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Sample records for tidal salt marsh

  1. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly L Dibble

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

  3. 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.

  4. South Bay Salt Pond Tidal Marsh Restoration at Pond A17 Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP South Bay Salt Pond Tidal Marsh Restoration at Pond A17 Project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, S. M.; Madsen, E.

    2013-12-01

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

  13. The influence of neap-spring tidal variation and wave energy on sediment flux in salt marsh tidal creeks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacy, Jessica; Ferner, Matthew C.; Callaway, John C.

    2018-01-01

    Sediment flux in marsh tidal creeks is commonly used to gage sediment supply to marshes. We conducted a field investigation of temporal variability in sediment flux in tidal creeks in the accreting tidal marsh at China Camp State Park adjacent to northern San Francisco Bay. Suspended-sediment concentration (SSC), velocity, and depth were measured near the mouths of two tidal creeks during three six-to-ten-week deployments: two in winter and one in summer. Currents, wave properties and SSC were measured in the adjacent shallows. All deployments spanned the largest spring tides of the season. Results show that tidally-averaged suspended-sediment flux (SSF) in the tidal creeks decreased with increasing tidal energy, and SSF was negative (bayward) for tidal cycles with maximum water surface elevation above the marsh plain. Export during the largest spring tides dominated the cumulative SSF measured during the deployments. During ebb tides following the highest tides, velocities exceeded 1 m/s in the narrow tidal creeks, resulting in negative tidally-averaged water flux, and mobilizing sediment from the creek banks or bed. Storm surge also produced negative SSF. Tidally-averaged SSF was positive in wavey conditions with moderate tides. Spring-tide sediment export was about 50% less at a station 130 m further up the tidal creek than at the creek mouth. The negative tidally-averaged water flux near the creek mouth during spring tides indicates that in the lower marsh, some of the water flooding directly across the bay--marsh interface drains through the tidal creeks, and suggests that this interface may be a pathway for sediment supply to the lower marsh as well.

  14. 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.

  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.

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

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Spatial patterns in salt marsh porewater dissolved organic matter over a spring-neap tidal cycle: insight to the impact of hydrodynamics on lateral carbon fluxes

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    Guimond, J. A.; Yu, X.; Duque, C.; Michael, H. A.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes are a hydrologically complex ecosystem. Tides deliver saline surface water to salt marshes via tidal creeks, and freshwater is introduced through lateral groundwater flow and vertical infiltration from precipitation. Locally, sediment heterogeneity, tides, weather, and topography introduce spatial and temporal complexities in groundwater-surface water interactions, which, in turn, can have a large impact on salt marsh biogeochemistry and the lateral fluxes of nutrients and carbon between the marsh platform and tidal creek. In this study, we investigate spatial patterns of porewater fluorescent dissolved organic matter (fDOM) and redox potential over a spring-neap tidal cycle in a mid-latitude tidal salt marsh in Dover, Delaware. Porewater samplers were used in conjunction with a peristaltic pump and YSI EXO Sonde to measure porewater fDOM, electrical conductivity, redox potential and pH from 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.3 meters deep, as well as surface water from the creek and marsh platform. Eh was also measured continuously every 15 minutes with multi-level in-situ redox sensors at 0, 3, and 5m from the tidal creek, and water level and salinity were measured every 15 minutes continuously in 6 wells equipped with data loggers. Preliminary analyses indicate porewater salinity is dependent on the slope of the marsh platform, the elevation of the sample location, and the distance from a tidal creek. Near-creek redox analyses show tidal oscillations up to 300 mV; redox oscillations in the marsh interior show longer timescale changes. The observed redox oscillations coincide with the water level fluctuations at these locations. Therefore, lateral transport of carbon is determined by both hydrologic flow and biogeochemical processes. Results from this study provide insight into the timescales over which salt marsh hydrology impacts porewater biogeochemistry and the mechanisms controlling regional carbon cycling.

  20. Estuaries and Tidal Marshes. Habitat Pac.

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

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

  1. Will Restored Tidal Marshes Be Sustainable?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Orr

    2003-10-01

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

  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. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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

    that by shaping major geomorphic features and providing sediments to the adjacent sites, fluvial-geomorphic processes of tidal creeks exert fundamental controls on the cross-channel distribution of abiotic and biotic factors. These results point to a need for biogeomorphic and landscape ecological perspectives...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Can salt marshes survive sea level rise ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambroni, N.; Seminara, G.

    2008-12-01

    Stability of salt marshes is a very delicate issue depending on the subtle interplay among hydrodynamics, morphodynamics and ecology. In fact, the elevation of the marsh platform depends essentially on three effects: i) the production of soil associated with sediments resuspended by tidal currents and wind waves in the adjacent tidal flats, advected to the marsh and settling therein; ii) production of organic sediments by the salt marsh vegetation; iii) soil 'loss' driven by sea level rise and subsidence. In order to gain insight into the mechanics of the process, we consider a schematic configuration consisting of a salt marsh located at the landward end of a tidal channel connected at the upstream end with a tidal sea, under different scenarios of sea level rise. We extend the simple 1D model for the morphodynamic evolution of a tidal channel formulated by Lanzoni and Seminara (2002, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 107, C1) allowing for sediment resuspension in the channel and vegetation growth in the marsh using the depth dependent model of biomass productivity of Spartina proposed by Morris et al. (2002, Ecology, 83, pp. 2869 - 2877). We first focus on the case of a tide dominated salt marsh neglecting wind driven sediment resuspension in the shoal. Results show that the production of biomass plays a crucial role on salt marsh stability and, provided productivity is high enough, it may turn out to be sufficient to counteract the effects of sea level rise even in the absence of significant supply of mineral sediments. The additional effect of wind resuspension is then introduced. Note that the wind action is twofold: on one hand, it generates wind waves the amplitude of which is strongly dependent on shoal depth and wind fetch; on the other hand, it generates currents driven by the surface setup induced by the shear stress acting on the free surface. Here, each contribution is analysed separately. Results show that the values of bottom stress induced by

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. Modelling Watershed and Estuarine Controls on Salt Marsh Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Carbon sequestration by Australian tidal marshes

    KAUST Repository

    Macreadie, Peter I.; Ollivier, Q. R.; Kelleway, J. J.; Serrano, O.; Carnell, P. E.; Lewis, C. J. Ewers; Atwood, T. B.; Sanderman, J.; Baldock, J.; Connolly, R. M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Lavery, P. S.; Steven, A.; Lovelock, C. E.

    2017-01-01

    ) 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Homer, M.

    1976-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Coatal salt marshes and mangrove swamps in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shi-Lun; Chen, Ji-Yu

    1995-12-01

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

  2. Effects of Extreme Events on Arsenic Cycling in Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northrup, Kristy; Capooci, Margaret; Seyfferth, Angelia L.

    2018-03-01

    Extreme events such as storm surges, intense precipitation, and supermoons cause anomalous and large fluctuations in water level in tidal salt marshes, which impacts the sediment biogeochemistry that dictates arsenic (As) cycling. In addition to changes in water level, which impacts soil redox potential, these extreme events may also change salinity due to freshwater inputs from precipitation or saltwater inputs due to surge. It is currently unknown how As mobility in tidal salt marshes will be impacted by extreme events, as fluctuations in salinity and redox potential may act synergistically to mobilize As. To investigate impacts of extreme events on As cycling in tidal salt marshes, we conducted a combined laboratory and field investigation. We monitored pore water and soil samples before, during, and after two extreme events: a supermoon lunar eclipse followed by a storm surge and precipitation induced by Hurricane Joaquin in fall 2015 at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover, Delaware, a representative tidal salt marsh in the Mid-Atlantic United States. We also conducted soil incubations of marsh sediments in batch and in flow-through experiments in which redox potential and/or salinity were manipulated. Field investigations showed that pore water As was inversely proportional to redox potential. During the extreme events, a distinct pulse of As was observed in the pore water with maximum salinity. Combined field and laboratory investigations revealed that this As pulse is likely due to rapid changes in salinity. These results have implications for As mobility in the face of extreme weather variability.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Salt Marsh--Estuarine Ecosystem: A Liquid Asset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steever, E. Zell

    1977-01-01

    A comprehensive description of the salt marsh-estuarine ecosystem is provided. Topics discussed include: the general geologic history and formation of this ecosystem; physical and chemical parameters; variety; primary productivity; tidal zones; kind, sizes and abundance of vegetation; and the environmental factors influencing vegetation. (BT)

  8. Coastal salt-marshes in Albania

    OpenAIRE

    JULIAN SHEHU; ALMA IMERI; RUDINA KOCI; ALFRED MULLAJ

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochlin, Ilia; Morris, James T

    2017-08-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Where in the Marsh is the Water (and When)?: Measuring and modeling salt marsh hydrology for ecological and biogeochemical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marsh hydrology presents many difficulties from a measurement and 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 o...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Emerson Parcel of Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP Emerson Parcel of Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  1. 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

  2. Salt marsh construction costs and shrimp production

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Continuing wetland loss in Galveston Bay, Texas (USA) has led to the development of various salt marsh restoration projects. These constructed wetlands often attempt...

  3. 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.

  4. 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, ...

  5. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  6. Stratigraphic response of salt marshes to slow rates of sea-level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, J.; Bell, T.

    2006-12-01

    Conventional models of salt-marsh development show an idealized spatial relationship between salt-marsh floral and foraminiferal zones, where the landward margin of the marsh gradually migrates inland in response to sea-level rise. This model predicts that transgression will result in persistent and possibly expanded salt marshes at the surface, depending on a variety of factors including sediment supply, hydrologic conditions, tidal range, and rate of sea-level rise. However, in areas with abundant sediment supply and slow rates of sea- level rise, the extent of back-barrier salt marshes may decline over time as the barrier-spits mature. Sea level around the northeast coast of Newfoundland is rising at a very slow rate during the late Holocene (flora. These transitions are interpreted to reflect the progradation of the spit, decreased tidal exchange in the back-barrier, and increased influence of freshwater streams discharging into the back-barrier setting. Decreased marine influence on the back-barrier environment leads to a floral and faunal shift associated with a regressive stratigraphy in an area experiencing sea-level rise. For studies of Holocene sea-level change requiring salt-marsh stratigraphic records, it is necessary to account for changing micro-environments to locate sites appropriate for study; salt marshes may play an important role in defining the record, but may not exist at the surface to guide investigation.

  7. 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

  8. Mangrove expansion into salt marshes alters associated faunal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Murray, A Brad

    2007-04-10

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chmura, G.L.

    2008-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Spragens, Kyle A.; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Overton, Cory T.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    The International Panel on Climate Change has identified coastal ecosystems as areas that will be disproportionally affected by climate change. Current sea-level rise projections range widely with 0.57 to 1.9 meters increase in mea sea level by 2100. The expected accelerated rate of sea-level rise through the 21st century will put many coastal ecosystems at risk, especially those in topographically low-gradient areas. We assessed marsh accretion and plant community state changes through 2100 at 12 tidal salt marshes around San Francisco Bay estuary with a sea-level rise response model. Detailed ground elevation, vegetation, and water level data were collected at all sites between 2008 and 2011 and used as model inputs. Sediment cores (taken by Callaway and others, 2012) at four sites around San Francisco Bay estuary were used to estimate accretion rates. A modification of the Callaway and others (1996) model, the Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER), was utilized to run sea-level rise response models for all sites. With a mean sea level rise of 1.24 m by 2100, WARMER projected that the vast majority, 95.8 percent (1,942 hectares), of marsh area in our study will lose marsh plant communities by 2100 and to transition to a relative elevation range consistent with mudflat habitat. Three marshes were projected to maintain marsh vegetation to 2100, but they only composed 4.2 percent (85 hectares) of the total marsh area surveyed.

  15. 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

  16. Changing Sediment Dynamics of a Mature Backbarrier Salt Marsh in Response to Sea-Level Rise and Storm Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Schuerch

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Our study analyses the long-term development of a tidal backbarrier salt marsh in the northern German Wadden Sea. The focus lies on the development of the high-lying, inner, mature part of the salt marsh, which shows a striking history of changing sediment dynamics. The analysis of high-resolution old aerial photographs and sampled sediment cores suggests that the mature part of the marsh was shielded by a sand barrier from the open sea for decades. The supply with fine-grained sediments occurred from the marsh inlet through the tidal channels to the inner salt marsh. Radiometric dating (210Pb and 137Cs reveals that the sedimentation pattern changed fundamentally around the early-mid 1980s when the sedimentation rates increased sharply. By analyzing the photographic evidence, we found that the sand barrier was breached during storm events in the early 1980s. As a result, coarse-grained sediments were brought directly through this overwash from the sea to the mature part of the salt marsh and increased the sedimentation rates. We show that the overwash and the channels created by these storm events built a direct connection to the sea and reduced the distance to the sediment source which promoted salt marsh growth and a supply with coarse-grained sediments. Consequently, the original sediment input from the tidal channels is found to play a minor role in the years following the breach event. The presented study showcases the morphological development of a mature marsh, which contradicts the commonly accepted paradigm of decreasing sedimentation rates with increasing age of the marsh. We argue that similar trends are likely to be observed in other backbarrier marshes, developing in the shelter of unstabilized sand barriers. It further highlights the question of how resilient these salt marshes are toward sea level rise and how extreme storm events interfere in determining the resilience of a mature salt marsh.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. James Catallo

    2000-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F.; King, J. Y.

    2016-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-06-01

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

  1. 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

  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. Delayed recolonization of foraminifera in a suddenly flooded tidal (former freshwater) marsh in Oregon (USA): Implications for relative sea-level reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milker, Yvonne; Horton, Benjamin P.; Khan, Nicole S.; Nelson, Alan R.; Witter, Robert C.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Ewald, Michael; Brophy, Laura; Bridgeland, William T.

    2016-04-01

    Stratigraphic sequences beneath salt marshes along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast preserve 7000 years of plate-boundary earthquakes at the Cascadia subduction zone. The sequences record rapid rises in relative sea level during regional coseismic subsidence caused by great earthquakes and gradual falls in relative sea level during interseismic uplift between earthquakes. These relative sea-level changes are commonly quantified using foraminiferal transfer functions with the assumption that foraminifera rapidly recolonize salt marshes and adjacent tidal flats following coseismic subsidence. The restoration of tidal inundation in the Ni-les'tun unit (NM unit) of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (Oregon), following extensive dike removal in August 2011, allowed us to directly observe changes in foraminiferal assemblages that occur during rapid "coseismic" (simulated by dike removal with sudden tidal flooding) and "interseismic" (stabilization of the marsh following flooding) relative sea-level changes analogous to those of past earthquake cycles. We analyzed surface sediment samples from 10 tidal stations at the restoration site (NM unit) from mudflat to high marsh, and 10 unflooded stations in the Bandon Marsh control site. Samples were collected shortly before and at 1- to 6-month intervals for 3 years after tidal restoration of the NM unit. Although tide gauge and grain-size data show rapid restoration of tides during approximately the first 3 months after dike removal, recolonization of the NM unit by foraminifera was delayed at least 10 months. Re-establishment of typical tidal foraminiferal assemblages, as observed at the control site, required 31 months after tidal restoration, with Miliammina fusca being the dominant pioneering species. If typical of past recolonizations, this delayed foraminiferal recolonization affects the accuracy of coseismic subsidence estimates during past earthquakes because significant postseismic uplift may shortly follow

  4. 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.

  5. Natural and Anthropogenic Causes of Accelerated Sediment Accumulation Rates in Nehalem Bay Salt Marshes, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molino, G. D.; Wheatcroft, R. A.; Peck, E. K.; Brophy, L.

    2016-12-01

    Vertical sediment accretion in estuarine salt marshes occurs as sediments settle out of the water column and onto marsh soils during periods of tidal inundation - thus accretion is influenced by both relative sea level rise (RSLR) and sediment flux to the estuary. Oregon estuaries are understudied compared to their East and Gulf Coast counterparts, but provide a unique opportunity to disentangle these effects. A broader study in three Oregon estuaries (Peck et al., this session) indicates RSLR as the dominant factor controlling sedimentation rates. Working in Nehalem Bay (northern Oregon coast), replicate sediment cores were taken along several transects across an elevation gradient for analysis of sediment and carbon accumulation using CT scans, gamma detection of Pb-210, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Loss-on-Ignition (LOI). Preliminary results indicate sediment accumulation rates over the past century are higher than rates seen in other comparable Oregon salt marshes; this is consistent with past studies and preliminary analysis of remote sensing data that show significant horizontal expansion of Nehalem marshes. A number of possible causes for the high sediment accumulation rates - hydroclimate of Nehalem River, extensive timber harvesting, forest fires such as the so-called Tillamook Burns, and diking of adjacent marshes - are being explored.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra Aline Davis

    2012-03-01

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

  7. Seasonal Variation in the Quality of Dissolved and Particulate Organic Matter Exchanged Between a Salt Marsh and Its Adjacent Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osburn, C. L.; Mikan, M.; Etheridge, J. R.; Burchell, M. R.; Birgand, F.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marshes are transitional ecosystems between terrestrial and marine environments. Along with mangroves and other vegetated coastal habitats, salt marshes rank among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, with critical global importance for the planet's carbon cycle. Fluorescence was used to examine the quality of dissolved and particulate organic matter (DOM and POM) exchanging between a tidal creek in a created salt marsh and its adjacent estuary in eastern North Carolina, USA. Samples from the creek were collected hourly over four tidal cycles in May, July, August, and October of 2011. Absorbance and fluorescence of chromophoric DOM (CDOM) and of base-extracted POM (BEPOM) served as the tracers for organic matter quality while dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and base-extracted particulate organic carbon (BEPOC) were used to compute fluxes. Fluorescence was modeled using parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) and principle components analysis (PCA) of the PARAFAC results. Of nine PARAFAC components modeled, we used multiple linear regression to identify tracers for recalcitrant DOM; labile soil-derived source DOM; detrital POM; and planktonic POM. Based on mass balance, recalcitrant DOC export was 86 g C m-2 yr-1 and labile DOC export was 49 g C m-2 yr-1. The marsh also exported 41 g C m-2 yr-1 of detrital terrestrial POC, which likely originated from lands adjacent to the North River estuary. Planktonic POC export from the marsh was 6 g C m-2 yr-1. Using the DOM and POM quality results obtained via fluorescence measurements and scaling up to global salt marsh area, we estimated that the potential release of CO2 from the respiration of salt marsh DOC and POC transported to estuaries could be 11 Tg C yr-1, roughly 4% of the recently estimated CO2 release for marshes and estuaries globally.

  8. The Effect of Source Suspended Sediment Concentration on the Sediment Dynamics of a Macrotidal Creek and Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, E.; van Proosdij, D.; Milligan, T. G.

    2017-12-01

    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.

  9. 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. 

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Herbold

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Jesper; Bartholdy, Anders; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

    thickness. Autocompaction was incorporated in the model, and shown to play a major role for the translation of accretion rates measured as length per unit time to accumulation rates measured as mass per area per unit time. This is important, even for shallow salt marsh deposits for which it is demonstrated...... 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...... marsh base. In general, deeper located markers will indicate successively smaller accretion rates with the same sediment input. Thus, stability analysis made on the basis of newly established marker horizons will be biased and indicate salt marsh stabilities far above the correct level. Running...

  15. Impact of vegetation die-off on spatial flow patterns over a tidal marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temmerman, S.; Moonen, P.; Schoelynck, J.; Govers, G.; Bouma, T.J.

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale die-off of tidal marsh vegetation, caused by global change, is expected to change flow patterns over tidal wetlands, and hence to affect valuable wetland functions such as reduction of shoreline erosion, attenuation of storm surges, and sedimentation in response to sea level rise. This

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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 of human‐recorded rails also were detected by the ARU, but 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. 

  19. 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

  20. 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 (pchanges adjacent to the causeway. Partial causeway removal in one of these systems in 2006 also provided the opportunity to evaluate how the marsh canopy responded to causeway removal. Using Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora as a proxy for changes in tidal exchange, 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Salt Marsh Sustainability in New England: Progress and Remaining Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natural resource managers, conservationists, and scientists described marsh loss and degradation in many New England coastal systems at the 2014 “Effects of Sea Level Rise on Rhode Island’s Salt Marshes” workshop, organized by the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Rese...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Searching for the Source of Salt Marsh Buried Mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, C. G.; Nelson, D. C.; Fleming, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes provide a barrier between upstream mercury contamination and coastal ecosystems. Mercury is sorbed, transported, and deposited in estuarine systems. Once the upstream mercury source has been remediated, the downstream mercury contaminated salt marsh sediments should become "capped" or buried by uncontaminated sediments preventing further ecosystem contamination. Downstream from a remediated mercury mine, an estuarine intertidal marsh in Tomales Bay, CA, USA, scavengers/predators (e.g. Pachygrapsus crassipes, Lined Shore Crab) have leg mercury concentrations as high as 5.5 ppm (dry wt./dry wt.), which increase significantly with crab size, a surrogate for trophic level. These elevated mercury concentrations suggests that "buried" mercury is rereleased into the environment. To locate possible sources of mercury release in Walker Marsh, we sampled a transect across the marsh that included diverse micro-environments (e.g. rhizoshere, stratified sediments, faunal burrows). From each location we determined the sediment structure, sediment color, total sediment mercury, total sediment iron, and microbial composition (n = 28). Where flora or fauna had perturbed the sediment, mercury concentrations were 10% less than undisturbed stratified sediments (1025 ppb vs. 1164 ppb, respectively). High-throughput SSU rRNA gene sequencing and subsequent co-occurrence network analysis genera indicated that in flora- or fauna- perturbed sediments there was an increased likelihood that microbial genera contained mercury mobilizing genes (94% vs 57%; in perturbed vs stratified sediments, respectively). Our observations are consistent with findings by others that in perturbed sites mercury mobility increased. We did however identify a microbial and geochemical profile with increased mercury mobility. For future work we plan to quantify the role these micro-environments have on mercury-efflux from salt marshes.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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 (mangrove sediments where emissions of up to 375 μg C m -2 h -1 were measured in summer. Sediment CH 4 exchange correlated with salinity, pneumatophore number and the redox potential of sediment water at depth. All three ecosystems were a small N 2O source of 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. Surface elevation dynamics in vegetated Spartina marshes versus unvegetated tidal ponds along the mid-Atlantic coast, USA, with implications to waterbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Distribution and metabolism of quaternary amines in salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Gary M.

    1985-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Nutrient cycling in salt marshes: An ecosystem service to reduce eutrophication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lillebø, A. I.; Sousa, A. I.; Flindt, M. R.

    2013-01-01

    and sequestration in salt marshes. This chapter will thus emphasise that salt marsh halophytes have a crucial role on nutrient cycling and sequestration, providing ecological services that contribute to maintain the ecosystem health. © 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.......Salt marshes are classified as sensitive habitat under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), which aims to promote the maintenance of biodiversity. Worldwide, the reduction of salt marsh areas, as a result of anthropogenic disturbance is of major concern, and several studies on the ecology...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orson, Richard A.; Howes, Brian L.

    1992-11-01

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

  4. Rates and probable causes of freshwater tidal marsh failure, Potomac River Estuary, Northern Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litwin, Ronald J.; Smoot, Joseph P.; Pavich, Milan J.; Markewich, Helaine Walsh; Oberg, Erik T.; Steury, Brent W.; Helwig, Ben; Santucci, Vincent L.; Sanders, Geoffrey

    2013-01-01

    Dyke Marsh, a distal tidal marsh along the Potomac River estuary, is diminishing rapidly in areal extent. This study documents Dyke Marsh erosion rates from the early-1860s to the present during pre-mining, mining, and post-mining phases. From the late-1930s to the mid-1970s, Dyke Marsh and the adjacent shallow riverbottom were mined for gravel, resulting in a ~55 % initial loss of area. Marsh loss continued during the post-mining phase (1976–2012). Causes of post-mining loss were unknown, but were thought to include Potomac River flooding. Post-mining areal-erosion rates increased from 0.138 ha yr−1 (~0.37 ac yr−1) to 0.516 ha yr−1(~1.67 ac yr−1), and shoreline-erosion rates increased from 0.76 m yr−1 (~2.5 ft yr−1) to 2.60 m yr−1 (~8.5 ft yr−1). Results suggest the accelerating post-mining erosion reflects a process-driven feedback loop, enabled by the marsh's severely-altered geomorphic and hydrologic baseline system; the primary post-mining degradation process is wave-induced erosion from northbound cyclonic storms. Dyke Marsh erosion rates are now comparable to, or exceed, rates for proximal coastal marshes in the same region. Persistent and accelerated erosion of marshland long after cessation of mining illustrates the long-term, and potentially devastating, effects that temporally-restricted, anthropogenic destabilization can have on estuarine marsh systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Rapid evolution of a marsh tidal creek network in response to sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Z. J.; Fitzgerald, D. M.; Mahadevan, A.; Wilson, C. A.; Pennings, S. C.

    2008-12-01

    In the Santee River Delta (SRD), South Carolina, tidal creeks are extending rapidly onto the marsh platform. A time-series of aerial photographs establishes that these channels were initiated in the 1950's and are headward eroding at a rate of 1.9 m /yr. Short-term trends in sea level show an average relative sea level rise (RSLR) of 4.6 mm/yr over a 20-year tide gauge record from nearby Winyah Bay and Charleston Harbor (1975-1995). Longer-term (85-year) records in Charleston suggest a rate of 3.2 mm/yr. RSLR in the SRD is likely even higher as sediment cores reveal that the marsh is predominantly composed of fine-grained sediment, making it highly susceptible to compaction and subsidence. Furthermore, loss in elevation will have been exacerbated by the decrease in sediment supply due to the damming of the Santee River in 1939. The rapid rate of headward erosion indicates that the marsh platform is in disequilibrium; unable to keep pace with RSLR through accretionary processes and responding to an increased volume and frequency of inundation through the extension of the drainage network. The observed tidal creeks show no sinuosity and a distinctive morphology associated with their young age and biological mediation during their evolution. Feedbacks between tidal flow, vegetation and infauna play a strong role in the morphological development of the creeks. The creek heads are characterized by a region denuded of vegetation, the edges of which are densely populated and burrowed by Uca Pugnax (fiddler crab). Crab burrowing destabilizes sediment, destroys rooting and impacts drainage. Measured infiltration rates are three orders of magnitude higher in the burrowed regions than in a control area (1000 ml/min and 0.6 ml/min respectively). Infiltration of oxygenated water enhances decomposition of organic matter and root biomass is reduced within the creek head (marsh=4.3 kg/m3, head=0.6 kg/m3). These processes lead to the removal and collapse of the soils, producing

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Ecological succession reveals potential signatures of marine-terrestrial transition in salt marsh fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Pylro, Victor Satler; Baldrian, Petr; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2016-08-01

    Marine-to-terrestrial transition represents one of the most fundamental shifts in microbial life. Understanding the distribution and drivers of soil microbial communities across coastal ecosystems is critical given the roles of microbes in soil biogeochemistry and their multifaceted influence on landscape succession. Here, we studied the fungal community dynamics in a well-established salt marsh chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development. We focussed on providing high-resolution assessments of community composition, diversity and ecophysiological shifts that yielded patterns of ecological succession through soil formation. Notably, despite containing 10- to 100-fold lower fungal internal transcribed spacer abundances, early-successional sites revealed fungal richnesses comparable to those of more mature soils. These newly formed sites also exhibited significant temporal variations in β-diversity that may be attributed to the highly dynamic nature of the system imposed by the tidal regime. The fungal community compositions and ecophysiological assignments changed substantially along the successional gradient, revealing a clear signature of ecological replacement and gradually transforming the environment from a marine into a terrestrial system. Moreover, distance-based linear modelling revealed soil physical structure and organic matter to be the best predictors of the shifts in fungal β-diversity along the chronosequence. Taken together, our study lays the basis for a better understanding of the spatiotemporally determined fungal community dynamics in salt marshes and highlights their ecophysiological traits and adaptation in an evolving ecosystem.

  14. South Bay Salt Pond Tidal Wetland Restoration Phase II Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP South Bay Salt Pond Tidal Wetland Restoration Phase II Planning project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic re

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Anders; Bartholdy, Jesper; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Physical processes affecting turbidity in a tidal marsh across a range of time scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, W.; Poindexter, C.

    2016-12-01

    The direction of net suspended sediment flux, whether into or out of a tidal marsh, can determine whether a marsh is aggrading or eroding. Measuring net suspended sediment fluxes or attributing trends in these fluxes to a particular physical processes is challenging because suspended sediment concentrations are highly variable in time. We used singular spectrum analysis for time series with missing data (SSAM) to observe the relative effects on turbidity of physical processes occurring on different time scales at the Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve. This Preserve covers the largest contiguous area of full-tidal marsh remaining within Suisun Bay, the eastern most subembayment of San Francisco Bay. A long-term monitoring station at First Mallard Slough within the Preserve measures turbidity. Our analysis of of this turbidity record isolated the contribution to total variance from different tides and from annual cycles of San Francisco Bay freshwater inflow, sediment deposition and wind-driven sediment resuspension. Surprisingly, the contribution from diurnal and semidiurnal tidal constituents (30%) was smaller than the contribution from annual cycles of freshwater inflow, sediment deposition and resuspension (38%). This result contrasts with the original implementation of SSAM to suspended sediment concentration, which was conducted in the central San Francisco Bay. This previous work indicated a significant yet smaller contribution (13%) to total suspended sediment concentration variance from annual cycles (Schoellhamer, D. H., 2002, Continental Shelf Research., 22, 1857-1866). The reason for the contrast relates in part to the location of the First Mallard Slough more than 10 km along the tidal channel network from Suisun Bay. At this location, the lowest frequency variation in suspended sediment is accentuated. Annual peaks in turbidity at First Mallard depend not only on spring and summer wind-driven resuspension of sediment in San Pablo Bay but also its co

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Gross nitrous oxide production drives net nitrous oxide fluxes across a salt marsh landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wendy H; Silver, Whendee L

    2016-06-01

    Sea level rise will change inundation regimes in salt marshes, altering redox dynamics that control nitrification - a potential source of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2 O) - and denitrification, a major nitrogen (N) loss pathway in coastal ecosystems and both a source and sink of N2 O. Measurements of net N2 O fluxes alone yield little insight into the different effects of redox conditions on N2 O production and consumption. We used in situ measurements of gross N2 O fluxes across a salt marsh elevation gradient to determine how soil N2 O emissions in coastal ecosystems may respond to future sea level rise. Soil redox declined as marsh elevation decreased, with lower soil nitrate and higher ferrous iron in the low marsh compared to the mid and high marshes (P production was highest in the low marsh and lowest in the mid-marsh (P = 0.02), whereas gross N2 O consumption did not differ among marsh zones. Thus, variability in gross N2 O production rates drove the differences in net N2 O flux among marsh zones. Our results suggest that future studies should focus on elucidating controls on the processes producing, rather than consuming, N2 O in salt marshes to improve our predictions of changes in net N2 O fluxes caused by future sea level rise. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hena, M. K. Abu; Short, F. T.; Sharifuzzaman, S. M.; Hasan, M.; Rezowan, M.; Ali, M.

    2007-10-01

    The species identification, distribution pattern, density and biomass of salt marsh and seagrass plants with some of the ecological parameters were studied in the Bakkhali river estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh during the first half of 2006. Two salt marsh species ( Spartina sp. and Imperata cylindrica) and one seagrass species ( Halophila beccarii) were identified during this investigation, providing the first reports of Spartina sp. and H. beccarii in coastal Bangladesh. Seagrass H. beccarii was found in an accreted area and co-existing with salt marsh, and scattered sparsely in the salt marsh habitat and macroalgae Ulva intestinalis. Flowering and fruiting were recorded from the seagrass H. beccarri during January and February. No flowers and fruits were observed for the salt marsh Spartina sp. during the study period. Results showed that the shoot density of Spartina ranged from 400 to 2875 shoots m -2 with the highest total biomass (165.80 g dry weight (DW) m -2) in March. Shoot density of H. beccarii ranged from 2716 to 14320 shoots m -2 in this estuarine coastal environment. The total biomass of seagrass was higher (17.56 g DW m -2) in March compared to the other months. The highest H. beccarii above ground (AG) biomass and below ground (BG) biomass were 9.59 g DW m -2 and 9.42 g DW m -2, respectively. These parameters are comparable with those generally observed for the salt marsh and seagrass species in the other places of the world.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Emily R. Howe; Charles A. Simenstad; Jason D. Toft; Jeffrey R. Cordell; Stephen M. Bollens

    2014-01-01

    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 ch...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reboreda, Rosa; Cacador, Isabel

    2007-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt, South-west Netherlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oenema, O.; DeLaune, R.D.

    1988-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. impact of vegetation on flow routing and sedimentation patterns : three-dimensional modeling for a tidal marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temmerman, S.; Bouma, T.J.; De Vries, M.B.; Wang, Z.B.; Govers, G.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2005-01-01

    A three-dimensional hydrodynamic and sediment transport model was used to study the relative impact of (1) vegetation, (2) micro-topography, and (3) water level fluctuations on the spatial flow and sedimentation patterns in a tidal marsh landscape during single inundation events. The model

  5. Impact of vegetation on flow routing and sedimentation patterns : three-dimensional modeling for a tidal marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temmerman, S.; Bouma, T.J.; Govers, G.; Wang, Z.B.; de Vries, M.B.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2005-01-01

    A three-dimensional hydrodynamic and sediment transport model was used to study the relative impact of (1) vegetation, (2) micro-topography, and (3) water level fluctuations on the spatial flow and sedimentation patterns in a tidal marsh landscape during single inundation events. The model

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacups, Susan; Warchot, Allan; Whelan, Peter

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  15. Implications of sedimentological and hydrological processes on the distribution of radionuclides: the example of a salt marsh near Ravenglass, Cumbria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, A.P.; Blackley, M.W.L.

    1986-01-01

    This paper summarizes sedimentological and hydrological studies at a salt marsh site on the north bank of the River Esk near Ravenglass which have a bearing on the fate of the low-level radioactive effluent from the reprocessing facility at Sellafield, Cumbria. A range of techniques has been used including electromagnetic distance measurement (EDM) and pore water pressure studies. The results show that: (a) Over a two-year period there were no significant net changes in salt marsh creek level, although shorter-term (probably seasonal) fluctuations, of the order of 2 cm, occurred. These were attributed to expansion of clay particles during the winter months. Nearby, however, there were vertical changes of the order of 1 m due to erosion. (b) Pore water pressures indicated a dynamic situation with very rapid responses both to tidal fluctuations and to rainfall. During neap tides there was clear evidence for water seeping upwards from the underlying clay/sand interface. Shortlived radionuclides ( 95 Zr/ 95 Nb and 106 Ru) were detected in this zone. (c) soil polygons, once initiated by desiccation, thereafter provide preferential routes for water (and radionuclides) to the sub-surface sediment. These, and other results, are discussed in the context of previous studies. It is concluded that the complexity of the estuarine environment results in most data being site specific. (author)

  16. Combining satellite photographs and raster lidar data for channel connectivity in tidal marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi; Hodges, Ben

    2017-04-01

    High resolution airborne lidar is capable of providing topographic detail down to the 1 x 1 m scale or finer over large tidal marshes of a river delta. Such data sets can be challenging to develop and ground-truth due to the inherent complexities of the environment, the relatively small changes in elevation throughout a marsh, and practical difficulties in accessing the variety of flooded, dry, and muddy regions. Standard lidar point-cloud processing techniques (as typically applied in large lidar data collection program) have a tendency to mis-identify narrow channels and water connectivity in a marsh, which makes it difficult to directly use such data for modeling marsh flows. Unfortunately, it is not always practical, or even possible, to access the point cloud and re-analyze the raw lidar data when discrepancies have been found in a raster work product. Faced with this problem in preparing a model of the Trinity River delta (Texas, USA), we developed an approach to integrating analysis of a lidar-based raster with satellite images. Our primary goal was to identify the clear land/water boundaries needed to identify channelization in the available rasterized lidar data. The channel extraction method uses pixelized satellite photographs that are stretched/distorted with image-processing techniques to match identifiable control features in both lidar and photographic data sets. A kmeans clustering algorithm was applied cluster pixels based on their colors, which is effective in separating land and water in a satellite photograph. The clustered image was matched to the lidar data such that the combination shows the channel network. In effect, we are able to use the fact that the satellite photograph is higher resolution than the lidar data, and thus provides connectivity in the clustering at a finer scale. The principal limitation of the method is the where the satellite image and lidar suffer from similar problems For example, vegetation overhanging a narrow

  17. Transport of mecoprop from agricultural soils to an adjacent salt marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fletcher, Caroline A.; Scrimshaw, Mark D.; Lester, John N.

    2004-01-01

    Salt marshes are important ecological areas and play a significant role in coastal flood defence schemes. In many areas of the UK they are adjacent to agricultural areas utilised for the growth of cereal crops, for which mecoprop is used as a selective herbicide in the control of broad-leafed weeds. This study measured concentrations of mecoprop in soils, drainage ditch waters and sediments and salt marsh sediments over a period of 138 days following spring application. Soil concentrations of up to 1827 μg/g were recorded after application, which demonstrated a half life for mecoprop of from 9 to 12 days, with first order kinetics. However, a major rainfall event 9 days after application resulted in significant transport of herbicide to the salt marsh via subsurface field drains, drainage ditches and discharge sluice. Mecoprop concentrations of up to 386 μg/l observed in water samples were above UK guidelines

  18. Short-term effects of salinity reduction and drainage on salt-marsh biogeochemical cycling and Spartina (Cordgrass) production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portnoy, J.W.; Valiela, I.

    1997-01-01

    To assess the biogeochemical effects of tidal restrictions on salt-marsh sulfur cycling and plant growth, cores of short-form Spartina alterniflora peat were desalinated and kept either waterlogged or drained in greenhouse microcosms. Changes in net Spartina production, and porewater and solid phase chemistry of treated cores were compared to natural conditions in the field collection site over a 21-mo period. Net production among treatments increased significantly in drained and waterlogged peat compared to field conditions during the first growing season. Constantly high sulfide in waterlogged cores accompanied reduced plant growth. Aeration invigorated growth in drained cores but led to oxidization of sulfide minerals and to lowered pH. During the second growing season, growth declined in the drained treatment, probably because of acidification and decreased dissolved inorganic nitrogen. Results are pertinent to the success of current wetland protection and restoration activities in the coastal zone.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Esselink, Peter; Fresco, LFM; Dijkema, KS

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

  20. The impact of erosion protection by Stone Dams on Salt-Marsh vegetation on Two Wadden Sea Barrier Islands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes and quantifies the effect of low stone dams on the extent and composition of salt-marsh habitats on two Dutch Wadden islands: Terschelling and Ameland. The stone dams were built to prevent erosion of the salt-marsh edge. Analyses of a series of aerial photographs taken between

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

    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...... 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....... Simultaneous addition of a conservative tracer (NaBr) confirmed that tracer was evenly distributed, and the Br2 budget was almost closed (115% recovery). All analyzed dissolved and suspended N pools were labeled, and 31% of added 15N-NH4+ was retained or transformed. Nitrate was the most important pool for 15N...

  8. 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

  9. Effects of sediment disturbance regimes on Spartina seedling establishment : Implications for salt marsh creation and restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cao, Haobing; Zhu, Zhenchang; Balke, Thorsten; Zhang, Liquan; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    Seedling establishment is an important process relevant for the restoration of salt marsh within the framework of sustainable coastal defense schemes. Recent studies have increasingly highlighted how the short-term (i.e., the day-to-day) sediment dynamics can form major bottlenecks for seedling

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kunst, P.; Wal, van der R.; Wieren, van S.E.

    2001-01-01

    This is the first study on spatial behaviour of brown hares Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778 based on radio-telemetry in a natural system, which we contrast with data from agricultural systems. Radio tracking took place in a Dutch salt marsh over a 10-month period, with intensive tracking sessions

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kunst, PJG; van der Wal, R; van Wieren, Sip

    This is the first study on spatial behaviour of brown hares Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778 based on radio-telemetry in a natural system, which we contrast with data from agricultural systems. Radio tracking took place in a Dutch salt marsh over a 10-month period, with intensive tracking sessions

  12. 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

  13. 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:

  14. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

  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

    2018-05-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Influence of tidal regime on the distribution of trace metals in a contaminated tidal freshwater marsh soil colonized with common reed (Phragmites australis)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teuchies, J.; Deckere, E. de; Bervoets, L.; Meynendonckx, J.; Regenmortel, S. van; Blust, R.; Meire, P.

    2008-01-01

    A historical input of trace metals into tidal marshes fringing the river Scheldt may be a cause for concern. Nevertheless, the specific physicochemical form, rather than the total concentration, determines the ecotoxicological risk of metals in the soil. In this study the effect of tidal regime on the distribution of trace metals in different compartments of the soil was investigated. As, Cd, Cu and Zn concentrations in sediment, pore water and in roots were determined along a depth profile. Total sediment metal concentrations were similar at different sites, reflecting pollution history. Pore water metal concentrations were generally higher under less flooded conditions (mean is (2.32 ± 0.08) x 10 -3 mg Cd L -1 and (1.53 ± 0.03) x 10 -3 mg Cd L -1 ). Metal concentrations associated with roots (mean is 202.47 ± 2.83 mg Cd kg -1 and 69.39 ± 0.99 mg Cd kg -1 ) were up to 10 times higher than sediment (mean is 20.48 ± 0.19 mg Cd kg -1 and 20.42 ± 0.21 mg Cd kg -1 ) metal concentrations and higher under dryer conditions. Despite high metal concentrations associated with roots, the major part of the metals in the marsh soil is still associated with the sediment as the overall biomass of roots is small compared to the sediment. - Pore water metal concentrations and metal root plaque concentration are influenced by the tidal regime

  8. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, John C.; Lefor, Michael W.

    1990-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin Archbald

    2014-06-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-08-15

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Nutrient enrichment induces dormancy and decreases diversity of active bacteria in salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearns, Patrick J.; Angell, John H.; Howard, Evan M.; Deegan, Linda A.; Stanley, Rachel H. R.; Bowen, Jennifer L.

    2016-09-01

    Microorganisms control key biogeochemical pathways, thus changes in microbial diversity, community structure and activity can affect ecosystem response to environmental drivers. Understanding factors that control the proportion of active microbes in the environment and how they vary when perturbed is critical to anticipating ecosystem response to global change. Increasing supplies of anthropogenic nitrogen to ecosystems globally makes it imperative that we understand how nutrient supply alters active microbial communities. Here we show that nitrogen additions to salt marshes cause a shift in the active microbial community despite no change in the total community. The active community shift causes the proportion of dormant microbial taxa to double, from 45 to 90%, and induces diversity loss in the active portion of the community. Our results suggest that perturbations to salt marshes can drastically alter active microbial communities, however these communities may remain resilient by protecting total diversity through increased dormancy.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

    decomposes with a decreasing organic content until about 15 cm below the surface. Hereunder the decomposition of organic material seems to stabilize at a very low level. The constant rate of the below ground organic production results in a larger concentration of this type of organic matter in the slowest......The organic production related to minerogene salt marsh deposits represents a challenge to all attempts to model the development of these areas, and evaluate their chances of survival under different sea level scenarios. Salt marsh deposits on a typical temperate backbarrier saltmarsh area...... at the Skallingen barrierspit (Denmark) were investigated for autochthonous or below ground organic production, which was found to have a mean value of 0.14 kg m− 2 y− 1 or about 0.1 mm y− 1. This production is concentrated in the upper approximately 5 cm of the salt marsh. Below this level the organic material...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Temporal variability in the importance of hydrologic, biotic, and climatic descriptors of dissolved oxygen dynamics in a shallow tidal-marsh creek

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, N.; Munoz-Carpena, R.; Neale, P.; Tzortziou, M.; Megonigal, P.

    2017-12-01

    Due to strong abiotic forcing, dissolved oxygen (DO) in shallow tidal creeks often disobeys the conventional explanation of general aquatic DO cycling as biologically-regulated. In the present work, we seek to quantify the relative importance of abiotic (hydrologic and climatic), and biotic (primary productivity as represented by chlorophyll-a) descriptors of tidal creek DO. By fitting multiple linear regression models of DO to hourly chlorophyll-a, water quality, hydrology, and weather data collected in a tidal creek of a Chesapeake Bay marsh (Maryland, USA), temporal shifts (summer - early winter) in the relative importance of tidal creek DO descriptors were uncovered. Moreover, this analysis identified an alternative approach to evaluating tidal stage as a driver of DO by dividing stage into two DO-relevant variables: stage above and below bankfull depth. Within the hydrologic variable class, stage below bankfull depth dominated as an important descriptor, thus highlighting the role of pore water drainage and mixing as influential processes forcing tidal creek DO. Study findings suggest that tidal creek DO dynamics are explained by a balance of hydrologic, climatic, and biotic descriptors during warmer seasons due to many of these variables (i.e., chlorophyll-a, water temperature) acting as tracers of estuarine-marsh water mixing; conversely, in early winter months when estuarine and marsh waters differ less distinctly, hydrologic variables increase in relative importance as descriptors of tidal creek DO. These findings underline important distinctions in the underlying mechanisms dictating DO variability in shallow tidal marsh-creek environments relative to open water estuarine systems.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Trasar-Cepeda

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Import and export fluxes of macrozooplankton are taxa- and season-dependent at Jiuduansha marsh, Yangtze River estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Haiming; Sheng, Qiang; Chu, Tianjiang; Wang, Sikai; Wu, Jihua

    2015-09-01

    Macrozooplankton may play important roles in influencing nutrient exchange between salt marsh and nearby estuarine ecosystems through predator-prey interactions and their transport by tidal flows. In this study, macrozooplankton transport through year-round monthly sampling was investigated in a salt marsh creek of the Yangtze River estuary. Twenty-one orders of macrozooplankton were captured. Calanoida and Decapoda were dominant and numerically comprised 59.59% and 37.59% respectively of the total captured macrozooplankton throughout the year. Decapoda mainly occurred in April, May and June. In other months, the Calanoida contributed over 90% of the total individuals. The annual Ferrari index (I) for total individual number of macrozooplankton was 0.27, which generally supports the viewpoint that salt marshes are sources of zooplankton. The salt marsh was mainly a source for decapods and mysids, possibly because of larval release in their breeding seasons. The marsh was also a source for amphipods, probably because some benthic forms became transient planktonic forms during tidal water flushing. Copepods and fish larvae exhibited net import into the salt marsh, which may result from predation from salt marsh settlers or retention in the salt marsh. Monthly Ferrari index (I) estimations revealed that the role of the salt marsh as a sink or source of macrozooplankton was time-dependent, which is related to the life history of animals. This study showed that whether the salt marsh zooplankton act as energy importers or exporters is group/taxa-dependent and time-dependent.

  17. 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.

  18. Decomposition of belowground litter and metal dynamics in salt marshes (Tagus Estuary, Portugal)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pereira, Patricia; Cacador, Isabel; Vale, Carlos; Caetano, Miguel; Costa, Ana Luisa

    2007-01-01

    The concentrations of C, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd were determined monthly in decomposing roots of Halimione portulacoides, using litterbag experiments, in two salt marshes of the Tagus estuary with different levels of contamination. Although carbon concentrations varied within a narrow interval during the experiment, litter decomposed rapidly in the first month (weight loss between 0.051 and 0.065 g d -1 ). The time variation of metals was examined in terms of Me/C ratios and metal stocks. Ratios of Fe/C and Mn/C and their metal stocks increased in spring, presumably due to the precipitation of oxides in the surface of decomposing roots. Subsequent decrease of Fe/C and Mn/C ratios suggests the use of Fe and Mn oxides, as electron acceptors, in the organic matter oxidation. Zinc, Cu, Pb and Cd ratios to C were, in general, higher than at initial conditions implying that metal that leached out was slower than carbon. However, metal stocks decreased during the experiment indicating that incorporation or sorption of metals in Fe and Mn oxides did not counterbalance the amount of Zn, Pb and Cd released from decomposing litter. An exception was observed for Cu, since stock in the less contaminated marsh (Pancas) increased during the decomposition, indicating that litter was efficient on Cu binding under more oxidising conditions. These results emphasize the importance of litter decomposition and sediment characteristics on metal cycling in salt marshes

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  1. Phytoextraction of heavy metals by Sesuvium portulacastrum l. a salt marsh halophyte from tannery effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyappan, Durai; Sathiyaraj, Ganesan; Ravindran, Konganapuram Chellappan

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the sources for remediation of heavy metals and salts from tannery effluent using salt marsh halophyte Sesuvium portulacastrum. From the results observed, in tannery effluent treated soil from 1 kg dry weight of plant sample, Sesuvium portulacastrum accumulated 49.82 mg Cr, 22.10 mg Cd, 35.10 mg Cu and 70.10 mg Zn and from 1 g dry weight of the plant sample, 246.21 mg Na Cl. Cultivation of Sesuvium portulacastrum significantly reduced the EC, pH and SAR levels in tannery effluent and salt treated soil and correspondingly increased in plant sample after 125 days of cultivation. In conclusion, Sesuvium portulacastrum was an efficient in accumulating heavy metals such as Chromium, Cadmium, Copper and Zinc, sodium and chloride maximum through its leaves when compared to stem and root. The finding of these bioacccumulation studies indicates that Sesuvium portulacastrum could be used for phytoremediation of tannery effluent contaminated field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François eThomas

    2014-06-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulombe, Harry N

    1970-09-01

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

  10. 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......, waterlogging of marsh soils, which has retarded ecological succession. To conclude, we stress the need for a multitemporal perspective that recognizes the significance of short-term sea-level fluctuations nested within long-term trends......) continuous sedimentation with spatial variability (2.0–4.0 mm yr-1), (3) increased frequency of over-marsh flooding events, and (4) contemporary dominance of Halimione portulacoides, indicating little progressive succession toward a later phase. Conventionally, recent eustatic sea-level rise was believed...... to drive the increased frequency of flooding and such retarded succession. Skallingen, however, has showed more or less equilibrated yearly rates between sea-level rise and surface accretion. This implies that the long-term, gradual sea-level rise alone might not be enough to explain the increased...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

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    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Estrella

    2011-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  1. Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science - Tampa Bay Study - Characterization of Tidal Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIvor, Carole

    2005-01-01

    Tidal wetlands in Tampa Bay, Florida, consist of mangrove forests and salt marshes. Wetlands buffer storm surges, provide fish and wildlife habitat, and enhance water quality through the removal of water-borne nutrients and contaminants. Substantial areas of both mangroves and salt marshes have been lost to agricultural, residential, and industrial development in this urban estuary. Wetlands researchers are characterizing the biological components of tidal wetlands and examining the physical factors such as salinity, tidal flushing, and sediment deposition that control the composition of tidal wetland habitats. Wetlands restoration is a priority of resource managers in Tampa Bay. Baseline studies such as these are needed for successful restoration planning and evaluation.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Distribution of vascular plants and macroalgae along salinity and elevation gradients in Oregon tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sea level rise due to global climate change may affect the spatial distribution of plants and macroalgae within tidal estuaries. We present preliminary results from on-going research in Oregon to determine how these potential abiotic drives correlate with the presence or absence...

  5. [Distribution patterns and pollution assessments of heavy metals in the Spartina alterniflora salt-marsh wetland of Rudong, Jiangsu province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Long-Hui; Du, Yong-Fen; Wang, Dan-Dan; Gao, Shu; Gao, Wen-Hua

    2014-06-01

    . alterniflora is one of important factors to enrich the heavy metal in tidal flat sediment. Thus, ecological risk of the heavy metal is reduced or blocked, due to the filtering effect of salt-marsh, which prevents metals from entering the open sea directly. The distribution of heavy metal is influenced by a combination of colonization time of vegetation, chemical form of metals and their origins.

  6. Effect of subseabed salt domes on Tidal Residual currents in the Persian Gulf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashayekh Poul, Hossein; Backhaus, Jan; Dehghani, Ali; Huebner, Udo

    2016-05-01

    Geological studies in the Persian Gulf (PG) have revealed the existence of subseabed salt-domes. With suitable filtering of a high-resolution PG seabed topography, it is seen that the domes leave their signature in the seabed, i.e., numerous hills and valleys with amplitudes of several tens of meters and radii from a few up to tens of kilometers. It was suspected that the "shark skin" of the PG seabed may affect the tidal residual flow. The interaction of tidal dynamics and these obstacles was investigated in a nonlinear hydrodynamic numerical tidal model of the PG. The model was first used to characterize flow patterns of residual currents generated by a tidal wave passing over symmetric, elongated and tilted obstacles. Thereafter it was applied to the entire PG. The model was forced at its open boundary by the four dominant tidal constituents residing in the PG. Each tidal constituent was simulated separately. Results, i.e., tidal residual currents in the PG, as depicted by Lagrangian trajectories reveal a stationary flow that is very rich in eddies. Each eddy can be identified with a topographic obstacle. This confirms that the tidal residual flow field is strongly influenced by the nonlinear interaction of the tidal wave with the bottom relief which, in turn, is deformed by salt-domes beneath the seabed. Different areas of maximum residual current velocities are identified for major tidal constituents. The pattern of trajectories indicates the presence of two main cyclonic gyres and several adjacent gyres rotating in opposite directions and a strong coastal current in the northern PG.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler C Coverdale

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

  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. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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,

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Environmental significance of atmospheric emission resulting from in situ burning of oiled salt marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devai, I.; DeLaune, R.D.; Henry, C.B. Jr.; Roberts, P.O.; Lindau, C.W.

    1998-01-01

    The environmental significance of atmospheric emissions resulting from in-situ burning used as remediation technique for removal of petroleum hydrocarbons entering Louisiana coastal salt marshes was quantified. Research conducted documented atmospheric pollutants produced and emitted to the atmosphere as the result of burning of oil contaminated wetlands. Samples collected from the smoke plume contained a variety of gaseous sulfur and carbon compounds. Carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide were the main volatile sulfur compounds. In contrast, concentrations of sulfur dioxide were almost negligible. Concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide in the smoke plume increased compared to ambient levels. Air samples collected for aromatic hydrocarbons in the smoke plume were dominated by pyrogenic or combustion derived aromatic hydrocarbons. The particulate fraction was dominated by phenanthrene and the C-1 and C-2 alkylated phenanthrene homologues. The vapor fraction was dominated by naphthalene and the C-1 to C-3 naphthalene homologues. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Phytoremediation as a management option for contaminated sediments in tidal marshes, flood control areas and dredged sediment landfill sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bert, Valérie; Seuntjens, Piet; Dejonghe, Winnie; Lacherez, Sophie; Thuy, Hoang Thi Thanh; Vandecasteele, Bart

    2009-11-01

    Polluted sediments in rivers may be transported by the river to the sea, spread over river banks and tidal marshes or managed, i.e. actively dredged and disposed of on land. Once sedimented on tidal marshes, alluvial areas or control flood areas, the polluted sediments enter semi-terrestrial ecosystems or agro-ecosystems and may pose a risk. Disposal of polluted dredged sediments on land may also lead to certain risks. Up to a few years ago, contaminated dredged sediments were placed in confined disposal facilities. The European policy encourages sediment valorisation and this will be a technological challenge for the near future. Currently, contaminated dredged sediments are often not valorisable due to their high content of contaminants and their consequent hazardous properties. In addition, it is generally admitted that treatment and re-use of heavily contaminated dredged sediments is not a cost-effective alternative to confined disposal. For contaminated sediments and associated disposal facilities used in the past, a realistic, low cost, safe, ecologically sound and sustainable management option is required. In this context, phytoremediation is proposed in the literature as a management option. The aim of this paper is to review the current knowledge on management, (phyto)remediation and associated risks in the particular case of sediments contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants. This paper deals with the following features: (1) management and remediation of contaminated sediments and associated risk assessment; (2) management options for ecosystems on polluted sediments, based on phytoremediation of contaminated sediments with focus on phytoextraction, phytostabilisation and phytoremediation of organic pollutants and (3) microbial and mycorrhizal processes occurring in contaminated sediments during phytoremediation. In this review, an overview is given of phytoremediation as a management option for semi-terrestrial and terrestrial ecosystems

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley J. Peterson

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Evolving Landscapes: the Effect of Genetic Variation on Salt Marsh Erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernik, B. M.; Blum, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Ecogeomorphic studies have demonstrated that biota can exert influence over geomorphic processes, such as sediment transport, which in turn have biotic consequences and generate complex feedbacks. However, little attention has been paid to the potential for feedback to arise from evolutionary processes as population genetic composition changes in response to changing physical landscapes. In coastal ecosystems experiencing land loss, for example, shoreline erosion entails reduced plant survival and reproduction, and thereby represents a geomorphic response with inherent consequences for evolutionary fitness. To get at this topic, we examined the effect of genetic variation in the saltmarsh grass Spartina alterniflora, a renowned ecosystem engineer, on rates of shoreline erosion. Field transplantation studies and controlled greenhouse experiments were conducted to compare different genotypes from both wild and cultivated populations. Plant traits, soil properties, accretion/subsidence, and rates of land loss were measured. We found significant differences in rates of erosion between field plots occupied by different genotypes. Differences in erosion corresponded to variation in soil properties including critical shear stress and subsidence. Plant traits that differed across genotypes included belowground biomass, root tensile strength, and C:N ratios. Our results demonstrate the importance of genetic variation to salt marsh functioning, elucidating the relationship between evolutionary processes and ecogeomorphic dynamics in these systems. Because evolutionary processes can occur on ecological timescales, the direction and strength of ecogeomorphic feedbacks may be more dynamic than previously accounted for.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Angeletti

    2015-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Study of H/sub 2/S emissions from a salt water marsh

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldberg, A B; Maroulis, P J; Wilner, L A; Bandy, A R

    1981-01-01

    A gas chromatographic method was developed for measuring background levels of atmospheric H/sub 2/S. A detectivity of 0.02 ppBV (S/N=2) was achieved with a frequency of one sample per 8 min. A reduction of the detectivity to 0.005 ppBV was predicted with modest optimization effort. The technique was applied in a study of H/sub 2/s emissions from a salt water marsh. Large diurnal variations of the H/sub 2/S levels were observed that were relatively repeatable under similar meteorological conditions. The area averaged emission rate of h2s for one evening in July was estimated to be between 3 and 16 g S/m/sup 2//y. The emission rate was estimated to have decreased by a factor of at least 10 between 22 July and 13 December 1978. Atlantic Ocean air was found to be very low in H/sub 2/S content, typically less than 30 ppTV.

  12. Nitrogen enrichment suppresses other environmental drivers and homogenizes salt marsh leaf microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Jumpponen, Ari; Veach, Allison; Ialonardi, Florencia; Iribarne, Oscar; Silliman, Brian

    2018-06-01

    Microbial community assembly is affected by a combination of forces that act simultaneously, but the mechanisms underpinning their relative influences remain elusive. This gap strongly limits our ability to predict human impacts on microbial communities and the processes they regulate. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that increased salinity stress, food web alteration and nutrient loading interact to drive outcomes in salt marsh fungal leaf communities. Both salinity stress and food web alterations drove communities to deterministically diverge, resulting in distinct fungal communities. Increased nutrient loads, nevertheless, partially suppressed the influence of other factors as determinants of fungal assembly. Using a null model approach, we found that increased nutrient loads enhanced the relative importance of stochastic over deterministic divergent processes; without increased nutrient loads, samples from different treatments showed a relatively (deterministic) divergent community assembly whereas increased nutrient loads drove the system to more stochastic assemblies, suppressing the effect of other treatments. These results demonstrate that common anthropogenic modifications can interact to control fungal community assembly. Furthermore, our results suggest that when the environmental conditions are spatially heterogeneous (as in our case, caused by specific combinations of experimental treatments), increased stochasticity caused by greater nutrient inputs can reduce the importance of deterministic filters that otherwise caused divergence, thus driving to microbial community homogenization. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    carbon source for stimulating sulfate-reducing bacteria. The high sulfur levels, coupled with the low levels of iron, indicate that iron-reducing bacteria are outcompeted by sulfate reducers in oiled salt marshes. Moreover, pore-water pH values show a general increasing trend (ranging from 6.6 to 8.0) with depth, possibly reflecting the combined effects of bacterial sulfate reduction and saltwater intrusion at depth. Despite high levels of trace metals in bulk sediments, concentrations of trace metals dissolved in pore-waters are generally low. It is very likely that high organic matter content and bacterially-mediated sulfate reduction promote metal retention through the formation of sulfide solids. Framboidal pyrites, as well as other sulfides, have been identified, and are currently undergoing XRD, SEM, and EDAX analyses. Continued research is needed to monitor possible re-mobilization of trace metals in changing redox and biogeochemical conditions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Long-term eustatic sea-level variation has been recognized as a primary factor affecting the hydrological and geomorphic dynamics of salt marshes. However, recent studies suggest that wind waves influenced by atmospheric oscillations also may play an important role in many coastal areas. Although...... this notion has been conceptually introduced for the Wadden Sea, no modeling attempts have been made yet. As a proof of concept, this study developed a simulation model using the commercially available STELLAA (R) software, based on long-term data on water level and sedimentation collected at a back......-barrier marsh on the Skallingen peninsula in Denmark. In the model, the frequency (number year(-1)) of wind-driven extreme high water level (HWL) events (> 130 cm Danish Ordnance Zero) was simulated in terms of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. Then, surface accretion (cm year(-1)) and submergence...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.M. Joesting

    2016-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. EFFECTS OF SALT MARSH TOPOGRAPHY ON TIDAL ASYMMETRY (R828677C003)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Hydrologically mediated iron reduction/oxidation fluctuations and dissolved organic carbon exports in tidal wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimond, J. A.; Seyfferth, A.; Michael, H. A.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are biogeochemical hotspots where large quantities of carbon are processed and stored. High primary productivity and deposition of carbon-laden sediment enable salt marsh soils to accumulate and store organic carbon. Conversely, salt marshes can laterally export carbon from the marsh platform to the tidal channel and eventually the ocean via tidal pumping. However, carbon export studies largely focus on tidal channels, missing key physical and biogeochemical mechanisms driving the mobilization of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) within the marsh platform and limiting our understanding of and ability to predict coastal carbon dynamics. We hypothesize that iron redox dynamics mediate the mobilization/immobilization of DOC in the top 30 cm of salt marsh sediment near tidal channels. The mobilized DOC can then diffuse into the flooded surface water or be advected to tidal channels. To elucidate DOC dynamics driven by iron redox cycles, we measured porewater DOC, Fe(II), total iron, total sulfate, pH, redox potential, and electrical conductivity (EC) beside the creek, at the marsh levee, and in the marsh interior in a mid-latitude tidal salt marsh in Dover, Delaware. Samples were collected at multiple tide stages during a spring and neap tide at depths of 5-75cm. Samples were also collected from the tidal channel. Continuous Eh measurements were made using in-situ electrodes. A prior study shows that DOC and Fe(II) concentrations vary spatially across the marsh. Redox conditions near the creek are affected by tidal oscillations. High tides saturate the soil and decrease redox potential, whereas at low tide, oxygen enters the sediment and increases the Eh. This pattern is always seen in the top 7-10cm of sediment, with more constant low Eh at depth. However, during neap tides, this signal penetrates deeper. Thus, between the creek and marsh levee, hydrology mediates redox conditions. Based on porewater chemistry, if DOC mobilization can be linked to redox

  17. Inorganic Carbon and Oxygen Dynamics in a Marsh-dominated Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, S. R.; Di Iorio, D.; Cai, W. J.; Hopkinson, C.

    2017-12-01

    A free-water mass balance-based study was conducted to address the rate of metabolism and net carbon exchange for the tidal wetland and estuarine portion of the coastal ocean and the uncertainties associated with this approach were assessed. Open water diurnal O2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were measured seasonally in a salt marsh-estuary in Georgia, U.S.A. with a focus on the marsh-estuary linkage associated with tidal flooding. We observed that the overall estuarine system was a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere and coastal ocean and a net sink for oceanic and atmospheric O2. Rates of metabolism were extremely high, with respiration (43 mol m-2 yr-1) greatly exceeding gross primary production (28 mol m-2 yr-1), such that the overall system was net heterotrophic. Metabolism measured with DIC were higher than with O2, which we attribute to high rates of anaerobic respiration and reduced sulfur storage in salt marsh sediments, and we assume substantial levels of anoxygenic photosynthesis. We found gas exchange from a flooded marsh is substantial, accounting for about 28% of total O2 and CO2 air-water exchange. A significant percentage of the overall estuarine aquatic metabolism is attributable to metabolism of marsh organisms during inundation. Our study suggests not rely on oceanographic stoichiometry to convert from O2to C based measurements when constructing C balances for the coastal ocean. We also suggest eddy covariance measurements of salt marsh net ecosystem exchange underestimate net ecosystem production as they do not account for lateral DIC exchange associated with marsh tidal inundation. With the increase of global temperature and sea level rise, salt marshes are likely to export more inorganic carbon to the atmosphere and the coastal ocean due to the decrease of solubility, the increase of aquatic and benthic metabolic activities and the longer marsh inundation.

  18. Bio-herbicide effect of salt marsh tolerant Enterobacter sp. I-3 on weed seed germination and seedling growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radhakrishan, R.; Lee, I.J.

    2017-01-01

    Weeds are major challenges in crop cultivation and cause yield loss. The bacteria based bio-herbicides are emerging against chemical herbicides. This study was aimed to explore the bio-herbicide effect of salt marsh tolerant Enterobacter sp. I-3 on various weed species. The efficacy of I-3 bacterial isolates against weed growth was compared with I-4-5 bacterial strain. The bacterial strains, I-3 and I-4-5 inhibited the seed germination of Cyperus microiria Maxim. Enterobacter sp. I-3 showed higher weed control activity than I-4-5. It was confirmed with growth reduction of C. microiria Maxim. The seed germination of Digitaria sanguinalis L. weed was accelerated during the interaction of I-4-5 and it was drastically declined by I-3 bacterial culture. However, Alopecurus aequalis Sobol. seeds treated with either I-3 or I-4-5 bacterial culture showed no significant germination inhibition. The results of this study suggested that salt marsh tolerant Enterobacter sp. I-3 can be applied as bacterial herbicides to control weeds in agricultural fields. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Catherine Irvine

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-29

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

  1. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Salt marshes are potentially threatened by sea level rise if sediment supply is unable to balance the rising sea. A rapid sea level rise is one of the pronounced effects of global warming and global sea level is at present rising at an elevated rate of about 3.4 mm y-1 on average. This increasing...... in sediment deposition is significant and gives reason for concern as it may be the first sign of a sedimentation deficiency which could be threatening this and other salt marshes in the case of a rapidly rising sea level. Our work demonstrates that the assumption of a constant relationship between salt marsh...... with salt marsh accretion is most probably not valid in the present case study and it may well be that this is also the case for many other salt marshes, especially if sea level continues to rise rapidly as indicated by some climate change scenarios....

  3. A Study of the Invertebrates and Fishes of Salt Marshes in Two Oregon Estuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-06-01

    engineering projects on these resoureces . Results and conclusions presented here are those of the authors and are not necessarily accepted by CERC or...structure and function of these marshes should be determined, especially to evaluate the value of marshland in relation to human use. This study

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Prado

    2017-02-01

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

  5. Landscape-scale flow patterns over a vegetated tidal marsh and an unvegetated tidal flat: implications for the landform properties of the intertidal floodplain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenbruwaene, W.; Schwarz, C.; Bouma, T.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2015-01-01

    Vegetation is increasingly recognized as an important control on flow and landformpatterns inmany landscape types. Field studies on the landscape-scale effect of vegetation in fluvial and tidal floodplains are relatively scarce while insights are especially based on flume and numerical models.

  6. Comparison of Seed Germination and Recovery Responses of a Salt Marsh Halophyte Halopeplis Perfoliata to Osmotic and Ionic Treatments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasool, S. G.; Hameed, A.; Ahmed, M. Z.; Khan, M. A.

    2016-01-01

    Salinity affects seed germination of halophytes by inducing ionic toxicity, osmotic constraint or both. Information about the effects of salinity on seed germination of a large number of halophytes exists, but generally little is known about the basis of salinity-induced germination inhibition. In order to partition salinity effects, we studied seed germination and recovery responses of a coastal salt marsh halophyte halopeplis perfoliata to different isotonic treatments (Psi/sub S/: -0.5, -1.0, -1.5, -2.0 and -2.5, MPa) of various salts and polythylene glycol (PEG) under two light regimes (12-h light photo period and 24-h complete darkness). Highest seed germination was observed in distilled water under 12-h light photo period and reduction in osmotic potential of the solution decreased seed germination. However, some seeds of H. perfoliata could germinate in as low as -2.5 MPa (600 mM NaCl), which is equivalent to seawater salinity. Sea-salt treatment was more inhibitory than isotonic NaCl at the lowest osmotic potential (Psi/sub S/ -2.5 MPa). Generally, chloride salts with lowest Psi/sub S/ inhibited germination more than the isotonic sulfate salts. Comparable germination responses of the seeds in NaCl and isotonic PEG treatments as well as high recovery of germination in un-germinated seeds after alleviation of NaCl salinity indicated prevalence of osmotic constraint. These results thus indicate that the seeds of H. perfoliata could tolerate high levels of a wide variety of salts found in soil. (author)

  7. A comparison of a new centrifuge sugar flotation technique with the agar method for the extraction of immature Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) life stages from salt marsh soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two sampling techniques, agar extraction (AE) and centrifuge sugar flotation extraction (CSFE) were compared to determine their relative efficacy to recover immature stages of Culicoides spp from salt marsh substrates. Three types of samples (seeded with known numbers of larvae, homogenized field s...

  8. Determination of food sources for benthic invertebrates in a salt marsh (Aiguillon Bay, France) by carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes: importance of locally produced sources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riera, P.; Stal, L.J.; Nieuwenhuize, J.; Richard, P.; Blanchard, G.F.; Gentil, F.

    1999-01-01

    delta(13)C and delta(15)N were measured in benthic invertebrates and food sources collected in the salt marsh of the Aiguillon Bay, France. The results showed that, although Spartina anglica was dominant, this marine phanerogame did not contribute significantly to the carbon and nitrogen

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bella, S.; Karsholt, Ole

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Nutrient enrichment and precipitation changes do not enhance resiliency of salt marshes to sea level rise in the Northeastern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the U.S. Northeast, salt marshes are exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of accelerated sea level rise as compensatory mechanisms relying on positive feedbacks between inundation and sediment deposition are insufficient to counter inundation increases in low turbidity tida...

  11. Community composition and activity of anaerobic ammonium oxidation bacteria in the rhizosphere of salt-marsh grass Spartina alterniflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) as an important nitrogen removal pathway has been investigated in intertidal marshes. However, the rhizosphere-driven anammox process in these ecosystems is largely overlooked so far. In this study, the community dynamics and activities of anammox bacteria in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere sediments of salt-marsh grass Spartina alterniflora (a widely distributed plant in estuaries and intertidal ecosystems) were investigated using clone library analysis, quantitative PCR assay, and isotope-tracing technique. Phylogenetic analysis showed that anammox bacterial diversity was higher in the non-rhizosphere sediments (Scalindua and Kuenenia) compared with the rhizosphere zone (only Scalindua genus). Higher abundance of anammox bacteria was detected in the rhizosphere (6.46 × 10(6)-1.56 × 10(7) copies g(-1)), which was about 1.5-fold higher in comparison with that in the non-rhizosphere zone (4.22 × 10(6)-1.12 × 10(7) copies g(-1)). Nitrogen isotope-tracing experiments indicated that the anammox process in the rhizosphere contributed to 12-14 % N2 generation with rates of 0.43-1.58 nmol N g(-1) h(-1), while anammox activity in the non-rhizosphere zone contributed to only 4-7 % N2 production with significantly lower activities (0.28-0.83 nmol N g(-1) h(-1)). Overall, we propose that the rhizosphere microenvironment in intertidal marshes might provide a favorable niche for anammox bacteria and thus plays an important role in nitrogen cycling.

  12. Effects of bioremediation agents on oil degradation in mineral and sandy salt marsh sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, Q.; Mendelssohn, I.A.; Henry, C.B. Jr.; Roberts, P.O.; Walsh, M.M.; Overton, E.B.; Portier, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Although bioremediation for oil spill cleanup has received considerable attention in recent years, its satisfactory use in the cleanup of oil spills in the wetland environment is still generally untested. A study of the often most used bioremediation agents, fertiliser, microbial product and soil oxidation, as a means of enhancing oil biodegradation in coastal mineral and sandy marsh substrates was conducted in controlled greenhouse conditions. Artificially weathered south Louisiana crude oil was applied to sods of marsh (soil and intact vegetation) at the rate of 2 l m -2 . Fertiliser application enhanced marsh plant growth, soil microbial populations, and oil biodegradation rate. The live aboveground biomass of Spartina alterniflora with fertiliser application was higher than that without fertiliser. The application of fertiliser significantly increased soil microbial respiration rates, indicating the potential for enhancing oil biodegradation. Bioremediation with fertiliser application significantly reduced the total targeted normal hydrocarbons (TTNH) and total targeted aromatic hydrocarbons (TTAH) remaining in the soil, by 81% and 17%, respectively, compared to those of the oil controls. TTNH/hopane and TTAAH/hopane ratios showed a more consistent reduction, further suggesting an enhancement of oil biodegradation by fertilisation. Furthermore, soil type affected oil bioremediation; the extent of fertiliser-enhanced oil biodegradation was greater for sandy (13% TTNH remaining in the treatments with fertiliser compared to the control) than for mineral soils (26% of the control), suggesting that fertiliser application was more effective in enhancing TTNH degradation in the former. Application of microbial product and soil oxidant had no positive effects on the variables mentioned above under the present experimental conditions, suggesting that microbial degraders are not limiting biodegradation in this soil. Thus, the high cost of microbial amendments during

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Accelerated Rates of Nitrogen Cycling and N2O Production in Salt Marsh Sediments due to Long-Term Fertilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, X.; Ji, Q.; Angell, J.; Kearns, P.; Bowen, J. L.; Ward, B. B.

    2014-12-01

    Intensified sedimentary production of nitrous oxide (N2O), one of the most potent greenhouse gases, is one of the many possible environmental consequences of elevated nitrogen (N) loading into estuarine ecosystems. This study investigates the response to over 40 years of fertilization of nitrogen removal processes in the sediments of the Great Sippewissett Marsh in Falmouth, MA. Sediment slurries were incubated (1.5 hr) with trace amounts (fertilized sediments (0.89 nmol hr-1 g-1 wet weight) was 30-fold higher than in unfertilized sediments. The ratio of N2O to N2 production was also significantly higher in fertilized sediments (2.9%) than in unfertilized sediments (1.2%). This highlights the disproportionally large effect of long-term fertilization on N2O production in salt marsh sediments. The reduced oxygen level and higher ammonium concentrations in situ probably contributed to the significant rise in N2O production as a result of long-term fertilization. When detected, anammox and coupled nitrification-denitrification accounted for 10% and 14% of the total N2 production in fertilized sediments (30.5 nmol hr-1 g-1 wet weight), respectively, whereas neither was detected in unfertilized sediments. Thus these experiments indicate that N loading has important effects on multiple N cycle processes that result in N loss and N2O production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Impacts of human activity and extreme weather events on sedimentary organic matter in the Andong salt marsh, Hangzhou Bay, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Pei Sun; Cheng, Long-Xiu; Yuan, Hong-Wei; Yang, Lin; Lou, Zhang-Hua; Jin, Ai-Min; Chen, Xue-Gang; Lin, Yu-Shih; Chen, Chen-Tung Arthur

    2018-02-01

    In this study, lignin-derived phenols, stable carbon isotopes and bulk elemental compositions were determined along the length of two sediment cores (C1 and C2) from the Andong salt marsh, which is located southwest of Hangzhou Bay, China. The purpose of this study was to determine the short-term changes and their implications along sediment profiles. The 1997 high tide had caused an increase in the terrestrial organic matter (OM) signal from 1996/1997 to 2000 in both cores, which was indicated by a high Λ (total lignin in mg/100 mg OC), TOC, C/N and more negative δ13C values. The slight increases in terrestrial OM along the length of the cores between 2003 and 2006 were most likely attributable to the construction of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge. Both events have likely caused an increase in erosion, and thus, these events have increased the input of terrestrial OM to nearby areas. The effects of the distinctively dry year of 2006 can be observed along C2 between 2006 and 2008 in the steadily declining terrestrial OM signal. The overall slight decrease in terrestrial OM and the distinct increase in TOC along the length of both cores toward the present were most likely because of the overall reduced sediment caused by the trapping of materials within reservoirs. These results show that the reduction in terrestrial OM in the Andong salt marsh for the past 30 years was due to reservoirs and the 2006 drought, but this was counterbalanced by the 1997 high tide event and construction of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, which resulted in increased erosion and terrestrial OM input.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Gonçalves

    2017-10-01

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

  19. Spatial Patterns in Biogeochemical Processes During Peak Growing Season in Oiled and Unoiled Louisiana Salt Marshes: A Multi-Year Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelsky, A.; Marton, J. M.; Bernhard, A. E.; Giblin, A. E.; Setta, S. P.; Hill, T. D.; Roberts, B. J.

    2016-02-01

    Louisiana salt marshes are important sites for carbon and nitrogen cycling because they can mitigate fluxes of nutrients and carbon to the Gulf of Mexico where a large hypoxic zone develops annually. The aim of this study was to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of biogeochemical processes in Louisiana coastal wetlands during peak growing season, and to investigate whether the Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in persistent changes to these rates. We measured nitrification potential and sediment characteristics at two pairs of oiled/unoiled marshes in three regions across the Louisiana coast (Terrebonne and east and west Barataria Bay) in July from 2012 to 2015, with plots along a gradient from the salt marsh edge to the interior. Rates of nitrification potential across the coast (overall mean of 901 ± 115 nmol gdw-1 d-1 from 2012-2014) were high compared to other published rates for salt marshes but displayed high variability at the plot level (4 orders of magnitude). Within each region interannual means varied by factors of 2-5. Nitrification potential did not differ with oiling history, but did display consistent spatial patterns within each region that corresponded to changes in relative elevation and inundation, which influence patterns of soil properties and microbial communities. In 2015, we also measured greenhouse gas (CO2, N2O and CH4) production and denitrification enzyme activity rates in addition to nitrification potential across the region to investigate spatial relationships between these processes.

  20. Persistent Reductions in the Bioavailability of PCBs at a Tidally Inundated Phragmites australis Marsh Amended with Activated Carbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, James P; Andrade, Natasha A; Menzie, Charles A; Amos, C Bennett; Gilmour, Cynthia C; Henry, Elizabeth A; Brown, Steven S; Ghosh, Upal

    2018-06-05

    In situ amendment of sediments with highly sorbent materials like activated carbon (AC) is an increasingly viable strategy to reduce the bioavailability of persistent, sediment-associated contaminants to benthic communities. Because in situ sediment remediation is an emerging strategy, much remains to be learned about the field conditions under which amendments can be effective, the resilience of amendment materials toward extreme weather conditions, and the optimal design of engineered applications. Here we report the results of a multi-year, pilot-scale field investigation designed to measure the persistence and efficacy of AC amendments to reduce the bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an intertidal Phragmites marsh. The amendments tested were granular AC (GAC), GAC with a layer of sand, and a pelletized fine AC. Key metrics presented include vertically-resolved black carbon concentrations in sediment and PCB concentrations in sediment, porewater, and several invertebrate species. The results demonstrate that all three amendments withstood Hurricane Sandy and remained in place for the duration of the study, successfully reducing porewater PCB concentrations by 34-97%. Reductions in invertebrate bioaccumulation were observed in all amendment scenarios, with pelletized fine AC producing the most pronounced effect. Our findings support the use of engineered AC amendments in intertidal marshes, and can be used to inform amendment design, delivery, and monitoring at other contaminated sediment sites. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessing Near-surface Heat, Water Vapor and Carbon Dioxide Exchange Over a Coastal Salt-marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogoev, I.; O'Halloran, T. L.; LeMoine, J.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal ecosystems play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change by storing significant quantities of carbon. A growing number of studies suggest that vegetated estuarine habitats, specifically salt marshes, have high long-term rates of carbon sequestration, perhaps even higher than mature tropical and temperate forests. Large amounts of carbon, accumulated over thousands of years, are stored in the plant materials and sediment. Improved understanding of the factors that control energy and carbon exchange is needed to better guide restoration and conservation management practices. To that end, we recently established an observation system to study marsh-atmosphere interactions within the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Near-surface fluxes of heat, water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured by an eddy-covariance system consisting of an aerodynamic open-path H2O / CO2 gas analyzer with a spatially integrated 3D sonic anemometer/thermometer (IRGASON). The IRGASON instrument provides co-located and highly synchronized, fast response H2O, CO2 and air- temperature measurements, which eliminates the need for spectral corrections associated with the separation between the sonic anemometer and the gas analyzer. This facilitates calculating the instantaneous CO2 molar mixing ratio relative to dry air. Fluxes computed from CO2 and H2O mixing ratios, which are conserved quantities, do not require post-processing corrections for air-density changes associated with temperature and water vapor fluctuations. These corrections are particularly important for CO2, because they could be even larger than the measured flux. Here we present the normalized frequency spectra of air temperature, water vapor and CO2, as well as their co-spectra with the co-located vertical wind. We also show mean daily cycles of sensible, latent and CO2 fluxes and analyze correlations with air/water temperature, wind speed and light availability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsh Pamela E.

    2016-12-01

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

  5. The Amoco CadizOil Spill: Evolution of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in the Ile Grande Salt Marshes (Brittany) after a 13-year Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mille, G.; Munoz, D.; Jacquot, F.; Rivet, L.; Bertrand, J.-C.

    1998-11-01

    The Ile Grande salt marshes (Brittany coast) were polluted by petroleum hydrocarbons after theAmoco Cadizgrounding in 1978. Thirteen years after the oil spill, sediments were analysed for residual hydrocarbons in order to monitor the aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon signatures and to assess both qualitatively and quantitatively the changes in composition of theAmoco Cadizoil. Six stations were selected in the Ile Grande salt marshes and sediments were sampled to a depth of 20 cm. For each sample, the hydrocarbon compositions were determined for alkanes, alkenes, aromatics and biomarkers (terpanes, steranes, diasteranes). Hydrocarbon levels drastically decreased between 1978 and 1991, but to different extents according to the initial degree of contamination. In 1991, hydrocarbon concentrations never exceeded 1·7 g kg-1sediment dry weight, and in most cases were less than 0·1 g kg-1sediment dry weight. Even though petroleum hydrocarbons are still present, natural hydrocarbons were also detected at several stations. Changes in some biomarker distributions were observed 13 years after the oil spill. Nevertheless, most of the biomarkers are very stable in the salt marsh environment and remain unaltered even after a 13-year period.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

  7. A tight association in two genetically unlinked dispersal related traits in sympatric and allopatric salt marsh beetle populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Belleghem, Steven M; Hendrickx, Frederik

    2014-02-01

    Local adaptation likely involves selection on multiple, genetically unlinked traits to increase fitness in divergent habitats. Conversely, recombination is expected to counteract local adaptation under gene flow by breaking down adaptive gene combinations. Western European populations of the salt marsh beetle Pogonus chalceus are characterized by large interpopulation variation at various geographical ranges in two traits related to dispersal ability, i.e. wing size and different allozymes of the mitochondrial NADP(+)-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (mtIdh) gene. In this study, we tested whether variation in wing length was as strongly genetically determined in locally adapted populations in a sympatric mosaic compared to allopatric populations, and if variation in mtIDH and wing size was genetically unlinked. We demonstrate that the genetic determination of wing size is very high (h (2) = 0.90) in sympatry and of comparable magnitude as geographically separated populations. Second, we show that, although frequencies of mtIDH allozymes are tightly associated with mean population wing size across Western European populations, the correlation is strongly reduced within some of the populations. These findings demonstrate that the divergence involves at least two traits under independent genetic control and that the genetically distinct ecotypes are retained at geographical distances with ample opportunity for gene flow.

  8. Effect of temperature and dispersant (COREXIT® EC 9500A) on aerobic biodegradation of benzene in a coastal salt marsh sediment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Rui; Olivera-Irazabal, Miluska; Yu, Kewei

    2018-08-01

    The coastal ecosystem in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) has been seriously impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill. Two experiments were conducted to study the effect of temperature and addition of the dispersant on biodegradation of benzene, as a representative of petroleum hydrocarbon, in a coastal salt marsh sediment under aerobic conditions. The results show that benzene biodegradation was approximately 6 time faster under aerobic conditions (Eh > +300 mV) than under anaerobic iron-reduction conditions (+14 mV  10 °C > 30 °C as expected in a saline environment. Application of the dispersant caused initial fluctuations of benzene vapor pressure during the incubation due to its hydrophobic and hydrophilic nature of the molecules. Presence of the dispersant shows an inhibitory effect on benzene biodegradation, and the inhibition increased with concentration of the dispersant. The Gulf coast sediment seems in a favorable scenario to recover from the BP oil spill with an average temperature around 20 °C in spring and fall season. Application of the dispersant may be necessary for the oil spill rescue operation, but its side effects may deserve further investigations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Mercury cycling and sequestration in salt marshes sediments: An ecosystem service provided by Juncus maritimus and Scirpus maritimus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marques, B.; Lillebo, A.I.; Pereira, E.; Duarte, A.C.

    2011-01-01

    In this study two time scales were looked at: a yearlong study was completed, and a 180-day decay experiment was done. Juncus maritimus and Scirpus maritimus have different life cycles, and this seems to have implications in the Hg-contaminated salt marsh sediment chemical environment, namely Eh and pH. In addition, the belowground biomass decomposition rates were faster for J. maritimus, as well as the biomass turnover rates. Results show that all these species-specific factors have implications in the mercury dynamics and sequestration. Meaning that J. maritimus belowground biomass has a sequestration capacity for mercury per square metre approximately 4-5 times higher than S. maritimus, i.e., in S. maritimus colonized areas Hg is more extensively exchange between belowground biomass and the rhizosediment. In conclusion, J. maritimus seems to provide a comparatively higher ecosystem service through phytostabilization (Hg complexation in the rhizosediment) and through phytoaccumulation (Hg sequestration in the belowground biomass). - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Highlights: → Potentially halophytes auto-remediate systems by reducing Hg availability. → Species-specific factors have implications in the Hg dynamics and sequestration. → Ecosystem services are provided through phytostabilization and/or phytoaccumulation. → J. maritimus provide a comparatively higher ecosystem service. → In S. maritimus rhizosediment Hg is more extensively exchange with the halophyte. - Juncus maritimus provide an ecosystem service through Hg-phytostabilization and Hg-phytoaccumulation.

  10. How do how internal and external processes affect the behaviors of coupled marsh mudflat systems; infill, stabilize, retreat, or drown?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, J. A.; Mariotti, G.; Wiberg, P.; Fagherazzi, S.; McGlathery, K.

    2013-12-01

    Intertidal coastal environments are prone to changes induced by sea level rise, increases in storminess, and anthropogenic disturbances. It is unclear how changes in external drivers may affect the dynamics of low energy coastal environments because their response is non-linear, and characterized by many thresholds and discontinuities. As such, process-based modeling of the ecogeomorphic processes underlying the dynamics of these ecosystems is useful, not only to predict their change through time, but also to generate new hypotheses and research questions. Here, a three-point dynamic model was developed to investigate how internal and external processes affect the behavior of coupled marsh mudflat systems. The model directly incorporates ecogeomorphological feedbacks between wind waves, salt marsh vegetation, allochthonous sediment loading, tidal flat vegetation and sea level rise. The model was applied to examine potential trajectories of salt marshes on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, including those in the Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) and Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) long term ecological research (LTER) sites. While these sites are undergoing similar rates of relative sea level rise (RSLR), they have distinct differences in site specific environmental drivers including tides, wind waves, allochthonous sediment supply and the presence or absence of seagrass. These differences lead to the emergence of altered behaviors in the coupled salt marsh-tidal flat system. For marsh systems without seagrass or significant riverine sediment supply, conditions similar to those at PIE, results indicated that horizontal and vertical marsh evolution respond in opposing ways to wave induced processes. Marsh horizontal retreat is triggered by large mudflats and strong winds, whereas small mudflats and weak winds reduce the sediment supply to the salt marsh, decreasing its capability to keep pace with sea level rise. Marsh expansion and

  11. Habitat selection by Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) at multiple spatial scales in an urbanized estuary: The importance of salt ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluso-Demers, Jill; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Peterson, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The highly urbanized San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA, is currently undergoing large-scale habitat restoration, and several thousand hectares of former salt evaporation ponds are being converted to tidal marsh. To identify potential effects of this habitat restoration on breeding waterbirds, habitat selection of radiotagged Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) was examined at multiple spatial scales during the pre-breeding and breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006. At each spatial scale, habitat selection ratios were calculated by season, year, and sex. Forster's Terns selected salt pond habitats at most spatial scales and demonstrated the importance of salt ponds for foraging and roosting. Salinity influenced the types of salt pond habitats that were selected. Specifically, Forster's Terns strongly selected lower salinity salt ponds (0.5–30 g/L) and generally avoided higher salinity salt ponds (≥31 g/L). Forster's Terns typically used tidal marsh and managed marsh habitats in proportion to their availability, avoided upland and tidal flat habitats, and strongly avoided open bay habitats. Salt ponds provide important habitat for breeding waterbirds, and restoration efforts to convert former salt ponds to tidal marsh may reduce the availability of preferred breeding and foraging areas.

  12. Chemical characterization of soil organic matter in a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh: analyzing microbial and vegetation inputs to SOM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bye, E.; Schreiner, K. M.; Abdulla, H. A.; Minor, E. C.; Guntenspergen, G. R.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal wetlands play a critical role in the global carbon cycle. These ecosystems sequester and store carbon, known as "blue carbon," at a rate two or three orders of magnitude larger than other terrestrial ecosystems, such as temperate, tropical, and boreal forests. Anthropogenic changes to the climate are threatening blue carbon stores in coastal wetland ecosystems. To understand and predict how these important carbon stores will be affected by anthropogenic climate changes, it is necessary to understand the formation and preservation of soil organic matter (SOM) in these ecosystems. This study will present organic geochemical data from two sediment cores collected from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center site on a salt marsh in Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay. One core is from a location that recently transitioned from a C4 to C3 plant regime, currently dominated by the sedge Shoenplectis americanus. The second core is from a C4 plant (Spartina patens) dominated location in the marsh. The organic geochemistry of these 100 cm deep sediment cores was studied through multiple bulk analyses including stable isotopes, elemental ratios, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), solid-state magic-angle-spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and compound specific lignin-phenol analysis. By using comprehensive chemical characterization techniques, this study aims to discern between vegetation- and microbially-derived inputs to SOM in blue carbon ecosystems. The results show a general increase in the aromatic content with a concomitant decrease of carbohydrates with depth in both cores. However, substantial differences between the two cores, indicates differing inputs and/or stabilization mechanisms within SOM formed from different vegetation regimes. Further compound specific work will help to elucidate the specific source of compounds within each compound class, in surface and deep SOM, and additionally can help provide evidence for different

  13. Biosphere 2's Marsh Biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Jennifer; Goodridge, Kelven

    1997-01-01

    The Marsh Biome, which was modeled after the mangroves and marshes of southwest Florida, has an area of 441.2 sq m separated into three hydrologically independent sections: the Freshwater, Oligohaline and Salt Marshes. The divisions are made based on their salinity (approximately 0, 4, and 34 ppt. respectively), but they also contain different biological communities. The Freshwater and Oligohaline Marshes are mostly filled with various grasses and several trees, while the Salt Marsh houses regions of red, black, and white mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, and Languncularia racemosa respectively). Overall, there are an estimated 80 species of plants within the biome. Water in the Salt Marsh follows a meandering stream from the algal turf scrubbers (apparatuses that clean the water of its nutrients and heavy metals while increasing dissolved oxygen levels) which have an outlet in the Salt Marsh section near sites 4 and 5 to the Fringing Red Mangrove section. The sections of the Salt Marsh are separated by walls of concrete with openings to allow the stream to flow through. Throughout this study, conducted through the months of June and July, many conditions within the biome remained fairly constant. The temperature was within a degree or two of 25 C, mostly depending on whether the sample site was in direct sunlight or shaded. The pH throughout the Salt Marsh was 8.0 +/- 0.2, and the lower salinity waters only dropped below this soon after rains. The water rdepth and dissolved oxygen varied, however, between sites.

  14. Anthropocene Survival of Southern New England's Salt ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    In southern New England, salt marshes are exceptionally vulnerable to the impacts of accelerated sea level rise. Regional rates of sea level rise have been as much as 50 % greater than the global average over past decades, a more than fourfold increase over late Holocene background values. In addition, coastal development blocks many potential marsh migration routes, and compensatory mechanisms relying on positive feedbacks between inundation and sediment deposition are insufficient to counter inundation increases in extreme low-turbidity tidal waters. Accordingly, multiple lines of evidence suggest that marsh submergence is occurring in southern New England. A combination of monitoring data, field re-surveys, radiometric dating, and analysis of peat composition have established that, beginning in the early and mid-twentieth century, the dominant low-marsh plant, Spartina alterniflora, has encroached upward in tidal marshes, and typical high-marsh plants, including Juncus gerardii and Spartina patens, have declined, providing strong evidence that vegetation changes are being driven, at least in part, by higher water levels. Additionally, aerial and satellite imagery show shoreline retreat, widening and headward extension of channels, and new and expanded interior depressions. Papers in this special section highlight changes in marsh-building processes, patterns of vegetation loss, and shifts in species composition. The final papers turn to strategies for minimiz

  15. Global carbon sequestration in tidal, saline wetland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmura, G.L.; Anisfeld, S.C.; Cahoon, D.R.; Lynch, J.C.

    2003-01-01

    Wetlands represent the largest component of the terrestrial biological carbon pool and thus play an important role in global carbon cycles. Most global carbon budgets, however, have focused on dry land ecosystems that extend over large areas and have not accounted for the many small, scattered carbon-storing ecosystems such as tidal saline wetlands. We compiled data for 154 sites in mangroves and salt marshes from the western and eastern Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico. The set of sites spans a latitudinal range from 22.4??S in the Indian Ocean to 55.5??N in the northeastern Atlantic. The average soil carbon density of mangrove swamps (0.055 ?? 0.004 g cm-3) is significantly higher than the salt marsh average (0.039 ?? 0.003 g cm-3). Soil carbon density in mangrove swamps and Spartina patens marshes declines with increasing average annual temperature, probably due to increased decay rates at higher temperatures. In contrast, carbon sequestration rates were not significantly different between mangrove swamps and salt marshes. Variability in sediment accumulation rates within marshes is a major control of carbon sequestration rates masking any relationship with climatic parameters. Globally, these combined wetlands store at least 44.6 Tg C yr-1 and probably more, as detailed areal inventories are not available for salt marshes in China and South America. Much attention has been given to the role of freshwater wetlands, particularly northern peatlands, as carbon sinks. In contrast to peatlands, salt marshes and mangroves release negligible amounts of greenhouse gases and store more carbon per unit area. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  16. The isotopic record of atmospheric lead fall-out on an Icelandic salt marsh since AD 50

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, William A.; Clough, Robert; Gehrels, W. Roland

    2009-01-01

    We report a record of atmospheric Pb deposition at a coastal site in western Iceland that spans the last two millennia. The elemental concentrations of Pb, Al, Li and Ti are determined using ICP-MS from a sediment monolith collected from a salt marsh. Multicollector (MC) ICP-MS analysis is used to obtain isotopic ratios of stable Pb. The Pb/Ti and Pb/Li ratios are used to separate natural Pb background concentrations from Pb derived from remote anthropogenic sources. The pollution record in western Iceland is subdued in comparison with Pb records from the European mainland, but the isotopic character, profile and timing of Pb deposition show good agreement with the atmospheric Pb fall-out reported from sites in Scandinavia and northwestern Europe. At the bottom of the sequence we isolate a low-level (0.1-0.4 mg kg -1 ) Pb enrichment signal dated to AD 50-150. The isotopic signature and timing of this signal suggest Roman metal working industries as the source. In the subsequent millennium there was no significant or very low (i.e. elemental concentrations -1 ) anthropogenic Pb deposition at the site up to, and including, the early Medieval period. Above a pumice layer, dated to AD 1226-1227, a small increase in Pb deposition is found. This trend is maintained until a more substantive and progressive increase is signalled during the late 1700s and early 1800s. This is followed by a substantial enrichment signal in the sediments (> 3.0 mg kg -1 ) that is interpreted as derived from industrial coal burning and metal working during the 19th and 20th centuries in northern Europe. During the late 20th century, significant fall-out from European fuel additives reached Iceland

  17. The Green Berry Consortia of the Sippewissett Salt Marsh: Millimeter-Sized Aggregates of Diazotrophic Unicellular Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilbanks, Elizabeth G; Salman-Carvalho, Verena; Jaekel, Ulrike; Humphrey, Parris T; Eisen, Jonathan A; Buckley, Daniel H; Zinder, Stephen H

    2017-01-01

    Microbial interactions driving key biogeochemical fluxes often occur within multispecies consortia that form spatially heterogeneous microenvironments. Here, we describe the "green berry" consortia of the Sippewissett salt marsh (Falmouth, MA, United States): millimeter-sized aggregates dominated by an uncultured, diazotrophic unicellular cyanobacterium of the order Chroococcales (termed GB-CYN1). We show that GB-CYN1 is closely related to Crocosphaera watsonii (UCYN-B) and " Candidatus Atelocyanobacterium thalassa" (UCYN-A), two groups of unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria that play an important role in marine primary production. Other green berry consortium members include pennate diatoms and putative heterotrophic bacteria from the Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes . Tight coupling was observed between photosynthetic oxygen production and heterotrophic respiration. When illuminated, the green berries became supersaturated with oxygen. From the metagenome, we observed that GB-CYN1 encodes photosystem II genes and thus has the metabolic potential for oxygen production unlike UCYN-A. In darkness, respiratory activity rapidly depleted oxygen creating anoxia within the aggregates. Metagenomic data revealed a suite of nitrogen fixation genes encoded by GB-CYN1, and nitrogenase activity was confirmed at the whole-aggregate level by acetylene reduction assays. Metagenome reads homologous to marker genes for denitrification were observed and suggest that heterotrophic denitrifiers might co-occur in the green berries, although the physiology and activity of facultative anaerobes in these aggregates remains uncharacterized. Nitrogen fixation in the surface ocean was long thought to be driven by filamentous cyanobacterial aggregates, though recent work has demonstrated the importance of unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria (UCYN) from the order Chroococcales. The green berries serve as a useful contrast to studies of open ocean UCYN and may provide a tractable

  18. Long-term nutrient addition differentially alters community composition and diversity of genes that control nitrous oxide flux from salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearns, Patrick J.; Angell, John H.; Feinman, Sarah G.; Bowen, Jennifer L.

    2015-03-01

    Enrichment of natural waters, soils, and sediments by inorganic nutrients, including nitrogen, is occurring at an increasing rate and has fundamentally altered global biogeochemical cycles. Salt marshes are critical for the removal of land-derived nitrogen before it enters coastal waters. This is accomplished via multiple microbially mediated pathways, including denitrification. Many of these pathways, however, are also a source of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). We used clone libraries and quantative PCR (qPCR) to examine the effect of fertilization on the diversity and abundance of two functional genes associated with denitrification and N2O production (norB and nosZ) in experimental plots at the Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh (Falmouth, MA, USA) that have been enriched with nutrients for over 40 years. Our data showed distinct nosZ and norB community structures at different nitrogen loads, especially at the highest level of fertilization. Furthermore, calculations of the Shannon Diversity Index and Chao1 Richness Estimator indicated that nosZ gene diversity and richness increased with increased nitrogen supply, however no such relationship existed with regard to richness and diversity of the norB gene. Results from qPCR demonstrated that nosZ gene abundance was an order of magnitude lower in the extra-highly fertilized plots compared to the other plots, but the abundance of norB was not affected by fertilization. The majority of sequences obtained from the marsh plots had no close cultured relatives and they were divergent from previously sequenced norB and nosZ fragments. Despite their divergence from any cultured representatives, most of the norB and nosZ sequences appeared to be from members of the Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria, suggesting that these classes are particularly important in salt marsh nitrogen cycling. Our results suggest that both norB and nosZ containing microbes are affected by fertilization and that the Great Sippewissett Marsh may

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Traits of estuarine marsh plants affect wave dissipation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. 210Pb and 137Cs as chronometers for salt marsh accretion in the Venice Lagoon - links to flooding frequency and climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bellucci, L.G.; Frignani, M.; Cochran, J.K.; Albertazzi, S.; Zaggia, L.; Cecconi, G.; Hopkins, H.

    2007-01-01

    Five salt marsh sediment cores from different parts of the Venice Lagoon were studied to determine their depositional history and its relationship with the environmental changes occurred during the past ∼100 years. X-radiographs of the cores show no disturbance related to particle mixing. Accretion rates were calculated using a constant flux model applied to excess 210 Pb distributions in the cores. The record of 137 Cs fluxes to the sites, determined from 137 Cs profiles and the 210 Pb chronologies, shows inputs from the global fallout of 137 Cs in the late 1950s to early 1960s and the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Average accretion rates in the cores are comparable to the long-term average rate of mean sea level rise in the Venice Lagoon (∼0.25 cm y -1 ) except for a core collected in a marsh presumably affected by inputs from the Dese River. Short-term variations in accretion rate are correlated with the cumulative frequency of flooding, as determined by records of Acqua Alta, in four of the five cores, suggesting that variations in the phenomena causing flooding (such as wind patterns, storm frequency and NAO) are short-term driving forces for variations in marsh accretion rate

  2. 210Pb and 137Cs as chronometers for salt marsh accretion in the Venice Lagoon - links to flooding frequency and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, L G; Frignani, M; Cochran, J K; Albertazzi, S; Zaggia, L; Cecconi, G; Hopkins, H

    2007-01-01

    Five salt marsh sediment cores from different parts of the Venice Lagoon were studied to determine their depositional history and its relationship with the environmental changes occurred during the past approximately 100 years. X-radiographs of the cores show no disturbance related to particle mixing. Accretion rates were calculated using a constant flux model applied to excess (210)Pb distributions in the cores. The record of (137)Cs fluxes to the sites, determined from (137)Cs profiles and the (210)Pb chronologies, shows inputs from the global fallout of (137)Cs in the late 1950s to early 1960s and the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Average accretion rates in the cores are comparable to the long-term average rate of mean sea level rise in the Venice Lagoon ( approximately 0.25 cm y(-1)) except for a core collected in a marsh presumably affected by inputs from the Dese River. Short-term variations in accretion rate are correlated with the cumulative frequency of flooding, as determined by records of Acqua Alta, in four of the five cores, suggesting that variations in the phenomena causing flooding (such as wind patterns, storm frequency and NAO) are short-term driving forces for variations in marsh accretion rate.

  3. {sup 210}Pb and {sup 137}Cs as chronometers for salt marsh accretion in the Venice Lagoon - links to flooding frequency and climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bellucci, L.G. [Istituto di Scienze Marine - Sede di Bologna - Geologia Marina, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy)], E-mail: luca.bellucci@ismar.cnr.it; Frignani, M. [Istituto di Scienze Marine - Sede di Bologna - Geologia Marina, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy); Cochran, J.K. [Marine Sciences Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-5000, NY (United States); Albertazzi, S. [Istituto di Scienze Marine - Sede di Bologna - Geologia Marina, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy); Zaggia, L. [Istituto di Scienze Marine, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - S. Polo 1364, 30125 Venezia (Italy); Cecconi, G. [Consorzio Venezia Nuova - S. Croce 505, 30135 Venezia (Italy); Hopkins, H. [Marine Sciences Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-5000, NY (United States)

    2007-10-15

    Five salt marsh sediment cores from different parts of the Venice Lagoon were studied to determine their depositional history and its relationship with the environmental changes occurred during the past {approx}100 years. X-radiographs of the cores show no disturbance related to particle mixing. Accretion rates were calculated using a constant flux model applied to excess {sup 210}Pb distributions in the cores. The record of {sup 137}Cs fluxes to the sites, determined from {sup 137}Cs profiles and the {sup 210}Pb chronologies, shows inputs from the global fallout of {sup 137}Cs in the late 1950s to early 1960s and the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Average accretion rates in the cores are comparable to the long-term average rate of mean sea level rise in the Venice Lagoon ({approx}0.25 cm y{sup -1}) except for a core collected in a marsh presumably affected by inputs from the Dese River. Short-term variations in accretion rate are correlated with the cumulative frequency of flooding, as determined by records of Acqua Alta, in four of the five cores, suggesting that variations in the phenomena causing flooding (such as wind patterns, storm frequency and NAO) are short-term driving forces for variations in marsh accretion rate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  5. Distribution and inventories of fallout radionuclides (239+24Pu, 137Cs) and 21Pb to study the filling velocity of salt marshes in Donana National Park (Spain)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasco, C.; Anton, M.P.; Pozuelo, M.; Clemente, L.; Rodriguez, A.; Yanez, C.; Gonzalez, A.; Meral, J.

    2006-01-01

    Within an extensive multinational and multidisciplinary project carried out in Donana National Park (Spain) to investigate its preservation and regeneration, the filling velocity of the salt marshes has been evaluated through the calculation of their average sediment accumulation rates. 239+24 Pu and 137 Cs from weapons testing fallout and total 21 Pb distribution profiles and inventories have been determined in some of the most characteristic zones of the park, namely, the ponds (or 'lucios') and the waterjets (or 'canos'). Plutonium inventories range from 16 to 101 Bq m -2 , 137 Cs values fluctuate between 514 and 3758 Bq m -2 and unsupported 21 Pb values comprise between 124 and 9398 Bq m -2 . Average sedimentation rates range from 3 to 5 mm y -1 (1952-2002). These data are higher than those obtained by carbon dating for the period 6500 AD-present, estimated as 1.5-2 mm y -1 , suggesting an increase in the accumulation of sediments and the alteration of the park's hydrodynamics caused by the re-channeling of the major rivers feeding the salt marshes

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Georges

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-26

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

  8. The marshes in Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Where temperate meets tropical: Multi-factorial effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen enrichment, and competition on a mangrove-salt marsh community

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Rooth, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    Our understanding of how elevated CO2 and interactions with other factors will affect coastal plant communities is limited. Such information is particularly needed for transitional communities where major vegetation types converge. Tropical mangroves (Avicennia germinans) intergrade with temperate salt marshes (Spartina alterniflora) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and this transitional community represents an important experimental system to test hypotheses about global change impacts on critical ecosystems. We examined the responses of A. germinans (C3) and S. alterniflora (C4), grown in monoculture and mixture in mesocosms for 18 months, to interactive effects of atmospheric CO2 and pore water nitrogen (N) concentrations typical of these marshes. A. germinans, grown without competition from S. alterniflora, increased final biomass (35%) under elevated CO2 treatment and higher N availability. Growth of A. germinans was severely curtailed, however, when grown in mixture with S. alterniflora, and enrichment with CO2 and N could not reverse this growth suppression. A field experiment using mangrove seedlings produced by CO2- and N-enriched trees confirmed that competition from S. alterniflora suppressed growth under natural conditions and further showed that herbivory greatly reduced survival of all seedlings. Thus, mangroves will not supplant marsh vegetation due to elevated CO2 alone, but instead will require changes in climate, environmental stress, or disturbance to alter the competitive balance between these species. However, where competition and herbivory are low, elevated CO2 may accelerate mangrove transition from the seedling to sapling stage and also increase above- and belowground production of existing mangrove stands, particularly in combination with higher soil N. ?? 2008 The Authors Journal compilation ?? 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Land Use in Korean Tidal Wetlands: Impacts and Management Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Sun-Kee; Koh, Chul-Hwan; Harris, Richard R.; Kim, Jae-Eun; Lee, Jeom-Sook; Ihm, Byung-Sun

    2010-05-01

    The coastal landscapes in southwestern Korea include a diverse array of tidal wetlands and salt marshes. These coastal zones link the ecological functions of marine tidal wetlands and freshwater ecosystems with terrestrial ecosystems. They are rich in biological diversity and play important roles in sustaining ecological health and processing environmental pollutants. Korean tidal wetlands are particularly important as nurseries for economically important fishes and habitats for migratory birds. Diking, draining, tourism, and conversion to agricultural and urban uses have adversely affected Korean tidal wetlands. Recent large development projects have contributed to further losses. Environmental impact assessments conducted for projects affecting tidal wetlands and their surrounding landscapes should be customized for application to these special settings. Adequate environmental impact assessments will include classification of hydrogeomorphic units and consideration of their responses to biological and environmental stressors. As is true worldwide, Korean laws and regulations are changing to be more favorable to the conservation and protection of tidal wetlands. More public education needs to be done at the local level to build support for tidal wetland conservation. Some key public education points include the role of tidal wetlands in maintaining healthy fish populations and reducing impacts of nonpoint source pollution. There is also a need to develop procedures for integrating economic and environmental objectives within the overall context of sustainable management and land uses.

  11. The effect of increasing salinity and forest mortality on soil nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization in tidal freshwater forested wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noe, Gregory B.; Krauss, Ken W.; Lockaby, B. Graeme; Conner, William H.; Hupp, Cliff R.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal freshwater wetlands are sensitive to sea level rise and increased salinity, although little information is known about the impact of salinification on nutrient biogeochemistry in tidal freshwater forested wetlands. We quantified soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) mineralization using seasonal in situ incubations of modified resin cores along spatial gradients of chronic salinification (from continuously freshwater tidal forest to salt impacted tidal forest to oligohaline marsh) and in hummocks and hollows of the continuously freshwater tidal forest along the blackwater Waccamaw River and alluvial Savannah River. Salinification increased rates of net N and P mineralization fluxes and turnover in tidal freshwater forested wetland soils, most likely through tree stress and senescence (for N) and conversion to oligohaline marsh (for P). Stimulation of N and P mineralization by chronic salinification was apparently unrelated to inputs of sulfate (for N and P) or direct effects of increased soil conductivity (for N). In addition, the tidal wetland soils of the alluvial river mineralized more P relative to N than the blackwater river. Finally, hummocks had much greater nitrification fluxes than hollows at the continuously freshwater tidal forested wetland sites. These findings add to knowledge of the responses of tidal freshwater ecosystems to sea level rise and salinification that is necessary to predict the consequences of state changes in coastal ecosystem structure and function due to global change, including potential impacts on estuarine eutrophication.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-15

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Koo, Hyunmin

    2014-07-10

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

  15. Uranium and barium cycling in a salt wedge subterranean estuary: The influence of tidal pumping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, I.R.; Burnett, W.C.; Misra, S.; Suryaputra, I.G.N.A.; Chanton, J.P.; Dittmar, T.; Peterson, R.N.; Swarzenski, P.W.

    2011-01-01

    The contribution of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to oceanic metal budgets is only beginning to be explored. Here, we demonstrate that biogeochemical processes in a northern Florida subterranean estuary (STE) significantly alter U and Ba concentrations entering the coastal ocean via SGD. Tidal pumping controlled the distribution of dissolved metals in shallow beach groundwater. Hourly observations of intertidal groundwaters revealed high U and low Ba concentrations at high tide as a result of seawater infiltration into the coastal aquifer. During ebb tide, U decreased and Ba increased due to freshwater dilution and, more importantly, biogeochemical reactions that removed U and added Ba to solution. U removal was apparently a result of precipitation following the reduction of U(VI) to U(IV). A significant correlation between Ba and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in shallow beach groundwaters implied a common source, likely the mineralization of marine particulate organic matter driven into the beach face by tidal pumping. In deeper groundwaters, where the labile organic matter had been depleted, Ba correlated with Mn. We estimate that net SGD fluxes were − 163 and + 1660 μmol m− 1 d− 1 for U and Ba, respectively (or − 1 and + 8 μmol m− 2 d− 1 if a 200-m wide seepage area is considered). Our results support the emerging concept that subterranean estuaries are natural biogeochemical reactors where metal concentrations are altered relative to conservative mixing between terrestrial and marine endmembers. These deviations from conservative mixing significantly influence SGD-derived trace metal fluxes.

  16. Organic Carbon and Trace Element Cycling in a River-Dominated Tidal Coastal Wetland System (Tampa Bay, FL, USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, R. P.; Smoak, J. M.; Engelhart, S. E.; Powell, C. E.; Chappel, A. R.; Gerlach, M. J.; Kemp, A.; Breithaupt, J. L.

    2016-02-01

    Tampa Bay is the largest open water, river-fed estuary in Florida (USA), and is characterized by the presence of both mangrove and salt marsh ecosystems. Both coastal wetland systems, and small rivers such as the ones draining into Tampa Bay have historically been underestimated in terms of their role in the global carbon and elemental cycles. Climate change and sea-level rise (SLR) are major threats in Tampa Bay and stand to disrupt hydrologic cycles, compromising sediment accumulation and the rate of organic carbon (OC) burial. This study evaluates organic carbon content, sediment accumulation, and carbon burial rates in salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems, along with measurements of fluxes of dissolved OC (DOC) and trace elements in the water column of the Little Manatee River (LMR) in Tampa Bay. The characterization of OC and trace elements in tidal rivers and estuaries is critical for quantitatively constraining these systems in local-to-regional scale biogeochemical budgets, and provide insight into biogeochemical processes occurring with the estuary and adjacent tidal wetlands. Material fluxes of DOC and trace elements were tied to discharge irrespective of season, and the estuarine habitats removed 15-65% of DOC prior to export to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, material is available for cycling and burial within marsh and mangrove peats, however, LMR mangrove peats have higher OC content and burial rates than adjacent salt marsh peats. Sedimentary accretion rates in LMR marshes are not currently keeping pace with SLR, thus furthering the rapid marsh-to-mangrove conversions that have been seen in Tampa Bay over the past half-century. Additionally, wetlands in Tampa Bay tend to have a lower rate of carbon burial than other Florida tidal wetlands, demonstrating their high sensitivity to climate change and SLR.

  17. Influence of vegetation on the infilling of a macrotidal embayment: examples from salt marshes and shingle spit of the Baie de Somme (North France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bot, Sophie; Forey, Estelle; Lafite, Robert; Langlois, Estelle

    2015-04-01

    As many estuaries in the English Channel, the Baie de Somme is currently filling with a mean seabed elevation between 1.3 and 1.8 cm/yr. Embankments and polders, as well as sea level rise, increase this natural accretion process, which leads to important modifications of environment uses. Interactions between vegetation and sediment dynamics constitute a key-point to consider, in order to better understand the infilling processes in estuaries. To estimate the effect of vegetation on these processes, two particular environments have been studied in the bay: (i) the mid salt marsh covered with Halimione portulacoides, associated with a silty sedimentation, and (ii) the shingle spit, that closes the bay from the South, on which the sea kale (Crambe maritime), a protected pioneer species, develops. Salt marshes progress with a rate of 5-10 m/yr (mean value calculated on the 1947-2011 period). Sedimentological analysis have been conducted on 9 cores (50cm long) collected in three Halimione communities of the bay. They are associated with a silty-dominated (38-84 micrometer) sedimentation under the influence of decantation processes. Rhythmicity is observed in the sedimentation, due to the repetition of a two-layer pattern, that includes a dark layer composed of vegetal rests and that would represent annual sedimentation. Annual sedimentation rates (0.7 to 5.8 cm/yr) are consistent with mean values previously recorded. The shingle spit progresses to the North under the influence of the littoral drift at a rate of 7 m/yr (mean value calculated on the 1947-2011 period). Sea kales are observed on parts formed since several years, above the level of the highest astronomical tides. TLS surveys and sedimentation bars have allowed to measure erosion/sedimentation volumes at the scale of the spit and of sea kale individuals, during spring 2013. Individuals of this species facilitate the trapping of sand, transported by winds from the intertidal flats. Sea kale thus contributes

  18. Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise on the Resilience and Migration of Tidal Wetlands along the Hudson River.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nava M Tabak

    Full Text Available Sea Level Rise (SLR caused by climate change is impacting coastal wetlands around the globe. Due to their distinctive biophysical characteristics and unique plant communities, freshwater tidal wetlands are expected to exhibit a different response to SLR as compared with the better studied salt marshes. In this study we employed the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM, which simulates regional- or local-scale changes in tidal wetland habitats in response to SLR, and adapted it for application in a freshwater-dominated tidal river system, the Hudson River Estuary. Using regionally-specific estimated ranges of SLR and accretion rates, we produced simulations for a spectrum of possible future wetland distributions and quantified the projected wetland resilience, migration or loss in the HRE through the end of the 21st century. Projections of total wetland extent and migration were more strongly determined by the rate of SLR than the rate of accretion. Surprisingly, an increase in net tidal wetland area was projected under all scenarios, with newly-formed tidal wetlands expected to comprise at least 33% of the HRE's wetland area by year 2100. Model simulations with high rates of SLR and/or low rates of accretion resulted in broad shifts in wetland composition with widespread conversion of high marsh habitat to low marsh, tidal flat or permanent inundation. Wetland expansion and resilience were not equally distributed through the estuary, with just three of 48 primary wetland areas encompassing >50% of projected new wetland by the year 2100. Our results open an avenue for improving predictive models of the response of freshwater tidal wetlands to sea level rise, and broadly inform the planning of conservation measures of this critical resource in the Hudson River Estuary.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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