WorldWideScience

Sample records for marsh plant species

  1. Potential effects of sea-level rise on plant productivity: Species-specific responses in northeast Pacific tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janousek, Christopher; Buffington, Kevin J.; Thorne, Karen M.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Takekawa, John Y.; Dugger, Bruce D.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal wetland plants are adapted to varying degrees of inundation. However, functional relationships between inundation and productivity are poorly characterized for most species. Determining species-specific tolerances to inundation is necessary to evaluate sea-level rise (SLR) effects on future marsh plant community composition, quantify organic matter inputs to marsh accretion, and inform predictive modeling of tidal wetland persistence. In 2 macrotidal estuaries in the northeast Pacific we grew 5 common species in experimental mesocosms across a gradient of tidal elevations to assess effects on growth. We also tested whether species abundance distributions along elevation gradients in adjacent marshes matched productivity profiles in the mesocosms. We found parabolic relationships between inundation and total plant biomass and shoot counts in Spartina foliosa and Bolboschoenus maritimus in California, USA, and in Carex lyngbyei in Oregon, USA, with maximum total plant biomass occurring at 38, 28, and 15% time submerged, respectively. However, biomass of Salicornia pacifica and Juncus balticus declined monotonically with increasing inundation. Inundation effects on the ratio of belowground to aboveground biomass varied inconsistently among species. In comparisons of field distributions with mesocosm results, B. maritimus, C. lyngbyei and J. balticus were abundant in marshes at or above elevations corresponding with their maximum productivity; however, S. foliosa and S. pacifica were frequently abundant at lower elevations corresponding with sub-optimal productivity. Our findings show species-level differences in how marsh plant growth may respond to future SLR and highlight the sensitivity of high marsh species such as S. pacifica and J. balticus to increases in flooding.

  2. Traits of estuarine marsh plants affect wave dissipation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte Ostermann, Tilla; Heuner, Maike; Bouma, Tjeerd

    2017-04-01

    Estuarine vegetation can attenuate hydrodynamic forces such as waves or flow velocities and therefore has an important role in natural tidal bank protection. This function depends on the degree of hydrodynamic forces, bank morphology and on plant traits of the dominant species. The traits vary between the species but also between different marsh sites. Biomass, stem density and biomechanical properties are crucial factors that influence the rate of wave dissipation. These properties illustrate the trade-offs a species is facing in such a dynamic habitat and highlight the ability of dominant species such as Bolboschoenus maritimus and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani to protect the tidal bank. Along the Elbe estuary, traits of dominant marsh plant species were measured on different sites. The sites vary e.g. in their elevation, salt levels and inundation periods. To analyse the role that plant traits can play in wave dissipation, the structure of the vegetation as well as the composition was recorded. Biomechanical tests helped to understand the species traits regarding stem flexibility and to determine the effects of plant traits on wave dynamics and vice versa. On the conference, we will present how plant traits affect the wave dissipation on tidal marshes and why they vary.

  3. Species and tissue type regulate long-term decomposition of brackish marsh plants grown under elevated CO2 conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Joshua A; Cherry, Julia A; Mckee, Karen L.

    2016-01-01

    Organic matter accumulation, the net effect of plant production and decomposition, contributes to vertical soil accretion in coastal wetlands, thereby playing a key role in whether they keep pace with sea-level rise. Any factor that affects decomposition may affect wetland accretion, including atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Higher CO2 can influence decomposition rates by altering plant tissue chemistry or by causing shifts in plant species composition or biomass partitioning. A combined greenhouse-field experiment examined how elevated CO2 affected plant tissue chemistry and subsequent decomposition of above- and belowground tissues of two common brackish marsh species, Schoenoplectus americanus (C3) and Spartina patens (C4). Both species were grown in monoculture and in mixture under ambient (350-385 μL L-1) or elevated (ambient + 300 μL L-1) atmospheric CO2 conditions, with all other growth conditions held constant, for one growing season. Above- and belowground tissues produced under these treatments were decomposed under ambient field conditions in a brackish marsh in the Mississippi River Delta, USA. Elevated CO2 significantly reduced nitrogen content of S. americanus, but not sufficiently to affect subsequent decomposition. Instead, long-term decomposition (percent mass remaining after 280 d) was controlled by species composition and tissue type. Shoots of S. patens had more mass remaining (41 ± 2%) than those of S. americanus (12 ± 2 %). Belowground material decomposed more slowly than that placed aboveground (62 ± 1% vs. 23 ± 3% mass remaining), but rates belowground did not differ between species. Increases in atmospheric CO2concentration will likely have a greater effect on overall decomposition in this brackish marsh community through shifts in species dominance or biomass allocation than through effects on tissue chemistry. Consequent changes in organic matter accumulation may alter marsh capacity to accommodate sea-level rise

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, John C.; Lefor, Michael W.

    1990-01-01

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

  5. Tidal marsh plant responses to elevated CO2 , nitrogen fertilization, and sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam Langley, J; Mozdzer, Thomas J; Shepard, Katherine A; Hagerty, Shannon B; Patrick Megonigal, J

    2013-05-01

    Elevated CO2 and nitrogen (N) addition directly affect plant productivity and the mechanisms that allow tidal marshes to maintain a constant elevation relative to sea level, but it remains unknown how these global change drivers modify marsh plant response to sea level rise. Here we manipulated factorial combinations of CO2 concentration (two levels), N availability (two levels) and relative sea level (six levels) using in situ mesocosms containing a tidal marsh community composed of a sedge, Schoenoplectus americanus, and a grass, Spartina patens. Our objective is to determine, if elevated CO2 and N alter the growth and persistence of these plants in coastal ecosystems facing rising sea levels. After two growing seasons, we found that N addition enhanced plant growth particularly at sea levels where plants were most stressed by flooding (114% stimulation in the + 10 cm treatment), and N effects were generally larger in combination with elevated CO2 (288% stimulation). N fertilization shifted the optimal productivity of S. patens to a higher sea level, but did not confer S. patens an enhanced ability to tolerate sea level rise. S. americanus responded strongly to N only in the higher sea level treatments that excluded S. patens. Interestingly, addition of N, which has been suggested to accelerate marsh loss, may afford some marsh plants, such as the widespread sedge, S. americanus, the enhanced ability to tolerate inundation. However, if chronic N pollution reduces the availability of propagules of S. americanus or other flood-tolerant species on the landscape scale, this shift in species dominance could render tidal marshes more susceptible to marsh collapse. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Impact of soil nematodes on salt-marsh plants : a pilot experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dormann, CF; van der Wal, R

    2001-01-01

    We tested whether the removal of nematodes by means of nematicide application changed plant performance or influenced plant competition. The study involved the two common plant species Artemisia maritima and Festuca rubra growing in intact sods collected from a temperate salt marsh. Half of the sods

  7. Plant distributions along salinity and tidal gradients in Oregon tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accurately modeling climate change effects on tidal marshes in the Pacific Northwest requires understanding how plant assemblages and species are presently distributed along gradients of salinity and tidal inundation. We outline on-going field efforts by the EPA and USGS to dete...

  8. Reintroduction of salt marsh vegetation and phosphorus fertilisation improve plant colonisation on seawater-contaminated cutover bogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Emond

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Coastal bogs that are used for peat extraction are prone to contamination by seawater during storm events. Once contaminated, they remain mostly bare because of the combination of high salinity, low pH, high water table and low nutrient availability. The goal of this research was to investigate how plant colonisation at salt-contaminated bogs can be accelerated, in order to prevent erosion and fluvial export of the peat. At two seawater-contaminated bogs, we tested the application of rock phosphate and dolomitic lime in combination with five plant introduction treatments: transplantation of Carex paleacea; transplantation of Spartina pectinata; transfer of salt marsh diaspores in July; transfer of salt marsh diaspores in August; and no treatment (control. The effects of different doses of lime on the growth of C. paleacea and S. pectinata were also investigated in a greenhouse experiment. In the field, phosphorus fertilisation improved plant growth. Transplantation of C. paleacea resulted in the highest plant colonisation, whereas salt marsh diaspore transfer led to the highest species diversity. Lime applications did not improve plant establishment in either the field or the greenhouse. To promote revegetation of seawater-contaminated cutover bogs, adding P is an asset, Carex paleacea is a good species to transplant, and the transfer of salt marsh diaspores improves plant diversity.

  9. Plant distribution and stand characteristics in brackish marshes: Unravelling the roles of abiotic factors and interspecific competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carus, Jana; Heuner, Maike; Paul, Maike; Schröder, Boris

    2017-09-01

    Due to increasing pressure on estuarine marshes from sea level rise and river training, there is a growing need to understand how species-environment relationships influence the zonation and growth of tidal marsh vegetation. In the present study, we investigated the distribution and stand characteristics of the two key brackish marsh species Bolboschoenus maritimus and Phragmites australis in the Elbe estuary together with several abiotic habitat factors. We then tested the effect of these habitat factors on plant growth and zonation with generalised linear models (GLMs). Our study provides detailed information on the importance of single habitat factors and their interactions for controlling the distribution patterns and stand characteristics of two key marsh species. Our results suggest that flow velocity is the main factor influencing species distribution and stand characteristics and together with soil-water salinity even affects the inundation tolerance of the two specie investigated here. Additionally, inundation height and duration as well as interspecific competition helped explain the distribution patterns and stand characteristics. By identifying the drivers of marsh zonation and stand characteristics and quantifying their effects, this study provides useful information for evaluating a future contribution of tidal marsh vegetation to ecosystem-based shore protection.

  10. Using Imaging Spectroscopy to Map Changing Distributions of Dominant Species in Oil-Contaminated Salt Marshes of Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beland, M. C.; Roberts, D. A.; Peterson, S.; Biggs, T. W.; Kokaly, R. F.; Piazza, S.; Roth, K. L.; Khanna, S.; Ustin, S.

    2016-12-01

    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest coastal spill in U.S. history. Monitoring subsequent change in marsh plant community distributions is critical to assess ecosystem impacts and to establish future coastal management priorities. Strategically deployed airborne imaging spectrometers, like the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), offer the spectral and spatial resolution needed to differentiate plant species. However, obtaining satisfactory and consistent classification accuracies over time is a major challenge, particularly in dynamic intertidal landscapes. Here, we develop and evaluate an image classification system for a time series of AVIRIS data for mapping dominant species in a heavily oiled salt marsh ecosystem. Using field-referenced image endmembers and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA), we classified 21 AVIRIS images acquired during the fall of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Classification results were evaluated using ground surveys that were conducted contemporaneously to AVIRIS collection dates. We analyzed changes in dominant species cover from 2010-2012 for oiled and non-oiled shorelines. CDA discriminated dominant species with a high level of accuracy (overall accuracy = 82%, kappa = 0.78) and consistency over three imaging dates (overall2010 = 82%, overall2011 = 82%, overall2012 = 88%). Marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora were the most spatially abundant in shoreline zones (≤ 28m from shore) for all three dates (2010 = 79%, 2011 = 61%, 2012 = 63%), followed by Juncus roemerianus (2010 = 11%, 2011 = 19%, 2012 = 17%) and Distichlis spicata (2010 = 4%, 2011 = 10%, 2012 = 7%). Marshes that were heavily contaminated with oil exhibited variable responses from 2010-2012. Marsh vegetation classes converted to a subtidal, open water class along oiled and non-oiled shorelines that were similarly situated in the landscape. However, marsh loss along oil-contaminated shorelines doubled that of non

  11. Native-Invasive Plants vs. Halophytes in Mediterranean Salt Marshes: Stress Tolerance Mechanisms in Two Related Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Hassan, Mohamad; Chaura, Juliana; López-Gresa, María P; Borsai, Orsolya; Daniso, Enrico; Donat-Torres, María P; Mayoral, Olga; Vicente, Oscar; Boscaiu, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Dittrichia viscosa is a Mediterranean ruderal species that over the last decades has expanded into new habitats, including coastal salt marshes, ecosystems that are per se fragile and threatened by human activities. To assess the potential risk that this native-invasive species represents for the genuine salt marsh vegetation, we compared its distribution with that of Inula crithmoides, a taxonomically related halophyte, in three salt marshes located in "La Albufera" Natural Park, near the city of Valencia (East Spain). The presence of D. viscosa was restricted to areas of low and moderate salinity, while I. crithmoides was also present in the most saline zones of the salt marshes. Analyses of the responses of the two species to salt and water stress treatments in controlled experiments revealed that both activate the same physiological stress tolerance mechanisms, based essentially on the transport of toxic ions to the leaves-where they are presumably compartmentalized in vacuoles-and the accumulation of specific osmolytes for osmotic adjustment. The two species differ in the efficiency of those mechanisms: salt-induced increases in Na(+) and Cl(-) contents were higher in I. crithmoides than in D. viscosa, and the osmolytes (especially glycine betaine, but also arabinose, fructose and glucose) accumulated at higher levels in the former species. This explains the (slightly) higher stress tolerance of I. crithmoides, as compared to D. viscosa, established from growth inhibition measurements and their distribution in nature. The possible activation of K(+) transport to the leaves under high salinity conditions may also contribute to salt tolerance in I. crithmoides. Oxidative stress level-estimated from malondialdehyde accumulation-was higher in the less tolerant D. viscosa, which consequently activated antioxidant responses as a defense mechanism against stress; these responses were weaker or absent in the more tolerant I. crithmoides. Based on these results, we

  12. Native-invasive plants vs. halophytes in Mediterranean salt marshes: Stress tolerance mechanisms in two related species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad eAl Hassan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Dittrichia viscosa is a Mediterranean ruderal species that over the last decades has expanded into new habitats, including coastal salt marshes, ecosystems that are per se fragile and threatened by human activities. To assess the potential risk that this native-invasive species represents for the genuine salt marsh vegetation, we compared its distribution with that of Inula crithmoides, a taxonomically related halophyte, in three salt marshes located in ‘La Albufera’ Natural Park, near the city of Valencia (East Spain. The presence of D. viscosa was restricted to areas of low and moderate salinity, while I. crithmoides was also present in the most saline zones of the salt marshes. Analyses of the responses of the two species to salt and water stress treatments in controlled experiments revealed that both activate the same physiological stress tolerance mechanisms, based essentially on the transport of toxic ions to the leaves – where they are presumably compartmentalized in vacuoles – and the accumulation of specific osmolytes for osmotic adjustment. The two species differ in the efficiency of those mechanisms: salt-induced increases in Na+ and Cl- contents were higher in I. crithmoides than in D. viscosa, and the osmolytes (especially glycine betaine, but also arabinose, fructose and glucose accumulated at higher levels in the former species. This explains the (slightly higher stress tolerance of I. crithmoides, as compared to D. viscosa, established from growth inhibition measurements and their distribution in nature. The possible activation of K+ transport to the leaves under high salinity conditions may also contribute to salt tolerance in I. crithmoides. Oxidative stress level – estimated from malondialdehyde accumulation – was higher in the less tolerant D. viscosa, which consequently activated antioxidant responses as a defense mechanism against stress; these responses were weaker or absent in the more tolerant I. crithmoides

  13. Mapping changing distributions of dominant species in oil-contaminated salt marshes of Louisiana using imaging spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beland, Michael; Roberts, Dar A.; Peterson, Seth H.; Biggs, Trent W.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Piazza, Sarai; Roth, Keely L.; Khanna, Shruti; Ustin, Susan L.

    2016-01-01

    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest coastal spill in U.S. history. Monitoring subsequent change in marsh plant community distributions is critical to assess ecosystem impacts and to establish future coastal management priorities. Strategically deployed airborne imaging spectrometers, like the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), offer the spectral and spatial resolution needed to differentiate plant species. However, obtaining satisfactory and consistent classification accuracies over time is a major challenge, particularly in dynamic intertidal landscapes.Here, we develop and evaluate an image classification system for a time series of AVIRIS data for mapping dominant species in a heavily oiled salt marsh ecosystem. Using field-referenced image endmembers and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA), we classified 21 AVIRIS images acquired during the fall of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Classification results were evaluated using ground surveys that were conducted contemporaneously to AVIRIS collection dates. We analyzed changes in dominant species cover from 2010 to 2012 for oiled and non-oiled shorelines.CDA discriminated dominant species with a high level of accuracy (overall accuracy = 82%, kappa = 0.78) and consistency over three imaging dates (overall2010 = 82%, overall2011 = 82%, overall2012 = 88%). Marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora were the most spatially abundant in shoreline zones (≤ 28 m from shore) for all three dates (2010 = 79%, 2011 = 61%, 2012 = 63%), followed by Juncus roemerianus (2010 = 11%, 2011 = 19%, 2012 = 17%) and Distichlis spicata (2010 = 4%, 2011 = 10%, 2012 = 7%).Marshes that were heavily contaminated with oil exhibited variable responses from 2010 to 2012. Marsh vegetation classes converted to a subtidal, open water class along oiled and non-oiled shorelines that were similarly situated in the landscape. However, marsh loss along oil-contaminated shorelines

  14. Marsh plant response to metals: Exudation of aliphatic low molecular weight organic acids (ALMWOAs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, A. Cristina S.; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Basto, M. Clara P.; Vasconcelos, M. Teresa S. D.

    2016-03-01

    Metal exposure is known to induce the production and secretion of substances, such as aliphatic low molecular weight organic acids (ALMWOAs), into the rhizosphere by plant roots. Knowledge on this matter is extensive for soil plants but still considerably scarce regarding marsh plants roots adapted to high salinity media. Phragmites australis and Halimione portulacoides, two marsh plants commonly distributed in European estuarine salt marshes, were used to assess the response of roots of both species, in terms of ALMWOAs exudation, to Cu, Ni and Cd exposure (isolated and in mixture since in natural environment, they are exposed to mixture of metals). As previous studies were carried out in unrealistic and synthetic media, here a more natural medium was selected. Therefore, in vitro experiments were carried out, with specimens of both marsh plants, and in freshwater contaminated with two different Cu, Ni and Cd concentrations (individual metal and in mixture). Both marsh plants were capable of liberating ALMWOAs into the surrounding medium. Oxalic, citric and maleic acids were found in P. australis root exudate solutions and oxalic and maleic acids in H. portulacoides root exudate solutions. ALMWOA liberation by both plants was plant species and metal-dependent. For instance, Cu affected the exudation of oxalic acid by H. portulacoides and of oxalic and citric acids by P. australis roots. In contrast, Ni and Cd did not stimulate any specific response. Regarding the combination of all metals, H. portulacoides showed a similar response to that observed for Cu individually. However, in the P. australis case, at high metal concentration mixture, a synergetic effect led to the increase of oxalic acid levels in root exudate solution and to a decrease of citric acid liberation. A correlation between ALMWOAs exudation and metal accumulation could not be established. P. australis and H. portulacoides are considered suitable metal phytoremediators of estuarine impacted areas

  15. Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels-The importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, Roel; Nolte, Stefanie; Mandema, Freek; Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; WallisDeVries, Michiel F.; Bakker, Jan P.; Esselink, Peter; Smit, Christian

    2016-01-01

    European coastal salt marshes are important for the conservation of numerous species of specialist plants, invertebrates, breeding and migratory birds. When these marshes are managed for nature conservation purposes, livestock grazing is often used to counter the dominance of the tall grass

  16. Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels – The importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, van Roel; Nolte, Stefanie; Mandema, Freek S.; Lagendijk, D.D.G.; Wallis de Vries, Michiel; Bakker, Jan P.; Esselink, Peter; Smit, Christian

    2016-01-01

    European coastal salt marshes are important for the conservation of numerous species of specialist plants, invertebrates, breeding and migratory birds. When these marshes are managed for nature conservation purposes, livestock grazing is often used to counter the dominance of the tall grass

  17. Impact and Recovery Pattern of a Spring Fire on a Pacific Coast Marsh - Observations and Implications for Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L. N.; Willis, K. S.; Ambrose, R. F.; MacDonald, G. M.

    2015-12-01

    The flammability of California coastal marsh vegetation is highest in winter and spring when dominant high marsh plants such as Sarcocornia pacifica are dormant. With climate change the number of cool-season fires are increasing in the state, and marsh systems are becoming more vulnerable to fire disturbance. Very little information exists in peer-reviewed or grey literature on the presence of fire in Pacific Coast tidal marshes. In 1993, the Green Meadows fire in Ventura County, California burned a small portion of tidally influenced Sarcocornia­-dominated marsh at Point Mugu. After the May 2013 Springs Fire burned a similar portion of the salt marsh vegetation, we conducted a two-year vegetation recovery survey using transects of surface vegetation plots and MODIS derived NDVI remote sensing monitoring. Recovery during the first year was limited. Sixteen months into the recovery period, percent plant coverage reached an average of approximately 60% for all plots in the burned area, as opposed to an average of 100% in control plots, and remained at that level for the duration of the study. NDVI did not approach near pre-fire conditions until 19 months after the fire. While recovery may have been influenced by California's current extreme drought conditions, the recurrence of fire and rate of recovery raise many important questions as to the role of fire in Pacific coast tidal marshes. For example, the lack of Salicornia cover over more than an entire breeding season would be detrimental to protected species such as Rallus obsoletus. Fire adds new vulnerabilities on critical tidal marsh habitat already taxed by the threat of sea-level rise, coastal squeeze and invasive species.

  18. Salt Marsh Ecosystem Responses to Restored Tidal Connectivity across a 14y Chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capooci, M.; Spivak, A. C.; Gosselin, K.

    2016-02-01

    Salt marshes support valuable ecosystem services. Yet, human activities negatively impact salt marsh function and contribute to their loss at a global scale. On Cape Cod, MA, culverts and impoundments under roads and railways restricted tidal exchange and resulted in salt marsh conversion to freshwater wetlands. Over the past 14 y, these structures have been removed or replaced, restoring tidal connectivity between marshes and a saltwater bay. We evaluated differences in plant community composition, sediment properties, and pore water chemistry in marshes where tidal connectivity was restored using a space-for-time, or chronosequence approach. Each restored marsh was paired with a nearby, natural salt marsh to control for variability between marshes. In each restored and natural salt marsh we evaluated the plant community by measuring species-specific percent cover and biomass and collected sediment cores for bulk density and pore water analyses. Plant communities responded rapidly: salt-tolerant species, such as Spartina alterniflora, became established while freshwater species, including Phragmites australis, were less abundant within 3 y of restoration. The number of plant species was generally greater in marshes restored within 10 y, compared to older and natural marshes. Sediment bulk density varied with depth and across sites. This likely reflects differences in site history and local conditions. Deeper horizons (24-30cm) generally had higher values in restored sites while surface values (0-3cm) were similar in restored and natural marshes. Porewater pH and sulfide were similar in restored and natural marshes, suggesting rapid microbial responses to seawater reintroduction. Overall, marsh properties and processes reflecting biological communities responded rapidly to tidal restoration. However, variability between study locations underscores the potential importance of site history, local hydrology, and geomorphology in shaping marsh biogeochemistry.

  19. Invasion Age and Invader Removal Alter Species Cover and Composition at the Suisun Tidal Marsh, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Estrella

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Wetland ecosystems are vulnerable to plant species invasions, which can greatly alter species composition and ecosystem functioning. The response of these communities to restoration can vary following invader removal, but few studies have evaluated how recent and long-term invasions can affect the plant community’s restoration potential. Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium has invaded thousands of hectares of marshland in the San Francisco Estuary, California, United States of America, while the effects of invasion and removal of this weed remain poorly studied. In this study, perennial pepperweed was removed along a gradient of invasion age in brackish tidal marshes of Suisun Marsh, within the Estuary. In removal plots, resident plant cover significantly increased during the 2-year study period, particularly in the densest and oldest parts of the perennial pepperweed colonies, while species richness did not change significantly. In bare areas created by removal of perennial pepperweed, recolonization was dominated by three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus. Ultimately, removal of invasive perennial pepperweed led to reinvasion of the resident plant community within two years. This study illustrates that it is important to consider invasion age, along with exotic species removal, when developing a restoration strategy in wetland ecosystems.

  20. The changes in contents of Salt Marsh Species and the importance of Edaphic Physiochemical Factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutbay, Hamdi G.; Demir, M.

    2001-01-01

    The changes in nutrient contents of some halophytic plants which occurred in a salt marsh located in the vicinity of Bafra town, on the north coast of Turkey during the growing seasons were investigated. Contents of So4, Cl, Na, K, Ca and Mg changed during the growing season in most species. High correlation coefficients were obtained between plant ion and soil ion contents. It has been found that the most prevalent ion was Na in the plant and soil samples. It was also shown that species diversity was quite low in the study area, and species diversity was highly correlated with so4/Cl ratio, electrical conductivity and pH. (author)

  1. Estimating patterns in Spartina alterniflora belowground biomass within salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, J. L.; Mishra, D. R.; Alber, M.; Byrd, K. B.

    2017-12-01

    Belowground biomass of marsh plants, such as Spartina alterniflora, help prevent marsh loss because they promote soil accretion, stabilize soils and add organic matter. However, site-wide estimates of belowground biomass are difficult to obtain because root:shoot ratios vary considerably both within species and across sites. We are working to develop a data fusion tool that can predict key characteristics of S. alterniflora, including belowground biomass and plant canopy N, based on satellite imagery. We used field observations from four salt marsh locations along the Georgia Coast, including one that is studied as part of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER project. From field and remote-sensing data, we developed a hybrid modeling approach to estimate % foliar N (a surrogate for plant assimilated nutrients). Partial Least squares (PLS) regression analysis of Landsat-8 spectral bands could predict variation in foliar N and belowground biomass, suggesting this public data source might be utilized for site-wide assessment of plant biophysical variables in salt marshes. Spectrally estimated foliar N and aboveground biomass were associated with belowground biomass and root:shoot ratio in S. alterniflora. This mirrors results from a previous study from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, CA, on Scheonoplectus acutus, a marsh plant found in some tidal freshwater marshes. Therefore remote sensing may be a useful tool for measuring whole plant productivity among multiple coastal marsh species.

  2. Specificity of salt marsh diazotrophs for vegetation zones and plant hosts

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    Debra Aline Davis

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes located on the east coast of temperate North America are highly productive, typically nitrogen-limited, and support diverse assemblages of nitrogen fixing (diazotrophic bacteria. The distributions of these diazotrophs are strongly influenced by plant host and abiotic environmental parameters. Crab Haul Creek Basin, North Inlet, SC, USA is a tidally dominated marsh that displays discrete plant zones distributed along an elevation gradient from the tidal creek bank to the terrestrial forest. These zones are defined by gradients of abiotic environmental variables, particularly salinity and sulfide. DGGE fingerprinting and phylogenetic analyses of recovered sequences demonstrated that the distributions of some diazotrophs indicate plant host specificity and that diazotroph assemblages across the marsh gradient are heavily influenced by edaphic conditions. Broadly distributed diazotrophs capable of maintaining populations in all environmental conditions across the gradient are also present in these assemblages. Parsimony test results confirm that diazotroph assemblages in different plant zones are significantly (p<0.01 different across the marsh landscape. Results also indicated that diazotroph assemblages associated with different plant hosts growing in the same area of the marsh were structurally similar confirming the influence of edaphic parameters on these assemblages. Principal Component Analysis of DGGE gel banding patterns confirmed these results. This article reviews and analyzes data from North Inlet Estuary, addressing diazotroph assemblage structure and the influence of plant host and environmental conditions. New data demonstrate the heterogeneity of salt marsh rhizosphere microenvironments, and corroborate previous findings from different plant hosts growing at several locations within this estuary. These data support the hypothesis that the biogeography of microorganisms is non-random and is partially driven by

  3. Tritium behaviour in aquatic plants and animals in a freshwater marsh ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, L.W.; Peterle, T.J.; White, G.C.

    1979-01-01

    Ten curies of tritium as tritiated water (HTO) were experimentally added to an enclosed 2-ha Lake Erie marsh on 20 October 1973. Tritium kinetics in selected plants and animals were determined over a one-year period. Tritium levels in the marsh bottom sediment averaged 1.8 times the marsh water levels, with little evidence of tritium concentration above the marsh water tritium levels in the flora and fauna. The unbound tritium: marsh water tritium ratios in smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) (both emergents) were lower than the same ratio for pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) (a submergent). There was some evidence of bound tritium buildup in midsummer, particularly in the pondweed. Tritium uptake into the unbound compartments of crayfish (Procambarus blandingi), carp (Cyprinus carpio) and bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) was rapid. For crayfish, maximum HTO levels were observed on days 2 and 3 following treatment for muscle and viscera respectively. Unbound HTO in carp muscle peaked in 4 hours and the level in carp viscera reached a maximum in 2 days, in bluegill muscle and viscera on day 1. Unbound HTO in all species decreased following peak levels, paralleling marsh water HTO activity. Tritium uptake into the bound compartments was not as rapid nor were the levels as high as for unbound HTO in the fauna. The peak bound level in crayfish muscle was observed on day 10 (bound : unbound ratio of 0.34) and the maximum level in viscera was noted on day 20 (bound : unbound ratio of 0.23). Bound tritium in carp muscle and viscera reached maximum levels on day 20 (bound : unbound ratios of 0.25 and 0.39 respectively). In bluegills, peaks were reached on days 5 and 7 (bound : unbound ratios of 0.35 and 0.38 for muscle and viscera respectively). Bound tritium in all species decreased following maximum levels

  4. Long-term hydrologic effects on marsh plant community structure in the southern Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, David E.; Loftus, W.F.; Bass, O.L.

    1998-01-01

    Although large-scale transformation of Everglades landscapes has occurred during the past century, the patterns of association among hydrologic factors and southern Everglades freshwater marsh vegetation have not been well-defined. We used a 10-year data base on the aquatic biota of Shark Slough to classify vegetation and describe plant community change in intermediate- to long-hydroperiod Everglades marshes. Study area marsh vegetation was quantitatively grouped into associations dominated by 1) Cladium jamaicense, 2) a group of emergents including Eleocharis cellulosa, Sagittaria lancifolia, and Rhyncospora tracyi, 3) taxa associated with algal mats (Utricularia spp. and Bacopa caroliniana), and 4) the grasses Panicum hemitomon and Paspalidium geminatum. During the decade evaluated, the range of water depths that characterized our study sites approached both extremes depicted in the 40-year hydrologic record for the region. Water depths were near the long-term average during the mid-1980s, declined sharply during a late 1980s drought, and underwent a prolonged increase from 1991 through 1995. Overall macrophyte cover varied inversely with water depth, while the response of periphyton was more complex. An ordination analysis, based on plant species abundance, revealed that study area vegetation structure was associated with hydrologic patterns. Marsh plant community structure showed evidence of cyclic interannual variation corresponding to hydrologic change over the decade evaluated. Lower water depths, the occurrence of marl substrates, and high periphyton cover were correlated. These factors contributed to reduced macrophyte cover in portions of the study area from which water had been diverted.

  5. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.

  6. Elemental analysis of some ethnomedicinaly important hydrophytes and marsh plants of India used in traditional medicine

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Somnath Bhowmik; Badal Kumar Datta

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To study the elemental content of some ethnomedicinaly important hydrophytes and marsh plant of Tripura, India. Methods: With the help of standardize d questionnaires, 10 informants were interviewed on the medicinal use of hydrophytes and marsh plants of Tripura, India during 2009-2010.The elemental content of those plants were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results: A total of 8 plant species belonging to 8 different genera and 8 family were reported with their ethnomedicinaly uses. Among the different plant part used leaves and young tender shoots are most frequently used for the treatment of different disease. The hydrophytes and marsh plants are mostly used for the treatment of dysentery and other hepatic disorder. Different elemental constituents at trace levels of plants play an effective role in the medicines prepared. Elemental composition of eight ethno-medicinally important hydrophytes and marsh plants of Tripura, India have been determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). A total of 11 elements K+, Mg+2, Ca+2, Na+ , Fe+2, Mn+2, Cu+3, Mn+2, Cu+3, Cr+3, Zn+2, Pb+4 and Cd+2 have been measured. Their concentrations were found to vary in different samples. Toxic elements Cd and Pb were also found but at very low concentration. Medicinal properties of these plant samples and their elemental distribution have been correlated. These results can be used to set new standards for prescribing the dosage of the herbal drugs prepared from these plant materials in herbal remedies and in pharmaceutical companies. Conclusions: The data obtained in the present work will be useful in synthesis of new herbal drugs with various combinations of plants, which can be used in the treatment of different diseases at global level.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Effects of soil abiotic factors on the plant morphology in an intertidal salt marsh, Yellow River Delta, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shanze; Cui, Baoshan; Bai, Junhong; Xie, Tian; Yan, Jiaguo; Wang, Qing; Zhang, Shuyan

    2018-02-01

    Plant morphology plays important role in studying biogeography in many ecosystems. Suadea salsa, as a native plant community of northern China and an important habitat for diversity of waterbirds and macrobenthos, has often been overlooked. Nowadays, S. salsa community is facing great loss due to coastal reclamation activities and natural disturbances. To maintain and restore S. salsa community, it's important to address the plant morphology across marsh zones, as well as its relationships with local soil abiotic conditions. In our studied intertidal salt marsh, we found that less flood disturbance frequency, softer soil conditions, rich soil organic matter, total carbon and total nitrogen, lower water depth and water content, less species competition will benefit S. salsa plant in the morphology of high coverage, above-ground biomass, shoot height and leaf length. Lower soil porewater salinity will benefit the below-ground biomass of S. salsa. Thus, we recommend managers help alleviate soil abiotic stresses in the intertidal salt marshes, making the soil conditions more suitable for S. salsa growth and succession.

  10. Salt Marsh development studies at Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts: Influence of geomorphology on long-term plant community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orson, Richard A.; Howes, Brian L.

    1992-11-01

    Stochastic events relating to beach formation and inlet dynamics have been the major factors influencing the development of the Waquoit Bay tidal marshes. This results from the physical structure of the Waquoit Bay system where tidal exchange is limited to one or two small inlets and is in contrast to marsh development in nearby Barnstable Marsh where direct unrestricted exchange with Cape Cod Bay has smoothed the effects of stochastic events on vegetation development. We contend that vegetation development in salt marshes where connections to adjacent waters are restricted will be dominated by abiotic factors (e.g. storms, sedimentation rates, etc.) while those marshes directly linked to open bodies of water and where alterations to hydrodynamic factors are gradual, autecological processes (e.g. interspecific competition) will dominate long-term plant community development. The results from the five marsh systems within the Waquoit Bay complex suggest that once a vegetation change occurs the new community tended to persist for long periods of time (100's-1000's years). Stability of the 'new' community appeared to depend upon the stability of the physical structure of the system and/or time between perturbations necessary to allow the slower autecological processes to have a discernable effect. In order for the plant community to persist as long as observed, the vegetation must also be exerting an influence on the processes of development. Increased production of roots and rhizomes and growth characteristics (density of culms) are some of the factors which help to maintain long-term species dominance. It is clear from this investigation that the structure of the plant community at any one point in time is dependent upon numerous factors including historical developmental influences. To properly assess changes to the present plant community or determine recent rates of accretion, historic developmental trends must be considered. The factors that have influenced the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    The increased use of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) raises the probability of finding NPs in the environment. A lot of information exists already regarding interactions between plants and metals, but information regarding interactions between metallic NPs and plants, including salt marsh plants, is still lacking. This work aimed to study interactions between CuO NPs and the salt marsh plants Halimione portulacoides and Phragmites australis. In addition, the potential of these plants for phytoremediation of Cu NPs was evaluated. Plants were exposed for 8 days to sediment elutriate solution doped either with CuO or with ionic Cu. Afterwards, total metal concentrations were determined in plant tissues. Both plants accumulated Cu in their roots, but this accumulation was 4 to 10 times lower when the metal was added in NP form. For P. australis, metal translocation occurred when the metal was added either in ionic or in NP form, but for H. portulacoides no metal translocation was observed when NPs were added to the medium. Therefore, interactions between plants and NPs differ with the plant species. These facts should be taken in consideration when applying these plants for phytoremediation of contaminated sediments in estuaries, as the environmental management of these very important ecological areas can be affected. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers in marine ecosystems, but the functions of oyster shell deposits in intertidal salt marshes are not well understood. The annual plant Suaeda linearis is associated with oyster shell deposits in Georgia salt marshes. We hypothesized that oyster shell deposits promoted the distribution of Suaeda linearis by engineering soil conditions unfavorable to dominant salt marsh plants of the region (the shrub Borrichia frutescens, the rush Juncus roemerianus, and the grass Spartina alterniflora). We tested this hypothesis using common garden pot experiments and field transplant experiments. Suaeda linearis thrived in Borrichia frutescens stands in the absence of neighbors, but was suppressed by Borrichia frutescens in the with-neighbor treatment, suggesting that Suaeda linearis was excluded from Borrichia frutescens stands by interspecific competition. Suaeda linearis plants all died in Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora stands, regardless of neighbor treatments, indicating that Suaeda linearis is excluded from these habitats by physical stress (likely water-logging). In contrast, Borrichia frutescens, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina alterniflora all performed poorly in Suaeda linearis stands regardless of neighbor treatments, probably due to physical stresses such as low soil water content and low organic matter content. Thus, oyster shell deposits play an important ecosystem engineering role in influencing salt marsh plant communities by providing a unique niche for Suaeda linearis, which otherwise would be rare or absent in salt marshes in the southeastern US. Since the success of Suaeda linearis is linked to the success of oysters, efforts to protect and restore oyster reefs may also benefit salt marsh plant communities.

  14. Consumer trait variation influences tritrophic interactions in salt marsh communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Anne Randall; Hanley, Torrance C; Orozco, Nohelia P; Zerebecki, Robyn A

    2015-07-01

    The importance of intraspecific variation has emerged as a key question in community ecology, helping to bridge the gap between ecology and evolution. Although much of this work has focused on plant species, recent syntheses have highlighted the prevalence and potential importance of morphological, behavioral, and life history variation within animals for ecological and evolutionary processes. Many small-bodied consumers live on the plant that they consume, often resulting in host plant-associated trait variation within and across consumer species. Given the central position of consumer species within tritrophic food webs, such consumer trait variation may play a particularly important role in mediating trophic dynamics, including trophic cascades. In this study, we used a series of field surveys and laboratory experiments to document intraspecific trait variation in a key consumer species, the marsh periwinkle Littoraria irrorata, based on its host plant species (Spartina alterniflora or Juncus roemerianus) in a mixed species assemblage. We then conducted a 12-week mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of Littoraria trait variation on plant community structure and dynamics in a tritrophic salt marsh food web. Littoraria from different host plant species varied across a suite of morphological and behavioral traits. These consumer trait differences interacted with plant community composition and predator presence to affect overall plant stem height, as well as differentially alter the density and biomass of the two key plant species in this system. Whether due to genetic differences or phenotypic plasticity, trait differences between consumer types had significant ecological consequences for the tritrophic marsh food web over seasonal time scales. By altering the cascading effects of the top predator on plant community structure and dynamics, consumer differences may generate a feedback over longer time scales, which in turn influences the degree of trait

  15. Coatal salt marshes and mangrove swamps in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Maintenance of salt barrens inhibited landward invasion of Spartina species in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qi, Man; Sun, Tao; Zhang, Heyue; Zhu, Meisha; Yang, Ying-Wei; Shao, Dongdong; Voinov, Alexey

    2017-01-01

    Spartina spp. (cordgrasses) often dominates intertidal mudflats and/or low marshes. The landward invasion of these species was typically thought to be restrained by low tidal inundation frequencies and interspecific competition. We noticed that the reported soil salinity levels in some salt marshes

  17. Microspatial ecotone dynamics at a shifting range limit: plant-soil variation across salt marsh-mangrove interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yando, E S; Osland, M J; Hester, M W

    2018-05-01

    Ecotone dynamics and shifting range limits can be used to advance our understanding of the ecological implications of future range expansions in response to climate change. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, the salt marsh-mangrove ecotone is an area where range limits and ecotone dynamics can be studied in tandem as recent decreases in winter temperature extremes have allowed for mangrove expansion at the expense of salt marsh. In this study, we assessed aboveground and belowground plant-soil dynamics across the salt marsh-mangrove ecotone quantifying micro-spatial patterns in horizontal extent. Specifically, we studied vegetation and rooting dynamics of large and small trees, the impact of salt marshes (e.g. species and structure) on mangroves, and the influence of vegetation on soil properties along transects from underneath the mangrove canopy into the surrounding salt marsh. Vegetation and rooting dynamics differed in horizontal reach, and there was a positive relationship between mangrove tree height and rooting extent. We found that the horizontal expansion of mangrove roots into salt marsh extended up to eight meters beyond the aboveground boundary. Variation in vegetation structure and local hydrology appear to control mangrove seedling dynamics. Finally, soil carbon density and organic matter did not differ within locations across the salt marsh-mangrove interface. By studying aboveground and belowground variation across the ecotone, we can better predict the ecological effects of continued range expansion in response to climate change.

  18. Climate-related variation in plant peak biomass and growth phenology across Pacific Northwest tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffington, Kevin J.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2018-03-01

    The interannual variability of tidal marsh plant phenology is largely unknown and may have important ecological consequences. Marsh plants are critical to the biogeomorphic feedback processes that build estuarine soils, maintain marsh elevation relative to sea level, and sequester carbon. We calculated Tasseled Cap Greenness, a metric of plant biomass, using remotely sensed data available in the Landsat archive to assess how recent climate variation has affected biomass production and plant phenology across three maritime tidal marshes in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. First, we used clipped vegetation plots at one of our sites to confirm that tasseled cap greenness provided a useful measure of aboveground biomass (r2 = 0.72). We then used multiple measures of biomass each growing season over 20-25 years per study site and developed models to test how peak biomass and the date of peak biomass varied with 94 climate and sea-level metrics using generalized linear models and Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) model selection. Peak biomass was positively related to total annual precipitation, while the best predictor for date of peak biomass was average growing season temperature, with the peak 7.2 days earlier per degree C. Our study provides insight into how plants in maritime tidal marshes respond to interannual climate variation and demonstrates the utility of time-series remote sensing data to assess ecological responses to climate stressors.

  19. Early growth interactions between a mangrove and an herbaceous salt marsh species are not affected by elevated CO2 or drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Stagg, Camille L.; Utomo, Herry S.

    2018-01-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are likely to influence future distributions of plants and plant community structure in many regions of the world through effects on photosynthetic rates. In recent decades the encroachment of woody mangrove species into herbaceous marshes has been documented along the U.S. northern Gulf of Mexico coast. These species shifts have been attributed primarily to rising sea levels and warming winter temperatures, but the role of elevated CO2 and water availability may become more prominent drivers of species interactions under future climate conditions. Drought has been implicated as a major factor contributing to salt marsh vegetation dieback in this region. In this greenhouse study we examined the effects of CO2 concentration (∼380 ppm, ∼700 ppm) and water regime (drought, saturated, flooded) on early growth of Avicennia germinans, a C3 mangrove species, and Spartina alterniflora, a C4 grass. Plants were grown in monocultures and in a mixed-species assemblage. We found that neither species responded to elevated CO2 over the 10-month duration of the experiment, and there were few interactions between experimental factors. Two effects of water regime were documented: lower A. germinanspneumatophore biomass under drought conditions, and lower belowground biomass under flooded conditions regardless of planting assemblage. Evidence of interspecific interactions was noted. Competition for aboveground resources (e.g., light) was indicated by lower S. alterniflora stem biomass in mixed-species assemblage compared to biomass in S. alterniflora monocultures. Pneumatophore biomass of A. germinans was reduced when grown in monoculture compared to the mixed-species assemblage, indicating competition for belowground resources. These interactions provide insight into how these species may respond following major disturbance events that lead to vegetation dieback. Site variation in propagule availability

  20. Effects of bryophytes on succession from alkaline marsh to Sphagnum bog

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glime, J.M.; Wetzel, R.G.; Kennedy, B.J.

    1982-10-01

    The alkaline eastern marsh of Lawrence Lake, a marl lake in southwestern Michigan, was sampled by randomly placed line transects to determine the bryophyte cover and corresponding vascular plant zones. Cluster analysis indicated three distinct bryophyte zones which correspond with the recognized vascular plant zones. Mosses occupied over 50% of the surface in some areas. Invasion of Sphagnum, vertical zonation of the mosses on hummocks, zonation with distance from the lake, the abundance of non-Sphagnum moss hummocks, and the ability of the non-Sphagnum species to lower the pH of marsh water during laboratory incubations are evidence that non-Sphagnum mosses facilitate succession from alkaline marsh to Sphagnum bog.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Radionuclides transfer into halophytes growing in tidal salt marshes from the Southwest of Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luque, Carlos J.; Vaca, Federico; García-Trapote, Ana; Hierro, Almudena; Bolívar, Juan P.; Castellanos, Eloy M.

    2015-01-01

    Estuaries are sinks of materials and substances which are released directly into them or transported from rivers that drain the basin. It is usual to find high organic matter loads and fine particles in the sediments. We analyzed radionuclide concentrations ("2"1"0Po, "2"3"0Th, "2"3"2Th, "2"3"4U, "2"3"8U, "2"2"6Ra, "2"2"8Th, "2"2"8Ra, "4"0K) in sediments and three different organs (roots, stems and leaves) of three species of halophytes plants (Spartina maritima, Spartina densiflora and Sarcocornia perennis). The study was carried out in two tidal salt marshes, one polluted by U-series radionuclides and another nearby that was unpolluted and was used as a control (or reference) area. The Tinto River salt marsh shows high levels of U-series radionuclides coming from mining and industrial discharges. On the contrary, the unperturbed Piedras River salt marsh is located about 25 km from the Tinto marsh, and shows little presence of contaminants and radionuclides. The results of this work have shown that natural radionuclide concentrations (specially the U-isotopes) in the Tinto salt marsh sediments are one order of magnitude higher than those in the Piedras marsh. These radionuclide enhancements are reflected in the different organs of the plants, which have similar concentration increases as the sediments where they have grown. Finally, the transfer factor (TF) of the most polluted radionuclides (U-isotopes and "2"1"0Po) in the Tinto area are one order of magnitude higher than in the Piedras area, indicating that the fraction of each radionuclide in the sediment originating from the pollution is more available for the plants than the indigenous fraction. This means that the plants of the salt marshes are unhelpful as bioindicators or for the phytoremediation of radionuclides. - Highlights: • Radionuclides were analyzed in sediments and plants in unpolluted salt marshes. • Plants uptake radionuclides in all organs in both salt marshes. • The transfer factors

  3. Climate-related variation in plant peak biomass and growth phenology across Pacific Northwest tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffington, Kevin J.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2018-01-01

    The interannual variability of tidal marsh plant phenology is largely unknown and may have important ecological consequences. Marsh plants are critical to the biogeomorphic feedback processes that build estuarine soils, maintain marsh elevation relative to sea level, and sequester carbon. We calculated Tasseled Cap Greenness, a metric of plant biomass, using remotely sensed data available in the Landsat archive to assess how recent climate variation has affected biomass production and plant phenology across three maritime tidal marshes in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. First, we used clipped vegetation plots at one of our sites to confirm that tasseled cap greenness provided a useful measure of aboveground biomass (r2 = 0.72). We then used multiple measures of biomass each growing season over 20–25 years per study site and developed models to test how peak biomass and the date of peak biomass varied with 94 climate and sea-level metrics using generalized linear models and Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) model selection. Peak biomass was positively related to total annual precipitation, while the best predictor for date of peak biomass was average growing season temperature, with the peak 7.2 days earlier per degree C. Our study provides insight into how plants in maritime tidal marshes respond to interannual climate variation and demonstrates the utility of time-series remote sensing data to assess ecological responses to climate stressors.

  4. Biosphere 2's Marsh Biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Multispecies benefits of wetland conservation for marsh birds, frogs, and species at risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozer, Douglas C; Steele, Owen; Gloutney, Mark

    2018-04-15

    Wetlands conserved using water level manipulation, cattle exclusion, naturalization of uplands, and other techniques under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan ("conservation project wetlands") are important for ducks, geese, and swans ("waterfowl"). However, the assumption that conservation actions for waterfowl also benefit other wildlife is rarely quantified. We modeled detection and occupancy of species at sites within 42 conservation project wetlands compared to sites within 52 similar nearby unmanaged wetlands throughout southern Ontario, Canada, and small portions of the adjacent U.S., using citizen science data collected by Bird Studies Canada's Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, including 2 waterfowl and 13 non-waterfowl marsh-breeding bird species (n = 413 sites) and 7 marsh-breeding frog species (n = 191 sites). Occupancy was significantly greater at conservation project sites compared to unmanaged sites in 7 of 15 (47%) bird species and 3 of 7 (43%) frog species, with occupancy being higher by a difference of 0.12-0.38 across species. Notably, occupancy of priority conservation concern or at-risk Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata), Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Sora (Porzana carolina), and Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) was significantly higher at conservation project sites compared to unmanaged sites. The results demonstrate the utility of citizen science to inform wetland conservation, and suggest that actions under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan are effective for conserving non-waterfowl species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Tidal salt marshes of the southeast Atlantic Coast: A community profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiegert, R.G.; Freeman, B.J.

    1990-09-01

    This report is part of a series of community profiles on the ecology of wetland and marine communities. This particular profile considers tidal marshes of the southeastern Atlantic coast, from North Carolina south to northern Florida. Alone among the earth's ecosystems, coastal communities are subjected to a bidirectional flooding sometimes occurring twice each day; this flooding affects successional development, species composition, stability, and productivity. In the tidally influenced salt marsh, salinity ranges from less than 1 ppt to that of seawater. Dominant plant species include cordgrasses (Spartina alterniflora and S. cynosuroides), black needlerush (Juncus romerianus), and salt marsh bulrush (Scirpus robustus). Both terrestrail and aquatic animals occur in salt marshes and include herons, egrets ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis), manatees (Trichecus manatus), oysters, mussels, and fiddler crabs. Currently, the only significant direct commercial use of the tidal salt marshes is by crabbers seeking the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, but the marshes are quite important recreationally, aesthetically, and educationally. 151 refs., 45 figs., 6 tabs.

  8. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  9. Growth of common brackish marsh macrophytes under altered hydrology and salinity regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Biagas, Janelda M.; Allain, Larry K.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal marsh plants are increasingly subject to physicochemical stressors under rising sea levels, and the maintenance of marsh ecological functions can depend on the ability of individual species and communities to tolerate or adapt to altered conditions. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to identify hydrology and salinity effects on growth of three common brackish marsh macrophytes of coastal Florida, USA: Distichlis spicata, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina bakeri. The species were potted as monocultures and exposed to three salinities (0, 15, or 28 psu) and two hydrologic conditions (saturated, tidal) over 22 months. Final stem density of J. roemerianus and S. bakeri did not differ among treatments. In D. spicata, however, stem density was lowest at 28 psu and lower in tidal compared to saturated conditions. Mean stem height of all species was lowest at 28 psu. Aboveground biomass of J. roemerianus was not affected by the treatments, but in D. spicata andS. bakeri it was lowest at 28 psu. Results indicated that J. roemerianus was the most adaptable species and may, therefore, be more resilient to climate-change driven stressors. However, plant-plant interactions such as interspecific competition and facilitation can alter the response of individual species to environmental factors.

  10. Assessing biomass of diverse coastal marsh ecosystems using statistical and machine learning models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Yu; Kearney, Michael S.; Riter, J. C. Alexis; Zhao, Feng; Tilley, David R.

    2018-06-01

    The importance and vulnerability of coastal marshes necessitate effective ways to closely monitor them. Optical remote sensing is a powerful tool for this task, yet its application to diverse coastal marsh ecosystems consisting of different marsh types is limited. This study samples spectral and biophysical data from freshwater, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes in Louisiana, and develops statistical and machine learning models to assess the marshes' biomass with combined ground, airborne, and spaceborne remote sensing data. It is found that linear models derived from NDVI and EVI are most favorable for assessing Leaf Area Index (LAI) using multispectral data (R2 = 0.7 and 0.67, respectively), and the random forest models are most useful in retrieving LAI and Aboveground Green Biomass (AGB) using hyperspectral data (R2 = 0.91 and 0.84, respectively). It is also found that marsh type and plant species significantly impact the linear model development (P biomass of Louisiana's coastal marshes using various optical remote sensing techniques, and highlights the impacts of the marshes' species composition on the model development and the sensors' spatial resolution on biomass mapping, thereby providing useful tools for monitoring the biomass of coastal marshes in Louisiana and diverse coastal marsh ecosystems elsewhere.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Nests of Marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus L. as refuges of potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Kornillowicz-Kowalska

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Birds’ nests may be refuges for various species of fungi including that which are potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic. Among the 2449 isolates of fungi obtained from nests of Marsh harriers 96.8% belonged to filamentous fungi. In total, 37 genera were identified from 63 fungi species. Within the mycobiotas of the examined nests populations of fungi which are potentially pathogenic for humans, homoiothermous animals and plants dominated. Among 63 species, 46 (72% were potentially pathogenic fungi of which 18 species were potentially phytopathogenic and 32 species were pathogenic for homoiothermous animals. Inter alia species of fungi were found in the Marsh harriers nests: Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Chrysosporium keratinophilum and Fusarium poae, Fusarium sporotrichioides. In terms of numbers, dominant in Marsh harrier nests were fungi pathogenic to birds, other homoiothermous animals and humans. On that basis it was concluded that Marsh harrier nests are both a source of fungal infections for that species and one of the links in the epidemiological cycle of opportunistic fungi for humans.

  14. Nests of Marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus L.) as refuges of potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornillowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2018-01-01

    Birds' nests may be refuges for various species of fungi including that which are potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic. Among the 2449 isolates of fungi obtained from nests of Marsh harriers 96.8% belonged to filamentous fungi. In total, 37 genera were identified from 63 fungi species. Within the mycobiotas of the examined nests populations of fungi which are potentially pathogenic for humans, homoiothermous animals and plants dominated. Among 63 species, 46 (72%) were potentially pathogenic fungi of which 18 species were potentially phytopathogenic and 32 species were pathogenic for homoiothermous animals. Inter alia species of fungi were found in the Marsh harriers nests: Aspergillus fumigatus , Aspergillus flavus , Scopulariopsis brevicaulis , Chrysosporium keratinophilum and Fusarium poae , Fusarium sporotrichioides . In terms of numbers, dominant in Marsh harrier nests were fungi pathogenic to birds, other homoiothermous animals and humans. On that basis it was concluded that Marsh harrier nests are both a source of fungal infections for that species and one of the links in the epidemiological cycle of opportunistic fungi for humans.

  15. Effects of migratory geese on plant communities of an Alaskan salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacheis, Amy B.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ruess, Roger W.

    2001-01-01

    1. We studied the effects of lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) on two salt marsh plant communities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, a stopover area used during spring migration. From 1995 to 1997 we compared plant species composition and biomass on plots where geese were excluded from feeding with paired plots where foraging could occur. 2. Foraging intensity was low (650-1930 goose-days km-2) compared to other goose-grazing systems. 3. Canada geese fed mainly on above-ground shoots of Triglochin maritimum, Puccinellia spp. and Carex ramenskii, whereas the majority of the snow goose diet consisted of below-ground tissues of Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum. 4. Plant communities responded differently to goose herbivory. In the sedge meadow community, where feeding was primarily on above-ground shoots, there was no effect of grazing on the dominant species Carex ramenskii and Triglochin maritimum. In the herb meadow community, where snow geese fed on Plantago maritima roots and other below-ground tissues, there was a difference in the relative abundance of plant species between treatments. Biomass of Plantago maritima and Potentilla egedii was lower on grazed plots compared with exclosed, whereas biomass of Carex ramenskii was greater on grazed plots. There was no effect of herbivory on total standing crop biomass in either community. The variable effect of herbivory on Carex ramenskii between communities suggests that plant neighbours and competitive interactions are important factors in a species' response to herbivory. In addition, the type of herbivory (above- or below-ground) was important in determining plant community response to herbivory. 5. Litter accumulation was reduced in grazed areas compared with exclosed in both communities. Trampling of the previous year's litter into the soil surface by geese incorporated more litter into soils in grazed areas. 6. This study illustrates that even light herbivore

  16. Flood regime as a driver of the distribution of mangrove and salt marsh species in a subtropical estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spier, Daphne; Gerum, Humberto L. N.; Noernberg, Maurício A.; Lana, Paulo C.

    2016-09-01

    Tidal patterns of the subtropical Paranaguá Estuarine Complex, in southern Brazil, are strongly affected by episodic cold fronts and by the coastal geometry and bottom topography, resulting in high temporal variability and marked gradients in flood regime. We delimit tolerance ranges of submersion and exposure for representative plant and animal species from local mangroves and salt marshes, through a quantitative analysis of flooding patterns in three estuarine sectors. Our results are consistent with flood regime being the leading factor on how species are distributed over the intertidal flats of the PEC. Subleading factors might be related to salinity, sediment composition and nutrient flow.

  17. The contribution of mangrove expansion to salt marsh loss on the Texas Gulf Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Anna R; Highfield, Wesley E; Brody, Samuel D; Louchouarn, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Landscape-level shifts in plant species distribution and abundance can fundamentally change the ecology of an ecosystem. Such shifts are occurring within mangrove-marsh ecotones, where over the last few decades, relatively mild winters have led to mangrove expansion into areas previously occupied by salt marsh plants. On the Texas (USA) coast of the western Gulf of Mexico, most cases of mangrove expansion have been documented within specific bays or watersheds. Based on this body of relatively small-scale work and broader global patterns of mangrove expansion, we hypothesized that there has been a recent regional-level displacement of salt marshes by mangroves. We classified Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper images using artificial neural networks to quantify black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) expansion and salt marsh (Spartina alterniflora and other grass and forb species) loss over 20 years across the entire Texas coast. Between 1990 and 2010, mangrove area grew by 16.1 km(2), a 74% increase. Concurrently, salt marsh area decreased by 77.8 km(2), a 24% net loss. Only 6% of that loss was attributable to mangrove expansion; most salt marsh was lost due to conversion to tidal flats or water, likely a result of relative sea level rise. Our research confirmed that mangroves are expanding and, in some instances, displacing salt marshes at certain locations. However, this shift is not widespread when analyzed at a larger, regional level. Rather, local, relative sea level rise was indirectly implicated as another important driver causing regional-level salt marsh loss. Climate change is expected to accelerate both sea level rise and mangrove expansion; these mechanisms are likely to interact synergistically and contribute to salt marsh loss.

  18. The use of marine aquaculture solid waste for nursery production of the salt marsh plants Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.M. Joesting

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent technological advances in marine shrimp and finfish aquaculture alleviate many of the environmental risks associated with traditional aquaculture, but challenges remain in cost-effective waste management. Liquid effluent from freshwater aquaculture systems has been shown to be effective in agricultural crop production (i.e., aquaponics, but few studies have explored the potential for reuse of marine aquaculture effluent, particularly the solid fraction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of marine aquaculture solid waste as a nutrient source for the nursery production of two salt tolerant plants commonly used in coastal salt marsh restoration, Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass and Juncus roemerianus (black needlerush. Specifically, measurements of plant biomass and tissue nitrogen and phosphorus allocation were compared between plants fertilized with dried shrimp biofloc solids and unfertilized controls, as well as between plants fertilized with dried fish solids and unfertilized controls. In both experiments, S. alterniflora plants fertilized with marine aquaculture solids showed few significant differences from unfertilized controls, whereas fertilized J. roemerianus plants had significantly greater biomass and absorbed and incorporated more nutrients in plant tissue compared to unfertilized controls. These results suggest that J. roemerianus may be a suitable plant species for the remediation of marine aquaculture solid waste. Keywords: Marine aquaculture, Salt marsh plants, Solid waste, Phytoremediation

  19. Restoration of Tidal Flow to Impounded Salt Marsh Exerts Mixed Effect on Leaf Litter Decomposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, B. A.; Schade, J. D.; Foreman, K.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marsh impoundments (e.g. roads, levees) disconnect marshes from ocean tides, which impairs ecosystem services and often promotes invasive species. Numerous restoration projects now focus on removing impoundments. Leaf litter decomposition is a central process in salt marsh carbon and nutrient cycles, and this study investigated the extent to which marsh restoration alters litter decomposition rates. We considered three environmental factors that can potentially change during restoration: salinity, tidal regime, and dominant plant species. A one-month field experiment (Cape Cod, MA) measured decay of litter bags in impounded, restored, and natural marshes under ambient conditions. A two-week lab experiment measured litter decay in controlled incubations under experimental treatments for salinity (1ppt and 30 ppt), tidal regime (inundated and 12 hr wet-dry cycles), and plant species (native Spartina alterniflora and invasive Phragmites australis). S. alterniflora decomposed faster in situ than P. australis (14±1.0% mass loss versus 0.74±0.69%). Corroborating this difference in decomposition, S. alterniflora supported greater microbial respiration during lab incubation, measured as CO2 flux from leaf litter and biological oxygen demand of water containing leached organic matter (OM). However, nutrient analysis of plant tissue and leached OM show P. australis released more nitrogen than S. alterniflora. Low salinity treatments in both lab and field experiments decayed more rapidly than high salinity treatments, suggesting that salinity inhibited microbial activity. Manipulation of inundation regime did not affect decomposition. These findings suggest the reintroduction of tidal flow to an impounded salt marsh can have mixed effects; recolonization by the native cordgrass could supply labile OM to sediment and slow carbon sequestration, while an increase in salinity might inhibit decomposition and accelerate sequestration.

  20. Changes in assimilation of C3 marsh plants by resident fishes in estuarine systems with distinct hydrogeomorphology features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adna Ferreira Garcia

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Although saltmarshes are widely recognized as important habitats providing shelter for estuarine organisms and protection against predators, there is still no consensus on the trophic value of marsh plants for estuarine food webs. We employed stable isotopes to evaluate differences in assimilation of nutrients derived from marsh plants with C3 (Juncus acutus, Scirpus maritimus, Scirpus olneyi and C4 (Spartina densiflora photosynthetic pathways by resident fishes in three estuaries with contrasting hydrogeomorphology characteristics. Carbon (δ13C and nitrogen (δ15N stable isotope ratios of basal food sources (C3 and C4 marsh plants, macroalgae, seagrass and seston and estuarine resident fishes (Achirus garmani, Atherinella brasiliensis, Genidens genidens, Ctenogobius shufeldti, Jenynsia multidentata, Odonthestes argentinensis were analyzed in two choked lagoons (Tramandai-29°S, Patos-30°S and a coastal river (Chui-33°S. Average δ13C values of consumers were statistically significant higher in the two choked-type estuaries (Tramandaí: -16.11; Patos: -15.82 than in the coastal river (Chui: -24.32 (p0.292. SIAR mixing models revealed that the most assimilated basal food sources by consumers in the choked-type lagoon estuaries were a pool of 13C enriched food sources (macroalgae, C4 marsh and seagrass and seston (95% credibility interval: 0.38 to 0.80 and 0.00 to 0.54, respectively. In contrast, nutrients derived from C3-marsh plants were the main basal food source assimilated by estuarine resident fishes at the coastal river (0.33 to 0.87. These findings could be explained by the absence of extensive shallow embayments and a steeper slope at the coastal river that could promote higher transport of C3-marsh detritus and, consequently, higher assimilation by estuarine fishes. In contrast, detritus derived from C3 marsh plants could be trapped in the upper intertidal zone of choked-typed estuaries and, consequently, be less available for aquatic

  1. LMWOA (low molecular weight organic acid) exudation by salt marsh plants: Natural variation and response to Cu contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mucha, Ana P.; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Bordalo, Adriano A.; Vasconcelos, M. Teresa S. D.

    2010-06-01

    This work aimed to evaluate, in vitro, the capability of roots of two salt marsh plants to release low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) and to ascertain whether Cu contamination would stimulate or not organic acids exudation. The sea rush Juncus maritimus and the sea-club rush Scirpus maritimus, both from the lower Douro river estuary (NW Portugal), were used. Plants were collected seasonally, four times a year in 2004, during low tide. After sampling, plant roots were washed for removal of adherent particles and immersed for 2 h in a solution that matched salinity (3) and pH (7.5) of the pore water from the same location to obtain plant exudates. In one of the seasons, similar experiments were carried out but spiking the solution with different amounts of Cu in order to embrace the range between 0 and 1600 nM. In the final solutions as well as in sediment pore water LMWOAs were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Plants were able to release, in a short period of time, relatively high amounts of LMWOAs (oxalate, citrate, malate, malonate, and succinate). In the sediment pore water oxalate, succinate and acetate were also detected. Therefore, plant roots probably contributed to the presence of some of these organic compounds in pore water. Exudation differed between the plant species and also showed some seasonally variation, particularly for S. maritimus. The release of oxalate by J. maritimus increased with Cu increase in the media. However, exudation of the other LMWOAs did not seem to be stimulated by Cu contamination in the media. This fact is compatible with the existence of alternative internal mechanisms for Cu detoxification, as denoted by the fact that in media contaminated with Cu both plant species accumulated relatively high amounts (29-83%) of the initially dissolved Cu. This study expands our knowledge on the contribution of globally dominant salt marsh plants to the release of LMWOAs into the environment.

  2. Tidal marsh susceptibility to sea-level rise: importance of local-scale models

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. Five new species of the genera Heerz Marsh, Lissopsius Marsh and Ondigus Braet, Barbalho and van Achterberg (Braconidae, Doryctinae) from the Chamela-Cuixmala biosphere reserve in Jalisco, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro; Martínez, Juan José; Ceccarelli, Fadia Sara; Shaw, Scott R.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Five new species belonging to the poorly known Neotropical doryctine parasitoid wasps genera Heerz Marsh (Heerz ecmahla sp. n. and Heerz macrophthalma sp. n.), Lissopsius Marsh (Lissopsius pacificus sp. n. and Lissopsius jalisciensis sp. n.) and Ondigus Braet, Barbalho & van Achterberg (Ondigus cuixmalensis sp. n.) are described from the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere reserve in Jalisco, Mexico. Keys to the described species of the above three genera are provided. The phylogenetic placement of the examined taxa is investigated based on mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (28S, 2nd and 3rd domain regions) DNA sequence data. PMID:22328849

  4. Tidal regimes and salt marshes - the River Hamble analogue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, A.J.; Moy, I.L.; Warman, E.A.; Dawson, F.H.; Henville, P.

    1993-01-01

    Construction of estuarine tidal-energy barrages has a potentially major effect on the tidal regime of the estuary, particularly upstream of a barrage. Because tidal regime largely controls the distribution and species composition of intertidal plant and animal communities, it is important to understand how barrages may affect such communities. The main objectives of the research described in this report were to relate recent changes in tidal regime within an embanked area of salt marsh and mudflat to changes in the distribution of plant species. This was to test predictions about tidal control of species' range and to assess the site's suitability as an analogue of post-barrage conditions. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

    The capability of Halimione portulacoides, Spartina maritima, and Sarcocornia fruticosa (halophytes very commonly found in salt marshes from Mediterranean areas) for enhancing remediation of tributyltin (TBT) from estuarine sediments was investigated, using different experimental conditions. The influence of H. portulacoides on degradation of the butyltin compounds was assessed in two different ways: (1) a 9-month ex situ study carried out in a site of Sado River estuary, center of Portugal, which used polluted sediments collected at other nonvegetated site from the same estuary; and (2) a 12-month laboratorial study, using both plant and sediment collected at a relatively clean site of Cávado River estuary, north of Portugal, the sediment being doped with TBT, DBT, and MBT at the beginning of the experiment. The role of both S. fruticosa and S. maritima on TBT remediation in sediments was evaluated in situ, in salt marshes from Marim channel of Ria Formosa lagoon, south of Portugal, which has large areas colonized by each one of these two plants. For estimation of microbial abundance, total cell counts of sediment samples were enumerated by the DAPI direct count method. Butyltin analyses in sediment were performed using a method previously validated, which consisted of headspace solid-phase micro-extraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry after in situ ethylation (with tetraethylborate). Sediments colonized both ex situ and at lab by H. portulacoides displayed TBT levels about 30% lower than those for nonvegetated sediments with identical initial composition, after 9-12 months of plant exposure. In addition, H. portulacoides showed to be able of stimulating bacterial growth in the plant rhizosphere, which probably included degraders of TBT. In the in situ study, which compared the levels of TBT, DBT, and MBT in nonvegetated sediment and in sediments colonized by either S. maritima or S. fruticosa from the same area, TBT and DBT were only

  6. Tritium kinetics in a freshwater marsh ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, L.W.

    1976-01-01

    Ten curies of tritium (as tritiated water, HTO) were applied to a 2-ha enclosed Lake Erie marsh in northwestern Ohio on 29 October 1973. Tritium kinetics in the marsh water, bottom sediment, and selected aquatic plants and animals were determined. Following HTO application, peak tritium levels in the sediment were observed on day 13 in the top 1-cm layer, on day 27 at the 5-cm depth, and on day 64 at the 10-cm depth. Peak levels at 15 and 20 cm were not discernible, although there was some movement of HTO to the 20-cm depth. A model based on diffusion theory described tritium movement through the sediment. Unbound and bound tritium levels in curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), and smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) generally tended to follow tritium levels in marsh water. The unbound tritium:marsh water tritium ratio was significantly larger (P < 0.001) in curly-leaf pondweed than in either of the two emergents. Tritium uptake into the unbound compartments of crayfish (Procambarus blandingi), carp (Cyprinus carpio), and bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) was rapid. For crayfish, maximum HTO levels were observed on days 3 and 2 for viscera and muscle, respectively. Unbound HTO in carp viscera peaked on day 2, and levels in carp muscle reached a maximum in 4 hours. Maximum levels of unbound HTO in bluegill viscera and muscle were observed on day 1. After peak levels were obtained, unbound HTO paralleled marsh water HTO activity in all species. Tritium uptake into the bound compartments was not as rapid nor were the levels as high as for unbound HTO in any of the species. Peak bound levels in crayfish viscera were observed on day 20 and maximum levels in muscle were noted on day 10. Bound tritium in carp viscera and muscle reached maximum levels on day 20. In bluegills, peaks were reached on days 7 and 5 for viscera and muscle, respectively. Bound tritium in all species decreased following maximum levels

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Mercury uptake and allocation in Juncus maritimus: implications for phytoremediation and restoration of a mercury contaminated salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueira, Etelvina; Freitas, Rosa; Pereira, Eduarda; Duarte, Armando

    2012-08-01

    Juncus maritimus is the most abundant macrophyte in Laranjo bay, a Portuguese salt marsh heavily polluted by mercury (Hg). With the aim to elucidate the role of this species in the salt marsh Hg cycling and restoration, plants were harvested between March 2006 and January 2008 from four locations differing in Hg contamination. Metal uptake and distribution between plant organs were evaluated, biomass and Hg pools were also determined. Results showed that J. maritimus may influence the sediment pH and Eh, thus increasing the Hg available for uptake. Most (95-98%) of the absorbed Hg was retained belowground, phytostabilizing the metal and reducing the amount of Hg in the sediments. These results suggest that in salt marshes dominated by J. maritimus the approach could be phytostabilization, where these plants can be used to immobilize metals and store them belowground, reducing the pool of bioavailable Hg within contaminated marshes and acting as a sink rather than a source of contamination to the surrounding areas.

  9. Spatio-temporal dynamics of the invasive plant species Elytrigia atherica on natural salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeneklaas, Roos M.; Dijkema, Kees S.; Hecker, Norbert; Bakker, Jan P.

    Question In the past decades, the tall native invasive grass, Elytrigia atherica, has been increasing in frequency and dominance on salt marshes along the Wadden Sea coast. Is this rapid expansion an outcome of natural succession or is it driven by anthropogenic eutrophication resulting from

  10. Breeding ecology and nesting habitat associations of five marsh bird species in western New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.

  11. Responses of plant nutrient resorption to phosphorus addition in freshwater marsh of Northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Rong; Zeng, De-Hui; Zhang, Xin-Hou; Song, Chang-Chun

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities have increased phosphorus (P) inputs to most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. However, the relationship between plant nutrient resorption and P availability is still unclear, and much less is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we used a multi-level P addition experiment (0, 1.2, 4.8, and 9.6 g P m−2 year−1) to assess the effect of P enrichment on nutrient resorption at plant organ, species, and community levels in a freshwater marsh of Northeast China. The response of nutrient resorption to P addition generally did not vary with addition rates. Moreover, nutrient resorption exhibited similar responses to P addition across the three hierarchical levels. Specifically, P addition decreased nitrogen (N) resorption proficiency, P resorption efficiency and proficiency, but did not impact N resorption efficiency. In addition, P resorption efficiency and proficiency were linearly related to the ratio of inorganic P to organic P and organic P fraction in mature plant organs, respectively. Our findings suggest that the allocation pattern of plant P between inorganic and organic P fractions is an underlying mechanism controlling P resorption processes, and that P enrichment could strongly influence plant-mediated biogeochemical cycles through altered nutrient resorption in the freshwater wetlands of Northeast China. PMID:25631373

  12. Distribution and metabolism of quaternary amines in salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Gary M.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Coastal salt-marshes in Albania

    OpenAIRE

    JULIAN SHEHU; ALMA IMERI; RUDINA KOCI; ALFRED MULLAJ

    2014-01-01

    The salt marshes of Albania comprise a narrow belt along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. They have been the subject of a range of human activities causing habitat loss. Enclosure for agricultural use, ports and other infrastructure has reduced many salt marshes to a narrow fringe along estuary shores. Salt marshes are important for a range of interests. In particular they support a range of specialist plant communities and associated animals (especially breeding and wintering birds) and often h...

  15. Structure and composition of oligohaline marsh plant communities exposed to salinity pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2000-01-01

    The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species

  16. New England salt marsh recovery: opportunistic colonization of an invasive species and its non-consumptive effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler C Coverdale

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

  17. Hydrologic aspects of marsh ponds during winter on the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain, USA: Effects of structural marsh management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolduc, F.; Afton, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    salinity; (2) deter waterbird species that cannot cope with increased water levels; and (3) reduce waterbird species diversity by decreasing spatial variability in water depth among and within marsh ponds.

  18. Modeling tidal marsh distribution with sea-level rise: evaluating the role of vegetation, sediment, and upland habitat in marsh resiliency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Callaway, John C; Morris, James T; Stralberg, Diana; Parker, V Thomas; Kelly, Maggi

    2014-01-01

    Tidal marshes maintain elevation relative to sea level through accumulation of mineral and organic matter, yet this dynamic accumulation feedback mechanism has not been modeled widely in the context of accelerated sea-level rise. Uncertainties exist about tidal marsh resiliency to accelerated sea-level rise, reduced sediment supply, reduced plant productivity under increased inundation, and limited upland habitat for marsh migration. We examined marsh resiliency under these uncertainties using the Marsh Equilibrium Model, a mechanistic, elevation-based soil cohort model, using a rich data set of plant productivity and physical properties from sites across the estuarine salinity gradient. Four tidal marshes were chosen along this gradient: two islands and two with adjacent uplands. Varying century sea-level rise (52, 100, 165, 180 cm) and suspended sediment concentrations (100%, 50%, and 25% of current concentrations), we simulated marsh accretion across vegetated elevations for 100 years, applying the results to high spatial resolution digital elevation models to quantify potential changes in marsh distributions. At low rates of sea-level rise and mid-high sediment concentrations, all marshes maintained vegetated elevations indicative of mid/high marsh habitat. With century sea-level rise at 100 and 165 cm, marshes shifted to low marsh elevations; mid/high marsh elevations were found only in former uplands. At the highest century sea-level rise and lowest sediment concentrations, the island marshes became dominated by mudflat elevations. Under the same sediment concentrations, low salinity brackish marshes containing highly productive vegetation had slower elevation loss compared to more saline sites with lower productivity. A similar trend was documented when comparing against a marsh accretion model that did not model vegetation feedbacks. Elevation predictions using the Marsh Equilibrium Model highlight the importance of including vegetation responses to sea

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D Bertness

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

  20. Seed bank and established vegetation in the last remnants of the Mexican Central Plateau wetlands: the Lerma marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zepeda, Carmen; Lot, Antonio; Nemiga, Xanat Antonio; Manjarrez, Javier

    2014-06-01

    Seed banks play a central role in vegetation dynamics of many wetlands. Therefore, knowledge of seed reservoirs in the soils of aquatic communities should provide useful tools for conservation and restoration efforts. This study was conducted in the Lerma marshes, one of the last remnants of the vast wetlands that were once in the Mexican Central Plateau. The main objective was to determine the composition and abundance of seed bank and its relationship with established vegetation of the three Lerma marshes. In each marsh, we systematically selected 18 to 40 sampling sites. In each site, the composition of vascular plant vegetation was evaluated in two 10m lines perpendicular to the shore. Every 0.5m, we determined the coverage of species by measuring the intercepted length for each plant or group of plants. At each sampling site where we had evaluated the established vegetation, we collected a sample of the top 10cm of sediment; the soil cores were divided into an upper layer (0-5cm) and a lower layer (5-10cm). These samples were used to evaluate the seed bank by the seedling emergence method. All samples were placed in a greenhouse at 20-25 degrees C and remained flooded for 15 weeks. Forty-nine species were recorded in the vegetation. Chiconahuapan had the richest and most diverse flora and the greatest number of perennial species. A life-forms analysis showed that perennial herbs, especially rooted-emergent hydrophytes, dominated in the three wetlands. Sixty-one species were identified in the total seed bank; Chimaliapan had the most diverse total seed bank, whereas the mean seedling density was higher in Chignahuapan. Only two species of the total seed bank of each marsh had a density greater than 10% of the total, and more than half were uncommon. The upper layer of sediment (0-5cm) contained two times more seeds/m2 and species per sample than the lower layer (5-10cm), and there was a significant decrease of seed density with depth. The detrended

  1. Instrumental neutron activation analysis of site-dependent uptake and distribution of trace elements in the saltmarsh plant Aster tripolium from marsh fields in the Schelde estuary, Netherlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossbach, M.

    1986-07-01

    As part of an environmental chemical investigation the uptake of heavy metals by a saltmarsh plant Aster tripolium from two differently polluted salt marsh sites of the North Sea between 20 to 30 trace elements were determined in soil and plant organs. A sensitive gamma ray counting system was installed and tested for instrumental activation analyses (INAA). Installations to improve sensitivity as well as conditions necessary for reliable trace element analysis with the aid of Anticompton spectrometers (ACS) are described. The accuracy and reproducibility of the method was determined by the analysis of reference- and control materials of the german environmental specimen bank. In order to characterise the state of pollution of the salt marsh soils pollution-factors for single elements as well as interelemental correlations were evaluated. In addition, uptake and translocation factors of the biological samples were calculated. The many highly significant correlations between elements within the plant organs indicated that uptake appears to be physiologicaly controlled and not dependent on soil concentration. In order to detect further consequences of differing pollution influences within these plants biochemical separation techniques were applied and trace element levels in selected extracts were determined. For the specification of heavy metals gelpermeation chromatography of ethanolic extracts proved to be the most promising method. Furthermore, propositions for the use of trace elements as a fingerprint for pollution status and characterisation of species for referenz- and specimenbank materials have been developed. Aster tripolium as a cadmium accumulating plant can probably be used as an indicator in the monitoring of cadmium polluted salt marsh areas. (orig.) [de

  2. Intraspecific variation in growth of marsh macrophytes in response to salinity and soil type: Implications for wetland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.

    2010-01-01

    Genetic diversity within plant populations can influence plant community structure along environmental gradients. In wetland habitats, salinity and soil type are factors that can vary along gradients and therefore affect plant growth. To test for intraspecific growth variation in response to these factors, a greenhouse study was conducted using common plants that occur in northern Gulf of Mexico brackish and salt marshes. Individual plants of Distichlis spicata, Phragmites australis, Schoenoplectus californicus, and Schoenoplectus robustus were collected from several locations along the coast in Louisiana, USA. Plant identity, based on collection location, was used as a measure of intraspecific variability. Prepared soil mixtures were organic, silt, or clay, and salinity treatments were 0 or 18 psu. Significant intraspecific variation in stem number, total stem height, or biomass was found in all species. Within species, response to soil type varied, but increased salinity significantly decreased growth in all individuals. Findings indicate that inclusion of multiple genets within species is an important consideration for marsh restoration projects that include vegetation plantings. This strategy will facilitate establishment of plant communities that have the flexibility to adapt to changing environmental conditions and, therefore, are capable of persisting over time. ?? Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2009.

  3. Utilization of invasive tamarisk by salt marsh consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitcraft, Christine R; Levin, Lisa A; Talley, Drew; Crooks, Jeffrey A

    2008-11-01

    Plant invasions of coastal wetlands are rapidly changing the structure and function of these systems globally. Alteration of litter dynamics represents one of the fundamental impacts of an invasive plant on salt marsh ecosystems. Tamarisk species (Tamarix spp.), which extensively invade terrestrial and riparian habitats, have been demonstrated to enter food webs in these ecosystems. However, the trophic impacts of the relatively new invasion of tamarisk into marine ecosystem have not been assessed. We evaluated the trophic consequences of invasion by tamarisk for detrital food chains in the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve salt marsh using litter dynamics techniques and stable isotope enrichment experiments. The observations of a short residence time for tamarisk combined with relatively low C:N values indicate that tamarisk is a relatively available and labile food source. With an isotopic (15N) enrichment of tamarisk, we demonstrated that numerous macroinvertebrate taxonomic and trophic groups, both within and on the sediment, utilized 15N derived from labeled tamarisk detritus. Infaunal invertebrate species that took up no or limited 15N from labeled tamarisk (A. californica, enchytraeid oligochaetes, coleoptera larvae) occurred in lower abundance in the tamarisk-invaded environment. In contrast, species that utilized significant 15N from the labeled tamarisk, such as psychodid insects, an exotic amphipod, and an oniscid isopod, either did not change or occurred in higher abundance. Our research supports the hypothesis that invasive species can alter the trophic structure of an environment through addition of detritus and can also potentially impact higher trophic levels by shifting dominance within the invertebrate community to species not widely consumed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  5. Assessment of metal and trace element contamination in water, sediment, plants, macroinvertebrates, and fish in Tavasci Marsh, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paretti, Nicholas V.; Brasher, Anne M.D.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Miller, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Tavasci Marsh is a large freshwater marsh within the Tuzigoot National Monument in central Arizona. It is the largest freshwater marsh in Arizona that is unconnected to the Colorado River and is designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. The marsh has been altered significantly by previous land use and the monument’s managers are evaluating the restoration of the marsh. In light of historical mining activities located near the marsh from the first half of the 20th century, evaluations of water, sediment, plant, and aquatic biota in the marsh were conducted. The evaluations were focused on nine metals and trace elements commonly associated with mining and other anthropogenic activities (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) together with isotopic analyses to understand the presence, sources and timing of water and sediment contaminants to the marsh and the occurrence in aquatic plants, dragonfly larvae, and fish. Results of water analyses indicate that there were two distinct sources of water contributing to the marsh during the study: one from older high elevation recharge entering the marsh at Shea Spring (as well as a number of unnamed seeps and springs on the northeastern edge of the marsh) and the other from younger low elevation recharge or from Pecks Lake. Water concentrations for arsenic exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency primary drinking water standard of 10 μg/L at all sampling sites. Surface waters at Tavasci Marsh may contain conditions favorable for methylmercury production. All surficial and core sediment samples exceeded or were within sample concentration variability of at least one threshold sediment quality guideline for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn. Several sediment sites were also above or were within sample concentration variability of severe or probable effect sediment quality guidelines for As, Cd, and Cu. Three sediment cores collected in the marsh have greater metal and trace element concentrations

  6. Plathelminth abundance in North Sea salt marshes: environmental instability causes high diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armonies, Werner

    1986-09-01

    Although supralittoral salt marshes are habitats of high environmental instability, the meiofauna is rich in species and abundance is high. The community structure of free-living Plathelminthes (Turbellaria) in these salt marshes is described. On an average, 104 individuals are found below an area of 10 cm2. The average species density in ungrazed salt marshes is 11.3 below 10 cm2 and 45.2 below 100 cm2, indicating strong small-scale heterogenity. The faunal similarity between sediment and the corresponding above-ground vegetation is higher than between adjacent sample sites. Species prefer distinct ranges of salinity. In the lower part of the supralittoral salt marshes, the annual fluctuations of salinity are strongest and highly unpredictable. This region is richest in plathelminth species and abundance; diversity is highest, and the faunal composition of parallel samples is quite similar. In the upper part of the supralittoral salt marshes, the annual variability of salinity is lower, plathelminths are poor in species diversity and abundance. Parallel samples often have no species in common. Thus, those salt marsh regions with the most unstable environment are inhabited by the most diverse species assemblage. Compared to other littoral zones of the North Sea, however, plathelminth diversity in salt marshes is low. The observed plathelminth diversity pattern can apparently be explained by the “dynamic equilibrium model” (Huston, 1979).

  7. Estuaries and Tidal Marshes. Habitat Pac.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    This educational packet consists of an overview, three lesson plans, student data sheets, and a poster. The overview examines estuaries and tidal or salt marshes by discussing the plants and animals in these habitats, marsh productivity, benefits and management of the habitats, historical aspects, and development and pollution. A glossary and list…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Can salt marshes survive sea level rise ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambroni, N.; Seminara, G.

    2008-12-01

    wind setup are small compared with those associated with wind waves. However, the permanence of wind currents makes them as significant as the oscillating tidal currents in determining the direction and the intensity of the residual sediment flux. Marshes are typically characterised by a variety of vegetation species competing for habitat space within the intertidal zone: we analyze this feature by considering the case of two different species. Preliminary results show that the presence of a species characterised by a narrower habitat range, lower optimum elevation and biomass productivity, has a positive feedback on the growth of the other species. Moreover, the presence of an invader raises marsh elevation above the value reached in the presence of just one species. Finally, we investigate the effect of a reduction of the amount of sediments supplied from the sea.

  11. Endangered species management and ecosystem restoration: Finding the common ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casazza, Michael L.; Overton, Cory T.; Bui, Thuy-Vy D.; Hull, Joshua M.; Albertson, Joy D.; Bloom, Valary K.; Bobzien, Steven; McBroom, Jennifer; Latta, Marilyn; Olofson, Peggy; Rohmer, Tobias M.; Schwarzbach, Steven E.; Strong, Donald R.; Grijalva, Erik; Wood, Julian K.; Skalos, Shannon; Takekawa, John Y.

    2016-01-01

    Management actions to protect endangered species and conserve ecosystem function may not always be in precise alignment. Efforts to recover the California Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter, California rail), a federally and state-listed species, and restoration of tidal marsh ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay estuary provide a prime example of habitat restoration that has conflicted with species conservation. On the brink of extinction from habitat loss and degradation, and non-native predators in the 1990s, California rail populations responded positively to introduction of a non-native plant, Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). California rail populations were in substantial decline when the non-native Spartina was initially introduced as part of efforts to recover tidal marshes. Subsequent hybridization with the native Pacific cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) boosted California rail populations by providing greater cover and increased habitat area. The hybrid cordgrass (S. alterniflora × S. foliosa) readily invaded tidal mudflats and channels, and both crowded out native tidal marsh plants and increased sediment accretion in the marsh plain. This resulted in modification of tidal marsh geomorphology, hydrology, productivity, and species composition. Our results show that denser California rail populations occur in invasive Spartina than in native Spartina in San Francisco Bay. Herbicide treatment between 2005 and 2012 removed invasive Spartina from open intertidal mud and preserved foraging habitat for shorebirds. However, removal of invasive Spartina caused substantial decreases in California rail populations. Unknown facets of California rail ecology, undesirable interim stages of tidal marsh restoration, and competing management objectives among stakeholders resulted in management planning for endangered species or ecosystem restoration that favored one goal over the other. We have examined this perceived conflict and propose

  12. Endangered species management and ecosystem restoration: finding the common ground

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L. Casazza

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Management actions to protect endangered species and conserve ecosystem function may not always be in precise alignment. Efforts to recover the California Ridgway's Rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter, California rail, a federally and state-listed species, and restoration of tidal marsh ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay estuary provide a prime example of habitat restoration that has conflicted with species conservation. On the brink of extinction from habitat loss and degradation, and non-native predators in the 1990s, California rail populations responded positively to introduction of a non-native plant, Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora. California rail populations were in substantial decline when the non-native Spartina was initially introduced as part of efforts to recover tidal marshes. Subsequent hybridization with the native Pacific cordgrass (Spartina foliosa boosted California rail populations by providing greater cover and increased habitat area. The hybrid cordgrass (S. alterniflora à - S. foliosa readily invaded tidal mudflats and channels, and both crowded out native tidal marsh plants and increased sediment accretion in the marsh plain. This resulted in modification of tidal marsh geomorphology, hydrology, productivity, and species composition. Our results show that denser California rail populations occur in invasive Spartina than in native Spartina in San Francisco Bay. Herbicide treatment between 2005 and 2012 removed invasive Spartina from open intertidal mud and preserved foraging habitat for shorebirds. However, removal of invasive Spartina caused substantial decreases in California rail populations. Unknown facets of California rail ecology, undesirable interim stages of tidal marsh restoration, and competing management objectives among stakeholders resulted in management planning for endangered species or ecosystem restoration that favored one goal over the other. We have examined this perceived conflict

  13. Impact of sampling depth and plant species on local environmental conditions, microbiological parameters and bacterial composition in a mercury contaminated salt marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cleary, D.F.R.; Oliveira, V.; Gomes, N.C.M.; Pereira, A.; Henriques, I.; Marques, B.; Almeida, A.; Cunha, A.; Correia, A.; Lillebø, A.I.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Vegetated habitat contained distinct bacterial communities. ► Variation in bacterial composition with depth differed between plant species. ► There is evidence of an effect of mercury concentration on bacterial composition. ► Depth and sampling depth explained almost 70% of the variation in bacterial composition. - Abstract: We compare the environmental characteristics and bacterial communities associated with two rushes, Juncus maritimus and Bolboschoenus maritimus, and adjacent unvegetated habitat in a salt marsh subjected to historical mercury pollution. Mercury content was higher in vegetated than unvegetated habitat and increased with sampling depth. There was also a significant relationship between mercury concentration and bacterial composition. Habitat (Juncus, Bolboschoenus or unvegetated), sample depth, and the interaction between both, however, explained most of the variation in composition (∼70%). Variation in composition with depth was most prominent for the unvegetated habitat, followed by Juncus, but more constrained for Bolboschoenus habitat. This constraint may be indicative of a strong plant–microbe ecophysiological adaptation. Vegetated habitat contained distinct bacterial communities associated with higher potential activity of aminopeptidase, β-glucosidase and arylsulphatase and incorporation rates of 14 C-glucose and 14 C-acetate. Communities in unvegetated habitat were, in contrast, associated with both higher pH and proportion of sulphate reducing bacteria.

  14. Seed dispersal into wetlands: Techniques and results for a restored tidal freshwater marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, K.P.; Baldwin, A.H.

    2005-01-01

    Although seed dispersal is assumed to be a major factor determining plant community development in restored wetlands, little research exists on density and species richness of seed available through dispersal in these systems. We measured composition and seed dispersal rates at a restored tidal freshwater marsh in Washington, DC, USA by collecting seed dispersing through water and wind. Seed dispersal by water was measured using two methods of seed collection: (1) stationary traps composed of coconut fiber mat along an elevation gradient bracketing the tidal range and (2) a floating surface trawl net attached to a boat. To estimate wind dispersal rates, we collected seed from stationary traps composed of coconut fiber mat positioned above marsh vegetation. We also collected a small number of samples of debris deposited along high tide lines (drift lines) and feces of Canada Goose to explore their seed content. We used the seedling emergence method to determine seed density in all samples, which involved placing the fiber mats or sample material on top of potting soil in a greenhouse misting room and enumerating emerging seedlings. Seedlings from a total of 125 plant species emerged during this study (including 82 in river trawls, 89 in stationary water traps, 21 in drift lines, 39 in wind traps, and 10 in goose feces). The most abundant taxa included Bidens frondosa, Boehmeria cylindrica, Cyperus spp., Eclipta prostrata, and Ludwigia palustris. Total seedling density was significantly greater for the stationary water traps (212 + 30.6 seeds/m2/month) than the equal-sized stationary wind traps (18 + 6.0 seeds/m(2)/month). Lower-bound estimates of total species richness based on the non-parametric Chao 2 asymptotic estimators were greater for seeds in water (106 + 1.4 for stationary water traps and 104 + 5.5 for trawl samples) than for wind (54 + 6.4). Our results indicate that water is the primary source of seeds dispersing to the site and that a species-rich pool

  15. High spatial variability in biogeochemical rates and microbial communities across Louisiana salt marsh landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, B. J.; Chelsky, A.; Bernhard, A. E.; Giblin, A. E.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are important sites for retention and transformation of carbon and nutrients. Much of our current marsh biogeochemistry knowledge is based on sampling at times and in locations that are convenient, most often vegetated marsh platforms during low tide. Wetland loss rates are high in many coastal regions including Louisiana which has the highest loss rates in the US. This loss not only reduces total marsh area but also changes the relative allocation of subhabitats in the remaining marsh. Climate and other anthropogenic changes lead to further changes including inundation patterns, redox conditions, salinity regimes, and shifts in vegetation patterns across marsh landscapes. We present results from a series of studies examining biogeochemical rates, microbial communities, and soil properties along multiple edge to interior transects within Spartina alterniflora across the Louisiana coast; between expanding patches of Avicennia germinans and adjacent S. alterniflora marshes; in soils associated with the four most common Louisiana salt marsh plants species; and across six different marsh subhabitats. Spartina alterniflora marsh biogeochemistry and microbial populations display high spatial variability related to variability in soil properties which appear to be, at least in part, regulated by differences in elevation, hydrology, and redox conditions. Differences in rates between soils associated with different vegetation types were also related to soil properties with S. alterniflora soils often yielding the lowest rates. Biogeochemical process rates vary significantly across marsh subhabitats with individual process rates differing in their hotspot habitat(s) across the marsh. Distinct spatial patterns may influence the roles that marshes play in retaining and transforming nutrients in coastal regions and highlight the importance of incorporating spatial sampling when scaling up plot level measurements to landscape or regional scales.

  16. Signatures of Biogeomorphic Feedbacks in Salt-Marsh Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea; Marani, Marco

    2015-04-01

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

  17. A forward-looking, national-scale remote sensing-based model of tidal marsh aboveground carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist, J. R.; Byrd, K. B.; Ballanti, L.; Nguyen, D.; Simard, M.; Windham-Myers, L.; Thomas, N.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing based maps of tidal marshes, both of their extents and carbon stocks, have the potential to play a key role in conducting greenhouse gas inventories and implementing climate mitigation policies. Our goal was to generate a single remote sensing model of tidal marsh aboveground biomass and carbon that represents nationally diverse tidal marshes within the conterminous United States (CONUS). To meet this objective we developed the first national-scale dataset of aboveground tidal marsh biomass, species composition, and aboveground plant carbon content (%C) from six CONUS regions: Cape Cod, MA, Chesapeake Bay, MD, Everglades, FL, Mississippi Delta, LA, San Francisco Bay, CA, and Puget Sound, WA. Using the random forest algorithm we tested Sentinel-1 radar backscatter metrics and Landsat vegetation indices as predictors of biomass. The final model, driven by six Landsat vegetation indices and with the soil adjusted vegetation index as the most important (n=409, RMSE=310 g/m2, 10.3% normalized RMSE), successfully predicted biomass and carbon for a range of marsh plant functional types defined by height, leaf angle and growth form. Model error was reduced by scaling field measured biomass by Landsat fraction green vegetation derived from object-based classification of National Agriculture Imagery Program imagery. We generated 30m resolution biomass maps for estuarine and palustrine emergent tidal marshes as indicated by a modified NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program map for each region. With a mean plant %C of 44.1% (n=1384, 95% C.I.=43.99% - 44.37%) we estimated mean aboveground carbon densities (Mg/ha) and total carbon stocks for each wetland type for each region. Louisiana palustrine emergent marshes had the highest C density (2.67 ±0.08 Mg/ha) of all regions, while San Francisco Bay brackish/saline marshes had the highest C density of all estuarine emergent marshes (2.03 ±0.06 Mg/ha). This modeling and data synthesis effort will allow for aboveground

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Interactions between hare and brent goose in a salt marsh system : evidence for food competition?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wal, R; Kunst, P; Drent, R

    1998-01-01

    In this study we accumulate evidence that brown hare competes with brent goose for food resources in a temperate salt marsh. We show that both species overlap in habitat use and share food plants. The two herbivores mainly used the common habitat at different times of the day, with hares active in

  20. Accumulation and biological cycling of heavy metal in four salt marsh species, from Tagus estuary (Portugal)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duarte, B., E-mail: baduarte@fc.ul.p [Centro de Oceanografia, Instituto de Oceanografia, Campo Grande, 1749-1016 Lisboa (Portugal); Caetano, M. [INRB/IPIMAR - Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biologicos, Av. Brasilia, 1449-006 Lisboa (Portugal); Almeida, P.R. [Centro de Oceanografia, Instituto de Oceanografia, Campo Grande, 1749-1016 Lisboa (Portugal); Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Evora, Largo dos Colegiais 2, 7004-516 Evora (Portugal); Vale, C. [INRB/IPIMAR - Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biologicos, Av. Brasilia, 1449-006 Lisboa (Portugal); Cacador, I. [Centro de Oceanografia, Instituto de Oceanografia, Campo Grande, 1749-1016 Lisboa (Portugal)

    2010-05-15

    Pools of Zn, Cu, Cd and Co in leaf, stem and root tissues of Sarcocornia fruticosa, Sarcocornia perennis, Halimione portulacoides and Spartina maritima were analyzed on a bimonthly basis, in a Tagus estuary salt marsh. All the major concentrations were found in the root tissues, being the concentrations in the aboveground organs neglectable for sediment budget proposes, as seen by the low root-aboveground translocation. Metal annual accumulation, root turnovers and cycling coefficients were also assessed. S. maritima showed the higher root turnovers and cycling coefficients for most of the analyzed metals, making this a phytostabilizer specie. By contrast the low root turnover, cycling coefficient and low root necromass generation makes S. perennis the most suitable specie for phytoremediation processes. Although the high amounts of metal return to the sediments, due to root senescence, salt marshes can still be considered sinks of heavy metals, cycling heavy metals mostly between sediment and root. - The efficiency of the phytoremediative processes and metal budgets are greatly influenced by the turnover periods and necromass generation.

  1. Presence of indicator plant species as a predictor of wetland vegetation integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Adams, Jean V.; Gara, Brian

    2013-01-01

    We fit regression and classification tree models to vegetation data collected from Ohio (USA) wetlands to determine (1) which species best predict Ohio vegetation index of biotic integrity (OVIBI) score and (2) which species best predict high-quality wetlands (OVIBI score >75). The simplest regression tree model predicted OVIBI score based on the occurrence of three plant species: skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), and swamp rose (Rosa palustris). The lowest OVIBI scores were best predicted by the absence of the selected plant species rather than by the presence of other species. The simplest classification tree model predicted high-quality wetlands based on the occurrence of two plant species: skunk-cabbage and marsh-fern (Thelypteris palustris). The overall misclassification rate from this tree was 13 %. Again, low-quality wetlands were better predicted than high-quality wetlands by the absence of selected species rather than the presence of other species using the classification tree model. Our results suggest that a species’ wetland status classification and coefficient of conservatism are of little use in predicting wetland quality. A simple, statistically derived species checklist such as the one created in this study could be used by field biologists to quickly and efficiently identify wetland sites likely to be regulated as high-quality, and requiring more intensive field assessments. Alternatively, it can be used for advanced determinations of low-quality wetlands. Agencies can save considerable money by screening wetlands for the presence/absence of such “indicator” species before issuing permits.

  2. Biogenic silica in tidal freshwater marsh sediments and vegetation (Schelde estuary, Belgium)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Struyf, E.; van Damme, S.; Gribsholt, B.; Middelburg, J.J.; Meire, P.

    2005-01-01

    To date, estuarine ecosystem research has mostly neglected silica cycling in freshwater intertidal marshes. However, tidal marshes can store large amounts of biogenic silica (BSi) in vegetation and sediment. BSi content of the typical freshwater marsh plants Phragmites australis, Impatiens

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Does Avicennia germinans expansion alter salt marsh nitrogen removal capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatariw, C.; Kleinhuizen, A.; Rajan, S.; Flournoy, N.; Sobecky, P.; Mortazavi, B.

    2017-12-01

    Plant species expansion poses risks to ecosystem services through alterations to plant-microbiome interactions associated with changes to key microbial drivers such as organic carbon (C) substrates, nitrogen (N) availability, and rhizosphere-associated microbial communities. In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), warming winter temperatures associated with climate change have promoted Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) expansion into salt marshes. To date, there is limited knowledge regarding the effects of mangrove expansion on vital ecosystem services such as N cycling in the northern GOM. We designed a field-based study to determine the potential effects of mangrove expansion on salt marsh N biogeochemical cycling in the Spartina alterniflora dominated Chandeleur Islands (LA, USA). We used a combination of process rate measurements and metadata to: 1) Determine the impact of mangrove expansion on salt marsh denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), with the goal of quantifying losses or gains in ecosystem services; and 2) identify the mechanisms driving changes in ecosystem services to improve predictions about the impacts of mangrove expansion on salt marsh functional resiliency. The pneumatophore root structure of A. germinans is efficient at delivering oxygen (O2) to sediment, which can promote coupled nitrification-denitrification and decrease sulfide inhibition. We hypothesized that increased sediment O2, when coupled with cooler soil temperatures caused by plant shading, will favor denitrification instead of the DNRA process. An increase in sediment O2, as well as higher N content of A. germinans litter, will also result in a shift in the microbial community. Initial findings indicated that the denitrification pathway dominates over DNRA regardless of vegetation type, with average denitrification rates of 30.1 µmol N kg-1 h-1 versus average DNRA rates of 8.5 µmol N kg-1 h-1. However, neither denitrification nor DNRA rates

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems, such as salt marshes, are threatened by accelerated sea-level rise (SLR). Salt marshes deliver valuable ecosystem services such as coastal protection and the provision of habitat for a unique flora and fauna. Whether salt marshes in the Wadden Sea area are able to survive

  6. A remote sensing-based model of tidal marsh aboveground carbon stocks for the conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin B.; Ballanti, Laurel; Thomas, Nathan; Nguyen, Dung; Holmquist, James R.; Simard, Marc; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie

    2018-05-01

    Remote sensing based maps of tidal marshes, both of their extents and carbon stocks, have the potential to play a key role in conducting greenhouse gas inventories and implementing climate mitigation policies. Our objective was to generate a single remote sensing model of tidal marsh aboveground biomass and carbon that represents nationally diverse tidal marshes within the conterminous United States (CONUS). We developed the first calibration-grade, national-scale dataset of aboveground tidal marsh biomass, species composition, and aboveground plant carbon content (%C) from six CONUS regions: Cape Cod, MA, Chesapeake Bay, MD, Everglades, FL, Mississippi Delta, LA, San Francisco Bay, CA, and Puget Sound, WA. Using the random forest machine learning algorithm, we tested whether imagery from multiple sensors, Sentinel-1 C-band synthetic aperture radar, Landsat, and the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), can improve model performance. The final model, driven by six Landsat vegetation indices and with the soil adjusted vegetation index as the most important (n = 409, RMSE = 310 g/m2, 10.3% normalized RMSE), successfully predicted biomass for a range of marsh plant functional types defined by height, leaf angle and growth form. Model results were improved by scaling field-measured biomass calibration data by NAIP-derived 30 m fraction green vegetation. With a mean plant carbon content of 44.1% (n = 1384, 95% C.I. = 43.99%-44.37%), we generated regional 30 m aboveground carbon density maps for estuarine and palustrine emergent tidal marshes as indicated by a modified NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program map. We applied a multivariate delta method to calculate uncertainties in regional carbon densities and stocks that considered standard error in map area, mean biomass and mean %C. Louisiana palustrine emergent marshes had the highest C density (2.67 ± 0.004 Mg/ha) of all regions, while San Francisco Bay brackish/saline marshes had the highest C density of all

  7. Trophic Dynamics of Filter Feeding Bivalves in the Yangtze Estuarine Intertidal Marsh: Stable Isotope and Fatty Acid Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Sikai; Jin, Binsong; Qin, Haiming; Sheng, Qiang; Wu, Jihua

    2015-01-01

    Benthic bivalves are important links between primary production and consumers, and are essential intermediates in the flow of energy through estuarine systems. However, information on the diet of filter feeding bivalves in estuarine ecosystems is uncertain, as estuarine waters contain particulate matter from a range of sources and as bivalves are opportunistic feeders. We surveyed bivalves at different distances from the creek mouth at the Yangtze estuarine marsh in winter and summer, and analyzed trophic dynamics using stable isotope (SI) and fatty acid (FA) techniques. Different bivalve species had different spatial distributions in the estuary. Glauconome chinensis mainly occurred in marshes near the creek mouth, while Sinonovacula constricta preferred the creek. Differences were found in the diets of different species. S. constricta consumed more diatoms and bacteria than G. chinensis, while G. chinensis assimilated more macrophyte material. FA markers showed that plants contributed the most (38.86 ± 4.25%) to particular organic matter (POM) in summer, while diatoms contributed the most (12.68 ± 1.17%) during winter. Diatoms made the largest contribution to the diet of S. constricta in both summer (24.73 ± 0.44%) and winter (25.51 ± 0.59%), and plants contributed no more than 4%. This inconsistency indicates seasonal changes in food availability and the active feeding habits of the bivalve. Similar FA profiles for S. constricta indicated that the bivalve had a similar diet composition at different sites, while different δ13C results suggested the diet was derived from different carbon sources (C4 plant Spartina alterniflora and C3 plant Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter) at different sites. Species-specific and temporal and/or spatial variability in bivalve feeding may affect their ecological functions in intertidal marshes, which should be considered in the study of food webs and material flows in estuarine ecosystems. PMID:26261984

  8. First results on enzymatic activities in two salt marsh soils under different hydromorphic level and vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Trasar-Cepeda

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Salt-marsh soils are soils characterized by non-permanent hydric saturation that, depending on factors like duration of submersion periods, are dominated by different salt-tolerant plant species. The composition of microbial communities is an essential component in trophic dynamics and biogeochemical processes in salt marshes, and determines the level of enzymatic activities, which catalyze the conversion of complex molecules into simpler ones. Despite of this, the enzymatic activities in marsh-soils has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to analyze the enzymatic activities in two soil profiles of marsh-soils under different water saturation level and dominated by different plant species [Juncus maritimus Lam and Spartina maritima (Curtis Fernald (Sp]. In both soils, the enzymatic activities were much lower than the levels typically found in terrestrial ecosystems. The enzymatic activities were measured both in air-dried and in re-moistened and incubated soil samples. In air-dried samples, the enzymatic activities were higher in Juncus than in Spartina soil and tended to decrease with depth, being sharper the decrease in Juncus than in Spartina soil. Re-moistened and pre-incubated soils showed a general increase in all the enzymatic activities and throughout the whole soil profile, especially in Spartina soils. Hydrolase activities showed a strong and positive relationship with organic matter content both in air-dried and in re-moistened soil samples, higher in these latter. In general, oxidoreductase activities only showed this relationship in re-moistened soil samples. More studies, preferably using freshly collected soil samples, are needed to understand the relationship between enzymatic activities and these environmental conditions.

  9. Plant invasion: Another threat to the São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Formicivora paludicola, a species on the verge of extinction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucia Del-Rio

    Full Text Available During the past 100 years in densely populated south-eastern Brazil, wetlands have been severely transformed due to urbanization, agriculture and mining. The recently discovered São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Formicivora paludicola is endemic to these wetlands, and is listed as "Critically Endangered" by the IUCN. The species is only found in an area of 1.42 km2, it has a sparse and fragmented distribution, low dispersal capacity, and has probably lost around 300 km2 of habitat in the past 100 years. Furthermore, very little is known about F. paludicola natural history, and so it is difficult to construct a robust conservation plan. Using Kernel home range estimations and the Adjusted-SD/Torus Shift test (a novel tool for animal-habitat association studies, we showed that the species avoids patches of the alien invasive ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium. Given the high density of their population (3.6 mature individuals/ha, F. paludicola could thrive in relatively small areas of suitable wetlands protected from human occupation and water contamination, however special attention should be paid to biological invasions, which may represent a serious threat to the remaining populations. Protecting a few small wetlands used by F. paludicola would be an important step towards general conservation and restoration of Atlantic Forest wetlands and its endemic endangered species.

  10. Seed flotation and germination of salt marsh plants: The effects of stratification, salinity, and/or inundation regime

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    We examined the effects of cold stratification and salinity on seed flotation of eight salt marsh species. Four of the eight species were tested for germination success under different stratification, salinity, and flooding conditions. Species were separated into two groups, four species received wet stratification and four dry stratification and fresh seeds of all species were tested for flotation and germination. Fresh seeds of seven out of eight species had flotation times independent of salinity, six of which had average flotation times of at least 50 d. Seeds of Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens had the shortest flotation times, averaging 24 and 26 d, respectively. Following wet stratification, the flotation time of S. alterniflora seeds in higher salinity water (15 and 36 ppt) was reduced by over 75% and germination declined by more than 90%. Wet stratification reduced the flotation time of Distichlis spicata seeds in fresh water but increased seed germination from 2 to 16% in a fluctuating inundation regime. Fresh seeds of Iva frutescens and S. alternflora were capable of germination and therefore are non-dormant during dispersal. Fresh seeds of I. frutescens had similar germination to dry stratified seeds ranging 25-30%. Salinity reduced seed germination for all species except for S. alterniflora. A fluctuating inundation regime was important for seed germination of the low marsh species and for germination following cold stratification. The conditions that resulted in seeds sinking faster were similar to the conditions that resulted in higher germination for two of four species. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  11. The Life Cycle of Entzia, an Agglutinated Foraminifer from the Salt Marshes in Transylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaminski, Michael; Telespan, Andreea; Balc, Ramona; Filipescu, Sorin; Varga, Ildiko; Görög, Agnes

    2013-04-01

    The small salt marshes associated with Miocene salt domes in Transylvania are host to a variety of marine organisms, including communities of halophytic plants as well as an agglutinated foraminifer that is normally found in coastal salt marshes worldwide. Originally described as the species Entzia tetrastoma by Daday (1884), the foraminifer is more widely known by the name Jadammina macrescens (Brady, 1870). Because the genus name Entzia has priority over Jadammina, the valid name of this taxon is Entzia macrescens (Brady, 1870). In 2007, we discovered a living population of Entzia inhabiting a small salt marsh just outside the town of Turda in central Transylvania, only a kilometer from the famous Maria Theresa Salt Mine. This is the first discovery of a living population of Entzia in Transylvania since the species was originally described in 1884. To determine whether or not the specimens we found represent a breeding population, samples were collected from the marsh on a monthly basis over the span of a year. This species can be found among the roots of the halophytic plants, in the uppermost one or two centimeters of the mud. Sediment samples were preserved in Vodka with Rose Bengal to distinguish living and dead specimens, and examined quantitatively. To document the life cycle of the species the following metrics were carried out: test size, abundance, number of chambers, ratio between live and dead specimens, and the diameter of the proloculus. An increase in the mean diameter of specimens was found from October to December. However the mean diameter decreased again in January, which suggests that asexual reproduction had apparently taken place. Small specimens again appeared in March, when sexual reproduction is presumed to have taken place. The median proloculus diameter was smallest in April and May, but the monthly changes in mean proloculus size within the population over the span of a year are not significant. However, specimens with largest

  12. Response of Plant Height, Species Richness and Aboveground Biomass to Flooding Gradient along Vegetation Zones in Floodplain Wetlands, Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yanjing; Pan, Yanwen; Gao, Chuanyu; Jiang, Ming; Lu, Xianguo; Xu, Y Jun

    2016-01-01

    Flooding regime changes resulting from natural and human activity have been projected to affect wetland plant community structures and functions. It is therefore important to conduct investigations across a range of flooding gradients to assess the impact of flooding depth on wetland vegetation. We conducted this study to identify the pattern of plant height, species richness and aboveground biomass variation along the flooding gradient in floodplain wetlands located in Northeast China. We found that the response of dominant species height to the flooding gradient depends on specific species, i.e., a quadratic response for Carex lasiocarpa, a negative correlation for Calamagrostis angustifolia, and no response for Carex appendiculata. Species richness showed an intermediate effect along the vegetation zone from marsh to wet meadow while aboveground biomass increased. When the communities were analysed separately, only the water table depth had significant impact on species richness for two Carex communities and no variable for C. angustifolia community, while height of dominant species influenced aboveground biomass. When the three above-mentioned communities were grouped together, variations in species richness were mainly determined by community type, water table depth and community mean height, while variations in aboveground biomass were driven by community type and the height of dominant species. These findings indicate that if habitat drying of these herbaceous wetlands in this region continues, then two Carex marshes would be replaced gradually by C. angustifolia wet meadow in the near future. This will lead to a reduction in biodiversity and an increase in productivity and carbon budget. Meanwhile, functional traits must be considered, and should be a focus of attention in future studies on the species diversity and ecosystem function in this region.

  13. How is the chlorophyll count affected by burned and unburned marsh areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, C.

    2017-12-01

    Does marsh burnings, either man made or natural, hinder or help Louisiana's vitally important coastal plant life? Does the carbon produced from the fires have a negative effect on the chlorophyll count of these precious living protective barriers? Or does it help contribute to raising the plants chlorophyll count? Along Louisiana's Gulf Coast, marsh burnings are conducted every 2-4 years to destroy some of the Spartina patens. Fires and smoke may have an effect on the chlorophyll count of the plants found in Louisiana's marshes. Peat burns, root burns, and cover burns are the three types of marsh fires. These burns can be either man made or started by natural causes. Peat burns occur when the soil is dry due to a drained marsh. Root burns occur when plant roots are burned without the soil being consumed. Cover burns occur when several centimeters of water covers the soil. Cover burns are often used by Wildlife and Fisheries personnel to promote preferred plant food growth like Scirpus olneyi rather than the dominant Spartina patens. Our project was conducted by testing marsh plants and obtaining chlorophyll count of both a burned (cover burn) and an unburned area. Approximately one year after the burn, in August 2015, we tested the burned area's site. We retested the same site in December 2016. The results from our testing showed that there was a slightly higher chlorophyll count in the burned area. The chlorophyll count average from the two testing days was 33.5 in the burned area and 30.15 in the unburned area. Our hypothesis was that the chlorophyll content of "controlled" burned wetland areas will have a higher amount than the "no" burn area. The experiment results supported this hypothesis by showing an increase of 3.35 average in the burned area.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter I Macreadie

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Salt marsh recovery from a crude oil spill: Vegetation, oil weathering, and response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoff, R.Z.; Shigenaka, G.; Henry, C.B. Jr.

    1993-01-01

    When a spill of Prudhoe Bay crude oil covered a fringing Salicornia virginica marsh in Fidalgo Bay, Washington (northern Puget Sound) in February 1991, response personnel used several low-impact techniques to remove oil from the marsh, and minimized access by cleanup workers. Following the response, a monitoring program was established to track marsh recovery, and to document the effectiveness of the response techniques used and their impacts on the marsh. Through monthly sampling over a 16-month period, vegetative growth was monitored and chemical degradation of remaining oil was tracked. Sampling was conducted along transects located in four areas affected in different ways by the spill, including an oiled, trampled section; an oiled, vacuumed section; and an oiled, washed, and vacuumed section. In addition, a control transect was established in an unoiled adjacent marsh. The study included both biological and chemical components. Biological measurements included percent cover of live vegetation (sampled monthly) and below-ground plant biomass (sampled at the beginning of each growing season in April 1991 and April 1992). Sediment samples included surface sediment (monthly) and core samples collected at the beginning and end of the growing seasons. Sediment samples were analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy, and indicator compounds were tracked to determine rates of oil degradation. Results from 16 months of post-spill monitoring show that foot trampling was most detrimental to marsh plants, while washing with vacuuming removed the most oil and minimized adverse impacts to vegetation. Dense clay substrate helped prevent oil from penetrating the sediment, thus minimizing acute toxic effects from oil exposure to marsh plant rootstock. By the second growing season post-spill, Salicornia and other marsh plants were growing in all areas except one heavily oiled patch

  16. A remote sensing-based model of tidal marsh aboveground carbon stocks for the conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin B.; Ballanti, Laurel; Thomas, Nathan; Nguyen, Dung; Holmquist, James R.; Simard, Marc; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie

    2018-01-01

    Remote sensing based maps of tidal marshes, both of their extents and carbon stocks, have the potential to play a key role in conducting greenhouse gas inventories and implementing climate mitigation policies. Our objective was to generate a single remote sensing model of tidal marsh aboveground biomass and carbon that represents nationally diverse tidal marshes within the conterminous United States (CONUS). We developed the first calibration-grade, national-scale dataset of aboveground tidal marsh biomass, species composition, and aboveground plant carbon content (%C) from six CONUS regions: Cape Cod, MA, Chesapeake Bay, MD, Everglades, FL, Mississippi Delta, LA, San Francisco Bay, CA, and Puget Sound, WA. Using the random forest machine learning algorithm, we tested whether imagery from multiple sensors, Sentinel-1 C-band synthetic aperture radar, Landsat, and the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), can improve model performance. The final model, driven by six Landsat vegetation indices and with the soil adjusted vegetation index as the most important (n = 409, RMSE = 310 g/m2, 10.3% normalized RMSE), successfully predicted biomass for a range of marsh plant functional types defined by height, leaf angle and growth form. Model results were improved by scaling field-measured biomass calibration data by NAIP-derived 30 m fraction green vegetation. With a mean plant carbon content of 44.1% (n = 1384, 95% C.I. = 43.99%–44.37%), we generated regional 30 m aboveground carbon density maps for estuarine and palustrine emergent tidal marshes as indicated by a modified NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program map. We applied a multivariate delta method to calculate uncertainties in regional carbon densities and stocks that considered standard error in map area, mean biomass and mean %C. Louisiana palustrine emergent marshes had the highest C density (2.67 ± 0.004 Mg/ha) of all regions, while San Francisco Bay brackish/saline marshes had

  17. Tidal events and salt-marsh structure influence black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) recruitment across an ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jennifer M; Bell, Susan S

    2012-07-01

    Field experiments were conducted at a black mangrove-salt-marsh ecotone in southwest Florida (U.S.A.) to investigate retention of propagules of the black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, by salt-marsh plants as a mechanism of facilitation operating on recruitment success at landward boundaries. Buoyant A. germinans propagules are dispersed by tides, and stranding is required for establishment; therefore, processes that enable stranding should facilitate mangrove recruitment. We expected the physical structure of salt-marsh vegetation to define propagule retention capacity, and we predicted that salt-marsh plants with distinct growth forms would differentially retain propagules. Experimental monoculture plots (1 m2) of salt-marsh plants with different growth forms (Sporobolus virginicus [grass], Sesuvium portulacastrum [succulent forb], and Batis maritima [succulent scrub]) were created, and A. germinans propagules were emplaced into these plots and monitored over time. For comparison, propagules were also placed into natural polyculture plots (1 m2). Polyculture plots contained at least two of the salt-marsh plant taxa selected for monoculture treatments, and S. virginicus was always present within these polyculture plots. Natural polyculture plots retained 59.3% +/- 11.0% (mean +/- SE) of emplaced propagules. Monocultures varied in their propagule retention capacities with plots of S. virginicus retaining on average 65.7% +/- 11.5% of transplanted propagules compared to 7.2% +/- 1.8% by B. maritima and 5.0% +/- 1.9% by S. portulacastrum. Plots containing S. virginicus retained a significantly greater percentage of emplaced propagules relative to the two succulent salt-marsh taxa. Furthermore, propagule entrapment, across all treatments, was strongly correlated with salt-marsh structure (r2 = 0.6253, P = 0.00001), which was estimated using an indirect quantitative metric (lateral obstruction) calculated from digital images of plots. Overall, our findings imply that

  18. Origins of mineral matter in peat marsh and peat bog deposits, Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez-Buendia, A.M. [Unidad Tecnica del Marmol, AIDICO, Cami de Castella, 4, 03660 Novelda, Alicante (Spain); Whateley, M.K.G. [Rio Tinto Technical Services, Castlemead, Lower Castlemead, BS99 7YR Bristol (United Kingdom); Bastida, J.; Urquiola, M.M. [Dpto. Geologia, Univ. Valencia, Dr. Moliner 50. 46100 Burjasot, Valencia (Spain)

    2007-07-02

    The mineralogy of three back-barrier peat marshes (Torreblanca, Benicasim and Moncofar marshes) from Eastern Spain and one peat bog (Orihuela del Tremedal bog) from central east Spain have been investigated, using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electronic microscope (SEM) techniques. A combination of XRD methods was used to quantify the mineralogy of dried bulk peat samples. The water source in the peat marshes is both continental and marine. Water is highly mineralised. Water flow is both low and slow (accumulative system). The water source in the peat bog is continental, draining from the hill. The higher concentration of ions in the water of the back-barrier peat marshes leads to a higher concentration of authigenic minerals in the peat marshes compared to the peat bog. Three main mineral origins have been recognized, namely: detrital, syngenetic-epigenetic and biogenic. The more important contribution comes from the detrital system. Biogenic and bio-influenced minerals are the main non-detrital minerals in the peatlands. This paper discusses the biogenic origin of halite (and other minor halides and sulphates, such as, sylvite, carnalite, epsomite, glauberite, mirabilite and anhydrite?) from halophytic plants, as well as amorphous silica (opal-A) from sponge spicules and phytoliths of several plants. Pyrite in the peat bog has both syngenetic and epigenetic origins from plant decomposition and sulphur release. In the peat marsh the pyrite has a syngenetic origin from sulphate reduction (S{sub sulphate} {yields} S{sub pyritic}), and an epigenetic origin in the older peat, from plant decomposition (S{sub organic} {yields} S{sub pyritic}). (author)

  19. Summary of intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting detection probability of marsh birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, C.J.; Gibbs, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    Many species of marsh birds (rails, bitterns, grebes, etc.) rely exclusively on emergent marsh vegetation for all phases of their life cycle, and many organizations have become concerned about the status and persistence of this group of birds. Yet, marsh birds are notoriously difficult to monitor due to their secretive habits. We synthesized the published and unpublished literature and summarized the factors that influence detection probability of secretive marsh birds in North America. Marsh birds are more likely to respond to conspecific than heterospecific calls, and seasonal peak in vocalization probability varies among co-existing species. The effectiveness of morning versus evening surveys varies among species and locations. Vocalization probability appears to be positively correlated with density in breeding Virginia Rails (Rallus limicola), Soras (Porzana carolina), and Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris). Movement of birds toward the broadcast source creates biases when using count data from callbroadcast surveys to estimate population density. Ambient temperature, wind speed, cloud cover, and moon phase affected detection probability in some, but not all, studies. Better estimates of detection probability are needed. We provide recommendations that would help improve future marsh bird survey efforts and a list of 14 priority information and research needs that represent gaps in our current knowledge where future resources are best directed. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2011.

  20. Composition of Fish Communities in a European Macrotidal Salt Marsh (the Mont Saint-Michel Bay, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laffaille, P.; Feunteun, E.; Lefeuvre, J.-C.

    2000-10-01

    At least 100 fish species are known to be present in the intertidal areas (estuaries, mudflats and salt marshes) of Mont Saint-Michel Bay. These and other comparable shallow marine coastal waters, such as estuaries and lagoons, play a nursery role for many fish species. However, in Europe little attention has been paid to the value of tidal salt marshes for fishes. Between March 1996 and April 1999, 120 tides were sampled in a tidal creek. A total of 31 species were caught. This community was largely dominated by mullets ( Liza ramada represent 87% of the total biomass) and sand gobies ( Pomatoschistus minutus and P. lozanoi represent 82% of the total numbers). These species and also Gasterosteus aculeatus , Syngnathus rostellatus, Dicentrarchus labrax, Mugil spp., Liza aurata and Sprattus sprattus were the most frequent species (>50% of monthly frequency of occurrence). In Europe, salt marshes and their creeks are flooded only during high spring tides. So, fishes only invade this environment during short immersion periods, and no species can be considered as marsh resident. But, the salt marsh was colonized by fish every time the tide reached the creek, and during the short time of flood, dominant fishes fed actively and exploited the high productivity. Nevertheless, this study shows that there is little interannual variation in the fish community and there are three ' seasons ' in the fish fauna of the marsh. Marine straggler and marine estuarine dependent species colonize marshes between spring (recruitment period in the bay) and autumn before returning into deeper adjacent waters. Estuarine fishes are present all year round with maximum abundances in the end of summer. The presence of fishes confirms that this kind of wetland plays an important trophic and nursery role for these species. Differences in densities and stages distribution of these species into Mont Saint-Michel systems (tidal mudflats, estuaries and tidal salt marshes) can reduce the trophic

  1. Will fluctuations in salt marsh-mangrove dominance alter vulnerability of a subtropical wetland to sea-level rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L; Vervaeke, William C

    2018-03-01

    To avoid submergence during sea-level rise, coastal wetlands build soil surfaces vertically through accumulation of inorganic sediment and organic matter. At climatic boundaries where mangroves are expanding and replacing salt marsh, wetland capacity to respond to sea-level rise may change. To compare how well mangroves and salt marshes accommodate sea-level rise, we conducted a manipulative field experiment in a subtropical plant community in the subsiding Mississippi River Delta. Experimental plots were established in spatially equivalent positions along creek banks in monospecific stands of Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) or Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and in mixed stands containing both species. To examine the effect of disturbance on elevation dynamics, vegetation in half of the plots was subjected to freezing (mangrove) or wrack burial (salt marsh), which caused shoot mortality. Vertical soil development was monitored for 6 years with the surface elevation table-marker horizon system. Comparison of land movement with relative sea-level rise showed that this plant community was experiencing an elevation deficit (i.e., sea level was rising faster than the wetland was building vertically) and was relying on elevation capital (i.e., relative position in the tidal frame) to survive. Although Avicennia plots had more elevation capital, suggesting longer survival, than Spartina or mixed plots, vegetation type had no effect on rates of accretion, vertical movement in root and sub-root zones, or net elevation change. Thus, these salt marsh and mangrove assemblages were accreting sediment and building vertically at equivalent rates. Small-scale disturbance of the plant canopy also had no effect on elevation trajectories-contrary to work in peat-forming wetlands showing elevation responses to changes in plant productivity. The findings indicate that in this deltaic setting with strong physical influences controlling elevation (sediment accretion

  2. Response of Plant Height, Species Richness and Aboveground Biomass to Flooding Gradient along Vegetation Zones in Floodplain Wetlands, Northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yanjing; Pan, Yanwen; Gao, Chuanyu; Jiang, Ming; Lu, Xianguo; Xu, Y. Jun

    2016-01-01

    Flooding regime changes resulting from natural and human activity have been projected to affect wetland plant community structures and functions. It is therefore important to conduct investigations across a range of flooding gradients to assess the impact of flooding depth on wetland vegetation. We conducted this study to identify the pattern of plant height, species richness and aboveground biomass variation along the flooding gradient in floodplain wetlands located in Northeast China. We found that the response of dominant species height to the flooding gradient depends on specific species, i.e., a quadratic response for Carex lasiocarpa, a negative correlation for Calamagrostis angustifolia, and no response for Carex appendiculata. Species richness showed an intermediate effect along the vegetation zone from marsh to wet meadow while aboveground biomass increased. When the communities were analysed separately, only the water table depth had significant impact on species richness for two Carex communities and no variable for C. angustifolia community, while height of dominant species influenced aboveground biomass. When the three above-mentioned communities were grouped together, variations in species richness were mainly determined by community type, water table depth and community mean height, while variations in aboveground biomass were driven by community type and the height of dominant species. These findings indicate that if habitat drying of these herbaceous wetlands in this region continues, then two Carex marshes would be replaced gradually by C. angustifolia wet meadow in the near future. This will lead to a reduction in biodiversity and an increase in productivity and carbon budget. Meanwhile, functional traits must be considered, and should be a focus of attention in future studies on the species diversity and ecosystem function in this region. PMID:27097325

  3. Effects of alien woody plant invasion on the birds of Mountain ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The density, biomass, species richness and composition of birds in plots in two Mountain Fynbos plant-species assemblages (Tall Mixed Fynbos and Restionaceous Tussock Marsh), infested with alien woody plants (mainly Australian Acacia spp.) at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, South Africa, were compared ...

  4. The structure of salt marsh soil mesofauna food webs - The prevalence of disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynert, Kristin; Kiggen, Mirijam; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Scheu, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Mesofauna taxa fill key trophic positions in soil food webs, even in terrestrial-marine boundary habitats characterized by frequent natural disturbances. Salt marshes represent such boundary habitats, characterized by frequent inundations increasing from the terrestrial upper to the marine pioneer zone. Despite the high abundance of soil mesofauna in salt marshes and their important function by facilitating energy and carbon flows, the structure, trophic ecology and habitat-related diet shifts of mesofauna species in natural salt marsh habitats is virtually unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effects of natural disturbance (inundation frequency) on community structure, food web complexity and resource use of soil mesofauna using stable isotope analysis (15N, 13C) in three salt marsh zones. In this intertidal habitat, the pioneer zone is exposed to inundations twice a day, but lower and upper salt marshes are less frequently inundated based on shore height. The mesofauna comprised 86 species / taxa dominated by Collembola, Oribatida and Mesostigmata. Shifts in environmental disturbances influenced the structure of food webs, diversity and density declined strongly from the land to the sea pointing to the importance of increasing levels of inundation frequency. Accordingly, the reduced diversity and density was associated by a simplification of the food web in the pioneer zone as compared to the less inundated lower and upper salt marsh with a higher number of trophic levels. Strong variations in δ15N signatures demonstrated that mesofauna species are feeding at multiple trophic levels. Primary decomposers were low and most mesofauna species functioned as secondary decomposers or predators including second order predators or scavengers. The results document that major decomposer taxa, such as Collembola and Oribatida, are more diverse than previously assumed and predominantly dwell on autochthonous resources of the respective salt marsh zone. The results further

  5. Effect of petroleum hydrocarbons in copper phytoremediation by a salt marsh plant (Juncus maritimus) and the role of autochthonous bioaugmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montenegro, I P F M; Mucha, A P; Reis, I; Rodrigues, P; Almeida, C M R

    2016-10-01

    This work aimed to investigate, under controlled but environmental relevant conditions, the effects of the presence of both inorganic and organic contaminants (copper and petroleum hydrocarbons) on phytoremediation potential of the salt marsh plant Juncus maritimus. Moreover, bioaugmentation, with an autochthonous microbial consortium (AMC) resistant to Cu, was tested, aiming an increase in the remediation potential of this plant in the presence of a co-contamination. Salt marsh plants with sediment attached to their roots were collected, placed in vessels, and kept in greenhouses, under tidal simulation. Sediments were contaminated with Cu and petroleum, and the AMC was added to half of the vessels. After 5 months, plants accumulated significant amounts of Cu but only in belowground structures. The amount of Cu was even higher in the presence of petroleum. AMC addition increased Cu accumulation in belowground tissues, despite decreasing Cu bioavailability, promoting J. maritimus phytostabilization potential. Therefore, J. maritimus has potential to phytoremediate co-contaminated sediments, and autochthonous bioaugmentation can be a valuable strategy for the recovery and management of moderately impacted estuaries. This approach can contribute for a sustainable use of the environmental resources. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Mosquitoes Associated with Ditch-Plugged and Control Tidal Salt Marshes on the Delmarva Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul T. Leisnham

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available 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

  8. Storm surges and climate change implications for tidal marshes: Insight from the San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Swanson, Kathleen; Takekawa, John Y.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal marshes are dynamic ecosystems, which are influenced by oceanic and freshwater processes and daily changes in sea level. Projected sea-level rise and changes in storm frequency and intensity will affect tidal marshes by altering suspended sediment supply, plant communities, and the inundation duration and depth of the marsh platform. The objective of this research was to evaluate if regional weather conditions resulting in low-pressure storms changed tidal conditions locally within three tidal marshes. We hypothesized that regional storms will increase sea level heights locally, resulting in increased inundation of the tidal marsh platform and plant communities. Using site-level measurements of elevation, plant communities, and water levels, we present results from two storm events in 2010 and 2011 from the San Francisco Bay Estuary (SFBE), California, USA. The January 2010 storm had the lowest recorded sea level pressure in the last 30 years for this region. During the storm episodes, the duration of tidal marsh inundation was 1.8 and 3.1 times greater than average for that time of year, respectively. At peak storm surges, over 65% in 2010 and 93% in 2011 of the plant community was under water. We also discuss the implications of these types of storms and projected sea-level rise on the structure and function of the tidal marshes and how that will impact the hydro-geomorphic processes and marsh biotic communities.

  9. Regulation of salt marsh mosquito populations by the 18.6-yr lunar-nodal cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochlin, Ilia; Morris, James T

    2017-08-01

    The 18.6-yr lunar-nodal cycle drives changes in tidal amplitude globally, affecting coastal habitat formation, species and communities inhabiting rocky shores, and salt marsh vegetation. However, the cycle's influence on salt marsh fauna lacked sufficient long-term data for testing its effect. We circumvented this problem by using salt marsh mosquito records obtained over a period of over four decades in two estuaries in the northeastern USA. Salt marsh mosquito habitat is near the highest tide level where the impact of the nodal cycle on flood frequency is greatest. Wavelet spectral and cross-correlation analyses revealed periodicity in salt marsh mosquito abundance that was negatively correlated with tidal amplitude. Tidal amplitude was a significant predictor of salt marsh mosquito abundance with the cycle maxima coinciding with lower mosquito populations, possibly due to access by predatory fish. However, these effects were detected only at the location with extensive salt marsh habitat and astronomical tides and were weakened or lacked significance at the location with small microtidal salt marshes and wind-driven tides. Mosquitoes can serve as proxy indicators for numerous invertebrate species on the salt marsh. These predictable cycles and their effects need to be taken into consideration when investigating, restoring, or managing intertidal communities that are also facing sea-level rise. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Climate change and sustainability of the carbon sink in Maritime salt marshes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chmura, G.L.

    2008-01-01

    Ideal carbon sinks do not emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) and are sustainable with future trends in global warming. This presentation discussed the potential for using Maritime salt marshes as carbon sinks. The marshes are covered with grasses adapted to saline soils. Photosynthesis by the marsh plants and algae fix the carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) directly from the atmosphere. The carbon is then buried by mineral sediment. Wetlands without saline water are known to produce methane. The carbon in salt marsh soils does not significantly decline with depth or time. Salt marshes and mangroves store an average of 210 g of CO 2 per m 2 per year. The tidal floodwaters keep the soils wet, which allows for slow decomposition. Canadian salt marsh soils have increased in thickness at a rate of between 2 to 4 mm per year. Measurement programs have demonstrated the sustainability of inner Bay of Fundy marshes in relation to rising sea levels. Opportunities for carbon sinks also exist in dyked marshes in the region. It was concluded that the salt marshes can account for between 4 to 6 per cent of Canada's targeted reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. tabs., figs.

  12. Coastal Marsh Longevity, Ecological Succession, and Organic Carbon Dynamics During Early Holocene Sea-Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, L.; Schreiner, K. M.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Tornqvist, T. E.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal marsh environments perform essential ecosystem services, including nutrient filtering, soil organic matter storage, and storm surge abatement, yet much is still unknown about their formation and fate under periods of sea-level change. During the early Holocene (7-10 ka), rapid sea-level rise in coastal Louisiana was one of the primary controls over marsh development and longevity. Here, we investigate plant community composition and succession and soil organic matter storage in early Holocene coastal marshes in Louisiana using bulk elemental ratios, lignin phenol biomarkers and stable isotopes from peat layers. Sediment cores were collected in southeastern Louisiana and contain a record of an early Holocene transgressive sea-level sequence 16-25 m below present sea-level. The sedimentary record consists of an immature paleosol overlain by basal peat that accumulated in an estuarine marsh, overlain by marine lagoonal muds. A re-established marsh peat is present 1-4 m above the initial transition to marine conditions, indicating a sequence of marsh development, sea-level rise and onset of marine conditions, and then further marsh development as the rate of relative sea-level rise decelerated. Plant community composition in coastal marshes was determined through cupric oxide oxidation and lignin-phenol and non-lignin-phenol biomarker abundances. The degradation state of soil organic matter and the specific source of stabilized organic matter within the sedimentary peats were determined through lignin-phenol biomarker ratios. Organic matter sources ranged from terrestrial to marine over the course of sea-level rise, and different sites showed different amounts of marine organic matter influence and different levels of terrestrial organic matter degradation. These results have important implications for reconstructing the response of coastal marshes and their plant communities to accelerated rates of sea-level rise projected through 2100.

  13. Environmental change in a Mediterranean salt marsh wetland: ecological drivers of halophytes diversity along flooding frequency gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia María Rodríguez-González

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Coastal wetlands are among most threatened ecosystems, owing to the intense human activity concentrated in shoreline areas together with the expected sea level rise resultant from climate change. Salt marshes are wetlands which are inundated twice daily by the sea, thus tightly dependent on frequency and duration of submergence. Identifying the factors that determine the diversity, distribution and abundance of halophyte species in salt marshes will help retaining their conservation status and adopt anticipate management measures, and this will ultimately contribute to preserve marshland biodiversity and ecological services. Reserva Natural de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António (RNSCMVRSA is a natural reserve located in South Eastern Portugal, comprising the tidal area of Guadiana River mouth. In spite of their great ecological value, salt marsh ecosystems in this region have suffered intense anthropic disturbance, namely hydrologic alterations and vegetation removal to gain soils for agriculture and salt intensive production. The present study aimed at characterizing the halophyte diversity in the RNSCMVRSA salt marshes and determining their major ecological correlates. The end-point is to implement, afterward, a sustainable cultivation of autochthonous halophyte plants, with economic value, in the abandoned saltpans and degraded rangelands. This project will contribute to the conservation of halophyte diversity, promote environmental requalification, and provide an economic alternative for local populations, enabling the reduction of unregulated harvest of halophyte plant populations. Field sampling strategy included a preliminary survey of local vegetation diversity and floristic inventories of halophyte communities in plots established across the existing environmental heterogeneity in order to span the whole variation gradients of the species presence and abundance. The abiotic characterization of halophyte communities included a

  14. Wave attenuation across a tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster-Martinez, Madeline R.; Lacy, Jessica; Ferner, Matthew C.; Variano, Evan A.

    2018-01-01

    Wave attenuation is a central process in the mechanics of a healthy salt marsh. Understanding how wave attenuation varies with vegetation and hydrodynamic conditions informs models of other marsh processes that are a function of wave energy (e.g. sediment transport) and allows for the incorporation of marshes into coastal protection plans. Here, we examine the evolution of wave height across a tidal salt marsh in San Francisco Bay. Instruments were deployed along a cross-shore transect, starting on the mudflat and crossing through zones dominated by Spartina foliosa and Salicornia pacifica. This dataset is the first to quantify wave attenuation for these vegetation species, which are abundant in the intertidal zone of California estuaries. Measurements were collected in the summer and winter to assess seasonal variation in wave attenuation. Calculated drag coefficients of S. foliosa and S. pacifica were similar, indicating equal amounts of vegetation would lead to similar energy dissipation; however, S. pacifica has much greater biomass close to the bed (<20 cm) and retains biomass throughout the year, and therefore, it causes more total attenuation. S. foliosa dies back in the winter, and waves often grow across this section of the marsh. For both vegetation types, attenuation was greatest for low water depths, when the vegetation was emergent. For both seasons, attenuation rates across S. pacifica were the highest and were greater than published attenuation rates across similar (Spartina alterniflora) salt marshes for the comparable depths. These results can inform designs for marsh restorations and management plans in San Francisco Bay and other estuaries containing these species.

  15. Salt Marshes as Sources and Sinks of Silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, J.; Fulweiler, R. W.

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Guide to Common Tidal Marsh Invertebrates of the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heard, Richard W.

    The major groups of marine and estuarine macroinvertebrates of the tidal marshes of the northern Gulf of Mexico are described in this guide for students, taxonomists and generalists. Information on the recognition characteristics, distribution, habitat, and biology of salt marsh species from the coelenterate, annelid, mollusk and arthropod phyla…

  17. The Role of Tidal Marsh Restoration in Fish Management in the San Francisco Estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Herbold

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available   Tidal marsh restoration is an important management issue in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary. Restoration of large areas of tidal marsh is ongoing or planned in the lower estuary (up to 6,000 ha, Callaway et al. 2011. Large areas are proposed for restoration in the upper estuary under the Endangered Species Act biological opinions (3,237 ha and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (26,305 ha. In the lower estuary, tidal marsh has proven its value to a wide array of species that live within it (Palaima 2012. In the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta, one important function ascribed to restoration of freshwater tidal marshes is that they make large contributions to the food web of fish in open waters (BDCP 2013. The Ecosystem Restoration Program ascribed a suite of ecological functions to tidal marsh restoration, including habitat and food web benefits to native fish (CDFW 2010. This background was the basis for a symposium, Tidal Marshes and Native Fishes in the Delta: Will Restoration Make a Difference? held at the University of California, Davis, on June 10, 2013. This paper summarizes conclusions the authors drew from the symposium. 

  18. Sea-level rise and refuge habitats for tidal marsh species: can artificial islands save the California Ridgway's rail?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Cory T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Casazza, Michael L.; Bui, Thuy-Vy D.; Holyoak, Marcel; Strong, Donald R.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial species living in intertidal habitats experience refuge limitation during periods of tidal inundation, which may be exacerbated by seasonal variation in vegetation structure, tidal cycles, and land-use change. Sea-level rise projections indicate the severity of refuge limitation may increase. Artificial habitats that provide escape cover during tidal inundation have been proposed as a temporary solution to alleviate these limitations. We tested for evidence of refuge habitat limitation in a population of endangered California Ridgway's rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter California rail) through use of artificial floating island habitats provided during two winters. Previous studies demonstrated that California rail mortality was especially high during the winter and periods of increased tidal inundation, suggesting that tidal refuge habitat is critical to survival. In our study, California rail regularly used artificial islands during higher tides and daylight hours. When tide levels inundated the marsh plain, use of artificial islands was at least 300 times more frequent than would be expected if California rails used artificial habitats proportional to their availability (0.016%). Probability of use varied among islands, and low levels of use were observed at night. These patterns may result from anti-predator behaviors and heterogeneity in either rail density or availability of natural refuges. Endemic saltmarsh species are increasingly at risk from habitat change resulting from sea-level rise and development of adjacent uplands. Escape cover during tidal inundation may need to be supplemented if species are to survive. Artificial habitats may provide effective short-term mitigation for habitat change and sea-level rise in tidal marsh environments, particularly for conservation-reliant species such as California rails.

  19. Distribution and Invasion Potential of Limonium ramosissimum subsp. provinciale in San Francisco Estuary Salt Marshes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin Archbald

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Non-native sea lavenders (Limonium spp. are invasive in salt marshes of southern California and were first documented in the San Francisco Estuary (the estuary in 2007. In this study, we mapped distributions of L. ramosissimum subsp. provinciale (LIRA and L. duriusculum within the estuary and investigated how the invasion potential of the more common species, LIRA, varies with elevation and edaphic conditions. We contacted colleagues and conducted field searches to find and then map sea lavender populations. In addition, we measured LIRA’s elevational range at three salt marshes. Across this range we measured (1 soil properties: salinity, moisture, bulk density, and texture; and (2 indicators of invasion potential: LIRA size, seed production, percent cover, spread (over 1 year, recruitment, and competition with native halophytes (over 6 months. We found LIRA in 15,144 m2 of upper salt marsh habitat in central and south San Francisco bays and L. duriusculum in 511 m2 in Richardson and San Pablo bays. LIRA was distributed from mean high water (MHW to 0.42 m above mean higher high water (MHHW. In both spring and summer, soil moisture and salinity were lowest at higher elevations within LIRA’s range, which corresponded with greater rosette size, inflorescence and seed production (up to 17,400 seeds per plant, percent cover, and recruitment. LIRA cover increased on average by 11% in 1 year across marshes and elevations. Cover of the native halophytes Salicornia pacifica, Jaumea carnosa, and Distichlis spicata declined significantly at all elevations if LIRA were present in plots (over a 6-month, fall–winter period. Results suggest LIRA’s invasion potential is highest above MHHW where salinity and moisture are lower, but that LIRA competes with native plants from MHW to above MHHW. We recommend removal efforts with emphasis on the salt marsh-terrestrial ecotone where LIRA seed output is highest.

  20. Unpreferred plants affect patch choice and spatial distribution of European brown hares

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

    Many herbivore species prefer to forage on patches of intermediate biomass. Plant quality and forage efficiency are predicted to decrease with increasing plant standing crop which explains the lower preference of the herbivore. However, often is ignored that on the long-term, plant species composition is predicted to change with increasing plant standing crop. The amount of low-quality, unpreferred food plants increases with increasing plant standing crop. In the present study the effects of unpreferred plants on patch choice and distribution of European brown hare in a salt-marsh system were studied. In one experiment, unpreferred plants were removed from plots. In the second experiment, plots were planted with different densities of an unpreferred artificial plant. Removal of unpreferred plants increased hare-grazing pressure more than fivefold compared to unmanipulated plots. Planting of unpreferred plants reduced hare-grazing pressure, with a significant reduction of grazing already occurring at low unpreferred plant density. Spatial distribution of hares within this salt-marsh system was related to spatial arrangement of unpreferred plants. Hare-grazing intensity decreased strongly with increasing abundance of unpreferred plants despite a high abundance of principal food plants. The results of this study indicate that plant species replacement is an important factor determining patch choice and spatial distribution of hares next to changing plant quality. Increasing abundance of unpreferred plant species can strengthen the decreasing patch quality with increasing standing crop and can decrease grazing intensity when preferred food plants are still abundantly present.

  1. Halophyte vegetation influences in salt marsh retention capacity for heavy metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reboreda, Rosa; Cacador, Isabel

    2007-01-01

    We analysed concentrations of Cu, Cd and Pb in above and belowground tissues of the halophyte species Halimione portulacoides and Spartina maritima, as well as in sediments and pore water between the roots in a Tagus estuary salt marsh (Portugal). From these results we calculated the pools of metals in the compartments mentioned above. Relative percentages of accumulation in each pool were also determined. Our aim was to determine how the type of vegetation in the salt marsh affects overall metal retention capacity of the system. It was concluded that areas colonised by H. portulacoides are potential sources of Cu, Cd and Pb to the marsh ecosystem, whereas areas colonised by S. maritima are more effective sinks at least for Cu and Cd. Consequently, S. maritima seems to contribute more effectively to the stabilisation of metals in salt marsh sediments, reducing their availability to the estuarine system. - The type of vegetal cover can affect the overall retention capacity of a salt marsh as well as the functioning of the salt marsh as a sink or source of metals to the estuarine system

  2. Mangrove expansion into salt marshes alters associated faunal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smee, Delbert L.; Sanchez, James A.; Diskin, Meredith; Trettin, Carl

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is altering the distribution of foundation species, with potential effects on organisms that inhabit these environments and changes to valuable ecosystem functions. In the Gulf of Mexico, black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) are expanding northward into salt marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora (hereafter Spartina). Salt marshes are essential habitats for many organisms, including ecologically and economically important species such as blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and Penaeid shrimp (e.g., Penaeus aztecus), which may be affected by vegetation changes. Black mangroves occupied higher tidal elevations than Spartina, and Spartina was present only at its lowest tidal elevations in sites when mangroves were established. We compared nekton and infaunal communities within monoculture stands of Spartina that were bordered by mangroves to nearby areas where mangroves had not yet become established. Nekton and infaunal communities were significantly different in Spartina stands bordered by mangroves, even though salinity and temperature were not different. Overall abundance and biomass of nekton and infauna was significantly higher in marshes without mangroves, although crabs and fish were more abundant in mangrove areas. Black mangrove expansion as well as other ongoing vegetation shifts will continue in a warming climate. Understanding how these changes affect associated species is necessary for management, mitigation, and conservation.

  3. Dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Carnacina, Iacopo; Donatelli, Carmine; Ganju, Neil K.; Plater, Andrew James; Schuerch, Mark; Temmerman, Stijn

    2018-01-01

    This manuscript reviews the progresses made in the understanding of the dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes, including the dissipation of extreme water levels and wind waves across marsh surfaces, the geomorphic impact of storms on salt marshes, the preservation of hurricanes signals and deposits into the sedimentary records, and the importance of storms for the long term survival of salt marshes to sea level rise. A review of weaknesses, and strengths of coastal defences incorporating the use of salt marshes including natural, and hybrid infrastructures in comparison to standard built solutions is then presented.Salt marshes are effective in dissipating wave energy, and storm surges, especially when the marsh is highly elevated, and continuous. This buffering action reduces for storms lasting more than one day. Storm surge attenuation rates range from 1.7 to 25 cm/km depending on marsh and storms characteristics. In terms of vegetation properties, the more flexible stems tend to flatten during powerful storms, and to dissipate less energy but they are also more resilient to structural damage, and their flattening helps to protect the marsh surface from erosion, while stiff plants tend to break, and could increase the turbulence level and the scour. From a morphological point of view, salt marshes are generally able to withstand violent storms without collapsing, and violent storms are responsible for only a small portion of the long term marsh erosion.Our considerations highlight the necessity to focus on the indirect long term impact that large storms exerts on the whole marsh complex rather than on sole after-storm periods. The morphological consequences of storms, even if not dramatic, might in fact influence the response of the system to normal weather conditions during following inter-storm periods. For instance, storms can cause tidal flats deepening which in turn promotes wave energy propagation, and exerts a long term

  4. Dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Carnacina, Iacopo; Donatelli, Carmine; Ganju, Neil Kamal; Plater, Andrew James; Schuerch, Mark; Temmerman, Stijn

    2018-01-01

    This manuscript reviews the progresses made in the understanding of the dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes, including the dissipation of extreme water levels and wind waves across marsh surfaces, the geomorphic impact of storms on salt marshes, the preservation of hurricanes signals and deposits into the sedimentary records, and the importance of storms for the long term survival of salt marshes to sea level rise. A review of weaknesses, and strengths of coastal defences incorporating the use of salt marshes including natural, and hybrid infrastructures in comparison to standard built solutions is then presented. Salt marshes are effective in dissipating wave energy, and storm surges, especially when the marsh is highly elevated, and continuous. This buffering action reduces for storms lasting more than one day. Storm surge attenuation rates range from 1.7 to 25 cm/km depending on marsh and storms characteristics. In terms of vegetation properties, the more flexible stems tend to flatten during powerful storms, and to dissipate less energy but they are also more resilient to structural damage, and their flattening helps to protect the marsh surface from erosion, while stiff plants tend to break, and could increase the turbulence level and the scour. From a morphological point of view, salt marshes are generally able to withstand violent storms without collapsing, and violent storms are responsible for only a small portion of the long term marsh erosion. Our considerations highlight the necessity to focus on the indirect long term impact that large storms exerts on the whole marsh complex rather than on sole after-storm periods. The morphological consequences of storms, even if not dramatic, might in fact influence the response of the system to normal weather conditions during following inter-storm periods. For instance, storms can cause tidal flats deepening which in turn promotes wave energy propagation, and exerts a long term detrimental

  5. Habitat differentiation vs. isolation-by-distance : the genetic population structure of Elymus athericus in European salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bockelmann, AC; Reusch, TBH; Bijlsma, R; Bakker, JP

    We investigated genetic differentiation among populations of the clonal grass Elymus athericus, a common salt-marsh species occurring along the Wadden Sea coast of Europe. While E. athericus traditionally occurs in the high salt marsh, it recently also invaded lower parts of the marsh. In one of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Aquatic insects of New York salt marsh associated with mosquito larval habitat and their potential utility as bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochlin, Ilia; Dempsey, Mary E; Iwanejko, Tom; Ninivaggi, Dominick V

    2011-01-01

    The aquatic insect fauna of salt marshes is poorly characterized, with the possible exception of biting Diptera. Aquatic insects play a vital role in salt marsh ecology, and have great potential importance as biological indicators for assessing marsh health. In addition, they may be impacted by measures to control mosquitoes such as changes to the marsh habitat, altered hydrology, or the application of pesticides. Given these concerns, the goals of this study were to conduct the first taxonomic survey of salt marsh aquatic insects on Long Island, New York, USA and to evaluate their utility for non-target pesticide impacts and environmental biomonitoring. A total of 18 species from 11 families and five orders were collected repeatedly during the five month study period. Diptera was the most diverse order with nine species from four families, followed by Coleoptera with four species from two families, Heteroptera with three species from three families, then Odonata and the hexapod Collembola with one species each. Water boatmen, Trichocorixa verticalis Fieber (Heteroptera: Corixidae) and a shore fly, Ephydra subopaca Loew (Diptera: Ephydridae), were the two most commonly encountered species. An additional six species; Anurida maritima Guérin-Méneville (Collembola: Neanuridae), Mesovelia mulsanti White (Heteroptera: Mesovelidae), Enochrus hamiltoni Horn (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), Tropisternus quadristriatus Horn (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), Dasyhelea pseudocincta Waugh and Wirth (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), and Brachydeutera argentata Walker (Diptera: Ephydridae), were found regularly. Together with the less common Erythrodiplax berenice Drury (Odonata: Libellulidae), these nine species were identified as the most suitable candidates for pesticide and environmental impact monitoring due to abundance, position in the food chain, and extended seasonal occurrence. This study represents a first step towards developing an insect-based index of biological integrity for

  8. Modeling detection probability to improve marsh bird surveys in southern Canada and the Great Lakes states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Marsh birds are notoriously elusive, with variation in detection probability across species, regions, seasons, and different times of day and weather. Therefore, it is important to develop regional field survey protocols that maximize detections, but that also produce data for estimating and analytically adjusting for remaining differences in detections. We aimed to improve regional field survey protocols by estimating detection probability of eight elusive marsh bird species throughout two regions that have ongoing marsh bird monitoring programs: the southern Canadian Prairies (Prairie region and the southern portion of the Great Lakes basin and parts of southern Québec (Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. We accomplished our goal using generalized binomial N-mixture models and data from ~22,300 marsh bird surveys conducted between 2008 and 2014 by Bird Studies Canada's Prairie, Great Lakes, and Québec Marsh Monitoring Programs. Across all species, on average, detection probability was highest in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region from the beginning of May until mid-June, and then fell throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was lowest in the Prairie region in mid-May and then increased throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was highest during darkness compared with light; and did not vary significantly according to temperature (range: 0-30°C, cloud cover (0%-100%, or wind (0-20 kph, or during morning versus evening. We used our results to formulate improved marsh bird survey protocols for each region. Our analysis and recommendations are useful and contribute to conservation of wetland birds at various scales from local single-species studies to the continental North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Program.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho, P. N.; Basto, M. C.; Moreira da Silva, M.; Machado, A.; Bordalo, A.; Vasconcelos, M. T.

    2010-01-01

    The capability of Halimione portulacoides, Spartina maritima, and Sarcocornia fruticosa (halophytes very commonly found in salt marshes from Mediterranean areas) for enhancing remediation of tributyltin (TBT) from estuarine sediments was investigated, using different experimental conditions.

  10. Behaviour of horses and cattle at two stocking densities in a coastal salt marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolte, S.; Weyde, van der C.; Esselink, P.; Smit, C.; Wieren, van S.E.; Bakker, J.P.

    2017-01-01

    Livestock grazing has been practiced in salt marshes in the Wadden Sea area since 600 B.C. Currently livestock grazing is also applied for conservation management. However, effects of such grazing management on salt marshes are likely to vary depending on the species of livestock and stocking

  11. Behaviour of horses and cattle at two stocking densities in a coastal salt marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolte, S.; Van der Weyde, C; Esselink, Peter; Smit, C.; Van Wieren, S.E.; Bakker, Jan P.

    Livestock grazing has been practiced in salt marshes in the Wadden Sea area since 600 B.C. Currently livestock grazing is also applied for conservation management. However, effects of such grazing management on salt marshes are likely to vary depending on the species of livestock and stocking

  12. Quantifying Trophic Interactions and Carbon Flow in Louisiana Salt Marshes Using Multiple Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polito, M. J.; Lopez-Duarte, P. C.; Olin, J.; Johnson, J. J.; Able, K.; Martin, C. W.; Fodrie, J.; Hooper-Bui, L. M.; Taylor, S.; Stouffer, P.; Roberts, B. J.; Rabalais, N. N.; Jensen, O.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are critical habitats for many species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, given their complex nature, quantifying trophic linkages and the flow of carbon through salt marsh food webs is challenging. This gap in our understanding of food web structure and function limits our ability to evaluate the impacts of natural and anthropogenic stressors on salt marsh ecosystems. For example, 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill had the potential to alter trophic and energy pathways. Even so, our ability to evaluate its effects on Louisiana salt marsh food webs was limited by a poor basis for comparison of the pre-spill baseline food web. To be better equipped to measure significant alterations in salt marsh ecosystems in the future, we quantified trophic interactions at two marsh sites in Barataria Bay, LA in May and October of 2015. Trophic structure and carbon flow across 52 species of saltmarsh primary producers and consumers were examined through a combination of three approaches: bulk tissue stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S), dietary fatty acid analysis (FAA), and compound-specific stable isotope analysis of essential amino acids (δ13C EAA). Bulk stable isotope analysis indicated similar trophic diversity between sites and seasons with the use of aquatic resources increasing concomitantly with trophic level. FAA and δ13C EAA biomarkers revealed that marsh organisms were largely divided into two groups: those that primarily derive carbon from terrestrial C4 grasses, and those that predominately derive carbon from a combination of phytoplankton and benthic microalgal sources. Differences in trophic structure and carbon flow were minimal between seasons and sites that were variably impacted by the DWH spill. These data on salt marsh ecosystem structure will be useful to inform future injury assessments and restoration initiatives.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna L Nelson

    Full Text Available 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(4NO(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.

  14. Evaluation of nekton use and habitat characteristics of restored Louisiana marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, C.S.B.; Peyre, M.K.G.L.; Nyman, J.A.

    2004-01-01

    Marsh terracing and coconut fiber mats are two wetland restoration techniques implemented at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana, USA. Using nekton as an indicator of habitat quality, nekton community assemblages were compared between terraced, coconut-matted, unmanaged marsh (restoration goal), and open water (pre-restoration) habitats. Using a throw trap and a 3 m ?? 2 m straight seine, 192 nekton samples were collected over four dates in 2001 and 2002 at all habitats. Nekton abundance was similar at unmanaged marsh (restoration goal), coconut mat, and terrace edge, and significantly higher than at open water (pre-restoration) sites (P Coconut-matted habitat and unmanaged marsh edges had significantly higher numbers of benthic dependent species than terrace edges (P coconut-matted sites. Future restoration projects may evaluate the combined use of coconut mats with terracing projects in order to enhance habitat for benthic dependent nekton.

  15. Tidal flushing restores the physiological condition of fish residing in degraded salt marshes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly L Dibble

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

  16. Environmental extremes and biotic interactions facilitate depredation of endangered California Ridgway’s rail in a San Francisco Bay tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Cory T.; Bobzien, Steven; Grefsrud, Marcia

    2016-01-01

    On 23 December 2015 while performing a high tide population survey for endangered Ridgway’s rails (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; formerly known as the California clapper rail) and other rail species at Arrowhead Marsh, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland, California, the authors observed a series of species interactions resulting in the predation of a Ridgway’s rail by an adult female peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). High tide surveys are performed during the highest tides of the year when tidal marsh vegetation at Arrowhead Marsh becomes inundated, concentrating the tidal marsh obligate species into the limited area of emergent vegetation remaining as refuge cover. Annual mean tide level (elevation referenced relative to mean lower low water) at Arrowhead Marsh is 1.10 m, mean higher high water is 2.04 m (NOAA National Ocean Service 2014) and the average elevation of the marsh surface is 1.60 m (Overton et al. 2014). Tidal conditions on the day of the survey were predicted to be 2.42 m. Observed tides at the nearby Alameda Island tide gauge were 8 cm higher than predicted due to a regional low-pressure system and warmer than average sea surface temperatures (NOAA National Ocean Service 2014). The approximately 80 cm deep inundation of the marsh plain was sufficient to completely submerge tidal marsh vegetation and effectively remove 90% of refugia habitats.

  17. Functionality of Root-Associated Bacteria along a Salt Marsh Primary Succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Miao; Li, Erqin; Liu, Chen; Jousset, Alexandre|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370632656; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2017-01-01

    Plant-associated bacteria are known for their high functional trait diversity, from which many are likely to play a role in primary and secondary succession, facilitating plant establishment in suboptimal soils conditions. Here we used an undisturbed salt marsh chronosequence that represents over

  18. Functionality of root-associated bacteria along a salt marsh primary succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Miao; Li, Erqin; Liu, Chen; Jousset, Alexandre; Salles, Joana F.

    2017-01-01

    Plant-associated bacteria are known for their high functional trait diversity, from which many are likely to play a role in primary and secondary succession, facilitating plant establishment in suboptimal soils conditions. Here we used an undisturbed salt marsh chronosequence that represents over

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Final report: Initial ecosystem response of salt marshes to ditch plugging and pool creation: Experiments at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (Maine)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    This study evaluates the response of three salt marshes, associated with the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (Maine), to the practice of ditch plugging. Drainage ditches, originally dug to drain the marsh for mosquito control or to facilitate salt hay farming, are plugged with marsh peat in an effort to impound water upstream of the plug, raise water table levels in the marsh, and increase surface water habitat. At two study sites, Moody Marsh and Granite Point Road Marsh, ditch plugs were installed in spring 2000. Monitoring of hydrology, vegetation, nekton and bird utilization, and marsh development processes was conducted in 1999, before ditch plugging, and then in 2000 and 2001 (all parameters except nekton), after ditch plugging. Each study site had a control marsh that was monitored simultaneously with the plugged marsh, and thus, we employed a BACI study design (before, after, control, impact). A third site, Marshall Point Road Marsh, was plugged in 1998. Monitoring of the plugged and control sites was conducted in 1999 and 2000, with limited monitoring in 2001, thus there was no ?before? plug monitoring. With ditch plugging, water table levels increased toward the marsh surface and the areal extent of standing water increased. Responding to a wetter substrate, a vegetation change from high marsh species (e.g., Spartina patens) to those more tolerant of flooded conditions (e.g., Spartina alterniflora) was noted at two of the three ditch plugged sites. Initial response of the nekton community (fishes and decapod crustaceans) was evaluated by monitoring utilization of salt marsh pools using a 1m2 enclosure trap. In general, nekton species richness, density, and community structure remained unchanged following ditch plugging at the Moody and Granite Point sites. At Marshall Point, species richness and density (number of individuals per m2) were significantly greater in the experimental plugged marsh than the control marsh (<2% of the control marsh was

  1. Facilitative and competitive interaction components among New England salt marsh plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F. Bruno

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Intra- and interspecific interactions can be broken down into facilitative and competitive components. The net interaction between two organisms is simply the sum of these counteracting elements. Disentangling the positive and negative components of species interactions is a critical step in advancing our understanding of how the interaction between organisms shift along physical and biotic gradients. We performed a manipulative field experiment to quantify the positive and negative components of the interactions between a perennial forb, Aster tenuifolius, and three dominant, matrix-forming grasses and rushes in a New England salt marsh. Specifically, we asked whether positive and negative interaction components: (1 are unique or redundant across three matrix-forming species (two grasses; Distichlis spicata and Spartina patens, and one rush; Juncus gerardi, and (2 change across Aster life stages (seedling, juvenile, and adult. For adult Aster the strength of the facilitative component of the matrix-forb interaction was stronger than the competitive component for two of the three matrix species, leading to net positive interactions. There was no statistically significant variation among matrix species in their net or component effects. We found little difference in the effects of J. gerardi on Aster at later life-history stages; interaction component strengths did not differ between juveniles and adults. However, mortality of seedlings in neighbor removal plots was 100%, indicating a particularly strong and critical facilitative effect of matrix species on this forb during the earliest life stages. Overall, our results indicate that matrix forming grasses and rushes have important, yet largely redundant, positive net effects on Aster performance across its life cycle. Studies that untangle various components of interactions and their contingencies are critical to both expanding our basic understanding of community organization, and predicting

  2. Feeding ecology and trophic relationships of fish species in the lower Guadiana River Estuary and Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sá, Rita; Bexiga, Constança; Veiga, Pedro; Vieira, Lina; Erzini, Karim

    2006-10-01

    In this study we analyze the feeding ecology and trophic relationships of some of the main fish species (Soleidae, Moronidae, Mullidae, Sparidae, Mugilidae, and Batrachoididae) of the lower Estuary of the Guadiana River and the Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Salt Marsh. We examined the stomachs of 1415 fish caught monthly between September 2000 and August 2001. Feeding indices and coefficients were determined and used along with the results of multivariate analysis to develop diagrams of trophic interactions (food webs). Results show that these species are largely opportunistic predators. The most important prey items are amphipods, gobies (Gobiidae), shrimps ( Palaemon serratus and Crangon crangon), and polychaete worms. The lower Estuary and associated salt marshes are important nurseries and feeding grounds for the species studied. In this area, it is therefore important to monitor the effects of changes in river runoff, nutrient input, and temperature that result from construction of the Alqueva Dam upstream.

  3. Year-one recovery of an intermediate marsh in south Louisiana after an in-situ burn for oil spill remediation. Volume 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baustian, J.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.; Lin, Q.; Rapp, J.; Myers, J.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the recovery of an intermediate marsh in south Louisiana following an oil spill caused by a storage tank that ruptured during Hurricane Katrina. In situ burning of the oil spill was shown to be a successful form of cleanup that did not cause extensive physical damage to the marsh. The burn plan and execution of the burn was described, with particular focus on vegetation recovery in 28 recovery plots. Plots were monitored for aboveground biomass, plant height and stem density. The study showed that when done properly, in-situ burning eliminates oil from the marsh while combusting the oiled aboveground vegetation, leaving the belowground portions of the plant unharmed. Burns performed with as little as 2 cm of water on the marsh surface can buffer the root zone from the burn and increase plant survival. In this study, the structural and functional attributes of burned areas that were heavily and moderately oil were compared to 2 unburned and unoiled reference marshes. Within 9 months of the in situ burn, the above ground vegetation in the marsh had completely recovered. The burn adequately removed the oiled vegetation and allowed for the natural regrowth of the marsh vegetation. 27 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  4. Effects of prescribed burning on marsh-elevation change and the risk of wetland loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.; Grace, James B.

    2012-01-01

    nutrient addition had no detectable influence on elevation dynamics. 3. Burning decreased standing and fallen plant litter, reducing fuel load. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike also removed fallen litter from all plots. 4. Aboveground and belowground production rates varied annually but were unaffected by burning and nutrient treatments. 5. Decomposition (of a standard cellulose material) in upper soil layers was increased in burned plots but was unaffected by nutrient treatments. 6. Soil physicochemistry was unaffected by burning or nutrient treatments. 7. The elevation deficit (difference between rate of submergence and vertical land development) prior to hurricanes was less in burned plots (6.2 millimeters per year [mm yr-1]) compared to nonburned plots (7.2 mm yr-1). 8. Storm sediments delivered by Hurricane Ike raised elevations an average of 7.4 centimeters (cm), which countered an elevation deficit that had accrued over 11 years. Our findings provide preliminary insights into elevation dynamics occurring in brackish marshes of the Texas Chenier Plain under prescribed fire management. The results of this study indicate that prescribed burning conducted at 3- to 5-year intervals is not likely to negatively impact the long-term sustainability of S. patens-dominated brackish marshes at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge and may offset existing elevation deficits by ≈ 1 mm yr-1. The primary drivers of elevation change varied in time and space, leading to a more complex situation in terms of predicting how disturbances may alter elevation trajectories. The potential effect of burning on elevation change in other marshes will depend on several site-specific factors, including geomorphic/ sedimentary setting, tide range, local rate of relative sea level rise, plant species composition, additional management practices (for example, for flood control), and disturbance types and frequency (for example, hurricanes or herbivore grazing). Increasing the scope of inference would require

  5. Avian communities in tidal salt marshes of San Francisco Bay: a review of functional groups by foraging guild and habitat association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Woo, Isa; Gardiner, Rachel J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Nur, Nadav; Liu, Leonard; Spautz, Hildie; Palaima, Arnas

    2011-01-01

    The San Francisco Bay estuary is highly urbanized, but it supports the largest remaining extent of tidal salt marshes on the west coast of North America as well as a diverse native bird community. San Francisco Bay tidal marshes are occupied by more than 113 bird species that represent 31 families, including five subspecies from three families that we denote as tidal-marsh obligates. To better identify the niche of bird species in tidal marshes, we present a review of functional groups based on foraging guilds and habitat associations. Foraging guilds describe the method by which species obtain food from tidal marshes, while habitat associations describe broad areas within the marsh that have similar environmental conditions. For example, the ubiquitous song sparrows (Alameda Melospiza melodia pusillula, Suisun M. m. maxillaris, and San Pablo M. m. samuelis) are surface-feeding generalists that consume prey from vegetation and the ground, and they are found across the entire marsh plain into the upland–marsh transition. In contrast, surface-feeding California black rails (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) are cryptic, and generally restricted in their distribution to the mid- and high-marsh plain. Although in the same family, the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) has become highly specialized, foraging primarily on benthic fauna within marsh channels when they are exposed at low tide. Shorebirds such as the black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) typically probe in mud flats to consume macroinvertebrate prey, and are generally restricted to foraging on salt pans within the marsh plain, in ponds, or on mud flats during transitional stages of marsh evolution. The abundance and distribution of birds varies widely with changing water depths and vegetation colonization during different stages of restoration. Thus, tidal-marsh birds represent a rich and diverse community in bay marshes, with niches that may be distinguished by the

  6. Soil stabilization linked to plant diversity and environmental context in coastal wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Hilary; Garbutt, Angus; Ladd, Cai; Malarkey, Jonathan; Skov, Martin W

    2016-03-01

    Plants play a pivotal role in soil stabilization, with above-ground vegetation and roots combining to physically protect soil against erosion. It is possible that diverse plant communities boost root biomass, with knock-on positive effects for soil stability, but these relationships are yet to be disentangled. We hypothesize that soil erosion rates fall with increased plant species richness, and test explicitly how closely root biomass is associated with plant diversity. We tested this hypothesis in salt marsh grasslands, dynamic ecosystems with a key role in flood protection. Using step-wise regression, the influences of biotic (e.g. plant diversity) and abiotic variables on root biomass and soil stability were determined for salt marshes with two contrasting soil types: erosion-resistant clay (Essex, southeast UK) and erosion-prone sand (Morecambe Bay, northwest UK). A total of 132 (30-cm depth) cores of natural marsh were extracted and exposed to lateral erosion by water in a re-circulating flume. Soil erosion rates fell with increased plant species richness ( R 2  = 0.55), when richness was modelled as a single explanatory variable, but was more important in erosion-prone ( R 2  = 0.44) than erosion-resistant ( R 2  = 0.18) regions. As plant species richness increased from two to nine species·m -2 , the coefficient of variation in soil erosion rate decreased significantly ( R 2  = 0.92). Plant species richness was a significant predictor of root biomass ( R 2  = 0.22). Step-wise regression showed that five key variables accounted for 80% of variation in soil erosion rate across regions. Clay-silt fraction and soil carbon stock were linked to lower rates, contributing 24% and 31%, respectively, to variation in erosion rate. In regional analysis, abiotic factors declined in importance, with root biomass explaining 25% of variation. Plant diversity explained 12% of variation in the erosion-prone sandy region. Our study indicates that soil stabilization

  7. Will Restored Tidal Marshes Be Sustainable?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Orr

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available We assess whether or not restored marshes in the San Francisco Estuary are expected to be sustainable in light of future landscape scale geomorphic processes given typical restored marsh conditions. Our assessment is based on a review of the literature, appraisal of monitoring data for restored marshes, and application of vertical accretion modeling of organic and inorganic sedimentation. Vertical accretion modeling suggests that salt marshes in San Pablo Bay will be sustainable for moderate relative sea level rise (3 to 5 mm yr-1 and average sediment supply (c. 100 mg L-1. Accelerated relative sea level rise (above 6 mm yr-1 and/or reduced sediment supply (50 mg L-1 will cause lowering of the marsh surface relative to the tide range and may cause shifts from high to low marsh vegetation by the year 2100. Widespread conversion of marsh to mudflat-"ecological drowning"-is not expected within this time frame. Marshes restored at lower elevations necessary to aid the natural development of channel systems (c. 0.5 m below mean higher high water are predicted to accrete to high marsh elevations by the year 2100 for moderate relative sea level rise and sediment supply conditions. Existing rates of sediment accretion in restored fresh water tidal marshes of the Delta of greater than 9 mm yr-1 and slightly lower drowning elevations suggest that these marshes will be resilient against relatively high rates of sea level rise. Because of higher rates of organic production, fresh water marshes are expected to be less sensitive to reduced sediment availability than salt marshes. The ultimate long-term threat to the sustainability of tidal marshes is the interruption of coastal rollover-the process by which landward marsh expansion in response to sea level rise compensates for shoreline erosion. Bay front development now prevents most landward marsh expansion, while shoreline erosion is expected to accelerate as sea level rises.

  8. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants : a review

    OpenAIRE

    Oduor, Ayub M. O.

    2013-01-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may,in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species, suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has invol...

  9. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Exotic plant species attack revegetation plants in post-coal mining areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Muhammad; Arisoesilaningsih, Endang

    2017-11-01

    This study aimed to explore some invasive exotic plant species that have the potential to disrupt the growth of revegetation plants in post-coal mining areas. This research was conducted in a revegetation area of PT, Amanah Anugerah Adi Mulia (A3M) Kintap site, South Borneo. Direct observation was carried out on some revegetation areas by observing the growth of revegetation plants disturbed by exotic plant species and the spread of exotic plant species. Based on observation, several invasive exotic plant species were identified including Mikania cordata, Centrosema pubescence, Calopogonium mucunoides, Mimosa pudica, Ageratum conyzoides, and Chromolaena odorata. These five plant species grew wild in the revegetation area and showed ability to disrupt the growth of other plants. In some tree species, such as Acacia mangium, Paraserianthes falcataria, M. cordata could inhibit the growth and even kill the trees through covering the tree canopy. So, the trees could not receive optimum sun light for photosynthesis processes. M. cordata was also observed to have the most widespread distribution. Several exotic plant species such as C. mucunoides, M. pudica, and A. conyzoides were observed to have deep root systems compared with plant species used for revegetation. This growth characteristic allowed exotic plant species to win the competition for nutrient absorption with other plant species.

  13. Underwater and Floating-Leaved Plants of the United States and Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotchkiss, Neil

    This is the third in a series of guides to the field identification of North American marsh and water plants. Described are plants which have foliage habitually under water or floating, or which have underwater or floating forms, and which have characteristics by which they can be distinguished with the naked eye. Where genera or species cannot be…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. The nature of plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieseberg, Loren H; Wood, Troy E; Baack, Eric J

    2006-03-23

    Many botanists doubt the existence of plant species, viewing them as arbitrary constructs of the human mind, as opposed to discrete, objective entities that represent reproductively independent lineages or 'units of evolution'. However, the discreteness of plant species and their correspondence with reproductive communities have not been tested quantitatively, allowing zoologists to argue that botanists have been overly influenced by a few 'botanical horror stories', such as dandelions, blackberries and oaks. Here we analyse phenetic and/or crossing relationships in over 400 genera of plants and animals. We show that although discrete phenotypic clusters exist in most genera (> 80%), the correspondence of taxonomic species to these clusters is poor (< 60%) and no different between plants and animals. Lack of congruence is caused by polyploidy, asexual reproduction and over-differentiation by taxonomists, but not by contemporary hybridization. Nonetheless, crossability data indicate that 70% of taxonomic species and 75% of phenotypic clusters in plants correspond to reproductively independent lineages (as measured by postmating isolation), and thus represent biologically real entities. Contrary to conventional wisdom, plant species are more likely than animal species to represent reproductively independent lineages.

  16. Plant community, primary productivity, and environmental conditions following wetland re-establishment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, R.L.; Fujii, R.

    2010-01-01

    Wetland restoration can mitigate aerobic decomposition of subsided organic soils, as well as re-establish conditions favorable for carbon storage. Rates of carbon storage result from the balance of inputs and losses, both of which are affected by wetland hydrology. We followed the effect of water depth (25 and 55 cm) on the plant community, primary production, and changes in two re-established wetlands in the Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta, California for 9 years after flooding to determine how relatively small differences in water depth affect carbon storage rates over time. To estimate annual carbon inputs, plant species cover, standing above- and below-ground plant biomass, and annual biomass turnover rates were measured, and allometric biomass models for Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) acutus and Typha spp., the emergent marsh dominants, were developed. As the wetlands developed, environmental factors, including water temperature, depth, and pH were measured. Emergent marsh vegetation colonized the shallow wetland more rapidly than the deeper wetland. This is important to potential carbon storage because emergent marsh vegetation is more productive, and less labile, than submerged and floating vegetation. Primary production of emergent marsh vegetation ranged from 1.3 to 3.2 kg of carbon per square meter annually; and, mid-season standing live biomass represented about half of the annual primary production. Changes in species composition occurred in both submerged and emergent plant communities as the wetlands matured. Water depth, temperature, and pH were lower in areas with emergent marsh vegetation compared to submerged vegetation, all of which, in turn, can affect carbon cycling and storage rates. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  17. The significance of spatial and temporal patterns of algal mat deposition in structuring salt-marsh vegetation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Soelen, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2006-01-01

    Question: Are there hot spots of algal mat deposition in space and time at the marsh scale and, if so, how does this affect the coexistence of a dominant (Spartina anglica) and gap dependent (Salicornia europaea) species? Location: The Rattekaai salt marsh in the Scheldt estuary in the southwestern

  18. Interpreter's Guide to Blackbird Marsh Nature Trail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental Studies Center, Pensacola, FL.

    This booklet was prepared to help the user interpret the natural history of Blackbird Marsh Nature Trail in Escambia County, Florida, and serves as a guide to the animal and plant life. The publication is part of a series of illustrated guides designed for use by teachers and students of all levels in conjunction with field trips to the 1200-acre…

  19. Hydrology of Fritchie Marsh, coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  20. Elevation dynamics in a restored versus a submerging salt marsh in Long Island Sound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Hill, Troy D.; Cahoon, Donald R.

    2016-01-01

    Accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) poses the threat of salt marsh submergence, especially in marshes that are relatively low-lying. At the same time, restoration efforts are producing new low-lying marshes, many of which are thriving and avoiding submergence. To understand the causes of these different fates, we studied two Long Island Sound marshes: one that is experiencing submergence and mudflat expansion, and one that is undergoing successful restoration. We examined sedimentation using a variety of methods, each of which captures different time periods and different aspects of marsh elevation change: surface-elevation tables, marker horizons, sediment cores, and sediment traps. We also studied marsh hydrology, productivity, respiration, nutrient content, and suspended sediment. We found that, despite the expansion of mudflat in the submerging marsh, the areas that remain vegetated have been gaining elevation at roughly the rate of SLR over the last 10 years. However, this elevation gain was only possible thanks to an increase in belowground volume, which may be a temporary response to waterlogging. In addition, accretion rates in the first half of the twentieth century were much lower than current rates, so century-scale accretion in the submerging marsh was lower than SLR. In contrast, at the restored marsh, accretion rates are now averaging about 10 mm yr−1 (several times the rate of SLR), much higher than before restoration. The main cause of the different trajectories at the two marshes appeared to be the availability of suspended sediment, which was much higher in the restored marsh. We considered and rejected alternative hypotheses, including differences in tidal flooding, plant productivity, and nutrient loading. In the submerging marsh, suspended and deposited sediment had relatively high organic content, which may be a useful indicator of sediment starvation.

  1. Coordinating across scales: Building a regional marsh bird monitoring program from national and state Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shriver, G.W.; Sauer, J.R.

    2008-01-01

    Salt marsh breeding bird populations (rails, bitterns, sparrows, etc.) in eastern North America are high conservation priorities in need of site specific and regional monitoring designed to detect population changes over time. The present status and trends of these species are unknown but anecdotal evidence of declines in many of the species has raised conservation concerns. Most of these species are listed as conservation priorities on comprehensive wildlife plans throughout the eastern U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, National Park Service units, and other wildlife conservation areas provide important salt marsh habitat. To meet management needs for these areas, and to assist regional conservation planning, survey designs are being developed to estimate abundance and population trends for these breeding bird species. The primary purpose of this project is to develop a hierarchical sampling frame for salt marsh birds in Bird Conservation Region (BCR) 30 that will provide the ability to estimate species population abundances on 1) specific sites (i.e. National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges), 2) within states or regions, and 3) within BCR 30. The entire breeding range of Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed and Coastal Plain Swamp sparrows are within BCR 30, providing an opportunity to detect population trends within the entire breeding ranges of two priority species.

  2. High Spatial resolution remote sensing for salt marsh change detection on Fire Island National Seashore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A.; Wang, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are under increasing pressure due to anthropogenic stressors including sea level rise, nutrient enrichment, herbivory and disturbances. Salt marsh losses risk the important ecosystem services they provide including biodiversity, water filtration, wave attenuation, and carbon sequestration. This study determines salt marsh change on Fire Island National Seashore, a barrier island along the south shore of Long Island, New York. Object-based image analysis was used to classifying Worldview-2, high resolution satellite, and topobathymetric LiDAR. The site was impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 causing a breach in the Barrier Island and extensive overwash. In situ training data from vegetation plots were used to train the Random Forest classifier. The object-based Worldview-2 classification achieved an overall classification accuracy of 92.75. Salt marsh change for the study site was determined by comparing the 2015 classification with a 1997 classification. The study found a shift from high marsh to low marsh and a reduction in Phragmites on Fire Island. Vegetation losses were observed along the edge of the marsh and in the marsh interior. The analysis agreed with many of the trends found throughout the region including the reduction of high marsh and decline of salt marsh. The reduction in Phragmites could be due to the species shrinking niche between rising seas and dune vegetation on barrier islands. The complex management issues facing salt marsh across the United States including sea level rise and eutrophication necessitate very high resolution classification and change detection of salt marsh to inform management decisions such as restoration, salt marsh migration, and nutrient inputs.

  3. The effects of landscape position on plant species density: Evidence of past environmental effects in a coastal wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.; Guntenspergen, G.R.

    1999-01-01

    Here we propose that an important cause of variation in species density may be prior environmental conditions that continue to influence current patterns. In this paper we investigated the degree to which species density varies with location within the landscape, independent of contemporaneous environmental conditions. The area studied was a coastal marsh landscape subject to periodic storm events. To evaluate the impact of historical effects, it was assumed that the landscape position of a plot relative to the river's mouth ('distance from sea') and to the edge of a stream channel ('distance from shore') would correlate with the impact of prior storm events, an assumption supported by previous studies. To evaluate the importance of spatial location on species density, data were collected from five sites located at increasing distances from the river's mouth along the Middle Pearl River in Louisiana. At each site, plots were established systematically along transects perpendicular to the shoreline. For each of the 175 Plots, we measured elevation, soil salinity, percent of plot recently disturbed, percent of sunlight captured by the plant canopy (as a measure of plant abundance), and plant species density. Structural equation analysis ascertained the degree to which landscape position variables explained variation in species density that could not be explained by current environmental indicators. Without considering landscape variables, 54% of the variation in species density could be explained by the effects of salinity, flooding, and plant abundance. When landscape variables were included, distance from shore was unimportant but distance from sea explained an additional 12% of the variance in species density (R2 of final model = 66%). Based on these results it appears that at least some of the otherwise unexplained variation in species density can be attributed to landscape position, and presumably previous storm events. We suggest that future studies may gain

  4. Warming increases plant biomass and reduces diversity across continents, latitudes, and species migration scenarios in experimental wetland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Andrew H; Jensen, Kai; Schönfeldt, Marisa

    2014-03-01

    Atmospheric warming may influence plant productivity and diversity and induce poleward migration of species, altering communities across latitudes. Complicating the picture is that communities from different continents deviate in evolutionary histories, which may modify responses to warming and migration. We used experimental wetland plant communities grown from seed banks as model systems to determine whether effects of warming on biomass production and species richness are consistent across continents, latitudes, and migration scenarios. We collected soil samples from each of three tidal freshwater marshes in estuaries at three latitudes (north, middle, south) on the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. In one experiment, we exposed soil seed bank communities from each latitude and continent to ambient and elevated (+2.8 °C) temperatures in the greenhouse. In a second experiment, soil samples were mixed either within each estuary (limited migration) or among estuaries from different latitudes in each continent (complete migration). Seed bank communities of these migration scenarios were also exposed to ambient and elevated temperatures and contrasted with a no-migration treatment. In the first experiment, warming overall increased biomass (+16%) and decreased species richness (-14%) across latitudes in Europe and North America. Species richness and evenness of south-latitude communities were less affected by warming than those of middle and north latitudes. In the second experiment, warming also stimulated biomass and lowered species richness. In addition, complete migration led to increased species richness (+60% in North America, + 100% in Europe), but this higher diversity did not translate into increased biomass. Species responded idiosyncratically to warming, but Lythrum salicaria and Bidens sp. increased significantly in response to warming in both continents. These results reveal for the first time consistent impacts of warming on biomass and

  5. The east-west-north colonization history of the Mediterranean and Europe by the coastal plant Carex extensa (Cyperaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Escudero, M.; Vargas, P.; Arens, P.; Ouborg, N.J.; Luceno, M.

    2010-01-01

    Coastal plants are ideal models for studying the colonization routes of species because of the simple linear distributions of these species. Carex extensa occurs mainly in salt marshes along the Mediterranean and European coasts. Variation in cpDNA sequences, amplified fragment length polymorphisms

  6. Numerical modeling of salt marsh morphological change induced by Hurricane Sandy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Kelin; Chen, Qin; Wang, Hongqing; Hartig, Ellen K.; Orton, Philip M.

    2018-01-01

    The salt marshes of Jamaica Bay serve as a recreational outlet for New York City residents, mitigate wave impacts during coastal storms, and provide habitat for critical wildlife species. Hurricanes have been recognized as one of the critical drivers of coastal wetland morphology due to their effects on hydrodynamics and sediment transport, deposition, and erosion processes. In this study, the Delft3D modeling suite was utilized to examine the effects of Hurricane Sandy (2012) on salt marsh morphology in Jamaica Bay. Observed marsh elevation change and accretion from rod Surface Elevation Tables and feldspar Marker Horizons (SET-MH) and hydrodynamic measurements during Hurricane Sandy were used to calibrate and validate the wind-waves-surge-sediment transport-morphology coupled model. The model results agreed well with in situ field measurements. The validated model was then used to detect salt marsh morphological change due to Sandy across Jamaica Bay. Model results indicate that the island-wide morphological changes in the bay's salt marshes due to Sandy were in the range of −30 mm (erosion) to +15 mm (deposition), and spatially complex and heterogeneous. The storm generated paired deposition and erosion patches at local scales. Salt marshes inside the west section of the bay showed erosion overall while marshes inside the east section showed deposition from Sandy. The net sediment amount that Sandy brought into the bay is only about 1% of the total amount of reworked sediment within the bay during the storm. Numerical experiments show that waves and vegetation played a critical role in sediment transport and associated wetland morphological change in Jamaica Bay. Furthermore, without the protection of vegetation, the marsh islands of Jamaica Bay would experience both more erosion and less accretion in coastal storms.

  7. Greenhouse gas emissions from a created brackish marsh in eastern North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiau, Yo-Jin; Burchell, Michael R.; Krauss, Ken W.; Birgand, François; Broome, Stephen W.

    2016-01-01

    Tidal marsh creation helps remediate global warming because tidal wetlands are especially proficient at sequestering carbon (C) in soils. However, greenhouse gas (GHG) losses can offset the climatic benefits gained from C storage depending on how these tidal marshes are constructed and managed. This study attempts to determine the GHG emissions from a 4–6 year old created brackish marsh, what environmental factors governed these emissions, and how the magnitude of the fluxes relates to other wetland ecosystems. The static flux chamber method was used to measure GHG fluxes across three distinct plant zones segregated by elevation. The major of soil GHG fluxes from the marsh were from CO2 (−48–192 mg C m-2 h-1), although it was near the lower end of values reported from other wetland types having lower salinities, and would mostly be offset by photosynthetic uptake in this created brackish marsh. Methane flux was also low (−0.33–0.86 mg C m-2 h-1), likely inhibited by the high soil SO42−and soil redox potentials poised above −150 mV in this in this created brackish marsh environment. Low N2O flux (−0.11–0.10 mg N m-2 h-1) was due to low soil NO3− and soil redox conditions favoring complete denitrification. GHG fluxes from this created brackish marsh were generally lower than those recorded from natural marshes, suggesting that C sequestration may not be offset by the radiative forcing from soil GHG emissions if projects are designed properly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Salt marsh-mangrove ecotones: using structural gradients to investigate the effects of woody plant encroachment on plant-soil interactions and ecosystem carbon pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yando, Erik S.; Osland, Michael J.; Willis, Jonathan M; Day, Richard H.; Krauss, Ken W.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-01-01

    Changing winter climate extremes are expected to result in the poleward migration of mangrove forests at the expense of salt marshes. Although mangroves and marshes are both highly valued ecosystems, the ecological implications of mangrove expansion have not been fully investigated.

  10. Analysis of Genetic Diversity of Two Mangrove Species with Morphological Alterations in a Natural Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Fonseca Lira-Medeiros

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove is an ecosystem subjected to tide, salinity and nutrient variations. These conditions are stressful to most plants, except to mangrove plants that are well-adapted. However, many mangrove areas have extremely stressful conditions, such as salt marshes, and the plants nearby usually present morphological alterations. In Sepetiba Bay, two species of mangrove plants, Avicennia schaueriana and Laguncularia racemosa, have poor development near a salt marsh (SM compared to plants at the riverside (RS, which is considered a favorable habitat in mangroves. The level of genetic diversity and its possible correlation with the morphological divergence of SM and RS plants of both species were assessed by AFLP molecular markers. We found moderate genetic differentiation between A. schaueriana plants from SM and RS areas and depleted genetic diversity on SM plants. On the other hand, Laguncularia racemosa plants had no genetic differentiation between areas. It is possible that a limited gene flow among the studied areas might be acting more intensely on A. schaueriana plants, resulting in the observed genetic differentiation. The populations of Laguncularia racemosa appear to be well connected, as genetic differentiation was not significant between the SM and RS populations. Gene flow and genetic drift are acting on neutral genetic diversity of these two mangrove species in the studied areas, and the observed genetic differentiation of A. schaueriana plants might be correlated with its morphological variation. For L. racemosa, morphological alterations could be related to epigenetic phenomena or adaptive loci polymorphism that should be further investigated.

  11. CO2 and CH4 fluxes in a Spartina salt marsh and brackish Phragmites marsh in Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Wang, F.; Kroeger, K. D.; Gonneea, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes play an important role in global and regional carbon cycling. Tidally restricted marshes reduce salinity and provide a habitat suitable for Phragmites invasion. We measured greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2 and CH4) continuously with the eddy covariance method and biweekly with the static chamber method in a Spartina salt marsh and a Phragmites marsh on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. We did not find significant difference in CO2 fluxes between the two sites, but the CH4 fluxes were much higher in the Phragmites site than the Spartina marsh. Temporally, tidal cycles influence the CO2 and CH4 fluxes in both sites. We found that the salt marsh was a significant carbon sink when CO2 and CH4 fluxes were combined. Restoring tidally restricted marshes will significantly reduce CH4 emissions and provide a strong ecosystem carbon service.

  12. Long-Term Surveys Show Invasive Overbite Clams (Potamocorbula amurensis are Spatially Limited in Suisun Marsh, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Baumsteiger

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss2art6The overbite clam (Potamocorbula amurensis is a major invasive species in the San Francisco Estuary, California, and has been implicated in the decline of pelagic productivity and native fish species. Little is known of its impact on Suisun Marsh, a large brackish tidal region of the estuary. We looked at the abundance and spatial distribution of clams in the marsh, including examining the influence of water quality, using long-term (1988–2015 otter trawl surveys. Temporal trends indicated that overbite clam abundance has been increasing, but adult clams were spatially restricted to a single large slough (Suisun. Clams were absent from most interior channels, limiting their overall effect on the marsh aquatic ecosystem. Abiotic variables, particularly salinity, proved important predictors of overbite clam abundance, although the variables examined alone could not explain overbite clam distributions. We propose that connectivity, detritus loads, and/or predation pressure may work in conjunction with abiotic variables to cause poor survival rates for recruits in interior marsh sites, keeping the distribution limited. Overall results are encouraging for restoration projects in brackish tidal marshes that need to deal with overbite clams.

  13. Nitrogen cycle of a typical Suaeda salsa marsh ecosystem in the Yellow River estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mou, Xiaojie; Sun, Zhigao; Wang, Lingling; Wang, Chuanyuan

    2011-01-01

    The nitrogen (N) biological cycle of the Suaeda salsa marsh ecosystem in the Yellow River estuary was studied during 2008 to 2009. Results showed that soil N had significant seasonal fluctuations and vertical distribution. The N/P ratio (15.73 +/- 1.77) of S. salsa was less than 16, indicating that plant growth was limited by both N and P. The N absorption coefficient of S. salsa was very low (0.007), while the N utilization and cycle coefficients were high (0.824 and 0.331, respectively). The N turnover among compartments of S. salsa marsh showed that N uptake from aboveground parts and roots were 2.539 and 0.622 g/m2, respectively. The N translocation from aboveground parts to roots and from roots to soil were 2.042 and 0.076 g/m2, respectively. The N translocation from aboveground living bodies to litter was 0.497 g/m2, the annual N return from litter to soil was far less than 0.368 g/m2, and the net N mineralization in topsoil during the growing season was 0.033 g/m2. N was an important limiting factor in S. salsa marsh, and the ecosystem was classified as unstable and vulnerable. S. salsa was seemingly well adapted to the low-nutrient status and vulnerable habitat, and the nutrient enrichment due to N import from the Yellow River estuary would be a potential threat to the S. salsa marsh. Excessive nutrient loading might favor invasive species and induce severe long-term degradation of the ecosystem if human intervention measures were not taken. The N quantitative relationships determined in our study might provide a scientific basis for the establishment of effective measures.

  14. Impact of cutting and sheep grazing on ground-active spiders and carabids in intertidal salt marshes (Western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pétillon, J.

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to characterize spider (Araneae and ground beetle (Coleoptera Carabidae communities in managed (cutting and sheep grazing and non-managed salt marshes and to assess the efficiency of management regimes in these particular ecosystems. The two groups were studied during 2002 in salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (NW France using pitfall traps. By opening soil and vegetation structures cutting and grazing enhanced the abundances of some halophilic species of spiders and ground beetles. Nevertheless, grazing appeared to be too intensive as spider species richness decreased. We discuss the implications of management practices in terms of nature conservation and their application in the particular area of intertidal salt marshes.

  15. Geomorphic influences on the contribution of vegetation to soil C accumulation and accretion in Spartina alterniflora marshes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Elsey-Quirk

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes are important hotspots of long-term belowground carbon (C storage, where plant biomass and allochthonous C can be preserved in the soil for thousands of years. However, C accumulation rates, as well as the sources of C, may differ depending on environmental conditions influencing plant productivity, allochthonous C deposition, and C preservation. For this study, we examined the relationship between belowground root growth, turnover, decay, above- and belowground biomass, and previously reported longer-term rates of total, labile, and refractory organic C accumulation and accretion in Spartina alterniflora-dominated marshes across two mid-Atlantic, US estuaries. Tidal range, long-term rates of mineral sedimentation, C accumulation, and accretion were higher and salinities were lower in marshes of the coastal plain estuary (Delaware Bay than in the coastal lagoon (Barnegat Bay. We expected that the conditions promoting high rates of C accumulation would also promote high plant productivity and greater biomass. We further tested the influence of environmental conditions on belowground growth (roots + rhizomes, decomposition, and biomass of S. alterniflora. The relationship between plant biomass and C accumulation rate differed between estuaries. In the sediment-limited coastal lagoon, rates of total, labile, and refractory organic C accumulation were directly and positively related to above- and belowground biomass. Here, less flooding and a higher mineral sedimentation rate promoted greater above- and belowground biomass and, in turn, higher soil C accumulation and accretion rates. In the coastal plain estuary, the C accumulation rate was related only to aboveground biomass, which was positively related to the rate of labile C accumulation. Soil profiles indicated that live root and rhizome biomass was positively associated with labile C density for most marshes, yet high labile C densities below the live root zone and in

  16. A trophic cascade triggers collapse of a salt-marsh ecosystem with intensive recreational fishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altieri, Andrew H; Bertness, Mark D; Coverdale, Tyler C; Herrmann, Nicholas C; Angelini, Christine

    2012-06-01

    Overexploitation of predators has been linked to the collapse of a growing number of shallow-water marine ecosystems. However, salt-marsh ecosystems are often viewed and managed as systems controlled by physical processes, despite recent evidence for herbivore-driven die-off of marsh vegetation. Here we use field observations, experiments, and historical records at 14 sites to examine whether the recently reported die-off of northwestern Atlantic salt marshes is associated with the cascading effects of predator dynamics and intensive recreational fishing activity. We found that the localized depletion of top predators at sites accessible to recreational anglers has triggered the proliferation of herbivorous crabs, which in turn results in runaway consumption of marsh vegetation. This suggests that overfishing may be a general mechanism underlying the consumer-driven die-off of salt marshes spreading throughout the western Atlantic. Our findings support the emerging realization that consumers play a dominant role in regulating marine plant communities and can lead to ecosystem collapse when their impacts are amplified by human activities, including recreational fishing.

  17. Habitat heterogeneity influences restoration efficacy: Implications of a habitat-specific management regime for an invaded marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Long; Gao, Yang; Wang, Cheng-Huan; Li, Bo; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Zhao, Bin

    2013-07-01

    Invasive species have to be managed to prevent adverse consequences. Spartina alterniflora has invaded many marshes where salinity and inundation are often key factors affecting vegetation. The former was surface clipped twice and native Phragmites australis was planted in invaded zones to examine the effects of habitat properties on the efficacy of invader control and native restoration. The results showed that two clipping treatments almost eliminated S. alterniflora in the zones with long inundation periods of 80 h/15 d but stimulated compensatory growth of S. alterniflora in the zones with short inundation periods. Transplanted P. australis performed better over time in zones with low salinity (removal of the above-ground parts of S. alterniflora should be used only in the middle tidal zones and that native vegetation should be planted in zones above the mean high water level while the others zones in the saltmarsh should be restored to mud flats. Usually, invasive plants can flourish in highly heterogeneous habitats, which can influence management efficacy by influencing the re-growth of treated invaders and the performance of restored native species. Therefore, habitat-specific management regimes for invasive species can be expected to be more efficient because of their dependence on specific habitats.

  18. The marshes in Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia Romero, Juan F; Moreno Gutierrez, Vanesa; Villalba Malaver, Juan Carlos

    1998-01-01

    A description is made, a diagnosis and some exits, to their preservation for each one of the 10 marshes that they still exist in Bogota. The marshes defines them the convention of Ramsar: As extensions of swamps, swamps or peat-bogs covered with water, be these of natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, stagnated regime or currents, sweet, salubrious or salted, included those of extensions of marine water whose depth in tide lowers don't exceed six meters. The marshes occupy the space that there are between the humid means and the dry means, and that they possess characteristic of both, for what they cannot be classified categorically as aquatic neither terrestrial. The characteristic of a marsh is the presence of water during sufficiently lingering periods as to alter the soils, their microorganisms and the flora and fauna communities

  19. Seed dispersal by small herbivores and tidal water : are they important filters in the assembly of salt-marsh communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, ER; Zozaya, EL; Kuijper, DPJ; Bakker, JP

    1. Characteristics of internal seed dispersal (endozoochory) by European Brown Hares were compared with similar dispersal by Brent Geese. Hares deposited more seeds of mid-successional, perennial, high-marsh species than did geese, which deposited more seeds of early successional, annual, low-marsh

  20. Seed dispersal by small herbivores and tidal water: Are they important filters in the assembly of salt-marsh communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, E.R.; Zozaya, E.L.; Kuijper, D.P.J.; Bakker, J.P.

    2005-01-01

    1. Characteristics of internal seed dispersal (endozoochory) by European Brown Hares were compared with similar dispersal by Brent Geese. Hares deposited more seeds of mid-successional, perennial, high-marsh species than did geese, which deposited more seeds of early successional, annual, low-marsh

  1. Effects of oil on the rate and trajectory of Louisiana marsh shoreline erosion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClenachan, Giovanna; Eugene Turner, R; Tweel, Andrew W

    2013-01-01

    Oil can have long-term detrimental effects on marsh plant health, both above- and belowground. However, there are few data available that quantify the accelerated rate of erosion that oil may cause to marshes and the trajectory of change. Between November 2010 and August 2012, we collected data on shoreline erosion, soil strength, per cent cover of Spartina alterniflora, and marsh edge overhang at 30 closely spaced low oil and high oil sites in Bay Batiste, Louisiana. Surface oil samples were taken one meter into the marsh in February 2011. All high oiled sites in Bay Batiste were contaminated with Macondo 252 oil (oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 20 April–15 July 2010). The results suggest that there is a threshold where soil parameters change dramatically with a relatively small increase in oil concentration in the soil. Heavy oiling weakens the soil, creating a deeper undercut of the upper 50 cm of the marsh edge, and causing an accelerated rate of erosion that cascades along the shoreline. Our results demonstrate that it could take at least 2 yr to document the effects heavy oiling has had on the marsh shoreline. The presence of aboveground vegetation alone may not be an appropriate indicator of recovery. (letter)

  2. Organic carbon isotope systematics of coastal marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelburg, J.J.; Nieuwenhuize, J.; Lubberts, R.K.; Van de Plassche, O.

    1997-01-01

    Measurements of nitrogen, organic carbon and delta(13)C are presented for Spartina-dominated marsh sediments from a mineral marsh in SW Netherlands and from a peaty marsh in Massachusetts, U.S.A. delta(13)C Of organic carbon in the peaty marsh sediments is similar to that of Spartina material,

  3. Marshes as "Mountain Tops": Genetic Analyses of the Critically Endangered São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Aves: Thamnophilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camargo, Crisley; Gibbs, H Lisle; Costa, Mariellen C; Del-Rio, Glaucia; Silveira, Luís F; Wasko, Adriane P; Francisco, Mercival R

    2015-01-01

    Small populations of endangered species can be impacted by genetic processes such as drift and inbreeding that reduce population viability. As such, conservation genetic analyses that assess population levels of genetic variation and levels of gene flow can provide important information for managing threatened species. The São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Formicivora paludicola) is a recently-described and critically endangered bird from São Paulo State (Brazil) whose total estimated population is around 250-300 individuals, distributed in only 15 isolated marshes around São Paulo metropolitan region. We used microsatellite DNA markers to estimate the population genetic characteristics of the three largest remaining populations of this species all within 60 km of each other. We detected a high and significant genetic structure between all populations (overall FST = 0.103) which is comparable to the highest levels of differentiation ever documented for birds, (e.g., endangered birds found in isolated populations on the tops of African mountains), but also evidence for first-generation immigrants, likely from small local unsampled populations. Effective population sizes were small (between 28.8-99.9 individuals) yet there are high levels of genetic variability within populations and no evidence for inbreeding. Conservation implications of this work are that the high levels of genetic structure suggests that translocations between populations need to be carefully considered in light of possible local adaptation and that remaining populations of these birds should be managed as conservation units that contain both main populations studied here but also small outlying populations which may be a source of immigrants.

  4. Sources and distribution of sedimentary organic matter along the Andong salt marsh, Hangzhou Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Sedimentation and response to sea-level rise of a restored marsh with reduced tidal exchange: Comparison with a natural tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbruwaene, W.; Maris, T.; Cahoon, D.R.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2011-01-01

    Along coasts and estuaries, formerly embanked land is increasingly restored into tidal marshes in order to re-establish valuable ecosystem services, such as buffering against flooding. Along the Scheldt estuary (Belgium), tidal marshes are restored on embanked land by allowing a controlled reduced tide (CRT) into a constructed basin, through a culvert in the embankment. In this way tidal water levels are significantly lowered (ca. 3 m) so that a CRT marsh can develop on formerly embanked land with a ca. 3 m lower elevation than the natural tidal marshes. In this study we compared the long-term change in elevation (ΔE) within a CRT marsh and adjacent natural tidal marsh. Over a period of 4 years, the observed spatio-temporal variations in ΔE rate were related to variations in inundation depth, and this relationship was not significantly different for the CRT marsh and natural tidal marsh. A model was developed to simulate the ΔE over the next century. (1) Under a scenario without mean high water level (MHWL) rise in the estuary, the model shows that the marsh elevation-ΔE feedback that is typical for a natural tidal marsh (i.e. rising marsh elevation results in decreasing inundation depth and therefore a decreasing increase in elevation) is absent in the basin of the CRT marsh. This is because tidal exchange of water volumes between the estuary and CRT marsh are independent from the CRT marsh elevation but dependent on the culvert dimensions. Thus the volume of water entering the CRT remains constant regardless of the marsh elevation. Consequently the CRT MHWL follows the increase in CRT surface elevation, resulting after 75 years in a 2–2.5 times larger elevation gain in the CRT marsh, and a faster reduction of spatial elevation differences. (2) Under a scenario of constant MHWL rise (historical rate of 1.5 cm a-1), the equilibrium elevation (relative to MHWL) is 0.13 m lower in the CRT marsh and is reached almost 2 times faster. (3) Under a scenario of

  6. Aboveground allometric models for freeze-affected black mangroves (Avicennia germinans): equations for a climate sensitive mangrove-marsh ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J.; Day, Richard H.; Larriviere, Jack C.; From, Andrew S.

    2014-01-01

    Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern range limit is more shrub-like than in tropical climes in part due to the aboveground structural damage and vigorous multi-stem regrowth triggered by extreme winter temperatures. In this study, we developed aboveground allometric equations for freeze-affected black mangroves which can be used to quantify: (1) total aboveground biomass; (2) leaf biomass; (3) stem plus branch biomass; and (4) leaf area. Plant volume (i.e., a combination of crown area and plant height) was selected as the optimal predictor of the four response variables. We expect that our simple measurements and equations can be adapted for use in other mangrove ecosystems located in abiotic settings that result in mangrove individuals with dwarf or shrub-like morphologies including oligotrophic and arid environments. Many important ecological functions and services are affected by changes in coastal wetland plant community structure and productivity including carbon storage, nutrient cycling, coastal protection, recreation, fish and avian habitat, and ecosystem response to sea level rise and extreme climatic events. Coastal scientists in the southeastern United States can use the identified allometric equations, in combination with easily obtained and non-destructive plant volume measurements, to better quantify and monitor ecological change within the dynamic, climate sensitive, and highly-productive mangrove-marsh ecotone.

  7. Aboveground allometric models for freeze-affected black mangroves (Avicennia germinans): equations for a climate sensitive mangrove-marsh ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J; Day, Richard H; Larriviere, Jack C; From, Andrew S

    2014-01-01

    Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern range limit is more shrub-like than in tropical climes in part due to the aboveground structural damage and vigorous multi-stem regrowth triggered by extreme winter temperatures. In this study, we developed aboveground allometric equations for freeze-affected black mangroves which can be used to quantify: (1) total aboveground biomass; (2) leaf biomass; (3) stem plus branch biomass; and (4) leaf area. Plant volume (i.e., a combination of crown area and plant height) was selected as the optimal predictor of the four response variables. We expect that our simple measurements and equations can be adapted for use in other mangrove ecosystems located in abiotic settings that result in mangrove individuals with dwarf or shrub-like morphologies including oligotrophic and arid environments. Many important ecological functions and services are affected by changes in coastal wetland plant community structure and productivity including carbon storage, nutrient cycling, coastal protection, recreation, fish and avian habitat, and ecosystem response to sea level rise and extreme climatic events. Coastal scientists in the southeastern United States can use the identified allometric equations, in combination with easily obtained and non-destructive plant volume measurements, to better quantify and monitor ecological change within the dynamic, climate sensitive, and highly-productive mangrove-marsh ecotone.

  8. Strong tidal modulation of net ecosystem exchange in a salt marsh in North Inlet, South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Halloran, T. L.; Smith, E. M.; Bogoev, I.

    2017-12-01

    Along the southeastern US, intertidal salt marshes represent a critical habitat at the interface of the terrestrial and marine environments and perform a variety of ecological functions and services that make them of great economic importance for coastal communities They provide essential fish and shellfish habitat, with a majority of all commercially- and recreationally important fish species being dependent on intertidal marsh habitat during some portion of their life cycle. The penaeid shrimp industry, South Carolina's most economically important fishery, would cease to exist without the critical nursery function provided by intertidal salt marshes. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is a keystone species in the high salinity marshes of the southeastern U.S., and its functioning is essential to the health and survival of salt marshes under rising sea levels. To better quantify and facilitate prediction of future salt marsh productivity, in May of 2017, we established a new integrated eddy covariance tower system to measure the net ecosystem exchange of carbon in a salt marsh in coastal South Carolina. The tower site is co-located with long-term, ongoing measurements as part of the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NI-WB NERR). Current sampling conducted within the eddy flux footprint includes: annual measures of the vegetation community at the time of peak biomass; bi-monthly measures of sediment elevation at Sediment Elevation Tables (SETs) located at the upper and lower ends of the flux footprint; monthly sediment porewater salinity and nutrient (ammonium, orthophosphate) and sulfide concentrations; and biannual sediment elevation surveys by RTK-GPS. A suite of water quality measurements are made every 15 minutes in the main creek that floods the marsh platform in the flux footprint. Here we present our first six months of observations investigating the abiotic drivers of productivity on daily (intratidal) to monthly timescales

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, S. M.; Madsen, E.

    2013-12-01

    Inundation of marsh surfaces by tidal creek flooding has implications for the headward erosion of salt marsh creeks, effect of rising sea levels, biological zonation, and marsh ecosystem services. The hydroperiod; as the frequency, duration, depth and flux of water across the marsh surface; is a key factor in salt marsh ecology, but remains poorly understood due to lack of data at spatial scales relevant to tracking the spatial movement of water across the marsh. This study examines how hydroperiod, drainage networks, and tidal creek geomorphology on the vegetation at Crab Haul Creek. Crab Haul Creek is the farthest landward tidal basin in North Inlet, a bar-built estuary in South Carolina. This study measures the hydroperiod in the headwaters Crab Haul Creek with normal and near-IR photos from a helium balloon Helikite at 75-100 m altitude. Photos provide detail necessary to resolve the waterline and delineate the hydroperiod during half tidal cycles by capturing the waterline hourly from the headwaters to a piezometer transect 260 meters north. The Helikite is an ideal instrument for local investigations of surface hydrology due to its maneuverability, low cost, ability to remain aloft for extended time over a fixed point, and ability to capture high-resolution images. Photographs taken from aircraft do not provide the detail necessary to determine the waterline on the marsh surface. The near-IR images make the waterline more distinct by increasing the difference between wet and dry ground. In the headwaters of Crab Haul Creek, individual crab burrows are detected by automated image classification and the number of crab burrows and their spatial density is tracked from January-August. Crab burrows are associated with the unvegetated region at the creek head, and we relate their change over time to the propagation of the creek farther into the tidal basin. Plant zonation is influenced by the hydroperiod, but also may be affected by salinity, water table depth, and

  10. Florida's salt-marsh management issues: 1991-98.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, D B; O'Bryan, P D; Rey, J R

    1999-06-01

    During the 1990s, Florida has continued to make important strides in managing salt marshes for both mosquito control and natural resource enhancement. The political mechanism for this progress continues to be interagency cooperation through the Florida Coordinating Council on Mosquito Control and its Subcommittee on Managed Marshes (SOMM). Continuing management experience and research has helped refine the most environmentally acceptable source reduction methods, which typically are Rotational Impoundment Management or Open Marsh Water Management. The development of regional marsh management plans for salt marshes within the Indian River Lagoon by the SOMM has helped direct the implementation of the best management practices for these marshes. Controversy occasionally occurs concerning what management technique is most appropriate for individual marshes. The most common disagreement is over the benefits of maintaining an impoundment in an "open" vs. "closed" condition, with the "closed" condition, allowing for summer mosquito control flooding or winter waterfowl management. New federal initiatives influencing salt-marsh management have included the Indian River Lagoon-National Estuary Program and the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. A new Florida initiative is the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Eco-system Management Program with continuing involvement by the Surface Water Improvement and Management program. A developing mitigation banking program has the potential to benefit marsh management but mosquito control interests may suffer if not handled properly. Larvicides remain as an important salt-marsh integrated pest management tool with the greatest acreage being treated with temephos, followed by Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and methoprene. However, over the past 14 years, use of biorational larvicides has increased greatly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    erosion, which may explain their lower surface elevation. Therefore the establishment of marsh plants will be unfavorable. So far, however, this hypothesis has not been verified. In order to investigate the influence of these different types of pool patterns on spatial flow and sedimentation patterns, we used an existing hydrodynamic and sediment transport model (Delft3D) that has been calibrated and validated against field data on tidal marsh flow and sedimentation. The model reproduces the bio-geomorphologic effects of complete vegetation removal, but different pool patterns have not been studied until now. By simulating different pool patterns, we are able to verify our hypothesis regarding elevation changes and marsh recovery potential in degraded marsh pools. This highlights the importance of bio-geomorphologic feedbacks for marsh degradation and recovery.

  12. Influence of call broadcast timing within point counts and survey duration on detection probability of marsh breeding birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol recommends point counts consisting of a 5-min passive observation period, meant to be free of broadcast bias, followed by call broadcasts to entice elusive species to reveal their presence. Prior to this protocol, some monitoring programs used point counts with broadcasts during the first 5 min of 10-min counts, and have since used 15-min counts with an initial 5-min passive period (P1 followed by 5 min of broadcasts (B and a second 5-min passive period (P2 to ensure consistency across years and programs. Influence of timing of broadcasts within point counts and point count duration, however, have rarely been assessed. Using data from 23,973 broadcast-assisted 15-min point counts conducted throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region between 2008 and 2016 by Bird Studies Canada's Marsh Monitoring Program and Central Michigan University's Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, we estimated detection probabilities of individuals for 14 marsh breeding bird species during P1B compared to BP2, P1 compared to P2, and P1B compared to P1BP2. For six broadcast species and American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus, we found no significant difference in detection during P1B compared to BP2, and no significant difference in four of the same seven species during P1 compared to P2. We observed small but significant differences in detection for 7 of 14 species during P1B compared to P1BP2. We conclude that differences in timing of broadcasts causes no bias based on counts from entire 10-minute surveys, although P1B should be favored over BP2 because the same amount of effort in P1B avoids broadcast bias in all broadcast species, and 10-min surveys are superior to 15-min surveys because modest gains in detection of some species does not warrant the additional effort. We recommend point counts consisting of 5 min of passive observation followed by broadcasts, consistent with the standardized

  13. Litter drives ecosystem and plant community changes in cattail invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

    Invaded systems are commonly associated with a change in ecosystem processes and a decline in native species diversity; however, many different causal pathways linking invasion, ecosystem change, and native species decline could produce this pattern. The initial driver of environmental change may be anthropogenic, or it may be the invader itself; and the mechanism behind native species decline may be the human-induced environmental change, competition from the invader, or invader-induced environmental change (non-trophic effects). We examined applicability of each of these alternate pathways in Great Lakes coastal marshes invaded by hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca). In a survey including transects in three marshes, we found that T. x glauca was associated with locally high soil nutrients, low light, and large amounts of litter, and that native diversity was highest in areas of shallow litter depth. We tested whether live T. x glauca plants or their litter induced changes in the environment and in diversity with a live plant and litter transplant experiment. After one year, Typha litter increased soil NH4+ and N mineralization twofold, lowered light levels, and decreased the abundance and diversity of native plants, while live Typha plants had no effect on the environment or on native plants. This suggests that T. x glauca, through its litter production, can cause the changes in ecosystem processes that we commonly attribute to anthropogenic nutrient loading and that T. x glauca does not displace native species through competition for resources, but rather affects them non-trophically through its litter. Moreover, because T. x glauca plants were taller when grown with their own litter, we suggest that this invader may produce positive feedbacks and change the environment in ways that benefit itself and may promote its own invasion.

  14. Important biological factors for utilizing native plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loren E. Wiesner

    1999-01-01

    Native plant species are valuable resources for revegetation of disturbed ecosystems. The success of these plantings is dependent on the native species selected, quality of seed used, condition of the soil, environmental conditions before and after planting, planting equipment used, time of planting, and other factors. Most native species contain dormant seed. Dormancy...

  15. Elevated CO2 stimulates marsh elevation gain, counterbalancing sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, J Adam; McKee, Karen L; Cahoon, Donald R; Cherry, Julia A; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2009-04-14

    Tidal wetlands experiencing increased rates of sea-level rise (SLR) must increase rates of soil elevation gain to avoid permanent conversion to open water. The maximal rate of SLR that these ecosystems can tolerate depends partly on mineral sediment deposition, but the accumulation of organic matter is equally important for many wetlands. Plant productivity drives organic matter dynamics and is sensitive to global change factors, such as rising atmospheric CO(2) concentration. It remains unknown how global change will influence organic mechanisms that determine future tidal wetland viability. Here, we present experimental evidence that plant response to elevated atmospheric [CO(2)] stimulates biogenic mechanisms of elevation gain in a brackish marsh. Elevated CO(2) (ambient + 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr(-1) in this 2-year field study, an effect mediated by stimulation of below-ground plant productivity. Further, a companion greenhouse experiment revealed that the CO(2) effect was enhanced under salinity and flooding conditions likely to accompany future SLR. Our results indicate that by stimulating biogenic contributions to marsh elevation, increases in the greenhouse gas, CO(2), may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas.

  16. Elevated CO2 stimulates marsh elevation gain, counterbalancing sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, J. Adam; McKee, Karen L.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Cherry, Julia A.; Megonigal, J. Patrick

    2009-01-01

    Tidal wetlands experiencing increased rates of sea-level rise (SLR) must increase rates of soil elevation gain to avoid permanent conversion to open water. The maximal rate of SLR that these ecosystems can tolerate depends partly on mineral sediment deposition, but the accumulation of organic matter is equally important for many wetlands. Plant productivity drives organic matter dynamics and is sensitive to global change factors, such as rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. It remains unknown how global change will influence organic mechanisms that determine future tidal wetland viability. Here, we present experimental evidence that plant response to elevated atmospheric [CO2] stimulates biogenic mechanisms of elevation gain in a brackish marsh. Elevated CO2 (ambient + 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr−1 in this 2-year field study, an effect mediated by stimulation of below-ground plant productivity. Further, a companion greenhouse experiment revealed that the CO2 effect was enhanced under salinity and flooding conditions likely to accompany future SLR. Our results indicate that by stimulating biogenic contributions to marsh elevation, increases in the greenhouse gas, CO2, may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas. PMID:19325121

  17. Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants: A flume study on different life stages of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silinski, A.; Heuner, M.; Schoelynck, J.; Puijalon, S.; Schröder, U.; Fuchs, E.; Troch, P.; Bouma, T.J.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2015-01-01

    Recent research indicates that many ecosystems, including intertidal marshes, follow the alternative stable states theory. This theory implies that thresholds of environmental factors can mark a limit between two opposing stable ecosystem states, e.g. vegetated marshes and bare mudflats. While

  18. Why some plant species are rare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieger Wamelink, G W; Wamelink, G W Weiger; Goedhart, Paul W; Frissel, Joep; Frissel, Josep Y

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity, including plant species diversity, is threatened worldwide as a result of anthropogenic pressures such as an increase of pollutants and climate change. Rare species in particular are on the verge of becoming extinct. It is still unclear as to why some plant species are rare and others are not. Are they rare due to: intrinsic reasons, dispersal capacity, the effects of management or abiotic circumstances? Habitat preference of rare plant species may play an important role in determining why some species are rare. Based on an extensive data set of soil parameters we investigated if rarity is due to a narrow habitat preference for abiotic soil parameters. For 23 different abiotic soil parameters, of which the most influential were groundwater-table, soil-pH and nutrient-contents, we estimated species responses for common and rare species. Based on the responses per species we calculated the range of occurrence, the range between the 5 and 95 percentile of the response curve giving the habitat preference. Subsequently, we calculated the average response range for common and rare species. In addition, we designed a new graphic in order to provide a better means for presentation of the results. The habitat preferences of rare species for abiotic soil conditions are significantly narrower than for common species. Twenty of the twenty-three abiotic parameters showed on average significantly narrower habitat preferences for rare species than for common species; none of the abiotic parameters showed on average a narrower habitat preference for common species. The results have major implications for the conservation of rare plant species; accordingly management and nature development should be focussed on the maintenance and creation of a broad range of environmental conditions, so that the requirements of rare species are met. The conservation of (abiotic) gradients within ecosystems is particularly important for preserving rare species.

  19. Exotic plant species receive adequate pollinator service despite variable integration into plant-pollinator networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Amibeth H; Knight, Tiffany M

    2018-05-01

    Both exotic and native plant species rely on insect pollinators for reproductive success, and yet few studies have evaluated whether and how exotic plant species receive services from native pollinators for successful reproduction in their introduced range. Plant species are expected to successfully reproduce in their exotic range if they have low reliance on animal pollinators or if they successfully integrate themselves into resident plant-pollinator networks. Here, we quantify the breeding system, network integration, and pollen limitation for ten focal exotic plant species in North America. Most exotic plant species relied on animal pollinators for reproduction, and these species varied in their network integration. However, plant reproduction was limited by pollen receipt for only one plant species. Our results demonstrate that even poorly integrated exotic plant species can still have high pollination service and high reproductive success. The comprehensive framework considered here provides a method to consider the contribution of plant breeding systems and the pollinator community to pollen limitation, and can be applied to future studies to provide a more synthetic understanding of the factors that determine reproductive success of exotic plant species.

  20. Impacts of climate change on submerged and emergent wetland plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick T. Short; Sarian Kosten; Pamela A. Morgan; Sparkle L Malone; Gregg E. Moore

    2016-01-01

    Submerged and emergent wetland plant communities are evaluated for their response to global climate change (GCC), focusing on seagrasses, submerged freshwater plants, tidal marsh plants, freshwater marsh plants and mangroves. Similarities and differences are assessed in plant community responses to temperature increase, CO2increase, greater UV-B exposure, sea...

  1. Effect of hurricanes and violent storms on salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Structural Classification of Marshes with Polarimetric SAR Highlighting the Temporal Mapping of Marshes Exposed to Oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elijah Ramsey

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. No universal scale-dependent impacts of invasive species on native plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    A growing number of studies seeking generalizations about the impact of plant invasions compare heavily invaded sites to uninvaded sites. But does this approach warrant any generalizations? Using two large datasets from forests, grasslands and desert ecosystems across the conterminous United States, we show that (i) a continuum of invasion impacts exists in many biomes and (ii) many possible species-area relationships may emerge reflecting a wide range of patterns of co-occurrence of native and alien plant species. Our results contradict a smaller recent study by Powell et al. 2013 (Science 339, 316-318. (doi:10.1126/science.1226817)), who compared heavily invaded and uninvaded sites in three biomes and concluded that plant communities invaded by non-native plant species generally have lower local richness (intercepts of log species richness-log area regression lines) but steeper species accumulation with increasing area (slopes of the regression lines) than do uninvaded communities. We conclude that the impacts of plant invasions on plant species richness are not universal.

  4. Aboveground allometric models for freeze-affected black mangroves (Avicennia germinans: equations for a climate sensitive mangrove-marsh ecotone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Osland

    Full Text Available Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern range limit is more shrub-like than in tropical climes in part due to the aboveground structural damage and vigorous multi-stem regrowth triggered by extreme winter temperatures. In this study, we developed aboveground allometric equations for freeze-affected black mangroves which can be used to quantify: (1 total aboveground biomass; (2 leaf biomass; (3 stem plus branch biomass; and (4 leaf area. Plant volume (i.e., a combination of crown area and plant height was selected as the optimal predictor of the four response variables. We expect that our simple measurements and equations can be adapted for use in other mangrove ecosystems located in abiotic settings that result in mangrove individuals with dwarf or shrub-like morphologies including oligotrophic and arid environments. Many important ecological functions and services are affected by changes in coastal wetland plant community structure and productivity including carbon storage, nutrient cycling, coastal protection, recreation, fish and avian habitat, and ecosystem response to sea level rise and extreme climatic events. Coastal scientists in the southeastern United States can use the identified allometric equations, in combination with easily obtained and non-destructive plant volume measurements, to better quantify and monitor ecological change within the dynamic, climate sensitive, and highly-productive mangrove-marsh ecotone.

  5. Biodiversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots and soils of two salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilde, Petra; Manal, Astrid; Stodden, Marc; Sieverding, Ewald; Hildebrandt, Ulrich; Bothe, Hermann

    2009-06-01

    The occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was assessed by both morphological and molecular criteria in two salt marshes: (i) a NaCl site of the island Terschelling, Atlantic Coast, the Netherlands and (ii) a K(2)CO(3) marsh at Schreyahn, Northern Germany. The overall biodiversity of AMF, based on sequence analysis, was comparably low in roots at both sites. However, the morphological spore analyses from soil samples of both sites exhibited a higher AMF biodiversity. Glomus geosporum was the only fungus of the Glomerales that was detected both as spores in soil samples and in roots of the AMF-colonized salt plants Aster tripolium and Puccinellia sp. at both saline sites and on all sampling dates (one exception). In roots, sequences of Glomus intraradices prevailed, but this fungus could not be identified unambiguously from DNA of soil spores. Likewise, Glomus sp. uncultured, only deposited as sequence in the database, was widely detected by DNA sequencing in root samples. All attempts to obtain the corresponding sequences from spores isolated from soil samples failed consistently. A small sized Archaeospora sp. was detected, either/or by morphological and molecular analyses, in roots or soil spores, in dead AMF spores or orobatid mites. The study noted inconsistencies between morphological characterization and identification by DNA sequencing of the 5.8S rDNA-ITS2 region or part of the 18S rDNA gene. The distribution of AMF unlikely followed the salt gradient at both sites, in contrast to the zone formation of plant species. Zygotes of the alga Vaucheria erythrospora (Xanthophyceae) were retrieved and should not be misidentified with AMF spores.

  6. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms.

  7. Below the disappearing marshes of an urban estuary: historic nitrogen trends and soil structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigand, Cathleen; Roman, Charles T.; Davey, Earl; Stolt, Mark; Johnson, Roxanne; Hanson, Alana; Watson, Elizabeth B.; Moran, S. Bradley; Cahoon, Donald R.; Lynch, James C.; Rafferty, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Marshes in the urban Jamaica Bay Estuary, New York, USA are disappearing at an average rate of 13 ha/yr, and multiple stressors (e.g., wastewater inputs, dredging activities, groundwater removal, and global warming) may be contributing to marsh losses. Among these stressors, wastewater nutrients are suspected to be an important contributing cause of marsh deterioration. We used census data, radiometric dating, stable nitrogen isotopes, and soil surveys to examine the temporal relationships between human population growth and soil nitrogen; and we evaluated soil structure with computer-aided tomography, surface elevation and sediment accretion trends, carbon dioxide emissions, and soil shear strength to examine differences among disappearing (Black Bank and Big Egg) and stable marshes (JoCo). Radiometric dating and nitrogen isotope analyses suggested a rapid increase in human wastewater nutrients beginning in the late 1840s, and a tapering off beginning in the 1930s when wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were first installed. Current WWTPs nutrient loads to Jamaica Bay are approximately 13 995 kg N/d and 2767 kg P/d. At Black Bank, the biomass and abundance of roots and rhizomes and percentage of organic matter on soil were significantly lower, rhizomes larger in diameter, carbon dioxide emission rates and peat particle density significantly greater, and soil strength significantly lower compared to the stable JoCo Marsh, suggesting Black Bank has elevated decomposition rates, more decomposed peat, and highly waterlogged peat. Despite these differences, the rates of accretion and surface elevation change were similar for both marshes, and the rates of elevation change approximated the long term relative rate of sea level rise estimated from tide gauge data at nearby Sandy Hook, New Jersey. We hypothesize that Black Bank marsh kept pace with sea level rise by the accretion of material on the marsh surface, and the maintenance of soil volume through production of

  8. Grazing management can counteract the impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise on salt marsh-dependent waterbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Stjernholm, Michael; Clausen, Preben

    2013-01-01

    with these changes. In addition, we quantify the areal extent of inadequate salt marsh management in four EU Special Protection Areas for Birds, and demonstrate concurrent population dynamics in four species relying on managed habitats. We conclude by investigating potential compensation for climate change......1) Climate change–induced rises in sea level threaten to drastically reduce the areal extent of important salt marsh habitats for large numbers of waterfowl and waders. Furthermore, recent changes in management practice have rendered existent salt marshes unfavourable to many birds, as lack...... (around 1 cow per hectare) is an important initiative to counteract the accelerating climate change–induced habitat loss in near-coastal areas across the globe, and to secure priority salt marsh habitats that support internationally important populations of breeding, wintering and staging waterfowl...

  9. Refractory organic matter in coastal salt marshes-effect on C sequestration calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leorri, Eduardo; Zimmerman, Andrew R; Mitra, Siddhartha; Christian, Robert R; Fatela, Francisco; Mallinson, David J

    2018-08-15

    The age and ability of salt marshes to accumulate and sequester carbon is often assessed using the carbon isotopic signatures (Δ 14 C and δ 13 C) of sedimentary organic matter. However, transfers of allochthonous refractory carbon (C RF ) from the watershed to marshes would not represent new C sequestration. To better understand how refractory carbon (C RF ) inputs affect assessments of marsh age and C sequestration, Δ 14 C and δ 13 C of both total organic carbon (TOC), C RF , and non-C RF organic matter fractions were measured in salt marshes from four contrasting systems on the North Atlantic coast. To our knowledge, no salt marsh sediment study has considered refractory or allochthonous carbon in carbon budget calculations or the impact on chronologies. Stable and radiogenic isotope data suggest that while TOC was dominated by autochthonous plant inputs, C RF was dominated by locally recycled or allochthonous C, the delivery of which was controlled by the size and slope of each watershed. Steep-gradient rivers analyzed delivered Δ 14 C-depleted C RF to their estuarine marshes, while the site located in the low-gradient river was associated with larger C RF content. Finally, the marsh isolated from riverine input contained the least fraction of TOC as C RF . Laterally transported C RF caused only a small offset in Δ 14 C in relation to TOC in low-gradient systems (average Δ 14 C offset was -44.4 and -24.2‰ at each location). However, the presence of allochthonous Δ 14 C-depleted C RF in sediments of steep-gradient rivers led to large overestimates of the time of organic matter deposition (i.e. apparent age was older than the 'true' time of deposition) (Δ 14 C offset ranged from -170.6 to -528.9‰). Further, reliance on TOC or loss on ignition analyses to calculate C sequestration by marshes might produce overestimates of at least as much as 10 to 20% since neither account for the lateral transport of allochthonous carbon. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B

  10. INVENTORY OF THE INVASIVE ALIE N PLANT SPECIES IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SRI S UDARMIYATI T JITROSOEDIRDJO

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available An inventory of the alien plant species in Indone sia based on the existing references and herbarium specimens concluded that 1936 alien plant species ar e found in Indonesia which belong to 187 families. Field studies should be done to get the complete figur es of alien plant species in Indonesia. Based on the existing figures of the plant species, the invasive alien plant species can be iden tified, followed by studies on the assessment of losses, biology, management and their possible utilizations. Alien plant species are imported to Indonesia for cultivation, collection of the botanical garden, as experimental plants or other curiosities. Aside from plants purposely imported, there are also introduced plant propagules conta-minating imported agricultural products. These alien plant species can be beneficial or have a potential of being invasive. The alien cultivated species consisted of 67% of the total number. More than half of the cultivated plants are ornamental plants. Some of th e species are naturalized or escaped from cultivation and become wild and invasive. Some other natura lized species, adapted well without any problems of invasion. There are 339 species or 17% of the species r ecorded as weeds. The highest record of weeds is found in the family of Poaceae (57 species, follo wed by Asteraceae (53 species and Cyperaceae (35 species. There are 6 families having more than 10 species of weeds: Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Poaceae, and Rubiaceae. Three families have more than 100 species: Asteraceae 162 species, Poaceae 120 species, and Papillionaceae 103 species. Five species of aquatic and 20 species of terrestrial plants considered as important alien plant species in Indonesia were identified and some of their distributions noted

  11. Flow paths of water and sediment in a tidal marsh: relations with marsh developmental stage and tidal inundation height

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temmerman, S.; Bouma, T.J.; Govers, G.; Lauwaet, D.

    2005-01-01

    This study provides new insights in the relative role of tidal creeks and the marsh edge in supplying water and sediments to and from tidal marshes for a wide range of tidal inundation cycles with different high water levels and for marsh zones of different developmental stage. Net import or export

  12. Preliminary Insight into Winter Native Fish Assemblages in Guadiana Estuary Salt Marshes Coping with Environmental Variability and Non-Indigenous Fish Introduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Gonçalves

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This work aims to undertake a preliminary characterization of winter fish assemblages in the salt marsh areas of Guadiana lower estuary (South-East Portugal and discusses the potential risks of habitat dominance by a non-indigenous species (NIS. To this effect, six field campaigns were carried out in four sampling sites during winter season targeting the collection of fish species. A total of 48 samples were collected. Individuals from seven different taxa (marine and estuarine were collected, although the assemblage was dominated by two estuarine species—the native Pomatoschistus sp. (goby and the NIS Fundulus heteroclitus (mummichog. Goby was the most abundant taxa in the majority of salt marsh habitats, except for one specific, marsh pool, where extreme environmental conditions were registered, namely high temperature and salinity. Such conditions may have boosted the intrusion of mummichog in this area. This species is well adapted to a wide range of abiotic factors enabling them to colonize habitats where no predators inhabit. Impacts of mummichog introduction in the Guadiana salt marsh area are still unpredictable since this is the first time they have been recorded in such high density. Nevertheless, in scenarios of increased anthropogenic pressure and, consequently, habitat degradation, there is a potential risk of mummichog spreading to other habitats and therefore competing for space and food resources with native species.

  13. Development of a multimetric index for integrated assessment of salt marsh ecosystem condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagel, Jessica L.; Neckles, Hilary A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Rocks, Erika N.; Schoolmaster, Donald; Grace, James B.; Skidds, Dennis; Stevens, Sara

    2018-01-01

    Tools for assessing and communicating salt marsh condition are essential to guide decisions aimed at maintaining or restoring ecosystem integrity and services. Multimetric indices (MMIs) are increasingly used to provide integrated assessments of ecosystem condition. We employed a theory-based approach that considers the multivariate relationship of metrics with human disturbance to construct a salt marsh MMI for five National Parks in the northeastern USA. We quantified the degree of human disturbance for each marsh using the first principal component score from a principal components analysis of physical, chemical, and land use stressors. We then applied a metric selection algorithm to different combinations of about 45 vegetation and nekton metrics (e.g., species abundance, species richness, and ecological and functional classifications) derived from multi-year monitoring data. While MMIs derived from nekton or vegetation metrics alone were strongly correlated with human disturbance (r values from −0.80 to −0.93), an MMI derived from both vegetation and nekton metrics yielded an exceptionally strong correlation with disturbance (r = −0.96). Individual MMIs included from one to five metrics. The metric-assembly algorithm yielded parsimonious MMIs that exhibit the greatest possible correlations with disturbance in a way that is objective, efficient, and reproducible.

  14. Galveston Bay Marsh Terracing 2001-2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Marsh terracing is used to restore coastal wetlands by converting shallow nonvegetated bottom to intertidal marsh. Terraces are constructed from excavated bottom...

  15. Inventory of the Invasive Alien Plant Species in Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    TJITROSOEDIRDJO, SRI SUDARMIYATI

    2005-01-01

    An inventory of the alien plant species in Indonesia based on the existing references and herbarium specimens concluded that 1936 alien plant species are found in Indonesia which belong to 187 families. Field studies should be done to get the complete figures of alien plant species in Indonesia. Based on the existing figures of the plant species, the invasive alien plant species can be identified, followed by studies on the assessment of losses, biology, management and their possible utilizat...

  16. Biofilms' contribution to organic carbon in salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, K.; Quirk, T. E.; Mariotti, G.; Hotard, A.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes are productive environments with high potential for carbon (C) accumulation. Organic C in salt marsh sediment is typically attributed to plant biomass. Recent field measurements, however, suggest that biofilms - mainly composed of benthic diatoms and their secretion - also contribute to basal C in these environments and can be important contributors to marsh productivity, C cycling, and potentially, C sequestration. The potential for biofilms to soil organic C and the influence of mineral sedimentation of biofilm-based C accumulation is unknown. We conducted controlled laboratory experiments to test (1) whether biofilms add measurable amounts of organic C to the sediment and (2) the effect of mineral sedimentation rate on the amount of biofilm-based C accumulation. Settled beds of pure bentonite mud were created in 10-cm-wide cylinders. Each cylinder was inoculated with biofilms collected from a marsh in Louisiana. A small amount of mud was added weekly for 11 weeks. Control experiments without biofilms were also performed. Biofilms were grown with a 12/12 hours cycle, with a gentle mixing of the water column that did not cause sediment resuspension, with a nutrient-rich medium that was exchanged weekly, and in the absence of metazoan grazing. At the end of the experiment, the sediment columns were analyzed for depth-integrated chl-a, loss on ignition (LOI), and total organic carbon (TOC). Chl-a values ranged from 26-113 mg/cm2, LOI values ranged from 86-456 g/m2/yr, and TOC values ranged from 31-211 g/m2/yr. All three of these metrics (chl-a, LOI, and TOC) increased with the rate of mineral sedimentation. These results show that biofilms, in the absence of erosion and grazing, can significantly contribute to C accumulation in salt marshes, especially with high rates of mineral sedimentation. Given the short time scale of the experiment, the increase in organic C accumulation with the rate of sedimentation is attributed to stimulated biofilm

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, 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.             

  18. Do invasive plant species alter soil health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive species may alter soil characteristics or interact with the soil microbial community to yield a competitive advantage. Our objectives were to determine: if invasive plant species alter soil properties important to soil health; and the long-term effects of invasive plant species on soil pro...

  19. Species interactions and plant polyploidy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segraves, Kari A; Anneberg, Thomas J

    2016-07-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation that can have far-reaching consequences for plant ecology and evolution. Because polyploidy can induce an array of phenotypic changes, there can be cascading effects on interactions with other species. These interactions, in turn, can have reciprocal effects on polyploid plants, potentially impacting their establishment and persistence. Although there is a wealth of information on the genetic and phenotypic effects of polyploidy, the study of species interactions in polyploid plants remains a comparatively young field. Here we reviewed the available evidence for how polyploidy may impact many types of species interactions that range from mutualism to antagonism. Specifically, we focused on three main questions: (1) Does polyploidy directly cause the formation of novel interactions not experienced by diploids, or does it create an opportunity for natural selection to then form novel interactions? (2) Does polyploidy cause consistent, predictable changes in species interactions vs. the evolution of idiosyncratic differences? (3) Does polyploidy lead to greater evolvability in species interactions? From the scarce evidence available, we found that novel interactions are rare but that polyploidy can induce changes in pollinator, herbivore, and pathogen interactions. Although further tests are needed, it is likely that selection following whole-genome duplication is important in all types of species interaction and that there are circumstances in which polyploidy can enhance the evolvability of interactions with other species. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François eThomas

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. [Psychoactive plant species--actual list of plants prohibited in Poland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonienko, Katarzyna; Waszkiewicz, Napoleon; Szulc, Agata

    2013-01-01

    According to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction (20-th of March, 2009, Dz. U. Nr 63 poz. 520.) the list of federally prohibited plants in Poland was expanded to include 16 new species. Until that time the only illegal plant materials were cannabis, papaver, coca and most of their products. The actual list of herbal narcotics includes species which significantly influence on the central nervous system work but which are rarely described in the national literature. The plants usually come from distant places, where--among primeval cultures--are used for ritual purposes. In our civilization the plants are usually used experimentally, recreationally or to gain particular narcotic effects. The results of the consumption vary: they can be specific or less typical, imitate other substances intake, mental disorders or different pathological states. The plant active substances can interact with other medicaments, be toxic to internal organs, cause serious threat to health or even death. This article describes the sixteen plant species, which are now prohibited in Poland, their biochemical ingredients and their influence on the human organism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Kevin; James, Krista; Carlson, Kitrina; D'Angelo, Jean

    2010-01-01

    To help high school students gain a solid understanding of invasive plant species, university faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) and a local high school teacher worked together to develop the Invasive Plant Species (IPS) Education Guide. The IPS Education Guide includes nine lessons that give students an…

  5. Decline of the Macquarie Marshes ecosystem, Australia, since European arrival recorded by organic geochemical proxies in sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, L.; Chivas, A. R.; Garcia, A.; Hu, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Macquarie Marshes are floodplain wetlands in semi-arid NSW, Australia, and a Ramsar site experiencing accelerated deterioration in the last 50 years due to anthropogenic activities. We investigated environmental changes occurring in the northern and southern marshes using organic geochemical proxies from short cores and surface samples as modern analogues. Some proxies of modern plants (ferns, charophyte, reeds, Eucalyptus) and biota (black swan guano) samples, which are abundant in the Macquarie Marshes, were also analysed for comparison. The proxies analysed include bulk organic carbon and nitrogen (TOC, TN, C/N ratio), carbon and nitrogen isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) and some organic biomarkers (focusing on n-alkanes, sterols and polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)). TOC values in surface samples range between 2 to 5% depending on the organic input. The TOC and TN curves exhibit similar trends along time, decreasing to only one tenth at the depth of 70 cm (~ 565-752 years old) than those at the surface. The bulk δ13C values of modern samples (less than 50 years old) vary from -23% to -26%, falling within the range of values found in black swan guano(-21.6%) and plants (-27.0 to -31.5%). The calculated C/N ratios range from 10 to 25, and together with δ13C values suggest that the organic matter is mainly derived from terrestrial C3 plants. The contribution of aquatic plants is shown by shifts to higher δ13C values and lower C/N values in the core sections below the 40 cm depth (older than 130 years). Changes in vegetation type are also reflected by n-alkane and sterol biomarkers. In one core from the northern marshes, the temporal variation of (n-C27+C29)/n-C31 ratio indicates that the dominance of grasses has gradually been replaced by higher plants about 130 years ago. Sediments from the floodplain and dry lagoons show a dominant peak in long-chain n-alkanes with strong odd-to-even preference, contributed by emergent

  6. Root-secreted allelochemical in the noxious weed Phragmites australis deploys a reactive oxygen species response and microtubule assembly disruption to execute rhizotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudrappa, Thimmaraju; Bonsall, Justin; Gallagher, John L; Seliskar, Denise M; Bais, Harsh P

    2007-10-01

    Phragmites australis is considered the most invasive plant in marsh and wetland communities in the eastern United States. Although allelopathy has been considered as a possible displacing mechanism in P. australis, there has been minimal success in characterizing the responsible allelochemical. We tested the occurrence of root-derived allelopathy in the invasiveness of P. australis. To this end, root exudates of two P. australis genotypes, BB (native) and P38 (an exotic) were tested for phytotoxicity on different plant species. The treatment of the susceptible plants with P. australis root exudates resulted in acute rhizotoxicity. It is interesting to note that the root exudates of P38 were more effective in causing root death in susceptible plants compared to the native BB exudates. The active ingredient in the P. australis exudates was identified as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid (gallic acid). We tested the phytotoxic efficacy of gallic acid on various plant systems, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Most tested plants succumbed to the gallic acid treatment with the exception of P. australis itself. Mechanistically, gallic acid treatment generated elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the treated plant roots. Furthermore, the triggered ROS mediated the disruption of the root architecture of the susceptible plants by damaging the microtubule assembly. The study also highlights the persistence of the exuded gallic acid in P. australis's rhizosphere and its inhibitory effects against A. thaliana in the soil. In addition, gallic acid demonstrated an inhibitory effect on Spartina alterniflora, one of the salt marsh species it successfully invades.

  7. Effect of the recent land use on the plant diversity and community structure of Omayed Biosphere Reserve, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia A. Ahmed

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study aims at describing and analysing the floristic composition and vegetation types, as well as determining the effect of recent land uses on the vegetation structure. It aims also at identifying the alien plants species and elucidating the impact of these species on the plant diversity and community structure of the study area. One hundred and ninety stands were selected monthly for this study, 145 species were recorded (69 perennials and 76 annuals related to 83 genera, 40 families in 9 identified habitats in El-Omayed Biosphere Reserve (coastal sand dunes, salt marshes, saline depression, non-saline depression, inland ridges, inland plateau, irrigation canals, road sides and cultivated lands. Therophytes were the most represented life form. Three habitat groups resulted after the application of TWINSPAN and DCA as classification and ordination techniques: 2 represented the natural habitats and one represented the urban and cultivated habitats. Group I represented coastal dunes and salt marshes GII: saline depressions, non-saline depressions, inland plateau and inland ridges and GIII: irrigation canals, road sides and cultivated lands. Coastal dunes had the highest species richness (α-diversity, followed by cultivated lands, while inland plateau had the lowest; but saline depressions had the highest species turnover (β-diversity. Non-saline depressions had the highest relative evenness, while saline depressions had the highest relative concentration of dominance. Coastal dunes had highest values of calcium carbonates and calcium ions, and salt marshes had the highest salinity, pH, potassium and sodium contents, but cultivated lands had the highest values of silt, clay and organic matter. The diagram resulting from CCA showed an influence of most soil variables, except nitrogen, calcium and potassium. Twenty two species were recorded for the first time in the study area. The recent land use (overgrazing, wood cutting and

  8. Annual and seasonal distribution of intertidal foraminifera and stable carbon isotope geochemistry, Bandon Marsh, Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milker, Yvonne; Horton, Benjamin; Vane, Christopher; Engelhart, Simon; Nelson, Alan R.; Witter, Robert C.; Khan, Nicole S.; Bridgeland, William

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the influence of inter-annual and seasonal differences on the distribution of live and dead foraminifera, and the inter-annual variability of stable carbon isotopes (d13C), total organic carbon (TOC) values and carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratios in bulk sediments from intertidal environments of Bandon Marsh (Oregon, USA). Living and dead foraminiferal species from 10 stations were analyzed over two successive years in the summer (dry) and fall (wet) seasons. There were insignificant inter-annual and seasonal variations in the distribution of live and dead species. But there was a noticeable decrease in calcareous assemblages (Haynesina sp.) between live populations and dead assemblages, indicating that most of the calcareous tests were dissolved after burial; the agglutinated assemblages were comparable between constituents. The live populations and dead assemblages were dominated by Miliammina fusca in the tidal flat and low marsh, Jadammina macrescens, Trochammina inflata and M. fusca in the high marsh, and Trochamminita irregularis and Balticammina pseudomacrescens in the highest marsh to upland. Geochemical analyses (d13C, TOC and C/N of bulk sedimentary organic matter) show no significant influence of inter-annual variations but a significant correlation of d13C values (R = 20.820, p , 0.001), TOC values (R = 0.849, p , 0.001) and C/N ratios (R = 0.885, p , 0.001) to elevation with respect to the tidal frame. Our results suggest that foraminiferal assemblages and d13C and TOC values, as well as C/N ratios, in Bandon Marsh are useful in reconstructing paleosea-levels on the North American Pacific coast.

  9. Understanding Spatial and Temporal Shifts in Blue Carbon, Piermont Marsh, Lower Hudson Estuary, NY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteet, D. M.; Nichols, J. E.; Kenna, T. C.; Corbett, E. J.; Allen, K. A.; Newton, R.; Vincent, S.; Haroon, A.; Shumer, M.

    2015-12-01

    Piermont Marsh is a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) protected brackish wetland in the lower Hudson Valley. It serves as a nursery for fish, a coastal buffer in storms, a repository of native wetland species unique to the Hudson, and a paleoenvironmental archive. At risk for disappearance due to rising sea level, we assess the present carbon stores and their spatial and temporal variability through time. Determining the depth of peat in transects throughout Piermont Marsh (41°N, 73°55'W), is one step in reconstructing the stores of carbon in the marsh and how they have shifted over millennia. Through the last decade, we have focused field efforts on probing the depths of the marsh through a series of transects and in acquiring sediment cores from which we establish sedimentation rates and carbon storage through time. AMS C-14 dating, XRF fluorescence, pollen analysis, and Cesium-137 provide chronological control for the sedimentation rates, pollution history, and an understanding of the regional and local shifts in vegetation. C-13 and pollen measurements in selected cores indicate major shifts in local vegetation with coastal eutrophication as the marsh has been invaded, first by Typha angustifolia in the nineteenth century and then by Phragmites australis in the twentieth century up to the present. N-15 measurements indicate a large shift in nitrogen as humans have impacted the marsh. We present a comprehensive, three-dimensional view of the effects of climate, vegetation, and human impact on the carbon storage of Piermont Marsh. This project provided a site for a place- and project-based learning through Lamont-Doherty's Secondary School Field Research Program. Many of the field samples were collected by young investigators from schools in New York City and towns near Piermont.

  10. Invasive plant species in hardwood tree plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochelle R. Beasley; Paula M. Pijut

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants are species that can grow and spread aggressively, mature quickly, and invade an ecosystem causing economic and environmental damage. Invasive plants usually invade disturbed areas, but can also colonize small areas quickly, and may spread and dominate large areas in a few short years. Invasive plant species displace native or desirable forest...

  11. Germination and early plant development of ten plant species ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten agronomic plant species were exposed to different concentrations of nano titanium dioxide (nTiO2) or nano cerium oxide (nCeO2) (0, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/L) to examine potential effects on germination and early seedling development. We modified a standard test protocol developed for soluble chemicals (OPPTS 850.4200) to determine if such an approach might be useful for screening engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and whether there were differences in response across a range of commercially important plant species to two common metal oxide ENMs. Eight of 10 species responded to nTiO2, and 5 species responded to nCeO2. Overall, it appeared that early root growth may be a more sensitive indicator of potential effects from ENM exposure than germination. The observed effects did not always relate to the exposure concentration, indicating that mass-based concentration may not fully explain developmental effects of these two ENMs. The results suggest that nTiO2 and nCeO2 have different effects on early plant growth of agronomic species, which may alter the timing of specific developmental events during their life cycle. In addition, standard germination tests, which are commonly used for toxicity screening of new materials, may not detect the subtle but potentially more important changes associated with early growth and development in terrestrial plants. Engineered nanoparticles (ENMs) have been recognized as valuable components of new technologies and are current

  12. Sediment type affects competition between a native and an exotic species in coastal China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hong-Li; Wang, Yong-Yang; An, Shu-Qing; Zhi, Ying-Biao; Lei, Guang-Chun; Zhang, Ming-Xiang

    2014-10-23

    Different types of sediments in salt marsh have different physical and chemical characters. Thus sediment type plays a role in plant competition and growth in salt marsh ecosystems. Spartina anglica populations have been increasingly confined to upper elevation gradients of clay, and the niche sediment has changed. Because the niches of S. anglica and the native species Scirpus triqueter overlap, we conducted a greenhouse experiment to test the hypothesis that plant competition has changed under different types of sediments. Biomass and asexual reproduction were analyzed, and inter- and intraspecific competition was measured by log response ratio for the two species in both monoculture and combination under three sediment types (sand, clay and mixture of sand and clay). For S. anglica, biomass, ramet number and rhizome length in combination declined significantly compared with those in monoculture, and the intensity of interspecific competition was significantly higher than that of intraspecific competition under all sediments. For S. triqueter, the intensities of intra- and interspecific competition were not significantly different. This indicates that S. triqueter exerts an asymmetric competitive advantage over S. anglica across all sediments, but especially clay. Thus the sediment type changes competition between S. anglica and S. triqueter.

  13. Silver nanoparticles uptake by salt marsh plants - Implications for phytoremediation processes and effects in microbial community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Joana P; Mucha, Ana P; Francisco, Telmo; Gomes, Carlos Rocha; Almeida, C Marisa R

    2017-06-15

    This study investigated the uptake of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by a salt marsh plant, Phragmites australis, as well as AgNPs effects on rhizospheric microbial community, evaluating the implications for phytoremediation processes. Experiments were carried out with elutriate solution doped with Ag, either in ionic form or in NP form. Metal uptake was evaluated in plant tissues, elutriate solutions and sediments (by AAS) and microbial community was characterized in terms of bacterial community structure (evaluated by ARISA). Results showed Ag accumulation but only in plant belowground tissues and only in the absence of rhizosediment, the presence of sediment reducing Ag availability. But in plant roots Ag accumulation was higher when Ag was in NP form. Multivariate analysis of ARISA profiles showed significant effect of the absence/presence of Ag either in ionic or NP form on microbial community structure, although without significant differences among bacterial richness and diversity. Overall, P. australis can be useful for phytoremediation of medium contaminated with Ag, including with AgNPs. However, the presence of Ag in either forms affected the microbial community structure, which may cause disturbances in ecosystems function and compromise phytoremediation processes. Such considerations need to be address regarding environmental management strategies applied to the very important estuarine areas. The form in which the metal was added affected metal uptake by Phragmites australis and rhizosediment microbial community structure, which can affect phytoremediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Ecological effects of climate change on salt marsh wildlife: a case study from a highly urbanized estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L.

    2012-01-01

    Coastal areas are high-risk zones subject to the impacts of global climate change, with significant increases in the frequencies of extreme weather and storm events, and sea-level rise forecast by 2100. These physical processes are expected to alter estuaries, resulting in loss of intertidal wetlands and their component wildlife species. In particular, impacts to salt marshes and their wildlife will vary both temporally and spatially and may be irreversible and severe. Synergistic effects caused by combining stressors with anthropogenic land-use patterns could create areas of significant biodiversity loss and extinction, especially in urbanized estuaries that are already heavily degraded. In this paper, we discuss current ideas, challenges, and concerns regarding the maintenance of salt marshes and their resident wildlife in light of future climate conditions. We suggest that many salt marsh habitats are already impaired and are located where upslope transgression is restricted, resulting in reduction and loss of these habitats in the future. In addition, we conclude that increased inundation frequency and water depth will have negative impacts on the demography of small or isolated wildlife meta-populations as well as their community interactions. We illustrate our points with a case study on the Pacific Coast of North America at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in California, an area that supports endangered wildlife species reliant on salt marshes for all aspects of their life histories.

  15. Plants on the move: plant-soil interactions in poleward shifting plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grunsven, van R.H.A.

    2008-01-01

    As a result of recent global climate change, areas that have previously been climatically unsuitable for species have now become suitable new habitats. Many plant-species are expanding their range polewards, colonizing these newly available areas. If these species are able to expand their range

  16. Assessing the Potential for Inland Migration of a Northeastern Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farron, S.; FitzGerald, D.; Hughes, Z. J.

    2017-12-01

    It is often assumed that as sea level rises, salt marshes will expand inland. If the slope of the upland is relatively flat and sufficient sediment is available, marshes should be able to spread horizontally and grow vertically in order to maintain their areal extent. However, in cases where marshes are backed by steeper slopes, or sediment supply is limited, rising sea level will produce minimal gains along the landward edge insufficient to offset potential losses along the seaward edge. This study uses future sea level rise scenarios to project areal losses for the Great Marsh in Massachusetts, the largest continuous salt marsh in New England. Land area covered by salt marsh is defined by surface elevation. Annual sediment input to the system is estimated based on the areal extent of high and low marsh, historical accretion rates for each, and known organic/inorganic ratios. Unlike other studies, sediment availability is considered to be finite, and future accretion rates are limited based on the assumption that the system is presently receiving the maximum sediment input available. The Great Marsh is dominated by high marsh; as sea level rises, it will convert to low marsh, vastly altering the ecological and sedimentological dynamics of the system. If it is assumed that former high marsh areas will build vertically at the increased rate associated with low marsh, then much of the total marsh area will be maintained. However, this may be an unrealistic assumption due to the low levels of suspended sediment within the Great Marsh system. Modeling the evolution of the Great Marsh by assuming that the current accretion rate is the maximum possible for this system reveals much greater losses than models assuming an unlimited sediment supply would predict (17% less marsh by 2115). In addition, uplands surrounding the Great Marsh have been shaped by glaciation, leaving numerous drumlins and other glacial landforms. Compared to the flat backbarrier, the surrounding

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Effects of Invasive-Plant Management on Nitrogen-Removal Services in Freshwater Tidal Marshes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Alldred

    Full Text Available Establishing relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function is an ongoing endeavor in contemporary ecosystem and community ecology, with important practical implications for conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem services. Removal of invasive plant species to conserve native diversity is a common management objective in many ecosystems, including wetlands. However, substantial changes in plant community composition have the potential to alter sediment characteristics and ecosystem services, including permanent removal of nitrogen from these systems via microbial denitrification. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping and removing invasive plants is needed to manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets. We monitored small-scale removals of Phragmites australis over four years to determine their effects on potential denitrification rates relative to three untreated Phragmites sites and adjacent sites dominated by native Typha angustifolia. Sediment ammonium increased following the removal of vegetation from treated sites, likely as a result of decreases in both plant uptake and nitrification. Denitrification potentials were lower in removal sites relative to untreated Phragmites sites, a pattern that persisted at least two years following removal as native plant species began to re-colonize treated sites. These results suggest the potential for a trade-off between invasive-plant management and nitrogen-removal services. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping versus removing invasive plants is needed to adequately manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets.

  20. Effects of Invasive-Plant Management on Nitrogen-Removal Services in Freshwater Tidal Marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alldred, Mary; Baines, Stephen B; Findlay, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Establishing relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function is an ongoing endeavor in contemporary ecosystem and community ecology, with important practical implications for conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem services. Removal of invasive plant species to conserve native diversity is a common management objective in many ecosystems, including wetlands. However, substantial changes in plant community composition have the potential to alter sediment characteristics and ecosystem services, including permanent removal of nitrogen from these systems via microbial denitrification. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping and removing invasive plants is needed to manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets. We monitored small-scale removals of Phragmites australis over four years to determine their effects on potential denitrification rates relative to three untreated Phragmites sites and adjacent sites dominated by native Typha angustifolia. Sediment ammonium increased following the removal of vegetation from treated sites, likely as a result of decreases in both plant uptake and nitrification. Denitrification potentials were lower in removal sites relative to untreated Phragmites sites, a pattern that persisted at least two years following removal as native plant species began to re-colonize treated sites. These results suggest the potential for a trade-off between invasive-plant management and nitrogen-removal services. A balanced assessment of costs associated with keeping versus removing invasive plants is needed to adequately manage simultaneously for biodiversity and pollution targets.

  1. Genetic diversity within a dominant plant outweighs plant species diversity in structuring an arthropod community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

    Plant biodiversity is being lost at a rapid rate. This has spurred much interest in elucidating the consequences of this loss for higher trophic levels. Experimental tests have shown that both plant species diversity and genetic diversity within a plant species can influence arthropod community structure. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in separate systems, so their relative importance is currently unresolved. Furthermore, potential interactions between the two levels of diversity, which likely occur in natural systems, have not been investigated. To clarify these issues, we conducted three experiments in a freshwater sand dune ecosystem. We (1) independently manipulated plant species diversity, (2) independently manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, and (3) jointly manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant and species diversity. We found that genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, more strongly influenced arthropod communities than plant species diversity, but this effect was dependent on the presence of other species. In species mixtures, A. breviligulata genetic diversity altered overall arthropod community composition, and arthropod richness and abundance peaked at the highest level of genetic diversity. Positive nonadditive effects of diversity were detected, suggesting that arthropods respond to emergent properties of diverse plant communities. However, in the independent manipulations where A. breviligulata was alone, effects of genetic diversity were weaker, with only arthropod richness responding. In contrast, plant species diversity only influenced arthropods when A. breviligulata was absent, and then only influenced herbivore abundance. In addition to showing that genetic diversity within a dominant plant species can have large effects on arthropod community composition, these results suggest that understanding how species

  2. Rethinking the role of edaphic condition in halophyte vegetation degradation on salt marshes due to coastal defense structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Tian; Cui, Baoshan; Bai, Junhong; Li, Shanze; Zhang, Shuyan

    2018-02-01

    Determining how human disturbance affects plant community persistence and species conservation is one of the most pressing ecological challenges. The large-scale disturbance form defense structures usually have a long-term and potential effect on phytocommunity in coastal saltmarshes. Coastal defense structures usually remove the effect of tidal wave on tidal salt marshes. As a consequence, edaphic factors such as the salinity and moisture contents are disturbed by tidal action blocking. However, few previous studies have explicitly addressed the response of halophyte species persistence and dynamics to the changing edaphic conditions. The understanding of the response of species composition in seed banks and aboveground vegetation to the stress is important to identify ecological effect of coastal defense structures and provide usefully insight into restoration. Here, we conducted a field study to distinguish the density, species composition and relationships of seed bank with aboveground vegetation between tidal flat wetlands with and without coastal defense structures. We also addressed the role of edaphic condition in vegetation degradation caused by coastal defense structures in combination with field monitor and greenhouse experiments. Our results showed the density of the seed bank and aboveground vegetation in the tidal flat without coastal defense structures was significantly lower than the surrounded flat with coastal defense structures. A total of 14 species were founded in the surrounded flat seed bank and 11 species in the tidal flat, but three species were only recorded in aboveground vegetation of the tidal flat which was much lower than 24 aboveground species in the surrounded flat. The absent of species in aboveground vegetation contributed to low germination rate which depend on the edaphic condition. The germination of seeds in the seed bank were inhabited by high soil salinity in the tidal flat and low soil moisture in the surrounded flat. Our

  3. Atrotorquata lineata as a proxy for Juncus roemerianus, Part II: Tracking changes in positions of Juncus roemerianus marshes through time by use of the fungal proxy Atrotorquata lineata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsh Pamela E.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Juncus roemerianus is a species that occurs at the upper reaches of salt water influence in marshes from Delaware to Texas. As such, J. roemerianus is a good marker for sea level, defined for this study as mean highest high water; thus, being able to track its positions over time should enable one to track past changes in relative sea level. In 2006, a palynomorphic fingerprint to identify surface sediment from J. roemerianus marshes was discovered in a South Carolina study (Marsh 2006, Marsh & Cohen 2008. Further study (Marsh & Cohen 2016 showed that one component of this fingerprint, the spore of the fungus Atrotorquata lineata, was so omnipresent in surface sediment from J. roemerianus marshes that the fungus, by itself, can be considered a proxy for J. roemerianus marshes.

  4. Macroinvertebrate Prey Availability and Fish Diet Selectivity in Relation to Environmental Variables in Natural and Restoring North San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily R. Howe

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Tidal marsh wetlands provide important foraging habitat for a variety of estuarine fishes. Prey organisms include benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates, neustonic arthropods, and zooplankton. Little is known about the abundance and distribution of interior marsh macroinvertebrate communities in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary. We describe seasonal, regional, and site variation in the composition and abundance of neuston and benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates that inhabit tidal marsh channels, and relate these patterns to environmental conditions. We also describe spatial and temporal variation in diets of marsh-associated inland silverside, yellowfin goby, and western mosquitofish. Fish and invertebrates were sampled quarterly from October 2003 to June 2005 at six marsh sites located in three river systems of the northern estuary: Petaluma River, Napa River, and  the west Delta. Benthic/epibenthic macroinvertebrates and neuston responded to environmental variables related to seasonal changes (i.e., temperature, salinity, as well as those related to marsh structure (i.e., vegetation, channel edge. The greatest variation in abundance occurred seasonally for neuston and spatially for benthic–epibenthic organisms, suggesting that each community responds to different environmental drivers. Benthic/epibenthic invertebrate abundance and diversity was lowest in the west Delta, and increased with increasing salinity. Insect abundance increased during the spring and summer, while Collembolan (springtail abundance increased during the winter. Benthic/epibenthic macroinvertebrates dominated fish diets, supplemented by insects, with zooplankton playing a minor role. Diet compositions of the three fish species overlapped considerably, with strong selection indicated for epibenthic crustaceans—a surprising result given the typical classification of Menidia beryllina as a planktivore, Acanthogobius flavimanus as a benthic predator, and Gambusia

  5. Modelling Watershed and Estuarine Controls on Salt Marsh Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi Lalimi, F.; Marani, M.; Murray, A. B.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2017-12-01

    The formation and evolution of tidal platforms have been extensively studied through observations and models, describing landform dynamics as a result of the local interactions and feedbacks among hydrodynamics, vegetation, and sediment transport. However, existing work mainly focuses on individual marsh platforms and, possibly, their immediate surrounding, such that the influence and controls on marsh dynamics of inland areas (through fluvial inputs) and of exchanges with the ocean have not been comprehensively and simultaneously accounted for. Here, we develop and use a process-based model to evaluate the relative role of watershed, estuarine, and ocean controls on salt marsh accretionary and depositional/erosional dynamics and define how these factors interact to determine salt marsh resilience to environmental change at the whole-estuary scale. Our results, in line with previous work, show that no stable equilibrium exists for the erosional dynamics of the marsh/tidal flat boundary. In addition, we find that under some circumstances, vertical accretion/erosion dynamics can lead to transitions between salt marsh and tidal flat equilibrium states that occur much more rapidly than marsh/tidal flat boundary erosion or accretion could. We further define, in the multidimensional space of estuarine-scale morphodynamic forcings, the basins of attractions leading to marsh-dominated and tidal-flat-dominated estuaries. The relatively slow dynamics asymptotically leading to marsh- or tidal-flat- dominance in many cases suggest that estuaries are likely to be found, at any given time, in a transition state dictated by temporal variations in environmental forcings.

  6. Tidal Marshes: The Boundary between Land and Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselink, James

    An overview of the ecology of the tidal marshes along the gulf coast of the United States is presented. The following topics are included: (1) the human impact on tidal marshes; (2) the geologic origins of tidal marshes; (3) a description of the physical characteristics and ecosystem of the marshlands; (4) a description of the marshland food chain…

  7. Annual net ecosystem exchanges of carbon dioxide and methane from a temperate brackish marsh: should the focus of marsh restoration be on brackish environments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windham-Myers, L.; Anderson, F. E.; Bergamaschi, B. A.; Ferner, M. C.; Schile, L. M.; Spinelli, G.

    2015-12-01

    to provide insight into rates of plant productivity and uncertainty of methane production for brackish marsh systems that can help to inform policymakers of potential data gaps preventing inclusion of coastal wetland carbon sequestration in national inventories and greenhouse gas - offset markets.

  8. [Species diversity of ex-situ cultivated Chinese medicinal plants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Que, Ling; Chi, Xiu-Lian; Zang, Chun-Xin; Zhang, Yu; Chen, Min; Yang, Guang; Jin, An-Qi

    2018-03-01

    Ex-situ conservation is an important means to protect biological genetic resources. Resource protection has received more and more attention with the continuous improvement of the comprehensive utilization of traditional Chinese medicine resources. In this paper, the research and compilation of the species list of ex-situ cultivated medicinal plants in 12 Chinese Academy of Sciences botanic gardens and 19 specialized medicinal botanic gardens in China were carried out. Based on the Species 2000(2017) and other classification databases, species diversity of medicinal plants ex-situ cultivated in these botanical gardens were analyzed. The study found that there were 16 351 higher plant species in our country, belonging to 276 families and 1 936 genera. Of these, 6 949 specieswere medicinal plants, accounting for 50.4% of the total medicinal plants. There were 1 280 medicinal plants were in threatened status, accounting for 19.6% of all threatened species in the Chinese Biodiversity Red List, with ex-situ cultivated proportion of 59.5%. And 3 988 medicinal plants were Chinese endemic species, accounting for 22.5% of all Chinese endemic species, with ex-situ cultivated proportion of 53.3%. This article has reference significance for the management and protection of medicinal plant resources. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  9. Great Lakes clams find refuge from zebra mussels in restored, lake-connected marsh (Ohio)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    2004-01-01

    Since the early 1990s, more than 95 percent of the freshwater clams once found in Lake Erie have died due to the exotic zebara mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Zebra mussels attach themselves to native clams in large numbers, impeding the ability of the clams to eat and burrow. However, in 1996, we discovered a population of native clams in Metzger Marsh in western Lake Erie (about 50 miles [80 km] east of Toledo) that were thriving despite the longtime presence of zebra mussel in surrounding waters. At that time, Metzger Marsh was undergoing extensive restoration, including construction of a dike to replace the eroded barrier beach and of a water-control structure to maintain hydrologic connections with the lake (Wilcox and Whillans 1999). The restoration plan called for a drawdown of water levels to promote plant growth from the seedbank -- a process that would also destroy most of the clam population. State and federal resource managers recommended removing as many clams as possible to a site that was isolated from zebra mussels, and then returning them to the marsh after it was restored. We removed about 7,000 native clams in 1996 and moved them back to Metzger Marsh in 1999.

  10. Effects of plant cover on the macrofauna of Spartina marshes in northern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cesar França Braga

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Data on macrofauna density and diversity, and the height and density of Spartina brasiliensis, were obtained from salt marsh beds of a tropical estuary in northern Brazil. Sampling was carried out at four distinct times of the year, during the wet and dry seasons and in the transition periods between these. Sampling was also carried out in salt marshes of three size classes, small, medium and large. Variables were analyzed in relation to time of year and salt marsh size class. Overall, 46 taxa were found, with polychaetes, isopods and the gastropod Neritina virginea dominating the fauna. Macrofauna density and diversity were positively correlated with culm density, indicating a possible role in protection from predation. All the three variables were higher during the transitional periods between the wet and dry seasons and seasonal changes in rainfall, salinity and light availability may influence mortality, food availability and settlement of the macrofauna. There was no effect of salt marsh size on either the macrofauna or the vegetation.Dados sobre a densidade e diversidade da macrofauna em relação à altura e densidade de Spartina brasiliensis foram obtidos em bancos de marismas em um estuário tropical no norte do Brasil. A amostragem foi realizada quatro vezes durante um ano, nas estações chuvosa, seca e nos períodos de transição entre estas. A amostragem foi realizada em marismas de três classes de tamanho: pequeno, médio e grande. As variáveis foram analisadas em relação às estações do ano e das classes de tamanho das marismas. Um total de 46 táxons foram encontrados, com os poliquetos, isopodos e o gastropódo Neritina virginea dominando a fauna, resultados similares a estudos realizados em marismas no sul do Brasil. A densidade e a diversidade da macrofauna foram correlacionadas positivamente com a densidade de colmos da vegetação, indicando um possível papel da vegetação em proteção contra predação. Todas as

  11. Biota - 2011 Vegetation Inventory - Marsh Lake, MN

    Data.gov (United States)

    Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, Department of Defense — 2011 Vegetation Classification for Marsh Lake, MN Vegetation Project Report, OMBIL Environmental Stewardship - Level 1 Inventory. Marsh Lake is located on the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Alkaloid-Containing Plants Poisonous to Cattle and Horses in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortinovis, Cristina; Caloni, Francesca

    2015-12-08

    Alkaloids, nitrogen-containing secondary plant metabolites, are of major interest to veterinary toxicology because of their occurrence in plant species commonly involved in animal poisoning. Based on epidemiological data, the poisoning of cattle and horses by alkaloid-containing plants is a relatively common occurrence in Europe. Poisoning may occur when the plants contaminate hay or silage or when forage alternatives are unavailable. Cattle and horses are particularly at risk of poisoning by Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron), Conium maculatum (poison hemlock), Datura stramonium (jimson weed), Equisetum palustre (marsh horsetail), Senecio spp. (ragwort and groundsel) and Taxus baccata (European yew). This review of poisonous alkaloid-containing plants describes the distribution of these plants, conditions under which poisoning occurs, active toxic principles involved and subsequent clinical signs observed.

  14. Carbon sequestration by Australian tidal marshes

    KAUST Repository

    Macreadie, Peter I.

    2017-03-10

    Australia\\'s tidal marshes have suffered significant losses but their recently recognised importance in CO2 sequestration is creating opportunities for their protection and restoration. We compiled all available data on soil organic carbon (OC) storage in Australia\\'s tidal marshes (323 cores). OC stocks in the surface 1 m averaged 165.41 (SE 6.96) Mg OC ha-1 (range 14-963 Mg OC ha-1). The mean OC accumulation rate was 0.55 ± 0.02 Mg OC ha-1 yr-1. Geomorphology was the most important predictor of OC stocks, with fluvial sites having twice the stock of OC as seaward sites. Australia\\'s 1.4 million hectares of tidal marshes contain an estimated 212 million tonnes of OC in the surface 1 m, with a potential CO2-equivalent value of $USD7.19 billion. Annual sequestration is 0.75 Tg OC yr-1, with a CO2-equivalent value of $USD28.02 million per annum. This study provides the most comprehensive estimates of tidal marsh blue carbon in Australia, and illustrates their importance in climate change mitigation and adaptation, acting as CO2 sinks and buffering the impacts of rising sea level. We outline potential further development of carbon offset schemes to restore the sequestration capacity and other ecosystem services provided by Australia tidal marshes.

  15. Spatio-temporal structure and influence of environmental parameters on the Tipuloidea (Insecta: Diptera) assemblage of Neotropical salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Lucas; Carrasco, Daiane; Proietti, Maíra

    2017-10-01

    Estuaries and salt marshes are important coastal ecosystems that present unique characteristics in terms of nutrient cycling, salinity, habitats, flora and fauna. Despite their ecological importance, there is scarce knowledge on the occupation, distribution and ecology of insects, including Tipuloidea, in these environments. This study aimed to evaluate the composition, seasonality and effect of abiotic factors on the abundance, diversity and structure of a Tipuloidea assemblage at the Patos Lagoon salt marshes, located at the south of the Neotropical region. We sampled crane-flies from three zones along the estuary by installing two Malaise traps at the low and high vegetation strata of each zone. Sampling was conducted uninterruptedly every fifteen days between August/2015 and July/2016, and collected insects were identified morphologically based on specific literature. 5248 crane-flies were identified covering six species and twenty-five morphospecies. Abundance and frenquency of occurrence of species revealed a gap in the presence of constant species at the middle estuary. Dicranomyia, Gonomyia, Teucholabis and Zelandotipula species were additional (accessory) species only in the upper estuary, while Symplecta cana only in the lower estuary. This shows that different species prefer distinct points along the estuary. Higher abundance of crane-flies was correlated with elevated temperature and humidity. Symplecta pilipes was an exception, presenting increase in abundance under lower temperatures. Seasonal change in Tipuloidea species composition was observed, with higher evenness of Dicranomyia, Geranomyia, Rhipidia domestica and Symplecta cana (15-20%) during summer, and dominance of Symplecta pilipes in winter (80%). The gap at the middle estuary can possibly be due to stress caused by large fluctuations in salinity in the zone. In addition, the seasonal differences can have significant ecological consequences such as the modification of the Tipuloid species

  16. Cycling of oxyanion-forming trace elements in groundwaters from a freshwater deltaic marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telfeyan, Katherine; Breaux, Alexander; Kim, Jihyuk; Kolker, Alexander S.; Cable, Jaye E.; Johannesson, Karen H.

    2018-05-01

    Pore waters and surface waters were collected from a freshwater system in southeastern Louisiana to investigate the geochemical cycling of oxyanion-forming trace elements (i.e., Mo, W, As, V). A small bayou (Bayou Fortier) receives input from a connecting lake (Lac des Allemands) and groundwater input at the head approximately 5 km directly south of the Mississippi River. Marsh groundwaters exchange with bayou surface water but are otherwise relatively isolated from outside hydrologic forcings, such as tides, storms, and effects from local navigation canals. Rather, redox processes in the marsh groundwaters appear to drive changes in trace element concentrations. Elevated dissolved S(-II) concentrations in marsh groundwaters suggest greater reducing conditions in the late fall and winter as compared to the spring and late summer. The data suggest that reducing conditions in marsh groundwaters initiate the dissolution of Fe(III)/Mn(IV) oxide/hydroxide minerals, which releases adsorbed and/or co-precipitated trace elements into solution. Once in solution, the fate of these elements is determined by complexation with aqueous species and precipitation with iron sulfide minerals. The trace elements remain soluble in the presence of Fe(III)- and SO42-- reducing conditions, suggesting that either kinetic limitations or complexation with aqueous ligands obfuscates the correlation between V and Mo sequestration in sediments with reducing or euxinic conditions.

  17. Phytotoxic studies of medicinal plant species of Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilani, S.A.; Adnan, M.; Kikuchi, A.; Fujii, Y.; Shinwari, Z.K.; Kazuo, N.; Watanabe, K.N.

    2010-01-01

    Allelopathic screening of 81 medicinal plant species, collected from North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Pakistan, was carried out to identify significantly higher allelopathic species for future phyto chemical analyses. For this purpose, sandwich method was used to test allelopathic potentials of leaf leachates of these plant species against lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativa L.). Two different concentrations of 10 mg and 50 mg of leaf leachates were used in the study. The radicle and hypocotyl growths were measured and compared with control treatments. It was observed that an endemic species Seriphidium kurramense, Andrachne cordifolia and Rhazya stricta were the stronger phyto toxic plants as compared to the other test species. Based on the current screening, three potential medicinal plants are recommended for future bioassay guided isolation of allelochemicals and for genetic diversity studies. It would also be interesting to see correlation between genetic markers and isolated allelochemicals. (author)

  18. Copper and lead levels in crops and soils of the Holland Marsh Area-Ontario

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czuba, M.; Hutchinson, T.C.

    1980-01-01

    A study was made of the occurrence, distribution, and concentrations of the heavy metals copper (Cu) and lead (Pb) in the soils and crops of the important horticultural area north of Toronto known as the Holland Marsh. The soils are deep organic mucks (> 85% organic matter), derived by the drainage of black marshland soils, which has been carried out over the past 40 years. A comparison is made between the Pb and Cu concentrations in undrained, uncultivated areas of the marsh and in the intensively used horticultural area. Analyses show a marked accumulation of Cu in surface layers of cultivated soils, with a mean surface concentration of 130 ppM, declining to 20 ppM at a 32-cm depth. Undrained (virgin) soils of the same marshes had < 20 ppM at all depths. Lead concentrations also declined through the profile, from concentrations of 22 to 10 ppM. In comparison, undrained areas had elevated Pb levels. Cultivation appeared to have increased Cu, but lowered Pb in the marsh. Copper and lead levels found in the crops were generally higher in the young spring vegetables than in the mature fall ones. Leafy crops, especially lettuce (Lactuca L.) and celery (Apium graveolens), accumulated higher Pb levels in their foliage compared with levels in root crops. Cultivation procedures, including past pesticide applications and fertilizer additions, appeared to be principal sources of Cu. Mobility from the soil and into the plant for these elements in the marsh muck soils is discussed.

  19. Comparison of saline tolerance among genetically similar species of Fusarium and Meloidogyne recovered from marine and terrestrial habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmer, W. H.; LaMondia, J. A.

    2014-08-01

    Successful plant pathogens co-evolve and adapt to the environmental constraints placed on host plants. We compared the salt tolerance of two salt marsh pathogens, Fusarium palustre and Meloidogyne spartinae, to genetically related terrestrial species, F. sporotrichioides and Meloidogyne hapla, to assess whether the salt marsh species had acquired selective traits for persisting in saline environments or if salt tolerance was comparable among Fusarium and Meloidogyne species. Comparisons of both species were made in vitro in vessels containing increasing concentration of NaCl. We observed that F. palustre was more tolerant to NaCl than F. sporotrichioides. The radial expansion of F. palustre on NaCl-amended agar plates was unaffected by increasing concentrations up to 0.3 M. F. sporotrichioides showed large reductions in growth at the same concentrations. Survival of M. hapla was greatest at 0 M, and reduced by half in a 0.3 M solution for 4 days. No juveniles survived exposure to 0.3 M NaCl for 12 days. M. spartinae survived at all NaCl concentrations tested, including 1.0 M for at least 12 days. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that marine organisms in the upper tidal zone must osmoregulate to withstand a wide range of salinity and provide evidence that these pathogens evolved in saline conditions and are not recent introductions from terrestrial niches.

  20. Endangered Species (Plants). LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

    This guide is intended for those who wish to study the literature dealing with various aspects of endangered plant species. This document includes the following sections, some of which are bibliographies: (1) "Introductions to the Topic"; (2) "Subject Headings" (for endangered species of plants used by the Library of Congress); (3) "General…

  1. Evaluation of Marsh/Estuarine Water Quality and Ecological Models: An Interim Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-01-01

    benthic oxygen demand, benthic scour and deposition, photosynthesis and respiration of aquatic plants, and nitrification (Dobbins 1964; O’Connor 1967... photosynthesis , algal respiration, decom- position, and mixing processes play dominant roles, the understanding and characterization of significant pro...Adams, S. M. 1979. "A Mathematical Model of Trophic Dynamics in Estuarine Seagrass Communities," Marsh-Estuarine Systems Simulation, Dame, R. F., ed

  2. Fire helps restore natural disturbance regime to benefit rare and endangered marsh birds endemic to the Colorado River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Courtney J; Nadeau, Christopher P; Piest, Linden

    2010-10-01

    Large flood events were part of the historical disturbance regime within the lower basin of most large river systems around the world. Large flood events are now rare in the lower basins of most large river systems due to flood control structures. Endemic organisms that are adapted to this historical disturbance regime have become less abundant due to these dramatic changes in the hydrology and the resultant changes in vegetation structure. The Yuma Clapper Rail is a federally endangered bird that breeds in emergent marshes within the lower Colorado River basin in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. We evaluated whether prescribed fire could be used as a surrogate disturbance event to help restore historical conditions for the benefit of Yuma Clapper Rails and four sympatric marsh-dependent birds. We conducted call-broadcast surveys for marsh birds within burned and unburned (control) plots both pre- and post-burn. Fire increased the numbers of Yuma Clapper Rails and Virginia Rails, and did not affect the numbers of Black Rails, Soras, and Least Bitterns. We found no evidence that detection probability of any of the five species differed between burn and control plots. Our results suggest that prescribed fire can be used to set back succession of emergent marshlands and help mimic the natural disturbance regime in the lower Colorado River basin. Hence, prescribed fire can be used to help increase Yuma Clapper Rail populations without adversely affecting sympatric species. Implementing a coordinated long-term fire management plan within marshes of the lower Colorado River may allow regulatory agencies to remove the Yuma Clapper Rail from the endangered species list.

  3. The role of succulent halophytes in the water balance of salt marsh rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulombe, Harry N

    1970-09-01

    The role of succulent halophytes in the water balance and ecology of salt marsh rodents is dependent upon an evaluation of the composition of the available sources and the physiological properties of their potential consumers. Studies of the osmotic properties of succulent halophytes from southern California coastal salt marshes are presented, together with experiments regarding the utilization of Common Pickleweed (Salicornia virginica L.) by indigenous populations of cricetid rodents (harvest mouse Reithrodontomys megalotis limicola Von Bloecker, and meadow-mouse Microtus californicus stephensi Von Bloecker). These data are discussed in relation to other available information concerning the ecology of coastal salt marshes, particularly in western North America.Extruded sap of Common Pickleweed was found to have a mean total osmotic pressure (TOP) of 1,450 mOsm/liter, with an average chloride ion content of 876 mEq/liter (about 70% of the TOP). A related species, Salicornia subterminale, had a slightly lower TOP (1,300 mOsm/liter), of which about 29% was accounted for by chloride ion concentration. Sea Blight (Suaeda fruticosa) was the only species in which the TOP correlated with the distance from the tide level; sap TOP increased away from the lagoon's edge. In both Sea Blight and Common Pickle weed, TOP was not directly related to chloride content, indicating the importance of other osmotically active solutes.Harvest mice were placed on three experimental regimes: 1) millet seeds only, 2) pickleweed only, and 3) pickleweed and millet seed. Meadow mice were tested on the last regime only. Harvest mice survived best on a strict millet seed diet; when Salicornia was consumed to a detectable extent, the mice did not survive. Meadow mice, however, could survive using Salicornia as a dietary source in conjunction with seeds. Kidney electrolyte concentrating abilities indicated that harvest mice should be able to utilize pickleweed; this was not confirmed in my

  4. Salt Marshes as Potential Indicatore of Global Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Cairens, David; Jung, S.H.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal scientists postulate that salt marshes are significantly affected by dynamics of global climate. However, few studies have explicitly proposed a perspective that regards salt marshes as potential indicators of climate change. This review article evaluates the possibility of salt marshes...... as indicators of global climate change, focusing upon three major aspects: sedimentary, vegetation, and biogeochemical dynamics. The previous literature concerned with these aspects commonly argues that the primary impact of climate change on salt marshes occurs via sea-level variations, because hydrologic...... fluctuations regulate the frequency, duration, and depth of over-marsh flooding events. Sedimentary, floristic, and biogeochemical dynamics prove to be significantly influenced by sealevel changes regardless of climate zones, and hence, undoubtedly possess a potential for indicating climate signatures. However...

  5. Food Plants of 19 butterflies species (Lepidoptera from Loreto, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Vásquez Bardales

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This work reports the food plants utilized by 19 species of butterflies from Allpahuayo-Mishana Research Center and the Community of San Rafael, Loreto, Peru. We report 23 plant species and one hybrid of angiosperms used by the butterflies. Larval host plants were 21 species and five were adult nectar sources. Two species were both host plant and nectar source: Passiflora coccinea Aubl. and Passiflora edulis Sims. The most frequently used plant families were Solanaceae, Passifloraceae, Fabaceae and Aristolochiaceae.

  6. Seasonal abundance, biomass, diversity, and trophic structure of fish in a salt-marsh tidal creek affected by a coastal power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Homer, M.

    1976-01-01

    Monthly measurements were made of the seasonal abundance, biomass, species diversity, and trophic composition of fish inhabiting the tidal creeks of salt marshes receiving thermal discharge near Crystal River, Fla. In the warm months (May through September 1974), mean abundance in the creek receiving thermal discharge was 0.46 individuals/m 2 and mean biomass was 2.2 g (preserved weight)/m 2 . In a control area, creek values in the warm months were 6.77 individuals/m 2 and 9.1 g (preserved weight)/m 2 , respectively. During the cold months (October 1974 through February 1975) there were 0.48 individuals/m 2 and 8.3 g (preserved weight)/m 2 in the discharge area and 0.58 individuals/m 2 and 7.4 g preserved weight/m 2 in the control area. In all months except May 1974 and February 1975, species diversity as species per 1000 individuals was higher in the control creek than in the discharge creek. No apparent differences in fish trophic structure were observed

  7. No evidence for memory interference across sessions in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris under laboratory conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urhan, A Utku; Brodin, Anders

    2015-05-01

    Scatter hoarding birds are known for their accurate spatial memory. In a previous experiment, we tested the retrieval accuracy in marsh tits in a typical laboratory set-up for this species. We also tested the performance of humans in this experimental set-up. Somewhat unexpectedly, humans performed much better than marsh tits. In the first five attempts, humans relocated almost 90 % of the caches they had hidden 5 h earlier. Marsh tits only relocated 25 % in the first five attempts and just above 40 % in the first ten attempts. Typically, in this type of experiment, the birds will be caching and retrieving many times in the same sites in the same experimental room. This is very different from the conditions in nature where hoarding parids only cache once in a caching site. Hence, it is possible that memories from previous sessions will disturb the formation of new memories. If there is such proactive interference, the prediction is that success should decay over sessions. Here, we have designed an experiment to investigate whether there is such memory interference in this type of experiment. We allowed marsh tits and humans to cache and retrieve in three repeated sessions without prior experience of the arena. The performance did not change over sessions, and on average, marsh tits correctly visited around 25 % of the caches in the first five attempts. The corresponding success in humans was constant across sessions, and it was around 90 % on average. We conclude that the somewhat poor performance of the marsh tits did not depend on proactive memory interference. We also discuss other possible reasons for why marsh tits in general do not perform better in laboratory experiments.

  8. Phytophthora Species, New Threats to the Plant Health in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ik-Hwa Hyun

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Given the lack of a resistant genetic pool in host plants, the introduction of exotic invasive pathogens can result in epidemics that affect a specific ecosystem and economy. Plant quarantine, which is designed to protect endemic plant resources, is a highly invaluable safeguard that should keep biosecurity with increasing international trade and global transportation. A total of 34 species of plant pathogens including Phytophthora infestans were documented as introduced from other countries into Korea from 1900 to 2010. The genus Phytophthora, classified in oomycetes, includes more than 120 species that are mostly recognized worldwide as highly invasive plant pathogens. After 2000, over 50 new species of Phytophthora were identified internationally as plant pathogens occurring in crops and forest trees. In Korea, Phytophthora is also one of the most serious plant pathogens. To date, 22 species (about one-fifth of known species of the genus have been identified and reported as plant pathogens in the country. The likelihood of new exotic Phytophthora species being introduced into Korea continues to increase, thus necessitating intensive plant quarantine inspections. As new potential threats to plant health in Korea, six Phytophthora species, namely, P. alni, P. inundata, P. kernoviae, P. pinifolia, P. quercina, and P. ramorum, are discussed in this review with focus on history, disease, biology, management, and plant quarantine issues.

  9. Assessing Salt Marsh Recovery Utilizing Improved Computer-Aided Tomography Technology (CTT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2001 the Padanarum marsh, a small 7.2-acre marsh in Dartmouth, MA, was chosen as a Tidal Hydrology Restoration site. The site was initially characterized as a brackish mostly freshwater deteriorating marsh. In May 2003 the seawater input to this marsh was increased by replacin...

  10. Phytoremediation of Groundwater at Air Force Plant 4, Carswell, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-09-01

    willows, one hackberry, one mesquite, one pecan , one American elm, one unidentified elm, and one unidentified species. Cores were collected from a height...ability of trees to act as pumps was noted in the late 19th century when Eucalyptus trees were planted in Italy and Algeria to dry up marshes. The...Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Italy , Australia, and the United Kingdom. B-2 If shallow ground water contaminated with low level

  11. Taxonomic perspective of plant species yielding vegetable oils used ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A search conducted to determine the plants yielding vegetable oils resulted in 78 plant species with potential use in cosmetics and skin care products. The taxonomic position of these plant species is described with a description of vegetable oils from these plants and their use in cosmetic and skin care products.

  12. Mercury Cycling in Salt Marsh Pond Ecosystems: Cape Cod, MA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguli, P. M.; Gonneea, M. E.; Lamborg, C. H.; Kroeger, K. D.; Swarr, G.; Vadman, K. J.; Baldwin, S.; Brooks, T. W.; Green, A.

    2014-12-01

    We are measuring total mercury (HgT) and monomethylmercury (CH3Hg+ or MMHg) in pore water, surface water, and sediment cores from two salt marsh pond systems on the south shore of Cape Cod, MA to characterize the distribution of mercury species and to identify features that influence mercury speciation and transport. Sage Lot Pond is relatively undisturbed and has low nitrogen loading (12 kg ha-1 y-1). It is part of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Reserve and is surrounded by undeveloped wooded uplands. In contrast, Great Pond is highly impacted. Nitrogen loading to the site is elevated (600 kg ha-1 y-1) and the marsh is adjacent to a large residential area. In both systems, a 1 to 2 m organic-rich peat layer overlies the permeable sand aquifer. Groundwater in this region is typically oxic, where pore water within salt marsh peat is suboxic to anoxic. We hypothesize that redox gradients at the transition from the root zone to peat and at the peat-sand interface may provide habitat for MMHg-producing anaerobic bacteria. Preliminary results from a 2-m nearshore depth profile at Sage Lot Pond indicate HgT in groundwater within the sand aquifer occurred primarily in the > 0.2 μm fraction, with unfiltered concentrations exceeding 100 pM. Filtered (fraction of filtered HgT in peat pore water. Although MMHg in both groundwater and pore water remained around 1 pM throughout our depth profile, we observed an increase in sediment MMHg (0.3 to 1.6 μg/kg) at the peat-sand interface. MMHg comprised ~50% of the HgT concentration in pore water suggesting mercury in the salt marsh peat is biologically available.

  13. Modeling tidal freshwater marsh sustainability in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under a broad suite of potential future scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Kathleen M.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Schoellhamer, David H.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we report on the adaptation and application of a one-dimensional marsh surface elevation model, the Wetland Accretion Rate Model of Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER), to explore the conditions that lead to sustainable tidal freshwater marshes in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. We defined marsh accretion parameters to encapsulate the range of observed values over historic and modern time-scales based on measurements from four marshes in high and low energy fluvial environments as well as possible future trends in sediment supply and mean sea level. A sensitivity analysis of 450 simulations was conducted encompassing a range of eScholarship provides open access, scholarly publishing services to the University of California and delivers a dynamic research platform to scholars worldwide. porosity values, initial elevations, organic and inorganic matter accumulation rates, and sea-level rise rates. For the range of inputs considered, the magnitude of SLR over the next century was the primary driver of marsh surface elevation change. Sediment supply was the secondary control. More than 84% of the scenarios resulted in sustainable marshes with 88 cm of SLR by 2100, but only 32% and 11% of the scenarios resulted in surviving marshes when SLR was increased to 133 cm and 179 cm, respectively. Marshes situated in high-energy zones were marginally more resilient than those in low-energy zones because of their higher inorganic sediment supply. Overall, the results from this modeling exercise suggest that marshes at the upstream reaches of the Delta—where SLR may be attenuated—and high energy marshes along major channels with high inorganic sediment accumulation rates will be more resilient to global SLR in excess of 88 cm over the next century than their downstream and low-energy counterparts. However, considerable uncertainties exist in the projected rates of sea-level rise and sediment avail-ability. In addition, more research is needed to constrain future

  14. Taxonomic evaluation of cyanobacterial microflora from alkaline marshes of Northern Belize. 3. diversity of heterocytous genera

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Komárek, Jiří; Komárková, Jaroslava; Ventura, S.; Kozlíková-Zapomělová, Eliška; Rejmánková, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 105, 3-4 (2017), s. 445-486 ISSN 0029-5035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-00113S Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : alkaline marshes * Caribbean region * cyanobacteria Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EF - Botanics (BC-A) OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany; Plant sciences, botany (BC-A) Impact factor: 0.941, year: 2016

  15. Atrotorquata lineata as a proxy for Juncus roemerianus, Part I: Atrotorquata lineata as a proxy for Juncus roemerianus in surface sediments from high-level salt marshes in the southeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsh Pamela E.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Juncus roemerianus is a plant that occurs at the upper reaches of salt water influence in marshes from Delaware to Texas. In 2006 a palynomorphic fingerprint to identify surface sediment from J. roemerianus marshes was discovered in a South Carolina study (Marsh 2006, Marsh & Cohen 2008. This fingerprint had four components: (1 high palynomorphic abundance, (2 high palynomorphic diversity, (3 high concentration of Fungal Type A (greater than 10% of the palynomorphs in a given sample and (4 the presence of the spores of the fungus Atrotorquata lineata, which occurred in the sediments of J. roemerianus marshes but not in the sediments collected from any other marsh type, even in sediments collected less than a meter away from J. roemerianus.

  16. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

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    Hella Schlinkert

    Full Text Available Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground, the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness. We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their

  17. Modeling wave attenuation by salt marshes in Jamaica Bay, New York, using a new rapid wave model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsooli, Reza; Orton, Philip M.; Mellor, George

    2017-07-01

    Using a new rapid-computation wave model, improved and validated in the present study, we quantify the value of salt marshes in Jamaica Bay—a highly urbanized estuary located in New York City—as natural buffers against storm waves. We augment the MDO phase-averaged wave model by incorporating a vegetation-drag-induced energy dissipation term into its wave energy balance equation. We adopt an empirical formula from literature to determine the vegetation drag coefficient as a function of environmental conditions. Model evaluation using data from laboratory-scale experiments show that the improved MDO model accurately captures wave height attenuation due to submerged and emergent vegetation. We apply the validated model to Jamaica Bay to quantify the influence of coastal-scale salt marshes on storm waves. It is found that the impact of marsh islands is largest for storms with lower flood levels, due to wave breaking on the marsh island substrate. However, the role of the actual marsh plants, Spartina alterniflora, grows larger for storms with higher flood levels, when wave breaking does not occur and the vegetative drag becomes the main source of energy dissipation. For the latter case, seasonality of marsh height is important; at its maximum height in early fall, S. alterniflora causes twice the reduction as when it is at a shorter height in early summer. The model results also indicate that the vegetation drag coefficient varies 1 order of magnitude in the study area, and suggest exercising extra caution in using a constant drag coefficient in coastal wetlands.

  18. Plant volatiles in extreme terrestrial and marine environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Steinke, Michael; McGenity, Terry; Loreto, Francesco

    2014-08-01

    This review summarizes the current understanding on plant and algal volatile organic compound (VOC) production and emission in extreme environments, where temperature, water availability, salinity or other environmental factors pose stress on vegetation. Here, the extreme environments include terrestrial systems, such as arctic tundra, deserts, CO₂ springs and wetlands, and marine systems such as sea ice, tidal rock pools and hypersaline environments, with mangroves and salt marshes at the land-sea interface. The emission potentials at fixed temperature and light level or actual emission rates for phototrophs in extreme environments are frequently higher than for organisms from less stressful environments. For example, plants from the arctic tundra appear to have higher emission potentials for isoprenoids than temperate species, and hypersaline marine habitats contribute to global dimethyl sulphide (DMS) emissions in significant amounts. DMS emissions are more widespread than previously considered, for example, in salt marshes and some desert plants. The reason for widespread VOC, especially isoprenoid, emissions from different extreme environments deserves further attention, as these compounds may have important roles in stress resistance and adaptation to extremes. Climate warming is likely to significantly increase VOC emissions from extreme environments both by direct effects on VOC production and volatility, and indirectly by altering the composition of the vegetation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Growth Responses of Three Dominant Wetland Plant Species to Various Flooding and Nutrient Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, S.; Shaffer, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal Louisiana is experiencing a greater rate of wetland loss than any other wetland system in the United States. This is primarily due to anthropogenic stressors such as flood control levees, backfilling and development of wetlands, and other hydrologic modifications. Methods employed to mitigate wetland loss include the construction of river diversions and assimilation wetlands, which can provide consistent sources of freshwater influx and nutrients to impounded swamps and marshes. It is well known that prolonged flooding causes strain on wetland plant communities and facilitates or exacerbates wetland degradation. However, because river diversions and assimilation wetlands bring high nutrient loads along with freshwater, there is debate over whether prolonged flooding or high influx of nutrients is the primary cause of stress in river diversion and assimilation wetland discharge areas. This mesocosm experiment addresses this question by isolating the effects of flooding and nutrients on the biomass of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), maidencane (Panicum hemitomon), and cordgrass (Spartina patens) over the course of a growing season. The results of this study provide clarity as to whether flooding stress, high nutrient loads, or both cause a reduction in wetland plant productivity. By evaluating the growth responses of T. distichum, P. hemitomon, and S. patens at varying nutrient regimes, we gain insight on how these more dominant species will react to high nutrient discharges from large river diversions, such as those proposed in Louisiana's 2017 Master Plan.

  20. A new synonym of the Neotropical parasitoid wasp genus Notiospathius (Braconidae, Doryctinae), with redescription of two species and description of five new species from Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jesús-Bonilla, Vladimir Salvador; Nunes, Juliano F.; Penteado-Dias, Angélica M.; Csösz, Sándor; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    Abstract A junior synonym of the parasitoid wasp genus Notiospathius Matthews and Marsh, Hansonorum syn. n., with two new combinations, Notiospathius carolinae (Marsh) comb. n. and Notiospathius pauli (Marsh) comb. n., are proposed. Two species of Notiospathius from Brazil originally described in early twentieth century are redescribed, Notiospathius caudatus (Szépligeti) and Notiospathius diversus (Szépligeti). Five new species of Notiospathius from southern Brazil are also described: Notiospathius atra sp. n., Notiospathius johnlennoni sp. n., Notiospathius novateutoniae sp. n., Notiospathius sulcatus sp. n., and Notiospathius xanthofasciatus sp. n. Most of the type specimens of the above new species were collected in the mid twentieth century in the Nova Teutonia region, which is now part of the municipality of Seara in the state of Santa Catarina. PMID:21998528

  1. Alkaloid-Containing Plants Poisonous to Cattle and Horses in Europe

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    Cristina Cortinovis

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Alkaloids, nitrogen-containing secondary plant metabolites, are of major interest to veterinary toxicology because of their occurrence in plant species commonly involved in animal poisoning. Based on epidemiological data, the poisoning of cattle and horses by alkaloid-containing plants is a relatively common occurrence in Europe. Poisoning may occur when the plants contaminate hay or silage or when forage alternatives are unavailable. Cattle and horses are particularly at risk of poisoning by Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron, Conium maculatum (poison hemlock, Datura stramonium (jimson weed, Equisetum palustre (marsh horsetail, Senecio spp. (ragwort and groundsel and Taxus baccata (European yew. This review of poisonous alkaloid-containing plants describes the distribution of these plants, conditions under which poisoning occurs, active toxic principles involved and subsequent clinical signs observed.

  2. Hydrodynamic Modeling of Santa Marta's Big Marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saldarriaga, Juan

    1991-01-01

    The ecological degradation of Santa Marta's Big Marsh and their next areas it has motivated the realization of diagnosis studies and design by several state and private entities. One of the recommended efforts for international advisory it was to develop an ecological model that allowed the handling of the water body and the economic test of alternative of solution to those ecological problems. The first part of a model of this type is in turn a model that simulates the movement of the water inside the marsh, that is to say, a hydrodynamic model. The realization of this was taken charge to the civil engineering department, on the part of Colciencias. This article contains a general explanation of the hydrodynamic pattern that this being developed by a professors group. The ecological causes are described and antecedent, the parts that conform the complex of the Santa Marta big Marsh The marsh modeling is made and it is explained in qualitative form the model type Hydrodynamic used

  3. Comprehensive effects of a sedge plant on CH4 and N2O emissions in an estuarine marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yangjie; Wang, Dongqi; Chen, Zhenlou; Hu, Hong

    2018-05-01

    Although there have been numerous studies focusing on plants' roles in methane (CH4) emissions, the influencing mechanism of wetland plants on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions has rarely been studied. Here, we test whether wetland plants also play an important role in N2O emissions. Gas fluxes were determined using the in situ static flux chamber technique. We also carried out pore-water extractions, sedge removal experiments and tests of N2O transportation. The brackish marsh acted as a net source of both CH4 and N2O. However, sedge plants played the opposite role in CH4 and N2O emissions. The removal of the sedges led to reduced CH4 emissions and increased accumulation of CH4 inside the sediment. Apart from being a conduit for CH4 transport, the sedges made a greater contribution to CH4 oxidation than CH4 production. The sedges exerted inhibitory effects on the release of N2O. The N2O was barely detectable inside the sediment in both vegetated and vegetation-removed plots. The denitrification measurements and nitrogen addition (the addition rates were equal to 0.028, 0.056 and 0.112 g m-2) experiments suggest that denitrification associated with N2O production occurred mainly in the surface sediment layer. The vascular sedge could transport atmospheric N2O downward into the rhizosphere. The rhizospheric sediment, together with the vascular sedge, became an effective sink of atmospheric N2O.

  4. Controls for multi-scale temporal variation in methane flux of a subtropical tidal salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.

    2016-12-01

    Coastal wetlands provide critical carbon sequestration benefits, yet the production of methane (CH4) from these ecosystems can vary by an order of magnitude based on environmental and biological factors. Eddy covariance (EC) measurements for methane flux (FCH4) were performed in a subtropical tidal salt marsh of eastern China over 20 months. Spectral analysis techniques including the continuous wavelet transform, the wavelet coherence, the partial wavelet coherence and the multiple wavelet coherence were employed to analyze the periodicities and the main regulating factors of FCH4 in the tidal salt marsh. The annual budget of methane was 17.8 g C-CH4 m-2 yr-1, which was relatively high compared to those of most reported from inland wetland sites. In non-growing season, release of ebullition was the dominant driving mechanism for variability of FCH4 from hourly to monthly scales. There was no single dominant factor at short-term scale (half-day to 1-day) in growing season. It is worthwhile to note that tide was one of the most important factors regulating FCH4 at short time scale (half-day to 1-day). In comparison, the contribution of temperature to FCH4 at a short time scale (half-day to 1-day) was small due to its narrow range. In addition, plant-modulated transport and gross primary production also contributed to FCH4 at multiple temporal scales in this densely vegetated marsh, especially at weekly to monthly scales. Due to the complex interactive influences of tidal dynamics, temperature fluctuation, plant productivity, plant-mediated transport and release of ebullition on FCH4 exhibited no clear pattern of diurnal variation, but instead was highly variable.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Saltmarsh plant responses to eutrophication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, David Samuel; Warren, R Scott; Deegan, Linda A; Mozdzer, Thomas J

    2016-12-01

    In saltmarsh plant communities, bottom-up pressure from nutrient enrichment is predicted to increase productivity, alter community structure, decrease biodiversity, and alter ecosystem functioning. Previous work supporting these predictions has been based largely on short-term, plot-level (e.g., 1-300 m 2 ) studies, which may miss landscape-level phenomena that drive ecosystem-level responses. We implemented an ecosystem-scale, nine-year nutrient experiment to examine how saltmarsh plants respond to simulated conditions of coastal eutrophication. Our study differed from previous saltmarsh enrichment studies in that we applied realistic concentrations of nitrate (70-100 μM NO 3 - ), the most common form of coastal nutrient enrichment, via tidal water at the ecosystem scale (~60,000 m 2 creeksheds). Our enrichments added a total of 1,700 kg N·creek -1 ·yr -1 , which increased N loading 10-fold vs. reference creeks (low-marsh, 171 g N·m -2 ·yr -1 ; high-marsh, 19 g N·m -2 ·yr -1 ). Nutrients increased the shoot mass and height of low marsh, tall Spartina alterniflora; however, declines in stem density resulted in no consistent increase in aboveground biomass. High-marsh plants S. patens and stunted S. alterniflora did not respond consistently to enrichment. Nutrient enrichment did not shift community structure, contrary to the prediction of nutrient-driven dominance of S. alterniflora and Distichlis spicata over S. patens. Our mild responses may differ from the results of previous studies for a number of reasons. First, the limited response of the high marsh may be explained by loading rates orders of magnitude lower than previous work. Low loading rates in the high marsh reflect infrequent inundation, arguing that inundation patterns must be considered when predicting responses to estuarine eutrophication. Additionally, we applied nitrate instead of the typically used ammonium, which is energetically favored over nitrate for plant uptake. Thus, the

  7. Unsupervised detection of salt marsh platforms: a topographic method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Guillaume C. H.; Mudd, Simon M.; Clubb, Fiona J.

    2018-03-01

    Salt marshes filter pollutants, protect coastlines against storm surges, and sequester carbon, yet are under threat from sea level rise and anthropogenic modification. The sustained existence of the salt marsh ecosystem depends on the topographic evolution of marsh platforms. Quantifying marsh platform topography is vital for improving the management of these valuable landscapes. The determination of platform boundaries currently relies on supervised classification methods requiring near-infrared data to detect vegetation, or demands labour-intensive field surveys and digitisation. We propose a novel, unsupervised method to reproducibly isolate salt marsh scarps and platforms from a digital elevation model (DEM), referred to as Topographic Identification of Platforms (TIP). Field observations and numerical models show that salt marshes mature into subhorizontal platforms delineated by subvertical scarps. Based on this premise, we identify scarps as lines of local maxima on a slope raster, then fill landmasses from the scarps upward, thus isolating mature marsh platforms. We test the TIP method using lidar-derived DEMs from six salt marshes in England with varying tidal ranges and geometries, for which topographic platforms were manually isolated from tidal flats. Agreement between manual and unsupervised classification exceeds 94 % for DEM resolutions of 1 m, with all but one site maintaining an accuracy superior to 90 % for resolutions up to 3 m. For resolutions of 1 m, platforms detected with the TIP method are comparable in surface area to digitised platforms and have similar elevation distributions. We also find that our method allows for the accurate detection of local block failures as small as 3 times the DEM resolution. Detailed inspection reveals that although tidal creeks were digitised as part of the marsh platform, unsupervised classification categorises them as part of the tidal flat, causing an increase in false negatives and overall platform

  8. Unsupervised detection of salt marsh platforms: a topographic method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. C. H. Goodwin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes filter pollutants, protect coastlines against storm surges, and sequester carbon, yet are under threat from sea level rise and anthropogenic modification. The sustained existence of the salt marsh ecosystem depends on the topographic evolution of marsh platforms. Quantifying marsh platform topography is vital for improving the management of these valuable landscapes. The determination of platform boundaries currently relies on supervised classification methods requiring near-infrared data to detect vegetation, or demands labour-intensive field surveys and digitisation. We propose a novel, unsupervised method to reproducibly isolate salt marsh scarps and platforms from a digital elevation model (DEM, referred to as Topographic Identification of Platforms (TIP. Field observations and numerical models show that salt marshes mature into subhorizontal platforms delineated by subvertical scarps. Based on this premise, we identify scarps as lines of local maxima on a slope raster, then fill landmasses from the scarps upward, thus isolating mature marsh platforms. We test the TIP method using lidar-derived DEMs from six salt marshes in England with varying tidal ranges and geometries, for which topographic platforms were manually isolated from tidal flats. Agreement between manual and unsupervised classification exceeds 94 % for DEM resolutions of 1 m, with all but one site maintaining an accuracy superior to 90 % for resolutions up to 3 m. For resolutions of 1 m, platforms detected with the TIP method are comparable in surface area to digitised platforms and have similar elevation distributions. We also find that our method allows for the accurate detection of local block failures as small as 3 times the DEM resolution. Detailed inspection reveals that although tidal creeks were digitised as part of the marsh platform, unsupervised classification categorises them as part of the tidal flat, causing an increase in false negatives

  9. Geostatistical evaluation of integrated marsh management impact on mosquito vectors using before-after-control-impact (BACI design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dempsey Mary E

    2009-06-01

    areas led to a significant decrease (~44% in the number of times when the larviciding threshold was reached. This reduction, in turn, resulted in a significant decrease (~74% in the number of larvicide applications in the treatment areas post-project. The remaining larval habitat in the treatment areas had a different geographic distribution and was largely confined to the restored marsh surface (i.e. filled-in mosquito ditches; however only ~21% of the restored marsh surface supported mosquito production. Conclusion The geostatistical analysis showed that OMWM demonstrated considerable potential for effective mosquito control and compatibility with other natural resource management goals such as restoration, wildlife habitat enhancement, and invasive species abatement. GPS and GIS tools are invaluable for large scale project design, data collection, and data analysis, with geostatistical methods serving as an alternative or a supplement to the conventional inference statistics in evaluating the project outcome.

  10. Geostatistical evaluation of integrated marsh management impact on mosquito vectors using before-after-control-impact (BACI) design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochlin, Ilia; Iwanejko, Tom; Dempsey, Mary E; Ninivaggi, Dominick V

    2009-06-23

    the number of times when the larviciding threshold was reached. This reduction, in turn, resulted in a significant decrease (approximately 74%) in the number of larvicide applications in the treatment areas post-project. The remaining larval habitat in the treatment areas had a different geographic distribution and was largely confined to the restored marsh surface (i.e. filled-in mosquito ditches); however only approximately 21% of the restored marsh surface supported mosquito production. The geostatistical analysis showed that OMWM demonstrated considerable potential for effective mosquito control and compatibility with other natural resource management goals such as restoration, wildlife habitat enhancement, and invasive species abatement. GPS and GIS tools are invaluable for large scale project design, data collection, and data analysis, with geostatistical methods serving as an alternative or a supplement to the conventional inference statistics in evaluating the project outcome.

  11. Hemigrapsus sanguineus in Long Island salt marshes: experimental evaluation of the interactions between an invasive crab and resident ecosystem engineers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley J. Peterson

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The invasive Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, has recently been observed occupying salt marshes, a novel environment for this crab species. As it invades this new habitat, it is likely to interact with a number of important salt marsh species. To understand the potential effects of H. sanguineus on this ecosystem, interactions between this invasive crab and important salt marsh ecosystem engineers were examined. Laboratory experiments demonstrated competition for burrows between H. sanguineus and the native fiddler crab, Uca pugilator. Results indicate that H. sanguineus is able to displace an established fiddler crab from its burrow. Feeding experiments revealed that the presence of H. sanguineus has a significantly negative impact on the number as well as the biomass of ribbed mussels (Geukensia demissa consumed by the green crab, Carcinus maenas, although this only occurred at high predator densities. In addition, when both crabs foraged together, there was a significant shift in the size of mussels consumed. These interactions suggests that H. sanguineus may have long-term impacts and wide-ranging negative effects on the saltmarsh ecosystem.

  12. Hemigrapsus sanguineus in Long Island salt marshes: experimental evaluation of the interactions between an invasive crab and resident ecosystem engineers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Bradley J; Fournier, Alexa M; Furman, Bradley T; Carroll, John M

    2014-01-01

    The invasive Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, has recently been observed occupying salt marshes, a novel environment for this crab species. As it invades this new habitat, it is likely to interact with a number of important salt marsh species. To understand the potential effects of H. sanguineus on this ecosystem, interactions between this invasive crab and important salt marsh ecosystem engineers were examined. Laboratory experiments demonstrated competition for burrows between H. sanguineus and the native fiddler crab, Uca pugilator. Results indicate that H. sanguineus is able to displace an established fiddler crab from its burrow. Feeding experiments revealed that the presence of H. sanguineus has a significantly negative impact on the number as well as the biomass of ribbed mussels (Geukensia demissa) consumed by the green crab, Carcinus maenas, although this only occurred at high predator densities. In addition, when both crabs foraged together, there was a significant shift in the size of mussels consumed. These interactions suggests that H. sanguineus may have long-term impacts and wide-ranging negative effects on the saltmarsh ecosystem.

  13. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Modelling the long-term vertical dynamics of salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccarato, Claudia; Teatini, Pietro

    2017-04-01

    Salt marshes are vulnerable environments hosting complex interactions between physical and biological processes with a strong influence on the dynamics of the marsh evolution. The estimation and prediction of the elevation of a salt-marsh platform is crucial to forecast the marsh growth or regression under different scenarios considering, for example, the potential climate changes. The long-term vertical dynamics of a salt marsh is predicted with the aid of an original finite-element (FE) numerical model accounting for the marsh accretion and compaction and for the variation rates of the relative sea level rise, i.e., land subsidence of the marsh basement and eustatic rise of the sea level. The accretion term considers the vertical sedimentation of organic and inorganic material over the marsh surface, whereas the compaction reflects the progressive consolidation of the porous medium under the increasing load of the overlying younger deposits. The modelling approach is based on a 2D groundwater flow simulator, which provides the pressure evolution within a compacting/accreting vertical cross-section of the marsh assuming that the groundwater flow obeys the relative Darcy's law, coupled to a 1D vertical geomechanical module following Terzaghi's principle of effective intergranular stress. Soil porosity, permeability, and compressibility may vary with the effective intergranular stress according to empirically based relationships. The model also takes into account the geometric non-linearity arising from the consideration of large solid grain movements by using a Lagrangian approach with an adaptive FE mesh. The element geometry changes in time to follow the deposit consolidation and the element number increases in time to follow the sedimentation of new material. The numerical model is tested on different realistic configurations considering the influence of (i) the spatial distribution of the sedimentation rate in relation to the distance from the marsh margin, (ii

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Estuaries as filters: the role of tidal marshes in trace metal removal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Teuchies

    Full Text Available Flux calculations demonstrate that many estuaries are natural filters for trace metals. Yet, the underlying processes are poorly investigated. In the present study, it was hypothesized that intertidal marshes contribute significantly to the contaminant filter function of estuaries. Trace metal concentrations and sediment characteristics were measured along a transect from the subtidal, over an intertidal flat and marsh to a restored marsh with controlled reduced tide. Metal concentrations in the intertidal and restored marsh were found to be a factor two to five higher than values in the subtidal and intertidal flat sediments. High metal concentrations and high accretion rates indicate a high metal accumulation capacity of the intertidal marshes. Overbank sedimentation in the tidal marshes of the entire estuary was calculated to remove 25% to 50% of the riverine metal influx, even though marshes comprise less than 8% of the total surface of the estuary. In addition, the large-scale implementation of planned tidal marsh restoration projects was estimated to almost double the trace metal storage capacity of the present natural tidal marshes in the estuary.

  17. Estuaries as Filters: The Role of Tidal Marshes in Trace Metal Removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuchies, Johannes; Vandenbruwaene, Wouter; Carpentier, Roos; Bervoets, Lieven; Temmerman, Stijn; Wang, Chen; Maris, Tom; Cox, Tom J. S.; Van Braeckel, Alexander; Meire, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Flux calculations demonstrate that many estuaries are natural filters for trace metals. Yet, the underlying processes are poorly investigated. In the present study, it was hypothesized that intertidal marshes contribute significantly to the contaminant filter function of estuaries. Trace metal concentrations and sediment characteristics were measured along a transect from the subtidal, over an intertidal flat and marsh to a restored marsh with controlled reduced tide. Metal concentrations in the intertidal and restored marsh were found to be a factor two to five higher than values in the subtidal and intertidal flat sediments. High metal concentrations and high accretion rates indicate a high metal accumulation capacity of the intertidal marshes. Overbank sedimentation in the tidal marshes of the entire estuary was calculated to remove 25% to 50% of the riverine metal influx, even though marshes comprise less than 8% of the total surface of the estuary. In addition, the large-scale implementation of planned tidal marsh restoration projects was estimated to almost double the trace metal storage capacity of the present natural tidal marshes in the estuary. PMID:23950927

  18. Performance of dryland and wetland plant species on extensive green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J Scott; Ranalli, Melissa A; Lundholm, Jeremy T

    2011-04-01

    Green roofs are constructed ecosystems where plants perform valuable services, ameliorating the urban environment through roof temperature reductions and stormwater interception. Plant species differ in functional characteristics that alter ecosystem properties. Plant performance research on extensive green roofs has so far indicated that species adapted to dry conditions perform optimally. However, in moist, humid climates, species typical of wetter soils might have advantages over dryland species. In this study, survival, growth and the performance of thermal and stormwater capture functions of three pairs of dryland and wetland plant species were quantified using an extensive modular green roof system. Seedlings of all six species were germinated in a greenhouse and planted into green roof modules with 6 cm of growing medium. There were 34 treatments consisting of each species in monoculture and all combinations of wet- and dryland species in a randomized block design. Performance measures were survival, vegetation cover and roof surface temperature recorded for each module over two growing seasons, water loss (an estimate of evapotranspiration) in 2007, and albedo and water capture in 2008. Over two seasons, dryland plants performed better than wetland plants, and increasing the number of dryland species in mixtures tended to improve functioning, although there was no clear effect of species or habitat group diversity. All species had survival rates >75 % after the first winter; however, dryland species had much greater cover, an important indicator of green roof performance. Sibbaldiopsis tridentata was the top performing species in monoculture, and was included in the best treatments. Although dryland species outperformed wetland species, planting extensive green roofs with both groups decreased performance only slightly, while increasing diversity and possibly habitat value. This study provides further evidence that plant composition and diversity can

  19. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...... abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects...... and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during...

  20. Syntaxonomy and zonation patterns in coastal salt marshes of the Uilkraals Estuary, Western Cape (South Africa)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mucina, L.; Janssen, J.A.M.; O'Callaghan, M.

    2003-01-01

    Vegetation on salt marshes of the Uilkraals Estuary (near Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa) is described and classified into 11 associations and/or rank-less plant communities (further subdivided into a number of sub-units). These communities were grouped into 6 high-rank syntaxa (alliances and

  1. Distribution and content of ellagitannins in Finnish plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moilanen, Johanna; Koskinen, Piia; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2015-08-01

    The results of a screening study, in which a total of 82 Finnish plant species were studied for their ellagitannin composition and content, are presented. The total ellagitannin content was determined by HPLC-DAD, the detected ellagitannins were further characterized by HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS and divided into four structurally different sub-groups. Thirty plant species were found to contain ellagitannins and the ellagitannin content in the crude extracts varied from few mgg(-1) to over a hundred mgg(-1). Plant families that were rich in ellagitannins (>90mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were Onagraceae, Lyhtraceae, Geraniaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Fagaceae and some species from Rosaceae. Plant species that contained moderate amounts of ellagitannins (31-89mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were representatives of the family Rosaceae. Plant species that contained low amounts of ellagitannins (1-30mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were representatives of the families Betulaceae and Myricaceae. The specific ellagitannin composition of the species allowed their chemotaxonomic classification and the comparison between the older Cronquist's classification and the nowadays preferred Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Thermal Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Plant Species and Stress Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlerf, M.; Rock, G.; Ullah, S.; Gerhards, M.; Udelhoven, T.; Skidmore, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    Thermal infrared (TIR) spectroscopy offers a novel opportunity for measuring emissivity spectra of natural surfaces. Emissivity spectra are not directly measured, they first have to be retrieved from the raw measurements. Once retrieved, the spectra can be used, for example, to discriminate plant species or to detect plant stress. Knowledge of plant species distribution is essential for the sustainable management of ecosystems. Remote sensing of plant species has so far mostly been limited to data in the visible and near-infrared where, however, different species often reveal similar reflectance curves. Da Luz and Crowley showed in a recent paper that in the TIR plants indeed have distinct spectral features. Also with a certain species, subtle changes of emissivity in certain wavebands may occur, when biochemical compounds change due to osmotic adjustment induced by water stress. Here we show, that i) emissive imaging spectroscopy allows for reliable and accurate retrieval of plant emissivity spectra, ii) emissivity spectra are well suited to discriminate plant species, iii) a reduction in stomatal conductance (caused by stress) changes the thermal infrared signal. For 13 plant species in the laboratory and for 8 plant species in a field setup emissivity spectra were retrieved. A comparison shows, that for most species the shapes of the emissivity curves agree quite well, but that clear offsets between the two types of spectra exist. Discrimination analysis revealed that based on the lab spectra, 13 species could be distinguished with an average overall classification accuracy of 92% using the 6 best spectral bands. For the field spectra (8 species), a similar high OAA of 89% was achieved. Species discrimination is likely to be possible due to variations in the composition of the superficial epidermal layer of plant leaves and in internal chemical concentrations producing unique emissivity features. However, to date, which spectral feature is responsible for which

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Balanced Sediment Fluxes in Southern California's Mediterranean-climate Zone Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosencranz, J. A.; Dickhudt, P.; Ganju, N. K.; Thorne, K.; Takekawa, J.; Ambrose, R. F.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Brosnahan, S.; MacDonald, G. M.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marsh elevation and geomorphic stability depends on mineral sedimentation. Many southern California, USA salt marshes import sediment during El Niño storm events, but sediment fluxes and mechanisms during dry weather are also potentially important for marsh stability. We calculated tidal creek sediment fluxes within a sediment starved 1.5 km2 salt marsh (Seal Beach) and a less modified 1 km2 marsh (Mugu) with a watershed sediment supply. We measured salt marsh plain suspended sediment concentration and vertical accretion using single stage samplers and marker horizons. At Seal Beach, a 2014 storm yielded 39 and 28 g/s mean sediment fluxes and imported 12000 and 8800 kg in a western channel. This offset 8700 kg export during two months of dry weather, while landward net fluxes in the eastern channel accounted for 33% of the import. During the storm, suspended sediment concentrations on the marsh plain increased by a factor of four; accretion was 1-2 mm near creek levees. An exceptionally high tide sequence at Mugu yielded 4.4 g/s mean sediment flux, importing 1700 kg, accounting for 20% of dry weather fluxes. Overall, low sediment fluxes were observed, suggesting that these salt marshes are currently geomorphically stable. Our results suggest that storms and exceptionally high lunar tides may play large roles, importing sediment and maintaining dry weather sediment flux balances for southern California salt marshes. However, under future climate change and sea-level rise scenarios, results suggest that balanced sediment fluxes may lead to marsh elevational instability, based on estimated mineral sediment deficits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Brackish marsh zones as a waterfowl habitat resource in submerged aquatic vegetation beds in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMarco, Kristin; Hillmann, Eva R.; Brasher, Michael G.; LaPeyre, Megan K.

    2016-01-01

    Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds are shallow coastal habitats that are increasingly exposed to the effects of sea-level rise (SLR). In the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM), an area especially vulnerable to SLR, the abundance and distribution of SAV food resources (seeds, rhizomes, and tissue) can influence the carrying capacity of coastal marshes to support wintering waterfowl. Despite the known importance of SAV little is known about their distribution across coastal landscapes and salinity zones or how they may be impacted by SLR. We estimated SAV cover and seed biomass in coastal marshes from Texas to Alabama from 1 June – 15 September 2013 to assess variation in SAV and seed resource distribution and abundance across the salinity gradient. Percent cover of SAV was similar among salinity zones (10%–20%) although patterns of distribution differed. Specifically, SAV occurred less frequently in saline zones, but when present the percent coverage was greater than in fresh, intermediate and brackish. Mean seed biomass varied greatly and did not differ significantly among salinity zones. However, when considering only seed species identified as waterfowl foods, the mean seed biomass was lower in saline zones (1.2 g m–2). Alteration of nGoM marshes due to SLR will likely shift the distribution and abundance of SAV resources, and these shifts may affect carrying capacity of coastal marshes for waterfowl and other associated species.

  8. Tidal Marshes as Pulsing Systems: New Estimates of Marsh-Carbon Export and Fate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logozzo, L. A.; Neale, P.; Tzortziou, M.; Nelson, N.; Megonigal, P.

    2016-02-01

    We investigated wetland-estuarine exchanges of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and chlorophyll a (chl a) in the Chesapeake Bay Kirkpatrick wetlands, an ecosystem that is representative of brackish marshes with organic-rich soils in North America. 1 L water samples were collected every hour over multiple semidiurnal tidal cycles (24 h deployments) and the flow was continuously measured every minute over the course of the study. DIC samples were collected and filtered on site. Fluxes were estimated using the measured flow and concentrations of biogeochemical variables (DOC, DIC, and chl a as a measure of algal biomass). aCDOM(300) was used as a proxy for CDOM amount to observe variations over two semidiurnal tidal cycles. Relative to high tide water, low tide water was consistently enriched in DOC, DIC, and CDOM, whereas it was consistently depleted in chl a. Initial estimates of fluxes over the tidal cycle showed net export of DIC and DOC from the marsh, and net import of chl a into the marsh. These results are consistent with DOC flux estimates from previous studies, but our method utilizes high temporal resolution flow measurements, improving flux estimate accuracy. Transect sampling from the marsh into the sub-estuary during ebbing tide indicated a strong negative gradient in a­CDOM­(300) and non-conservative mixing with salinity. The observed gradients in CDOM absorption spectral shape (slope and slope ratios) and the relative changes in the major fluorescence components identified in 3D fluorescence excitation-emission-matrices, indicated strong photochemical degradation in the estuary and a shift from higher to lower molecular-weight organic compounds. The weaker gradients observed for DOC and DIC compared to aCDOM(300) indicate that while microbial degradation does occur, photobleaching is the dominant degradation mechanism for CDOM in the estuary.

  9. Estimating Carbon Stocks and Atmospheric Exchange of Depressional Marshes on the Central Florida Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benscoter, B.; McClellan, M. D.; Benavides, V.; Harshbarger, D.; Comas, X.

    2014-12-01

    Depressional marshes are ubiquitous throughout central and south Florida. Often distributed within a matrix of sandy pine flatwoods and hammocks, these wetlands have a seasonally variable water table, alternating between inundation and complete drydown. Though these landforms are typically small individually, they comprise a substantial component of the landscape and provide vital habitat for an array of flora and fauna. Given their fluctuating hydrology, conditions for soil and plant carbon (C) exchange mechanisms can vary greatly both spatially and temporally. In this study, we are developing a C budget for depressional marsh landforms by assessing ecosystem carbon exchange along an ecotone gradient and quantifying belowground C stocks using non-invasive geophysical methods (ground penetrating radar, GPR) at the Disney Wilderness Preserve (DWP) in Kissimmee, FL, USA. Using a series of closed chambers transecting the marsh from the center outward into the surrounding flatwoods, we are quantifying the effects of seasonal water table change on the magnitude of C exchange. Three dimensional GPR surveys were used to quantify peat layer thickness, and were constrained with direct core sampling to verify subsurface lithology and to assess peat C content. Using the relationship between landform surface area and belowground C volume, we assessed the cumulative C storage in depressional marshes across the DWP landscape. In conjunction with a nearby eddy covariance tower and seasonal hydrologic data, these response functions will help to evaluate the contribution of these small but widespread landscape features on regional C cycling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Surface elevation dynamics in vegetated Spartina marshes versus unvegetated tidal ponds along the mid-Atlantic coast, USA, with implications to waterbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, R. Michael; Cahoon, Donald R.; Prosser, Diann J.; Sanders, Geoffrey; Hensel, Philippe

    2006-01-01

    Mid Atlantic coastal salt marshes contain a matrix of vegetation diversified by tidal pools, pannes, and creeks, providing habitats of varying importance to many species of breeding, migrating, and wintering waterbirds. We hypothesized that changes in marsh elevation were not sufficient to keep pace with those of sea level in both vegetated and unvegetated Spartina alterniflora sites at a number of mid lagoon marsh areas along the Atlantic coast. We also predicted that northern areas would suffer less of a deficit than would southern sites. Beginning in August 1998, we installed surface elevation tables at study sites on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, southern New Jersey, and two locations along Virginia's eastern shore. We compared these elevation changes over the 4-4.5 yr record with the long-term (> 50 yr) tidal records for each locale. We also collected data on waterbird use of these sites during all seasons of the year, based on ground surveys and replicated surveys from observation platforms. Three patterns of marsh elevation change were found. At Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod, the Spartina marsh surface tracked the pond surface, both keeping pace with regional sea-level rise rates. In New Jersey, the ponds are becoming deeper while marsh surface elevation remains unchanged from the initial reading. This may result in a submergence of the marsh in the future, assuming sea-level rise continues at current rates. Ponds at both Virginia sites are filling in, while marsh surface elevation rates do not seem to be keeping pace with local sea-level rise. An additional finding at all sites was that subsidence in the vegetated marsh surfaces was less than in unvegetated areas, reflecting the importance of the root mat in stabilizing sediments. The implications to migratory waterbirds are significant. Submergence of much of the lagoonal marsh area in Virginia and New Jersey over the next century could have major negative (i.e., flooding) effects on nesting populations of marsh

  12. The relationship between silicon availability, and growth and silicon concentration of the salt marsh halophyte Spartina anglica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Bakker, N.; Hemminga, M.A.; Van Soelen, J.

    1999-01-01

    Analysis of silicon concentrations of various halophytes from salt marshes in the S.W. Netherlands shows that the silicon concentration of Spartina anglica (Gramineae) is relatively high. To study the influence of dissolved Si concentrations on growth and plant tissue concentrations of S. anglica,

  13. Carbon Sequestration in Tidal Salt Marshes of the Northeast United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Katherine; Halifax, Holly; Adamowicz, Susan C; Craft, Christopher

    2015-10-01

    Tidal salt marshes provide important ecological services, habitat, disturbance regulation, water quality improvement, and biodiversity, as well as accumulation and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in vegetation and soil organic matter. Different management practices may alter their capacity to provide these ecosystem services. We examined soil properties (bulk density, percent organic C, percent N), C and N pools, C sequestration and N accumulation at four marshes managed with open marsh water management (OMWM) and four marshes that were not at U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) on the East Coast of the United States. Soil properties (bulk density, percent organic C, percent N) exhibited no consistent differences among managed and non-OMWM marshes. Soil organic carbon pools (0-60-cm depth) also did not differ. Managed marshes contained 15.9 kg C/m(2) compared to 16.2 kg C/m(2) in non-OMWM marshes. Proportionately, more C (per unit volume) was stored in surface than in subsurface soils. The rate of C sequestration, based on (137)Cs and (210)Pb dating of soil cores, ranged from 41 to 152 g/m(2)/year. Because of the low emissions of CH4 from salt marshes relative to freshwater wetlands and the ability to sequester C in soil, protection and restoration of salt marshes can be a vital tool for delivering key ecosystem services, while at the same time, reducing the C footprint associated with managing these wetlands.

  14. Connecting infrared spectra with plant traits to identify species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buitrago, Maria F.; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Groen, Thomas A.; Hecker, Christoph A.

    2018-05-01

    Plant traits are used to define species, but also to evaluate the health status of forests, plantations and crops. Conventional methods of measuring plant traits (e.g. wet chemistry), although accurate, are inefficient and costly when applied over large areas or with intensive sampling. Spectroscopic methods, as used in the food industry and mineralogy, are nowadays applied to identify plant traits, however, most studies analysed visible to near infrared, while infrared spectra of longer wavelengths have been little used for identifying the spectral differences between plant species. This study measured the infrared spectra (1.4-16.0 μm) on individual, fresh leaves of 19 species (from herbaceous to woody species), as well as 14 leaf traits for each leaf. The results describe at which wavelengths in the infrared the leaves' spectra can differentiate most effectively between these plant species. A Quadratic Discrimination Analysis (QDA) shows that using five bands in the SWIR or the LWIR is enough to accurately differentiate these species (Kappa: 0.93, 0.94 respectively), while the MWIR has a lower classification accuracy (Kappa: 0.84). This study also shows that in the infrared spectra of fresh leaves, the identified species-specific features are correlated with leaf traits as well as changes in their values. Spectral features in the SWIR (1.66, 1.89 and 2.00 μm) are common to all species and match the main features of pure cellulose and lignin spectra. The depth of these features varies with changes of cellulose and leaf water content and can be used to differentiate species in this region. In the MWIR and LWIR, the absorption spectra of leaves are formed by key species-specific traits including lignin, cellulose, water, nitrogen and leaf thickness. The connection found in this study between leaf traits, features and spectral signatures are novel tools to assist when identifying plant species by spectroscopy and remote sensing.

  15. Salt marsh persistence is threatened by predicted sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Sarah C.; Sax, Dov F.; Palmer, Megan E.; Booth, Harriet S.; Deegan, Linda A.; Bertness, Mark D.; Leslie, Heather M.

    2016-11-01

    Salt marshes buffer coastlines and provide critical ecosystem services from storm protection to food provision. Worldwide, these ecosystems are in danger of disappearing if they cannot increase elevation at rates that match sea-level rise. However, the magnitude of loss to be expected is not known. A synthesis of existing records of salt marsh elevation change was conducted in order to consider the likelihood of their future persistence. This analysis indicates that many salt marshes did not keep pace with sea-level rise in the past century and kept pace even less well over the past two decades. Salt marshes experiencing higher local sea-level rise rates were less likely to be keeping pace. These results suggest that sea-level rise will overwhelm most salt marshes' capacity to maintain elevation. Under the most optimistic IPCC emissions pathway, 60% of the salt marshes studied will be gaining elevation at a rate insufficient to keep pace with sea-level rise by 2100. Without mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions this potential loss could exceed 90%, which will have substantial ecological, economic, and human health consequences.

  16. Seasonal dynamics of trace elements in tidal salt marsh soils as affected by the flow-sediment regulation regime.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junhong Bai

    Full Text Available Soil profiles were collected in three salt marshes with different plant species (i.e. Phragmites australis, Tamarix chinensis and Suaeda salsa in the Yellow River Delta (YRD of China during three seasons (summer and fall of 2007 and the following spring of 2008 after the flow-sediment regulation regime. Total elemental contents of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectrometry to investigate temporal variations in trace elements in soil profiles of the three salt marshes, assess the enrichment levels and ecological risks of these trace elements in three sampling seasons and identify their influencing factors. Trace elements did not change significantly along soil profiles at each site in each sampling season. The highest value for each sampling site was observed in summer and the lowest one in fall. Soils in both P. australis and S. salsa wetlands tended to have higher trace element levels than those in T. chinensis wetland. Compared to other elements, both Cd and As had higher enrichment factors exceeding moderate enrichment levels. However, the toxic unit (TU values of these trace elements did not exceed probable effect levels. Correlation analysis showed that these trace elements were closely linked to soil properties such as moisture, sulfur, salinity, soil organic matter, soil texture and pH values. Principal component analysis showed that the sampling season affected by the flow-sediment regulation regime was the dominant factor influencing the distribution patterns of these trace elements in soils, and plant community type was another important factor. The findings of this study could contribute to wetland conservation and management in coastal regions affected by the hydrological engineering.

  17. Stress and subsidy effects of seagrass wrack duration, frequency, and magnitude on salt marsh community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Torrance C; Kimbro, David L; Hughes, Anne Randall

    2017-07-01

    Environmental perturbations can strongly affect community processes and ecosystem functions by acting primarily as a subsidy that increases productivity, a stress that decreases productivity, or both, with the predominant effect potentially shifting from subsidy to stress as the overall intensity of the perturbation increases. While perturbations are often considered along a single axis of intensity, they consist of multiple components (e.g., magnitude, frequency, and duration) that may not have equivalent stress and/or subsidy effects. Thus, different combinations of perturbation components may elicit community and ecosystem responses that differ in strength and/or direction (i.e., stress or subsidy) even if they reflect a similar overall perturbation intensity. To assess the independent and interactive effects of perturbation components, we experimentally manipulated the magnitude, frequency, and duration of wrack deposition, a common stress-subsidy in a variety of coastal systems. The effects of wrack perturbation on salt marsh community and ecosystem properties were assessed both in the short-term (at the end of a 12-week experimental manipulation) and long-term (6 months after the end of the experiment). In the short-term, plants and associated benthic invertebrates exhibited primarily stress-based responses to wrack perturbation. The extent of these stress effects on density of the dominant plant Spartina alterniflora, total plant percent cover, invertebrate abundance, and sediment oxygen availability were largely determined by perturbation duration. Yet, higher nitrogen content of Spartina, which indicates a subsidy effect of wrack, was influenced primarily by perturbation magnitude in the short-term. In the longer term, perturbation magnitude determined the extent of both stress and subsidy effects of wrack perturbation, with lower subordinate plant percent cover and snail density, and higher Spartina nitrogen content in high wrack biomass treatments

  18. Overstory treatment and planting season affect survival of replacement tree species in emerald ash borer threatened Fraxinus nigra forests in Minnesota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher E. Looney; Anthony W. D' Amato; Brian J. Palik; Robert A. Slesak

    2015-01-01

    Fraxinus nigra Marsh. (black ash) wetland forests in northern Minnesota, USA, are threatened by the invasive insect, emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (EAB)). A potential management option is promoting regeneration of tree species that are not EAB hosts to maintain ecosystem functions. Using an operational-scale...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine C Shepard

    Full Text Available 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

  20. Biodiversity hotspots house most undiscovered plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joppa, Lucas N; Roberts, David L; Myers, Norman; Pimm, Stuart L

    2011-08-09

    For most organisms, the number of described species considerably underestimates how many exist. This is itself a problem and causes secondary complications given present high rates of species extinction. Known numbers of flowering plants form the basis of biodiversity "hotspots"--places where high levels of endemism and habitat loss coincide to produce high extinction rates. How different would conservation priorities be if the catalog were complete? Approximately 15% more species of flowering plant are likely still undiscovered. They are almost certainly rare, and depending on where they live, suffer high risks of extinction from habitat loss and global climate disruption. By using a model that incorporates taxonomic effort over time, regions predicted to contain large numbers of undiscovered species are already conservation priorities. Our results leave global conservation priorities more or less intact, but suggest considerably higher levels of species imperilment than previously acknowledged.

  1. Site and plant species are important determinants of the Methylobacterium community composition in the plant phyllosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Claudia; Ramette, Alban; Frances, Lisa; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Vorholt, Julia A

    2010-06-01

    The plant phyllosphere constitutes a habitat for numerous microorganisms; among them are members of the genus Methylobacterium. Owing to the ubiquitous occurrence of methylobacteria on plant leaves, they represent a suitable target for studying plant colonization patterns. The influence of the factor site, host plant species, time and the presence of other phyllosphere bacteria on Methylobacterium community composition and population size were evaluated in this study. Leaf samples were collected from Arabidopsis thaliana or Medicago truncatula plants and from the surrounding plant species at several sites. The abundance of cultivable Methylobacterium clearly correlated with the abundance of other phyllosphere bacteria, suggesting that methylobacteria constitute a considerable and rather stable fraction of the phyllosphere microbiota under varying environmental conditions. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was applied to characterize the Methylobacterium community composition and showed the presence of similar communities on A. thaliana plants at most sites in 2 consecutive years of sampling. A substantial part of the observed variation in the community composition was explained by site and plant species, especially in the case of the plants collected at the Arabidopsis sites (50%). The dominating ARISA peaks that were detected on A. thaliana plants were found on other plant species grown at the same site, whereas some different peaks were detected on A. thaliana plants from other sites. This indicates that site-specific factors had a stronger impact on the Methylobacterium community composition than did plant-specific factors and that the Methylobacterium-plant association is not highly host plant species specific.

  2. Plant species richness enhances nitrogen retention in green roof plots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

    Vegetated (green) roofs have become common in many cities and are projected to continue to increase in coverage, but little is known about the ecological properties of these engineered ecosystems. In this study, we tested the biodiversity-ecosystem function hypothesis using commercially available green roof trays as replicated plots with varying levels of plant species richness (0, 1, 3, or 6 common green roof species per plot, using plants with different functional characteristics). We estimated accumulated plant biomass near the peak of the first full growing season (July 2013) and measured runoff volume after nearly every rain event from September 2012 to September 2013 (33 events) and runoff fluxes of inorganic nutrients ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate from a subset of 10 events. We found that (1) total plant biomass increased with increasing species richness, (2) green roof plots were effective at reducing storm runoff, with vegetation increasing water retention more than soil-like substrate alone, but there was no significant effect of plant species identity or richness on runoff volume, (3) green roof substrate was a significant source of phosphate, regardless of presence/absence of plants, and (4) dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN = nitrate + ammonium) runoff fluxes were different among plant species and decreased significantly with increasing plant species richness. The variation in N retention was positively related to variation in plant biomass. Notably, the increased biomass and N retention with species richness in this engineered ecosystem are similar to patterns observed in published studies from grasslands and other well-studied ecosystems. We suggest that more diverse plantings on vegetated roofs may enhance the retention capacity for reactive nitrogen. This is of importance for the sustained health of vegetated roof ecosystems, which over time often experience nitrogen limitation, and is also relevant for water quality in receiving waters

  3. Anthropogenic ecological change and impacts on mosquito breeding and control strategies in salt-marshes, Northern Territory, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacups, Susan; Warchot, Allan; Whelan, Peter

    2012-06-01

    Darwin, in the tropical north of Australia, is subject to high numbers of mosquitoes and several mosquito-borne diseases. Many of Darwin's residential areas were built in close proximity to tidally influenced swamps, where long-term storm-water run-off from nearby residences into these swamps has led to anthropogenic induced ecological change. When natural wet-dry cycles were disrupted, bare mud-flats and mangroves were transformed into perennial fresh to brackish-water reed swamps. Reed swamps provided year-round breeding habitat for many mosquito species, such that mosquito abundance was less predictable and seasonally dependent, but constant and often occurring in plague proportions. Drainage channels were constructed throughout the wetlands to reduce pooled water during dry-season months. This study assesses the impact of drainage interventions on vegetation and mosquito ecology in three salt-marshes in the Darwin area. Findings revealed a universal decline in dry-season mosquito abundance in each wetland system. However, some mosquito species increased in abundance during wet-season months. Due to the high expense and potentially detrimental environmental impacts of ecosystem and non-target species disturbance, large-scale modifications such as these are sparingly undertaken. However, our results indicate that some large scale environmental modification can assist the process of wetland restoration, as appears to be the case for these salt marsh systems. Drainage in all three systems has been restored to closer to their original salt-marsh ecosystems, while reducing mosquito abundances, thereby potentially lowering the risk of vector-borne disease transmission and mosquito pest biting problems.

  4. Invasive Plant Species in the National Parks of Vietnam

    OpenAIRE

    Bernard Dell; Pham Quang Thu; Dang Thanh Tan

    2012-01-01

    The impact of invasive plant species in national parks and forests in Vietnam is undocumented and management plans have yet to be developed. Ten national parks, ranging from uncut to degraded forests located throughout Vietnam, were surveyed for invasive plant species. Transects were set up along roads, trails where local people access park areas, and also tracks through natural forest. Of 134 exotic weeds, 25 were classified as invasive species and the number of invasive species ranged from ...

  5. Generalist Bee Species on Brazilian Bee-Plant Interaction Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid de Matos Peixoto Kleinert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Determining bee and plant interactions has an important role on understanding general biology of bee species as well as the potential pollinating relationship between them. Bee surveys have been conducted in Brazil since the end of the 1960s. Most of them applied standardized methods and had identified the plant species where the bees were collected. To analyze the most generalist bees on Brazilian surveys, we built a matrix of bee-plant interactions. We estimated the most generalist bees determining the three bee species of each surveyed locality that presented the highest number of interactions. We found 47 localities and 39 species of bees. Most of them belong to Apidae (31 species and Halictidae (6 families and to Meliponini (14 and Xylocopini (6 tribes. However, most of the surveys presented Apis mellifera and/or Trigona spinipes as the most generalist species. Apis mellifera is an exotic bee species and Trigona spinipes, a native species, is also widespread and presents broad diet breath and high number of individuals per colony.

  6. Differential responses of soil bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists to plant species richness and plant functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassen, Sigrid; Cortois, Roeland; Martens, Henk; de Hollander, Mattias; Kowalchuk, George A; van der Putten, Wim H; De Deyn, Gerlinde B

    2017-08-01

    Plants are known to influence belowground microbial community structure along their roots, but the impacts of plant species richness and plant functional group (FG) identity on microbial communities in the bulk soil are still not well understood. Here, we used 454-pyrosequencing to analyse the soil microbial community composition in a long-term biodiversity experiment at Jena, Germany. We examined responses of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists to plant species richness (communities varying from 1 to 60 sown species) and plant FG identity (grasses, legumes, small herbs, tall herbs) in bulk soil. We hypothesized that plant species richness and FG identity would alter microbial community composition and have a positive impact on microbial species richness. Plant species richness had a marginal positive effect on the richness of fungi, but we observed no such effect on bacteria, archaea and protists. Plant species richness also did not have a large impact on microbial community composition. Rather, abiotic soil properties partially explained the community composition of bacteria, fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), archaea and protists. Plant FG richness did not impact microbial community composition; however, plant FG identity was more effective. Bacterial richness was highest in legume plots and lowest in small herb plots, and AMF and archaeal community composition in legume plant communities was distinct from that in communities composed of other plant FGs. We conclude that soil microbial community composition in bulk soil is influenced more by changes in plant FG composition and abiotic soil properties, than by changes in plant species richness per se. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Murray, A Brad

    2007-04-10

    The evolution of tidal marsh platforms and interwoven channel networks cannot be addressed without treating the two-way interactions that link biological and physical processes. We have developed a 3D model of tidal marsh accretion and channel network development that couples physical sediment transport processes with vegetation biomass productivity. Tidal flow tends to cause erosion, whereas vegetation biomass, a function of bed surface depth below high tide, influences the rate of sediment deposition and slope-driven transport processes such as creek bank slumping. With a steady, moderate rise in sea level, the model builds a marsh platform and channel network with accretion rates everywhere equal to the rate of sea-level rise, meaning water depths and biological productivity remain temporally constant. An increase in the rate of sea-level rise, or a reduction in sediment supply, causes marsh-surface depths, biomass productivity, and deposition rates to increase while simultaneously causing the channel network to expand. Vegetation on the marsh platform can promote a metastable equilibrium where the platform maintains elevation relative to a rapidly rising sea level, although disturbance to vegetation could cause irreversible loss of marsh habitat.

  8. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Saiz

    Full Text Available In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences, with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize

  9. Ozone injury to some Japanese woody plant species in summer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadota, M; Ohta, K

    1972-01-01

    Ozone is an important constituent of photochemical oxidant smog. This paper reveals the semiquantitative responses of various Japanese woody plant species to ozone (0.25 ppm). Plant species examined in this investigation include four coniferous trees, eleven evergreen broad-leaf trees, and twenty-one deciduous broad-leaf trees or shrubs. Generally, plants having thin leaves were susceptible. The plant species with higher activity of photosynthesis appeared to be more susceptible. As a whole, evergreen broad-leaf trees could be said to be more resistant to ozone than deciduous broad-leaf trees.

  10. Medium and large sized mammal assemblages in coastal dunes and adjacent marshes in southern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v35i1.11705

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Resende Secchi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents data on species composition and use of habitat of medium and large sized mammal assemblages in a coastal dunes segment and adjacent marshes at Rio Grande municipality, southern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Records were obtained through visualization of living animals and identification of footprints, feces and remains. From November 2007 to September 2008, nine 600 m long and 5 m wide linear transects were settled on coastal dunes segment (frontal and intermediate dunes and adjacent marshes, parallel to ocean shore on a 23 km section at Cassino Beach. Transects were settled in areas under high, medium and low levels of anthropic occupancy (A1, A2 and A3, respectively, being three transects on each area. Fourteen species were recorded, distributed in five orders and 10 families. Lepus europaeus was the most frequent species (81.9% of the transect walks, present in all areas and seasons, followed by Lycalopex gimnocercus (23.5% and Conepatus chinga (10.3%.  Five species were present on A1, seven on A2 and fourteen on A3. Seven species were recorded on frontal dunes, nine on intermediate dunes and 13 on adjacent marshes.  

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Georges

    2011-05-01

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

  12. Nutrient cycling in salt marshes: An ecosystem service to reduce eutrophication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lillebø, A. I.; Sousa, A. I.; Flindt, M. R.

    2013-01-01

    and sequestration in salt marshes. This chapter will thus emphasise that salt marsh halophytes have a crucial role on nutrient cycling and sequestration, providing ecological services that contribute to maintain the ecosystem health. © 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.......Salt marshes are classified as sensitive habitat under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), which aims to promote the maintenance of biodiversity. Worldwide, the reduction of salt marsh areas, as a result of anthropogenic disturbance is of major concern, and several studies on the ecology...

  13. Inorganic Carbon and Oxygen Dynamics in a Marsh-dominated Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, S. R.; Di Iorio, D.; Cai, W. J.; Hopkinson, C.

    2017-12-01

    A free-water mass balance-based study was conducted to address the rate of metabolism and net carbon exchange for the tidal wetland and estuarine portion of the coastal ocean and the uncertainties associated with this approach were assessed. Open water diurnal O2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were measured seasonally in a salt marsh-estuary in Georgia, U.S.A. with a focus on the marsh-estuary linkage associated with tidal flooding. We observed that the overall estuarine system was a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere and coastal ocean and a net sink for oceanic and atmospheric O2. Rates of metabolism were extremely high, with respiration (43 mol m-2 yr-1) greatly exceeding gross primary production (28 mol m-2 yr-1), such that the overall system was net heterotrophic. Metabolism measured with DIC were higher than with O2, which we attribute to high rates of anaerobic respiration and reduced sulfur storage in salt marsh sediments, and we assume substantial levels of anoxygenic photosynthesis. We found gas exchange from a flooded marsh is substantial, accounting for about 28% of total O2 and CO2 air-water exchange. A significant percentage of the overall estuarine aquatic metabolism is attributable to metabolism of marsh organisms during inundation. Our study suggests not rely on oceanographic stoichiometry to convert from O2to C based measurements when constructing C balances for the coastal ocean. We also suggest eddy covariance measurements of salt marsh net ecosystem exchange underestimate net ecosystem production as they do not account for lateral DIC exchange associated with marsh tidal inundation. With the increase of global temperature and sea level rise, salt marshes are likely to export more inorganic carbon to the atmosphere and the coastal ocean due to the decrease of solubility, the increase of aquatic and benthic metabolic activities and the longer marsh inundation.

  14. Host plant use among closely related Anaea butterfly species (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    QUEIROZ J. M.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a great number of Charaxinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae species in the tropics whose larvae feed on several plant families. However the genus Anaea is almost always associated with Croton species (Euphorbiaceae. This work describes patterns of host plant use by immature and adult abundance on different vertical strata of sympatric Anaea species in a forest of Southeastern Brazil. Quantitative samples of leaves were taken in April/1999 and May/2000 to collect eggs and larvae of four Anaea species on C.alchorneicarpus, C. floribundus and C. salutaris in a semideciduous forest. Sampled leaves were divided into three classes of plant phenological stage: saplings, shrubs and trees. The results showed that the butterfly species are segregating in host plant use on two scales: host plant species and plant phenological stages. C. alchorneicarpus was used by only one Anaea species, whereas C. floribundus was used by three species and C. salutaris by four Anaea species. There was one Anaea species concentrated on sapling, another on sapling/shrub and two others on shrub/tree leaves. Adults of Anaea were more frequent at canopy traps but there were no differences among species caught in traps at different vertical positions. This work supplements early studies on host plant use among Charaxinae species and it describes how a guild of closely related butterfly species may be organized in a complex tropical habitat.

  15. Invasive exotic plant species in Sierra Nevada ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carla M. D' Antonio; Eric L. Berlow; Karen L. Haubensak

    2004-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada is a topographically and floristically diverse region of the western United States. While it comprises only a fifth of the total land area of California, half of the native plant species in the state occur within the range. In addition, more than 400 plant species are endemic to the Sierra Nevada and many of these are listed as threatened or have...

  16. Where temperate meets tropical: Multi-factorial effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen enrichment, and competition on a mangrove-salt marsh community

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Rooth, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    Our understanding of how elevated CO2 and interactions with other factors will affect coastal plant communities is limited. Such information is particularly needed for transitional communities where major vegetation types converge. Tropical mangroves (Avicennia germinans) intergrade with temperate salt marshes (Spartina alterniflora) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and this transitional community represents an important experimental system to test hypotheses about global change impacts on critical ecosystems. We examined the responses of A. germinans (C3) and S. alterniflora (C4), grown in monoculture and mixture in mesocosms for 18 months, to interactive effects of atmospheric CO2 and pore water nitrogen (N) concentrations typical of these marshes. A. germinans, grown without competition from S. alterniflora, increased final biomass (35%) under elevated CO2 treatment and higher N availability. Growth of A. germinans was severely curtailed, however, when grown in mixture with S. alterniflora, and enrichment with CO2 and N could not reverse this growth suppression. A field experiment using mangrove seedlings produced by CO2- and N-enriched trees confirmed that competition from S. alterniflora suppressed growth under natural conditions and further showed that herbivory greatly reduced survival of all seedlings. Thus, mangroves will not supplant marsh vegetation due to elevated CO2 alone, but instead will require changes in climate, environmental stress, or disturbance to alter the competitive balance between these species. However, where competition and herbivory are low, elevated CO2 may accelerate mangrove transition from the seedling to sapling stage and also increase above- and belowground production of existing mangrove stands, particularly in combination with higher soil N. ?? 2008 The Authors Journal compilation ?? 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Interspecific competition of early successional plant species in ex-arable fields as influenced by plant-soil feedback

    OpenAIRE

    Jing, Jingying; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Van der Putten, Wim H.

    2015-01-01

    Plant–soil feedback can affect plants that belong to the same (intraspecific feedback) or different species (interspecific feedback). However, little is known about how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks influence interspecific plant competition. Here, we used plants and soil from early-stage ex-arable fields to examine how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks affect the performance of 10 conditioning species and the focal species, Jacobaea vulgaris. Plants were grown alon...

  18. Peat Archives in the Hudson River Estuary… Marsh Formation, Carbon Storage and Release, and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteet, D. M.; Corbett, E. J.; Nichols, J. E.; Kenna, T. C.; Chang, C.

    2017-12-01

    We target deep peat stores (at least 8 meters) of carbon in the lower Hudson Estuary, which formed as the glacial fjord became an estuary with mid-Holocene sea level rise. These deep marshes play an extremely important role in the estuary health and stability in a changing climate. Never before have we faced the threats to coastal marshes that we are facing today, and the resulting sedimentation rates, inorganic/organic component histories, pollen, macrofossil, isotopic, and XRF data reveal critical information about past vegetation and climate change. Long-term shifts in organic/inorganic storage appear to be linked to drought, as watershed erosion results in more sand, silt and clay in the marshes. Climatic shifts often result in regional watershed shifts in vegetation, both locally and regionally. Understanding how these marshes are linked to human impact (disturbance, invasive species, higher nitrogen, heavy metal pollution, dams) over the last four centuries is critical to providing management of these key ecosystems, and their preservation as sea level rises. Quantification of processes that cause carbon degradation and release from these wetlands to the estuary is also key to this investigation. Peat loss would contribute to heavy metal pollution in the estuary as well as carbon loss. Young investigators from secondary schools in New York City participated in much of the fieldwork as part of the NASA/GISS NYC Research Initiative and the LDEO Secondary School Field Research Carbon Team.

  19. Balanced sediment fluxes in southern California’s Mediterranean-climate zone salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosencranz, Jordan A.; Ganju, Neil K.; Ambrose, Richard F.; Brosnahan, Sandra M.; Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2016-01-01

    Salt marsh elevation and geomorphic stability depends on mineral sedimentation. Many Mediterranean-climate salt marshes along southern California, USA coast import sediment during El Niño storm events, but sediment fluxes and mechanisms during dry weather are potentially important for marsh stability. We calculated tidal creek sediment fluxes within a highly modified, sediment-starved, 1.5-km2 salt marsh (Seal Beach) and a less modified 1-km2marsh (Mugu) with fluvial sediment supply. We measured salt marsh plain suspended sediment concentration and vertical accretion using single stage samplers and marker horizons. At Seal Beach, a 2014 storm yielded 39 and 28 g/s mean sediment fluxes and imported 12,000 and 8800 kg in a western and eastern channel. Western channel storm imports offset 8700 kg exported during 2 months of dry weather, while eastern channel storm imports augmented 9200 kg imported during dry weather. During the storm at Mugu, suspended sediment concentrations on the marsh plain increased by a factor of four; accretion was 1–2 mm near creek levees. An exceptionally high tide sequence yielded 4.4 g/s mean sediment flux, importing 1700 kg: 20 % of Mugu’s dry weather fluxes. Overall, low sediment fluxes were observed, suggesting that these salt marshes are geomorphically stable during dry weather conditions. Results suggest storms and high lunar tides may play large roles, importing sediment and maintaining dry weather sediment flux balances for southern California salt marshes. However, under future climate change and sea level rise scenarios, results suggest that balanced sediment fluxes lead to marsh elevational instability based on estimated mineral sediment deficits.

  20. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt, South-west Netherlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oenema, O.; DeLaune, R.D.

    1988-01-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of 137 Cs in sediment cores, from historic documents, and from artificial white-coloured tracer layers in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt. Salt marsh accretion is related to the steady rise of the mean high tide in the Eastern Scheldt during the last few decades. Mean accretion rates vary from 0.4-0.9 cm year -1 in the St Annaland marsh to 1.0-1.5 cm year -1 in the Rattekaai marsh. Sediment accumulation in accreting marshes exceed the loss of sediment, by retreat of the marsh cliffs, by a factor of 10-20. Short-term spatial and temporal variations in accretion rates are large. Spatial variations are associated with levee and backmarsh sites and the density of marsh vegetation. Temporal variations are mainly related to fluctuations in hydrodynamic conditions. The net vertical accretion rate of organic carbon is 0.4 ± 0.1 kg m -2 year -1 , approximately half this rate is associated with the current deposit, and the other half with net additions from the belowground root biomass. A simple model for the root biomass distribution of Spartina anglica with depth and the depth-dependent fossilization of root biomass in sediments of the Rattekaai marsh is presented. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Effects of 'target' plant species body size on neighbourhood species richness and composition in old-field vegetation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon S Schamp

    Full Text Available Competition is generally regarded as an important force in organizing the structure of vegetation, and evidence from several experimental studies of species mixtures suggests that larger mature plant size elicits a competitive advantage. However, these findings are at odds with the fact that large and small plant species generally coexist, and relatively smaller species are more common in virtually all plant communities. Here, we use replicates of ten relatively large old-field plant species to explore the competitive impact of target individual size on their surrounding neighbourhoods compared to nearby neighbourhoods of the same size that are not centred by a large target individual. While target individuals of the largest of our test species, Centaurea jacea L., had a strong impact on neighbouring species, in general, target species size was a weak predictor of the number of other resident species growing within its immediate neighbourhood, as well as the number of resident species that were reproductive. Thus, the presence of a large competitor did not restrict the ability of neighbouring species to reproduce. Lastly, target species size did not have any impact on the species size structure of neighbouring species; i.e. they did not restrict smaller, supposedly poorer competitors, from growing and reproducing close by. Taken together, these results provide no support for a size-advantage in competition restricting local species richness or the ability of small species to coexist and successfully reproduce in the immediate neighbourhood of a large species.

  3. Nitrous oxide emissions could reduce the blue carbon value of marshes on eutrophic estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roughan, Brittney L.; Kellman, Lisa; Smith, Erin; Chmura, Gail L.

    2018-04-01

    The supply of nitrogen to ecosystems has surpassed the Earth’s Planetary Boundary and its input to the marine environment has caused estuarine waters to become eutrophic. Excessive supply of nitrogen to salt marshes has been associated with shifts in species’ distribution and production, as well as marsh degradation and loss. Our study of salt marshes in agriculturally intensive watersheds shows that coastal eutrophication can have an additional impact. We measured gas fluxes from marsh soils and verified emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in nitrogen-loaded marshes while the reference marsh was a sink for this gas. Salt marsh soils are extremely efficient carbon sinks, but emissions of N2O, a greenhouse gas 298 times more potent than CO2, reduces the value of the carbon sink, and in some marshes, may counterbalance any value of stored carbon towards mitigation of climate change. Although more research is merited on the nitrogen transformations and carbon storage in eutrophic marshes, the possibility of significant N2O emissions should be considered when evaluating the market value of carbon in salt marshes subject to high levels of nitrogen loading.

  4. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  5. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  6. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghahramanzadeh, R; Esselink, G; Kodde, L P; Duistermaat, H; van Valkenburg, J L C H; Marashi, S H; Smulders, M J M; van de Wiel, C C M

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to prevent them from entering a country. However, many related species are commercially traded, and distinguishing invasive from non-invasive species based on morphology alone is often difficult for plants in a vegetative stage. In this regard, DNA barcoding could become a good alternative. In this study, 242 samples belonging to 26 species from 10 genera of aquatic plants were assessed using the chloroplast loci trnH-psbA, matK and rbcL. Despite testing a large number of primer sets and several PCR protocols, the matK locus could not be amplified or sequenced reliably and therefore was left out of the analysis. Using the other two loci, eight invasive species could be distinguished from their respective related species, a ninth one failed to produce sequences of sufficient quality. Based on the criteria of universal application, high sequence divergence and level of species discrimination, the trnH-psbA noncoding spacer was the best performing barcode in the aquatic plant species studied. Thus, DNA barcoding may be helpful with enforcing a ban on trade of such invasive species, such as is already in place in the Netherlands. This will become even more so once DNA barcoding would be turned into machinery routinely operable by a nonspecialist in botany and molecular genetics. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Development of a decision support tool for water and resource management using biotic, abiotic, and hydrological assessments of Topock Marsh, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist-Johnson, Christopher; Hanson, Leanne; Daniels, Joan; Talbert, Colin; Haegele, Jeanette

    2016-05-23

    Topock Marsh is a large wetland adjacent to the Colorado River and the main feature of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge (Havasu NWR) in southern Arizona. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Bureau of Reclamation began a project to improve water management capabilities at Topock Marsh and protect habitats and species. Initial construction required a drawdown, which caused below-average inflows and water depths in 2010–11. U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) scientists collected an assemblage of biotic, abiotic, and hydrologic data from Topock Marsh during the drawdown and immediately after, thus obtaining valuable information needed by FWS.Building upon that work, FORT developed a decision support system (DSS) to better understand ecosystem health and function of Topock Marsh under various hydrologic conditions. The DSS was developed using a spatially explicit geographic information system package of historical data, habitat indices, and analytical tools to synthesize outputs for hydrologic time periods. Deliverables include high-resolution orthorectified imagery of Topock Marsh; a DSS tool that can be used by Havasu NWR to compare habitat availability associated with three hydrologic scenarios (dry, average, wet years); and this final report which details study results. This project, therefore, has addressed critical FWS management questions by integrating ecologic and hydrologic information into a DSS framework. This DSS will assist refuge management to make better informed decisions about refuge operations and better understand the ecological results of those decisions by providing tools to identify the effects of water operations on species-specific habitat and ecological processes. While this approach was developed to help FWS use the best available science to determine more effective water management strategies at Havasu NWR, technologies used in this study could be applied elsewhere within the region.

  8. Plant Species Identification by Bi-channel Deep Convolutional Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Guiqing; Xia, Zhaoqiang; Zhang, Qiqi; Zhang, Haixi; Fan, Jianping

    2018-04-01

    Plant species identification achieves much attention recently as it has potential application in the environmental protection and human life. Although deep learning techniques can be directly applied for plant species identification, it still needs to be designed for this specific task to obtain the state-of-art performance. In this paper, a bi-channel deep learning framework is developed for identifying plant species. In the framework, two different sub-networks are fine-tuned over their pretrained models respectively. And then a stacking layer is used to fuse the output of two different sub-networks. We construct a plant dataset of Orchidaceae family for algorithm evaluation. Our experimental results have demonstrated that our bi-channel deep network can achieve very competitive performance on accuracy rates compared to the existing deep learning algorithm.

  9. Coexistence induced by pollen limitation in flowering-plant species.

    OpenAIRE

    Ishii, R; Higashi, M

    2001-01-01

    We report a novel mechanism for species coexistence that does not invoke a trade-off relationship in the case of outbreeding flowering plants. Competition for pollination services may lead to interspecific segregation of the timing of flowering among plants. This, in turn, sets limits on the pollination services, which restrain the population growth of a competitively superior species, thereby allowing an inferior species to sustain its population in the habitat. This explains the often-obser...

  10. VT Biodiversity Project - Plant and Animal Species Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) This database contains town-level totals of documented species records for several plant and animal taxa including vascular plants, trees,...

  11. Plant antiherbivore defenses in Fabaceae species of the Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, T E; Sartori, A L B; Rodrigues, M L M

    2017-01-01

    The establishment and maintenance of plant species in the Chaco, one of the widest continuous areas of forests in the South American with sharp climatic variations, are possibly related to biological features favoring plants with particular defenses. This study assesses the physical and chemical defenses mechanisms against herbivores of vegetative and reproductive organs. Its analyses of 12 species of Fabaceae (Leguminosae) collected in remnants of Brazilian Chaco shows that 75% present structural defense characters and 50% have chemical defense - defense proteins in their seeds, like protease inhibitors and lectins. Physical defenses occur mainly on branches (78% of the species), leaves (67%), and reproductive organs (56%). The most common physical characters are trichomes and thorns, whose color represents a cryptic character since it does not contrast with the other plant structures. Defense proteins occur in different concentrations and molecular weight classes in the seeds of most species. Protease inhibitors are reported for the first time in seeds of: Albizia niopoides, Anadenanthera colubrina, Mimosa glutinosa, Prosopis rubriflora, and Poincianella pluviosa. The occurrence of physical and chemical defenses in members of Fabaceae indicate no associations between defense characters in these plant species of the Chaco.

  12. Plant species distribution along environmental gradient: do belowground interactions with fungi matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loïc ePellissier

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution of plants along environmental gradients is constrained by abiotic and biotic factors. Cumulative evidence attests of the impact of abiotic factors on plant distributions, but only few studies discuss the role of belowground communities. Soil fungi, in particular, are thought to play an important role in how plant species assemble locally into communities. We first review existing evidence, and then test the effect of the number of soil fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs on plant species distributions using a recently collected dataset of plant and metagenomic information on soil fungi in the Western Swiss Alps. Using species distribution models, we investigated whether the distribution of individual plant species is correlated to the number of OTUs of two important soil fungal classes known to interact with plants: the Glomeromycetes, that are obligatory symbionts of plants, and the Agaricomycetes, that may be facultative plant symbionts, pathogens, or wood decayers. We show that including the fungal richness information in the models of plant species distributions improves predictive accuracy. Number of fungal OTUs is especially correlated to the distribution of high elevation plant species. We suggest that high elevation soil show greater variation in fungal assemblages that may in turn impact plant turnover among communities. We finally discuss how to move beyond correlative analyses, through the design of field experiments manipulating plant and fungal communities along environmental gradients.

  13. The factors controlling species density in herbaceous plant communities: An assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

    This paper evaluates both the ideas and empirical evidence pertaining to the control of species density in herbaceous plant communities. While most theoretical discussions of species density have emphasized the importance of habitat productivity and disturbance regimes, many other factors (e.g. species pools, plant litter accumulation, plant morphology) have been proposed to be important. A review of literature presenting observations on the density of species in small plots (in the vicinity of a few square meters or less), as well as experimental studies, suggests several generalizations: (1) Available data are consistent with an underlying unimodal relationship between species density and total community biomass. While variance in species density is often poorly explained by predictor variables, there is strong evidence that high levels of community biomass are antagonistic to high species density. (2) Community biomass is just one of several factors affecting variations in species density. Multivariate analyses typically explain more than twice as much variance in species density as can be explained by community biomass alone. (3) Disturbance has important and sometimes complex effects on species density. In general, the evidence is consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis but exceptions exist and effects can be complex. (4) Gradients in the species pool can have important influences on patterns of species density. Evidence is mounting that a considerable amount of the observed variability in species density within a landscape or region may result from environmental effects on the species pool. (5) Several additional factors deserve greater consideration, including time lags, species composition, plant morphology, plant density and soil microbial effects. Based on the available evidence, a conceptual model of the primary factors controlling species density is presented here. This model suggests that species density is controlled by the effects of

  14. Spatial patterns in accretion on barrier-island salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, de A.V.; Veeneklaas, R.M.; Kuijper, D.P.J.; Bakker, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    On minerogenic barrier-island salt marshes, sedimentation is spatially heterogeneous. Although the main forcing factors for sedimentation are known, much less is known about the characteristic sizes of this spatial patterning. Such patterning gives information on the spatial component of salt-marsh

  15. Chasing boundaries and cascade effects in a coupled barrier-marsh-lagoon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Trueba, Jorge; Mariotti, Giulio

    2017-08-01

    The long-term dynamic evolution of an idealized barrier-marsh-lagoon system experiencing sea-level rise is studied by coupling two existing numerical models. The barrier model accounts for the interaction between shoreface dynamics and overwash flux, which allows the occurrence of barrier drowning. The marsh-lagoon model includes both a backbarrier marsh and an interior marsh, and accounts for the modification of the wave regime associated with changes in lagoon width and depth. Overwash, the key process that connects the barrier shoreface with the marsh-lagoon ecosystems, is formulated to account for the role of the backbarrier marsh. Model results show that a number of factors that are not typically associated with the dynamics of coastal barriers can enhance the rate of overwash-driven landward migration by increasing backbarrier accommodation space. For instance, lagoon deepening could be triggered by marsh edge retreat and consequent export of fine sediment via tidal dispersion, as well as by an expansion of inland marshes and consequent increase in accommodation space to be filled in with sediment. A deeper lagoon results in a larger fraction of sediment overwash being subaqueous, which coupled with a slow shoreface response sending sediment onshore can trigger barrier drowning. We therefore conclude that the supply of fine sediments to the back-barrier and the dynamics of both the interior and backbarrier marsh can be essential for maintaining the barrier system under elevated rates of sea-level rise. Our results highlight the importance of considering barriers and their associated backbarriers as part of an integrated system in which sediment is exchanged.

  16. The impact of herbivores on nitrogen mineralization rate: consequences for salt-marsh succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijnen, Harm J; van der Wal, René; Bakker, Jan P

    1999-02-01

    Soil net N-mineralization rate was measured along a successional gradient in salt-marsh sites that were grazed by vertebrate herbivores, and in 5-year-old exclosures from which the animals were excluded. Mineralization rate was significantly higher at ungrazed than at grazed sites. In the absence of grazing, mineralization rate increased over the course of succession, whereas it remained relatively low when sites were grazed. The largest differences in mineralization rate between grazed and ungrazed sites were found at late successional stages where grazing pressure was lowest. The amount of plant litter was significantly lower at grazed sites. In addition, the amount of litter and potential litter (non-woody, live shoots) was linearly related to net N-mineralization rate. This implies that herbivores reduced mineralization rate by preventing litter accumulation. Bulk density was higher at grazed salt-marsh sites than at ungrazed sites. This factor may also have contributed to the differences in net N-mineralization rate between grazed and ungrazed sites.

  17. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt, South-West Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O.; DeLaune, R.D.

    1988-04-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of /sup 137/Cs in sediment cores, from historic documents, and from artificial white-coloured tracer layers in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt. Salt marsh accretion is related to the steady rise of the mean high tide in the Eastern Scheldt during the last few decades. Mean accretion rates vary from 0.4-0.9 cm year/sup -1/ in the St Annaland marsh to 1.0-1.5 cm year/sup -1/ in the Rattekaai marsh. Sediment accumulation in accreting marshes exceed the loss of sediment, by retreat of the marsh cliffs, by a factor of 10-20. Short-term spatial and temporal variations in accretion rates are large. Spatial variations are associated with levee and backmarsh sites and the density of marsh vegetation. Temporal variations are mainly related to fluctuations in hydrodynamic conditions. The net vertical accretion rate of organic carbon is 0.4 +- 0.1 kg m/sup -2/ year/sup -1/, approximately half this rate is associated with the current deposit, and the other half with net additions from the belowground root biomass. A simple model for the root biomass distribution of Spartina anglica with depth and the depth-dependent fossilization of root biomass in sediments of the Rattekaai marsh is presented.

  18. Phyto-treatment of domestic waste water using artificial marshes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaca, Rodrigo; Sanchez, Fabian [Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP), Quito (Ecuador)

    2009-12-19

    The phyto-treatment of domestic waste water by the use of artificial marshes system consists in beds of treatment working in series, this beds are constituted basically by inverse filters of inert granular material where the nutrients are cached from the residual water. Most of the treatment is carried in roots steams and leaves of defined species of plants. The rest of the treatment is performed by anaerobic and aerobic bacteria that grow within the beds. In the proximities of the roots and the area near the bed surface, aerobic processes take place and in deepest zones, anaerobic processes take place. It is desirable that the aerobic process will be the predominant one, mainly to avoid bad odors; this is obtained with the correct selection of plants which must have dense and deep roots. The economic factor is also important for the selection of this type of treatment system, the cost of operation and maintenance is minimum compared with other type of systems. The operation cost is practically zero because it is not required provision of electrical energy for its operation; energy used is the solar energy through the photosynthesis process. The maintenance is reduced to pruning and cleaning that can be performed twice a year. The goals of this paper is to show our experiences during the construction, stabilization and operation of these systems installed in 13 OCP locations with different types of weather and explain the conclusions arrived after construction and operation; present this kind of systems as an alternative of economic wastewater treatment in terms of construction, operation and maintenance and as environment friendly treatment. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Epigenetic variation in mangrove plants occurring in contrasting natural environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Fonseca Lira-Medeiros

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications, such as cytosine methylation, are inherited in plant species and may occur in response to biotic or abiotic stress, affecting gene expression without changing genome sequence. Laguncularia racemosa, a mangrove species, occurs in naturally contrasting habitats where it is subjected daily to salinity and nutrient variations leading to morphological differences. This work aims at unraveling how CpG-methylation variation is distributed among individuals from two nearby habitats, at a riverside (RS or near a salt marsh (SM, with different environmental pressures and how this variation is correlated with the observed morphological variation.Significant differences were observed in morphological traits such as tree height, tree diameter, leaf width and leaf area between plants from RS and SM locations, resulting in smaller plants and smaller leaf size in SM plants. Methyl-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP was used to assess genetic and epigenetic (CpG-methylation variation in L. racemosa genomes from these populations. SM plants were hypomethylated (14.6% of loci had methylated samples in comparison to RS (32.1% of loci had methylated samples. Within-population diversity was significantly greater for epigenetic than genetic data in both locations, but SM also had less epigenetic diversity than RS. Frequency-based (G(ST and multivariate (beta(ST methods that estimate population structure showed significantly greater differentiation among locations for epigenetic than genetic data. Co-Inertia analysis, exploring jointly the genetic and epigenetic data, showed that individuals with similar genetic profiles presented divergent epigenetic profiles that were characteristic of the population in a particular environment, suggesting that CpG-methylation changes may be associated with environmental heterogeneity.In spite of significant morphological dissimilarities, individuals of L. racemosa from salt marsh and riverside presented

  1. Human population, grasshopper and plant species richness in European countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

    Surprisingly, several studies over large scales have reported a positive spatial correlation of people and biodiversity. This pattern has important implications for conservation and has been documented for well studied taxa such as plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, it is unknown whether the pattern applies also to invertebrates other than butterflies and more work is needed to establish whether the species-people relationship is explained by both variables correlating with other environmental factors. We studied whether grasshopper species richness (Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera) is related to human population size in European countries. As expected, the number of Caelifera species increases significantly with increasing human population size. But this is not the case when controlling for country area, latitude and number of plant species. Variations in Caelifera species richness are primarily associated with variations in plant species richness. Caelifera species richness also increases with decreasing mean annual precipitation, Gross Domestic Product per capita (used as an indicator for economic development) and net fertility rate of the human population. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis that the broad-scale human population-biodiversity correlations can be explained by concurrent variations in factors other than human population size such as plant species richness, environmental productivity, or habitat heterogeneity. Nonetheless, more populated countries in Europe still have more Caelifera species than less populated countries and this poses a particular challenge for conservation.

  2. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  3. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Ding

    Full Text Available Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  4. On the potential of plant species invasion influencing bio-geomorphologic landscape formation in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwarz, C.; Ysebaert, T.; Vandenbruwaene, W.; Temmerman, S.; Zhang, L.; Herman, P.

    2016-01-01

    Species invasions are known to change biotic and abiotic ecosystem characteristics such as community structure, cycling of materials and dynamics of rivers. However, their ability to alter interactions between biotic and abiotic ecosystem components, in particular bio-geomorphic feedbacks and the

  5. Comparison of trace metals in South Carolina floodplain and marsh sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gardner, L.R.; Chen, H.S.; Settlemyre, J.L.

    1978-01-01

    A comparative study of trace metals (copper, zinc, lead, and molybdenum) in sediment cores from a pristine marsh near North Inlet, S.C., a polluted marsh near Charleston Harbor, S.C., and South Carolina river floodplains indicates that the Charleston Harbor marsh samples have significantly higher concentrations of copper, zinc, and lead than either North Inlet samples or river floodplain samples. It is not clear, however, whether this result can be attributed to industrial contamination because the peak concentrations of copper and zinc in cores from the Charleston Harbor marsh occur at depths between 10 and 60 cm rather than at or near the sediment surface, as is the case for well-documented occurrences of contaminated marine sediments. Also, both marsh areas show similar linear relationships for copper vs. zinc, which suggest that both areas received the same relative inputs of copper and zinc from similar or identical sources and that the differences in concentrations between the two areas are due to differences in the rates of accumulation. Natural mechanisms are suggested to explain the higher content of copper and zinc in Charleston Harbor vs. North Inlet marsh sediments and the variable depth of peak copper and zinc concentrations

  6. Nitrogen assimilation and short term retention in a nutrient-rich tidal freshwater marsh – a whole ecosystem 15N enrichment study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Gribsholt

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available An intact tidal freshwater marsh system (3477 m2 was labelled by adding 15N-ammonium as a tracer to the flood water inundating the ecosystem. The appearance and retention of 15N-label in different marsh components (leaves, roots, sediment, leaf litter and invertebrate fauna was followed over 15 days. This allowed us to elucidate the direct assimilation and dependence on creek-water nitrogen on a relatively short term and provided an unbiased assessment of the relative importance of the various compartments within the ecosystem. Two separate experiments were conducted, one in spring/early summer (May 2002 when plants were young and building up biomass; the other in late summer (September 2003 when macrophytes were in a flowering or early senescent state. Nitrogen assimilation rate (per hour inundated was >3 times faster in May compared to September. On both occasions, however, the results clearly revealed that the less conspicuous compartments such as leaf litter and ruderal vegetations are more important in nitrogen uptake and retention than the prominent reed (Phragmites australis meadows. Moreover, short-term nitrogen retention in these nutrient rich marshes occurs mainly via microbial pathways associated with the litter and sediment. Rather than direct uptake by macrophytes, it is the large reactive surface area provided by the tidal freshwater marsh vegetation that is most crucial for nitrogen transformation, assimilation and short term retention in nutrient rich tidal freshwater marshes. Our results clearly revealed the dominant role of microbes in initial nitrogen retention in marsh ecosystems.

  7. Response of plant species to coal-mine soil materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, A.D.; Tucker, T.C.; Thames, J.L.

    1983-03-01

    The two-year Black Mesa Coal Mine Research Study on the area near Kayenta, Arizona investigating the growth and establishment of seven plant species in unmined soil and coal-mined soils found that plant species grew better in unmined soil and that irrigation is essential during seedling establishment for the effective stabilization of coal-mined soils in a semi-arid environment. Differences among the species included variations in germination, response to irrigation, seedling establishment, and stem growth. 12 references, 2 figures, 2 tables.

  8. Natural infection by Paramphistomoidea Stiles and Goldberger, 1910 trematodes in wild Marsh Deer (Blastocerus dichotomus Illiger, 1815) from Sérgio Mottas's hydroelectric power station flooding area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Nascimento, Cristiano G; do Nascimento, Adjair A; Mapeli, Elaine B; Tebaldi, José H; Duarte, José M B; Hoppe, Estevam G Lux

    2006-01-01

    Studies on helminthfauna of marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus Illiger, 1815 are rare, although helminthic diseases are an important cause of mortality in these animals. Fifteen male and female adult marsh deer from Sergio Motta's hydroelectric power station flooding area at Paraná River which died during the capture and quarantine procedures, between 1998 and 1999, were necropsied. Three trematodes species, Paramphistomum cervi, Balanorchis anastrofus and Zygocotyle lunatum, all belonging to superfamily Paramphistomoidea, were identified. The obtained trematodes were identified, counted and their respectives descriptors of infection were determined. All necropsied animals were infected by helminths. Paramphistomum cervi was the most prevalent species, while Zygocotyle lunatum was found in only one animal.

  9. Assessing saltmarsh resilience to sea-level rise by examining sediment transport trends in the Great Marsh, MA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Z. J.; Georgiou, I. Y.; Gaweesh, A.; Hanegan, K.; FitzGerald, D.; Hein, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    Under accelerating sea-level rise (SLR), marshes are vulnerable to increased inundation, dependent on their ability to accrete vertically or expand into upland areas. Accretion is a function of organic and inorganic contributions from plant biomass and suspended sediment deposition, respectively. Along the east coast of the US, present rates of SLR are higher than they have been for over 1000 years and are expected to increase in the near future. To predict the resilience of saltmarshes, we urgently need improved understanding of spatial patterns of sediment transport and deposition within these systems. This study examines time-series of suspended sediment concentration and flow collected using ADCP-OBS units, deployed throughout the Great Marsh System. We compare the data to model results and observations of short and long term deposition throughout the system. Field observations show that tidal amplitude and phase vary throughout the Great Marsh. Tidal asymmetry increases inland from the estuary mouth, and the maximum phase lag is 2 hours. This effect is strongest during low slack tide; with a delay of only 30-45 minutes at high tide. Tidal velocities exhibit strong asymmetry, reflected in pulses of sediment movement. Sediment transport initiates at mid ebb, peaking 1.5-2.5 hours later, decreasing through low slack tide for 7-9 hours until high slack tide. The results have broad implications for the potential input of inorganic sediment to the marsh platform. Results from a validated Delft3D model reproduce field observations and expand spatial sediment transport trends. We experiment by releasing sediment in different parts of the estuary, mimicking marsh edge or tidal flat erosion, and tracking mud and sand transport trajectories. Sands remains proximal to the erosion site, whereas mud is more mobile and travels farther, reaching the inlet within days of erosion. Longer simulations suggest that despite higher mobility, muds remain mostly in the channels and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. On the potential of plant species invasion influencing bio-geomorphologic landscape formation in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwarz, Christian; Ysebaert, Tom; Vandenbruwaene, Wouter; Temmerman, Stijn; Zhang, Li Quan; Herman, Peter M.J.

    2016-01-01

    Species invasions are known to change biotic and abiotic ecosystem characteristics such as community structure, cycling of materials and dynamics of rivers. However, their ability to alter interactions between biotic and abiotic ecosystem components, in particular bio-geomorphic feedbacks and the

  12. Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Koffijberg, Kees; Dijkema, Kees S.; Bakker, Jan P.

    Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds, and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing

  13. Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, F.S.; Tinbergen, J.M.; Ens, B.J.; Koffijberg, K.; Dijkema, K.S.; Bakker, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds, and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing

  14. Impacts of Intensified Agriculture Developments on Marsh Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaoqing Luan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A spatiotemporal analysis on the changes in the marsh landscape in the Honghe National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar reserve, and the surrounding farms in the core area of the Sanjiang Plain during the past 30 years was conducted by integrating field survey work with remote sensing techniques. The results indicated that intensified agricultural development had transformed a unique natural marsh landscape into an agricultural landscape during the past 30 years. Ninety percent of the natural marsh wetlands have been lost, and the areas of the other natural landscapes have decreased very rapidly. Most dry farmland had been replaced by paddy fields during the progressive change of the natural landscape to a farm landscape. Attempts of current Chinese institutions in preserving natural wetlands have achieved limited success. Few marsh wetlands have remained healthy, even after the establishment of the nature reserve. Their ecological qualities have been declining in response to the increasing threats to the remaining wetland habitats. Irrigation projects play a key role in such threats. Therefore, the sustainability of the natural wetland ecosystems is being threatened by increased regional agricultural development which reduced the number of wetland ecotypes and damaged the ecological quality.

  15. Remote sensing analysis of riparian vegetation response to desert marsh restoration in the Mexican Highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Laura M.; Villarreal, Miguel; Pulliam, H. Ronald; Minckley, Robert L.; Gass, Leila; Tolle, Cindy; Coe, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    Desert marshes, or cienegas, are extremely biodiverse habitats imperiled by anthropogenic demands for water and changing climates. Given their widespread loss and increased recognition, remarkably little is known about restoration techniques. In this study, we examine the effects of gabions (wire baskets filled with rocks used as dams) on vegetation in the Cienega San Bernardino, in the Arizona, Sonora portion of the US-Mexico border, using a remote-sensing analysis coupled with field data. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), used here as a proxy for plant biomass, is compared at gabion and control sites over a 27-year period during the driest months (May/June). Over this period, green-up occurred at most sites where there were gabions and at a few of the control sites where gabions had not been constructed. When we statistically controlled for differences among sites in source area, stream order, elevation, and interannual winter rainfall, as well as comparisons of before and after the initiation of gabion construction, vegetation increased around gabions yet did not change (or decreased) where there were no gabions. We found that NDVI does not vary with precipitation inputs prior to construction of gabions but demonstrates a strong response to precipitation after the gabions are built. Field data describing plant cover, species richness, and species composition document increases from 2000 to 2012 and corroborate reestablished biomass at gabions. Our findings validate that gabions can be used to restore riparian vegetation and potentially ameliorate drought conditions in a desert cienega.

  16. Searching for the Source of Salt Marsh Buried Mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, C. G.; Nelson, D. C.; Fleming, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes provide a barrier between upstream mercury contamination and coastal ecosystems. Mercury is sorbed, transported, and deposited in estuarine systems. Once the upstream mercury source has been remediated, the downstream mercury contaminated salt marsh sediments should become "capped" or buried by uncontaminated sediments preventing further ecosystem contamination. Downstream from a remediated mercury mine, an estuarine intertidal marsh in Tomales Bay, CA, USA, scavengers/predators (e.g. Pachygrapsus crassipes, Lined Shore Crab) have leg mercury concentrations as high as 5.5 ppm (dry wt./dry wt.), which increase significantly with crab size, a surrogate for trophic level. These elevated mercury concentrations suggests that "buried" mercury is rereleased into the environment. To locate possible sources of mercury release in Walker Marsh, we sampled a transect across the marsh that included diverse micro-environments (e.g. rhizoshere, stratified sediments, faunal burrows). From each location we determined the sediment structure, sediment color, total sediment mercury, total sediment iron, and microbial composition (n = 28). Where flora or fauna had perturbed the sediment, mercury concentrations were 10% less than undisturbed stratified sediments (1025 ppb vs. 1164 ppb, respectively). High-throughput SSU rRNA gene sequencing and subsequent co-occurrence network analysis genera indicated that in flora- or fauna- perturbed sediments there was an increased likelihood that microbial genera contained mercury mobilizing genes (94% vs 57%; in perturbed vs stratified sediments, respectively). Our observations are consistent with findings by others that in perturbed sites mercury mobility increased. We did however identify a microbial and geochemical profile with increased mercury mobility. For future work we plan to quantify the role these micro-environments have on mercury-efflux from salt marshes.

  17. Elders Point East Marsh Island Restoration Monitoring Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-21

    accounting for more than 90% of the measured biomass on average, indicative of a well-established marsh (Figure 12). For Elders East the data indicated...61 3.3 Other Biological and Physical Measures ...Figure 9. Growth measurements at Elders East and JoCo Marsh. ....................................................... 20 Figure 10. Stem survival at

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Environmental assessment of Al-Hammar Marsh, Southern Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hind Fadhil Abdullah Al-Gburi

    2017-02-01

    Discussion and conclusions: Decreasing of Tigris and Euphrates discharges during the past decades due to drought conditions and upstream damming, as well as the increasing stress of wastewater effluents from anthropogenic activities, led to degradation of the downstream Al-Hammar Marsh water quality in terms of physical, chemical, and biological properties. As such properties were found to consistently exceed the historical and global quality objectives. However, element concentration decreasing trend at the marsh outlet station compared to other stations indicate that the marsh plays an important role as a natural filtration and bioremediation system. Higher element concentrations in winter were due to runoff from the washing of the surrounding Sabkha during flooding by winter rainstorms. Finally, the high concentrations of heavy metals in fish samples can be attributed to bioaccumulation and biomagnification processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Hierarchical Learning of Tree Classifiers for Large-Scale Plant Species Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jianping; Zhou, Ning; Peng, Jinye; Gao, Ling

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, a hierarchical multi-task structural learning algorithm is developed to support large-scale plant species identification, where a visual tree is constructed for organizing large numbers of plant species in a coarse-to-fine fashion and determining the inter-related learning tasks automatically. For a given parent node on the visual tree, it contains a set of sibling coarse-grained categories of plant species or sibling fine-grained plant species, and a multi-task structural learning algorithm is developed to train their inter-related classifiers jointly for enhancing their discrimination power. The inter-level relationship constraint, e.g., a plant image must first be assigned to a parent node (high-level non-leaf node) correctly if it can further be assigned to the most relevant child node (low-level non-leaf node or leaf node) on the visual tree, is formally defined and leveraged to learn more discriminative tree classifiers over the visual tree. Our experimental results have demonstrated the effectiveness of our hierarchical multi-task structural learning algorithm on training more discriminative tree classifiers for large-scale plant species identification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  3. Ammonium transformation in a nitrogen-rich tidal freshwater marsh

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gribsholt, B.; Andersson, M.; Boschker, H.T.S.

    2006-01-01

    The fate and transport of watershed-derived ammonium in a tidal freshwater marsh fringing the nutrient rich Scheldt River, Belgium, was quantified in a whole ecosystem 15N labeling experiment. In late summer (September) we added 15N-NH4+ to the flood water entering a 3477 m2 tidal freshwater marsh...

  4. Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogilvie, Jane E; Thomson, James D

    2016-06-01

    Plant species can influence the pollination and reproductive success of coflowering neighbors that share pollinators. Because some individual pollinators habitually forage in particular areas, it is also possible that plant species could influence the pollination of neighbors that bloom later. When flowers of a preferred forage plant decline in an area, site-fidelity may cause individual flower feeders to stay in an area and switch plant species rather than search for preferred plants in a new location. A newly blooming plant species may quickly inherit a set of visitors from a prior plant species, and therefore experience higher pollination success than it would in an area where the first species never bloomed. To test this, we manipulated the placement and timing of two plant species, Delphinium barbeyi and later-blooming Gentiana parryi. We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on Delphinium. When Delphinium was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site-faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to Gentiana. Consequently, Gentiana flowers received more visits in areas where Delphinium had previously flowered, compared to areas where Delphinium was still flowering or never occurred. Gentiana stigmas received more pollen in areas where Delphinium disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that Delphinium increases the pollination of Gentiana when they are separated in time. Overall, we show that individual bumble bees are often site-faithful, causing one plant species to increase the pollination of another even when separated in time, which is a novel mechanism of pollination facilitation.

  5. Carbon stocks in mangroves, salt marshes, and salt barrens in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA: Vegetative and soil characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, R. P.; Radabaugh, K.; Chappel, A. R.; Powell, C.; Bociu, I.; Smoak, J. M.

    2017-12-01

    When compared to other terrestrial environments, coastal "blue carbon" habitats such as salt marshes and mangrove forests sequester disproportionately large amounts of carbon as standing plant biomass and sedimentary peat deposits. This study quantified total carbon stocks in vegetation and soil of 17 salt marshes, salt barrens, and mangrove forests in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA. The sites included natural, restored, and created wetlands of varying ages and degrees of anthropogenic impacts. The average vegetative carbon stock in mangrove forests was 60.1 ± 2.7 Mg ha-1. Mangrove forests frequently consisted of a few large Avicennia germinans trees with smaller, abundant Rhizophora mangle and/or Laguncularia racemosa trees. The average vegetative carbon stock was 11.8 ± 3.7 Mg ha-1 for salt marshes and 2.0 ± 1.2 Mg ha-1 for salt barrens. Vegetative carbon did not significantly differ between natural and newly created salt marsh habitats, indicating that mature restored wetlands can be included with natural wetlands for the calculation of vegetative carbon in coastal blue carbon assessments. Peat deposits were generally less than 50 cm thick and organic content rapidly decreased with depth in all habitats. Soil in this study was analyzed in 1 cm intervals; the accuracy of subsampling or binning soil into depth intervals of 2-5 cm was also assessed. In most cases, carbon stock values obtained from these larger sampling intervals were not statistically different from values obtained from sampling at 1 cm intervals. In the first 15 cm, soil in mangrove forests contained an average of 15.1% organic carbon by weight, salt marshes contained 6.5%, and salt barrens contained 0.8%. Total carbon stock in mangroves was 187.1±17.3 Mg ha-1, with 68% of that carbon stored in soil. Salt marshes contained an average of 65.2±25.3 Mg ha-1 (82% soil carbon) and salt barrens had carbon stocks of 21.4±7.4 Mg ha-1 (89% soil carbon). These values were much lower than global averages for

  6. Stem breakage of salt marsh vegetation under wave forcing: A field and model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuik, Vincent; Suh Heo, Hannah Y.; Zhu, Zhenchang; Borsje, Bas W.; Jonkman, Sebastiaan N.

    2018-01-01

    One of the services provided by coastal ecosystems is wave attenuation by vegetation, and subsequent reduction of wave loads on flood defense structures. Therefore, stability of vegetation under wave forcing is an important factor to consider. This paper presents a model which determines the wave load that plant stems can withstand before they break or fold. This occurs when wave-induced bending stresses exceed the flexural strength of stems. Flexural strength was determined by means of three-point-bending tests, which were carried out for two common salt marsh species: Spartina anglica (common cord-grass) and Scirpus maritimus (sea club-rush), at different stages in the seasonal cycle. Plant stability is expressed in terms of a critical orbital velocity, which combines factors that contribute to stability: high flexural strength, large stem diameter, low vegetation height, high flexibility and a low drag coefficient. In order to include stem breakage in the computation of wave attenuation by vegetation, the stem breakage model was implemented in a wave energy balance. A model parameter was calibrated so that the predicted stem breakage corresponded with the wave-induced loss of biomass that occurred in the field. The stability of Spartina is significantly higher than that of Scirpus, because of its higher strength, shorter stems, and greater flexibility. The model is validated by applying wave flume tests of Elymus athericus (sea couch), which produced reasonable results with regards to the threshold of folding and overall stem breakage percentage, despite the high flexibility of this species. Application of the stem breakage model will lead to a more realistic assessment of the role of vegetation for coastal protection.

  7. Arthropod assemblages on native and nonnative plant species of a coastal reserve in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fork, Susanne K

    2010-06-01

    Biological invasions by nonnative plant species are a widespread phenomenon. Many studies have shown strong ecological impacts of plant invasions on native plant communities and ecosystem processes. Far fewer studies have examined effects on associated animal communities. From the perspective of a reserve's land management, I addressed the question of whether arthropod assemblages on two nonnative plant species of concern were impoverished compared with those assemblages associated with two predominant native plant species of that reserve. If the nonnative plant species, Conium maculatum L., and Phalaris aquatica L., supported highly depauperate arthropod assemblages compared with the native plant species, Baccharis pilularis De Candolle and Leymus triticoides (Buckley) Pilger, this finding would provide additional support for prioritizing removal of nonnatives and restoration of natives. I assessed invertebrate assemblages at the taxonomic levels of arthropod orders, Coleoptera families, and Formicidae species, using univariate analyses to examine community attributes (richness and abundance) and multivariate techniques to assess arthropod assemblage community composition differences among plant species. Arthropod richness estimates by taxonomic level between native and nonnative vegetation showed varying results. Overall, arthropod richness of the selected nonnative plants, examined at higher taxonomic resolution, was not necessarily less diverse than two of common native plants found on the reserve, although differences were found among plant species. Impacts of certain nonnative plant species on arthropod assemblages may be more difficult to elucidate than those impacts shown on native plants and ecosystem processes.

  8. Plant species richness regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, André Tavares Corrêa; van Ruijven, Jasper; Berendse, Frank

    2010-07-01

    Soil respiration is an important pathway of the C cycle. However, it is still poorly understood how changes in plant community diversity can affect this ecosystem process. Here we used a long-term experiment consisting of a gradient of grassland plant species richness to test for effects of diversity on soil respiration. We hypothesized that plant diversity could affect soil respiration in two ways. On the one hand, more diverse plant communities have been shown to promote plant productivity, which could increase soil respiration. On the other hand, the nutrient concentration in the biomass produced has been shown to decrease with diversity, which could counteract the production-induced increase in soil respiration. Our results clearly show that soil respiration increased with species richness. Detailed analysis revealed that this effect was not due to differences in species composition. In general, soil respiration in mixtures was higher than would be expected from the monocultures. Path analysis revealed that species richness predominantly regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity. No evidence supporting the hypothesized negative effect of lower N concentration on soil respiration was found. We conclude that shifts in productivity are the main mechanism by which changes in plant diversity may affect soil respiration.

  9. Louisiana Marsh Management Plan 1995

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We sampled experimental research areas in the Barataria Basin of Louisiana during March and May, 1995, to examine the effects of structural marsh management on...

  10. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation agencies and organizations are generally reluctant to encourage the use of invasive plant species in conservation programs. Harsh lessons learned in the past have resulted in tougher screening protocols for non-indigenous species introductions and removal of many no...

  11. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  12. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Dáttilo

    Full Text Available Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

  13. Stratigraphic response of salt marshes to slow rates of sea-level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, J.; Bell, T.

    2006-12-01

    Conventional models of salt-marsh development show an idealized spatial relationship between salt-marsh floral and foraminiferal zones, where the landward margin of the marsh gradually migrates inland in response to sea-level rise. This model predicts that transgression will result in persistent and possibly expanded salt marshes at the surface, depending on a variety of factors including sediment supply, hydrologic conditions, tidal range, and rate of sea-level rise. However, in areas with abundant sediment supply and slow rates of sea- level rise, the extent of back-barrier salt marshes may decline over time as the barrier-spits mature. Sea level around the northeast coast of Newfoundland is rising at a very slow rate during the late Holocene (flora. These transitions are interpreted to reflect the progradation of the spit, decreased tidal exchange in the back-barrier, and increased influence of freshwater streams discharging into the back-barrier setting. Decreased marine influence on the back-barrier environment leads to a floral and faunal shift associated with a regressive stratigraphy in an area experiencing sea-level rise. For studies of Holocene sea-level change requiring salt-marsh stratigraphic records, it is necessary to account for changing micro-environments to locate sites appropriate for study; salt marshes may play an important role in defining the record, but may not exist at the surface to guide investigation.

  14. Support Vector Machine Based Tool for Plant Species Taxonomic Classification

    OpenAIRE

    Manimekalai .K; Vijaya.MS

    2014-01-01

    Plant species are living things and are generally categorized in terms of Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and name of Species in a hierarchical fashion. This paper formulates the taxonomic leaf categorization problem as the hierarchical classification task and provides a suitable solution using a supervised learning technique namely support vector machine. Features are extracted from scanned images of plant leaves and trained using SVM. Only class, order, family of plants...

  15. Salt Marsh Bacterial Communities before and after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teixeira, Catarina; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Nunes da Silva, Marta; Bordalo, Adriano A.; Mucha, Ana P.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial assisted phytoremediation is a promising, though yet poorly explored, new remediation technique. The aim of this study was to develop autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that could enhance phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with this metal. The microbial consortia were selectively enriched from rhizosediments colonized by Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis. The obtained consortia presented similar microbial abundance but a fairly different community structure, showing that the microbial community was a function of the sediment from which the consortia were enriched. The effect of the bioaugmentation with the developed consortia on cadmium uptake, and the microbial community structure associated to the different sediments were assessed using a microcosm experiment. Our results showed that the addition of the cadmium resistant microbial consortia increased J. maritimus metal phytostabilization capacity. On the other hand, in P. australis, microbial consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. The addition of the consortia did not alter the bacterial structure present in the sediments at the end of the experiments. This study provides new evidences that the development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium might be a simple, efficient, and environmental friendly remediation procedure. Capsule abstract: Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. - Highlights: • Cd resistant microbial consortia were developed and applied to salt-marsh sediments. • In Phragmites australis the consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. • The consortia addition increased Juncus maritimus phytostabilization capacity. • No long term changes on the rhizosediment bacterial structure were observed

  17. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teixeira, Catarina [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal); Laboratório de Hidrobiologia e Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Nunes da Silva, Marta [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal); Bordalo, Adriano A. [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal); Laboratório de Hidrobiologia e Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Mucha, Ana P., E-mail: amucha@ciimar.up.pt [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal)

    2014-09-15

    Microbial assisted phytoremediation is a promising, though yet poorly explored, new remediation technique. The aim of this study was to develop autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that could enhance phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with this metal. The microbial consortia were selectively enriched from rhizosediments colonized by Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis. The obtained consortia presented similar microbial abundance but a fairly different community structure, showing that the microbial community was a function of the sediment from which the consortia were enriched. The effect of the bioaugmentation with the developed consortia on cadmium uptake, and the microbial community structure associated to the different sediments were assessed using a microcosm experiment. Our results showed that the addition of the cadmium resistant microbial consortia increased J. maritimus metal phytostabilization capacity. On the other hand, in P. australis, microbial consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. The addition of the consortia did not alter the bacterial structure present in the sediments at the end of the experiments. This study provides new evidences that the development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium might be a simple, efficient, and environmental friendly remediation procedure. Capsule abstract: Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. - Highlights: • Cd resistant microbial consortia were developed and applied to salt-marsh sediments. • In Phragmites australis the consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. • The consortia addition increased Juncus maritimus phytostabilization capacity. • No long term changes on the rhizosediment bacterial structure were observed.

  18. Does resource availability, resource heterogeneity or species turnover mediate changes in plant species richness in grazed grasslands?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by large ungulates often increases plant species richness in grasslands of moderate to high productivity. In a mesic North American grassland with and without the presence of bison (Bos bison), a native ungulate grazer, three non-exclusive hypotheses for increased plant species richness in

  19. Genetic variation for sensitivity to a thyme monoterpene in associated plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Catrine Grønberg; Ehlers, Bodil Kirstine

    2010-04-01

    Recent studies have shown that plant allelochemicals can have profound effects on the performance of associated species, such that plants with a history of co-existence with "chemical neighbour" plants perform better in their presence compared to naïve plants. This has cast new light on the complexity of plant-plant interactions and plant communities and has led to debates on whether plant communities are more co-evolved than traditionally thought. In order to determine whether plants may indeed evolve in response to other plants' allelochemicals it is crucial to determine the presence of genetic variation for performance under the influence of specific allelochemicals and show that natural selection indeed operates on this variation. We studied the effect of the monoterpene carvacrol-a dominant compound in the essential oil of Thymus pulegioides-on three associated plant species originating from sites where thyme is either present or absent. We found the presence of genetic variation in both naïve and experienced populations for performance under the influence of the allelochemical but the response varied among naïve and experienced plant. Plants from experienced populations performed better than naïve plants on carvacrol soil and contained significantly more seed families with an adaptive response to carvacrol than naïve populations. This suggests that the presence of T. pulegioides can act as a selective agent on associated species, by favouring genotypes which perform best in the presence of its allelochemicals. The response to the thyme allelochemical varied from negative to neutral to positive among the species. The different responses within a species suggest that plant-plant interactions can evolve; this has implications for community dynamics and stability.

  20. Reciprocal effects of litter from exotic and congeneric native plant species via soil nutrients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelein Meisner

    Full Text Available Invasive exotic plant species are often expected to benefit exclusively from legacy effects of their litter inputs on soil processes and nutrient availability. However, there are relatively few experimental tests determining how litter of exotic plants affects their own growth conditions compared to congeneric native plant species. Here, we test how the legacy of litter from three exotic plant species affects their own performance in comparison to their congeneric natives that co-occur in the invaded habitat. We also analyzed litter effects on soil processes. In all three comparisons, soil with litter from exotic plant species had the highest respiration rates. In two out of the three exotic-native species comparisons, soil with litter from exotic plant species had higher inorganic nitrogen concentrations than their native congener, which was likely due to higher initial litter quality of the exotics. When litter from an exotic plant species had a positive effect on itself, it also had a positive effect on its native congener. We conclude that exotic plant species develop a legacy effect in soil from the invaded range through their litter inputs. This litter legacy effect results in altered soil processes that can promote both the exotic plant species and their native congener.

  1. Molecular species composition of plant cardiolipin determined by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yonghong; Peisker, Helga

    2016-01-01

    Cardiolipin (CL), an anionic phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane, provides essential functions for stabilizing respiratory complexes and is involved in mitochondrial morphogenesis and programmed cell death in animals. The role of CL and its metabolism in plants are less well understood. The measurement of CL in plants, including its molecular species composition, is hampered by the fact that CL is of extremely low abundance, and that plants contain large amounts of interfering compounds including galactolipids, neutral lipids, and pigments. We used solid phase extraction by anion exchange chromatography to purify CL from crude plant lipid extracts. LC/MS was used to determine the content and molecular species composition of CL. Thus, up to 23 different molecular species of CL were detected in different plant species, including Arabidopsis, mung bean, spinach, barley, and tobacco. Similar to animals, plant CL is dominated by highly unsaturated species, mostly containing linoleic and linolenic acid. During phosphate deprivation or exposure to an extended dark period, the amount of CL decreased in Arabidopsis, accompanied with an increased degree in unsaturation. The mechanism of CL remodeling during stress, and the function of highly unsaturated CL molecular species, remains to be defined. PMID:27179363

  2. Copepod (Crustacea) emergence from soils from everglades marshes with different hydroperiods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftus, W.F.; Reid, J.W.

    2000-01-01

    During a severe drought period in the winter and spring of 1989, we made three collections of dried marsh soils from freshwater sloughs in Everglades National Park, Florida, at sites characterized by either long or intermediate annual periods of flooding (hydroperiod). After rehydrating the soils in aquaria, we documented the temporal patterns of copepod emergence over two-week periods. The species richness of copepods in the rehydrated soils was lower than in pre-drought samples from the same slough sites. Only six of the 16 species recorded from the Everglades emerged in the aquarium tests. The long hydroperiod site had a slightly different assemblage and higher numbers of most species than the intermediate-hydroperiod sites. More individuals and species emerged from the early dry-season samples compared with samples taken later in the dry season. The harpacticoid, Cletocamptus deitersi, and the cyclopoid, Microcyclops rubellus, were abundant at most sites. The cyclopoids - Ectocyclops phaleratus, Homocyclops ater, and Paracyclops chiltoni - are new records for the Everglades. We infer that 1) only a subset of Everglades copepod species can survive drought by resting in soils; and that 2) survival ability over time differs by species.

  3. Changes in standing stocks and fluxes of carbon due to salinization: tidal freshwater wetland forest retreat to marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, K.; Noe, G. B.; Duberstein, J. A.; Conner, W. H.; Stagg, C. L.; Jones, M.; Bernhardt, C. E.; Cormier, N.

    2017-12-01

    Assessments of organic carbon (C) standing stocks and fluxes as wetland ecosystems transition from tidally influenced freshwater forested wetlands to low-salinity marshes are not typically included in "blue carbon" accounting. However, these ecosystems have the potential to store and convey large quantities of C. Here, we report on data collected from eight riverine sites along salinity and hydro-edaphic gradients in South Carolina and Georgia to provide the first complete estimates of C storage, flux, and burial, including estimation of C export to aquatic environments, in tidal freshwater forested wetlands undergoing transition to oligohaline marsh. Total standing stocks of C ranged from 280 to 891 Mg C/ha along both rivers but with no consistent trend in standing stock shifts along salinity gradients between the two rivers. Soil C standing stocks were most variable among sites. Furthermore, we assessed input (litterfall, woody growth, herbaceous growth, root growth and surface sediment C accretion) in comparison with output (surface litter decomposition, root decomposition and gaseous C) fluxes over periods ranging from 2 to 11 years. C sequestration from mass balance calculations ranged from 103 to 728 g C/m2/year among sites, with generally greater C sequestration on sites with prominent salinity-mediated conversion to oligohaline marsh. Dissolved C export was estimated as the difference between C sequestration and soil C burial using 14C dating of cores, and ranged from 144 to 404 g C/m2/year, representing a large amount of C export to feed aquatic biogeochemical transformations and secondary productivity. Along with C accounting, these sites also differed in how N and P were mineralized in soils, with considerable N mineralization on salinity-stressed (2.4-4.3 parts per thousand) forested sites with newly encroached marsh plants and considerable P mineralization on slightly higher salinity marshes. In all, C storage from tidal freshwater forested wetlands

  4. Radiocaesium accumulation by different plant species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filiptsova, G.G.

    2000-01-01

    Using the model object influence of mineral nutritions level on radiocaesium accumulation by different plant species has been studied. It was shown the wheat roots accumulation the minimal value on radiocaesium on normal potassium level, the rye roots accumulation maximal level radiocaesium. (authors)

  5. Biotic interactions overrule plant responses to climate, depending on the species' biogeography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Welk

    Full Text Available This study presents an experimental approach to assess the relative importance of climatic and biotic factors as determinants of species' geographical distributions. We asked to what extent responses of grassland plant species to biotic interactions vary with climate, and to what degree this variation depends on the species' biogeography. Using a gradient from oceanic to continental climate represented by nine common garden transplant sites in Germany, we experimentally tested whether congeneric grassland species of different geographic distribution (oceanic vs. continental plant range type responded differently to combinations of climate, competition and mollusc herbivory. We found the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate to vary between the different components of plant performance. While survival and plant height increased with precipitation, temperature had no effect on plant performance. Additionally, species with continental plant range type increased their growth in more benign climatic conditions, while those with oceanic range type were largely unable to take a similar advantage of better climatic conditions. Competition generally caused strong reductions of aboveground biomass and growth. In contrast, herbivory had minor effects on survival and growth. Against expectation, these negative effects of competition and herbivory were not mitigated under more stressful continental climate conditions. In conclusion we suggest variation in relative importance of climate and biotic interactions on broader scales, mediated via species-specific sensitivities and factor-specific response patterns. Our results have important implications for species distribution models, as they emphasize the large-scale impact of biotic interactions on plant distribution patterns and the necessity to take plant range types into account.

  6. Disjunct populations of European vascular plant species keep the same climatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wasof, Safaa; Lenoir, Jonathan; Aarrestad, Per Arild

    2015-01-01

    separated for thousands of years. Location: European Alps and Fennoscandia. Methods: Of the studied pool of 888 terrestrial vascular plant species occurring in both the Alps and Fennoscandia, we used two complementary approaches to test and quantify climatic-niche shifts for 31 species having strictly......Aim: Previous research on how climatic niches vary across species ranges has focused on a limited number of species, mostly invasive, and has not, to date, been very conclusive. Here we assess the degree of niche conservatism between distant populations of native alpine plant species that have been...... to be largely valid for arctic-alpine plants....

  7. Experimentally simulated global warming and nitrogen enrichment effects on microbial litter decomposers in a marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flury, Sabine; Gessner, Mark O

    2011-02-01

    Atmospheric warming and increased nitrogen deposition can lead to changes of microbial communities with possible consequences for biogeochemical processes. We used an enclosure facility in a freshwater marsh to assess the effects on microbes associated with decomposing plant litter under conditions of simulated climate warming and pulsed nitrogen supply. Standard batches of litter were placed in coarse-mesh and fine-mesh bags and submerged in a series of heated, nitrogen-enriched, and control enclosures. They were retrieved later and analyzed for a range of microbial parameters. Fingerprinting profiles obtained by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) indicated that simulated global warming induced a shift in bacterial community structure. In addition, warming reduced fungal biomass, whereas bacterial biomass was unaffected. The mesh size of the litter bags and sampling date also had an influence on bacterial community structure, with the apparent number of dominant genotypes increasing from spring to summer. Microbial respiration was unaffected by any treatment, and nitrogen enrichment had no clear effect on any of the microbial parameters considered. Overall, these results suggest that microbes associated with decomposing plant litter in nutrient-rich freshwater marshes are resistant to extra nitrogen supplies but are likely to respond to temperature increases projected for this century.

  8. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    Given the estimates that species diversity is diminishing at 50-100 times the normal rate, it is critical that we be able to evaluate changes in species richness in order to make informed decisions for conserving species diversity. In this study, we examined the potential of vascular plant species richness to be used as a surrogate for vertebrate species richness in the classes of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Vascular plants, as primary producers, represent the biotic starting point for ecological community structure and are the logical place to start for understanding vertebrate species associations. We used data collected by the United States (US) National Park Service (NPS) on species presence within parks in the eastern US to estimate simple linear regressions between plant species richness and vertebrate richness. Because environmental factors may also influence species diversity, we performed simple linear regressions of species richness versus natural logarithm of park area, park latitude, mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and human population density surrounding the parks. We then combined plant species richness and environmental variables in multiple regressions to determine the variables that remained as significant predictors of vertebrate species richness. As expected, we detected significant relationships between plant species richness and amphibian, bird, and mammal species richness. In some cases, plant species richness was predicted by park area alone. Species richness of mammals was only related to plant species richness. Reptile species richness, on the other hand, was related to plant species richness, park latitude and annual precipitation, while amphibian species richness was related to park latitude, park area, and plant species richness. Thus, plant species richness predicted species richness of different vertebrate groups to varying degrees and should not be used exclusively as a surrogate for vertebrate

  9. Simulated geographic variations of plant species richness, evenness and abundance using climatic constraints on plant functional diversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleidon, Axel; Pavlick, Ryan; Reu, Bjoern; Adams, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Among the most pronounced large-scale geographic patterns of plant biodiversity are the increase in plant species richness towards the tropics, a more even distribution of the relative abundances of plant species in the tropics, and a nearly log-normal relative abundance distribution. Here we use an individual-based plant diversity model that relates climatic constraints to feasible plant growth strategies to show that all three basic diversity patterns can be predicted merely from the climatic constraints acting upon plant ecophysiological trade-offs. Our model predicts that towards objectively 'harsher' environments, the range of feasible growth strategies resulting in reproductive plants is reduced, thus resulting in lower functional plant species richness. The reduction of evenness is attributed to a more rapid decline in productivity from the most productive to less productive plant growth strategies since the particular setup of the strategy becomes more important in maintaining high productivity in harsher environments. This approach is also able to reproduce the increase in the deviation from a log-normal distribution towards more evenly distributed communities of the tropics. Our results imply that these general biodiversity relationships can be understood primarily by considering the climatic constraints on plant ecophysiological trade-offs.

  10. Greenhouse gas emissions in salt marshes and their response to nitrogen loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Kroeger, K. D.; Morkeski, K.; Carey, J.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marshes play an important role in global and regional carbon and nitrogen cycling. Anthropogenic nitrogen loading may alter greenhouse gas (GHG, including CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions and carbon sequestration in salt marshes. We measured GHG emissions biweekly for two growing seasons across a nitrogen-loading gradient of four Spartina salt marshes in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts. In addition, we conducted nitrogen addition experiments in a pristine marsh by adding low and high nitrate bi-weekly during the summer. The GHG flux measurements were made in situ with a state-of-the-art mobile gas measurement system using the cavity ring down technology that consists of a CO2/CH4 analyzer (Picarro) and an N2O/CO analyzer (Los Gatos). We observed strong seasonal variations in greenhouse gas emissions. The differences in gas emissions across the nitrogen gradient (between 1 and 10 gN m-2y-1) were not significant, but strong pulse emissions of N2O were observed after nitrogen was artificially added to the marsh. We found that the studied salt marsh