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Sample records for tidal salt marsh

  1. Tidal influences on carbon assimilation by a salt marsh

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kathilankal, James C; Mozdzer, Thomas J; Fuentes, Jose D; D' Odorico, Paolo; McGlathery, Karen J; Zieman, Jay C [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)], E-mail: jf6s@virginia.edu

    2008-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  3. The Global Carbon Sink in Tidal Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmura, G. L.

    2004-05-01

    For decades researchers have concentrated on proving that C is exported from salt marshes to coastal waters, with limited success. Yet, the C retained in the marsh soils may be equally important. Presumptions that minor amounts of C are stored in salt marsh soils are based upon measurements of low percentages of C in many marshes. Simply measuring the organic matter content of marsh soils provides little indication of the amount or rate of C stored, as this parameter is based upon the percent by mass of the soil. The critical parameter to calculate is C density, derived from percent organic matter and bulk density. (The latter is often neglected in marsh soil studies.) Calculation of C density reveals that minerogenic soils with high bulk densities may have C densities or C storage rates equivalent to more organic soils with low bulk densities. A global average soil C density of 0.055 ± 0.004 g cm-3 has been calculated from 107 measurements reported for salt marshes around the world (Gulf of Mexico, NE and NW Atlantic, Mediterranean and NE Pacific). Assuming an average marsh soil depth of 0.5 m and using inventories of marsh area available for Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, Canada and the U.S., the C stored globally in salt marshes is greater than 430 ± 30 Tg C. The global carbon storage could be twice this as there are no marsh inventories available for Asia or South America. Rates of C storage can be calculated from 96 C density measurements where soil accretion rates also were measured. Globally, marshes sequester an average of 210 g CO2 m-2 yr-1, an order of magnitude greater than rates reported for peatlands. Salt marsh C storage can have regional importance. At a magnitude of 5 Tg C yr-1, tidal wetlands comprise 1--2 percent of the C sink (300--580 Tg C yr-1) estimated for the coterminous U.S. In the Bay of Fundy restoration of salt marshes reclaimed for agricultural land could enable sequestration of an additional 240 to 360 Gg C yr-1, equivalent to 4 to 6

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. Benthic metabolism and sulfur cycling along an inundation gradient in a tidal Spartina anglica salt marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gribsholt, B.; Kristensen, E.

    2003-01-01

    Central aspects of carbon and sulfur biogeochemistry were studied along a transect extending from an unvegetated mudflat into a Spartina anglica salt marsh. Conditions along the transect differed with respect to tidal elevation, sediment characteristics, vegetation coverage, and benthic macrofauna

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul T. Leisnham

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted during the summer of 2009 (from July to September to characterize mosquito communities among different habitats in five historically ditched tidal salt marshes and three adjacent wooded areas in the E.A. Vaughn Wetland Management Area on the Maryland Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Study marshes are characteristic of Atlantic coastal salt marshes that had undergone grid ditching from the 1930s to 1950s. In the autumn of 2008 (October and November ditches were plugged near their outlets in two (‘experimental’ marshes with the aim to restore their natural tidal hydrology. The three other marshes were not plugged. Marshes were sampled from July to September in 2009 by using standard dip count method. A total of 2,457 mosquito larvae representing six species were collected on 15.4% (86/557 of all sample occasions and 399 adults representing four mosquito species were collected from landing counts. Aedes sollicitans, Anopheles bradleyi and Culex salinarius were the most common species collected in larval habitats, and Ae. sollicitans was the most common adult collected. Wooded habitats had more total mosquitoes, were also more frequently occupied by mosquitoes and had higher densities of mosquitoes than marsh habitats. Almost all larvae collected from marshes were from one experimental and one control site. The majority of larvae at the control site were Ae. sollicitans in marsh pannes while Cx. salinarius, An. bradleyi, Ae. cantator, and Ae. sollicitans were collected in high numbers from ditches at the experimental site. We found a difference in the proportion of marsh pannes occupied by Ae. sollicitans but not total mosquitoes sampled 4–5 days after spring tide events than on other occasions. Salinity measures of 42 larval habitats showed lower median salinity in mosquito-occupied habitats (11.5 ppt than unoccupied habitats (20.1 ppt, and in habitats in wooded areas followed by ditches and pannes in marsh areas. The results of

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The effect of tidal forcing on biogeochemical processes in intertidal salt marsh sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neuhuber Stephanie

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Early diagenetic processes involved in natural organic matter (NOM oxidation in marine sediments have been for the most part characterized after collecting sediment cores and extracting porewaters. These techniques have proven useful for deep-sea sediments where biogeochemical processes are limited to aerobic respiration, denitrification, and manganese reduction and span over several centimeters. In coastal marine sediments, however, the concentration of NOM is so high that the spatial resolution needed to characterize these processes cannot be achieved with conventional sampling techniques. In addition, coastal sediments are influenced by tidal forcing that likely affects the processes involved in carbon oxidation. Results In this study, we used in situ voltammetry to determine the role of tidal forcing on early diagenetic processes in intertidal salt marsh sediments. We compare ex situ measurements collected seasonally, in situ profiling measurements, and in situ time series collected at several depths in the sediment during tidal cycles at two distinct stations, a small perennial creek and a mud flat. Our results indicate that the tides coupled to the salt marsh topography drastically influence the distribution of redox geochemical species and may be responsible for local differences noted year-round in the same sediments. Monitoring wells deployed to observe the effects of the tides on the vertical component of porewater transport reveal that creek sediments, because of their confinements, are exposed to much higher hydrostatic pressure gradients than mud flats. Conclusion Our study indicates that iron reduction can be sustained in intertidal creek sediments by a combination of physical forcing and chemical oxidation, while intertidal mud flat sediments are mainly subject to sulfate reduction. These processes likely allow microbial iron reduction to be an important terminal electron accepting process in intertidal coastal

  15. Short-term effects of tidal flooding on soil nitrogen mineralization in a Chinese tidal salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Haifeng; Bai, Junhong; Deng, Xiaoya; Lu, Qiongqiong; Ye, Xiaofei

    2018-02-01

    Tidal flooding is an important control of nitrogen biogeochemistry in wetland ecosystems of Yellow River Delta, China. Variations in hydrology could change soil redox dynamics and conditions for microorganisms living. A tidal simulation experiment was designed to extract tidal flooding effect on nitrogen mineralization of salt marsh soil. Inorganic nitrogen and relevant enzyme were measured during the 20-day incubation period. Considering the variation of both inorganic N and enzymes, nitrogen mineralization process in tidal salt marsh could be divided into 2 phases of short term response and longtime adaption by around 12th incubation day as the inflection point. Soil ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N) and volatilized ammonia (NH3) occupied the mineralization process since nitrate nitrogen (NO3--N) was not detected over whole incubation period. NH4+-N varied fluctuant and increased significantly after 12 day's incubation. Released NH3 reached to peak value of 14.24 mg m-2 d-1 at the inflection point and declined thereafter. Inorganic nitrogen released according to net nitrogen mineralization rate (RM) under the tidal flooding condition without plant uptake except first 2 days. However, during the transitional period of 6-12 days, RM decreased notably to almost 0 and increased again after inflection point with the value of 0.182 mg kg-1 d-1. It might be due to the change of microbial composition and function when soil shifted from oxic to anoxic, which were reflected by arylamidase, urease and fluorescein diacetate. Fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis and arylamidase had the similar variation of U style with decreasing activities before 12 days' incubation. All the enzymes measured in this experiment increased after inflection point. Whereas, urease activity kept constant from 2 to 12 days. Alternant oxidation reduction condition would increase N loss through denitrification and ammonia volatilization during the transitional period, while more inorganic nitrogen would be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jennifer M; Bell, Susan S

    2012-07-01

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

  18. Soil Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Market Potential of a Southern California Tidal Salt Marsh Proposed for Restoration

    OpenAIRE

    Bear, Todd Michael

    2017-01-01

    Without a substantial reduction in the billions of tons of anthropogenic greenhouse gases emitted annually our planet can expect a wide variety of deleterious effects. The restoration, enhancement, and conservation of coastal “blue carbon” habitats, including tidal salt marshes, have received increasing attention as a potential component of climate change mitigation because of their high carbon storage capacity. This study presents the results of an investigation of soil carbon sequestratio...

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    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

  5. Spatial variability in denitrification rates in an Oregon tidal salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modeling denitrification (DeN) is particularly challenging in tidal systems, which play a vital role in buffering adjacent coastal waters from nitrogen inputs. These systems are hydrologically and biogeochemically complex, varying on fine temporal and spatial scales. As part of a...

  6. Ecosystem engineering by large grazers enhances carbon stocks in a tidal salt marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elschot, K.; Bakker, J.P.; Temmerman, S.; van de Koppel, J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2015-01-01

    Grazers can have a large impact on ecosystem processes and are known to changevegetation composition. However, knowledge of how the long-term presence of grazers affectssoil carbon sequestration is limited. In this study, we estimated total accumulated organic carbonin soils of a back-barrier salt

  7. 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

  8. Effects of a Storm-Surge Related Salinity Decrease on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Tidal Salt Marsh Mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capooci, M.; Barba, J.; Seyfferth, A.; Vargas, R.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes, along with mangrove forests and seagrass beds, are capable of sequestering large quantities of carbon. Additionally, salt marshes are resilient ecosystems, capable of quickly recovering from disturbances. However, very little is known about how carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ammonia (NH3) fluxes from wetland soils, in addition to pore water chemistry, change with a disturbance event such as a storm surge. Using soil mesocosms from St. Jones Reserve, a National Estuarine Research Reserve, and site-specific water salinity data, we conducted a laboratory experiment that recreated the changes in salinity associated with a storm event and compared them to soils flooded with the mean annual salinity of the St. Jones River. Control and treatment were done in triplicate. We controlled for variations in temperature (set at 21°C) and all cores maintained similar flooded conditions. Treatment included a decrease in salinity based on historic values during storm events (i.e. Hurricane Joaquin). Greenhouse gas (GHG; CO2, CH4, N2O, NH3) emissions were measured hourly using automated chambers. Pore water was collected every day to every other day and analyzed for a variety of parameters, including Fe2+, S2-, SO42-, and NO3-. Auxiliary measurements, such as soil temperature, moisture, and oxygen levels, in addition to pore water salinity, were also taken to ensure that proper conditions were maintained. We found significant increases in CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions when comparing the treatment (lowered salinity) to the control. We found also differences in pore water chemistry between treatment phases, particularly in Fe2+. The results of this experiment have implications for GHG dynamics in salt marsh ecosystems, showcasing the need to measure GHG emissions during and after storm events. This study provides insights into how changes in salinity affect GHG emissions in salt marshes, as well as how ecosystem dynamics respond to a

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Persistence and movement of atrazine in a salt marsh sediment microecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isensee, A.R.

    1987-01-01

    Pesticides enter salt marshes in runoff from agricultural lands or through direct or near-by application. Concern has been raised that the tidal action in the salt marsh that functions to trap sediment and nutrients may also function to concentrate pesticides to harmful levels. Studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of pesticides on representative species of salt marsh ecosystems. This paper describes the use of a modified salt marsh microecosystem to evaluate persistence and movement of atrazine in salt marsh sediment under simulated tidal flux and continuous flooding conditions. Atrazine persistence was also compared under normal field conditions

  13. Carbon sequestration by Australian tidal marshes

    KAUST Repository

    Macreadie, Peter I.

    2017-03-10

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

  14. Critical width of tidal flats triggers marsh collapse in the absence of sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariotti, Giulio; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2013-04-02

    High rates of wave-induced erosion along salt marsh boundaries challenge the idea that marsh survival is dictated by the competition between vertical sediment accretion and relative sea-level rise. Because waves pounding marshes are often locally generated in enclosed basins, the depth and width of surrounding tidal flats have a pivoting control on marsh erosion. Here, we show the existence of a threshold width for tidal flats bordering salt marshes. Once this threshold is exceeded, irreversible marsh erosion takes place even in the absence of sea-level rise. This catastrophic collapse occurs because of the positive feedbacks among tidal flat widening by wave-induced marsh erosion, tidal flat deepening driven by wave bed shear stress, and local wind wave generation. The threshold width is determined by analyzing the 50-y evolution of 54 marsh basins along the US Atlantic Coast. The presence of a critical basin width is predicted by a dynamic model that accounts for both horizontal marsh migration and vertical adjustment of marshes and tidal flats. Variability in sediment supply, rather than in relative sea-level rise or wind regime, explains the different critical width, and hence erosion vulnerability, found at different sites. We conclude that sediment starvation of coastlines produced by river dredging and damming is a major anthropogenic driver of marsh loss at the study sites and generates effects at least comparable to the accelerating sea-level rise due to global warming.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselink, James

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. Methane emission from tidal freshwater marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Nat, F.J.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2000-01-01

    In two tidal freshwater marshes, methane emission, production and accumulation in the pore-water have been studied. The two sites differ in their dominant vegetation, i.e., reed and bulrush, and in their heights above sea level. The reed site was elevated in relation to the bulrush site and had

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Annisa Satyanti; Evi Saragih; Paul Egan; Nuria Simon Cid; Elise Knecht; Marieke Euwe

    2014-01-01

    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 ecos...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. METHODS OF EXPLORING METABOLIC STRUCTURE AND TAXONOMIC DIVERSITY RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN BACTERIOPLANKTON AND PHYTOPLANKTON IN SALT MARSH TIDAL CREEKS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacterial metabolic diversity and phytoplankton community diversity were examined in eight shallow tidal creeks over a two-year period (1997-1998) within North Inlet estuary, South Carolina. The BIOLOG 96-well microplate method was used to assess metabolic diversity of bacteria, ...

  4. Salt Marshes as Sources and Sinks of Silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, J.; Fulweiler, R. W.

    2014-12-01

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

  5. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. C. H. Goodwin

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  9. Conditional outcome of ecosystem engineering: a case study on tussocks of the salt marsh pioneer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balke, T.; Klaassen, P.C.; Garbutt, A.; van der Wal, D.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2012-01-01

    The salt marsh grass Spartina anglica is an important habitat-modifying ecosystem engineering agent that facilitates large-scale salt marsh formation by enhancing sediment accretion. It dominates many European tidal environments and is invasive in many other parts of the world. We question

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Ammonium transformation in a nitrogen-rich tidal freshwater marsh

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gribsholt, B.; Andersson, M.; Boschker, H.T.S.

    2006-01-01

    The fate and transport of watershed-derived ammonium in a tidal freshwater marsh fringing the nutrient rich Scheldt River, Belgium, was quantified in a whole ecosystem 15N labeling experiment. In late summer (September) we added 15N-NH4+ to the flood water entering a 3477 m2 tidal freshwater marsh...

  13. Numerical models of salt marsh evolution: ecological, geomorphic, and climatic factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagherazzi, Sergio; Kirwan, Matthew L.; Mudd, Simon M.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Temmerman, Stijn; D'Alpaos, Andrea; van de Koppel, Johan; Rybczyk, John; Reyes, Enrique; Craft, Chris; Clough, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2014-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Northeastern Salt Marshes: Elevation Capital and Resilience to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stable tidal salt marshes exist at an elevation that is supra-optimal relative to peak biomass production, which for Spartina alterniflora, and other marsh macrophytes, follows a parabolic distribution as a function of elevation, as a surrogate for inundation frequency. In order...

  20. 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 ...

  1. Responses of Salt Marsh Plant Rhizosphere Diazotroph Assemblages to Drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra A. Davis

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Drought has many consequences in the tidally dominated Spartina sp. salt marshes of the southeastern US; including major dieback events, changes in sediment chemistry and obvious changes in the landscape. These coastal systems tend to be highly productive, yet many salt marshes are also nitrogen limited and depend on plant associated diazotrophs as their source of ‘new’ nitrogen. A 4-year study was conducted to investigate the structure and composition of the rhizosphere diazotroph assemblages associated with 5 distinct plant zones in one such salt marsh. A period of greatly restricted tidal inundation and precipitation, as well as two periods of drought (June–July 2004, and May 2007 occurred during the study. DGGE of nifH PCR amplicons from rhizosphere samples, Principal Components Analysis of the resulting banding patterns, and unconstrained ordination analysis of taxonomic data and environmental parameters were conducted. Diazotroph assemblages were organized into 5 distinct groups (R2 = 0.41, p value < 0.001 whose presence varied with the environmental conditions of the marsh. Diazotroph assemblage group detection differed during and after the drought event, indicating that persistent diazotrophs maintained populations that provided reduced supplies of new nitrogen for vegetation during the periods of drought.

  2. Tidal exchange between a freshwater tidal marsh and an impacted estuary: the Scheldt estuary, Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Damme, S.; Dehairs, F.; Tackx, M.; Beauchard, O.; Struyf, E.; Gribsholt, B.; van Cleemput, O.; Meire, P.

    2009-01-01

    Tidal marsh exchange studies are relatively simple tools to investigate the interaction between tidal marshes and estuaries. They have mostly been confined to only a few elements and to saltwater or brackish systems. This study presents mass-balance results of an integrated one year campaign in a

  3. Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration Project: Phase I

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration Project: Phase I project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  4. Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration Project: Phase II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration Project: Phase II, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  5. Oregon Salt Marshes: How Blue are They?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Salinization during salt-marsh restoration after managed realignment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeneklaas, Roos; Koppenaal, Elske; Bakker, Jan P.; Esselink, Peter

    Salt marshes provide an important and unique habitat for plants and animals. To restore salt marshes, numerous coastal realignment projects have been carried out, but restored marshes often show persistent ecological differences from natural marshes. We evaluate the effects of elevation and marsh

  7. Effects of vegetation patterns and grazers on tidal marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elschot, K.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARYsoil. These effects of large-bodied grazers on soil properties in tidal marshes has beenlargely neglected so far, but need to be considered when we want to introduce livestockto ungrazed marshes.Next to above-ground grazing, we also find small grazers that grub for below-groundstorage organs

  8. Distribution patterns of salt marsh vegetation on Parramore Island, Virginia Coast Reserve

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hegnauer, E.A.; Furman, T. (Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Sciences)

    1994-03-01

    The Virginia Coast Reserve is a classic example of an estuarine-barrier island complex, and is dominated physiographically by tidal salt marshes. Marsh vegetation includes Spartina alterniflora and patens, Juncus romerianus, Disticlis spicata and Salicornia virginica; these species occur in a random mosaic pattern throughout the salt marsh. Previous work has shown that porewater salinity and flooding frequency control plant distributions at a gross scale (daily tidal inundation versus occasional flooding), but variations in these parameters are extremely subtle in the Parramore marshes. The goal of this research is to document and monitor small-scale physical factors that control spatial distribution of marsh species. The results of this study have serious implications for development of artificial wetlands. Topographic variations on the order of < 10 cm are significant in determining both flooding history and water table salinity, and therefore affect the colonization and growth of marsh plant species dramatically.

  9. Managing mainland salt marshes for breeding birds

    OpenAIRE

    Maier, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The Wadden Sea region is one of the most important breeding areas in Western Europe for coastal breeding bird species. It is expected that management of salt marshes is important for successful conservation of breeding bird populations but the impact of management on the habitat quality for breeding birds is still not fully understood. In this study the effects of management on the three crucial habitat characteristics for breeding birds were studied on mainland salt marshes: effects of manag...

  10. Signatures of Biogeomorphic Feedbacks in Salt-Marsh Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea; Marani, Marco

    2015-04-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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, ...

  14. Radiocarbon dating of plant macrofossils from tidal-marsh sediment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, A.C.; Nelson, Alan R.; Horton, B.P.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal-marsh sediment is an archive of Holocene environmental changes, including movements of sea and land levels, and extreme events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Accurate and precise radiocarbon dating of environmental changes is necessary to estimate rates of change and the recurrence interval (frequency) of events. Plant macrofossils preserved in growth position (or deposited soon after death) in tidal-marsh sediment are ideal samples for dating such changes. In this chapter, we focus on the selection of plant macrofossils for radiocarbon dating and the application of ages from different types of macrofossils to varied research projects, and make recommendations for selection and preparation of tidal-marsh samples for dating.

  15. The natural regeneration of salt marsh on formerly reclaimed land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garbutt, Angus; Wolters, Mineke

    Question: Does the vegetation of restored salt marshes increasingly resemble natural reference communities over time? Location: The Essex estuaries, southeast England. Methods: Abandoned reclamations, where coastal defences had been breached in storm events, and Current salt marsh recreation schemes

  16. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  18. Remote sensing of wetland conditions in West Coast salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustin, Susan L.; Lay, Mui C.; Li, Lin

    2004-11-01

    The objective of the PEEIR (Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research Consortium) program is to develop new indicators for assessing wetland health or condition. As part of PEEIR program we are investigating the use of imaging spectrometry to map and characterize marsh vegetation of several estuarine systems in California. We obtained airborne Advanced Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data, an instrument which measures a detailed reflectance spectrum (400-2500nm) for each pixel, over paired tidal marshes, having either a history of exposure to pollution or no known exposure. AVIRIS image data was analyzed based on comparison to field measurements and reflectance changes measured in hydroponic experiments. We report leaf and canopy reflectance measurements of several common plant species of Pacific coast salt marshes exposed to different concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, V) and crude oil contaminants. Species exhibited differential sensitivities to specific contaminants, however in general, Salicornia virginica, the most salt tolerant species and the dominant species in these wetlands (70-90% cover) was most sensitive to metal and petroleum contaminants. Field measurements of canopy reflectance, biomass and vegetation structure were acquired across GPS-located transects at each field site. The AVIRIS data were calibrated to surface reflectance using the FLAASH radiative transfer code and geometrically registered to coordinates using the 1m USGS digital orthophoto quads. AVIRIS results show spatial patterns of plant stress indicators (e.g., reduced chlorophyll and water contents) are consistent with known patterns of contamination in these tidal wetlands.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan J Rezek

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Resolving the Intricacies of Lateral Exports of Inorganic Carbon and Alkalinity from Coastal Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A. Z.; Chu, S. N.; Kroeger, K. D.; Gonneea, M. E.; Ganju, N. K.

    2017-12-01

    Dynamic lateral exports of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (Alk) via tidal exchange from highly productive intertidal marshes are an important piece of puzzle in the coastal carbon cycle, challenging our capability of assessing coastal carbon budgets and projecting future changes under anthropogenic pressure. The effects of these exports on seawater chemistry are profound yet complicated to study. This study presents the latest development of assessing lateral DIC and Alk fluxes from tidal marshes and examining their effects on seawater chemistry and coastal carbon budgets. The study evaluates different approaches to quantify these exports in order to obtain insights on the best and efficient way to capture the dynamics of such exports. A state-of-the-art DIC sensor, Channelized Optical System (CHANOS), was deployed to establish the true DIC fluxes. They are compared to the fluxes derived from empirical modeling and traditional bottle measurements. Salt marshes can acidify and alkalize tidal water by injecting CO2 (DIC) and Alk over a same tidal cycle. However, their generation is decoupled as a result of deferential effects of aerobic and anaerobic respirations. This creates complex scenarios of large swings of seawater chemistry and buffering capacity in tidal water over tidal and seasonal cycles. Marsh exports of DIC and Alk may have complex implications for the future, more acidified ocean. The latest estimates of marsh DIC and Alk exports suggest they are a major term in the marsh carbon budget and can be translated into one of the primary components in the coastal carbon cycle.

  6. Restoration of salt marshes in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, J.P.; Esselink, P.; Dijkema, K.S.; Duin, van W.E.; Jong, de D.J.

    2002-01-01

    The conquest of land from the sea has been a long tradition in the Netherlands. When salt marshes were high enough, they were embanked when it was economically feasible, and transformed into intensively exploited agricultural land. This resulted in the transformation of halophytic communities to

  7. Restoration of salt marshes in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, JP; Esselink, Peter; Dijkema, KS; van Duin, WE; de Jong, D.J.

    The conquest of land from the sea has been a long tradition in the Netherlands. When salt marshes were high enough, they were embanked when it was economically feasible, and transformed into intensively exploited agricultural land. This resulted in the transformation of halophytic communities to

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Cairns, David; Bartholdy, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    In coastal environments, biogeographic patterns are generally influenced by surface elevation and horizontal distance from sea water. However, it is still unclear whether these major topographic factors are significant controls of vegetation patterns across spatial scales at which different...... 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......-level variation and grazing influenced the macro-scale pattern, short-term fluvial-geomorphic processes drove the meso-scale pattern. Despite these different underlying processes, similar floristic gradient structures between the two scales were identified by nonmetric multidimensional scaling. The gradient...

  9. Marsh-atmosphere CO2 exchange in a New England salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbrich, Inke; Giblin, Anne E.

    2015-09-01

    We studied marsh-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide in a high marsh dominated salt marsh during the months of May to October in 2012-2014. Tidal inundation at the site occurred only during biweekly spring tides, during which we observed a reduction in fluxes during day and night. We estimated net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (Reco) using a modified PLIRTLE model, which requires photosynthetically active radiation, temperature, and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as control variables. NDVI decreased during inundation, when the marsh canopy was submerged. Two-time series of NDVI, including and excluding effects of tidal inundation, allowed us to quantify the flux reduction during inundation. The effect of the flux reduction was small (2-4%) at our site, but is likely higher for marshes at a lower elevation. From May to October, GPP averaged -863 g C m-2, Reco averaged 591 g C m-2, and NEE averaged -291 g C m-2. In 2012, which was an exceptionally warm year, we observed an early start of net carbon uptake but higher respiration than in 2013 and 2014 due to higher-air temperature in August. This resulted in the lowest NEE during the study period (-255.9±6.9 g C m-2). The highest seasonal net uptake (-336.5±6.3 g C m-2) was observed in 2013, which was linked to higher rainfall and temperature in July. Mean sea level was very similar during all 3 years which allowed us to isolate the importance of climatic factors.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Along coasts and estuaries, formerly embanked land is increasingly restored into tidal marshes in order to re-establish valuable ecosystem services, such as buffering against flooding. Along the Scheldt estuary (Belgium), tidal marshes are restored on embanked land by allowing a controlled reduced tide (CRT) into a constructed basin, through a culvert in the embankment. In this way tidal water levels are significantly lowered (ca. 3 m) so that a CRT marsh can develop on formerly embanked land...

  11. Exchanges and photo-biogeochemical transformation of dissolved organic compounds in Eastern US tidal marsh ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzortziou, Maria; Neale, Patrick; Megonigal, Patrick; Butterworth, Megan; Jaffe, Rudolf

    2010-05-01

    The role of tidal marshes as sources, sinks and/or transformers of biologically important nutrients, carbon and pollutants has been studied in various marsh-estuarine environments and geomorphological settings. Although there is no consensus on the magnitude and direction of marsh-estuary net (particulate and dissolved) organic fluxes, most previous studies suggest that salt marshes export dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the surrounding estuarine waters. There has been less attention, however, to the influence of transformations on marsh-exported organic carbon composition or "quality". Yet, carbon composition affects a wide variety of estuarine processes, including microbial respiration and photochemistry. Our objectives in this study were to quantify the photo-reactivity and bio-availability of dissolved organic carbon compounds exported from tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay and determine their effects on the optical properties of colored organic matter (CDOM). We quantified DOC bioavailability with two assays of microbial mineralization: the traditional batch incubation approach in which a suspension of DOM and microbial cells (1 µm filtrate) was incubated in bottles for 7 d, and a continuous-flow bioreactor approach in which DOC (0.2 µm filtrate) was passed through a microbial community that had been pre-established on glass beads from the same source water. Photochemical degradation was measured after a 10h exposure to filtered xenon irradiance simulating midday surface exposure. We measured decreases in CDOM absorption and fluorescence spectra, DOC concentrations, changes in molecular weight distribution, and increases in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and CO2. Results provide important insights on the transformation, fate and cycling of marsh-exported organic compounds, and the role of tidal marsh systems as major regulators of short-scale biological, optical and biogeochemical variability in highly dynamic coastal margins and catchment areas.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Tidal pumping facilitates dissimilatory nitrate reduction in intertidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yanling; Hou, Lijun; Liu, Min; Liu, Zhanfei; Li, Xiaofei; Lin, Xianbiao; Yin, Guoyu; Gao, Juan; Yu, Chendi; Wang, Rong; Jiang, Xiaofen

    2016-01-01

    Intertidal marshes are alternately exposed and submerged due to periodic ebb and flood tides. The tidal cycle is important in controlling the biogeochemical processes of these ecosystems. Intertidal sediments are important hotspots of dissimilatory nitrate reduction and interacting nitrogen cycling microorganisms, but the effect of tides on dissimilatory nitrate reduction, including denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, remains unexplored in these habitats. Here, we use isotope-tracing and molecular approaches simultaneously to show that both nitrate-reduction activities and associated functional bacterial abundances are enhanced at the sediment-tidal water interface and at the tide-induced groundwater fluctuating layer. This pattern suggests that tidal pumping may sustain dissimilatory nitrate reduction in intertidal zones. The tidal effect is supported further by nutrient profiles, fluctuations in nitrogen components over flood-ebb tidal cycles, and tidal simulation experiments. This study demonstrates the importance of tides in regulating the dynamics of dissimilatory nitrate-reducing pathways and thus provides new insights into the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen and other elements in intertidal marshes. PMID:26883983

  15. Physical and Biological Regulation of Carbon Sequestration in Tidal Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J. T.; Callaway, J.

    2017-12-01

    The rate of carbon sequestration in tidal marshes is regulated by complex feedbacks among biological and physical factors including the rate of sea-level rise (SLR), biomass production, tidal amplitude, and the concentration of suspended sediment. We used the Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM) to explore the effects on C-sequestration across a wide range of permutations of these variables. C-sequestration increased with the rate of SLR to a maximum, then down to a vanishing point at higher SLR when marshes convert to mudflats. An acceleration in SLR will increase C-sequestration in marshes that can keep pace, but at high rates of SLR this is only possible with high biomass and suspended sediment concentrations. We found that there were no feasible solutions at SLR >13 mm/yr for permutations of variables that characterize the great majority of tidal marshes, i.e., the equilibrium elevation exists below the lower vertical limit for survival of marsh vegetation. The rate of SLR resulting in maximum C-sequestration varies with biomass production. C-sequestration rates at SLR=1 mm/yr averaged only 36 g C m-2 yr-1, but at the highest maximum biomass tested (5000 g/m2) the mean C-sequestration reached 399 g C m-2 yr-1 at SLR = 14 mm/yr. The empirical estimate of C-sequestration in a core dated 50-years overestimates the theoretical long-term rate by 34% for realistic values of decomposition rate and belowground production. The overestimate of the empirical method arises from the live and decaying biomass contained within the carbon inventory above the marker horizon, and overestimates were even greater for shorter surface cores.

  16. Marsh Sediment and Species Composition in Hudson River Tidal Marshes: Change over the Last Millennium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteet, D. M.; Pederson, D. C.; Kurdyla, D.; Guilderson, T.; Kleinstein, D.; Higgiston, P.

    2004-05-01

    Understanding the signature of the Hudson River watershed to changes in the hydrological cycle is possible using marsh archives downriver. A suite of lower Hudson River tidal marshes is examined to identify changes in organic vs. inorganic content in the context of environmental change. Complex vegetational changes in the various marshes, identified by pollen and macrofossil studies, demonstrate the response to natural climate variability as well as human-induced changes of the last four centuries. While Piermont Marsh shows high inorganic content related to drought during the Medieval Warm Period, the subsequent Little Ice Age that followed shows a drop in this input. However, the nineteenth century of landscape disturbance reveals an increase again in upland watershed inorganics, followed by decline in the twentieth century. Jamaica Bay and Staten Island marshes to date show reduced inorganic input to these wetlands from the watershed up to the twentieth century. Jamaica Bay, NY marsh cores indicate increases in organic content in the twentieth century which may be related to dramatic land use changes in the surrounding New York area. An increase in the sand-sized fraction of organics may be attributed to the changes in local marsh plant production, but multiple hypotheses are being tested. Comparisons with adjacent Hackensack Meadowlands marshes demonstrate that local marsh plant production can dramatically alter the organic content and thus the carbon sequestration in the marshes. Species compositional changes in most of the marshes in the twentieth century resulted in a loss of biodiversity with the invasive increase of Typha (cattail) and Phragmites. This loss is linked to eutrophication of the estuary.

  17. A one-dimensional biomorphodynamic model of tidal flats: Sediment sorting, marsh distribution, and carbon accumulation under sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zeng; Ye, Qinghua; Coco, Giovanni

    2016-07-01

    We develop a biomorphodynamic model to investigate sediment and vegetation dynamics on a schematic intertidal flat characterized by an initially well-mixed sand-mud mixture. Major interactions between tides, wind waves, salt marshes, sediment transport and sea level rise (SLR) are taken into account. For a bare flat under only tidal action, the model predicts a convex cross-shore profile with the surficial distribution of mud and sand on the upper and lower part of the intertidal flat, respectively. When wind waves are strong, the intertidal flat is highly eroded resulting in a concave profile near the high water mark. This behavior is pronouncedly altered when the intertidal flat is vegetated with the presence of salt marshes. Numerical results suggest that a considerable amount of mud can still remain in the vegetated region even when wave action is strong. A steeper transition zone forms at the boundary between salt marshes and bare flats because of the differential sediment deposition in the two neighboring regions. The inclusion of wind waves is found to considerably enhance the size of the marsh-edge transition zone. For the numerical experiments designed in this study, the profile shape and sediment sorting behavior of tidal flats are not significantly modified by a gradual rising sea level. However, the impacts of SLR on vegetated tidal flats are still manifold: (a) driving the landward migration of intertidal zone and salt marshes; (b) enhancing sediment erosion on intertidal flats; and (c) drowning salt marshes under limited sediment supply with the constrain of seawalls. Finally, model results suggest that organic carbon accumulation on marshlands may be enhanced with an increasing SLR rate provided that salt marshes are not drowned.

  18. Seasonal changes in the microbial community of a salt marsh, measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keith-Roach, Miranda; Bryan, N.D.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Microbial activity within the environment can have distinct geochemical effects, and so changes in a microbial community structure can result in geochemical change. We examined seasonal changes in both the microbial community and the geochemistry of an inter-tidal salt marsh in north-west England...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Nitrogen processing in a tidal freshwater marsh: a whole ecosystem 15N labeling study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gribsholt, B.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Struyf, E.; Andersson, M.G.I.; Tramper, A.; de Brabandere, L.; van Damme, S.; Brion, N.; Meire, P.; Dehairs, F.; Middelburg, J.J.; Heip, C.H.R.

    2005-01-01

    We quantified the fate and transport of watershed-derived ammonium in a tidal freshwater marsh fringing the nutrientrich Scheldt River in a whole-ecosystem 15N labeling experiment. 15N-NH4+ was added to the floodwater entering a 3,477 14 m2 tidal marsh area, and marsh ammonium processing and

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    Along coasts and estuaries, formerly embanked land is increasingly restored into tidal marshes in order to re-establish valuable ecosystem services, such as buffering against flooding. Along the Scheldt estuary (Belgium), tidal marshes are restored on embanked land by allowing a controlled reduced

  6. Balanced sediment fluxes in southern California’s Mediterranean-climate zone salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosencranz, Jordan A.; Ganju, Neil K.; Ambrose, Richard F.; Brosnahan, Sandra M.; Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2016-01-01

    Salt marsh elevation and geomorphic stability depends on mineral sedimentation. Many Mediterranean-climate salt marshes along southern California, USA coast import sediment during El Niño storm events, but sediment fluxes and mechanisms during dry weather are potentially important for marsh stability. We calculated tidal creek sediment fluxes within a highly modified, sediment-starved, 1.5-km2 salt marsh (Seal Beach) and a less modified 1-km2marsh (Mugu) with fluvial sediment supply. We measured salt marsh plain suspended sediment concentration and vertical accretion using single stage samplers and marker horizons. At Seal Beach, a 2014 storm yielded 39 and 28 g/s mean sediment fluxes and imported 12,000 and 8800 kg in a western and eastern channel. Western channel storm imports offset 8700 kg exported during 2 months of dry weather, while eastern channel storm imports augmented 9200 kg imported during dry weather. During the storm at Mugu, suspended sediment concentrations on the marsh plain increased by a factor of four; accretion was 1–2 mm near creek levees. An exceptionally high tide sequence yielded 4.4 g/s mean sediment flux, importing 1700 kg: 20 % of Mugu’s dry weather fluxes. Overall, low sediment fluxes were observed, suggesting that these salt marshes are geomorphically stable during dry weather conditions. Results suggest storms and high lunar tides may play large roles, importing sediment and maintaining dry weather sediment flux balances for southern California salt marshes. However, under future climate change and sea level rise scenarios, results suggest that balanced sediment fluxes lead to marsh elevational instability based on estimated mineral sediment deficits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Tidal Marshes across a Chesapeake Bay Subestuary Are Not Keeping up with Sea-Level Rise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leah H Beckett

    Full Text Available Sea-level rise is a major factor in wetland loss worldwide, and in much of Chesapeake Bay (USA the rate of sea-level rise is higher than the current global rate of 3.2 mm yr-1 due to regional subsidence. Marshes along estuarine salinity gradients differ in vegetation composition, productivity, decomposition pathways, and sediment dynamics, and may exhibit different responses to sea-level rise. Coastal marshes persist by building vertically at rates at or exceeding regional sea-level rise. In one of the first studies to examine elevation dynamics across an estuarine salinity gradient, we installed 15 surface elevation tables (SET and accretion marker-horizon plots (MH in tidal freshwater, oligohaline, and brackish marshes across a Chesapeake Bay subestuary. Over the course of four years, wetlands across the subestuary decreased 1.8 ± 2.7 mm yr-1 in elevation on average, at least 5 mm yr-1 below that needed to keep pace with global sea-level rise. Elevation change rates did not significantly differ among the marshes studied, and ranged from -9.8 ± 6.9 to 4.5 ± 4.3 mm yr-1. Surface accretion of deposited mineral and organic matter was uniformly high across the estuary (~9-15 mm yr-1, indicating that elevation loss was not due to lack of accretionary input. Position in the estuary and associated salinity regime were not related to elevation change or surface matter accretion. Previous studies have focused on surface elevation change in marshes of uniform salinity (e.g., salt marshes; however, our findings highlight the need for elevation studies in marshes of all salinity regimes and different geomorphic positions, and warn that brackish, oligohaline, and freshwater tidal wetlands may be at similarly high risk of submergence in some estuaries.

  9. Tidal Marshes across a Chesapeake Bay Subestuary Are Not Keeping up with Sea-Level Rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckett, Leah H; Baldwin, Andrew H; Kearney, Michael S

    2016-01-01

    Sea-level rise is a major factor in wetland loss worldwide, and in much of Chesapeake Bay (USA) the rate of sea-level rise is higher than the current global rate of 3.2 mm yr-1 due to regional subsidence. Marshes along estuarine salinity gradients differ in vegetation composition, productivity, decomposition pathways, and sediment dynamics, and may exhibit different responses to sea-level rise. Coastal marshes persist by building vertically at rates at or exceeding regional sea-level rise. In one of the first studies to examine elevation dynamics across an estuarine salinity gradient, we installed 15 surface elevation tables (SET) and accretion marker-horizon plots (MH) in tidal freshwater, oligohaline, and brackish marshes across a Chesapeake Bay subestuary. Over the course of four years, wetlands across the subestuary decreased 1.8 ± 2.7 mm yr-1 in elevation on average, at least 5 mm yr-1 below that needed to keep pace with global sea-level rise. Elevation change rates did not significantly differ among the marshes studied, and ranged from -9.8 ± 6.9 to 4.5 ± 4.3 mm yr-1. Surface accretion of deposited mineral and organic matter was uniformly high across the estuary (~9-15 mm yr-1), indicating that elevation loss was not due to lack of accretionary input. Position in the estuary and associated salinity regime were not related to elevation change or surface matter accretion. Previous studies have focused on surface elevation change in marshes of uniform salinity (e.g., salt marshes); however, our findings highlight the need for elevation studies in marshes of all salinity regimes and different geomorphic positions, and warn that brackish, oligohaline, and freshwater tidal wetlands may be at similarly high risk of submergence in some estuaries.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination in South Carolina salt marsh-tidal creek systems: relationships among sediments, biota, and watershed land use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Thomas R; Weinstein, John E; Sanger, Denise M

    2009-07-01

    Sediments and biota from 11 tidal creeks were sampled and classified into forested, suburban, and urban/industrial watershed land-use categories. Total PAH levels ( summation operatorPAH(16)) in sediments were significantly higher in urban/industrialized creeks (5,795 +/- 1,173 ng/g) compared to suburban (793 +/- 131 ng/g) and forested (238 +/- 34 ng/g) creeks. No differences in summation operatorPAH(16) levels among land-use classifications were found for either oligochaetes (Monopylephorus rubroniveus) or grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio). However, summation operatorPAH(16) levels in grass shrimp were related to sediment summation operatorPAH(16) levels and summation operatorPAH(16) levels in oligochaetes and grass shrimp eggs were related to impervious cover in the watershed. Diagnostic ratios suggest that the primary sources of PAH in suburban and urban/industrialized creeks are pyrogenic. Carcinogenic PAH contents of sediments and biota were related to impervious cover. While human exposures to these sediment-associated carcinogens were not assessed, levels of several carcinogenic PAHs in sediments of urban/industrial tidal creeks were above the levels that represent an increased cancer risk in humans.

  14. 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......Coastal scientists postulate that salt marshes are significantly affected by dynamics of global climate. However, few studies have explicitly proposed a perspective that regards salt marshes as potential indicators of climate change. This review article evaluates the possibility of salt marshes...

  15. Precision Monitoring of Water Level in a Salt Marsh with Low Cost Tilt Loggers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheremet, Vitalii A.; Mora, Jordan W.

    2016-04-01

    Several salt pannes and pools in the Sage Lot tidal marsh of Waquoit Bay system, MA were instrumented with newly developed Arm-and-Float water level gauges (utilizing accelerometer tilt logger) permitting to record water level fluctuations with accuracy of 1 mm and submillimeter resolution. The methodology of the instrument calibration, deployment, and elevation control are described. The instrument performance was evaluated. Several month long deployments allowed us to analyze the marsh flooding and draining processes, study differences among the salt pannes. The open channel flow flooding-draining mechanism and slower seepage were distinguished. From the drain curve the seepage rate can be quantified. The seepage rate remains approximately constant for all flooding draining episodes, but varies from panne to panne depending on bottom type and location. Seasonal differences due to the growth of vegetation are also recorded. The analysis of rain events allows us to estimate the catch area of subbasins in the marsh. The implication for marsh ecology and marsh accretion are discussed. The gradual sea level rise coupled with monthly tidal datum variability and storm surges result in migration and development of a salt marsh. The newly developed low cost instrumentation allows us to record and analyze these changes and may provide guidance for the ecological management.

  16. Assessment of carbon allocation and biomass production in a natural stand of the salt marsh plant Spartina anglica using C- 13

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemminga, M.A.; Huiskes, A.H.L.; Steegstra, M.; Van Soelen, J.

    1996-01-01

    The proportional allocation of photosynthetically fixed carbon to the root and shoot system of salt marsh plants is an important element in the carbon cycle of tidal salt marshes. The commonly applied field methods giving insight on this point are based on successive harvesting of biomass. These

  17. Dynamics and fate of SOC in tidal marshes along a salinity gradient (Scheldt estuary, Belgium)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Broek, Marijn; Temmermann, Stijn; Merckx, Roel; Wang, Zhengang; Govers, Gerard

    2016-04-01

    Coastal ecosystems have been attributed the potential to store large amounts of organic carbon (OC), often referred to as blue carbon, of which a considerable amount is stored in tidal marsh soils. Large uncertainties still exist with respect to the amount and controlling factors of soil organic carbon (SOC) stored in these ecosystems. Moreover, most research has focused on SOC dynamics of saltmarshes, while brackish and freshwater marshes are often even more productive and thus receive even larger organic carbon inputs. Therefore, in this study the OC dynamics of tidal marsh soils along an estuarine gradient are studied in order to contribute to our knowledge of 1) the stocks, 2) the controlling factors and 3) the fate of SOC in tidal marshes with different environmental characteristics. This research thus contributes to a better understanding of the potential of coastal environments to store organic carbon under future climatic changes. Soil and vegetation samples are collected in tidal salt-, brackish- and freshwater marshes in the Scheldt estuary (Belgium - The Netherlands). At each tidal marsh, three replicate soil cores up to 1.5m depth in 0.03m increments are collected at locations with both a low and a high elevation. These cores are analyzed for OC, stable C and N isotopes, bulk density and texture. Incubation experiments of topsoil samples were conducted and both aboveground and belowground biomass were collected. The results show that SOC stocks (range: 13,5 - 35,4 kg OC m-2), standing biomass (range: 2000 - 7930 g DW m-2) and potential soil respiration of CO2 (range: 0,03 - 0,12 % per unit OC per day) decrease with increasing salinity. This shows that both the amount of OC from local macrophytes and the quality of the organic matter are important factors controlling the SOC stocks. In addition, based on the analysis of stable C and N isotopes, it appears that when a significant fraction of SOC is derived from local macrophytes, higher SOC stocks are

  18. Broad timescale forcing and geomorphic mediation of tidal marsh flow and temperature dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Christopher; Culberson, Steven; Burau, Jon R.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal marsh functions are driven by interactions between tides, landscape morphology, and emergent vegetation. Less often considered are the diurnal pattern of tide extremes and seasonal variation of solar insolation in the mix of tidal marsh driver interactions. This work demonstrates how high-frequency hydroperiod and water temperature variability emerges from disparate timescale interactions between tidal marsh morphology, tidal harmonics, and meteorology in the San Francisco Estuary. We compare the tidal and residual flow and temperature response of neighboring tidal sloughs, one possessing natural tidal marsh morphology, and one that is modified for water control. We show that the natural tidal marsh is tuned to lunar phase and produces tidal and fortnight water temperature variability through interacting tide, meteorology, and geomorphic linkages. In contrast, temperature variability is dampened in the modified slough where overbank marsh plain connection is severed by levees. Despite geomorphic differences, a key finding is that both sloughs are heat sinks in summer by latent heat flux-driven residual upstream water advection and sensible and long-wave heat transfer. The precession of a 335-year tidal harmonic assures that these dynamics will shift in the future. Water temperature regulation appears to be a key function of natural tidal sloughs that depends critically on geomorphic mediation. We investigate approaches to untangling the relative influence of sun versus tide on residual water and temperature transport as a function of system morphology. The findings of this study likely have ecological consequences and suggest physical process metrics for tidal marsh restoration performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Mangrove expansion into salt marshes alters associated faunal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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...

  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. 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.

  4. Prediction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Fluxes from Coastal Salt Marshes using Artificial Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems on earth. Given the complex interactions between ambient environment and ecosystem biological exchanges, it is difficult to predict the salt marsh greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes (CO2 and CH4) from their environmental drivers. In this study, we developed an artificial neural network (ANN) model to robustly predict the salt marsh GHG fluxes using a limited number of input variables (photosynthetically active radiation, soil temperature and porewater salinity). The ANN parameterization involved an optimized 3-layer feed forward Levenberg-Marquardt training algorithm. Four tidal salt marshes of Waquoit Bay, MA — incorporating a gradient in land-use, salinity and hydrology — were considered as the case study sites. The wetlands were dominated by native Spartina Alterniflora, and characterized by high salinity and frequent flooding. The developed ANN model showed a good performance (training R2 = 0.87 - 0.96; testing R2 = 0.84 - 0.88) in predicting the fluxes across the case study sites. The model can be used to estimate wetland GHG fluxes and potential carbon balance under different IPCC climate change and sea level rise scenarios. The model can also aid the development of GHG offset protocols to set monitoring guidelines for restoration of coastal salt marshes.

  5. Tidal marshes and biogenic silica recycling at the land-sea interface

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Struyf, E.; Dausse, A.; van Damme, S.; Bal, K.; Gribsholt, B.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Meire, P.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the seasonal exchange of biogenic silica (BSi) and dissolved silica (DSi) between a freshwater and a saltwater tidal marsh and the adjacent coastal waters. Export of DSi was observed from both tidal marshes, whereas BSi was imported in association with suspended solids. The export of DSi

  6. 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.

  7. Salt Marshes as Potential Indicatore of Global Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Vegetation community response to tidal marsh restoration of a large river estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belleveau, Lisa J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Woo, Isa; Turner, Kelley L.; Barham, Jesse B.; Takekawa, Jean E.; Ellings, Christopher S.; Chin-Leo, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Estuaries are biologically productive and diverse ecosystems that provide ecosystem services including protection of inland areas from flooding, filtering freshwater outflows, and providing habitats for fish and wildlife. Alteration of historic habitats, including diking for agriculture, has decreased the function of many estuarine systems, and recent conservation efforts have been directed at restoring these degraded areas to reestablish their natural resource function. The Nisqually Delta in southern Puget Sound is an estuary that has been highly modified by restricting tidal flow, and recent restoration of the delta contributed to one of the largest tidal salt marsh restorations in the Pacific Northwest. We correlated the response of nine major tidal marsh species to salinities at different elevation zones. Our results indicated that wetland species richness was not related to soil pore-water salinity (R2 = 0.03), but were stratified into different elevation zones (R2 = 0.47). Thus, restoration that fosters a wide range of elevations will provide the most diverse plant habitat, and potentially, the greatest resilience to environmental change.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Restoration of salt-marsh vegetation in relation to site suitability, species pool and dispersal traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolters, Mineke; Garbutt, Angus; Bekker, Renee M.; Bakker, Jan P.; Carey, Peter D.

    1. Restoration of salt marshes on previously reclaimed land provides an excellent opportunity to study plant colonization and subsequent development of salt-marsh vegetation. Insight into the process of salt-marsh development can guide the design, implementation and evaluation of salt-marsh

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  13. Oregon Salt Marshes: How Blue are They? November 12, 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    We quantified carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates in salt marshes at 135 plots distributed across eight estuaries in Oregon, USA. Net carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates were quantified by measuring the content of these constituents in sediment that accumulated in marsh ha...

  14. 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.

  15. Tidal marshes: A global perspective on the evolution and conservation of their terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Russell; Maldonado, Jesus; Droege, Sam; McDonald, M.V.

    2006-01-01

    Globally, tidal marshes are found in small pockets or narrow bands totaling only approximately 45,000 square kilometers. The combination of salinity, low floristic and structural complexity, and regular tidal inundation, as well as unpredictable catastrophic flooding, provides a unique selective environment that shapes local adaptations, including those that are morphological, physiological, demographic, and behavioral. Although tidal marshes support a low diversity of nonaquatic vertebrate species, a high proportion of these inhabitants, at least along North American coastlines, are restricted to or have subspecies restricted to tidal marshes. Tidal marshes and their endemic fauna face broad threats from a variety of human-caused environmental changes. Future research should focus on global inventories, intercontinental comparative work, and investigation to determine why almost all presently described endemic taxa appear to be found in North America.

  16. 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.

  17. Population Studies of Tidal Marsh Breeding Birds at Rush Ranch: A Synthesis

    OpenAIRE

    Spautz, Hildie; Liu, Leonard; Estrella, Sarah; Nur, Nadav

    2012-01-01

    Rush Ranch, with the largest contiguous area of fully-tidal marsh remaining in northern Suisun Bay, is critical habitat for a number of endemic bird species that breed in brackish tidal marsh. Despite the abundance of non-native invasive plants (particularly perennial pepperweed, Lepidium latifolium) and altered hydrology, it is the best remaining representative in Solano County of the tidal marsh that once covered more than 27,000 ha (67,000 acres) in Suisun Bay. This paper presents a synthe...

  18. Urea hydrolysis and nitrification in arctic salt-marsh soils : Possible constraints on the growth of forage plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilson, DJ; van der Wal, R; Chang, ER; Jensen, A; Jefferies, RL

    1999-01-01

    Lesser snow geese graze intensively on graminoid vegetation of intertidal and non-tidal salt marshes at La Perouse Bay, Manitoba. The replacement of defoliated plant tissue is limited by the supply of nitrogen. Nitrogen in goose faeces may become available for plant uptake through hydrolysis of urea

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  20. Methane fluxes along a salinity gradient on a restored salt marsh, Harpswell, ME

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, Cailene; Johnson, Beverly, ,, Dr.; Dostie, Phil; Bohlen, Curtis; Craig, Matthew

    2016-04-01

    This study functions as a pilot project to understand the relationship between salinity and methane emissions on a recently restored salt marsh in Casco Bay, Maine. Salt marshes are dynamic and highly productive ecosystems that provide a multitude of ecosystem services including nutrient filtration, storm-water buffering and carbon sequestration. These ecosystems are highly susceptible to anthropogenic alteration. The emplacement of causeways and narrow culverts, restricts tidal flow and leads to loss of healthy salinity gradients. Consequently, numerous salt marshes have experienced increases in freshwater vegetation growth as a result of coastal population expansion. Recent restoration efforts on Long Marsh, Harpswell, ME replaced a severely undersized culvert with a larger one in February, 2014. The salinity gradient has since been restored along much of the marsh, and freshwater vegetation that encroached on the marsh platform has died back. Vegetation and salinity are key indicators and drivers of CH4 emissions on salt marshes. Using static gas chambers, we quantified CH4 fluxes along two transects at five diverse sites ranging from healthy marsh (salinity of 27 to 31 psu) with Spartina vegetation, to regions invaded by Typha and other freshwater vegetation (salinity of 0 to 4 psu). Sampling was executed in the months of July, August and October. CH4 concentrations were determined using a gas chromatograph with a flame-ionization detector. Preliminary findings suggest reintroduction of healthy tidal flows into the marsh inhibits CH4 production, where the lowest fluxes with least variability were observed at the most saline sites with Spartina vegetation. The largest range of CH4 fluxes exhibited emissions from 0.75 μmol CH4/m2/hr to 518.4 μmol CH4/m2/hr at the Typha dominated sites from July to October. Fluxes at the saltwater and brackish regions were far less variable with ranges from 0.94 μmol CH4/m2/hr to 8.2 μmol CH4/m2/hr and 2.6 to 9.5 μmol CH4/m2

  1. 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

  2. San Pablo Bay Tidal Marsh Enhancement and Water Quality Improvement Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP San Pablo Bay Tidal Marsh Enhancement and Water Quality Improvement Project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D Bertness

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

  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...... that mass depth down core can be directly related to the bulk dry density of the surface layer by means of a logarithmic function. The results allow for an evaluation of the use of marker horizons in the topmost layers and show that it is important to know the level of the marker in relation to the salt...

  5. 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.

  6. Evaluating autonomous acoustic surveying techniques for rails in tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiffler, Lydia L.; Anderson, James T.; Katzner, Todd

    2018-01-01

    There is a growing interest toward the use of autonomous recording units (ARUs) for acoustic surveying of secretive marsh bird populations. However, there is little information on how ARUs compare to human surveyors or how best to use ARU data that can be collected continuously throughout the day. We used ARUs to conduct 2 acoustic surveys for king (Rallus elegans) and clapper rails (R. crepitans) within a tidal marsh complex along the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA, during May–July 2015. To determine the effectiveness of an ARU in replacing human personnel, we compared results of callback point‐count surveys with concurrent acoustic recordings and calculated estimates of detection probability for both rail species combined. The success of ARUs at detecting rails that human observers recorded decreased with distance (P ≤ 0.001), such that at 75 m, only 34.0% of human‐detected rails were detected by the ARU. To determine a subsampling scheme for continuous ARU data that allows for effective surveying of presence and call rates of rails, we used ARUs to conduct 15 continuous 48‐hr passive surveys, generating 720 hr of recordings. We established 5 subsampling periods of 5, 10, 15, 30, and 45 min to evaluate ARU‐based presence and vocalization detections of rails compared with each of the full 60‐min sampling of ARU‐based detection of rails. All subsampling periods resulted in different (P ≤ 0.001) detection rates and unstandardized vocalization rates compared with the hourly sampling period. However, standardized vocalization counts from the 30‐min subsampling period were not different from vocalization counts of the full hourly sampling period. When surveying rail species in estuarine environments, species‐, habitat‐, and ARU‐specific limitations to ARU sampling should be considered when making inferences about abundances and distributions from ARU data. 

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Teuchies

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

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Nitrogen assimilation and short term retention in a nutrient-rich tidal freshwater marsh

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gribsholt, B.; Struyf, E.; Tramper, A.

    2007-01-01

    An intact tidal freshwater marsh system (3477m2) was labelled by adding 15N-ammonium as a tracer to the flood water inundating the ecosystem. The appearance and retention of 15N-label in different marsh components (leaves, roots, sediment, leaf litter and invertebrate fauna) was followed over 15......, the results clearly revealed that the less conspicuous compartments such as leaf litter and ruderal vegetations are more important in nitrogen uptake and retention than the prominent reed (Phragmites australis) meadows. Moreover, short-term nitrogen retention in these nutrient rich marshes occurs mainly via...... microbial pathways associated with the litter and sediment. Rather than direct uptake by macrophytes, it is the large reactive surface area provided by the tidal freshwater marsh vegetation that is most crucial for nitrogen transformation, assimilation and short term retention in nutrient rich tidal...

  11. Impact of Coastal Development and Marsh Width Variability on Groundwater Quality in Estuarine Tidal Creeks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanahan, M.; Wilson, A. M.; Smith, E. M.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal upland development has been shown to negatively impact surface water quality in tidal creeks in the southeastern US, but less is known about its impact on groundwater. We sampled groundwater in the upland and along the marsh perimeter of tidal creeks located within developed and undeveloped watersheds. Samples were analyzed for salinity, dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Groundwater samples collected from the upland in developed and undeveloped watersheds were compared to study the impact of development on groundwater entering the marsh. Groundwater samples collected along the marsh perimeter were analyzed to study the impact of marsh width variability on groundwater quality within each creek. Preliminary results suggest a positive correlation between salinity and marsh width in undeveloped watersheds, and a higher concentration of nutrients in developed versus undeveloped watersheds.

  12. 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...

  13. 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 29 N 2 and 30 N 2 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. The impact of sheep grazing on net nitrogen mineralization rate in two temperate salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiehl, K.; Esselink, Peter; Gettner, S; Bakker, J. P.

    Nitrogen mineralization rate was studied in grazing trials with three different stocking rates (0, 3, 10 sheep ha(-1)) in two man-made salt marshes, viz. a Puccinellia maritima-dominated low salt marsh and a high salt marsh dominated by Festuca rubra. Mineralization rates were derived from the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Carbon Storage in Tagus Salt Marsh Sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacador, Isabel, E-mail: icacador@fc.ul.pt; Costa, Ana Luisa [University of Lisbon, Institute of Oceanography, Faculty of Sciences (Portugal); Vale, Carlos [Institute for Sea and Fisheries Research (IPIMAR) (Portugal)

    2004-06-15

    Seasonal variation of above ground and belowground biomass of Spartina maritima and Halimione portulacoides, decomposition rates of belowground detritus in litterbags, and carbon partitioning in plant components and sediments were determined in two Tagus estuary marshes with different environmental conditions. Total biomass was higher in the saltier marsh from 7,190 to 6,593 g m{sup -2} dw and below ground component contributed to more than 90%. Litterbag experiment showed that 30 to 50% of carbonis decomposed within a month (decomposition rate from 0.024 to 0.060 d{sup -1}). Slower decomposition in subsequent periods agrees with accumulation of carbon concentration in sediment. Atmospheric carbon annually transferred to the plant belowground biomass is stored more efficiently in sediments of Corroios than Pancas.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Anders; Bartholdy, Jesper; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

    ) was measured at 32 locations across the studied salt marsh platform. It was found to correlate with two independent variables: (1) distance to marsh edge and (2) distance to creeks of 2nd or higher order. They explained in combination 71% of the variation. The derived algorithms for estimating the salt marsh...... deposition made it possible to tune in a model in a 4 by 4 m grid covering the studied salt marsh area of app 3 km2. This was used to describe the general pattern of deposition on the salt marsh platform. Running the model with a constant sea level revealed that balance between the inner and the outer salt...... marsh deposition cannot be achieved within a time scale of 1000s of years. Modeling salt marsh sedimentation under rising sea level scenarios revealed that only one specific sea level rise provides equilibrium for a given location. With a higher sea level rise, the marsh at the specific location...

  3. Short term changes in hydroperiod after thin layer sediment placement on a New Jersey salt marsh and implications for design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piercy, C.; Carrillo, C. C.; VanZomeren, C. M.; Berkowitz, J.; Chasten, M. A.; Golden, D.; Jahn, J.; Welp, T. L.; Yepsen, M.

    2017-12-01

    Over the winter of 2015-2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District partnered with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy, Green Trust Alliance, Green Vest, and Princeton Hydro to implement a wetland thin layer placement on a salt marsh to the west of Avalon, New Jersey using dredged sediments removed from the Federal navigation channel in response to impacts from Hurricane Sandy. Prior to sediment placement, the marsh exhibited signs of degradation, including fragmentation of the marsh plain. The marsh is characterized by large, open water areas ( 1 m deep) fringed with overhanging banks and punctuated by small remnant ( 1-5 m) islands of intact marsh. The objective of the placement effort was to increase the elevation of degraded marsh areas to a level commensurate with the growth of low marsh vegetation dominated by Spartina alterniflora Loisel and to provide a small ( 5-15 cm) elevation boost to vegetated marsh areas surrounding the open water pools. We examine changes in inundation and tidal exchange resulting from the thin layer placement immediately after placement and a year later. Changes in sediment grain size and other factors are also considered. Coupling hydrologic measurements with observed vegetation recovery, we identify target elevations and sediment depths relative to mean sea level and mean high water consistent with rapid recovery in initially vegetated and open water areas.

  4. Automated Detection of Salt Marsh Platforms : a Topographic Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, G.; Mudd, S. M.; Clubb, F. J.

    2017-12-01

    Monitoring the topographic evolution of coastal marshes is a crucial step toward improving the management of these valuable landscapes under the pressure of relative sea level rise and anthropogenic modification. However, determining their geometrically complex boundaries currently relies on spectral vegetation detection methods or requires labour-intensive field surveys and digitisation.We propose a novel method to reproducibly isolate saltmarsh scarps and platforms from a DEM. Field observations and numerical models show that saltmarshes mature into sub-horizontal platforms delineated by sub-vertical scarps: based on this premise, we identify scarps as lines of local maxima on a slope*relief raster, then fill landmasses from the scarps upward, thus isolating mature marsh platforms. Non-dimensional search parameters allow batch-processing of data without recalibration. We test our method using lidar-derived DEMs of six saltmarshes in England with varying tidal ranges and geometries, for which topographic platforms were manually isolated from tidal flats. Agreement between manual and automatic segregation exceeds 90% for resolutions of 1m, with all but one sites maintaining this performance for resolutions up to 3.5m. For resolutions of 1m, automatically detected platforms are comparable in surface area and elevation distribution to digitised platforms. We also find that our method allows the accurate detection of local bloc failures 3 times larger than the DEM resolution.Detailed inspection reveals that although tidal creeks were digitised as part of the marsh platform, automatic detection classifies them as part of the tidal flat, causing an increase in false negatives and overall platform perimeter. This suggests our method would benefit from a combination with existing creek detection algorithms. Fallen blocs and pioneer zones are inconsistently identified, particularly in macro-tidal marshes, leading to differences between digitisation and the automated method

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, A.; Kirwan, M.

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Effects of vegetation patterns and grazers on tidal marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elschot, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Increasing grazing pressures threaten grasslands on a global scale. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of grazers on the functioning of an ecosystem. In this study, we focused on the effects of small and large grazers on the marsh vegetation and important marsh dynamics, such as

  7. 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

  8. Chance findings about early holocene tidal marshes of Grays Harbor, Washington, in relation to rapidly rising seas and great subduction earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, James B.; Hemphill-Haley, Eileen; Atwater, Brian F.

    2015-06-18

    Tidal marshes commonly build upward apace with gradual rise in the level of the sea. It is expected, however, that few tidal marshes will keep up with accelerated sea-level rise later in this century. Tidal marshes have been drowned, moreover, after subsiding during earthquakes.

  9. Effects of causeway construction on vegetation and sedimentation in North Carolina tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowlton, A.; Leonard, L.; Pricope, N. G.; Eulie, D.

    2017-12-01

    Causeways, especially those constructed to facilitate transportation across low lying tidal marshes, are known to affect tidal exchanges and thereby potentially influence geological and biological processes in these ecosystems. While these impacts have been documented in several expansive marsh systems with large tidal ranges, the extent of these impacts in smaller tidal creek watersheds is less understood. This study examined how the presence, absence, and removal of small causeways affected sedimentological processes and vegetation characteristics in two small tidal creek watersheds in Wilmington, NC. Surficial deposition rates, determined using petri-dish sediment traps, indicate that mean deposition landward of a small causeway (1.64 mg cm-2day-1) is significantly lower (pexchange, spectroradiometer data and aerial imagery available in 2006 and 2016 will be used to quantify changes in canopy coverage subsequent to causeway removal. Although this study is ongoing, the preliminary results indicate that small causeways, similar to their larger counterparts, significantly affect the rate and characteristics of sediment delivered to landward marshes and also affect tidal exchanges that lead to changes in vegetation characteristics.

  10. Physical stress, not biotic interactions, preclude an invasive grass from establishing in forb-dominated salt marshes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang He

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livesley, Stephen J.; Andrusiak, Sascha M.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  13. Biogeochemicl and surface elevation controls over tidally influenced freshwater forested wetlands as they transition to marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    William Conner; Ken W. Krauss; Gregory B. Noe; Jamie A. Duberstein; Nicole Cormier; Camille L. Stagg

    2016-01-01

    Many coastal ecosystems along the south Atlantic are transitioning from forested wetlands to marsh due to increasing tidal inundation and saltwater intrusion primarily attributed to global climate change processes. In 2004, we established long-term research sites in Georgia, South Carolina, and Louisiana to understand how climate factors (temperature, precipitation, ...

  14. 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

  15. Vegetation cover, tidal amplitude and land area predict short-term marsh vulnerability in Coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoolmaster, Donald; Stagg, Camille L.; Sharp, Leigh Anne; McGinnis, Tommy S.; Wood, Bernard; Piazza, Sarai

    2018-01-01

    The loss of coastal marshes is a topic of great concern, because these habitats provide tangible ecosystem services and are at risk from sea-level rise and human activities. In recent years, significant effort has gone into understanding and modeling the relationships between the biological and physical factors that contribute to marsh stability. Simulation-based process models suggest that marsh stability is the product of a complex feedback between sediment supply, flooding regime and vegetation response, resulting in elevation gains sufficient to match the combination of relative sea-level rise and losses from erosion. However, there have been few direct, empirical tests of these models, because long-term datasets that have captured sufficient numbers of marsh loss events in the context of a rigorous monitoring program are rare. We use a multi-year data set collected by the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) that includes transitions of monitored vegetation plots to open water to build and test a predictive model of near-term marsh vulnerability. We found that despite the conclusions of previous process models, elevation change had no ability to predict the transition of vegetated marsh to open water. However, we found that the processes that drive elevation change were significant predictors of transitions. Specifically, vegetation cover in prior year, land area in the surrounding 1 km2 (an estimate of marsh fragmentation), and the interaction of tidal amplitude and position in tidal frame were all significant factors predicting marsh loss. This suggests that 1) elevation change is likely better a predictor of marsh loss at time scales longer than we consider in this study and 2) the significant predictive factors affect marsh vulnerability through pathways other than elevation change, such as resistance to erosion. In addition, we found that, while sensitivity of marsh vulnerability to the predictive factors varied spatially across coastal Louisiana

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Increasing concern over sea-level rise impacts to coastal tidal marsh ecosystems has led to modeling efforts to anticipate outcomes for resource management decision making. Few studies on the Pacific coast of North America have modeled sea-level rise marsh susceptibility at a scale relevant to local wildlife populations and plant communities. Here, we use a novel approach in developing an empirical sea-level rise ecological response model that can be applied to key management questions. Calculated elevation change over 13 y for a 324-ha portion of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California, USA, was used to represent local accretion and subsidence processes. Next, we coupled detailed plant community and elevation surveys with measured rates of inundation frequency to model marsh state changes to 2100. By grouping plant communities into low, mid, and high marsh habitats, we were able to assess wildlife species vulnerability and to better understand outcomes for habitat resiliency. Starting study-site conditions were comprised of 78% (253-ha) high marsh, 7% (30-ha) mid marsh, and 4% (18-ha) low marsh habitats, dominated by pickleweed Sarcocornia pacifica and cordgrass Spartina spp. Only under the low sea-level rise scenario (44 cm by 2100) did our models show persistence of some marsh habitats to 2100, with the area dominated by low marsh habitats. Under mid (93 cm by 2100) and high sea-level rise scenarios (166 cm by 2100), most mid and high marsh habitat was lost by 2070, with only 15% (65 ha) remaining, and a complete loss of these habitats by 2080. Low marsh habitat increased temporarily under all three sea-level rise scenarios, with the peak (286 ha) in 2070, adding habitat for the endemic endangered California Ridgway’s rail Rallus obsoletus obsoletus. Under mid and high sea-level rise scenarios, an almost complete conversion to mudflat occurred, with most of the area below mean sea level. Our modeling assumed no marsh migration upslope due to human

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. The history of metals pollution in Narragansett Bay as recorded by salt-marsh sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bricker, S.B.

    1990-01-01

    Sediment cores from 5 salt marshes from the head to the mouth of Narragansett Bay and an additional core from a lagoon on Block Island Sound were analyzed for 210 Pb and for Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, Ag, and Ni in order to examine the long-term variation of metal inputs to Narragansett Bay. The 210 Pb results were used to determine accretion rates for each core. Distributions of Fe and Mn were used as indicators of chemical conditions of sediment cores and Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, Ag, and Ni distributions with time were compared with known or estimated source inputs to examine the long-term variation of pollutant metal inputs to Narragansett Bay. At one location, duplicate cores were sampled to look at variability within a marsh. At another location, a high marsh, receiving predominantly atmospheric inputs and a low marsh, receiving waterborne and atmospheric inputs, were sampled so that atmospheric and tidal contributions could be determined. A comparison was made of the distributions of metals in bay cores and in the lagoon core. All the Rhode Island marshes accrete at rates equal to or greater than the local rise in sea level. Based on the 210 Pb chronologies, pollutant metals began to increase in the mid to late 1800s, corresponding to coal burning emissions to the atmosphere. Steeper increases in the 1900s reflect industrial and sewage discharges. Maximum concentrations were reached in the 1950s and have declined almost continuously since then. Observed reductions were attributable to implementation of and improvements to sewage treatment, and controls on atmospheric emissions

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Carbon cycling by microbes has been recognized as the main mechanism of organic matter decomposition and export in coastal wetlands, yet very little is known about the functional diversity of specific groups of decomposers (e.g., bacteria) in salt marsh benthic trophic structure. Indeed, salt marsh sediment bacteria remain largely in a black box in terms of their diversity and functional roles within salt marsh benthic food web pathways. We used DNA stable isotope probing (SIP) utilizing 13C-...

  1. Nitrogen processing in a tidal freshwater marsh: a whole ecosystem 15N labeling study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gribsholt, B.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Struyf, E.

    2005-01-01

    and retention were traced in six subsequent tide cycles. We present data for the water phase components of the marsh system, in which changes in concentration and isotopic enrichment of NO3-, NO2- , N2O, N2, NH4+, and suspended particulate nitrogen (SPN) were measured in concert with a mass balance study......We quantified the fate and transport of watershed-derived ammonium in a tidal freshwater marsh fringing the nutrient-rich Scheldt River in a whole-ecosystem 15N labeling experiment. 15N-NH4+ was added to the floodwater entering a 3,477 m2 tidal marsh area, and marsh ammonium processing......, with nitrification accounting for 30% of 15N-transformation. In situ whole-ecosystem nitrification rates were four to nine times higher than those in the water column alone, implying a crucial role for the large reactive marsh surface area in N-transformation. Under conditions of low oxygen concentrations and high...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Groundwater Dynamics along Forest-Marsh-Tidal Creek Transects in North Inlet Estuary, South Carolina: 1994-1996

    Data.gov (United States)

    Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Univ of South Carolina — Ground water level elevations were collected every 10 to 15 days from piezometers stationed along three forest-marsh-tidal creek transects (B, C, and D) across the...

  4. [Effects of drying and wetting cycles induced by tides on net ecosystem exchange of CO2 over a salt marsh in the Yellow River Delta, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Wen Jun; Han, Guang Xuan; Xu, Yan Ning; Zhang, Xi Tao; Wang, An Dong; Che, Chun Guang; Sun, Bao Yu; Zhang, Xiao Shuai

    2018-01-01

    As a unique hydrological characteristic, the tidal action can strongly affect carbon balance in a salt marsh despite their short duration. Using the eddy covariance technique, we measured the net ecosystem CO 2 exchange (NEE) and its environmental factors and tidal change over a salt marsh in the Yellow River Delta. It aimed to investigate the effect of tidal process and drying and wetting cycles induced by tides on NEE. The results showed that the tidal process promoted the daytime CO 2 uptake, but it didn't clearly affect the nighttime CO 2 release. Tidal inundation was a major factor influencing daytime NEE. The diurnal change of NEE showed a distinct U-shaped curve on both drought and wet stages, but not with substantial variation in its amplitude during the drought stage. The drying and wetting cycles enhanced the absorption of daytime CO 2 . Under drought stage, the mean of the maximum photosynthetic rate (A max ), apparent quantum yield (α) and ecosystem respiration (R eco ) were higher than those in wet stage. In addition, the drying and wetting cycles suppressed the nighttime CO 2 release from the salt marsh but increased its temperature sensitivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A.; Wang, Y.

    2017-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  10. Saltwater intrusion into tidal freshwater marshes alters the biogeochemical processing of organic carbon

    OpenAIRE

    Neubauer, S. C.; Franklin, R. B.; Berrier, D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental perturbations in wetlands affect the integrated plant-microbial-soil system, causing biogeochemical responses that can manifest at local to global scales. The objective of this study was to determine how saltwater intrusion affects carbon mineralization and greenhouse gas production in coastal wetlands. Working with tidal freshwater marsh soils that had experienced ~ 3.5 yr of in situ saltwater additions, we quantified changes in soil properties, measured ex...

  11. Saltwater intrusion into tidal freshwater marshes alters the biogeochemical processing of organic carbon

    OpenAIRE

    S. C. Neubauer; R. B. Franklin; D. J. Berrier

    2013-01-01

    Environmental perturbations in wetlands affect the integrated plant-microbial-soil system, causing biogeochemical responses that can manifest at local to global scales. The objective of this study was to determine how saltwater intrusion affects carbon mineralization and greenhouse gas production in coastal wetlands. Working with tidal freshwater marsh soils that had experienced roughly 3.5 yr of in situ saltwater additions, we quantified changes in soil properties, measured extracellu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Bio-geomorphic feedback causes alternative stable landscape states: insights from coastal marshes and tidal flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temmerman, Stijn; Wang, Chen

    2014-05-01

    Many bio-geomorphic systems, such as hill slopes, river floodplains, tidal floodplains and dune areas, seem to be vulnerable to shifts between alternative bare and vegetated landscape states, and these shifts seem to be driven by bio-geomorphic feedbacks. Here we search for empirical evidence for alternative stable state behavior in intertidal flats and marshes, where bio-geomorphic interactions are known to be intense. Large-scale transitions have been reported worldwide between high-elevation vegetated marshes and low-elevation bare flats in intertidal zones of deltas, estuaries, and coastal embayments. It is of significant importance to understand and predict such transitions, because vegetated marshes provide significant services to coastal societies. Previous modeling studies suggest that the ecological theory of catastrophic shifts between alternative stable ecosystem states potentially explains the transition between bare flats and vegetated marshes. However, up to now only few empirical evidence exists. In our study, the hypothesis is empirically tested that vegetated marshes and bare tidal flats can be considered as alternative stable landscape states with rapid shifts between them. We studied historical records (1930s - 2000s) of intertidal elevation surveys and aerial pictures from the Westerschelde estuary (SW Netherlands). Our results demonstrated the existence of: (1) bimodality in the intertidal elevation distribution, i.e., the presence of two peaks in the elevation frequency distribution corresponding to a completely bare state and a densely vegetated state; (2) the relatively rapid transition in elevation when intertidal flats evolve from bare to vegetated states, with sedimentation rates that are 2 to 8 times faster than during the stable states; (3) a threshold elevation above which the shift from bare to vegetated state has a high chance to occur. Our observations demonstrate the abrupt non-linear shift between low-elevation bare flats and high

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Interaction between hydrodynamics and salt marsh dynamics : An example from Jiangsu coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hu, Z.; Stive, M.J.F.; Zitman, T.J.; Ye, Q.H.; Wang, Z.B.; Luijendijk, A.; Gong, Z.; Suzuki, T.

    2011-01-01

    Salt marshes are distributed along more than 400 km of the Jiangsu coast in Eastern China, which are regarded as important habitats and serve as coastal protection as well. Previous research has proven that salt-marsh vegetation can reduce current velocity and dampen waves by its stems and leaves.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Salt-marsh restoration : evaluating the success of de-embankments in north-west Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolters, M; Garbutt, A; Bakker, JP

    De-embankment of historically reclaimed salt marshes has become a widespread option for re-creating salt marshes, but to date little information exists on the success of de-embankments. One reason is the absence of pre-defined targets, impeding the measurement of success. In this review, success has

  1. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt Southwest Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Delaune, R.D.

    1988-01-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of 137Cs in sediment cores, from historic documents, and from artificial white-coloured tracer layers in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt. Salt marsh accretion is related to the steady rise of the mean high

  2. Fate and effects of heavy metals in salt marsh sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suntornvongsagul, Kallaya [Department of Chemical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102 (United States); Environmental Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 (Thailand); Burke, David J. [Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, 101 Warren Street, Smith Hall 135, Newark, NJ 07102 (United States); The Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland, OH 44094 (United States); Hamerlynck, Erik P. [Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, 101 Warren Street, Smith Hall 135, Newark, NJ 07102 (United States); Hahn, Dittmar [Department of Chemical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102 (United States) and Department of Biology, Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666 (United States)]. E-mail: dh49@txstate.edu

    2007-09-15

    The fate and effects of selected heavy metals were examined in sediment from a restored salt marsh. Sediment cores densely covered with Spartina patens were collected and kept either un-amended or artificially amended with nickel (Ni) under standardized greenhouse conditions. Ni-amendment had no significant effect on the fate of other metals in sediments, however, it increased root uptake of the metals. Metal translocation into the shoots was small for all metals. Higher Ni concentrations in plants from amended cores were accompanied by seasonal reductions in plant biomass, photosynthetic capacity and transfer efficiency of open photosystem II reaction centers; these effects, however, were no longer significant at the end of the growing season. Root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) resembled that of natural salt marshes with up to 20% root length colonized. Although Ni-amendment increased AMF colonization, especially during vegetative growth, in general AMF were largely unaffected. - Spartina patens accumulates heavy metals in roots without significant translocation into shoots, and with only small seasonal effects on plant growth performance and mycorrhizal colonization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Forecasting tidal marsh elevation and habitat change through fusion of Earth observations and a process model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin B.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Leeuw, Thomas; Downing, Bryan D.; Morris, James T.; Ferner, Matthew C.

    2016-01-01

    Reducing uncertainty in data inputs at relevant spatial scales can improve tidal marsh forecasting models, and their usefulness in coastal climate change adaptation decisions. The Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM), a one-dimensional mechanistic elevation model, incorporates feedbacks of organic and inorganic inputs to project elevations under sea-level rise scenarios. We tested the feasibility of deriving two key MEM inputs—average annual suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and aboveground peak biomass—from remote sensing data in order to apply MEM across a broader geographic region. We analyzed the precision and representativeness (spatial distribution) of these remote sensing inputs to improve understanding of our study region, a brackish tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay, and to test the applicable spatial extent for coastal modeling. We compared biomass and SSC models derived from Landsat 8, DigitalGlobe WorldView-2, and hyperspectral airborne imagery. Landsat 8-derived inputs were evaluated in a MEM sensitivity analysis. Biomass models were comparable although peak biomass from Landsat 8 best matched field-measured values. The Portable Remote Imaging Spectrometer SSC model was most accurate, although a Landsat 8 time series provided annual average SSC estimates. Landsat 8-measured peak biomass values were randomly distributed, and annual average SSC (30 mg/L) was well represented in the main channels (IQR: 29–32 mg/L), illustrating the suitability of these inputs across the model domain. Trend response surface analysis identified significant diversion between field and remote sensing-based model runs at 60 yr due to model sensitivity at the marsh edge (80–140 cm NAVD88), although at 100 yr, elevation forecasts differed less than 10 cm across 97% of the marsh surface (150–200 cm NAVD88). Results demonstrate the utility of Landsat 8 for landscape-scale tidal marsh elevation projections due to its comparable performance with the other sensors

  5. Vegetation recovery in an oil-impacted and burned Phragmites australis tidal freshwater marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zengel, Scott; Weaver, Jennifer; Wilder, Susan L; Dauzat, Jeff; Sanfilippo, Chris; Miles, Martin S; Jellison, Kyle; Doelling, Paige; Davis, Adam; Fortier, Barret K; Harris, James; Panaccione, James; Wall, Steven; Nixon, Zachary

    2018-01-15

    In-situ burning of oiled marshes is a cleanup method that can be more effective and less damaging than intrusive manual and mechanical methods. In-situ burning of oil spills has been examined for several coastal marsh types; however, few published data are available for Phragmites australis marshes. Following an estimated 4200gallon crude oil spill and in-situ burn in a Phragmites tidal freshwater marsh at Delta National Wildlife Refuge (Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana), we examined vegetation impacts and recovery across 3years. Oil concentrations in marsh soils were initially elevated in the oiled-and-burned sites, but were below background levels within three months. Oiling and burning drastically affected the marsh vegetation; the formerly dominant Phragmites, a non-native variety in our study sites, had not fully recovered by the end of our study. However, overall vegetation recovery was rapid and local habitat quality in terms of native plants, particularly Sagittaria species, and wildlife value was enhanced by burning. In-situ burning appears to be a viable response option to consider for future spills in marshes with similar plant species composition, hydrogeomorphic settings, and oiling conditions. In addition, likely Phragmites stress from high water levels and/or non-native scale insect damage was also observed during our study and has recently been reported as causing widespread declines or loss of Phragmites stands in the Delta region. It remains an open question if these stressors could lead to a shift to more native vegetation, similar to what we observed following the oil spill and burn. Increased dominance by native plants may be desirable as local patches, but widespread loss of Phragmites, even if replaced by native species, could further acerbate coastal erosion and wetland loss, a major concern in the region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The role of the smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora and associated sediments in the heavy metal biogeochemical cycle within Bahia Blanca estuary salt marshes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hempel, M. [Dept. of Environmental Process Engineering, International Graduate School Zittau, Zittau (Germany); Botte, S.E. [Area de Oceanografia Quimica, Inst. Argentino de Oceanografia (IADO), CCT-CONICET, Bahia Blanca (Argentina); Dept. de Biologia, Bioquimica y Farmacia (DBBF), Univ. Nacional del Sur (UNS), Bahia Blanca (Argentina); Negrin, V.L.; Chiarello, M.N. [Area de Oceanografia Quimica, Inst. Argentino de Oceanografia (IADO), CCT-CONICET, Bahia Blanca (Argentina); Marcovecchio, J.E. [Area de Oceanografia Quimica, Inst. Argentino de Oceanografia (IADO), CCT-CONICET, Bahia Blanca (Argentina); Facultad Regional Bahia Blanca (UTN-FRBB), Univ. Tecnologica Nacional, Bahia Blanca (Argentina); Univ. FASTA, Mar del Plata (Argentina)

    2008-10-15

    Background, aim, and scope Bahia Blanca estuary is characterized by the occurrence of large intertidal areas, including both naked tidal flats and salt marshes densely vegetated with Spartina alterniflora. The estuary is strongly affected by human activities, including industrial and municipal discharges, harbor maintenance, cargo vessels and boat navigation, oil storage and processing, etc. Even numerous studies have reported the occurrence and distribution of heavy metals in sediments and biota from this estuary, although the function of the halophyte vegetation on metals distribution was at present not studied. The main objective of the present study was to understand the potential role of the salt marshes as a sink or source of metals to the estuary, considering both the obtained data on metal levels within sediments and plants from the studied areas at naked tidal as well as vegetated flats. Conclusions and recommendations Considering the comments on the previous paragraphs, salt marshes from Bahia Blanca estuary are sources or sinks for metals? It can be sustained that both are the case, even if it is often stated that wetlands serve as sinks for pollutants, reducing contamination of surrounding ecosystems (Weis and Weis, Environ Int 30:685-700, 2004). In the present study case, the sediments (which tend to be anoxic and reduced) act as sinks, while the salt marshes can become a source of metal contaminants. This is very important for this system because the macrophytes have been shown to retain the majority of metals in the underground tissues, and particularly in their associated sediments. This fact agreed well with previous reports, such as that from Leendertse et al., (Environ Pollut 94:19-29, 1996) who found that about 50% of the absorbed metals were retained in salt marshes and 50% was exported. Thus, keeping in mind the large spreading of S. alterniflora salt marshes within Bahia Blanca estuary, it must be carefully considered as a redistributor of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  8. [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.

  9. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. An Organochronology and Deep History of a North Carolina Tidal Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J. T.; Kemp, A.; Horton, B.

    2016-12-01

    Tidal marshes have survived for millennia in a dynamic equilibrium with sea level. A record of their history can be found in the sediments underlying modern marshes. Since the industrial revolution the rate of relative sea-level rise has been increasing and the equilibrium is changing. To reconstruct the history of these marshes we analyzed a 1000 year record of soil organic matter content (SOM) from Tump Point, Cedar Island, North Carolina. SOM concentration is a function of the standing biomass at the time of its creation, its subsequent preservation, and annual input of inorganic matter. SOM and inorganic concentration determine the soil bulk density and volume. The standing biomass, sediment organic matter input, and consequent carbon sequestration are functions of hydroperiod or, by proxy, the paleo-marsh elevation (PME) below mean high water. The annual input of inorganic matter is determined by the depth, duration, and frequency of flooding, concentration of total suspended solids (TSS), and settling velocity. Using an inverse modeling technique we were able to solve the Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM) for PME and relative sea level that would have resulted in the observed SOM chronologies. The TSS was inferred from the accretion rates derived from dated core sections. Consistent with foraminifera-derived relative sea-level reconstructions, the MEM-derived rate of SLR doubled after 1700 CE compared with the previous 900 years, and the PME has declined and is approaching the lower limit of the vegetation. We estimate that C-sequestration prior to 1260 varied between 15 and 40 (average 30) g C m-2 y-1, but has since declined to a range of 5 to 33 (average 16) g C m-2 y-1. The decline in carbon sequestration can be attributed to the acceleration in rate of sea-level rise and is a trend that probably will characterize most tidal wetlands in the future.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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

    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...... and sequestration in salt marshes. This chapter will thus emphasise that salt marsh halophytes have a crucial role on nutrient cycling and sequestration, providing ecological services that contribute to maintain the ecosystem health. © 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved....... and discussed: By comparing young and mature marshes colonised by Saprtina maritima, we will evaluate their behaviour as sink or source of nutrients; By comparing two halophytes with distinct life cycles (Spartina maritima and Scirpus maritimus), we will evaluate species-specific N and P cycling...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armonies, Werner

    1986-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay eDarjany

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Utilization of invasive tamarisk by salt marsh consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  2. Collaborative decision-analytic framework to maximize resilience of tidal marshes to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Mattsson, Brady J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Cummings, Jonathan; Crouse, Debby; Block, Giselle; Bloom, Valary; Gerhart, Matt; Goldbeck, Steve; Huning, Beth; Sloop, Christina; Stewart, Mendel; Taylor, Karen; Valoppi, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Decision makers that are responsible for stewardship of natural resources face many challenges, which are complicated by uncertainty about impacts from climate change, expanding human development, and intensifying land uses. A systematic process for evaluating the social and ecological risks, trade-offs, and cobenefits associated with future changes is critical to maximize resilience and conserve ecosystem services. This is particularly true in coastal areas where human populations and landscape conversion are increasing, and where intensifying storms and sea-level rise pose unprecedented threats to coastal ecosystems. We applied collaborative decision analysis with a diverse team of stakeholders who preserve, manage, or restore tidal marshes across the San Francisco Bay estuary, California, USA, as a case study. Specifically, we followed a structured decision-making approach, and we using expert judgment developed alternative management strategies to increase the capacity and adaptability to manage tidal marsh resilience while considering uncertainties through 2050. Because sea-level rise projections are relatively confident to 2050, we focused on uncertainties regarding intensity and frequency of storms and funding. Elicitation methods allowed us to make predictions in the absence of fully compatible models and to assess short- and long-term trade-offs. Specifically we addressed two questions. (1) Can collaborative decision analysis lead to consensus among a diverse set of decision makers responsible for environmental stewardship and faced with uncertainties about climate change, funding, and stakeholder values? (2) What is an optimal strategy for the conservation of tidal marshes, and what strategy is robust to the aforementioned uncertainties? We found that when taking this approach, consensus was reached among the stakeholders about the best management strategies to maintain tidal marsh integrity. A Bayesian decision network revealed that a strategy

  3. Collaborative decision-analytic framework to maximize resilience of tidal marshes to climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M. Thorne

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Decision makers that are responsible for stewardship of natural resources face many challenges, which are complicated by uncertainty about impacts from climate change, expanding human development, and intensifying land uses. A systematic process for evaluating the social and ecological risks, trade-offs, and cobenefits associated with future changes is critical to maximize resilience and conserve ecosystem services. This is particularly true in coastal areas where human populations and landscape conversion are increasing, and where intensifying storms and sea-level rise pose unprecedented threats to coastal ecosystems. We applied collaborative decision analysis with a diverse team of stakeholders who preserve, manage, or restore tidal marshes across the San Francisco Bay estuary, California, USA, as a case study. Specifically, we followed a structured decision-making approach, and we using expert judgment developed alternative management strategies to increase the capacity and adaptability to manage tidal marsh resilience while considering uncertainties through 2050. Because sea-level rise projections are relatively confident to 2050, we focused on uncertainties regarding intensity and frequency of storms and funding. Elicitation methods allowed us to make predictions in the absence of fully compatible models and to assess short- and long-term trade-offs. Specifically we addressed two questions. (1 Can collaborative decision analysis lead to consensus among a diverse set of decision makers responsible for environmental stewardship and faced with uncertainties about climate change, funding, and stakeholder values? (2 What is an optimal strategy for the conservation of tidal marshes, and what strategy is robust to the aforementioned uncertainties? We found that when taking this approach, consensus was reached among the stakeholders about the best management strategies to maintain tidal marsh integrity. A Bayesian decision network revealed that a

  4. Modeling Interactions between Backbarrier Marshes, Tidal Inlets, Ebb-deltas, and Adjacent Barriers Exposed to Rising Sea Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanegan, K.; Georgiou, I. Y.; FitzGerald, D.

    2016-02-01

    Along barrier island chains, tidal exchange between the backbarrier and the coastal ocean supports unique saltwater and brackish ecosystems and is responsible for exporting sediment and nutrients to the surrounding coast. Tidal prism, basement controls, and wave and tidal energy dictate the size and number of tidal inlets and the volume of sand sequestered in ebb-tidal deltas. The inlet tidal prism is a function of bay area, tidal range, and secondary controls, including flow inertia, basinal hypsometry, and frictional factors. Sea- level rise (SLR) is threatening coastal environments, causing mainland flooding, changes in sediment supply, and conversion of wetlands and tidal flats to open water. These factors are impacting basinal hypsometry and increasing open water area, resulting in enlarging tidal prisms, increased dimensions of tidal inlets and ebb-tidal deltas, and erosion along adjacent barrier shorelines. Although the effects of SLR on coastal morphology are difficult to study by field observations alone, physics-based numerical models provide a sophisticated means of analyzing coastal processes over decadal time-scales and linking process causation to long term development. Here, we use a numerical model that includes relevant features in the barrier/tidal basin system, linking back-barrier marsh degradation, inlet expansion, and ebb-delta growth to barrier erosion through long-term hydrodynamic and morphology simulations. Sediment exchange and process interactions are investigated using an idealized domain resembling backbarrier basins of mixed energy coasts so that the sensitivity to varying SLR rates, interior marsh loss, sediment supply, and hydrodynamic controls can be more easily analyzed. Model runs explore these processes over geologic time scales, demonstrating the vulnerability of backbarrier systems to projected SLR and marsh loss. Results demonstrate the links between changing basin morphology and shoreface sedimentation patterns that initiate

  5. 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

  6. Seasonal variation in apparent conductivity and soil salinity at two Narragansett Bay salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Measurement of the apparent conductivity of salt marsh sediments using electromagnetic induction (EMI) is a rapid alternative to traditional methods of salinity determination that can be used to map soil salinity across a marsh surface. Soil salinity measures can provide informat...

  7. The link between water quality and tidal marshes in a highly impacted estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meire, Patrick; Maris, Tom; van Damme, Stefan; Jacobs, Sander; Cox, Tom; Struyf, Eric

    2010-05-01

    The Schelde estuary is one of the most heavily impacted estuaries in Europe. During several decades, untreated waste water from large cities (e.g. Brussels, Antwerp, Valenciennes, Lille) and industries was discharged in the river. As a result, the Schelde estuary has the reputation of being one of the most polluted estuaries in Europe. For a long time (approx. 1950 - 1995) all forms of higher life (macro-invertebrates and fish) were absent in the fresh and brackish parts of the estuary. Due to European legislation, a large part of the sewage water is now treated resulting in a significant recovery of water quality in the estuary. However, next to water quality, the estuary also suffered serious habitat losses during the last decades, mostly due to economic development and changing hydrological conditions causing more erosion. Over the last fifteen years, the management of the estuary has changed fundamentally. It is now more and more focused on the restoration of ecosystem services. In this presentation we will document the changes in water quality over the last 50 years and summarize recent work on the role of tidal marshes on water quality within the freshwater part of the Schelde estuary. Our results stress the important of taking into account ecosystem services and habitat restoration for long-term estuarine management. .After decades of high inorganic nutrient concentrations and recurring anoxia and hypoxia, we observed a paradoxical increase in chlorophyll-a concentrations with decreasing nutrient inputs, indicating a regime shift. Our results indicate that the recovery of a hypereutrophied systems towards a classical eutrophied state, needs the reduction of waste loads below certain thresholds. Paradoxically, phytoplankton production was inhibited by high ammonia or low oxygen concentrations. The system state change is accompanied by large fluctuations in oxygen concentrations. The improved water quality resulted in a remarkable recovery of different groups

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Statistical correction of lidar-derived digital elevation models with multispectral airborne imagery in tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) is a valuable tool for collecting large amounts of elevation data across large areas; however, the limited ability to penetrate dense vegetation with lidar hinders its usefulness for measuring tidal marsh platforms. Methods to correct lidar elevation data are available, but a reliable method that requires limited field work and maintains spatial resolution is lacking. We present a novel method, the Lidar Elevation Adjustment with NDVI (LEAN), to correct lidar digital elevation models (DEMs) with vegetation indices from readily available multispectral airborne imagery (NAIP) and RTK-GPS surveys. Using 17 study sites along the Pacific coast of the U.S., we achieved an average root mean squared error (RMSE) of 0.072 m, with a 40–75% improvement in accuracy from the lidar bare earth DEM. Results from our method compared favorably with results from three other methods (minimum-bin gridding, mean error correction, and vegetation correction factors), and a power analysis applying our extensive RTK-GPS dataset showed that on average 118 points were necessary to calibrate a site-specific correction model for tidal marshes along the Pacific coast. By using available imagery and with minimal field surveys, we showed that lidar-derived DEMs can be adjusted for greater accuracy while maintaining high (1 m) resolution.

  14. Salt Marshes as Monitors of Late Holocene Outlet Glacier Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, L. M.; Woodroffe, S.; Long, A. J.; Milne, G. A.

    2014-12-01

    New proxy sea-level records extracted from salt marshes in the vicinity of Jakobshavn Isbrae (Pakitsoq; 69.51°N, 50.74°W) and at previous sites in central western Greenland (Sisimiut; 66.47°N, 53.61°W and Aasiaat; 68.69°N, 52.88°W) are analyzed with respect to their ability to act as proximal tide gauges detecting mass balance changes in nearby outlet glaciers associated with the transition from the Little Ice Age ("LIA", 1400-1850AD) to the Industrial Period (>1850AD). Data at Pakitsoq demonstrate that sea-level rose at a rate of 3.5 ±1.7 mm/yr prior to 1850AD and slowed to 0.3 ±0.6mm/yr thereafter, producing a slowdown in sea level of 3.2 ± 1.8 mm/yr. A similar slowdown, occurring at 1600AD, is observed at Aasiaat and Sisimiut. We interpret these observed changes using a glacial isostatic adjustment model of sea-level change truncated at degree and order 4096, with an aim to determine if the sea-level data can be used to place constraints on changes in Jakobshavn Isbrae and/or Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (Nuuk fjord) during this period. Modelled sea level at Pakitsoq is insensitive to the location of thickening (thinning) associated with grounding line advance (retreat) and the rate of advance and retreat but is sensitive to the change point in time between periods of growth associated with LIA expansion (sea level rise) and the onset of 19th century recession (sea level fall) of Jakobshavn Isbrae. We conclude that the change in sea-level rate observed at Pakitsoq circa 1850AD marks the onset of post LIA retreat of this outlet glacier. Conversely, the modelled sea-level response to the retreat of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia from its LIA maximum at ca. 1761AD is below the detection threshold of the salt marsh record at Sisimiut.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Aquatic Insects of New York Salt Marsh Associated with Mosquito Larval Habitat and their Potential Utility as Bioindicators

    OpenAIRE

    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 taxonom...

  18. A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimation of tide heights in selected tidal marshes in Connecticut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjerklie, David M.; O’Brien, Kevin; Rozsa, Ron

    2013-01-01

    A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimating tide heights in coastal marshes was developed and calibrated by using data from previous tidal-marsh studies. The method is simpler to use than other one- and two-dimensional hydrodynamic models because it does not require marsh depth and tidal prism information; however, the one-dimensional diffusion analogy model cannot be used to estimate tide heights, flow velocities, and tide arrival times for tide conditions other than the highest tide for which it is calibrated. Limited validation of the method indicates that it has an accuracy within 0.3 feet. The method can be applied with limited calibration information that is based entirely on remote sensing or geographic information system data layers. The method can be used to estimate high-tide heights in tidal wetlands drained by tide gates where tide levels cannot be observed directly by opening the gates without risk of flooding properties and structures. A geographic information system application of the method is demonstrated for Sybil Creek marsh in Branford, Connecticut. The tidal flux into this marsh is controlled by two tide gates that prevent full tidal inundation of the marsh. The method application shows reasonable tide heights for the gates-closed condition (the normal condition) and the one-gate-open condition on the basis of comparison with observed heights. The condition with all tide gates open (two gates) was simulated with the model; results indicate where several structures would be flooded if the gates were removed as part of restoration efforts or if the tide gates were to fail.

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Mudd, Simon M

    2012-09-27

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

  1. Mineralization of detrital lignocelluloses by salt marsh sediment microflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccubbin, A E; Hodson, R E

    1980-10-01

    Specifically radiolabeled C-(cellulose)-lignocellulose and C-(lignin)-lignocellulose were isolated from labeled cuttings of Spartina alterniflora (cordgrass) and Pinus elliottii (slash pine). These were used to estimate the rates of mineralization to CO(2) of lignocelluloses of estuarine and terrestrial origin in salt marsh estuarine sediments. The lignin moiety of pine lignocellulose was mineralized 10 to 14 times more slowly than that of Spartina lignocellulose, depending on the source of inoculum. Average values for percent mineralization after 835 h of incubation were 1.4 and 13.9%, respectively. For Spartina lignocellulose, mineralization of the cellulose moiety was three times faster than that of the lignin moiety. Average values for percent mineralization after 720 h of incubation were 32.1 and 10.6%, respectively. Lignocellulose and lignin contents of live pine and Spartina plants were analyzed and found to be 60.7 and 20.9%, respectively, for pine and 75.6 and 15.1%, respectively, for Spartina.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L; Vervaeke, William C

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reboreda, Rosa [Institute of Oceanography, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Campo Grande, Rua Ernesto de Vasconcelos, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal); Cacador, Isabel [Institute of Oceanography, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Campo Grande, Rua Ernesto de Vasconcelos, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal)]. E-mail: micacador@fc.ul.pt

    2007-03-15

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

  4. Carbon stocks in mangroves, salt marshes, and salt barrens in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA: Vegetative and soil characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, R. P.; Radabaugh, K.; Chappel, A. R.; Powell, C.; Bociu, I.; Smoak, J. M.

    2017-12-01

    When compared to other terrestrial environments, coastal "blue carbon" habitats such as salt marshes and mangrove forests sequester disproportionately large amounts of carbon as standing plant biomass and sedimentary peat deposits. This study quantified total carbon stocks in vegetation and soil of 17 salt marshes, salt barrens, and mangrove forests in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA. The sites included natural, restored, and created wetlands of varying ages and degrees of anthropogenic impacts. The average vegetative carbon stock in mangrove forests was 60.1 ± 2.7 Mg ha-1. Mangrove forests frequently consisted of a few large Avicennia germinans trees with smaller, abundant Rhizophora mangle and/or Laguncularia racemosa trees. The average vegetative carbon stock was 11.8 ± 3.7 Mg ha-1 for salt marshes and 2.0 ± 1.2 Mg ha-1 for salt barrens. Vegetative carbon did not significantly differ between natural and newly created salt marsh habitats, indicating that mature restored wetlands can be included with natural wetlands for the calculation of vegetative carbon in coastal blue carbon assessments. Peat deposits were generally less than 50 cm thick and organic content rapidly decreased with depth in all habitats. Soil in this study was analyzed in 1 cm intervals; the accuracy of subsampling or binning soil into depth intervals of 2-5 cm was also assessed. In most cases, carbon stock values obtained from these larger sampling intervals were not statistically different from values obtained from sampling at 1 cm intervals. In the first 15 cm, soil in mangrove forests contained an average of 15.1% organic carbon by weight, salt marshes contained 6.5%, and salt barrens contained 0.8%. Total carbon stock in mangroves was 187.1±17.3 Mg ha-1, with 68% of that carbon stored in soil. Salt marshes contained an average of 65.2±25.3 Mg ha-1 (82% soil carbon) and salt barrens had carbon stocks of 21.4±7.4 Mg ha-1 (89% soil carbon). These values were much lower than global averages for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Long-term 15N-nitrogen retention in tidal freshwater marsh sediment: Elucidating the microbial contribution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gribsholt, B.; Veuger, B.; Tramper, A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Boschker, H.T.S.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term retention of nitrogen in sediment of a tidal freshwater marsh in the Scheldt estuary (Belgium) was investigated by an in situ 15N-labeling experiment. Sediment of an unvegetated creek bank and sediment vegetated by common reed (Phragmites australis) were labeled with 15NN-enriched NH4+

  7. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt, South-West Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O.; DeLaune, R.D.

    1988-04-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of /sup 137/Cs in sediment cores, from historic documents, and from artificial white-coloured tracer layers in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt. Salt marsh accretion is related to the steady rise of the mean high tide in the Eastern Scheldt during the last few decades. Mean accretion rates vary from 0.4-0.9 cm year/sup -1/ in the St Annaland marsh to 1.0-1.5 cm year/sup -1/ in the Rattekaai marsh. Sediment accumulation in accreting marshes exceed the loss of sediment, by retreat of the marsh cliffs, by a factor of 10-20. Short-term spatial and temporal variations in accretion rates are large. Spatial variations are associated with levee and backmarsh sites and the density of marsh vegetation. Temporal variations are mainly related to fluctuations in hydrodynamic conditions. The net vertical accretion rate of organic carbon is 0.4 +- 0.1 kg m/sup -2/ year/sup -1/, approximately half this rate is associated with the current deposit, and the other half with net additions from the belowground root biomass. A simple model for the root biomass distribution of Spartina anglica with depth and the depth-dependent fossilization of root biomass in sediments of the Rattekaai marsh is presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Soras in tidal marsh: Banding and telemetry studies on the Patuxent River, Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haramis, G.M.; Kearns, G.D.; Erwin, R. Michael; Watts, Bryan D.; Haramis, G.Michael; Perry, Matthew C.; Hobson, Keith A.

    2007-01-01

    From 1993 to 1999, we conducted banding and telemetry studies of fall migrant Soras (Porzana carolina) in the historic rail hunting and exceptional stopover habitat of the Wild Rice (Zizania aquatica) marshes of the tidal Patuxent River. Drift traps equipped with audio lures produced 3,897 Sora and 417 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) captures during the seven-year study. Sora captures were characterized by a high proportion (70% to 90%) of young-of-the year and a paucity of between-year recaptures (N = 12). Radio-telemetry studies depicted Soras as long distance migrants with high stopover survivaI and a critical dependence on tidal freshwater marshes for migratory fattening. Here, the high productivity of Wild Rice, Smartweeds (Polygonum spp.) and other seed-bearing annual plants seem intrinsically linked to Sora migratory fitness. A stopover period of >40 days and mean mass gain of +0.6g/d suggests Soras are accumulating large fat reserves for long-distance flight. Radio tracking confirmed Soras as strong flyers with a demonstrated overnight (ten h) flight range of 700-900+ km. Given the potential size of fat reserves and the ability to use tail winds, it is conceivable for Soras to make nonstop flights from the Patuxent River to Florida, the Bahamas, or even the Caribbean. Once a widely hunted species, a single sport-hunting recovery from our 3,900 bandings attests to the decline in popularity of the Sora as a game bird in the Atlantic Flyway. We suggest the few between-year recaptures observed in our bandings results from three possible factors: 1) the strong influence of wind drift on migration, 2) different migration chronology or flight path of AHY versus HY birds, and/or 3) high mortality of especially HY birds during Atlantic coastal and Gulf crossings. The critical dependence of Soras and other seed-dependent, fall-migrant waterbirds on highly productive yet limited tidal freshwater marsh habitats make conservation of such areas a priority mission within

  10. Sediment Accretion, Carbon Sequestration, and Resilience to Sea Level Rise in Natural and Recently Restored Tidal Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppe, K.; Rybczyk, J.; Parr, L.; Merrill, A.

    2017-12-01

    Tidal marshes are typically productive and depositional environments potentially conducive to high rates of carbon sequestration. Though they have been recognized globally for their ability to store "blue carbon", there is a paucity of comprehensive site-scale data from the Pacific Northwest U.S. Here we report carbon stocks and sequestration rates for an existing and a recently restored brackish marsh in the Stillaguamish River Estuary, in Puget Sound, Washington. The Stillaguamish River discharges into the Port Susan Bay Preserve which contains a 150-acre tidal marsh restoration site that was reintroduced to the tidal regime in 2012 from its previous use as diked and drained farmland. We hypothesized that the restoration would not only maximize carbon storage in former tidal wetlands but also, through the accumulation of organic and mineral matter, enhance these systems' resilience to rising sea levels. We collected sediment cores from 13 sites across the estuary, within and outside of the restoration area, to determine bulk density, organic and carbon content with depth, long-term accretion rates, and belowground biomass. We also measured aboveground net primary productivity. Carbon stocks at each site were partitioned into three components as recommended by the IPCC: aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, and sediment carbon. We additionally measured elevation change with surface elevation tables (SETs). Mean sediment carbon stocks in the upper 30 cm of sediment within the restoration area (6.45 kg C/m2) were similar to those measured in the adjacent natural marsh (6.82 kg C/m2). However, mean elevation change, as measured by SETs, were substantially higher in the restoration area (3.10 cm/yr) than in the natural marsh sites (0.79 cm/yr). As a result, carbon accumulation rates were also higher in the restoration area (821 g C/m2/yr) compared to the natural marsh sites (195 g C/m2/yr).

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    Research at 10 locations in coastal subtropical Queensland, Australia, has shown that salt marshes contained heterogeneous distributions of eggshells of the pest and vector mosquito Aedes vigilax (Skuse) (Diptera:Culicidae). The eggshell distribution was related to specific vegetation assemblages, with a mix of the grass, Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth (Poales: Poaceae), and the beaded glasswort, Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Bunge ex (Ung.-Stern) A.J. Scott (Caryophyllales: Chenopodiaceae), as...

  13. Influence of abiotic factors on spider and ground beetle communities in different salt-marsh systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petillon, Julien; Georges, Anita; Canard, Alain; Lefeuvre, Jean-Claude; Bakker, Jan P.; Ysnel, Frederic

    2008-01-01

    Salt marshes are interesting and endangered ecosystems in West-Europe. Nevertheless, their arthropod fauna remains largely unknown and the factors determining assemblages at micro-habitat scale are poorly understood. Few data are also available about the effects of management measures in salt

  14. 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...

  15. Saltwater intrusion into tidal freshwater marshes alters the biogeochemical processing of organic carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, S. C.; Franklin, R. B.; Berrier, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Environmental perturbations in wetlands affect the integrated plant-microbial-soil system, causing biogeochemical responses that can manifest at local to global scales. The objective of this study was to determine how saltwater intrusion affects carbon mineralization and greenhouse gas production in coastal wetlands. Working with tidal freshwater marsh soils that had experienced ~ 3.5 yr of in situ saltwater additions, we quantified changes in soil properties, measured extracellular enzyme activity associated with organic matter breakdown, and determined potential rates of anaerobic carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) production. Soils from the field plots treated with brackish water had lower carbon content and higher C : N ratios than soils from freshwater plots, indicating that saltwater intrusion reduced carbon availability and increased organic matter recalcitrance. This was reflected in reduced activities of enzymes associated with the hydrolysis of cellulose and the oxidation of lignin, leading to reduced rates of soil CO2 and CH4 production. The effects of long-term saltwater additions contrasted with the effects of short-term exposure to brackish water during three-day laboratory incubations, which increased rates of CO2 production but lowered rates of CH4 production. Collectively, our data suggest that the long-term effect of saltwater intrusion on soil CO2 production is indirect, mediated through the effects of elevated salinity on the quantity and quality of autochthonous organic matter inputs to the soil. In contrast, salinity, organic matter content, and enzyme activities directly influence CH4 production. Our analyses demonstrate that saltwater intrusion into tidal freshwater marshes affects the entire process of carbon mineralization, from the availability of organic carbon through its terminal metabolism to CO2 and/or CH4, and illustrate that long-term shifts in biogeochemical functioning are not necessarily consistent with short

  16. Tidal management sffects sub-adult fish assemblages in impounded South Carolina Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carswell, Ben L.; Peterson, James T.; Jennings, Cecil A.

    2015-01-01

    In coastal South Carolina, most impounded marshes are managed for waterfowl; fewer are managed for fishes. Tidal control is central to each strategy but raises concerns that nursery function could be impaired. This research examined the assemblage composition of fishes during early-life stages. We sampled two impoundments of each management type monthly in 2008 and 2009. We used light traps to collect 61,527 sub-adult fish representing 21 species and 16 families and push nets to collect 12,670 sub-adult fish representing 13 species and 11 families. The effective number of species detected at larval stage in “fish” impoundments (summer mean = 2.52 ± 0.20, winter mean = 2.02 ± 0.66) was greater than in “waterfowl” impoundments (summer mean = 1.27 ± 0.14, winter mean = 1.06 ± 0.09); CI = 90 %. Species richness did not differ between management types, but hierarchical linear models predicted differences in assemblage composition. These findings underscore the importance of frequent water exchange for maintaining diverse assemblages of early-life-stage fishes in marsh impoundments.

  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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. 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

  20. Carbon Stock and Carbon Accumulation Rates in the Delaware Bay Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hara, B.; Nikitina, D.; Jennings, D.; Geyer, A.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes provide numerous benefits and services that are essential for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and resilience along the coast. They are also large carbon (C)-storing ecosystems, sequestering significant amounts of C from the atmosphere and oceans and storing it in the below ground sediments (Murray et al., 2011). When these systems are degraded, either through natural or anthropogenic impacts, they become a potential source of C emissions. The Delaware Bay salt marshes, which been developing for 2000 years, are being lost at a rate of an acre/day (PDE, 2012). However, no studies have accurately estimated the amount of C stored in its salt marshes. Assessments of salt-marsh C pools and carbon accumulation rates (CAR) typically focus on the top meter of sediment. Sediments accumulated at depths CAR to be 191.8 gC/m2/yr, and 82.18 gC/m2/yr, respectively. This study documents variation in sediment and CAR through time due to changes in depositional environments, quantifies degradation in the depositional environments, and calculates C content through the entire sediment sequence. Estimates of C stock ranged from 0.0369 MgC/m2 (1 m depth) to 0.1147 MgC/m2 (3 m depth). The results show that the Delaware Bay salt marshes sequester significant amounts of C, suggesting that C stock assessments focused on the top 1 m of sediment underestimate the total C stock by more than three-fold.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Direct and indirect human impacts on coastal ecosystems have increased over the last several centuries, leading to unprecedented degradation of coastal habitats and loss of ecological services. Here we document a two-century temporal disparity between salt marsh accretion and subsequent loss to indirect human impacts. Field surveys, manipulative experiments and GIS analyses reveal that crab burrowing weakens the marsh peat base and facilitates further burrowing, leading to bank calving, disru...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  7. Ecosystem service delivery in restoration projects: the effect of ecological succession on the benefits of tidal marsh restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelies Boerema

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Long-term assessment of ecosystem restoration projects is complex because of ecological processes such as succession, particularly in highly dynamic ecosystems such as estuaries. Restoration of intertidal flats and marshes on formerly embanked land, often called managed coastal realignment (MR, became popular in estuarine management. In our study, biophysical and monetary data were collected to calculate the value of 15 (subecosystem services (ES delivered by a large tidal marsh restoration project in the Schelde estuary in Belgium and the Netherlands. We hypothesized that ES delivery changes over time due to ecological succession and hence the long-term benefits are subject to this phenomenon and need to be taken into consideration. A marsh sediment accretion model (MARSED was used to simulate potential marsh succession scenarios. In this way, the temporal evolution of ES delivery caused by ecological succession could be evaluated. Our study shows that benefits during successional marsh stages could actually be higher than for marshes in equilibrium. This finding does not suggest that ecosystems in transition always have a higher value than systems in equilibrium, but emphasizes the need to consider long-term ecological dynamics, such as succession, in a benefit assessment for restoration projects.

  8. The impact of invasive plants on tidal-marsh vertebrate species: common reed (Phragmites australis) and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) as case studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Nordby, J. Cully

    2006-01-01

    Large areas of tidal marsh in the contiguous US and the Maritime Provinces of Canada are threatened by invasive plant species. Our understanding of the impact these invasions have on tidal-marsh vertebrates is sparse. In this paper, we focus on two successful invasive plant taxa that have spread outside their native range --common reed (Phragmites australis) and smooth cordgrass (Spartina a/terniflora). A cryptic haplotype of common reed has expanded its range in Atlantic Coast tidal marshes and smooth cordgrass, a native dominant plant of Atlantic Coast low-marsh habitat, has expanded its range and invaded intertidal-marsh habitats of the Pacific Coast. The invasions of common reed in Atlantic Coast tidal marshes and smooth cordgrass in Pacific Coast tidal marshes appear to have similar impacts. The structure and composition of these habitats has been altered and invasion and dominance by these two taxa can lead to profound changes in geomorphological processes, altering the vertical relief and potentially affecting invertebrate communities and the entire trophic structure of these systems. Few studies have documented impacts of invasive plant taxa on tidal-marsh vertebrate species in North America. However, habitat specialists that are already considered threatened or endangered are most likely to be affected. Extensive experimental studies are needed to examine the direct impact of invasive plant species on native vertebrate species. Careful monitoring of sites during the initial stages of plant invasion and tracking ecosystem changes through time are essential. Since tidal marshes are the foci for invasion by numerous species, we also need to understand the indirect impacts of invasion of these habitats on the vertebrate community. We also suggest the initiation of studies to determine if vertebrate species can compensate behaviorally for alterations in their habitat caused by invasive plant species, as well as the potential for adaptation via rapid evolution

  9. Seasonal variations of nitrous oxide fluxes and soil denitrification rates in subtropical freshwater and brackish tidal marshes of the Min River estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuming; Hu, Minjie; Ren, Hongchang; Li, Jiabing; Tong, Chuan; Musenze, Ronald S

    2018-03-01

    Estuarine tidal marshes provide favorable conditions for nitrous oxide (N 2 O) production. Saltwater intrusion caused by sea-level rise would exert complex effects on the production and emission of N 2 O in estuarine tidal marshes; however, few studies have been conducted on its effects on N 2 O emissions. Salinity gradients are a common occurrence in estuarine tidal marshes. Studies on production and emission of N 2 O in tidal marshes with different salinities may elucidate the impact of saltwater intrusion on the emission of greenhouse gases. This study explores the seasonal variations of N 2 O fluxes and soil denitrification rates in freshwater (Daoqingzhou wetland) and brackish (Shanyutan wetland) tidal marshes dominated by Cyperus malaccensis var. brevifolius (shichito matgrass) in the Min River estuary, southeastern China. N 2 O fluxes in both marshes showed strong temporal variability. The highest N 2 O fluxes were observed in the hot and wet summer months, whereas the lowest fluxes were observed in the cold winter and autumn months. N 2 O fluxes from the freshwater marsh (48.81±9.01μgm -2 h -1 ) were significantly higher (ptidal wetlands and exert a negative feedback on the climate system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Nitrogen assimilation and short term retention in a nutrient-rich tidal freshwater marsh - a whole ecosystem 15N enrichment study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gribsholt, B.; Struyf, E.; Tramper, A.; de Brabandere, L.; Brion, N.; van Damme, S.; Meire, P.; Dehairs, F.; Middelburg, J.J.; Boschker, H.T.S.

    2007-01-01

    An intact tidal freshwater marsh system (3477 m2) was labelled by adding 15N-ammonium as a tracer to the flood water inundating the ecosystem. The appearance and retention of 15N-label in different marsh components (leaves, roots, sediment, leaf litter and invertebrate fauna) was followed over 15

  12. Peat formation processes through the millennia in tidal marshes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drexler, Judith Z.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine peat formation processes throughout the millennia in four tidal marshes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Peat cores collected at each site were analyzed for bulk density, loss on ignition, and percent organic carbon. Core data and spline fit age-depth models were used to estimate inorganic sedimentation, organic accumulation, and carbon sequestration rates in the marshes. Bulk density and percent organic matter content of peat fluctuated through time at all sites, suggesting that peat formation processes are dynamic and responsive to watershed conditions. The balance between inorganic sedimentation and organic accumulation at the sites also varied through time, indicating that marshes may rely more strongly on either norganic or organic matter for peat formation at particular times in their existence. Mean carbon sequestration rates found in this study (0.38-0.79 Mg C ha-1 year-1) were similar to other long-term estimates for temperate peatlands.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler C Coverdale

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment: Mangrove, Tidal Emergent Marsh, Barrier Islands, and Oyster Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Amanda; Reece, Joshua S.; Tirpak, Blair; Edwards, Cynthia Kallio; Geselbracht, Laura; Woodrey, Mark; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Dalyander, P. Soupy

    2015-01-01

    Climate, sea level rise, and urbanization are undergoing unprecedented levels of combined change and are expected to have large effects on natural resources—particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coastline (Gulf Coast). Management decisions to address these effects (i.e., adaptation) require an understanding of the relative vulnerability of various resources to these stressors. To meet this need, the four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives along the Gulf partnered with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to conduct this Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA). Vulnerability in this context incorporates the aspects of exposure and sensitivity to threats, coupled with the adaptive capacity to mitigate those threats. Potential impact and adaptive capacity reflect natural history features of target species and ecosystems. The GCVA used an expert opinion approach to qualitatively assess the vulnerability of four ecosystems: mangrove, oyster reef, tidal emergent marsh, and barrier islands, and a suite of wildlife species that depend on them. More than 50 individuals participated in the completion of the GCVA, facilitated via Ecosystem and Species Expert Teams. Of the species assessed, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was identified as the most vulnerable species across the Gulf Coast. Experts identified the main threats as loss of nesting habitat to sea level rise, erosion, and urbanization. Kemp’s ridley also had an overall low adaptive capacity score due to their low genetic diversity, and higher nest site fidelity as compared to other assessed species. Tidal emergent marsh was the most vulnerable ecosystem, due in part to sea level rise and erosion. In general, avian species were more vulnerable than fish because of nesting habitat loss to sea level rise, erosion, and potential increases in storm surge. Assessors commonly indicated a lack of information regarding impacts due to projected changes in the disturbance regime, biotic interactions, and synergistic effects in both

  18. Effects on wildlife of aerial applications of strobane, DDT, and BHC to tidal marshes in Delaware

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, J.L.; Darsie, R.F.; Springer, P.F.

    1957-01-01

    The principal purpose of this study was to ascertain what effect on wildlife, if any, would result from the use of the new insecticide, Strobane, for mosquito control on tideland areas. Comparisons were made with DDT and BHC (43 per cent gamma isomer) commonly used in control operations. The investigation was carried out on the tidal marshes of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna, Delaware. Four areas, all similar in habitat, were chosen-three as test plots for Strobane, BHC, and DDT, respectively, and the fourth as an untreated check. The insecticides in oil solution were applied by airplane at the rates of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 pound per acre for gamma isomer of BHC, DDT, and Strobane, respectively. The first application was made on the morning of July 27; and the second, on the evening of August 23, 1955. To assay the results of spraying, 14 testing devices were set up in each area. They consisted of cages, traps, and microscope slides placed in the streams and ponds. The estuarine fishes, Fundulus heteroclitus, Cyprinodon variegatus, Leiostornus xanthurus, and Ailugil curemu; blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus; fiddler crabs, Uca pugnux, Uca minux, and Sesarma reticulaturn; and certain sessile organisms were included in the tests. Analyses of variance on fish and blue crabs showed no significant difference between deaths occurring in treated and control plots, nor among the three treatments. Differential mortalities were suffered by fish caged in streams and ponds. Greater numbers died in the BHC-treated streams and in the DDT-treated ponds. Local concentrations of insecticide appeared to be the cause, although the magnitude of kill was not significantly greater than in control areas. Field observations and crab-pot counts showed that both the fish and blue crabs avoided the sites of high insecticide concentration. Certainly the majority of the free-living individuals in the treated areas were able to survive the sprays, and at the level tested showed no

  19. 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:

  20. 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...

  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. No Substitute for Going to the Field: Correcting Lidar DEMs in Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renken, K.; Morris, J. T.; Lynch, J.; Bayley, H.; Neil, A.; Rasmussen, S.; Tyrrell, M.; Tanis, M.

    2016-12-01

    Models that forecast the response of salt marshes to current and future trends in sea level rise increasingly are used to guide management of these vulnerable ecosystems. Lidar-derived DEMs serve as the foundation for modeling landform change. However, caution is advised when using these DEMs as the starting point for models of salt marsh evolution. While broad vegetation class (i.e., young forest, old forest, grasslands, desert, etc.) has proven to be a significant predictor of vertical displacement error in terrestrial environments, differentiating error among different species or community types within the same ecosystem has received less attention. Salt marshes are dominated by monocultures of grass species and thus are an ideal environment to examine the within-species effect on lidar DEM error. We analyzed error of lidar DEMs using elevations from real-time kinematic (RTK) surveys in saltmarshes in multiple national parks and wildlife refuge areas from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to Massachusetts. Error of the lidar DEMs was sometimes large, on the order of 0.25 m, and varied significantly between sites because vegetation cover varies seasonally and lidar data was not always collected in the same season for each park. Vegetation cover and composition were used to explain differences between RTK elevations and lidar DEMs. This research underscores the importance of collecting RTK elevation data and vegetation cover data coincident with lidar data to produce correction factors specific to individual salt marsh sites.

  3. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-05-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Numerical models of salt marsh evolution: ecological, geomorphic, and climatic factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    Salt marshes are delicate landforms at the boundary between the sea and land. These ecosystems support a diverse biota that modifies the erosive characteristics of the substrate and mediates sediment transport processes. Here we present a broad overview of recent numerical models that quantify the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

  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. Parasitoid aggregation and the stabilization of a salt marsh host-parasitoid system

    Science.gov (United States)

    John D. Reeve; James T. Cronin; Donald R. Strong

    1994-01-01

    We examine a salt marsh host-parasitoid system, consisting of the planthopper Prokelisia marginata and its egg parasitoid Anagrus delicatus, for evidence of stabilizing parasitoid behavior. We first determine if there is sufficient parasitoid aggregation to potentially stabilize the Prokelisia-Anagrus interactions, using methods that infer parasitoid behavior from the...

  13. The impact of herbivores on nitrogen mineralization rate : consequences for salt-marsh succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijnen, HJ; van der Wal, R; Bakker, JP

    Soil net N-mineralization rate was measured along a successional gradient in salt-marsh sites that were grazed by vertebrate herbivores, and in 5-year-old exclosures from which the animals were excluded. Mineralization rate was significantly higher at ungrazed than at grazed sites. In the absence of

  14. Dendrochronology of Atriplex portulacoides and Artemisia maritima in Wadden Sea salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Decuyper, M.; Slim, P.A.; Loon-Steensma, van J.M.

    2014-01-01

    The study uses a rather unusual method, dendrochronology, to investigate the growth and survival of Atriplex portulacoides L. and Artemisia maritima L. on salt marshes at two field sites on the Dutch North Sea barrier islands of Terschelling and Ameland. By providing information on longevity of

  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

  17. Changes in standing stocks and fluxes of carbon due to salinization: tidal freshwater wetland forest retreat to marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, K.; Noe, G. B.; Duberstein, J. A.; Conner, W. H.; Stagg, C. L.; Jones, M.; Bernhardt, C. E.; Cormier, N.

    2017-12-01

    Assessments of organic carbon (C) standing stocks and fluxes as wetland ecosystems transition from tidally influenced freshwater forested wetlands to low-salinity marshes are not typically included in "blue carbon" accounting. However, these ecosystems have the potential to store and convey large quantities of C. Here, we report on data collected from eight riverine sites along salinity and hydro-edaphic gradients in South Carolina and Georgia to provide the first complete estimates of C storage, flux, and burial, including estimation of C export to aquatic environments, in tidal freshwater forested wetlands undergoing transition to oligohaline marsh. Total standing stocks of C ranged from 280 to 891 Mg C/ha along both rivers but with no consistent trend in standing stock shifts along salinity gradients between the two rivers. Soil C standing stocks were most variable among sites. Furthermore, we assessed input (litterfall, woody growth, herbaceous growth, root growth and surface sediment C accretion) in comparison with output (surface litter decomposition, root decomposition and gaseous C) fluxes over periods ranging from 2 to 11 years. C sequestration from mass balance calculations ranged from 103 to 728 g C/m2/year among sites, with generally greater C sequestration on sites with prominent salinity-mediated conversion to oligohaline marsh. Dissolved C export was estimated as the difference between C sequestration and soil C burial using 14C dating of cores, and ranged from 144 to 404 g C/m2/year, representing a large amount of C export to feed aquatic biogeochemical transformations and secondary productivity. Along with C accounting, these sites also differed in how N and P were mineralized in soils, with considerable N mineralization on salinity-stressed (2.4-4.3 parts per thousand) forested sites with newly encroached marsh plants and considerable P mineralization on slightly higher salinity marshes. In all, C storage from tidal freshwater forested wetlands

  18. High temperature and salinity enhance soil nitrogen mineralization in a tidal freshwater marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Haifeng; Bai, Junhong; He, Xinhua; Zhao, Qingqing; Lu, Qiongqiong; Wang, Junjing

    2014-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) mineralization in wetlands is sensitive to various environmental factors. To compare the effects of salinity and temperature on N mineralization, wetland soils from a tidal freshwater marsh locating in the Yellow River Delta was incubated over a 48-d anaerobic incubation period under four salinity concentrations (0, 10, 20 and 35‰) and four temperature levels (10, 20, 30 and 40°C). The results suggested that accumulated ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N) increased with increasing incubation time under all salinity concentrations. Higher temperatures and salinities significantly enhanced soil N mineralization except for a short-term (≈10 days) inhibiting effect found under 35‰ salinity. The incubation time, temperature, salinity and their interactions exhibited significant effects on N mineralization (Psalinity and temperature (P>0.05), while temperature exhibited the greatest effect (Pfreshwater wetlands under a range of 30 to 40°C (R2 = 0.88-0.99, Psalinity deriving from the projected global warming could have profound effects on nutrient cycling in coastal wetland ecosystems.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Suisun Marsh Primary Management Area

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — Suisun Marsh or the 'Marsh' means tidal marsh, water-covered areas, diked-off wetlands, seasonal marshes, lowland grasslands, upland grasslands, and cultivated lands...

  2. 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...

  3. Tidal exchange of larvae of Sesarma catenata (Decapoda, Brachyura)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The tidal exchange of larvae of the salt-marsh grapsid crab Sesarma catenata was studied in the Swartkops estuary, a tidally driven, shallow estuary in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Plankton samples were collected bimonlhly during spring and neap tides from October to March at the tidal inlet. Samples were collected hourly for ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effects of salinity on growth and productivity of Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald were investigated in glasshouse and field experiments in 2008. In the glasshouse study, plants were subjected to 2%, 10%, 20%, 40% and 80% sea water, with tidal simulation, for 10 months. Increase in salinity from 2% to 20% sea water ...

  7. Long-term organic carbon sequestration in tidal marsh sediments is dominated by old-aged allochthonous inputs in a macrotidal estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Broek, Marijn; Vandendriessche, Caroline; Poppelmonde, Dries; Merckx, Roel; Temmerman, Stijn; Govers, Gerard

    2018-02-12

    Tidal marshes are vegetated coastal ecosystems that are often considered as hotspots of atmospheric CO 2 sequestration. Although large amounts of organic carbon (OC) are indeed being deposited on tidal marshes, there is no direct link between high OC deposition rates and high OC sequestration rates due to two main reasons. First, the deposited OC may become rapidly decomposed once it is buried and, second, a significant part of preserved OC may be allochthonous OC that has been sequestered elsewhere. In this study we aimed to identify the mechanisms controlling long-term OC sequestration in tidal marsh sediments along an estuarine salinity gradient (Scheldt estuary, Belgium and the Netherlands). Analyses of deposited sediments have shown that OC deposited during tidal inundations is up to millennia old. This allochthonous OC is the main component of OC that is effectively preserved in these sediments, as indicated by the low radiocarbon content of buried OC. Furthermore, OC fractionation showed that autochthonous OC is decomposed on a decadal timescale in saltmarsh sediments, while in freshwater marsh sediments locally produced biomass is more efficiently preserved after burial. Our results show that long-term OC sequestration is decoupled from local biomass production in the studied tidal marsh sediments. This implies that OC sequestration rates are greatly overestimated when they are calculated based on short-term OC deposition rates, which are controlled by labile autochthonous OC inputs. Moreover, as allochthonous OC is not sequestered in-situ, it does not contribute to active atmospheric CO 2 sequestration in these ecosystems. A correct assessment of the contribution of allochthonous OC to the total sedimentary OC stock in tidal marsh sediments as well as a correct understanding of the long-term fate of locally produced OC are both necessary to avoid overestimations of the rate of in-situ atmospheric CO 2 sequestration in tidal marsh sediments. © 2018 John

  8. 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 (pconcentrations were significantly lower and HCl-extractable Fe(II) concentrations were significantly higher in the low marsh compared to the high and mid marshes (NO3- psalt 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 negative in 29 out of 44 measurements. Sub-atmospheric soil N2O concentrations at 10 cm depth together with the quantification of significant gross N2O consumption rates suggest that the net uptake of atmospheric N2O by the soil occurred in all marsh zones. Boxplots of (1) gross N2O production rates and (2) gross N2O consumption rates along a salt marsh elevation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angell, John H; Peng, Xuefeng; Ji, Qixing; Craick, Ian; Jayakumar, Amal; Kearns, Patrick J; Ward, Bess B; Bowen, Jennifer L

    2018-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Temporal and spatial relationships between watershed land use and salt marsh disturbance in a pacific estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin B; Kelly, N Maggi; Merenlender, Adina M

    2007-01-01

    Historical and recent remote sensing data can be used to address temporal and spatial relationships between upland land cover and downstream vegetation response at the watershed scale. This is demonstrated for sub-watersheds draining into Elkhorn Slough, California, where salt marsh habitat has diminished because of the formation of sediment fans that support woody riparian vegetation. Multiple regression models were used to examine which land cover variables and physical properties of the watershed most influenced sediment fan size within 23 sub-watersheds (1.4 ha to 200 ha). Model explanatory power increased (adjusted R(2) = 0.94 vs. 0.75) among large sub-watersheds (>10 ha) and historical watershed variables, such as average farmland slope, flowpath slope, and flowpath distance between farmland and marsh, were significant. It was also possible to explain the increase in riparian vegetation by historical watershed variables for the larger sub-watersheds. Sub-watershed area is the overriding physical characteristic influencing the extent of sedimentation in a salt marsh, while percent cover of agricultural land use is the most influential land cover variable. The results also reveal that salt marsh recovery depends on relative cover of different land use classes in the watershed, with greater chances of recovery associated with less intensive agriculture. This research reveals a potential delay between watershed impacts and wetland response that can be best revealed when conducting multi-temporal analyses on larger watersheds.

  12. A national-scale remote sensing-based methodology for quantifying tidal marsh biomass to support "Blue Carbon" accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, K. B.; Ballanti, L.; Nguyen, D.; Simard, M.; Thomas, N.; Windham-Myers, L.; Castaneda, E.; Kroeger, K. D.; Gonneea, M. E.; O'Keefe Suttles, J.; Megonigal, P.; Troxler, T.; Schile, L. M.; Davis, M.; Woo, I.

    2016-12-01

    According to 2013 IPCC Wetlands Supplement guidelines, tidal marsh Tier 2 or Tier 3 accounting must include aboveground biomass carbon stock changes. To support this need, we are using free satellite and aerial imagery to develop a national scale, consistent remote sensing-based methodology for quantifying tidal marsh aboveground biomass. We are determining the extent to which additional satellite data will increase the accuracy of this "blue carbon" accounting. Working in 6 U.S. estuaries (Cape Cod, MA, Chesapeake Bay, MD, Everglades, FL, Mississippi Delta, LA, San Francisco Bay, CA, and Puget Sound, WA), we built a tidal marsh biomass dataset (n=2404). Landsat reflectance data were matched spatially and temporally with field plots using Google Earth Engine. We quantified percent cover of green vegetation, non-vegetation, and open water in Landsat pixels using segmentation of 1m National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial imagery. Sentinel-1A C-band backscatter data were used in Chesapeake, Mississippi Delta and Puget Sound. We tested multiple Landsat vegetation indices and Sentinel backscatter metrics in 30m scale biomass linear regression models by region. Scaling biomass by fraction green vegetation significantly improved biomass estimation (e.g. Cape Cod: R2 = 0.06 vs. R2 = 0.60, n=28). The best vegetation indices differed by region, though indices based on the shortwave infrared-1 and red bands were most predictive in the Everglades and the Mississippi Delta, while the soil adjusted vegetation index was most predictive in Puget Sound and Chesapeake. Backscatter metrics significantly improved model predictions over vegetation indices alone; consistently across regions, the most significant metric was the range in backscatter values within the green vegetation segment of the Landsat pixel (e.g. Mississippi Delta: R2 = 0.47 vs. R2 = 0.59, n=15). Results support using remote sensing of biomass stock change to estimate greenhouse gas emission factors in tidal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-23

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

  14. '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.

  15. ‘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.

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Influence of Black Mangrove Expansion on Salt Marsh Food Web Dynamics in Coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, C.; Baustian, M. M.; Polito, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    The range of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) is projected to expand in the northern Gulf of Mexico due to reduced winter freeze events and an increased rate of droughts. The colonization of mangroves in salt marshes alters habitat structure and creates a novel basal carbon source for consumers. This addition may modify trophic linkages and the structure of estuarine food webs. To understand the implications of mangrove expansion on food web dynamics of traditional Spartina alterniflora marshes, two sites in coastal Louisiana with three habitat types, marsh-dominated, mangrove-dominated, and a transition or mix of the two, were studied. Community composition of juvenile nekton was sampled using fyke nets, minnow traps, and suction sampling and analyzed for abundance and diversity. Primary carbon sources (emergent vegetation, phytoplankton, macroalgae, benthic microalgae, submerged aquatic vegetation, and soil organic matter) and consumers ((blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), grass shrimp (Palaemonetes spp.), Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis), periwinkle snails (Littoraria irrorata), eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), and southern ribbed mussels (Geukensia granosissima)) collected at each habitat type were measured using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) to identify trophic level, basal carbon sources, and assess how mangrove carbon is incorporated into salt marsh food webs. While data analysis is ongoing, preliminary results indicate that basal carbon sources supporting some marsh consumers (e.g., periwinkle snails) shift between habitat types, while others remain static (e.g., grass shrimp). This research will further develop our understanding of how climate induced shifts in vegetation influences valued marsh-dependent consumers in the estuarine ecosystems of northern Gulf of Mexico.

  17. Evaluating tidal marsh sustainability in the face of sea-level rise: a hybrid modeling approach applied to San Francisco Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stralberg, Diana; Brennan, Matthew; Callaway, John C; Wood, Julian K; Schile, Lisa M; Jongsomjit, Dennis; Kelly, Maggi; Parker, V Thomas; Crooks, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Tidal marshes will be threatened by increasing rates of sea-level rise (SLR) over the next century. Managers seek guidance on whether existing and restored marshes will be resilient under a range of potential future conditions, and on prioritizing marsh restoration and conservation activities. Building upon established models, we developed a hybrid approach that involves a mechanistic treatment of marsh accretion dynamics and incorporates spatial variation at a scale relevant for conservation and restoration decision-making. We applied this model to San Francisco Bay, using best-available elevation data and estimates of sediment supply and organic matter accumulation developed for 15 Bay subregions. Accretion models were run over 100 years for 70 combinations of starting elevation, mineral sediment, organic matter, and SLR assumptions. Results were applied spatially to evaluate eight Bay-wide climate change scenarios. Model results indicated that under a high rate of SLR (1.65 m/century), short-term restoration of diked subtidal baylands to mid marsh elevations (-0.2 m MHHW) could be achieved over the next century with sediment concentrations greater than 200 mg/L. However, suspended sediment concentrations greater than 300 mg/L would be required for 100-year mid marsh sustainability (i.e., no elevation loss). Organic matter accumulation had minimal impacts on this threshold. Bay-wide projections of marsh habitat area varied substantially, depending primarily on SLR and sediment assumptions. Across all scenarios, however, the model projected a shift in the mix of intertidal habitats, with a loss of high marsh and gains in low marsh and mudflats. Results suggest a bleak prognosis for long-term natural tidal marsh sustainability under a high-SLR scenario. To minimize marsh loss, we recommend conserving adjacent uplands for marsh migration, redistributing dredged sediment to raise elevations, and concentrating restoration efforts in sediment-rich areas. To assist land

  18. 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.

  19. Tidal marsh stability in the face of human impacts and sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, M. L.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal populations and marshes have been intertwined for centuries, where humans both influence and depend on the enormous ecosystem services that marshes provide. Although marshes have long been considered vulnerable to climate change, recent work identifies fascinating feedbacks between plant growth and geomorphology that enable them to actively resist sea level rise. Here, we will review existing literature and provide new data to examine how humans alter these feedbacks. Measurements of accretion and elevation change suggest that most marshes will survive present day sea level rise rates by building vertically. Numerical models predict that these marshes will survive moderate accelerations in the rate of sea level in places where dams do not limit sediment delivery to the coast. However, these results also suggest that marsh survival under faster accelerations in sea level will depend on their ability to migrate inland. Marsh transgression into uplands is influenced not only by topography, but also by human land use and decisions to harden shorelines. Preliminary numerical model experiments will be used to explore how basic biophysical and anthropogenic drivers determine whether sea level change will lead to marsh loss (erosion+drowning > transgression), marsh expansion (transgression > erosion), or dynamic equilibrium (transgression = erosion).

  20. Modeled CO2 Emissions from Coastal Wetland Transitions to Other Land Uses: Tidal Marshes, Mangrove Forests, and Seagrass Beds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E. Lovelock

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The sediments of coastal wetlands contain large stores of carbon which are vulnerable to oxidation once disturbed, resulting in high levels of CO2 emissions that may be avoided if coastal ecosystems are conserved or restored. We used a simple model to estimate CO2 emissions from mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and tidal marshes based on known decomposition rates for organic matter in these ecosystems under either oxic or anoxic conditions combined with assumptions of the proportion of sediment carbon being deposited in either oxic or anoxic environments following a disturbance of the habitat. Our model found that over 40 years after disturbance the cumulative CO2 emitted from tidal marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds were ~70–80% of the initial carbon stocks in the top meter of the sediment. Comparison of our estimates of CO2 emissions with empirical studies suggests that (1 assuming 50% of organic material moves to an oxic environment after disturbance gives rise to estimates that are similar to CO2 emissions reported for tidal marshes; (2 field measurements of CO2 emissions in disturbed mangrove forests were generally higher than our modeled emissions that assumed 50% of organic matter was deposited in oxic conditions, suggesting higher proportions of organic matter may be exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance in mangrove ecosystems; and (3 the generally low observed rates of CO2 emissions from disturbed seagrasses compared to our estimates, assuming removal of 50% of the organic matter to oxic environments, suggests that lower proportions may be exposed to oxic conditions in seagrass ecosystems. There are significant gaps in our knowledge of the fate of wetland sediment carbon in the marine environment after disturbance. Greater knowledge of the distribution, form, decomposition, and emission rates of wetland sediment carbon after disturbance would help to improve models.

  1. A Simple, Inexpensive, and Field-Relevant Microcosm Tidal Simulator for Use in Marsh Macrophyte Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M. MacTavish

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: A microcosm unit with tidal simulation was developed to address the challenge of maintaining ecologically relevant tidal regimes while performing controlled greenhouse experiments on smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. Methods and Results: We designed a simple, inexpensive, easily replicated microcosm unit with tidal simulation and tested whether S. alterniflora growth in microcosms with tidal simulation was similar to that of tidally influenced plants in the field on Sapelo Island, Georgia. After three months of exposure to either natural or simulated tidal treatment, plants in microcosms receiving tidal simulation had similar stem density, height, and above- and belowground biomass to plants in field plots. Conclusions: The tidal simulator developed may provide an inexpensive, effective method for conducting studies on S. alterniflora and other tidally influenced plants in controlled settings to be used not only to complement field studies, but also in locations without coastal access.

  2. A simple, inexpensive, and field-relevant microcosm tidal simulator for use in marsh macrophyte studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacTavish, Rachel M; Cohen, Risa A

    2014-11-01

    A microcosm unit with tidal simulation was developed to address the challenge of maintaining ecologically relevant tidal regimes while performing controlled greenhouse experiments on smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. • We designed a simple, inexpensive, easily replicated microcosm unit with tidal simulation and tested whether S. alterniflora growth in microcosms with tidal simulation was similar to that of tidally influenced plants in the field on Sapelo Island, Georgia. After three months of exposure to either natural or simulated tidal treatment, plants in microcosms receiving tidal simulation had similar stem density, height, and above- and belowground biomass to plants in field plots. • The tidal simulator developed may provide an inexpensive, effective method for conducting studies on S. alterniflora and other tidally influenced plants in controlled settings to be used not only to complement field studies, but also in locations without coastal access.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teixeira, Catarina; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Nunes da Silva, Marta; Bordalo, Adriano A.; Mucha, Ana P.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial assisted phytoremediation is a promising, though yet poorly explored, new remediation technique. The aim of this study was to develop autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that could enhance phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with this metal. The microbial consortia were selectively enriched from rhizosediments colonized by Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis. The obtained consortia presented similar microbial abundance but a fairly different community structure, showing that the microbial community was a function of the sediment from which the consortia were enriched. The effect of the bioaugmentation with the developed consortia on cadmium uptake, and the microbial community structure associated to the different sediments were assessed using a microcosm experiment. Our results showed that the addition of the cadmium resistant microbial consortia increased J. maritimus metal phytostabilization capacity. On the other hand, in P. australis, microbial consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. The addition of the consortia did not alter the bacterial structure present in the sediments at the end of the experiments. This study provides new evidences that the development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium might be a simple, efficient, and environmental friendly remediation procedure. Capsule abstract: Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. - Highlights: • Cd resistant microbial consortia were developed and applied to salt-marsh sediments. • In Phragmites australis the consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. • The consortia addition increased Juncus maritimus phytostabilization capacity. • No long term changes on the rhizosediment bacterial structure were observed

  6. Ecophysiology of the holoparasitic angiosperm Cistanche phelypaea (Orobancaceae) in a coastal salt marsh

    OpenAIRE

    FAHMY, Gamal Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Cistanche phelypaea (L.) Cout. (Orobancaceae) was found parasitising the roots of the succulent shrublets Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (Moric.) K.Koch (Chenopodiaceae) in a coastal salt marsh in Qatar. Measurements were conducted to identify soil properties, host, and noninfected plants by soil excavations to expose the haustoria of the parasite attached to the host roots. The water potential, osmotic potential, pressure potential, and chemical analyses were determined in parasite, host, and no...

  7. Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils

    OpenAIRE

    Aanniz,Tarik; Ouadghiri,Mouna; Melloul,Marouane; Swings,Jean; Elfahime,Elmostafa; Ibijbijen,Jamal; Ismaili,Mohamed; Amar,Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240) thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5%) represented by B. licheniformis (119), B. aerius (44), B. sonorensis (33), B. ...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. The flux of chloroform and tetrachloromethane along an elevational gradient of a coastal salt marsh, East China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Jinxin; Qin Pei; Sun Shucun

    2007-01-01

    The fluxes of trichloromethane (CHCl 3 , CM) and tetrachloromethane (CCl 4 , TCM) were seasonally measured using static flux chambers over an annual cycle in a coastal salt marsh, East China. The salt marsh presented as a large sink for both the compounds in the growing season (from April to October), but it was a minor source for the gas species in the non-growing season. Generally, the cordgrass marsh acted as a sink of CM and TCM. The net consumption of CM and TCM observed in the study marsh may result from the high ambient atmospheric concentrations and enriched soil organic matter that result in anoxic sediments. Higher plants were suggested to be an important sink for CM and TCM in the growing season, but a net source in the non-growing season. However, the mechanism responsible for the plant removal process is not clear. - Cordgrass marshes as a sink for CHCl 3 and CCl 4

  11. 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

  12. Marsh soil responses to tidal water nitrogen additions contribute to creek bank fracturing and slumping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Large-scale dissolved nutrient enrichment can cause a reduction in belowground biomass, increased water content of soils, and increased microbial decomposition, which has been linked with slumping of low marsh Spartina vegetation into creeks, and ultimately marsh loss. Our study ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Nitrogen assimilation and short term retention in a nutrient-rich tidal freshwater marsh – a whole ecosystem 15N enrichment study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Gribsholt

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available An intact tidal freshwater marsh system (3477 m2 was labelled by adding 15N-ammonium as a tracer to the flood water inundating the ecosystem. The appearance and retention of 15N-label in different marsh components (leaves, roots, sediment, leaf litter and invertebrate fauna was followed over 15 days. This allowed us to elucidate the direct assimilation and dependence on creek-water nitrogen on a relatively short term and provided an unbiased assessment of the relative importance of the various compartments within the ecosystem. Two separate experiments were conducted, one in spring/early summer (May 2002 when plants were young and building up biomass; the other in late summer (September 2003 when macrophytes were in a flowering or early senescent state. Nitrogen assimilation rate (per hour inundated was >3 times faster in May compared to September. On both occasions, however, the results clearly revealed that the less conspicuous compartments such as leaf litter and ruderal vegetations are more important in nitrogen uptake and retention than the prominent reed (Phragmites australis meadows. Moreover, short-term nitrogen retention in these nutrient rich marshes occurs mainly via microbial pathways associated with the litter and sediment. Rather than direct uptake by macrophytes, it is the large reactive surface area provided by the tidal freshwater marsh vegetation that is most crucial for nitrogen transformation, assimilation and short term retention in nutrient rich tidal freshwater marshes. Our results clearly revealed the dominant role of microbes in initial nitrogen retention in marsh ecosystems.

  16. Response of gaseous carbon emissions to low-level salinity increase in tidal marsh ecosystem of the Min River estuary, southeastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Minjie; Ren, Hongchang; Ren, Peng; Li, Jiabing; Wilson, Benjamin J; Tong, Chuan

    2017-02-01

    Although estuarine tidal marshes are important contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the relationship between carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ) emission, and environmental factors, with respect to estuarine marshes, has not been clarified thoroughly. This study investigated the crucial factors controlling the emission of CO 2 and CH 4 from a freshwater marsh and a brackish marsh located in a subtropical estuary in southeastern China, as well as their magnitude. The duration of the study period was November 2013 to October 2014. Relevant to both the field and incubation experiments, the CO 2 and CH 4 emissions from the two marshes showed pronounced seasonal variations. The CO 2 and CH 4 emissions from both marshes demonstrated significant positive correlations with the air/soil temperature (pemissions between the freshwater and brackish marshes in the subtropical estuary, whereas there was a difference in the CH 4 emissions between the two sites (pemissions from the estuarine freshwater marshes, these factors had little effect on the CO 2 emissions with respect to an increase in salinity of less than 5‰. The findings of this study could have important implications for estimating the global warming contributions of estuarine marshes along differing salinity gradients. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Long-term CH3Br and CH3Cl flux measurements in temperate salt marshes

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    M. R. Heal

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Fluxes of CH3Br and CH3Cl and their relationship with potential drivers such as sunlight, temperature and soil moisture, were monitored at fortnightly to monthly intervals for more than two years at two contrasting temperate salt marsh sites in Scotland. Manipulation experiments were conducted to further investigate possible links between drivers and fluxes. Fluxes followed both seasonal and diurnal trends with highest fluxes during summer days and lowest (negative fluxes during winter nights. Mean (± 1 sd annually and diurnally-weighted net emissions from the two sites were found to be 300 ± 44 ng m−2 h−1 for CH3Br and 662 ± 266 ng m−2 h−1 for CH3Cl. The fluxes from this work are similar to findings from this and other research groups for salt marshes in cooler, higher latitude climates, but lower than values from salt marshes in the Mediterranean climate of southern California. Statistical analysis generally did not demonstrate a strong link between temperature or sunlight levels and methyl halide fluxes, although it is likely that temperatures have a weak direct influence on emissions, and both certainly have indirect influence via the annual and daily cycles of the vegetation. CH3Cl flux magnitudes from different measurement locations depended on the plant species enclosed whereas such dependency was not discernible for CH3Br fluxes. In 14 out of 18 collars with vegetation CH3Br and CH3Cl net fluxes were significantly positively correlated. The CH3Cl/CH3Br net-emission mass ratio was 2.2, a magnitude lower than mass ratios of global methyl halide budgets (~22 or emissions from tropical rainforests (~60. This is likely due to preference for CH3Br production by the relatively high bromine content in the salt marsh plant material. Extrapolation based solely on data from this study yields salt marsh contributions of 0.5–3.2% and 0.05–0.33%, respectively, of currently-estimated total global production of CH3Br and CH3Cl, but actual

  18. Analyzing the Long-Term Phenological Trends of Salt Marsh Ecosystem across Coastal LOUISIANA

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    Shuvankar Ghosh

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we examined the phenology of the salt marsh ecosystem across coastal Louisiana (LA for a 16-year time period (2000–2015 using NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer’s (MODIS eight-day average surface reflectance images (500 m. We compared the performances of least squares fitted asymmetric Gaussian (AG and double logistic (DL smoothing functions in terms of increasing the signal-to-noise ratio from the raw phenology derived from the time-series composites. We performed derivative analysis to determine the appropriate start of season (SOS and end of season (EOS thresholds. After that, we extracted the seasonality parameters in TIMESAT, and studied the effect of environmental disturbances/anomalies on the seasonality parameters. Finally, we performed trend analysis using the derived seasonality parameters such as base green biomass (GBM value, maximum GBM value, seasonal amplitude, and small seasonal integral. Based on root mean square error (RMSE values and residual plots, we selected the best thresholds for SOS (5% of amplitude and EOS (20% of amplitude, along with the best smoothing function. The selected SOS and EOS thresholds were able to capture the environmental disturbances that have affected the salt marsh ecosystem during the 16-year time period. Our trend analysis results indicate positive trends in the base GBM values in the salt marshes of LA. However, we did not notice as much of a positive trend in the maximum GBM levels. Hence, we observed mostly negative changes in the GBM amplitude and small seasonal integral values. These negative changes indicated the overall progressive decline in the rates of photosynthesis and biomass allocation in the LA salt marsh ecosystem, which is most likely due to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and sea level rise. The results illustrate both the relative efficiency of MODIS-based biophysical models for analyzing salt marsh phenology, and performances of

  19. 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.

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

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    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.

  1. Expansion of Phragmites australis alters methane dynamics and methanogen, methanotroph, and sulfate reducing bacteria communities in tidal marsh in Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lee, J.; Kim, H.; Gauhar, M.; Kang, H.

    2016-12-01

    Plant invasion is known to change substantially methane dynamics in tidal marshes. However, the exact mechanisms related to methane dynamics change due to plant invasion have not been fully understood. In Suncheon Bay, South Korea, Phragmites australis has invaded the habitat of native species, Suaeda japonica, and becomes dominant vegetation in this area. We measured methane fluxes, soil biogeochemistry, and microbial communities from both vegetation sites throughout a growing season and conducted a chronosequence analysis in order to illustrate the effect of plant invasion on methane dynamics and microbial communities. For analyzing microbial communities, we collected 1m intact soil cores and conducted functional gene-targeted real-time qPCR, T-RFLP, and PLFA. P. australis invasion significantly increased methane emission in a summer season, accompanied by greater dissolved organic carbon and soil water content. Methanogen, methanotroph, and sulfate reducing bacterial communities were gradually changed along with the invasion periods. In particular, abundances ratio of mcrA/pmoA and mcrA/dsrA had a positive correlation with methane emission, which indicates that P. australis invasion reduces methane oxidation by methanotroph, and competitive inhibition between methanogen and sulfate reducing bacteria. In conclusion, P. australis invasion on S. japonica significantly increased methane emission in tidal marsh by altering the microbial communities in a way that C decomposition would be dominated by methanogenesis.

  2. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the salt marsh vegetation of Louisiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    The coastal wetland vegetation component of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment documented significant injury to the plant production and health of Louisiana salt marshes exposed to oiling. Specifically, marsh sites experiencing trace or greater vertical oiling of plant tissues displayed reductions in cover and peak standing crop relative to reference (no oiling), particularly in the marsh edge zone, for the majority of this four year study. Similarly, elevated chlorosis of plant tissue, as estimated by a vegetation health index, was detected for marsh sites with trace or greater vertical oiling in the first two years of the study. Key environmental factors, such as hydrologic regime, elevation, and soil characteristics, were generally similar across plant oiling classes (including reference), indicating that the observed injury to plant production and health was the result of plant oiling and not potential differences in environmental setting. Although fewer significant impacts to plant production and health were detected in the latter years of the study, this is due in part to decreased sample size occurring as a result of erosion (shoreline retreat) and resultant loss of plots, and should not be misconstrued as indicating full recovery of the ecosystem. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  4. Greenhouse gas fluxes from salt marshes exposed to chronic nutrient enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmura, Gail L.; Kellman, Lisa; van Ardenne, Lee; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2016-01-01

    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 CH4fluxes 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Measuring sedimentation in tidal marshes: a review on methods and their applicability in biogeomorphological studies

    OpenAIRE

    Nolte, S.; Koppenaal, E.C.; Esselink, P.; Dijkema, K.S.; Schuerch, M.; De Groot, A.V.; Bakker, J.P.; Temmerman, S.

    2013-01-01

    It is increasingly recognised that interactions between geomorphological and biotic processes control the functioning of many ecosystem types as described e.g. by the ecological theory of ecosystem engineering. Consequently, the need for specific bio-geomorphological research methods is growing recently. Much research on bio-geomorphological processes is done in coastal marshes. These areas provide clear examples of ecosystem engineering as well as other bio-geomorphological processes: Marsh ...

  7. Polychlorinated biphenyls in two salt marsh sediments of the Venice Lagoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugnai, Cristian; Giuliani, Silvia; Bellucci, Luca G; Carraro, Claudio; Favotto, Maurizio; Frignani, Mauro

    2011-10-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in two dated salt marsh cores of the Venice Lagoon to assess their input chronology and to evaluate the importance of atmospheric deposition as a source. Sampling sites were chosen in order to evidence the differences between areas located leeward and windward with respect to inputs originating in both the city of Venice and the industrial area. Concentrations of PCB indicators (0.13-15.6 ng g⁻¹) increased gradually from the 1930s, reached maxima from the 1950s to the late 1970s, and then decreased. PCB loadings to marshes are driven by both the atmospheric deposition and the resuspension of subtidal sediments, this latter being more important for heavier congeners. The downwind marsh recorded higher fluxes (0.06-9.72 ng cm⁻² year⁻¹) than the upwind one (0.01-0.53 ng cm⁻² year⁻¹). Recent fluxes are rather consistent with bulk deposition measurements. A higher contribution of CB-101 and CB-118 was detected in the intermediate layers of the downwind site, suggesting a different PCB source for the corresponding time interval. In the other marsh, PCBs showed a rather constant composition at all levels (mostly CB-153, CB-138 and CB-180), accounting for a regional influence. Deep layers showed an enrichment of higher chlorinated congeners at both sites, whereas recent samples conserve the patterns typical of surficial and subsurficial subtidal sediments. The scientific approach adopted in this research can be considered as a sort of methodological procedure for the determination of fluxes and pathways of PCBs through the study of marsh cores.

  8. Assessing the wildlife habitat value of New England salt marshes: II. Model testing and validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Richard A; Charpentier, Michael A; Wigand, Cathleen

    2009-07-01

    We tested a previously described model to assess the wildlife habitat value of New England salt marshes by comparing modeled habitat values and scores with bird abundance and species richness at sixteen salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island USA. As a group, wildlife habitat value assessment scores for the marshes ranged from 307-509, or 31-67% of the maximum attainable score. We recorded 6 species of wading birds (Ardeidae; herons, egrets, and bitterns) at the sites during biweekly survey. Species richness (r (2)=0.24, F=4.53, p=0.05) and abundance (r (2)=0.26, F=5.00, p=0.04) of wading birds significantly increased with increasing assessment score. We optimized our assessment model for wading birds by using Akaike information criteria (AIC) to compare a series of models comprised of specific components and categories of our model that best reflect their habitat use. The model incorporating pre-classification, wading bird habitat categories, and natural land surrounding the sites was substantially supported by AIC analysis as the best model. The abundance of wading birds significantly increased with increasing assessment scores generated with the optimized model (r (2)=0.48, F=12.5, p=0.003), demonstrating that optimizing models can be helpful in improving the accuracy of the assessment for a given species or species assemblage. In addition to validating the assessment model, our results show that in spite of their urban setting our study marshes provide substantial wildlife habitat value. This suggests that even small wetlands in highly urbanized coastal settings can provide important wildlife habitat value if key habitat attributes (e.g., natural buffers, habitat heterogeneity) are present.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    We live in an era of unprecedented ecological change in which ecologists and natural resource managers are increasingly challenged to anticipate and prepare for the ecological effects of future global change. In this study, we investigated the potential effect of winter climate change upon salt marsh and mangrove forest foundation species in the southeastern United States. Our research addresses the following three questions: (1) What is the relationship between winter climate and the presence and abundance of mangrove forests relative to salt marshes; (2) How vulnerable are salt marshes to winter climate change-induced mangrove forest range expansion; and (3) What is the potential future distribution and relative abundance of mangrove forests under alternative winter climate change scenarios? We developed simple winter climate-based models to predict mangrove forest distribution and relative abundance using observed winter temperature data (1970-2000) and mangrove forest and salt marsh habitat data. Our results identify winter climate thresholds for salt marsh-mangrove forest interactions and highlight coastal areas in the southeastern United States (e.g., Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Florida) where relatively small changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme winter events could cause relatively dramatic landscape-scale ecosystem structural and functional change in the form of poleward mangrove forest migration and salt marsh displacement. The ecological implications of these marsh-to-mangrove forest conversions are poorly understood, but would likely include changes for associated fish and wildlife populations and for the supply of some ecosystem goods and services. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Sediment Transport Processes in a West-central Florida Open Marine Marsh Tidal Creek; the Role of Tides and Extra-tropical Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Lynn A.; Hine, Albert C.; Luther, Mark E.; Stumpf, Richard P.; Wright, Eric E.

    1995-08-01

    The extensive open marine marshes on Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast constitute one of the largest continuous coastal marsh systems in the U.S.A. and are characterized by (1) the absence of an apparent modern or relict sediment supply, (2) a thin 1-2 m sediment veneer overlying highly karstified bedrock and (3) both low wave and low tidal energy regimes. More importantly, the Florida open marine marsh system appears to be keeping pace with current rates of sea-level rise in spite of a limited inorganic sediment supply and low tidal energies. Although the magnitudes and directions of suspended solid transport and the processes controlling these transports have been rigorously documented for other U.S.A. marsh systems, they have not been documented in the Florida marsh system. Total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations, current speeds and water levels were monitored in Cedar Creek, Florida, so that the TSS loads could be calculated and the processes exerting control over material exchange could be determined. Both TSS concentration and load are modulated by spring/neap variations and time-velocity asymmetries in the tidal currents. Concentrations at the creek mouth increase by as much as two orders of magnitude during strong wind events due to the presence of waves; however, large net sediment loads appear to be related to the coupled effects of waves and large tidal prisms. Waves initially mobilize sediments in the adjacent embayment but increased tidal prisms, and the associated higher velocities, are requisite for transport of this material further into the creek. Large tidal prisms may be the result of astronomically high tides or meteorologically forced tides. In Cedar Creek, the most important meteorological events affecting sedimentary processes are extra-tropical storms. This is because they occur at much higher frequencies than tropical storms and hurricanes, even though the latter are more potent and potentially could transport greater amounts of material

  11. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily R. Howe

    2014-03-01

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

  14. Seventy years of continuous encroachment substantially increases 'blue carbon' capacity as mangroves replace intertidal salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelleway, Jeffrey J; Saintilan, Neil; Macreadie, Peter I; Skilbeck, Charles G; Zawadzki, Atun; Ralph, Peter J

    2016-03-01

    Shifts in ecosystem structure have been observed over recent decades as woody plants encroach upon grasslands and wetlands globally. The migration of mangrove forests into salt marsh ecosystems is one such shift which could have important implications for global 'blue carbon' stocks. To date, attempts to quantify changes in ecosystem function are essentially constrained to climate-mediated pulses (30 years or less) of encroachment occurring at the thermal limits of mangroves. In this study, we track the continuous, lateral encroachment of mangroves into two south-eastern Australian salt marshes over a period of 70 years and quantify corresponding changes in biomass and belowground C stores. Substantial increases in biomass and belowground C stores have resulted as mangroves replaced salt marsh at both marine and estuarine sites. After 30 years, aboveground biomass was significantly higher than salt marsh, with biomass continuing to increase with mangrove age. Biomass increased at the mesohaline river site by 130 ± 18 Mg biomass km(-2)  yr(-1) (mean ± SE), a 2.5 times higher rate than the marine embayment site (52 ± 10 Mg biomass km(-2) yr(-1) ), suggesting local constraints on biomass production. At both sites, and across all vegetation categories, belowground C considerably outweighed aboveground biomass stocks, with belowground C stocks increasing at up to 230 ± 62 Mg C km(-2) yr(-1) (± SE) as mangrove forests developed. Over the past 70 years, we estimate mangrove encroachment may have already enhanced intertidal biomass by up to 283 097 Mg and belowground C stocks by over 500 000 Mg in the state of New South Wales alone. Under changing climatic conditions and rising sea levels, global blue carbon storage may be enhanced as mangrove encroachment becomes more widespread, thereby countering global warming. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutbay, Hamdi G.; Demir, M.

    2001-01-01

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

  16. A preliminary investigation of the distribution of heavy metals in surface sediments of the Cona tidal marsh (Venice Lagoon)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernardi, S.; Costa, F.; Vazzoler, S.; Zonta, R.

    1988-01-01

    Data are from the two series of surface sediment sampling in an interface area between the Venice Lagoon and the mainland. The distribution of heavy metals gives a correlation with polluted sourcesites-identified in the channel systems with a highly polluted input-and allows us to identify the localities of accumulation. Restricted to the estuary of the river tributary transporting a high concentration of pollutants into a tidal marsh area of the lagoon, the study shows the effect of the fresh water forcing to distribute heavy metals on surface sediments. Within the scope of this preliminary investigation, indications from sampling identify a sector of the 'palude of Cona' in this estuary, which is highly suitable for detailed studies on precesses affecting heavy-metal distributions in bottom surface sediments of shallow-water areas

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pétillon, J.

    2007-12-01

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

  18. Top-down vs. bottom-up control on vegetation composition in a tidal marsh depends on scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Elschot

    Full Text Available The relative impact of top-down control by herbivores and bottom-up control by environmental conditions on vegetation is a subject of debate in ecology. In this study, we hypothesize that top-down control by goose foraging and bottom-up control by sediment accretion on vegetation composition within an ecosystem can co-occur but operate at different spatial and temporal scales. We used a highly dynamic marsh system with a large population of the Greylag goose (Anser anser to investigate the potential importance of spatial and temporal scales on these processes. At the local scale, Greylag geese grub for below-ground storage organs of the vegetation, thereby creating bare patches of a few square metres within the marsh vegetation. In our study, such activities by Greylag geese allowed them to exert top-down control by setting back vegetation succession. However, we found that the patches reverted back to the initial vegetation type within 12 years. At large spatial (i.e. several square kilometres and temporal scales (i.e. decades, high rates of sediment accretion surpassing the rate of local sea-level rise were found to drive long-term vegetation succession and increased cover of several climax vegetation types. In summary, we conclude that the vegetation composition within this tidal marsh was primarily controlled by the bottom-up factor of sediment accretion, which operates at large spatial as well as temporal scales. Top-down control exerted by herbivores was found to be a secondary process and operated at much smaller spatial and temporal scales.

  19. Evaluating Tidal Marsh Sustainability in the Face of Sea-Level Rise: A Hybrid Modeling Approach Applied to San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stralberg, Diana; Brennan, Matthew; Callaway, John C.; Wood, Julian K.; Schile, Lisa M.; Jongsomjit, Dennis; Kelly, Maggi; Parker, V. Thomas; Crooks, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Background Tidal marshes will be threatened by increasing rates of sea-level rise (SLR) over the next century. Managers seek guidance on whether existing and restored marshes will be resilient under a range of potential future conditions, and on prioritizing marsh restoration and conservation activities. Methodology Building upon established models, we developed a hybrid approach that involves a mechanistic treatment of marsh accretion dynamics and incorporates spatial variation at a scale relevant for conservation and restoration decision-making. We applied this model to San Francisco Bay, using best-available elevation data and estimates of sediment supply and organic matter accumulation developed for 15 Bay subregions. Accretion models were run over 100 years for 70 combinations of starting elevation, mineral sediment, organic matter, and SLR assumptions. Results were applied spatially to evaluate eight Bay-wide climate change scenarios. Principal Findings Model results indicated that under a high rate of SLR (1.65 m/century), short-term restoration of diked subtidal baylands to mid marsh elevations (−0.2 m MHHW) could be achieved over the next century with sediment concentrations greater than 200 mg/L. However, suspended sediment concentrations greater than 300 mg/L would be required for 100-year mid marsh sustainability (i.e., no elevation loss). Organic matter accumulation had minimal impacts on this threshold. Bay-wide projections of marsh habitat area varied substantially, depending primarily on SLR and sediment assumptions. Across all scenarios, however, the model projected a shift in the mix of intertidal habitats, with a loss of high marsh and gains in low marsh and mudflats. Conclusions/Significance Results suggest a bleak prognosis for long-term natural tidal marsh sustainability under a high-SLR scenario. To minimize marsh loss, we recommend conserving adjacent uplands for marsh migration, redistributing dredged sediment to raise elevations, and

  20. Evaluating tidal marsh sustainability in the face of sea-level rise: a hybrid modeling approach applied to San Francisco Bay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Stralberg

    Full Text Available Tidal marshes will be threatened by increasing rates of sea-level rise (SLR over the next century. Managers seek guidance on whether existing and restored marshes will be resilient under a range of potential future conditions, and on prioritizing marsh restoration and conservation activities.Building upon established models, we developed a hybrid approach that involves a mechanistic treatment of marsh accretion dynamics and incorporates spatial variation at a scale relevant for conservation and restoration decision-making. We applied this model to San Francisco Bay, using best-available elevation data and estimates of sediment supply and organic matter accumulation developed for 15 Bay subregions. Accretion models were run over 100 years for 70 combinations of starting elevation, mineral sediment, organic matter, and SLR assumptions. Results were applied spatially to evaluate eight Bay-wide climate change scenarios.Model results indicated that under a high rate of SLR (1.65 m/century, short-term restoration of diked subtidal baylands to mid marsh elevations (-0.2 m MHHW could be achieved over the next century with sediment concentrations greater than 200 mg/L. However, suspended sediment concentrations greater than 300 mg/L would be required for 100-year mid marsh sustainability (i.e., no elevation loss. Organic matter accumulation had minimal impacts on this threshold. Bay-wide projections of marsh habitat area varied substantially, depending primarily on SLR and sediment assumptions. Across all scenarios, however, the model projected a shift in the mix of intertidal habitats, with a loss of high marsh and gains in low marsh and mudflats.Results suggest a bleak prognosis for long-term natural tidal marsh sustainability under a high-SLR scenario. To minimize marsh loss, we recommend conserving adjacent uplands for marsh migration, redistributing dredged sediment to raise elevations, and concentrating restoration efforts in sediment-rich areas

  1. The impact of sea-level rise on organic matter decay rates in Chesapeake Bay brackish tidal marshes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. L. Kirwan

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The balance between organic matter production and decay determines how fast coastal wetlands accumulate soil organic matter. Despite the importance of soil organic matter accumulation rates in influencing marsh elevation and resistance to sea-level rise, relatively little is known about how decomposition rates will respond to sea-level rise. Here, we estimate the sensitivity of decomposition to flooding by measuring rates of decay in 87 bags filled with milled sedge peat, including soil organic matter, roots and rhizomes. Experiments were located in field-based mesocosms along 3 mesohaline tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Mesocosm elevations were manipulated to influence the duration of tidal inundation. Although we found no significant influence of inundation on decay rate when bags from all study sites were analyzed together, decay rates at two of the sites increased with greater flooding. These findings suggest that flooding may enhance organic matter decay rates even in water-logged soils, but that the overall influence of flooding is minor. Our experiments suggest that sea-level rise will not accelerate rates of peat accumulation by slowing the rate of soil organic matter decay. Consequently, marshes will require enhanced organic matter productivity or mineral sediment deposition to survive accelerating sea-level rise.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Spatial and seasonal variation in heavy metals in interstitial water of salt marsh soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Otero, X.L.; Macias, Felipe

    2002-12-01

    Soil colonization by plants affected spatial and seasonal variation in heavy metals. - The composition of interstitial water collected from a salt marsh in NW Spain showed clear seasonal and spatial variations associated with redox cycles of Fe and S. In the summer, salinity increased in all soils as a consequence of the increase in evapotranspiration. The pH and concentrations of heavy metals also differed with season, but not all environments showed the same variations. Soils not colonized by plants had the highest pH and lowest heavy metal concentrations in the summer. These results support the idea that higher temperatures lead to an increase in the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria, which in turn leads to an increase in alkalinity and concentration of sulfides in the water. Trace metals tend to precipitate with sulfides under these conditions and are removed from the interstitial water. In contrast, in the soils colonized by Spartina maritima, the oxidation of metal sulfides during the summer led to a decrease in pH and an increase in the metal concentrations in the interstitial water. The results obtained concur with those found for seasonal variations in metal sulfides in soils from the same salt marsh.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-15

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

  7. Biophysical and biochemical markers of metal/metalloid-impacts in salt marsh halophytes and their implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naser A. Anjum

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available As a major sink, estuarine/salt marsh ecosystem can receive discharges laden with myriads of contaminants including metals/metalloids from man-made activities. Two among the major consequences of metal/metalloid-exposure in estuarine/salt marsh ecosystem flora such as halophytic plants are: (a the excessive accumulation of light energy that in turn leads to severe impairments in the photosystem II (PS II, and (b metal/metalloids-accrued elevation in reactive oxygen species (ROS in cells that causes imbalance in cellular redox homeostasis. On one hand, plants adopt several strategies to dissipate excessive energy hence eventually to avoid damage in the PS II and maintain optimum photosynthesis. On the other hand, components of cellular redox system quickly respond to metal/metalloid exposure, where plants try to maintain a fine-tuning therein and tightly control the level of ROS and its potential consequences. Based on recent reports this paper: (a overviews in separate sections major insights into and the significance of major biophysical and biochemical markers in metal/metalloid-exposed halophytes; and (b concludes the paper and highlights major points so far unexplored in the current context. Discussion reflects the need of integrating studies on major biophysical and biochemical markers in order finally to unveil tolerance/resistance mechanisms in halophytes under metal/metalloid exposed conditions.

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

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    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.

  9. The impact of herbivores on nitrogen mineralization rate: consequences for salt-marsh succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijnen, Harm J; van der Wal, René; Bakker, Jan P

    1999-02-01

    Soil net N-mineralization rate was measured along a successional gradient in salt-marsh sites that were grazed by vertebrate herbivores, and in 5-year-old exclosures from which the animals were excluded. Mineralization rate was significantly higher at ungrazed than at grazed sites. In the absence of grazing, mineralization rate increased over the course of succession, whereas it remained relatively low when sites were grazed. The largest differences in mineralization rate between grazed and ungrazed sites were found at late successional stages where grazing pressure was lowest. The amount of plant litter was significantly lower at grazed sites. In addition, the amount of litter and potential litter (non-woody, live shoots) was linearly related to net N-mineralization rate. This implies that herbivores reduced mineralization rate by preventing litter accumulation. Bulk density was higher at grazed salt-marsh sites than at ungrazed sites. This factor may also have contributed to the differences in net N-mineralization rate between grazed and ungrazed sites.

  10. Ecosystem assembly rules: the interplay of green and brown webs during salt marsh succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrama, Maarten; Berg, Matty P; Olff, Han

    2012-11-01

    Current theories about vegetation succession and food web assembly are poorly compatible, as food webs are generally viewed to be static, and succession is usually analyzed without the inclusion of higher trophic levels. In this study we present results from a detailed analysis of ecosystem assembly rules over a chronosequence of 100 years of salt marsh succession. First, using 13 yearlong observations on vegetation and soil parameters in different successional stages, we show that the space-for-time substitution is valid for this chronosequence. We then quantify biomass changes for all dominant invertebrate and vertebrate species across all main trophic groups of plants and animals. All invertebrate and vertebrate species were assigned to a trophic group according to feeding preference, and changes in trophic group abundance were quantified for seven different successional stages of the ecosystem. We found changes from a marine-fueled, decomposer-based (brown) food web in early stages to a more terrestrial, plant-based, herbivore-driven (green) food web in intermediate succession stages, and finally to a decomposer-based, terrestrial-driven food web in the latest stages. These changes were accompanied not only by an increase in live plant biomass and a leveling toward late succession but also by a constant increase in the amount of dead plant biomass over succession. Our results show that the structure and dynamics of salt marsh food webs cannot be understood except in light of vegetation succession, and vice versa.

  11. Geographic variation in Puget Sound tidal channel planform geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, W. Gregory

    2015-02-01

    Tidal channels are central elements of salt marsh hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics, and habitat. To develop allometric models predicting the number and size of tidal channels that could develop following salt marsh restoration, channels were digitized from aerial photographs of Puget Sound river delta marshes. Salt marsh area was the independent variable for all dependent channel planform metrics. Tidal channel allometry showed similar scaling exponents for channel planform metrics throughout Puget Sound, simplifying comparisons between locations. Y-intercepts of allometric relationships showed geographic variation, which multiple-regression indicated was associated with tidal range and storm significant wave height. Channel size and complexity were positively related to tidal range and negatively related to wave height. Four case studies, each with paired regions of similar tidal range and contrasting wave environments, further indicated wave environment affected channel geometry. Wave-mediated sediment delivery may be the mechanism involved, with wave-sheltered areas experiencing relative sediment deficits, such that some salt marshes in Puget Sound are already suffering sea-level rise impacts that are reflected in their channel network geometry.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Emond

    2016-07-01

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

  13. Mobility of Pb in salt marshes recorded by total content and stable isotopic signature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caetano, Miguel [National Institute for Agronomy and Fisheries Research - IPIMAR, Av. Brasilia 1449-006, Lisbon (Portugal); Fonseca, Nuno [National Institute for Agronomy and Fisheries Research - IPIMAR, Av. Brasilia 1449-006, Lisbon (Portugal); Cesario Carlos Vale, Rute [National Institute for Agronomy and Fisheries Research - IPIMAR, Av. Brasilia 1449-006, Lisbon (Portugal)]. E-mail: cvale@ipimar.pt

    2007-07-15

    Total lead and its stable isotopes were analysed in sediment cores, leaves, stem and roots of Sacorconia fruticosa and Spartina maritima sampled from Tagus (contaminated site) and Guadiana (low anthropogenic pressure) salt marshes. Lead concentration in vegetated sediments from the Tagus marsh largely exceeded the levels in non-vegetated sediments. Depth profiles of {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb and {sup 206}Pb/{sup 208}Pb showed a decrease towards the surface ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.160-1.167) as a result of a higher proportion of pollutant Pb components. In contrast, sediments from Guadiana marsh exhibited low Pb concentrations and an uniform isotopic signature ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.172 {+-} 0.003) with depth. This suggests a homogeneous mixing of mine-derived particles and pre-industrial sediments with minor inputs of anthropogenic Pb. Lead concentrations in roots of plants from the two marshes were higher than in leaves and stems, indicating limited transfer of Pb to aerial parts. A similar Pb isotopic signature was found in roots and in vegetated sediments, indicating that Pb uptake by plants reflects the input in sediments as determined by a significant anthropogenic contribution of Pb at Tagus and by mineralogical Pb phases at Guadiana. The accumulation in roots from Tagus marsh (max. 2870 {mu}g g{sup -1} in S. fruticosa and max. 1755 {mu}g g{sup -1} in S. maritima) clearly points to the dominant role of belowground biomass in the cycling of anthropogenic Pb. The fraction of anthropogenic Pb in belowground biomass was estimated based on the signature of anthropogenic Pb components in sediments ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.154). Since no differences exist between Pb signature in roots and upper sediments, the background and anthropogenic levels of Pb in roots were estimated. Interestingly, both background and anthropogenic Pb in roots exhibited a maximum at the same depth, although the proportion of anthropogenic Pb was relatively constant with depth

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

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    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.

  15. Adaptive management of perennial pepperweed for endangered specias and tidal marsh recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial pepperweed has invaded a wide range of habitat types in the far west. In the San Francisco Estuary, dense infestations have impacted sensitive tidal wetlands and compromised endangered species recovery efforts. An adaptive management effort to reduce perennial pepperweed was initiated by...

  16. Distribution and diversity of gallionella-like neutrophilic iron oxidizers in a tidal freshwater marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, J.; Vollrath, S.; Behrends, T.; Bodelier, P.L.E.; Muyzer, G.; Den Oudsten, F.; Meima-Franke, M.; Cappellen, P.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial iron oxidation is an integral part of the iron redox cycle in wetlands. Nonetheless, relatively little is known about the composition and ecology of iron-oxidizing communities in the soils and sediments of wetlands. In this study, sediment cores were collected across a freshwater tidal

  17. Distribution and diversity of Gallionella-like neutrophilic iron oxidizers in a tidal freshwater marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, J.; Vollrath, S.; Behrends, T.; Bodelier, P.L.E.; Muyzer, G.; Meima-Franke, M.; den Oudsten, F.; van Cappellen, P.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial iron oxidation is an integral part of the iron redox cycle in wetlands. Nonetheless, relatively little is known about the composition and ecology of iron-oxidizing communities in the soils and sediments of wetlands. In this study, sediment cores were collected across a freshwater tidal

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, C.; Menenti, M.; Stoll, M.P.; Feola, A.; Belluco, E.; Marani, M.

    2009-01-01

    Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been shown to have a great potential in the accurate characterization of forest systems; however, its application to salt-marsh environments is challenging because the characteristic short vegetation does not give rise to detectable differences between first

  3. Successional patterns of key genes and processes involved in the microbial nitrogen cycle in a salt marsh chronosequence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, Joana Falcao; Cassia Pereira e Silva , de Michele; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Dias, Armando C. F.; Guillaumaud, Nadine; Poly, Franck; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    Here, we investigated the patterns of microbial nitrogen cycling communities along a chronosequence of soil development in a salt marsh. The focus was on the abundance and structure of genes involved in N fixation (nifH), bacterial and archaeal ammonium oxidation (amoA; AOB and AOA), and the

  4. Decomposition dynamics of six salt marsh halophytes as determined by cupric oxide oxidation and direct temperature- resolved mass spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1999-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a comparative study on the aerobic decomposition of six salt marsh plant species over a period of 2 yr. In addition to ash-free dry weight (AFDW) determination and elemental analysis (C and N), two analytic methods have been applied to obtain insight into the

  5. Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, F.S.; Tinbergen, J.M.; Ens, B.J.; Koffijberg, K.; Dijkema, K.S.; Bakker, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds, and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing

  6. Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Koffijberg, Kees; Dijkema, Kees S.; Bakker, Jan P.

    Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds, and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing

  7. 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,

  8. 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,

  9. Nitrogen retention in salt marsh systems across nutrient-enrichment, elevation, and precipitation regimes: a multiple stressor experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Northeastern U.S., multiple anthropogenic stressors, including changing nutrient loads, accelerated sea-level rise, and altered climactic patterns are co-occurring, and are likely to influence salt marsh nitrogen (N) dynamics. We conducted a multiple stressor mesocosm expe...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Reconstructing the Genetic Potential of the Microbially-Mediated Nitrogen Cycle in a Salt Marsh Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Brossi, Maria Julia de L; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling in such systems. Here, we employed two complementary methodological approaches (i.e., shotgun metagenomics and quantitative PCR) to examine the distribution and abundance of selected microbial genes involved in N transformations. We used soil samples collected along a well-established pristine salt marsh soil chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development at the island of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. Across the examined soil successional stages, the structure of the populations of genes involved in N cycling processes was strongly related to (shifts in the) soil nitrogen levels (i.e., [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R (2) = 0.71). Quantification of the genes used as proxies for N fixation, nitrification and denitrification revealed clear successional signatures that corroborated the taxonomic assignments obtained by metagenomics. Notably, we found strong evidence for niche partitioning, as revealed by the abundance and distribution of marker genes for nitrification (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea) and denitrification (nitrite reductase nirK, nirS and nitrous oxide reductase nosZ clades I and II). This was supported by a distinct correlation between these genes and soil physico-chemical properties, such as soil physical structure, pH, salinity, organic matter, total N, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], across four seasonal samplings. Overall, this study sheds light on the successional trajectories of microbial N cycle genes along a naturally developing salt marsh ecosystem. The data obtained serve as a foundation to guide the formulation of

  14. 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

  15. Carbon burial and storage in tropical salt marshes under the influence of sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Fernández, A C; Carnero-Bravo, V; Sanchez-Cabeza, J A; Pérez-Bernal, L H; Amaya-Monterrosa, O A; Bojórquez-Sánchez, S; López-Mendoza, P G; Cardoso-Mohedano, J G; Dunbar, R B; Mucciarone, D A; Marmolejo-Rodríguez, A J

    2018-07-15

    Coastal vegetated habitats can be important sinks of organic carbon (C org ) and mitigate global warming by sequestering significant quantities of atmospheric CO 2 and storing sedimentary C org for long periods, although their C org burial and storage capacity may be affected by on-going sea level rise and human intervention. Geochemical data from published 210 Pb-dated sediment cores, collected from low-energy microtidal coastal wetlands in El Salvador (Jiquilisco Bay) and in Mexico (Salada Lagoon; Estero de Urias Lagoon; Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve) were revisited to assess temporal changes (within the last 100years) of C org concentrations, storage and burial rates in tropical salt marshes under the influence of sea level rise and contrasting anthropization degree. Grain size distribution was used to identify hydrodynamic changes, and δ 13 C to distinguish terrigenous sediments from those accumulated under the influence of marine transgression. Although the accretion rate ranges in all sediment records were comparable, C org concentrations (0.2-30%), stocks (30-465Mgha -1 , by extrapolation to 1m depth), and burial rates (3-378gm -2 year -1 ) varied widely within and among the study areas. However, in most sites sea level rise decreased C org concentrations and stocks in sediments, but increased C org burial rates. Lower C org concentrations were attributed to the input of reworked marine particles, which contribute with a lower amount of C org than terrigenous sediments; whereas higher C org burial rates were driven by higher mass accumulation rates, influenced by increased flooding and human interventions in the surroundings. C org accumulation and long-term preservation in tropical salt marshes can be as high as in mangrove or temperate salt marsh areas and, besides the reduction of C org stocks by ongoing sea level rise, the disturbance of the long-term buried C org inventories might cause high CO 2 releases, for which they must be protected as a part of

  16. The release of reducing sugars and dissolved organic carbon from Spartina alterniflora Loisel in a Georgia salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakulski, J. Dean

    1986-04-01

    Eight monosaccharides were found to be released from both tall and short forms of Spartina alterniflora during tidal submergence including: 2-d ribose, rhamnose, ribose, mannose, arabinose, fructose, galactose and xylose. Glucose was not detected in the leachate of either growth form. Two additional monosaccharides were found but were not identified. Losses of total reducing sugars (TRS) and total dissolved organic carbon (TDOC) ranged from 14-54 μgCg -1 dry wth -1 and 42 to 850 μgCg -1 dry wth -1, respectively. Losses of individual monosaccharides were generally <5μgCg -1 dry wth -1 and varied from 0·5-17 μgCg -1 dry wth -1. Differences were observed in seasonal patterns of losses between tall and short Spartina. Tall Spartina TRS losses peaked in midsummer, while in short Spartina TRS losses peaked in the spring and fall. TDOC losses in both tall and short Spartina followed similar patterns with peak losses occurring in the spring and fall. Periods of net uptake of TDOC were observed in both growth forms in midsummer. Uptake rates varied from 142-930 μgCg -1 dry wth -1. Estimated annual losses of TDOC from tall and short Spartina were between 100-150 and 5-10 gCm -2 year -1, respectively. The magnitude and seasonal pattern of TDOC losses reported here support Turner's conclusions that losses of labile DOM from Spartina are substantial in Georgia salt marshes and related to seasonal patterns of estuarine metabolism.

  17. Immersion in a Hudson Valley Tidal Marsh and Climate Research Community - Lamont-Doherty's Secondary School Field Research Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteet, D. M.; Newton, R.; Vincent, S.; Sambrotto, R.; Bostick, B. C.; Schlosser, P.; Corbett, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    A primary advantage of place-based research is the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research that can be applied to a single locale, with a depth of continued study through time. Through the last decade, Lamont-Doherty's Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP) has promoted scientific inquiry, mostly among groups under-represented in STEM fields, in Piermont Marsh, a federally protected marsh in the Hudson estuary. At the same time, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) scientists have become more involved, through mentoring by researchers, postdocs and graduate students, often paired with high school teachers. The sustained engagement of high school students in a natural environment, experiencing the Hudson River and its tidal cycles, protection of coastline, water quality improvement, native and invasive plant communities, is fundamental to their understanding of the importance of wetlands with their many ecosystem services. In addition, the Program has come to see "place" as inclusive of the Observatory itself. The students' work at Lamont expands their understanding of educational opportunities and career possibilities. Immersing students in a research atmosphere brings a level of serious inquiry and study to their lives and provides them with concrete contributions that they make to team efforts. Students select existing projects ranging from water quality to Phragmites removal, read papers weekly, take field measurements, produce lab results, and present their research at the end of six weeks. Ongoing results build from year to year in studies of fish populations, nutrients, and carbon sequestration, and the students have presented at professional scientific meetings. Through the Program students gain a sense of ownership over both their natural and the academic environments. Challenges include sustained funding of the program; segmenting the research for reproducible, robust results; fitting the projects to PIs' research goals, time

  18. A multi-proxy study of sedimentary humic substances in the salt marsh of the Changjiang Estuary, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yaoling; Du, Jinzhou; Zhao, Xin; Wu, Wangsuo; Peng, Bo; Zhang, Jing

    2014-12-01

    To better understand the origin, composition, and reactivity of sedimentary humic substances (HSs) in salt marshes in the Changjiang Estuary, HS samples were isolated from a sediment core that was collected from the Eastern Chongming salt marsh. Chemical and spectroscopic methods were used to analyze the features of these HSs. The results indicate that the studied HSs in the salt marsh sediments are mainly terrestrial-derived and that the sedimentary organic matter (SOM) in the top layer may contain more organic matter from marine sources and/or autochthonous materials due to the dramatic decreasing of the sediment supply as a result of damming. The degradation of labile carbohydrates and proteins and the preservation of refractory lignin components dominate the early diagenetic reactions of SOM in the salt marsh area. The average contents of the carboxylic groups in FAs and HAs are 11.64 ± 1.08 and 7.13 ± 0.16 meq/gC, and those of phenolic groups are 1.95 ± 0.13 and 2.40 ± 0.44 meq/gC, respectively. The content of carboxylic groups increased with increasing depth, while there were no obvious changes in the content of phenolic groups. The average concentration of total proton-binding sites is approximately 12.5 μmol/g sediment for the studied HSs. These values may provide insight into the migration and fate of HS-bound contaminants in sediments and the overlying sea water in the salt marsh areas of the Changjiang Estuary.

  19. Selenium biotransformation by the salt marsh cordgrass Spartina alterniflora: Evidence for dimethylselenoniopropionate formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ansede, J.H.; Pellechia, P.J.; Yoch, D.C. (Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States))

    1999-06-15

    Phytoremediation of toxic inorganic selenium compounds by accumulation, assimilation, and volatilization is an ideal way to rid contaminated soils and sediments of these molecules. In this context, salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) was investigated for its potential to produce dimethylselenoniopropionate (DMSeP), which as the authors have shown can serve as a precursor for the enzymatic volatilization of the relatively nontoxic gas, dimethylselenide (DMSe). Plants grown in sand culture, under varying saline conditions amended with the environmentally toxic form of selenium (selenate) were analyzed for organoselenium compounds. DMSeP was positively identified in plant tissue and partially purified plant extracts by alkaline degradation to DMSe, [sup 1]H and [sup 77]Se NMR, and by enzymatic cleavage by DMSP lyase to DMSe (and acrylate). DMSeP levels were highest in plants grown in high salt (full-strength seawater) and high selenium. Preliminary evidence suggests that cordgrass may also produce Se-methyl selenomethionine, the putative precursor of DMSeP. This appears to be the first report for the biological assimilation of selenate into DMSeP by a plant species. These findings suggest a possible mechanism for the volatilization of selenium, as DMSe, analogous to that of dimethylsulfide (DMS) production by the salt tolerant cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    by mass spectrometry to determine rates of denitrification, anammox and DNRA, respectively. Sediment and plant parameters were also assessed for each site. Potential denitrification rates were high during mid-summer (up to 30 nmol N gww-1 h-1) but low during late summer and fall (... several experimental (and unmanipulated) sites were collected during the late summer/fall of 2009 and summer 2010 to measure the potential rates of NO3- reduction in sediment slurries enriched with NO3- and 15NO3- added as a tracer. The resulting 15N-labeled products (30N2, 29N2 and 15NH4+) were analyzed...... 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....

  1. Variation in salt marsh CO2 fluxes across a latitudinal gradient along the US Atlantic coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbrich, I.; Nahrawi, H. B.; Leclerc, M.; O'Connell, J. L.; Mishra, D. R.; Fogarty, M. C.; Edson, J. B.; Lule, A. V.; Vargas, R.; Giblin, A. E.; Alber, M.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes occur at the dynamic interface of land and ocean, where they play an important role as sink and source of nutrients, carbon (C) and sediment. They often are strong carbon sinks, because they continuously accumulate soil organic matter and sediment to keep their position relative to sea level. Decadal average C sequestration rates can be inferred from soil carbon density and mass accumulation rates, but little information about biological and climatic controls on C cycling and storage in these systems exists. In this study, we report measurements of atmospheric CO2 exchange from salt marshes along the US Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Georgia. These measurements were made over periods from one to five years. Spartina alterniflora is the dominant vegetation at all sites. At the northern most site, Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE) LTER, and the southern most site, Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) LTER, flux measurements over several years have shown variations in the net CO2 flux influenced by the local climate. For example, annual net C uptake at the PIE LTER over 5 years (2013-2017) depends on rainfall in the growing season (June-August) which modulates soil salinity levels. This pattern is not as evident at the GCE LTER (2014-2015). Furthermore, the growing season length differs between both sites. Based on the CO2 flux measurements, a temperature threshold of 15o C limits the net C uptake at both sites and daily rates of net C uptake are generally smaller during the longer growing season in Georgia. Nevertheless, gross primary production (GPP) is similar for both sites. We will extend this analysis to include sites from Delaware and North Carolina to assess controls (e.g. leaf area using MODIS vegetation indices, temperature, photoperiod) on Spartina phenology and CO2 exchange.

  2. 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

  3. Silica uptake by Spartina – evidence of multiple modes of accumulation from salt marshes around the world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna C Carey

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Silicon (Si plays a critical role in plant functional ecology, protecting plants from multiple environmental stressors. While all terrestrial plants contain some Si, wetland grasses are frequently found to have the highest concentrations, although the mechanisms driving Si accumulation in wetland grasses remain in large part uncertain. For example, active Si accumulation is often assumed to be responsible for elevated Si concentrations found in wetland grasses. However, life stage and differences in Si availability in the surrounding environment also appear to be important variables controlling the Si concentrations of wetland grasses. Here we used original data from five North American salt marshes, as well as all known published literature values, to examine the primary drivers of Si accumulation in Spartina, a genus of prolific salt marsh grasses found worldwide. We found evidence of multiple modes of Si accumulation in Spartina, with passive accumulation observed in non-degraded marshes where Spartina was native, while rejective accumulation was found in regions where Spartina was invasive. Evidence of active accumulation was found in only one marsh where Spartina was native, but was also subjected to nutrient over-enrichment. We developed a conceptual model which hypothesizes that the mode of Si uptake by Spartina is dependent on local environmental factors and genetic origin, supporting the idea that plant species should be placed along a spectrum of Si accumulation. We hypothesize that Spartina exhibits previously unrecognized phenotypic plasticity with regard to Si accumulation, allowing these plants to respond to changes in marsh condition. These results provide new insight regarding how salt marsh ecosystems regulate Si exchange at the land-sea interface.

  4. Assessment of phosphogypsum impact on the salt-marshes of the Tinto river (SW Spain): role of natural attenuation processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-López, Rafael; Castillo, Julio; Sarmiento, Aguasanta M; Nieto, José M

    2011-12-01

    About 120 Mton of phosphogypsum from the fertiliser industry were stack-piled on the salt-marshes of the Tinto river (Spain). This paper investigates the capacity of salt-marshes to attenuate contamination due to downward leaching from phosphogypsum. Solids and pore-waters were characterized at different depths of the pile to reach the marsh-ground. In superficial zones, metals were highly mobile, and no reduced sulphur was found. However, pollutant concentration decreased in the pore-water in deeper oxygen-restricted zones. Metal removal occurred by precipitation of newly formed sulphides, being this process main responsible for the contamination attenuation. Pyrite-S was the main sulphide component (up to 2528 mg/kg) and occurred as framboids, leading to high degrees of pyritization (up to 97%). The sulphidization reaction is Fe-limited; however, excess of acid-volatile sulphide over other metals cause precipitation of other sulphides, mainly of Cu and As. This decrease in metal mobility significantly minimises the impact of phosphogypsums on the salt-marshes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Nitrogen and organic carbon cycling processes in tidal marshes and shallow estuarine habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergamaschi, B. A.; Downing, B. D.; Pellerin, B. A.; Kraus, T. E. C.; Fleck, J.; Fujii, R.

    2016-02-01

    Tidal wetlands and shallow water habitats can be sites of high aquatic productivity, and they have the potential of exchanging this newly produced organic carbon with adjacent deeper habitats. Indeed, export of organic carbon from wetlands and shallow water habitats to pelagic food webs is one of the primary ecosystem functions targeted in tidal wetland restorations. Alternatively, wetlands and shallow water habitats can function as retention areas for nutrients due to the nutrient demand of emergent macrophytes and denitrification in anoxic zones. They can also remove phytoplankton and non-algal particles from the aquatic food webs because the shallower waters can result in higher rates of benthic grazing and higher settling due to lower water velocities. We conducted studies in wetland and channel sites in the San Francisco estuary (USA) to investigate the dynamics of nutrients and carbon production at a variety of temporal scales. We collected continuous time series of nutrients, oxygen, chlorophyll and pH in conjunction with continuous acoustic measurement of water velocity and discharge to provide mass controls and used simple biogeochemical models to assess rates. We found a high degree of temporal variability in individual systems, corresponding to, for example, changes in nutrient supply, water level, light level, wind, wind direction, and other physical factors. There was also large variability among the different systems, probably due to differences in flows and geomorphic features. We compare the aquatic productivity of theses environments and speculate as to the formative elements of each. Our findings demonstrate the complex interaction between physical, chemical, and biological factors that determine the type of production and degree of export from tidal wetlands and shallow water habitats, suggesting that a clearer picture of these processes is important for guiding future large scale restoration efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Martha G.; Dudley, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    Salt marshes are ecosystems that provide many important ecological functions in the Gulf of Maine. The U.S. Geological Survey investigated salt marshes in and around Acadia National Park from Penobscot Bay to the Schoodic Peninsula to map the potential for landward migration of marshes using a static inundation model of a sea-level rise scenario of 60 centimeters (cm; 2 feet). The resulting inundation contours can be used by resource managers to proactively adapt to sea-level rise by identifying and targeting low-lying coastal areas adjacent to salt marshes for conservation or further investigation, and to identify risks to infrastructure in the coastal zone. For this study, the mapping of static inundation was based on digital elevation models derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) topographic data collected in October 2010. Land-surveyed control points were used to evaluate the accuracy of the LiDAR data in the study area, yielding a root mean square error of 11.3 cm. An independent accuracy assessment of the LiDAR data specific to salt-marsh land surfaces indicated a root mean square error of 13.3 cm and 95-percent confidence interval of ± 26.0 cm. LiDAR-derived digital elevation models and digital color aerial photography, taken during low tide conditions in 2008, with a pixel resolution of 0.5 meters, were used to identify the highest elevation of the land surface at each salt marsh in the study area. Inundation contours for 60-cm of sea-level rise were delineated above the highest marsh elevation for each marsh. Confidence interval contours (95-percent,± 26.0 cm) were delineated above and below the 60-cm inundation contours, and artificial structures, such as roads and bridges, that may present barriers to salt-marsh migration were mapped. This study delineated 114 salt marshes totaling 340 hectares (ha), ranging in size from 0.11 ha (marshes less than 0.2 ha were mapped only if they were on Acadia National Park property) to 52 ha, with a median

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 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.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.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 ineffective for controlling this invasion.

  18. Relationship between nitrogen-fixing sulfate reducers and fermenters in salt marsh sediments and roots of Spartina alterniflora.

    OpenAIRE

    Gandy, E L; Yoch, D C

    1988-01-01

    A combination of inhibitors and carbon substrates was used to determine the relative contribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and fermenting bacteria to nitrogen fixation in a salt marsh sediment and on the roots of Spartina alterniflora. Because a lag period precedes acetylene-reducing activity (ARA) in amended sediments, an extensive analysis was done to be sure that this activity was due to the activation of dormant cells, not simply to cell proliferation. Since ARA was not affected...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pétillon, J.; Lambeets, K.; Montaigne, W.; Maelfait, J.-P.; Bonte, D.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. A long-term comparison of carbon sequestration rates in impounded and naturally tidal freshwater marshes along the lower Waccamaw River, South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drexler, Judith Z.; Krauss, Ken W.; Sasser, M. Craig; Fuller, Christopher C.; Swarzenski, Christopher M.; Powell, Amber; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Orlando, James L.

    2013-01-01

    Carbon storage was compared between impounded and naturally tidal freshwater marshes along the Lower Waccamaw River in South Carolina, USA. Soil cores were collected in (1) naturally tidal, (2) moist soil (impounded, seasonally drained since ~1970), and (3) deeply flooded “treatments” (impounded, flooded to ~90 cm since ~2002). Cores were analyzed for % organic carbon, % total carbon, bulk density, and 210Pb and 137Cs for dating purposes. Carbon sequestration rates ranged from 25 to 200 g C m−2 yr−1 (moist soil), 80–435 g C m−2 yr−1 (naturally tidal), and 100–250 g C m−2 yr−1 (deeply flooded). The moist soil and naturally tidal treatments were compared over a period of 40 years. The naturally tidal treatment had significantly higher carbon storage (mean = 219 g C m−2 yr−1 vs. mean = 91 g C m−2 yr−1) and four times the vertical accretion rate (mean = 0.84 cm yr−1 vs. mean = 0.21 cm yr−1) of the moist soil treatment. The results strongly suggest that the long drainage period in moist soil management limits carbon storage over time. Managers across the National Wildlife Refuge system have an opportunity to increase carbon storage by minimizing drainage in impoundments as much as practicable.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. From the ocean to a salt marsh: towards understanding iron reduction processes with FORC-PCA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraszko, J. R.; Lascu, I.; Collins, S. M.; Harrison, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Biogenic magnetic minerals are a high fidelity recorder of climate change. Their sensitivity to sedimentary redox conditions and bottom water ventilation have the potential to provide useful insights into past diagenetic conditions. However, the mechanisms controlling preservation and dissolution of magnetosomes are not fully understood, thus undermining the reliability of the paleomagnetic records in marine environments. Recovering information about the diagenetic past of the sediment is a crucial challenge; specifically, the biogenic components need to be identified and unmixed from the bulk magnetic signal. We address the issue in this study by applying Principal Component Analysis on First Order Reversal Curve diagrams (FORC-PCA) in case studies of cores obtained from the Iberian Margin and the sedimentologically active coastal salt marshes of Norfolk. We demonstrate the applicability of FORC-PCA as a new environmental proxy, yielding a high resolution temporal marine record of environmental changes reflected in magnetic composition over the last 194 kyr. The strongest variations are observed in the microbially derived components, the bulk properties of the sediment being controlled by a low coercivity SP-SD component which is generally anticorrelated with the magnetosome signal. Supported by TEM studies, we suggest the prevalence of clusters of nano-particles of magnetite associated with iron reduction. To further investigate the mechanisms controlling these processes, the active sedimentary environment of Norfolk was chosen as a case study of early diagenesis controlled by strong vertical geochemical gradients.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. The effect of multiple stressors on salt marsh end-of-season biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, J.M.; Sasser, C.E.; Cade, B.S.

    2006-01-01

    It is becoming more apparent that commonly used statistical methods (e.g., analysis of variance and regression) are not the best methods for estimating limiting relationships or stressor effects. A major challenge of estimating the effects associated with a measured subset of limiting factors is to account for the effects of unmeasured factors in an ecologically realistic matter. We used quantile regression to elucidate multiple stressor effects on end-of-season biomass data from two salt marsh sites in coastal Louisiana collected for 18 yr. Stressor effects evaluated based on available data were flooding, salinity, air temperature, cloud cover, precipitation deficit, grazing by muskrat, and surface water nitrogen and phosphorus. Precipitation deficit combined with surface water nitrogen provided the best two-parameter model to explain variation in the peak biomass with different slopes and intercepts for the two study sites. Precipitation deficit, cloud cover, and temperature were significantly correlated with each other. Surface water nitrogen was significantly correlated with surface water phosphorus and muskrat density. The site with the larger duration of flooding showed reduced peak biomass, when cloud cover and surface water nitrogen were optimal. Variation in the relatively low salinity occurring in our study area did not explain any of the variation in Spartina alterniflora biomass. ?? 2006 Estuarine Research Federation.

  7. Methane production and simultaneous sulphate reduction in anoxic, salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oremland, R.S.; Marsh, L.M.; Polcin, S.

    1982-01-01

    It has been generally believed that sulphate reduction precludes methane generation during diagenesis of anoxic sediments1,2. Because most biogenic methane formed in nature is thought to derive either from acetate cleavage or by hydrogen reduction of carbon dioxide3-6, the removal of these compounds by the energetically more efficient sulphate-reducing bacteria can impose a substrate limitation on methanogenic bacteria 7-9. However, two known species of methanogens, Methanosarcina barkeri and Methanococcus mazei, can grow on and produce methane from methanol and methylated amines10-13. In addition, these compounds stimulate methane production by bacterial enrichments from the rumen11,14 and aquatic muds13,14. Methanol can enter anaerobic food webs through bacterial degradation of lignins15 or pectin16, and methylated amines can be produced either from decomposition of substances like choline, creatine and betaine13,14 or by bacterial reduction of trimethylamine oxide17, a common metabolite and excretory product of marine animals. However, the relative importance of methanol and methylated amines as precursors of methane in sediments has not been previously examined. We now report that methanol and trimethylamine are important substrates for methanogenic bacteria in salt marsh sediments and that these compounds may account for the bulk of methane produced therein. Furthermore, because these compounds do not stimulate sulphate reduction, methanogenesis and sulphate reduction can operate concurrently in sulphate-containing anoxic sediments. ?? 1982 Nature Publishing Group.

  8. The role of herbicides in the erosion of salt marshes in eastern England

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, C.F.; Underwood, G.J.C.; Baker, N.R.; Davey, P.A.; Davidson, I.; Hanlon, A.; Long, S.P.; Oxborough, K.; Paterson, D.M.; Watson, A.

    2003-01-01

    Herbicide run-off stresses saltmarsh diatoms and higher plants and may increase erosion. - Laboratory studies and field trials were conducted to investigate the role of herbicides on saltmarsh vegetation, and their possible significance to saltmarsh erosion. Herbicide concentrations within the ranges present in the aquatic environment were found to reduce the photosynthetic efficiency and growth of both epipelic diatoms and higher saltmarsh plants in the laboratory and in situ. The addition of sublethal concentrations of herbicides resulted in decreased growth rates and photosynthetic efficiency of diatoms and photosynthetic efficiency of higher plants. Sediment stability also decreased due to a reduction in diatom EPS production. There was qualitative evidence that diatoms migrated deeper into the sediment when the surface was exposed to simazine, reducing surface sediment stability by the absence of a cohesive biofilm. Sediment loads on leaves severely reduced photosynthesis in Limonium vulgare. This, coupled with reduced carbon assimilation from the effects of herbicides, could have large negative consequences for plant productivity and over winter survival of saltmarsh plants. The data support the hypothesis that sublethal herbicide concentrations could be playing a role in the increased erosion of salt marshes that has occurred over the past 40 years

  9. Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarik Aanniz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240 thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5% represented by B. licheniformis (119, B. aerius (44, B. sonorensis (33, B. subtilis (subsp. spizizenii (2 and subsp. inaquosurum (6, B. amyloliquefaciens (subsp. amyloliquefaciens (4 and subsp. plantarum (4, B. tequilensis (3, B. pumilus (3 and Bacillus sp. (19. Only six isolates (2.5% belonged to the genus Aeribacillus represented by A. pallidus (4 and Aeribacillus sp. (2. In this study, B. aerius and B. tequilensis are described for the first time as thermophilic bacteria. Moreover, 71.25%, 50.41% and 5.41% of total strains exhibited high amylolytic, proteolytic or cellulolytic activity respectively.

  10. Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aanniz, Tarik; Ouadghiri, Mouna; Melloul, Marouane; Swings, Jean; Elfahime, Elmostafa; Ibijbijen, Jamal; Ismaili, Mohamed; Amar, Mohamed

    2015-06-01

    The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240) thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5%) represented by B. licheniformis (119), B. aerius (44), B. sonorensis (33), B. subtilis (subsp. spizizenii (2) and subsp. inaquosurum (6)), B. amyloliquefaciens (subsp. amyloliquefaciens (4) and subsp. plantarum (4)), B. tequilensis (3), B. pumilus (3) and Bacillus sp. (19). Only six isolates (2.5%) belonged to the genus Aeribacillus represented by A. pallidus (4) and Aeribacillus sp. (2). In this study, B. aerius and B. tequilensis are described for the first time as thermophilic bacteria. Moreover, 71.25%, 50.41% and 5.41% of total strains exhibited high amylolytic, proteolytic or cellulolytic activity respectively.

  11. A simple, inexpensive, and field-relevant microcosm tidal simulator for use in marsh macrophyte studies1

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacTavish, Rachel M.; Cohen, Risa A.

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: A microcosm unit with tidal simulation was developed to address the challenge of maintaining ecologically relevant tidal regimes while performing controlled greenhouse experiments on smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. • Methods and Results: We designed a simple, inexpensive, easily replicated microcosm unit with tidal simulation and tested whether S. alterniflora growth in microcosms with tidal simulation was similar to that of tidally influenced plants in the field on Sapelo Island, Georgia. After three months of exposure to either natural or simulated tidal treatment, plants in microcosms receiving tidal simulation had similar stem density, height, and above- and belowground biomass to plants in field plots. • Conclusions: The tidal simulator developed may provide an inexpensive, effective method for conducting studies on S. alterniflora and other tidally influenced plants in controlled settings to be used not only to complement field studies, but also in locations without coastal access. PMID:25383265

  12. Season changes of cadmium and copper levels in stem-boring larvae of Agapanthia villosoviridescens (coleoptera) on salt marshes of the Westerschelde estuary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hemminga, M.A.; Nieuwenhuize, J.; Poley-Vos, C.H.; van Soelen, J. (Delta Institute for Hydrobiological Research, Yerseke (Netherlands))

    1989-11-01

    Analyses of heavy metals in insects, including their developmental stages, have been widely used to monitor the penetration of these pollutants in various ecosystems. There are few reports dealing with seasonal changes in heavy metal content of insects. The seasonal pattern found in one herbivorous insect closely followed seasonal trends in metal contamination levels in the local vegetation. No data are available on season changes in insect larvae. To obtain more detailed information on seasonal changes of heavy metal levels in insects and their relation with the seasonally changing conditions in the habitat, the authors studied the time course of cadmium and copper concentrations in larvae of the longhorn beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens. These live as stem-borers in the salt marsh halophyte Aster tripolium. The authors collected larvae from three salt marshes along the Westerschelde estuary. This estuary is severely polluted by heavy metals originating mainly from upstream sources; a large fraction of these metals is retained within the estuary. The fringing salt marsh soils, which are a sink for trace metals, show a gradient in pollution, with levels of heavy metals generally increasing in upstream direction. Salt marsh halophytes growing on these marshes show uptake of metals from the soil. Further transfers of heavy metals through the natural food chains on these salt marshes have not been investigated sofar.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have attempted to predict whether coastal marshes will be able to keep up with future acceleration of sea-level rise by estimating marsh accretion rates. However, there are few studies focussing on the long-term effects of herbivores on vegetation structure and subsequent effects on

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Short-term mudflat dynamics drive long-term cyclic salt marsh dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, T.; van Belzen, J; Balke, T; van Dalen, J.H.; Klaassen, P.; Hartog, A. M.; Callaghan, D.P.; Hu, Z.; Stive, M.J.F.; Temmerman, S.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2016-01-01

    Our study aims to enhance process understanding of the long-term (decadal and longer) cyclic marsh dynamics by identifying the mechanisms that translate large-scale physical forcing in the system into vegetation change, in particular (i) the initiation of lateral erosion on an expanding marsh,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  18. Impacts to Ecological Services: Buried Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill and Its Effect on Salt Marsh Denitrification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, B. M.; White, J. R.; Delaune, R.

    2016-02-01

    In coastal Louisiana (LA), demands for ecosystem services are increasing while human activities continue to deteriorate coastal systems. On April 20, 2010, the largest offshore oil spill in United States history occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, known as the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Approximately 795 million L of crude oil were released, consequently oiling 1,773 km of Gulf Coast shoreline. Four years later, oil from the spill was found buried in the soil and seeping at the salt marsh surface in Bay Jimmy, LA. Previous studies found that immediately following oil exposure, wetland soils have suppressed microbial activity. This study seeks to understand effects of the long-term presence of oil on soil microbes and associated impacts to wetland soil denitrification. Bulk soil and intact soil cores were collected four years after the DWH spill from a heavily impacted salt marsh and a proximal site deemed unoiled in Barataria Bay, LA. Oil present in the soil subsurface increased dry weight bulk density, and decreased moisture content. Potential denitrification (acetylene block) in the top 10 cm of soil was 38% lower for oiled samples versus unoiled controls. Areal nitrate reduction rates were significantly lower in oiled samples in an intact core flux experiment under environmentally relevant nitrate conditions (2mg/L NO3-N), P-value ecosystem service of water quality improvement. Future studies should investigate impacts of oil being rebroadcasted onto marshes as land erodes in the study area.

  19. 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.

  20. Interannual variability in CO2 and CH4 exchange in a brackish tidal marsh in Northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, S. H.; Windham-Myers, L.; Anderson, F. E.; Bergamaschi, B. A.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon (C) cycling in coastal wetlands is difficult to measure and model due to extremely dynamic atmospheric and hydrologic fluxes, as well as sensitivities to dynamic land- and ocean-based drivers. To date, few studies have begun continuous measurements of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) in these systems, and as such our understanding of the key drivers of NEE in coastal wetlands remain poorly understood. Recent eddy covariance measurements of NEE in these environments show considerable variability both within and across sites, with daily CO2 uptake and annual net CO2 budgets varying by nearly an order of magnitude between years and across locations. Furthermore, measurements of CH4 fluxes in these systems are even more limited, despite the potential for CH4 emissions from brackish and freshwater coastal wetlands. Here we present 3 years of near-continuous eddy covariance measurements of CO2 and CH4 fluxes from a brackish tidal marsh in Northern California and explore the drivers of interannual variability in CO2 and CH4 exchange. CO2 fluxes showed significant interannual variability; net CO2 uptake was near-zero in 2014 (6 ± 26 g C-CO2 m-2 yr-1), while much greater uptake was observed in 2015 and 2016 (209 ± 27 g C- CO2 m-2 yr-1 and 243 ± 26 g C-CO2 m-2 yr-1, respectively). Conversely, annual CH4 emissions were small and consistent across years, with the wetland emitting on average 1 ± 0.1 g C-CH4 m-2 yr-1. With respect to the net atmospheric GHG budget (assuming a sustained global warming potential (SGWP) of 45, expressed in units of CO2 equivalents), the wetland was near neutral in 2014, but a net GHG sink of 706 ± 105 g CO2 eq m-2 yr-1 and 836 ± 83 g CO2 eq m-2 yr-1 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The large interannual variability in CO2 exchange was driven by notable year-to-year differences in temperature and precipitation as California experienced a severe drought and record high temperatures from 2012 to 2015. The large interannual variability in

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F. Bruno

    2017-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Atriplex (Halimione) portulacoides is a halophytic, C3 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. Methods 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. Key Results 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 CO2 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 CO2 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 (ΦPSII) nor the chlorophyll fluorescence ratio (Fv/Fm) were reduced by salinity, and lower mid-day values recovered by dawn. Mid-day Fv/Fm was in fact depressed more at low external sodium concentration, by the end of the experiment. Conclusions 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

  4. Tidal groundwater flow and its ecological effects in a brackish marsh at the mouth of a large sub-tropical river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Kai; Li, Hailong; Wilson, Alicia M.; Xia, Yuqiang; Wan, Li; Zheng, Chunmiao; Ma, Qian; Wang, Chaoyue; Wang, Xusheng; Jiang, Xiaowei

    2017-12-01

    Soil saturation is thought to be an important control on plant zonation in intertidal wetlands, but quantitative studies linking saturation and plant zonation in real marsh systems are few. We conducted a combined field and modeling study to examine the potential links between groundwater flow and ecological zonation in a brackish marsh in the Yangtze River estuary. The intertidal marsh transect contained two plant zones (Phragmites australis and Spartina alterniflora) and an unvegetated mud flat adjacent to the estuary. Numerical simulations were conducted to quantify soil saturation index (SSI, ratio of saturated time to the whole observation period) for analyzing plant zonation. Models considered multiple factors, including aquifer stratification, anisotropy, evapotranspiration, surface topography (particularly slope breaks), seepage face formation and tidal loading. Simulations revealed that the average SSI over the rhizosphere depth from 0.0 m to 0.3 m increased abruptly by 11.4% at the interface of the two plant zones, and by another 10.5% at the riverward boundary of the vegetated zone. The significant increase of SSI was not caused by slope breaks but seepage face was responsible for the riverward increase of SSI. Given known differences between Phragmites australis and Spartina alterniflora in their tolerances to anoxic conditions, the subsurface saturated/unsaturated conditions quantified by SSI are most probably responsible for the observed plant zonation.

  5. Plant responses to increased inundation and salt exposure: interactive effects on tidal marsh productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flooding and high salinity generally induce physiological stress in wetland vascular plants which may increase in intensity with sea-level rise (SLR). We tested the effects of these factors on seedling growth in a transplant experiment in a macrotidal estuary in the Pacific North...

  6. Ecosystem engineering by large grazers enhances carbon stocks in a tidal salt marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elschot, Kelly; Bakker, Jan P.; Temmerman, Stijn; van de Koppel, Johan; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    2015-01-01

    Grazers can have a large impact on ecosystem processes and are known to change vegetation composition. However, knowledge of how the long-term presence of grazers affects soil carbon sequestration is limited. In this study, we estimated total accumulated organic carbon in soils of a back-barrier

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Bedload and nearbed detritus transport in a tidal saltmarsh creek

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemminga, M.A.; Cattrijsse, A.; Wielemaker, A.

    1996-01-01

    Bedload and nearbed transport of coarse (>1 mm) detritus particles were investigated in a tidal creek of a salt marsh in the Westerschelde estuary (south-west Netherlands). Using a fyke net positioned on the creek bottom, hourly transport through the creek was measured during 14 flood-ebb cycles in

  13. Stratification and salt-wedge in the Seomjin river estuary under the idealized tidal influence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Jin Hwan; Jang, Dongmin; Kim, Yong Hoon

    2017-12-01

    Advection, straining, and vertical mixing play primary roles in the process of estuarine stratification. Estuaries can be classified as salt-wedge, partially-mixed or well-mixed depending on the vertical density structure determined by the balancing of advection, mixing and straining. In particular, straining plays a major role in the stratification of the estuarine water body along the estuarine channel. Also, the behavior of a salt wedge with a halocline shape in a stratified channel can be controlled by the competition between straining and mixing induced by buoyancy from the riverine source and tidal forcing. The present study uses Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM) to show that straining and vertical mixing play major roles in controlling along-channel flow and stratification structures in the Seomjin river estuary (SRE) under idealized conditions. The Potential Energy Anomaly (PEA) dynamic equation quantifies the governing processes thereby enabling the determination of the stratification type. By comparing terms in the equation, we examined how the relative strengths of straining and mixing alter the stratification types in the SRE due to changes in river discharge and the depth resulting from dredging activities. SRE under idealized tidal forcing tends to be partially-mixed based on an analysis of the balance between terms and the vertical structure of salinity, and the morphological and hydrological change in SRE results in the shift of stratification type. While the depth affects the mixing, the freshwater discharge mainly controls the straining, and the balance between mixing and straining determines the final state of the stratification in an estuarine channel. As a result, the development and location of a salt wedge along the channel in a partially mixed and highly stratified condition is also determined by the ratio of straining to mixing. Finally, our findings confirm that the contributions of mixing and straining can be assessed by using the

  14. Enhancement of natural radioactivity in soils and salt-marshes surrounding a non-nuclear industrial complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bologon, J.P.; Garca-Tenorio, R.; Garca-Leon, M.

    1995-01-01

    The existence of a very high extension (about 1000 ha) of phosphogypsum piles, sited in the estuary formed by the mouths of the Tinto and Odiel rivers (SW Spain), produce a quite local, but unambiguous radioactive impact in the surrounding salt-marshes. In these piles the main by-product formed in the manufacture of phosphoric acid is stored. The radioactive impact is generated by the deposition and accumulation of radionuclides from the uranium series that previously had been mainly leached or dissolved from the piles by waters that temporally can cover or cross them. Other means of impact, especially through the atmosphere, have been evaluated as negligible or not detectable

  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. An Annotated List of Auchenorrhyncha and Heteroptera Collected in the Coastal Salt Marshes of the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. M. Sokolov

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Insects that live in the saltwater and brackish marshes, which fringe the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, are largely unstudied. During 2011–2013, a survey of insect fauna of the coastal salt marshes of the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana was conducted. We present the species of terrestrial representatives of Heteroptera and Auchenorrhyncha collected during that study. The Auchenorrhyncha are represented by 33 species in 6 families, with Cicadellidae (16 species and Delphacidae (13 spp., and are the most diverse. The terrestrial heteropterans are represented by 11 species in 5 families with the majority of species in Miridae (6 spp.. A list of species, annotated with numbers of specimens collected, ranges of collection dates (seasonality, and published information on their hosts, habitats, and ranges, is presented. Of 44 identified species, ten species (22.7% are reported from Louisiana for the first time. The paper provides evidence of a diverse terrestrial arthropod community in brackish marshes; a community that is largely understudied.

  17. Shoreline oiling effects and recovery of salt marsh macroinvertebrates from theDeepwater HorizonOil 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. alte