Science.gov

Sample records for muhl coastal marshes

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Methane flux from coastal salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1985-06-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Methane flux from coastal salt marshes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-06-20

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

  10. 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.

  11. Spatial response of coastal marshes to increased atmospheric CO2

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

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

  13. Predictors of specialist avifaunal decline in coastal marshes.

    PubMed

    Correll, Maureen D; Wiest, Whitney A; Hodgman, Thomas P; Shriver, W Gregory; Elphick, Chris S; McGill, Brian J; O'Brien, Kathleen M; Olsen, Brian J

    2017-02-01

    Coastal marshes are one of the world's most productive ecosystems. Consequently, they have been heavily used by humans for centuries, resulting in ecosystem loss. Direct human modifications such as road crossings and ditches and climatic stressors such as sea-level rise and extreme storm events have the potential to further degrade the quantity and quality of marsh along coastlines. We used an 18-year marsh-bird database to generate population trends for 5 avian species (Rallus crepitans, Tringa semipalmata semipalmata, Ammodramus nelsonii subvirgatus, Ammodramus caudacutus, and Ammodramus maritimus) that breed almost exclusively in tidal marshes, and are potentially vulnerable to marsh degradation and loss as a result of anthropogenic change. We generated community and species trends across 3 spatial scales and explored possible drivers of the changes we observed, including marsh ditching, tidal restriction through road crossings, local rates of sea-level rise, and potential for extreme flooding events. The specialist community showed negative trends in tidally restricted marshes (-2.4% annually from 1998 to 2012) but was stable in unrestricted marshes across the same period. At the species level, we found negative population trends in 3 of the 5 specialist species, ranging from -4.2% to 9.0% annually. We suggest that tidal restriction may accelerate degradation of tidal marsh resilience to sea-level rise by limiting sediment supply necessary for marsh accretion, resulting in specialist habitat loss in tidally restricted marshes. Based on our findings, we predict a collapse of the global population of Saltmarsh Sparrows (A. caudacutus) within the next 50 years and suggest that immediate conservation action is needed to prevent extinction of this species. We also suggest mitigation actions to restore sediment supply to coastal marshes to help sustain this ecosystem into the future.

  14. Recent Advances in Studies of Coastal Marsh Sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  15. Hydrology of Fritchie Marsh, coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuniansky, E.L.

    1985-01-01

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

  16. A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sea level rise is causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, includin...

  17. A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sea level rise is causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, includin...

  18. Ecological effects of coastal marsh impoundments: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1987-11-01

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

  19. Ecology of delta marshes of coastal Louisiana: a community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Gosselink, J.G.

    1984-05-01

    This report reviews and synthesizes ecological information and data on the extensive marshes of the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain. Over the past 6000 years the river has built a delta onto the Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico covering about 23,900 km/sup 2/. This low land is primarily marshes and represents about 22% of the total coastal wetland area of the 48 conterminous United States. The delta is notable for its high primary productivity, its valuable fishery and fur industry, and the recreational fishing and hunting it supports. The Mississippi River delta marshes are subject to the unique problem of extremely rapid marsh degradation due to a complex mixture of natural processes and human activities that include worldwide sea-level rise; subsidence; navigation and extractive industry canal dredging; flood control measures that channel the river; and pollution from domestic sewage, exotic organic chemicals, and heavy metals. 262 references, 75 figures, 34 tables.

  20. Vegetative delineation of coastal salt marsh boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eilers, H. Peter; Taylor, Alan; Sanville, William

    1983-09-01

    Legislation mandating the protection of wetlands, combined with current pressures to convert them to other uses, emphasize the need to determine accurately a wetland-upland boundary We investigated six methods designed to establish such a boundary based on vegetation Each method was applied to a common data set obtained from 295 quadrats along 22 transects between marsh and upland areas in 13 intertidal saline wetlands in Oregon and Washington. The multiple occurrence, joint occurrence, and five percent methods required plant species to be classified as salt marsh, upland, and non-indicator, cluster and similarity methods required no initial classification Close agreement on wetland-upland boundaries determined by the six methods suggests that preclassification of plants and collection of plant cover data may not be necessary to determine the boundary

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-10-01

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

  2. Denitrification enzyme activity of fringe salt marshes in New England (USA).

    PubMed

    Wigand, Cathleen; McKinney, Richard A; Chintala, Marnita M; Charpentier, Michael A; Groffman, Peter M

    2004-01-01

    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 seasonal relationships between denitrification enzyme activity (DEA) in salt marshes of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, and watershed N loadings, land use, and terrestrial hydric soils. In a manipulative experiment, the effect of nutrient enrichment on DEA was examined in a saltmeadow cordgrass [Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.] marsh. In the high marsh, DEA significantly (p < 0.05) increased with watershed N loadings and decreased with the percent of hydric soils in a 200-m terrestrial buffer. In the low marsh, we found no significant relationships between DEA and watershed N loadings, residential land development, or terrestrial hydric soils. In the manipulation experiment, we measured increased DEA in N-amended treatments, but no effect in the P-amended treatments. The positive relationships between N loading and high marsh DEA support the hypothesis that salt marshes may be important buffers between the terrestrial landscape and estuaries, preventing the movement of land-derived N into coastal waters. The negative relationships between marsh DEA and the percent of hydric soils in the adjacent watershed illustrate the importance of natural buffers within the terrestrial landscape. Denitrification enzyme activity appears to be a useful index for comparing relative N exposure and the potential denitrification activity of coastal salt marshes.

  3. Isolation of Bacteriophages of the Marine Bacterium Beneckea natriegens from Coastal Salt Marshes1

    PubMed Central

    Zachary, Arthur

    1974-01-01

    Bacteriophages of the marine bacterium Beneckea natriegens were isolated from coastal marshes where they were limited to brackish and marine waters. The phages were widely distributed and morphologically diverse in the marshes. Images PMID:4133830

  4. Coastal Marsh Monitoring for Persistent Saltwater Intrusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Callie M.

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Delineation of marsh types and marsh-type change in coastal Louisiana for 2007 and 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartley, Stephen B.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Enwright, Nicholas M.

    2017-05-30

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management researchers often require detailed information regarding emergent marsh vegetation types (such as fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline) for modeling habitat capacities and mitigation. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management produced a detailed change classification of emergent marsh vegetation types in coastal Louisiana from 2007 and 2013. This study incorporates two existing vegetation surveys and independent variables such as Landsat Thematic Mapper multispectral satellite imagery, high-resolution airborne imagery from 2007 and 2013, bare-earth digital elevation models based on airborne light detection and ranging, alternative contemporary land-cover classifications, and other spatially explicit variables. An image classification based on image objects was created from 2007 and 2013 National Agriculture Imagery Program color-infrared aerial photography. The final products consisted of two 10-meter raster datasets. Each image object from the 2007 and 2013 spatial datasets was assigned a vegetation classification by using a simple majority filter. In addition to those spatial datasets, we also conducted a change analysis between the datasets to produce a 10-meter change raster product. This analysis identified how much change has taken place and where change has occurred. The spatial data products show dynamic areas where marsh loss is occurring or where marsh type is changing. This information can be used to assist and advance conservation efforts for priority natural resources.

  6. Oil Detection in a Coastal Marsh with Polarimetric SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsey, E.; Rangoonwala, A.; Suzuoki, Y.; Bannister, T.

    2011-12-01

    The NASA UAVSAR was deployed June 2010 to support Deep Water Horizon oil spill response activities expressly, oil characterization, oil detection in wetlands, and coastal resource impact detection and recovery. The UAVSAR demonstrated enhanced capability to act rapidly and provide targeted mapping responses. Our research focused on the effectiveness of high spatial resolution and fully polarimetric L-band SAR for mapping oil in wetlands, specifically within Barataria Bay in eastern coastal Louisiana (Fig.). The Bay contained numerous site observations confirming spatially extensive shoreline oil impacts, multiple UAVSAR collections, and a near anniversary 2009 collection. PolSAR oil detection relied on decomposition and subsequent classifications of the single look complex (SLC) scenes. Initial analyses results found that shoreline marsh structural damage accompanied by oil occurrence were exhibited as anomalous features on post-spill SLC flightlines but were not evident on the pre-spill SLC flightline collected in 2009. Pre-spill and post-spill Freeman-Durden (FD) and Cloude-Pottier (CP) decompositions and Wishart classifications seeded with the FD and CP classes (Wishart-FD, Wishart-CP)also highlighted these nearshore features as a change in dominate scatter. In addition, all decompositions and classifications identify a class of interior marshes within the central core of the study region that reproduce spatially extensive changes in backscatter exhibited on the pre-spill and post-spill SLC image comparisons and on all post-spill SLC images. The FD and CP decompositions revealed that the change is associated with a transform of dominant scatter from primarily surface or volume to double or even bounce. As a preponderance of evidence supports the penetration of oil-polluted waters into interior marshes, it is reasonable that marshes exhibiting different backscatter in the pre-spill and post-spill SLC renditions, identify interior marshes exposed to flushing

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  8. Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Saltwater Intrusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. 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...

  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. [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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Allometry data and equations for coastal marsh plants.

    PubMed

    Lu, Meng; Caplan, Joshua S; Bakker, Jonathan D; Adam Langley, J; Mozdzer, Thomas J; Drake, Bert G; Patrick Megonigal, J

    2016-12-01

    Coastal marshes are highly valued for ecosystem services such as protecting inland habitats from storms, sequestering carbon, removing nutrients and other pollutants from surface water, and providing habitat for fish, shellfish, and birds. Because plants largely determine the structure and function of coastal marshes, quantifying plant biomass is essential for evaluating these ecosystem services, understanding the biogeochemical processes that regulate ecosystem function, and forecasting tidal wetland responses to accelerated sea level rise. Allometry is a convenient and efficient technique for nondestructive estimation of plant biomass, and it is commonly used in studies of carbon and nitrogen cycles, energy flows, and marsh surface elevation change. We present plant allometry data and models developed for three long-term experiments at the Smithsonian Global Change Research Wetland, a brackish marsh in the Rhode River subestuary of the Chesapeake Bay. The dataset contains 9,771 measurements of stem height, dry mass, and (in 9638 cases) stem width across 11 plant species. The vast majority of observations are for Schoenoplectus americanus (8430) and Phragmites australis (311), with fewer observations for other common species: Amaranthus cannabinus, Atriplex patula, Iva frutescens, Kosteletzkya virginica, Polygonum hydropiper, Solidago sempervirens, Spartina alterniflora, Spartina cynosuroides, and Typha angustifolia. Allometric relationships take the form of linear regressions of biomass (transformed using the Box-Cox procedure) on either stem height and width, or on stem height alone. Allometric relationships for Schoenoplectus americanus were not meaningfully altered by elevated CO2 , N enrichment, the community context, interannual variation in climate, or year, showing that a single equation can be used across a broad range of conditions for this species. Archived files include: (1) raw data used to derive allometric equations for each species, (2) reports and

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. Oil Detection in a Coastal Marsh with Polarimetric SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsey, E., III; Rangoonwala, A.; Suzuoki, Y.; Bannister, T.

    2011-09-01

    The NASA UAVSAR was deployed June 2010 to support Deep Water Horizon oil spill response activities specifically, oil detection and characterization, oil extent mapping in wetlands, coastal resource impact detection, and ecosystem recovery. The UAVSAR platform demonstrated enhanced capability to act rapidly and provide targeted mapping response. Our research focused on the effectiveness of high spatial resolution and fully polarimetric L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) for mapping oil in wetlands, specifically within Barataria Bay in eastern coastal Louisiana. Barataria Bay contained a numerous site observations confirming spatially extensive shoreline oil impacts, multiple oil spill UAVSAR collections, and a near anniversary 2009 collection. PolSAR oil detection relied on decomposition and subsequent classifications of the single look complex (SLC) calibrated radar cross sections representing the complex elements of the scattering matrix. Initial analyses results found that shoreline marsh structural damage as well as oil on marsh plants and sediments without canopy structural damage were exhibited as anomalous features on post-spill SLC scenes but were not evident on the pre-spill SLC scene collected in 2009. Pre-spill and post-spill Freeman-Durden (FD) and Cloude-Pottier (CP) decompositions and the Wishart classifications seeded with the FD and CP classes (Wishart-FD) also highlighted these nearshore features as a change in dominate scatter from pre-spill to post-spill. SLC analyses also indicated penetration of oil ladened waters into interior marshes well past the immediate shorelines; however, these post-spill SLC analyses results could not be validated due to the lack of observational data and possible flooding in the pre-spill SLC scene.

  2. Seasonal comparison of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages in a flooded coastal freshwater marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kang, Sung-Ryong; King, Sammy L.

    2013-01-01

    Marsh flooding and drying may be important factors affecting aquatic macroinvertebrate density and distribution in coastal freshwater marshes. Limited availability of water as a result of drying in emergent marsh may decrease density, taxonomic diversity, and taxa richness. The principal objectives of this study are to characterize the seasonal aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblage in a freshwater emergent marsh and compare aquatic macroinvertebrate species composition, density, and taxonomic diversity to that of freshwater marsh ponds. We hypothesize that 1) freshwater emergent marsh has lower seasonal density and taxonomic diversity compared to that of freshwater marsh ponds; and 2) freshwater emergent marsh has lower taxa richness than freshwater marsh ponds. Seasonal aquatic macroinvertebrate density in freshwater emergent marsh ranged from 0 organisms/m2 (summer 2009) to 91.1 ± 20.53 organisms/m2 (mean ± SE; spring 2009). Density in spring was higher than in all other seasons. Taxonomic diversity did not differ and there were no unique species in the freshwater emergent marsh. Our data only partially support our first hypothesis as aquatic macroinvertebrate density and taxonomic diversity between freshwater emergent marsh and ponds did not differ in spring, fall, and winter but ponds supported higher macroinvertebrate densities than freshwater emergent marsh during summer. However, our data did not support our second hypothesis as taxa richness between freshwater emergent marsh and ponds did not statistically differ.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  4. Marsh management in coastal Louisiana: Effects and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Duffy, W.G. ); Clark, D. . Coastal Management Div.)

    1989-09-01

    The marshes of coastal southeast Louisiana occur over an area that constitutes about 60% of the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain complex, the newest land added to the Gulf Coastal Region during the past few thousand years. Part 1 of this paper consists of a brief description of the deltaic plain complex. Part 2 is concerned with the description of the coastal bays, sounds, transgressive barrier islands, and offshore shoals which are related to the delta complex. Part 3 discusses 51 significant papers on the delta complex which have been written during the past 58 years. Part 4 is a brief summary of the origin and development of the coastal region of southeast Louisiana based upon the research outlined above. Illustrations show how the mighty Mississippi River created about 14,000 mi{sup 2} of new land in the Gulf of Mexico, in the form of a series of deltas, during the past 7,000 years. Attention is also subsidence of abandoned delta sediments, which permitted the gulf to move in inland and reclaim about 7,000 mi{sup 2} of this new land. This volume contains 37 papers. Individual papers are indexed separately on the energy data base.

  5. Effects of Sea Level Rise and Coastal Marsh Transgression on Soil Organic Matter in a Chesapeake Bay Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Allen, R.; Schreiner, K. M.; Guntenspergen, G. R.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marsh, mangrove swamp, and seagrass bed ecosystems comprise a global carbon stock known as "blue carbon." While vegetated coastal ecosystems have a small global areal extent, their total carbon burial rates are comparable to global marine carbon burial rates. Under global climate change-induced sea level rise, the role of these systems in the global carbon cycle could change significantly. This study aims to develop a more complete view of how coastal marsh transgression into terrestrial upland environments impacts soil organic matter characteristics. A US Geological Survey study site in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern coast of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland was chosen for this study. This marsh has undergone transgression into adjacent upland forest as local relative sea level has risen, making it an ideal location to study the source and stability of organic matter underlying the shifting marsh-forest boundary. Peat cores and vegetation samples were collected from the study site in May 2015 and June 2016. Care was taken to sample marsh soils underlying a range of elevations and vegetation types from the intertidal zone through the transition to upland forest. Radiocarbon and lead-210 dating give age estimates for basal peat layers within the cores. Analysis of stable carbon isotopes in bulk soils in this site suggests a broad shift towards C4-dominated marsh vegetation. Finally, cupric oxide oxidation products of soil organic matter provide information about the changing molecular organic geochemistry of the marsh soils as sea level rises and the marsh transgresses. This represents a novel molecular-level study of the changing organic geochemistry of marsh soils with sea level rise and resulting vegetation changes.

  6. Persistence and Bioavailability of DDT in a Coastal Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowlett, K.; Weathers, N.; Morrison, A.; White, H. K.

    2016-02-01

    DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was a widely-used pesticide in the United States throughout the 1900s. In 1972, the EPA banned the use of DDT due to fears of severe bioaccumulation and toxicity in animals. However, the compound persists in measurable quantities in the environment, leading to questions surrounding its current bioavailability in key ecosystems such as coastal marshes. For this study a sediment core was collected in 2015 from a salt marsh in Dover, Delaware and the sediments and plant matter were analyzed for the presence of DDT and three of its main biological metabolites: DDD, DDE, and DDMU (collectively, DDX). Samples were extracted in toluene and analyzed for DDX via gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) operated in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. The initial down-core profile revealed that the maximum concentration of DDX in both plant matter (>1mm in size) and sediments (<250µm in size) was at 22-30cm below the marsh surface, corresponding to the time of DDT application, as determined by 210Pb-dating. After initial analysis of the concentration of DDX in the sediment core, a passive sampling method using low-density polyethylene (LDPE) was employed to measure the bioavailability of the DDX compounds in the collected sediments. Bioavailability experiments with LDPE are ongoing and results will be discussed. This study will contribute to our overall understanding of the persistence of DDT in the environment by further elucidating the association of DDX compounds with plants and sedimentary material as well as their bioavailability with respect to these associations.

  7. 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

  8. The protective role of coastal marshes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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

  9. Effects of unstable flow on solute transport in the marsh soil and exchange with coastal water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengji; Zhang, Chenming; Jin, Guangqiu; Kong, Jun; Li, Ling

    2016-12-01

    Recent studies of marsh hydraulics have focused on tide-induced pore water circulation as the main drive for solute transport in the marsh soil and exchange with coastal water. Our study revealed another important mechanism provided by unstable fingering flow, which largely modified solute transport paths. In the marsh interior, downward penetration of salt fingers forced ambient pore water and solute plumes to move upward and exit the marsh soil through marsh platform at relatively high concentrations, up to 2 orders of magnitude higher than exit solute concentrations at the tidal creek bed. The mixing of solute with ambient pore water in the marsh interior was intensified greatly by fingering flow. A critical distance to the creek was determined based on a field-scale model simulation to distinguish tidal circulation-dominated and fingering flow-dominated solute transport zones. The new transport mechanism has implications for understanding the fate of solutes in particularly salt marshes of low creek densities.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. Monitoring Phenology of Coastal Marshes in Louisiana using the Landsat Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mo, Y.; Kearney, M.

    2016-12-01

    Coastal marshes are important sinks for blue carbon—carbon sequestered by coastal and marine ecosystems. Remote sensing phenology of the marshes is a good indicator for their ability to sequester carbon, which, however, is seldom addressed in the literature. This study aims to better understand phenology of coastal marshes in Louisiana using NDVI derived from a compilation the Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI archive (30 m resolution) since 1984 to present. The environmental variables (i.e. annual temperature, sea level, and atmospheric CO2 concentration) of the study area all increased significantly overtime, showing that the study area is subject to climate change. However, marsh phenological parameters, including its peak NDVI, show no significant trend over time. This finding contrasts with the reported increase in summer photosynthetic activity of vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere, which is attributed to the increase in global temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Such differences might be due to marsh physiological characteristics and the local environmental alterations. Coastal marshes in Louisiana contain many C4 species. The C4 photosynthesis pathway is less responsive to atmospheric CO2 concentration compared to the C3 photosynthesis. Coastal marshes thus respond to the elevated atmospheric CO2 differently compared to other ecosystems at middle to higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Another possible reason is that, while benefiting from the increased atmospheric CO2, coastal marshes are also undergoing significant stresses caused by sea level rise (e.g. submergence, and storm-induced floods and surges), which can offset the positive effects resulted from the increased temperature and atmospheric CO2 on photosynthesis. Our results suggest that coastal marshes might respond to climate change much differently from other ecosystems, but further investigation is required in order to better protect the ecosystem and its carbon storage under the

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. In situ burning restores the ecological function and structure of an oil-impacted coastal marsh.

    PubMed

    Baustian, Joseph; Mendelssohn, Irving; Lin, Qianxin; Rapp, John

    2010-11-01

    As the use of in situ burning for oil spill remediation in coastal wetlands accelerates, the capacity of this procedure to restore the ecological structure and function of oil-impacted wetlands becomes increasingly important. Thus, our research focused on evaluating the functional and structural recovery of a coastal marsh in South Louisiana to an in situ burn following a Hurricane Katrina-induced oil spill. Permanent sampling plots were set up to monitor marsh recovery in the oiled and burned areas as well as non-oiled and non-burned (reference) marshes. Plots were monitored for species composition, stem density, above- and belowground productivity, marsh resiliency, soil chemistry, soil residual oil, and organic matter decomposition. The burn removed the majority of the oil from the marsh, and structurally the marsh recovered rapidly. Plant biomass and species composition returned to control levels within 9 months; however, species richness remained somewhat lower in the oiled and burned areas compared to the reference areas. Recovery of ecological function was also rapid following the in situ burn. Aboveground and belowground plant productivity recovered within one growing season, and although decomposition rates were initially higher in the oiled areas, over time they became equivalent to those in reference sites. Also, marsh resiliency, i.e., the rate of recovery from our applied disturbances, was not affected by the in situ burn. We conclude that in situ burning is an effective way to remove oil and allow ecosystem recovery in coastal marshes.

  16. In Situ Burning Restores the Ecological Function and Structure of an Oil-Impacted Coastal Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baustian, Joseph; Mendelssohn, Irving; Lin, Qianxin; Rapp, John

    2010-11-01

    As the use of in situ burning for oil spill remediation in coastal wetlands accelerates, the capacity of this procedure to restore the ecological structure and function of oil-impacted wetlands becomes increasingly important. Thus, our research focused on evaluating the functional and structural recovery of a coastal marsh in South Louisiana to an in situ burn following a Hurricane Katrina-induced oil spill. Permanent sampling plots were set up to monitor marsh recovery in the oiled and burned areas as well as non-oiled and non-burned (reference) marshes. Plots were monitored for species composition, stem density, above- and belowground productivity, marsh resiliency, soil chemistry, soil residual oil, and organic matter decomposition. The burn removed the majority of the oil from the marsh, and structurally the marsh recovered rapidly. Plant biomass and species composition returned to control levels within 9 months; however, species richness remained somewhat lower in the oiled and burned areas compared to the reference areas. Recovery of ecological function was also rapid following the in situ burn. Aboveground and belowground plant productivity recovered within one growing season, and although decomposition rates were initially higher in the oiled areas, over time they became equivalent to those in reference sites. Also, marsh resiliency, i.e., the rate of recovery from our applied disturbances, was not affected by the in situ burn. We conclude that in situ burning is an effective way to remove oil and allow ecosystem recovery in coastal marshes.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Recent accretion in two managed marsh impoundments in coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, D.R.

    1994-01-01

    Recent accretion was measured by the feldspar marker horizon method in two gravity-drained, managed, marsh impoundments and unmanaged reference marshes located on the rapidly subsiding coast of Louisiana. Water level management was designed to limit hydrologic exchange to the managed marsh by regulating the direction and rate of water flows. During a drawdown-flooding water management cycle, the unmanaged reference marshes had significantly higher vertical accretion rates, higher soil bulk density and soil mineral matter content, lower soil organic matter content, and higher rates of organic matter accumulation than the managed marsh. The rate of mineral matter accumulation was higher in both reference marshes, but was significantly higher in only one. Spatial variability in accumulation rates was low when analyzed in one managed marsh site, suggesting a primarily autochthonous source of matter. In contrast, the associated reference marsh apparently received allochthonous material that settled out in a distinct spatial pattern as water velocity decreased. The impoundment marshes experienced an accretion deficit of one full order of magnitude (0.1 vs. 1.0 m/yr) based on comparison of accretion and sea level rise data, while the unmanaged reference marshes experienced a five-fold smaller deficit or no deficit. These data suggest that the gravity-drained impoundments likely have a shorter life expectancy than the reference marshes in the rapidly subsiding Louisiana coast.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Coastal Meringues: Are Salt Marshes Inflated with Excess Void Spaces?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunnell, J. R.

    2016-02-01

    Failure to stay above sea level is among many ways that salt marshes may be destroyed. This race against the sea is carried out by vertical accretion. Accretion is partly the accumulation of material mediated by vegetative and sedimentary feedbacks. Prognoses for salt marshes based on studies of these variables have proven useful, but they may also be failing to read between the lines. After all, the majority of a salt marsh's volume is typically comprised of void spaces, which seem to be under-examined in our current predictions of salt marsh survival. Salt marshes may be inflated with excess void spaces, occupying greater volumes than sedimentary predictions would otherwise assume. To test this hypothesis, benthic porosity measurements were drawn from a USGS database of thousands of seabed samples along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Seabed porosities were used to geostatistically interpolate expected porosities at selected salt marsh sites. Measurements of known salt marsh porosities were drawn from several case studies in the literature. These salt marsh porosity measurements were georeferenced so they could be compared to the expected seabed porosity determined by spatial interpolation. Initial results show that these salt marshes tend to be more porous than the benthic sediments surrounding them. This excess porosity can be an important contributor to marsh volume (i.e. elevation), and ultimately to marsh survival. Furthermore, it raises several questions about the source of this void space and the mechanism of its retention. Salt marsh volume appears to be greater than we would expect based on the sum of its parts. Therefore, predictions of salt marsh accretion may systematically underestimate void volumes and be overly pessimistic about marsh response to relative sea level rise.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Couvillion, Brady R.; Beck, Holly

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Limited Influence of Urban Stormwater Runoff on Salt Marsh Platform and Marsh Creek Oxygen Dynamics in Coastal Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savidge, William B.; Brink, Jonathan; Blanton, Jackson O.

    2016-12-01

    Oxygen concentrations and oxygen utilization rates were monitored continuously for 23 months on marsh platforms and in small tidal creeks at two sites in coastal Georgia, USA, that receive urban stormwater runoff via an extensive network of drainage canals. These data were compared to nearby control sites that receive no significant surface runoff. Overall, rainfall and runoff per se were not associated with differences in the oxygen dynamics among the different locations. Because of the large tidal range and long tidal excursions in coastal Georgia, localized inputs of stormwater runoff are rapidly mixed with large volumes of ambient water. Oxygen concentrations in tidal creeks and on flooded marsh platforms were driven primarily by balances of respiration and photosynthesis in the surrounding regional network of marshes and open estuarine waters. Local respiration, while measurable, was of relatively minor importance in determining oxygen concentrations in tidal floodwaters. Water residence time on the marshes could explain differences in oxygen concentration between the runoff-influenced and control sites.

  4. Limited Influence of Urban Stormwater Runoff on Salt Marsh Platform and Marsh Creek Oxygen Dynamics in Coastal Georgia.

    PubMed

    Savidge, William B; Brink, Jonathan; Blanton, Jackson O

    2016-12-01

    Oxygen concentrations and oxygen utilization rates were monitored continuously for 23 months on marsh platforms and in small tidal creeks at two sites in coastal Georgia, USA, that receive urban stormwater runoff via an extensive network of drainage canals. These data were compared to nearby control sites that receive no significant surface runoff. Overall, rainfall and runoff per se were not associated with differences in the oxygen dynamics among the different locations. Because of the large tidal range and long tidal excursions in coastal Georgia, localized inputs of stormwater runoff are rapidly mixed with large volumes of ambient water. Oxygen concentrations in tidal creeks and on flooded marsh platforms were driven primarily by balances of respiration and photosynthesis in the surrounding regional network of marshes and open estuarine waters. Local respiration, while measurable, was of relatively minor importance in determining oxygen concentrations in tidal floodwaters. Water residence time on the marshes could explain differences in oxygen concentration between the runoff-influenced and control sites.

  5. 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

  6. Temporal and Spatial Dynamics of Carbon Storage in California Coastal Salt Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, L. N.; MacDonald, G. M.

    2016-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes 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. We have collected over 100 sediment cores from 11 coastal marsh sites from Humboldt Bay to Tijuana River Estuary on the coast of California. Our 100 cm depth cores cover high, mid, and low elevations in the coastal salt marsh ecosystem, which are known to sequester carbon with varying rates. Approximately 40 cores of the 100 collected cores have been selected for detailed chronologic and stratigraphic analysis, 3 cores at each site minimum. Chronologies are established using 14C, 137Cs, and 210Pb. Our study estimates a carbon sequestration rate of 49 g C m-2 yr-1 for California over the past 100 years. These results are consistent with other long term estimates of soil C, which generally are lower because of natural decomposition of organic C, but also reinforces long-term persistence of soil C in salt marshes over time. These estimates provide valuable proof of the long-term capacity and spatial variability of C sequestration in coastal salt marshes of California.

  7. Habitat Value of Man-Made Coastal Marshes in Florida

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-09-01

    24 Table 8. Common Fish Collected From Man-Made and Natural Marshes on the Gulf Coast .................. 29 Table 9. Common Fish Collected From Man...Site Name Age, yr Size, ha Location Man-Made Marshes (Continued) Bay Shore Parkway 10.0 0.28 Pensacola Gardinier 9.4 2.50 Tampa Natural Marshes Bay Point...inside two 0.25-m 2 quadrats randomly placed along each vegetation tran- sect. The marsh periwinkle (Littorina spp.), which climbs vegetation to stay

  8. Coastal marsh degradation: modeling the influence of vegetation die-off patterns on flow and sedimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schepers, Lennert; Wang, Chen; Kirwan, Matthew; Belluco, Enrica; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Temmerman, Stijn

    2014-05-01

    Coastal marshes are vulnerable ecosystems that provide ecosystem functions such as storm protection and carbon sequestration. However, degradation of vegetated marshes into bare tidal flats or open water has been reported as a worldwide phenomenon, threatening their valuable wetland functions. Moreover, tidal marshes and bare flats are considered as alternative stable ecosystem states, which implies that, once vegetated marshes have degraded to bare flats, the (re)conversion from bare flats to marsh vegetation may be very difficult. Recent aerial photo analysis has demonstrated that the degradation or die-off of a marsh area is a spatial process, whereby vegetation is typically replaced by non-vegetated areas in the form of interior marsh pools, also known as ponds or marsh basins. On a small scale, these pools have similar characteristics among different marshes worldwide: pools that are located further away from tidal channels and with broad channel connections to the tidal channel system appear to have low surface elevations and a low probability for marsh recovery (this is re-establishment of vegetation on the surface). Interior pools located closer to, but that are not connected to channels on the other hand, are positioned on higher elevations and are more likely to recover. These findings may have important implications for the restoration potential of degraded marshes and their functions. We hypothesize that bio-geomorphologic interactions are the main mechanisms causing these differences in elevation and recovery potential of interior marsh pools: pools that are not connected to the channel system, are separated from the channel by vegetation, which reduces the flow velocity, increases sedimentation and may explain our observation of higher surface elevation of this type of pools. In contrast, pools that are connected with the channel system are not protected by vegetation and will experience higher flow velocities and lower sedimentation rates or even

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, Robert E.; Proffitt, C. Edward; Charron, Tammy Michelle

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Deriving spatial and temporal patterns of coastal marsh aggradation from hurricane storm surge marker beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodge, Joshua; Williams, Harry

    2016-12-01

    sedimentation rate of 0.38 cm/year, which is closely comparable to long-term sedimentation rates in similar marsh settings nearby. These results demonstrate the utility of using hurricane storm surge marker beds to investigate marsh sedimentation, provide insights into the sedimentary response of coastal marshes to hurricanes and provide useful guidance to public policy aimed at combating the effects of sea-level rise on coastal marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Intertidal salt marshes as an important source of inorganic carbon to the coastal ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, Zhaohui Aleck; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Ganju, Neil K.; Gonneea, Meagan; Chu, Sophie N.

    2016-01-01

    Dynamic tidal export of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) to the coastal ocean from highly productive intertidal marshes and its effects on seawater carbonate chemistry are thoroughly evaluated. The study uses a comprehensive approach by combining tidal water sampling of CO2parameters across seasons, continuous in situ measurements of biogeochemically-relevant parameters and water fluxes, with high-resolution modeling in an intertidal salt marsh of the U.S. northeast region. Salt marshes can acidify and alkalize tidal water by injecting CO2 (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA). DIC and TA generation may also be decoupled due to differential effects of marsh aerobic and anaerobic respiration on DIC and TA. As marsh DIC is added to tidal water, the buffering capacity first decreases to a minimum and then increases quickly. Large additions of marsh DIC can result in higher buffering capacity in ebbing tide than incoming tide. Alkalization of tidal water, which mostly occurs in the summer due to anaerobic respiration, can further modify buffering capacity. Marsh exports of DIC and alkalinity may have complex implications for the future, more acidified ocean. Marsh DIC export exhibits high variability over tidal and seasonal cycles, which is modulated by both marsh DIC generation and by water fluxes. The marsh DIC export of 414 g C m−2 yr−1, based on high-resolution measurements and modeling, is more than twice the previous estimates. It is a major term in the marsh carbon budget and translates to one of the largest carbon fluxes along the U.S. East Coast.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linscombe, Robert G.; Hartley, Stephen B.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Middleton, B.A.

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Quantification of vegetation-induced allochthonous sediment deposition on coastal salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuerch, Mark; Reef, Ruth; Elizabeth, Christie; Iris, Möller; Tom, Spencer; Roberto, Mayerle

    2017-04-01

    Coastal salt marshes are highly valuable ecosystems at the boundary between land and sea and are governed by the quasi-continuous deposition of autochthonous and allochthonous sediment, depending upon prevailing hydrological and hydrodynamic conditions. Continuous sediment deposition is responsible for the ability of coastal salt marshes to adapt their elevation to increasing sea levels and thus their potential to attenuate hydrodynamic energy, which contributes to coastal protection during extreme storm events. Using two high-resolution suspended sediment profilers (Argus Surface Meters IV) in a field flume, we investigate the interactions between vegetation biomass/structure, hydrodynamics and deposition of allochthonous sediment on a UK east coast salt marsh. The measurements allow the estimation of sediment deposition within the field flume and give insights into the dependency of sediment deposition processes within a marsh on the prevailing hydrodynamics, seasonal influences and vegetation characteristics. Preliminary results indicate that sediment trapping efficiency of salt marshes under summer conditions is largely independent of biomass and vegetation structure, since suspended sediment is primarily found within the lower 10cm of the water column. Suspended sediment concentrations are largely controlled by the resuspension of sediment on the adjacent intertidal mudflat and the trapping efficiency appears to depend on the prevailing hydrodynamic conditions and the vertical distribution of the suspended sediments within the water column. The results of this study have important implications for the prediction of the future development of coastal salt marshes and the spatial distribution of sediment deposition, which until now has primarily been described as a function of the distance from a tidal channel or the marsh edge. Many previous field studies, however, found spatial patterns that could not be related to this distance, a knowledge gap to which our

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neill, Christopher; Turner, R. Eugene

    1987-11-01

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

  18. Determining the Contribution of Non-Carbonate Alkalinity from Intertidal Salt Marshes to Coastal Buffering Capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, L. B.; Gonneea, M. E.; Wang, A. Z.; Chu, S. N.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal ocean acidification varies with high magnitude and frequency due to both natural and anthropogenic factors, and levels of acidity in coastal waters have important consequences for environmental concerns such as local settlement of bivalve populations. Therefore, it is useful to fully evaluate measurements that increase understanding of coastal ocean acidification dynamics. This study focuses on the quantification and characterization of alkalinity, the ability of a specific water parcel to buffer against inputs of acidity. There has been limited research on the magnitude and composition of non-carbonate alkalinity (NCA) generated in coastal environments. Specifically, this study evaluates the contribution of NCA to total alkalinity (TA) in an intertidal salt marsh, assesses NCA dynamics within the marsh, and begins to determine composition of NCA. We demonstrated that it was possible to develop a CO2-free full titration system modeled after Cai et al. (1998) that produced reasonable values for TA and NCA. From initial use of this system, it was evident that NCA was a significant contributor to TA within the Sage Lot Pond salt marsh, and that NCA was dominated by organic/unknown alkalinity. Preliminary observations indicated that NCA variability in the marsh was directly proportional to water flux entering the tidal creek from Sage Lot Pond. The source of higher NCA concentrations in Sage Lot Pond was unknown, but may have been due to organic/unknown alkalinity generated in a different part of the marsh and exported to our specific tidal creek site. Preliminary assessment of NCA composition indicates an acid/base species with a pK value of 6.46. From evaluation of NCA magnitude and relation to water flux, it is reasonable to conclude that NCA generated within salt marshes may be a significant source of buffering capacity to the coastal ocean.

  19. Reducing the effects of dredged material levees on coastal marsh function: sediment deposition and nekton utilization.

    PubMed

    Reed, Denise J; Peterson, Mark S; Lezina, Brian J

    2006-05-01

    Dredged material levees in coastal Louisiana are normally associated with pipeline canals or, more frequently, canals dredged through the wetlands to allow access to drilling locations for mineral extraction. The hydrologic impact on marshes behind the levee is of concern to coastal resource managers because of the potential impact on sediment transport and deposition, and the effect on estuarine organism access to valuable nursery habitat. This study examined the effects of gaps in dredged material levees, compared to continuous levees and natural channel banks, on these two aspects of marsh function. Field studies for sediment deposition were conducted biweekly for a year, and nekton samples were collected in spring and fall. Variation in nekton density among study areas and landscape types was great in part because of the inherent sampling gear issues and in part because of differences in characteristics among areas. Nekton densities were generally greater in natural compared to leveed and gapped landscapes. Differences in landscape type did not explain patterns in sediment deposition. The gaps examined appear to be too restrictive of marsh flooding to provide efficient movements of floodwaters onto the marsh during moderate flooding events. The "trapping" effect of the levees increases sediment deposition during extreme events. Gapping material levees may be an effective method of partially restoring upper marsh connection to nekton, but this method may work best in lower elevation marshes where nekton use is greater.

  20. Rising seas and sinking coastal marshes: Implications to Atlantic waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Prosser, D.J.; Sanders, G.

    2000-01-01

    Along the mid-Atlantic U.S. coast, relative sea level rise (RSLR) is higher than the global average of 1.5-2.0 mm/yr, ranging from about 2.5 in parts of Virginia and Delaware to about 4.0 in New Jersey (Atlantic City and Sandy Hook) and near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Very few data exist on marsh elevation changes, but information from some areas in Virginia, New Jersey and New York suggest that marsh islands are not 'keeping pace' with this RSLR. We began a study in 1999 that addresses changes in sea level and marsh elevation at sites from Cape Cod to s. Virginia known to be important areas for migratory waterbirds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and seabirds. Marsh monitoring sites have been established and data on microhabitat use by birds during all 4 seasons is being collected at these sites. Species expected to be most vulnerable to RSLR in these marshes are breeding species such as Laughing Gulls, Common, Gull-billed and Forster's terns, Clapper Rails, and American Black Ducks. Most of these species are of special concern at state, regional, or national levels. We show how important this region to these species from a flyway perspective, with> 70% of all Atlantic coast Laughing Gulls and Forster's Terns nesting from New Jersey to Virginia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Spatio-temporal development of vegetation die-off in a submerging coastal marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schepers, Lennert; Kirwan, Matthew; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Temmerman, Stijn

    2017-01-01

    In several places around the world, coastal marsh vegetation is converting to open water through the formation of pools. This is concerning, as vegetation die-off is expected to reduce the marshes' capacity to adapt to sea level rise by vegetation-induced sediment accretion. Quantitative analyses of the spatial and temporal development of marsh vegetation die-off are scarce, although these are needed to understand the bio-geomorphic feedback effects of vegetation die-off on flow, erosion, and sedimentation. In this study, we quantified the spatial and temporal development of marsh vegetation die-off with aerial images from 1938 to 2010 in a submerging coastal marsh along the Blackwater River (Maryland, U.S.A). Our results indicate that die-off begins with conversion of marsh vegetation into bare open water pools that are relatively far (> 75 m) from tidal channels. As vegetation die-off continues, pools expand, and new pools emerge at shorter and shorter distances from channels. Consequently larger pools are found at larger distances from the channels. Our results suggest that the size of the pools and possibly the connection of pools with the tidal channel system have important bio-geomorphic implications and aggravate marsh deterioration. Moreover, we found that the temporal development of vegetation die-off in moderately degraded marshes is similar as the spatial die-off development along a present-day gradient, which indicates that the contemporary die-off gradient might be considered a chronosequence that offers a unique opportunity to study vegetation die-off processes.

  3. Geochemistry of selenium in a coastal salt marsh

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. RIBBED MUSSEL NITROGEN ISOTOPE SIGNATURES REFLECT NITROGEN SOURCES IN COASTAL MARSHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The stable nitrogen isotope ratio in tissue of the ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) was investigated as an indicator of the source of nitrogen inputs to coastal salt marshes. Initially, mussels were fed a diet of 15N-enriched algae in the laboratory to determine how the tissue n...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. Tampa Bay coastal wetlands: nineteenth to twentieth century tidal marsh-to-mangrove conversion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raabe, Ellen A.; Roy, Laura C.; McIvor, Carole C.

    2012-01-01

    Currently, mangroves dominate the tidal wetlands of Tampa Bay, Florida, but an examination of historic navigation charts revealed dominance of tidal marshes with a mangrove fringe in the 1870s. This study's objective was to conduct a new assessment of wetland change in Tampa Bay by digitizing nineteenth century topographic and public land surveys and comparing these to modern coastal features at four locations. We differentiate between wetland loss, wetland gain through marine transgression, and a wetland conversion from marsh to mangrove. Wetland loss was greatest at study sites to the east and north. Expansion of the intertidal zone through marine transgression, across adjacent low-lying land, was documented primarily near the mouth of the bay. Generally, the bay-wide marsh-to-mangrove ratio reversed from 86:14 to 25:75 in 125 years. Conversion of marsh to mangrove wetlands averaged 72 % at the four sites, ranging from 52 % at Old Tampa Bay to 95 % at Feather Sound. In addition to latitudinal influences, intact wetlands and areas with greater freshwater influence exhibited a lower rate of marsh-to-mangrove conversion. Two sources for nineteenth century coastal landscape were in close agreement, providing an unprecedented view of historic conditions in Tampa Bay.

  8. Salt marsh as Culex salinarius larval habitat in coastal New York.

    PubMed

    Rochlin, Ilia; Dempsey, Mary E; Campbell, Scott R; Ninivaggi, Dominick V

    2008-09-01

    Culex salinarius is considered one of the most likely bridge vectors involved in the human transmission cycle of West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) in the northeastern USA. The larval habitats of this species in the coastal region of New York State are currently poorly known. Between 2005 and 2007, a larval survey was carried out to identify and characterize possible larval habitats in Suffolk County, encompassing natural and man-made freshwater wetlands, artificial containers, and salt marshes. Only relatively undisturbed salt marsh yielded Cx. salinarius larvae in considerable numbers from several sites over a period of 2 years. The immature stages of this species were found associated with Spartina patens and S. alterniflora of the upper marsh at salinities ranging from 4.3 to 18.8 parts per thousand. Both heavily impacted and relatively undisturbed salt marshes produced several hundreds of adult Cx. salinarius per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light trap per night, an order of magnitude higher than CDC light traps deployed at upland sites. The ability of Cx. salinarius to use both heavily impacted and relatively undisturbed salt marshes for reproduction has significant repercussions for marsh restoration and vector control practices.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of marsh pond terracing on coastal wintering waterbirds before and after Hurricane Rita.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Jessica L; Nyman, John A

    2011-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  17. The effects of a Cattail invasion on a Great Lakes coastal marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jankowski, K.; Shattuck, S. C.; Tuchman, N. C.

    2005-05-01

    Great Lakes coastal marshes have been increasingly invaded by aggressive exotic plant species, such as the cattail Typha x glauca. T. x glauca has replaced much of the native plant community in Cheboygan Marsh, a coastal marsh on Lake Huron. Investigations done in this marsh during Summer 2004 addressed the T. x glauca invasion impacts on several ecosystem attributes. Multiple physical, chemical, and biological parameters were measured along transects extending from the native community through the T. x glauca-dominated vegetation zone. As expected, species diversity was much lower in the T. x glauca stands (d=0.14) than in the native community (d=0.82). The T. x glauca zone was found to have 2.2 times higher aboveground biomass and large accumulations of dead plant litter averaging 1.25m deep. Light intensities decreased 3-fold, and temperature at the sediment-water interface fell 5°C under these litter masses. T. x glauca was also found to retain 2 to 7 times higher levels of nitrogen in its associated sediments than the native community. Further research is being conducted to determine how nitrogen accumulates in the T. x glauca zone and if this change in nitrogen cycling dynamics facilitates its invasion success.

  18. Effects of hydrologic connectivity and environmental nariables on nekton assemblage in a coastal marsh system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kang, Sung-Ryong; King, Sammy L.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic connectivity and environmental variation can influence nekton assemblages in coastal ecosystems. We evaluated the effects of hydrologic connectivity (permanently connected pond: PCP; temporary connected pond: TCP), salinity, vegetation coverage, water depth and other environmental variables on seasonal nekton assemblages in freshwater, brackish, and saline marshes of the Chenier Plain, Louisiana, USA. We hypothesize that 1) nekton assemblages in PCPs have higher metrics (density, biomass, assemblage similarity) than TCPs within all marsh types and 2) no nekton species would be dominant across all marsh types. In throw traps, freshwater PCPs in Fall (36.0 ± 1.90) and Winter 2009 (43.2 ± 22.36) supported greater biomass than freshwater TCPs (Fall 2009: 9.1 ± 4.65; Winter 2009: 8.3 ± 3.42). In minnow traps, saline TCPs (5.9 ± 0.85) in Spring 2009 had higher catch per unit effort than saline PCPs (0.7 ± 0.67). Our data only partially support our first hypothesis as freshwater marsh PCPs had greater assemblage similarity than TCPs. As predicted by our second hypothesis, no nekton species dominated across all marsh types. Nekton assemblages were structured by individual species responses to the salinity gradient as well as pond habitat attributes (submerged aquatic vegetation coverage, dissolved oxygen, hydrologic connectivity).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. How marine submersions can be recorded in coastal marshes not bounded by a coarse sediment barrier?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumann, J.; Chaumillon, E.; Schneider, J. L.; Schmidt, S.; Jorissen, F.; Bonnin, J.

    2016-12-01

    Sediments are key archives for evidencing storm or tsunami-related past marine floods and estimation of their return periods. Sediment records of marine flood usually consist of a grain size anomaly, related to the onshore transport of coarse sediments from the eroded barrier to the back barrier area. Given a large number of coasts are not bounded by a barrier and are particularly vulnerable to marine submersion, the question arises of whether sedimentary investigations of past marine flood may be successfully conducted in such coastal lowlands. The SW coast of France that was widely submerged after recent and historical well-documented storm surges is a nice place to address this question. Cores were sampled in two estuarine coastal marshes, respectively bounded by a sediment barrier moderately exposed to waves, and by a dyke fronting an estuary meander. The sediment chronology was constrained by radio-isotopic dating and multi-proxies analyses were conducted (grain size and XRF measurements, foraminifera and marine shells identification and observations). Surprisingly, foraminifera are found in almost all the backshore sediment successions of the two marshes. Their abnormal presence, in coastal areas isolated from the sea since many centuries, attested by their lower abundance compared to marine environments and the abrasion of their tests, is interpreted as the result of marine submersions. Contrasted sediment records of marine submersions are observed: in the barrier-bounded marsh, they include sand, marine shell debris and a mix of foraminifera species whereas in the dyke-bounded marsh, they only include abraded mono specific foraminifera tests without any grain size change. We conclude that sediment record of marine submersions can be identified in sheltered coast where sediment barrier is absent. Those studies should be generalized given the significant number of such coastal environments.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-06-24

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, Donald R.

    1997-01-01

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

  7. From Marshes to the Continental Shelf: Results of the Western Component of the US EPA National Coastal Assessment

    Treesearch

    W. G. Nelson; H. II Lee; J. O. Lamberson

    2006-01-01

    The National Coastal Assessment of the US EPA began field work in the Western US in 1999-2000. Probabilistic sampling for biotic and abiotic condition indicators was conducted at 381 stations within estuaries and coastal embayments of Washington, Oregon and California. In 2002, intertidal and low salt marsh habitats were sampled at an additional 190 stations. As part...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  9. Denitrification of soil nitrogen in coastal and inland salt marshes with different flooding frequencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Junhong; Wang, Xin; Jia, Jia; Zhang, Guangliang; Wang, Yuying; Zhang, Shuai

    2017-02-01

    Denitrification is an important process for removing nitrogen in wetlands, and it is influenced by many environmental factors. However, little information is available on the relationship between hydrologic conditions and denitrification. In this study three typical sampling sites with different flooding frequencies, including short-term flooding wetlands (STFW), seasonal-flooding wetlands (SFW) and tidal flooding wetlands (TFW) were chosen as the study sites in the Yellow River Delta. In contrast, five typical sampling sites with different flooding frequencies, including 100-year floodplain (H), 10-year floodplain (T), 5-year floodplain (F), 1-year floodplain (O) and permanently flooded floodplain (B) were chosen as the study sites in Xianghai wetlands. This study reflected that the denitrification rates decreased with depth along soil profiles in both inland and coastal salt marsh soils. Flooding periods, soil depth and their interaction showed significant effects on the denitrification processes. Generally, higher flooding frequencies will cause higher denitrification rates in salt marshes. Moreover, the denitrification rates were significantly positively correlated with soil moisture content in both wetlands. Additionally, the denitrification rates were significantly positively correlated with organic matter and NO3-_N content while negatively correlated with soil pH and salinity in inland salt marshes. Therefore, the changes in soil properties (e.g. SOM, TN, pH and salinity) can become an important way to control NO3- levels in inland salt marshes.

  10. ‘Blue Carbon’ and Nutrient Stocks of Salt Marshes at a Temperate Coastal Lagoon (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal)

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Ana I.; Santos, Danielle B.; Silva, Eduardo Ferreira da; Sousa, Lisa P.; Cleary, Daniel F. R.; Soares, Amadeu M. V. M.; Lillebø, Ana I.

    2017-01-01

    Ria de Aveiro is a mesotidal coastal lagoon with one of the largest continuous salt marshes in Europe. The objective of this work was to assess C, N and P stocks of Spartina maritima (low marsh pioneer halophyte) and Juncus maritimus (representative of mid-high marsh halophytes) combined with the contribution of Halimione portulacoides, Sarcocornia perennis, and Bolbochenous maritimus to the lagoon ≈4400 ha marsh area. A multivariate analysis (PCO), taking into account environmental variables and the annual biomass and nutrient dynamics, showed that there are no clear seasonal or spatial differences within low or mid-high marshes, but clearly separates J. maritimus and S. maritima marshes. Calculations of C, N and P stocks in the biomass of the five most representative halophytes plus the respective rhizosediment (25 cm depth), and taking into account their relative coverage, represents 252053 Mg C, 38100 Mg N and 7563 Mg P. Over 90% of the stocks are found within mid-high marshes. This work shows the importance of this lagoon’s salt marshes on climate and nutrients regulation, and defines the current condition concerning the ‘blue carbon’ and nutrient stocks, as a basis for prospective future scenarios of salt marsh degradation or loss, namely under SLR context. PMID:28120885

  11. 'Blue Carbon' and Nutrient Stocks of Salt Marshes at a Temperate Coastal Lagoon (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal).

    PubMed

    Sousa, Ana I; Santos, Danielle B; Silva, Eduardo Ferreira da; Sousa, Lisa P; Cleary, Daniel F R; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Lillebø, Ana I

    2017-01-25

    Ria de Aveiro is a mesotidal coastal lagoon with one of the largest continuous salt marshes in Europe. The objective of this work was to assess C, N and P stocks of Spartina maritima (low marsh pioneer halophyte) and Juncus maritimus (representative of mid-high marsh halophytes) combined with the contribution of Halimione portulacoides, Sarcocornia perennis, and Bolbochenous maritimus to the lagoon ≈4400 ha marsh area. A multivariate analysis (PCO), taking into account environmental variables and the annual biomass and nutrient dynamics, showed that there are no clear seasonal or spatial differences within low or mid-high marshes, but clearly separates J. maritimus and S. maritima marshes. Calculations of C, N and P stocks in the biomass of the five most representative halophytes plus the respective rhizosediment (25 cm depth), and taking into account their relative coverage, represents 252053 Mg C, 38100 Mg N and 7563 Mg P. Over 90% of the stocks are found within mid-high marshes. This work shows the importance of this lagoon's salt marshes on climate and nutrients regulation, and defines the current condition concerning the 'blue carbon' and nutrient stocks, as a basis for prospective future scenarios of salt marsh degradation or loss, namely under SLR context.

  12. ‘Blue Carbon’ and Nutrient Stocks of Salt Marshes at a Temperate Coastal Lagoon (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sousa, Ana I.; Santos, Danielle B.; Silva, Eduardo Ferreira Da; Sousa, Lisa P.; Cleary, Daniel F. R.; Soares, Amadeu M. V. M.; Lillebø, Ana I.

    2017-01-01

    Ria de Aveiro is a mesotidal coastal lagoon with one of the largest continuous salt marshes in Europe. The objective of this work was to assess C, N and P stocks of Spartina maritima (low marsh pioneer halophyte) and Juncus maritimus (representative of mid-high marsh halophytes) combined with the contribution of Halimione portulacoides, Sarcocornia perennis, and Bolbochenous maritimus to the lagoon ≈4400 ha marsh area. A multivariate analysis (PCO), taking into account environmental variables and the annual biomass and nutrient dynamics, showed that there are no clear seasonal or spatial differences within low or mid-high marshes, but clearly separates J. maritimus and S. maritima marshes. Calculations of C, N and P stocks in the biomass of the five most representative halophytes plus the respective rhizosediment (25 cm depth), and taking into account their relative coverage, represents 252053 Mg C, 38100 Mg N and 7563 Mg P. Over 90% of the stocks are found within mid-high marshes. This work shows the importance of this lagoon’s salt marshes on climate and nutrients regulation, and defines the current condition concerning the ‘blue carbon’ and nutrient stocks, as a basis for prospective future scenarios of salt marsh degradation or loss, namely under SLR context.

  13. Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Flooding and Salinity Stress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalcic, Maria

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Hydrocarbon Degradation and Sulfate Reduction in a Coastal Marsh of North Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Y.; Bugna, G. C.; Robinson, L.

    2001-05-01

    Hydrocarbon contamination of coastal waters has been an environmental concern for sometime. Coastal wetlands, which are rich in organic matter and microbial activities, have been considered natural systems that could degrade hydrocarbon in contaminated coastal waters. This study was initiated to investigate the potential of hydrocarbon degradation in a coastal salt marsh of North Florida with special reference to sulfate reduction. Freshly collected surface marsh sediments (0-20 cm) were incubated in a laboratory at ambient temperature (23.2° C) with the treatments of: 1) Control (i.e., no treatment), 2) +(crude) oil, 3) +NO3-1+oil, and 4) +MoO4-2+oil. Carbon dioxide evolution from the incubation was collected and analyzed for the total amount and the 13C signature. The NO3-1 and MoO4-2 treatments were intended to block the sulfate reduction activity. The results show that the indigenous organic matter and the crude oil have distinct δ 13C values of -19.8 and -27.6 \\permil, respectively, relative to PDB. Evolved CO2 concentrations and δ 13C values also indicate that microbial populations can adapt to the presence of anthropogenic hydrocarbons. Blocking of sulfate reducers by MoO4-2 addition started to reduce the carbon dioxide evolution rates after a 4-d incubation. After a 48-d incubation, the carbon dioxide evolution of the MoO4-2-treated samples was reduced to only 23 % of the non-MoO4-2-treated samples, indicating the increased significant role of sulfate reducers in digesting older soil organic matter and the hydrocarbons. T-tests also indicated that in NO3-1 treatment, δ 13C values significantly depleted (p=0.1) while CO2 concentration remained relatively constant. These indicate that while denitrifiers played a role in the degradation, the microbial population is predominantly composed of sulfate reducers. Salt marshes would be a much more significant source of CH4 if SO4-2 is suppressed. All MoO4-2-treated samples produced significant amount of methane

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Impacts of temperature and nitrogen addition on greenhouse gas fluxes from turfgrass and coastal salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glennon, K.; Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Brown, R.; Quinn, R. K.; Brannon, E.; Amador, J.; Craver, V.

    2016-12-01

    Climate change and nitrogen (N) loading from wastewater and fertilization are both increasingly significant anthropogenic drivers of ecosystem change. Among the ecosystems affected by these drivers are coastal salt marshes, although turf grasses are often direct recipients of N inputs prior to their discharge to the coast. To estimate changes in greenhouse gas emissions from coastal marsh grasses and turfgrasses, we created a mesocosm experiment using a common turfgrass (Schedonorus arundinaceus) and a dominant native coastal cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in growth chambers kept under current and projected future temperatures with or without added N inputs. For N fertilization, we used recovered biosolids from wastewater sludge. We measured fluxes of N2O, CO2, and CH4 in the mesocosms through a growing season, the summer of 2016. Above and belowground biomass will be compared between experimental treatments and tested as a potential proxy for CO2 fluxes along with soil properties, including salinity, moisture, and DIN. Preliminary results indicate that there were few significant fluxes of N2O from the mesocosm plots. Both the highest N2O and CO2 emissions (9.6 umol m-2 h-1 and 15.1 m-2 s-1 respectively) were measured from turfgrass mesocosms. The highest CH4 emissions (61.9 umol m-2 h-1) were measured from cordgrass mesocosms. This data will be used to determine if fertilization using recovered biosolids is a sustainable method of fertilizer application.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Competition Between Barrier Island Migration and Marsh-Upland Migration Could Determine the Fate of Coastal Lagoons Under Sea Level Rise.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duran Vinent, O.; Kirwan, M. L.

    2016-12-01

    Although marshes can modulate their vertical growth to adjust to sea level rise, wave-induced marsh edge erosion seems to be unstoppable, eating away large chunks of marshes around coastal lagoons in low-sediment environments. Because lagoon size is ultimately constrained by barrier islands, a positive feedback ensues by which barrier migration decreases lagoon size and wind fetch, which in turn reduces marsh edge erosion. Under sea level rise, back-barrier marshes and bay sediments are eventually exposed at the seashore where they are eroded away by waves, thereby increasing barrier island migration rate and further mitigating fetch-driven marsh erosion. We study this feedback using a simple model that couples barrier, lagoon, marsh, and upland components of the coastal landscape. We find that the final state of the ecosystem is controlled by the relation between barrier migration rate, marsh edge erosion rate and marsh upland propagation rate. Our results suggest there are two stable, extreme long-term scenarios, which are a function of the rate of sea level rise and sediment availability: (i) a growing lagoon devoid of marshes, for slowly migrating barrier islands and limited upland marsh transgression; and (ii) a marsh filled lagoon, for fast migrating barrier islands, and unconstrained upland marsh transgression.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Morris, James T.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  7. The flux of methyl chloride along an elevational gradient of a coastal salt marsh, Eastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinxin; Li, Rongjin; Guo, Yingyan; Qin, Pei; Sun, Shucun

    Salt marshes have been suggested to be a large potential source for methyl chloride (CH 3Cl) that is the major natural carrier of chlorine to the stratosphere. However, the global budget of this trace gas is uncertain, and the empirical field data are still lacking. In this study, CH 3Cl fluxes were measured seasonally using static flux chambers from April 2004 to January 2005, along an elevational gradient of a coastal salt marsh in eastern China. To estimate the contribution of higher plants to the flux, plant aboveground biomass was experimentally removed and the flux difference between the treatment and the intact was examined. In addition, the flux was analyzed in relation to soil and weather conditions. Along the elevational gradient, the salt marsh generally functioned as a net sink in the growing season (from April to October 2004). The flux of CH 3Cl ranged between -1.27 and -29.33 μmol m -2 d -1 (positive for emission and negative for consumption), and the maximum negative rates occurred at the mudflat and the cordgrass ( Spartina alterniflora) marsh. However, the measurements made during inundation indicated that the mudflat was a net source of the gas. In the non-growing season (from November to March), the vegetated flat, when frozen, was a minor source of methyl chloride, with an emission rate ranging from 0.27 to 9.13 μmol m -2 d -1. However, the measurements made during non-frozen periods indicate that the mudflat was a minor sink of methyl chloride. Overall, the study marsh was a large net sink for the gas because the magnitude of the consumption rates was lager than that of emission, and because the duration of the growing season was longer than that of the non-growing season. Plant aboveground biomass had a great effect on the flux. Comparative analyses showed that higher plants were present as an important source of CH 3Cl, and it could balance 17.26-67.66% of the soil consumption. The net CH 3Cl consumption rate was negatively correlated to

  8. Sediment and carbon deposition vary among vegetation assemblages in a coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelleway, Jeffrey J.; Saintilan, Neil; Macreadie, Peter I.; Baldock, Jeffrey A.; Ralph, Peter J.

    2017-08-01

    Coastal salt marshes are dynamic, intertidal ecosystems that are increasingly being recognised for their contributions to ecosystem services, including carbon (C) accumulation and storage. The survival of salt marshes and their capacity to store C under rising sea levels, however, is partially reliant upon sedimentation rates and influenced by a combination of physical and biological factors. In this study, we use several complementary methods to assess short-term (days) deposition and medium-term (months) accretion dynamics within a single marsh that contains three salt marsh vegetation types common throughout southeastern (SE) Australia.We found that surface accretion varies among vegetation assemblages, with medium-term (19 months) bulk accretion rates in the upper marsh rush (Juncus) assemblage (1.74 ± 0.13 mm yr-1) consistently in excess of estimated local sea-level rise (1.15 mm yr-1). Accretion rates were lower and less consistent in both the succulent (Sarcocornia, 0.78 ± 0.18 mm yr-1) and grass (Sporobolus, 0.88 ± 0.22 mm yr-1) assemblages located lower in the tidal frame. Short-term (6 days) experiments showed deposition within Juncus plots to be dominated by autochthonous organic inputs with C deposition rates ranging from 1.14 ± 0.41 mg C cm-2 d-1 (neap tidal period) to 2.37 ± 0.44 mg C cm-2 d-1 (spring tidal period), while minerogenic inputs and lower C deposition dominated Sarcocornia (0.10 ± 0.02 to 0.62 ± 0.08 mg C cm-2 d-1) and Sporobolus (0.17 ± 0.04 to 0.40 ± 0.07 mg C cm-2 d-1) assemblages.Elemental (C : N), isotopic (δ13C), mid-infrared (MIR) and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses revealed little difference in either the source or character of materials being deposited among neap versus spring tidal periods. Instead, these analyses point to substantial redistribution of materials within the Sarcocornia and Sporobolus assemblages, compared to high retention and preservation of organic inputs in the Juncus assemblage. By

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Net Ecosystem Fluxes of Methyl Halides from a Coastal Salt Marsh with Invasive Pepperweed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deventer, M. J.; Jiao, Y.; Lewis, J. A.; Weiss, R. F.; Rhew, R. C.; Turnipseed, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    Terrestrial emissions of methyl bromide (CH3Br) and methyl chloride (CH3Cl) are believed to constitute the `missing' source of these compounds to the atmosphere, but the variability of emission rates from natural ecosystems has led to large uncertainties in scaling up. Since April 2016, surface-atmosphere fluxes for methyl halides have been measured at Suisun Marsh, a coastal salt marsh in northern California, USA. Flux measurements are performed in two ways: tower based relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) for net ecosystem fluxes and static flux chamber measurements for plant-scale fluxes. The study site is invaded by perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium), a methyl halide emitting species, covering a significant part of the flux source area. Both, REA and chamber samples are analyzed for methyl chloride (CH3Cl) and methyl bromide (CH3Br) using gas chromatography with electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The analytical precision [ppt] and REA flux detection limits [μmol m-2 d-1] are on the order of 3.9/0.6 for CH3Cl and 0.01/0.2 for CH3Br. Chamber measurements confirmed that methyl halide emissions of pepperweed are large, but that the native alkali heath (Frankenia salina) is a much stronger emitter, when normalized by biomass. REA measurements show that during the summer, the studied marsh is a substantial methyl halide source with net fluxes of 20 μmol m-2 d-1 (CH3Cl) and 1 μmol m-2 d-1 (CH3Br). Notably, these fluxes are comparable with reported chamber based emissions from southern California salt marshes. Furthermore, a positive response to light and temperature was found. The presentation will also expand on the diurnal variability and seasonality of the measured fluxes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  12. What Role Does Photodegradation Play in Influencing Plant Litter Decomposition and Biogeochemistry in Coastal Marsh Ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobler, M.; White, D. A.; Abbene, M. L.; Burst, S. L.; McCulley, R. L.; Barnes, P. W.

    2016-02-01

    Decomposition is a crucial component of global biogeochemical cycles that influences the fate and residence time of carbon and nutrients in organic matter pools, yet the processes controlling litter decomposition in coastal marshes are not fully understood. We conducted a series of field studies to examine what role photodegradation, a process driven in part by solar UV radiation (280-400 nm), plays in the decomposition of the standing dead litter of Sagittaria lancifolia and Spartina patens, two common species in marshes of intermediate salinity in southern Louisiana, USA. Results indicate that the exclusion of solar UV significantly altered litter mass loss, but the magnitude and direction of these effects varied depending on species, height of the litter above the water surface and the stage of decomposition. Over one growing season, S. lancifolia litter exposed to ambient solar UV had significantly less mass loss compared to litter exposed to attenuated UV over the initial phase of decomposition (0-5 months; ANOVA P=0.004) then treatment effects switched in the latter phase of the study (5-7 months; ANOVA P<0.001). Similar results were found in S. patens over an 11-month period. UV exposure reduced total C, N and lignin by 24-33% in remaining tissue with treatment differences most pronounced in S. patens. Phospholipid fatty-acid analysis (PFLA) indicated that UV also significantly altered microbial (bacterial) biomass and bacteria:fungi ratios of decomposing litter. These findings, and others, indicate that solar UV can have positive and negative net effects on litter decomposition in marsh plants with inhibition of biotic (microbial) processes occurring early in the decomposition process then shifting to enhancement of decomposition via abiotic (photodegradation) processes later in decomposition. Photodegradation of standing litter represents a potentially significant pathway of C and N loss from these coastal wetland ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Field assessment of the impacts of Deepwater Horizon oiling on coastal marsh vegetation of Mississippi and Alabama.

    PubMed

    Willis, Jonathan M; Hester, Mark W; Rouhani, Shahrokh; Steinhoff, Marla A; Baker, Mary C

    2016-11-01

    The Deepwater Horizon incident, which occurred in April 2010, resulted in significant oiling of coastal habitats throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico. Although the most substantial oiling of coastal salt marshes occurred in Louisiana, oiling of salt marshes in Mississippi and Alabama was documented as well. A field study conducted in Mississippi and Alabama salt marshes as a component of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment determined that >10% vertical oiling of plant tissues reduced live vegetation cover and aboveground biomass (live standing crop) relative to reference sites in this region through fall 2012. This reduction of live vegetation cover and aboveground biomass appears to have largely resulted from diminished health and vigor of Juncus roemerianus, a key salt marsh species in Mississippi and Alabama. Fewer significant reductions in live vegetation cover and aboveground biomass were detected by the fall 2013 sampling, suggesting that vegetation in oiled salt marshes in this region may have begun to recover. This is corroborated by low levels of Deepwater Horizon oil contamination in these salt marsh soils. However, these findings should be interpreted in the context of the restricted sampling intensity of the present study. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2791-2797. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gadallah, Fawziah L.

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Impact of permanent inundation on methane emissions from a Spartina alterniflora coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Weixin; Zhang, Yaohong; Cai, Zucong

    2010-10-01

    To understand the effect of water level on CH 4 emissions from an invasive Spartina alterniflora coastal brackish marsh, we measured CH 4 emissions from intermittently and permanently (5 cm water depth) inundated mesocosms with or without N fertilizer added at a rate of 2.7 g N m -2. Dissolved CH 4 concentrations in porewater and vertically-profiled sediment redox potential were measured, as were aboveground biomass and stem density of S. alterniflora. Mean CH 4 fluxes during the growing season in permanently inundated mesocosms without and with N fertilizer were 1.03 and 1.73 mg CH 4 m -2 h -1, respectively, which were significantly higher than in the intermittently inundated mesocosms. This response indicates that prolonged submergence of sediment, up to a water depth of 5 cm, stimulated CH 4 release. Inundation did not greatly affect aboveground biomass and stem density, but did significantly reduce redox potential in sediment, which in turn stimulated CH 4 production and increased the CH 4 concentration of porewater, resulting in higher CH 4 emission in the mesocosm. Our data showed that the stimulatory effect of shallow, permanent inundation on CH 4 emission in S. alterniflora marsh sediment was due primarily to an improved methanogenic environment rather than an increase in plant-derived substrates and/or the number of gas emission pathways through the plant's aerenchymal system.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Medeiros, Stephen; Hagen, Scott; Weishampel, John; ...

    2015-03-25

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-25

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

  8. Chronic warming stimulates growth of marsh grasses more than mangroves in a coastal wetland ecotone.

    PubMed

    Coldren, G A; Barreto, C R; Wykoff, D D; Morrissey, E M; Langley, J A; Feller, I C; Chapman, S K

    2016-11-01

    Increasing temperatures and a reduction in the frequency and severity of freezing events have been linked to species distribution shifts. Across the globe, mangrove ranges are expanding toward higher latitudes, likely due to diminishing frequency of freezing events associated with climate change. Continued warming will alter coastal wetland plant dynamics both above- and belowground, potentially altering plant capacity to keep up with sea level rise. We conducted an in situ warming experiment, in northeast Florida, to determine how increased temperature (+2°C) influences co-occurring mangrove and salt marsh plants. Warming was achieved using passive warming with three treatment levels (ambient, shade control, warmed). Avicennia germinans, the black mangrove, exhibited no differences in growth or height due to experimental warming, but displayed a warming-induced increase in leaf production (48%). Surprisingly, Distichlis spicata, the dominant salt marsh grass, increased in biomass (53% in 2013 and 70% in 2014), density (41%) and height (18%) with warming during summer months. Warming decreased plant root mass at depth and changed abundances of anaerobic bacterial taxa. Even while the poleward shift of mangroves is clearly controlled by the occurrences of severe freezes, chronic warming between these freeze events may slow the progression of mangrove dominance within ecotones.

  9. Natural methyl bromide and methyl chloride emissions from coastal salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Rhew, R C; Miller, B R; Weiss, R F

    2000-01-20

    Atmospheric methyl bromide (CH3Br) and methyl chloride (CH3Cl), compounds that are involved in stratospheric ozone depletion, originate from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Current estimates of CH3Br and CH3Cl emissions from oceanic sources, terrestrial plants and fungi, biomass burning and anthropogenic inputs do not balance their losses owing to oxidation by hydroxyl radicals, oceanic degradation, and consumption in soils, suggesting that additional natural terrestrial sources may be important. Here we show that CH3Br and CH3Cl are released to the atmosphere from all vegetation zones of two coastal salt marshes. We see very large fluxes of CH3Br and CH3Cl per unit area: up to 42 and 570 micromol m(-2) d(-1), respectively. The fluxes show large diurnal, seasonal and spatial variabilities, but there is a strong correlation between the fluxes of CH3Br and those of CH3Cl, with an average molar flux ratio of roughly 1:20. If our measurements are typical of salt marshes globally, they suggest that such ecosystems, even though they constitute less than 0.1% of the global surface area, may produce roughly 10% of the total fluxes of atmospheric CH3Br and CH3Cl.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Seasonal methane emissions by diffusion and ebullition from oligohaline marsh environments in coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leventhal, Joel S.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2004-01-01

    Methane is an important atmospheric greenhouse gas that is emitted from many natural and anthropogenic sources. In order to evaluate the global methane budget, precise data are needed from the diverse sources including coastal wetlands. Over 100 time-series determinations of methane emissions from an oligohaline wetland (brackish marsh) in coastal Louisiana show large variability during five seasonal sampling periods. Emission by both diffusion and ebullition (bubbles) was measured, however, neither of these emission modes were strongly dependent on either water depth or temperature (except in winter). Methane emission to static collectors placed over plants (Scirpus olneyi andSpartina patens) was not significantly different from shallow open water or mud. However, considerable heterogeneity in methane emissions and processes occurs even at a single site. Thus, establishing a reasonable estimate of the overall methane emission for a particular marsh environment and season requires multiple measurements at several sites. The average emissions for April, May, July, and September ranged from 31 to 54 mg/m2/h (744–1296 mg/m2/day). This can be separated into emissions from diffusion ranging from 8.3 to 20 mg/m2/h (18–50% of total) and emissions due to ebullition of 20–44 mg/m /h (50–82%). January emissions were much lower, amounting to 0.2 mg/m2/h (6 mg/m2/day), mainly by diffusion with only one episode of ebullition. Extrapolating these data to annual emissions gives total annual methane emissions of 203 g/m2/yr (61 g/m2/yr by diffusion and 142 g/m2/yr by ebullition).

  13. Analysis of the effect of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey Atlantic coastal marshes based on landsat thematic mapper and operational land imager data: 2000-2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rangoonwala, Amina; Riter, J. C. Alexis; Kearney, Michael S.; Ramsey, Elijah W.

    2017-01-01

    This USGS Data Release represents geospatial data sets that were created for the analysis of the effect of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey Atlantic Coastal Marshes. The following listed image products were generated:1) Fifteen marsh surface condition index (MSCI) data sets were calculated from yearly summer collections of ETM+ image data from 2000 to 2015. Three classes described the results of the MSCI mapping; classs1-severely impacted, class 2-moderately impacted, and class 3-intact marsh.2) Marsh change data product using Landsat images of July 14, 2011 (before) and July 19, 2013 (after) Hurricane Sandy is based on the difference in the percentage of vegetation. It shows a pattern of an increasing loss of marsh vegetation for the marshes closest to where Sandy made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey.3) Land cover classification using Landsat TM of 14 July 2011 and 19 July 2013, 30 m spatial resolution. Eleven classes namely i) high salt marsh ii) estuarine high salt marsh iii) forested wetland iv) Phragmites australis and Spartina cynosuroides v) salt shrub scrub vi) marsh substrate from estuarine marsh area vii) marsh substrate located near lagoon viii) unconsolidated beach sediment ix) ponds and other shallow bodies on marsh x) small tidal creeks xi) urban development areasThe data release was produced in compliance with the new 'open data' requirements as a way to make the scientific products associated with USGS research efforts and publications available to the public.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  15. The relative importance of road density and physical watershed features in determining coastal marsh water quality in Georgian Bay.

    PubMed

    Decatanzaro, Rachel; Cvetkovic, Maja; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2009-09-01

    We used a GIS-based approach to examine the influence of road density and physical watershed features (watershed size, wetland cover, and bedrock type) on water quality in coastal marshes of Georgian Bay, Ontario. We created a GIS that included landscape information and water-quality data from a 9-year synoptic survey of 105 coastal marshes covering 28 quaternary watersheds. Multiple regressions and partial correlations were used to discern confounding effects of human-induced (road density) versus natural physical watershed determinants of water quality. Road density was the dominant factor influencing many water quality variables, showing positive correlations with specific conductivity (COND), total suspended solids (TSS), and inorganic suspended solids (ISS) and a negative correlation with overall Water Quality Index scores. Road density also showed positive correlations with total nitrate nitrogen (TNN) and total phosphorus (TP). By comparison, larger watershed area was the main factor leading to elevated TP concentrations. The proportion of the watershed occupied by wetlands explained the largest amount of variation in TNN concentrations (negative correlation) and was also negatively correlated with COND and positively correlated with TSS and ISS when we controlled for road density. Bedrock type did not have a significant effect in any of the models. Our findings suggest that road density is currently the overriding factor governing water quality of coastal marshes in Georgian Bay during the summer low-flow period. We recommend that natural variation in physical watershed characteristics be considered when developing water quality standards and management practices for freshwater coastal areas.

  16. In situ burning of oil in coastal marshes. 1. Vegetation recovery and soil temperature as a function of water depth, oil type, and marsh type.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qianxin; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Bryner, Nelson P; Walton, William D

    2005-03-15

    In-situ burning of oiled wetlands potentially provides a cleanup technique that is generally consistent with present wetland management procedures. The effects of water depth (+10, +2, and -2 cm), oil type (crude and diesel), and oil penetration of sediment before the burn on the relationship between vegetation recovery and soil temperature for three coastal marsh types were investigated. The water depth over the soil surface during in-situ burning was a key factor controlling marsh plant recovery. Both the 10- and 2-cm water depths were sufficient to protect marsh vegetation from burning impacts, with surface soil temperatures of <35 and 48 degrees C, respectively. Plant survival rate and growth responses at these water depth burns were not significantly different from the unburned control. In contrast, a water table 2 cm below the soil surface during the burn resulted in high soil temperatures, with 90-200 degrees C at 0-0.5 cm soil depth and 55-75 degrees C at 1-2 cm soil depth. The 2-cm soil exposure to fire significantly impeded the post-burn recovery of Spartina alterniflora and Sagittaria lancifolia but did not detrimentally affect the recovery of Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata. Oil type (crude vs diesel) and oil applied to the marsh soil surface (0.5 L x m(-2)) before the burn did not significantly affect plant recovery. Thus, recovery is species-specific when no surface water exists. Even water at the soil surface will most likely protect wetland plants from burning impact.

  17. Vegetation as self-adaptive coastal protection: Reduction of current velocity and morphologic plasticity of a brackish marsh pioneer.

    PubMed

    Carus, Jana; Paul, Maike; Schröder, Boris

    2016-03-01

    By reducing current velocity, tidal marsh vegetation can diminish storm surges and storm waves. Conversely, currents often exert high mechanical stresses onto the plants and hence affect vegetation structure and plant characteristics. In our study, we aim at analysing this interaction from both angles. On the one hand, we quantify the reduction of current velocity by Bolboschoenus maritimus, and on the other hand, we identify functional traits of B. maritimus' ramets along environmental gradients. Our results show that tidal marsh vegetation is able to buffer a large proportion of the flow velocity at currents under normal conditions. Cross-shore current velocity decreased with distance from the marsh edge and was reduced by more than 50% after 15 m of vegetation. We were furthermore able to show that plants growing at the marsh edge had a significantly larger diameter than plants from inside the vegetation. We found a positive correlation between plant thickness and cross-shore current which could provide an adaptive value in habitats with high mechanical stress. With the adapted morphology of plants growing at the highly exposed marsh edge, the entire vegetation belt is able to better resist the mechanical stress of high current velocities. This self-adaptive effect thus increases the ability of B. maritimus to grow and persist in the pioneer zone and may hence better contribute to ecosystem-based coastal protection by reducing current velocity.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kowalski, Kurt P.; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    1999-01-01

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

  19. Generation of enterococci bacteria in a coastal saltwater marsh and its impact on surf zone water quality.

    PubMed

    Grant, S B; Sanders, B F; Boehm, A B; Redman, J A; Kim, J H; Mrse, R D; Chu, A K; Gouldin, M; McGee, C D; Gardiner, N A; Jones, B H; Svejkovsky, J; Leipzig, G V; Brown, A

    2001-06-15

    Elevated levels of enterococci bacteria, an indicator of fecal pollution, are routinely detected in the surf zone at Huntington State and City Beaches in southern California. A multidisciplinary study was carried out to identify sources of enterococci bacteria landward of the coastline. We find that enterococci bacteria are present at high concentrations in urban runoff, bird feces, marsh sediments, and on marine vegetation. Surprisingly, urban runoff appears to have relatively little impact on surf zone water quality because of the long time required for this water to travel from its source to the ocean. On the other hand, enterococci bacteria generated in a tidal saltwater marsh located near the beach significantly impact surf zone water quality. This study identifies a potential tradeoff between restoring coastal wetlands and protecting beach water quality and calls into question the use of ocean bathing water standards based on enterococci at locations near coastal wetlands.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Groundwater dependence of coastal lagoons: The case of La Pletera salt marshes (NE Catalonia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menció, A.; Casamitjana, X.; Mas-Pla, J.; Coll, N.; Compte, J.; Martinoy, M.; Pascual, J.; Quintana, X. D.

    2017-09-01

    Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems of the world, playing an important role in coastal defense and wildlife conservation. These ecosystems, however, are usually affected by human activities, which may cause a loss and degradation of their ecological status, a decline of their biodiversity, an alteration of their ecological functioning, and a limitation of their ecosystem services. La Pletera salt marshes (NE Spain) are located in a region mainly dominated by agriculture and tourism activities. Part of these wetlands and lagoons has been affected by an incomplete construction of an urban development and in this moment is the focus of a Life+ project, whose aim is to restore this protected area. Several studies have analyzed the role of hydrological regime in nutrients, phytoplankton and zooplankton in this area, however, the role of groundwater was never considered as a relevant factor in the lagoon dynamics, and its influence is still unknown. In this study, the hydrogeological dynamics in La Pletera salt marshes has been analyzed, as a basis to set sustainable management guidelines for this area. In order to determine their dependence on groundwater resources, monthly hydrochemical (with major ions and nutrients) and isotopic (δ18OH2O and δD) campaigns have been conducted, from November 2014 to October 2015. In particular, groundwater from six wells, surface water from two nearby streams and three permanent lagoons, and sea water was considered in these surveys. Taking into account the meteorological data and the water levels in the lagoons, the General Lake Model has been conducted to determine, not only evaporation and rainfall occurring in the lagoons, but also the total inflows and outflows. In addition, the Gonfiantini isotopic model, together with equilibrium chemical-speciation/mass transfer models, has been used to analyze the evaporation and the physicochemical processes affecting the lagoons. Results show that during the dry

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Relationships between sedimentation, plant species, and the proximity to tidal channels in coastal salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudd, S. M.; Howell, S. M.; Furbish, D. J.; Morris, J. T.

    2006-12-01

    Deposition of sediment on vegetated salt marshes enables these marshes to maintain their elevation relative to rising sea level. It has been found that deposition rates of suspended sediment on vegetated salt marshes are highest near tidal channels. This is due to the reduction in turbulence as flows from the tidal channel encounter the stems of the macrophytes that live on the marsh. Despite the presence of levees along some tidal channels, many marsh surfaces paradoxically slope gently upward away from tidal creeks, despite the reduction of deposition of suspended sediment distal from the salt marsh creek. We explore the effect of different marsh species on deposition rates in order to explain this apparent paradox. In the Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, Spartina alterniflora tends to grow at low elevations near tidal channels, whereas Juncus roemerianus occupies higher elevations distal from the tidal channels. Juncus roemerianus tends to have greater biomass and stem density; this causes it to be more effective at trapping suspended sediment, and may lead Juncus roemerianus to have a higher rate of organogenic sedimentation compared to Spartina alterniflora. We explore how these two effects may allow the portion of the marsh populated by Juncus roemerianus to remain at a higher elevation than the portion of the marsh occupied by Spartina alterniflora, despite the greater rate of deposition due to the settling of suspended sediment in portions of the marsh near the tidal channels.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  6. The ecology of the coastal marshes of western Lake Erie: A community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Herdendorf, C.E.

    1987-02-01

    Lake Erie, the southernmost of the Laurentian Great Lakes, is narrow and relatively shallow in comparison to other Great Lakes. The lake experiences extreme water level fluctuations and storm energy restricts the development of wetlands to protected areas within embayments, lagoons, or behind barriers. However, coastal marshes of western Lake Erie fringe the shorelines of Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario and encompass an area of 268 km/sup 2/. This publication reviews the ecological data and information on the wetlands of Lake Erie, which are some of the more productive areas in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The geologic history of the Lake Erie leading to the development of wetlands, the present environment, and present wetland distribution are presented as background in the opening chapters. Biological information available for the Lake Erie wetlands is discussed in detail, and ecological processes contributing to the evolution of wetlands, biological production, and community organization in the wetlands are examined. A chapter on applied ecology addressing issues, such as wetland loss, values of wetlands to fish and wildlife, management, and future prospects for Lake Erie wetlands, completes the publication.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Elizabeth K.; Rosenheim, Brad E.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, D.J. )

    1989-09-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. The role of research in coastal westlands management: Salt Marshes of Santoña and Noja (Spain).

    PubMed

    Castillo-Lopez, Elena; Valle, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    Coastal environments, such as marshes, dunes, or estuaries, are characterized by their high natural values that usually cause them to be subjected to high protection levels, affecting activities taking place within them. This is why the action in these spaces must be based on the use of proper techniques and approaches, which integrate ecology with practical engineering necessities. In this context, the Department of Sciences and Techniques of the Water and Environment of the University of Cantabria, through methods developed in the natural reserve of the Salt Marshes of Santoña and Noja, proposes the use of a working methodology based on the discipline of "ecosystem management" combined with the "adaptive management" methodologies; the application of mathematical, statistical, and specific predictive instruments; and the utilization of an "ecologic niche" as a union between the scientific knowledge of the littoral environments and the true actuation scale of the projects and activities carried out within them.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Simulated storm surge effects on freshwater coastal wetland soil porewater salinity and extractable ammonium levels: Implications for marsh recovery after storm surge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKee, M.; White, J. R.; Putnam-Duhon, L. A.

    2016-11-01

    Coastal wetland systems experience both short-term changes in salinity, such as those caused by wind-driven tides and storm surge, and long-term shifts caused by sea level rise. Salinity increases associated with storm surge are known to have significant effects on soil porewater chemistry, but there is little research on the effect of flooding length on salt penetration depth into coastal marsh soils. A simulated storm surge was imposed on intact soil columns collected from a non-vegetated mudflat and a vegetated marsh site in the Wax Lake Delta, LA. Triplicate intact cores were continuously exposed to a 35 salinity water column (practical salinity scale) for 1, 2, and 4 weeks and destructively sampled in order to measure porewater salinity and extractable NH4sbnd N at two cm depth intervals. Salinity was significantly higher in the top 8 cm for both the marsh and mudflat cores after one week of flooding. After four weeks of flooding, salinity was significantly higher in marsh and mudflat cores compared to the control (no salinity) cores throughout the profile for both sites. Extractable ammonium levels increased significantly in the marsh cores throughout the experiment, but there was only a marginally (p < 0.1) significant increase seen in the mudflat cores. Results indicate that porewater salinity levels can become significantly elevated within a coastal marsh soil in just one week. This vertical intrusion of salt can potentially negatively impact macrophytes and associated microbial communities for significantly longer term post-storm surge.

  19. A mid-Holocene record of sediment dynamics and high resolution accretion rates in a coastal salt marsh from Northern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Sediment accretion rates in coastal salt marshes are the critical determining factor in terms of ecosystem stability in the face of accelerated sea level rise (SLR), projected to rise by up to 1.4 m by 2100 in Southern California (National Research Council, 2012). However, high resolution studies of accretion rates in coastal salt marshes over the past several millennia have not yet been conducted for most of the US west coast. We collected multiple sediment records from small salt marshes surrounding Humboldt Bay, California. Due to this unique tectonic setting, many suspect cores from these marshes have evidence of coastal subsidence due to earthquake activity or large tsunami deposits (Jacoby et al., 1995). These records therefore are one of the best proxy measures for how salt marshes in California may respond to accelerated SLR. We analyzed all cores for magnetic susceptibility, % organic matter, and select cores for particle size. High resolution, millennial and centennial scale, radiocarbon dating for these sediment records reveals a detailed history of marsh accretion rates.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, M.; Temmerman, S.

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Levels of Mercury in Feathers of Clapper Rails (Rallus crepitans) over 45 Years in Coastal Salt Marshes of New Hanover County, North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Auriel M V; Welsh, Kyle James; Polito, Michael; Emslie, Steven D; Brasso, Rebecka

    2016-10-01

    We sampled clapper rail (Rallus crepitans) feathers from museum specimens collected between 1965 and 2010 to investigate changes in mercury (Hg) availability in coastal marshes of New Hanover County, North Carolina. Stable isotope analysis (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) was conducted to control for dietary shifts that may have influenced Hg exposure. Hg concentrations ranged from 0.96 to 9.22 μg/g (ppm), but showed no significant trend over time; diet (δ(15)N) or foraging habitat (δ(13)C) also provided little to no explanatory power to the variation in Hg concentrations among clapper rails. Our findings suggest the bioavailability of Hg to clapper rails in coastal North Carolina salt marshes has remained consistent over time, despite the global trend of increasing mercury in many other bird species, providing an excellent baseline for any future assessment of Hg availability to salt marsh birds in coastal North Carolina.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Suitability of Coastal Marshes as Whooping Crane Foraging Habitat in Southwest Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, Sammy L.; Kang, Sung-Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Foraging habitat conditions (i.e., water depth, prey biomass, digestible energy density) can be a significant predictor of foraging habitat selection by wading birds. Potential foraging habitats of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) using marshes include ponds and emergent marsh, but the potential prey and energy availability in these habitat types have rarely been studied. In this study, we estimated daily digestible energy density for Whooping Cranes in different marsh and microhabitat types (i.e., pond, flooded emergent marsh). Also, indicator metrics of foraging habitat suitability for Whooping Cranes were developed based on seasonal water depth, prey biomass, and digestible energy density. Seasonal water depth (cm), prey biomass (g wet weight m-2), and digestible energy density (kcal g-1m-2) ranged from 0.0 to 50.2 ± 2.8, 0.0 to 44.8 ± 22.3, and 0.0 to 31.0 ± 15.3, respectively. With the exception of freshwater emergent marsh in summer, all available habitats were capable of supporting one Whooping Crane per 0.1 ha per day. All habitat types in the marshes had relatively higher suitability in spring and summer than in fall and winter. Our study indicates that based on general energy availability, freshwater marshes in the region can support Whooping Cranes in a relatively small area, particularly in spring and summer. In actuality, the spatial density of ponds, the flood depth of the emergent marsh, and the habitat conditions (e.g., vegetation density) between adjacent suitable habitats will constrain suitable habitat and Whooping Crane numbers.

  5. Canopy reflectance related to marsh dieback onset and progression in Coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, A.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, we extended previous work linking leaf spectral changes, dieback onset, and progression of Spartina alterniflora marshes to changes in site-specific canopy reflectance spectra. First, we obtained canopy reflectance spectra (approximately 20 m ground resolution) from the marsh sites occupied during the leaf spectral analyses and from additional sites exhibiting visual signs of dieback. Subsequently, the canopy spectra were analyzed at two spectral scales: the first scale corresponded to whole-spectra sensors, such as the NASA Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Hyperion, and the second scale corresponded to broadband spectral sensors, such as the EO-1 Advanced Land Imager and the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper. In the whole-spectra analysis, spectral indicators were generated from the whole canopy spectra (about 400 nm to 1,000 nm) by extracting typical dead and healthy marsh spectra, and subsequently using them to determine the percent composition of all canopy reflectance spectra. Percent compositions were then used to classify canopy spectra at each field site into groups exhibiting similar levels of dieback progression ranging from relatively healthy to completely dead. In the broadband reflectance analysis, blue, green, red, red-edge, and near infrared (NIR) spectral bands and NIR/green and NIR/red transforms were extracted from the canopy spectra. Spectral band and band transform indicators of marsh dieback and progression were generated by relating them to marsh status indicators derived from classifications of the 35 mm slides collected at the same time as the canopy reflectance recordings. The whole spectra and broadband spectral indicators were both able to distinguish (a) healthy marsh, (b) live marsh impacted by dieback, and (c) dead marsh, and they both provided some discrimination of dieback progression. Whole-spectra resolution sensors like the EO-1 Hyperion, however, offered an enhanced ability to categorize dieback progression. ?? 2006

  6. 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.

  7. [Dynamics of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus storage of three dominant marsh plants in Hangzhou Bay coastal wetland].

    PubMed

    Shao, Xue-xin; Li, Wen-hua; Wu, Ming; Yang, Wen-ying; Jiang, Ke-yi; Ye, Xiao-qi

    2013-09-01

    Salt marshes perform important ecosystem functions in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus recycling. The plant biomass, content and pools of C, N and P were measured seasonally in three marsh species Phragmites australis, Spartina alterniflora and Scirpus mariquezer in Hangzhou Bay coastal wetland for the dynamics of C, N and P storage. The results showed that seasonal variation of aboveground biomass displayed a unimodal curve. The seasonal variability of plant OC content in the aboveground part of the plants was not significant, while the TN and TP content decreased significantly from spring to winter. The seasonal variability of plant C, N and P pools was significant. And there was a significant relationship between plant C/N/P pools and biomass. The pools among plant species were significantly different. S. mariqueter had the lowest C/N/P pools. TN pool in the aboveground part of P. australis was higher than that of S. aterniflora, but its TP pool was lower than that of S. alterniflora, and there was no significant difference for OC pools between P. australis and S. alterniflora. C fixation of the three marsh species was 380%, 376% and 55.5% of the average C fixation of terrestrial vegetations in China, and 463%, 458% and 67.7% of the average C fixation of terrestrial vegetations of the world. Considering the purification capacity of N and P, July would be the best harvest time of the study area for three plants. And the harvest of S. alterniflora could remove the biggest amount of P, since P was a limiting nutrient for phytoplankton growth. In conclusion, the marsh plants had strong C fixation and N/P purification ability.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirby, Ronald E.; Widjeskog, Lee E.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Spoil banks: Effects on a coastal marsh water-level regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swenson, Erick M.; Turner, R. E.

    1987-05-01

    Above- and below-ground water-level fluctuations were measured in the marshes south of New Orleans, Louisiana, between November 1982 and December 1983. The purpose of the program was to define the basic marsh water-level regime and to investigate how canal spoil banks may influence the water-level regime. Two study areas were used: (1) a control area, defined as a section of marsh with unrestricted hydrologic connection to an adjacent bayou; and, (2) a partially-impounded area, defined as an area with limited hydrologic connection to an adjacent bayou due to the presence of dredged canal spoil banks. Data sources included marsh water levels from gages deployed at three sites within the study areas and water levels from the adjacent bayous obtained from the tide gages of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Data from all marsh gage sites showed a similar pattern with a distinct surface and subsurface diurnal tidal signal superimposed upon other, larger scale events. These larger scale events correspond to the passage of weather fronts. The data also indicated that a significant amount of water-level fluctuation in the marshes occurs below ground. A comparison of the control area and the partially-impounded site indicated that the spoil banks changed the response of the marsh water levels to the forcing from the bayou, with the result that the partially-impounded area: (1) was flooded 141 hours more per month than the control area; (2) had fewer, but longer flooding events; (3) had fewer but longer drying events; and (4) reduced water exchange, both above and below ground.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Relationships between wintering waterbirds and invertebrates, sediments and hydrology of coastal marsh ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bolduc, F.; Afton, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    We studied relationships among sediment variables (carbon content, C:N, hardness, oxygen penetration, silt-clay fraction), hydrologic variables (dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, transparency, water depth), sizes and biomass of common invertebrate classes, and densities of 15 common waterbird species in ponds of impounded freshwater, oligohaline, mesohaline, and unimpounded mesohaline marshes during winters 1997-98 to 1999-2000 on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana, USA. Canonical correspondence analysis and forward selection was used to analyze the above variables. Water depth and oxygen penetration were the variables that best segregated habitat characteristics that resulted in maximum densities of common waterbird species. Most common waterbird species were associated with specific marsh types, except Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) and Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata). We concluded that hydrologic manipulation of marsh ponds is the best way to manage habitats for these birds, if the hydrology can be controlled adequately.

  14. Threats to Marsh Resources and Mitigation

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. Threats to Marsh Resources and Mitigation

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  18. Anthropogenic disruptions of the sedimentary record in coastal marshes: Examples from the southern Bay of Biscay (N. Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leorri, Eduardo; Cearreta, Alejandro; Jesús Irabien, María; García-artola, Ane; Corbett, D. Reide; Horsman, Eric; Blake, William H.; Sanchez-Cabeza, Joan-Albert

    2014-09-01

    Understanding sedimentological discontinuities is essential to accurately reconstruct former climatic and sea-level changes from coastal sediments. Four short cores (<50 cm) from two estuaries located in the Bay of Biscay, Northern Spain, have been collected to provide analogues of recent anthropogenic sedimentary disturbance in salt marsh environments. Accurate maps and aerial photography can identify previously reclaimed areas but anthropogenic disruptions are more difficult to detect in regions abandoned before the 1950s and in areas with poor historical records. Our study aimed to provide the tools to identify former land reclamation horizons and apply an established environmental template to interpret a new core record from a previously unsampled estuary. Cores were analyzed using a multidisciplinary approach that includes sedimentology, micropaleontology, geochemistry, and bulk magnetic susceptibility (BMS). Results suggest that areas used for agricultural purposes are characterized in the sediment record by the absence of foraminifera that, after abandonment, are rapidly colonized by salt marsh plants in response to rapid vertical accretion. The initial colonization is marked by the presence of low foraminiferal numbers and a sharp increase in magnetic susceptibility, which proved helpful to improve the timing of the sedimentological boundaries when combined with other proxies. Our results indicate that anthropogenic disruptions to the sedimentary record are common over the recent past (100 years) and likely extend over the historic period in this part of southwestern Europe. These disruptions reflect historic land use changes. In the case of land clearance, proximal sites reflect sudden grain size changes, foraminiferal data and BMS. Distal sites affected by land clearance and the transition from agricultural soils to salt marsh occur in the mud fraction and require a multidisciplinary approach to pin them down. BMS has proven to be very useful when

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. 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

    2012-04-03

    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.

  1. Measurement and Partitioning of Net Carbon Exchange in a Coastal Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinsch, F.; Heilman, J. L.; McInnes, K. J.

    2001-12-01

    A tower-based conditional sampling system was used from July 1997 through July 2000 to provide measurements of the carbon dioxide exchange of a salt marsh in the upper Nueces Delta near Corpus Christi, TX. Extensive channelization of the Nueces River has limited the water supply to the high marsh, resulting in high salinity, low productivity, and dry conditions. Studies were conducted to determine the effects of water availability on the CO2 flux of the site. Measurements have shown freshwater inflow increases the net carbon exchange (NCE) of the marsh by increasing CO2 assimilation and decreasing CO2 efflux. In addition, the effects of water availability on the partitioning of NCE are being studied by extrapolation of nighttime respiration measurements to determine total photosynthesis. While the average annual respiration rate does not appear to be affected by water availability, daily ecosystem respiration tends to increase during periods of drought. In addition, chamber measurements have been made to partition ecosystem respiration into its above- and belowground components. Results reveal that belowground respiration is approximately 20% of total ecosystem respiration, while aboveground respiration accounts for the remaining 80%. Thus, ecosystem respiration appears to be dominated by aboveground respiration, which could account for the stability in average annual ecosystem respiration.

  2. Response of methane emission to invasion of Spartina alterniflora and exogenous N deposition in the coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yaohong; Ding, Weixin; Cai, Zucong; Valerie, Phillips; Han, Fengxiang

    2010-11-01

    Spartina alterniflora exhibits great invading potential in the coastal marsh ecosystems. Also, nitrogen (N) deposition shows an apparent increase in the east of China. To evaluate CH 4 emissions in the coastal marsh as affected by the invasion of S. alterniflora and N deposition, we measured CH 4 emission from brackish marsh mesocosms vegetated with S. alterniflora and a native plant, Suaeda salsa, and fertilized with exogenous N at the rates of 0 and 2.7 g N m -2, respectively. Dissolved porewater CH 4 concentration and redox potentials in soils as well as aboveground biomass and stem density of plants were also monitored. The averaged rate of CH 4 emission during the growing season in the S. alterniflora and S. salsa mesocosms without N application was 0.88 and 0.54 mg CH 4 m -2 h -1, respectively, suggesting that S. alterniflora plants significantly increased CH 4 emission mainly because of higher plant biomass rather than stem density compared to S. salsa, which delivered more substrates to the soil for methanogenesis. Exogenous N input dramatically stimulated CH 4 emission by 71.7% in the S. alterniflora mesocosm. This increase was attributable to enhancement in biomass and particularly stem density of S. alterniflora driven by N application, which transported greater photosynthesis products than oxygen into soils for CH 4 production and provided more pathways for CH 4 emission. In contrast, there was no significant effect of N fertilization on CH 4 emission in the S. salsa mesocosm. Although N fertilization significantly stimulated CH 4 production by increasing S. salsa biomass, no significant increase in stem density was observed. This fact, along with the low gas transport capacity of S. salsa, failed to efficiently transport CH 4 from wetlands into the atmosphere. Thus we argue that the stimulatory or inhibitory effect of N fertilization on CH 4 emission from wetlands might depend on the gas transport capacity of plants and their relative contribution to

  3. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Wildflowers resembling petunias stand out against the deep green of the marsh foliage at KSC, which shares a boundary with the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Approximately one half of the Refuge's 140,000 acres consists of brackish estuaries and marshes. The remaining lands consist of coastal dunes, scrub oaks, pine forests and flatwoods, and palm and oak hammocks.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-29

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Wildflowers resembling petunias stand out against the deep green of the marsh foliage at KSC, which shares a boundary with the National Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Approximately one half of the Refuge's 140,000 acres consists of brackish estuaries and marshes. The remaining lands consist of coastal dunes, scrub oaks, pine forests and flatwoods, and palm and oak hammocks.

  4. Spartina alterniflora alters ecosystem DMS and CH4 emissions and their relationship along interacting tidal and vegetation gradients within a coastal salt marsh in Eastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinxin; Wang, Jinshu

    2017-10-01

    Invasive Spartina alterniflora accumulates organic carbon rapidly and can utilize a wide range of potential precursors for dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production, as well as a wide variety of methanogenic substrates. Therefore, we predicted that S. alterniflora invasion would alter the relationships between DMS and methane (CH4) fluxes along the interacting gradients of tidal influence and vegetation, as well as the ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of DMS and CH4. In this study, we used static flux chambers to measure DMS and CH4 fluxes in August (growing season) and December (non-growing season) of 2013, along creek and vegetation transects in an Eastern Chinese coastal salt marsh. S. alterniflora invasion dramatically increased DMS and CH4 emission rates by 3.8-513.0 and 2.0-127.1 times the emission rates within non-vegetated regions and regions populated with native species, respectively, and significantly altered the spatial distribution of DMS and CH4 emissions. We also observed a substantial amount of variation in the DMS and CH4 fluxes along the elevation gradient in the salt marsh studied. A significant relationship between DMS and CH4 fluxes was observed, with the CH4 flux passively related to the DMS flux. The correlation between CH4 and DMS emissions along the vegetation transects was more significant than along the tidal creek. In the S. alterniflora salt marsh, the relationship between DMS and CH4 fluxes was more significant than within any other salt marsh. Additionally, CH4 emissions within the S. alterniflora salt marsh were more sensitive to the variation in DMS emissions than within any other vegetation zone. The spatial variability in the relationship observed between DMS and CH4 fluxes appears to be at least partly due to the alteration of substrates involved in DMS and CH4 by S. alterniflora invasion. In the S. alterniflora salt marsh, methanogenesis was more likely to be derived from non-competitive substrates than competitive substrates, but within

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snedden, Gregg

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Development and use of a Floristic Quality Index for coastal Louisiana marshes.

    PubMed

    Cretini, Kari F; Visser, Jenneke M; Krauss, Ken W; Steyer, Gregory D

    2012-04-01

    The Floristic Quality Index (FQI) has been used as a tool for assessing the integrity of plant communities and for assessing restoration projects in many regions of the USA. Here, we develop a modified FQI (FQI(mod)) for coastal Louisiana wetlands and verify it using 12 years of monitoring data from a coastal restoration project. Plant species that occur in coastal Louisiana were assigned a coefficient of conservatism (CC) score by a local group with expertise in Louisiana coastal vegetation. Species percent cover and both native and non-native species were included in the FQI(mod) which was scaled from 0-100. The FQI(mod) scores from the long-term monitoring project demonstrated the utility of this index for assessing wetland condition over time, including its sensitivity to a hurricane. Ultimately, the FQI developed for coastal Louisiana will be used in conjunction with other wetland indices (e.g., hydrology and soils) to assess wetland condition coastwide and these indices will aid managers in coastal restoration and management decisions.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract and Oral Presentation Gulf Estuarine Research Society.

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

  11. Fluxes of nitrous oxide and methane in different coastal Suaeda salsa marshes of the Yellow River estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhigao; Wang, Lingling; Tian, Hanqin; Jiang, Huanhuan; Mou, Xiaojie; Sun, Wanlong

    2013-01-01

    The spatial and temporal variations of the fluxes of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) and methane (CH(4)) and associated abiotic sediment parameters were quantified for the first time across the coastal marsh dominated by Suaeda salsa in the Yellow River estuary during 2009/2010. During all times of day and the seasons measured, N(2)O and CH(4) fluxes from coastal marsh ranged from -0.0147 mg N(2)O m(-2) h(-1) to 0.0982 mg N(2)O m(-2) h(-1) and -0.7421 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1) to 0.4242 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1), respectively. The mean N(2)O fluxes in spring, summer, autumn and winter were 0.0325 mg N(2)O m(-2) h(-1), 0.0089 mg N(2)O m(-2) h(-1), 0.0119 mg N(2)O m(-2) h(-1) and 0.0140 mg N(2)O m(-2) h(-1), and the average CH(4) fluxes were -0.0109 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1), -0.0174 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1), -0.0141 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1) and -0.0089 mg CH(4) m(-2) h(-1), respectively, indicating that the coastal marsh acted as N(2)O source and CH(4) sink. Both N(2)O and CH(4) fluxes differed significantly between times of day of sampling. N(2)O fluxes differed significantly between sampling seasons as well as between sampling positions, while CH(4) fluxes had no significant differences between seasons or positions. Temporal variations of N(2)O emissions were probably related to the effects of vegetation (S. salsa) during summer and autumn and the frequent freeze/thaw cycle of sediment during spring and winter, while those of CH(4) fluxes were controlled by the interactions of thermal conditions and other abiotic factors (soil moisture and salinity). Spatial variations of N(2)O and CH(4) fluxes were primarily affected by soil moisture fluctuation derived from astronomic tide, sediment substrate and vegetation composition. N(2)O and CH(4) fluxes, expressed as CO(2)-equivaltent (CO(2)-e) emissions, showed that N(2)O comprised the principal part of total calculated CO(2)-e emissions during spring and winter, while the contributions of CH(4) could not be ignored during summer and autumn. This study

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, D.R.; Ford, M.A.; Hensel, P.F.; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Marani, Marco; Blum, Linda K.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. Weathering Patterns of Forensic Biomarker Compounds and PAHs in Coastal Marsh Sediment Samples since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overton, E. B.; Meyer, B.; Miles, S.; Olson, G.; Adhikari, P. L.

    2016-02-01

    It has been well established that the composition of oil, when spilled into the marine environment, undergoes substantial changes caused by weathering. The general sequence of this compositional change begins with straight chain alkanes (the fastest to degrade), followed by low molecular weight branched and cyclic alkanes and, finally the aromatics. Most resistant to weathering are the higher molecular weight cyclic and branched alkanes (i.e., the "forensic biomarker compounds" such as the hopanes and steranes) and tri-aromatic ringed steroids. The composition of these biomarker compounds is particularly resistant to change because they are not affected by evaporative weathering, are not water soluble, and are not readily degraded by microbial and/or photo-oxidation. However, after extensive time in the environment, being subjected to numerous weathering factors, biomarker compositional patterns are beginning to exhibit significant changes. This presentation will describe the general weathering patterns of petroleum residues in sediment samples collected from marsh areas of coastal Louisiana over a five year period. Particular attention will focus on compositional changes that have been observed in the steranes and diasteranes compounds that traditionally have been considered the most resistant to compositional changes due to weathering.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-05

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

  18. Salt-marsh areas as copper complexing ligand sources to estuarine and coastal systems.

    PubMed

    Santos-Echeandía, Juan; Caetano, Miguel; Laglera, Luis M; Vale, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Dissolved copper levels, copper complexing capacities and conditional stability constants have been determined in the Tagus estuarine waters and one of the saltmarshes located in this estuary, the Rosario saltmarsh. Tagus estuarine waters show a constant and around 20 nM copper concentration during the estuarine mixing. Most of this copper is organically complexed by a strong ligand (L(1)) with a concentration that varies between 19 and 55 nM and a log K' between 14.14 and 15.75. In addition L(1)/Cu ratios are quite constants and close to 1 all through the estuary, indicating the same source. A second and weaker ligand (L(2)) was also detected in these waters in higher concentrations (36-368 nM) but with a lower log K' that varies between 12.06 and 13.13. The present work has demonstrated that salt-marsh areas are important and continuous sources of copper complexing ligands to the Tagus estuary. Noticeable, tidal induced transport continuously feed these waters with copper and ligands, mainly with the stronger one. This continuous input, together with the high residence times of this system results in a quite constant concentration along the salinity gradient. This input represents 95% of the ligand present in the estuary. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Carrillo, Icela; Estrella-Gómez, Neyi Eloísa; Zamudio-Maya, Marcela; Rojas-Herrera, Rafael

    2015-01-01

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

  1. The effects of crude oil and the effectiveness of cleaner application following oiling on US Gulf of Mexico coastal marsh plants.

    PubMed

    Pezeshki, S R; DeLaune, R D; Jugsujinda, A

    2001-01-01

    Field studies were conducted in two different marsh habitats in Louisiana coastal wetlands to evaluate the effects of oiling (using South Louisiana Crude oil, SLC) and the effectiveness of a shoreline cleaner (COREXIT 9580) in removing oil from plant canopies. The study sites represented two major marsh habitats; the brackish marsh site was covered by Spartina patens and the freshwater marsh was covered by Sagittaria lancifolia. Field studies were conducted in each habitat using replicated 5.8 m2 plots that were subjected to three treatments; oiled only, oiled + cleaner (cleaner was used 2 days after oiling), and a control. Plant gas exchange responses, survival, growth, and biomass accumulation were measured. Results indicated that oiling led to rapid reductions in leaf gas exchange rates in both species. However, both species in 'oiled + cleaned' plots displayed improved leaf conductance and CO2 fixation rates. Twelve weeks after treatment initiation, photosynthetic carbon fixation in both species had recovered to normal levels. Over the short-term, S. patens showed more sensitivity to oiling with SLC than S. lancifolia as was evident from the data of the number of live shoots and above-ground biomass. Above-ground biomass remained significantly lower than control in S. patens under 'oiled' and 'oiled + cleaned' treatments while it was comparable to controls in S. lancifolia. These studies indicated that the cleaner removed oil from marsh grasses and alleviated the short-term impact of oil on gas exchange function of the study plants. However, use of cleaner had no detectable effects on above-ground biomass production or regeneration at the end of the first growing season in S. patens. Similarly, no beneficial effects of cleaner on carbon fixation and number of live shoots were apparent beyond 12 weeks in S. lancifolia.

  2. Effects of forest management practices on the federally endangered running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum Muhl. Ex. A. Eaton)

    Treesearch

    Darlene Madarish; Thomas M. Schuler

    2002-01-01

    Running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum Muhl. ex. A. Eaton), a federally endangered plant species, often occurs in habitats affected by periodic disturbance such as mowing or grazing. At the Femow Experimental Forest in West Virginia, USA, it is most often associated with skid roads where uneven-aged silvicultural techniques are being tested....

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

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhigao; Mou, Xiaojie; Sun, Wanlong

    2016-03-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Depth-distribution patterns and control of soil organic carbon in coastal salt marshes with different plant covers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Junhong; Zhang, Guangliang; Zhao, Qingqing; Lu, Qiongqiong; Jia, Jia; Cui, Baoshan; Liu, Xinhui

    2016-10-01

    This study was carried out in three kinds of salt marshes according to the vegetation covers, including Phragmites australis salt marsh (PSM), Suaeda salus salt marsh (SSM) and Tamarix chinensis-Suaeda salus salt marsh (TSSM). We applied allometric function, exponential function and logistic function to model the depth distribution of the SOCv and SOCc for each salt marsh, respectively. The results showed that the exponential function fits the depth distribution of the SOCv more well than other two functions. The SOCc can be fitted very well by all three functions for three salt marsh (Adj. R2 > 0.99), of which the allometric function was the best one. The mean topsoil concentration factors (TCFs) of three salt marshes were beyond 0.1, which means the SOC enrichment in surface soils due to plant cycling, but TCFs in PSM were significantly higher than those in SSM (P < 0.05). Nearly 30% of SOC was concentrated in the top 20 cm soils. The results of general linear model (GLM) suggested that four soil properties (soil water content, pH, soil salt content and silt+clay) and their interactive effects explained about 80% of the total variation of SOC stock in the top 20 cm soils and the 20-100 cm soil layers.

  6. Depth-distribution patterns and control of soil organic carbon in coastal salt marshes with different plant covers

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Junhong; Zhang, Guangliang; Zhao, Qingqing; Lu, Qiongqiong; Jia, Jia; Cui, Baoshan; Liu, Xinhui

    2016-01-01

    This study was carried out in three kinds of salt marshes according to the vegetation covers, including Phragmites australis salt marsh (PSM), Suaeda salus salt marsh (SSM) and Tamarix chinensis-Suaeda salus salt marsh (TSSM). We applied allometric function, exponential function and logistic function to model the depth distribution of the SOCv and SOCc for each salt marsh, respectively. The results showed that the exponential function fits the depth distribution of the SOCv more well than other two functions. The SOCc can be fitted very well by all three functions for three salt marsh (Adj. R2 > 0.99), of which the allometric function was the best one. The mean topsoil concentration factors (TCFs) of three salt marshes were beyond 0.1, which means the SOC enrichment in surface soils due to plant cycling, but TCFs in PSM were significantly higher than those in SSM (P < 0.05). Nearly 30% of SOC was concentrated in the top 20 cm soils. The results of general linear model (GLM) suggested that four soil properties (soil water content, pH, soil salt content and silt+clay) and their interactive effects explained about 80% of the total variation of SOC stock in the top 20 cm soils and the 20–100 cm soil layers. PMID:27708421

  7. Depth-distribution patterns and control of soil organic carbon in coastal salt marshes with different plant covers.

    PubMed

    Bai, Junhong; Zhang, Guangliang; Zhao, Qingqing; Lu, Qiongqiong; Jia, Jia; Cui, Baoshan; Liu, Xinhui

    2016-10-06

    This study was carried out in three kinds of salt marshes according to the vegetation covers, including Phragmites australis salt marsh (PSM), Suaeda salus salt marsh (SSM) and Tamarix chinensis-Suaeda salus salt marsh (TSSM). We applied allometric function, exponential function and logistic function to model the depth distribution of the SOCv and SOCc for each salt marsh, respectively. The results showed that the exponential function fits the depth distribution of the SOCv more well than other two functions. The SOCc can be fitted very well by all three functions for three salt marsh (Adj. R(2) > 0.99), of which the allometric function was the best one. The mean topsoil concentration factors (TCFs) of three salt marshes were beyond 0.1, which means the SOC enrichment in surface soils due to plant cycling, but TCFs in PSM were significantly higher than those in SSM (P < 0.05). Nearly 30% of SOC was concentrated in the top 20 cm soils. The results of general linear model (GLM) suggested that four soil properties (soil water content, pH, soil salt content and silt+clay) and their interactive effects explained about 80% of the total variation of SOC stock in the top 20 cm soils and the 20-100 cm soil layers.

  8. Mechanism of removal and retention of heavy metals from the acid mine drainage to coastal wetland in the Patagonian marsh.

    PubMed

    Idaszkin, Yanina L; Carol, Eleonora; María Del Pilar, Alvarez

    2017-09-01

    The attenuation of the acid mine drainage is one of the most important environmental challenges facing the mining industry worldwide. Mining waste deposits from an ancient metallurgical extraction of heavy metals were found near to the San Antonio marsh in Patagonia. The aim of this work was to determinate which mechanisms regulate the mobilization and retention of metals by acid drainage. A geological and geomorphological survey was carried out and samples from the mining waste deposits and the marsh were collected to determine soil texture, Eh pH, organic matter, Cu, Pb, Zn and Fe content, and soil mineralogical composition. Metals in marsh plants were determined in above- and below-ground structures. In the mining waste deposits polymetallic sulphides were recognized where the oxidation and formation of oxy-hydroxides and sulphates of Fe, Cu, Pb and Zn occurs. Then, by the alteration of those minerals, the metals enter in solution and are mobilized with the surface drainage towards the marsh where adsorption in the soils fine fraction and organic matter and/or by plants occurs. Locally, in the mining waste deposits, the precipitation/dissolution of Cu, Pb, and Zn sulphates take place in small centripetal drainage basins. In topographically lower portions of the marsh desorption and removal of metals by tidal flow could also be happen. The results allow to concluding that the marsh adjacent to the mining waste deposits is a geochemically active environment that naturally mitigates the contamination caused by acid drainage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Net ecosystem methane and carbon dioxide exchanges in a Lake Erie coastal marsh and a nearby cropland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Housen; Chen, Jiquan; Gottgens, Johan F.; Ouyang, Zutao; John, Ranjeet; Czajkowski, Kevin; Becker, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Net ecosystem carbon dioxide (FCO2) and methane (FCH4) exchanges were measured by using the eddy covariance method to quantify the atmospheric carbon budget at a Typha- and Nymphaea-dominated freshwater marsh (March 2011 to March 2013) and a soybean cropland (May 2011 to May 2012) in northwestern Ohio, USA. Two year average annual FCH4 (49.7 g C-CH4 m-2 yr-1) from the marsh was high and compatible with its net annual CO2 uptake (FCO2: -21.0 g C-CO2 m-2 yr-1). In contrast, FCH4 was small (2.3 g C-CH4 m-2 yr-1) and accounted for a minor portion of the atmospheric carbon budget (FCO2: -151.8 g C-CO2 m-2 yr-1) at the cropland. At the seasonal scale, soil temperature associated with methane (CH4) production provided the dominant regulator of FCH4 at the marsh (R2 = 0.86). At the diurnal scale, plant-modulated gas flow was the major pathway for CH4 outgassing in the growing season at the marsh. Diffusion and ebullition became the major pathways in the nongrowing season and were regulated by friction velocity. Our findings highlight the importance of freshwater marshes for their efficiency in turning over and releasing newly fixed carbon as CH4. Despite marshes accounting for only 4% of area in the agriculture-dominated landscape, their high FCH4 should be carefully addressed in the regional carbon budget.

  10. Effects of continual burial by sediment on seedling emergence and morphology of Suaeda salsa in the coastal marsh of the Yellow River estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhigao; Song, Hongli; Sun, Jingkuan; Sun, Wenguang

    2014-03-15

    A greenhouse study was conducted to determine the impacts of continual burial on seedling emergence and morphology of Suaeda salsa, a pioneer species in the coastal marsh of the Yellow River estuary. From May to June 2012, seeds of S. salsa were artificially buried to depths of 0 cm (no burial), 2 cm (burial of 1 mm d(-1)), 4 cm (burial of 2 mm d(-1)), 6 cm (burial of 3 mm d(-1)), 8 cm (burial of 4 mm d(-1)) and 10 cm (burial of 5 mm d(-1)) in plastic pots filled with unsterilized sediment. Results showed that the percent emergence of seedlings had a significantly negative correlation with continual burial depth (p < 0.001). A large percentage of seedlings emerged from 2, 4 and 6 cm burial depths, with the highest emergence (56.00 ± 6.60%) occurring from 2 cm depth. The shortest emergence time occurred at 4 cm burial depth and seeds buried at 10 cm depth took longer to emerge than those at other depths. At shallow or moderate burials, a stimulatory effect on seedling height, stem diameter, number and length of branch, taproot length and dry mass were observed. With increasing burial depth, root-mass and leaf-mass ratios generally increased while stem-mass ratio decreased. Sediment burial also stimulated part of the hypocotyl below the sediment to form adventitious roots, implying that S. salsa seedlings had a special adaptive strategy in response to the rapid and dynamic burial environment in the coastal marsh of the Yellow River estuary. The use of thin-layer continual burial (1-2 mm d(-1)) to promote the emergence of S. salsa seedlings in degraded marsh was feasible, and our study provided another way for the restoration of S. salsa marsh during the initial stage of seedling establishment and laid a good foundation for the scientific decision-making and management of restoration project at a large scale.

  11. In-situ burning of oil in coastal marshes. 2. Oil spill cleanup efficiency as a function of oil type, marsh type, and water depth.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qianxin; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Carney, Kenneth; Miles, Scott M; Bryner, Nelson P; Walton, William D

    2005-03-15

    In-situ burning of spilled oil, which receives considerable attention in marine conditions, could be an effective way to cleanup wetland oil spills. An experimental in-situ burn was conducted to study the effects of oil type, marsh type, and water depth on oil chemistry and oil removal efficiency from the water surface and sediment. In-situ burning decreased the totaltargeted alkanes and total targeted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the burn residues as compared to the pre-burn diesel and crude oils. Removal was even more effective for short-chain alkanes and low ring-number PAHs. Removal efficiencies for alkanes and PAHs were >98% in terms of mass balance although concentrations of some long-chain alkanes and high ring-number PAHs increased in the burn residue as compared to the pre-burn oils. Thus, in-situ burning potentially prevents floating oil from drifting into and contaminating adjacent habitats and penetrating the sediment. In addition, in-situ burning significantly removed diesel oil that had penetrated the sediment for all water depths. Furthermore, in-situ burning at a water depth 2 cm below the soil surface significantly removed crude oil that had penetrated the sediment. As a result, in-situ burning may reduce the long-term impacts of oil on benthic organisms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-09-01

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

  14. Changes in community structure of sediment bacteria along the Florida coastal everglades marsh-mangrove-seagrass salinity gradient.

    PubMed

    Ikenaga, Makoto; Guevara, Rafael; Dean, Amanda L; Pisani, Cristina; Boyer, Joseph N

    2010-02-01

    Community structure of sediment bacteria in the Everglades freshwater marsh, fringing mangrove forest, and Florida Bay seagrass meadows were described based on polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) patterns of 16S rRNA gene fragments and by sequencing analysis of DGGE bands. The DGGE patterns were correlated with the environmental variables by means of canonical correspondence analysis. There was no significant trend in the Shannon-Weiner index among the sediment samples along the salinity gradient. However, cluster analysis based on DGGE patterns revealed that the bacterial community structure differed according to sites. Not only were these salinity/vegetation regions distinct but the sediment bacteria communities were consistently different along the gradient from freshwater marsh, mangrove forest, eastern-central Florida Bay, and western Florida Bay. Actinobacteria- and Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi-like DNA sequences were amplified throughout all sampling sites. More Chloroflexi and members of candidate division WS3 were found in freshwater marsh and mangrove forest sites than in seagrass sites. The appearance of candidate division OP8-like DNA sequences in mangrove sites distinguished these communities from those of freshwater marsh. The seagrass sites were characterized by reduced presence of bands belonging to Chloroflexi with increased presence of those bands related to Cyanobacteria, gamma-Proteobacteria, Spirochetes, and Planctomycetes. This included the sulfate-reducing bacteria, which are prevalent in marine environments. Clearly, bacterial communities in the sediment were different along the gradient, which can be explained mainly by the differences in salinity and total phosphorus.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-11-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  2. Oil detection in the coastal marshes of Louisiana using MESMA applied to band subsets of AVIRIS data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Seth H.; Roberts, Dar A.; Beland, Michael; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Ustin, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

    We mapped oil presence in the marshes of Barataria Bay, Louisiana following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data. Oil and non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) have very similar spectra, differing only in two narrow hydrocarbon absorption regions around 1700 and 2300 nm. Confusion between NPV and oil is expressed as an increase in oil fraction error with increasing NPV, as shown by Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) applied to synthetic spectra generated with known endmember fractions. Significantly, the magnitude of error varied depending upon the type of NPV in the mixture. To reduce error, we used stable zone unmixing to identify a nine band subset that emphasized the hydrocarbon absorption regions, allowing for more accurate detection of oil presence using MESMA. When this band subset was applied to post-spill AVIRIS data acquired over Barataria Bay on several dates following the 2010 oil spill, accuracies ranged from 87.5% to 93.3%. Oil presence extended 10.5 m into the marsh for oiled shorelines, showing a reduced oil fraction with increasing distance from the shoreline.

  3. Bacterial community shift in the coastal Gulf of Mexico salt-marsh sediment microcosm in vitro following exposure to the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 oil (MC252).

    PubMed

    Koo, Hyunmin; Mojib, Nazia; Huang, Jonathan P; Donahoe, Rona J; Bej, Asim K

    2015-08-01

    In this study, we examined the responses by the indigenous bacterial communities in salt-marsh sediment microcosms in vitro following treatment with Mississippi Canyon Block 252 oil (MC252). Microcosms were constructed of sediment and seawater collected from Bayou La Batre located in coastal Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico. We used an amplicon pyrosequencing approach on microcosm sediment metagenome targeting the V3-V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Overall, we identified a shift in the bacterial community in three distinct groups. The first group was the early responders (orders Pseudomonadales and Oceanospirillales within class Gammaproteobacteria), which increased their relative abundance within 2 weeks and were maintained 3 weeks after oil treatment. The second group was identified as early, but transient responders (order Rhodobacterales within class Alphaproteobacteria; class Epsilonproteobacteria), which increased their population by 2 weeks, but returned to the basal level 3 weeks after oil treatment. The third group was the late responders (order Clostridiales within phylum Firmicutes; order Methylococcales within class Gammaproteobacteria; and phylum Tenericutes), which only increased 3 weeks after oil treatment. Furthermore, we identified oil-sensitive bacterial taxa (order Chromatiales within class Gammaproteobacteria; order Syntrophobacterales within class Deltaproteobacteria), which decreased in their population after 2 weeks of oil treatment. Detection of alkane (alkB), catechol (C2,3DO) and biphenyl (bph) biodegradation genes by PCR, particularly in oil-treated sediment metacommunity DNA, delineates proliferation of  the hydrocarbon degrading bacterial community. Overall, the indigenous bacterial communities in our salt-marsh sediment in vitro microcosm study responded rapidly and shifted towards members of the taxonomic groups that are capable of surviving in an MC252 oil-contaminated environment.

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

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhigao; Mou, Xiaojie

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Composition of breeding bird communities in Gulf Coast Chenier Plain marshes: Effects of winter burning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gabrey, S.W.; Afton, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Marsh managers along the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain frequently use winter burns to alter marsh vegetation and improve habitat quality for wintering waterfowl. However, effects of these burns on marsh avifauna are not well documented. We recorded abundances of breeding bird species and vegetation structure in burned and unburned control marshes during one breeding season before (1996) and two breeding seasons after (1997, 1998) experimental winter burns. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis to assess the extent and direction of changes in bird community compositions of burned and unburned control marshes and to investigate the influence of vegetation structure on bird community composition. Overall, we found that Seaside Sparrows (Emberizidae: Ammodramus maritimus [Wilson]) and Red-winged Blackbirds and Boat-tailed Grackles (Icteridae: Agelaius phoeniceus [L.] and Quiscalus major Vieillot, respectively) comprised > 85% of observed birds. In burned marshes during the first breeding season following experimental burns (1997), icterid abundance increased while Seaside Sparrow abundance decreased relative to pre-burn (1996) conditions. This pattern was reversed during the second breeding season post-burn. No obvious patterns of change in avian abundance were detected in unburned control marshes over the 3-year period. Qualitative changes in breeding bird community composition were related to effects of winter burning on percent cover of dead vegetation and Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.

  6. Changes in the concentration and relative abundance of alkanes and PAHs from the Deepwater Horizon oiling of coastal marshes.

    PubMed

    Turner, R E; Overton, E B; Meyer, B M; Miles, M S; Hooper-Bui, L

    2014-09-15

    We determined changes of 28 alkanes and 43 different PAHs in 418 wetland soil samples collected on ten sampling trips to three Louisiana estuaries before and after they were oiled from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. There was a significant decline in 22 of the 28 alkane analytes (0.42% day(-1)), no change in 6, over 2.5 years. The concentration of five aromatic petroleum hydrocarbons (PAHs) increased (range 0.25-0.70% day(-1)), whereas the total PAH pool did not change. Of these five, naphthalene and C-1-naphthalenes are suggested to be of higher toxicity than the other three because of their relatively higher volatility or solubility. The relative proportions of alkane analytes, but not PAHs, does not yet resemble that in the pre-oiled marshes after 3 years, The trajectories of nine indicators for degradation/weathering were either inconclusive or misleading (alkanes) or confirmed the relatively meager degradation of PAHs.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Raalte, Charlene

    1977-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Raalte, Charlene

    1977-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. CH4 Emissions from Coastal Salt Marshes are More Sensitive to Temperature and Salinity than Hydrologic Variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishtiaq, K. S.; Abdul-Aziz, O. I.

    2016-12-01

    The environmental and hydroclimatic sensitivities of CH4 emission fluxes from coastal wetlands were determined based on analytical and numerical sensitivity analysis. The data set included instantaneous CH4 emission fluxes and the corresponding photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), air and soil temperatures, water height, soil moisture, soil salinity, and pH. Four tidal wetlands of Waquoit Bay, MA were used as the case study sites; the wetlands were dominated by native Spartina Alterniflora, and subjected to high salinity and recurrent flooding. An empirical non-linear partial least squares regression model was developed using bootstrapping to quantify the sensitivity of CH4. The computed analytical sensitivity coefficients indicated a higher sensitivity of CH4 to temperature and soil salinity than to PAR, water height, soil moisture, and pH. The estimated numerical sensitivities - calculated by perturbing the most dominant drivers individually and simultaneously - reflected a higher sensitivity of CH4 to temperature and salinity than the hydrologic variables. Results suggested (i) increasing salinity will offset the positive impact of increasing flooding on CH4 production and emission due to sea level rise, and (ii) high salinity impedes the temperature-driven increase of CH4 emissions. The computed hydroclimatic sensitivity coefficients of CH4 and achieved mechanistic insights will guide the management of carbon storage in coastal wetlands under a changing climate and environment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Sediments in marsh ponds of the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain: Effects of structural marsh management and salinity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bolduc, F.; Afton, A.D.

    2005-01-01

    Physical characteristics of sediments in coastal marsh ponds (flooded zones of marsh associated with little vegetation) have important ecological consequences because they determine compositions of benthic invertebrate communities, which in turn influence compositions of waterbird communities. Sediments in marsh ponds of the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain potentially are affected by (1) structural marsh management (levees, water control structures and impoundments; SMM), and (2) variation in salinity. Based on available literature concerning effects of SMM on sediments in emergent plant zones (zones of marsh occasionally flooded and associated with dense vegetation) of coastal marshes, we predicted that SMM would increase sediment carbon content and sediment hardness, and decrease oxygen penetration (O2 depth) and the silt-clay fraction in marsh pond sediments. Assuming that freshwater marshes are more productive than are saline marshes, we also predicted that sediments of impounded freshwater marsh ponds would contain more carbon than those of impounded oligohaline and mesohaline marsh ponds, whereas C:N ratio, sediment hardness, silt-clay fraction, and O2 depth would be similar among pond types. Accordingly, we measured sediment variables within ponds of impounded and unimpounded marshes on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, near Grand Chenier, Louisiana. To test the above predictions, we compared sediment variables (1) between ponds of impounded (IM) and unimpounded mesohaline marshes (UM), and (2) among ponds of impounded freshwater (IF), oligohaline (IO), and mesohaline (IM) marshes. An a priori multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) contrast indicated that sediments differed between IM and UM marsh ponds. As predicted, the silt-clay fraction and O2 depth were lower and carbon content, C:N ratio, and sediment hardness were higher in IM than in UM marsh ponds. An a priori MANOVA contrast also indicated that sediments differed among IF, IO, and IM marsh ponds. As

  3. Coastal wetlands

    SciTech Connect

    Prince, H.H.; d'Itri, F.M.

    1986-01-01

    This book presents an overview of coastal wetlands, mainly focusing on the Great Lakes ecosystem. Topics covered include the following: the effects of water level fluctuations on Great Lakes coastal marshes; environmental influences on the distribution and composition of wetlands in the Great Lakes Basin; vegetation dynamics, buried seeds, and water level fluctuations on the shorelines of the Great Lakes; preliminary observations on the flux of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous in a Great Lakes coastal marsh; nutrient cycling by wetlands and possible effects of water levels; and Avain wetland habitat functions affected by water level fluctuations.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Salt marsh macrophyte Phragmites australis strategies assessment for its dominance in mercury-contaminated coastal lagoon (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal).

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    The dominance of a plant species in highly metal-contaminated areas reflects its tolerance or adaptability potential to these scenarios. Hence, plants with high adaptability and/or tolerance to exceptionally high metal-contaminated scenarios may help protect environmental degradation. The present study aimed to assess the strategies adopted by common reed, Phragmites australis for its dominance in highly mercury-contaminated Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal). Both plant samples and the sediments vegetated by monospecific stand of Phragmites australis were collected in five replicates from mercury-free (reference) and contaminated sites during low tide between March 2006 and January 2007. The sediments’ physico-chemical traits, plant dry mass, uptake, partitioning, and transfer of mercury were evaluated during growing season (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) of P. australis. Redox potential and pH of the sediment around roots were measured in situ using a WTW-pH 330i meter. Dried sediments were incinerated for 4 h at 500°C for the estimation of organic matter whereas plant samples were oven-dried at 60°C till constant weight for plant dry mass determination. Mercury concentrations in sediments and plant parts were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry with thermal decomposition, using an advanced mercury analyzer (LECO 254) and maintaining the accuracy and precision of the analytical methodologies. In addition, mercury bioaccumulation and translocation factors were also determined to differentiate the accumulation of mercury and its subsequent translocation to plant parts in P. australis. P. australis root exhibited the highest mercury accumulation followed by rhizome and leaves during the reproductive phase (autumn). During the same phase, P. australis exhibited ≈5 times less mercury-translocation factor (0.03 in leaf) when compared with the highest mercury bioaccumulation factor for root (0.14). Moreover, seasonal variations differentially

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Consumer control of salt marshes driven by human disturbance.

    PubMed

    Bertness, Mark D; Silliman, Brian R

    2008-06-01

    Salt marsh ecosystems are widely considered to be controlled exclusively by bottom-up forces, but there is mounting evidence that human disturbances are triggering consumer control in western Atlantic salt marshes, often with catastrophic consequences. In other marine ecosystems, human disturbances routinely dampen (e.g., coral reefs, sea grass beds) and strengthen (e.g., kelps) consumer control, but current marsh theory predicts little potential interaction between humans and marsh consumers. Thus, human modification of top-down control in salt marshes was not anticipated and was even discounted in current marsh theory, despite loud warnings about the potential for cascading human impacts from work in other marine ecosystems. In spite of recent experiments that have challenged established marsh dogma and demonstrated consumer-driven die-off of salt marsh ecosystems, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations continue to manage marsh die-offs under the old theoretical framework and only consider bottom-up forces as causal agents. This intellectual dependency of many coastal ecologists and managers on system-specific theory (i.e., marsh bottom-up theory) has the potential to have grave repercussions for coastal ecosystem management and conservation in the face of increasing human threats. We stress that marine vascular plant communities (salt marshes, sea grass beds, mangroves) are likely more vulnerable to runaway grazing and consumer-driven collapse than is currently recognized by theory, particularly in low-diversity ecosystems like Atlantic salt marshes.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Ecogeomorphic Heterogeneity Sculpts Salt Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonardi, N.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2014-12-01

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

  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. Marshes on the Move: Testing effects of seawater intrusion on ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Northeastern United States is a hotspot for sea level rise (SLR), subjecting coastal salt marshes to erosive loss, shifts in vegetation communities, and altered biogeochemistry due to seawater intrusion. Salt marsh plant community zonation is driven by tradeoffs in stress tolerance and interspecific interactions. As seawater inundates progressively higher marsh elevations, shifts in marsh vegetation communities landward may herald salt marsh “migration”, which could allow continuity of marsh function and ecosystem service provision. To elucidate possible effects of seawater intrusion on marsh-upland edge plant communities, a space-for-time approach was replicated at two Rhode Island salt marshes. At each site, peat blocks (0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m, n=6) with intact upland-marsh edge vegetation were transplanted downslope into the regularly-inundated mid-marsh. Procedural controls (n=3) were established at each elevation by removing and replacing peat blocks, and natural controls (n=3) consisted of undisturbed plots. During peak productivity, each plot was assessed for species composition, percent cover and average height. Results demonstrate stunting of marsh-upland edge vegetation in response to increased inundation, and the beginnings of colonization of the transplanted plots by salt marsh species. The extent of colonization differed between the two sites, suggesting that site-specific factors govern vegetation responses to increased inundation.

  16. Effect of hurricanes and violent storms on salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonardi, N.; Ganju, N. K.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Marshes on the Move: Testing effects of seawater intrusion on vegetation communities of the salt marsh-upland ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Northeastern United States is a hotspot for sea level rise (SLR), subjecting coastal salt marshes to erosive loss, shifts in vegetation communities, and altered biogeochemistry due to seawater intrusion. Salt marsh plant community zonation is driven by tradeoffs in stress to...

  20. Marshes on the Move: Testing effects of seawater intrusion on vegetation communities of the salt marsh-upland ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Northeastern United States is a hotspot for sea level rise (SLR), subjecting coastal salt marshes to erosive loss, shifts in vegetation communities, and altered biogeochemistry due to seawater intrusion. Salt marsh plant community zonation is driven by tradeoffs in stress to...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Carbon Burial in Salt Marshes: Impacts of Sea Level Rise and Marsh Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonneea, M. E.; Kroeger, K. D.; Roberts, D.; Spivak, A. C.

    2016-02-01

    Approximately 50% of U.S. wetlands have been lost since 1900, with destruction of coastal wetlands attributed to infilling and building, nutrient loading, disruption of sediment supply and, recently, sea level rise. Salt marshes globally are a significant carbon sink, yet their fate and continued carbon sequestration capacity is uncertain. On Cape Cod, MA, USA, many salt marshes converted into fresh wetlands when tidal flow was restricted by construction of roads and berms. As a result salt marsh restoration efforts largely focus on returning tidal flow, and success has been evaluated upon restoring ecosystem function and services, including fish and bird habitat, shoreline protection and nutrient filtering. However, understanding salt marsh vulnerability to sea level rise and return of carbon sequestration capacity are also key factors in salt marsh restoration success. In this study we evaluate carbon storage and sediment accretion rates across a restoration chronosequence (0 to 15 years post restoration), as well as at adjacent natural salt marshes. We constructed high temporal resolution records of salt marsh accretion using the constant rate of 210Pb supply model. The power of this model is that accretion is not assumed to be constant, rather variability in sediment concentrations of 210Pb are due to both decay and dynamic accretion rates. At natural (never restricted) sites, we observed an increase in accretion, with modern rates up to four times greater than those in the early 1900's, suggesting that marsh growth has accelerated to catch up with sea level rise rates. Carbon burial over the same period likewise increased, driven primarily by increased accretion rates, not changes in soil carbon content. Modern accretion rates and carbon burial in restored salt marshes are similar to the natural marshes, however, there is evidence for loss of buried carbon in restored marshes, which occurred prior to the return of tidal exchange.

  5. Shore Stabilization with Salt Marsh Vegetation.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-01-01

    machine. Soil should be firmed around them to minimize blowouts and washouts& Tobacco or strawberry planters can be modified to handle them. Soil should...CANMEN, L.M., "Microinvertebrate Colonization of Spartina Marsh Artificially Established on Dredge Spoil ." Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science, Vol... Spoil ," TP 76-7, U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Coastal Engineering Research Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., June 1976. CARLTON, J.M., "Land-Building and

  6. Marshes to mudflats—Effects of sea-level rise on tidal marshes along a latitudinal gradient in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorne, Karen M.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Freeman, Chase M.; Janousek, Christopher N.; Powelson, Katherine W.; Gutenspergen, Glenn R.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2015-11-17

    In the Pacific Northwest, coastal wetlands support a wealth of ecosystem services including habitat provision for wildlife and fisheries and flood protection. The tidal marshes, mudflats, and shallow bays of coastal estuaries link marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats, and provide economic and recreational benefits to local communities. Climate change effects such as sea-level rise are altering these habitats, but we know little about how these areas will change over the next 50–100 years. Our study examined the effects of sea-level rise on nine tidal marshes in Washington and Oregon between 2012 and 2015, with the goal of providing scientific data to support future coastal planning and conservation. We compiled physical and biological data, including coastal topography, tidal inundation, vegetation structure, as well as recent and historical sediment accretion rates, to assess and model how sea-level rise may alter these ecosystems in the future. Multiple factors, including initial elevation, marsh productivity, sediment availability, and rates of sea-level rise, affected marsh persistence. Under a low sea-level rise scenario, all marshes remained vegetated with little change in the present configuration of communities of marsh plants or gradually increased proportions of middle-, high-, or transition-elevation zones of marsh vegetation. However, at most sites, mid sea-level rise projections led to loss of habitat of middle and high marshes and a gain of low marshes. Under a high sea-level rise scenario, marshes at most sites eventually converted to intertidal mudflats. Two sites (Grays Harbor and Willapa) seemed to have the most resilience to a high rate of rise in sea-level, persisting as low marsh until at least 2110. Our main model finding is that most tidal marsh study sites are resilient to sea-level rise over the next 50–70 years, but that sea-level rise will eventually outpace marsh accretion and drown most habitats of high and middle marshes by

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Variability of soil organic carbon reservation capability between coastal salt marsh and riverside freshwater wetland in Chongming Dongtan and its microbial mechanism.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yu; Li, Yanli; Wang, Lei; Tang, Yushu; Chen, Jinhai; Fu, Xiaohua; Le, Yiquan; Wu, Jihua

    2012-01-01

    Two representative zones in Chongming Dongtan which faced the Yangtze River and East China Sea respectively were selected to study the variability of soil organic carbon (SOC) reservation capability between coastal wetland and riverside wetland in the Chongming Dongtan wetland as well as its mechanism by analyzing soil characteristics and plant biomass. The results showed the SOC content of riverside wetland was only 48.61% (P = 0.000 < 0.05) that of coastal wetland. As the organic matter inputs from plant litter of the coastal wetland and riverside wetland were approximately the same, the higher soil microbial respiration (SMR) of riverside wetland led to its lower SOC reservation capability. In the riverside wetland, the high soil microbial biomass, higher proportion of beta-Proteobacteria, which have strong carbon metabolism activity and the existence of some specific aerobic heterotrophic bacteria such as Bacilli and uncultured Lactococcus, were the important reasons for the higher SMR compared to the coastal wetland. There were additional differences in soil physical and chemical characteristics between the coastal wetland and riverside wetlands. Path analysis of predominant bacteria and microbial biomass showed that soil salinity influenced beta-Proteobacteria and microbial biomass most negatively among these physical and chemical factors. Therefore the low salinity of the riverside area was suitable for the growth of microorganisms, especially beta-Proteobacteria and some specific bacteria, which led to the high SMR and low SOC reservation capability when compared to the coastal area.

  9. Marsh macrophyte responses to inundation anticipate impacts of sea-level rise and indicate ongoing drowning of North Carolina marshes.

    PubMed

    Voss, Christine M; Christian, Robert R; Morris, James T

    2013-01-01

    In situ persistence of coastal marsh habitat as sea level rises depends on whether macrophytes induce compensatory accretion of the marsh surface. Experimental planters in two North Carolina marshes served to expose two dominant macrophyte species to six different elevations spanning 0.75 m (inundation durations 0.4-99 %). Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus exhibited similar responses-with production in planters suggesting initial increases and then demonstrating subsequent steep declines with increasing inundation, conforming to a segment of the ecophysiological parabola. Projecting inundation levels experienced by macrophytes in the planters onto adjacent marsh platforms revealed that neither species occupied elevations associated with increasing production. Declining macrophyte production with rising seas reduces both bioaccumulation of roots below-ground and baffle-induced sedimentation above-ground. By occupying only descending portions of the parabola, macrophytes in central North Carolina marshes are responding to rising water levels by progressive declines in production, ultimately leading to marsh drowning.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

  11. Vegetation Loss Decreases Salt Marsh Denitrification Capacity: Implications for Marsh Erosion.

    PubMed

    Hinshaw, Sarra E; Tatariw, Corianne; Flournoy, Nikaela; Kleinhuizen, Alice; Taylor, Caitlin; Sobecky, Patricia A; Mortazavi, Behzad

    2017-08-01

    Salt marshes play a key role in removing excess anthropogenic nitrogen (N) loads to nearshore marine ecosystems through sediment microbial processes such as denitrification. However, in the Gulf of Mexico, the loss of marsh vegetation because of human-driven disturbances such as sea level rise and oil spills can potentially reduce marsh capacity for N removal. To investigate the effect of vegetation loss on ecosystem N removal, we contrasted denitrification capacity in marsh and subtidal sediments impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using a combination of (29)N2 and (30)N2 production (isotope pairing), denitrification potential measurements (acetylene block), and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) of functional genes in the denitrification pathway. We found that, on average, denitrification capacity was 4 times higher in vegetated sediments because of a combination of enhanced nitrification and higher organic carbon availability. The abundance of nirS-type denitrifers indicated that marsh vegetation regulates the activity, rather than the abundance, of denitrifier communities. We estimated that marsh sediments remove an average of 3.6 t N km(-2) y(-1) compared to 0.9 t N km(-2) y(-1) in unvegetated sediments. Overall, our findings indicate that marsh loss results in a substantial loss of N removal capacity in coastal ecosystems.

  12. Polymorphism in Languria taedata LeConte, its occurrence in coastal Louisiana Spartina marshes, and clarification of some Motschulsky languriine types (Coleoptera: Erotylidae: Languriinae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We clarify the diagnosis and geographic distribution of the widespread, variable eastern coastal species Languria taedata LeConte, 1854, in North America. After examining types and the range of variation and geographical distribution of the species, we propose synonymy of L. erythrocephalus Blatchle...

  13. Arundinaria gigantea (Walt.) Muhl.

    Treesearch

    Kristina Connor

    2004-01-01

    Giant cane, also known as cane or switchcane, is a perennial monocot, a woody grass, and one of only two native bamboos. With its stem-like rhizomes and hard, ‘woody’ stems, giant cane can grow to a height of 8 to 9 m but is typically less. Giant cane is found at elevations ranging from sea level in southern floodplains to 610 m elevation in the Appalachian Mountains...

  14. Sea-Level Rise Impacts on Hudson River Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooks, A.; Nitsche, F. O.

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 14. View of Sterling Creek Marsh east across the marsh, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. View of Sterling Creek Marsh east across the marsh, with canal in foreground - Richmond Hill Plantation, Sterling Creek Marsh, East of Richmond Hill on Ford Neck Road, Richmond Hill, Bryan County, GA

  18. 12. View of Sterling Creek Marsh looking southeast across marsh, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    12. View of Sterling Creek Marsh looking southeast across marsh, with canal in foreground - Richmond Hill Plantation, Sterling Creek Marsh, East of Richmond Hill on Ford Neck Road, Richmond Hill, Bryan County, GA

  19. 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.

  20. Hurricane-induced sediment deposition in a gulf coast marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rejmánek, Marcel; Sasser, Charles E.; Peterson, Gary W.

    1988-08-01

    Rates of sediment accumulation in four coastal marsh communities in the Mississippi River deltaic plain, Louisiana, were studied using feldspar clay marker horizons. The results indicate that normal riverine flooding contributes relatively little (<0·1 cm year -1) to marsh accretion in the studied area. In contrast, even a minor hurricane can resuspend sediments from shallow bays and deposit more than 2·2 cm of sediments in Phragmites australis dominated communities adjacent to the bayous as far as 7 km inland from the bay shore. Hurricane-induced sedimentation represents at least a partial compensation to prevailing subsidence of marshes in abandoned delta lobes.

  1. Astronomical Forcing of Salt Marsh Biogeochemical Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. T.; Sundberg, K.

    2008-12-01

    Astronomically forced changes in the hydroperiod of a salt marsh affect the rate of marsh primary production leading to a biogeochemical cascade. For example, salt marsh primary production and biogeochemical cycles in coastal salt marshes are sensitive to the 18.6-year lunar nodal cycle, which alters the tidal amplitude by about 5 cm. For marshes that are perched high in the tidal frame, a relatively small increase in tidal amplitude and flooding lowers sediment salinity and stimulates primary production. Porewater sulfide concentrations are positively correlated with tidal amplitude and vary on the same cycle as primary production. Soluble reactive phosphate and ammonium concentrations in pore water also vary on this 18.6- year cycle. Phosphate likely responds to variation in the reaction of sulfide with iron-phosphate compounds, while the production of ammonium in sediments is coupled to the activity of diazotrophs that are carbon- limited and, therefore, are regulated by primary productivity. Ammonium also would accumulate when sulfides block nitrification. These dependencies work as a positive feedback between primary production and nutrient supply and are predictive of the near-term effects of sea-level rise.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Elizabeth Burke

    2008-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Conservation of tidal marshes

    SciTech Connect

    Daiber, F.C.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-03-01

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

  7. Tidal influences on carbon assimilation by a salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kathilankal, James C.; Mozdzer, Thomas J.; Fuentes, Jose D.; D'Odorico, Paolo; McGlathery, Karen J.; Zieman, Jay C.

    2008-10-01

    Salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, and play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Net carbon dioxide (CO2) ecosystem exchanges in coastal salt marshes remain poorly investigated. In Spartina alterniflora dominated North American Atlantic coast marshes, the lack of a clear understanding of how Spartina alterniflora responds to flooding limits our current ability to understand and predict salt marsh response to sea-level rise. Here we investigate the processes influencing ecosystem-level carbon exchanges between a S. alterniflora dominated salt marsh on the eastern shore of Virginia and the atmosphere. We examined the impacts of tidal inundation on the marsh-atmosphere carbon exchanges through a combination of eddy covariance measurements and in situ photosynthetic measurements. Maximum daytime carbon fluxes were observed during the middle of the growing season (July and August) and amounted to -10 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1, and the marsh assimilated 130 gC m-2 during the 2007 growing season. Our study is the first to quantify the effects of tidal inundation on marsh plants, which caused anywhere from 3% to 91% reductions in atmospheric carbon fluxes, with a mean reduction of 46 ± 26%, when compared to non-flooded conditions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  13. Freshwater Marsh. Habitat Pac.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. Impact of Hurricane Sandy on salt marshes of New jersey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsey-Quirk, Tracy

    2016-12-01

    Hurricane Sandy, one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes on record, made landfall as an extratropical cyclone on the coast of New Jersey (29 October 2012) along a track almost perpendicular to the coast. Ten days later a northeaster caused heavy precipitation and elevated water levels along the coast. Two years of pre-storm monitoring and research in marshes of Barnegat Bay and the Delaware Estuary provided an opportunity to evaluate the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and the succeeding northeaster across the region. Peak water levels during Sandy ranged from 111 to 184 cm above the marsh surface in Barnegat Bay and 75-135 cm above the marsh surface in the Delaware Estuary. Despite widespread flooding and damage to coastal communities, the storm had modest and localized impacts on coastal marshes of New Jersey. Measurements made on the marsh platform illustrated localized responses to the storms including standing biomass removal, and changes in peak biomass the following summer. Marsh surface and elevation changes were variable within marshes and across the region. Localized elevation changes over the storm period were temporary and associated with subsurface processes. Over the long-term, there was no apparent impact of the 2012 storms, as elevations and regression slopes pre- and several months post-storm were not significant. Vegetation changes in the summer following the fall 2012 storms were also variable and localized within and among marshes. These results suggest that Hurricane Sandy and the succeeding northeaster did not have a widespread long-term impact on saline marshes in this region. Possible explanations are the dissipation of surge and wave energy from the barrier island in Barnegat Bay and the extreme water levels buffering the low-lying marsh surface from waves, winds, and currents, and carrying suspended loads past the short-statured marsh grasses to areas of taller vegetation and/or structure. These findings demonstrate that major storms that have

  16. Secondary succession dynamics in estuarine marshes across landscape-scale salinity gradients.

    PubMed

    Crain, Caitlin Mullan; Albertson, Lindsey K; Bertness, Mark D

    2008-10-01

    Secondary succession plays a critical role in driving community structure in natural communities, yet how succession dynamics vary with environmental context is generally unknown. We examined the importance of seedling and vegetative recruitment in the secondary succession of coastal marsh vegetation across a landscape-scale environmental stress gradient. Replicate bare patches were initiated in salt, brackish, and oligohaline marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA, and allowed to recover unmanipulated or with colonizing seedlings or vegetative runners removed for three years. Seed dispersal and seed bank studies were conducted at the same sites. We found that rates of recovery were 3-10 times faster in brackish and oligohaline marshes than in salt marshes. The fast pace of recovery in oligohaline marshes was driven by seedling colonization, while recovery was dominated by vegetative runners in brackish marshes and by both seedlings and runners in salt marshes. Seed and seedling availability was much greater in oligohaline marshes with up to 24 times the seed bank density compared with salt marshes. In contrast to the facilitated succession generally found in salt marshes, oligohaline marshes follow the tolerance model of succession where numerous species colonize from seed and are slowly displaced by clonal grasses whose recovery is slowed by preemptive competition from seedlings, contributing to the higher species diversity of oligohaline marshes. These findings reveal fundamental differences in the dynamics and assembly of marsh plant communities along estuarine salinity gradients that are important for conceptually understanding wetlands and for guiding the management and restoration of various types of coastal marshes.

  17. 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-...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hotchkiss, Neil

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

  19. Phosphorus sorption-desorption and effects of temperature, pH and salinity on phosphorus sorption in marsh soils from coastal wetlands with different flooding conditions.

    PubMed

    Bai, Junhong; Ye, Xiaofei; Jia, Jia; Zhang, Guangliang; Zhao, Qingqing; Cui, Baoshan; Liu, Xinhui

    2017-12-01

    Wetland soils act as a sink or source of phosphorus (P) to the overlaying water due to phosphorus sorption-desorption processes. Litter information is available on sorption and desorption behaviors of phosphorus in coastal wetlands with different flooding conditions. Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate phosphorus sorption-desorption processes, fractions of adsorbed phosphorus, and the effects of salinity, pH and temperature on phosphorus sorption on soils in tidal-flooding wetlands (TW), freshwater-flooding wetlands (FW) and seasonal-flooding wetlands (SW) in the Yellow River Delta. Our results showed that the freshly adsorbed phosphorus dominantly exists in Occluded-P and Fe/AlP and their percentages increased with increasing phosphorus adsorbed. Phosphorus sorption isotherms could be better described by the modified Langmuir model than by the modified Freundlich model. A binomial equation could be properly used to describe the effects of salinity, pH, and temperature on phosphorus sorption. Phosphorus sorption generally increased with increasing salinity, pH, and temperature at lower ranges, while decreased in excess of some threshold values. The maximum phosphorus sorption capacity (Qmax) was larger for FW soils (256 mg/kg) compared with TW (218 mg/kg) and SW soils (235 mg/kg) (p < 0.05). The percentage of phosphorus desorption (Pdes) in the FW soils (7.5-63.5%) was much lower than those in TW (27.7-124.9%) and SW soils (19.2-108.5%). The initial soil organic matter, pH and the exchangeable Al, Fe and Cd contents were important factors influencing P sorption and desorption. The findings of this study indicate that freshwater restoration can contribute to controlling the eutrophication status of water bodies through increasing P sorption. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Sea Level Driven Marsh Expansion in a Coupled Model of Marsh Erosion, Forest Retreat, and Human Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.; Walters, D. C.; Reay, W.; Carr, J.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marsh ecosystem services depend nonlinearly on wetland size and are threatened by sea level rise and coastal development. Here, we present a simple model of marsh migration into adjacent uplands, and couple it with existing models of seaward edge erosion and vertical soil accretion to explore how connectivity between adjacent ecosystems influences marsh size and response to sea level rise. We find that ecogeomorphic feedbacks tend to stabilize soil elevations relative to sea level rise so that changes in marsh size are determined mostly by the competition between ecological transitions at the upland boundary, and physical erosion at the seaward boundary. Salt marsh loss and natural flood protection is nearly inevitable under rapid sea level rise rates where topographic and anthropogenic barriers limit marsh migration into uplands. Where unconstrained by barriers, however, rates of marsh migration are much more sensitive to accelerated sea level rise than rates of edge erosion. Together, this behavior suggests a counterintuitive, natural tendency for marsh expansion with sea level rise, and emphasizes the disparity between coastal response to climate change with and without human intervention. Analysis of 19th century maps and modern photographs from the Chesapeake Bay region confirm that migration rates are more sensitive to sea level rise than erosion rate, and indicate that transgression has thus far allowed marshes to survive the fastest rates of relative sea level rise on the Atlantic Coast. This work suggests that the flux of organisms and sediment across adjacent ecosystems leads to an increase in system resilience that could not be inferred from studies that consider individual components of landscape change.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Impacts of storm events on salt marsh sediment dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castagno, K. A.; Jiménez-Robles, A. M.; Fagherazzi, S.; Donnelly, J. P.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes have long been lauded as buffers to storm surges, wind-generated waves, and elevated water levels. Following Redfield's bi-directional model of salt marsh evolution, salt marshes along the eastern coast of the United States keep pace with moderate sea-level rise. Recent geological evidence, however, suggests that some extreme storm events may cause significant marsh erosion. This has major implications for coastal inundation risk to lives and property, as well as the resilience of these coastal wetlands to a changing climate. This study analyzes the relationship between storm intensity and net sediment fluxes in the Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR), a system of salt marshes and coastal bays along the Atlantic side of the Delmarva Peninsula, USA. The study explores the differences in sediment dynamics between tropical cyclones and nor'easters, both of which regularly impact the VCR. To investigate the processes that determine sediment fluxes both between the VCR and open sea and between the different coastal bays of VCR, we used the fully coupled coastal hydrodynamic, sediment transport and wave model Delft3D-SWAN. This work builds on previous sediment composition results based on the framework of the VCR LTER program. During the period from 2009 to 2016, a total of 52 storm events where identified using a Peaks Over Threshold method. For each storm, wind characteristics, water levels, and wave conditions data were obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A model calibration process achieved good agreement between field data and Delft3D-SWAN results, using water levels inside the VCR and wave height and directions in the closest NOAA buoy to VCR. The results of this study will be useful in determining the response of marsh systems to extreme storm events.

  6. Restoring Ecological Function to a Submerged Salt Marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A group of white pelicans spend a few moments relaxing in the water near the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Found from British Columbia south to western Ontario, California and the Texas coast, white pelicans winter from Florida south to Panama. They prefer marshy lakes and coastal regions, and winter chiefly in coastal lagoons. White pelicans are one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-01-08

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A group of white pelicans spend a few moments relaxing in the water near the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Found from British Columbia south to western Ontario, California and the Texas coast, white pelicans winter from Florida south to Panama. They prefer marshy lakes and coastal regions, and winter chiefly in coastal lagoons. White pelicans are one of 310 species of birds that inhabit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with KSC. The marshes and open water of the refuge also provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds.

  9. Comparative Geomorphology of Salt and Tidal Freshwater Marsh Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasternack, G. B.

    2002-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

    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 ignore land-use changes, despite the recent coastal population boom and the potential of land-use changes to alter sediment sources and modify established sediment-transport pathways. This study investigates the impacts of landscape modifications, which are typical of coastal areas, on the nearshore sedimentation and edge evolution of two fringing marshes. The sites examined include a marsh fringing the upper bay and a marsh fringing a beach ridge on the estuarine shoreline of a barrier island. Both sites are located in the same estuarine system, have similar hydrologic settings and comparable vegetation densities. Previous work, marsh cores, and a historical record from aerial photos indicate that although the fringe marshes are in different geomorphic locations, prior to anthropogenic modifications they were similar in terms of nearshore-sediment composition, scarp-shoreline morphology, and shoreline trajectory. The upper-bay marsh was impacted by the introduction of tree farming in the watershed of a tributary creek to the upper bay, which increased upland erosion and caused higher sedimentation rates in the estuary. The back-barrier marsh, which received no contribution from the tree farm because it is distal with respect to river input, was modified by the installation of a pier and rock sill. Terrestrial LIDAR, surface elevation tables, and accretion rates obtained from radioisotope analyses show that the deforestation induced high rates of nearshore and marsh accretion at the upper-bay site, which is promoting marsh colonization and expansion

  11. The temperature sensitivity of organic matter decay in tidal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Langley, J. A.

    2014-04-01

    Approximately half of marine carbon sequestration takes place in coastal wetlands, including tidal marshes, where ecosystems accumulate organic matter to build soil elevation and survive sea level rise. The long-term viability of marshes, and their carbon pools, depends in part on how the balance between productivity and decay responds to climate change. Here, we report the sensitivity of soil organic matter decay in tidal marshes to seasonal and latitudinal variations in temperature measured over a 3 year period. We find a moderate increase in decay rate at warmer temperatures (3-6% °C-1, Q10 = 1.3-1.5). Despite the profound differences between microbial metabolism in wetlands and uplands, our results indicate a strong conservation of temperature sensitivity. Moreover, simple comparisons with organic matter production suggest that elevated atmospheric CO2 and warmer temperatures will accelerate carbon accumulation in marsh soils, and enhance their ability to survive sea level rise.

  12. Modeling storm and sea level rise impacts on marsh transgression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, J. A.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Kirwan, M. L.

    2016-12-01

    Coastal salt marsh systems provide critical ecosystem services, including key habitat and coastal protection. Both lateral extent, and vertical stability of salt marshes to sea level rise have been shown to be functions of both biotic, and abiotic drivers and feedbacks. As a result, the ecogeomorphic evolution of the system can exhibit strong non-linearities, discontinuities and thresholds. We developed a two-dimensional transect model to explore controls on marsh lateral extent, vertical stability and the potential for marsh transgression inland and upland. Salt marsh and upland regions in the model are discretized in 1 m increments with inundation frequency determined by the elevation of the individual cells, organogenic soil formation and mineral deposition rates, and the history of stochastic water levels. The transect extends from an idealized back barrier bay across the salt marsh platform and into the upland forest and is forced with auto and cross correlated synthetic stochastic wind speed, wind direction and water levels. The model incorporates key feedbacks between fetch, wave growth and subsequent lateral erosion rates and sediment supply to the marsh platform. Deposition of mineral sediment from the bay and/or internal ponds onto the marsh platform cells is dependent both on the inundation frequency and distance from a marsh edge. For each element along the transect, a Markov chain successional model was implemented that considers six distinct states, grass/saltmarsh, seedling, sapling, tree, dead standing tree, and bare. A non-static transition probability matrix, dependent on both inundation of the element and the prior vegetation state, was used in order to allow for feedbacks, both positive and negative, among different vegetation states and environmental drivers. The model was used to examine the qualitative behavior of the coupled systems under varied rates of sea level rise, external sediment supply, wind and storm statistics, tidal range, upland

  13. Breuner Marsh Restoration Project

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Information about the San Francisco Bay Water Quality Project (SFBWQP) Breuner Marsh Restoration Project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butera, M. K.

    1975-01-01

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

  15. New model describes toppling of salt marsh banks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-05-01

    Salt marshes are coastal habitats that store important nutrients and serve as shelter for many estuarial species. These habitats are threatened by rising seas and human expansion, so it has become increasingly important to improve models of how these habitats degrade.

  16. Marsh canopy structure changes and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    Marsh canopy structure was mapped yearly from 2009 to 2012 in the Barataria Bay, Louisiana coastal region that was impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Based on the previously demonstrated capability of NASA's UAVSAR polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) image data to map Spartina alterniflora marsh canopy structure, structure maps combining the leaf area index (LAI) and leaf angle distribution (LAD, orientation) were constructed for yearly intervals that were directly relatable to the 2010 LAI-LAD classification. The yearly LAI-LAD and LAI difference maps were used to investigate causes for the previously revealed dramatic change in marsh structure from prespill (2009) to postspill (2010, spill cessation), and the occurrence of structure features that exhibited abnormal spatial and temporal patterns. Water level and salinity records showed that freshwater releases used to keep the oil offshore did not cause the rapid growth from 2009 to 2010 in marsh surrounding the inner Bay. Photointerpretation of optical image data determined that interior marsh patches exhibiting rapid change were caused by burns and burn recovery, and that the pattern of 2010 to 2011 LAI decreases in backshore marsh and extending along some tidal channels into the interior marsh were not associated with burns. Instead, the majority of 2010 to 2011 shoreline features aligned with vectors displaying the severity of 2010 shoreline oiling from the DWH spill. Although the association is not conclusive of a causal oil impact, the coexistent pattern is a significant discovery. PolSAR marsh structure mapping provided a unique perspective of marsh biophysical status that enhanced detection of change and monitoring of trends important to management effectiveness.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. Carbon Stocks and Accretion in Shallow Marsh Soils of the Mississippi Delta Plain, Louisiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swarzenski, C.; Tweel, A.

    2012-12-01

    Within limits, soil elevations track long-term water level trends in coastal marshes, primarily through organic contributions. Soil organic matter (carbon) provides vertical elasticity. By virtue of their extent and because of generally rapid subsidence rates, Delta Plain marshes in coastal Louisiana accrete and store large amounts of organic carbon in short time periods. Local subsidence rates are highly variable but average around 1 cm per year or even more in some places. To avoid submergence, marshes must fill the void space, through direct deposition of mineral and organic matter, and/or through changes in pore size. We have profiled shallow soils (< 1 m) in different Delta Plain marsh types and in a variety of settings to understand how soil organic matter contributes to soil volume and accretion and ultimately, how these marshes respond to water level trends. Salt and freshwater marshes accreted similar amounts of carbon (170-260 g C m2 y-1). Carbon stocks in the upper 50 cm of soil were greater by about 15-20% in salt marshes with low rates of vertical accretion as measured by Cs-137 compared with salt marshes with faster rates of accretion and with the almost exclusively organic freshwater marshes. Density of organic carbon increased as dry bulk density increased both in salt and fresh marshes. In fresh marshes with high nutrient inputs, carbon stocks in the shallow soils were 5-10% greater than in comparable marshes with rain as their source of water. Loss of soil organic matter over time also was greater in high nutrient areas, indicating greater carbon turnover in nutrient- enriched waters. The organic matter was more sapric in nutrient-enriched waters. The long-term storage and burial rates of carbon in these coastal wetlands differ from the short-term dynamics of carbon cycling in shallow soils. The short-term carbon dynamics however are crucial to understanding how coastal wetlands may respond to predicted accelerated rates of sea-level rise. In this

  2. Hydrologic variability in a salt marsh: Assessing the links between drought and acute marsh dieback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Andrea L. H.; Wilson, Alicia M.; Morris, James T.

    2012-10-01

    It has been hypothesized that acute marsh dieback (AMD) observed along the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic Bight in the early 2000s was the result of drought-induced changes to porewater and sediment chemistry through hypersalinity or through mobilization of metals and acidification associated with redox changes. The impact of drought on coastal wetlands remains unclear because the hydrology of these wetlands is strongly influenced by regular tidal inundation. In order to test the links between hydrologic variability and changes to marsh groundwater conditions that may be stressful to the salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora, we installed piezometers and passive diffusion samplers in a salt marsh island at North Inlet, South Carolina, where AMD was observed in fall 2001. Significant variations in tidal inundation, rainfall, evapotranspiration, groundwater dynamics, and porewater chemistry were observed. The island was typically inundated twice daily, but there were occasional 19-21 h periods in winter and spring when the marsh was not inundated and a singular event when the marsh was not inundated for three days (March 2008). Enhanced exposure resulted in seasonal redox chemistry changes, as indicated by changes in the ratio of ferrous iron [Fe(II)] to total iron [Fe(II) + Fe(III)], but our observations do not support redox and pH changes as the cause of AMD at this site. Porewater salinity varied from 14 to 40 in the upper 1 m of the marsh. Salinity was most variable near the surface and increased with depth, reflecting root zone transpiration and downward movement of porewater through the marsh mud into the underlying confined sand aquifer. Pearson Correlation tests among porewater constituents and hydrologic parameters indicated significant associations between porewater salinity, tidal inundation, rainfall, and ET, and additional associations between porewater iron concentration, speciation, and tidal inundation. Linear regression model estimates of porewater

  3. Habitat characteristics and eggshell distribution of the salt marsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax, in marshes in subtropical Eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Donnelly, J P; Bertness, M D

    2001-12-04

    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.

  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. Groundwater-Mediated Feedbacks between Sea Level Rise and Marsh Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Data from salt marshes in the U.S. Southeast show that long-term variations in salt marsh productivity and porewater salinity correlate strongly with mean water level (MWL). To understand how tidally-influenced groundwater flow might control these correlations, we developed process-based numerical models to assess the effect of variations in MWL on groundwater flushing in salt marshes. We modeled homogeneous and layered marsh stratigraphy and compared flat and sloped topography for the marsh surface. Model results show that increases in MWL cause groundwater flushing to increase if greater areas of the marsh become inundated at high tide. Once the marsh was fully inundated at high tide, further increases in MWL caused groundwater flushing to decrease. We also investigated a range of tidal amplitudes, finding that increases in tidal amplitude increased groundwater flushing, particularly when increasing the tidal amplitude caused the marsh platform to be inundated at high tide. Results suggest that small increases in MWL associated with sea level rise could increase increase productivity in marshes that are equilibrated near mean high water, but rising sea level could decrease productivity, and thus accretion rates, in marshes that are equilibrated lower in the tidal frame. We speculate that the early stages of rising relative sea level may also significantly impact water quality in bar-built estuaries (not river-dominated) by increasing groundwater flushing and thus raising the discharge of nutrients from coastal wetlands.

  7. Zooming in and out: Scale dependence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting salt marsh erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Heng; van der Wal, Daphne; Li, Xiangyu; van Belzen, Jim; Herman, Peter M. J.; Hu, Zhan; Ge, Zhenming; Zhang, Liquan; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    2017-07-01

    Salt marshes are valuable ecosystems that provide important ecosystem services. Given the global scale of marsh loss due to climate change and coastal squeeze, there is a pressing need to identify the critical extrinsic (wind exposure and foreshore morphology) and intrinsic factors (soil and vegetation properties) affecting the erosion of salt marsh edges. In this study, we quantified rates of cliff lateral retreat (i.e., the eroding edge of a salt marsh plateau) using a time series of aerial photographs taken over four salt marsh sites in the Westerschelde estuary, the Netherlands. In addition, we experimentally quantified the erodibility of sediment cores collected from the marsh edge of these four marshes using wave tanks. Our results revealed the following: (i) at the large scale, wind exposure and the presence of pioneer vegetation in front of the cliff were the key factors governing cliff retreat rates; (ii) at the intermediate scale, foreshore morphology was partially related to cliff retreat; (iii) at the local scale, the erodibility of the sediment itself at the marsh edge played a large role in determining the cliff retreat rate; and (iv) at the mesocosm scale, cliff erodibility was determined by soil properties and belowground root biomass. Thus, both extrinsic and intrinsic factors determined the fate of the salt marsh but at different scales. Our study highlights the importance of understanding the scale dependence of the factors driving the evolution of salt marsh landscapes.

  8. Hurricane Influences on Vegetation Community Change in Coastal Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Walker, Allison K; Campbell, Jinx

    2010-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  14. Tidal Marsh Vegetation Pattern and Channel Network Complexity Linked in Alternative Stable States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffett, K.; Gorelick, S.

    2016-12-01

    Intertidal marsh ecosystems may emerge from alternative mudflat and subtidal states; meanwhile, nested within them there develops patchy marsh vegetation zonation. System organization at both these coastal- and patch-scales may be controlled by biogeomorphic feedbacks. But what of the intermediate, marsh-scale? What features and feedbacks reconcile patch-scale and coastal-scale organizational tendencies and guide the full 2D structure of a whole salt marsh-and-tidal channel system? This intermediate scale has been a gap in analyses to date. We used an empirical approach to first document the variety of such 2D whole-marsh vegetation-and-channel patterns that can be achieved within a common physiographic region, surveying 113 tidal marshes in San Francisco Bay estuary. Decision-tree pattern categorizations and pattern-quantifying metrics from object-based image analysis were then assessed in relation to key site characteristics. Site vegetation pattern complexity was significantly related to site salinity but independent of marsh age or elevation. Channel complexity was significantly related to marsh age but independent of salinity or elevation. Vegetation pattern and channel complexity were significantly related, suggesting two prevalent biogeomorphic states at the intermediate scale questioned above: a linked, complex vegetation-and-channel configuration, or a simple vegetation-and-channel configuration. This correspondence held across marsh ages (decades to millennia) and at both high and low marsh elevations. We conclude that marshes of shared physiography can exhibit highly variable ecosystem structures, and young marshes are not necessarily simple nor necessarily develop vegetation complexity with age and elevation. Salt marshes may tend to occupy two alternative stable states at the marsh-scale, characterized by linked complexity in vegetation and channel organization. The channel network configuration is a lynchpin of this organization, possibly serving a

  15. Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Saltwater Intrusion

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    for the normalized difference indices (vegetation, soil, and water– NDVI , NDSI, and NDWI) for both MODIS and Landsat 5 and 7, referred to as the...Normalized Difference Index transformation [4]. The MODIS indices are 250 m ( NDVI ) and 500 m (NDWI and NDSI), and the Landsat indices are 30 m...indices are shown for two locations in Fig. 1 and Fig 2. Each figure shows the NDSI (soil), NDVI (vegetation), and NDWI (water) index as a function of

  16. Coatal salt marshes and mangrove swamps in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Shi-Lun; Chen, Ji-Yu

    1995-12-01

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

  17. California Marshes as Recorders of Paleotsunamis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richmond, B. M.; Wilson, R. I.; Hemphill-Haley, E.; Jaffe, B. E.; Peters, R. B.; Leeper, R. J.; Watt, S.

    2013-12-01

    We report on the initial results of a statewide effort to search for geological evidence of past tsunamis impacting the California coast. Several historical distant-source tsunamis, including the April 1, 1946 Aleutian, May 20, 1960 Chile, March 28, 1964 Alaska, and March 11, 2011 Tohoku-oki events, caused inundation along portions of the northern and central California coast, and recent numerical tsunami modeling results identify California as threatened by distant-source tsunamis, especially from the eastern Aleutian Islands subduction zone. Surveys of 20 coastal marshes included site visits, mapping, and coring of shallow surface sediments to determine if evidence for past tsunamis exists. Our search focused on deposits consisting of laterally extensive sand deposits, or other evidence indicative of high-energy coastal flood events, buried within peat and mud deposits typically found in low-energy, coastal marsh settings. Microfossil assemblages, grain-size distribution, age-dating, and provenance of sand layers also provided key information used to assess if deposits were formed by tsunami events. Conclusive geologic evidence for past tsunami inundation consistent with tsunami inundation was found at several locations, most notably from wetlands in the Crescent City and Half Moon Bay areas. However, most of the marshes cored showed equivocal evidence of event layer stratigraphy. Because the California coast is primarily impacted by distant-source tsunamis rather than locally generated ones, it is often difficult to identify tsunami deposits because the relatively small size of distant-source tsunamis and the absence of local coincident seismic subsidence inhibits the formation and preservation of tsunami deposits. Understanding the geologic evidence of past tsunamis in California will improve our ability to assess the frequency and magnitude of tsunamis that are likely to impact California in the future.

  18. Marsh nesting by mallards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  19. Common marsh plants of the United States and Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hotchkiss, Neil

    1970-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  3. Multiple stressors and the potential for synergistic loss of New England salt marshes

    PubMed Central

    Angelini, Christine; Bertness, Mark D.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors are converging on coastal ecosystems worldwide. Understanding how these stressors interact to affect ecosystem structure and function has immediate implications for coastal planning, however few studies quantify stressor interactions. We examined past and potential future interactions between two leading stressors on New England salt marshes: sea-level rise and marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum) grazing driven low marsh die-off. Geospatial analyses reveal that crab-driven die-off has led to an order of magnitude more marsh loss than sea-level rise between 2005 and 2013. However, field transplant experimental results suggest that sea-level rise will facilitate crab expansion into higher elevation marsh platforms by inundating and gradually softening now-tough high marsh peat, exposing large areas to crab-driven die-off. Taking interactive effects of marsh softening and concomitant overgrazing into account, we estimate that even modest levels of sea-level rise will lead to levels of salt marsh habitat loss that are 3x greater than the additive effects of sea-level rise and crab-driven die-off would predict. These findings highlight the importance of multiple stressor studies in enhancing mechanistic understanding of ecosystem vulnerabilities to future stress scenarios and encourage managers to focus on ameliorating local stressors to break detrimental synergisms, reduce future ecosystem loss, and enhance ecosystem resilience to global change. PMID:28859097

  4. Vegetation types in coastal Louisiana in 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sasser, Charles E.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Mouton, Edmond; Linscombe, Jeb; Hartley, Steve B.

    2014-01-01

    During the summer of 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Coastal and Nongame Resources Division jointly completed an aerial survey to collect data on 2013 vegetation types in coastal Louisiana. Plant species were listed and their abundance classified. On the basis of species composition and abundance, each marsh sampling station was assigned a marsh type: fresh, intermediate, brackish, or saline (saltwater) marsh. The current map presents the data collected in this effort.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, A.; Kirwan, M.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Wendy H; Silver, Whendee L

    2016-06-01

    Sea level rise will change inundation regimes in salt marshes, altering redox dynamics that control nitrification - a potential source of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2 O) - and denitrification, a major nitrogen (N) loss pathway in coastal ecosystems and both a source and sink of N2 O. Measurements of net N2 O fluxes alone yield little insight into the different effects of redox conditions on N2 O production and consumption. We used in situ measurements of gross N2 O fluxes across a salt marsh elevation gradient to determine how soil N2 O emissions in coastal ecosystems may respond to future sea level rise. Soil redox declined as marsh elevation decreased, with lower soil nitrate and higher ferrous iron in the low marsh compared to the mid and high marshes (P < 0.001 for both). In addition, soil oxygen concentrations were lower in the low and mid-marshes relative to the high marsh (P < 0.001). Net N2 O fluxes differed significantly among marsh zones (P = 0.009), averaging 9.8 ± 5.4 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) , -2.2 ± 0.9 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) , and 0.67 ± 0.57 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) in the low, mid, and high marshes, respectively. Both net N2 O release and uptake were observed in the low and high marshes, but the mid-marsh was consistently a net N2 O sink. Gross N2 O production was highest in the low marsh and lowest in the mid-marsh (P = 0.02), whereas gross N2 O consumption did not differ among marsh zones. Thus, variability in gross N2 O production rates drove the differences in net N2 O flux among marsh zones. Our results suggest that future studies should focus on elucidating controls on the processes producing, rather than consuming, N2 O in salt marshes to improve our predictions of changes in net N2 O fluxes caused by future sea level rise. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Tides and Marshes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouler, Chris

    The Maryland Marine Science Education Project has produced a series of mini-units in marine science education for the junior high/middle school classroom. This unit focuses on tides and marshes. Although the unit specifically treats the Chesapeake Bay, it may be adapted for use with similar estuarine systems. In addition, the unit may be…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. Tidal marsh stability in the face of human impacts and sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal populations and marshes have been intertwined for centuries, where humans both influence and depend on the enormous ecosystem services that marshes provide. Although marshes have long been considered vulnerable to climate change, recent work identifies fascinating feedbacks between plant growth and geomorphology that enable them to actively resist sea level rise. Here, we will review existing literature and provide new data to examine how humans alter these feedbacks. Measurements of accretion and elevation change suggest that most marshes will survive present day sea level rise rates by building vertically. Numerical models predict that these marshes will survive moderate accelerations in the rate of sea level in places where dams do not limit sediment delivery to the coast. However, these results also suggest that marsh survival under faster accelerations in sea level will depend on their ability to migrate inland. Marsh transgression into uplands is influenced not only by topography, but also by human land use and decisions to harden shorelines. Preliminary numerical model experiments will be used to explore how basic biophysical and anthropogenic drivers determine whether sea level change will lead to marsh loss (erosion+drowning > transgression), marsh expansion (transgression > erosion), or dynamic equilibrium (transgression = erosion).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    The threatened Marsh Grassbird (Locustella pryeri) first appeared in the salt marsh in east China after the salt marsh was invaded by cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), a non-native invasive species. To understand the dependence of non-native Marsh Grassbird on the non-native cordgrass, we quantified habitat use, food source, and reproductive success of the Marsh Grassbird at the Chongming Dongtan (CMDT) salt marsh. In the breeding season, we used point counts and radio-tracking to determine habitat use by Marsh Grassbirds. We analyzed basal food sources of the Marsh Grassbirds by comparing the δ(13) C isotope signatures of feather and fecal samples of birds with those of local plants. We monitored the nests through the breeding season and determined the breeding success of the Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT. Density of Marsh Grassbirds was higher where cordgrass occurred than in areas of native reed (Phragmites australis) monoculture. The breeding territory of the Marsh Grassbird was composed mainly of cordgrass stands, and nests were built exclusively against cordgrass stems. Cordgrass was the major primary producer at the base of the Marsh Grassbird food chain. Breeding success of the Marsh Grassbird at CMDT was similar to breeding success within its native range. Our results suggest non-native cordgrass provides essential habitat and food for breeding Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT and that the increase in Marsh Grassbird abundance may reflect the rapid spread of cordgrass in the coastal regions of east China. Our study provides an example of how a primary invader (i.e., cordgrass) can alter an ecosystem and thus facilitate colonization by a second non-native species. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Interactions between barrier islands and backbarrier marshes affect island system response to sea level rise: Insights from a coupled model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walters, David; Moore, Laura J.; Duran Vinent, Orencio; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Mariotti, Giulio

    2014-09-01

    Interactions between backbarrier marshes and barrier islands will likely play an important role in determining how low-lying coastal systems respond to sea level rise and changes in storminess in the future. To assess the role of couplings between marshes and barrier islands under changing conditions, we develop and apply a coupled barrier island-marsh model (GEOMBEST+) to assess the impact of overwash deposition on backbarrier marsh morphology and of marsh morphology on rates of island migration. Our model results suggest that backbarrier marsh width is in a constant state of change until either the backbarrier basin becomes completely filled or backbarrier marsh deposits have completely eroded away. Results also suggest that overwash deposition is an important source of sediment, which allows existing narrow marshes to be maintained in a long-lasting alternate state (~500 m wide in the Virginia Barrier Islands) within a range of conditions under which they would otherwise disappear. The existence of a narrow marsh state is supported by observations of backbarrier marshes along the eastern shore of Virginia. Additional results suggest that marshes reduce accommodation in the backbarrier bay, which, in turn, decreases island migration rate. As climate change results in sea level rise, and the increased potential for intense hurricanes resulting in overwash, it is likely that these couplings will become increasingly important in determining future system behavior.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  14. Surface water and groundwater interactions in coastal wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ling; Xin, Pei; Shen, Chengji

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-08-05

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

  16. Controls on resilience and stability in a sediment-subsidized salt marsh.

    PubMed

    Stagg, Camille L; Mendelssohn, Irving A

    2011-07-01

    Although the concept of self-design is frequently employed in restoration, reestablishment of primary physical drivers does not always result in a restored ecosystem having the desired ecological functions that support system resilience and stability. We investigated the use of a primary environmental driver in coastal salt marshes, sediment availability, as a means of promoting the resilience and stability of submerging deltaic salt marshes, which are rapidly subsiding due to natural and human-induced processes. We conducted a disturbance-recovery experiment across a gradient of sediment slurry addition to assess the roles of sediment elevation and soil physico-chemical characteristics on vegetation resilience and stability in two restored salt marshes of differing age (a 15-year-old site and a 5-year-old site). Salt marshes that received moderate intensities of sediment slurry addition with elevations at the mid to high intertidal zone (2-11 cm above local mean sea level; MSL) were more resilient than natural marshes. The primary regulator of enhanced resilience and stability in the restored marshes was the alleviation of flooding stress observed in the natural, unsubsidized marsh. However, stability reached a sediment addition threshold, at an elevation of 11 cm above MSL, with decreasing stability in marshes above this elevation. Declines in resilience and stability above the sediment addition threshold were principally influenced by relatively dry conditions that resulted from insufficient and infrequent flooding at high elevations. Although the older restored marsh has subsided over time, areas receiving too much sediment still had limited stability 15 years later, emphasizing the importance of applying the appropriate amount of sediment to the marsh. In contrast, treated marshes with elevations 2-11 cm above MSL were still more resilient than the natural marsh 15 years after restoration, illustrating that when performed correctly, sediment slurry addition

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Palatability and chemical defense of Phragmites australis to the marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Lindsey G; Mossop, Hannah E; Kicklighter, Cynthia E

    2011-08-01

    Coastal marsh habitats are impacted by many disturbances, including habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. The common reed, Phragmites australis, has been particularly invasive in the mesohaline regions of the Chesapeake Bay, but few studies have investigated its role in trophic interactions with North American marsh consumers. The marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata is a common grazer in marshes and grazes on the native grass Spartina alterniflora. Whether this snail grazes on Phragmites has not been addressed. We found Spartina leaves to be tougher than those of Phragmites, but despite this, snails consumed significantly more Spartina than Phragmites. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that Phragmites is chemically deterrent to snails by an unknown, moderately polar, compound. Further studies are required to more fully understand the interactions between Phragmites, herbivores, and Spartina, and how they may impact marsh ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    Coastal areas are among the world's most productive and highly affected ecosystems. Centuries of human activity on coastlines have led to overexploitation of marine predators, which in turn has led to cascading ecosystem-level effects. Human effects and approaches to mediating them, however, differ regionally due to gradients in biotic and abiotic factors. Salt marsh die-off on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (U.S.A.), triggered by a recreational-fishing-induced trophic cascade that has released herbivorous crabs from predator control, has been ongoing since 1976. Similar salt marsh die-offs have been reported in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay (U.S.A.), but the driving mechanism of these die-offs has not been examined. We used field experiments to assess trophic interactions and historical reconstructions of 24 New England marshes to test the hypotheses that recreational fishing and predator depletion are a regional trigger of salt marsh die-off in New England and that die-offs in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay are more recent than those on Cape Cod. Predator depletion was the general trigger of marsh die-off and explained differences in herbivorous crab abundance and the severity of die-off across regions. Die-offs in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay are following a trajectory similar to die-off on Cape Cod, but are approximately 20 years behind those on Cape Cod. As a result, die-off currently affects 31.2% (SE 2.2) of low-marsh areas in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay, less than half the severity of die-off on Cape Cod. Our results contribute to the growing evidence that recreational fishing is an increasing threat to coastal ecosystems and that studying the effects of human activity at regional scales can provide insight into local effects and aid in early detection and potential remediation. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Neotropical coastal wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, Karen L.; Batzer, Darold P.; Baldwin, Andrew H.

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropical region, which includes the tropical Americas, is one of the world's eight biogeographic zones. It contains some of the most diverse and unique wetlands in the world, some of which are still relatively undisturbed by humans. This chapter focuses on the northern segment of the Neotropics (south Florida, the Caribbean islands, Mexico, and Central America), an area that spans a latitudinal gradient from about 7 N to 29 N and 60 W to 112 W. Examples of coastal wetlands in this realm include the Everglades (Florida, USA), Ten Thousand Islands (Florida, USA), Laguna de Terminos (Mexico), Twin Cays (Belize), and Zapata Swamp (Cuba). Coastal wetlands are dominated by mangroves, which will be emphasized here, but also include freshwater swamps and marshes, saline marshes, and seagrass beds. The aim of this chapter is to provide a broad overview of Neotropical coastal wetlands of the North American continent, with an emphasis on mangroves, since this is the dominant vegetation type and because in-depth coverage of all wetland types is impossible here. Instead, the goal is to describe the environmental settings, plant and animal communities, key ecological controls, and some conservation concerns, with specific examples. Because this book deals with wetlands of North America, this chapter excludes coastal wetlands of South America. However, much of the information is applicable to mangrove, marsh, and seagrass communities of other tropicaI regions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Geographic variation in plant community structure of salt marshes: species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Conceptual salt marsh units for wetland synthesis: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Defne, Zafer; Ganju, Neil Kamal

    2016-01-01

    The salt marsh complex of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay (New Jersey, USA), was delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit while the surface slope is used to automatically assign each unit a drainage point, where water is expected to drain through. Through scientific efforts associated with the Hurricane Sandy Science Plan, the U.S. Geological Survey has started to expand national assessment of coastal change hazards and forecast products to coastal wetlands. The intent is to provide federal, state, and local managers with tools to estimate their vulnerability and ecosystem service potential. For this purpose, the response and resilience of coastal wetlands to physical factors need to be assessed in terms of the ensuing change to their vulnerability and ecosystem services. EBFNWR was selected as a pilot study.Recent research shows that sediment budgets of microtidal marsh complexes on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States consistently scale with areal unvegetated/vegetated marsh ratio (UVVR) despite differences in sea-level rise, tidal range, elevation, vegetation, and stressors. This highlights UVVR as a broadly applicable indicator of microtidal marsh stability. It is also relatively quicker and less labor intensive compared to quantifying integrative sediment budgets and the associated transport mechanisms that requires extended tidal-timescale observations of sediment transport. UVVR indicates the link between open-water conversion processes and sediment transport, providing consistent results across a geomorphic and climatic spectrum of microtidal marshes, hence can be an independent measure of marsh health. Potentially, tracking future changes to UVVR may allow for widespread

  8. Nutrient enrichment and the role of salt marshes in the Tagus estuary (Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simas, T. C.; Ferreira, J. G.

    2007-11-01

    Eutrophication is one of the most common impacts of nutrient enrichment on coastal ecosystems. Since there is a wide ecosystem response variety in scale, intensity and impact to nutrient enrichment, the loading required to produce eutrophication symptoms to each system is also variable. In estuaries and coastal zones salt marsh primary producers have received less attention, mainly because salt marsh dominated systems are considered less sensitive to nutrient enrichment and, for that reason, their response is slower and more difficult to quantify. Salt marshes have been considered as major attenuators of the effects of nitrogen enrichment in several coastal systems, and are indicated as a measure of the system susceptibility to nutrient enrichment. The main goal of the present work is to discuss the role of salt marsh vegetation in the nutrient dynamics of coastal systems and in the nutrient enrichment process. For these purposes salt marsh vegetation growth in the Tagus estuary is described through a mathematical model which includes the simulation of the nutrient dynamics through the sediment-water interface and the uptake kinetics by the vascular plants. An analysis of the role of salt marsh vegetation on the nutrient dynamics of the Tagus estuary is carried out through the discussion of the model results and comparison with data obtained for other primary producers in the system. The results indicate that C 4 salt marsh plants have the highest productivity, followed by seaweeds. The total net production of salt marsh plants and is about 12,600 ton C yr -1, accounting for 25% of the total primary production within the system.

  9. Salt Marsh Restoration: Changes in Plant Biomass and Gas Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fok, C. C.; Tang, J.; Kroeger, K. D.; Wang, F.; McKlveen, M.

    2016-12-01

    Temperate salt marshes are among the most important and productive coastal wetland ecosystems globally. Their value is determined by the high primary productivity in salinized environments combined with the excessive sequestration rate of carbon into sediment and biomass. One of the most significant anthropogenic threats to coastal wetlands is the construction of dikes, bridges, and dams. Organic material that was once reduced in decay due to being under anaerobic conditions is now converted to aerobic respiration, releasing carbon dioxide and methane gas. On Cape Cod, salt marsh restoration has been conducted within the last decade. We measure the CO2 and CH4 fluxes in restored, degraded, and natural salt marshes and assessed the above-ground, below-ground biomass. We hypothesize that plant biomass yield in restored sites is greater than biomass in the corresponding natural sites; higher methane flux is present in restored sites compared to natural sites. To measure the GHG emissions, a Picarro C02 - CH4 analyzer connected gas chamber recorded salt marsh gas flux. Biomass was measured with the exact same processes as stated above; following gas measurements, the biomass above-ground was collected in marked containers. After harvest of biomass, additional measurements of below-ground respiration was assessed by the same static chamber method. Calculations were made using MATLAB software. Results supported the hypotheses; of the five sites we examined, three displayed higher biomass in restored sites. Additionally, methane gas flux in restored sites is indeed significantly greater significantly greater than the natural sites but lower than the degraded marsh. In conclusion, Restored sites have higher plant biomass, which coincide with higher Net Ecosystem Production. Excess CH4 emissions in restored sites are due to a reduction in soil salinity compared to natural sites. The fact of how valuable C sequestration capacity of vegetated coastal wetlands are, it is

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  14. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Biosphere 2's Marsh Biome

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Molnar, Jennifer; Goodridge, Kelven

    1997-01-01

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

  16. Structural marsh management research priorities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, Donald R.; Groat, Charles G.

    1989-01-01

    The paper presents a prioritized list of research issues related to structural marsh management developed by a multidisciplinary panel of regulatory agency representatives, landowners, and scientists. More than 75 issues were identified concerning landscape changes, influence on ecological processes (i.e., hydrologic, biologic, and edaphic factors), habitat quality, cumulative impacts, and management approach. These issues were prioritized and organized around six basic questions regulatory personnel must try to answer for each marsh management plan application. The six questions deal with the influence of marsh management on, in order of most immediate need, marsh loss and health, fisheries, wildlife, habitat change, water quality, and cumulative effects.

  17. Mosquitoes associated with ditch-plugged and control tidal salt marshes on the Delmarva Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Leisnham, Paul T; Sandoval-Mohapatra, Sarah

    2011-08-01

    A study was conducted during the summer of 2009 (from July to September) to characterize mosquito communities among different habitats in five historically ditched tidal salt marshes and three adjacent wooded areas in the E.A. Vaughn Wetland Management Area on the Maryland Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Study marshes are characteristic of Atlantic coastal salt marshes that had undergone grid ditching from the 1930s to 1950s. In the autumn of 2008 (October and November) ditches were plugged near their outlets in two ('experimental') marshes with the aim to restore their natural tidal hydrology. The three other marshes were not plugged. Marshes were sampled from July to September in 2009 by using standard dip count method. A total of 2,457 mosquito larvae representing six species were collected on 15.4% (86/557) of all sample occasions and 399 adults representing four mosquito species were collected from landing counts. Aedes sollicitans, Anopheles bradleyi and Culex salinarius were the most common species collected in larval habitats, and Ae. sollicitans was the most common adult collected. Wooded habitats had more total mosquitoes, were also more frequently occupied by mosquitoes and had higher densities of mosquitoes than marsh habitats. Almost all larvae collected from marshes were from one experimental and one control site. The majority of larvae at the control site were Ae. sollicitans in marsh pannes while Cx. salinarius, An. bradleyi, Ae. cantator, and Ae. sollicitans were collected in high numbers from ditches at the experimental site. We found a difference in the proportion of marsh pannes occupied by Ae. sollicitans but not total mosquitoes sampled 4-5 days after spring tide events than on other occasions. Salinity measures of 42 larval habitats showed lower median salinity in mosquito-occupied habitats (11.5 ppt) than unoccupied habitats (20.1 ppt), and in habitats in wooded areas followed by ditches and pannes in marsh areas. The results of this study suggest

  18. Mosquitoes Associated with Ditch-Plugged and Control Tidal Salt Marshes on the Delmarva Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Leisnham, Paul T.; Sandoval-Mohapatra, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted during the summer of 2009 (from July to September) to characterize mosquito communities among different habitats in five historically ditched tidal salt marshes and three adjacent wooded areas in the E.A. Vaughn Wetland Management Area on the Maryland Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Study marshes are characteristic of Atlantic coastal salt marshes that had undergone grid ditching from the 1930s to 1950s. In the autumn of 2008 (October and November) ditches were plugged near their outlets in two (‘experimental’) marshes with the aim to restore their natural tidal hydrology. The three other marshes were not plugged. Marshes were sampled from July to September in 2009 by using standard dip count method. A total of 2,457 mosquito larvae representing six species were collected on 15.4% (86/557) of all sample occasions and 399 adults representing four mosquito species were collected from landing counts. Aedes sollicitans, Anopheles bradleyi and Culex salinarius were the most common species collected in larval habitats, and Ae. sollicitans was the most common adult collected. Wooded habitats had more total mosquitoes, were also more frequently occupied by mosquitoes and had higher densities of mosquitoes than marsh habitats. Almost all larvae collected from marshes were from one experimental and one control site. The majority of larvae at the control site were Ae. sollicitans in marsh pannes while Cx. salinarius, An. bradleyi, Ae. cantator, and Ae. sollicitans were collected in high numbers from ditches at the experimental site. We found a difference in the proportion of marsh pannes occupied by Ae. sollicitans but not total mosquitoes sampled 4–5 days after spring tide events than on other occasions. Salinity measures of 42 larval habitats showed lower median salinity in mosquito-occupied habitats (11.5 ppt) than unoccupied habitats (20.1 ppt), and in habitats in wooded areas followed by ditches and pannes in marsh areas. The results of this study

  19. Vegetation Influences on Tidal Freshwater Marsh Sedimentation and Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. [The small halophilic zygopteric odonate, Mortonagrion hirosei, of central Japan, a predator utilizable against tiny stinging diptera of coastal salt marshes, especially Ceratopogonidae of the genera Culicoides and Oecacta, pests of sea shores in southwestern U.S.A. and Caribbean area].

    PubMed

    Vasserot, J

    1986-01-01

    Among stinging diptera pullulating in coastal salt marshes Ceratopogonidae gnats (mainly of genus Culicoides and Oecacta) are especially troublesome, particularly in Southeastern U. S. A. and Caribbean area, escaping attacks of most predators by their tiny size. But the zygopteric odonate insect Mortonagrion hirosei is well fitted for hunting those minute diptera, by its tiny size and its behaviour, seeking shelter between halophilic plants (2 facts explaining that it was not discovered in central Japan before 1971...). Its larvae, living in brackish waters of coastal lagoons, can devour those of Ceratopogonidae and at least young stages of those of Mosquitoes whose some halophilic species are dangerous vectors of diseases. According to similarity of climates M. hirosei can certainly thrive in Southeastern U. S. A., and probably in Southern Europe. At lower latitudes problems for completion of annual cycle could perhaps arise from lack of hivernal cooling. It is necessary to make at the world scale methodical researches for other species of zygopteric odonates of similar ecology which could exist in other countries, both for avoiding harmful competition of introduced M. hirosei with native species still unknown and for fulfilling the same ecological function in areas of climate no suitable for this Japanese insect. Introduction of M. hirosei in new geographic areas would be very useful, too, for protection of this interesting species threatened by human activities in its natural biotopes, made of discontinuous and rather little areas.

  2. Assessing Effects of Sea Level Rise on Plum Island Estuary Marshes Using the Hydro-MEM Model.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    Studies show that coastal estuaries and marsh systems are at the risk of losing their productivity under increasing rates of sea level rise (SLR) (Warren and Niering, 1993; Donnelly and Bertness, 2001). A rise in relative sea level may increase flooding across the marsh surface and thereby increase the hydroperiod and re-establish the elevation of the marsh relative to the new mean sea level (Morris, 2006). Linking hydroperiod to the spatial biomass distribution of marsh vegetation has been the focus of many studies (Wiegert et al., 1990, Morris et al., 2002, Doyle et al., 2007, Friedrichs, 2011, Belliard et al., 2016 and Alizad et al., 2016). This research examines how marsh elevation determines the frequency and duration of tidal flooding (hydroperiod), which is one of the most effective parameters for the formation and regulation of marsh growth (Morris et al. 2002 and Fagherazzi et al., 2012). A method to estimate hydroperiod across the marsh surface was developed and included in the coupled Hydro-MEM model (Hagen et al., 2013 & Alizad et al., 2016) to compute biomass density. The updated Hydro-MEM model was applied across the Plum Island Estuary in Massachusetts to assess the effects of SLR scenarios (Parris et al., 2012) on salt marsh productivity for the year 2100. This analysis shows an increase in salt marsh productivity for low rates of SLR and lower productivity under the higher SLR scenario. The study also demonstrates the potential for marsh loss and upland migration under higher rates of SLR.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Barry; Jones, Richard J.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Barry; Jones, Richard J.

    1979-01-01

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

  5. Upslope development of a tidal marsh as a function of upland land use.

    PubMed

    Anisfeld, Shimon C; Cooper, Katharine R; Kemp, Andrew C

    2017-02-01

    To thrive in a time of rapid sea-level rise, tidal marshes will need to migrate upslope into adjacent uplands. Yet little is known about the mechanics of this process, especially in urbanized estuaries, where the adjacent upland is likely to be a mowed lawn rather than a wooded natural area. We studied marsh migration in a Long Island Sound salt marsh using detailed hydrologic, edaphic, and biotic sampling along marsh-to-upland transects in both wooded and lawn environments. We found that the overall pace of marsh development was largely unaffected by whether the upland being invaded was lawn or wooded, but the marsh-edge plant communities that developed in these two environments were quite different, and some indicators (soil salinity, foraminifera) appeared to migrate more easily into lawns. In addition, we found that different aspects of marsh structure and function migrated at different rates: Wetland vegetation appeared to be a leading indicator of marsh migration, while soil characteristics such as redox potential and surface salinity developed later in the process. We defined a 'hydrologic migration zone', consisting of elevations that experience tidal inundation with frequencies ranging from 20% to 0.5% of high tides. This hydrologically defined zone - which extended to an elevation higher than the highest astronomical tide datum - captured the biotic and edaphic marsh-upland ecotone. Tidal inundation at the upper border of this migration zone is highly variable over time and may be rising more rapidly than mean sea level. Our results indicate that land management practices at the upland periphery of tidal marshes can facilitate or impede ecosystem migration in response to rising sea level. These findings are applicable to large areas of tidal marsh along the U.S. Atlantic coast and in other urbanized coastal settings.

  6. How do salt-marsh ecosystems respond to changes in the environmental forcings?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Mudd, S. M.; Carniello, L.

    2012-04-01

    How do salt-marsh ecosystems respond to changes in the environmental forcings? This is a question of paramount importance due to the critical role exerted by salt-marsh ecosystems within the tidal landscape. Salt marshes in fact buffer coastlines against, filter nutrients and pollutants from tidal waters, provide nursery areas for coastal biota, and serve as a sink for organic carbon. Observations of marsh degradation worldwide and the acceleration in the rate of global sea level rise highlight the importance of improving our understanding of the chief processes controlling salt-marsh response to current natural climate changes and to the effects of changes in sediment supply. To address this important issue, we have applied a analytical model of biomorphodynamic evolution of salt-marsh ecosystems in the vertical plane, accounting for two-way interactions between ecological and geomorphological processes. Our results show that marshes are more resilient to a step decrease in the rate of relative sea level rise (RRSLR) rather than to a step increase of the same magnitude. However, marshes respond more rapidly to an increase in sediment load or vegetation productivity, rather than to a decrease (of the same amount) in sediment load or vegetation productivity. We also observe that marsh stability is therefore positively correlated with tidal range: marshes with high tidal ranges respond more slowly to changes in the environmental forcings and therefore are less likely to be affected by perturbations. Finally, the model suggests that, in the case of a oscillating RRSLR, marsh stratigraphy will be unable to fully record short-term fluctuations in relative mean sea level, whereas it will be able to capture long-term fluctuations particularly in sediment rich, microtidal settings.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-19

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

  8. Relationships between sediment microbial communities and pollutants in two California salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Cao, Y; Cherr, G N; Córdova-Kreylos, A L; Fan, T W-M; Green, P G; Higashi, R M; Lamontagne, M G; Scow, K M; Vines, C A; Yuan, J; Holden, P A

    2006-11-01

    Salt marshes are important ecosystems whose plant and microbial communities can alter terrestrially derived pollutants prior to coastal water discharge. However, knowledge regarding relationships between anthropogenic pollutant levels and salt marsh microbial communities is limited, and salt marshes on the West Coast of the United States are rarely examined. In this study, we investigated the relationships between microbial community composition and 24 pollutants (20 metals and 4 organics) in two California salt marshes. Multivariate ordination techniques were used to assess how bacterial community composition, as determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and phospholipid fatty acid analyses, was related to pollution. Sea urchin embryo toxicity measurements and plant tissue metabolite profiles were considered two other biometrics of pollution. Spatial effects were strongly manifested across marshes and across channel elevations within marshes. Utilizing partial canonical correspondence analysis, an ordination technique new to microbial ecology, we found that several metals were strongly associated with microbial community composition after accounting for spatial effects. The major patterns in plant metabolite profiles were consistent with patterns across microbial community profiles, but sea urchin embryo assays, which are commonly used to evaluate ecological toxicity, had no identifiable relationships with pollution. Whereas salt marshes are generally dynamic and complex habitats, microbial communities in these marshes appear to be relatively sensitive indicators of toxic pollutants.

  9. Effects of salinity variations on pore water flow in salt marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengji; Jin, Guangqiu; Xin, Pei; Kong, Jun; Li, Ling

    2015-06-01

    Spatial and temporal salinity variations in surface water and pore water commonly exist in salt marshes under the combined influence of tidal inundation, precipitation, evapotranspiration, and inland freshwater input. Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations were conducted to investigate how density gradients associated with salinity variations affect pore water flow in the salt marsh system. The results showed that upward salinity (density) gradients could lead to flow instability and the formation of salt fingers. These fingers, varying in size with the distance from the creek, modified significantly the pore water flow field, especially in the marsh interior. While the flow instability enhanced local salt transport and mixing considerably, the net effect was small, causing only a slight increase in the overall mass exchange across the marsh surface. In contrast, downward salinity gradients exerted less influence on the pore water flow in the marsh soil and slightly weakened the surface water and groundwater exchange across the marsh surface. Numerical simulations revealed similar density effects on pore water flow at the field scale under realistic conditions. These findings have important implications for studies of marsh soil conditions concerning plant growth as well as nutrient exchange between the marsh and coastal marine system.

  10. A Baseline Study of Piermont Marsh as Nekton Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Coastal Adaptation and Ecological Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheong, S. M.

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Coastal Studies for Primary Grades.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Venetia R.; Roach, Ellen M.

    1986-01-01

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

  13. Nutrient Cycling in Piermont Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  15. Tidal marsh susceptibility to sea-level rise: importance of local-scale models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing concern over sea-level rise impacts to coastal tidal marsh ecosystems has led to modeling efforts to anticipate outcomes for resource management decision making. Few studies on the Pacific coast of North America have modeled sea-level rise marsh susceptibility at a scale relevant to local wildlife populations and plant communities. Here, we use a novel approach in developing an empirical sea-level rise ecological response model that can be applied to key management questions. Calculated elevation change over 13 y for a 324-ha portion of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California, USA, was used to represent local accretion and subsidence processes. Next, we coupled detailed plant community and elevation surveys with measured rates of inundation frequency to model marsh state changes to 2100. By grouping plant communities into low, mid, and high marsh habitats, we were able to assess wildlife species vulnerability and to better understand outcomes for habitat resiliency. Starting study-site conditions were comprised of 78% (253-ha) high marsh, 7% (30-ha) mid marsh, and 4% (18-ha) low marsh habitats, dominated by pickleweed Sarcocornia pacifica and cordgrass Spartina spp. Only under the low sea-level rise scenario (44 cm by 2100) did our models show persistence of some marsh habitats to 2100, with the area dominated by low marsh habitats. Under mid (93 cm by 2100) and high sea-level rise scenarios (166 cm by 2100), most mid and high marsh habitat was lost by 2070, with only 15% (65 ha) remaining, and a complete loss of these habitats by 2080. Low marsh habitat increased temporarily under all three sea-level rise scenarios, with the peak (286 ha) in 2070, adding habitat for the endemic endangered California Ridgway’s rail Rallus obsoletus obsoletus. Under mid and high sea-level rise scenarios, an almost complete conversion to mudflat occurred, with most of the area below mean sea level. Our modeling assumed no marsh migration upslope due to human

  16. 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.

  17. Storm-driven groundwater flow in a salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Alicia M.; Moore, Willard S.; Joye, Samantha B.; Anderson, Joseph L.; Schutte, Charles A.

    2011-02-01

    Storms can cause significant groundwater flow in coastal settings, but prior studies of the effects of storms on groundwater flow and transport have largely focused on very large storms and used salinity as a tracer. We have little information about the effects of smaller storms on coastal flow and how storm-induced variability affects key tidal wetlands like salt marshes, which may remain saline throughout a storm. Here we show that even the distant passage of a moderate storm can strongly increase groundwater flow and transport in salt marsh ecosystems and adjacent barrier islands. Groundwater monitoring and radium isotope tracer analyses revealed significant influx of saline creek water into the confined aquifer below the marsh platform, driven by storm surge. This pulse of fluids reached depths exceeding 5 m, and surge-enhanced tides propagated through the aquifer to affect flow in the upland >100 m from the creek bank. Groundwater discharge from the marsh varied significantly prior to the storm, doubling during inundating tides compared to a period of noninundating neap tides. Storm surge then caused groundwater discharge to decline ˜50% compared to similar inundating tides. Ra- and nutrient-poor creek water that entered the confined aquifer below the marsh was quickly enriched in nutrients and carbon, even on 12 h tidal cycles, so that nutrient discharge was likely proportional to groundwater discharge. Storm-related flow could also drive significant contaminant discharge from developed coastlines. The enhanced transport and variability observed here likely affected hundreds of kilometers of the coastline impacted by the storm.

  18. The Dynamics of Sediment Oxygenation in Marsh Rhizospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koop-Jakobsen, K.

    2014-12-01

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

  19. High site fidelity and low site connectivity in temperate salt marsh fish populations: a stable isotope approach.

    PubMed

    Green, Benjamin C; Smith, David J; Grey, Jonathan; Underwood, Graham J C

    2012-01-01

    Adult and juvenile fish utilise salt marshes for food and shelter at high tide, moving into adjacent sublittoral regions during low tide. Understanding whether there are high levels of site fidelity for different species of coastal fish has important implications for habitat conservation and the design of marine protected areas. We hypothesised that common salt marsh fish species would demonstrate a high site fidelity, resulting in minimal inter-marsh connectivity. Carbon ((13)C) and nitrogen ((15)N) stable isotope ratios of larvae and juveniles of five common salt marsh fish (Atherina presbyter, Chelon labrosus, Clupea harengus, Dicentrarchus labrax, Pomatoschistus microps), seven types of primary producer and seven secondary consumer food sources were sampled in five salt marshes within two estuary complexes along the coast of south-east England. Significant differences in (13)C and (15)N signatures between salt marshes indicated distinct sub-populations utilising the area of estuary around each salt marsh, and limited connectivity, even within the same estuary complex. (15)N ratios were responsible for the majority of inter-marsh differences for each species and showed similar site-specific patterns in ratios in primary producers, secondary consumers and fish. Fish diets (derived from isotope mixing models) varied between species but were mostly consistent between marsh sites, indicating that dietary shifts were not the source of variability of the inter-marsh isotopic signatures within species. These results demonstrate that for some common coastal fish species, high levels of site fidelity result in individual salt marshes operating as discrete habitats for fish assemblages.

  20. Long-term recovery of a Louisiana brackish marsh plant community from oil-spill impact: vegetation response and mitigating effects of marsh surface elevation.

    PubMed

    Hester, M W; Mendelssohn, I A

    2000-04-01

    Oil spills can have significant, short-term, negative impacts on coastal marshes, but the long-term effects and eventual recovery are not well documented, particularly in brackish marshes. The goals of this investigation were to: (1) document the long-term recovery of a Louisiana brackish marsh plant community impacted by a 1985 oil spill; (2) separate the effect of the oil spill on marsh deterioration from ambient rates of marsh deterioration; and (3) assess the relative importance of residual oil in the sediment and decreased marsh surface elevation in the failure of certain areas to recover. A total of 68 permanent plots previously established in 1985 were re-surveyed for plant and soil recovery in the fall of 1989. Although substantial (and near total) vegetative recovery was evident by significant increases in live and total vegetative cover, many of the plots that were initially heavily impacted by oil still displayed elevated levels of total saturated hydrocarbons in the soil. August 1990 measurements of plant photosynthetic response and edaphic variables revealed no significant differences between control plots and plots heavily impacted by oil that displayed vegetative regrowth. Rates of wetland land loss in the oiled marsh during an 8-year period that bracketed the time of the spill were within the historical range measured for this site and similar to the land loss rates of adjacent reference marshes. Results from a manipulative field transplant experiment indicated that the long-term failure of certain small areas to revegetate was primarily due to a decrease of marsh surface elevation (increased flooding stress), not a residual oil effect.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  4. Use of structured decision making to identify monitoring variables and management priorities for salt marsh ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neckles, Hilary A.; Lyons, James E.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Shriver, W. Gregory; Adamowicz, Susan C.

    2015-01-01

    Most salt marshes in the USA have been degraded by human activities, and coastal managers are faced with complex choices among possible actions to restore or enhance ecosystem integrity. We applied structured decision making (SDM) to guide selection of monitoring variables and management priorities for salt marshes within the National Wildlife Refuge System in the northeastern USA. In general, SDM is a systematic process for decomposing a decision into its essential elements. We first engaged stakeholders in clarifying regional salt marsh decision problems, defining objectives and attributes to evaluate whether objectives are achieved, and developing a pool of alternative management actions for achieving objectives. Through this process, we identified salt marsh attributes that were applicable to monitoring National Wildlife Refuges on a regional scale and that targeted management needs. We then analyzed management decisions within three salt marsh units at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, coastal Delaware, as a case example of prioritizing management alternatives. Values for salt marsh attributes were estimated from 2 years of baseline monitoring data and expert opinion. We used linear value modeling to aggregate multiple attributes into a single performance score for each alternative, constrained optimization to identify alternatives that maximized total management benefits subject to refuge-wide cost constraints, and used graphical analysis to identify the optimal set of alternatives for the refuge. SDM offers an efficient, transparent approach for integrating monitoring into management practice and improving the quality of management decisions.

  5. Analysis of the erosion of marsh boundaries produced by wind-wave impact in a shallow tidal basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Salt-marsh ecosystems play a crucial role in the eco-geomorphological evolution of intertidal areas acting as a fundamental buffer against the impacts of coastal storms, filtering nutrients and pollutants from tidal waters, and providing critical habitats for rare vegetation species and essential nursery areas for fishes and crustaceans. Recent observations of marsh degradation worldwide highlight the importance to improve our understanding of the chief processes responsible for their deterioration. The erosion of marsh boundaries produced by wind-wave impact on the marsh edge is generally agreed to be the most important process driving marsh degradation and disappearance. We have studied long-term changes of salt-marsh boundaries in the Venice Lagoon based on the analysis of sequential aerial photographs, dating from 1955, 1970, and 2002, coupled with modelling of local wind-wave dynamics by way of a point wave model. We have observed that a positive correlation exists between rates of marsh-boundary retreat, established by the analysis of sequential aerial photographs, and the averaged power of the impacting wind waves, computed through the wave model. We have also carried out a dimensional analysis which suggests the existence of a linear relationship between the eroded volume of marsh sediment and the averaged wave power. Annually eroded volumes of marsh sediment, determined on the basis of remote sensed data and bathymetric survey, plotted versus the computed averaged power of the impacting wind waves support the existence of such a relationship.

  6. Salt Marsh Bacterial Communities before and after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    PubMed

    Engel, Annette Summers; Liu, Chang; Paterson, Audrey T; Anderson, Laurie C; Turner, R Eugene; Overton, Edward B

    2017-10-15

    Coastal salt marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico shoreline received varied types and amounts of weathered oil residues after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At the time, predicting how marsh bacterial communities would respond and/or recover to oiling and other environmental stressors was difficult because baseline information on community composition and dynamics was generally unavailable. Here, we evaluated marsh vegetation, physicochemistry, flooding frequency, hydrocarbon chemistry, and subtidal sediment bacterial communities from 16S rRNA gene surveys at 11 sites in southern Louisiana before the oil spill and resampled the same marshes three to four times over 38 months after the spill. Calculated hydrocarbon biomarker indices indicated that oil replaced native natural organic matter (NOM) originating from Spartina alterniflora and marine phytoplankton in the marshes between May 2010 and September 2010. At all the studied marshes, the major class- and order-level shifts among the phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria occurred within these first 4 months, but another community shift occurred at the time of peak oiling in 2011. Two years later, hydrocarbon levels decreased and bacterial communities became more diverse, being dominated by Alphaproteobacteria (Rhizobiales), Chloroflexi (Dehalococcoidia), and Planctomycetes Compositional changes through time could be explained by NOM source differences, perhaps due to vegetation changes, as well as marsh flooding and salinity excursions linked to freshwater diversions. These findings indicate that persistent hydrocarbon exposure alone did not explain long-term community shifts.IMPORTANCE Significant deterioration of coastal salt marshes in Louisiana has been linked to natural and anthropogenic stressors that can adversely affect how ecosystems function. Although microorganisms carry out and regulate most biogeochemical reactions, the diversity of bacterial communities in

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Thresholds in marsh resilience to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silliman, Brian R.; Dixon, Philip M.; Wobus, Cameron; He, Qiang; Daleo, Pedro; Hughes, Brent B.; Rissing, Matthew; Willis, Jonathan M.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-09-01

    Ecosystem boundary retreat due to human-induced pressure is a generally observed phenomenon. However, studies that document thresholds beyond which internal resistance mechanisms are overwhelmed are uncommon. Following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, field studies from a few sites suggested that oiling of salt marshes could lead to a biogeomorphic feedback where plant death resulted in increased marsh erosion. We tested for spatial generality of and thresholds in this effect across 103 salt marsh sites spanning ~430 kilometers of shoreline in coastal Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, using data collected as part of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). Our analyses revealed a threshold for oil impacts on marsh edge erosion, with higher erosion rates occurring for ~1-2 years after the spill at sites with the highest amounts of plant stem oiling (90-100%). These results provide compelling evidence showing large-scale ecosystem loss following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More broadly, these findings provide rare empirical evidence identifying a geomorphologic threshold in the resistance of an ecosystem to increasing intensity of human-induced disturbance.

  9. Thresholds in marsh resilience to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Dixon, Philip M.; Wobus, Cameron; He, Qiang; Daleo, Pedro; Hughes, Brent B.; Rissing, Matthew; Willis, Jonathan M.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem boundary retreat due to human-induced pressure is a generally observed phenomenon. However, studies that document thresholds beyond which internal resistance mechanisms are overwhelmed are uncommon. Following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, field studies from a few sites suggested that oiling of salt marshes could lead to a biogeomorphic feedback where plant death resulted in increased marsh erosion. We tested for spatial generality of and thresholds in this effect across 103 salt marsh sites spanning ~430 kilometers of shoreline in coastal Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, using data collected as part of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). Our analyses revealed a threshold for oil impacts on marsh edge erosion, with higher erosion rates occurring for ~1–2 years after the spill at sites with the highest amounts of plant stem oiling (90–100%). These results provide compelling evidence showing large-scale ecosystem loss following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More broadly, these findings provide rare empirical evidence identifying a geomorphologic threshold in the resistance of an ecosystem to increasing intensity of human-induced disturbance. PMID:27679956

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Langley, J. A.

    2014-09-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Sources and distribution of sedimentary organic matter along the Andong salt marsh, Hangzhou Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Hong-Wei; Chen, Jian-Fang; Ye, Ying; Lou, Zhang-Hua; Jin, Ai-Min; Chen, Xue-Gang; Jiang, Zong-Pei; Lin, Yu-Shih; Chen, Chen-Tung Arthur; Loh, Pei Sun

    2017-10-01

    Lignin oxidation products, δ13C values, C/N ratios and particle size were used to investigate the sources, distribution and chemical stability of sedimentary organic matter (OM) along the Andong salt marsh located in the southwestern end of Hangzhou Bay, China. Terrestrial OM was highest at the upper marshes and decreased closer to the sea, and the distribution of sedimentary total organic carbon (TOC) was influenced mostly by particle size. Terrestrial OM with a C3 signature was the predominant source of sedimentary OM in the Spartina alterniflora-dominated salt marsh system. This means that aside from contributions from the local marsh plants, the Andong salt marsh received input mostly from the Qiantang River and the Changjiang Estuary. Transect C, which was situated nearer to the Qiantang River mouth, was most likely influenced by input from the Qiantang River. Likewise, a nearby creek could be transporting materials from Hangzhou Bay into Transect A (farther east than Transect C), as Transect A showed a signal resembling that of the Changjiang Estuary. The predominance of terrestrial OM in the Andong salt marsh despite overall reductions in sedimentary and terrestrial OM input from the rivers is most likely due to increased contributions of sedimentary and terrestrial OM from erosion. This study shows that lower salt marsh accretion due to the presence of reservoirs upstream may be counterbalanced by increased erosion from the surrounding coastal areas.

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

    PubMed

    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 (13)C-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 (13)C-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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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