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Sample records for salt marsh grasses

  1. Plant traits and spread of the invasive salt marsh grass, Spartina ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Spartina alterniflora Loisel., widely recognised as an aggressive invader of estuaries and salt marshes around the world, was discovered growing in the temporarily open/closed Great Brak Estuary on the southern Cape coast of South Africa in 2004. This is the first record of this invasive plant in Africa as well as its first ...

  2. Wave attenuation by salt marsh vegetation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vuik, V.; Jonkman, S.N.

    2016-01-01

    Salt marshes are a characteristic feature of estuaries and coastal seas. They are found in the upper coastal intertidal zones between land and water, which are regularly flooded by tides and surges. They are covered with salt-tolerant vegetation types, such as herbs and grasses. Sheltering from

  3. Carpinteria Salt Marsh Habitat Polygons

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — We identified five common habitat types in Carpinteria Salt Marsh: channels, pans (flats), marsh, salt flat and upland. We then drew polygons around each habitat...

  4. Shifts in Symbiotic Endophyte Communities of a Foundational Salt Marsh Grass following Oil Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandalepas, Demetra; Blum, Michael J.; Van Bael, Sunshine A.

    2015-01-01

    Symbiotic associations can be disrupted by disturbance or by changing environmental conditions. Endophytes are fungal and bacterial symbionts of plants that can affect performance. As in more widely known symbioses, acute or chronic stressor exposure might trigger disassociation of endophytes from host plants. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of oil exposure following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on endophyte diversity and abundance in Spartina alterniflora – the foundational plant in northern Gulf coast salt marshes affected by the spill. We compared bacterial and fungal endophytes isolated from plants in reference areas to isolates from plants collected in areas with residual oil that has persisted for more than three years after the DWH spill. DNA sequence-based estimates showed that oil exposure shifted endophyte diversity and community structure. Plants from oiled areas exhibited near total loss of leaf fungal endophytes. Root fungal endophytes exhibited a more modest decline and little change was observed in endophytic bacterial diversity or abundance, though a shift towards hydrocarbon metabolizers was found in plants from oiled sites. These results show that plant-endophyte symbioses can be disrupted by stressor exposure, and indicate that symbiont community disassembly in marsh plants is an enduring outcome of the DWH spill. PMID:25923203

  5. Shifts in Symbiotic Endophyte Communities of a Foundational Salt Marsh Grass following Oil Exposure from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Demetra Kandalepas

    Full Text Available Symbiotic associations can be disrupted by disturbance or by changing environmental conditions. Endophytes are fungal and bacterial symbionts of plants that can affect performance. As in more widely known symbioses, acute or chronic stressor exposure might trigger disassociation of endophytes from host plants. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of oil exposure following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill on endophyte diversity and abundance in Spartina alterniflora - the foundational plant in northern Gulf coast salt marshes affected by the spill. We compared bacterial and fungal endophytes isolated from plants in reference areas to isolates from plants collected in areas with residual oil that has persisted for more than three years after the DWH spill. DNA sequence-based estimates showed that oil exposure shifted endophyte diversity and community structure. Plants from oiled areas exhibited near total loss of leaf fungal endophytes. Root fungal endophytes exhibited a more modest decline and little change was observed in endophytic bacterial diversity or abundance, though a shift towards hydrocarbon metabolizers was found in plants from oiled sites. These results show that plant-endophyte symbioses can be disrupted by stressor exposure, and indicate that symbiont community disassembly in marsh plants is an enduring outcome of the DWH spill.

  6. Carpinteria salt marsh habitat polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dunham, Eleca J.; Mancini, Frank T.; Stewart, Tara E.; Hechinger, Ryan F.

    2017-01-01

    We identified five common habitat types in Carpinteria Salt Marsh: channels, pans (flats), marsh, salt flat and upland.  We then drew polygons around each habitat type identified from a registered and orthorectified aerial photograph and created a GIS shapefile. Polygons were ground-truthed in the field. From these habitat polygons, one can use GIS applications to estimate the area of each habitat type in this estuary. These data support the following publications: Kuris, Armand M., et al. "Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries." Nature 454.7203 (2008): 515-518.Hechinger, Ryan F., Kevin D. Lafferty, Andy P. Dobson, James H. Brown, and Armand M. Kuris. "A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species." Science 333, no. 6041 (2011): 445-448.Hechinger, Ryan F., Kevin D. Lafferty, John P. McLaughlin, Brian L. Fredensborg, Todd C. Huspeni, Julio Lorda, Parwant K. Sandhu et al. "Food webs including parasites, biomass, body sizes, and life stages for three California/Baja California estuaries." Ecology 92, no. 3 (2011): 791-791.Buck, J.C., Hechinger, R.F., Wood, A.C., Stewart, T.E., Kuris, A.M., and Lafferty, K.D., "Host density increases parasite recruitment but decreases host risk in a snail-trematode system." Manuscript submitted for publication. Lafferty, K.D., Stewart, T.E., and Hechinger, R.F. (in press). Bird distribution surveys at Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California USA, January 2012 to March 2013: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7F47M95. 

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie J Beazley

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

  8. Recent Trends in Bird Abundance on Rhode Island Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marsh habitat is under pressure from development on the landward side, and sea level rise from the seaward side. The resulting loss of habitat is potentially disastrous for salt marsh dependent species. To assess the population status of three species of salt marsh dependent...

  9. 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.

  10. Sand in the salt marsh : Contribution of high-energy conditions to salt-marsh accretion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Alma V.; Veeneklaas, Roos M.; Bakker, Jan P.

    2011-01-01

    The environmental dynamics at barrier-island salt marshes are reflected in lateral and vertical textural patterns of the marsh sediment. During normal conditions, fine-grained sediment is deposited, whereas during high-energy conditions also sand accretion can occur. This paper describes the

  11. Sand in the salt marsh: Contribution of high-energy conditions to salt-marsh accretion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, de A.V.; Veeneklaas, R.M.; Bakker, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    The environmental dynamics at barrier-island salt marshes are reflected in lateral and vertical textural patterns of the marsh sediment. During normal conditions, fine-grained sediment is deposited, whereas during high-energy conditions also sand accretion can occur. This paper describes the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Salt marsh vegetation: examples from the Tijuana estuary

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zedler, J.B

    Using the Tijuana Estuary in southern California as an example, this booklet describes salt marsh vegetation and explains how marsh plants are able to tolerate the stresses of their variable environment...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunnell, J. R.

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Crenarchaeal heterotrophy in salt marsh sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyler, Lauren M; McGuinness, Lora M; Kerkhof, Lee J

    2014-07-01

    Mesophilic Crenarchaeota (also known as Thaumarchaeota) are ubiquitous and abundant in marine habitats. However, very little is known about their metabolic function in situ. In this study, salt marsh sediments from New Jersey were screened via stable isotope probing (SIP) for heterotrophy by amending with a single (13)C-labeled compound (acetate, glycine or urea) or a complex (13)C-biopolymer (lipids, proteins or growth medium (ISOGRO)). SIP incubations were done at two substrate concentrations (30-150 μM; 2-10 mg ml(-1)), and (13)C-labeled DNA was analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes. To test for autotrophy, an amendment with (13)C-bicarbonate was also performed. Our SIP analyses indicate salt marsh crenarchaea are heterotrophic, double within 2-3 days and often compete with heterotrophic bacteria for the same organic substrates. A clone library of (13)C-amplicons was screened to find matches to the (13)C-TRFLP peaks, with seven members of the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeal Group and seven members from the Marine Group 1.a Crenarchaeota being discerned. Some of these crenarchaea displayed a preference for particular carbon sources, whereas others incorporated nearly every (13)C-substrate provided. The data suggest salt marshes may be an excellent model system for studying crenarchaeal metabolic capabilities and can provide information on the competition between crenarchaea and other microbial groups to improve our understanding of microbial ecology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna R Armitage

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. The Contribution of Mangrove Expansion to Salt Marsh Loss on the Texas Gulf Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 km2, a 74% increase. Concurrently, salt marsh area decreased by 77.8 km2, 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. PMID:25946132

  20. Spatially integrative metrics reveal hidden vulnerability of microtidal salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganju, Neil K.; Defne, Zafer; Kirwan, Matthew L.; Fagherazzi, Sergio; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Carniello, Luca

    2017-01-01

    Salt marshes are valued for their ecosystem services, and their vulnerability is typically assessed through biotic and abiotic measurements at individual points on the landscape. However, lateral erosion can lead to rapid marsh loss as marshes build vertically. Marsh sediment budgets represent a spatially integrated measure of competing constructive and destructive forces: a sediment surplus may result in vertical growth and/or lateral expansion, while a sediment deficit may result in drowning and/or lateral contraction. Here we show that sediment budgets of eight microtidal marsh complexes consistently scale with areal unvegetated/vegetated marsh ratios (UVVR) suggesting these metrics are broadly applicable indicators of microtidal marsh vulnerability. All sites are exhibiting a sediment deficit, with half the sites having projected lifespans of less than 350 years at current rates of sea-level rise and sediment availability. These results demonstrate that open-water conversion and sediment deficits are holistic and sensitive indicators of salt marsh vulnerability.

  1. Does vegetation in restored salt marshes equal naturally developed vegetation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon-Steensma, van J.M.; Dobben, van H.F.; Slim, P.A.; Huiskes, H.P.J.; Dirkse, G.M.

    2015-01-01

    Question: Do low stone dams built to prevent erosion and to restore salt marshes through increased sedimentation affect plant species composition? Location: Dutch Wadden Sea area (ca. 53°N 5°E). Methods: Relevés (N = 170) were made of the vegetation of two restored salt marsh sites on the barrier

  2. 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

  3. SALT MARSHES ALONG THE COAST OF THE NETHERLANDS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BAKKER, JP; DELEEUW, J; DIJKEMA, KS; LEENDERTSE, PC; PRINS, HHT; ROZEMA, J

    1993-01-01

    The area of salt marshes does no longer increase. The recent erosion coincides with a rise on MHT-level in the last 25 years. Despite the decrease in area, sedimentation continues, especially in the lower salt marsh, which acts as a sink of nitrogen. Assimilation and mineralization of nitrogen are

  4. Salt marsh stability modelled in relation to sea level rise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Jesper; Bartholdy, Anders; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

    Accretion on a natural backbarrier salt marsh was modeled as a function of high tide level, initial salt marsh level and distance to the source. Calibration of the model was based on up to ca 80 year old marker horizons, supplemented by 210Pb/137Cs datings and subsequent measurements of clay...... thickness. Autocompaction was incorporated in the model, and shown to play a major role for the translation of accretion rates measured as length per unit time to accumulation rates measured as mass per area per unit time. This is important, even for shallow salt marsh deposits for which it is demonstrated...... marsh base. In general, deeper located markers will indicate successively smaller accretion rates with the same sediment input. Thus, stability analysis made on the basis of newly established marker horizons will be biased and indicate salt marsh stabilities far above the correct level. Running...

  5. Effect of Vegetation on Sediment Transport across Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, D. J.; Kirwan, M. L.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Ganju, N. K.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes are a classic example of ecogeomorphology where interactions between plants and sediment transport govern the stability of a rapidly evolving ecosystem. In particular, plants slow water velocities which facilitates deposition of mineral sediment, and the resulting change in soil elevation influences the growth and species distribution of plants. The ability of a salt marsh to withstand sea level rise (SLR) is therefore dependent, among other factors, on the availability of mineral sediment. Here we measure suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) along a transect from tidal channel to marsh interior, exploring the role biomass plays in regulating the magnitude and spatial variability in vertical accretion. Our study was conducted in Spartina alterniflora dominated salt marshes along the Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts to Georgia. At each site, we deployed and calibrated optical back scatter turbidity probes to measure SSC in 15 minute intervals in a tidal channel, on the marsh edge, and in the marsh interior. We visited each site monthly to measure plant biomass via clip plots and vertical accretion via two types of sediment tiles. Preliminary results confirm classic observations that biomass is highest at the marsh edge, and that SSC and vertical accretion decrease across the marsh platform with distance from the channel. We expect that when biomass is higher, such as in southern sites like Georgia and months late in the growing season, SSC will decay more rapidly with distance into the marsh. Higher biomass will likely also correspond to increased vertical accretion, with the greatest effect at marsh edge locations. Our study will likely demonstrate how salt marsh plants interact with sediment transport dynamics to control marsh morphology and thus contribute to marsh resilience to SLR.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Experimental predator removal causes rapid salt marsh die-off.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertness, Mark D; Brisson, Caitlin P; Coverdale, Tyler C; Bevil, Matt C; Crotty, Sinead M; Suglia, Elena R

    2014-07-01

    Salt marsh habitat loss to vegetation die-offs has accelerated throughout the western Atlantic in the last four decades. Recent studies have suggested that eutrophication, pollution and/or disease may contribute to the loss of marsh habitat. In light of recent evidence that predators are important determinants of marsh health in New England, we performed a total predator exclusion experiment. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that predator depletion can cause salt marsh die-off by releasing the herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum from predator control. Excluding predators from a marsh ecosystem for a single growing season resulted in a >100% increase in herbivory and a >150% increase in unvegetated bare space compared to plots with predators. Our results confirm that marshes in this region face multiple, potentially synergistic threats. © 2014 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  9. Salt Marshes as Potential Indicatore of Global Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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......, where plant-plant interactions such as facilitation and competition are important, vegetation dynamics in salt marshes may not be an immediate, sole function of sealevel and climate variations. Also, specifically in the field of salt marsh biogeochemistry, enough long-term data have not been collected...

  10. TYPES OF SALT MARSH EDGE AND EXPORT OF TROPHIC ENERGY FROM MARSHES TO DEEPER HABITATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    We quantified nekton and estimated trophic export at salt marshes with both erosional and depositional edges at the Goodwin Islands (York River, Virginia, USA). At depositional-edge marshes, we examined trophic flows through quantitative sampling with 1.75 m2 drop rings, and thro...

  11. Archaeal Diversity and the Prevalence of Crenarchaeota in Salt Marsh Sediments▿

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Katelyn A.; Moin, Nicole S.; Bernhard, Anne E.

    2009-01-01

    Crenarchaeal 16S rRNA sequences constituted over 70% of the archaeal clones recovered from three salt marsh sites dominated by different grasses. Group I.1a Crenarchaeota dominated at two sites, while group I.3b Crenarchaeota sequences were most abundant at a third site. Abundances of 16S rRNA genes related to “Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus” differed by site and sampling date.

  12. Archaeal diversity and the prevalence of Crenarchaeota in salt marsh sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Katelyn A; Moin, Nicole S; Bernhard, Anne E

    2009-06-01

    Crenarchaeal 16S rRNA sequences constituted over 70% of the archaeal clones recovered from three salt marsh sites dominated by different grasses. Group I.1a Crenarchaeota dominated at two sites, while group I.3b Crenarchaeota sequences were most abundant at a third site. Abundances of 16S rRNA genes related to "Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus" differed by site and sampling date.

  13. 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

  14. Salt Marshes of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this study was to map all salt marshes along the coastline of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, from the Canning River to the Canadian border....

  15. Restoring Ecological Function to a Submerged Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Salt Marsh Response and Recovery to Coseismic Subsidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda, A. N.; Carlin, J. A.; Rhodes, B. P.; Kirby, M.; Leeper, R. J.; Smith, R. W.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes worldwide are under increasing stress from eustatic sea level rise. Along the tectonically active west coast of North America, some salt marshes are also vulnerable to abrupt increases in relative sea level rise (RSLR) resulting from coseismic subsidence. Elevation zonation of sub-environments within a marsh provides the opportunity to interpret the sedimentary record in marshes to infer past earthquakes, which may improve understanding of regional seismic hazards and ecosystem response to increases in sea level. Our study area is the Seal Beach Wetlands (SBW), an 3 km2 salt marsh straddling the seismically active Newport-Inglewood fault zone in southern California. A previous study of the SBW identified sedimentary evidence of three coseismic subsidence events. Here, our goals were to identify coseismic subsidence events preserved in SBW stratigraphy and to quantify marsh recovery following an earthquake to assess marsh resiliency to rapid RSLR. To do this, we focused on one core collected near the fringe of the SBW and applied a suite of sedimentary and geochemical analyses. Our results indicated that the SBW may preserve sedimentary evidence of four potential coseismic subsidence events. Events were distinguished in the stratigraphy by a sharp upper contact interpreted as an abrupt shift in marsh depositional sub-environments, from a vegetated marsh, to an intertidal mudflat or a subtidal environment. This stratigraphy suggests that the marsh rapidly subsided, preserving the evidence of the vegetated marsh as a peat deposit overlain by a low-organic mud or muddy-sand layer. A typical marsh accretion facies succession occurred above each earthquake event in the core, suggesting full marsh recovery. From the core data, we also observed that the net average rate of marsh recovery, i.e., marsh accretion, was consistent. Estimated recovery rates between 0.6 and 1.1 mm/yr were comparable to the overall accretion rate and regional late Holocene RSLR rate

  17. Environmental controls on multiscale spatial patterns of salt marsh vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Cairns, David; Bartholdy, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    physical processes operate. This study investigated such a topography-vegetation relationship in a Danish salt marsh, focusing upon two scales: a macro-scale (ca. 500 m) across the marsh platform, encompassing seaward and landward areas, and a meso-scale ( ca. 25 m) across tidal creeks. While long-term sea...... represented an ecological sequence from early to late succession, and strongly correlated with surface elevation. However, the gradient did not show any significant relationship with distance from shoreline or tidal channels. Our results suggest that, in salt marshes, elevation plays a still more important...

  18. Differences in photosynthetic syndromes of four halophytic marsh grasses in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moinuddin, Muhammad; Gulzar, Salman; Hameed, Abdul; Gul, Bilquees; Ajmal Khan, M; Edwards, Gerald E

    2017-01-01

    Salt-tolerant grasses of warm sub-tropical ecosystems differ in their distribution patterns with respect to salinity and moisture regimes. Experiments were conducted on CO2 fixation and light harvesting processes of four halophytic C4 grasses grown under different levels of salinity (0, 200 and 400 mM NaCl) under ambient environmental conditions. Two species were from a high saline coastal marsh (Aeluropus lagopoides and Sporobolus tremulus) and two were from a moderate saline sub-coastal draw-down tidal marsh (Paspalum paspalodes and Paspalidium geminatum). Analyses of the carbon isotope ratios of leaf biomass in plants indicated that carbon assimilation was occurring by C4 photosynthesis in all species during growth under varying levels of salinity. In the coastal species, with increasing salinity, there was a parallel decrease in rates of CO2 fixation (A), transpiration (E) and stomatal conductance (g s), with no effect on water use efficiency (WUE). These species were adapted for photoprotection by an increase in the Mehler reaction with an increase in activity of PSII/CO2 fixed accompanied by high levels of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase. The sub-coastal species P. paspalodes and P. geminatum had high levels of carotenoid pigments and non-photochemical quenching by the xanthophyll cycle.

  19. Shore Stabilization with Salt Marsh Vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    result from the action of tidal currents. Marsh plantings as veil as estab- lished marshes are particularly vulnerable to undermining by strong tidal...Annual Confewence on the Reetoiation of CoaetaZ Vegetation in Flor -ida, R.R. Lewis, ed., 1975, pp. 132-161. TERNYIK, W.E., "Pilot Propagation of

  20. Potential uses of TerraSAR-X for mapping herbaceous halophytes over salt marsh and tidal flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yoon-Kyung; Park, Jeong-Won; Choi, Jong-Kuk; Oh, Yisok; Won, Joong-Sun

    2012-12-01

    This study presents a method and application results of mapping different halophytes over tidal flats and salt marshes using high resolution space-borne X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that has been rarely used for salt marsh mapping. Halophytes in a salt marshes are sensitive to sea-level changes, sedimentation, and anthropogenic modifications. The alteration of the demarcations among halophyte species is an indicator of sea level and environmental changes within a salt marsh. The boundary of an herbaceous halophyte patch is, however, difficult to determine using remotely sensed data because of its sparseness. We examined the ecological status of the halophytes and their distribution changes using TerraSAR-X and optical data. We also determined the optimum season for halophyte mapping. An annual plant, Suaeda japonica (S. japonica), and a typical perennial salt marsh grass, Phragmites australis (P. australis), were selected for halophyte analysis. S. japonica is particularly sensitive to sea level fluctuation. Seasonal variation for the annual plant was more significant (1.47 dB standard deviation) than that for the perennial grass, with a pattern of lower backscattering in winter and a peak in the summer. The border between S. japonica and P. australis was successfully determined based on the distinctive X-band radar backscattering features. Winter is the best season to distinguish between the two different species, while summer is ideal for analyzing the distribution changes of annual plants in salt marshes. For a single polarization, we recommend using HH polarization, because it produces maximum backscattering on tidal flats and salt marshes. Our results show that high resolution SAR, such as TerraSAR-X and Cosmo-SkyMed, is an effective tool for mapping halophyte species in tidal flats and monitoring their seasonal variations.

  1. A simple, dynamic, hydrological model of a mesotidal salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marsh hydrology presents many difficulties from a modeling standpoint: the bi-directional flows of tidal waters, variable water densities due to mixing of fresh and salt water, significant influences from vegetation, and complex stream morphologies. Because of these difficu...

  2. Ecology of irregularly flooded salt marshes of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico: a community profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stout, J.P.

    1984-12-01

    The salt marshes of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico are distinguished by irregular flooding, low energy wave and tidal action, and long periods of exposure. The plant community is most often dominated by black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus), the species of focus in this synthesis. Distinct marsh zones include those dominated by Juncus and Spartina alterniflora at low elevations, sparsely vegetated salt flats, and higher elevation salt meadows of Juncus and Spartina patens. A diverse microbial and algal assemblage is also present. A diverse fauna has adapted to the physical rigors of these marshes. Zooplankton are dominated by the larvae of fiddler crabs and other decapods. The meiofauna consist primarily of nematodes and harpacticoid copepods. Macroinvertebrates are represented by crustaceans (especially mollusks and crabs), annelids, and insects. Grass shrimp, blue crabs, and other crustaceans are seasonally abundant in marsh creeks, as are a number of resident and migratory fish species. Birds comprise one of the larger herbivore groups and are also significant at higher tropic levels as top carnivores. Muskrat and nutria are important mammals. 43 figs., 38 tabs.

  3. Grazing Scar Characteristics Impact Degree of Fungal Facilitation in Spartina alterniflora Leaves in a South American Salt Marsh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Franco Freitas

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Grazing scars of burrowing crabs and Hemiptera insects were simulated on leaves of the salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora. Simulations of crab feeding generated two-fold higher fungal (ergosterol content in leaves in comparison to that generated by insect scar simulations (1.26 ±0.55 and 0.57 ±0.25 µg per cm², respectively. This study provided evidence that herbivory could facilitate microbial infection by fungi in dominant South American salt marsh plants and indicated that specific feeding mechanisms used by different herbivores might differentially impact the strength of this interaction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  5. Mangrove expansion and salt marsh decline at mangrove poleward limits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saintilan, Neil; Wilson, Nicholas C; Rogers, Kerrylee; Rajkaran, Anusha; Krauss, Ken W

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are species of halophytic intertidal trees and shrubs derived from tropical genera and are likely delimited in latitudinal range by varying sensitivity to cold. There is now sufficient evidence that mangrove species have proliferated at or near their poleward limits on at least five continents over the past half century, at the expense of salt marsh. Avicennia is the most cold-tolerant genus worldwide, and is the subject of most of the observed changes. Avicennia germinans has extended in range along the USA Atlantic coast and expanded into salt marsh as a consequence of lower frost frequency and intensity in the southern USA. The genus has also expanded into salt marsh at its southern limit in Peru, and on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Mangroves of several species have expanded in extent and replaced salt marsh where protected within mangrove reserves in Guangdong Province, China. In south-eastern Australia, the expansion of Avicennia marina into salt marshes is now well documented, and Rhizophora stylosa has extended its range southward, while showing strong population growth within estuaries along its southern limits in northern New South Wales. Avicennia marina has extended its range southwards in South Africa. The changes are consistent with the poleward extension of temperature thresholds coincident with sea-level rise, although the specific mechanism of range extension might be complicated by limitations on dispersal or other factors. The shift from salt marsh to mangrove dominance on subtropical and temperate shorelines has important implications for ecological structure, function, and global change adaptation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. [Quivira National Wildlife Refuge water quality data : Big and Little Salt Marsh, June 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Water quality results from samples taken June 18th, 1991 at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge from Big Salt Marsh, Little Salt Marsh, and from a small wetland pool...

  7. Vertical growth of a young back barrier salt marsh, Skallingen, SW Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Niels; Nielsen, Jørgen

    2002-01-01

    salt marsh, rate of sediment accretion, sea-level rise, storm surge frequency, Danish wadden sea......salt marsh, rate of sediment accretion, sea-level rise, storm surge frequency, Danish wadden sea...

  8. Salt Marsh Integrity Nekton Data at Cape May and Supawna National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Salt Marsh Integrity (SMI) project involves monitoring several salt marsh metrics such as: historical condition and geomorphic setting; ditch density;...

  9. Salt Marsh Integrity Nekton Data at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Salt Marsh Integrity (SMI) project involves monitoring several salt marsh metrics such as: historical condition and geomorphic setting; ditch density;...

  10. Salt Marsh Integrity Bird Data at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Salt Marsh Integrity (SMI) project involves monitoring several salt marsh metrics such as: historical condition and geomorphic setting; ditch density;...

  11. Salt Marsh Integrity Vegetation Data at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Salt Marsh Integrity (SMI) project involves monitoring several salt marsh metrics such as: historical condition and geomorphic setting; ditch density;...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsey-Quirk, Tracy

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Impacts of storm events on salt marsh sediment dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  15. Shallow ponds are heterogeneous habitats within a temperate salt marsh ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Gosselin, Kelsey; Howard, Evan; Mariotti, Giulio; Forbrich, Inke; Stanley, Rachel; Sylva, Sean P.

    2017-06-01

    Integrating spatial heterogeneity into assessments of salt marsh biogeochemistry is becoming increasingly important because disturbances that reduce plant productivity and soil drainage may contribute to an expansion of shallow ponds. These permanently inundated and sometimes prominent landscape features can exist for decades, yet little is known about pond biogeochemistry or their role in marsh ecosystem functioning. We characterized three ponds in a temperate salt marsh (MA, USA) over alternating periods of tidal isolation and flushing, during summer and fall, by evaluating the composition of plant communities and organic matter pools and measuring surface water oxygen, temperature, and conductivity. The ponds were located in the high marsh and had similar depths, temperatures, and salinities. Despite this, they had different levels of suspended particulate, dissolved, and sediment organic matter and abundances of phytoplankton, macroalgae, and Ruppia maritima. Differences in plant communities were reflected in pond metabolism rates, which ranged from autotrophic to heterotrophic. Integrating ponds into landcover-based estimates of marsh metabolism resulted in slower rates of net production (-8.1 ± 0.3 to -15.7 ± 0.9%) and respiration (-2.9 ± 0.5 to -10.0 ± 0.4%), compared to rates based on emergent grasses alone. Seasonality had a greater effect on pond water chemistry, organic matter pools, and algal abundances than tidal connectivity. Alternating stretches of tidal isolation and flushing did not affect pond salinities or algal communities, suggesting that exchange between ponds and nearby creeks was limited. Overall, we found that ponds are heterogeneous habitats and future expansion could reduce landscape connectivity and the ability of marshes to capture and store carbon.

  16. Anthropocene Survival of Southern New England’s Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    In southern New England, salt marshes are exceptionally vulnerable to the impacts of accelerated sea level rise. Regional rates of sea level rise have been as much as 50 % greater than the global average over past decades, a more than fourfold increase over late Holocene backgrou...

  17. Nutrient limitation and plant species composition in temperate salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiehl, K.; Esselink, P.; Bakker, JP

    Addition of inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a factorial design in two ungrazed Wadden-Sea salt marshes at low and high elevations showed that nitrogen was the limiting nutrient. No effects of nutrient addition were detected in the Ist year, probably due to a considerable rainfall

  18. Meiobenthos of Saphala salt marsh, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Ansari, Z.A.; Parulekar, A.H.

    Benthic fauna of the salt marsh comprised 10 taxonomic groups, dominated by nematodes (63.9%), harpacticoids (18.5%), turbellaria (5.6%), crustacean nauplii (5.4%) and polychaetes (4.1%). The population density varied from 282 to 17300 (10 cm)-2...

  19. 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

  20. Joint Geophysical and Hydrologic Constraints on Shallow Groundwater Flow Systems in Clastic Salt Marshes of the South Atlantic Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppel, C.; Fulton, P.; Schultz, G. M.; Castillo, L.; Bartlett, J.; Sibley, S.

    2005-12-01

    Salt marsh systems play a critical role in buffering upland coastal areas from the influence of open saltwater bodies and in filtering contaminants that originate offshore or are flushed from uplands. For these reasons, it is important to understand the salt marsh hydrologic cycle, especially the interaction of groundwater and surface water across low-lying coastal fringes and the changes in physical, chemical, and ecological parameters across salinity gradients extending from upland to tidal creek to open water. For the past 5 years, we have conducted hydrogeophysical surveys (inductive EM and DC resistivity) and collected limited, coincident groundwater hydrologic data in clastic salt marshes throughout the South Atlantic Bight (SAB), stretching from South Carolina on the north to the Georgia-Florida border on the south. All of the marshes are dominated by Spartina and Juncus grasses and are cut by tidally-influenced creeks, but both the lithology and age of the marshes vary widely. For example, one highly homogeneous marsh study site has formed only within the past century, while most sites have existed for thousands of years and have laterally and vertically heterogeneous lithology. Geophysical images of the marsh subsurface and coincident monitoring of groundwater temperature, water level, and/or chemistry consistently show that marshes in the mixed energy environment of the middle part of the SAB (GCE LTER) tend to be dominated by submarsh discharge of freshwater to adjacent tidal creeks. In the South Carolina part of the SAB, we have greater evidence for seepage, particularly through biologically-created macropore networks and permeable sediment bodies that intersect tidal creeks. It is possible though that the South Carolina results are not so much 'universal' as reflective of local lithology. In a very young marsh near the Florida border, geophysical imaging implies a mixture of seepage and submarsh flow, and hydrologic data provide unequivocal proof that

  1. 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...

  2. Long-term surface elevation change in salt marshes : a prediction of marsh response to future sea-level rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijnen, HJ; Bakker, JP

    Accretion rates and surface elevation changes were measured in three natural salt marshes in the Wadden Sea. Derived from these measurements, a simple predictive model was made which describes changes in surface elevation during more than 100 years of salt-marsh development at several sea-level rise

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Subgrid Modeling Geomorphological and Ecological Processes in Salt Marsh Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, F.; Kirby, J. T., Jr.; Wu, G.; Abdolali, A.; Deb, M.

    2016-12-01

    Numerical modeling a long-term evolution of salt marshes is challenging because it requires an extensive use of computational resources. Due to the presence of narrow tidal creeks, variations of salt marsh topography can be significant over spatial length scales on the order of a meter. With growing availability of high-resolution bathymetry measurements, like LiDAR-derived DEM data, it is increasingly desirable to run a high-resolution model in a large domain and for a long period of time to get trends of sedimentation patterns, morphological change and marsh evolution. However, high spatial-resolution poses a big challenge in both computational time and memory storage, when simulating a salt marsh with dimensions of up to O(100 km^2) with a small time step. In this study, we have developed a so-called Pre-storage, Sub-grid Model (PSM, Wu et al., 2015) for simulating flooding and draining processes in salt marshes. The simulation of Brokenbridge salt marsh, Delaware, shows that, with the combination of the sub-grid model and the pre-storage method, over 2 orders of magnitude computational speed-up can be achieved with minimal loss of model accuracy. We recently extended PSM to include a sediment transport component and models for biomass growth and sedimentation in the sub-grid model framework. The sediment transport model is formulated based on a newly derived sub-grid sediment concentration equation following Defina's (2000) area-averaging procedure. Suspended sediment transport is modeled by the advection-diffusion equation in the coarse grid level, but the local erosion and sedimentation rates are integrated over the sub-grid level. The morphological model is based on the existing morphological model in NearCoM (Shi et al., 2013), extended to include organic production from the biomass model. The vegetation biomass is predicted by a simple logistic equation model proposed by Marani et al. (2010). The biomass component is loosely coupled with hydrodynamic and

  6. Tidal Creek Morphology and Sediment Type Influence Spatial Trends in Salt Marsh Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Cairns, David M.; Bartholdy, Jesper

    2013-01-01

    Zonal patterns of salt marsh plants and physical conditions have been addressed primarily across the elevation gradient from inland to coastline rather than across tidal creeks in relation to their hydro-geomorphic processes such as bar formation and bank erosion. We found at a Danish marsh...... to fully understand the underlying structure and geographic variability in salt marshes....

  7. Biogeochemical effects of seawater restoration to diked salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  8. Ankeny - Peregrine Marsh Restoration: Reed Canary-Grass Restitution

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Peregrine Marsh will be a focal point of the Ankeny Hill Nature Center, a joint partnership between USFWS and Salem Audubon Society (SAS), which is a planned...

  9. Groundwater controls ecological zonation of salt marsh macrophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Alicia M; Evans, Tyler; Moore, Willard; Schutte, Charles A; Joye, Samantha B; Hughes, Andrea H; Anderson, Joseph L

    2015-03-01

    Ecological zonation of salt marsh macrophytes is strongly influenced by hydrologic factors, but these factors are poorly understood. We examined groundwater flow patterns through surficial sediments in two saltmarshes in the southeastern United States to quantify hydrologic differences between distinct ecological zones. Both sites included tall- or medium-form Spartina alterniflora near the creek bank; short-form Spartina alterniflora in the mid-marsh; salt flats and Salicornia virginica in the high marsh; and Juncus roemarianus in brackish-to-fresh areas adjacent to uplands. Both sites had relatively small, sandy uplands and similar stratigraphy consisting of marsh muds overlying a deeper sand layer. We found significant hydrologic differences between the four ecological zones. In the zones colonized by S. alterniflora, the vertical flow direction oscillated with semi-diurnal tides. Net flow (14-day average) through the tall S. alterniflora zones was downward, whereas the short S. alterniflora zones included significant periods of net upward groundwater flow. An examination of tidal efficiency at these sites suggested that the net flow patterns rather than tidal damping controlled the width of the tall S. alterniflora zone. In contrast to the S. alterniflora zones, hypersaline zones populated by S. virginica were characterized by sustained periods (days) of continuous upward flow of saline water during neap tides. The fresher zone populated by J. roemarianus showed physical flow patterns that were similar to the hypersaline zones, but the upwelling porewaters were fresh rather than saline. These flow patterns were influenced by the hydrogeologic framework of the marshes, particularly differences in hydraulic head between the upland water table and the tidal creeks. We observed increases in hydraulic head of approximately 40 cm from the creek to the upland in the sand layers below both marshes, which is consistent with previous observations that sandy aquifers

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Copepod colonization of natural and artificial substrates in a salt marsh pool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Eileen; Ruber, Ernest

    1987-12-01

    Pre-weighed packets of Spartina alterniflora and of plastic (polypropylene) twine were placed in a salt marsh pool and recovered on 40 dates spanning 14 months. New packets were placed out regularly to provide a contrast with ageing material. Twelve species of copepods were extracted, counted, and identified. Dry weight and Kjeldahl-nitrogen were determined for Spartina packets. Eight species of copepods, Amphiascus pallidus, Onychocamptus mohammed, Cletocamptus deitersei, Halicyclops sp., Harpacticus chelifer, Mesochra lilljeborgii, Metis jousseaumei and Nitocra sp. were found in higher densities on old grass or plastic packets than on new. The quantity of material was important in that the relative attractiveness of old grass was much lower early in the second year when 7-15% dw and 0·7% nitrogen remained than early in the first year when over 60% dw and 2·0% nitrogen remained. Old plastic polypropylene was equally or more attractive than old grass to 7 of 8 species, therefore, nitrogen decline in old grass was not the factor making it less attractive. Once aged, the quantity of substrate was more important than its quality. Apparently, this is due to colonization by microflora or settlement of detritus but these were not studied. The four clear exceptions to these trends were Darcythompsonia fairliensis and Eurytemora affinis which showed highest densities 72% and 50% of the time in new grass, Apocyclops spartinus with 70% in grass and equal numbers between old and new packets and Acartia tonsa a bay calanoid with 82% of highest densities in the water column and only two occurrences out of 40 dates in the packets.

  16. Vegetation effects on fish distribution in impounded salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolen, Eric D.; Collazo, Jaime; Percival, H. Franklin

    2009-01-01

    We compared the density and biomass of resident fish in vegetated and unvegetated flooded habitats of impounded salt marshes in the northern Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Estuary of east-central Florida. A 1-m2 throw trap was used to sample fish in randomly located, paired sample plots (n = 198 pairs) over 5 seasons in 7 impoundments. We collected a total of 15 fish taxa, and 88% of the fishes we identified from the samples belonged to three species: Cyprinodon variegatus (Sheepshead Minnow), Gambusia holbrooki (Eastern Mosquitofish), and Poecilia latipinna (Sailfin Molly). Vegetated habitat usually had higher density and biomass of fish. Mean fish density (and 95% confidence interval) for vegetated and unvegetated sites were 8.2 (6.7–9.9) and 2.0 (1.6–2.4) individuals m-2, respectively; mean biomass (and 95%) confidence interval) for vegetated and unvegetated sites were 3.0 (2.5–3.7) and 1.1 (0.9–1.4) g m-2, respectively. We confirmed previous findings that impounded salt marshes of the northern IRL Estuary produce a high standing stock of resident fishes. Seasonal patterns of abundance were consistent with fish moving between vegetated and unvegetated habitat as water levels changed in the estuary. Differences in density, mean size, and species composition of resident fishes between vegetated and unvegetated habitats have important implications for movement of biomass and nutrients out of salt marsh by piscivores (e.g., wading birds and fishes) via a trophic relay.

  17. Climate changes in mangrove forests and salt marshes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yara Schaeffer-Novelli

    Full Text Available Abstract This synthesis is framed within the scope of the Brazilian Benthic Coastal Habitat Monitoring Network (ReBentos WG 4: Mangroves and Salt Marshes, focusing on papers that examine biodiversity-climate interactions as well as human-induced factors including those that decrease systemic resilience. The goal is to assess difficulties related to the detection of climate and early warning signals from monitoring data. We also explored ways to circumvent some of the obstacles identified. Exposure and sensitivity of mangrove and salt marsh species and ecosystems make them extremely vulnerable to environmental impacts and potential indicators of sea level and climate-driven environmental change. However, the interpretation of shifts in mangroves and salt marsh species and systemic attributes must be scrutinized considering local and setting-level energy signature changes; including disturbance regime and local stressors, since these vary widely on a regional scale. The potential for adaptation and survival in response to climate change depends, in addition to the inherent properties of species, on contextual processes at the local, landscape, and regional levels that support resilience. Regardless of stressor type, because of the convergence of social and ecological processes, coastal zones should be targeted for anticipatory action to reduce risks and to integrate these ecosystems into adaptation strategies. Management must be grounded on proactive mitigation and collaborative action based on long-term ecosystem-based studies and well-designed monitoring programs that can 1 provide real-time early warning and 2 close the gap between simple correlations that provide weak inferences and process-based approaches that can yield increasingly reliable attribution and improved levels of anticipation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Context-dependent effects of the loss of Spartina alterniflora on salt marsh invertebrate communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarlin, Caroline R.; Bishop, T. Dale; Hester, Mark W.; Alber, Merryl

    2015-09-01

    Sudden dieback of the salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora during 2000-2002 transformed once-vegetated areas to bare sediment in coastal Georgia and Louisiana. We investigated the effects of losing this foundation species on habitat provisioning for benthic epifauna, macroinfauna, and meiofauna in these distinct geographical regions. In GA, significant shifts in invertebrate community assemblages were observed between bare and reference (vegetated) plots, with abundances of all invertebrate groups and the diversity of macroinfauna lower in bare plots. In LA, community assemblages overlapped considerably in dieback and reference plots. Although epifaunal snails were significantly decreased in dieback plots, meiofauna were unexpectedly increased. Other invertebrates did not differ between plots. Supplemental transplanted plots allowed for direct evaluation of stem density effects on invertebrates. Stem density predicted abundances of all invertebrate groups in GA, and was positively correlated with increased soil moisture. In LA, elevation and soil moisture were good predictors of infauna but were not related to stem density. Differences between the states suggest that S. alterniflora may not provide equivalent ecosystem services in all salt marshes. Additional disturbances (drought, GA; hurricanes, LA) decreased infaunal density and taxon richness in 2008. However, in both states the reduction of macroinfauna was larger in bare than reference areas, suggesting that vegetation protected against further disturbance. Our results suggest that the role of S. alterniflora is context-dependent both in terms of geographic setting and the specific ecosystem service under consideration.

  1. 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 (< 0.2 μm) HgT in groundwater was substantially lower (~ 5 pM). In contrast, HgT concentrations in filtered and unfiltered pore water within the peat layer were similar and ranged from about 2 to 3 pM. Complexation between mercury and dissolved organic carbon may account for the elevated 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.

  2. Salt marsh stability and patterns of sedimentation across a backbarrier platform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Anders; Bartholdy, Jesper; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

    Long term observations of clay thicknesses from 1949 to 2007 and measurements of the bulk dry density of salt marsh on the backbarrier of Skallingen (west Denmark) formed the basis of constructing a space distributed model of salt marsh deposition. The deposition potential (an empirical constant,...

  3. On autochtonous organic production and its implication for the consolidation of temperate salt marshes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Jesper; Bartholdy, Anders; Kim, Daehyun

    2014-01-01

    The organic production related to minerogene salt marsh deposits represents a challenge to all attempts to model the development of these areas, and evaluate their chances of survival under different sea level scenarios. Salt marsh deposits on a typical temperate backbarrier saltmarsh area at the...

  4. Trade-offs between biodiversity and flood protection services of coastal salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon-Steensma, van J.M.; Vellinga, P.

    2013-01-01

    Coastal salt marshes provide a range of ecosystem services. However, their area is steadily diminishing as a result of human-made modifications to the coastal zone. The accelerated rise of sea level is another challenge to the self-generating capacity of coastal salt marshes. This is a subject of

  5. alpha- and beta-diversity in moth communities in salt marshes is driven by grazing management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rickert, C.; Fichtner, A.; van Klink, R.; Bakker, J. P.

    This study evaluates the effects of long-term sheep grazing in salt marshes on the diversity of moths and derives conclusive management suggestions for the conservation of invertebrate diversity in salt marshes. Study sites were located on the Hamburger Hallig, on the Western coast of

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    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...... of estuaries have emphasized the negative consequences of its disappearance. In addition, as a result of increasing global population and increasing human activities, salt marshes, estuaries and other coastal waters have been subjected to increasing nutrient loadings with anthropogenic origin. This chapter...... aims to draw attention to the sequestration capacity of salt marshes for the excess of nutrients, and to evaluate the ecological services provided by salt marsh halophytes by regulating the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). In this context, two case studies will be presented...

  9. 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

    the plugged marsh). The response of birds, categorized as waterfowl & waterbirds, shorebirds & wading birds, gulls & terns, and miscellaneous (raptors, passerines, other), was variable. Following ditch plugging, bird species richness increased at the Granite Point site (1999 pre-plug = 15.4, 2000 post-plug = 26.2, 2001 post-plug = 38.7). Because of a low sample size at Moody Marsh, reliable statements on species richness cannot be made. Density of birds (no. of birds per ha) remained unchanged with ditch plugging at Granite Point Marsh, although there was a strong, but not statistically significant, trend toward increased density. This study only reports on initial responses of marsh functions to ditch plugging. Monitoring should continue at these sites, and perhaps at additional sites, for the next decade or so. A monitoring plan is recommended. Long-term monitoring will include evaluation of salt marsh development processes using SET (surface elevation table) methodology. There is concern, although not confirmed, that as ditch-plugged marshes become wetter and marsh grass production declines their ability to keep pace with sea level rise could be jeopardized. It is suggested that ditch plugging should be considered an experimental marsh management technique. Additional monitoring on the physical and habitat responses of ditch-plugged marshes is required, along with assessments of other techniques aimed at restoring open water habitat to the marsh surface.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  11. Experimental salt marsh islands: A model system for novel metacommunity experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balke, Thorsten; Lõhmus, Kertu; Hillebrand, Helmut; Zielinski, Oliver; Haynert, Kristin; Meier, Daniela; Hodapp, Dorothee; Minden, Vanessa; Kleyer, Michael

    2017-11-01

    Shallow tidal coasts are characterised by shifting tidal flats and emerging or eroding islands above the high tide line. Salt marsh vegetation colonising new habitats distant from existing marshes are an ideal model to investigate metacommunity theory. We installed a set of 12 experimental salt marsh islands made from metal cages on a tidal flat in the German Wadden Sea to study the assembly of salt marsh communities in a metacommunity context. Experimental plots at the same elevation were established within the adjacent salt marsh on the island of Spiekeroog. For both, experimental islands and salt marsh enclosed plots, the same three elevational levels were realised while creating bare patches open for colonisation and vegetated patches with a defined transplanted community. One year into the experiment, the bare islands were colonised by plant species with high fecundity although with a lower frequency compared to the salt marsh enclosed bare plots. Initial plant community variations due to species sorting along the inundation gradient were evident in the transplanted vegetation. Competitive exclusion was not observed and is only expected to unfold in the coming years. Our study highlights that spatially and temporally explicit metacommunity dynamics should be considered in salt marsh plant community assembly and disassembly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-05

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

  13. Coupled Wave Energy and Erosion Dynamics along a Salt Marsh Boundary, Hog Island Bay, Virginia, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony M. Priestas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between lateral erosion of salt marshes and wind waves is studied in Hog Island Bay, Virginia USA, with high-resolution field measurements and aerial photographs. Marsh retreat is compared to wave climate calculated in the bay using the spectral wave-model Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN. We confirm the existence of a linear relationship between long-term salt marsh erosion and wave energy, and show that wave power can serve as a good proxy for average salt-marsh erosion rates. At each site, erosion rates are consistent across several temporal scales, ranging from months to decades, and are strongly related to wave power. On the contrary, erosion rates vary in space and weakly depend on the spatial distribution of wave energy. We ascribe this variability to spatial variations in geotechnical, biological, and morphological marsh attributes. Our detailed field measurements indicate that at a small spatial scale (tens of meters, a positive feedback between salt marsh geometry and wave action causes erosion rates to increase with boundary sinuosity. However, at the scale of the entire marsh boundary (hundreds of meters, this relationship is reversed: those sites that are more rapidly eroding have a marsh boundary which is significantly smoother than the marsh boundary of sheltered and slowly eroding marshes.

  14. Ecological structure and function in a restored versus natural salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezek, Ryan J; Lebreton, Benoit; Sterba-Boatwright, Blair; Beseres Pollack, Jennifer

    2017-01-01

    Habitat reconstruction is commonly employed to restore degraded estuarine habitats and lost ecological functions. In this study, we use a combination of stable isotope analyses and macrofauna community analysis to compare the ecological structure and function between a recently constructed Spartina alterniflora salt marsh and a natural reference habitat over a 2-year period. The restored marsh was successful in providing habitat for economically and ecologically important macrofauna taxa; supporting similar or greater density, biomass, and species richness to the natural reference during all but one sampling period. Stable isotope analyses revealed that communities from the natural and the restored marshes relied on a similar diversity of food resources and that decapods had similar trophic levels. However, some generalist consumers (Palaemonetes spp. and Penaeus aztecus) were more 13C-enriched in the natural marsh, indicating a greater use of macrophyte derived organic matter relative to restored marsh counterparts. This difference was attributed to the higher quantities of macrophyte detritus and organic carbon in natural marsh sediments. Reduced marsh flooding frequency was associated with a reduction in macrofaunal biomass and decapod trophic levels. The restored marsh edge occurred at lower elevations than natural marsh edge, apparently due to reduced fetch and wind-wave exposure provided by the protective berm structures. The lower elevation of the restored marsh edge mitigated negative impacts in sampling periods with low tidal elevations that affected the natural marsh. The results of this study highlight the importance of considering sediment characteristics and elevation in salt marsh constructions.

  15. Quantifying vegetation and nekton response to tidal restoration of a New England salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roman, C.T.; Raposa, K.B.; Adamowicz, S.C.; James-Pirri, M.J.; Catena, J.G.

    2002-01-01

    Tidal flow to salt marshes throughout the northeastern United States is often restricted by roads, dikes, impoundments, and inadequately sized culverts or bridge openings, resulting in altered ecological structure and function. In this study we evaluated the response of vegetation and nekton (fishes and decapod crustaceans) to restoration of full tidal flow to a portion of the Sachuest Point salt marsh, Middletown, Rhode Island. A before, after, control, impact study design was used, including evaluations of the tide-restricted marsh, the same marsh after reintroduction of tidal flow (i.e., tide-restored marsh), and an unrestricted control marsh. Before tidal restoration vegetation of the 3.7-ha tide-restricted marsh was dominated by Phragmites australis and was significantly different from the adjacent 6.3-ha Spartina -dominated unrestricted control marsh (analysis of similarities randomization test, p nekton compared with the tide-restricted marsh (analysis of variance, p nekton density was equivalent. A similar trend was documented for nekton species richness. Nekton density and species richness from marsh surface samples were similar between the tide-restored marsh and unrestricted control marsh. Fundulus heteroclitus and Palaemonetes pugio were the numerically dominant fish and decapod species in all sampled habitats. This study provides an example of a quantitative approach for assessing the response of vegetation and nekton to tidal restoration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Alternative nitrate reduction pathways in experimentally fertilized New England salt marshes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uldahl, Anne; Banta, Gary Thomas; Boegh, Eva

    the ecosystem in the form of gaseous N2, while the last process transforms of NO3- to another biologically available form, NH4+, and thus merely recycles N. Salt marshes are important ecosystems for the cycling, retention and removal of biologically available N transported from land to the oceans. We used...... ongoing ecosystem level nutrient additions experiments in two New England salt marshes, Plum Island Sound (NO3- additions since 2003) and Great Sippewissett Marsh (fertilizer additions since the 1970's) to examine the relative importance of these NO3- reduction pathways in salt marshes. Sediments from...... in relation to N loading in Sippewissett. Clearly more work is needed to understand what determines the relative importance of removal versus recycling processes in salt marsh ecosystems....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. J. Kelleway

    2017-08-01

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

  1. Multiple stressors and the potential for synergistic loss of New England salt marshes

    OpenAIRE

    Crotty, Sinead M.; Angelini, Christine; Bertness, Mark D.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors are converging on coastal ecosystems worldwide. Understanding how these stressors interact to affect ecosystem structure and function has immediate implications for coastal planning, however few studies quantify stressor interactions. We examined past and potential future interactions between two leading stressors on New England salt marshes: sea-level rise and marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum) grazing driven low marsh die-off. Geospatial analys...

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Allison K; Campbell, Jinx

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Zooming in and out: scale dependence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting salt marsh erosion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, H.; van der Wal, D.; Li, X.; van Belzen, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Hu, Z.; Ge, Z.; Zhang, L.; Bouma, T.J.

    2017-01-01

    Salt marshes are valuable ecosystems that provide important ecosystem services. Given the global scale of marsh loss due to climate change and coastal squeeze, there is a pressing need to identify the critical extrinsic (wind exposure and foreshore morphology) and intrinsic factors (soil and

  7. Parasite Recruitment and Host Risk in a Snail-Trematode System at Carpinteria Salt Marsh

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The project is located at Carpinteria Salt Marsh, part of the University of California Reserve System. The marsh is located at 34.40°N, 119.53°W, which is near the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Comparison of Bottomless Lift Nets and Breder Traps for Sampling Salt-Marsh Nekton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegetated salt-marsh surfaces provide refuge, forage, and spawning habitat for estuarine nekton, yet are threatened by accelerating rates of sea-level rise in southern New England and elsewhere. Nekton responses to ongoing marsh surface changes need to be evaluated with effective...

  10. Effects of salinity variations on pore water flow in salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Chengji; Jin, Guangqiu; Xin, Pei; Kong, Jun; Li, Ling

    2015-06-01

    Spatial and temporal salinity variations in surface water and pore water commonly exist in salt marshes under the combined influence of tidal inundation, precipitation, evapotranspiration, and inland freshwater input. Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations were conducted to investigate how density gradients associated with salinity variations affect pore water flow in the salt marsh system. The results showed that upward salinity (density) gradients could lead to flow instability and the formation of salt fingers. These fingers, varying in size with the distance from the creek, modified significantly the pore water flow field, especially in the marsh interior. While the flow instability enhanced local salt transport and mixing considerably, the net effect was small, causing only a slight increase in the overall mass exchange across the marsh surface. In contrast, downward salinity gradients exerted less influence on the pore water flow in the marsh soil and slightly weakened the surface water and groundwater exchange across the marsh surface. Numerical simulations revealed similar density effects on pore water flow at the field scale under realistic conditions. These findings have important implications for studies of marsh soil conditions concerning plant growth as well as nutrient exchange between the marsh and coastal marine system.

  11. Salt marsh sediment bacteria: their distribution and response to external nutrient inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Jennifer L; Crump, Byron C; Deegan, Linda A; Hobbie, John E

    2009-08-01

    A primary focus among microbial ecologists in recent years has been to understand controls on the distribution of microorganisms in various habitats. Much less attention has been paid to the way that environmental disturbance interacts with processes that regulate bacterial community composition. We determined how human disturbance affected the distribution and community structure of salt marsh sediment bacteria by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rRNA in five different habitats in each of four salt marshes located in northeastern Massachusetts, USA. Two of the four marsh creeks were experimentally enriched 15 x above background by the addition of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers for two or more growing seasons. Our results indicate that extrinsic factors acting at broad scales do not influence the distribution of salt marsh sediment bacteria. Intrinsic factors, controlled by local-scale environmental heterogeneity, do play a role in structuring these sediment microbial communities, although nutrient enrichment did not have a consequential effect on the microbial community in most marsh habitats. Only in one habitat, a region of the marsh creek wall that is heavily colonized by filamentous algae, did we see any effect of fertilization on the microbial community structure. When similar habitats were compared among marshes, there was considerable convergence in the microbial community composition during the growing season. Environmental factors that correlated best with microbial community composition varied with habitat, suggesting that habitat-specific intrinsic forces are primarily responsible for maintaining microbial diversity in salt marsh sediments.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 was a significant carbon sink (NEP ~ 380 gC m-2y-1). CH4 fluxes are 3 orders of magnitude less than CO2 fluxes in the salt marsh. Carbon fluxes are driven by light, salinity, tide, and temperature. We conclude that restoration or conservation of this carbon sink has a significant social benefit for carbon credit.

  14. Conceptual salt marsh units for wetland synthesis: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The salt marsh complex of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay (New Jersey, USA),...

  15. Vegetation-wave interactions in salt marshes under storm surge conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rupprecht, F; Möller, I.; Paul, M.; Kudella, M.; Spencer, T.; van Wesenbeeck, B.K.; Wolters, G.; Jensen, K.; Bouma, T.J.; Miranda-Lange, M.; Schimmels, S.

    2017-01-01

    Vegetation-wave interactions are critical in determining the capacity of coastal salt marshes to reducewave energy (wave dissipation), enhance sedimentation and protect the shoreline from erosion. Whilevegetation-induced wave dissipation is increasingly recognized in low wave energy environments,

  16. Salt marshes as nurseries for nekton: testing hypotheses on density, growth and survival through meta-analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thomas J. Minello; Kenneth W. Able; Michael P. Weinstein; Cynthia G. Hays

    2003-01-01

    We examined the nursery role of salt marshes for transient nekton by searching the literature for data on density, growth, and survival of juvenile fishes and decapod crustaceans in marshes and using...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, John F; Rand, Tatyana A; Emery, Nancy C; Bertness, Mark D

    2017-01-01

    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 how natural

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  19. Use of structured decision making to identify monitoring variables and management priorities for salt marsh ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neckles, Hilary A.; Lyons, James E.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Shriver, W. Gregory; Adamowicz, Susan C.

    2015-01-01

    Most salt marshes in the USA have been degraded by human activities, and coastal managers are faced with complex choices among possible actions to restore or enhance ecosystem integrity. We applied structured decision making (SDM) to guide selection of monitoring variables and management priorities for salt marshes within the National Wildlife Refuge System in the northeastern USA. In general, SDM is a systematic process for decomposing a decision into its essential elements. We first engaged stakeholders in clarifying regional salt marsh decision problems, defining objectives and attributes to evaluate whether objectives are achieved, and developing a pool of alternative management actions for achieving objectives. Through this process, we identified salt marsh attributes that were applicable to monitoring National Wildlife Refuges on a regional scale and that targeted management needs. We then analyzed management decisions within three salt marsh units at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, coastal Delaware, as a case example of prioritizing management alternatives. Values for salt marsh attributes were estimated from 2 years of baseline monitoring data and expert opinion. We used linear value modeling to aggregate multiple attributes into a single performance score for each alternative, constrained optimization to identify alternatives that maximized total management benefits subject to refuge-wide cost constraints, and used graphical analysis to identify the optimal set of alternatives for the refuge. SDM offers an efficient, transparent approach for integrating monitoring into management practice and improving the quality of management decisions.

  20. Ecophysiological responses of the salt marsh grass Spartina ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    At the inland site, soil water potential (ø), electrical conductivity of the soil, total cations, and the concentrations of Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and P, were significantly higher than those of the streamside site, while CO2 exchange, quantum yield of PSII, ETR through PSII, and intrinsic photochemical efficiency of PSII were significantly ...

  1. 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 < 0.001 for both). In addition, soil oxygen concentrations were lower in the low and mid-marshes relative to the high marsh (P < 0.001). Net N2 O fluxes differed significantly among marsh zones (P = 0.009), averaging 9.8 ± 5.4 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) , -2.2 ± 0.9 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) , and 0.67 ± 0.57 μg N m(-2)  h(-1) in the low, mid, and high marshes, respectively. Both net N2 O release and uptake were observed in the low and high marshes, but the mid-marsh was consistently a net N2 O sink. Gross N2 O production was highest in the low marsh and lowest in the mid-marsh (P = 0.02), whereas gross N2 O consumption did not differ among marsh zones. Thus, variability in gross N2 O production rates drove the differences in net N2 O flux among marsh zones. Our results suggest that future studies should focus on elucidating controls on the processes producing, rather than consuming, N2 O in salt marshes to improve our predictions of changes in net N2 O fluxes caused by future sea level rise. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Mercury mobility in a salt marsh colonised by Halimione portulacoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Válega, M; Lillebø, A I; Caçador, I; Pereira, M E; Duarte, A C; Pardal, M A

    2008-08-01

    The present study intends to increase the knowledge on the mobility of mercury in a salt marsh colonised by Halimione portulacoides. Mercury distribution in the sediment layers and its incorporation into the plant biomass were assessed, as well as the potential export of mercury from the contaminated area to the adjacent environment. Mercury pools in the sediments ranged from 560 to 943 mg m(-2) and are largely associated with the solid fraction, with just a small amount being associated with the pore waters. Estimated diffusive fluxes of reactive mercury ranged from 1.3 to 103 ng m(-2) d(-1). Despite the above ground biomass values being comparatively higher than below ground biomass values, the mercury pools were much higher in the root system (0.06-0.16 mg m(-2) and 29-102 mg m(-2), respectively). The annual bioaccumulation of mercury in above ground tissues was estimated in 0.11 mg m(-2) y(-1), while in below ground biomass the values were higher (7 2mg m(-2) y(-1)). The turnover rates of H. portulacoides biomass suggest higher mercury mobility within the plant rhizosphere. Taking into account the pools of mercury in above ground biomass, the export of mercury by macro-detritus following the "outwelling hypothesis" is not significant for the mercury balance in the studied ecosystem. The mercury accumulated in the below ground part of the plant is quite mobile, being able to return to the sediment pool throughout the mineralisation process.

  3. Geochemical evidence for cryptic sulfur cycling in salt marsh sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mills, Jennifer V.; Antler, Gilad; Turchyn, Alexandra V.

    2016-01-01

    Cryptic sulfur cycling is an enigmatic process in which sulfate is reduced to some lower-valence state sulfur species and subsequently quantitatively reoxidized; the rate and microbial energetics of this process and how prevalent it may be in the environment remain controversial. Here we investig......Cryptic sulfur cycling is an enigmatic process in which sulfate is reduced to some lower-valence state sulfur species and subsequently quantitatively reoxidized; the rate and microbial energetics of this process and how prevalent it may be in the environment remain controversial. Here we...... investigate sulfur cycling in salt marsh sediments from Norfolk, England where we observe high ferrous iron concentrations with no depletion of sulfate or change in the sulfur isotope ratio of that sulfate, but a 5‰ increase in the oxygen isotope ratio in sulfate, indicating that sulfate has been through...... a reductive cycle replacing its oxygen atoms. This cryptic sulfur cycle was replicated in laboratory incubations using 18O-enriched water, demonstrating that the field results do not solely result from mixing processes in the natural environment. Numerical modeling of the laboratory incubations scaled...

  4. Early Salt-Marsh Development, an Example of a Turing Instability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Koppel, J.

    2008-12-01

    In the past decades, regular spatial patterns have been described in a wide range of ecosystems, ranging from arid lands to boreal peat lands. Pattern formation mechanisms in many of these ecosystems are caused by scale-dependent interactions between organisms and geophysical processes, causing facilitation between organisms at small spatial scale, but inhibition at larger spatial scales. This conforms to the activation-inhibition principle laid out by Alan Turing in 1953. We present a combination of experimental and modeling studies on early salt-marsh development that indicate that similar scale-dependent interactions determine the establishment of salt-marsh vegetation and early geomorphological development of the marsh. Based on these studies, we argue that the early development of salt-marsh ecosystems is characterized by a Turing instability, placed into a complex landscape setting.

  5. 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.

  6. Multiple stressors and the potential for synergistic loss of New England salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotty, Sinead M; Angelini, Christine; Bertness, Mark D

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors are converging on coastal ecosystems worldwide. Understanding how these stressors interact to affect ecosystem structure and function has immediate implications for coastal planning, however few studies quantify stressor interactions. We examined past and potential future interactions between two leading stressors on New England salt marshes: sea-level rise and marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum) grazing driven low marsh die-off. Geospatial analyses reveal that crab-driven die-off has led to an order of magnitude more marsh loss than sea-level rise between 2005 and 2013. However, field transplant experimental results suggest that sea-level rise will facilitate crab expansion into higher elevation marsh platforms by inundating and gradually softening now-tough high marsh peat, exposing large areas to crab-driven die-off. Taking interactive effects of marsh softening and concomitant overgrazing into account, we estimate that even modest levels of sea-level rise will lead to levels of salt marsh habitat loss that are 3x greater than the additive effects of sea-level rise and crab-driven die-off would predict. These findings highlight the importance of multiple stressor studies in enhancing mechanistic understanding of ecosystem vulnerabilities to future stress scenarios and encourage managers to focus on ameliorating local stressors to break detrimental synergisms, reduce future ecosystem loss, and enhance ecosystem resilience to global change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solari, L.

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Acute salt marsh dieback in the Mississippi River deltaic plain: A drought-induced phenomenon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Mendelssohn, I.A.; Materne, M.D.

    2004-01-01

    Aims Extensive dieback of salt marsh dominated by the perennial grass Spartina alterniflora occurred throughout the Mississippi River deltaic plain during 2000. More than 100,000 ha were affected, with 43,000 ha severely damaged. The aim of this work was to determine if sudden dieback could have been caused by a coincident drought and to assess the significance of this event with respect to long-term changes in coastal vegetation. Location Multiple dieback sites and reference sites were established along 150 km of shoreline in coastal Louisiana, USA. Methods Aerial and ground surveys were conducted from June 2000 to September 2001 to assess soil conditions and plant mortality and recovery. Results Dieback areas ranged in size from???300 m2-5 km2 in area with 50-100% mortality of plant shoots and rhizomes in affected zones. Co-occurring species such as Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and Juncus roemerianus (needlegrass rush) were unaffected. Historical records indicate that precipitation, river discharge, and mean sea level were unusually low during the previous year. Although the cause of dieback is currently unknown, plant and soil characteristics were consistent with temporary soil desiccation that may have reduced water availability, increased soil salinity, and/or caused soil acidification (via pyrite oxidation) and increased uptake of toxic metals such as Fe or Al. Plant recovery 15 months after dieback was variable (0-58% live cover), but recovering plants were vigorous and indicated no longlasting effects of the dieback agent. Main conclusions These findings have relevance for global change models of coastal ecosystems that predict vegetation responses based primarily on long-term increases in sea level and submergence of marshes. Our results suggest that large-scale changes in coastal vegetation may occur over a relatively short time span through climatic extremes acting in concert with sea-level fluctuations and pre-existing soil conditions. ?? 2004

  9. Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions from Diverse Zones of a California Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F.; King, J. Y.

    2016-12-01

    With high primary productivity and low organic matter decomposition rates, salt marshes sequester carbon from the atmosphere and contribute to mitigation of climate change. However, the role of wetlands in carbon sequestration is offset by CO2 and CH4 emissions whose magnitudes remain coarsely constrained. To better understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of gaseous carbon fluxes from marsh soils in a Mediterranean climate, we collected air and soil samples over the course of 10 months at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve (CSMR) located in the County of Santa Barbara, California. The CSMR consists of four distinct zones characterized by differences in elevation, tidal regime, and vegetation. Twelve static chambers were deployed among two lower marsh zones, a salt flat, and a marsh-upland transition zone for fortnightly flux measurements from September, 2015 to May, 2016. In August, 2015 and June, 2016, soil cores up to 50 cm deep were extracted near the chambers, segmented by depth, and analyzed for soil moisture, bulk density, EC, pH, organic/inorganic carbon, and total nitrogen content. The gaseous carbon fluxes showed significant spatiotemporal variability, and soil properties differed noticeably by zone and by depth. Integrated over the study period, the marsh-upland transition zone had the highest CO2 fluxes at 292 g C/m2, followed closely by the lower marsh zones (271 g C/m2 and 189 g C/m2), which were one order of magnitude higher than the CO2 fluxes from the salt flat (23 g C/m2). Seasonally, CO2 fluxes were 2.5 to 3.5 times higher during the warmer months (Sept - Oct, Mar - May) than the colder months (Nov - Feb) across all zones. The CH4 fluxes were more temporally heterogeneous, but overall the CH4 emissions from the lower marsh zones (1.37 g C/m2 and 0.41 g C/m2) surpassed those from the salt flat (0.054 g C/m2) by an order of magnitude, and the marsh-upland transition zone was a net methane sink (-0.029 g C/m2). Our results show that soil gaseous carbon

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Habitat heterogeneity: importance of salt marsh pools and high marsh surfaces to fish production in two Gulf of Maine salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.A. MacKenzie; M. Dionne

    2008-01-01

    Both permanent high marsh pools and the intertidal surfaces of Spartina patens high marshes in southern Maine, USA, proved to be important habitat for resident mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus production. Manipulations of fish movement onto high marsh Surfaces revealed similar growth rates and production among fish that were (1) restricted to pools, (2) had access to...

  14. 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.

  15. Density-dependent role of an invasive marsh grass, Phragmites australis, on ecosystem service provision.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth J Theuerkauf

    Full Text Available Invasive species can positively, neutrally, or negatively affect the provision of ecosystem services. The direction and magnitude of this effect can be a function of the invaders' density and the service(s of interest. We assessed the density-dependent effect of an invasive marsh grass, Phragmites australis, on three ecosystem services (plant diversity and community structure, shoreline stabilization, and carbon storage in two oligohaline marshes within the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NCNERR, USA. Plant species richness was equivalent among low, medium and high Phragmites density plots, and overall plant community composition did not vary significantly by Phragmites density. Shoreline change was most negative (landward retreat where Phragmites density was highest (-0.40 ± 0.19 m yr-1 vs. -0.31 ± 0.10 for low density Phragmites in the high energy marsh of Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve and most positive (soundward advance where Phragmites density was highest (0.19 ± 0.05 m yr-1 vs. 0.12 ± 0.07 for low density Phragmites in the lower energy marsh of Currituck Banks Reserve, although there was no significant effect of Phragmites density on shoreline change. In Currituck Banks, mean soil carbon content was approximately equivalent in cores extracted from low and high Phragmites density plots (23.23 ± 2.0 kg C m-3 vs. 22.81 ± 3.8. In Kitty Hawk Woods, mean soil carbon content was greater in low Phragmites density plots (36.63 ± 10.22 kg C m-3 than those with medium (13.99 ± 1.23 kg C m-3 or high density (21.61 ± 4.53 kg C m-3, but differences were not significant. These findings suggest an overall neutral density-dependent effect of Phragmites on three ecosystem services within two oligohaline marshes in different environmental settings within a protected reserve system. Moreover, the conceptual framework of this study can broadly inform an ecosystem services-based approach to invasive species

  16. Measuring the decomposition of organic carbon sequestered by salt marsh sediment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Light, T.; Mctigue, N.; Currin, C.

    2016-12-01

    As atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations continue to rise, salt marshes are increasingly being recognized as a natural carbon sink, for large amounts of organic carbon are sequestered by salt marsh sediments. However, little is known regarding the fate of this "blue carbon" after salt marsh sediment is disturbed via erosion or lost due to sea level rise. This investigation explored novel methodologies for determining the lability of carbon sequestered by salt marsh sediment. Sediment cores were collected from a Spartina alterniflora-dominated marsh in Camp Lejeune, NC, and elemental analysis revealed that the upper 76 cm of sediment at the site contains a total carbon stock of 28.4 kg /m2. Sediment ranging from 251-545 years old, as determined through radiocarbon dating, was incubated under sub-aerial and aqueous conditions for 18 days and 25 days respectively. Carbon dioxide flux measurements revealed that shallower sediment organic matter decomposed more rapidly than deeper sediment in sub-aerial incubations, but decomposition was fairly slow in both treatments. No significant organic matter decomposition was observed in the aqueous incubations, as revealed by analyses of organic carbon remaining after the incubation period. The aqueous incubation included a treatment that had been "primed" with highly labile yeast extract, but no significant priming effect was observed over 25 days. While further investigation on the fate of this sediment carbon is needed, these preliminary findings indicate that salt marshes facilitate long-term carbon sequestration even after disturbances. This in turn supports the argument for mitigating anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions through salt marsh restoration, and supports a policy of preserving and conserving coastal wetlands for this valuable ecosystem service.

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Haynert

    Full Text Available 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

  19. Responses of salt marsh ecosystems to mosquito control management practices along the Atlantic Coast (U.S.A.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    James-Pirri, Mary-Jane; Erwin, R. Michael; Prosser, Diann J.; Taylor, Janith D.

    2012-01-01

    Open marsh water management (OMWM) of salt marshes modifies grid-ditched marshes by creating permanent ponds and radial ditches in the high marsh that reduce mosquito production and enhance fish predation on mosquitoes. It is preferable to using pesticides to control salt marsh mosquito production and is commonly presented as a restoration or habitat enhancement tool for grid-ditched salt marshes. Monitoring of nekton, vegetation, groundwater level, soil salinity, and bird communities before and after OMWM at 11 (six treatment and five reference sites) Atlantic Coast (U.S.A.) salt marshes revealed high variability within and among differing OMWM techniques (ditch-plugging, reengineering of sill ditches, and the creation of ponds and radial ditches). At three marshes, the dominant nekton shifted from fish (primarily Fundulidae species) to shrimp (Palaemonidae species) after manipulations and shrimp density increased at other treatment sites. Vegetation changed at only two sites, one with construction equipment impacts (not desired) and one with a decrease in woody vegetation along existing ditches (desired). One marsh had lower groundwater level and soil salinity, and bird use, although variable, was often unrelated to OMWM manipulations. The potential effects of OMWM manipulations on non-target salt marsh resources need to be carefully considered by resource planners when managing marshes for mosquito control.

  20. Trophic shift in young-of-the-year Mugilidae during salt-marsh colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebreton, B; Richard, P; Guillou, G; Blanchard, G F

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the trophic shift of young-of-the-year (YOY) thinlip grey mullet Liza ramada and golden grey mullet Liza aurata during their recruitment in a salt marsh located on the European Atlantic Ocean coast. Stable-isotope signatures (δ(13) C and δ(15) N) of the fishes followed a pattern, having enrichments in (13) C and (15) N with increasing fork length (LF ): δ(13) C in fishes  30 mm δ(13) C ranged from -15.8 to -12.7‰, closer to the level in salt-marsh food resources. Large differences between the δ(15) N values of mugilids and those of food sources (6·0‰ on average) showed that YOY are secondary consumers, similar to older individuals, when feeding in the salt marsh. YOY mugilids shift from browsing on pelagic prey to grazing on benthic resources from the salt marsh before reaching 30 mm LF. The results highlight the role of European salt marshes as nurseries for juvenile mugilids. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  1. Temporal and spatial variation in CO2 exchange in a salt marsh dominated estuary (PIE LTER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbrich, I.; Giblin, A. E.; Morris, J. T.; Hopkinson, C.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes are important carbon sinks, but large uncertainties about current rates of carbon exchange with the atmosphere and the ocean remain. These need to be constrained for a better assessment of changes in long-term drivers such as sea level and climate. At the Plum Island Ecosystems LTER, we are expecting a transition from the current Spartina patens dominated high marsh to a more frequently flooded Spartina alterniflora dominated low marsh with increasing sea level. We have set up two eddy covariance sites, one in a high marsh (starting in 2013) and one in a low marsh (starting in 2015) to study net ecosystem CO2 exchange and evapotranspiration (ET). We use a broad-band NDVI to monitor phenology at both sites, which is tightly coupled to the CO2 fluxes. While the temporal dynamics do not vary much between the years, the magnitude in NDVI and CO2 fluxes does: For the high marsh site, we observe lower NDVI (and smaller overall net CO2 uptake) in years with low rainfall during the growing season, e.g. in 2014 and likely in 2016. In 2014, a low rainfall period occurred at the beginning of the growing season, during which ET was slightly higher than in other years, which likely increased soil salinity. In 2016, the period of low rainfall has extended much longer into the growing season (on-going) which seems to have an overall stronger effect (i.e. decrease) on low marsh net CO2 uptake than on the high marsh. We will discuss our findings in the context of salt marsh hydrology and carbon cycling in high and low marsh.

  2. OMWM - Quality Mosquito Control on Cordgrass Salt Marshes

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Open marsh water management ( OMWM) has evolved from over twenty years of cooperative efforts between mosquito control and conservation agencies. Its beginning came...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-19

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Esselink, Peter; Zijlstra, W; Dijkema, KS; van Diggelen, R

    To restore natural salt-marsh habitats, maintenance of the artificial drainage system was discontinued and cattle grazing was reduced in man-made salt marshes in the Dollard estuary, the Netherlands. We studied the vegetation development in these marshes shortly after these marshes became a nature

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Effects of several salt marsh plants on mouse spleen and thymus cell proliferation using mtt assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Youngwan; Lee, Hee-Jung; Kim, You Ah; Youn, Hyun Joo; Lee, Burm-Jong

    2005-12-01

    In the present study, we have tested the effects of 21 salt marsh plants on cell proliferation of mouse immune cells (spleen and thymus) using MTT assay in culture. The methanolic extracts of six salt marsh plants ( Rosa rugosa, Ixeris tamagawaensis, Artemisia capillaris, Tetragonia tetragonoides, Erigeron annus, and Glehnia littoralis) showed very powerful suppressive effects of mouse immune cell death and significant activities of cell proliferation in vitro. Especially, the methanolic extract of Rosa rugosa was found to have fifteen times compared to the control treatment, demonstrating that Rosa rugosa may have a potent stimulation effect on immune cell proliferation. These results suggest that several salt marsh plants including Rosa rugosa could be useful for further study as an immunomodulating agent.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-05-26

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

  8. Sedimentary processes and products in a mesotidal salt marsh environment: insights from Groves Creek, Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, C. R.; Hodgson, J. Y. S.; Brandes, J. A.

    2017-08-01

    Southeastern salt marshes are important repositories of sediment and carbon, and their formation is heavily dependent on deposition and accumulation of inorganic sediment. This study examined Groves Creek marsh near Savannah, GA, a typical Spartina alterniflora salt marsh of the southeastern US. Analyses were focused on the character, deposition and accumulation of material within the marsh on daily, monthly, decadal and centennial timescales, to determine the dominant factors in material supply and redistribution, and on its stratigraphy to determine the 1,000-year history of Groves Creek salt marsh development. Modern processes create gradients in grain size, which shows little variation from the tidal channel flanks up to mean sea level, and which coarsens with distance into the marsh from mean sea level to mean high water. This unexpected result suggests that, although floc transport is an important mechanism of sediment supply near the channel margins, energetic events must supply coarser materials to the marsh platform, where they are not readily removed by typical energy regimes. Daily deposition can approach 3 g/cm2 year; however, centennial accumulation rates are orders of magnitude lower (0.11±0.05 g/cm2 year) and are similar to those present over the past 300 years (0.05-0.2 g/cm2 year), indicating that much of the daily deposition is remobilized. Stable isotopic δ13C (average -18.7‰) and δ15N (average 5.7‰) values most likely indicate a large contribution from S. alterniflora as a carbon source throughout the marsh, although heavier δ15N on the channel flanks suggest that benthic algae may be locally important. Geologic, geochemical and microfossil evidence suggests that depositional conditions in the Groves Creek marsh have changed significantly over the past 1,000 years, creating a distinct fining-upward sequence. This sequence preserves the signature (from bottom to top) of subtidal flats grading to intertidal sandflats, an erosional lag

  9. Wetland Loss Patterns and Inundation-Productivity Relationships Prognosticate Widespread Salt Marsh Loss for Southern New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tidal salt marsh is a key defense against, yet is especially vulnerable to, the effects of accelerated sea level rise. To determine whether salt marshes in southern New England will be stable given increasing inundation over the coming decades, we examined current loss patterns, ...

  10. Vegetation change in a man-made salt marsh affected by a reduction in both grazing and drainage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Esselink, Peter; Fresco, LFM; Dijkema, KS

    In order to restore natural salt marsh in a 460-ha nature reserve established in man-made salt marsh in the Dollard estuary, The Netherlands, the artificial drainage system was neglected and cattle grazing reduced. Vegetation changes were traced through two vegetation surveys and monitoring of

  11. Improving salt marsh digital elevation model accuracy with full-waveform lidar and nonparametric predictive modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Jeffrey N.; Parrish, Christopher E.; Ward, Larry G.; Burdick, David M.

    2018-03-01

    Salt marsh vegetation tends to increase vertical uncertainty in light detection and ranging (lidar) derived elevation data, often causing the data to become ineffective for analysis of topographic features governing tidal inundation or vegetation zonation. Previous attempts at improving lidar data collected in salt marsh environments range from simply computing and subtracting the global elevation bias to more complex methods such as computing vegetation-specific, constant correction factors. The vegetation specific corrections can be used along with an existing habitat map to apply separate corrections to different areas within a study site. It is hypothesized here that correcting salt marsh lidar data by applying location-specific, point-by-point corrections, which are computed from lidar waveform-derived features, tidal-datum based elevation, distance from shoreline and other lidar digital elevation model based variables, using nonparametric regression will produce better results. The methods were developed and tested using full-waveform lidar and ground truth for three marshes in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Five different model algorithms for nonparametric regression were evaluated, with TreeNet's stochastic gradient boosting algorithm consistently producing better regression and classification results. Additionally, models were constructed to predict the vegetative zone (high marsh and low marsh). The predictive modeling methods used in this study estimated ground elevation with a mean bias of 0.00 m and a standard deviation of 0.07 m (0.07 m root mean square error). These methods appear very promising for correction of salt marsh lidar data and, importantly, do not require an existing habitat map, biomass measurements, or image based remote sensing data such as multi/hyperspectral imagery.

  12. Carbon burial in salt marshes following tidal restriction: A case study from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Current and future sea-level rise poses an imminent threat to coastal ecosystems, in part due to accelerating global warming resulting from increasing greenhouse gasses, mainly CO2 and CH4, in the atmosphere. Coastal ecosystems, such as salt marshes, sequester CO2 at greater rates than terrestrial ecosystems and store carbon for millennia, potentially playing an important role in the climate system due to their influence on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. However, these ecosystems have lost significant area globally and continue to be threatened by coastal development, rising sea level, and climate change. Restoration of coastal wetlands has been undertaken to preserve ecosystem services, such as bird and wild life habitat, storm protection, and recreation. The potential impact of wetland restoration on carbon burial is also an important ecosystem service. Indeed, it is now possible to receive carbon credits on voluntary carbon markets for coastal wetland restoration that demonstrate net carbon removal. However, science lags policy, as little is known about carbon burial post restoration. Nine marshes in Cape Cod, MA were studied to compare the natural marsh to restored areas where a tidal restriction previously impeded the supply of salt water, causing the loss of salt marsh vegetation. Over the past 5 to 20 years, these restrictions were widened to allow for increased tidal flow, which has allowed salt marsh vegetation to prosper again. Sediment cores were taken from both restored and natural areas in the marsh and age dated using the 210Pb continuous rate of supply model. Carbon density was evaluated in the top 80 cm of all cores. In the region of the cores representing post restoration conditions, the mean carbon densities of the natural sites are similar when compared to restored sites, thus showing that through restoration of salt marsh vegetation, carbon sequestration rates are similar to undisturbed salt marshes. Regions of the sediment cores

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph A. M.

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Windows of opportunity for salt marsh vegetation establishment on bare tidal flats : The importance of temporal and spatial variability in hydrodynamic forcing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hu, Z.; Van Belzen, J.; Van der Wal, D.; Balke, T.; Wang, Z.B.; Stive, M.J.F.; Bouma, T.J.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms limiting and facilitating salt marsh vegetation initial establishment is of widespread importance due to the many valuable services salt marsh ecosystems offer. Salt marsh dynamics have been investigated by many previous studies, but the mechanisms that enable or disable

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of nitrogen loading on greenhouse gas emissions in salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Kroeger, K. D.; Morkeski, K.; Mora, J.; Chen, X.; Carey, J.

    2014-12-01

    Salt marshes play an important role in global and regional carbon and nitrogen cycling. We tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic nitrogen loading alters 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 to triplicate plots 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 were not significant, but strong pulse emissions of N2O were observed after nitrogen was artificially added to the marsh. Our results will facilitate model development to simulate GHG emissions in coastal wetlands and support methodology development to assess carbon credits in preserving and restoring coastal wetlands.

  17. Oiling accelerates loss of salt marshes, southeastern Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beland, Michael; Biggs, Trent W.; Roberts, Dar A.; Peterson, Seth H.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Piazza, Sarai

    2017-01-01

    The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill damaged thousands of km2 of intertidal marsh along shorelines that had been experiencing elevated rates of erosion for decades. Yet, the contribution of marsh oiling to landscape-scale degradation and subsequent land loss has been difficult to quantify. Here, we applied advanced remote sensing techniques to map changes in marsh land cover and open water before and after oiling. We segmented the marsh shorelines into non-oiled and oiled reaches and calculated the land loss rates for each 10% increase in oil cover (e.g. 0% to >70%), to determine if land loss rates for each reach oiling category were significantly different before and after oiling. Finally, we calculated background land-loss rates to separate natural and oil-related erosion and land loss. Oiling caused significant increases in land losses, particularly along reaches of heavy oiling (>20% oil cover). For reaches with ≥20% oiling, land loss rates increased abruptly during the 2010–2013 period, and the loss rates during this period are significantly different from both the pre-oiling (p loss rates across oiled and non-oiled reaches (p = 0.557). We conclude that oiling increased land loss by more than 50%, but that land loss rates returned to background levels within 3–6 years after oiling, suggesting that oiling results in a large but temporary increase in land loss rates along the shoreline.

  18. Wind-Driven Sea-Level Variation Influences Dynamics of Salt Marsh Vegation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Cairns, David; Bartholdy, Jesper

    2011-01-01

    Long-term variation of mean sea level has been considered the primary exogenous factor of vegetation dynamics in salt marshes. In this study, we address the importance of short-term, wind-induced rise of the sea surface in such biogeographic changes. There was an unusual opportunity for examining...... field data on plant species frequency, sea-level variation, and sedimentation acquired from the Skallingen salt marsh in Denmark since the 1930s. The environmental and floristic history of Skallingen was summarized as (1) continuous sea-level rise with temporal variability (2.3–5.0 mm yr-1), (2......) continuous sedimentation with spatial variability (2.0–4.0 mm yr-1), (3) increased frequency of over-marsh flooding events, and (4) contemporary dominance of Halimione portulacoides, indicating little progressive succession toward a later phase. Conventionally, recent eustatic sea-level rise was believed...

  19. Understanding the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Denitrification in an Oregon Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marshes are highly susceptible to a range of climate change effects (e.g., sea-level rise, salinity changes, storm severity, shifts in vegetation across watershed). It is unclear how these effects will alter the spatial and temporal dynamics of denitrification, a potential p...

  20. A dynamic nitrogen budget model of a Pacific Northwest salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    The role of salt marshes as either nitrogen sinks or sources in relation to their adjacent estuaries has been a focus of ecosystem service research for many decades. The complex hydrology of these systems is driven by tides, upland surface runoff, precipitation, evapotranspirati...

  1. Drought, Snails, and Large-Scale Die-Off of Southern U.S. Salt Marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silliman, Brian R.; Koppel, Johan van de; Bertness, Mark D.; Stanton, Lee E.; Mendelssohn, Irving A.

    2005-01-01

    Salt marshes in the southeastern United States have recently experienced massive die-off, one of many examples of widespread degradation in marine and coastal ecosystems. Although intense drought is thought to be the primary cause of this die-off, we found snail grazing to be a major contributing

  2. Drought, snails, and large-scale die-off of Southern U.S. salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silliman, B.R.; Van de Koppel, J.; Bertness, M.D.; Stanton, L.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2005-01-01

    Salt marshes in the southeastern United States have recently experienced massive die-off, one of many examples of widespread degradation in marine and coastal ecosystems. Although intense drought is thought to be the primary cause of this die-off, we found snail grazing to be a major contributing

  3. Competitive exclusion of Elymus athericus from a high-stress habitat in a European salt marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bockelmann, AC; Neuhaus, R

    1 Zonation is often seen in environments with a strong physico-chemical gradient, such as salt marshes. It has been hypothesized that plant species are limited in their distribution by abiotic factors towards the more extreme end of the gradient, and by competition towards the more favourable end.

  4. Foraging site choice and diet selection of Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis breeding on grazed salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, Roel; Mandema, Freek S.; Bakker, Jan P.; Tinbergen, Joost M.

    2014-01-01

    Capsule Breeding Meadow Pipits foraged for caterpillars and large spiders in vegetation that was less heterogeneous than vegetation at random locations.Aims To gain a better understanding of the foraging ecology of breeding Meadow Pipits on grazed coastal salt marshes, we tested three hypotheses:

  5. Study of erosion processes in the Tinto salt-marshes with remote sensing images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Both climatic factors and the sea wave energy are two important factors to study the tidal wetlands. One of the most important wetlands in the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula is the Tinto salt-marshes, the third largest wetland in Andalusia after ...

  6. Distribution of root-associated bacterial communities along a salt-marsh primary succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Miao; Yang, Pu; Falcao Salles, Joana

    2016-01-01

    Proper quantification of the relative influence of soil and plant host on the root-associated microbiome can only be achieved by studying its distribution along an environmental gradient. Here we used an undisturbed salt marsh chronosequence to study the bacterial communities associated with the

  7. Effects of hydrologic conditions on biogeochemical processes and organic pollutant degradation in salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. James Catallo

    2000-01-01

    This work addressed the influence of tidal vs. static hydrologic conditions on biogeochemical processes and the transformation of pollutant organic chemicals (eight representative N-, O-, and S-heterocycles (NOSHs) from coal chemicals, crude oils, and pyrogenic mixtures) in salt marsh sediments. The goals were to: (1) determine the effects of static (flooded, drained)...

  8. Relative importance of macrophyte leaves for nitrogen uptake from flood water in tidal salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, T.J.; Stapel, J.; Van der Heiden, J.; Koutstaal, B.P.; Van Soelen, J.; Van IJzerloo, L.P.

    2002-01-01

    Nitrogen limits plant growth in most salt marshes. As foliar N-uptake makes a significant contribution to the overall N-requirements of submerged plant species such as (e.g.) seagrasses, we tested if foliar N-uptake was also significant in Spartina anglica Hubbard, a species that dominates the

  9. 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

  10. Competition and herbivory during salt marsh succession : the importance of forb growth strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dormann, CF; Van der Wal, R; Bakker, JP

    1 Despite much debate about their importance, only a few field studies have evaluated the intensity of competition and herbivory. 2 Artemisia maritima, Atriplex portulacoides and Plantago maritima, three plant species which are common in European temperate salt marshes, were transplanted into

  11. Salt marshes to adapt the flood defences along the Dutch Wadden Sea coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon-Steensma, van J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Concern about the effects of climate change have set in motion a search for flood protection measures to adapt coastlines to the foreseen accelerated sea level rise. In this context, the potential role of salt marshes to adapt the Wadden Sea’s flood defences was explored in the Netherlands Wadden

  12. What factors determine restoration success of a salt marsh ten years after de-embankment?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, Esther R.; Veeneklaas, R.M.; Bakker, Jan P.; Daniels, Petra; Esselink, Peter

    Questions How successful was the restoration of a salt marsh at a former summer polder on the mainland coast of the Dutch Wadden Sea 10 yr after de-embankment? What were the most important factors determining the level of restoration success? Location Noard-Fryslân Bûtendyks, northwest Netherlands.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  15. 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

    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...... of grazing has induced an increase in high-sward communities on former good-quality marshes. 2) Based on a high-resolution digital elevation model and two scenarios for projected rise in near-future sea levels, we employ an ArcMap allocation model to foresee the areal loss in salt marsh associated...... 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...

  16. 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 communities in

  17. 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.

  18. Oiling accelerates loss of salt marshes, southeastern Louisiana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Beland

    Full Text Available The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill damaged thousands of km2 of intertidal marsh along shorelines that had been experiencing elevated rates of erosion for decades. Yet, the contribution of marsh oiling to landscape-scale degradation and subsequent land loss has been difficult to quantify. Here, we applied advanced remote sensing techniques to map changes in marsh land cover and open water before and after oiling. We segmented the marsh shorelines into non-oiled and oiled reaches and calculated the land loss rates for each 10% increase in oil cover (e.g. 0% to >70%, to determine if land loss rates for each reach oiling category were significantly different before and after oiling. Finally, we calculated background land-loss rates to separate natural and oil-related erosion and land loss. Oiling caused significant increases in land losses, particularly along reaches of heavy oiling (>20% oil cover. For reaches with ≥20% oiling, land loss rates increased abruptly during the 2010-2013 period, and the loss rates during this period are significantly different from both the pre-oiling (p < 0.0001 and 2013-2016 post-oiling periods (p < 0.0001. The pre-oiling and 2013-2016 post-oiling periods exhibit no significant differences in land loss rates across oiled and non-oiled reaches (p = 0.557. We conclude that oiling increased land loss by more than 50%, but that land loss rates returned to background levels within 3-6 years after oiling, suggesting that oiling results in a large but temporary increase in land loss rates along the shoreline.

  19. Salt marsh vegetation promotes efficient tidal channel networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, W. S.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Taxonomic studies of grasses and their indigenous uses in the salt ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Taxonomic studies of grasses and their indigenous uses in the salt range area of Pakistan. ... The present investigations were carried out in Salt Range area of Pakistan, regarding the morphology of grasses as an aid to their correct identification, their distribution ... In situ conservation is recommended for future research ...

  1. Accumulation, distribution and cellular partitioning of mercury in several halophytes of a contaminated salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Rita; Pereira, Sofia; Lima, Ana; Corticeiro, Sofia; Válega, Mónica; Pereira, Eduarda; Duarte, Armando; Figueira, Etelvina

    2009-09-01

    This work evaluates the role of a plant community in mercury (Hg) stabilization and mobility in a contaminated Portuguese salt marsh. With this aim, the distribution of Hg in below and aboveground tissues, as well as the metal partitioning between cellular fractions (soluble and insoluble) in four different species (Triglochin maritima L., Juncus maritimus Lam, Sarcocornia perennis (Miller) A.J. Scott, and Halimione portulacoides (L.) Aellen) was assessed. Mercury accumulation, translocation and compartmentation between organs and cellular fractions were related to the plant species. Results showed that the degree of Hg absorption and retention was influenced both by environmental parameters and metal translocation/partitioning strategies. Different plant species presented different allocation patterns, with marked differences between monocots (T. maritima and J. maritimus) and dicots (S. perennis, H. portulacoides). Overall, the two monocots, in particular T. maritima showed higher Hg retention in the belowground organs whereas the dicots, particularly S. perennis presented a more pronounced translocation to the aboveground tissues. Considering cellular Hg partitioning, all species showed a higher Hg binding to cell walls and membranes rather than in the soluble fractions. This strategy can be related to the high degree of tolerance observed in the studied species. These results indicate that the composition of salt marsh plant communities can be very important in dictating the Hg mobility within the marsh ecosystem and in the rest of the aquatic system as well as providing important insights to future phytoremediation approaches in Hg contaminated salt marshes.

  2. Community Composition of Nitrous Oxide-Related Genes in Salt Marsh Sediments Exposed to Nitrogen Enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John H. Angell

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes provide many key ecosystem services that have tremendous ecological and economic value. One critical service is the removal of fixed nitrogen from coastal waters, which limits the negative effects of eutrophication resulting from increased nutrient supply. Nutrient enrichment of salt marsh sediments results in higher rates of nitrogen cycling and, commonly, a concurrent increase in the flux of nitrous oxide, an important greenhouse gas. Little is known, however, regarding controls on the microbial communities that contribute to nitrous oxide fluxes in marsh sediments. To address this disconnect, we generated profiles of microbial communities and communities of micro-organisms containing specific nitrogen cycling genes that encode several enzymes (amoA, norB, nosZ related to nitrous oxide flux from salt marsh sediments. We hypothesized that communities of microbes responsible for nitrogen transformations will be structured by nitrogen availability. Taxa that respond positively to high nitrogen inputs may be responsible for the elevated rates of nitrogen cycling processes measured in fertilized sediments. Our data show that, with the exception of ammonia-oxidizing archaea, the community composition of organisms involved in the production and consumption of nitrous oxide was altered under nutrient enrichment. These results suggest that previously measured rates of nitrous oxide production and consumption are likely the result of changes in community structure, not simply changes in microbial activity.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP–Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they provide (e.g., shoreline protection) are affected by and recover from large-scale disturbance. Here we report on not only rapid salt-marsh recovery (high resilience) but also permanent marsh area loss ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they provide (e. g., shoreline protection) are affected by and recover from large-scale disturbance. Here we report on not only rapid salt-marsh recovery (high resilience) but also permanent marsh area loss...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Coastal wetlands denitrify nitrate (NO3-)-rich urban and agricultural runoff, and thus decrease anthropogenic nitrogen loading on downslope aquatic ecosystems. Elevation gradients in coastal wetlands likely create redox gradients that result in a range of denitrification dynamics. Our objective was to determine if this redox gradient could elucidate the controls on nitrous oxide (N2O) production and consumption in a salt marsh bordering Tomales Bay, CA. We installed soil equilibration chambers to measure soil oxygen (O2) at 10 cm depth along a transect in each of three marsh zones: high, mid, and low (n=4 per zone). We used the stable isotope trace gas pool dilution technique to measure gross rates of N2O production and consumption over three hour sampling periods at low tide when the surface soils were not saturated. Intact soil cores (0-10 cm depth) taken from the flux chamber footprints were extracted for ammonium, NO3-, and ferric and ferrous iron (Fe(III) and Fe(II)) concentrations as well as assayed for denitrifying enzyme activity (DEA). We sampled on four dates to characterize N2O dynamics across a range of environmental conditions. Bulk soil O2 concentrations in the soil equilibration chambers were higher in the high marsh than in the mid and low marshes (pNO3- concentrations were significantly lower and HCl-extractable Fe(II) concentrations were significantly higher in the low marsh compared to the high and mid marshes (NO3- p<0.001, Fe(II) p<0.001, n=44). Despite differences in redox among the marsh zones, neither gross rates of N2O production (Figure 1a) nor consumption (Figure 1b) varied significantly among the zones. DEA also did not differ among marsh zones, with averages ranging from 136 ± 30 ng-N g-1 h-1 in the mid marsh to 550 ± 121 ng-N g-1 h-1 in the low marsh. Overall, this salt marsh was neither an N2O source nor sink, with net N2O fluxes averaging 51 ± 40 μg-N m-2 d-1 across all marsh zones and sampling dates. However, net N2O fluxes were

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-25

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

  9. Salt-marsh erosion associated with hurricane landfall in southern New England in the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plassche, Orson van de; Erkens, Gilles; Vliet, Frank van; Brandsma, J.; Borg, K. van der; Jong, A.F.M. de

    2006-01-01

    Lithostratigraphic and radiocarbon data from the inland section of Pattagansett River Marsh, Connecticut, show that this sheltered part of the salt marsh underwent significant erosion twice during the past 600 yr, each time followed by rapid and complete infilling of the eroded space with tidal mud

  10. Salt-marsh erosion associated with hurricane landfall in southern New England in the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Plassche, O.; Erkens, G.; van Vliet, F.; Brandsma, J.; van de Borg, K.; de Jong, A.F.M

    2006-01-01

    Lithostratigraphic and radiocarbon data from the inland section of Pattagansett River Marsh, Connecticut, show that this sheltered part of the salt marsh underwent significant erosion twice during the past 600 yr, each time followed by rapid and complete infilling of the eroded space with tidal mud

  11. The morpho-agronomic characterization study of Lens culinaris germplasm under salt marsh habitat in Swat, Pakistan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rabia Noor; Shujaul Mulk Khan; Fayaz Ahmad; Murtaza Hussain; Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah; Abdulaziz A. Alqarawi; Abeer Hashem; Abdullah Aldubise

    2017-01-01

    The present research study evaluate and identify the most suitable and high yielding genotypes of Lens culinaris for the salt marsh habitat of Swat in moist temperate sort of agro climatic environment of Pakistan...

  12. Relative influence of habitat fragmentation and inundation on brown shrimpFarfantepenaeus aztecusproduction in northern Gulf of Mexico salt marshes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    B. M. Roth; K. A. Rose; L. P. Rozas; T. J. Minello

    2008-01-01

    We used a spatially explicit individual-based model to investigate the relative influences of inundation and habitat fragmentation on brown shrimp production in northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) salt marshes...

  13. Identification of Metrics to Monitor Salt Marsh Integrity on National Wildlife Refuges In Relation to Conservation and Management Objectives

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — We used SDM to guide selection of variables for monitoring the ecological integrity of salt marshes within the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS). Our objectives...

  14. Mean tidal range in salt marsh units of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey (polygon shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Biomass production is positively correlated with mean tidal range in salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of the United States of America. Recent studies support...

  15. Numerical simulations of Holocene salt-marsh dynamics under the hypothesis of large soil deformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccarato, C.; Teatini, P.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are vulnerable environments hosting complex interactions between physical and biological processes. The prediction of the elevation dynamics of a salt-marsh platform is crucial to forecast its future behavior under potential changing scenarios. An original finite-element (FE) numerical model accounting for the long-term marsh accretion and compaction linked to relative sea level rise is proposed. The accretion term considers the material sedimentation 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 modeling approach is based on a 2D groundwater flow simulator coupled to a 1D vertical geomechanical module, where the soil properties may vary with the effective intergranular stress. The model takes also 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 numerical experiments show the potentiality of the proposed 2D model, which consistently integrates in modeling framework the behavior of spatially distributed model parameters. High sedimentation rates and low permeabilities largely impact on the mechanism of soil compaction following the overpressure dissipation.

  16. Salisapiliaceae - a new family of oomycetes from marsh grass litter of southeastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulvey, J; Telle, S; Nigrelli, L; Lamour, K; Thines, M

    2010-12-01

    Several filamentous oomycete species of the genus Halophytophthora have recently been described from marine environments, mostly from subtropical and tropical ecosystems. During a survey of oomycetes from leaf litter of Spartina alterniflora in salt marshes of southeastern Georgia, isolates of four taxa were recovered that bore similarity to some members of Halophytophthora but were highly divergent from isolates of Halophytophthora s.str. based on a combined sequence analysis of two nuclear loci. In phylogenetic analyses, these isolates were placed basal to a monophyletic group comprised of Pythium of the Pythiaceae and the Peronosporaceae. Sequence and morphology of these taxa diverged from the type species Halophytophthora vesicula, which was placed within the Peronosporaceae with maximum support. As a consequence a new family, the Salisapiliaceae, and a new genus, Salisapilia, are described to accommodate the newly discovered species, along with one species previously classified within Halophytophthora. Morphological features that separate these taxa from Halophytophthora are a smaller hyphal diameter, oospore production, lack of vesicle formation during sporulation, and a plug of hyaline material at the sporangial apex that is displaced during zoospore release. Our findings offer a first glance at the presumably much higher diversity of oomycetes in estuarine environments, of which ecological significance requires further exploration.

  17. Taxonomical, phytogeographical and ecological analysis of the salt marsh flora of Central and Southern Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zlatković, I.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The floristic studies of salt marshes of Central and Southern Serbia in period 2000-2014 have shown presence of 333 taxa within 176 genera and 46 families. The phytogeographical structure is dominated by taxa with wide distribution (291 or 87.39%. The best represented chorological types are: Eurasian, Holarctic, Mediterranean-submediterranean and cosmopolitan. The analysis of representation of life forms has shown that salt marsh flora in this part of Serbia has therophytic character, with a significant participation of hemicryptophytes. Presence of a high number of threatened taxa, including some listed in “Red Book of Flora of Serbia, 1” as critically endangered (Cr plant taxa, indicates pronounced importance of these habitats for biodiversity conservation.

  18. 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.

  19. Napa River Salt Marsh Restoration Project. Volume 2: Environmental Impact Statement Comments Letters and Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-01

    freshwater enriched with biologically available forms of nitrogen and phosphorus (residual in tertiary treated wastewater) would risk converting...including glyphosate application. 7.2.3.1. I agree that salinity impacts to fish are unlikely in unconfined areas of ponds and channels, where fish may...habitat are essentially 12-28 brackish (in contrast with central and most south San Francisco Bay salt marshes lacking significant freshwater influence

  20. Effect of spring-neap tide and evaporation on the salt dynamics in estuarine marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chenming; Shen, Chengji; Xin, Pei; Li, Ling

    2016-04-01

    Salt dynamics in estuarine tidal marshes are strongly associated with their intrinsic hydrological processes and ecological behaviors, which are not well understood. Numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the transport and distribution of pore-water and salt in a vertical cross section perpendicular to a tidal creek that subjects to spring-neap tide and evaporation. Vaporizing pore-water from the unsaturated soil surface with salt left in, the time-variant actual evaporation is affected by aerodynamic factors as well as soil conditions, including pore-water saturation, salinity and the thickness of salt precipitation above the soil surface (efflorescence). Different simulation cases were performed by adjusting the potential evaporation rate, tidal signals, marsh platform slope and soil properties. The simulation analysis indicates that, the tide-averaged soil salinity increases with the reduction of inundation period under a spring-neap tide cycle. As the salt accumulated by evaporation could leave soil from seepage back to seawater during ebbtide, the pore-water salinity at the surface within the tidal range remains below solubility. Coarse soils tend to have more intensified seepage flow and hence less pore-water salinity than fine soils. With the presence of hyper-saline soil and efflorescence, salt flat develops only in the area where capillary connection between evaporating surface and water table is maintained while tidal inundation absent. On the contrary, the supratidal marsh where hydrological connections are disrupted keeps a relatively low soil salinity (40-60 ppt) and pore-water saturation as evaporation remains low throughout the tidal cycles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Brittany D; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany D McCall

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

  3. An integrated approach to prevent the erosion of salt marshes in the lagoon of Venice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Barausse

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The loss of coastal habitats is a widespread problem in Europe. To protect the intertidal salt marshes of the lagoon of Venice from the erosion due to natural and human causes which is diffusely and intensely impacting them, the European Commission has funded the demonstrative project LIFE VIMINE. LIFE VIMINE aims to protect the most interior, hard-to-access salt marshes in the northern lagoon of Venice through an integrated approach, whose core is the prevention of erosion through numerous, small but spatially-diffuse soil-bioengineering protections works, mainly placed through semi-manual labour and with low impact on the environment and the landscape. The effectiveness of protection works in the long term is ensured through routine, temporally-continuous and spatially-diffuse actions of monitoring and maintenance. This method contrasts the common approach to managing hydraulic risk and erosion in Italy which is based on large, one-off and irreversible protection actions. The sustainability of the LIFE VIMINE approach is ensured by the participatory involvement of stakeholders and the recognition that protecting salt marshes means defending the benefits they provide to society through their ecological functions, as well as protecting the jobs linked to the existence or conservation of this habitat.

  4. Detection of fallout 241Am in U.S. Atlantic salt marsh soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, B. M.; Sommerfield, C. K.

    2017-09-01

    We report the presence of the fallout radionuclide 241Am (t1/2 = 433 years) in salt marsh soils from two U.S. Atlantic estuaries and discuss its utility as a particle tracer and geochronometer. This work is motivated by the knowledge that 137Cs, the most widely used geochronometer in environmental studies, will decay to extinction during the next century. At the same time, levels of 241Am, produced by radioactive decay of fallout 241Pu, will continue to increase on Earth's surface as they have since the height of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s. Measurements of 241Am in soils at eighteen salt marsh locations were made by non-destructive gamma spectrometry and compared to activities of 137Cs in the same samples. Results indicate that decay of fallout 241Pu can explain the presence of 241Am in the soils, and that the activities are sufficiently high to provide meaningful chronological information with acceptable confidence limits. We achieved a detection limit of 0.28-1.47 Bq kg-1 using low-energy, planar germanium detectors and 11-55 g powderized samples. Activities of 241Am (0.08-6.44 Bq kg-1) were similar in mineral- and organic-rich marsh soils indicating that soil composition does not appear to influence the initial capture of 241Pu and retention of its 241Am progeny. Given its high affinity for fine particles, long half-life, and ease of measurement by non-destructive gamma spectrometry, 241Am has potential to serve as an alternative to 137Cs geochronometry in salt marshes and perhaps other estuarine and coastal environments.

  5. 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.

  6. Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Salt Marshes Exposed to Chronic Nutrient Enrichment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gail L Chmura

    Full Text Available We assessed the impact of nutrient additions on greenhouse gas fluxes using dark static chambers in a microtidal and a macrotidal marsh along the coast of New Brunswick, Canada approximately monthly over a year. Both were experimentally fertilized for six years with varying levels of N and P. For unfertilized, N and NPK treatments, average yearly CO2 emissions (which represent only respiration at the microtidal marsh (13, 19, and 28 mmoles CO2 m(-2 hr(-1, respectively were higher than at the macrotidal marsh (12, 15, and 19 mmoles m(-2 hr(-1, respectively, with a flux under the additional high N/low P treatment of 21 mmoles m(-2 hr(-1. Response of CH4 to fertilization was more variable. At the macrotidal marsh average yearly fluxes were 1.29, 1.26, and 0.77 μmol CH4 m(-2 hr(-1 with control, N, and NPK treatments, respectively and 1.21 μmol m(-2 hr(-1 under high N/low P treatment. At the microtidal marsh CH4 fluxes were 0.23, 0.16, and -0.24 μmol CH4 m(-2 hr(-1 in control, N, and NPK and treatments, respectively. Fertilization changed soils from sinks to sources of N2O. Average yearly N2O fluxes at the macrotidal marsh were -0.07, 0.08, and 1.70, μmol N2O m(-2 hr(-1 in control, N, NPK and treatments, respectively and 0.35 μmol m(-2 hr(-1 under high N/low P treatment. For the control, N, and NPK treatments at the microtidal marsh N2O fluxes were -0.05, 0.30, and 0.52 μmol N2O m(-2 hr(-1, respectively. Our results indicate that N2O fluxes are likely to vary with the source of pollutant nutrients but emissions will be lower if N is not accompanied by an adequate supply of P (e.g., atmospheric deposition vs sewage or agricultural runoff. With chronic fertilization the global warming potential of the increased N2O emissions may be enough to offset the global cooling potential of the C sequestered by salt marshes.

  7. 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.

  8. Avian response to early tidal salt marsh restoration at former commercial salt evaporation ponds in San Francisco Bay, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athearn, Nicole D.; Takekawa, John Y.; Shinn, Joel

    2009-01-01

    Restoration of former commercial salt evaporation ponds in the San Francisco Bay estuary is intended to reverse a severe decline (>79%) in tidal salt marshes. San Francisco Bay is a critical migratory stopover site and wintering area for shorebirds and waterfowl, and salt ponds are important high tide roosting and foraging areas. Conservation of past bird abundance is a stated goal of area restoration projects, and early adaptive management will be critical for achieving this objective. However, initial avian response at sites restored to tidal flow may not be indicative of long-term results. For example, winter shorebirds at a 529 ha pond breached in 2002 showed a marked increase in shorebird abundance following breaching. Shorebirds comprised 1% of area totals during 1999-2002 and increased to 46% during 2003-2008. These changes accompanied increased tidal range and sedimentation, but minimal vegetation establishment. Conversely, a fully vegetated, restored 216 ha pond in the same system consistently supported less than 2% of all waterbirds in the region. Early restoration may temporarily increase habitat, but managed ponds will be needed for long-term waterbird abundance within a restored pond-marsh system.

  9. The effect of source suspended sediment concentration on the sediment dynamics of a macrotidal creek and salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, Emma; van Proosdij, Danika; Milligan, Timothy G.

    2017-09-01

    Seasonal variability in the sediment dynamics of a Bay of Fundy tidal creek and salt marsh system was analyzed to better understand the ecomorphodynamics of a high suspended sediment concentration intertidal habitat. Data were collected over 62 tides for velocity, suspended sediment concentration, deposition, and grain size at four stations from the creek thalweg to the marsh surface. Five topographic surveys were also conducted throughout the 14-month study. Deposition rates per tide varied spatially from 56.4 g m-2 at the creek thalweg to 15.3 g m-2 at the marsh surface. Seasonal variations in deposition in the creek and marsh surface were from 38.0 g m-2 to 97.7 g m-2 and from 12.2 g m-2 to 19.6 g m-2 respectively. Deposition and erosion were greatest in late fall and winter. This seasonal change, led by higher suspended sediment concentrations, was observed in the creek and at the marsh bank but notably absent from the marsh edge and marsh surface. Sediments were predominantly deposited in floc form (76-83%). Because of high floc content, higher suspended sediment concentrations led to more rapid loss of sediment from suspension. With increasing sediment concentration, deposition increased in the tidal creek and at the marsh bank but not at the marsh edge or marsh surface. This suggests that in highly flocculated environments the water column clears fast enough that very little sediment remains in suspension when the water reaches the marsh and that the sediment concentration during marsh inundation is independent of the initial concentration in the creek.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Population Dynamics and Community Composition of Ammonia Oxidizers in Salt Marshes after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    OpenAIRE

    Bernhard, Anne E.; Sheffer, Roberta; Giblin, Anne E.; Marton, John M.; Roberts, Brian J.

    2016-01-01

    The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had significant effects on microbial communities in the Gulf, but impacts on nitrifying communities in adjacent salt marshes have not been investigated. We studied persistent effects of oil on ammonia-oxidizing archaeal (AOA) and bacterial (AOB) communities and their relationship to nitrification rates and soil properties in Louisiana marshes impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Soils were collected at oiled and unoiled sites from Louisiana c...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Salt Marsh Net Ecosystem Carbon Balance: Improving Methods to Quantify the Role of Lateral (Tidal) Exchanges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroeger, K. D.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal wetlands are prime candidates for greenhouse gas emission offsets as they display extraordinarily high rates of carbon (C) sequestration. However, lack of data about rates of and controls on C sequestration in tidal wetlands, as well as substantial temporal and spatial heterogeneity, complicate development of both models and a methodology for use by C registries. The goals of our field research are to improve understanding of the climatic role of coastal wetlands, quantify potential for GHG emission offsets through restoration or preservation, and quantify impacts of eutrophication and other environmental factors. Among our objectives is to construct C and greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets for salt marshes, based on measurements of GHG exchanges with the atmosphere, C storage in soils, and lateral (tidal) exchanges of gases, C, and sediment. In this presentation, emphasis is on rate and source of tidal exchanges between salt marshes and adjacent estuaries. We measured fluxes by collecting high frequency data on tidal water flows and physical and chemical conditions in wetland channels using acoustic and optical sensors, as well as laser absorption spectrometry. To provide site-specific calibrations of sensors, we collected water samples across tidal cycles and seasons. Source investigations include analysis of stable isotope and lipid compositions. We used multiple regressions to estimate dissolved organic (DOC) and inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations at high frequency over extended time. Carbon flux was calculated as the product of concentration and water flux, corrected for modeled flow outside of the tidal creek. Annual rates of net C flux from wetland to estuary indicate that both DOC and DIC are large terms in the salt marsh carbon budget relative to net exchange with the atmosphere and rate of storage in soil, and that DIC flux may have been underestimated in previous studies.

  16. Review of the ecosystem service implications of mangrove encroachment into salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelleway, Jeffrey J; Cavanaugh, Kyle; Rogers, Kerrylee; Feller, Ilka C; Ens, Emilie; Doughty, Cheryl; Saintilan, Neil

    2017-10-01

    Salt marsh and mangrove have been recognized as being among the most valuable ecosystem types globally in terms of their supply of ecosystem services and support for human livelihoods. These coastal ecosystems are also susceptible to the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels, with evidence of global shifts in the distribution of mangroves, including encroachment into salt marshes. The encroachment of woody mangrove shrubs and trees into herbaceous salt marshes may represent a substantial change in ecosystem structure, although resulting impacts on ecosystem functions and service provisions are largely unknown. In this review, we assess changes in ecosystem services associated with mangrove encroachment. While there is quantitative evidence to suggest that mangrove encroachment may enhance carbon storage and the capacity of a wetland to increase surface elevation in response to sea-level rise, for most services there has been no direct assessment of encroachment impact. On the basis of current understanding of ecosystem structure and function, we theorize that mangrove encroachment may increase nutrient storage and improve storm protection, but cause declines in habitat availability for fauna requiring open vegetation structure (such as migratory birds and foraging bats) as well as the recreational and cultural activities associated with this fauna (e.g., birdwatching and/or hunting). Changes to provisional services such as fisheries productivity and cultural services are likely to be site specific and dependent on the species involved. We discuss the need for explicit experimental testing of the effects of encroachment on ecosystem services in order to address key knowledge gaps, and present an overview of the options available to coastal resource managers during a time of environmental change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Diet Composition of Mummichogs, Fundulus heteroclitus, from Restoring and Unrestricted Regions of a New England (U.S.A.) Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    James-Pirri, M. J.; Raposa, K. B.; Catena, J. G.

    2001-08-01

    Diet composition of mummichogs, Fundulus heteroclitus, from three marsh habitats (creeks, pools, and marsh surface) within tidally restored and an adjacent unrestricted (reference) region of Sachuest Point salt marsh (Middletown, RI, U.S.A.) was examined. Major diet components were detritus, copepods, diatoms, insects (larvae and adults), ostracods, and chironomids. Total length, wet weight, and gut fullness of mummichogs were equivalent within habitats between the restoring and unrestricted marshes. Diet composition and percent abundance of diet items were also similar within habitats between the unrestricted and restoring marshes. However, differences in diet patterns were observed among habitats (creeks, pools, and marsh surface) within each marsh. Fish collected from creeks had fuller guts than those sampled from the marsh surface for both the restoring and unrestricted marsh. Diet composition also differed among marsh habitats, but only within the restoring marsh. In the restoring marsh, fish sampled from the creeks consumed primarily detritus, diatoms, and ostracods, whereas fish from the pools consumed mainly detritus, copepods, chironomids, and insects. Differences in diet composition among habitats were most likely a reflection of prey availability. This study provides evidence that tidally restored marshes can provide similar food resources as unrestricted marshes, in terms of consumption patterns of dominant marsh consumers, within the first year after restoration, before major shifts in dominant vegetation (i.e. from Phragmites australis to Spartina spp.) occur.

  18. Measuring Organic Carbon Sequestration, Burial, and Preservation in Salt Marsh Sediments over the Past Two Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTigue, N. D.; Davis, J.; Tobias, C. R.; McKee, B. A.; Rodriguez, A. B.; Currin, C.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes have enormous potential to bury and store organic carbon in sediment for centuries to millennia. This production of "blue carbon" in coastal systems is an ecosystem service that is posited as a long-term store of atmospheric CO2, but the sequestration rate, longevity, and ultimate fate of this stored carbon is not well understood. Furthermore, the loss of wetlands is predicted to release a large fraction of the organic carbon stock back into the atmosphere via remineralization, yet very few experimental data exist to substantiate or refute this hypothesis. In order to elucidate the long-term diagenesis of blue carbon, we measured the organic carbon stock in two transects of marsh perpendicular to the creekbank and radiocarbon-dated (14C) the organic carbon at the marsh interface at the bottom of each core. Given the ages of the marsh (ranging from 145 to 2400 yBP), sediment carbon accumulation rates were determined for all cores, which varied from 19 to 190 g C m-2 y-1. We used stable carbon isotopes ratios (δ13C) to examine not only historic transitions between C3 (e.g., Juncus roemarianus or upland maritime forest) and C4 (e.g., Spartina alterniflora) vegetation but also the relationship between carbon storage and plant community. More depleted stable carbon isotope signatures (δ13C < -26‰), which correspond to C3 vegetation, tended to have higher organic carbon concentrations, even to depths of 2 m and ages of 2000 years old, and accumulated carbon on the order of 120 - 190 g C m-2 y-1 averaged over century timescales. Relatively 13C-enriched sediment, indicative of Spartina marshes, buried and preserved less organic carbon (19 - 86 g C m-2 y-1) over the past millennium. Overall, these measurements provide evidence that a fraction of belowground biomass production of marsh plants can be stored thousands of years, but the efficiency of this ecosystem service depends on various factors such as the rate of sea level rise and plant community

  19. Inorganic analytes in light-footed clapper rail eggs, in their primary prey, and in sediment from two California salt marsh habitats

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The salt marshes of California have undergone significant changes in the last century. The increased human population in California has reduced the viability of salt...

  20. Temporal trends in microbial abundance and biodegradation in Louisiana salt marshes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoudi, N.; Fulthorpe, R. R.; Zimmerman, A. R.; Silliman, B. R.; Slater, G. F.

    2012-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began in April 2010 released approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico waters. Coastal salt marshes experienced moderate to heavy oiling as spilled oils washed ashore and threatened economically important habitats. In situ biodegradation of petroleum by microbes is one of the most effective methods used to remediate oil spills. However, demonstrating biodegradation can be challenging due to heterogeneous distributions of contaminants and dynamic conditions of coastal ecosystems. Salt marshes provide a unique opportunity in which variations in the natural abundance of δ13C can be used to confirm in situ biodegradation of petroleum. Marsh grasses, specifically Spartina sp., have δ13C values of -12 to -14‰ whereas the BP crude oil has a δ13C signature of -27‰. Thus, the 13C content of microbial membrane lipids (which reflects their carbon source) can be used to detect incorporation of petroleum-derived carbon. We investigated biodegradation in marsh sediments in oiled and non-oiled portions of Barataria Bay, Louisiana which experienced some of the most extensive oil contamination. Samples were collected 3, 9 and 15 months following Deepwater Horizon oil intrusion to assess biodegradation over time. Total alkane and PAH analyses confirmed that by Oct 2011 (15 months), concentrations had been significantly reduced (by up to 50,000 ug/kg at some sites). Microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis revealed that cell densities decreased over the 1 year sampling period across both oil-impacted and non-impacted sites indicating that, rather than petroleum presence, seasonal variability was likely the primary control on microbial abundance. The ranges of δ13C PLFA values in oil-impacted (-26.7 to -30.5‰ ± 1.0) and non-impacted sediments (-24.5 to -33.3‰ ± 0.7) in Oct 2010 overlap, thereby reducing confidence in confirmation of biodegradation at this time point. However, in Oct 2011, PLFA

  1. Effects of natural and anthropogenic change on habitat use and movement of endangered salt marsh harvest mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Effects of natural and anthropogenic change on habitat use and movement of endangered salt marsh harvest mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine R Smith

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

  3. Growth and photosynthesis responses of two co-occurring marsh grasses to inundation and varied nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    For southern New England tidal marshes, the late twentieth century decline of Spartina patens has been attributed to increased flooding associated with accelerated sea level rise and nitrogen over-enrichment from cultural eutrophication, either singly or in combination. The obje...

  4. 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

  5. Salt Marsh Monitoring in Jamaica Bay, New York from 2003 to 2013: A Decade of Change from Restoration to Hurricane Sandy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Campbell

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study used Quickbird-2 and Worldview-2, high resolution satellite imagery, in a multi-temporal salt marsh mapping and change analysis of Jamaica Bay, New York. An object-based image analysis methodology was employed. The study seeks to understand both natural and anthropogenic changes caused by Hurricane Sandy and salt marsh restoration, respectively. The objectives of this study were to: (1 document salt marsh change in Jamaica Bay from 2003 to 2013; (2 determine the impact of Hurricane Sandy on salt marshes within Jamaica Bay; (3 evaluate this long term monitoring methodology; and (4 evaluate the use of multiple sensor derived classifications to conduct change analysis. The study determined changes from 2003 to 2008, 2008 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013 to better understand the impact of restoration and natural disturbances. The study found that 21 ha of salt marsh vegetation was lost from 2003 to 2013. From 2012 to 2013, restoration efforts resulted in an increase of 10.6 ha of salt marsh. Hurricane Sandy breached West Pond, a freshwater environment, causing 3.1 ha of freshwater wetland loss. The natural salt marsh showed a decreasing trend in loss. Larger salt marshes in 2012 tended to add vegetation in 2012–2013 (F4,6 = 13.93, p = 0.0357 and R2 = 0.90. The study provides important information for the resource management of Jamaica Bay.

  6. Shoreline oiling effects and recovery of salt marsh macroinvertebrates from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deis, Donald R; Fleeger, John W; Bourgoin, Stefan M; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Lin, Qianxin; Hou, Aixin

    2017-01-01

    Salt marshes in northern Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA were oiled, sometimes heavily, in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Previous studies indicate that fiddler crabs (in the genus Uca) and the salt marsh periwinkle (Littoraria irrorata) were negatively impacted in the short term by the spill. Here, we detail longer-term effects and recovery from moderate and heavy oiling over a 3-year span, beginning 30 months after the spill. Although neither fiddler crab burrow density nor diameter differed between oiled and reference sites when combined across all sampling events, these traits differed among some individual sampling periods consistent with a pattern of lingering oiling impacts. Periwinkle density, however, increased in all oiling categories and shell-length groups during our sampling period, and periwinkle densities were consistently highest at moderately oiled sites where Spartina alterniflora aboveground biomass was highest. Periwinkle shell length linearly increased from a mean of 16.5 to 19.2 mm over the study period at reference sites. In contrast, shell lengths at moderately oiled and heavily oiled sites increased through month 48 after the spill, but then decreased. This decrease was associated with a decline in the relative abundance of large adults (shell length 21-26 mm) at oiled sites which was likely caused by chronic hydrocarbon toxicity or oil-induced effects on habitat quality or food resources. Overall, the recovery of S. alterniflora facilitated the recovery of fiddler crabs and periwinkles. However, our long-term record not only indicates that variation in periwinkle mean shell length and length-frequency distributions are sensitive indicators of the health and recovery of the marsh, but agrees with synoptic studies of vegetation and infaunal communities that full recovery of heavily oiled sites will take longer than 66 months.

  7. Shoreline oiling effects and recovery of salt marsh macroinvertebrates from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald R. Deis

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes in northern Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA were oiled, sometimes heavily, in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Previous studies indicate that fiddler crabs (in the genus Uca and the salt marsh periwinkle (Littoraria irrorata were negatively impacted in the short term by the spill. Here, we detail longer-term effects and recovery from moderate and heavy oiling over a 3-year span, beginning 30 months after the spill. Although neither fiddler crab burrow density nor diameter differed between oiled and reference sites when combined across all sampling events, these traits differed among some individual sampling periods consistent with a pattern of lingering oiling impacts. Periwinkle density, however, increased in all oiling categories and shell-length groups during our sampling period, and periwinkle densities were consistently highest at moderately oiled sites where Spartina alterniflora aboveground biomass was highest. Periwinkle shell length linearly increased from a mean of 16.5 to 19.2 mm over the study period at reference sites. In contrast, shell lengths at moderately oiled and heavily oiled sites increased through month 48 after the spill, but then decreased. This decrease was associated with a decline in the relative abundance of large adults (shell length 21–26 mm at oiled sites which was likely caused by chronic hydrocarbon toxicity or oil-induced effects on habitat quality or food resources. Overall, the recovery of S. alterniflora facilitated the recovery of fiddler crabs and periwinkles. However, our long-term record not only indicates that variation in periwinkle mean shell length and length-frequency distributions are sensitive indicators of the health and recovery of the marsh, but agrees with synoptic studies of vegetation and infaunal communities that full recovery of heavily oiled sites will take longer than 66 months.

  8. Does elevation matter? Living foraminiferal distribution in a hyper tidal salt marsh (Canche Estuary, Northern France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francescangeli, F.; Bouchet, V. M. P.; Trentesaux, A.; Armynot du Chatelet, E.

    2017-07-01

    In the present study we investigate the ecology and distribution of living benthic foraminifera to test the effect of hyper tidal exposure and their suitability as sea level indicators. Within a salt marsh area along the Canche Estuary (northern France), four transects were sampled to see the effects of maximal tidal constraints (shore transects) and minimal tidal constraints (alongshore transects). Multivariate analyses have been performed to determine the correlations between biotic (foraminiferal absolute abundances) and abiotic factors (elevation, grain-size, TOC and total sulphur). For each of the principal benthic foraminiferal species the tolerance to subaerial exposure have been estimated as well. Two distinctive foraminiferal zones have been identified along the vertical tidal gradient: a zone I in the higher part of the salt marsh dominated by agglutinated and porcelaneous taxa, and a zone II in the lower one dominated by hyaline specimens. Hyper tidal exposure constraints the foraminiferal vertical zonation in accordance with the tidal frame. However it does not constitute a threshold parameter able by itself to explain all the faunal variations in the Canche Estuary. For sea level indicators, foraminifera should be considered relative to tidal subaerial exposure rather than to absolute altitude.

  9. Environmental factors affecting larval fish community in the salt marsh area of Guadiana estuary (Algarve, Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Gonçalves

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Salt marsh areas in the Guadiana estuary are important nursery sites for many fish species of commercial and recreational value. More effective protection measures should be adopted as the area is highly affected by anthropogenic and natural threats. Studying larval fish communities in these impacted nursery areas will be relevant to the management of local ecosystems and to larval fish ecology in general. Spatial and seasonal distribution and the effect of environmental factors on the larval fish community of this ecosystem were studied for one year (April 2010 to March 2011. Larvae were sampled monthly in parallel with phytoplankton and zooplankton. Hydrological data and physical parameters were monitored. A decision tree model was used to assess the influence of environmental factors on the larval fish community. A total of 130 larvae and 1171 eggs were caught. Diplodus sargus, Sardina pilchardus, and Pomatoschistus microps were the most abundant larval fish species. The peaks of fish larvae abundance occurred in March and April. The output of the model demonstrates that the abundance of larval fish is determined by the abundance of eggs, zooplanktonic food, and water flood and flow. This study shows the importance of the Guadiana salt marsh as an area for fish nursery and highlights the need for conservation of this area.

  10. Determining ecological equivalence in service-to-service scaling of salt marsh restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Elizabeth; Galbraith, Hector; Bickel, Sarah; Mills, Dave; Beltman, Douglas; Lipton, Joshua

    2002-02-01

    The amount of ecological restoration required to mitigate or compensate for environmental injury or habitat loss is often based on the goal of achieving ecological equivalence. However, few tools are available for estimating the extent of restoration required to achieve habitat services equivalent to those that were lost. This paper describes habitat equivalency analysis (HEA), a habitat-based "service-to-service" approach for determining the amount of restoration needed to compensate for natural resource losses, and examines issues in its application in the case of salt marsh restoration. The scientific literature indicates that although structural attributes such as vegetation may recover within a few years, there is often a significant lag in the development of ecological processes such as nutrient cycling that are necessary for a fully functioning salt marsh. Moreover, natural variation can make recovery trajectories difficult to define and predict for many habitat services. HEA is an excellent tool for scaling restoration actions because it reflects this ecological variability and complexity. At the same time, practitioners must recognize that conclusions about the amount of restoration needed to provide ecological services equivalent to those that are lost will depend critically on the ecological data and assumptions that are used in the HEA calculation.

  11. VEGETATION SYNTAXONOMY AND LAND MANAGEMENT EFFECT ON METHANE AND CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS FROM WETLANDS: A CASE STUDY FROM TIDAL SALT AND BRACKISH MARSH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annisa Satyanti

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide (CO2 and methane (CH4 emission from wetlands significantly contribute to climate change and global warming. The interaction between among vegetation type, various environmental factors, and management regimes such as grazing and mowing is considered important in the calculation of CO2 and CH4 gas flux for an ecosystem. In this study, vegetation composition, CH4 and CO2 flux, soil characteristics, air temperature and humidity from the brackish marsh and salt marsh wetland ecosystems on Terschelling Island in Northern Holland were measured. We aimed to investigate the relationship between vegetation composition, grazing, and mowing on CH4 and CO2 emission. The abundance and number of plant species were higher in brackish than in salt marsh. Grazing was found to influence species richness, 39 species being found in a grazed site of brackish marsh compared to 31 species in a similar ungrazed site. CO2 fluxes in salt and brackish marsh were found to be similar while CH4 flux in the salt marsh was found to be lower than in the brackish marsh. Within the brackish marsh, a higher methane emission was recorded in the grazed zone. However the overall effect of grazing and mowing was found to be negligible for CH4 flux but is suggested to clearly reduce CO2 flux in both the salt and brackish marsh.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Hörmann

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The Rann of Kutch (India and Pakistan is one of the largest salt deserts in the world. Being a so-called "seasonal salt marsh", it is regularly flooded during the Indian summer monsoon. We present 10 years of bromine monoxide (BrO satellite observations by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI over the Great and Little Rann of Kutch. OMI spectra were analysed using Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS and revealed recurring high BrO vertical column densities (VCDs of up to 1.4  ×  1014 molec cm−2 during April/May, but no significantly enhanced column densities during the monsoon season (June–September. In the following winter months, the BrO VCDs are again slightly enhanced while the salty surface dries up. We investigate a possible correlation of enhanced reactive bromine concentrations with different meteorological parameters and find a strong relationship between incident UV radiation and the total BrO abundance. In contrast, the second Global Ozone Monitoring Instrument (GOME-2 shows about 4 times lower BrO VCDs over the Rann of Kutch than found by OMI and no clear seasonal cycle is observed. One reason for this finding might be the earlier local overpass time of GOME-2 compared to OMI (around 09:30 vs. 13:30 LT, as the ambient conditions significantly differ for both satellite instruments at the time of the measurements. Further possible reasons are discussed and mainly attributed to instrumental issues. OMI additionally confirms the presence of enhanced BrO concentrations over the Dead Sea valley (Israel/Jordan, as suggested by former ground-based observations. The measurements indicate that the Rann of Kutch salt marsh is probably one of the strongest natural point sources of reactive bromine compounds outside the polar regions and is therefore supposed to have a significant impact on local and regional ozone chemistry.

  13. Heavily Oiled Salt Marsh following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Ecological Comparisons of Shoreline Cleanup Treatments and Recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zengel, Scott; Bernik, Brittany M; Rutherford, Nicolle; Nixon, Zachary; Michel, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected hundreds of kilometers of coastal wetland shorelines, including salt marshes with persistent heavy oiling that required intensive shoreline "cleanup" treatment. Oiled marsh treatment involves a delicate balance among: removing oil, speeding the degradation of remaining oil, protecting wildlife, fostering habitat recovery, and not causing further ecological damage with treatment. To examine the effectiveness and ecological effects of treatment during the emergency response, oiling characteristics and ecological parameters were compared over two years among heavily oiled test plots subject to: manual treatment, mechanical treatment, natural recovery (no treatment, oiled control), as well as adjacent reference conditions. An additional experiment compared areas with and without vegetation planting following treatment. Negative effects of persistent heavy oiling on marsh vegetation, intertidal invertebrates, and shoreline erosion were observed. In areas without treatment, oiling conditions and negative effects for most marsh parameters did not considerably improve over two years. Both manual and mechanical treatment were effective at improving oiling conditions and vegetation characteristics, beginning the recovery process, though recovery was not complete by two years. Mechanical treatment had additional negative effects of mixing oil into the marsh soils and further accelerating erosion. Manual treatment appeared to strike the right balance between improving oiling and habitat conditions while not causing additional detrimental effects. However, even with these improvements, marsh periwinkle snails showed minimal signs of recovery through two years, suggesting that some ecosystem components may lag vegetation recovery. Planting following treatment quickened vegetation recovery and reduced shoreline erosion. Faced with comparable marsh oiling in the future, we would recommend manual treatment followed by planting. We caution

  14. Heavily Oiled Salt Marsh following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Ecological Comparisons of Shoreline Cleanup Treatments and Recovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Zengel

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected hundreds of kilometers of coastal wetland shorelines, including salt marshes with persistent heavy oiling that required intensive shoreline "cleanup" treatment. Oiled marsh treatment involves a delicate balance among: removing oil, speeding the degradation of remaining oil, protecting wildlife, fostering habitat recovery, and not causing further ecological damage with treatment. To examine the effectiveness and ecological effects of treatment during the emergency response, oiling characteristics and ecological parameters were compared over two years among heavily oiled test plots subject to: manual treatment, mechanical treatment, natural recovery (no treatment, oiled control, as well as adjacent reference conditions. An additional experiment compared areas with and without vegetation planting following treatment. Negative effects of persistent heavy oiling on marsh vegetation, intertidal invertebrates, and shoreline erosion were observed. In areas without treatment, oiling conditions and negative effects for most marsh parameters did not considerably improve over two years. Both manual and mechanical treatment were effective at improving oiling conditions and vegetation characteristics, beginning the recovery process, though recovery was not complete by two years. Mechanical treatment had additional negative effects of mixing oil into the marsh soils and further accelerating erosion. Manual treatment appeared to strike the right balance between improving oiling and habitat conditions while not causing additional detrimental effects. However, even with these improvements, marsh periwinkle snails showed minimal signs of recovery through two years, suggesting that some ecosystem components may lag vegetation recovery. Planting following treatment quickened vegetation recovery and reduced shoreline erosion. Faced with comparable marsh oiling in the future, we would recommend manual treatment followed by

  15. Can conservation biologists rely on established community structure rules to manage novel systems? ... Not in salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-01

    We experimentally examined plant zonation in a previously unstudied Chilean salt marsh system to test the generality of mechanisms generating zonation of plants across intertidal stress gradients. Vertical zonation in this system is striking. The low-lying clonal succulent, Sarcocornia fruticosa, dominates the daily flooded low marsh, while intermediate elevations are dominated by the much taller Spartina densiflora. Irregularly flooded higher elevations are dominated by Schoenoplectus californicus, with the small forb, Selliera radicans, found associated with Schoenoplectus at its base. Transplant studies of all four species into each zone both with and without competition revealed the mechanisms driving these striking patterns in plant segregation. In the regularly flooded low marsh, Sarcocornia and Spartina grow in the zone that they normally dominate and are displaced when reciprocally transplanted between zones with neighbors, but without neighbors they grow well in each other's zone. Thus, interspecific competition alone generates low marsh zonation as in some mediterranean marshes, but differently than most of the Californian marshes where physical stress is the dominant factor. In contrast, mechanisms generating high marsh patterns are similar to New England marshes. Schoenoplectus dies when transplanted to lower elevations with or without neighbors and thus is limited from the low marsh by physical stress, while Selliera grows best associated with Schoenoplectus, which shades and ameliorates potentially limiting desiccation stress. These results reveal that mechanisms driving community organization across environmental stress gradients, while generally similar among systems, cannot be directly extrapolated to unstudied systems. This finding has important implications for ecosystem conservation because it suggests that the mechanistic understanding of pattern generation necessary to manage and restore specific communities in novel habitats cannot rely

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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 insectbased index of biological integrity for

  18. 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...

  19. Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of soil organic matter extracted from a Brazilian mangrove and Spanish salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perobelli Ferreira, F.; Buurman, P.; Macias, F.; Otero, X.L.; Boluda, R.

    2009-01-01

    The soil organic matter (SOM) extracted under different vegetation types from a Brazilian mangrove (Pai Matos Island, São Paulo State) and from three Spanish salt marshes (Betanzos Ría and Corrubedo Natural Parks, Galícia, and the Albufera Natural Park, Valencia) was investigated by pyrolysis-gas

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation and wind waves on salt marsh dynamics in the Danish Wadden Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Grant, William E.; Cairns, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Long-term eustatic sea-level variation has been recognized as a primary factor affecting the hydrological and geomorphic dynamics of salt marshes. However, recent studies suggest that wind waves influenced by atmospheric oscillations also may play an important role in many coastal areas. Although...

  3. 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,

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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,

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao Wang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 100 years of soil development to assess how the functional traits of plant associated bacteria respond to soil type, plant species and plant compartment. We isolated and characterized 808 bacterial colonies from the rhizosphere soil and root endosphere of two salt marsh plants, Limonium vulgare and Artemisia maritima, along the chronosequence. From these, a set of 59 strains (with unique BOX-PCR patterns, 16S rRNA sequence and unique to one of the treatments were further screened for their plant growth promoting traits (siderophore production, IAA production, exoprotease production and biofilm formation, traits associated with bacterial fitness (antibiotic and abiotic stress resistance – pH, osmotic and oxidative stress, and salinity and metabolic potential. An overall view of functional diversity (multivariate analysis indicated that the distributional pattern of bacterial functional traits was driven by soil type. Samples from the late succession (Stage 105 year showed the most restricted distribution, harboring strains with relatively low functionalities, whereas the isolates from intermediate stage (35 year showed a broad functional profiles. However, strains with high trait performance were largely from stage 65 year. Grouping the traits according to category revealed that the functionality of plant endophytes did not vary along the succession, thus being driven by plant rather than soil type. In opposition, the functionality of rhizosphere isolates responded strongly to variations in soil type as observed for antibiotic resistance (P = 0.014. Specifically, certain Pseudomonas sp. and Serratia sp. strains revealed high resistance against abiotic

  7. Environmental assessment: Perform open marsh water management on the former popular point mosquito control impoundment and adjacent salt marsh: Barnegat National Wildlife Refuge [now a division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This environmental assessment evaluates a proposal by the Ocean County Mosquito Control Extermination Commission to restore a tidal salt marsh on the Barnegat...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Prescribed fire and cutting as tools for reducing woody plant succession in a created salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, A.B.; Proffitt, C.E.; Grace, J.B.

    2007-01-01

    This paper reports on efforts to reduce woody successional growth by the native shrub Iva frutescens L. in a created salt marsh by using prescribed fire and cutting. Experimental treatments included a winter burn, cutting plants at ground level, and a combination burn-and-cut treatment, with replicate plots of each. Iva frutescens proved to be extremely hardy, with zero mortality following the cutting, burning, or combination treatment; similar levels of regrowth were observed for all treatments. Individual shrub response, however, was found to be related to initial plant size, ground water level and salinity, and two fire characteristics (total heating >60??C and total heat index >60??C). Fire severity, sediment nutrient concentrations, and other abiotic factors had no observable effects. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  11. Pyriproxyfen for the control of Australian salt-marsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Garry; Miller, Peter; Peters, Bryce

    2012-03-01

    The efficacy of pyriproxyfen against the Australian salt-marsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax, was examined in 2 laboratory and 1 semi-field study using both technical grade and formulated products. In a dose-response study, the median emergence inhibition (EI50) and EI95 values were determined to be 0.019 and 0.076 ppb, respectively, for pyriproxyfen technical grade, 0.021 and 0.092 ppb for a microencapsulated formulation (Sumilarv 90CS), and 0.054 and 0.236 ppb for the formulated s-methoprene product, Altosid Liquid Larvicide. A further laboratory comparison of the microencapsulated formulation of pyriproxyfen and Altosid, at the nominal field rate for Altosid, showed that both products provided 100% emergence inhibition and this was confirmed in a semi-field study, which also included a granular formulation of pyriproxyfen (Sumilarv 0.5G).

  12. Bacterial community dynamic associated with autochthonous bioaugmentation for enhanced Cu phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, C Marisa R; Oliveira, Tânia; Reis, Izabela; Gomes, Carlos R; Mucha, Ana P

    2017-12-01

    Autochthonous bioaugmentation for metal phytoremediation is still little explored, particularly its application to estuarine salt marshes, but results obtained so far are promising. Nevertheless, understanding the behaviour of the microbial communities in the process of bioaugmentation and their role in improving metal phytoremediation is very important to fully validate the application of this biological technology. This study aimed to characterize the bacterial community dynamic associated with the application of autochthonous bioaugmentation in an experimentation which showed that Phragmites australis rhizosphere microorganisms could increase this salt marsh plant potential to phytoremediate Cu contaminated sediments. Bacterial communities present in the autochthonous microbial consortium resistant to Cu added to the medium and in the sediment at the beginning and at the end of the experiment were characterized by ARISA. Complementarily, the consortium and the sediment used for its production were characterized by next generation sequencing using the pyrosequencing platform 454. The microbial consortium resistant to Cu obtained from non-vegetated sediment was dominated by the genus Lactococcus (46%), Raoultella (25%), Bacillus (12%) and Acinetobacter (11%), whereas the one obtained form rhizosediment was dominated by the genus Gluconacetobacter (77%), Bacillus (17%) and Dyella (3%). Results clearly showed that, after two months of experiment, Cu caused a shift in the bacterial community structure of sediments, an effect that was observed either with or without addition of the metal resistant microbial consortium. Therefore, bioaugmentation application improved the process of phytoremediation (metal translocation by the plant was increased) without inducing long term changes in the bacterial community structure of the sediments. So, phytoremediation combined with autochthonous bioaugmentation can be a suitable technology for the recovery of estuarine areas

  13. Exploring mechanisms of compaction in salt-marsh sediments using Common Era relative sea-level reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, Matthew J.; Kemp, Andrew C.; Hawkes, Andrea D.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Vane, Christopher H.; Cahill, Niamh; Hill, Troy D.; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Horton, Benjamin P.

    2017-07-01

    Salt-marsh sediments provide precise and near-continuous reconstructions of Common Era relative sea level (RSL). However, organic and low-density salt-marsh sediments are prone to compaction processes that cause post-depositional distortion of the stratigraphic column used to reconstruct RSL. We compared two RSL reconstructions from East River Marsh (Connecticut, USA) to assess the contribution of mechanical compression and biodegradation to compaction of salt-marsh sediments and their subsequent influence on RSL reconstructions. The first, existing reconstruction ('trench') was produced from a continuous sequence of basal salt-marsh sediment and is unaffected by compaction. The second, new reconstruction is from a compaction-susceptible core taken at the same location. We highlight that sediment compaction is the only feasible mechanism for explaining the observed differences in RSL reconstructed from the trench and core. Both reconstructions display long-term RSL rise of ∼1 mm/yr, followed by a ∼19th Century acceleration to ∼3 mm/yr. A statistically-significant difference between the records at ∼1100 to 1800 CE could not be explained by a compression-only geotechnical model. We suggest that the warmer and drier conditions of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) resulted in an increase in sediment compressibility during this time period. We adapted the geotechnical model by reducing the compressive strength of MCA sediments to simulate this softening of sediments. 'Decompaction' of the core reconstruction with this modified model accounted for the difference between the two RSL reconstructions. Our results demonstrate that compression-only geotechnical models may be inadequate for estimating compaction and post-depositional lowering of susceptible organic salt-marsh sediments in some settings. This has important implications for our understanding of the drivers of sea-level change. Further, our results suggest that future climate changes may make salt

  14. Latitudinal and climate-driven variation in the strength and nature of biological interactions in New England salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertness, Mark D; Ewanchuk, Patrick J

    2002-08-01

    We examined the linkage between climate and interspecific plant interactions in New England salt marshes. Because harsh edaphic conditions in marshes can be ameliorated by neighboring plants, plant neighbors can have net competitive or facilitative interactions, depending on ambient physical stresses. In particular, high soil salinities, which are largely controlled by solar radiation and the evaporation of marsh porewater, can be ameliorated by plant neighbors under stressful conditions leading to facilitative interactions. Under less stressful edaphic conditions, these same neighbors may be competitors. In this paper, we use this mechanistic understanding of marsh plant interactions to examine the hypothesis that latitudinal and inter-annual variation in climate can influence the nature and strength of marsh plant species interactions. We quantified the relationship between climate and species interactions by transplanting marsh plants into ambient vegetation and unvegetated bare patches at sites north and south of Cape Cod, a major biogeographic barrier on the east coast of North America. We hypothesized that the cooler climate north of Cape Cod would lead to fewer positive interactions among marsh plants. We found both latitudinal and inter-annual variation in the neighbor relations of marsh plants that paralleled latitudinal differences in temperature and salinity. South of Cape Cod, plant neighbor interactions tended to be more facilitative, whereas north of Cape Cod, plant neighbor interactions were more competitive. At all sites, soil salinity increased and plant neighbor interactions were more facilitative in warmer versus cooler years. Our results show that interspecific interactions can be strikingly linked to climate, but also reveal that because the sensitivity of specific species interactions to climatic variation is highly variable, predicting how entire communities will respond to climate change will be difficult, even in relatively simple, well

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

    OpenAIRE

    Silliman, B.R.; Koppel, J; McCoy, M.W.; Diller, J.; Kasozi, G.N.; Earl, K.; Adams, P.N.; A. R. Zimmerman

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they provide (e. g., shoreline protection) are affected by and recover from large-scale disturbance. Here we report on not only rapid salt-marsh recovery (high resilience) but also permanent marsh area loss...

  16. The effects of elevated CO2 and eutrophication on surface elevation gain in a European salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reef, Ruth; Spencer, Tom; Mӧller, Iris; Lovelock, Catherine E; Christie, Elizabeth K; McIvor, Anna L; Evans, Ben R; Tempest, James A

    2017-02-01

    Salt marshes can play a vital role in mitigating the effects of global environmental change by dissipating incident storm wave energy and, through accretion, tracking increasing water depths consequent upon sea level rise. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations and nutrient availability are two key variables that can affect the biological processes that contribute to marsh surface elevation gain. We measured the effects of CO2 concentrations and nutrient availability on surface elevation change in intact mixed-species blocks of UK salt marsh using six open-top chambers receiving CO2 -enriched (800 ppm) or ambient (400 ppm) air. We found more rapid surface elevation gain in elevated CO2 conditions: an average increase of 3.4 mm over the growing season relative to ambient CO2 . Boosted regression analysis to determine the relative influence of different parameters on elevation change identified that a 10% reduction in microbial activity in elevated CO2 -grown blocks had a positive influence on elevation. The biomass of Puccinellia maritima also had a positive influence on elevation, while other salt marsh species (e.g. Suaeda maritima) had no influence or a negative impact on elevation. Reduced rates of water use by the vegetation in the high CO2 treatment could be contributing to elevation gain, either directly through reduced soil shrinkage or indirectly by decreasing microbial respiration rates due to lower redox levels in the soil. Eutrophication did not influence elevation change in either CO2 treatment despite doubling aboveground biomass. The role of belowground processes (transpiration, root growth and decomposition) in the vertical adjustment of European salt marshes, which are primarily minerogenic in composition, could increase as atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise and should be considered in future wetland models for the region. Elevated CO2 conditions could enhance resilience in vulnerable systems such as those with low mineral sediment supply or where

  17. 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.

  18. Seasonal changes in community composition and trophic structure of fish populations of five salt marshes along the Essex coastline, United Kingdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Benjamin C.; Smith, David J.; Earley, Sarah E.; Hepburn, Leanne J.; Underwood, Graham J. C.

    2009-11-01

    European intertidal salt marshes are important nursery sites for juvenile fish and crustaceans. Due to the increasing threat of habitat loss, the seasonal changes of salt marsh fish communities need to be understood in order to appreciate the ecological and economic importance of the saltmarsh habitat. This study was the first in Great Britain to investigate the seasonal changes of salt marsh fish communities and the variation in community structure between closely located marsh habitats. Between February 2007 and March 2008, five marshes on three estuaries of the Essex coastline were sampled using flume nets to block off intertidal creeks at high tide. Fourteen fish species were caught. The community overall was dominated by three species that made up 91.6% of the total catch: the common goby Pomatoschistus microps (46.2% of the total catch), juvenile herring Clupea harengus (24.3%), and juvenile and larval sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax (21.2%). Cluster analysis demonstrated clear seasonal patterns, with some community structures unique to specific marshes or estuaries. The marsh fish community shifts from a highly diverse community during spring, to a community dominated by D. labrax and P. microps in autumn, and low diversity during winter months. Gravimetric stomach content analysis of fish community identified three main trophic guilds; macroinvertivores, planktivores and omnivores. The macroinvertivore feeding guild contained D. labrax and P. microps, the two most frequently occurring species. This investigation demonstrates the importance of British salt marshes as nursery habitats for commercial fish species.

  19. Alameda Song Sparrow Abundance Related to Salt Marsh Vegetation Patch Size and Shape Metrics Quantified from Remote Sensing Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevan B. Moffett

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Kevan B. Moffett, Jaslyn Law, Steven M. Gorelick, Nadav Nur, and Julian K. Wooddoi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15547/sfews.2014v12iss3art2Understanding the characteristics of high-quality avian habitat is critical for guiding salt marsh management and restoration. Existing insights into salt marsh avian habitat are often based on the composition of marsh vegetation, e.g., individual plant species cover. This study investigated whether the spatial configuration of marsh surface cover (e.g., patch number, density, size, shape complexity and compactness, degree of dissection of the landscape, variation and repetition of cover type, and the variance within these metrics is a useful, additional indicator of avian habitat quality for the Alameda Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia pusillula, a non-migratory California Species of Special Concern endemic to southern San Francisco Bay. M. m. pusillula density during the breeding seasons of 2002 through 2005 was estimated at 82 observation points in 10 marsh sites within the bird’s geographic range. The mean bird density index (overall mean: 5.61 birds detected per hectare of marsh was not significantly different among marshes of different ages. We mapped the vegetation zones, open water, and upland areas within each marsh site using high resolution aerial photographs and automated classification analysis. We quantified the configuration of surface cover around each bird observation point by 31 metrics. Bird density index was best modeled by a multiple linear regression containing positive relationships with the metrics Mean Core Area Index and Patch Core Area Coefficient of Variation (R2 = 0.210, p < 0.0001. Qualitatively, this model suggested that M. m. pusillula abundance during the breeding season was greatest in marsh areas with compact patches that spanned a variety of patch sizes from moderate-to-large, uninterrupted by other cover. We conclude that configuration-based vegetation pattern analysis could

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Structure of the invertebrate fauna in salt marshes of the Wadden Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein influenced by sheep-grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, H.; Fock, H.; Haase, A.; Reinke, H. D.; Tulowitzki, I.

    1995-03-01

    Results of investigations on the influence of five different sheep grazing intensities on the invertebrate fauna of two mainland salt marsh sites of the German Wadden Sea coast are presented for the years 1990 and 1991. The investigation of the invertebrate fauna has been carried out since 1989 in the Puccinellia maritima zone, and the Festuca-Puccinellia as well as the Festuca-Armeria zones, with trapping transects arranged along an inundation gradient. Apart from specific biotic effects, grazing causes changes in environmental characteristics. Effects on microclimate comprise higher ranges of variance in soil-surface temperature on grazed sites. Decreasing food resources caused by grazing bring disadvantages to herbivores, the major part of the invertebrate fauna, due to merotope destruction (e. g. inflorescences of Aster tripolium) and the decline of host plant stands (e. g. A. tripolium, Plantago ssp.). Flower visitors and pollen feeding species that depend on A. tripolium have become extinct. Increasing food resources, caused by grazing, lead to higher population densities of a few specialized grass-feeding and surface-grazing invertebrates (e. g. Mayetiola ssp., Psammotettix putoni, Bledius tricornis). Soil characteristics in the lower salt marsh have not been altered significantly by grazing; hence, the direct effect of grazing and trampling leads to a decrease in population density of many species such as Assiminea grayana, Orchestia gammarellus and collembolans. The biomass and abundance of detritivores and many herbivores increased from 1990 to 1991 on the totally grazed fields, whereas predators diminished in numbers at the same time. A descriptive model is presented, involving grazing, winter temperature, and precipitation as basic factors.

  3. Salt marsh ecosystem biogeochemical responses to nutrient enrichment: a paired 15N tracer study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, D C; Peterson, Bruce J; Galván, Kari A; Deegan, Linda A; Hopkinson, Charles; Johnson, J Michael; Koop-Jakobsen, K; Lemay, Lynsey E; Picard, Christian

    2009-09-01

    We compared processing and fate of dissolved NO3- in two New England salt marsh ecosystems, one receiving natural flood tide concentrations of approximately 1-4 micromol NO3-/ L and the other receiving experimentally fertilized flood tides containing approximately 70-100 micromol NO3-/ L. We conducted simultaneous 15NO3- (isotope) tracer additions from 23 to 28 July 2005 in the reference (8.4 ha) and fertilized (12.4 ha) systems to compare N dynamics and fate. Two full tidal cycles were intensively studied during the paired tracer additions. Resulting mass balances showed that essentially 100% (0.48-0.61 mol NO3-N.ha(-1).h(-1)) of incoming NO3- was assimilated, dissimilated, sorbed, or sedimented (processed) within a few hours in the reference system when NO3- concentrations were 1.3-1.8 micromol/L. In contrast, only 50-60% of incoming NO3- was processed in the fertilized system when NO3- concentrations were 84-96 micromol/L; the remainder was exported in ebb tidewater. Gross NO3- processing was approximately 40 times higher in the fertilized system at 19.34-24.67 mol NO3-N.ha(-1).h(-1). Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium was evident in both systems during the first 48 h of the tracer additions but <1% of incoming 15NO3- was exported as 15NH4+. Nitrification rates calculated by 15NO3- dilution were 6.05 and 4.46 mol.ha(-1).h(-1) in the fertilized system but could not be accurately calculated in the reference system due to rapid (<4 h) NO3- turnover. Over the five-day paired tracer addition, sediments sequestered a small fraction of incoming NO3-, although the efficiency of sequestration was 3.8% in the reference system and 0.7% in the fertilized system. Gross sediment N sequestration rates were similar at 13.5 and 12.6 mol.ha(-1).d(-1), respectively. Macrophyte NO3- uptake efficiency, based on tracer incorporation in aboveground tissues, was considerably higher in the reference system (16.8%) than the fertilized system (2.6%), although bulk uptake of NO3

  4. Salt marshes of Port Valdez, Alaska, and vicinity: A baseline study: Final report to the United States Department of the Interior

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 1974 and 1975, 62 baseline locations were selected for intensive study in the salt marshes of Port Valdez and vicinity. The sites are intended to reflect the...

  5. Distribution and abundance of breeding birds and small mammals in the high salt marsh and the adjacent upland critical edge in southern Maine

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The primary objective of the study was to document breeding bird and small mammal distribution and abundance in the high salt marsh and the adjacent riparian zone...

  6. Foundation species' overlap enhances biodiversity and multifunctionality from the patch to landscape scale in southeastern United States salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelini, Christine; van der Heide, Tjisse; Griffin, John N; Morton, Joseph P; Derksen-Hooijberg, Marlous; Lamers, Leon P M; Smolders, Alfons J P; Silliman, Brian R

    2015-07-22

    Although there is mounting evidence that biodiversity is an important and widespread driver of ecosystem multifunctionality, much of this research has focused on small-scale biodiversity manipulations. Hence, which mechanisms maintain patches of enhanced biodiversity in natural systems and if these patches elevate ecosystem multifunctionality at both local and landscape scales remain outstanding questions. In a 17 month experiment conducted within southeastern United States salt marshes, we found that patches of enhanced biodiversity and multifunctionality arise only where habitat-forming foundation species overlap--i.e. where aggregations of ribbed mussels (Geukensia demissa) form around cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) stems. By empirically scaling up our experimental results to the marsh platform at 12 sites, we further show that mussels--despite covering only approximately 1% of the marsh surface--strongly enhance five distinct ecosystem functions, including decomposition, primary production and water infiltration rate, at the landscape scale. Thus, mussels create conditions that support the co-occurrence of high densities of functionally distinct organisms within cordgrass and, in doing so, elevate salt marsh multifunctionality from the patch to landscape scale. Collectively, these findings suggest that patterns in foundation species' overlap drive variation in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning within and across natural ecosystems.We therefore argue that foundation species should be integrated in our conceptual understanding of forces that moderate biodiversity--ecosystem functioning relationships, approaches for conserving species diversity and strategies to improve the multifunctionality of degraded ecosystems.

  7. Interactive effects of vegetation and sediment properties on erosion of salt marshes in the Northern Adriatic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, V B; Bouma, T J; van Belzen, J; Van Colen, C; Airoldi, L

    2017-10-01

    We investigated how lateral erosion control, measured by novel photogrammetry techniques, is modified by the presence of Spartina spp. vegetation, sediment grain size, and the nutrient status of salt marshes across 230 km of the Italian Northern Adriatic coastline. Spartina spp. vegetation reduced erosion across our study sites. The effect was more pronounced in sandy soils, where erosion was reduced by 80% compared to 17% in silty soils. Erosion resistance was also enhanced by Spartina spp. root biomass. In the absence of vegetation, erosion resistance was enhanced by silt content, with mean erosion 72% lower in silty vs. sandy soils. We found no relevant relationships with nutrient status, likely due to overall high nutrient concentrations and low C:N ratios across all sites. Our results contribute to quantifying coastal protection ecosystem services provided by salt marshes in both sandy and silty sediments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Response of salt marsh and mangrove wetlands to changes in atmospheric CO2, climate, and sea-level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckee, Karen L.; Rogers, Kerrylee; Saintilan, Neil; Middleton, Beth A.

    2012-01-01

    Coastal salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated climate and climate-induced changes. We provide a review of the literature detailing theoretical predictions and observed responses of coastal wetlands to a range of climate change stressors, including CO2, temperature, rainfall, and sea-level rise. This review incorporates a discussion of key processes controlling responses in different settings and thresholds of resilience derived from experimental and observational studies. We specifically consider the potential and observed effects on salt marsh and mangrove vegetation of changes in (1) elevated [CO2] on physiology, growth, and distribution; (2) temperature on distribution and diversity; (3) rainfall and salinity regimes on growth and competitive interactions; and (4) sea level on geomorphological, hydrological, and biological processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. A mixing-model approach to quantifying sources of organic matter to salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, K. M.; Meile, C. D.

    2010-12-01

    Salt marshes are highly productive ecosystems, where autochthonous production controls an intricate exchange of carbon and energy among organisms. The major sources of organic carbon to these systems include 1) autochthonous production by vascular plant matter, 2) import of allochthonous plant material, and 3) phytoplankton biomass. Quantifying the relative contribution of organic matter sources to a salt marsh is important for understanding the fate and transformation of organic carbon in these systems, which also impacts the timing and magnitude of carbon export to the coastal ocean. A common approach to quantify organic matter source contributions to mixtures is the use of linear mixing models. To estimate the relative contributions of endmember materials to total organic matter in the sediment, the problem is formulated as a constrained linear least-square problem. However, the type of data that is utilized in such mixing models, the uncertainties in endmember compositions and the temporal dynamics of non-conservative entitites can have varying affects on the results. Making use of a comprehensive data set that encompasses several endmember characteristics - including a yearlong degradation experiment - we study the impact of these factors on estimates of the origin of sedimentary organic carbon in a saltmarsh located in the SE United States. We first evaluate the sensitivity of linear mixing models to the type of data employed by analyzing a series of mixing models that utilize various combinations of parameters (i.e. endmember characteristics such as δ13COC, C/N ratios or lignin content). Next, we assess the importance of using more than the minimum number of parameters required to estimate endmember contributions to the total organic matter pool. Then, we quantify the impact of data uncertainty on the outcome of the analysis using Monte Carlo simulations and accounting for the uncertainty in endmember characteristics. Finally, as biogeochemical processes

  11. Evidence for Coexistence of Two Distinct Functional Groups of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in Salt Marsh Sediment

    OpenAIRE

    Ibrahim M. Banat; Lindström, E. Börje; Nedwell, David B.; Balba, M. Talaat

    1981-01-01

    Oxidation of acetate in salt marsh sediment was inhibited by the addition of fluoroacetate, and also by the addition of molybdate, an inhibitor of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Molybdate had no effect upon the metabolism of acetate in a freshwater sediment in the absence of sulfate. The inhibitory effect of molybdate on acetate turnover in the marine sediment seemed to be because of its inhibiting sulfate-reducing bacteria which oxidized acetate to carbon dioxide. Sulfide was not recovered from ...

  12. High tolerance to salinity and herbivory stresses may explain the expansion of Ipomoea cairica to salt marshes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive plants are often confronted with heterogeneous environments and various stress factors during their secondary phase of invasion into more stressful habitats. A high tolerance to stress factors may allow exotics to successfully invade stressful environments. Ipomoea cairica, a vigorous invader in South China, has recently been expanding into salt marshes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To examine why this liana species is able to invade a stressful saline environment, we utilized I. cairica and 3 non-invasive species for a greenhouse experiment. The plants were subjected to three levels of salinity (i.e., watered with 0, 4 and 8 g L(-1 NaCl solutions and simulated herbivory (0, 25 and 50% of the leaf area excised treatments. The relative growth rate (RGR of I. cairica was significantly higher than the RGR of non-invasive species under both stress treatments. The growth performance of I. cairica was not significantly affected by either stress factor, while that of the non-invasive species was significantly inhibited. The leaf condensed tannin content was generally lower in I. cairica than in the non-invasive I. triloba and Paederia foetida. Ipomoea cairica exhibited a relatively low resistance to herbivory, however, its tolerance to stress factors was significantly higher than either of the non-invasive species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study examining the expansion of I. cairica to salt marshes in its introduced range. Our results suggest that the high tolerance of I. cairica to key stress factors (e.g., salinity and herbivory contributes to its invasion into salt marshes. For I. cairica, a trade-off in resource reallocation may allow increased resources to be allocated to tolerance and growth. This may contribute to a secondary invasion into stressful habitats. Finally, we suggest that I. cairica could spread further and successfully occupy salt marshes, and countermeasures based on herbivory could be

  13. Response of salt marshes to oiling from the Deepwater Horizon spill: Implications for plant growth, soil surface-erosion, and shoreline stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qianxin; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Graham, Sean A; Hou, Aixin; Fleeger, John W; Deis, Donald R

    2016-07-01

    We investigated the initial impacts and post spill recovery of salt marshes over a 3.5-year period along northern Barataria Bay, LA, USA exposed to varying degrees of Deepwater Horizon oiling to determine the effects on shoreline-stabilizing vegetation and soil processes. In moderately oiled marshes, surface soil total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations were ~70mgg(-1) nine months after the spill. Though initial impacts of moderate oiling were evident, Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus aboveground biomass and total live belowground biomass were equivalent to reference marshes within 24-30months post spill. In contrast, heavily oiled marsh plants did not fully recover from oiling with surface soil total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations that exceeded 500mgg(-1) nine months after oiling. Initially, heavy oiling resulted in near complete plant mortality, and subsequent recovery of live aboveground biomass was only 50% of reference marshes 42months after the spill. Heavy oiling also changed the vegetation structure of shoreline marshes from a mixed Spartina-Juncus community to predominantly Spartina; live Spartina aboveground biomass recovered within 2-3years, however, Juncus showed no recovery. In addition, live belowground biomass (0-12cm) in heavily oiled marshes was reduced by 76% three and a half years after the spill. Detrimental effects of heavy oiling on marsh plants also corresponded with significantly lower soil shear strength, lower sedimentation rates, and higher vertical soil-surface erosion rates, thus potentially affecting shoreline salt marsh stability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Vegetation death and rapid loss of surface elevation in two contrasting Mississippi delta salt marshes: The role of sedimentation, autocompaction and sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, J.W.; Kemp, G.P.; Reed, D.J.; Cahoon, D.R.; Boumans, R.M.; Suhayda, J.M.; Gambrell, R.

    2011-01-01

    From 1990 to 2004, we carried out a study on accretionary dynamics and wetland loss in salt marshes surrounding two small ponds in the Mississippi delta; Old Oyster Bayou (OB), a sediment-rich area near the mouth of the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Chitigue (BC), a sediment-poor area about 70. km to the east. The OB site was stable, while most of the marsh at BC disappeared within a few years. Measurements were made of short-term sedimentation, vertical accretion, change in marsh surface elevation, pond wave activity, and marsh soil characteristics. The OB marsh was about 10. cm higher than BC; the extremes of the elevation range for Spartina alterniflora in Louisiana. Vertical accretion and short-term sedimentation were about twice as high at BC than at OB, but the OB marsh captured nearly all sediments deposited, while the BC marsh captured <30%. The OB and BC sites flooded about 15% and 85% of the time, respectively. Marsh loss at BC was not due to wave erosion. The mineral content of deposited sediments was higher at OB. Exposure and desiccation of the marsh surface at OB increased the efficiency that deposited sediments were incorporated into the marsh soil, and displaced the marsh surface upward by biological processes like root growth, while also reducing shallow compaction. Once vegetation dies, there is a loss of soil volume due to loss of root turgor and oxidation of root organic matter, which leads to elevation collapse. Revegetation cannot occur because of the low elevation and weak soil strength. The changes in elevation at both marsh sites are punctuated, occurring in steps that can either increase or decrease elevation. When a marsh is low as at BC, a step down can result in an irreversible change. At this point, the option is not restoration but creating a new marsh with massive sediment input either from the river or via dredging. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Microbial metabolism is the engine that drives global biogeochemical cycles, yet many key transformations are carried out by microbial consortia over short spatiotemporal scales that elude detection by traditional analytical approaches. We investigate syntrophic sulfur cycling in the ‘pink berry’ consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh through an integrative study at the microbial scale. The pink berries are macroscopic, photosynthetic microbial aggregates composed primarily of two closely associated species: sulfide-oxidizing purple sulfur bacteria (PB-PSB1) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (PB-SRB1). Using metagenomic sequencing and 34S-enriched sulfate stable isotope probing coupled with nanoSIMS, we demonstrate interspecies transfer of reduced sulfur metabolites from PB-SRB1 to PB-PSB1. The pink berries catalyse net sulfide oxidation and maintain internal sulfide concentrations of 0–500 μm. Sulfide within the berries, captured on silver wires and analysed using secondary ion mass spectrometer, increased in abundance towards the berry interior, while δ34S-sulfide decreased from 6‰ to −31‰ from the exterior to interior of the berry. These values correspond to sulfate–sulfide isotopic fractionations (15–53‰) consistent with either sulfate reduction or a mixture of reductive and oxidative metabolisms. Together this combined metagenomic and high-resolution isotopic analysis demonstrates active sulfur cycling at the microscale within well-structured macroscopic consortia consisting of sulfide-oxidizing anoxygenic phototrophs and sulfate-reducing bacteria. PMID:24428801

  16. Distribution of root-associated bacterial communities along a salt-marsh primary succession

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao eWang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Proper quantification of the relative influence of soil and plant host on the root-associated microbiome can only be achieved by studying its distribution along an environmental gradient. Here we used an undisturbed salt marsh chronosequence to study the bacterial communities associated with the soil, rhizosphere and the root endopshere of Limonium vulgare using 454-pyrosequencing. We hypothesize that the selective force exerted by plants rather than soil would regulate the dynamics of the root-associated bacterial assembly along the chronosequence. Our results showed that the soil and rhizosphere bacterial communities were phylogenetically more diverse than those in the endosphere. Moreover, the diversity of the rhizosphere microbiome followed the increased complexity of the abiotic and biotic factors during succession while remaining constant in the other microbiomes. Multivariate analyses showed that the rhizosphere and soil-associated communities clustered by successional stages, whereas the endosphere communities were dispersed. Interestingly, the endosphere microbiome showed higher turnover, while the bulk and rhizosphere soil microbiomes became more similar at the end of the succession. Overall, we showed that soil characteristics exerted an overriding influence on the rhizosphere microbiome, although plant effect led to a clear diversity pattern along the succession. Conversely, the endosphere microbiome was unaffected by any of the environmental measurements and very distinct from other communities.

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

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    Xiao-Dong Zhang

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

  18. Population structure of the burrowing crab Neohelice granulata (Brachyura, Varunidae in a southwestern Atlantic salt marsh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Angeletti

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neohelice granulata inhabits estuarine and protected coastal areas in temperate regions and is the most dominant decapod crustacean in the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina. The population structure was studied during a year in a SW Atlantic salt marsh located in the Bahía Blanca Estuary. Crabs were sampled monthly from August 2010 to July 2011. The maximum observed density was 30 crabs m-2 in February and 70 burrows m-2 in May. The maximum carapace width (CW was 32 and 27.5 mm in males and females respectively. Medium size crabs were between 16 and 20 mm CW. Significantly smaller sized crabs were observed at the lower intertidal regions (P < 0.05. The sex ratio was favorable for males and was significantly different from the expected 1:1 (P < 0.05. The recruitment of unsexed juveniles crabs (CW <6.5 mm was observed throughout the year and the presence of ovigerous females from October to February indicated seasonal reproduction. The average size of ovigerous females was CW = 20.8 mm and the smallest ovigerous female measured was 16 mm CW. For the first time, the population structure of the most important macro-invertebrate is analyzed in the Bahía Blanca Estuary. This study may help to make decisions in the area, where anthropic action is progressing day by day.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  20. 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

    2017-10-16

    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 six 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

  1. 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

  2. Population Dynamics and Community Composition of Ammonia Oxidizers in Salt Marshes after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhard, Anne E; Sheffer, Roberta; Giblin, Anne E; Marton, John M; Roberts, Brian J

    2016-01-01

    The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had significant effects on microbial communities in the Gulf, but impacts on nitrifying communities in adjacent salt marshes have not been investigated. We studied persistent effects of oil on ammonia-oxidizing archaeal (AOA) and bacterial (AOB) communities and their relationship to nitrification rates and soil properties in Louisiana marshes impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Soils were collected at oiled and unoiled sites from Louisiana coastal marshes in July 2012, 2 years after the spill, and analyzed for community differences based on ammonia monooxygenase genes (amoA). Terminal Restriction Fragment Polymorphism and DNA sequence analyses revealed significantly different AOA and AOB communities between the three regions, but few differences were found between oiled and unoiled sites. Community composition of nitrifiers was best explained by differences in soil moisture and nitrogen content. Despite the lack of significant oil effects on overall community composition, we identified differences in correlations of individual populations with potential nitrification rates between oiled and unoiled sites that help explain previously published correlation patterns. Our results suggest that exposure to oil, even 2 years post-spill, led to subtle changes in population dynamics. How, or if, these changes may impact ecosystem function in the marshes, however, remains uncertain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Investigating the Evolution of Southern California Salt Marshes: A Facies Model to Understand the Influence of Seismic Events on Environmental Resiliency and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda, A. N.; Carlin, J. A.; Rhodes, B. P.; Kirby, M.

    2016-02-01

    Only 10-20% of the US Pacific coast is estimated to be suitable for marsh development. In southern California specifically, marshes are disappearing ecosystems due to high population and urbanization. The future environmental impacts from climate change on these ecosystems are complicated not only by anthropogenic influences, but also by seismic activity in the region. In general, marsh evolution and response to seismic activity has yet to be fully explored in southern California. This study aims to develop a sediment facies model for salt marsh evolution in southern California by utilizing the salt marshes of the Seal Beach Wetlands (SBW). The SBW is an ideal location to develop the facies model because it straddles the active Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone. We collected sediment cores from the SBW that underwent a variety of sedimentological and geochemical analyses including grain size, X-Ray Fluorescence core scanning, magnetic susceptibility, and loss-on-ignition.. The results show a facies model consisting of sequences of marsh accretion punctuated by seismic events. These seismic events caused the marsh to subside, effectively re-setting marsh development from peat generation at a vegetated marsh state, to subtidal to intertidal mud deposition. The model also allowed us to qualify and quantify marsh recovery as inferred from event intensity, where what we perceived as more intense events resulted in more significant ecosystem disturbances and longer recovery times. Understanding this interplay between seismic activity and marsh development highlights the fragile nature of these ecosystems to climate change and sea level rise, as these stresses will only become amplified by seismic events.

  6. Influences of Different Halophyte Vegetation on Soil Microbial Community at Temperate Salt Marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Doongar R; Kim, Jinhyun; Kang, Hojeong

    2017-10-06

    Salt marshes are transitional zone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, occupied mainly by halophytic vegetation which provides numerous ecological services to coastal ecosystem. Halophyte-associated microbial community plays an important role in the adaptation of plants to adverse condition and also affected habitat characteristics. To explore the relationship between halophytes and soil microbial community, we studied the soil enzyme activities, soil microbial community structure, and functional gene abundance in halophytes- (Carex scabrifolia, Phragmites australis, and Suaeda japonica) covered and un-vegetated (mud flat) soils at Suncheon Bay, South Korea. Higher concentrations of total, Gram-positive, Gram-negative, total bacterial, and actinomycetes PLFAs (phospholipid fatty acids) were observed in the soil underneath the halophytes compared with mud flat soil and were highest in Carex soil. Halophyte-covered soils had different microbial community composition due to higher abundance of Gram-negative bacteria than mud flat soil. Similar to PLFA concentrations, the increased activities of β-glucosidase, cellulase, phosphatase, and sulfatase enzymes were observed under halophyte soil compared to mud flat soil and Carex exhibited highest activities. The abundance of archaeal 16S rRNA, fungal ITS, and denitrifying genes (nirK, nirS, and nosZ) were not influenced by the halophytes. Abundance bacterial 16S rRNA and dissimilatory (bi)sulfite (dsrA) genes were highest in Carex-covered soil. The abundance of functional genes involved in methane cycle (mcrA and pmoA) was not affected by the halophytes. However, the ratios of mcrA/pmoA and mcrA/dsrA increased in halophyte-covered soils which indicate higher methanogenesis activities. The finding of the study also suggests that halophytes had increased the microbial and enzyme activities, and played a pivotal role in shaping microbial community structure.

  7. Growth and photosynthetic responses to salinity of the salt-marsh shrub Atriplex portulacoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redondo-Gómez, Susana; Mateos-Naranjo, Enrique; Davy, Anthony J; Fernández-Muñoz, Francisco; Castellanos, Eloy M; Luque, Teresa; Figueroa, M Enrique

    2007-09-01

    Atriplex (Halimione) portulacoides is a halophytic, C(3) shrub. It is virtually confined to coastal salt marshes, where it often dominates the vegetation. The aim of this study was to investigate its growth responses to salinity and the extent to which these could be explained by photosynthetic physiology. The responses of young plants to salinity in the range 0-700 mol m(-3) NaCl were investigated in a glasshouse experiment. The performance of plants was examined using classical growth analysis, measurements of gas exchange (infrared gas analysis), determination of chlorophyll fluorescence characteristics (modulated fluorimeter) and photosynthetic pigment concentrations; total ash, sodium, potassium and nitrogen concentrations, and relative water content were also determined. Plants accumulated Na(+) approximately in proportion to external salinity. Salt stimulated growth up to an external concentration of 200 mol m(-3) NaCl and some growth was maintained at higher salinities. The main determinant of growth response to salinity was unit leaf rate. This was itself reflected in rates of CO(2) assimilation, which were not affected by 200 mol m(-3) but were reduced at higher salinities. Reductions in net photosynthetic rate could be accounted for largely by lower stomatal conductance and intercellular CO(2) concentration. Apart from possible effects of osmotic shock at the beginning of the experiment, salinity did not have any adverse effect on photosystem II (PSII). Neither the quantum efficiency of PSII (Phi(PSII)) nor the chlorophyll fluorescence ratio (F(v)/F(m)) were reduced by salinity, and lower mid-day values recovered by dawn. Mid-day F(v)/F(m) was in fact depressed more at low external sodium concentration, by the end of the experiment. The growth responses of the hygro-halophyte A. portulacoides to salinity appear largely to depend on changes in its rate of photosynthetic gas exchange. Photosynthesis appears to be limited mainly through stomatal conductance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Salt tolerance of a wild ecotype of vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wan-Gou; Liu, Jin-Xiang; Yao, Mei-Ling; Ma, Qi-Fu

    2016-12-01

    Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) is widely used in more than 120 countries for land management (e.g. rehabilitation of saline lands). A wild ecotype of vetiver grass was found in southern China in the 1950s, but little is known about its adaptability to saline stress. For the purpose of understanding its tolerance to salinity as well as corresponding tolerance mechanisms, in a greenhouse with natural lighting, seedlings were grown in culture solutions and subjected to a range of NaCl concentrations for 18 days. Compared to no NaCl treatment, 200 mM NaCl significantly reduced leaf water potential, leaf water content, leaf elongation rate, leaf photosynthetic rate and plant relative growth rate and increased leaf malondialdehyde (MDA) content, but the parameters showed only slight reduction at 150 mM NaCl. In addition, salinity caused an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes in leaves. Moreover, increasing NaCl levels significantly increased Na+ but decreased K+ concentrations in both roots and leaves. The leaves had higher K+ concentrations at all NaCl levels, but lower Na+ concentrations compared to the roots, thereby maintaining higher K+/Na+ ratio in leaves. Our results showed that the salinity threshold of this wild vetiver grass is about 100 mM NaCl, i.e. highly tolerant to salt stress. This wild vetiver grass has a high ability to exclude Na+ and retain K+ in its leaves, which is a critical strategy for salt tolerance.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 (NH4NO3)-addition treatments in a fully factorial design to examine their potentially interacting effects on emergent marsh plants in a central California estuary. We measured above- and belowground biomass and tissue nutrient concentrations seasonally and found that N-addition had a significant, positive effect on a) aboveground biomass, b) plant tissue N concentrations, c) N stock sequestered in plants, and d) shoot:root ratios in summer. Relative sea-level rise did not significantly affect biomass, with the exception of the most extreme sea-level-rise simulation, in which all plants died by the summer of the second year. Although there was a strong response to N-addition treatments, salt marsh responses varied by season. Our results suggest that in our site at Coyote Marsh, Elkhorn Slough, coastal salt marsh plants serve as a robust N trap and coastal filter; this function is not saturated by high background annual N inputs from upstream agriculture. However, if the marsh is drowned by rising seas, as in our most extreme sea-level rise treatment, marsh plants will no longer provide the ecosystem service of buffering the coastal ocean from eutrophication. PMID:22879873

  12. 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.

  13. Napa River Salt Marsh Restoration Project. Volume 1: Environmental Impact Statement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Norton, Brad

    2004-01-01

    ...), and California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) (project sponsors) are proposing a salinity reduction and habitat restoration project for the 94569,460-acre Napa River Unit of the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area (NSMWA) (Napa River Unit...

  14. 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

  15. Trophic Interactions in Louisiana Salt Marshes: Combining Stomach Content, Stable Isotope, and Fatty Acid Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Duarte, P. C.; Able, K.; Fodrie, J.; McCann, M. J.; Melara, S.; Noji, C.; Olin, J.; Pincin, J.; Plank, K.; Polito, M. J.; Jensen, O.

    2016-02-01

    Multiple studies conducted over five years since the 2010 Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico indicate that oil impacts vary widely among taxonomic groups. For instance, fishes inhabiting the marsh surface show no clear differences in either community composition or population characteristics between oiled and unoiled sites, despite clear evidence of physiological impacts on individual fish. In contrast, marsh insects and spiders are sensitive to the effects of hydrocarbons. Both insects and spiders are components of the marsh food web and represent an important trophic link between marsh plants and higher trophic levels. Because differences in oil impacts throughout the marsh food web have the potential to significantly alter food webs and energy flow pathways and reduce food web resilience, our goal is to quantify differences in marsh food webs between oiled and unoiled sites to test the hypothesis that oiling has resulted in simpler and less resilient food webs. Diets and food web connections were quantified through a combination of stomach content, stable isotope, and fatty acid analysis. The combination of these three techniques provides a more robust approach to quantifying trophic relationships than any of these methods alone. Stomach content analysis provides a detailed snapshot of diets, while fatty acid and stable isotopes reflect diets averaged over weeks to months. Initial results focus on samples collected in May 2015 from a range of terrestrial and aquatic consumer species, including insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and piscivorous fishes.

  16. Tidal pumping as a driver of groundwater discharge to a back barrier salt marsh ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, M. L.; Viso, R. F.; Peterson, R. N.; Hill, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) typically consists of both terrestrial groundwater and recirculated seawater and has been shown to be a significant pathway of dissolved substances to the coastal zone. The fresh and saline water mixture in the subsurface creates a salinity gradient that can impact biogeochemical processes. Located along the South Atlantic Bight, Georgia's coastline is an approximately 100-mile stretch of complex primary and secondary barrier islands resulting from geologic interactions driven by long-term sea level rise and retreat, accretion, seasonal tidal events, storm overwash, and wave driven erosion. Our study site is located in the Duplin River near Sapelo Island, GA and is part of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecosystem Research (GCE-LTER) program. This area is considered mesotidal (2-4m) and tidal pumping may be a dominating process in controlling SGD rates. The Duplin River is connected to the Atlantic Ocean through Doboy Sound to the south. To the north, the river terminates in extensive salt marsh and therefore has no overland freshwater input. Previous studies show a salinity gradient within the Duplin River indicating that SGD must be present as a source of brackish water. To place constraints on SGD processes, we employ a combination of geochemical and geophysical techniques to determine the magnitude of SGD in the Duplin River. Together these techniques permit a more complete understanding of the groundwater system. Three time series stations at the upper, mid and lower reaches of the Duplin River were deployed in June of 2013 to measure groundwater influences during daily and fortnightly tidal cycles. At each station, continuous radon-222 measurements were conducted at 30 minute intervals along with measurements of water level, temperature and conductivity using standard hydrological data loggers. During this period, eight time series resistivity profiles using a 56 electrode (110m long) cable were recorded to

  17. Clay mineralogy, grain size distribution and their correlations with trace metals in the salt marsh sediments of the Skallingen barrier spit, Danish Wadden Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    He, Changling; Bartholdy, Jesper; Christiansen, Christian

    2012-01-01

    To understand the behavior of trace metals in the salt marsh at Skallingen, Danish Wadden Sea, we investigated a profile from surface to 25 cm depth of the salt marsh sediment, focusing primarily on clay mineralogy and grain size distribution of the sediments and their relationship with trace...... but decreased after 1964. This increase was contributed mainly by the grains finer than 20 µm while the fraction of 40–63 µm actually decreased soon after the invasion. The relation between most of the trace metals and grain size distributions is close in general but far from linear. The drastic turning point...... with the other adsorbents and to low availability of the mobile trace metals in the system. Correlation between trace metals and clay minerals may therefore be used as an indicator in environmental assessment. Fine grain fractions of the sediment increased markedly after salt marsh invasion in about 1931...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozas, L.P.

    1992-11-01

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

  19. How do Elevated CO2 and Nitrogen Addition Affect Functional Microbial Community Involved in Greenhouse Gas Flux in Salt Marsh System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seung-Hoon; Megonigal, Patrick J; Kang, Hojeong

    2017-10-01

    Salt marshes are unique ecosystem of which a microbial community is expected to be affected by global climate change. In this study, by using T-RFLP analysis, quantitative PCR, and pyrosequencing, we comprehensively analyzed the microbial community structure responding to elevated CO2 (eCO2) and N addition in a salt marsh ecosystem subjected to CO2 manipulation and N addition for about 3 years. We focused on the genes of microbes relevant to N-cycling (denitrification and nitrification), CH4-flux (methanogens and methanotrophs), and S-cycling (sulfate reduction) considering that they are key functional groups involved in the nutrient cycle of salt marsh system. Overall, this study suggests that (1) eCO2 and N addition affect functional microbial community involved in greenhouse gas flux in salt marsh system. Specifically, the denitrification process may be facilitated, while the methanogenesis may be impeded due to the outcompeting of sulfate reduction by eCO2 and N. This implies that future global change may cause a probable change in GHGs flux and positive feedback to global climate change in salt marsh; (2) the effect of eCO2 and N on functional group seems specific and to contrast with each other, but the effect of single factor would not be compromised but complemented by combination of two factors. (3) The response of functional groups to eCO2 and/or N may be directly or indirectly related to the plant community and its response to eCO2 and/or N. This study provides new insights into our understanding of functional microbial community responses to eCO2 and/or N addition in a C3/C4 plant mixed salt marsh system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinxin; Wang, Jinshu

    2017-10-01

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

  1. The combined use of liming and Sarcocornia fruticosa development for phytomanagement of salt marsh soils polluted by mine wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Alcaraz, María Nazaret; Conesa, Héctor Miguel; Tercero, María del Carmen; Schulin, Rainer; Alvarez-Rogel, José; Egea, Consuelo

    2011-02-15

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the combined effects of liming and behaviour of Sarcocornia fruticosa as a strategy of phytomanagement of metal polluted salt marsh soils. Soils were taken from two polluted salt marshes (one with fine texture and pH∼6.4 and the other one with sandy texture and pH∼3.1). A lime amendment derived from the marble industry was added to each soil at a rate of 20 g kg(-1), giving four treatments: neutral soil with/without liming and acidic soil with/without liming. Cuttings of S. fruticosa were planted in pots filled with these substrates and grown for 10 months. The pots were irrigated with eutrophicated water. As expected, lime amendment decreased the soluble metal concentrations. In both soils, liming favoured the growth of S. fruticosa and enhanced the capacity of the plants to phytostabilise metals in roots. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The morpho-agronomic characterization study of Lens culinaris germplasm under salt marsh habitat in Swat, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noor, Rabia; Mulk Khan, Shujaul; Ahmad, Fayaz; Hussain, Murtaza; Abd Allah, Elsayed Fathi; Alqarawi, Abdulaziz A; Hashem, Abeer; Aldubise, Abdullah

    2017-11-01

    The present research study evaluate and identify the most suitable and high yielding genotypes of Lens culinaris for the salt marsh habitat of Swat in moist temperate sort of agro climatic environment of Pakistan. A total of fourteen genotypes were cultivated and analyzed through Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). These genotypes were AZRC-4, NL-2, NL4, NL-5, NL-6, NARC-11-1, NARC-11-2, NARC-11-3, NARC-11-4, 09503, 09505, 09506, P.Masoor-09 and Markaz-09. Different parameters i.e., germination rate, flowering, physiological maturity, plant height, biological grain yield, seed weight, pods formation and its height, pods per plants and protein content were focused specially throughout the study. Preliminary the Lentil genotypes have significant variability in all the major morpho-agronomic traits. The days to germination, 50% flowering and 100 seed weight ranged from 7 to 9, 110 to 116 days, and from 5.4 to 7.3 gm respectively. Biological yield and grain yield ranged from 5333 to 9777 kg ha-1 and 1933 to 3655 kg ha-1 respectively. Whereas, protein contents ranged from 23.21% to 28.45%. It was concluded that the genotype AZRC-4 is better varity in terms of grain yield plus in 100 seed weight and moreover, 09506 genotype was significant under salt marsh habitat in early maturing for the Swat Valley, Pakistan.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Catherine Irvine

    2012-03-01

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

  4. Numerical modeling of the effects of Hurricane Sandy and potential future hurricanes on spatial patterns of salt marsh morphology in Jamaica Bay, New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; Hu, Kelin; Snedden, Gregg A.; Hartig, Ellen K.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Johnson, Cody L.; Orton, Philip M.

    2017-03-29

    The salt marshes of Jamaica Bay, managed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Gateway National Recreation Area of the National Park Service, serve as a recreational outlet for New York City residents, mitigate flooding, and provide habitat for critical wildlife species. Hurricanes and extra-tropical storms 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. However, the magnitude and mechanisms of hurricane effects on sediment dynamics and associated coastal wetland morphology in the northeastern United States are poorly understood. In this study, the depth-averaged version of the Delft3D modeling suite, integrated with field measurements, was utilized to examine the effects of Hurricane Sandy and future potential hurricanes on salt marsh morphology in Jamaica Bay, New York City. Hurricane Sandy-induced wind, waves, storm surge, water circulation, sediment transport, deposition, and erosion were simulated by using the modeling system in which vegetation effects on flow resistance, surge reduction, wave attenuation, and sedimentation were also incorporated. Observed marsh elevation change and accretion from a rod surface elevation table and feldspar marker horizons and cesium-137- and lead-210-derived long-term accretion rates were used to calibrate and validate the wind-waves-surge-sediment transport-morphology coupled model.The model results (storm surge, waves, and marsh deposition and erosion) agreed well with field measurements. The validated modeling system was then used to detect salt marsh morphological change due to Hurricane Sandy across the entire Jamaica Bay over the short-term (for example, 4 days and 1 year) and long-term (for example, 5 and 10 years). Because Hurricanes Sandy (2012) and Irene (2011) were two large and destructive tropical cyclones which hit the northeast coast, the validated coupled

  5. Geochemical Changes in the Caspian Salt Marshes Due to the Sea Level Fluctuations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kasimov, N.S.; Gennadiev, A.N.; Kasatenkova, M.S.; Lychagin, M.Y.; Kroonenberg, S.B.; Koltermann, P.

    2012-01-01

    The Caspian Sea is subject to alternating transgressions and regressions that exert a strong impact on the topography, sediments, vegetation, and soils in coastal zones. The last transgression of the Caspian Sea (1978-1995) caused the development of a marsh-lagoon system along the accumulative

  6. The application of a foraminiferal actuo-facies model to salt-marsh cores.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Rijk, S.; Troelstra, S.R.

    1999-01-01

    Selective preservation of agglutinated foraminifera in the Great Marshes at Barnstable is caused by differences in test structure. The process may explain to a certain degree the differences in faunal composition, diversities and densities found between modem and fossil assemblages. A spring tide in

  7. Effects of enhanced hydrological connectivity on Mediterranean salt marsh fish assemblages with emphasis on the endangered Spanish toothcarp (Aphanius iberus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Prado

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The hydrological connectivity between the salt marsh and the sea was partially restored in a Mediterranean wetland containing isolated ponds resulting from former salt extraction and aquaculture activities. A preliminary assessment provided evidence that ponds farther from the sea hosted very large numbers of the endangered Spanish toothcarp, Aphanius iberus, suggesting that individuals had been trapped and consequently reach unnaturally high densities. In order to achieve both habitat rehabilitation and toothcarp conservation, efforts were made to create a gradient of hydrologically connected areas, including isolated fish reservoirs, semi-isolated, and connected salt marsh-sea areas that could allow migratory movements of fish and provide some protection for A. iberus. The fish community was monitored prior to, and for three years after rehabilitation. Results showed an increase in the number of fish species within semi-isolated areas (Zone A, whereas areas adjacent to the sea (Zone B increased the number of marine species and decreased that of estuarine species (ES. Yet overall differences in fish assemblages were much higher between zones than among study years. Generalized linear models (GLMs evidenced that distance to the sea was the most important variable explaining the local diversity of the fish community after restoration, with occasional influence of other factors such as temperature, and depth. The abundance of A. iberus was consistently higher in semi-isolated areas at greater distances from the sea, but a decline occurred in both zones and in isolated reservoir ponds after restoration efforts, which may be attributable to interannual differences in recruitment success and, to a lesser extent, to dispersal into adjacent habitats. A negative effect of restoration works on fish population cannot be excluded, but the final outcome of the intervention likely needs a longer period.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. The Gelechiidae of the Longarini salt marsh in the “Pantani della Sicilia Sud-Orientale” nature reserve in southeastern Sicily, Italy (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bella, S.; Karsholt, Ole

    2015-01-01

    The authors report the results of field research on Gelechiidae from the “Pantano Longarini” salt marsh (southeastern Sicily). The area is located inland to the “Pantani della Sicilia Sud-Orientale” regional nature reserve. A total of twenty-four species are recognized; among the recorded taxa...

  11. Assessment of the molecular composition of particulate organic matter exchanged between the Saeftinghe salt marsh (southwestern Netherlands) and the adjacent water system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klap, V.A.; Boon, J.J.; Hemminga, M.A.; Van Soelen, J.

    1996-01-01

    In this study the chemical composition of seston, transported by tidal water between an estuarine salt marsh and the adjacent water system, was assessed. The analytical techniques used are Pyrolysis in combination with Gas Chromatography and/or Mass Spectrometry. Interpretation of the Py-MS data was

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by livestock is used as a management tool to prevent the dominance of a single tall-growing species during succession on European salt marshes. The effects of natural small herbivores are often neglected by managers. Long-term exclosure experiments on the island of Schiermonnikoog show that

  13. Large-scale downy brome treatments alter plant-soil relationships and promote perennial grasses in salt desert shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The interrelationship between invasive annual grass abundance and soil resource availability varies spatially and temporally within ecosystems and may be altered by land treatments. We evaluated these relationships in two salt desert landscapes where the local abundance of Bromus tectorum L. (downy...

  14. Seasonal cycling of sulfur and iron in porewaters of a Delaware salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luther, George W., III; Church, Thomas M.

    1987-01-01

    An extensive pore water data set has been gathered in the Great Marsh, Delaware over various seasons, salinities, and tides. The data all point to a complimentary redox cycle for sulfur and iron which operates seasonally and tidally. Surface oxidizing conditions prevail in summer, with more reducing conditions at depth during the winter. During the spring tides which flood the marsh, pyrite oxidation occurs releasing excess dissolved iron (II) and sulfate to the porewaters, and precipitating authigenic solid iron phases. The redox conditions in the porewaters of the upper zone during the summer is poised between mildly oxidizing and mildly reducing conditions as shown by pE calculations. This redox environment and intermediate iron-sulfur redox species may be important for the stimulation of plant growth (photosynthesis) and sustenance of a viable microbial community (heterotrophy and chemoautropy).

  15. 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.

  16. Full-waveform and discrete-return lidar in salt marsh environments: An assessment of biophysical parameters, vertical uncertatinty, and nonparametric dem correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Jeffrey N.

    High-resolution and high-accuracy elevation data sets of coastal salt marsh environments are necessary to support restoration and other management initiatives, such as adaptation to sea level rise. Lidar (light detection and ranging) data may serve this need by enabling efficient acquisition of detailed elevation data from an airborne platform. However, previous research has revealed that lidar data tend to have lower vertical accuracy (i.e., greater uncertainty) in salt marshes than in other environments. The increase in vertical uncertainty in lidar data of salt marshes can be attributed primarily to low, dense-growing salt marsh vegetation. Unfortunately, this increased vertical uncertainty often renders lidar-derived digital elevation models (DEM) ineffective for analysis of topographic features controlling tidal inundation frequency and ecology. This study aims to address these challenges by providing a detailed assessment of the factors influencing lidar-derived elevation uncertainty in marshes. The information gained from this assessment is then used to: 1) test the ability to predict marsh vegetation biophysical parameters from lidar-derived metrics, and 2) develop a method for improving salt marsh DEM accuracy. Discrete-return and full-waveform lidar, along with RTK GNSS (Real-time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite System) reference data, were acquired for four salt marsh systems characterized by four major taxa (Spartina alterniflora, Spartina patens, Distichlis spicata, and Salicornia spp.) on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These data were used to: 1) develop an innovative combination of full-waveform lidar and field methods to assess the vertical distribution of aboveground biomass as well as its light blocking properties; 2) investigate lidar elevation bias and standard deviation using varying interpolation and filtering methods; 3) evaluate the effects of seasonality (temporal differences between peak growth and senescent conditions) using lidar data

  17. 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 marshes. Annual N2O emissions were 0.24, 0.38, and 0.56 kg N2O ha(-1) in open water, bare tidal flat and S. salsa marsh, respectively, compared with -0.51 kg N2O ha(-1) for S. alterniflora marsh and -0.25 kg N2O ha(-1) for P. australis marsh. The carbon sequestration rate of S. alterniflora marsh amounted to 3.16 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1) in the top 100 cm soil profile, a value that was 2.63- to 8.78-fold higher than in native plant marshes. The estimated GWP was 1.78, -0.60, -4.09, and -1.14 Mg CO2 eq ha(-1) yr(-1) in open water, bare tidal flat, P. australis marsh and S. salsa marsh, respectively, but dropped to -11.30 Mg CO2 eq ha(-1) yr(-1) in S. alterniflora marsh. Our results indicate that although S. alterniflora invasion stimulates CH4 emissions, it can efficiently mitigate increases in atmospheric CO2 and N2O along the coast of China. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Marine ecoregion and Deepwater Horizon oil spill affect recruitment and population structure of a salt marsh snail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennings, Steven C.; Zengel, Scott; Oehrig, Jacob; Alber, Merryl; Bishop, T. Dale; Deis, Donald R.; Devlin, Donna; Hughes, A. Randall; Hutchens, John J.; Kiehn, Whitney M.; McFarlin, Caroline R.; Montague, Clay L.; Powers, Sean P.; Proffitt, C. Edward; Rutherford, Nicolle; Stagg, Camille L.; Walters, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Marine species with planktonic larvae often have high spatial and temporal variation in recruitment that leads to subsequent variation in the ecology of benthic adults. Using a combination of published and unpublished data, we compared the population structure of the salt marsh snail, Littoraria irrorata, between the South Atlantic Bight and the Gulf Coast of the United States to infer geographic differences in recruitment and to test the hypothesis that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to widespread recruitment failure of L. irrorata in Louisiana in 2010. Size-frequency distributions in both ecoregions were bimodal, with troughs in the distributions consistent with a transition from sub-adults to adults at ~13 mm in shell length as reported in the literature; however, adult snails reached larger sizes in the Gulf Coast. The ratio of sub-adults to adults was 1.5–2 times greater in the South Atlantic Bight than the Gulf Coast, consistent with higher recruitment rates in the South Atlantic Bight. Higher recruitment rates in the South Atlantic Bight could contribute to higher snail densities and reduced adult growth in this region. The ratio of sub-adults to adults in Louisiana was lower in 2011 than in previous years, and began to recover in 2012–2014, consistent with widespread recruitment failure in 2010, when large expanses of spilled oil were present in coastal waters. Our results reveal an important difference in the ecology of a key salt marsh invertebrate between the two ecoregions, and also suggest that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have caused widespread recruitment failure in this species and perhaps others with similar planktonic larval stages.

  19. From macroplastic to microplastic: Degradation of high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene in a salt marsh habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, John E; Crocker, Brittany K; Gray, Austin D

    2016-07-01

    As part of the degradation process, it is believed that most plastic debris becomes brittle over time, fragmenting into progressively smaller particles. The smallest of these particles, known as microplastics, have been receiving increased attention because of the hazards they present to wildlife. To understand the process of plastic degradation in an intertidal salt marsh habitat, strips (15.2 cm × 2.5 cm) of high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and extruded polystyrene were field-deployed in June 2014 and monitored for biological succession, weight, surface area, ultraviolet (UV) transmittance, and fragmentation. Subsets of strips were collected after 4 wk, 8 wk, 16 wk, and 32 wk. After 4 wk, biofilm had developed on all 3 polymers with evidence of grazing periwinkles (Littoraria irrorata). The accreting biofilm resulted in an increased weight of the polypropylene and polystyrene strips at 32 wk by 33.5% and 167.0%, respectively, with a concomitant decrease in UV transmittance by approximately 99%. Beginning at 8 wk, microplastic fragments and fibers were produced from strips of all 3 polymers, and scanning electron microscopy revealed surface erosion of the strips characterized by extensive cracking and pitting. The results suggest that the degradation of plastic debris proceeds relatively quickly in salt marshes and that surface delamination is the primary mechanism by which microplastic particles are produced in the early stages of degradation. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1632-1640. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonal Dynamics of Trace Elements in Tidal Salt Marsh Soils as Affected by the Flow-Sediment Regulation Regime

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25216278

  3. 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.

  4. Tidal Marsh Vegetation of China Camp, San Pablo Bay, California

    OpenAIRE

    Baye, Peter R.

    2012-01-01

    China Camp (Marin County, California) preserves extensive relict stands of salt marsh vegetation developed on a prehistoric salt marsh platform with a complex sinuous tidal creek network. The low salt marsh along tidal creeks supports extensive native stands of Pacific cordgrass (Spartina foliosa). The outer salt marsh accreted following hydraulic gold mining sedimentation. It consists of a wave-scarped pickleweed-dominated (Sarcocornia pacifica) high salt marsh terrace with a broad fringing ...

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    On April 20, 2010, the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the release of approximately 5 million barrels of crude oil into the environment. Oil and its associated trace metals have been demonstrated to have a detrimental effect on coastal wetland ecosystems. Wetlands are particularly susceptible to oil contamination because they are composed largely of fine-grained sediments, which have a high capacity to adsorb organic matter and metals. The biogeochemical cycling of trace metals can be strongly influenced by microbial activity, specifically those of sulfate- and iron-reducing bacteria. Microbial activity may be enhanced by an increase in amounts of organic matter such as oil. This research incorporates an assessment of levels of trace metals and associated biogeochemical changes from ten coastal marshes in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. These sampling sites range in their pollution levels from pristine to highly contaminated. A total digestion analysis of wetland sediments shows higher concentrations of certain trace metals (e.g., Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Sr, Co, V, Ba, Hg, As) in heavily-oiled areas compared to less-affected and pristine sites. Due to chemical complexation among organic compounds and metals, crude oils often contain elevated levels (up to hundreds of mg/kg) of trace metals At the heavily-oiled Louisiana sites (e.g., Bay Jimmy, Bayou Dulac, Bay Batiste), elevated levels of metals and total organic carbon have been found in sediments down to depths of 30 cm. Clearly the contamination is not limited to shallow sediments and oil, along with various associated metals, may be invading into deeper (pre-industrial) portions of the marsh sediments. Pore-waters extracted from contaminated sediments are characterized by very high levels of reduced sulfur (up to 80 mg/kg), in contrast to fairly low ferrous iron concentrations (marshes. Moreover, pore-water pH values show a general increasing trend (ranging from 6.6 to 8

  7. Effects of temephos (Abate? 4E) on fiddler crabs (Uca pugnax and Uca minax) on a Delaware salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkney, A.E.; McGowan, P.C.; Murphy, D.R.; Lowe, T.P.; Sparling, D.W.; Meredith, W.H.

    1999-01-01

    The non-target effects of temephos (as Abate 4E, 44.6% active ingredient) on fiddler crabs were examined on the salt marsh at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), near Dover, DE. Six 170 x 170 m plots were established; 3 were sprayed on 4 occasions at a rate of 1.5 fl oz/acre (0.054 kg active ingredient/ha) and 3 were controls. On each plot, marsh fiddler crab (Uca pugnax) populations were monitored by repeatedly counting the number of burrow holes in 2 counting areas marked out along tidal guts. One half of each counting area was covered with bird netting to evaluate sublethal toxic effects, which, if present, could result in increased susceptibility to bird predation. A statistically significant linear association was established between the number of holes and the number of crabs. No significant differences were found in the numbers of holes (or crabs) in the sprayed vs. control plots and in the covered vs. uncovered sections. However, survival of juvenile crabs in in situ bioassays was significantly reduced (16% lower) by the spraying. Median acetylcholinesterase activity in claw muscle of red-jointed fiddler crabs (U. minax) collected 2 days after an operational spray with Abate 4E was significantly reduced (28% lower) compared to unsprayed crabs. In view of the toxicity to juvenile crabs and the cholinesterase inhibition, we recommend continued monitoring and research for non-target impacts of Abate 4E on fiddler crabs to establish whether the reported level of cholinesterase inhibition results in acute or chronic toxicity.

  8. Trajectory of early tidal marsh restoration: elevation, sedimentation and colonization of breached salt ponds in the northern San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, L. Arriana; Smith, Lacy M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Athearn, Nicole D.; Taylor, Karen; Shellenbarger, Gregory; Schoellhamer, David H.; Spenst, Renee

    2012-01-01

    Tidal marsh restoration projects that cover large areas are critical for maintaining target species, yet few large sites have been studied and their restoration trajectories remain uncertain. A tidal marsh restoration project in the northern San Francisco Bay consisting of three breached salt ponds (≥300 ha each; 1175 ha total) is one of the largest on the west coast of North America. These diked sites were subsided and required extensive sedimentation for vegetation colonization, yet it was unclear whether they would accrete sediment and vegetate within a reasonable timeframe. We conducted bathymetric surveys to map substrate elevations using digital elevation models and surveyed colonizing Pacific cordgrass (Spartina foliosa). The average elevation of Pond 3 was 0.96 ± 0.19 m (mean ± SD; meters NAVD88) in 2005. In 2008–2009, average pond elevations were 1.05 ± 0.25 m in Pond 3, 0.81 ± 0.26 m in Pond 4, and 0.84 ± 0.24 m in Pond 5 (means ± SD; meters NAVD88). The largest site (Pond 3; 508 ha) accreted 9.5 ± 0.2 cm (mean ± SD) over 4 years, but accretion varied spatially and ranged from sediment loss in borrow ditches and adjacent to an unplanned, early breach to sediment gains up to 33 cm in more sheltered regions. The mean elevation of colonizing S. foliosa varied by pond (F = 71.20, df = 84, P S. foliosa. Our results suggest that sedimentation to elevations that enable vegetation colonization is feasible in large sites with sufficient sediment loads although may occur more slowly compared with smaller sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Blue Carbon for How Long? Lability of Buried Salt Marsh Carbon Released via Erosion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, D.; Mctigue, N.; Currin, C.

    2016-02-01

    With our climate rapidly changing due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the ability of coastal wetlands to sequester carbon (C) on century to millennial time scales has bolstered new interest in these habitats. This stored sedimentary organic carbon termed "blue C" can be eroded to surface horizons from the impacts of sea level rise, storm events, or other physical modifications of the coastline, potentially returning CO2 to the atmosphere upon microbially mediated remineralization. The rates and extent of these remineralization processes are largely unknown. A field exercise revealed a horizontal gradient in the organic matter content of marsh sediments perpendicular to creekbanks, as proximity to tidal creeks resulted in a decline in sediment C content, with some variation due to creekbank morphology. We also conducted lab experiments to test the effect of temperature, as in some systems it has been found that a 1oC increase in temperature increases organic matter decomposition rates by 20%. In this study, fluxes of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), pH, and pCO2 were measured to determine carbon remineralization rates of marsh sediment collected 30 cm below the surface. A 20 and 30°C temperature treatment was instituted to examine Q10 and activation energy of the decomposition processes that could potentially act as a climate change positive feedback upon erosion of blue carbon. Laboratory results show that the century-old blue carbon overall is refractory to tidal creek microbes, as only a maximum of 0.28% of sediment organic C was respired in 2 week incubations. However, the remineralization rate exhibited a Q10 of 2.45, indicating that the organic carbon, despite being refractory, is temperature sensitive and will degrade exponentially if exposed to higher temperatures. These rates were then modeled at current and projected temperature profiles and applied to actual erosion rates in the study site to assess the release of carbon dioxide via erosion

  11. Recent sea-level changes in the southern Bay of Biscay: transfer function reconstructions from salt-marshes compared with instrumental data

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    Eduardo Leorri

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to assess the accuracy and regional significance of salt-marsh reconstructions of former sea level based on foraminiferal transfer functions, we compared the calibration of the foraminiferal assemblages of two salt-marsh cores from two estuaries using the regional transfer function constructed for the southern Bay of Biscay. The foraminifera-based reconstructions were placed into a temporal framework using 137Cs, heavy metal concentrations, and 210Pb-derived sediment accumulation rates. The resulting relative sea-level (RSL curves were compared with the nearest tide-gauge data (Santander. The two RSL trends from core sediments show excellent agreement and are in very good agreement with instrumental data, providing a regional relative sea-level rise of 1.9 mm yr-1 for the 20th century.

  12. Radioactive influence of some phosphogypsum piles located at the SW Spain in their surrounding soils and salt-marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolivar, J. P.; Mosqueda, F.; Vaca, F.; Garcia-Tenorio, R.; Martinez-Sanchez, M. J.; Perez-Sirvent, C.; Martinez-Lopez, S.

    2012-04-01

    In the SW of Spain, just in the confluence of the mouths of the Tinto and Odiel River and in the vicinity of Huelva town, there is a big industrial complex which includes between others an industry devoted during more than 40 years to the production of phosphoric acid, by treating sedimentary phosphate rock by the so-called "wet acid method". As a by-product of the mentioned process it have been produced historically huge amounts of a compound called phosphogypsum, which composition is mostly di-hydrate calcium sulphate containing some of the impurities of heavy metals and natural radionuclides originally present in the raw material. Due to the lack of market for this by-product, it has been mostly piled over some salt-marshes located in the vicinity of the industry, on the bank of the Tinto River. About 100 million tons of phosphogypsum have been piled in an area covering more than 1000 hectares, constituting a clear environmental and radiological anomaly in the zone. The phosphogypsum piles set do not conform obviously a close system. They are interacting with the nearby environment mostly by leaching waters releases from the waters accumulated in them either for its previous use in transporting in suspension the PG from the factory or by rainfall. These waters leaks contain in solution enhanced amounts of heavy metals and radionuclides that can provoke the chemical and radioactive contamination in surroundings soil and salt-marshes areas. In this communication the radioactive influence by the phosphogypsum piles in the surrounding terrestrial environment is evaluated. This contamination is mostly due to radionuclides belonging to the uranium series, which are present originally in the raw material treated in the industry, and afterwards in the generated phosphogypsum, in enhanced amounts in relation to typical soils. In addition, the different dynamics and behavior of different radionuclides will be discussed and analyzed. The gained information in this study

  13. Record of the accumulation of sediment and trace metals in a Connecticut, U. S. A. , salt marsh. [Dating deposition of trace metals from polluted air masses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCaffrey, R.J.

    1977-01-01

    The nonlinear rate of accretion of a Connecticut salt marsh during the past century was estimated from the /sup 210/Pb distribution with depth by assuming a constant flux of /sup 210/Pb to the surface. This rate was found to be in general agreement with the smoothed record of relative mean sea level rise measured independently by the New York City tide gage since 1893. The rate of deposition of Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb and total inorganic matter on the surface of the salt marsh may be calculated from the age and sediment properties measured at small depth increments. Changes in the inorganic matter content are attributed to variations in land use on the watershed since it was cleared for agriculture. Fe, Mn, and inorganic matter are principally derived from stream transport of eroding soil, while the observed increases in the fluxes of Cu, Zn, and Pb are largely explained as increased supply via the atmosphere during the period of industrialization since the Civil War. Salt marshes thus may supply a refined record of the deposition of trace metals from polluted air masses over long periods of time.

  14. Mapping marine and fluvial salt crusts in estuaries collecting acid water using hyperspectral Hyperion imagery (Marshes of the river Odiel, Huelva

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Riaza

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Temporal monitoring of salt efflorescence on the marshes at the mouth of the river Odiel (Huelva is made using hyperspectral archive Hyperion data. Climate variability estimations are made based on well-known spectral features related to vegetation and shallow water, using archive spectral libraries. The observations point to spectral and geomorphological indicators which can be monitored through image processing supported by field and laboratory spectral data, on a repeatable basis. Mapping a larger sequence of images under different climate regime and wider tidal range, would improve the estimation of spectral features to ensure a routine monitoring of salt crusts with hyperspectral data.

  15. Breeding behaviour of the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus in a salt marsh from the Eastern High Plateaux, northeast Algeria

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    Amel Bouakkaz

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive biology and nesting site selection of the Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, were investigated in a semi-arid salt marsh from the Eastern High Plateaux, northeast Algeria. The present study describes for the first time the breeding behaviour of this plover in the Eastern High Plateaux. On the natural ecosystem of Sebkhet Ouled M’Barek, egg-laying occurred from mid-April to late May, with peak in the last week of April. Mean clutch size was 2.71 ± 0.58 (n = 45, and incubation period was 27.0 ± 0.9 days. Hatching success amounted to 69.6% ± 6.4 (45 clutches and an average of 2.0 ± 0.2 chicks hatched per nest. In this study we observed that incubating plovers usually nested near water edge and very close to a heterospecific nest. Three aspects make this population distinct from most other Kentish plover populations studied to date. It is characterised by a late onset of egg-laying, short egg-laying period and high rate of breeding success. Nevertheless, the present study shows that the mean clutch size, egg volume and incubation period were comparable to those known for other Mediterranean populations. Anthropogenic pressures, habitat loss as well as lack of management plans are major threats of this population.

  16. European Impacts on coastal eastern Tasmania: Insight from a high-resolution palynological record of a salt-marsh core

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    Patrick Tobias Moss

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A high-resolution pollen and micro-charcoal (>5 μm record has been produced from a short sediment (50 cm core recovered from a salt marsh in the Little Swanport Estuary, eastern Tasmania. This record suggests that there are four phases associated with the European settlement of the region. An initial phase from around 1830 to 1858 AD, which is similar to the previous Aboriginal period; a relatively low impact transitional phase from 1859 to 1898 AD; a rapid and marked deforestation period from 1899 to 1932 AD; and establishment of the contemporary landscape, with reforestation occurring, but with marked differences in species composition (i.e. greater representation of exotic taxa and altered understorey composition from 1933 to 2006 AD. Key similarities are seen across Australia with the European settlement phase (i.e. addition of exotic taxa, deforestation and/or changes in vegetation composition, alterations in fire regimes and increased sedimentation rates, but high-resolution analysis suggests that these impacts may manifest in different ways depending on the local environmental setting and/or historical context of the settlement location. Furthermore, Amaranthaceae pollen representation appears to be impacted by changes in sea level. However, other factors such as human modifications, particularly grazing, and climate variability may play additional roles and further research is required to disentangle the relative effects of these factors.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  19. Mosquito larvicidal properties of volatile oil from salt marsh mangrove plant of Sesuvium portulacastrum against Anopheles stephensi and Aedes aegypti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Yacoob Syed Ali

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To identify the larvicidal activity of the volatile oil from Sesuvium portulacastrum (S. portulacastrum against Anopheles stephensi and Aedes aegypti. Methods: Volatile oil extract of S. portulacastrum was prepared in a graded series of concentration. The test for the larvicidal effect of volatile oil against mosquitos larvae was conducted in accordance with the WHO standard method. Batches of 25 early 4th instar larvae of two mosquitoes were transferred to 250 mL enamel bowl containing 199 mL of distilled water and 1 mL of plant extracts. Each experiment was conducted with triplicate with concurrent a control group. Results: Volatile oil extract of S. portulacastrum showed toxicity against 4th instar larvae of Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi with equivalent LC50 value [(63±7.8 µL/mL, LCL-UCL=55.2-64.0] and LC90 value [(94.2±3.9 µL/mL] in maximum activity with minimum concentration (200 µL/mL of volatile oil and followed by maximum activity of 250 µL concentration showed LC50 value=(68.0±8.2 µL/mL, LCL-UCL=66.26-69.2 and LC50 value of (55.2±2.8 µL/mL, LCL-UCL=53.7-56.9, LC90=(95.2±1.25 µL/mL and followed by 250 µL of oil extract against 4th instar larvae of Aedes aegypti respectively. Conclusions: It is inferred from the present study that, the extracts from salt marsh mangrove plan of S. portulacastum are identified as a potential source of safe and efficacious mosquito control agents for the management of vector borne diseases of malaria and dengue.

  20. Mercury flux from salt marsh sediments: Insights from a comparison between 224Ra/228Th disequilibrium and core incubation methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xiangming; Mason, Robert P.; Charette, Matthew A.; Mazrui, Nashaat M.; Cai, Pinghe

    2018-02-01

    In aquatic environments, sediments are the main location of mercury methylation. Thus, accurate quantification of methylmercury (MeHg) fluxes at the sediment-water interface is vital to understanding the biogeochemical cycling of mercury, especially the toxic MeHg species, and their bioaccumulation. Traditional approaches, such as core incubations, are difficult to maintain at in-situ conditions during assays, leading to over/underestimation of benthic fluxes. Alternatively, the 224Ra/228Th disequilibrium method for tracing the transfer of dissolved substances across the sediment-water interface, has proven to be a reliable approach for quantifying benthic fluxes. In this study, the 224Ra/228Th disequilibrium and core incubation methods were compared to examine the benthic fluxes of both 224Ra and MeHg in salt marsh sediments of Barn Island, Connecticut, USA from May to August, 2016. The two methods were comparable for 224Ra but contradictory for MeHg. The radiotracer approach indicated that sediments were always the dominant source of both total mercury (THg) and MeHg. The core incubation method for MeHg produced similar results in May and August, but an opposite pattern in June and July, which suggested sediments were a sink of MeHg, contrary to the evidence of significant MeHg gradients between overlying water and porewater at the sediment-water interface. The potential reasons for such differences are discussed. Overall, we conclude that the 224Ra/228Th disequilibrium approach is preferred for estimating the benthic flux of MeHg and that sediment is indeed an important MeHg source in this marshland, and likely in other shallow coastal waters.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  2. Arsenic and heavy metal pollution in wetland soils from tidal freshwater and salt marshes before and after the flow-sediment regulation regime in the Yellow River Delta, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Junhong; Xiao, Rong; Zhang, Kejiang; Gao, Haifeng

    2012-07-01

    SummarySoil samples were collected in tidal freshwater and salt marshes in the Yellow River Delta (YRD), northern China, before and after the flow-sediment regulation. Total concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) were determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectrometry to investigate the characteristics of heavy metal pollution in tidal wetlands before and after the regulation regime. The results demonstrated that marsh soils in both marshes had higher silt and total P contents, higher bulk density and lower sand contents after the flow-sediment regulation; moreover, soil salinity was significantly decreased in the tidal salt marsh. As and Cd concentrations were significantly higher in both marsh soils after the regulation than before, and there were no significant differences in the concentrations of Cu, Pb and Zn measured before and after the regulation. No significant differences in heavy metal concentrations were observed between freshwater and salt marsh soils, either before or after the regulation. Before the regulation regime, soil organic matter, pH and sulfer (S) were the main factors influencing heavy metal distribution in tidal freshwater marshes, whereas for tidal salt marshes, the main factors are soil salinity and moisture, pH and S. However, bulk density and total P became the main influencing factors after the regulation. The sediment quality guidelines and geoaccumulation indices showed moderately or strongly polluted levels of As and Cd and unpolluted or moderately polluted levels of Cu, Pb and Zn; As and Cd pollution became more serious after the regulation. Factor analysis indicated thatthese heavy metals including As were closely correlated and orginated from common pollution sources before the flow-sediment regulation; however, the sources of As and Cd separated from the sources of Cu, Pb and Zn after the regulation regime, implying that the flow-sediment regulation regime

  3. Environmental conditions in the Namskaket Marsh Area, Orleans, Massachusetts: A summary of studies by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1989–2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiskel, Peter K.; Barbaro, Jeffrey R.; DeSimone, Leslie A.

    2016-09-23

    Namskaket Marsh and its tidal creek system are potential receptors for a treated wastewater plume originating from a septage treatment facility in the northwest part of Orleans, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. From 1989 to 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with State and local partners, conducted a series of studies in the Namskaket Marsh area to characterize the potential effects of the plume on the marsh and its tidal creek system. Studies included characterizing the baseline vegetation and salinity distribution in the marsh, monitoring the movement of the wastewater plume downgradient of the septage treatment facility, and sampling nutrient concentrations in the tidal creek system during a baseline period prior to the arrival of the plume at the marsh boundary. The Inner Namskaket Marsh baseline vegetation survey in 1995 found it to be dominated by Phragmites australis (common reed, 44 percent of vegetative cover), Spartina patens (salt marsh hay, 17 percent), and Spartina alterniflora (cordgrass, 9 percent). Phragmites occurrence was correlated with shallow pore-water salinity in the marsh peat and was largely confined to areas with salinities less than 4 parts per thousand. Baseline, ebb-tide nutrient concentrations at the tidal creek sampling stations during 1994–96 showed strong seasonal variations for ammonium, likely associated with the seasonal cycle of growth and senescence for the dominant salt marsh grasses (S. alterniflora and S. patens). The seasonal cycle for nitrate was generally less pronounced.

  4. PROPOSAL OF A NEW METHOO OF ECOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF VEGETATION: THE CASE STUDY OF THE VEGETATION OF THE VENICE LAGOON LANDSCAPE ANO OF ITS SALT MARSHES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. IGEGNOLI

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available In frequent case studies, the heterogeneity of vegetation formation is very high, because of the frequency of both natural and human disturbances. Consequently, the phytosociological approach .and the auto-ecological one are not completely adequate for the evaluation or the ecological state of this vegetation in a landscape.So, this evaluation needs the integration with a landscape ecological method of vegetation survey through schedules, as indicated by Ingegnoli (2002. Each type of schedule has been designed to check the organisation level and to estimate the metastability of a tessera of a certain type of vegetation, considering both general ecological and landscape ecological characters: (A Landscape e1ement characters (e.g. tessera, corridor, (8 Plant, biomass above ground, (C Ecocoenotope pararneters. (D Relation among the elements and their landscape parameters. There are four evaluation classes, the weights per class depending on an evaluation model designed as shown later on. The principal aim of this research is to design a new schedule, available for the main coenosis of salt marshes vegetation, which allows to complete a preliminary study on the Venice lagoon landscape dynamics, based on its vegetation. The landscape of the Venice lagoon is very complex and articulated, its main vegetation formations are the following: Underwater, Salt marshes. Littoral. Reclamation colonisations, Wet areas. Wooded patches and corridors. Agricultural cultivations, Urban green. The most important typc of vegetation is represented by salt marshes prairies called "barene", especially by Limonietum venetum (Pignani. 1966, This association can be divided into three sub-associations, the first with three facies: but the reality presents a large quantity of tesserae in intermediate or ecotonal states, even mixed with other associations (e,g, Spartinetum maritimae. The design and control of the schedule, the first measure of the community plant biomasses are

  5. PROPOSAL OF A NEW METHOO OF ECOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF VEGETATION: THE CASE STUDY OF THE VEGETATION OF THE VENICE LAGOON LANDSCAPE ANO OF ITS SALT MARSHES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. GIGLIO

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available

    In frequent case studies, the heterogeneity of vegetation formation is very high, because of the frequency of both natural and human disturbances. Consequently, the phytosociological approach .and the auto-ecological one are not completely adequate for the evaluation or the ecological state of this vegetation in a landscape.

    So, this evaluation needs the integration with a landscape ecological method of vegetation survey through schedules, as indicated by Ingegnoli (2002. Each type of schedule has been designed to check the organisation level and to estimate the metastability of a tessera of a certain type of vegetation, considering both general ecological and landscape ecological characters: (A Landscape e1ement characters (e.g. tessera, corridor, (8 Plant, biomass above ground, (C Ecocoenotope pararneters. (D Relation among the elements and their landscape parameters. There are four evaluation classes, the weights per class depending on an evaluation model designed as shown later on. The principal aim of this research is to design a new schedule, available for the main coenosis of salt marshes vegetation, which allows to complete a preliminary study on the Venice lagoon landscape dynamics, based on its vegetation. The landscape of the Venice lagoon is very complex and articulated, its main vegetation formations are the following: Underwater, Salt marshes. Littoral. Reclamation colonisations, Wet areas. Wooded patches and corridors. Agricultural cultivations, Urban green. The most important typc of vegetation is represented by salt marshes prairies called "barene", especially by Limonietum venetum (Pignani. 1966, This association can be divided into three sub-associations, the first with three facies: but the reality presents a large quantity of tesserae in intermediate or ecotonal states, even mixed with other associations (e,g, Spartinetum maritimae. The design and control of the schedule, the first measure of the community plant

  6. The Gelechiidae of the Longarini salt marsh in the “Pantani della Sicilia Sud-Orientale” nature reserve in southeastern Sicily, Italy (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae):Gelechiidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Bella, S.; Karsholt, Ole

    2015-01-01

    The authors report the results of field research on Gelechiidae from the “Pantano Longarini” salt marsh (southeastern Sicily). The area is located inland to the “Pantani della Sicilia Sud-Orientale” regional nature reserve. A total of twenty-four species are recognized; among the recorded taxa Scrobipalpa peterseni (Povolny´, 1965) is new to Europe, Scrobipalpa bigoti (Povolny´, 1973), Scrobipalpa bradleyi Povolny´ 1971, Scrobipalpa spergulariella (Chrétien, 1910) and Scrobipalpa superstes Po...

  7. Impact of crude oil exposure on nitrogen cycling in a previously impacted Juncus roemerianus salt marsh in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horel, Agota; Bernard, Rebecca J; Mortazavi, Behzad

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated potential nitrogen fixation, net nitrification, and denitrification responses to short-term crude oil exposure that simulated oil exposure in Juncus roemerianus salt marsh sediments previously impacted following the Deepwater Horizon accident. Temperature as well as crude oil amount and type affected the nitrogen cycling rates. Total nitrogen fixation rates increased 44 and 194 % at 30 °C in 4,000 mg kg(-1) tar ball and 10,000 mg kg(-1) moderately weathered crude oil treatments, respectively; however, there was no difference from the controls at 10 and 20 °C. Net nitrification rates showed production at 20 °C and consumption at 10 and 30 °C in all oil treatments and controls. Potential denitrification rates were higher than controls in the 10 and 30 ºC treatments but responded differently to the oil type and amount. The highest rates of potential denitrification (12.7 ± 1.0 nmol N g(-1) wet h(-1)) were observed in the highly weathered 4,000 mg kg(-1) oil treatment at 30 °C, suggesting increased rates of denitrification during the warmer summer months. These results indicate that the impacts on nitrogen cycling from a recurring oil spill could depend on the time of the year as well as the amount and type of oil contaminating the marsh. The study provides evidence for impact on nitrogen cycling in coastal marshes that are vulnerable to repeated hydrocarbon exposure.

  8. Functional gene pyrosequencing and network analysis: an approach to examine the response of denitrifying bacteria to increased nitrogen supply in salt marsh sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L. Bowen

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Functional gene pyrosequencing is emerging as a useful tool to examine the diversity and abundance of microbes that facilitate key biogeochemical processes. One such process, denitrification, is of particular importance because it converts fixed nitrate (NO3- to N2 gas, which returns to the atmosphere. In N limited salt marshes, removal of NO3- prior to entering adjacent waters helps prevent eutrophication. Understanding the dynamics of salt marsh microbial denitrification is thus imperative for the maintenance of healthy coastal ecosystems. We used pyrosequencing of the nirS gene to examine the denitrifying community response to fertilization in experimentally enriched marsh plots. A key challenge in the analysis of sequence data derived from pyrosequencing is understanding whether small differences in gene sequences are ecologically meaningful. We apply a novel approach from information theory that determined that the optimal similarity level for clustering DNA sequences into OTUs, while still capturing the ecological complexity of the system, was 88% similarity. With this clustering, phylogenetic analysis yielded 6 dominant clades of denitrifiers, the largest of which, accounting for more than half of all the sequences collected, had no close cultured representatives. Of the 638 OTUs identified, only 11 were present in all plots and no single OTU was dominant. We did, however, find a large number of specialist OTUs that were present only in a single plot. The high degree of endemic OTUs, while accounting for a large proportion of the nirS diversity in the plots, were found in lower abundance than the generalist taxa. The proportion of specialist taxa increased with increasing supply of nutrients, suggesting that addition of fertilizer may create conditions that expand the niche space for denitrifying organisms and may enhance the genetic capacity for denitrification.

  9. Functional gene pyrosequencing and network analysis: an approach to examine the response of denitrifying bacteria to increased nitrogen supply in salt marsh sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Jennifer L; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Weisman, David; Colaneri, Cory

    2013-01-01

    Functional gene pyrosequencing is emerging as a useful tool to examine the diversity and abundance of microbes that facilitate key biogeochemical processes. One such process, denitrification, is of particular importance because it converts fixed nitrate (NO(-) 3) to N2 gas, which returns to the atmosphere. In nitrogen limited salt marshes, removal of NO(-) 3 prior to entering adjacent waters helps prevent eutrophication. Understanding the dynamics of salt marsh microbial denitrification is thus imperative for the maintenance of healthy coastal ecosystems. We used pyrosequencing of the nirS gene to examine the denitrifying community response to fertilization in experimentally enriched marsh plots. A key challenge in the analysis of sequence data derived from pyrosequencing is understanding whether small differences in gene sequences are ecologically meaningful. We applied a novel approach from information theory to determine that the optimal similarity level for clustering DNA sequences into OTUs, while still capturing the ecological complexity of the system, was 88%. With this clustering, phylogenetic analysis yielded 6 dominant clades of denitrifiers, the largest of which, accounting for more than half of all the sequences collected, had no close cultured representatives. Of the 638 OTUs identified, only 11 were present in all plots and no single OTU was dominant. We did, however, find a large number of specialist OTUs that were present only in a single plot. The high degree of endemic OTUs, while accounting for a large proportion of the nirS diversity in the plots, were found in lower abundance than the generalist taxa. The proportion of specialist taxa increased with increasing supply of nutrients, suggesting that addition of fertilizer may create conditions that expand the niche space for denitrifying organisms and may enhance the genetic capacity for denitrification.

  10. Nekton use of intertidal creek edges in low salinity salt marshes of the Yangtze River estuary along a stream-order gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Binsong; Qin, Haiming; Xu, Wang; Wu, Jihua; Zhong, Junsheng; Lei, Guangchun; Chen, Jiakuan; Fu, Cuizhang

    2010-07-01

    Non-vegetated creek edges were investigated to explore spatial nekton use patterns in a low salinity intertidal salt marsh creek network of the Yangtze River estuary along a stream-order gradient with four creek orders. Non-vegetated creek edges were arbitrarily defined as the approximately 3 m extending from the creek bank (the marsh-creek interface) into open water. Nekton was sampled using seine nets during daytime high slack water during spring tides for two or three days each in May through July 2008. Twenty-three nekton species (16 fishes and 7 crustaceans) were caught during the study. Fishes were dominated by gobies ( Mugilogobius abei, Periophthalmus magnuspinnatus, Periophthalmus modestus, Synechogobius ommaturus), mullets ( Chelon haematocheilus, Liza affinis) and Chinese sea bass ( Lateolabrax maculatus). Crustaceans were dominated by mud crab ( Helice tientsinensis) and white prawn ( Exopalaemon carinicauda). Rank abundance curves revealed higher evenness of nekton assemblages in lower-order creeks compared to higher-order creeks. Fish abundance tended to increase with increasing creek order. Crustacean abundance was higher in the first-third order creeks than in the fourth-order creek. Dominant nekton species displayed various trends in abundance and length-frequency distributions along the stream-order gradient. The spatial separation of nekton assemblages between the first-third order creeks and the fourth-order creek could be attributed to geomorphological factors (distance to mouth and cross-sectional area). These findings indicate that both lower- and higher-order creek edges play important yet different roles for nekton species and life history stages in salt marshes.

  11. Effects of middle-term land reclamation on nickel soil-water interaction: a case study from reclaimed salt marshes of Po River Delta, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giuseppe, Dario; Melchiorre, Massimiliano; Faccini, Barbara; Ferretti, Giacomo; Coltorti, Massimo

    2017-09-26

    Reclaimed salt marshes are fragile environments where water salinization and accumulation of heavy metals can easily occur. This type of environment constitutes a large part of the Po River Delta (Italy), where intensive agricultural activities take place. Given the higher Ni background of Po River Delta soils and its water-soluble nature, the main aim of this contribution is to understand if reclamation can influence the Ni behavior over time. In this study, we investigated the geochemical features of 40 soils sampled in two different localities from the Po River Delta with different reclamation ages. Samples of salt marsh soils reclaimed in 1964 were taken from Valle del Mezzano while soils reclaimed in 1872 were taken nearby Codigoro town. Batch solubility tests and consecutive determination of Ni in pore-water were compared to bulk physicochemical compositions of soils. Bulk Ni content of the studied soils is naturally high, since these soils originated from Po River sediments derived from the erosion of ultramafic rocks. Moreover, it seems that Ni concentration increases during soil evolution, being probably related to the degradation of serpentine. Instead, the water-soluble Ni measured in the leaching tests is greater in soils recently reclaimed compared to the oldest soils. Soil properties of two soil profiles from a reclaimed wetland area were examined to determine soil evolution over one century. Following reclamation, pedogenic processes of the superficial horizons resulted in organic matter mineralization, pH buffer, and a decrease of Ni water solubility from recently to evolved reclaimed soil.

  12. Does salt stress constrain spatial distribution of dune building grasses Ammophila arenaria and Elytrichia juncea on the beach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Puijenbroek, Marinka E B; Teichmann, Corry; Meijdam, Noortje; Oliveras, Imma; Berendse, Frank; Limpens, Juul

    2017-09-01

    Rising sea levels threaten coastal safety by increasing the risk of flooding. Coastal dunes provide a natural form of coastal protection. Understanding drivers that constrain early development of dunes is necessary to assess whether dune development may keep pace with sea-level rise. In this study, we explored to what extent salt stress experienced by dune building plant species constrains their spatial distribution at the Dutch sandy coast. We conducted a field transplantation experiment and a glasshouse experiment with two dune building grasses Ammophila arenaria and Elytrigia juncea. In the field, we measured salinity and monitored growth of transplanted grasses in four vegetation zones: (I) nonvegetated beach, (II) E. juncea occurring, (III) both species co-occurring, and (IV) A. arenaria dominant. In the glasshouse, we subjected the two species to six soil salinity treatments, with and without salt spray. We monitored biomass, photosynthesis, leaf sodium, and nutrient concentrations over a growing season. The vegetation zones were weakly associated with summer soil salinity; zone I and II were significantly more saline than zones III and IV. Ammophila arenaria performed equally (zone II) or better (zones III, IV) than E. juncea, suggesting soil salinity did not limit species performance. Both species showed severe winter mortality. In the glasshouse, A. arenaria biomass decreased linearly with soil salinity, presumably as a result of osmotic stress. Elytrigia juncea showed a nonlinear response to soil salinity with an optimum at 0.75% soil salinity. Our findings suggest that soil salinity stress either takes place in winter, or that development of vegetated dunes is less sensitive to soil salinity than hitherto expected.

  13. Salt tolerance and osmotic adjustment of Spartina alterniflora (Poaceae) and the invasive M haplotype of Phragmites australis (Poaceae) along a salinity gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasquez, Edward A.; Glenn, Edward P.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Brown, J. Jed; Nelson, Stephen G.

    2006-01-01

    An invasive variety of Phragmites australis (Poaceae, common reed), the M haplotype, has been implicated in the spread of this species into North American salt marshes that are normally dominated by the salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora (Poaceae, smooth cordgrass). In some European marshes, on the other hand, Spartina spp. derived from S. alterniflora have spread into brackish P. australis marshes. In both cases, the non-native grass is thought to degrade the habitat value of the marsh for wildlife, and it is important to understand the physiological processes that lead to these species replacements. We compared the growth, salt tolerance, and osmotic adjustment of M haplotype P. australis and S. alterniflora along a salinity gradient in greenhouse experiments. Spartina alterniflora produced new biomass up to 0.6 M NaCl, whereas P. australis did not grow well above 0.2 M NaCl. The greater salt tolerance of S. alterniflora compared with P. australis was due to its ability to use Na+ for osmotic adjustment in the shoots. On the other hand, at low salinities P. australis produced more shoots per gram of rhizome tissue than did S. alterniflora. This study illustrates how ecophysiological differences can shift the competitive advantage from one species to another along a stress gradient. Phragmites australis is spreading into North American coastal marshes that are experiencing reduced salinities, while Spartina spp. are spreading into northern European brackish marshes that are experiencing increased salinities as land use patterns change on the two continents.

  14. Marsh and Water Management Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The three freshwater impoundments--North, Bill Forward, and Stage Island Pools were constructed by diking off salt marsh on the west side of the barrier island in...

  15. Temporal variation of accumulation rates on a natural salt marsh in the 20th century determined by 137Cs chronologies – the impact of sea level rise and increased inundation frequency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Thorbjørn Joest; Svinth, Steffen; Pejrup, Morten

    2011-01-01

    Salt marshes are potentially threatened by sea level rise if sediment supply is unable to balance the rising sea. A rapid sea level rise is one of the pronounced effects of global warming and global sea level is at present rising at an elevated rate of about 3.4 mm y-1 on average. This increasing...

  16. Aggradation and lateral migration shaping geometry of a tidal point bar: An example from salt marshes of the Northern Venice Lagoon (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brivio, Lara; Ghinassi, Massimiliano; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Finotello, Alvise; Fontana, Alessandro; Roner, Marcella; Howes, Nick

    2016-08-01

    Although meanders are ubiquitous features of the tidal landscape, the architectural geometries of tidal point bar deposits are relatively unexplored and commonly investigated on the basis of facies models developed for their fluvial counterparts. The present study aims at improving current understanding of tidal point bar deposits developed in salt marsh settings, through a high-resolution investigation of an abandoned intertidal meander loop, located in the northern part of the Venice Lagoon (Italy). The study channel is 6 m wide and was active until the 1950s, when it was deactivated as consequence of a neck cut-off. A total of 150 cores was recovered from the associated point bar. The bar erosionally overlies a subtidal platform consisting of sand and mud and is covered by both channel fill and salt marsh mud. The bar, floored by a shell-rich sandy lag, consists of stratified fine sand, grading upward into sandy mud. The outer bank of the bend is characterized by well-developed, sand-rich levee deposits and absence of crevasse splays, which represent a distinctive feature of alluvial sedimentation. Sediment grain size distributions suggesting that seaward and landward sides of the point bar experienced comparable changes of bed shear stress due to alternation between flood and ebb currents, highlighting a remarkable difference with the classical downstream-fining characterizing fluvial point bars. Spatial interpolation between key stratal surfaces shows an overall thickening of the bar from 1.2 to 1.7 m in the direction of channel migration, associated with both lowering of the bar base and rising of its brink, which occurs in parallel with an increase in channel cross-sectional area, to progressively accommodate the increasing tidal prism. The bar top surface is characterized by a spoon-shaped geometry stemming out from a combination between lateral migration (8-10 cm/yr) and vertical aggradation (2.5-3.0 mm/yr) of the inner bank. In salt marsh settings

  17. 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.

  18. Optical properties of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in surface and pore waters adjacent to an oil well in a southern California salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Jennifer C; Clark, Catherine D; Keller, Jason K; De Bruyn, Warren J

    2017-01-15

    Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) optical properties were measured in surface and pore waters as a function of depth and distance from an oil well in a southern California salt marsh. Higher fluorescence and absorbances in pore vs. surface waters suggest soil pore water is a reservoir of CDOM in the marsh. Protein-like fluorophores in pore waters at distinct depths corresponded to variations in sulfate depletion and Fe(II) concentrations from anaerobic microbial activity. These variations were supported by fluorescence indexes and are consistent with differences in optical molecular weight and aromaticity indicators. Fluorescence indices were consistent with autochthonous material of aquatic origin in surface waters, with more terrestrial, humified allochthonous material in deeper pore waters. CDOM optical properties were consistent with significantly enhanced microbial activity in regions closest to the oil well, along with a three-dimensional excitation/emission matrix fluorescence spectrum peak attributable to oil, suggesting anaerobic microbial degradation of oil. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Salt Marsh Zonal Migration and Ecosystem Service Change in Response to Global Sea Level Rise: A Case Study from an Urban Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rusty A. Feagin

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Coastal wetland plants are expected to respond to global sea level rise by migrating toward higher elevations. Housing, infrastructure, and other anthropogenic modifications are expected to limit the space available for this potential migration. Here, we explore the ecological and economic effects of projected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007 report sea level changes at the plant community scale using the highest horizontal (1 m and vertical (0.01 m resolution data available, using a 6 x 6 km area as an example. Our findings show that salt marshes do not always lose land with increasing rates of sea level rise. We found that the lower bound of the IPCC 2007 potential rise (0.18 m by 2095 actually increased the total marsh area. This low rise scenario resulted in a net gain in ecosystem service values on public property, whereas market-based economic losses were predicted for private property. The upper rise scenario (0.59 m by 2095 resulted in both public and private economic losses for this same area. Our work highlights the trade-offs between public and privately held value under the various IPCC 2007 climate change scenarios. We conclude that as wetlands migrate inland into urbanized regions, their survival is likely to be dependent on the rate of return on property and housing investments.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Koo, Hyunmin

    2014-07-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Diversity and Ecological Characterization of Sporulating Higher Filamentous Marine Fungi Associated with Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald in Two Portuguese Salt Marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calado, Maria da Luz; Carvalho, Luís; Pang, Ka-Lai; Barata, Margarida

    2015-10-01

    Fungal communities associated with early stages of decomposition of Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald were assessed in two geographically distinct salt marshes in Portugal by direct observation of fungal sporulating structures. Twenty-three fungal taxa were identified from 390 plant samples, 11 of which were common to both study sites. Natantispora retorquens, Byssothecium obiones, Phaeosphaeria spartinicola, Phoma sp. 1 and Stagonospora sp. were the most frequent fungal taxa in the studied communities. The fungal species Anthostomella spissitecta, Camarosporium roumeguerii, Coniothyrium obiones, Decorospora gaudefroyi, Halosarpheia trullifera, Leptosphaeria marina and Stagonospora haliclysta were recorded for the first time on S. maritima plants; with the exception of C. roumeguerii and L. marina, all of these species were also new records for Portugal. The differences between species composition of the communities associated with S. maritima were attributed to differences in abiotic conditions of the salt marshes. Although the fungal taxa were distributed differently along the host plants, common species to both fungal communities were found on the same relative position, e.g. B. obiones, Lulworthia sp. and N. retorquens occurred on the basal plant portions, Buergenerula spartinae, Dictyosporium pelagicum and Phoma sp. 1 on the middle plant portions and P. spartinicola and Stagonospora sp. on the top plant portions. The distinct vertical distribution patterns reflected species-specific salinity requirements and flooding tolerance, but specially substrate preferences. The most frequent fungi in both communities also exhibited wider distribution ranges and produced a higher number of fruiting structures, suggesting a more active key role in the decay process of S. maritima.

  3. Rhizomes Help the Forage Grass Leymus chinensis to Adapt to the Salt and Alkali Stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyu Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Leymus chinensis has extensive ecological adaptability and can grow well in saline-alkaline soils. The knowledge about tolerance mechanisms of L. chinensis could be base for utilization of saline-alkaline soils and grassland restoration and rebuilding. Two neutral salts (NaCl : Na2SO4 = 9 : 1 and two alkaline salts (NaHCO3 : Na2CO3 = 9 : 1 with concentration of 0, 100, and 200 mmol/L were used to treat potted 35-day-old seedlings with rhizome growth, respectively. After 10 days, the biomass and number of daughter shoots all decreased, with more reduction in alkali than in salt stress. The rhizome biomass reduced more than other organs. The number of daughter shoots from rhizome was more than from tillers. Under both stresses, Na+ contents increased more in rhizome than in other organs; the reduction of K+ content was more in underground than aerial tissue. Anion ions or organic acids were absorbed to neutralize cations. Na+ content in stem and leaf increased markedly in high alkalinity (200 mmol/L, with accumulation of soluble sugar and organic acids sharply. Rhizomes help L. chinensis to adapt to saline and low alkaline stresses by transferring Na+. However, rhizomes lost the ability to prevent Na+ transport to aerial organs under high alkalinity, which led to severe growth inhibition of L. chinensis.

  4. Genetic modification of wetland grasses for phytoremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czako, M.; Liang Dali; Marton, L. [Dept. of Biological Sciences, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States); Feng Xianzhong; He Yuke [National Lab. of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Inst. of Plant Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, SH (China)

    2005-04-01

    Wetland grasses and grass-like monocots are very important natural remediators of pollutants. Their genetic improvement is an important task because introduction of key transgenes can dramatically improve their remediation potential. Tissue culture is prerequisite for genetic manipulation, and methods are reported here for in vitro culture and micropropagation of a number of wetland plants of various ecological requirements such as salt marsh, brackish water, riverbanks, and various zones of lakes and ponds, and bogs. The monocots represent numerous genera in various families such as Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and Typhaceae. The reported species are in various stages of micropropagation and Arundo donax is scaled for mass propagation for selecting elite lines for pytoremediation. Transfer of key genes for mercury phytoremediation into the salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is also reported here. All but one transgenic lines contained both the organomercurial lyase (merB) and mercuric reductase (merA) sequences showing that co-introduction into Spartina of two genes from separate Agrobacterium strains is possible. (orig.)

  5. Surface and subsurface flows and fluxes in a Florida salt marsh: Measurements, mass balances and process modeling (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meile, C. D.; Esch, M.; Gray, E. R.; Cable, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Coastal wetlands play an important role in the exchange of carbon and nutrients between terrestrial and marine environments, with estimates exceeding 10% of the global ocean C inputs being attributed to wetlands. Constraining such contributions is challenging, as fluxes are bound to vary substantially over a range of timescales, including tidal inundation and seasons. An important factor determining export fluxes are subsurface processes, because fluid passing through the marsh subsurface becomes enriched in inorganic and organic carbon as well as nutrients released during decomposition of organic matter. Thus, even a modest flux of pore water to tidal creeks can lead to a significant loading of carbon and nutrients to the coastal ocean. Here, we present our efforts to quantify the role of groundwater in a microtidal saltmarsh located in the Big Bend region of the Florida Gulf Coast. We established a regional water balance, and from a survey of flow and dissolved organic carbon in tidal creeks between Econfina and Aucilla Rivers provide an estimate of DOC export, indicating that DOC significantly contributes to marsh carbon export. To constrain the role of subsurface processes, we also quantify seepage fluxes of pore water from tidal creek banks, using a combination of field experiments and modeling. Field work involved deploying devices designed to capture pore water seeping from creek banks at multiple heights of the bank. Results show that seepage varies dynamically with the tide, and indicate substantial spatial variability. Additionally, numerical flow modeling was used to assess the experimental design and the impact of the positioning of the seepage collector at the creek bank. Simulation results show significant variation in seepage with vertical position in the creek bank. This information on flow magnitude and dynamics was then combined with concentration measurements in creek and pore waters to scale up from individual observations to provide estimates

  6. Effect of the exotic plant Spartina alterniflora on macrobenthos communities in salt marshes of the Yangtze River Estuary, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhongbing; Guo, Li; Jin, Binsong; Wu, Jihua; Zheng, Guanghong

    2009-04-01

    The Yangtze River Estuary is an important eco-region of China; it has, however, been heavily infested with the invasive plant Spartina alterniflora. This study examined the benthic communities associated with the invasive S. alterniflora and two native plants ( Scirpus mariqueter and Phragmites australis) at three tidal elevations to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of marsh plant invasions on intertidal macrofauna of the Yangtze River Estuary. Spartina alterniflora had significantly sparser and taller stems than S. mariqueter, whereas the traits of S. alterniflora and P. australis were relatively similar. A total of 23 macrofaunal taxa were recorded during this study and their mean density was 1885 ind. m -2. Numerically, gastropods and bivalves were the dominant group; together they constituted 95.72% of the total macrofaunal individuals. The differences in macrofaunal community structure were greater among different elevations than between native and exotic plants. The effects of plant types on species richness and densities of macroinvertebrates were generally weak. Densities of only one species ( Glaucomya chinensis) differed significantly between S. alterniflora and S. mariqueter marshes at the lower elevation. The tolerance of the macrobenthos to plant invasions thus depends on various factors, including habitats, species of macrofauna, and local plants.

  7. Effects of Long-Term Acid-Mine Drainage Contamination on Diversity and Activity of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria in a Natural Salt Marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, J. W.; Banfield, J. F.

    2003-12-01

    Constructed wetlands have been studied as sites or analogs for in situ bioremediation of metal contaminants from acid mine drainage (AMD) or industrial sources (e.g. Webb et al. 1998). Wetlands bioremediation necessarily invokes the ubiquity and robustness of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to sequester dissolved metals into various poorly soluble metal-sulfides (e.g. PbS, CdS). However, few studies of natural wetlands under long-term ecological forcing by AMD or other contaminant sources are available for context. We are investigating the microbial diversity, mineralogy and geochemistry of a highly contaminated salt marsh along the East Central San Francisco Bay. For nearly a half-century, areas within this marsh have received acidic and/or metal-rich groundwaters from near-surface pyrite tailings (transported there from Iron Mountain Mine, near Redding, CA) and local industrial sources (e.g. paint and explosives manufacturers). Sediment cores (30-40 cm long) were taken from six contaminated sites in the marsh with pH range of ˜2 to ˜8. Previous analyses (URS Corp. 2001) reported As, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, and Pb present in sediments at extremely high concentrations (100s of ppm), yet our ICP-AES analyses of pore waters showed only As present at concentrations of 10-50 ppb. We infer, from high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) studies of biogenic (SRB biofilm) ZnS (Moreau et al. 2003, in review) and marsh sediments, that contaminant metals have been sequestered into aggregates of nanocrystalline metal-sulfides. Continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS) analyses of pore-water sulfate and sedimentary sulfides allow resolution of contributions to dissolved sulfate and sulfide from tailings oxidation and dissimilatory sulfate reduction. Sulfate analyses from subsections of three cores (pH 2-3, 6-7, 7-8, respectively) all yield δ 34S values consistent with bacterial sulfate reduction. We note that all three cores also contain very fine

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    On April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) offshore oil platform experienced an explosion which triggered the largest marine oil spill in US history. Approximately 7.9 million liters of dispersant, Corexit EC9500A, was used during the spill between May 15th and July 12th. Marsh soil samples were collected from an unimpacted marsh site proximal to coastal areas that suffered light to heavy oiling for a laboratory evaluation to determine the effect of Corexit on the wetland soil microbial biomass as well as N-mineralization and denitrification rates. Microbial biomass nitrogen (N) values were below detection for the 1:10, 1:100 and 1:1000 Corexit:wet soil treatments. The potentially mineralizable N (PMN) rate correlated with microbial biomass with significantly lower rates for the 1:10 and 1:100 Corexit:wet soil additions. Potential denitrification rates for Corexit:wet soil ratios after immediate dispersant exposure were below detection for the 1:10 treatment, while the 1:100 was 7.6±2.7% of the control and the 1:1000 was 33±4.3% of the control. The 1:10000 treatment was not significantly different from the control. Denitrification rates measured after 2 weeks exposure to the surfactant found the 1:10 treatment still below detection limit and the 1:100 ratio was 12±2.6% of the control. Results from this lab study suggest that chemical dispersants have the potential to negatively affect the wetland soil microbial biomass and resultant microbial activity. Consequences of exposure led to reductions in several important microbial-regulated ecosystem services including water quality improvement (denitrification) and ecosystem primary productivity (N-mineralization). Future studies should investigate the longer-term impacts of dispersant exposure on the microbial consortia to determine if microbial activity recovers over time. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Habitat management affects soil chemistry and allochthonous organic inputs mediating microbial structure and exo-enzyme activity in Wadden Sea salt-marsh soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Peter; Granse, Dirk; Thi Do, Hai; Weingartner, Magdalena; Nolte, Stefanie; Hoth, Stefan; Jensen, Kai

    2016-04-01

    The Wadden Sea (WS) region is Europe's largest wetland and home to approximately 20% of its salt marsh area. Mainland salt marshes of the WS are anthropogenically influenced systems and have traditionally been used for livestock grazing in wide parts. After foundation of WS National Parks in the late 1980s and early 1990s, artificial drainage has been abandoned; however, livestock grazing is still common in many areas of the National Parks and is under ongoing discussion as a habitat-management practice. While studies so far focused on effects of livestock grazing on biodiversity, little is known about how biogeochemical processes, element cycling, and particularly carbon sequestration are affected. Here, we present data from a recent field study focusing on grazing effects on soil properties, microbial exo-enzyme activity, microbial abundance and structure. Exo-enzyme activity was studied conducting digestive enzyme assays for various enzymes involved in C- and N cycling. Microbial abundance and structure was assessed measuring specific gene abundance of fungi and bacteria using quantitative PCR. Soil compaction induced by grazing led to higher bulk density and decreases in soil redox (Δ >100 mV). Soil pH was significantly lower in grazed parts. Further, the proportion of allochthonous organic matter (marine input) was significantly smaller in grazed vs. ungrazed sites, likely caused by a higher sediment trapping capacity of the taller vegetation in the ungrazed sites. Grazing induced changes in bulk density, pH and redox resulted in reduced activity of enzymes involved in microbial C acquisition; however, there was no grazing effect on enzymes involved in N acquisition. While changes in pH, bulk density or redox did not affect microbial abundance and structure, the relative amount of marine organic matter significantly reduced the relative abundance of fungi (F:B ratio). We conclude that livestock grazing directly affects microbial exo-enzyme activity, thus

  10. Larval salinity tolerance of the South American salt-marsh crab, Neohelice (Chasmagnathus) granulata: physiological constraints to estuarine retention, export and reimmigration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anger, Klaus; Spivak, Eduardo; Luppi, Tomás; Bas, Claudia; Ismael, Deborah

    2008-06-01

    The semiterrestrial crab Neohelice (= Chasmagnathus) granulata (Dana 1851) is a predominant species in brackish salt marshes, mangroves and estuaries. Its larvae are exported towards coastal marine waters. In order to estimate the limits of salinity tolerance constraining larval retention in estuarine habitats, we exposed in laboratory experiments freshly hatched zoeae to six different salinities (5 32‰). At 5‰, the larvae survived for a maximum of 2 weeks, reaching only exceptionally the second zoeal stage, while 38% survived to the megalopa stage at 10‰. Shortest development and negligible mortality occurred at all higher salt concentrations. These observations show that the larvae of N. granulata can tolerate a retention in the mesohaline reaches of estuaries, with a lower limit of ca. 10 15‰. Maximum survival at 25‰ suggests that polyhaline conditions rather than an export to oceanic waters are optimal for successful larval development of this species. In another experiment, we tested the capability of the last zoeal stage (IV) for reimmigration from coastal marine into brackish waters. Stepwise reductions of salinity during this stage allowed for moulting to the megalopa at 4 10‰. Although survival was at these conditions reduced and development delayed, these results suggest that already the zoea-IV stage is able to initiate the reimmigration into estuaries. After further salinity reduction, megalopae survived in this experiment for up to >3 weeks in freshwater, without moulting to juvenile crabs. In a similar experiment starting from the megalopa stage, successful metamorphosis occurred at 4 10‰, and juvenile growth continued in freshwater. Although these juvenile crabs showed significantly enhanced mortality and smaller carapace width compared to a seawater control, our results show that the late larval and early juvenile stages of N. granulata are well adapted for successful recruitment in brackish and even limnetic habitats.

  11. Marsh wrens as bioindicators of mercury in wetlands of Great Salt Lake: do blood and feathers reflect site-specific exposure risk to bird reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, C Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T; Herring, Garth; Isanhart, John; Herzog, Mark

    2013-06-18

    Nonlethal sampling of bird blood and feathers are among the more common ways of estimating the risk of mercury exposure to songbird reproduction. The implicit assumption is that mercury concentrations in blood or feathers of individuals captured in a given area are correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs from the same area. Yet, this assumption is rarely tested. We evaluated mercury concentrations in blood, feathers, and eggs of marsh wrens in wetlands of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and, at two spatial scales, specifically tested the assumption that mercury concentrations in blood and feather samples from birds captured in a defined area were predictive of mercury concentrations in eggs collected in the same area. Mercury concentrations in blood were not correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected within the same wetland unit, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected at the smaller home range spatial scale of analysis. Moreover, mercury exposure risk, as estimated via tissue concentrations, differed among wetland units depending upon whether blood or egg mercury concentrations were sampled. Mercury concentrations in feathers also were uncorrelated with mercury concentrations in eggs, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in blood. These results demonstrate the potential for contrasting management actions that may be implemented based solely on the specific avian tissue that is sampled, and highlight the importance of developing avian tissues as biomonitoring tools for assessing local risk of mercury exposure to bird reproduction.

  12. Long-term rice cultivation stabilizes soil organic carbon and promotes soil microbial activity in a salt marsh derived soil chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ping; Liu, Yalong; Li, Lianqing; Cheng, Kun; Zheng, Jufeng; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jinwei; Joseph, Stephen; Pan, Genxing

    2015-01-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration with enhanced stable carbon storage has been widely accepted as a very important ecosystem property. Yet, the link between carbon stability and bio-activity for ecosystem functioning with OC accumulation in field soils has not been characterized. We assessed the changes in microbial activity versus carbon stability along a paddy soil chronosequence shifting from salt marsh in East China. We used mean weight diameter, normalized enzyme activity (NEA) and carbon gain from straw amendment for addressing soil aggregation, microbial biochemical activity and potential C sequestration, respectively. In addition, a response ratio was employed to infer the changes in all analyzed parameters with prolonged rice cultivation. While stable carbon pools varied with total SOC accumulation, soil respiration and both bacterial and fungal diversity were relatively constant in the rice soils. Bacterial abundance and NEA were positively but highly correlated to total SOC accumulation, indicating an enhanced bio-activity with carbon stabilization. This could be linked to an enhancement of particulate organic carbon pool due to physical protection with enhanced soil aggregation in the rice soils under long-term rice cultivation. However, the mechanism underpinning these changes should be explored in future studies in rice soils where dynamic redox conditions exist. PMID:26503629

  13. Marsh wrens as bioindicators of mercury in wetlands of Great Salt Lake: do blood and feathers reflect site-specific exposure risk to bird reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, C. Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herring, Garth; Isanhart, John; Herzog, Mark P.

    2013-01-01

    Nonlethal sampling of bird blood and feathers are among the more common ways of estimating the risk of mercury exposure to songbird reproduction. The implicit assumption is that mercury concentrations in blood or feathers of individuals captured in a given area are correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs from the same area. Yet, this assumption is rarely tested. We evaluated mercury concentrations in blood, feathers, and eggs of marsh wrens in wetlands of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and, at two spatial scales, specifically tested the assumption that mercury concentrations in blood and feather samples from birds captured in a defined area were predictive of mercury concentrations in eggs collected in the same area. Mercury concentrations in blood were not correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected within the same wetland unit, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected at the smaller home range spatial scale of analysis. Moreover, mercury exposure risk, as estimated via tissue concentrations, differed among wetland units depending upon whether blood or egg mercury concentrations were sampled. Mercury concentrations in feathers also were uncorrelated with mercury concentrations in eggs, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in blood. These results demonstrate the potential for contrasting management actions that may be implemented based solely on the specific avian tissue that is sampled, and highlight the importance of developing avian tissues as biomonitoring tools for assessing local risk of mercury exposure to bird reproduction.

  14. A plea for using qualitative aspects in the interpretation of ecological field data as revealed by carabid beetle assemblages of a pristine salt marsh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Mossakowski

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The evaluation of ecological field data can be done by an increasing number of quantitative methods. The application of these methods often is often blind against two kinds of problems: (i the data often do not meet the requirements of a method, e.g., as an ultra-metric structure of the data in the case of hierarchical cluster analysis. In such cases, the result will be misleading because the presentation of results is ultra-metric independent on the structure of the data. (ii Most of the animals are able to move actively or may  drift passively by wind, etc. Therefore, species occurring by accident like vagrants have to be eliminated from the assemblage of animals at a particular site before a quantitative method is applied. In addition, the result of a quantitative analysis has to be checked for its ecological plausibility. This is a qualitative step, which can only be done by taking into account the known data on biology and ecology of the species. Some pitfalls of an exclusive application of quantitative methods will be demonstrated in this paper using a data set of salt marsh Carabidae.

  15. A plea for using qualitative aspects in the interpretation of ecological field data as revealed by the proof of carabid beetle assemblages of a pristine salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossakowski, Dietrich; Dormann, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    The evaluation of ecological field data can be done by an increasing number of quantitative methods. The application of these methods often is often blind against two kinds of problems: (i) the data often do not meet the requirements of a method, e.g., as an ultra-metric structure of the data in the case of hierarchical cluster analysis. In such cases, the result will be misleading because the presentation of results is ultra-metric independent on the structure of the data. (ii) Most of the animals are able to move actively or may drift passively by wind, etc. Therefore, species occurring by accident like vagrants have to be eliminated from the assemblage of animals at a particular site before a quantitative method is applied. In addition, the result of a quantitative analysis has to be checked for its ecological plausibility. This is a qualitative step, which can only be done by taking into account the known data on biology and ecology of the species.Some pitfalls of an exclusive application of quantitative methods will be demonstrated in this paper using a data set of salt marsh Carabidae.

  16. A comprehensive study of the impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contamination on salt marsh plants Spartina alterniflora: implication for plant-microbe interactions in phytoremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Youwei; Liao, Dan; Chen, Jinsheng; Khan, Sardar; Su, Jianqiang; Li, Hu

    2015-05-01

    These pot experiments aimed to investigate the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on plant uptake, rhizophere, endophytic bacteria, and phytoremediation potentials of contaminated sediments. Salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora was selected and cultivated in phenanthrene (PHE)- and pyrene (PYR)-contaminated sediments (for 70 days). The results indicated that the amount of PHE removed from the sediments ranged from 13 to 36 %, while PYR ranged from 11 to 30 %. In rhizophere sediment, dehydrogenase activities were significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced by higher concentration of PHE treatments, while polyphenol oxidase activities were prohibited more than 10 % in non-rhizophere sediment. Compared with the control, PHE treatments had also significantly (P < 0.05) lower total microbial biomass; especially for gram-negative bacteria, this decrease was more than 24 %. However, the PYR treatments had little effect on the dehydrogenase, polyphenol oxidase, and total phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) biomass. The greatest abundance of PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenases isolated from gram-negative bacteria (PAH-RHDα-GN) of rhizoplane and endophyte in roots were found at high concentration of PHE treatments and increased by more than 100- and 3-fold, respectively. These results suggested that PAH pollution would result in the comprehensive effect on S. alterniflora, whose endophytic bacteria might play important roles in the phytoremediation potential of PAH-contaminated sediments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  18. Plant biomass, carbon content, decomposition, and soil greenhouse gas fluxes to support carbon budget development for a created salt marsh in eastern North Carolina, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiau, Yo-Jin; Burchell, Michael R.; Krauss, Ken W.

    2016-01-01

    These data were collected from a small (14 ha), created salt marsh in Carteret County, North Carolina (34.82 deg. N; 76.61 deg. W). This site was created in 2007 following an engineering plan developed by Dr. Michael Burchell (NC-State University). This data collection was to support the development of a site-specific carbon budget. Data were collected from 2011 to 2013, or approximately 4-6 years post-creation. The data collection specifically funded by the U.S. Geological Survey includes plant carbon biomass, plant above ground biomass, plant below ground biomass, plant decomposition, and soil greenhouse gas fluxes, and these data are being made available. These data represent critical components of the carbon budget, and were previously missing from on-going study efforts focusing on other aspects of on-site carbon cycling. Other components of the carbon budget, for example dissolved and hydrological flux variables, were funded directly by North Carolina State University, and not included here.

  19. The role of salinity tolerance and competition in the distribution of an endangered desert salt marsh endemic

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley; Scoles, Sara; Beamguard, Emily R.

    2017-01-01

    Rare plants are often associated with distinctive soil types, and understanding why endemic species occur in unique environments is fundamental for their management. At Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in southern Nevada, USA, we evaluated whether the limited distribution of endangered Amargosa niterwort (Nitrophila mohavensis) is explained by this species’ tolerance of saline soils on salt-encrusted mud flats compared with the broadly distributed desert saltgrass (Distichlis spicata var. stricta). We simultaneously explored whether niterwort distribution is restricted from expanding due to interspecific competition with saltgrass. Surface soils collected throughout niterwort’s range were unexpectedly less saline with lower extractable Na, seasonal electroconductivity, and Na absorption ratio, and higher soil moisture than in adjacent saltgrass or mixed shrub habitats. Comparison of niterwort and saltgrass growth along an experimental salinity gradient in a greenhouse demonstrated lower growth of niterwort at all but the highest NaCl concentrations. Although growth of niterwort ramets was similar when transplanted into both habitats at the refuge below Crystal Reservoir, niterwort reproductive effort was considerably higher in saltgrass compared to its own habitat, implying reallocation of resources to sexual reproduction to maximize fitness when the probability of ramet mortality increases with greater salinity stress. Saltgrass was not a demonstrated direct competitor of niterwort; however, this species is known to increase soil salinity by exuding salt ions and through litterfall. Niterwort conservation will benefit from protecting hydrological processes that reduce salinity stress and preventing saltgrass colonization into niterwort habitat.

  20. 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…

  1. Large natural pH, CO2 and O2 fluctuations in a temperate tidal salt marsh on diel, seasonal, and interannual time scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Hannes; Wallace, Ryan; Tagliaferri, Tristen N.; Gobler, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Coastal marine organisms experience dynamic pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions in their natural habitats, which may impact their susceptibility to long-term anthropogenic changes. Robust characterizations of all temporal scales of natural pH and DO fluctuations in different marine habitats are needed; however, appropriate time series of pH and DO are still scarce. We used multiyear (2008–2012), high-frequency (6 min) monitoring data to quantify diel, seasonal, and interannual scales of pH and DO variability in a productive, temperate tidal salt marsh (Flax Pond, Long Island, US). pHNBS and DO showed strong and similar seasonal patterns, with average (minimum) conditions declining from 8.2 (8.1) and 12.5 (11.4) mg l−1 at the end of winter to 7.6 (7.2) and 6.3 (2.8) mg l−1 in late summer, respectively. Concomitantly, average diel fluctuations increased from 0.22 and 2.2 mg l−1 (February) to 0.74 and 6.5 mg l−1 (August), respectively. Diel patterns were modulated by tides and time of day, eliciting the most extreme minima when low tides aligned with the end of the night. Simultaneous in situ pCO2 measurements showed striking fluctuations between ∼330 and ∼1,200 (early May), ∼2,200 (mid June), and ∼4,000 μatm (end of July) within single tidal cycles. These patterns also indicate that the marsh’s strong net heterotrophy influences its adjacent estuary by ‘outwelling’ acidified and hypoxic water during ebb tides. Our analyses emphasize the coupled and fluctuating nature of pH and DO conditions in productive coastal and estuarine environments, which have yet to be adequately represented by experiments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  3. Modeling a Sustainable Salt Tolerant Grass-Livestock Production System under Saline Conditions in the Western San Joaquin Valley of California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Kaffka

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Salinity and trace mineral accumulation threaten the sustainability of crop production in many semi-arid parts of the world, including California’s western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV. We used data from a multi-year field-scale trial in Kings County and related container trials to simulate a forage-grazing system under saline conditions. The model uses rainfall and irrigation water amounts, irrigation water quality, soil, plant, and atmospheric variables to predict Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon (L. Pers. growth, quality, and use by cattle. Simulations based on field measurements and a related container study indicate that although soil chemical composition is affected by irrigation water quality, irrigation timing and frequency can be used to mitigate salt and trace mineral accumulation. Bermuda grass yields of up to 12 Mg dry matter (DM·ha−1 were observed at the field site and predicted by the model. Forage yield and quality supports un-supplemented cattle stocking rates of 1.0 to 1.2 animal units (AU·ha−1. However, a balance must be achieved between stocking rate, desired average daily gain, accumulation of salts in the soil profile, and potential pollution of ground water from drainage and leaching. Using available weather data, crop-specific parameter values and field scale measurements of soil salinity and nitrogen levels, the model can be used by farmers growing forages on saline soils elsewhere, to sustain forage and livestock production under similarly marginal conditions.

  4. Geomorphic effects and sedimentological record of flash floods in the Copiapó River salt marsh (Atacama coast, Northern Chile)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad, Manuel; Fernández, Rolando; Izquierdo, Tatiana

    2017-04-01

    The Copiapó River is located South of the Atacama Desert (northern Chile) that is considered one of the most arid areas of the planet. On March 25 2015 this fluvial valley experienced one the largest hydrometeorological events recorded in historical times. The rain, unusually high, favored the run off in fluvial channels and alluvial fans that were dry for decades and triggered the rise and overflow of the Copiapó River at different points along the valley causing severe damages. In this work, we realize a characterization of the geomorphic configuration of the Copiapó River before and after this event with the aim of analyzing the main changes produced in the river mouth, where and extent coastal wetland of high ecological value is developed. The geomorphological mapping show a drastic change in the river mouth with the development of forms related with the river overflow and the flooding of the coastal plain such as levees, activation of abandoned channels, flooding lagoons, widening and deepening of the main channel, foredune rupture and, more importantly, a large mud sheet that covers almost the 80% of the study area, including the wetland and the main coastal dune systems. Just a small area of the wetland, far from the main channel, was not affected by this process as it was protected by the levees formed during the first stages of the overflow. The mud flow facies are homogeneous and consist of a layer of massive silty sands with a maximum thickness of 10-75 cm overlied by 5-20 cm of clay with wavy top and carbonaceous rest. It also presents a wide development of mud cracks and salt crusts. At the same time, 4 stages have been differentiated along the event: 1) arrival to the wetland of the first surge that flows in the channel and flooding of the southern sector of the wetland; 2) flooding of the complete mouth area because of the peak discharge arrival and generalize overflow with and associate muddy facies deposition; 3) erosional stage of the channel

  5. Application of Computer-Aided Tomography (CT) Technology to Visually Compare Belowground Components of Salt Marshes in Jamaica Bay and Long Island, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Using CT imaging, we found that rapidly deteriorating marshes in Jamaica Bay had significantly less belowground mass and abundance of coarse roots and rhizomes at depth (Jamaica Bay Estuary. In addition, the rhizome diameters and pea...

  6. Salt marsh construction costs and shrimp production in Galveston Bay and Gulf of Mexico from 1999-01-01 to 2005-01-01 (NCEI Accession 0161218)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains marsh construction cost in relation to shrimp yield per year. This modeling approach provides estimates of total annual shrimp production from...

  7. Aspectos anatômicos e adaptativos das partes vegetativas de Spartina densiflora Brong. (Gramineae da marisma do estuário da Lagoa dos Patos-RS Anatomic and adaptatives aspects of the vegetatives parts of Spartina densiflora Brong. (Gramineae from salt marshes of the Patos lagoon estuary - RS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Perazzolo

    1991-12-01

    Full Text Available Spartina densiflora Brong. é uma gramínea típica das marismas doestuário da lagoa dos Patos, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. A espécie apresenta adaptações morfoanatômicas em relação à salinidade, inundação e condições anaeróbicas que caracterizam este ambiente estressante. As adaptações xeromórficas e halofíticas desta espécie são a presença de estômatos protegidos por papilas; alta lignificação nas folhas, rizoma e raízes; enrolamento foliar e glândulas secretoras de sal. Como adaptação à sobrevivência ao solo anaeróbico, a espécie apresenta espaços intercelulares nas folhas, rizoma e raízes.Spartina densiflora Brong. is a typical grass in salt marshes of the Patos lagoon estuary, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The species shows morphological adaptations in relation to salinity, flooding and, anaerobic soils, characteristic for this stressful environment. The principal xerophytic and halophytic adaptations observed in this species are lenghwise curling of the leaves with stomates protected by papilla; increased lignification in the leaves, rhyzomes, roots and salt glands spread. The presence of intercellular spaces in the leaves, rhyzomes and roots is an adaptation that permits the plants survival in anaerobic soils.

  8. Distribution and inventories of fallout radionuclides ({sup 239+24}Pu, {sup 137}Cs) and {sup 21}Pb to study the filling velocity of salt marshes in Donana National Park (Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gasco, C. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas, CIEMAT, Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Avda. Complutense 22, Madrid 28040 (Spain); Anton, M.P. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas, CIEMAT, Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Avda. Complutense 22, Madrid 28040 (Spain)]. E-mail: maripaz.anton@ciemat.es; Pozuelo, M. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas, CIEMAT, Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Avda. Complutense 22, Madrid 28040 (Spain); Clemente, L. [Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia, CSIC-IRNA, Departamento de Geoecologia, Avda. Reina Mercedes s/n, Sevilla 41012 (Spain); Rodriguez, A. [Universidad de Huelva, Departamento de Geodinamica y Paleontologia, Avda. de las Fuerzas Armadas s/n, Huelva 21071 (Spain); Yanez, C. [Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia, CSIC-IRNA, Departamento de Geoecologia, Avda. Reina Mercedes s/n, Sevilla 41012 (Spain); Gonzalez, A. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas, CIEMAT, Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Avda. Complutense 22, Madrid 28040 (Spain); Meral, J. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas, CIEMAT, Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Avda. Complutense 22, Madrid 28040 (Spain)

    2006-07-01

    Within an extensive multinational and multidisciplinary project carried out in Donana National Park (Spain) to investigate its preservation and regeneration, the filling velocity of the salt marshes has been evaluated through the calculation of their average sediment accumulation rates. {sup 239+24}Pu and {sup 137}Cs from weapons testing fallout and total {sup 21}Pb distribution profiles and inventories have been determined in some of the most characteristic zones of the park, namely, the ponds (or 'lucios') and the waterjets (or 'canos'). Plutonium inventories range from 16 to 101 Bq m{sup -2}, {sup 137}Cs values fluctuate between 514 and 3758 Bq m{sup -2} and unsupported {sup 21}Pb values comprise between 124 and 9398 Bq m{sup -2}. Average sedimentation rates range from 3 to 5 mm y{sup -1} (1952-2002). These data are higher than those obtained by carbon dating for the period 6500 AD-present, estimated as 1.5-2 mm y{sup -1}, suggesting an increase in the accumulation of sediments and the alteration of the park's hydrodynamics caused by the re-channeling of the major rivers feeding the salt marshes.

  9. Distribution and inventories of fallout radionuclides (239+240Pu, 137Cs) and 210Pb to study the filling velocity of salt marshes in Doñana National Park (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascó, C; Antón, M P; Pozuelo, M; Clemente, L; Rodríguez, A; Yañez, C; González, A; Meral, J

    2006-01-01

    Within an extensive multinational and multidisciplinary project carried out in Doñana National Park (Spain) to investigate its preservation and regeneration, the filling velocity of the salt marshes has been evaluated through the calculation of their average sediment accumulation rates. (239+240)Pu and (137)Cs from weapons testing fallout and total (210)Pb distribution profiles and inventories have been determined in some of the most characteristic zones of the park, namely, the ponds (or "lucios") and the waterjets (or "caños"). Plutonium inventories range from 16 to 101 Bq m(-2), (137)Cs values fluctuate between 514 and 3,758 Bq m(-2) and unsupported (210)Pb values comprise between 124 and 9398 Bq m(-2). Average sedimentation rates range from 3 to 5 mm y(-1) (1952-2002). These data are higher than those obtained by carbon dating for the period 6,500 AD-present, estimated as 1.5-2 mm y(-1), suggesting an increase in the accumulation of sediments and the alteration of the park's hydrodynamics caused by the re-channeling of the major rivers feeding the salt marshes.

  10. A review of prehistoric and early historic mainland salt marsh vegetation in the northern-Netherlands based on the analysis of plant macrofossils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schepers, M.; Cappers, R. T. J.; Bekker, R. M.

    2013-01-01

    The article presents an overview of archaeobotanical research on artificial dwelling mounds, so-called 'terps', in the northern-Netherlands. A total of 40 studies carried out over the past 40 years is evaluated. The vegetation diversity in the area as well as the differences with the present marsh

  11. Sensitivity of translation initiation factor eIF1 as a molecular target of salt toxicity to sodic-alkaline stress in the halophytic grass Leymus chinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-Lin; Hong, Soon-Kwan

    2013-02-01

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factors (eIFs) have been shown to be critical in the initiation of protein synthesis. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of a novel gene, LceIF1, from a potentially interesting forage grass, Leymus chinensis (Trin.). The expression results show that LceIF1 is expressed in most organisms under normal conditions, but the transcription patterns differ under sodic-saline and sodic-alkaline stresses. Sodic-saline stress induced a persistent decrease, and sodic-alkaline stress induced overexpression of LceIF1. Potassic-saline and alkaline stresses did not cause any changes in expression of eIF1. These results indicate that not only pH but also Na(+) concentration affects overtranscription of LceIF1. The eIF1 transgenic lines showed relatively high eIF1 expression, resulting in potentially higher stress resistance. Combined with eIF1 transcription in transgenic lines, LceIF1 as a molecular target of salt toxicity is believed to help enhance salt tolerance.

  12. Long-Term Spartina alterniflora biomass, productivity, porewater chemistry and marsh elevation in North Inlet Estuary, Georgetown, SC: 1984-2011.

    Data.gov (United States)

    Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Univ of South Carolina — The salt marsh in the North Inlet estuary was sampled approximately monthly for estimates of biomass, productivity, porewater chemistry, and salt marsh elevation....

  13. 75 FR 6696 - Draft Recovery Plan for Tidal Marsh Ecosystems of Northern and Central California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-10

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Draft Recovery Plan for Tidal Marsh Ecosystems of Northern and Central... draft recovery plan for Tidal Marsh Ecosystems of Northern and Central California for public review and... Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse Recovery Plan. The plan also addresses several federally endangered plant...

  14. Suisun Marsh Secondary Management Area

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — Suisun Marsh or the 'Marsh' means tidal marsh, water-covered areas, diked-off wetlands, seasonal marshes, lowland grasslands, upland grasslands, and cultivated lands...

  15. Suisun Marsh Primary Management Area

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — Suisun Marsh or the 'Marsh' means tidal marsh, water-covered areas, diked-off wetlands, seasonal marshes, lowland grasslands, upland grasslands, and cultivated lands...

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    The devastating explosion and subsequent sinking of the oil platform Deepwater Horizon at the British Petroleum Macondo-1 well in the Northern Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, released approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf before the well was capped on July 15, 2010. Although most light compounds of oil may be easily degraded by natural microbes on the short term, saturated heavy oil (e.g., asphaltenes, resins, polycyclic aromatics, etc.) and those adsorbed by sediments could persist in the environment for decades. The long-term effects of high levels of persistent oil compounds on biogeochemical evolution and ecosystems of salt marshes remain unclear. This research investigates the spatial range and changes in levels of oil and their biogeochemical impacts. A total of ten marsh sampling sites that varied from pristine, non-effected marshes (e.g., Weeks Bay and Wolf Bay, Alabama) to heavily oiled wetlands (e.g., Bay Jimmy and Bayou Dulac, Louisiana) were utilized for this study. Sediment cores, bulk sediments, surface water samples, degraded oil, oiled dead marsh grass, and live marsh grass were collected from these sites in an attempt to study the source, distribution, and evolution of organic compounds and oil present in sediments and pore-waters. Geochemical analyses show alarmingly high organic carbon loads in pore-waters and sediments at heavily contaminated sites months after the influx of oil ceased. Very high levels (10-28%) of total organic carbon (TOC) within the heavily oiled sediments (down to 30 cm) are clearly distinguished from those found in pristine wetland sediments (generally marsh sediments due to their higher density with respect to freshwater. TOC and DOC data clearly indicate that not all the spilled oil rose to the water surface and washed on-shore. Plumes of partially degraded oil could be spreading at various levels of the water column and feeding the underlying sediments. Geochemical biomarkers and stable isotopes

  19. Detection of salt marsh vegetation stress and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, Gulf of Mexico using AVIRIS data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, Shruti; Santos, Maria J; Ustin, Susan L; Koltunov, Alexander; Kokaly, Raymond F; Roberts, Dar A

    2013-01-01

    The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the biggest oil spill in US history. To assess the impact of the oil spill on the saltmarsh plant community, we examined Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data flown over Barataria Bay, Louisiana in September 2010 and August 2011. Oil contamination was mapped using oil absorption features in pixel spectra and used to examine impact of oil along the oiled shorelines. Results showed that vegetation stress was restricted to the tidal zone extending 14 m inland from the shoreline in September 2010. Four indexes of plant stress and three indexes of canopy water content all consistently showed that stress was highest in pixels next to the shoreline and decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline. Index values along the oiled shoreline were significantly lower than those along the oil-free shoreline. Regression of index values with respect to distance from oil showed that in 2011, index values were no longer correlated with proximity to oil suggesting that the marsh was on its way to recovery. Change detection between the two dates showed that areas denuded of vegetation after the oil impact experienced varying degrees of re-vegetation in the following year. This recovery was poorest in the first three pixels adjacent to the shoreline. This study illustrates the usefulness of high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy to map actual locations where oil from the spill reached the shore and then to assess its impacts on the plant community. We demonstrate that post-oiling trends in terms of plant health and mortality could be detected and monitored, including recovery of these saltmarsh meadows one year after the oil spill.

  20. Impacts of Nitrogen Removal and Re-Application on N2O fluxes from Narragansett Bay: Contrasting Turfgrasses, Salt Marshes, and Wastewater Treatment Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island is characterized by a substantial, historic bay-wide nitrogen (N) gradient. Centralized wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are a major anthropogenic N source. Onsite wastewater treatments systems (OWTS), which serve 1/3 of all households in the state, are another anthropogenic N source. Recent state regulation has prompted upgrades to both WWTPs and OWTS to increase N removal capacities. Although this should lower N loads to Narragansett Bay, it has the potential to increase the flux of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas. We measured summer-time (2016) N2O fluxes of a major WWTP (biological N removal system at Field's Point in Providence) and three of the most common advanced OWTS in the Narragansett Bay watershed (Orenco Advantex AX20, BioMicrobics FAST, SeptiTech D Series). We also tested impacts of application of recovered N (biosolids from wastewater sludge) on N2O fluxes from a turfgrass (Schedonerus arundinaceus) and dominant native coastal cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in mesocosm experiments. Preliminary results indicate that the largest N2O fluxes (245 ± 72 µmol N2O m-2 h-1) were from the Field's Point WWTP. Significant, but smaller N2O fluxes (6 ± 3 µmol N2O m-2 h-1 were also measured from the OWTS. In contrast, N2O fluxes from the N-enriched native coastal cordgrass and turfgrass mesocosms were often non-detectable. However, fluxes from a few mesocosms (max. of 25 µmol N2O m-2 h-1) were on the same order of magnitude as fluxes from the OWTS. A state-wide budget of N2O emissions from turfgrasses, intertidal marshes, and OWTS will be estimated to determine their significance as sources relative to the Field's Point WWTP. This data will be used to identify areas where N2O fluxes can be minimized in the state of RI.

  1. Detection of salt marsh vegetation stress and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, Gulf of Mexico using AVIRIS data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti Khanna

    Full Text Available The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the biggest oil spill in US history. To assess the impact of the oil spill on the saltmarsh plant community, we examined Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS data flown over Barataria Bay, Louisiana in September 2010 and August 2011. Oil contamination was mapped using oil absorption features in pixel spectra and used to examine impact of oil along the oiled shorelines. Results showed that vegetation stress was restricted to the tidal zone extending 14 m inland from the shoreline in September 2010. Four indexes of plant stress and three indexes of canopy water content all consistently showed that stress was highest in pixels next to the shoreline and decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline. Index values along the oiled shoreline were significantly lower than those along the oil-free shoreline. Regression of index values with respect to distance from oil showed that in 2011, index values were no longer correlated with proximity to oil suggesting that the marsh was on its way to recovery. Change detection between the two dates showed that areas denuded of vegetation after the oil impact experienced varying degrees of re-vegetation in the following year. This recovery was poorest in the first three pixels adjacent to the shoreline. This study illustrates the usefulness of high spatial resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy to map actual locations where oil from the spill reached the shore and then to assess its impacts on the plant community. We demonstrate that post-oiling trends in terms of plant health and mortality could be detected and monitored, including recovery of these saltmarsh meadows one year after the oil spill.

  2. Análise comparativa da alimentação de peixes (Teleostei entre ambientes de marisma e de manguezal num estuário do sul do Brasil (Baía de Guaratuba, Paraná Study on feeding habits in estuarine fish (Teleostei comparatively between salt marshes and mangroves in southern Brazil (Guaratuba Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo de T. Chaves

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Estudou-se a composição da dieta de peixes em dois tipos de ambiente de áreas rasas estuarinas - marisma e manguezal, objetivando avaliar se essas formações vegetais desencadeiam na ictiofauna respostas diferentes quanto à alimentação. As seis espécies avaliadas, as mais abundantes nessas áreas, mostraram-se predominantemente planctívoras, porém com particularidades quanto ao tipo de vegetação ocupada. Na marisma, Atherinella brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825 apresentou a dieta com maior número de itens e menor similaridade em relação às demais espécies. No manguezal tal isolamento coube a Anchoa januaria (Steindachner, 1879, espécie com maior participação de Decapoda Brachyura e Decapoda não-Brachyura, e única que nesse ambiente incluiu Gammaridae na dieta. Anchoviella lepidentostole (Fowler, 1911 identificou-se com Anchoa lyolepis (Evermann & Marsh, 1900 na marisma e com Opisthonema oglinum (Le Sueur, 1818 e Harengula clupeola (Cuvier, 1829 no manguezal. Uma situação comum a marisma e manguezal registrou-se entre O. oglinum e H. clupeola, espécies com dietas praticamente restritas a Diatomacea e Copepoda. Evidenciou-se o quanto as espécies são capazes de variar sua dieta com o ambiente, provavelmente em resposta à disponibilidade local. Mais que isso, porém, constatou-se que, seja na marisma, seja no manguezal, mesmo havendo mudança nos hábitos tróficos das espécies, cada uma delas mantém um padrão de diferenças em relação às demais que compõem a assembléia, fato que possivelmente assegura a abundância e coexistência entre elas nas áreas estuarinas rasas.Diet of fish inhabiting shallow waters close to salt marshes and mangroves was analyzed in order to evaluate how different the influence of these environments on fish feeding habits is. The six studied species, the most abundant in these areas, are mainly planctyvores, however they showed particularities in each area. In salt marshes Atherinella

  3. Status of exotic grasses and grass-like vegetation and potential impacts on wildlife in New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeStefano, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    The Northeastern section of the United States, known as New England, has seen vast changes in land cover and human population over the past 3 centuries. Much of the region is forested; grasslands and other open-land cover types are less common, but provide habitat for many species that are currently declining in abundance and distribution. New England also consists of some of the most densely populated and developed states in the country. The origin, distribution, and spread of exotic species are highly correlated with human development. As such, exotics are common throughout much of New England, including several species of graminoids (grasses and grass-like plants such as sedges and rushes). Several of the more invasive grass species can form expansive dense mats that exclude native plants, alter ecosystem structure and functions, and are perceived to provide little-to-no value as wildlife food or cover. Although little research has been conducted on direct impacts of exotic graminoids on wildlife populations in New England, several studies on the common reed (Phragmites australis) in salt marshes have shown this species to have variable effects as cover for birds and other wildlife, depending on the distribution of the plant (e.g., patches and borders of reeds are used more by wildlife than expansive densely growing stands). Direct impacts of other grasses on wildlife populations are largely unknown. However, many of the invasive graminoid species that are present in New England have the capability of outcompeting native plants and thereby potentially affecting associated fauna. Preservation, protection, and restoration of grassland and open-land cover types are complex but necessary challenges in the region to maintain biological and genetic diversity of grassland, wetland, and other open-land obligate species.

  4. 78 FR 1246 - Otay River Estuary Restoration Project; South San Diego Bay Unit and Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-08

    ... Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California; Intent To Prepare an... restoration of estuarine and salt marsh (subtidal and intertidal wetlands) habitats within the western... Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge-Sweetwater Marsh Unit. We originally published a notice of intent on...

  5. Effect of anionic salts in concentrate mixture and magnesium intake on some blood and urine minerals and acid-base balance of dry pregnant cows on grass silage based feeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. TAURIAINEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Twenty Friesian cows were randomly assigned to one of four prepartum diets in a 2 x 2 factorially designed experiment to determine the effect of anionic salts contained in a concentrate mixture and magnesium (Mg intake on some blood and urine minerals in cows fed a grass silage based diet. Four diets provided either 16 g or 33 g total dietary Mg/day, and had either a low or high cation-anion difference. Dietary cation-anion balance (DCAB of the diets, calculated as milliequivalents [(Na+ + K+ - (Cl- + S2-], was +31 mEq/kg dry matter (DM in the low DCAB group and +340 mEq/kg DM in the high DCAB group. DCAB was formulated using NH4Cl, (NH42SO4 and MgCl2 as anionic salts. Cows received grass silage (5.2 kg DM, hay (1.0 kg DM and concentrate mixture (1.5 kg DM until calving. Blood and urine samples were collected 4, 3, 2 and 1 week before the expected calving date, at calving, the day after calving and 1 week following calving. Cows fed the low DCAB diet had a lower urinary pH (P

  6. Effect of anionic salts in concentrate mixture on some blood and urine minerals, acid-base balance and feed intake of dry pregnant cows on grass silage based feeding with high calcium intake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. TAURIAINEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective was to study the effects of anionic salts in a concentrate mixture on some blood and urine minerals, acid-base balance and intake of Ayrshire cows fed a grass silage based diet. Eighteen nonlactating, pregnant Ayrshire cows were divided randomly into two groups according to their expected calving date. Dietary cation-anion balance (DCAB, calculated as milliequivalents [(Na+ + K+ - (Cl- + S2-] of the two diets was +410 mEq/kg of dietary dry matter (DM in the high DCAB group and +81 mEq/kg of the dietary DM in the low DCAB group, respectively. The DCAB was formulated using NH4Cl, (NH42SO4 and MgCl2 as anionic salts. Cows received grass silage (5.2 kg DM, hay (0.8 kg DM and a concentrate mixture (1.7 kg DM until calving. Both diets were supplemented with 100 g CaCO3 to achieve a high Ca intake (82 g Ca/d. Blood and urine samples were collected 4, 3, 2 and 1 week before the expected calving date, at calving, the day after calving and 1 week following calving. Current data indicated that it may be difficult to formulate a diet with a negative DCAB, if the K content of grass silage is over 30 g/kg DM. As a result, no increase in blood Ca2+ and a relatively high urinary pH were observed. Furthermore, it may advantageous to increase Mg intakes above current Finnish recommendations when dietary Ca concentrations are high, since 28% of experimental cows experienced hypomagnaesemia at parturition.;

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. A combined field and modeling study of groundwater flow in a tidal marsh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Q. Xia

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Bald mud beaches were found among the mangrove marshes in Dongzhaigang National Nature Reserve, Hainan, China. To investigate the possible reasons for this phenomenon, the intertidal zones of a mangrove transect and a bald beach transect with similar topography and tidal actions were selected for comparison study. Along both transects, observed water table variations were significant in the high and low intertidal zones and negligible in the middle intertidal zones. Despite the same tidal actions and above-mentioned similarities, observed groundwater salinity was significantly smaller along the mangrove transect (average 23.0 ppt than along the bald beach transect (average 28.5 ppt. These observations invite one hypothesis: the hydraulic structure of tidal marsh and freshwater availability may be the main hydrogeological factors critical to mangrove development. Two-dimensional numerical simulations corroborated the speculation and gave results in line with the observed water table. The two transects investigated were found to have a mud-sand two-layered structure: a surface zone of low-permeability mud and an underlying high-permeability zone that outcrops at the high and low tide lines. The freshwater recharge from inland is considerable along the mangrove transect but negligible along the bald beach transect. The high-permeability zone may provide opportunity for the plants in the mangrove marsh to uptake freshwater and oxygen through their roots extending downward into the high-permeability zone, which may help limit the buildup of salt in the root zone caused by evapotranspiration and enhance salt removal, which may further increase the production of marsh grasses and influence their spatial distribution. The bald beach is most probably due to the lack of enough freshwater for generating a brackish beach soil condition essential to mangrove growth. It is also indicated that seawater infiltrated the high-permeability zone through its outcrop

  9. Effect of anionic salts in concentrate mixture and calcium intake on some blood and urine minerals, acid-base balance and feed intake of dry pregnant cows on grass silage based feeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. TAURIAINEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Twelve Ayrshire and eight Friesian cows were randomly assigned to one of four prepartum diets in a 2 x 2 factorially designed experiment to determine the effect of anionic diet and calcium (Ca intake on Ca metabolism, acid-base status and feed intake of grass silage based diets during the dry period. Four diets provided either 34 g or 74 g total dietary Ca/day, and were either anionic or cationic. Dietary cation-anion balance (DCAB, calculated as milliequivalents [(Na+ + K+ - (Cl- + S2-], was -247 mEq/kg dry matter (DM in the low DCAB group and +34 mEq/kg DM in the high DCAB group. DCAB was formulated using NH4Cl, (NH42SO4 and MgCl2 as anionic salts. Cows received grass silage (5.2 kg DM, hay (0.9 kg DM and concentrate mixture (1.6 kg DM until calving. Blood and urine samples were collected 4, 3, 2 and 1 week before the expected calving date, at calving, the day after calving and 1 week following calving. The results indicate that the reduction of cation-anion balance induced mild metabolic acidosis and increased the ability of the cow to maintain blood Ca concentration. However, DCAB should be higher since urinary pH decreased markedly (< 6 and so remarkable changes in some blood electrolyte concentrations were noticed.;

  10. 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…

  11. Contribution of Cultural Eutrophication to Marsh Loss in Jamaica Bay (NY)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss of salt marsh area in the Jamaica Bay Estuary (NY) has accelerated in recent years, with loss rates as high as 45 acres per year. A contributing factor to this acceleration is likely cultural eutrophication due to over 6 decades of sewage effluent inputs. We examined marsh...

  12. Burrowing and foraging activity of marsh crabs under different inundation regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England salt marshes are susceptible to degradation and habitat loss as a result of increased periods of inundation as sea levels rise. Increased inundation may exacerbate marsh degradation that can result from crab burrowing and foraging. Most studies to date have focused on...

  13. Carbon stable isotope (δ13C) and elemental (TOC, TN, C/N) geochemistry in salt marsh surface sediments (Western Brittany, France): Adequate proxies for relative sea-level reconstruction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goslin, Jerome; Sans-jofre, Pierre; Van Vliet Lanoë, Brigitte; Delacourt, Christophe

    2017-04-01

    reconstruction. This dataset is then used as a modern referential for Holocene RSL reconstruction. Statistical clustering analyses, conducted on the combined regional dataset allow for the identification of several intertidal elevation-dependent groups, characterized by specific values of δ13C, TOC, and TN. Our study thus confirm that δ13C, TOC, TN can act as direct RSL indicators in the context of C-3 plants dominated salt-marshes. Nonetheless, potential preservation issues are observed for the nitrogen compounds within the ancient sediments that deposited in the upper-tidal domain. This eventually challenges the reliable positioning of these latter on the former tidal frame, and thus introduces some uncertainty in the RSL positions that can be derived from them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

    ... 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...

  16. Research on screening of suitable forage grasses in coastal saline - alkaline soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Xiaoyu; Han, Xin; Song, Qianhong; Yang, Xu; Zhou, Qingyun

    2017-11-01

    The screening of salt-tolerant plants can provide suitable tree species for the afforestation of coastal salinity and maintain biodiversity and ecological stability. The research was based on the study of seven grasses, such as high fescue, the bermuda grass, the thyme, the rye grass, the precocious grass, the third leaf, and the red three leaves. Each pasture was planted in three different kinds of soil, such as salt alkali soil, salt alkali soil + ecological bag and non-saline alkali soil. The effect of salt alkali soil on germinating time, germination rate and grass growth was analyzed. The effects of ecological bag on soil salt and the growth and germination of grass was also analyzed in order to provide the reference basis for the widespread and systematic selection of salt-tolerant plants, with the grass being selected for the suitable ecological bag.

  17. Kangaroo grass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-04-06

    Apr 6, 2009 ... Aamir Saleem1, Sarwat N. Mirza1, Irshad Ahmad Khan1* and Jennifer Franklin2. 1Department of Forestry and Range Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University .... as soil moisture approaches field capacity (Nolan, 1994). Because Kangaroo grass grows under a wide range of conditions, it has a wide ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Assessing Effects of Sea Level Rise on Plum Island Estuary Marshes Using the Hydro-MEM Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Studies show that coastal estuaries and marsh systems are at the risk of losing their productivity under increasing rates of sea level rise (SLR) (Warren and Niering, 1993; Donnelly and Bertness, 2001). A rise in relative sea level may increase flooding across the marsh surface and thereby increase the hydroperiod and re-establish the elevation of the marsh relative to the new mean sea level (Morris, 2006). Linking hydroperiod to the spatial biomass distribution of marsh vegetation has been the focus of many studies (Wiegert et al., 1990, Morris et al., 2002, Doyle et al., 2007, Friedrichs, 2011, Belliard et al., 2016 and Alizad et al., 2016). This research examines how marsh elevation determines the frequency and duration of tidal flooding (hydroperiod), which is one of the most effective parameters for the formation and regulation of marsh growth (Morris et al. 2002 and Fagherazzi et al., 2012). A method to estimate hydroperiod across the marsh surface was developed and included in the coupled Hydro-MEM model (Hagen et al., 2013 & Alizad et al., 2016) to compute biomass density. The updated Hydro-MEM model was applied across the Plum Island Estuary in Massachusetts to assess the effects of SLR scenarios (Parris et al., 2012) on salt marsh productivity for the year 2100. This analysis shows an increase in salt marsh productivity for low rates of SLR and lower productivity under the higher SLR scenario. The study also demonstrates the potential for marsh loss and upland migration under higher rates of SLR.

  1. Combined effects of tides, evaporation and rainfall on the soil conditions in an intertidal creek-marsh system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Pei; Zhou, Tingzhang; Lu, Chunhui; Shen, Chengji; Zhang, Chenming; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Li, Ling

    2017-05-01

    Salt marshes, distributed globally at the land-ocean interface, are a highly productive eco-system with valuable ecological functions. While salt marshes are affected by various eco-geo-hydrological processes and factors, soil moisture and salinity affect plant growth and play a key role in determining the structure and functions of the marsh ecosystem. To examine the variations of both soil parameters, we simulated pore-water flow and salt transport in a creek-marsh system subjected to spring-neap tides, evaporation and rainfall. The results demonstrated that within a sandy-loam marsh, the tide-induced pore-water circulation averted salt build-up due to evaporation in the near-creek area. In the marsh interior where the horizontal drainage was weak, density-driven flow was responsible for dissipating salt accumulation in the shallow soil layer. In the sandy-loam marsh, the combined influences of spring-neap tides, rainfall and evaporation led to the formation of three characteristic zones, c.f., a near-creek zone with low soil water saturation (i.e., well-aerated) and low pore-water salinity as affected by the semi-diurnal spring tides, a less well-aerated zone with increased salinity where drainage occurred during the neap tides, and an interior zone where evaporation and rainfall infiltration regulated the soil conditions. These characteristics, however, varied with the soil type. In low-permeability silt-loam and clay-loam marshes, the tide-induced drainage weakened and the soil conditions over a large area became dominated by evaporation and rainfall. Sea level rise was found to worsen the soil aeration condition but inhibit salt accumulation due to evaporation. These findings shed lights on the soil conditions underpinned by various hydrogeological processes, and have important implications for further investigations on marsh plant growth and ecosystem functions.

  2. Salt tolerance of halophytes, research questions reviewed in the perspective of saline agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, J.; Schat, H.

    2013-01-01

    Halophytes of the lower coastal salt marsh show increased salt tolerance, and under high salinity they grow faster than upper marsh species. We could not show reduced growth rate of halophytes compared with glycophytes when grown under non-saline conditions. This indicates limited energy costs

  3. Geodetic Imaging of Marsh Surface Elevation with Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, C. T.; Starek, M. J.; Gibeaut, J. C.; Lord, A.

    2015-12-01

    The resilience of marshes to a rising sea is dependent on their elevation response. Given the level of precision required to measure minute changes in marsh elevation over time, survey methods have to be adapted to minimize impacts to the sediment surface. Current approaches include Surface Elevation Tables (SETs), which are used to monitor wetland surface change with respect to an in situ vertical benchmark. Although SETs have been proven as an effective technique to track subtle sedimentation rates (marsh elevation response away from the measurement site. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) offers potential for high definition monitoring of marsh surface evolution. However, several challenges must be overcome in the application of the technology for geodetic imaging of marsh surfaces. These challenges include surface occlusion by dense vegetation, error propagation due to scan co-registration and referencing across time, impacts of scan angle, and filtering of non-ground points. Researchers at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi conducted a field-survey of a marsh within the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve using TLS and RTK GPS for comparison. Grand Bay in Mississippi USA is one of the most biologically productive estuarine ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. The study region is covered by dense and tall saw-grass that makes it a challenging environment for bare-earth mapping. For this survey, a Riegl VZ-400 TLS (1550 nm wavelength) was utilized. The system is capable of recording multiple returns per a transmitted pulse (up to 15) and provides full-waveform output for signal post-processing to extract returns. The objectives of the study are twofold: 1) examine impacts of TLS survey design, scan angle and scan density on marsh elevation mapping; 2) assess the capabilities of multiple-echo and full-waveform TLS data to extract the bare-earth surface below the dense vegetation. This presentation will present results of the study including the developed

  4. 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,

  5. 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...

  6. Burrowing and foraging activity of marsh crabs under different ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England salt marshes are susceptible to degradation and habitat loss as a result of increased periods of inundation as sea levels rise. Increased inundation may exacerbate marsh degradation that can result from crab burrowing and foraging. Most studies to date have focused on how crab burrowing and foraging can impact the dominant low marsh plant species, Spartina alterniflora. Here we used a mesocosm experiment to examine the relationship of foraging and burrowing activity in two dominant New England crab species, Sesarma reticulatum and Uca pugilator, and the combined effect of inundation, on the dominant high marsh plant species Spartina patens using a 3 × 2 factorial design with three crab treatments (Sesarma, Uca, control) at two levels of inundation (low, high). Plants were labeled with a nitrogen (N) stable isotope tracer to estimate plant consumption by the two crab species. At both levels of inundation, we found that S. reticulatum had a significant negative impact on both above- and below-ground biomass by physically clipping and uprooting the plants, whereas U. pugilator had no significant impact. Low inundation treatments for both crab species had significantly greater aboveground biomass than high inundation. Stable N isotope tracer levels were roughly the same for both S. reticulatum and U. pugilator tissue, suggesting that the impact of S. reticulatum on S. patens was not through consumption of the plants. Overall, our results suggest the pot

  7. Fortnightly Variability of Sediment Dynamics in Tidal Freshwater and Saltwater marshes of the Chesapeake Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyer, C. J.

    2016-02-01

    Salt and freshwater marshes exist at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic systems. Key differences exist between salt and freshwater marshes and even among marshes experiencing similar salinity; however, these differences are often not examined when drawing inferences about sustainability in the face of sea-level rise. The main purpose of this study was to examine five key parameters at play in both Monie Bay (salt water) and Jug Bay (freshwater) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: grain size, organic content, vegetative community, sedimentation rate, and turbidity over a period of two weeks. Previous studies have examined these parameters when studying marshes, although turbidity is often disregarded. In reality, the amount of sediment transported within the water column can have large implications on whether a marsh is likely to survive future sea-level rise or suffer heavy losses to erosion. Because of the complex nature of these systems, it is wise to be cautious of making long-term assumptions off of short-term data collection.

  8. The Legacy of Destructive Snow Goose Foraging on Supratidal Marsh Habitat in the Hudson Bay Lowlands

    OpenAIRE

    Koons, David

    2013-01-01

    Ecological succession and climate change are pushing tundra as well as Arctic and subarctic lowland plant communities toward increased woody vegetation cover. However, areas along the Hudson Bay Lowlands that are over-grazed by hyper-abundant lesser snow geese are experiencing drastic losses of grass, sedge, and woody cover. We assessed long-term changes in proportional ground cover and habitat patch characteristic at a subartic supratidal marsh that was largely vacated by breeding snow gee...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Living Shoreline on Martha's Vineyard: Monitoring & Assessing Marsh Stabilization, Restoration Benefits, and Nitrogen Removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marshes provide a unique intertidal habitat between land and sea, making them one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. Their ecosystem services are often undervalued, and are being degraded by multiple stressors such as human development and climate change...

  12. Living Shorelines in New England: monitoring marsh stabilization, restoration benefits, and nitrogen removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marshes provide a unique intertidal habitat between land and sea, making them one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. Their ecosystem services are often undervalued, and are being degraded by multiple stressors such as human development and climate change...

  13. To move or not to move : determinants of seed retention in a tidal marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, E. R.; Veeneklaas, R. M.; Buitenwerf, R.; Bakker, J. P.; Bouma, T. J.

    1. The effects of moisture conditions, seed morphology, vegetation structure and hydrodynamic variables on seed retention were examined in a system where the dominant dispersal agent is water. Experiments were conducted in a tidal salt marsh and in a flume facility where hydrodynamic variables could

  14. To move or not to move: determinants of seed retention in a tidal marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, E.R.; Veeneklaas, R.M.; Buitenwerf, R.; Bakker, J.P.; Bouma, T.J.

    2008-01-01

    1. The effects of moisture conditions, seed morphology, vegetation structure and hydrodynamic variables on seed retention were examined in a system where the dominant dispersal agent is water. Experiments were conducted in a tidal salt marsh and in a flume facility where hydrodynamic variables could

  15. GROWTH OF THE MARSH ELDER IVA FRUTESCENS IN RELATION TO DURATION OF TIDAL FLOODING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iva frutescens is a common shrub at the upland fringe of salt marshes throughout the East and Gulf coasts of North America. Its position and relative size are governed largely by the degree of flooding by seawater. Cross sections of older stems (living and standing dead) from sa...

  16. PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND YIELDS OF GRASSES GROWN IN SALINE CONDITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.D. Purbajanti

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to know effects of saline condition to crop physiology, growth andforages yield. A factorial completed random design was used in this study. The first factor was type ofgrass, these were king grass (Pennisetum hybrid, napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum, panicum grass(Panicum maximum, setaria grass (Setaria sphacelata and star grass (Cynodon plectostachyus. Thesecond factor was salt solution (NaCl with concentration 0, 100, 200 and 300 mM. Parameters of thisexperiment were the percentage of chlorophyll, rate of photosynthesis, number of tiller, biomass and drymatter yield. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance and followed by Duncan’s multiple range testwhen there were significant effects of the treatment. Panicum grass had the highest chlorophyll content(1.85 mg/g of leaf. Photosynthesis rate of setaria grass was the lowest. The increasing of NaClconcentration up to 300 mM NaCl reduced chlorophyll content, rate of photosynthesis, tiller number,biomass yield and dry matter yield. Responses of leaf area, biomass and dry matter yield to salinitywere linear for king, napier, panicum and setaria grasses. In tar grass, the response of leaf area andbiomass ware linear, but those of dry matter yield was quadratic. The response of tiller number tosalinity was linear for all species.

  17. Anthropocene Survival of Southern New England's Salt ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    In southern New England, salt marshes are exceptionally vulnerable to the impacts of accelerated sea level rise. Regional rates of sea level rise have been as much as 50 % greater than the global average over past decades, a more than fourfold increase over late Holocene background values. In addition, coastal development blocks many potential marsh migration routes, and compensatory mechanisms relying on positive feedbacks between inundation and sediment deposition are insufficient to counter inundation increases in extreme low-turbidity tidal waters. Accordingly, multiple lines of evidence suggest that marsh submergence is occurring in southern New England. A combination of monitoring data, field re-surveys, radiometric dating, and analysis of peat composition have established that, beginning in the early and mid-twentieth century, the dominant low-marsh plant, Spartina alterniflora, has encroached upward in tidal marshes, and typical high-marsh plants, including Juncus gerardii and Spartina patens, have declined, providing strong evidence that vegetation changes are being driven, at least in part, by higher water levels. Additionally, aerial and satellite imagery show shoreline retreat, widening and headward extension of channels, and new and expanded interior depressions. Papers in this special section highlight changes in marsh-building processes, patterns of vegetation loss, and shifts in species composition. The final papers turn to strategies for minimiz

  18. Ambient and potential denitrification rates in marsh soils of Northeast Creek and Bass Harbor Marsh watersheds, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Thomas G.; Culbertson, Charles W.; Duff, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Nutrient enrichment from atmospheric deposition, agricultural activities, wildlife, and domestic sources is a concern at Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine, because of the potential problems of degradation of water quality and eutrophication in estuaries. Degradation of water quality has been observed at Bass Harbor Marsh estuary in the park but only minimally in Northeast Creek estuary. Previous studies at Acadia National Park have estimated nutrient inputs to estuaries from atmospheric deposition and surface-water runoff, and have identified shallow groundwater as an additional potential source of nutrients. Previous studies at Acadia National Park have assumed that a certain fraction of the nitrogen input was removed through microbial denitrification, but rates of denitrification (natural or maximum potential) in marsh soils have not been determined. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Acadia National Park, measured in-place denitrification rates in marsh soils in Northeast Creek and in Bass Harbor Marsh watersheds during summer 2008 and summer 2009. Denitrification was measured under ambient conditions as well as after additions of inorganic nitrogen and glucose. In-place denitrification rates under ambient conditions were similar to those reported for other coastal wetlands, although they were generally lower than those reported for salt marshes having high ambient concentrations of nitrate (NO3). Denitrification rates generally increased by at least an order of magnitude following NO3 additions, with or without glucose (as the carbohydrate) additions, compared with the ambient treatments that received no nutrient additions. The treatment that added both glucose and NO3 resulted in a variety of denitrification responses when compared with the addition of NO3 alone. In most cases, the addition of glucose to a given rate of NO3 addition resulted in higher rates of denitrification. These variable responses indicate that the amount of

  19. Metagenomics at Grass Roots

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    bacteria from forest soils. Figure 1E also shows seasonal shifts in abundance of rhizospheric bacterial communities of the two grasses, adding yet another layer of complexity. Similar trends were evident from fungal and faunal OTUs identified in these grass rhizospheres, where many OTUs had no significant match.

  20. Nitrous oxide fluxes at Cobb Mill Creek marsh on the eastern shore of Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, C. S.; Scanlon, T. M.

    2009-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations are increasing at a rate unaccounted for with current detection methods and modeled budgets. Fertilizer nitrate (NO3-) additions in coastal watersheds could potentially lead to significant increases in N2O emissions from salt marsh ecosystems when naturally rapid microbial processes are subject to high levels of nitrate in stream and ground water. We employ a tunable diode laser trace gas analyzer (TGA) connected to a portable flow-through chamber to study N2O emissions at Cobb Mill Creek marsh, which drains a small agricultural watershed in Oyster, VA. Spatial variability of fluxes is determined by deploying the chamber at 12 sites across the marsh during exposure at low tide. Temporal variability is captured by deploying the chamber over a range of tidal regimes. Using these fluxes, we determine the spatial variability of N2O emissions (according to NO3- availability and degree of wetting which varies according to elevation), elucidate the factors that drive temporal variation of N2O emissions, and compare N2O fluxes from vegetated and non-vegetated areas of the marsh. Insight into the driving forces behind the pulsed nature of N2O emissions from salt water marshes can be used to improve modeled N2O budgets.

  1. Qualitative community stability determines parasite establishment and richness in estuarine marshes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tavis K. Anderson

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The establishment of parasites with complex life cycles is generally thought to be regulated by free-living species richness and the stability of local ecological interactions. In this study, we test the prediction that stable host communities are prerequisite for the establishment of complex multi-host parasite life cycles. The colonization of naïve killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, by parasites was investigated in 4 salt marsh sites that differed in time since major ecological restoration, and which provided a gradient in free-living species richness. The richness of the parasite community, and the rate at which parasite species accumulated in the killifish, were similar between the low diversity unrestored site and the two high diversity (10- and 20-year restored marsh sites. The parasite community in the newly restored marsh (0 year included only directly-transmitted parasite species. To explain the paradox of a low diversity, highly invaded salt marsh (unrestored having the same parasite community as highly diverse restored marsh sites (10 and 20 yrs we assessed qualitative community stability. We find a significant correlation between system stability and parasite species richness. These data suggest a role for local stability in parasite community assembly, and support the idea that stable trophic relationships are required for the persistence of complex parasite life cycles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  3. Methane emission from freshwater marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nat, Frans-Jaco Willy Anthony van der

    2000-01-01

    This thesis describes the results of a four-year study into the CH4 cycle of freshwater marshes dominated by reed and bulrush. This research was conducted in the framework of the research theme carbon and nutrient dynamics in vegetated littoral systems of the department of Littoral Vegetation of

  4. 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

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In many parts of the world, salt marshes play a key ecological role as the interface between the marine and the terrestrial environments. Salt marshes are also exceedingly important for public health as larval habitat for mosquitoes that are vectors of disease and significant biting pests. Although grid ditching and pesticides have been effective in salt marsh mosquito control, marsh degradation and other environmental considerations compel a different approach. Targeted habitat modification and biological control methods known as Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM had been proposed as a viable alternative to marsh-wide physical alterations and chemical control. However, traditional larval sampling techniques may not adequately assess the impacts of marsh management on mosquito larvae. To assess the effectiveness of integrated OMWM and marsh restoration techniques for mosquito control, we analyzed the results of a 5-year OMWM/marsh restoration project to determine changes in mosquito larval production using GIS and geostatistical methods. Methods The following parameters were evaluated using "Before-After-Control-Impact" (BACI design: frequency and geographic extent of larval production, intensity of larval production, changes in larval habitat, and number of larvicide applications. The analyses were performed using Moran's I, Getis-Ord, and Spatial Scan statistics on aggregated before and after data as well as data collected over time. This allowed comparison of control and treatment areas to identify changes attributable to the OMWM/marsh restoration modifications. Results The frequency of finding mosquito larvae in the treatment areas was reduced by 70% resulting in a loss of spatial larval clusters compared to those found in the control areas. This effect was observed directly following OMWM treatment and remained significant throughout the study period. The greatly reduced frequency of finding larvae in the treatment

  5. 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

    In many parts of the world, salt marshes play a key ecological role as the interface between the marine and the terrestrial environments. Salt marshes are also exceedingly important for public health as larval habitat for mosquitoes that are vectors of disease and significant biting pests. Although grid ditching and pesticides have been effective in salt marsh mosquito control, marsh degradation and other environmental considerations compel a different approach. Targeted habitat modification and biological control methods known as Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM) had been proposed as a viable alternative to marsh-wide physical alterations and chemical control. However, traditional larval sampling techniques may not adequately assess the impacts of marsh management on mosquito larvae. To assess the effectiveness of integrated OMWM and marsh restoration techniques for mosquito control, we analyzed the results of a 5-year OMWM/marsh restoration project to determine changes in mosquito larval production using GIS and geostatistical methods. The following parameters were evaluated using "Before-After-Control-Impact" (BACI) design: frequency and geographic extent of larval production, intensity of larval production, changes in larval habitat, and number of larvicide applications. The analyses were performed using Moran's I, Getis-Ord, and Spatial Scan statistics on aggregated before and after data as well as data collected over time. This allowed comparison of control and treatment areas to identify changes attributable to the OMWM/marsh restoration modifications. The frequency of finding mosquito larvae in the treatment areas was reduced by 70% resulting in a loss of spatial larval clusters compared to those found in the control areas. This effect was observed directly following OMWM treatment and remained significant throughout the study period. The greatly reduced frequency of finding larvae in the treatment areas led to a significant decrease (approximately 44%) in

  6. Resistance of Napier grass clones to Napier grass Stunt Disease ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) is the major livestock fodder under intensive and semi-intensive systems in East Africa. However, the productivity of the grass is constrained by Napier grass Stunt Disease (NSD). The purpose of this study was to identify Napier grass clones with resistance to NSD.

  7. Comparison of aerated marsh-pond-marsh and continuous marsh constructed wetlands for treating swine wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Dean A; Reddy, G B; Hunt, Patrick G; Poach, M E; Ro, Kyoung S; Cyrus, Johnsely S

    2010-01-01

    Increased swine production in North Carolina has resulted in greater waste generation and is demanding some emerging new innovative technologies to effectively treat swine wastewater. One of the cost-effective and passive methods to treat swine wastewater is using constructed wetlands. The objective of this study was to evaluate the N removal under two N loads in 3 different wetland systems: aerated marsh-pond-marsh (M-P-M), aerated marsh-covered pond-marsh (M-FB-M), and continuous marsh (CM) with two days drain and five days flood cycle. Swine wastewater from an anaerobic lagoon was applied to the constructed wetland cells (11 m wide x 40 m length) at two N loading rates of 7 and 12 kg N ha(-1) day(-1)from June to July and August to September 2005, respectively. Weekly inflow and outflow samples were collected for N, P, TS, and COD analysis. Total N reductions (%) at low and high N loading rates were 85.8 and 51.8; 86.3 and 63.3; and 86.2 and 61.8 for M-P-M, M-FB-M, and CM, respectively. Aeration had no significant (P > 0.05) impact on N removal. However, significant (P 0.05) in N reduction was found among wetland systems. Vegetation uptake of N was negligible, ranging from 1.2 to 1.8 %. No significant (P > 0.05) differences in TS and COD removal were observed between the wetland systems.

  8. Application of the Sea-Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM 6) to Big Branch Marsh NWR

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Model SummaryChanges in tidal marsh area and habitat type in response to sea-level rise were modeled using the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM 6) that...

  9. GRASS GIS Vector Processing: Towards GRASS 7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Markus; Landa, Martin; Petrasova, Anna; Petras, Vaclav; Chemin, Yann; Neteler, Markus

    2014-05-01

    The upcoming GRASS GIS 7 release improves not only raster processing and general design but the vector processing in the first place. GRASS GIS, as a topological GIS, recognizes that the topology plays the key role in the vector processing and analysis. Topology ensures that adjacent geographic components in a single vector map are related. In contrast to non-topological GIS, a border common to two areas exists only once and is shared between the two areas. Topological representation of vector data helps to produce and maintain vector maps with clean geometry as well as enables the user to perform certain analyses that can not be conducted with non-topological or spaghetti data. Non-topological vector data are automatically converted to a topological representation upon import. Further more, various cleaning tools exist to remove non-trivial topological errors. In the upcoming GRASS GIS 7 release the vector library was particularly improved to make it faster and more efficient with an improved internal vector file format. This new topological format reduces memory and disk space requirements, leading to a generally faster processing. Opening an existing vector requires less memory providing additionally support for large files. The new spatial index performs queries faster (compared to GRASS GIS 6 more than 10 times for large vectors). As a new option the user can select a file-based version of the spatial index for large vector data. All topological cleaning tools have been optimized with regard to processing speed, robustness, and system requirements. The topological engine comes with a new prototype for direct read/write support of Simple Features API/OGR. Additionally vector data can be directly exchanged with topological PostGIS 2 databases. Considering the wide spread usage of ESRI Shapefile, a non-topological format for vector data exchange, it is particularly advantageous that GRASS GIS 7 offers advanced cleaning tools. For power users and programmers, the

  10. Marsh and Water Management Plan : Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Muscatatuck NWR Marsh and Water Management Plan outlines marsh and water management planning objectives, marsh management consideration, management of...

  11. Inundation, vegetation, and sediment effects on litter decomposition in Pacific Coast tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    The cycling and sequestration of carbon are important ecosystem functions of estuarine wetlands that may be affected by climate change. We conducted experiments across a latitudinal and climate gradient of tidal marshes in the northeast Pacific to evaluate the effects of climate- and vegetation-related factors on litter decomposition. We manipulated tidal exposure and litter type in experimental mesocosms at two sites and used variation across marsh landscapes at seven sites to test for relationships between decomposition and marsh elevation, soil temperature, vegetation composition, litter quality, and sediment organic content. A greater than tenfold increase in manipulated tidal inundation resulted in small increases in decomposition of roots and rhizomes of two species, but no significant change in decay rates of shoots of three other species. In contrast, across the latitudinal gradient, decomposition rates of Salicornia pacifica litter were greater in high marsh than in low marsh. Rates were not correlated with sediment temperature or organic content, but were associated with plant assemblage structure including above-ground cover, species composition, and species richness. Decomposition rates also varied by litter type; at two sites in the Pacific Northwest, the grasses Deschampsia cespitosa and Distichlis spicata decomposed more slowly than the forb S. pacifica. Our data suggest that elevation gradients and vegetation structure in tidal marshes both affect rates of litter decay, potentially leading to complex spatial patterns in sediment carbon dynamics. Climate change may thus have direct effects on rates of decomposition through increased inundation from sea-level rise and indirect effects through changing plant community composition.

  12. Toxicity of an herbicide and adjuvant to saltmarsh invertebrates in the management of invasive grass; Comparative laboratory and field tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Linda S; Nugegoda, Dayanthi; Verspaandonk, Emily R; Coombes, Darcy C; Howe, Steffan; Shimeta, Jeff

    2016-08-15

    Coastal weeds are often treated with herbicides without knowledge of non-target impacts, and toxicity data from standardized test species can have limited applicability. We evaluated toxicity to invertebrates from Fusilade Forte® and the adjuvant Hasten® in the control of invasive salt marsh grass, Spartina anglica. For 3 of 4 local invertebrates, Fusilade Forte® was moderately toxic (96h LC50 5.4-144mgL(-1)), whereas Hasten® was less toxic (14.2-450mgL(-1)). For most species, the mixture was more toxic than the herbicide alone, with 96h LC50 reduced 23-45%. However, a field experiment applying typical concentrations (1000×the lowest 96h LC50) showed low concentrations of herbicide residues and no detrimental impacts on invertebrates over 6months. The results reveal the importance of testing locally relevant species for potential toxicity, and of comparison tests with field exposures to determine the realised toxicity in nature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Biogas potential in Grasses from Wetlands; Biogaspotential hos vaatmarksgraes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martins, Marvin

    2009-12-15

    The purpose of this study has been to survey wetlands that are suitable for mowing and to analyze the biogas potential in the harvested grasses. A preformed investigation showed that there are suitable wetlands, which can be harvestable, namely those mowed formerly in traditional haymaking. The practice of traditional haymaking is dying out in Sweden today but there are several good reasons why it should to be reconsidered. Nature- and cultural values are obvious, also the unutilized energy in the grass. The suitable types of wetland that were specifically studied were the productive wetlands; meadow marshes and wet meadows. These wetlands are represented in the Swedish meadow- and pasture inventory database; (TUVA) and the Swedish national wetland inventory (VMI). Going through the databases showed that they largely complement each other. A geographical mapping was also carried out of wetlands in relation to areas of interest for the future establishment of biogas plants, so called 'hotspots'. The geographical survey shows that there is ample amount of grass from wetlands within a 30-kilometer radius that can supplement the plants main substrate, manure. The map layer Swedish Ground Cover Data (SMD) together with GIS software was used to analyze the extent of overgrowth for the older VMI objects in Uppsala County, with the result that half of the VMI objects are no longer of interest. They have become either woodland and bogs, or reed beds. There is very little information on wetland-grasses and methane production. Instead, a theory was evaluated regarding the possibility of transforming nutritional values for grass and sedges into biogas potentials. It was shown that this method does not capture the total biogas potential, but offers a minimum value that can be considered rather reliable. The energy transformation showed that late harvested grasses from wetlands has a biogas potential about 0,21 Nm3 methane/ (kg, DM) which is about 60 % of the biogas

  14. Trace Elemental Analyses of Suspended Sediments in the San Francisco Estuary and its Tidal Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malamud-Roam, F. P.; Ingram, B. L.; Yang, W.; Collins, J.

    2004-12-01

    This research evaluates the trace elemental compositions of inorganic sediments in the San Francisco Bay estuary marshes over space and time. These sediments create and maintain the tidal marshes that surround the Sand Francisco Bay, yet a thorough analysis of the sources of these sediments remains understudied. Determining the sources of sediments is of interest because current mitigation and restoration projects around the Bay must consider whether the sediment supply will be sufficient for projects, or if opening diked wetlands to tidal flow will result in salt water intrusion further up-estuary (into the Delta). Results of trace element analyses of suspended sediments that pass through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta) are compared with those of local watershed tributaries. Differences in bedrock lithology can be seen in the varying trace elemental concentrations; for example, K, Nd, Sm, Rb and Sr concentrations are significantly lower in the Sacramento river sediments than those of the San Joaquin river and can be used to differentiate further the Delta input. Results from marsh surface samples throughout the North Bay and preliminary results from 4 1-m long sediment cores collected along a transect of the Novato creek marsh (NCM) reflect local versus Delta sediment source patterns. The suspended sediment samples from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and from local creeks reflect the end members of the sediment supply for local marshes. The marsh surface samples represent the most recent period (last few years or so) and reflect the extent of Delta influence into the estuary. Finally, the cores collected from the Novato creek marsh provide details on the gradient of dominant source supply (i.e., are the sediments well inland predominantly from the local watershed and how far does that influence extend downstream), as well as a history of how the sediment supply conditions have changed, comparing pre-Gold Rush and agriculture era (before about

  15. Degradation and resilience in Louisiana salt marshes after the BP-

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silliman, B.R.; van de Koppel, J.; McCoy, M.W.; Diller, J.; Kasozi, G.N.; Earl, K.; Adams, P.N.; Zimmerman, A.R.

    2012-01-01

    More than 2 y have passed since the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, yet we still have little understanding of its ecological impacts. Examining effects of this oil spill will generate much-needed insight into how shoreline habitats and the valuable ecological services they

  16. Self-organization and vegetation collapse in salt marsh ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Koppel, J; van der Wal, D; Bakker, JP; Herman, PMJ

    Complexity theory predicts that local feedback processes may strongly affect the organization of ecosystems on larger spatial scales. Whether complexity leads to increased resilience and stability or to increased vulnerability and criticality remains one of the dominant questions in ecology. We

  17. Climate Change and Extreme Weather Impacts on Salt Marsh Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regional assessments of climate change impacts on New England demonstrate a clear rise in rainfall over the past century. The number of extreme precipitation events (i.e., two or more inches of rain falling during a 48-hour period) has also increased over the past few decades. ...

  18. European salt marshes : ecology and conservation in a changing world

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garbutt, Angus; de Groot, Alma; Smit, Chris; Petillon, Julien

    Saltmarsh habitats have been studied and reported on in the scientific literature for over a century. The earliest papers were given over to descriptive studies of plant species zonation and distribution. As the science of ecology developed, experimental studies set out to understand the physical

  19. Shifting Season of Burn in Southeastern Salt Marshes

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The proposed project contributes to aspects of all three published Task Statements in AFP 2003-3. It addresses “local scientific knowledge gaps that are significant...

  20. European salt marshes : Ecology and conservation in a changing world

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garbutt, Angus; de Groot, Alma; Smit, Chris; Petillon, Julien

    Saltmarsh habitats have been studied and reported on in the scientific literature for over a century. The earliest papers were given over to descriptive studies of plant species zonation and distribution. As the science of ecology developed, experimental studies set out to understand the physical

  1. GUI development for GRASS GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Landa

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses GUI development for GRASS GIS. Sophisticated native GUI for GRASS is one of the key points (besides the new 2D/3D raster library, vector architecture improvements, etc. for the future development of GRASS. In 2006 the GRASS development team decided to start working on the new generation of GUI instead of improving the current GUI based on Tcl/Tk.

  2. (IITA) Improved Spear Grass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SproDell

    ensure food security and combat poverty (Chikoye, Avav, Ellis-Jones, Kormawa,. Udensi, Tarawali and Nielson, 2005). One of such chronic weeds that has been a menace to sustainable food production in the forest/savanna transition zone of. Nigeria is Imperata cylindrinca (spear grass) (Avav and Okereke, 1999). It is a.

  3. Metagenomics at Grass Roots

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 22; Issue 3. Metagenomics at Grass Roots. Sudeshna ... benefit human health, agriculture, and ecosystemfunctions. This article provides a brief history of technicaladvances in metagenomics, including DNA sequencing methods,and some case studies.

  4. GRASS GERMPLASM FOR DIGESTIBILITY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    One procedure involved digesting grass samples in prepared cellulase solution without any pre-treatment (CSD), and the other procedure used an acid pepsin pre-treatment prior to digestion in the prepared cellulase solution (APCS). The CSD procedure in comparison to APCS generally underestimated in vitro dry matter ...

  5. Dispersal by cattle of salt-marsh and dune species into salt-marsh and dune communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, J. P.; Bravo, L. Galvez; Mouissie, A. M.

    Seed dispersal via ingestion and defecation by large herbivores (endozoochory) plays a potentially important role in structuring plant communities. In the present study we tested whether cattle disperse seeds between different plant communities in a heterogeneous coastal habitat. We surveyed the

  6. Wave exposure of Corte Madera Marsh, Marin County, California-a field investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacy, Jessica R.; Hoover, Daniel J.

    2011-01-01

    Tidal wetlands provide valuable habitat, are an important source of primary productivity, and can help to protect the shoreline from erosion by attenuating approaching waves. These functions are threatened by the loss of tidal marshes, whether due to erosion, sea-level rise, or land-use practices. Erosion protection by wetlands is expected to vary geographically, because wave attenuation in marshes depends on vegetation type, density, and height and wave attenuation over mudflats depends on slope and sediment properties. In macrotidal northern European marshes, a 50 percent reduction in wave height within tens of meters of vegetated salt marsh has been observed. This study was designed to evaluate the role of mudflats and marshes in attenuating waves at a site in San Francisco Bay. In prehistoric times, the shoreline of San Francisco Bay was ringed with tidal wetlands, with mudflats at lower elevations and marshes above. Most of the marshes around the Bay emerged 2,000-4,000 years ago, after the rate of sea-level rise slowed to approximately 1 mm/year. Approximately 80 percent of the acreage of tidal marsh and 40 percent of the acreage of tidal mudflats in San Francisco Bay have been lost to filling and draining since 1800. Tidal wetlands are particularly susceptible to impacts from sea-level rise because the vegetation at each elevation is adapted to a specific tidal-inundation regime. The maintenance of suitable marsh-plain elevations depends on a supply of sediment that can keep up with the rate of sea-level rise. Sea-level rise, which according to recent projections may reach 75 to 190 cm by the year 2100, poses a significant threat to wetlands in San Francisco Bay, where landward migration is frequently impossible due to urbanization of the adjacent landscape. In this study, we collected data in Corte Madera Bay and Marsh to determine whether, and to what degree, waves are attenuated as they transit the Bay and, during high tides, the marsh. Corte Madera Bay

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Plant-plant interactions in a subtropical mangrove-to-marsh transition zone: effects of environmental drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Cormier, Nicole; Day, Richard H.; Biagas, Janelda M.; Allain, Larry K.

    2015-01-01

    Questions Does the presence of herbaceous vegetation affect the establishment succes