhouse experiment, to assess the rhizoremediation (RR) potential in sediments with different characteristics colonized by Juncus maritimus, a salt marsh plant commonly found in temperate estuaries. Furthermore, the efficiency of two bioremediation treatments namely biostimulation (BS) by the addition of nutrients, and bioaugmentation (BA) by addition of indigenous microorganisms, was tested in combination with RR. The effect of the distinct treatments on hydrocarbon degradation, root biomass weight, and bacterial community structure was assessed. Our result showed higher potential for hydrocarbon degradation (evaluated by total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis) in coarse rhizosediments with low organic matter (OM), than rhizosediments with high OM, and small size particles. Moreover, the bacterial community structure was shaped according to the rhizosediment characteristics, highlighting the importance of specific microbe-particle associations to define the structure of rhizospheric bacterial communities, rather than external factors, such as hydrocarbon contamination or the applied treatments. The potential for hydrocarbon RR seems to depend on root system development and bacterial diversity, since biodegradation efficiencies were positively related with these two parameters. Treatments with higher root biomass, and concomitantly with higher bacterial diversity yielded higher hydrocarbon degradation. Moreover, BS and BA did not enhance hydrocarbons RR. In fact, it was observed that higher nutrient availability might interfere with root growth and negatively influence hydrocarbon degradation performance. Therefore, our results suggested that to conduct appropriate hydrocarbon bioremediation strategies, the effect of sediment characteristics on root growth/exploration should be taken into consideration, a feature not explored in previous studies. Furthermore, strategies aiming for the recovery of bacterial diversity after oil spills may improve the efficiency of hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated salt marsh sediments. PMID:25081009

  20. Prokaryotes in salt marsh sediments of Ria de Aveiro: Effects of halophyte vegetation on abundance and diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Vanessa; Santos, Ana L.; Aguiar, Claúdia; Santos, Luisa; Salvador, Ângelo C.; Gomes, Newton C. M.; Silva, Helena; Rocha, Sílvia M.; Almeida, Adelaide; Cunha, Ângela

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of monospecific colonization of sediment stands by Spartina maritima or Halimione portulacoides on benthic prokaryote assemblages in a salt marsh located in Ria de Aveiro (Portugal). The distribution of Bacteria, Archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in sediments with monospecific plant stands and in unvegetated sediments was characterized by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH). Total prokaryote abundance (0.4 × 109-1.7 × 109 cells gdw-1) was highest in sediments from the surface layer. The domain Bacteria comprised approximately 40% of total prokaryote communities with the highest percentages occurring in the surface layer. Archaeal cells corresponded to an average of 25% of total prokaryote population, with higher abundance in the vegetation banks, and displaying homogeneous vertical distribution. The relative abundance of SRB represented approximately 3% of total 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) stained cells at unvegetated sediment and H. portulacoides stand and 7% at S. maritima stand. Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) combined with Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC × GC-ToFMS) was used to analyse the volatile and semi-volatile fraction of root exudates. A total of 171 compounds were identified and Principal Component Analysis showed a clear separation between the chemical composition (volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds) of the exudates of the two plants. The patterns of vertical distribution and differences in the proportion of SRB and Archaea in the prokaryote communities developing in sediments colonized by Spartina maritima or Halimione portulacoides suggest the existence of plant-specific interactions between halophyte vegetation and estuarine sediment bacteria in Ria de Aveiro salt marshes, exerted via sediment lithology and root-derived exudates.

  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. Relative contributions of bacteria and fungi to rates of degradation of lignocellulosic detritus in salt-marsh sediments. [Spartina alterniflora; Buergenerula spartinae; Phaeosphaeria typharum; Leptosphaeria obiones

    SciTech Connect

    Benner, R.; Newell, S.Y.; MacCubbin, A.E.; Hodson, R.E.

    1984-07-01

    Specifically radiolabeled (/sup 14/C-lignin)lignocellulose and (/sup 14/C-polysaccharide)lignocellulose from the salt-marsh cordgrass Spartina alterniflora were incubated with an intact salt-marsh sediment microbial assemblage, with a mixed (size-fractionated) bacterial assemblage, and with each of three marine fungi, Buergenerula spartinae, Phaeosphaeria typharum, and Leptosphaeria obiones, isolated from decaying S. alterniflora. The bacterial assemblage alone mineralized the lignin and polysaccharide components of S. alterniflora lignocellulose at approximately the same rate as did intact salt-marsh sediment inocula. The polysaccharide component was mineralized twice as fast as the lignin component; after 23 days of incubation, ca. 10% of the lignin component and 20% of the polysaccharide component of S. alterniflora lignocellulose were mineralized. Relative to the total sediment and bacterial inocula, the three species of fungi mediated only very slow mineralization of the lignin and polysaccharide components of S. alterniflora lignocellulose. Experiments with uniformly /sup 14/C-labeled S. alterniflora material indicated that the three fungi and the bacterial assemblage were capable of degrading the non-lignocellulosic fraction of S. alterniflora material, but only the bacterial assemblage significantly degraded the lignocellulosic fraction. Our results suggest that bacteria are the predominant degraders of lignocellulosic detritus in salt-march sediments.

  3. Impacts and recovery of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on vegetation structure and function of coastal salt marshes in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qianxin; Mendelssohn, Irving A

    2012-04-01

    We investigated the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on two dominant coastal saltmarsh plants, Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus, in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the processes controlling differential species-effects and recovery. Seven months after the Macondo MC 252 oil made landfall along the shoreline salt marshes of northern Barataria Bay, Louisiana, concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons in the surface 2 cm of heavily oiled marsh soils were as high as 510 mg g(-1). Heavy oiling caused almost complete mortality of both species. However, moderate oiling impacted Spartina less severely than Juncus and, relative to the reference marshes, had no significant effect on Spartina while significantly lowering live aboveground biomass and stem density of Juncus. A greenhouse mesocosm study supported field results and indicated that S. alterniflora was much more tolerant to shoot oil coverage than J. roemerianus. Spartina recovered from as much as 100% oil coverage of shoots in 7 months; however, Juncus recovered to a much lesser extent. Soil-oiling significantly affected both species. Severe impacts of the Macondo oil to coastal marsh vegetation most likely resulted from oil exposure of the shoots and oil contact on/in the marsh soil, as well as repeated oiling events. PMID:22369124

  4. Salinity as a constraint on growth of oligohaline marsh macrophytes. II. Salt pulses and recovery potential

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    1999-01-01

    The ability of common oligohaline marsh macrophytes of the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to recover from pulses of increased salinity was investigated in a greenhouse experiment with Eleocharis palustris, Panicum hemitomon, Sagittaria lancifolia, and Scirpus americanus monocultures. Components of salinity pulses applied were final salinity reached (6 or 12 g/L), salinity influx rate (3 d or 3 wk), and duration of exposure (1, 2, or 3 mo). After each exposure period, we placed plants into freshwater until the end of the 120-d experiment to determine recovery potential. The four species varied in their ability to recover from the salinity pulses. Within a species, recovery varied with final salinity level and duration of exposure, and to a lesser extent with salinity influx rate. Scirpus americanus, growth of which was stimulated by <3 mo of exposure to 6 g/L, was able to recover even under the most extreme conditions of exposure to 12 g/L salinity for 3 mo. Ability to recover decreased with increased salinity and increased duration of exposure for the remaining three species. Recovery of specific aspects of growth was also suppressed in these species by a rapid salinity influx rate compared to a slow influx rate. The complex variations in recovery patterns displayed by the different species may lead to changes in species dominance following the short-term salinity pulses that can occur during storm events, which in turn may affect marsh plant community composition and structure.

  5. THE NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS, AND CARBON BUDGETS OF A LARGE RIVERINE MARSH, AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE BEAR LAKE ECOSYSTEM

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rex C. Herron; Vincent A. Lamarra; V. Dean Adams

    1984-01-01

    Adjacent to the north end of Bear Lake is a large (65 km) freshwater marsh. Prior to 1912, Dingle Marsh was separated from Bear Lake by a naturally occurring sandbar and covered approximately 100 km. Seventy years ago, Utah Power and Light constructed a canal system which effectively diverted the Bear River into Dingle Marsh. The present water system operates

  6. Variations in clay mineralogy and sediment texture of salt marsh soils on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, S.E.; Furman, T. (Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Sciences)

    1993-03-01

    On the Eastern Shore of VA, relative sea level rise has resulted in encroachment of marsh onto upland areas. The amount and type of sediment determines the morphologic environment of the system: lagoon, mudflat, low marsh, high marsh or upland. This research is part of a study to examine the relationship between marsh soil characteristics and the production of Spartina alterniflora. The productivity of marsh vegetation depends on the import and entrapment of sediments that maintain marsh elevation and control water and nutrient availability. This work focused on distribution patterns of sediment texture and mineralogy. One meter deep cores were taken at marsh sites with 10 cm intervals homogenized for analysis. In order to distinguish potential sediment sources, samples were also taken from upland soil pits on the mainland and dredged one-half mile seaward of the barrier islands. Samples have undergone size analysis with a hydrometer and the clay fraction has been analyzed by XRD. Results from the marsh surface indicate large variations in sediment texture, but only slight differences in clay mineralogy between marshes. Barrier island marshes contain a higher average sand content than mainland marshes because of their closer proximity to barrier island beaches and inputs from overwash deposits. The clay minerals found in all marsh surface deposits are illite and chlorite, indicative of oceanic clays. The clay mineralogy of upland soils (kaolinite, chlorite, illite, vermiculite mixed-layer clay) differs from marsh surface clays, indicating that recent sediment deposited on the marsh surface is no upland soil but rather material brought in through tidal inlets. The sediment texture and clay mineralogy at different depths varies as a function of the past geomorphic and depositional history of the site. These data will be used to determine the timing of marsh development on flooded upland sites and to determine the pre-Holocene source of inorganic sediment inputs.

  7. The history of Cu, Pb, and Zn inputs to Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island as recorded by salt-marsh sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Bricker, S.B. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, Silver Spring, MD (United States))

    1993-12-01

    The distribution of metals with depth in sediment cores sampled from industrialized estuaries can reveal long-term trends in loadings to the waterbody. Salt marsh cores were sampled from five locations from the head to the mouth of Narragansett Bay and from one location from a marsh inside a lagoon on the coast of Block Island Sound with the intent of reconstructing historical loadings of Pb, Cu, and Zn to this estuary. Concentrations of Fe and Mn were measured as indicators of redox conditions of the sediment column. Chronologies were developed using accretion rates determined previsly from [sup 210]Pb analyses of the same cores. Excess metal inventories and enrichment over pre-industrial concentrations were greater in upper bay cores reflecting the location of sources at the head of the estuary. The bay cores were similar with respect to the distributions of Cu, Pb, and Zn. Concentrations of all metals began to increase over background levels at depths corresponding approximately to the year 1900. Most of the cores showed peak concentrations of Cu and Pb in the early 1950s and 1970s. Distributions of Zn were more variable among cores, showing peaks in the early 1920s in some cores and in the 1950s and 1970s in others. In general, the observed distributions in the bay cores are consistent with estimated long-term trends in loadings from atmospheric and sewage sources. The metal distributions in the lagoon core appear to reflect atmospheric loadings. However, there are features in some cores that are not explainable using the estimated trends in source inputs. There also is not a 1:1 correspondence between changes in sediment metal concentrations and changes in loadings. It is likely that this method of reconstruction would benefit from a more detailed characterization of sources, but comparison of sediment and historical records do show that attempts to reduce loadings to the bay have been successful. 56 refs., 6 figs., 7 tabs.

  8. Polychlorinated biphenyl- and mercury-associated alterations on benthic invertebrate community structure in a contaminated salt marsh in southeast Georgia.

    PubMed

    Horne, M T; Finley, N J; Sprenger, M D

    1999-10-01

    The community structure of a benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage in a contaminated salt marsh was evaluated as part of an ecological characterization of a former chloralkali production facility in Georgia. Sample locations were chosen based on a gradient of the primary contaminants of concern, total mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), primarily Aroclor 1268. Sediment concentrations of Aroclor 1268 ranged from 2.3 to 150 mg/kg dry weight, while mercury concentrations ranged from 15 to 170 mg/kg dry weight in the study area. Mercury and PCBs were determined to be co-located in the sediments. Total organic carbon composition of the sediments was negatively associated with PCB and mercury concentrations. A total of 29 benthic taxa was identified in 49 samples; replicate samples were taken at each of five sampling locations. Mean infaunal density across all sampling locations was estimated at approximately 61,000 to 234,000 organisms m(-2). Overall, polychaetes comprised 57% of the infaunal community with Manayunkia aestuarina as the dominant species. Oligochaetes, nematodes, crustacea, insects, and gastropods comprised 23.0, 18.0, 1.0, 0.7, and 0.2% of the overall benthic community, respectively. Density estimates of individual species between sampling locations showed no consistent patterns in response to pollutants. However, an analysis of higher taxonomic levels revealed some general trends. In uncontaminated areas, the benthic community was dominated by nematodes and oligochaetes, whereas moderate to highly contaminated areas were dominated by polychaetes and a smaller percentage of oligochaetes and nematodes. A trophic analysis of the same data set revealed that the community shifted from an evenly distributed percentage of surface and subsurface feeders in the uncontaminated areas to a community dominated by surface feeders in the more contaminated locations. Carnivores comprised from 0.13 to 0.90% of the trophic structure, with the percentage of carnivores generally decreasing with increasing contamination. Mercury and PCBs were bioaccumulating in representative marsh benthic invertebrates, presenting a potential source of contaminants to marsh consumers. Tissue PCB and tissue mercury concentrations were positively related to sediment PCB and mercury concentrations, respectively. A standard 14-day toxicity test using the amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus showed no acute toxicity across the sampling locations. PMID:10473787

  9. Quantification of Salt Marsh Carbon Stocks: Integration of Remote Sensing Data and Techniques with Field Measurements

    E-print Network

    Kulawardhana, Ranjani W

    2013-12-02

    Recent climatic change projections have increased scientific and public attention on the issues relating to carbon cycling patterns, its controls, and the importance of ecosystems in the cycling and sequestration process. Global carbon studies...

  10. Quantification of Salt Marsh Carbon Stocks: Integration of Remote Sensing Data and Techniques with Field Measurements 

    E-print Network

    Kulawardhana, Ranjani W

    2013-12-02

    Recent climatic change projections have increased scientific and public attention on the issues relating to carbon cycling patterns, its controls, and the importance of ecosystems in the cycling and sequestration process. ...

  11. A preliminary study of the variability and magnitude of the flux of biogenic sulfur gases from a New Hampshire salt marsh. M.S. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, Michael Cope

    1992-01-01

    Salt marshes have highly variable spatial and temporal fluxes of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, methane thiol, dimethyl sulfide, and carbon disulfide (H2S, COS, MeSH, DMS, and CS2, respectively). This variability was tested at nine emission sites in a New Hampshire, USA salt marsh: three replicates in each of three vegetation zones, Spartina alterniflora, S. patens, and a transition zone. Three sites were sampled simultaneously, either within or across vegetation zones, using a dynamic flux chamber technique. Difficulties with calibration and field equipment resulted in fluxes with maximum absolute uncertainties of greater than plus or minus 200 percent. However, the relative uncertainty between subsequent samples was closer to plus or minus 20 percent. Chambers are expected to affect the natural flux of gases by altering the humidity, temperature, and composition of the gas inside the chamber. Summertime fluxes are highest for all gases except COS which demonstrated evidence of a springtime peak. A summertime background flux of 5 to 100 x 10(exp -9) g S/m(sup -2) min was observed for all gases, while S alternifora fluxes of MeSH and DMS were approximately 8 fold and approximately 100 fold higher than S. patens, respectively. DMS and MeSH fluxes were higher during the day than at night. Evidence of COS uptake by plants was observed. CS2 appeared to be the quantitatively least important sulfur gas emitted. Improved laboratory and sample collection techniques and further data collection in the field will yield information on the details of salt marsh variability, will improve estimates of the error associated with single flux measurements, and will allow a more accurate estimation of sulfur fluxes from salt marshes based on vegetation and area coverage data. Inability to control the temperature and humidity inside of the chamber remain significant problems with the chamber design.

  12. The use of ‘bomb spike’ calibration and high-precision AMS 14C analyses to date salt-marsh sediments deposited during the past three centuries

    Microsoft Academic Search

    William A. Marshall; W. Roland Gehrels; Mark H. Garnett; Stewart P. H. T. Freeman; Colin Maden; Sheng Xu

    2007-01-01

    A combination of ‘bomb spike’ calibration and conventional calibration of AMS 14C dating has been used to determine a detailed age-depth model for a 1-m sediment section collected from a salt marsh in Poole Harbour, southern England. These data were compared with the chronology obtained from 210Pb analysis and 137Cs age markers. We report post bomb values of over 1.46

  13. Effects of increased elevation and macro- and micronutrient additions on Spartina alterniflora transplant success in salt-marsh dieback areas in Louisiana

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Brian J. Wilsey; Karen L. Mckee; Irving A. Mendelssohn

    1992-01-01

    Spartina alterniflora was transplanted into dieback areas of a salt marsh in southeast Louisiana at two elevations (ambient and +30 cm) with and\\u000a without macro- (N, P, and K) and micronutrient (Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) additions to determine if transplant success is dependent\\u000a on increasing elevation or nutrients.Spartina alterniflora transplanted into elevated plots had more than twice the above-

  14. Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting salt marsh\\/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. B. Cundy; R. Lafite; J. A. Taylor; L. Hopkinson; J. Deloffre; R. Charman; M. Gilpin; K. L. Spencer; P. J. Carey; C. M. Heppell; B. Ouddane; S. De Wever; A. Tuckett

    2007-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics of fine sediment transport across the upper intertidal zone is critical in managing the erosion\\u000a and accretion of intertidal areas, and in managed realignment\\/estuarine habitat recreation strategies. This paper examines\\u000a the transfer of sediments between salt marsh and mudflat environments in two contrasting macrotidal estuaries: the Seine (France)\\u000a and the Medway (UK), using data collected during two

  15. Cross-shore suspended sediment flux in the salt marsh pioneer zone of Chongming eastern beach in the Changjiang Estuary in China

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Chu Wang; Dongjing Yao; Baogen He; Naisheng Zhou; Shiyuan Xu

    2010-01-01

    Between April 2002 and April 2003, in situ measurements of water depth, current velocity and suspended sediment content were\\u000a carried out in edge region of East Chongming salt marsh and neighboring bald flat in the Changjiang (Yangtze) Estuary under\\u000a different weather conditions. Cross-shore suspended sediment flux was calculated and analyzed. The results show that under\\u000a calm weather conditions, the current

  16. Evidence for preferential depths of metal retention in roots of salt marsh plants.

    PubMed

    Caetano, Miguel; Vale, Carlos; Cesário, Rute; Fonseca, Nuno

    2008-02-15

    Depth variation (2-cm resolution) of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Ni, Cu, As and Cd concentrations were determined in belowground biomass of Spartina maritima and Sarcocornia fruticosa and in sediments between roots from two marshes in Tagus (Rosário) and Guadiana (Castro Marim) estuaries in Portugal with different anthropogenic pressures. Levels of metals were also determined in aboveground plant parts. Metal concentrations in belowground material were 2-4 orders of magnitude greater than levels in aboveground plant parts providing evidence of weak upward translocation. Although both studied species showed poor extraction of Cr and Ni from sediments, S. fruticosa exhibited a large capability to remove Zn, Cu, As and Cd from contaminated sediments and stabilised them in belowground biomass. Accumulated metals showed a sub-surface concentration maximum or increase to basal roots. To evaluate whether these preferential layers of accumulation resulted from availability in sediments or controlled by plant activity, Enrichment Factors (EF=[Me](root)/[Metal](sediment)) were calculated for each sediment layer. Maximum values in Rosário plant species (Zn=9.3, Cu=18, As=20, Cd=46) exceeded those obtained in Castro Marim (Zn=1.3, Cu=4.3, As=6.1, Cd=18). Moreover, EFs varied with the depth indicating the presence of preferential layers of metal accumulation in roots of both plants, but depth zonation was not the same as in the sediments. These results suggested that levels in belowground biomass either integrated in time changes that occurred in solid sediments and pore water, or metal uptake by roots was not proportional to levels in sediments. The same sequence of metals transferred from sediment to belowground biomass for the two plants was obtained for the two marshes (Cd > As > Cu, Zn), although metals differed from mining ore to industrial/urban sources. PMID:18036637

  17. Salt Marsh Dieback: An overview of recent events in the US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alber, Merryl; Swenson, Erick M.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Mendelssohn, Irving A.

    2008-10-01

    This paper provides an overview of the marsh dieback events that have been observed along the east and gulf coasts of the U.S. over the past decade. It is likely that some of the recently reported changes in marsh vegetation were affected by physical or biotic disturbances that are known to generate bare areas, such as overgrazing or wrack smothering. Other areas may be experiencing a state change such as that caused by long-term changes in sea level. However, sites in many areas are not readily explained by these causes and are considered to have experienced "sudden dieback." In such cases, there are observations that the above-ground plant material thinned or browned or, in some cases, failed to re-emerge in the spring; the dieback occurred over a period of months and usually affected multiple sites within the area; and there is evidence that these events are transient (through successful transplants or natural regrowth/recovery), although some areas take years to recover. We explored the potential linkage of dieback with drought (as characterized by the Palmer Severity Drought Index), and found that there is evidence for an association in the southeast (GA and SC) and the Gulf (LA), but not in the mid-Atlantic (DE, VA) or northeast (ME, RI, CT). We also review the evidence for potential causes of sudden dieback, including changes in soil chemistry, fungal pathogens, top-down consumer controls, and multiple stressors. There is currently no single explanation that can be applied to recent dieback. We highlight the need for the development of improved diagnostics that will allow us to better classify dieback areas and provide evidence for (or against) potential causes.

  18. Isolation and Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria Associated with the Rhizosphere of Salt Marsh Plants

    PubMed Central

    Daane, L. L.; Harjono, I.; Zylstra, G. J.; Häggblom, M. M.

    2001-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria were isolated from contaminated estuarine sediment and salt marsh rhizosphere by enrichment using either naphthalene, phenanthrene, or biphenyl as the sole source of carbon and energy. Pasteurization of samples prior to enrichment resulted in isolation of gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria. The isolates were characterized using a variety of phenotypic, morphologic, and molecular properties. Identification of the isolates based on their fatty acid profiles and partial 16S rRNA gene sequences assigned them to three main bacterial groups: gram-negative pseudomonads; gram-positive, non-spore-forming nocardioforms; and the gram-positive, spore-forming group, Paenibacillus. Genomic digest patterns of all isolates were used to determine unique isolates, and representatives from each bacterial group were chosen for further investigation. Southern hybridization was performed using genes for PAH degradation from Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9816-4, Comamonas testosteroni GZ42, Sphingomonas yanoikuyae B1, and Mycobacterium sp. strain PY01. None of the isolates from the three groups showed homology to the B1 genes, only two nocardioform isolates showed homology to the PY01 genes, and only members of the pseudomonad group showed homology to the NCIB 9816-4 or GZ42 probes. The Paenibacillus isolates showed no homology to any of the tested gene probes, indicating the possibility of novel genes for PAH degradation. Pure culture substrate utilization experiments using several selected isolates from each of the three groups showed that the phenanthrene-enriched isolates are able to utilize a greater number of PAHs than are the naphthalene-enriched isolates. Inoculating two of the gram-positive isolates to a marine sediment slurry spiked with a mixture of PAHs (naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene) and biphenyl resulted in rapid transformation of pyrene, in addition to the two- and three-ringed PAHs and biphenyl. This study indicates that the rhizosphere of salt marsh plants contains a diverse population of PAH-degrading bacteria, and the use of plant-associated microorganisms has the potential for bioremediation of contaminated sediments. PMID:11375181

  19. Wetland Accretion Rate Model of Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER) and its application to habitat sustainability for endangered species in the San Francisco Estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swanson, Kathleen M.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Thorne, Karen M.; Casazza, Michael L.; Overton, Cory T.; Callaway, John C.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    Salt marsh faunas are constrained by specific habitat requirements for marsh elevation relative to sea level and tidal range. As sea level rises, changes in relative elevation of the marsh plain will have differing impacts on the availability of habitat for marsh obligate species. The Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER) is a 1-D model of elevation that incorporates both biological and physical processes of vertical marsh accretion. Here, we use WARMER to evaluate changes in marsh surface elevation and the impact of these elevation changes on marsh habitat for specific species of concern. Model results were compared to elevation-based habitat criteria developed for marsh vegetation, the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus), and the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) to determine the response of marsh habitat for each species to predicted >1-m sea-level rise by 2100. Feedback between vertical accretion mechanisms and elevation reduced the effect of initial elevation in the modeled scenarios. Elevation decreased nonlinearly with larger changes in elevation during the latter half of the century when the rate of sea-level rise increased. Model scenarios indicated that changes in elevation will degrade habitat quality within salt marshes in the San Francisco Estuary, and degradation will accelerate in the latter half of the century as the rate of sea-level rise accelerates. A sensitivity analysis of the model results showed that inorganic sediment accumulation and the rate of sea-level rise had the greatest influence over salt marsh sustainability.

  20. The common killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, inhabits brackish water estuaries and salt marshes along the eastern

    E-print Network

    Scott, Graham

    3399 The common killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, inhabits brackish water estuaries and saltMichele and Westerman, 1997). Species within the genus Fundulus are suggested to have arisen from brackish water within F. heteroclitus that form the basis for variation in freshwater tolerance. The Journal

  1. Habitat-specific nutrient removal and release in Oregon salt marshes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wetlands can be sources, sinks and transformers of nutrients, although it is their role in nutrient removal that is valued as a water purification ecosystem service. In order to quantify that service for any wetland, it is important to understand the drivers of nutrient removal w...

  2. Evaluation of attractants in traps for greenhead fly (Diptera: Tabanidae) collections on a Cape Cod, Massachusetts, salt marsh.

    PubMed

    Hayes, R O; Doane, O W; Sakolsky, G; Berrick, S

    1993-12-01

    Field studies evaluated 1-octen-3-ol (octenol), carbon dioxide (dry ice), and a combination of both attractants in comparison with unbaited traps for collecting greenhead flies on a Massachusetts salt marsh. The carbon dioxide (CO2)-baited trap collections, and the CO2 with octenol-baited trap collections were more than 300% greater than the unbaited collections. The octenol-baited traps collected 83% more greenhead flies than unbaited traps. Afternoon trap collections were 2.5 times greater than morning collections. Dissections and measurements of a sample of the flies collected indicated that the "cryptic species" composition of greenhead flies was 77% Tabanus nigrovittatus and 23% Tabanus conterminus. Ovarian tracheole examinations of a sample of the flies showed that 99% of the greenhead flies had laid eggs before being trapped. The use of CO2 as an attractant in the traps could be cost effective in small problem areas, and the use of octenol in the box traps should be evaluated in large areas. PMID:8126479

  3. Sulfur transformations in the sediments of a New Hampshire salt marsh

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, Mark E.; Knollmeyer, S. L.; Eldridge, A.; Luken, D.; Tugel, Joyce B.; Lyons, W. Berry

    1992-01-01

    Summer sulfate reduction and sulfide and iron chemistry were monitored in marsh soils along a gradient from a creekside Spartina alterniflora region to an inland area dominated by S. patens. Sulfate reduction rates measured using S-35 increased from 0.4 in June to as much as 4.5 micro-mole/ml(sup -1)d(sup -1) in July in S. alterniflora soils with most rapid rates occurring in the upper few cm. Rates in S. patens soils were approximately equal to 5-8 fold slower with the most rapid rates occurring generally in soils deeper than 10 cm. The recovery percentage of reduced S-35 sulfur varied with depths at both locations; dissolved and acid-volatile sulfides dominating S. alterniflora regions while chromium-reducible solid phases were abundant in S. patens soils. Dissolved sulfide in S. alterniflora soils increased throughout the summer to approximately equal to 2.8 mM while sulfide in S. patens soils was abundant only in soils deeper than 15 cm. Dissolved sulfide covaried inversely with iron. Diel studies demonstrated that sulfide and iron varied approximately equal to two-fold in response to a semi-diurnal tide. Dissolved sulfide turnover was most rapid during periods of active plant growth.

  4. Patterns of sediment deposition in subsiding coastal salt marshes, Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana: The role of winter storms

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Denise J. Reed

    1989-01-01

    High rates of wetland loss in the Mississippi deltaic plain have been attributed to a combination of insufficient marsh sedimentation\\u000a and relative sea-level rise rates of over 1.2 cm yr?1. This study examines contemporary patterns of sediment delivery to the marsh surface by evaluating the contribution of individual\\u000a marsh flooding events. Strong meteorological effects on water level in Terrebonne Bay

  5. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Enhances CO2 Exchange Rates in Freshwater Marsh Ecosystems in the Florida Everglades

    PubMed Central

    Malone, Sparkle L.; Staudhammer, Christina L.; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Olivas, Paulo; Ryan, Michael G.; Schedlbauer, Jessica L.; Loescher, Henry W.; Starr, Gregory

    2014-01-01

    This research examines the relationships between El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), water level, precipitation patterns and carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange rates in the freshwater wetland ecosystems of the Florida Everglades. Data was obtained over a 5-year study period (2009–2013) from two freshwater marsh sites located in Everglades National Park that differ in hydrology. At the short-hydroperiod site (Taylor Slough; TS) and the long-hydroperiod site (Shark River Slough; SRS) fluctuations in precipitation patterns occurred with changes in ENSO phase, suggesting that extreme ENSO phases alter Everglades hydrology which is known to have a substantial influence on ecosystem carbon dynamics. Variations in both ENSO phase and annual net CO2 exchange rates co-occurred with changes in wet and dry season length and intensity. Combined with site-specific seasonality in CO2 exchanges rates, El Niño and La Niña phases magnified season intensity and CO2 exchange rates at both sites. At TS, net CO2 uptake rates were higher in the dry season, whereas SRS had greater rates of carbon sequestration during the wet season. As La Niña phases were concurrent with drought years and extended dry seasons, TS became a greater sink for CO2 on an annual basis (?11 to ?110 g CO2 m?2 yr?1) compared to El Niño and neutral years (?5 to ?43.5 g CO2 m?2 yr?1). SRS was a small source for CO2 annually (1.81 to 80 g CO2 m?2 yr?1) except in one exceptionally wet year that was associated with an El Niño phase (?16 g CO2 m?2 yr?1). Considering that future climate predictions suggest a higher frequency and intensity in El Niño and La Niña phases, these results indicate that changes in extreme ENSO phases will significantly alter CO2 dynamics in the Florida Everglades. PMID:25521299

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of ultraviolet-B radiation on salt marsh vegetation: Trends of the genus Salicornia along the Americas.

    PubMed

    Costa, C S B; Armstrong, R; Detrés, Y; Koch, E W; Bertiller, M; Beeskow, A; Neves, L S; Tourn, G M; Bianciotto, O A; Pinedo, L B; Blessio, A Y; San Roman, N

    2006-01-01

    The effects of natural UV-B radiation on growth, photosynthetic and photoprotective pigment composition of different Salicornia species were analyzed in salt marshes at three different sites along the Americas (Puerto Rico, southern Brazil and Patagonia, Argentina). Plants were exposed to different levels of UV-B radiation for 1-2 years in situ as well as in outdoor garden UV-B exclusion experiments. Different UV-B levels were obtained by covering plants with UV-B opaque (blocked 93-100% of ambient UV-B) and UV-B attenuating (near-ambient) filters (reduced 20-25% of UV-B). Unfiltered plants were exposed to natural irradiance. UV-B filters had significant effects on temperature and photosynthetic pigments (due to changes in PAR; 400-700 nm). The growth of Salicornia species was inhibited after 35 to 88 days of exposure to mean UV-B radiation dosages between 3.6 and 4.1 kJ m(-2) day(-1). The highest number of branches on the main shoot (S. bigelovii and S. gaudichaudiana) and longest total length of the branches (S. gaudichaudiana) were observed in the UV-B opaque treatment. Salicornia species responded to increasing levels of UV-B radiation by increasing the amount of UV-B absorbing pigments up to 330%. Chromatographic analyses of seedlings and adult S. bigelovii plants found seven different UV-B absorbing flavonoids that are likely to serve as UV-B filtering pigments. No evidence of differential sensitivity or resilience to UV-B radiation was found between Salicornia species from low-mid latitudes and a previously published study of a high-latitude population. PMID:16724875

  8. Changes in methanogenic substrate utilization and communities with depth in a salt-marsh, creek sediment in southern England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John Parkes, R.; Brock, Fiona; Banning, Natasha; Hornibrook, Edward R. C.; Roussel, Erwan G.; Weightman, Andrew J.; Fry, John C.

    2012-01-01

    A combined biogeochemical and molecular genetic study of creek sediments (down to 65 cm depth) from Arne Peninsula salt-marsh (Dorset, UK) determined the substrates used for methanogenesis and the distribution of the common methanogens, Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales capable of metabolising these substrates. Methane concentrations increased by 11 cm, despite pore water sulphate not being removed until 45 cm. Neither upward methane diffusion or anaerobic oxidation of methane seemed to be important in this zone. In the near-surface sulphate-reduction zone (5-25 cm) turnover time to methane for the non-competitive methanogenic substrate trimethylamine was most rapid (80 days), and were much longer for acetate (7900 days), methanol (40,500 days) and bicarbonate (361,600 days). Methylamine-utilizing Methanosarcinales were the dominant (60-95%) methanogens in this zone. In deeper sediments rates of methanogenesis from competitive substrates increased substantially, with acetate methanogenic rates becoming ˜100 times greater than H 2/CO 2 methanogenesis below 50 cm. In addition, there was a dramatic change in methanogen diversity with obligate acetate-utilizing, Methanosaeta related sequences being dominant. At a similar depth methanol turnover to methane increased to its most rapid (1700 days). This activity pattern is consistent with deeper methanogen populations (55 cm) being dominated by acetate-utilizing Methanosaeta with H 2/CO 2 and alcohol-utilizing Methanomicrobiales also present. Hence, there is close relationship between the depth distribution of methanogenic substrate utilization and specific methanogens that can utilize these compounds. It is unusual for acetate to be the dominant methanogenic substrate in coastal sediments and ?13C-CH 4 values (-74 to -71‰) were atypical for acetate methanogenesis, suggesting that common stable isotope proxy models may not apply well in this type of dynamic anoxic sediment, with multiple methanogenic substrates.

  9. A comparison of bird use and species diversity of created and natural salt marshes in the Galveston Bay complex, Texas

    E-print Network

    Melvin, Stefani Lynn

    1996-01-01

    . These species included clapper rail, great egret (Casmerodius albus), marsh wren (Cistorhorus palustris), tricolored heron (Egrerra tricolor), seaside sparrow and white ibis (Eudocimus albus). Means of these six species were used in all of the same...

  10. 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...

  11. Impact of crude oil exposure on nitrogen cycling in a previously impacted Juncus roemerianus salt marsh in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Horel, Agota; Bernard, Rebecca J; Mortazavi, Behzad

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated potential nitrogen fixation, net nitrification, and denitrification responses to short-term crude oil exposure that simulated oil exposure in Juncus roemerianus salt marsh sediments previously impacted following the Deepwater Horizon accident. Temperature as well as crude oil amount and type affected the nitrogen cycling rates. Total nitrogen fixation rates increased 44 and 194 % at 30 °C in 4,000 mg kg(-1) tar ball and 10,000 mg kg(-1) moderately weathered crude oil treatments, respectively; however, there was no difference from the controls at 10 and 20 °C. Net nitrification rates showed production at 20 °C and consumption at 10 and 30 °C in all oil treatments and controls. Potential denitrification rates were higher than controls in the 10 and 30?ºC treatments but responded differently to the oil type and amount. The highest rates of potential denitrification (12.7?±?1.0 nmol N g(-1) wet h(-1)) were observed in the highly weathered 4,000 mg kg(-1) oil treatment at 30 °C, suggesting increased rates of denitrification during the warmer summer months. These results indicate that the impacts on nitrogen cycling from a recurring oil spill could depend on the time of the year as well as the amount and type of oil contaminating the marsh. The study provides evidence for impact on nitrogen cycling in coastal marshes that are vulnerable to repeated hydrocarbon exposure. PMID:24510533

  12. 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 specifically do not support the contention that dieback was caused by excessive grazing by Littoraria irrorata (marsh periwinkle). Instead, the data show that snails were responding to plant mortality and played an important role in rapid degradation of dead material in some areas. The dieback event was coincident with an extreme drought, low river discharge, and low sea level. These conditions could have caused plant mortality by directly decreasing water availability, increasing salinity, and/or causing oxidation and acidification of soils. The latter scenario was supported by findings of higher pyrite and acid-extractable aluminum and iron, higher acidification potential of dieback soils, and higher concentrations of aluminum and iron in dieback plant tissues (indicating uptake of potentially toxic metals) when compared to reference marshes showing no dieback. The implication of these findings is that periodic weather extremes may play a greater role in shaping coastal plant communities than has previously been recognized. Although such events may not be controlled directly, the resilience and recovery of the system may be altered by management. Such considerations will become increasingly important as global climate changes and human pressures in the coastal zone grow.

  13. 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.

  14. Bio-entrapped membrane reactor and salt marsh sediment membrane bioreactor for the treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater: treatment performance and microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Ng, Kok Kwang; Shi, Xueqing; Yao, Yinuo; Ng, How Yong

    2014-11-01

    In this study, a bio-entrapped membrane reactor (BEMR) and a salt marsh sediment membrane bioreactor (SMSMBR) were evaluated to study the organic treatment performance of pharmaceutical wastewater. The influences of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and salinity were also studied. The conventional biomass in the BEMR cannot tolerate well of the hypersaline conditions, resulting in total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal efficiency of 54.2-68.0%. On the other hand, microorganisms in the SMSMBR, which was seeded from coastal shore, strived and was able to degrade the complex organic in the presence of salt effectively, achieving 74.7-90.9% of TCOD removal efficiencies. Marine microorganisms able to degrade recalcitrant compounds and utilize hydrocarbon compounds were found in the SMSMBR, which resulted in higher organic removal efficiency than the BEMR. However, specific nitrifying activity decreased and inhibited due to the saline effect that led to poor ammonia nitrogen removal. PMID:25203236

  15. Nekton use of intertidal creek edges in low salinity salt marshes of the Yangtze River estuary along a stream-order gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Binsong; Qin, Haiming; Xu, Wang; Wu, Jihua; Zhong, Junsheng; Lei, Guangchun; Chen, Jiakuan; Fu, Cuizhang

    2010-07-01

    Non-vegetated creek edges were investigated to explore spatial nekton use patterns in a low salinity intertidal salt marsh creek network of the Yangtze River estuary along a stream-order gradient with four creek orders. Non-vegetated creek edges were arbitrarily defined as the approximately 3 m extending from the creek bank (the marsh-creek interface) into open water. Nekton was sampled using seine nets during daytime high slack water during spring tides for two or three days each in May through July 2008. Twenty-three nekton species (16 fishes and 7 crustaceans) were caught during the study. Fishes were dominated by gobies ( Mugilogobius abei, Periophthalmus magnuspinnatus, Periophthalmus modestus, Synechogobius ommaturus), mullets ( Chelon haematocheilus, Liza affinis) and Chinese sea bass ( Lateolabrax maculatus). Crustaceans were dominated by mud crab ( Helice tientsinensis) and white prawn ( Exopalaemon carinicauda). Rank abundance curves revealed higher evenness of nekton assemblages in lower-order creeks compared to higher-order creeks. Fish abundance tended to increase with increasing creek order. Crustacean abundance was higher in the first-third order creeks than in the fourth-order creek. Dominant nekton species displayed various trends in abundance and length-frequency distributions along the stream-order gradient. The spatial separation of nekton assemblages between the first-third order creeks and the fourth-order creek could be attributed to geomorphological factors (distance to mouth and cross-sectional area). These findings indicate that both lower- and higher-order creek edges play important yet different roles for nekton species and life history stages in salt marshes.

  16. Experimental marsh management in Louisiana

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Eugene Turner

    1988-01-01

    Replicated experimental marsh ecosystems are established and planned for research and management of coastal Louisiana wetlands to (1) test management schemes before large scale implementation, and, (2) discriminate between long-term changes and the cumulative impacts of many other alterations. Water level changes are clearly shown to influence plant metabolism, hence ability to of the marsh to withstand sea level rise

  17. Effects of elevated COâ on canopy gas exchange in a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh. [Spartina patens; Scirpus olneyi; Distichlis spicata

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. S. Curtis; B. G. Drake; P. W. Leadley; W. J. Arp

    1987-01-01

    The response of wild species in their native habitat to elevated COâ is poorly understood. The authors have developed a system to elevate and monitor COâ in three communities of a brackish high marsh: a Spartina patens (C4) community, a Scirpus olneyi (C3) community, and a mixed community of S. patens, S. olneyi, and Distichlis spicata (C4). COâ concentrations 260

  18. Cryptic Species Analysis of Austrobilharzia variglandis and Mesostephanus appendiculatus in the Salt Marsh Gastropod, Cerithidea pliculosa in Galveston Bay 

    E-print Network

    Shirai, Ren

    2015-04-21

    appendiculatus are two species of trematodes that are known to infect the plicate horn snail, Cerithidia pliculosa, as their first intermediate host in Galveston Bay. We extracted the larvae of these two species from C. pliculosa collected in a Galveston marsh...

  19. Cryptic Species Analysis of Austrobilharzia variglandis and Mesostephanus appendiculatus in the Salt Marsh Gastropod, Cerithidea pliculosa, in Galveston Bay 

    E-print Network

    Perrigo, Daniela Camille

    2014-09-15

    appendiculatus are two species of trematodes that are known to infect the plicate horn snail, Cerithidia pliculosa, as their first intermediate host in Galveston Bay. We extracted the larvae of these two species from C. pliculosa collected in a Galveston marsh...

  20. How do how internal and external processes affect the behaviors of coupled marsh mudflat systems; infill, stabilize, retreat, or drown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, J. A.; Mariotti, G.; Wiberg, P.; Fagherazzi, S.; McGlathery, K.

    2013-12-01

    Intertidal coastal environments are prone to changes induced by sea level rise, increases in storminess, and anthropogenic disturbances. It is unclear how changes in external drivers may affect the dynamics of low energy coastal environments because their response is non-linear, and characterized by many thresholds and discontinuities. As such, process-based modeling of the ecogeomorphic processes underlying the dynamics of these ecosystems is useful, not only to predict their change through time, but also to generate new hypotheses and research questions. Here, a three-point dynamic model was developed to investigate how internal and external processes affect the behavior of coupled marsh mudflat systems. The model directly incorporates ecogeomorphological feedbacks between wind waves, salt marsh vegetation, allochthonous sediment loading, tidal flat vegetation and sea level rise. The model was applied to examine potential trajectories of salt marshes on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, including those in the Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) and Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) long term ecological research (LTER) sites. While these sites are undergoing similar rates of relative sea level rise (RSLR), they have distinct differences in site specific environmental drivers including tides, wind waves, allochthonous sediment supply and the presence or absence of seagrass. These differences lead to the emergence of altered behaviors in the coupled salt marsh-tidal flat system. For marsh systems without seagrass or significant riverine sediment supply, conditions similar to those at PIE, results indicated that horizontal and vertical marsh evolution respond in opposing ways to wave induced processes. Marsh horizontal retreat is triggered by large mudflats and strong winds, whereas small mudflats and weak winds reduce the sediment supply to the salt marsh, decreasing its capability to keep pace with sea level rise. Marsh expansion and an eventual lateral equilibrium are possible only with large allochthonous sediment supply. Once marshes expanded, marsh retreat can be prevented by a sediment supply smaller than the one that filled the basin. At the GCE, the Altamaha River allows for enhanced allochthonous supply directly to the salt marsh platform, reducing the importance of waves on the tidal flat. As a result, infilling or retreat become the prevalent behaviors. For the VCR, the presence of seagrass decreases near bed shear stresses and sediment flux to the salt marsh platform, however, seagrass also reduces the wave energy acting on the boundary of the marsh reducing boundary erosion. Results indicate that the reduction in wave power allows for seagrass to provide a strong stabilizing affect on the coupled salt marsh tidal flat system, but as external sediment supply increases and light conditions decline the system reverts to that of a bare tidal flat. Across all systems and with current rates of sea level rise, retreat is a more likely marsh loss modality than drowning.

  1. Tight coupling of root-associated nitrogen fixation and plant photosynthesis in the salt marsh Spartina alterniflora and carbon dioxide enhancement of Nitrogenase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Whiting, G.J.; Gandy, E.L.; Yoch, D.C.

    1986-07-01

    The coupling of root-associated nitrogen fixation and plant photosynthesis was examined in the salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora. In both field experiments and hydroponic assay chambers, nitrogen fixation associated with the roots was rapidly enhanced by stimulating plant photosynthesis. A kinetic analysis of acetylene reduction activity (ARA) showed that a five-to-sixfold stimulation occurred within 10 to 60 min after the plant leaves were exposed to light or increase CO/sub 2/ concentrations (with the light held constant). In field experiments, CO/sub 2/ enrichment increased plant-associated ARA by 27%. Further evidence of the dependence of ARA on plant photosynthate was obtained when activity in excised roots was shown to decrease after young greenhouse plants were placed in the dark. Seasonal variation in the ARA of excised plant roots from field cores appears to be related to the annual cycle of net photosynthesis in S. alterniflora.

  2. Assessing the potential for fringing oyster reefs to promote salt marsh accretion on the Virginia Eastern Shore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taube, S. R.

    2012-12-01

    Wetland area loss is a matter of concern on all coastlines with the increasing erosion rates and predicted higher rates of sea level rise. This is particularly true of marshes on the Virginia Eastern Shore, where erosion is primarily a function of wind-driven waves, which are directly affected by water depth. Previous studies indicate that fringing oyster reefs successfully reduce erosion rates in low energy wetland environments, and in some places, show accretion. This study used existing natural and man-made fringing oyster reefs in Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) marshes to determine if the reefs diminished wave energy sufficiently to allow for marsh accretion, and if so, whether the reefs eliminated a particular frequency or lowered the energy throughout the whole wave spectra. Aerial photography was used to determine shoreline change at the study and control sites, as well as the rate of change across the 60-year period of available imagery using Digital Shoreline Analysis System in ArcMap 10. GPS surveys were taken every six months to quantify any short-term shoreline change and compare to rates found from aerial imagery analysis. Successful results from this study could bring to light an alternative method for erosion control that is in keeping with the living shoreline conservation effort, which supports incorporation of as much natural material as possible in constructed erosion controls.

  3. Structure of the invertebrate fauna in salt marshes of the Wadden Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein influenced by sheep-grazing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, H.; Fock, H.; Haase, A.; Reinke, H. D.; Tulowitzki, I.

    1995-03-01

    Results of investigations on the influence of five different sheep grazing intensities on the invertebrate fauna of two mainland salt marsh sites of the German Wadden Sea coast are presented for the years 1990 and 1991. The investigation of the invertebrate fauna has been carried out since 1989 in the Puccinellia maritima zone, and the Festuca-Puccinellia as well as the Festuca-Armeria zones, with trapping transects arranged along an inundation gradient. Apart from specific biotic effects, grazing causes changes in environmental characteristics. Effects on microclimate comprise higher ranges of variance in soil-surface temperature on grazed sites. Decreasing food resources caused by grazing bring disadvantages to herbivores, the major part of the invertebrate fauna, due to merotope destruction (e. g. inflorescences of Aster tripolium) and the decline of host plant stands (e. g. A. tripolium, Plantago ssp.). Flower visitors and pollen feeding species that depend on A. tripolium have become extinct. Increasing food resources, caused by grazing, lead to higher population densities of a few specialized grass-feeding and surface-grazing invertebrates (e. g. Mayetiola ssp., Psammotettix putoni, Bledius tricornis). Soil characteristics in the lower salt marsh have not been altered significantly by grazing; hence, the direct effect of grazing and trampling leads to a decrease in population density of many species such as Assiminea grayana, Orchestia gammarellus and collembolans. The biomass and abundance of detritivores and many herbivores increased from 1990 to 1991 on the totally grazed fields, whereas predators diminished in numbers at the same time. A descriptive model is presented, involving grazing, winter temperature, and precipitation as basic factors.

  4. Differential responses of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria to long-term fertilization in a New England salt marsh

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Xuefeng; Yando, Erik; Hildebrand, Erica; Dwyer, Courtney; Kearney, Anne; Waciega, Alex; Valiela, Ivan; Bernhard, Anne E.

    2013-01-01

    Since the discovery of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), new questions have arisen about population and community dynamics and potential interactions between AOA and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). We investigated the effects of long-term fertilization on AOA and AOB in the Great Sippewissett Marsh, Falmouth, MA, USA to address some of these questions. Sediment samples were collected from low and high marsh habitats in July 2009 from replicate plots that received low (LF), high (HF), and extra high (XF) levels of a mixed NPK fertilizer biweekly during the growing season since 1974. Additional untreated plots were included as controls (C). Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the amoA genes revealed distinct shifts in AOB communities related to fertilization treatment, but the response patterns of AOA were less consistent. Four AOB operational taxonomic units (OTUs) predictably and significantly responded to fertilization, but only one AOA OTU showed a significant pattern. Betaproteobacterial amoA gene sequences within the Nitrosospira-like cluster dominated at C and LF sites, while sequences related to Nitrosomonas spp. dominated at HF and XF sites. We identified some clusters of AOA sequences recovered primarily from high fertilization regimes, but other clusters consisted of sequences recovered from all fertilization treatments, suggesting greater physiological diversity. Surprisingly, fertilization appeared to have little impact on abundance of AOA or AOB. In summary, our data reveal striking patterns for AOA and AOB in response to long-term fertilization, and also suggest a missing link between community composition and abundance and nitrogen processing in the marsh. PMID:23346081

  5. Facilitation of survival and growth of Baccharis halimifolia L. by Spartina alterniflora Loisel. in a created Louisiana salt marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Egerova, J.; Proffitt, C.E.; Travis, S.E.

    2003-01-01

    Coastal wetland loss is a major environmental issue in the Mississippi Delta region of the southern United States, where grasses such as Spartina alterniflora may play a critical role both as early colonizers on created sites and as facilitators of other marsh grasses and shrubs, particularly at high intertidal elevations. We explored the potential role of S. alterniflora as a facilitator of the colonization and growth of the shrub Baccharis halimifolia at two created wetlands in southwestern Louisiana through a combination of plant surveys and experimentation. Surveys for the presence of B. halimifolia inside and outside the bare centers of S. alterniflora clones that had begun to senesce inwardly were conducted at a 4-yr-old site originally created in 1993. The percent of clones containing B. halimifolia and the number of individual B. halimifolia plants per clone increased with increasing S. alterniflora clone size and decreased with increasing distance from an adjacent containment berm. Two experiments conducted at a second 4-yr-old site that originally created in 1996 were designed to assess seed capture and growth of seedlings of B. halimifolia inside S. alterniflora clones. These experiments revealed that while significantly fewer seeds settle inside clones, those seedlings that grow in such areas gain a clear advantage in terms of both survival and rate of growth, which helps to explain the results of the initial survey and testifies to the role of S. alterniflora as a nurse plant in newly-created high intertidal marshes.

  6. 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 ?mol CO2 m-2 s-1), followed by the saline (2.8 ± 1.0 ?mol CO2 m-2 s-1) and brackish (1.4 ± 0.6 ?mol 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.

  7. Historical trends of trace metals in a sediment core from a contaminated tidal salt marsh in San Francisco Bay.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Hyun-Min; Green, Peter G; Young, Thomas M

    2009-08-01

    Sedimentation of metals preserves historical records of contaminant input from local and regional sources, and measurement of metals in sediment cores can provide information for reconstruction of historical changes in regional water and sediment quality. Sediment core was collected from Stege Marsh located in central San Francisco Bay (California, USA) to investigate the historical input of trace metals. Aluminum-normalized enrichment factors indicate that inputs from anthropogenic sources were predominant over natural input for Ag, Cu, Pb, and Zn. Among these, lead was the most anthropogenically impacted metal with enrichment factors ranging from 32 to 108. Depth profiles and coefficients of variation show that As, Cd, and Se were also influenced by anthropogenic input. The levels of these anthropogenically impacted metals decline gradually towards the surface due to regulation of the use of leaded gasoline, municipal and industrial wastewater discharge control, and closure of point sources on the upland of Stege Marsh. Although trace metal contamination is expected to be continuously declining, the rates of decline have slowed down. For lead, it is estimated to take 44, 82, and 153 years to decrease to probable effects level (112 microg/g), the San Francisco Bay ambient surface sediment level (43.2 microg/g), and the local baseline levels (5 microg/g), respectively. Some metals in surface sediments (0-6 cm) are still higher than sediment quality guidelines such as the probable effects level. To further facilitate the recovery of sediment quality, more efficient management plans need to be developed and implemented to control trace metals from non-point sources such as stormwater runoff. PMID:18679810

  8. Autocyclic erosion in tidal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh Chauhan, Poornendu P.

    2009-09-01

    A common mode whereby destruction of coastal lowlands occurs is frontal erosion. The edge cliffing, nonetheless, is also an inherent aspect of salt marsh development in many northwest European tidal marshes. Quite a few geomorphologists in the earlier half of the past century recognized such edge erosion as a definite repetitive stage within an autocyclic mode of marsh growth. A shift in research priorities during the past decades (primarily because of coastal management concerns, however) has resulted in an enhanced focus on sediment-flux measurement campaigns on salt marshes. This, somewhat "object-oriented" strategy hindered any further development of the once-established autocyclic growth concept, which virtually has gone into oblivion in recent times. This work makes an attempt to resurrect the notion of autocyclicity by employing its premises to address edge erosion in tidal marshes. Through a review of intertidal morphosedimentology the underlying framework for autocyclicity is envisaged. The phenomenon is demonstrated in the Holocene salt marsh plain of Moricambe basin in NW England that displays several distinct phases of marsh retreat in the form of abandoned clifflets. The suite of abandoned shorelines and terraces has been identified in detailed field mapping that followed analysis of topographic maps and aerial photographs. Vertical trends in marsh plain sediments are recorded in trenches for signs of past marsh front movements. The characteristic sea level history of the area offers an opportunity to differentiate the morphodynamic variability induced in the autocyclic growth of the marsh plain in scenarios of rising and falling sea level and the accompanied change in sediment budget. The ideas gathered are incorporated to construct a conceptual model that links temporal extent of marsh erosion to inner tidal flat sediment budget and sea level tendency. The review leads to recognition of the necessity of adopting an holistic approach in the morphodynamic investigations where marshes should be treated as a component within the "marsh-mudflat system" as each element apparently modulates evolution of the other, with an eventual linkage to subtidal channels.

  9. Nitrous oxide fluxes at Cobb Mill Creek marsh on the eastern shore of Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, C. S.; Scanlon, T. M.

    2009-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations are increasing at a rate unaccounted for with current detection methods and modeled budgets. Fertilizer nitrate (NO3-) additions in coastal watersheds could potentially lead to significant increases in N2O emissions from salt marsh ecosystems when naturally rapid microbial processes are subject to high levels of nitrate in stream and ground water. We employ a tunable diode laser trace gas analyzer (TGA) connected to a portable flow-through chamber to study N2O emissions at Cobb Mill Creek marsh, which drains a small agricultural watershed in Oyster, VA. Spatial variability of fluxes is determined by deploying the chamber at 12 sites across the marsh during exposure at low tide. Temporal variability is captured by deploying the chamber over a range of tidal regimes. Using these fluxes, we determine the spatial variability of N2O emissions (according to NO3- availability and degree of wetting which varies according to elevation), elucidate the factors that drive temporal variation of N2O emissions, and compare N2O fluxes from vegetated and non-vegetated areas of the marsh. Insight into the driving forces behind the pulsed nature of N2O emissions from salt water marshes can be used to improve modeled N2O budgets.

  10. Influence of vegetation on the infilling of a macrotidal embayment: examples from salt marshes and shingle spit of the Baie de Somme (North France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Bot, Sophie; Forey, Estelle; Lafite, Robert; Langlois, Estelle

    2015-04-01

    As many estuaries in the English Channel, the Baie de Somme is currently filling with a mean seabed elevation between 1.3 and 1.8 cm/yr. Embankments and polders, as well as sea level rise, increase this natural accretion process, which leads to important modifications of environment uses. Interactions between vegetation and sediment dynamics constitute a key-point to consider, in order to better understand the infilling processes in estuaries. To estimate the effect of vegetation on these processes, two particular environments have been studied in the bay: (i) the mid salt marsh covered with Halimione portulacoides, associated with a silty sedimentation, and (ii) the shingle spit, that closes the bay from the South, on which the sea kale (Crambe maritime), a protected pioneer species, develops. Salt marshes progress with a rate of 5-10 m/yr (mean value calculated on the 1947-2011 period). Sedimentological analysis have been conducted on 9 cores (50cm long) collected in three Halimione communities of the bay. They are associated with a silty-dominated (38-84 micrometer) sedimentation under the influence of decantation processes. Rhythmicity is observed in the sedimentation, due to the repetition of a two-layer pattern, that includes a dark layer composed of vegetal rests and that would represent annual sedimentation. Annual sedimentation rates (0.7 to 5.8 cm/yr) are consistent with mean values previously recorded. The shingle spit progresses to the North under the influence of the littoral drift at a rate of 7 m/yr (mean value calculated on the 1947-2011 period). Sea kales are observed on parts formed since several years, above the level of the highest astronomical tides. TLS surveys and sedimentation bars have allowed to measure erosion/sedimentation volumes at the scale of the spit and of sea kale individuals, during spring 2013. Individuals of this species facilitate the trapping of sand, transported by winds from the intertidal flats. Sea kale thus contributes to the maintenance of sand at the surface of the spit during spring (development period of sea kales) and, probably to the progressive silting up of the spit on a longer-term. Thus, sea kale indirectly favours the filling of the bay through the building up and consolidation of the spit that, in turn, enhances sheltered conditions increasing the part of decantation processes in the sedimentation in the bay. (financial support by Région Haute-Normandie and Réseau d'Observation du Littoral Normand et Picard, ROLNP)

  11. 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 allocation capacity, contingent to Hg contamination gradient; (b) S. maritimus accumulated higher Hg but restricted its translocation to above-ground part using exclusion process at both M and H due to its accelerated growth during Hg-tolerant reproductive/metabolically active phenological development stage greater than its counterpart T. maritima; and (c) the studied salt marsh plants although hailed from the same C3 and monocot group did not necessarily display similar phenotypic plasticity and behavior towards Hg-contaminated scenario during their life cycle. PMID:23184133

  12. South San Francisco Bay tidal marsh vegetation and elevation surveys-Corkscrew Marsh, Bird Island, and Palo Alto Baylands, California, 1983

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orlando, James L.; Drexler, Judy Z.; Dedrick, Kent G.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in the topography and ecology of the San Francisco Bay Estuary ('Estuary') during the past 200 years have resulted in the loss of nearly 80 percent of the historical salt marsh in the region. Currently, numerous projects are being undertaken by federal, state, and local governments in an attempt to restore wetland habitat and ecosystem function at a number of locations within the Estuary. Much information is needed concerning the historical topographic and ecologic characteristics of the Estuary to facilitate these restoration efforts. This report presents previously unpublished vegetation and elevation data collected in 1983 by the California State Lands Commission at Corkscrew marsh, Bird Island, and Palo Alto Baylands, all located in South San Francisco Bay. These precise and detailed elevation and plant surveys represent a snapshot of South Bay flora before invasion by the Atlantic smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. Such precise elevation data are rare for relatively undisturbed marshes in the San Francisco Bay; publication of these historical data may facilitate wetland restoration efforts. Marsh-surface and tidal-channel elevations were determined at a total of 962 stations by differential leveling to established tidal benchmark stations at each site and referenced to Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) relative to the National Tidal Datum Epoch (1960-78). In addition, presence or absence of nine salt marsh species, percentage plant cover, and percentage bare soil were recorded for 1-square meter quadrats at 648 stations where elevations were determined. Collectively, over the three sites, salt marsh vegetation ranged in elevation from 0.98 to 2.94 m above MLLW. S. foliosa and Salicornia virginica were the most frequently observed plant species. Atriplex patula, Deschampsia cespitosa, and Limonium californicum were each recorded at only one of the three sites.

  13. Studies on Holocene mangrove ecosystem dynamics of the Bragança Peninsula in north-eastern Pará, Brazil

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Behling; M. C. L. Cohen; R. J. Lara

    2001-01-01

    Three sediment cores from the Bragança Peninsula located in the coastal region in the north-eastern portion of Pará State have been studied by pollen analysis to reconstruct Holocene environmental changes and dynamics of the mangrove ecosystem. The cores were taken from an Avicennia forest (Bosque de Avicennia (BDA)), a salt marsh area (Campo Salgado (CS)) and a Rhizophora dominated area

  14. Macroalgal blooms in shallow estuaries: Controls and ecophysiological and ecosystem consequences

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ivan Valiela; James McClelland; Jennifer Hauxwell; Peter J. Behr; Douglas Hersh; Kenneth Foreman

    1997-01-01

    Macroalgal blooms arc produced by nutrient enrichment of estuaries in which the sea floor lies within the photic zone. We review fcaturcs of macroalgal blooms pointed out in recent literature and summarize work done in the Waquoit Bay Land Margin Ecosystems Research project which suggests that nutrient loads, water residcncc times, presence of fringing salt marshes, and grazing affect macroalgal

  15. Ecosystem-groundwater interactions under changing land uses: Linking water, salts, and carbon across central Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jobbagy, E. G.; Nosetto, M. D.; Santoni, C. S.; Jackson, R. B.

    2007-05-01

    Although most ecosystems display a one-way connection with groundwater based on the regulation of deep water drainage (recharge), this link can become reciprocal when the saturated zone is shallow and plants take up groundwater (discharge). In what context is the reciprocal link most likely? How is it affected by land use changes? Has it consequences on salt and carbon cycling? We examine these questions across a precipitation gradient in the Pampas and Espinal of Argentina focusing on three vegetation change situations (mean annual rainfall): afforestation of humid (900-1300 mm) and subhumid grassland (700-900 mm/yr of rainfall), annual cultivation of subhumid grasslands (700-800 mm/yr), and annual cultivation of semiarid forests (500-700 mm). Humid and subhumid grasslands have shallow (< 5 m deep) groundwater tables that are poorly consumed by grasses but highly used by planted trees, as evidenced by satellite canopy temperatures, soil moisture and water table level records, and sapflow measurements. Groundwater contributions enhance carbon uptake in plantations compared to grasslands as suggested by aboveground biomass measurements and satellite vegetation indexes from sites with and without access to groundwater. Where rainfall is <1100 mm, grassland afforestation switches water fluxes to groundwater from positive (net recharge) to negative (net discharge) causing a salt accumulation process in soils and groundwater that is ultimately limited by the tolerance to salinity of tree species. Cultivation with corn and soybean can lead to groundwater consumption in the driest belt of subhumid grassland. Up to five-fold yield increases in lowlands vs. uplands during the driest years indicate a dramatic impact of groundwater use on carbon uptake and groundwater salinization suggests a recharge-to- discharge switch. In dry forests groundwater is not accessible (> 15 m deep) and recharge under natural conditions is null. The establishment of crops, however, triggers the onset of recharge, as evidenced by vadose zones getting wetter and leached of atmospheric chloride. Cropping may cause water table raises leading to a two-way coupling of ecosystems and groundwater in the future, as it has been documented for similar settings in Australia and the Sahel. In the Pampas land use change interacts with groundwater consumption leading to higher carbon uptake (humid and subhumid grasslands) and salt accumulation (subhumid grasslands). In the Espinal (semiarid forest) land use change currently involves a one-way effect on groundwater recharge that may switch to a reciprocal connection if regional water table raises occur. Neglecting the role of groundwater in flat sedimentary plains can obscure our understanding of carbon and salt cycling and curtail our attempts to sustain soil and water resources under changing land uses.

  16. Marsh wrens as bioindicators of mercury in wetlands of Great Salt Lake: do blood and feathers reflect site-specific exposure risk to bird reproduction?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartman, C. Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herring, Garth; Isanhart, John; Herzog, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Nonlethal sampling of bird blood and feathers are among the more common ways of estimating the risk of mercury exposure to songbird reproduction. The implicit assumption is that mercury concentrations in blood or feathers of individuals captured in a given area are correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs from the same area. Yet, this assumption is rarely tested. We evaluated mercury concentrations in blood, feathers, and eggs of marsh wrens in wetlands of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and, at two spatial scales, specifically tested the assumption that mercury concentrations in blood and feather samples from birds captured in a defined area were predictive of mercury concentrations in eggs collected in the same area. Mercury concentrations in blood were not correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected within the same wetland unit, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected at the smaller home range spatial scale of analysis. Moreover, mercury exposure risk, as estimated via tissue concentrations, differed among wetland units depending upon whether blood or egg mercury concentrations were sampled. Mercury concentrations in feathers also were uncorrelated with mercury concentrations in eggs, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in blood. These results demonstrate the potential for contrasting management actions that may be implemented based solely on the specific avian tissue that is sampled, and highlight the importance of developing avian tissues as biomonitoring tools for assessing local risk of mercury exposure to bird reproduction.

  17. Distribution of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in sediment and plants from a contaminated salt marsh (Tejo estuary, Portugal).

    PubMed

    Nunes, Margarida; Vernisseau, Anaïs; Marchand, Philippe; Le Bizec, Bruno; Ramos, Fernando; Pardal, Miguel A

    2014-02-01

    Concentrations and profiles of 2,3,7,8-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) were investigated in sediment and plants collected from a salt marsh in the Tejo estuary, Portugal. The highest PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations were detected in uncolonized sediments, averaging 325.25?±?57.55 pg g(-1) dry weight (dw) and 8,146.33?±?2,142.14 pg g(-1) dw, respectively. The plants Sarcocornia perennis and Halimione portulacoides growing in PCDD/F and dl-PCB contaminated sediments accumulated contaminants in roots, stems, and leaves. It was observed that PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations in roots were significantly lower in comparison with stems and leaves. In general, concentration of ?PCDD/Fs and ?dl-PCBs in H. portulacoides tissues were found to be twofold higher than those in S. perennis, indicating a difference in the accumulation capability of both species. Furthermore, congener profiles changed between sediments and plant tissues, reflecting a selective accumulation of low chlorinated PCDD/Fs and non-ortho dl-PCBs in plants. PMID:24085516

  18. Larval salinity tolerance of the South American salt-marsh crab, Neohelice (Chasmagnathus) granulata: physiological constraints to estuarine retention, export and reimmigration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anger, Klaus; Spivak, Eduardo; Luppi, Tomás; Bas, Claudia; Ismael, Deborah

    2008-06-01

    The semiterrestrial crab Neohelice (= Chasmagnathus) granulata (Dana 1851) is a predominant species in brackish salt marshes, mangroves and estuaries. Its larvae are exported towards coastal marine waters. In order to estimate the limits of salinity tolerance constraining larval retention in estuarine habitats, we exposed in laboratory experiments freshly hatched zoeae to six different salinities (5 32‰). At 5‰, the larvae survived for a maximum of 2 weeks, reaching only exceptionally the second zoeal stage, while 38% survived to the megalopa stage at 10‰. Shortest development and negligible mortality occurred at all higher salt concentrations. These observations show that the larvae of N. granulata can tolerate a retention in the mesohaline reaches of estuaries, with a lower limit of ca. 10 15‰. Maximum survival at 25‰ suggests that polyhaline conditions rather than an export to oceanic waters are optimal for successful larval development of this species. In another experiment, we tested the capability of the last zoeal stage (IV) for reimmigration from coastal marine into brackish waters. Stepwise reductions of salinity during this stage allowed for moulting to the megalopa at 4 10‰. Although survival was at these conditions reduced and development delayed, these results suggest that already the zoea-IV stage is able to initiate the reimmigration into estuaries. After further salinity reduction, megalopae survived in this experiment for up to >3 weeks in freshwater, without moulting to juvenile crabs. In a similar experiment starting from the megalopa stage, successful metamorphosis occurred at 4 10‰, and juvenile growth continued in freshwater. Although these juvenile crabs showed significantly enhanced mortality and smaller carapace width compared to a seawater control, our results show that the late larval and early juvenile stages of N. granulata are well adapted for successful recruitment in brackish and even limnetic habitats.

  19. Restoring marsh elevation in a rapidly subsiding salt marsh by thin-layer deposition of dredged material 1 Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation for use by the US Government. 1

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Mark A Ford; Donald R Cahoon; James C Lynch

    1999-01-01

    Thin-layer deposition of dredged material on coastal marsh by means of high-pressure spray dredging (Jet-Spray®2Jet-Spray® is a registered trademark of Aztec Development Company, P.O. Box 3348, Orlando, FL 32802, USA.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.

  20. Tidal Marshes: The Boundary between Land and Ocean.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosselink, James

    An overview of the ecology of the tidal marshes along the gulf coast of the United States is presented. The following topics are included: (1) the human impact on tidal marshes; (2) the geologic origins of tidal marshes; (3) a description of the physical characteristics and ecosystem of the marshlands; (4) a description of the marshland food chain…

  1. STUDYING OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES IN MARSH AREA USING LANDSAT SATELLITE IMAGES

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Salah A. H. Saleh

    2012-01-01

    The marshes of Mesopotamia at the southern part of Iraq represent a unique component of our global heritage. During the last decades the Iraqi marshes subjected to many changes, these changes have great impact on marshes environmental and ecosystem. The goal of this research is to detect the environmental changes in Iraqi marshes that represented main land cover in the

  2. 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

    In this study, an integrated model to assess the effect of sea level rise on salt marsh systems is presented. It is based on a coupled two-dimensional hydrodynamic model and a parametric marsh model. The model shows marsh productivity as a function of mean high water (MHW), mean low water (MLW), and the elevation of the marsh platform. MHW and MLW are the mean high and low water levels over a tidal record and the marsh platform elevation is the elevation of the thick and smooth piled up sediments and biomass that support the productivity of the marsh. MHW and MLW throughout a river and tidal creeks are determined by time varying tides resulting from the two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. In order to calculate accurate biomass productivity, and MHW and MLW elevations, a digital elevation model (DEM) representing the marsh table elevation and tidal creeks with high accuracy is necessary (Hagen et al., 2013). There are optimum ranges for relative sea level rise (RSLR), mean sea level (MSL), and depth of inundation for salt marshes to increase productivity. Because of the constantly changing MSL, the marsh always adjusts itself to a new equilibrium (Morris, et al., 2002). In the marsh model, the sediment accretion rate, which is a function of the marsh productivity, is considered. The tidal record is calculated by the hydrodynamic model and the DEM is adjusted by incorporating the accretion rate over a period of time, provided by the marsh model. Then, the new tidal record is assessed by running the hydrodynamic model, considering sea level rise with the new marsh table elevations. Using the new tidal record, the marsh productivity is simulated. This process can be divided into short time steps to capture changes in the rate of sea level rise. For example, a 68 cm sea level rise over 63 years can be split into five- or ten- year periods to have a linear trend for sea level rise in each period. The model is examined for the lower St. Johns River and Apalachicola River 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.

  3. Studies of sulfur biogeochemistry, microbiology and paleontology in three anoxic environments: The Black Sea, a salt marsh mat, and an Ordovician black shale

    SciTech Connect

    Muramoto, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    The author studied the biogeochemistry, microbial ecology and paleontology of three anoxic environments. In the Black Sea, three studies dealt with the role of particle fluxes in sulfur cycling and microbial ecology. In the water column, iron sulfides form at the oxic-anoxic interface from dissolved sulfide left after chemical oxidation, based on sulfur isotopes; formation in deep water is minimal and iron-limited. Sinking organic aggregates transport iron sulfides to the bottom. Sedimentary sulfides may originate from sulfide fluxes and record intensity of chemical vs. microbial oxidation at the oxic-anoxic interface. Sulfate reduction rates from modelled diagenesis of organic carbon fluxes agree with other measured rates. A box model summarizes sulfur cycling between water column and sediments. An algal sulfur compound, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), precursor to dimethylsulfide (DMS), was measured in deep-sea particle fluxes. DMSP levels in particle fluxes vary seasonally and between oceans. Though DMSP is only 0.005% of organic carbon fluxes, its removal to the deep sea by fluxes may lessen sea-air DMS fluxes. A DMSP-DMS cycle for ocean and sediments is proposed. A third study compared bacteria biomass and morphology in particle fluxes and water column, using TEM and epifluorescence microscopy. Some bacteria had intracellular structures indicating autotrophy. Concentrations in particle fluxes were high compared to sediment bacteria populations elsewhere, but bacterial carbon is a tiny fraction of total organic carbon. In contrast, phototrophic bacteria dominated a microbial mat in a salt marsh where sulfate reduction is important. Cyanobacteria, purple and green sulfur bacteria species were strongly depth-zoned, and cell sizes decreased as depth increased. Also investigated was spatiotemporal change in a fossil lingulid brachiopod from a suboxic facies, using gradient analyses of benthic invertebrate and planktonic graptolite assemblages.

  4. Floristic Development Patterns in a Restored Elk River Estuarine Marsh, Grays Harbor, Washington

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ronald M. Thom; Robert Zeigler; Amy B. Borde

    2002-01-01

    We describe the changes in the floral assemblage in a salt marsh after reconnection to estuarine tidal inundation. The Elk River marsh in Grays Harbor, Washington, was opened to tidal flushing in 1987 after being diked for approximately 70 years. The freshwater pasture assemblage dominated by Phalarais arundinacea (reed canary grass) converted to low salt marsh vegetation within 5 years,

  5. Impact of elevated CO2 and N addition on bacteria, fungi, and archaea in a marsh ecosystem with various types of plants.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung-Hoon; Kim, Seon-Young; Ding, Weixing; Kang, Hojeong

    2015-06-01

    The individual effects of either elevated CO2 or N deposition on soil microbial communities have been widely studied, but limited information is available regarding the responses of the bacteria, fungi, and archaea communities to both elevated CO2 and N in wetland ecosystems with different types of plants. Using a terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and real-time quantitative PCR (RT-Q-PCR), we compared communities of bacteria, fungi, and archaea in a marsh microcosm with one of seven macrophytes, Typha latifolia, Phragmites japonica, Miscanthus sacchariflorus, Scirpus lacustris, Juncus effusus, Phragmites australis, or Zizania latifolia, after exposing them to eCO2 and/or amended N for 110 days. Overall, our results showed that the elevated CO2 and N may affect the bacterial and archaeal communities, while they may not affect the fungal community in terms of both diversity and abundance. The effects of elevated CO2 and N on microbial community vary depending on the plant types, and each microbial community shows different responses to the elevated CO2 and N. In particular, elevated CO2 might force a shift in the archaeal community irrespective of the plant type, and the effect of elevated CO2 was enhanced when combined with the N effect. This study indicates that elevated CO2 and N addition could lead to changes in the community structures of bacteria and archaea. Our results also suggest that the fungal group is less sensitive to external changes, while the bacterial and archaeal groups are more sensitive to them. Finally, the characteristics of the plant type and relevant physicochemical factors induced by the elevated CO2 and N may be important key factors structuring the microbial community's response to environmental change, which implies the need for a more comprehensive approach to understanding the pattern of the wetland response to climate change. PMID:25605423

  6. METHODS TO DEFINE MARSH EVALUATION AND PERCENT SUBMERGENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevation can determine the percentage submergence from tides and therefore is one of the controlling factors for plant zonation within salt marshes. To make comparisons among plants from various salt marshes throughout Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, a method was developed to es...

  7. AN ARTIFICIAL MICROBIAL ECOSYSTEM FOR DETERMINING EFFECTS AND FATE OF TOXICANTS IN A SALT-MARSH ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    An artificial laboratory environment designed to determine microbial interactions with pollutant chemicals is proposed. The system is designed to obtain maximum reproducibility between replicates by dividing a single tank into separate closed chambers. Radiolabeled toxicants are ...

  8. NAME: Salt Creek Estuary Restoration LOCATION: Salt Creek Watershed, Clallam County, Washington

    E-print Network

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    NAME: Salt Creek Estuary Restoration LOCATION: Salt Creek Watershed, Clallam County, Washington Federal funds $0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Salt Creek Estuary Reconnection project will significantly enhance tidal and fluvial hydrology to 22.5 acres of salt marsh, which will return the salt marsh to its

  9. Development of soil halinity classes for Connecticut tidal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theve, Marissa

    2014-08-01

    A soil's halinity, or ocean derived salinity, can determine much about its use, capabilities, and ecology. This paper uses measurements of electrical conductivity (in a 1 part soil and 5 parts deionized water by volume mixture, EC1:5vol) of estuarine soil samples stratified by ecological community to correlate soil halinity to vegetative community on the Connecticut River. The communities studied here are (in decreasing order of halinity): 1) Low salt marsh/Spartina alterniflora; 2) High salt marsh/Spartina patens, Distichlis spicata, and Juncus gerardii; 3) Back salt marsh/Bolboschoenus and Schoenoplectus species; 4) Brackish marsh/Iva frutescens and Panicum virgatum; and 5) Tidal fresh marsh/Typha and Phragmites species. Out of these, four distinct tidal marsh communities (low salt marsh, high salt marsh, back salt marsh, and tidal fresh) were found to have significantly different mean halinities. These results are a starting place for generating a regional and national soil halinity classification system, and the methods are recommended for use in other estuaries for purposes of ecological classification, soil mapping, and general land/habitat management.

  10. Report on changes in numbers of Seaside Sparrows on RI salt marshes since 1982, and how those changes relate to changes in the marsh and changes in surrounding land use

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the population status of breeding Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus) in Rhode Island, we repeated a 1982 survey conducted by Stoll and Golet (1983). In June and July 2007 and 2008, 19 marshes were surveyed in their entirety for the presence of breeding Seaside Spa...

  11. Description of Meloidoderita salina sp. n. (Nematoda, Sphaeronematidae) from a micro-tidal salt marsh at Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France.

    PubMed

    Ashrafi, Samad; Mugniéry, Didier; van Heese, Evelyn Yj; van Aelst, Adriaan C; Helder, Johannes; Karssen, Gerrit

    2012-01-01

    Meloidoderita salinasp. n. is described and illustrated from the halophytic plant Atriplex portulacoides L. (sea purslane) growing in a micro-tidal salt marsh in the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France. This new species is the first member of Meloidoderita Poghossian, 1966 collected from a saline environment, and is characterized by the following features: sedentary mature females having a small swollen body with a clear posterior protuberance; slightly dorsally curved stylet, 19.9 µm long, with posteriorly sloping knobs; neck region irregular in shape and twisted; well developed secretory-excretory (S-E) pore, with markedly sclerotized S-E duct running posteriorly; prominent uterus bordered by a thick hyaline wall and filled with eggs. The adult female transforms into a cystoid. Eggs are deposited in both egg-mass and cystoid. Cystoids of Meloidoderita salinasp.n. display a unique sub-cuticular hexagonal beaded pattern. Male without stylet, pharyngeal region degenerated, S-E duct prominent, deirids small, developed testis 97.5 µm long, spicules 18.4 µm long, cloacal opening ventrally protruded, small phasmids posterior to cloaca opening and situated at 5.9 (3.2-7.7) µm from tail end, and conical tail ending in a rounded terminus marked with one (rarely two) ventrally positioned mucro. Additionally, some young malesof the new species were observed enveloped in the last J2 cuticle. Second-stage juvenile body 470 µm long, with a 16.4 µm long stylet, prominent rounded knobs set off from the shaft, hemizonid anterior and adjacent to S-E pore, small deirids located just above S-E pore level, genital primordium located at 68-77% of body length, phasmids small and located at about 19 µm from tail tip, and tail 38.7 µm long, tapering to finely pointed terminus with a finger-like projection. Phylogenetic analyses based on the nearly full length small subunit ribosomal DNA sequences of Meloidoderita salinasp. n. revealed a close relationship of the new species with Sphaeronema alni Turkina & Chizhov, 1986 and placed these two species sister to the rest of Criconematina. PMID:23378798

  12. Description of Meloidoderita salina sp. n. (Nematoda, Sphaeronematidae) from a micro-tidal salt marsh at Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France

    PubMed Central

    Ashrafi, Samad; Mugniéry, Didier; van Heese, Evelyn YJ; van Aelst, Adriaan C.; Helder, Johannes; Karssen, Gerrit

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Meloidoderita salina sp. n. is described and illustrated from the halophytic plant Atriplex portulacoides L. (sea purslane) growing in a micro-tidal salt marsh in the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France. This new species is the first member of Meloidoderita Poghossian, 1966 collected from a saline environment, and is characterized by the following features: sedentary mature females having a small swollen body with a clear posterior protuberance; slightly dorsally curved stylet, 19.9 µm long, with posteriorly sloping knobs; neck region irregular in shape and twisted; well developed secretory-excretory (S–E) pore, with markedly sclerotized S-E duct running posteriorly; prominent uterus bordered by a thick hyaline wall and filled with eggs. The adult female transforms into a cystoid. Eggs are deposited in both egg-mass and cystoid. Cystoids of Meloidoderita salina sp. n. display a unique sub-cuticular hexagonal beaded pattern. Male without stylet, pharyngeal region degenerated, S-E duct prominent, deirids small, developed testis 97.5 µm long, spicules 18.4 µm long, cloacal opening ventrally protruded, small phasmids posterior to cloaca opening and situated at 5.9 (3.2–7.7) µm from tail end, and conical tail ending in a rounded terminus marked with one (rarely two) ventrally positioned mucro. Additionally, some young malesof the new species were observed enveloped in the last J2 cuticle. Second-stage juvenile body 470 µm long, with a 16.4 µm long stylet, prominent rounded knobs set off from the shaft, hemizonid anterior and adjacent to S-E pore, small deirids located just above S-E pore level, genital primordium located at 68–77% of body length, phasmids small and located at about 19 µm from tail tip, and tail 38.7 µm long, tapering to finely pointed terminus with a finger-like projection. Phylogenetic analyses based on the nearly full length small subunit ribosomal DNA sequences of Meloidoderita salina sp. n. revealed a close relationship of the new species with Sphaeronema alni Turkina & Chizhov, 1986 and placed these two species sister to the rest of Criconematina. PMID:23378798

  13. Application of Computer-Aided Tomography (CT) Technology to Visually Compare Belowground Components of Salt Marshes in Jamaica Bay and Long Island, New York

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using CT imaging, we found that rapidly deteriorating marshes in Jamaica Bay had significantly less belowground mass and abundance of coarse roots and rhizomes at depth (< 10 cm) compared to more stable areas in the Jamaica Bay Estuary. In addition, the rhizome diameters and pea...

  14. Fiddler crabs facilitate Spartina alterniflora growth, mitigating periwinkle overgrazing of marsh habitat.

    PubMed

    Gittman, Rachel K; Keller, Danielle A

    2013-12-01

    Ecologists have long been interested in identifying and testing factors that drive top-down or bottom-up regulation of communities. Most studies have focused on factors that directly exert top-down (e.g., grazing) or bottom-up (e.g., nutrient availability) control on primary production. For example, recent studies in salt marshes have demonstrated that fronts of Littoraria irrorata periwinkles can overgraze Spartina alterniflora and convert marsh to mudflat. The importance of indirect, bottom-up effects, particularly facilitation, in enhancing primary production has also recently been explored. Previous field studies separately revealed that fiddler crabs, which burrow to depths of more than 30 cm, can oxygenate marsh sediments and redistribute nutrients, thereby relieving the stress of anoxia and enhancing S. alterniflora growth. However, to our knowledge, no studies to date have explored how nontrophic facilitators can mediate top-down effects (i.e., grazing) on primary-producer biomass. We conducted a field study testing whether fiddler crabs can facilitate S. alterniflora growth sufficiently to mitigate overgrazing by periwinkles and thus sustain S. alterniflora marsh. As inferred from contrasts to experimental plots lacking periwinkles and fiddler crabs, periwinkles alone exerted top-down control of total aboveground biomass and net growth of S. alterniflora. When fiddler crabs were included, they counteracted the effects of periwinkles on net S. alterniflora growth. Sediment oxygen levels were greater and S. alterniflora belowground biomass was lower where fiddler crabs were present, implying that fiddler crab burrowing enhanced S. alterniflora growth. Consequently, in the stressful interior S. alterniflora marsh, where subsurface soil anoxia is widespread, fiddler crab facilitation can mitigate top-down control by periwinkles and can limit and possibly prevent loss of biogenically structured marsh habitat and its ecosystem services. PMID:24597218

  15. Assessment of rangeland ecosystem conditions, Salt Creek watershed and Dugout Ranch, southeastern Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Miller, M.E.; Belote, R.T.

    2012-01-01

    Increasingly, dry rangelands are being valued for multiple services beyond their traditional value as a forage production system. Additional ecosystem services include the potential to store carbon in the soil and plant biomass. In addition, dust emissions from rangelands might be considered an ecosystem detriment, the opposite of an ecosystem service. Dust emitted may have far-reaching impacts, for example, reduction of local air quality, as well as altering regional water supplies through effects on snowpack. Using an extensive rangeland monitoring dataset in the greater Canyonlands region (Utah, USA), we developed a method to estimate indices of the provisioning of three ecosystem services (forage production, dust retention, C storage) and one ecosystem property (nativeness), taking into account both ecosystem type and alternative states within that ecosystem type. We also integrated these four indices into a multifunctionality index. Comparing the currently ungrazed Canyonlands National Park watersheds to the adjacent Dugout Ranch pastures, we found clearly higher multifunctionality was attained in the Park, and that this was primarily driven by greater C-storage and better dust retention. It is unlikely to maximize all benefits and minimize all detriments at the same time. Some goods and services may have synergistic interactions; for example, managing for carbon storage will increase plant and biocrust cover likely lowering dust emission. Likewise, some may have antagonistic interactions. For instance, if carbon is consumed as biomass for livestock production, then carbon storage may be reduced. Ultimately our goal should be to quantify the monetary consequences of specific land use practices for multiple ecosystem services and determine the best land use and adaptive management practices for attaining multiple ecosystem services, minimizing economic detriments, and maximizing economic benefits from multi-commodity rangelands. Our technique is the first step toward this goal, allowing the simultaneous consideration of multiple targeted ecosystem services and properties.

  16. Use of lidar to study changes associated with Spartina invasion in San Francisco Bay marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. H. Rosso; S. L. Ustin; A. Hastings

    2006-01-01

    Extensive alteration of the tidal salt marshes of San Francisco Bay has created an urgent need to preserve the few remaining areas of relatively pristine tidal marshes. The dynamics of these marshes can be quantified and mapped using the high vertical and horizontal point density of airborne laser scanners (lidar) if their data quality is adequate. We evaluated lidar's ability

  17. Factors influencing the growth, recruitment success, and distribution of Farfantepenaeus aztecus (Crustacea:Penaeidae) in high and low salinity salt marshes

    E-print Network

    Aubele, Michael Charles

    2001-01-01

    for valuable fisheries species has been well documented (Thayer et al. , 1978; Weinstein, 1979; Zimmerman et al. , 1984; Orth and van Monffrans, 1987; Thomas et al. , 1990; Minello et al. , 1994). Brown shrimp (Farfanfepenaeus aztecus) utilize Sparfina... altemiflora habitats both as post-larvae and juveniles and emigrate offshore for further maturation and reproduction (Zimmerman and Minello, 1984; Boesch and Turner, 1984). Farfanfepenaeus aztecus post-larvae immigrate into Gulf of Mexico marshes during...

  18. Alternative Futures Analysis Of Farmington Bay Wetlands In The Great Salt Lake Ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    An Alternative Futures Analysis (AFA) was conducted to evaluate tradeoffs between landscape design scenarios and ecological services for Farmington Bay, Great Salt Lake (GSL), wetlands. Model scenarios included both plan trend and conservation "futures" projected to 2030. Scena...

  19. Development of infaunal populations and below-ground organic matter from three created Spartina alterniflora marshes in Galveston Bay, Texas

    E-print Network

    Goldberg, Alisha Renee

    1996-01-01

    ) Minello and Zimmerman 1991). Therefore, extensive losses of salt marsh occurring in the region may have serious negative impacts on estuarine food webs. creation of new salt marshes through the planting of Spartina alterni flora on dredged material has...; Minello and Zimmerman 1992). Benthic infaunal populations in created marshes do not appear equivalent to those in natural marshes (Cammen 1976 a, b; This thesis is formatted after the journal Estuaries. Moy and Levin 1991; Sacco et al. 1994). Often...

  20. Ecosystems

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Houghton Mifflin Science

    This self-contained module on ecosystems includes a range of fun activities that students can perform in the classroom and at home with family members. They impart important concepts such as observation, identification, measurement, and differentiation.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, R.S.; Niering, W.A. (Connecticut College, New London (United States))

    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.

  2. Hydrodynamics and sediment transport in natural and beneficial use marshes 

    E-print Network

    Kushwaha, Vaishali

    2006-10-30

    Since 1970, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, has been using dredged sediments from the Houston ship channel to create and restore salt marshes in Galveston Bay. Some projects have failed due to excessive sediment erosion...

  3. An Imaginary Trip Through the Marsh.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, N. A.

    This autoinstructional lesson deals with lessons in marine biology. A student will have experiences with both animal and plant life living in a salt water marsh environment. The student guide states the objectives to be attained and general directions for using the equipment and materials as well as a script. Approximately 30 minutes, including…

  4. Marsh Edge Erosion Effects in Coupled Barrier Island-Marsh Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauzon, R.; Moore, L. J.; Murray, A. B.; Walters, D.; Fagherazzi, S.; Mariotti, G.

    2014-12-01

    While until recently marsh loss was largely thought to be due to an inability for vertical accretion rates to match rates of sea level rise, marsh edge erosion by wind waves is now thought to be the leading cause of marsh loss worldwide. To better understand the response of coastal ecosystems to future changes in sea level and storm intensity, we further develop the coupled barrier-island marsh evolution model GEOMBEST+. We use the relationship between wave height (and therefore energy) and fetch and wind speed to add marsh edge erosion to the model, as well as to provide a more physical formulation for bay bottom erosion. Previous research addressing marshes in isolation from barrier islands (Mariotti and Fagherazzi, 2013) suggests that the existence of a backbarrier marsh is an unstable state, tending to either grow laterally to completely fill an adjacent basin or to erode away completely. Previous results of GEOMBEST+ experiments (Walters et al., in review) suggest that couplings with an adjacent barrier island can add an additional alternate long-lasting state: a narrow marsh supported by sediment influx from overwash. Here we present the results of new GEOMBEST+ model experiments that address how the addition of lateral erosion by wind waves affects the existence and characteristics of the narrow marsh state. Specifically, we seek to address how the frequency and characteristic time and space scales of the narrow march state are affected. Model experiments also explore more broadly the importance of wind wave effects in understanding the coupled dynamics of marsh-barrier island systems.

  5. Effects of elevated CO/sub 2/ on canopy gas exchange in a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh. [Spartina patens; Scirpus olneyi; Distichlis spicata

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis, P.S.; Drake, B.G.; Leadley, P.W.; Arp, W.J.

    1987-04-01

    The response of wild species in their native habitat to elevated CO/sub 2/ is poorly understood. The authors have developed a system to elevate and monitor CO/sub 2/ in three communities of a brackish high marsh: a Spartina patens (C4) community, a Scirpus olneyi (C3) community, and a mixed community of S. patens, S. olneyi, and Distichlis spicata (C4). CO/sub 2/ concentrations 260 ppm above ambient were maintained in 0.4 m3 open top chambers which were sealed for measurement of net CO/sub 2/ exchange (NCE). Continuous sampling of inlet and exhaust air allowed determination of NCE as a function of incident light and calculation of integrated 24 hr carbon balance. Seasonal trends and elevated CO/sub 2/ effects on canopy respiration, quantum yield, light compensation point, and maximum NCE will be discussed.

  6. Ecosystems

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    R. Herzog

    This lesson plan is part of the DiscoverySchool.com lesson plan library for grades 6-8. It focuses on biodiversity within ecosystems and within species. Students visit a local area and collect leaves to demonstrate how diverse life can exist within a small area. Included are objectives, materials, procedures, discussion questions, evaluation ideas, suggested readings, and vocabulary. There are videos available to order which complement this lesson, an audio-enhanced vocabulary list, and links to teaching tools for making custom quizzes, worksheets, puzzles and lesson plans.

  7. Consumer diversity across kingdoms supports multiple functions in a coastal ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hensel, Marc J. S.; Silliman, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    The global biodiversity crisis impairs the valuable benefits ecosystems provide humans. These nature-generated benefits are defined by a multitude of different ecosystem functions that operate simultaneously. Although several studies have simulated species loss in communities and tracked the response of single functions such as productivity or nutrient cycling, these studies have involved relatively similar taxa, and seldom are strikingly different functions examined. With the exception of highly managed ecosystems such as agricultural fields, rarely are we interested in only one function being performed well. Instead, we rely on ecosystems to deliver several different functions at the same time. Here, we experimentally investigated the extinction impacts of dominant consumers in a salt marsh. These consumers are remarkably phylogenetically diverse, spanning two kingdoms (i.e., Animalia and Fungi). Our field studies reveal that a diverse consumer assemblage significantly enhances simultaneous functioning of disparate ecosystem processes (i.e., productivity, decomposition, and infiltration). Extreme functional and phylogenetic differences among consumers underlie this relationship. Each marsh consumer affected at least one different ecosystem function, and each individual function was affected by no more than two consumers. The implications of these findings are profound: If we want ecosystems to perform many different functions well, it is not just number of species that matter. Rather, the presence of species representing markedly different ecologies and biology is also essential to maximizing multiple functions. Moreover, this work emphasizes the need to incorporate both microcomponents and macrocomponents of food webs to accurately predict biodiversity declines on integrated-ecosystem functioning. PMID:24297926

  8. Rapid wetland expansion during European settlement and its implication for marsh survival under modern sediment delivery rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Murray, A. Brad; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Corbett, D. Reide

    2011-01-01

    Fluctuations in sea-level rise rates are thought to dominate the formation and evolution of coastal wetlands. Here we demonstrate a contrasting scenario in which land-use-related changes in sediment delivery rates drive the formation of expansive marshland, and vegetation feedbacks maintain their morphology despite recent sediment supply reduction. Stratigraphic analysis and radiocarbon dating in the Plum Island Estuary (Massachusetts, United States) suggest that salt marshes expanded rapidly during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries due to increased rates of sediment delivery following deforestation associated with European settlement. Numerical modeling coupled with the stratigraphic observations suggests that existing marshland could survive, but not form under the low suspended sediment concentrations observed in the estuary today. These results suggest that many of the expansive marshes that characterize the modern North American coast are metastable relicts of high nineteenth century sediment delivery rates, and that recent observations of degradation may represent a slow return to pre-settlement marsh extent. In contrast to ecosystem management practices in which restoring pre-anthropogenic conditions is seen as a way to increase ecosystem services, our results suggest that widespread efforts to restore valuable coastal wetlands actually prevent some systems from returning to a natural state.

  9. The Ecogeomorphology of Salt Pools of the Webhannet Estuary, Wells, Maine, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, K. R.; Kelley, J. T.

    2005-12-01

    Salt pools are shallow, muddy depressions in salt marshes that remain flooded throughout the entire tidal cycle. They are common landforms of this ecosystem, but little is known for certain about their formation and persistence through time. Understanding the ontogeny of salt pools is critical, as it has been suggested that they may serve as important habitat for some birds and fish, and as indicators of ultimate marsh break-up and wetland loss. Hypotheses regarding pool initiation have suggested that pools are primary features of marshes, while others have suggested that pools form through secondary mechanisms such as isolated vegetative die-off or ice-plucking. Still others have suggested that pools may be associated with tidal creek abandonment. This study combines field observations, geologic coring, and analyses of a time-series of aerial photographs through geographic information systems (GIS), to quantify the recent history of pools of the Webhannet Estuary, Wells, ME, USA. Six transects sampled 119 pools during Summers 2004/2005. Adjacent percent vegetative cover (3, 1m2 plots/pool), bank classification (graded, mostly graded, mostly steep, steep), pool shape (circular, figure eight, irregular, sinuous) and a handheld GPS point were recorded. GPS data points were imported into a GIS platform to determine spatial trends. Examination of the spatial distribution suggests that pools are not randomly distributed across the marsh surface, but rather exhibit strong spatial patterns based on the pool characteristics described. Preliminary analyses of aerial photographs comparing the marsh surface in 1953 to 2003, suggest pools exhibit different developmental sequences over time (some grow, some shrink, some remain the same in area and shape). Dutch cores taken during Summer 2005 reveal a distinct pool signature and suggest that some pools may be of a more ephemeral nature than previously described and support the hypothesis that pools form through secondary mechanisms. New understanding of the development of salt pools may have practical management implications.

  10. Detection of salt marsh vegetation stress and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, Gulf of Mexico using AVIRIS data.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Shruti; Santos, Maria J; Ustin, Susan L; Koltunov, Alexander; Kokaly, Raymond F; Roberts, Dar A

    2013-01-01

    The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the biggest oil spill in US history. To assess the impact of the oil spill on the saltmarsh plant community, we examined Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data flown over Barataria Bay, Louisiana in September 2010 and August 2011. Oil contamination was mapped using oil absorption features in pixel spectra and used to examine impact of oil along the oiled shorelines. Results showed that vegetation stress was restricted to the tidal zone extending 14 m inland from the shoreline in September 2010. Four indexes of plant stress and three indexes of canopy water content all consistently showed that stress was highest in pixels next to the shoreline and decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline. Index values along the oiled shoreline were significantly lower than those along the oil-free shoreline. Regression of index values with respect to distance from oil showed that in 2011, index values were no longer correlated with proximity to oil suggesting that the marsh was on its way to recovery. Change detection between the two dates showed that areas denuded of vegetation after the oil impact experienced varying degrees of re-vegetation in the following year. This recovery was poorest in the first three pixels adjacent to the shoreline. This study illustrates the usefulness of high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy to map actual locations where oil from the spill reached the shore and then to assess its impacts on the plant community. We demonstrate that post-oiling trends in terms of plant health and mortality could be detected and monitored, including recovery of these saltmarsh meadows one year after the oil spill. PMID:24223872

  11. Detection of salt marsh vegetation stress and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, Gulf of Mexico using AVIRIS data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Khanna, Shruti; Santos, Maria J.; Ustin, Susan L.; Koltunov, Alexander; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Roberts, Dar A.

    2013-01-01

    The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the biggest oil spill in US history. To assess the impact of the oil spill on the saltmarsh plant community, we examined Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data flown over Barataria Bay, Louisiana in September 2010 and August 2011. Oil contamination was mapped using oil absorption features in pixel spectra and used to examine impact of oil along the oiled shorelines. Results showed that vegetation stress was restricted to the tidal zone extending 14 m inland from the shoreline in September 2010. Four indexes of plant stress and three indexes of canopy water content all consistently showed that stress was highest in pixels next to the shoreline and decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline. Index values along the oiled shoreline were significantly lower than those along the oil-free shoreline. Regression of index values with respect to distance from oil showed that in 2011, index values were no longer correlated with proximity to oil suggesting that the marsh was on its way to recovery. Change detection between the two dates showed that areas denuded of vegetation after the oil impact experienced varying degrees of re-vegetation in the following year. This recovery was poorest in the first three pixels adjacent to the shoreline. This study illustrates the usefulness of high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy to map actual locations where oil from the spill reached the shore and then to assess its impacts on the plant community. We demonstrate that post-oiling trends in terms of plant health and mortality could be detected and monitored, including recovery of these saltmarsh meadows one year after the oil spill.

  12. Critical width of tidal flats triggers marsh collapse in the absence of sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Mariotti, Giulio; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    High rates of wave-induced erosion along salt marsh boundaries challenge the idea that marsh survival is dictated by the competition between vertical sediment accretion and relative sea-level rise. Because waves pounding marshes are often locally generated in enclosed basins, the depth and width of surrounding tidal flats have a pivoting control on marsh erosion. Here, we show the existence of a threshold width for tidal flats bordering salt marshes. Once this threshold is exceeded, irreversible marsh erosion takes place even in the absence of sea-level rise. This catastrophic collapse occurs because of the positive feedbacks among tidal flat widening by wave-induced marsh erosion, tidal flat deepening driven by wave bed shear stress, and local wind wave generation. The threshold width is determined by analyzing the 50-y evolution of 54 marsh basins along the US Atlantic Coast. The presence of a critical basin width is predicted by a dynamic model that accounts for both horizontal marsh migration and vertical adjustment of marshes and tidal flats. Variability in sediment supply, rather than in relative sea-level rise or wind regime, explains the different critical width, and hence erosion vulnerability, found at different sites. We conclude that sediment starvation of coastlines produced by river dredging and damming is a major anthropogenic driver of marsh loss at the study sites and generates effects at least comparable to the accelerating sea-level rise due to global warming. PMID:23513219

  13. Critical width of tidal flats triggers marsh collapse in the absence of sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Mariotti, Giulio; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2013-04-01

    High rates of wave-induced erosion along salt marsh boundaries challenge the idea that marsh survival is dictated by the competition between vertical sediment accretion and relative sea-level rise. Because waves pounding marshes are often locally generated in enclosed basins, the depth and width of surrounding tidal flats have a pivoting control on marsh erosion. Here, we show the existence of a threshold width for tidal flats bordering salt marshes. Once this threshold is exceeded, irreversible marsh erosion takes place even in the absence of sea-level rise. This catastrophic collapse occurs because of the positive feedbacks among tidal flat widening by wave-induced marsh erosion, tidal flat deepening driven by wave bed shear stress, and local wind wave generation. The threshold width is determined by analyzing the 50-y evolution of 54 marsh basins along the US Atlantic Coast. The presence of a critical basin width is predicted by a dynamic model that accounts for both horizontal marsh migration and vertical adjustment of marshes and tidal flats. Variability in sediment supply, rather than in relative sea-level rise or wind regime, explains the different critical width, and hence erosion vulnerability, found at different sites. We conclude that sediment starvation of coastlines produced by river dredging and damming is a major anthropogenic driver of marsh loss at the study sites and generates effects at least comparable to the accelerating sea-level rise due to global warming. PMID:23513219

  14. Sedimentation, accretion, and subsidence in marshes of Barataria Basin, Louisiana

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. S. Hatton; R. D. DeLaune; W. H. Jr. Patrick

    1983-01-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of ¹³⁷Cs in cores collected from fresh water, intermediate, brackish, and salt marshes in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana. Vertical accretion rates vary from about 1.3 cm.yr⁻¹ in levee areas to 0.7 in backmarshes. Mineral sediment content of the marsh soil profile decreased with distance from the coast. Except in

  15. Hybridization between Schoenoplectus sedges across Chesapeake Bay marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Michael J. Blum; Erin Knapke; Jason S. McLachlan; Sunny B. Snider; Colin J. Saunders

    2010-01-01

    Hybridization is an evolutionary mechanism capable of enhancing adaptive potential, especially among species in fragmented\\u000a or disturbed ecosystems like coastal marshes. In this study, we evaluated whether hybridization might influence adaptive responses\\u000a in coastal marshes that are susceptible to the effects of global environmental change. To do so, we examined the extent and\\u000a nature of hybridization between Schoenoplectus americanus and

  16. Sedimentation, accretion, and subsidence in marshes of Barataria Basin, Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Hatton, R.S.; DeLaune, R.D.; Patrick, W.H. Jr.

    1983-05-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of /sup 137/Cs in cores collected from fresh water, intermediate, brackish, and salt marshes in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana. Vertical accretion rates vary from about 1.3 cm.yr/sup -1/ in levee areas to 0.7 in backmarshes. Mineral sediment content of the marsh soil profile decreased with distance from the coast. Except in natural levee areas, marsh accretion rates are less than subsidence measured by water level data, however this alone cannot account for observed land-loss patterns in the basin area.

  17. Impacts of adjacent land use and isolation on marsh bird communities.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20358198

  18. 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.

  19. Transport of microbial biomass through the North Inlet ecosystem

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Thomas H. Chrzanowski; L. Harold Stevenson; John D. Spurrier

    1982-01-01

    Tidal fluctuations and transports of total microbial biomass (measured as adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) were investigated at three marsh creeks comprising the major transfer points between the North Inlet marsh and the adjoining aquatic ecosystems. Two creeks, Town Creek and North Jones Creek, form the inlet mouth and are the only marsh-ocean exchange points. The third creek, South Jones Creek, connects

  20. Spectral discrimination of marsh vegetation types in the New Jersey Meadowlands, USA

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Francisco J. Artigas; Jiansheng Yang

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the fall season similarity of reflectance spectra among salt marsh species to identify and map marsh\\u000a vegetation types at species level using hyperspectral remote sensing. The medians of the reflectance spectra collected from\\u000a canopies of dominant marsh vegetation (Phragmites australis, Spartina patens, Spartina alterniflora, and Distichlis spicata) in the New Jersey Meadowlands were compared using a set

  1. Coexistence of Typha Angustifolia and Impatiens Capensis in a tidal freshwater marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kristine N. Hopfensperger; Katharina A. M. Engelhardt

    2007-01-01

    Several salt marsh plant species can oxygenate soils through their aerenchymous tissue and thereby facilitate the growth of\\u000a neighboring species. Such positive interactions remain poorly understood for tidal freshwater marshes, yet may explain why\\u000a species adverse to submerged roots are able to thrive in these marshes. Field observations showed a positive association between\\u000a Typha angustifolia L. and Impatiens capensis Meerb.,

  2. Fluxes Of Carbon Dioxide, Methane, And Nitrous Oxide In A Cool-Temperate Brackish Marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. Suzuki; K. Inubushi; T. Mitomi; T. Tani; A. S. Hirao; S. Shiozaki; M. Sasaki; A. Yamamoto; S. Mariko

    2007-01-01

    To estimate carbon and nitrogen emissions from a marsh ecosystem to the atmosphere, seasonal changes in CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes were monthly measured for a year using a closed chamber technique in a cool-temperate brackish marsh located at northern Japan. Vegetation of the brackish marsh was classified into Phragmites australis-dominated, Juncus tenuis-dominated and `miscellaneous' ones, often including tall-herbaceous species

  3. Sensitivity analysis of the Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, K.; Drexler, J. Z.; Schoellhamer, D. H.; Thorne, K.; Spragens, K.; Takekawa, J.

    2010-12-01

    The San Francisco Estuary contains the largest extent of tidal marsh in the western United States. It is home to several state and federally listed species that are threatened or endangered. Climate change is a potential threat to these tidal marsh habitats through accelerated sea-level rise. The Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience, or WARMER, is a 1-D vertical model of elevation at a point representative of target wetland habitat. WARMER incorporates both biological and physical components of vertical marsh accretion processes based on previous wetland models and is modified to incorporate mechanistic organic matter and inorganic deposition and the predicted SLR curve for San Francisco Estuary. Processes that are currently being modified include relative sea-level rise, inorganic sediment deposition, organic matter production, decomposition, and compaction. The model will be applied to marshes across the San Francisco Estuary and results will be used to evaluate the extent sea-level rise will reduce the functional habitat of the threatened black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus), the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus), and the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris). Here we present a sensitivity analysis of key model parameters. Previous studies have noted that inorganic sediment deposition, initial elevation and pore space are the most sensitive parameters. Consistent with these studies, sensitivity analysis shows that pore space is the most sensitive parameter in the current model and the modified inorganic sediment deposition subroutine is particularly sensitive to the parameterization of settling velocity. Perturbations to initial elevation, the rate of sea level rise, organic matter input rates and percent refractory organic matter had small impacts on the modeled final elevation. Proper characterization of marsh sediment pore space and temporally variable sediment concentrations and floc settling velocities appear important in producing realistic projections of marsh elevation and habitat sustainability.

  4. 1 A stochastic model for the formation of channel networks in 2 tidal marshes

    E-print Network

    Fagherazzi, Sergio

    by a network of 9 channels formed by tidal oscillations and related water 10 fluxes. In this note we present for the exchange of water, sediments, 33 and nutrients, between the marsh and the ocean. Tidal 34 channels form 2004; accepted 27 September 2004; published XX Month 2004. 8 [1] Salt marshes are often dissected

  5. Nutrient limitation of plant growth and forage quality in Arctic coastal marshes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    JACQUELINE T. NGAI; ROBERT L. JEFFERIES

    2004-01-01

    Summary 1 Foraging by geese has led to vegetation loss in salt marshes along the Hudson Bay coast and lesser snow geese are increasingly grazing inland freshwater marshes. We determined whether different nutrients limit the growth of forage plants in the two hab- itats, and whether these differences affect the nutritional quality of vegetation available to geese at La Pérouse

  6. American Fisheries Society Symposium xx:xx-xx,xxx Hudson River Paleoecology from Marshes

    E-print Network

    . Introduction Tidal river marshes, among the most pro- ductive ecosystems in the world, are eco- logically. However, they are also unique archives of past envi- ronmental conditions in the estuary. Un- locking on Atlantic seaboard tidal marshes, includ- ing the Chesapeake (Brush et al. 1982; Brush 1984, 1986, 1989

  7. Large interannual CO2 and energy exchange variability in a freshwater marsh under consistent environmental conditions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Adrian V. Rocha; Michael L. Goulden

    2008-01-01

    We analyzed a 5-year record of the CO2 and energy exchange, Aboveground Net Primary Production (ANPP), maximum Leaf Area Index (LAImax), and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) for a Typha marsh in Southern California. The marsh was a net source of carbon over the study, despite high rates of ANPP. Interannual Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) variability was the largest that has

  8. Large interannual CO 2 and energy exchange variability in a freshwater marsh under consistent environmental conditions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Adrian V. Rocha; Michael L. Goulden

    2008-01-01

    (1) We analyzed a 5-year record of the CO2 and energy exchange, Aboveground Net Primary Production (ANPP), maximum Leaf Area Index (LAImax), and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) for a Typha marsh in Southern California. The marsh was a net source of carbon over the study, despite high rates of ANPP. Interannual Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) variability was the largest that

  9. Infaunal abundance in restored and reference marshes of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico

    E-print Network

    Davis, Brittney

    2011-05-04

    in constructed salt marshes along the Atlantic coast suggest that the infaunal community is slower to develop than the marsh plant canopy (Moy and Levin 1991; Sacco et al. 1994, Levin et al. 1996; Craft et al. 1999). For example, in a survey of two constructed... after marsh establishment. Notable differences in infauna trophic composition and mean densities has also been reported for reference and constructed marshes (Moy and Levin 1991; Levin et al. 1996; Craft and Sacco 2003). Moy and Levin (1991) found...

  10. Biodiversity of Saline and Brakish Marshes of the Indian River Lagoon: Historic and Current Patterns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmalzer, Paul A.

    1995-01-01

    The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) crosses a zone of climatic transition. Historically, marshes dominated saline and brackish environments in the north of the lagoon, while mangroves became important to the south. Distribution of marsh communities was influenced by hydrology, salinity, soil characteristics, and fire, as well as periodic freezes. Marshes of the IRL have been greatly modified since the 1940s. Despite significant modifications, marsh plant species have not been lost from the region, but community and landscape patterns have been greatly modified and ecosystem processes altered.

  11. Bird Predation on Concealed Insects in a Reed-dominated Estuarine Tidal Marsh

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Li-Hu Xiong; Xiang Wu; Jian-Jian Lu

    2010-01-01

    Insectivorous birds can provide important ecosystem services, including regulating insect populations. The function of insectivorous\\u000a birds in wetland ecosystems, such as tidal marshes, however, remains largely unexplored. Most studies of top-down interactions\\u000a between insectivorous birds and herbivorous insects focus on insects in exposed-feeding guilds, but rarely on those in concealed-feeding\\u000a guilds. In a reed-dominated estuarine tidal marsh, we examined the

  12. Marsh Geomorphology: Multiple methods

    E-print Network

    Savidge, Dana

    Marsh Geomorphology: Multiple methods: · RTK GPS pedestrian surveys · Single beam echo sounding · Multibeam echo sounding · RTK/single beam - 300,000 readings; multibeam - about 2,000,000 readings Purpose

  13. Late Holocene Marsh Expansion in Southern San Francisco Bay, California

    EPA Science Inventory

    Currently, the largest tidal wetlands restoration project on the US Pacific Coast is being planned and implemented in southern San Francisco Bay; however, knowledge of baseline conditions of salt marsh extent in the region prior to European settlement is limited. Here, analysis o...

  14. Causes of reduced clutch size in a tidal marsh endemic

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Brian J. Olsen; Joshua M. Felch; Russell Greenberg; Jeffrey R. Walters

    2008-01-01

    We tested three hypotheses of clutch size variation in two subspecies of the swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana georgiana and M. g. nigrescens). Swamp sparrows follow the pattern of other estuarine endemics, where clutch size is smaller among tidal salt marsh populations\\u000a (M. g. nigrescens) than their closest inland relatives (M. g. georgiana). Our results support predation risk and temperature, but

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2009-01-01

    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

  16. 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 ?mol 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 ?mol 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.

  17. Retrieval of small-relief marsh morphology from Terrestrial Laser Scanner, optimal spatial filtering, and laser return intensity

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Guarnieri; A. Vettore; F. Pirotti; M. Menenti; M. Marani

    2009-01-01

    Marshes are ubiquitous landforms in estuaries and lagoons, where important hydrological, morphological and ecological processes take place. These areas attenuate sea action on the coast and act as sediment trapping zones. Due to their ecosystem functions and effects on coastal stabilization, marshes are crucial structures in tidal environments, both biologically and geomorphologically, and are fundamental elements in wetland restoration and

  18. Impact of Mississippi River freshwater reintroduction on enhancing marsh accretionary processes in a Louisiana estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLaune, R. D.; Jugsujinda, A.; Peterson, G. W.; Patrick, W. H.

    2003-11-01

    To counteract extensive wetland loss a series of diversion projects have been implemented to introduce freshwater and sediment from the Mississippi River into Louisiana coastal wetlands. To keep pace with increases in water level due to subsidence Louisiana coastal marshes must vertically accrete through the accumulation of both organic matter and mineral sediment. The impact of Mississippi River freshwater diversion on enhancing vertical marsh accretion (mineral and organic matter accumulation) was examined in Breton Sound estuary, a coastal wetland experiencing marsh deterioration as result of subsidence and salt water intrusion. Using 137Cs dating and artificial marker horizons, increases in the rate of vertical marsh accretion were measured at marsh sites along a spatial gradient which has been receiving diverted water from the Mississippi River (Caernarvon diversion) since 1991. Vertical accretion and accumulation of mineral sediment organic matter and nutrients in the marsh soil profile, increased at marsh sites receiving freshwater and sediment input. Iron and manganese content of the marsh surface sediment were shown to be an excellent signature of riverine sediment deposition. Soil extractable phosphorus was higher and extractable sodium was lower at sites nearest freshwater and sediment input. Results demonstrated that freshwater diversion through sediment input and lowering of salinity will enhance marsh accretion and stability, slowing or reversing the rate of wetland loss.

  19. [Seagrass ecosystems: contributions to and mechanisms of carbon sequestration].

    PubMed

    Qiu, Guang-Long; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Li, Zong-Shan; Fan, Hang-Qing; Zhou, Hao-Lang; Liu, Guo-Hua

    2014-06-01

    The ocean's vegetated habitats, in particular seagrasses, mangroves and salt marshes, each capture and store a comparable amount of carbon per year, forming the Earth's blue carbon sinks, the most intense carbon sinks on the planet. Seagrass meadows, characterized by high primary productivity, efficient water column filtration and sediment stability, have a pronounced capacity for carbon sequestration. This is enhanced by low decomposition rates in anaerobic seagrass sediments. The carbon captured by seagrass meadows contributes significantly to the total blue carbon. At a global scale, seagrass ecosystems are carbon sink hot spots and have profound influences on the global carbon cycle. This importance combined with the many other functions of seagrass meadows places them among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, seagrasses are declining globally at an alarming rate owing to anthropogenic disturbances and climate change, making them also among the most threatened ecosystems on the Earth. The role of coastal systems in carbon sequestration has received far too little attention and thus there are still many uncertainties in evaluating carbon sequestration of global seagrass meadows accurately. To better assess the carbon sequestration of global seagrass ecosystems, a number of scientific issues should be considered with high priorities: 1) more accurate measurements of seagrass coverage at national and global levels; 2) more comprehensive research into species- and location-specific carbon sequestration efficiencies; 3) in-depth exploration of the effects of human disturbance and global climate change on carbon capture and storage by seagrass ecosystems. PMID:25223044

  20. Mercury and selenium contamination in waterbird eggs and risk to avian reproduction at Great Salt Lake, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Josh T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher A.; Isanhart, John P.; Herring, Garth; Vaughn, Sharon; Cavitt, John F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Browers, Howard; Cline, Chris; Vest, Josh

    2015-01-01

    The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem are recognized regionally, nationally, and hemispherically for their importance as breeding, wintering, and migratory habitat for diverse groups of waterbirds. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and provides critical breeding habitat for more than 60 bird species. However, the Great Salt Lake ecosystem also has a history of both mercury and selenium contamination, and this pollution could reduce the health and reproductive success of waterbirds. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of mercury and selenium contamination to birds breeding within Great Salt Lake, especially at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, and to identify the waterbird species and areas at greatest risk to contamination. We sampled eggs from 33 species of birds breeding within wetlands of Great Salt Lake during 2010 ? 2012 and focused on American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) for additional studies of the effects of contaminants on reproduction.