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Sample records for tundra species marsh

  1. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

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    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  2. Methylocella tundrae sp. nov., a novel methanotrophic bacterium from acidic tundra peatlands.

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    Dedysh, Svetlana N; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Vasylieva, Lina V; Belova, Svetlana E; Khmelenina, Valentina N; Suzina, Natalia E; Trotsenko, Yuri A; Liesack, Werner; Zavarzin, George A

    2004-01-01

    A novel species, Methylocella tundrae, is proposed for three methanotrophic strains (T4T, TCh1 and TY1) isolated from acidic Sphagnum tundra peatlands. These strains are aerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, dinitrogen-fixing rods that possess a soluble methane monooxygenase and utilize the serine pathway for carbon assimilation. Strains T4T, TCh1 and TY1 are moderately acidophilic organisms capable of growth between pH 4.2 and 7.5 (optimum 5.5-6.0) and between 5 and 30 degrees C (optimum 15 degrees C). The major phospholipid fatty acid is 18:1omega7c. The DNA G+C content of strain T4T is 63.3 mol%. The three strains possess almost identical 16S rRNA gene sequences and are most closely related to two previously identified species of Methylocella, Methylocella palustris (97% similarity) and Methylocella silvestris (97.5% similarity). DNA-DNA hybridization values of strain T4T with Methylocella palustris KT and Methylocella silvestris BL2T were respectively 27 and 36%. Thus, the tundra strains represent a novel species, for which the name Methylocella tundrae sp. nov. is proposed. Strain T4T (=DSM 15673T=NCIMB 13949T) is the type strain.

  3. Herbivores rescue diversity in warming tundra by modulating trait-dependent species losses and gains.

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    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Eskelinen, Anu; Olofsson, Johan

    2017-09-04

    Climate warming is altering the diversity of plant communities but it remains unknown which species will be lost or gained under warming, especially considering interactions with other factors such as herbivory and nutrient availability. Here, we experimentally test effects of warming, mammalian herbivory and fertilization on tundra species richness and investigate how plant functional traits affect losses and gains. We show that herbivory reverses the impact of warming on diversity: in the presence of herbivores warming increases species richness through higher species gains and lower losses, while in the absence of herbivores warming causes higher species losses and thus decreases species richness. Herbivores promote gains of short-statured species under warming, while herbivore removal and fertilization increase losses of short-statured and resource-conservative species through light limitation. Our results demonstrate that both rarity and traits forecast species losses and gains, and mammalian herbivores are essential for preventing trait-dependent extinctions and mitigate diversity loss under warming and eutrophication.Warming can reduce plant diversity but it is unclear which species will be lost or gained under interacting global changes. Kaarlejärvi et al. manipulate temperature, herbivory and nutrients in a tundra system and find that herbivory maintains diversity under warming by reducing species losses and promoting gains.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2018-04-15

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

  7. Geomorphic determinants of species composition of alpine tundra, Glacier National Park, U.S.A.

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    George P. Malanson,; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2012-01-01

    Because the distribution of alpine tundra is associated with spatially limited cold climates, global warming may threaten its local extent or existence. This notion has been challenged, however, based on observations of the diversity of alpine tundra in small areas primarily due to topographic variation. The importance of diversity in temperature or moisture conditions caused by topographic variation is an open question, and we extend this to geomorphology more generally. The extent to which geomorphic variation per se, based on relatively easily assessed indicators, can account for the variation in alpine tundra community composition is analyzed versus the inclusion of broad indicators of regional climate variation. Visual assessments of topography are quantified and reduced using principal components analysis (PCA). Observations of species cover are reduced using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). A “best subsets” regression approach using the Akaike Information Criterion for selection of variables is compared to a simple stepwise regression with DCA scores as the dependent variable and scores on significant PCA axes plus more direct measures of topography as independent variables. Models with geographic coordinates (representing regional climate gradients) excluded explain almost as much variation in community composition as models with them included, although they are important contributors to the latter. The geomorphic variables in the model are those associated with local moisture differences such as snowbeds. The potential local variability of alpine tundra can be a buffer against climate change, but change in precipitation may be as important as change in temperature.

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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

  11. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

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    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  12. Molecular detection of Setaria tundra (Nematoda: Filarioidea and an unidentified filarial species in mosquitoes in Germany

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    Czajka Christina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge of the potential vector role of Culicidae mosquitoes in Germany is very scanty, and until recently it was generally assumed that they are not involved in the transmission of anthroponotic or zoonotic pathogens in this country. However, anticipated changes in the course of global warming and globalization may alter their status. Methods We conducted a molecular mass screening of mosquitoes for filarial parasites using mitochondrial 12S rRNA-based real-time PCR. Results No parasites causing disease in humans such as Dirofilaria spp. were detected in about 83,000 mosquitoes tested, which had been collected in 2009 and 2010 in 16 locations throughout Germany. However, minimum infection rates of up to 24 per 1000 mosquitoes were revealed, which could be attributed to mosquito infection with Setaria tundra and a yet unidentified second parasite. Setaria tundra was found to be widespread in southern Germany in various mosquito species, except Culex spp. In contrast, the unidentified filarial species was exclusively found in Culex spp. in northern Baden-Württemberg, and is likely to be a bird parasite. Conclusions Although dirofilariasis appears to be emerging and spreading in Europe, the absence of Dirofilaria spp. or other zoonotic filariae in our sample allows the conclusion that the risk of autochthonous infection in Germany is still very low. Potential vectors of S. tundra in Germany are Ochlerotatus sticticus, Oc. cantans, Aedes vexans and Anopheles claviger. Technically, the synergism between entomologists, virologists and parasitologists, combined with state-of-the-art methods allows a very efficient near-real-time monitoring of a wide spectrum of both human and veterinary pathogens, including new distribution records of parasite species and the incrimination of their potential vectors.

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

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    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

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

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    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

  15. TUNDRA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

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    Terry Callaghan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Both palaeogeographical reconstructions and general circulation models indicate that global warming is especially strongly manifested in high latitudes. Under a 2°C increase in mean global temperature, almost the entire modern tundra zone would become potentially suitable for tree growth. Nevertheless, palaeobotanic data cannot be applied directly to estimating vegetation response to the global warming expected in the 21st century, as they characterize a quasi-equilibrium state of ecosystems, which takes several centuries to be achieved. Low migration rates of trees, damage caused by fires and insects, processes of soil drying or paludification, and influence of herbivorous animals and human activities may slow down considerably forest spread in tundra. Climate warming will probably cause a decline in the populations of Arctic species and expansion of ranges of some southern animal species into the Arctic.

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

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    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

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

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    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Net Primary Production and Carbon Stocks for Subarctic Mesic-Dry Tundras with Contrasting Microtopography, Altitude, and Dominant Species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A

    2009-01-01

    Mesic-dry tundras are widespread in the Arctic but detailed assessments of net primary production (NPP) and ecosystem carbon (C) stocks are lacking. We addressed this lack of knowledge by determining the seasonal dynamics of aboveground vascular NPP, annual NPP, and whole-ecosystem C stocks in five...... mesic-dry tundras in Northern Sweden with contrasting microtopography, altitude, and dominant species. Those measurements were paralleled by the stock assessments of nitrogen (N), the limiting nutrient. The vascular production was determined by harvest or in situ growing units, whereas the nonvascular...... hermaphroditum is more productive than Cassiope tetragona vegetation. Although the large majority of the apical NPP occurred in early-mid season (85%), production of stems and evergreen leaves proceeded until about 2 weeks before senescence. Most of the vascular vegetation was belowground (80%), whereas most...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The Bering Land Bridge: a moisture barrier to the dispersal of steppe-tundra biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Scott A.; Crocker, Barnaby

    2008-12-01

    The Bering Land Bridge (BLB) connected the two principal arctic biological refugia, Western and Eastern Beringia, during intervals of lowered sea level in the Pleistocene. Fossil evidence from lowland BLB organic deposits dating to the Last Glaciation indicates that this broad region was dominated by shrub tundra vegetation, and had a mesic climate. The dominant ecosystem in Western Beringia and the interior regions of Eastern Beringia was steppe-tundra, with herbaceous plant communities and arid climate. Although Western and Eastern Beringia shared many species in common during the Late Pleistocene, there were a number of species that were restricted to only one side of the BLB. Among the vertebrate fauna, the woolly rhinoceros was found only to the west of the BLB, North American camels, bonnet-horned musk-oxen and some horse species were found only to the east of the land bridge. These were all steppe-tundra inhabitants, adapted to grazing. The same phenomenon can be seen in the insect faunas of the Western and Eastern Beringia. The steppe-tundra beetle fauna of Western Beringia was dominated by weevils of the genus Stephanocleonus, a group that was virtually absent from Eastern Beringia. The dry-adapted weevils, Lepidophorus lineaticollis and Vitavitus thulius were important members of steppe-tundra communities in Eastern Beringia, but were either absent or rare in Western Beringia. The leaf beetles Chrysolina arctica, C. brunnicornis bermani, and Galeruca interrupta circumdata were typical members of the Pleistocene steppe-tundra communities of Western Beringia, but absent from Eastern Beringia. On the other hand, some steppe tundra-adapted leaf beetles managed to occupy both sides of the BLB, such as Phaedon armoraciae. Much of the BLB remains unstudied, but on biogeographic grounds, it appears that there was some kind of biological filter that blocked the movements of some steppe-tundra plants and animals across the BLB.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolduc, F.; Afton, A.D.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, B.A.

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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).

  8. Conifer seedling recruitment across a gradient from forest to alpine tundra: effects of species, provenance, and site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanha, C.; Torn, M.S.; Germino, M.J.; Weibel, Bettina; Kueppers, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Seedling germination and survival is a critical control on forest ecosystem boundaries, such as at the alpine–treeline ecotone. In addition, while it is known that species respond individualistically to the same suite of environmental drivers, the potential additional effect of local adaptation on seedling success has not been evaluated. Aims: To determine whether local adaptation may influence the position and movement of forest ecosystem boundaries, we quantified conifer seedling recruitment in common gardens across a subalpine forest to alpine tundra gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado, USA. Methods: We studied Pinus flexilis and Picea engelmannii grown from seed collected locally at High (3400 m a.s.l.) and Low (3060 m a.s.l.) elevations. We monitored emergence and survival of seeds sown directly into plots and survival of seedlings germinated indoors and transplanted after snowmelt. Results: Emergence and survival through the first growing season was greater for P. flexilis than P. engelmannii and for Low compared with High provenances. Yet survival through the second growing season was similar for both species and provenances. Seedling emergence and survival tended to be greatest in the subalpine forest and lowest in the alpine tundra. Survival was greater for transplants than for field-germinated seedlings. Conclusions: These results suggest that survival through the first few weeks is critical to the establishment of natural germinants. In addition, even small distances between seed sources can have a significant effect on early demographic performance – a factor that has rarely been considered in previous studies of tree recruitment and species range shifts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  10. Trends in NDVI and tundra community composition in the Arctic of NE Alaska between 1984 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Pattison; Janet C. Jorgenson; Martha K. Raynolds; Jeffery M. Welker

    2015-01-01

    As Arctic ecosystems experience increases in surface air temperatures, plot-level analyses of tundra vegetation composition suggest that there are important changes occurring in tundra communities that are typified by increases in shrubs and declines in non-vascular species. At the same time analyses of NDVI indicate that the Arctic tundra is greening. Few studies have...

  11. Can salt marshes survive sea level rise ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambroni, N.; Seminara, G.

    2008-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felix, N.A.; Raynolds, M.K.; Jorgenson, J.C.; DuBois, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trends in community dissimilarity. Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level. Moist sedge-shrub tundra and dryas terraces had the largest community dissimilarities initially, showing the least resistance to high levels of winter vehicle disturbance. Community dissimilarity continued to increase for five seasons in moist sedge-shrub tundra, with species composition changing to higher sedge cover and lower shrub cover. The resilience amplitude may have been exceeded on four plots which had significant track depression

  14. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1976-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, continues to document the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra landscapes. A measurement technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Samples across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure are taken. Studies now include Adak Island and the Point Barrow area. We have concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Aleutian tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. Our study led to recommendations which resulted in less intensive reclamation management at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscapes, for energy extraction, transportation or production, military or other reasons, we have expanded our sampling to other tundra areas where landscape disruption is occurring or is predicted.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1975-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, has been undertaken to determine the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. A sampling technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Attempts were made to sample across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure. The data were analyzed and we concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Amchitka tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. The study led to recommendations which resulted in a smaller effort than planned to reclaim damaged areas by seeding and fertilizing at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscape, whether for energy production, or military or other reasons, we are expanding our sampling to other tundra areas. Immediate plans include sampling at Adak Island and Barrow, Alaska. (U.S.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Sung-Ryong; King, Sammy L.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Anurans in a Subarctic Tundra Landscape Near Cape Churchill, Manitoba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and habitat relationships of anurans inhabiting subarctic regions are poorly understood, and anuran monitoring protocols developed for temperate regions may not be applicable across large roadless areas of northern landscapes. In addition, arctic and subarctic regions of North America are predicted to experience changes in climate and, in some areas, are experiencing habitat alteration due to high rates of herbivory by breeding and migrating waterfowl. To better understand subarctic anuran abundance, distribution, and habitat associations, we conducted anuran calling surveys in the Cape Churchill region of Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, in 2004 and 2005. We conducted surveys along ~l-km transects distributed across three landscape types (coastal tundra, interior sedge meadow-tundra, and boreal forest-tundra interface) to estimate densities and probabilities of detection of Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) and Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). We detected a Wood Frog or Boreal Chorus Frog on 22 (87%) of 26 transects surveyed, but probability of detection varied between years and species and among landscape types. Estimated densities of both species increased from the coastal zone inland toward the boreal forest edge. Our results suggest anurans occur across all three landscape types in our study area, but that species-specific spatial patterns exist in their abundances. Considerations for both spatial and temporal variation in abundance and detection probability need to be incorporated into surveys and monitoring programs for subarctic anurans.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-15

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

  1. 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.

  2. Hematology, plasma chemistry, and bacteriology of wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Juliana F; Wilson, Heather; Ziccardi, Michael; LeFebvre, Rance; Scott, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    Blood and cloacal swabs were collected from 100 (66 female, 34 male) wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) molting in northwestern Alaska, USA, 25-28 July 2008, to establish hematologic and serum chemistry reference values and to isolate enteric Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Plasma biochemistry and hematology values did not vary significantly by sex or age. Tundra swans had high levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase compared with some other avian species (values were up to 7 times greater), possibly indicating capture myopathy. However, concentrations were much lower (up to 8 times lower) than in other waterfowl exposed to similar or more intensive capture methods. White blood cell count and hematocrit values were similar to other waterfowl species, and enteric Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 were not present among birds sampled. Our data provide the first biochemical, hematologic, and bacteriologic reference values for wild Tundra Swans.

  3. Bird communities of the arctic shrub tundra of Yamal: habitat specialists and generalists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliy Sokolov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.

  4. 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)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loranty, Michael M; Goetz, Scott J; Beck, Pieter S A

    2011-01-01

    Recent field experiments in tundra ecosystems describe how increased shrub cover reduces winter albedo, and how subsequent changes in surface net radiation lead to altered rates of snowmelt. These findings imply that tundra vegetation change will alter regional energy budgets, but to date the effects have not been documented at regional or greater scales. Using satellite observations and a pan-Arctic vegetation map, we examined the effects of shrub vegetation on albedo across the terrestrial Arctic. We included vegetation classes dominated by low shrubs, dwarf shrubs, tussock-dominated graminoid tundra, and non-tussock graminoid tundra. Each class was further stratified by bioclimate subzones. Low-shrub tundra had higher normalized difference vegetation index values and earlier albedo decline in spring than dwarf-shrub tundra, but for tussock tundra, spring albedo declined earlier than for low-shrub tundra. Our results illustrate how relatively small changes in vegetation properties result in differences in albedo dynamics, regardless of shrub growth, that may lead to differences in net radiation upwards of 50 W m -2 at weekly time scales. Further, our findings imply that changes to the terrestrial Arctic energy budget during this important seasonal transition are under way regardless of whether recent satellite observed productivity trends are the result of shrub expansion. We conclude that a better understanding of changes in vegetation productivity and distribution in Arctic tundra is essential for accurately quantifying and predicting carbon and energy fluxes and associated climate feedbacks.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. How spatial variation in areal extent and configuration of labile vegetation states affect the riparian bird community in Arctic tundra.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John-André Henden

    Full Text Available The Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by large herbivores and growing human activity. Thickets of tall shrubs represent a conspicuous vegetation state in northern and temperate ecosystems, where it serves important ecological functions, including habitat for wildlife. Thickets are however labile, as tall shrubs respond rapidly to both abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. Our aim was to assess how large-scale spatial variation in willow thicket areal extent, configuration and habitat structure affected bird abundance, occupancy rates and species richness so as to provide an empirical basis for predicting the outcome of environmental change for riparian tundra bird communities. Based on a 4-year count data series, obtained through a large-scale study design in low arctic tundra in northern Norway, statistical hierarchical community models were deployed to assess relations between habitat configuration and bird species occupancy and community richness. We found that species abundance, occupancy and richness were greatly affected by willow areal extent and configuration, habitat features likely to be affected by intense ungulate browsing as well as climate warming. In sum, total species richness was maximized in large and tall willow patches of small to intermediate degree of fragmentation. These community effects were mainly driven by responses in the occupancy rates of species depending on tall willows for foraging and breeding, while species favouring other vegetation states were not affected. In light of the predicted climate driven willow shrub encroachment in riparian tundra habitats, our study predicts that many bird species would increase in abundance, and that the bird community as a whole could become enriched. Conversely, in tundra regions where overabundance of large herbivores leads to decreased areal extent, reduced height and increased fragmentation

  11. Relationship of cyanobacterial and algal assemblages with vegetation in the high Arctic tundra (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richter Dorota

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of a study of cyanobacteria and green algae assemblages occurring in various tundra types determined on the basis of mosses and vascular plants and habitat conditions. The research was carried out during summer in the years 2009-2013 on the north sea-coast of Hornsund fjord (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago. 58 sites were studied in various tundra types differing in composition of vascular plants, mosses and in trophy and humidity. 141 cyanobacteria and green algae were noted in the research area in total. Cyanobacteria and green algae flora is a significant element of many tundra types and sometimes even dominate there. Despite its importance, it has not been hitherto taken into account in the description and classification of tundra. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the legitimacy of using phycoflora in supplementing the descriptions of hitherto described tundra and distinguishing new tundra types. Numeric hierarchical-accumulative classification (MVSP 3.1 software methods were used to analyze the cyanobacterial and algal assemblages and their co-relations with particular tundra types. The analysis determined dominant and distinctive species in the communities in concordance with ecologically diverse types of tundra. The results show the importance of these organisms in the composition of the vegetation of tundra types and their role in the ecosystems of this part of the Arctic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Where do the treeless tundra areas of northern highlands fit in the global biome system: toward an ecologically natural subdivision of the tundra biome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virtanen, Risto; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Cohen, Juval; Forbes, Bruce C; Johansen, Bernt; Käyhkö, Jukka; Olofsson, Johan; Pulliainen, Jouni; Tømmervik, Hans

    2016-01-01

    According to some treatises, arctic and alpine sub-biomes are ecologically similar, whereas others find them highly dissimilar. Most peculiarly, large areas of northern tundra highlands fall outside of the two recent subdivisions of the tundra biome. We seek an ecologically natural resolution to this long-standing and far-reaching problem. We studied broad-scale patterns in climate and vegetation along the gradient from Siberian tundra via northernmost Fennoscandia to the alpine habitats of European middle-latitude mountains, as well as explored those patterns within Fennoscandian tundra based on climate-vegetation patterns obtained from a fine-scale vegetation map. Our analyses reveal that ecologically meaningful January-February snow and thermal conditions differ between different types of tundra. High precipitation and mild winter temperatures prevail on middle-latitude mountains, low precipitation and usually cold winters prevail on high-latitude tundra, and Scandinavian mountains show intermediate conditions. Similarly, heath-like plant communities differ clearly between middle latitude mountains (alpine) and high-latitude tundra vegetation, including its altitudinal extension on Scandinavian mountains. Conversely, high abundance of snowbeds and large differences in the composition of dwarf shrub heaths distinguish the Scandinavian mountain tundra from its counterparts in Russia and the north Fennoscandian inland. The European tundra areas fall into three ecologically rather homogeneous categories: the arctic tundra, the oroarctic tundra of northern heights and mountains, and the genuinely alpine tundra of middle-latitude mountains. Attempts to divide the tundra into two sub-biomes have resulted in major discrepancies and confusions, as the oroarctic areas are included in the arctic tundra in some biogeographic maps and in the alpine tundra in others. Our analyses based on climate and vegetation criteria thus seem to resolve the long-standing biome

  15. Inter-annual variability of NDVI in response to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge and tussock tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Stieglitz, Marc; Griffin, Kevin L; Shaver, Gaius R

    2005-05-01

    This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and aboveground plant biomass for tussock tundra vegetation and compares it to a previously established NDVI-biomass relationship for wet sedge tundra vegetation. In addition, we explore inter-annual variation in NDVI in both these contrasting vegetation communities. All measurements were taken across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge and tussock tundra communities at the Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, in northern Alaska. Over 15 years (for wet sedge tundra) and 14 years (for tussock tundra), N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N+P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N+P fertilizer, and light intensity was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. during the peak growing seasons of 2001, 2002, and 2003, NDVI measurements were made in both the wet sedge and tussock tundra experimental treatment plots, creating a 3-year time series of inter-annual variation in NDVI. We found that: (1) across all tussock experimental tundra treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground plant biomass (r2 = 0.59); (2) NDVI-biomass relationships for tussock and wet sedge tundra communities are community specific, and; (3) NDVI values for tussock tundra communities are typically, but not always, greater than for wet sedge tundra communities across all experimental treatments. We suggest that differences between the response of wet sedge and tussock tundra communities in the same experimental treatments result from the contrasting degree of heterogeneity in species and functional types that characterize each of these Arctic tundra vegetation communities.

  16. Competition for tracer 15N in tussock tundra ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marion, G.M.; Miller, P.C.; Black, C.H.

    1987-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the roles of plant species, time, and site on competition for tracer 15 N (without carrier) in tussock tundra ecosystems. Six experimental sites were located in northern Alaska. After one year across the experimental sites, the recovery of 15 N by litter (11.3-16.3%) and mosses (5.4-16.4%) was significantly greater than for aboveground vascular plants (2.6-5.0%). 15 N recoveries by tundra vascular plants (2.6-5.0%) were low when compared to forest trees (9-25%) which suggst that competition for nitrogen is particularly severe in these colddominated tundra ecosystems. There were no significant differences among sites in 15 N recoveries by vascular plants, by mosses, or by litter. There was a statistically significant decline in 15 N recovery with time for Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Eriophoum vaginatum between the second and third year. The shallow rooted Vaccinium vitis-ideae was more highly labeled than the deep rooted Eriophorum vaginatum. Nearness to the source of the applied 15 N played a critical role in competition for surface applied nitrogen. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Kornillowicz-Kowalska

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornillowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2018-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Tritium kinetics in a freshwater marsh ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, L.W.

    1976-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. Plant nutrient acquisition strategies in tundra species: at which soil depth do species take up their nitrogen?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limpens, Juul; Heijmans, Monique; Nauta, Ake; van Huissteden, Corine; van Rijssel, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic is warming at unprecedented rates. Increased thawing of permafrost releases nutrients locked up in the previously frozen soils layers, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making understanding successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, in particularly nitrogen (N). We assessed the depth at which plant species took up N by performing a 15N tracer study, injecting 15(NH4)2SO4 at three depths (5, 15, 20 cm) into the soil in arctic tundra in north-eastern Siberia in July. In addition we explored plant nutrient acquisition strategy by analyzing natural abundances of 15N in leaves. We found that vascular plants took up 15N at all injection depths, irrespective of species, but also that species showed a clear preference for specific soil layers that coincided with their functional group (graminoids, dwarf shrubs, cryptogams). Graminoids took up most 15N at 20 cm depth nearest to the thaw front, with grasses showing a more pronounced preference than sedges. Dwarf shrubs took up most 15N at 5 cm depth, with deciduous shrubs displaying more preference than evergreens. Cryptogams did not take up any of the supplied 15N . The natural 15N abundances confirmed the pattern of nutrient acquisition from deeper soil layers in graminoids and from shallow soil layers in both deciduous and evergreen dwarf shrubs. Our results prove that graminoids and shrubs differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, whereas shrubs forage in the upper soil layers. The above implies that graminoids, grasses in particular, will have a competitive advantage over shrubs as the thaw front proceeds and/or superficial soil layers dry out. Our results suggest that the vertical distribution of nutrients

  9. Comparative Analysis of the Number and Structure of the Complexes of Microscopic Fungi in Tundra and Taiga Soils in the North of the Kola Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korneikova, M. V.

    2018-01-01

    The number, biomass, length of fungal mycelium, and species diversity of microscopic fungi have been studied in soils of the tundra and taiga zones in the northern part of the Kola Peninsula: Al-Fe-humus podzols (Albic Podzols), podburs (Entic Podzols), dry peaty soils (Folic Histosols), low-moor peat soils (Sapric Histosols), and soils of frost bare spots (Cryosols). The number of cultivated microscopic fungi in tundra soils varied from 8 to 328 thousand CFU/g, their biomass averaged 1.81 ± 0.19 mg/g, and the length of fungal mycelium averaged 245 ± 25 m/g. The number of micromycetes in taiga soils varied from 80 to 350 thousand CFU/g, the number of fungal propagules in some years reached 600 thousand CFU/g; the fungal biomass varied from 0.23 to 6.2 mg/g, and the length of fungal mycelium varied from 32 to 3900 m/g. Overall, 36 species of fungi belonging to 16 genera, 13 families, and 8 orders were isolated from tundra soils. The species diversity of microscopic fungi in taiga soils was significantly higher: 87 species belonging to 31 genera, 21 families, and 11 orders. Fungi from the Penicillium genus predominated in both natural zones and constituted 38-50% of the total number of isolated species. The soils of tundra and taiga zones were characterized by their own complexes of micromycetes; the similarity of their species composition was about 40%. In soils of the tundra zone, Mortierella longicollis, Penicillium melinii, P. raistrickii, and P. simplicissimum predominated; dominant fungal species in soils of the taiga zone were represented by M. longicollis, P. decumbens, P. implicatum, and Umbelopsis isabellina.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Stem secondary growth of tundra shrubs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Our knowledge of stem secondary growth of arctic shrubs (a key component of tundra net primary production, NPP) is very limited. Here, we investigated the impact of the physical elements of the environment on shrub secondary growth by comparing annual growth rates of model species from similar...... growth (stem apical growth, stem length, and apical growth of stem plus leaves), in some cases even with opposite responses. Thus caution should be taken when estimating the impact of the environment on shrub growth from apical growth only. Integration of our data set with the (very limited) previously...

  14. 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. 

  15. Predicting Changes in Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Towards an Understanding of Plant Trait Uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Serbin, S.; Carman, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V.; Helene, G.; McGuire, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are currently undergoing unprecedented changes in both composition and distribution under a warming climate. Predicting how these dynamics may play out in the future is important since these vegetation shifts impact both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. More precise estimates of these future vegetation shifts is a key challenge due to both a scarcity of data with which to parameterize vegetation models, particularly in the Arctic, as well as a limited understanding of the importance of each of the model parameters and how they may vary over space and time. Here, we incorporate newly available field data from arctic Alaska into a dynamic vegetation model specifically developed to take into account a particularly wide array of plant species as well as the permafrost soils of the arctic tundra (the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Dynamic Vegetation and Dynamic Organic Soil, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; DVM-DOS-TEM). We integrate the model within the Predicative Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), an open-source integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox that facilitates the flows of information into and out of process models and model-data integration. We use PEcAn to evaluate the plant functional traits that contribute most to model variability based on a sensitivity analysis. We perform this analysis for the dominant types of tundra in arctic Alaska, including heath, shrub, tussock and wet sedge tundra. The results from this analysis will help inform future data collection in arctic tundra and reduce model uncertainty, thereby improving our ability to simulate Arctic vegetation structure and function in response to global change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Zhijun; Gan, Xiaojing; Choi, Chi-Yeung; Li, Bo

    2014-02-01

    The threatened Marsh Grassbird (Locustella pryeri) first appeared in the salt marsh in east China after the salt marsh was invaded by cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), a non-native invasive species. To understand the dependence of non-native Marsh Grassbird on the non-native cordgrass, we quantified habitat use, food source, and reproductive success of the Marsh Grassbird at the Chongming Dongtan (CMDT) salt marsh. In the breeding season, we used point counts and radio-tracking to determine habitat use by Marsh Grassbirds. We analyzed basal food sources of the Marsh Grassbirds by comparing the δ(13) C isotope signatures of feather and fecal samples of birds with those of local plants. We monitored the nests through the breeding season and determined the breeding success of the Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT. Density of Marsh Grassbirds was higher where cordgrass occurred than in areas of native reed (Phragmites australis) monoculture. The breeding territory of the Marsh Grassbird was composed mainly of cordgrass stands, and nests were built exclusively against cordgrass stems. Cordgrass was the major primary producer at the base of the Marsh Grassbird food chain. Breeding success of the Marsh Grassbird at CMDT was similar to breeding success within its native range. Our results suggest non-native cordgrass provides essential habitat and food for breeding Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT and that the increase in Marsh Grassbird abundance may reflect the rapid spread of cordgrass in the coastal regions of east China. Our study provides an example of how a primary invader (i.e., cordgrass) can alter an ecosystem and thus facilitate colonization by a second non-native species. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Sandhill cranes browse for food near VAB

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    A family of sandhill cranes searches for food on the grounds near the Vehicle Assembly Building. The cranes have been a constant sight in the Launch Complex 39 area during the month of May. Sandhill cranes range from Siberia, Alaska and Arctic islands to Michigan, Minnesota and California; from Florida to Texas. They prefer large freshwater marshes, prairie ponds and marshy tundra. KSC shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  20. Sandhill cranes hunting food at KSC

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    A pair of Sandhill Cranes searches for food with their still- fluffy fledgling close by. The trio have been seen wandering the grassy areas in the KSC Launch Complex 39 area. Sandhill cranes range from Siberia, Alaska and Arctic islands to Michigan, Minnesota and California; from Florida to Texas. They prefer large freshwater marshes, prairie ponds and marshy tundra. KSC shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reboreda, Rosa; Cacador, Isabel

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Mangrove expansion into salt marshes alters associated faunal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-24

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

  4. The need for a tundra treatment protocol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filler, D.M.

    2000-01-01

    Support services formed an integral part of the oil and natural gas industry in the Arctic. These services include the road transportation of petroleum fuels to supply pipeline pump station generators, work camps, fleet vehicles and others. At times, spill response in the tundra proves to be harmful to the environment. An incident occurred in November 1997. A tanker truck was hauling arctic-grade diesel fuel on Alaska's North Slope when it rolled over at a river crossing, spilling 20,800 liters on the frozen tundra. The in situ burning that followed polluted the subsurface soil-water matrix within the river basin. It was difficult to distinguish between petroleum pollutant and biogenic hydrocarbon contributions in the tundra. A tundra treatment manual was then developed for the proper management of land-based fuel and oil spills in the Arctic. This manual takes into account the sensitive environment of the region. 14 refs., 4 figs

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2016-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1982-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  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. Diversification of Nitrogen Sources in Various Tundra Vegetation Types in the High Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Skrzypek

    Full Text Available Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle. Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard. The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Arctic Tundra Greening and Browning at Circumpolar and Regional Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Yang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing data have historically been used to assess the dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation. Until recently the scientific literature has largely described the "greening" of the Arctic; from a remote sensing perspective, an increase in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), or a similar satellite-based vegetation index. Vegetation increases have been heterogeneous throughout the Arctic, and were reported to be up to 25% in certain areas over a 30-year timespan. However, more recently, arctic tundra vegetation dynamics have gotten more complex, with observations of more widespread tundra "browning" being reported. We used a combination of remote sensing data, including the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS), as well as higher spatial resolution Landsat data, to evaluate the spatio-temporal patterns of arctic tundra vegetation dynamics (greening and browning) at circumpolar and regional scales over the past 3-4 decades. At the circumpolar scale, we focus on the spatial heterogeneity (by tundra subzone and continent) of tundra browning over the past 5-15 years, followed by a more recent recovery (greening since 2015). Landsat time series allow us to evaluate the landscape-scale heterogeneity of tundra greening and browning for northern Alaska and the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, Russia. Multi-dataset analyses reveal that tundra greening and browning (i.e. increases or decreases in the NDVI respectively) are generated by different sets of processes. Tundra greening is largely a result of either climate warming, lengthening of the growing season, or responses to disturbances, such as fires, landslides, and freeze-thaw processes. Browning on the other hand tends to be more event-driven, such as the shorter-term decline in vegetation due to fire, insect defoliation, consumption by larger herbivores, or extreme weather events (e.g. winter warming or early summer frost damage). Browning can also be caused by local or

  2. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. First report of Setaria tundra in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from the Iberian Peninsula inferred from molecular data: epidemiological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelone-Alasaad, Samer; Jowers, Michael J; Panadero, Rosario; Pérez-Creo, Ana; Pajares, Gerardo; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Soriguer, Ramón C; Morrondo, Patrocinio

    2016-09-29

    Filarioid nematode parasites are major health hazards with important medical, veterinary and economic implications. Recently, they have been considered as indicators of climate change. In this paper, we report the first record of Setaria tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula. Adult S. tundra were collected from the peritoneal cavity during the post-mortem examination of a 2 year-old male roe deer, which belonged to a private fenced estate in La Alcarria (Guadalajara, Spain). Since 2012, the area has suffered a high roe deer decline rate (75 %), for unknown reasons. Aiming to support the morphological identification and to determine the phylogenetic position of S. tundra recovered from the roe deer, a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene from the two morphologically identified parasites was amplified, sequenced and compared with corresponding sequences of other filarioid nematode species. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolate of S. tundra recovered was basal to all other formely reported Setaria tundra sequences. The presence of all other haplotypes in Northern Europe may be indicative of a South to North outbreak in Europe. This is the first report of S. tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula, with interesting phylogenetic results, which may have further implications in the epidemiological and genetic studies of these filarioid parasites. More studies are needed to explore the reasons and dynamics behind the rapid host/geographic expansion of the filarioid parasites in Europe.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-15

    In-situ burning of oiled wetlands potentially provides a cleanup technique that is generally consistent with present wetland management procedures. The effects of water depth (+10, +2, and -2 cm), oil type (crude and diesel), and oil penetration of sediment before the burn on the relationship between vegetation recovery and soil temperature for three coastal marsh types were investigated. The water depth over the soil surface during in-situ burning was a key factor controlling marsh plant recovery. Both the 10- and 2-cm water depths were sufficient to protect marsh vegetation from burning impacts, with surface soil temperatures of fire significantly impeded the post-burn recovery of Spartina alterniflora and Sagittaria lancifolia but did not detrimentally affect the recovery of Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata. Oil type (crude vs diesel) and oil applied to the marsh soil surface (0.5 L x m(-2)) before the burn did not significantly affect plant recovery. Thus, recovery is species-specific when no surface water exists. Even water at the soil surface will most likely protect wetland plants from burning impact.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Hydrology of Fritchie Marsh, coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuniansky, E.L.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans Jan W; Blok, Daan

    2012-01-01

    Precipitation amounts and patterns at high latitude sites have been predicted to change as a result of global climatic changes. We addressed vegetation responses to three years of experimentally increased summer precipitation in two previously unaddressed tundra types: Betula nana-dominated shrub...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. How Will the Tundra-Taiga Interface Respond to Climate Change?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skre, Oddvar [Norwegian Forest Research Inst., Fana (Norway); Baxter, Bob [Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom). School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Crawford, Robert M.M. [Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom); Callaghan, Terry V. [Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom). Sheffield Centre for Arctic Ecology; Fedorkov, Aleksey [Russian Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar (Russian Federation). Inst. of Biology

    2002-08-01

    The intuitive and logical answer to the question of how the tundra-taiga interface will react to global warming is that it should move north and this is mirrored by many models of potential treeline migration. Northward movement may be the eventual outcome if climatic warming persists over centuries or millennia. However, closer examination of the tundra-taiga interface across its circumpolar extent reveals a more complex situation. The regional climatic history of the tundra-taiga interface is highly varied, and consequently it is to be expected that the forest tundra boundary zone will respond differently to climate change depending on local variations in climate, evolutionary history, soil development, and hydrology. Investigations reveal considerable stability at present in the position of the treeline and while there may be a long-term advance northwards there are oceanic regions where climatic warming may result in a retreat southwards due to increased bog development. Reinforcing this trend is an increasing human impact, particularly in the forest tundra of Russia, which forces the limit of the forested areas southwards. Local variations will therefore require continued observation and research, as they will be of considerable importance economically as well as for ecology and conservation.

  1. 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

  2. Airborne Spectral Measurements of Surface-Atmosphere Anisotropy for Arctic Sea Ice and Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, G. Thomas; Tsay, Si-Chee; King, Michael D.; Li, Jason Y.; Soulen, Peter F.

    1999-01-01

    Angular distributions of spectral reflectance for four common arctic surfaces: snow-covered sea ice, melt-season sea ice, snow-covered tundra, and tundra shortly after snowmelt were measured using an aircraft based, high angular resolution (1-degree) multispectral radiometer. Results indicate bidirectional reflectance is higher for snow-covered sea ice than melt-season sea ice at all wavelengths between 0.47 and 2.3 pm, with the difference increasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance of snow-covered tundra is higher than for snow-free tundra for measurements less than 1.64 pm, with the difference decreasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance patterns of all measured surfaces show maximum reflectance in the forward scattering direction of the principal plane, with identifiable specular reflection for the melt-season sea ice and snow-free tundra cases. The snow-free tundra had the most significant backscatter, and the melt-season sea ice the least. For sea ice, bidirectional reflectance changes due to snowmelt were more significant than differences among the different types of melt-season sea ice. Also the spectral-hemispherical (plane) albedo of each measured arctic surface was computed. Comparing measured nadir reflectance to albedo for sea ice and snow-covered tundra shows albedo underestimated 5-40%, with the largest bias at wavelengths beyond 1 pm. For snow-free tundra, nadir reflectance underestimates plane albedo by about 30-50%.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Baumsteiger

    2017-07-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R; Franson, J Christian

    2014-04-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas where they are less likely to be exposed to anthropogenic sources of Pb. Our objective was to document summer Pb levels in tundra swans throughout their breeding range in Alaska to determine if there were population-specific differences in blood Pb concentrations that might pose a threat to swans and to humans that may consume them. We measured blood Pb concentrations in tundra swans at five locations in Alaska, representing birds that winter in both the Pacific Flyway and Atlantic Flyway. We also marked swans at each location with satellite transmitters and coded neck bands, to identify staging and wintering sites and determine if winter site use correlated with summer Pb concentrations. Blood Pb levels were generally low (<0.2 μg/ml) in swans across all breeding areas. Pb levels were lower in cygnets than adults, suggesting that swans were likely exposed to Pb on wintering areas or on return migration to Alaska, rather than on the summer breeding grounds. Blood Pb levels varied significantly across the five breeding areas, with highest concentrations in birds on the North Slope of Alaska (wintering in the Atlantic Flyway), and lowest in birds from the lower Alaska Peninsula that rarely migrate south for winter.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Organic carbon isotope systematics of coastal marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Can antibrowsing defense regulate the spread of woody vegetation in arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, John P.; Joly, Kyle; Chapin, F. Stuart; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Kielland, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Global climate warming is projected to promote the increase of woody plants, especially shrubs, in arctic tundra. Many factors may affect the extent of this increase, including browsing by mammals. We hypothesize that across the Arctic the effect of browsing will vary because of regional variation in antibrowsing chemical defense. Using birch (Betula) as a case study, we propose that browsing is unlikely to retard birch expansion in the region extending eastward from the Lena River in central Siberia across Beringia and the continental tundra of central and eastern Canada where the more effectively defended resin birches predominate. Browsing is more likely to retard birch expansion in tundra west of the Lena to Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenland and South Baffin Island where the less effectively defended non-resin birches predominate. Evidence from the literature supports this hypothesis. We further suggest that the effect of warming on the supply of plant-available nitrogen will not significantly change either this pan-Arctic pattern of variation in antibrowsing defense or the resultant effect that browsing has on birch expansion in tundra. However, within central and east Beringia warming-caused increases in plant-available nitrogen combined with wildfire could initiate amplifying feedback loops that could accelerate shrubification of tundra by the more effectively defended resin birches. This accelerated shrubification of tundra by resin birch, if extensive, could reduce the food supply of caribou causing population declines. We conclude with a brief discussion of modeling methods that show promise in projecting invasion of tundra by woody plants.

  15. Energy partitioning at treeline forest and tundra sites and its sensitivity to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafleur, P.M. [Trent Univ., Peterborough, ON (Canada); Rouse, W.R. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    A study was conducted to examine the inter-annual variability in energy fluxes of treeline tundra and forest and to investigate the sensitivity of forest and tundra energy balances to climatic changes. A five year record of energy balance data from contiguous wetland tundra and subarctic forest sites near Churchill, Manitoba was analyzed. The data included snow free periods only. Wind direction was used as an analogue for changing climatic conditions where onshore winds are cooler and moister than offshore winds. Sensible and latent heat fluxes at both sites varied significantly between onshore and offshore wind regimes. The differences between onshore and offshore fluxes at the tundra site were larger than for the forest. The tundra-to-forest Bowen ratios decreased with increasing vapour pressure deficit and increasing air temperature. Results suggest that energy partitioning in the wetland tundra is more sensitive to climate change than in the treeline forests. 22 refs., 1 tab., 6 figs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem into methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly,

  19. Alaska Tundra Travel Modeling Project and implications for seismic best management practices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, G. [Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources, Anchorage, AK (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Much of the oil and gas exploration in the Alaskan North Slope depends on winter off-road travel to gain access to remote exploration areas. A study was conducted to relate vehicular off-road travel to tundra disturbance. Four types of vehicles were driven on the tundra on specific plots at various times throughout early to mid winter in an effort to determine if travel could occur earlier than current practice without impacting tundra integrity. Variables were measured the summer before travel, at the time of travel and the summers following travel. The results were used to develop a management tool to determine when conditions are adequate to allow winter vehicular off-road travel. It was determined that the soil temperature should be 5 degrees C or colder at a depth of 30 cm, with snow depths of 15 cm in coastal sedge tundra or 23 cm in foothills tussock tundra. This presentation also discussed the implications for managing off-road travel associated with seismic operations and recent changes in the types of vehicles used for these operations. figs.

  20. Dynamics of aboveground phytomass of the circumpolar Arctic tundra during the past three decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epstein, Howard E; Raynolds, Martha K; Walker, Donald A; Bhatt, Uma S; Tucker, Compton J; Pinzon, Jorge E

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982–2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C–E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field. (letter)

  1. Dynamics of Aboveground Phytomass of the Circumpolar Arctic Tundra During the Past Three Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982-2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C-E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field.

  2. Size and mass of grit in gizzards of sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and mute swans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, J. Christian; Hansen, Scott P.; Duerr, Adam E.; DeStefano, Stephen

    2001-01-01

    Because it has been suggested that waterbirds may ingest lost or discarded lead fishing weights as grit, we examined grit in the gizzards of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis), Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus), and Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), three species where individuals have been poisoned by the ingestion of lead fishing weights. The greatest proportion (by mass) of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes consisted of particles with a minimum dimension of 2.36-4.75 mm. Grit particles in swans were much smaller, with the most prevalent (by mass) being 0.6-1.18 mm. The greatest dimension of the largest grit particle found in cranes and swans was 17.4 mm and 14.0 mm, respectively. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a ban on lead fishing weights of ≤25.4 mm in any dimension. Based on the size of grit particles that we found in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Mute Swans, and Tundra Swans, we believe it is unlikely that individuals of those species would ingest, as grit, lead fishing weights larger than 25.4 mm in any dimension.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Demographic outcomes of diverse migration strategies assessed in a metapopulation of tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R; Meixell, Brandt W

    2016-01-01

    Migration is a prominent aspect of the life history of many avian species, but the demographic consequences of variable migration strategies have only infrequently been investigated, and rarely when using modern technological and analytical methods for assessing survival, movement patterns, and long-term productivity in the context of life history theory. We monitored the fates of 50 satellite-implanted tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) over 4 years from five disparate breeding areas in Alaska, and used known-fate analyses to estimate monthly survival probability relative to migration distance, breeding area, migratory flyway, breeding status, and age. We specifically tested whether migratory birds face a trade-off, whereby long-distance migrants realize higher survival rates at the cost of lower productivity because of reduced time on breeding areas relative to birds that migrate shorter distances and spend more time on breeding areas. Annual migration distances varied significantly among breeding areas (1020 to 12720 km), and were strongly negatively correlated with time spent on breeding areas (r = -0.986). Estimates of annual survival probability varied by wintering area (Pacific coast, Alaska Peninsula, and Eastern seaboard) and ranged from 0.79 (95%CI: 0.70-0.88) to 1.0, depending on criteria used to discern mortalities from radio failures. We did not find evidence for a linear relationship between migration distance and survival as swans from the breeding areas with the shortest and longest migration distances had the highest survival probabilities. Survival was lower in the first year post-marking than in subsequent years, but there was not support for seasonal differences in survival. Productivity varied among breeding populations and was generally inversely correlated to survival, but not migration distance or time spent on breeding areas. Tundra swans conformed to a major tenet of life history theory, as populations with the highest survival

  8. A Microwave Radiance Assimilation Study for a Tundra Snowpack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Edward; Durand, Michael; Margulis, Steve; England, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have begun exploring the assimilation of microwave radiances for the modeling and retrieval of snow properties. At a point scale, and for short durations (i week), radiance assimilation (RA) results are encouraging. However, in order to determine how practical RA might be for snow retrievals when applied over longer durations, larger spatial scales, and/or different snow types, we must expand the scope of the tests. In this paper we use coincident microwave radiance measurements and station data from a tundra site on the North Slope of Alaska. The field data are from the 3rd Radio-brightness Energy Balance Experiment (REBEX-3) carried out in 1994-95 by the University of Michigan. This dataset will provide a test of RA over months instead of one week, and for a very different type of snow than previous snow RA studies. We will address the following questions: flow well can a snowpack physical model (SM), forced with local weather, match measured conditions for a tundra snowpack?; How well can a microwave emission model, driven by the snowpack model, match measured microwave brightnesses for a tundra snowpack?; How well does RA increase or decrease the fidelity of estimates of snow depth and temperatures for a tundra snowpack?

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. The tundra - a threat to global climate?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roejle Christensen, T.

    1997-01-01

    The tundra biome has an important direct influence on the global climate through its exchange of radiatively active 'greenhouse gases', carbon dioxide and methane. A number of suggestions have been raised as to how a changing climate may alter the natural state of this exchange causing significant feedback effects in a changing climate. This paper provides a brief discussion of three different issues relating to the interaction between tundra and climate. It is concluded that release of methane hydrates, permafrost degradation and major biome changes are processes which in the long term may have important effects on further development of the global climate. (au) 32 refs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2017-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Migration of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wintering in Japan Using Satellite Tracking: Identification of the Eastern Palearctic Flyway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wenbo; Doko, Tomoko; Fujita, Go; Hijikata, Naoya; Tokita, Ken-Ichi; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Konishi, Kan; Hiraoka, Emiko; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Migration through the Eastern Palearctic (EP) flyway by tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) has not been thoroughly documented. We satellite-tracked the migration of 16 tundra swans that winter in Japan. The objectives of this study were 1) to show the migration pattern of the EP flyway of tundra swans; 2) to compare this pattern with the migration pattern of whooper swans; and 3) to identify stopover sites that are important for these swans' conservation. Tundra swans were captured at Kutcharo Lake, Hokkaido, in 2009-2012 and satellite-tracked. A new method called the "MATCHED (Migratory Analytical Time Change Easy Detection) method" was developed. Based on median, the spring migration began on 18 April and ended on 27 May. Autumn migration began on 9 September and ended on 2 November. The median duration of the spring and autumn migrations were 48 and 50 days, respectively. The mean duration at one stopover site was 5.5 days and 6.8 days for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The number of stopover sites was 3.0 and 2.5 for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The mean travel distances for the spring and autumn migrations were 6471 and 6331 km, respectively. Seven migration routes passing Sakhalin, the Amur River, and/or Kamchatka were identified. There were 15, 32, and eight wintering, stopover, and breeding sites, respectively. The migration routes and staging areas of tundra swans partially overlap with those of whooper swans, whose migration patterns have been previously documented. The migration patterns of these two swan species that winter in Japan confirm the importance of the Amur River, Udyl' Lake, Shchastya Bay, Aniva Bay, zaliv Chayvo Lake, zal Piltun Lake, zaliv Baykal Lake, Kolyma River, Buyunda River, Sen-kyuyel' Lake, and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk.

  14. Forest dynamics in a forest-tundra ecotone, Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher J. Earle

    1993-01-01

    The alpine timberline in much of western North America is characterized by a structurally complex transition from subalpine forest to alpine tundra, the forest-tundra ecotone. Trees within the ecotone are typically arrayed across the landscape within clumps or "ribbon forests," elongated strips oriented perpendicular to the prevailing winds. This study...

  15. Tundra a boreální lesy Kanady. 3. Sukcese na pingu a rozhraní les-tundra

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rusek, Josef

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 3 (2007), s. 121-123 ISSN 0044-4812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : Canadian tundra * boreal forests * succession on a pingo Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  16. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    Results of sulfur emission measurements made in freshwater and marine wetlands in Alaskan tundra during the Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition 2A (ABLE 3A) in July 1988 are presented. The data indicate that this type of tundra emits very small amounts of gaseous sulfur and, when extrapolated globally, accounts for a very small percentage of the global flux of biogenic sulfur to the atmosphere. Sulfur emissions from marine sites are up to 20-fold greater than fluxes from freshwater habitats and are dominated by dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Highest emissions, with a mean of 6.0 nmol/sq m/h, occurred in water-saturated wet meadow areas. In drier upland tundra sites, highest fluxes occurred in areas inhabited by mixed vegetation and labrador tea at 3.0 nmol/sq m/h and lowest fluxes were from lichen-dominated areas at 0.9 nmol/sq m/h. DMS was the dominant gas emitted from all these sites. Emissions of DMS were highest from intertidal soils inhabited by Carex subspathacea.

  17. 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

  18. Tundra biome research in Alaska: the structure and function of cold-dominated ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.; West, G.C.

    1970-11-01

    The objective of the Tundra Biome Program is to acquire a basic understanding of tundra, both alpine and arctic, and taiga. Collectively these are referred to as the cold-dominated ecosystems. The program's broad objectives are threefold: To develop a predictive understanding of how the wet arctic tundra ecosystem operates, particularly as exemplified in the Barrow, Alaska, area; to obtain the necessary data base from the variety of cold-dominated ecosystem types represented in the United States, so that their behavior can be modeled and simulated, and the results compared with similar studies underway in other circumpolar countries; to bring basic environmental knowledge to bear on problems of degradation, maintenance, and restoration of the temperature-sensitive and cold-dominated tundra/taiga ecosystems. (GRA)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Paul Torbjörn; Kiepe, Isabell; Herbst, Mathias

    Russia. The area is situated at 67°N in the European part of northeast Russia within the Pechora basin. The Russian tundra region is an area which has recently been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific......, and discuss possible implications of climatic change on this lowland tundra ecosystem. This study have been conducted as a part of the CARBO-North project (2006-2010), a project within the EU 6th framework programme, aiming at quantifying the carbon budget in Northern Russia across temporal and spatial scales....

  2. Seasonal changes in the radiation balance of subarctic forest and tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafleur, P.M.; Renzetti, A.V.; Bello, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the seasonal behavior of the components of the radiation budget of subarctic tundra and open forest near Churchill, Manitoba. Data were collected between late February and August 1990. The presence of the winter snowpack is the most important factor which affects the difference in radiation balances of tundra and forest. Overall, net radiation was about four to five times larger over the forest when snow covered the ground. Albedo differences were primarily responsible for this difference in net radiation; however, somewhat smaller net longwave losses were experienced at the tundra site. The step decrease in albedo from winter to summer (i.e. snow-covered to snow-free conditions) was significant at both sites. The forest albedo decreased by about three-fold while the tundra experienced a seven-fold decrease. Net radiation at both sites increased in direct response to the albedo change. Transmissivity of the atmosphere near Churchill also appeared to change at about the same time as the loss of the snow cover and may be related to changing air masses which bring about the final snow melt

  3. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change,Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elijah Ramsey

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; Huissteden, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2, 3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed

  6. 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)

  7. Changes in tundra pond limnology: re-sampling Alaskan ponds after 40 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lougheed, Vanessa L; Butler, Malcolm G; McEwen, Daniel C; Hobbie, John E

    2011-09-01

    The arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, AK, were studied extensively in the 1970s; however, very little aquatic research has been conducted there for over three decades. Due to the rapid climate changes already occurring in northern Alaska, identifying any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 30-40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. Current research on the IBP ponds has revealed significant changes in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of these ponds over time. These changes include increased water temperatures, increased water column nutrient concentrations, the presence of at least one new chironomid species, and increased macrophyte cover. However, we have also observed significant annual variation in many measured variables and caution that this variation must be taken into account when attempting to make statements about longer-term change. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on freshwater ecosystem structure and function. Continued monitoring and protection of these invaluable sites is required to help understand the implications of climate change on freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L. Casazza

    2016-03-01

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

  10. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Gonçalves

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Galveston Bay Marsh Terracing 2001-2002

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Shannan K; Asmus, Ashley; Rich, Matthew E; Wingfield, John; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-04-01

    The physical and biological responses to rapid arctic warming are proving acute, and as such, there is a need to monitor, understand, and predict ecological responses over large spatial and temporal scales. The use of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) acquired from airborne and satellite sensors addresses this need, as it is widely used as a tool for detecting and quantifying spatial and temporal dynamics of tundra vegetation cover, productivity, and phenology. Such extensive use of the NDVI to quantify vegetation characteristics suggests that it may be similarly applied to characterizing primary and secondary consumer communities. Here, we develop empirical models to predict canopy arthropod biomass with canopy-level measurements of the NDVI both across and within distinct tundra vegetation communities over four growing seasons in the Arctic Foothills region of the Brooks Range, Alaska, USA. When canopy arthropod biomass is predicted with the NDVI across all four growing seasons, our overall model that includes all four vegetation communities explains 63% of the variance in canopy arthropod biomass, whereas our models specific to each of the four vegetation communities explain 74% (moist tussock tundra), 82% (erect shrub tundra), 84% (riparian shrub tundra), and 87% (dwarf shrub tundra) of the observed variation in canopy arthropod biomass. Our field-based study suggests that measurements of the NDVI made from air- and spaceborne sensors may be able to quantify spatial and temporal variation in canopy arthropod biomass at landscape to regional scales.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Tundra uptake of atmospheric elemental mercury drives Arctic mercury pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, Daniel; Agnan, Yannick; Jiskra, Martin; Olson, Christine L; Colegrove, Dominique P; Hueber, Jacques; Moore, Christopher W; Sonke, Jeroen E; Helmig, Detlev

    2017-07-12

    Anthropogenic activities have led to large-scale mercury (Hg) pollution in the Arctic. It has been suggested that sea-salt-induced chemical cycling of Hg (through 'atmospheric mercury depletion events', or AMDEs) and wet deposition via precipitation are sources of Hg to the Arctic in its oxidized form (Hg(ii)). However, there is little evidence for the occurrence of AMDEs outside of coastal regions, and their importance to net Hg deposition has been questioned. Furthermore, wet-deposition measurements in the Arctic showed some of the lowest levels of Hg deposition via precipitation worldwide, raising questions as to the sources of high Arctic Hg loading. Here we present a comprehensive Hg-deposition mass-balance study, and show that most of the Hg (about 70%) in the interior Arctic tundra is derived from gaseous elemental Hg (Hg(0)) deposition, with only minor contributions from the deposition of Hg(ii) via precipitation or AMDEs. We find that deposition of Hg(0)-the form ubiquitously present in the global atmosphere-occurs throughout the year, and that it is enhanced in summer through the uptake of Hg(0) by vegetation. Tundra uptake of gaseous Hg(0) leads to high soil Hg concentrations, with Hg masses greatly exceeding the levels found in temperate soils. Our concurrent Hg stable isotope measurements in the atmosphere, snowpack, vegetation and soils support our finding that Hg(0) dominates as a source to the tundra. Hg concentration and stable isotope data from an inland-to-coastal transect show high soil Hg concentrations consistently derived from Hg(0), suggesting that the Arctic tundra might be a globally important Hg sink. We suggest that the high tundra soil Hg concentrations might also explain why Arctic rivers annually transport large amounts of Hg to the Arctic Ocean.

  20. Metagenomics reveals pervasive bacterial populations and reduced community diversity across the Alaska tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Robert Johnston

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1-2 grams are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth by sequencing, and the recovery of twenty-seven high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100-530 km apart tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity. Collectively

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Methanogenesis at low temperatures by microflora of tundra wetland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotsyurbenko, O R; Nozhevnikova, A N; Soloviova, T I; Zavarzin, G A

    1996-01-01

    Active methanogenesis from organic matter contained in soil samples from tundra wetland occurred even at 6 degrees C. Methane was the only end product in balanced microbial community with H2/CO2 as a substrate, besides acetate was produced as an intermediate at temperatures below 10 degrees C. The activity of different microbial groups of methanogenic community in the temperature range of 6-28 degrees C was investigated using 5% of tundra soil as inoculum. Anaerobic microflora of tundra wetland fermented different organic compounds with formation of hydrogen, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and alcohols. Methane was produced at the second step. Homoacetogenic and methanogenic bacteria competed for such substrates as hydrogen, formate, carbon monoxide and methanol. Acetogens out competed methanogens in an excess of substrate and low density of microbial population. Kinetic analysis of the results confirmed the prevalence of hydrogen acetogenesis on methanogenesis. Pure culture of acetogenic bacteria was isolated at 6 degrees C. Dilution of tundra soil and supply with the excess of substrate disbalanced the methanoigenic microbial community. It resulted in accumulation of acetate and other VFA. In balanced microbial community obviously autotrophic methanogens keep hydrogen concentration below a threshold for syntrophic degradation of VFA. Accumulation of acetate- and H2/CO2-utilising methanogens should be very important in methanogenic microbial community operating at low temperatures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Shrubs in the cold : interactions between vegetation, permafrost and climate in Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.

    2011-01-01

    The Arctic is experiencing strong increases in air temperature during the last decades. High-latitude tundra regions are very responsive to changes in temperature and may cause a shift in tundra vegetation composition towards greater dominance of deciduous shrubs. With increasing deciduous shrub

  5. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...

  6. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, Donatella; Gioli, Beniamino; Commane, Róisín; Lindaas, Jakob; Wofsy, Steven C.; Miller, Charles E.; Dinardo, Steven J.; Dengel, Sigrid; Sweeney, Colm; Karion, Anna; Chang, Rachel Y.-W.; Henderson, John M.; Murphy, Patrick C.; Goodrich, Jordan P.; Moreaux, Virginie; Liljedahl, Anna; Watts, Jennifer D.; Kimball, John S.; Lipson, David A.; Oechel, Walter C.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are major global sources of methane (CH4); hence, it is important to understand the seasonal and climatic controls on CH4 emissions from these systems. Here, we report year-round CH4 emissions from Alaskan Arctic tundra eddy flux sites and regional fluxes derived from aircraft data. We find that emissions during the cold season (September to May) account for ≥50% of the annual CH4 flux, with the highest emissions from noninundated upland tundra. A major fraction of cold season emissions occur during the "zero curtain" period, when subsurface soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C. The zero curtain may persist longer than the growing season, and CH4 emissions are enhanced when the duration is extended by a deep thawed layer as can occur with thick snow cover. Regional scale fluxes of CH4 derived from aircraft data demonstrate the large spatial extent of late season CH4 emissions. Scaled to the circumpolar Arctic, cold season fluxes from tundra total 12 ± 5 (95% confidence interval) Tg CH4 y-1, ∼25% of global emissions from extratropical wetlands, or ∼6% of total global wetland methane emissions. The dominance of late-season emissions, sensitivity to soil environmental conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models. Because Arctic warming disproportionally impacts the cold season, our results suggest that higher cold-season CH4 emissions will result from observed and predicted increases in snow thickness, active layer depth, and soil temperature, representing important positive feedbacks on climate warming.

  7. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Whole-system fluxes of isoprene from a moist acidic tundra ecosystem and leaf-level emission rates of isoprene from a common species (Salix pulchra in that same ecosystem were measured during three separate field campaigns. The field campaigns were conducted during the summers of 2005, 2010 and 2011 and took place at the Toolik Field Station (68.6° N, 149.6° W on the north slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska, USA. The maximum rate of whole-system isoprene flux measured was over 1.2 mg C m−2 h−1 with an air temperature of 22 °C and a PAR level over 1500 μmol m−2 s−1. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates for S. pulchra averaged 12.4 nmol m−2 s−1 (27.4 μg C gdw−1 h−1 extrapolated to standard conditions (PAR = 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 and leaf temperature = 30 °C. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates were well characterized by the Guenther algorithm for temperature with published coefficients, but less so for light. Chamber measurements from a nearby moist acidic tundra ecosystem with little S. pulchra emitted significant amounts of isoprene, but at lower rates (0.45 mg C m−2 h−1 suggesting other significant isoprene emitters. Comparison of our results to predictions from a global model found broad agreement, but a detailed analysis revealed some significant discrepancies. An atmospheric chemistry box model predicts that the observed isoprene emissions have a significant impact on Arctic atmospheric chemistry, including a reduction of hydroxyl radical (OH concentrations. Our results support the prediction that isoprene emissions from Arctic ecosystems will increase with global climate change.

  8. Contrasting shrub species respond to early summer temperatures leading to correspondence of shrub growth patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weijers, Stef; Pape, Roland; Löffler, Jörg; Myers-Smith, Isla H.

    2018-03-01

    The Arctic-alpine biome is warming rapidly, resulting in a gradual replacement of low statured species by taller woody species in many tundra ecosystems. In northwest North America, the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), suggests an increase in productivity of the Arctic and alpine tundra and a decrease in productivity of boreal forests. However, the responses of contrasting shrub species growing at the same sites to climate drivers remain largely unexplored. Here, we test growth, climate, and NDVI relationships of two contrasting species: the expanding tall deciduous shrub Salix pulchra and the circumarctic evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona from an alpine tundra site in the Pika valley in the Kluane Region, southwest Yukon Territories, Canada. We found that annual growth variability of both species at this site is strongly driven by early summer temperatures, despite their contrasting traits and habitats. Shrub growth chronologies for both species were correlated with the regional climate signal and showed spatial correspondence with interannual variation in NDVI in surrounding alpine and Arctic regions. Our results suggest that early summer warming represents a common driver of vegetation change for contrasting shrub species growing in different habitats in the same alpine environments.

  9. Tundra Rehabilitation in Alaska's Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic has been conducted for more than 40 years, resulting in over 3,640 ha of gravel fill placed for roads, pads, and airstrips to support the industry. Likewise, tundra disturbance from burying power lines and by tundra vehicle travel are also common. Rehabilitation of disturbed sites began around 2002, with well over 150 ha that has been previously treated or is currently being rehabilitated. Two primary goals of rehabilitation efforts have been 1) revegetation by indigenous species, and 2) limiting thermokarst. Early efforts were concerned that removing gravel and having exposed bare ground would lead to extensive subsidence and eolian erosion. Native grass cultivars (e.g. Poa glauca, Arctagrostis latifolia, and Festuca rubra) were seeded to create vegetation cover quickly with the expectation that these grasses would survive only temporarily. The root masses and leaf litter were also expected to trap indigenous seed to enhance natural recolonization by indigenous plants. Due to the remote location of these sites, many of which are only accessible by helicopter, most are visited only two to three times following cultivation treatments, providing a limited data pool. At many sites, the total live seeded grass cover declined about 15% over the first 5¬-6 years (from around 30% to 15% cover), while total live indigenous vascular cover increased from no or trace cover to an average of 10% cover in that time. Cover of indigenous vascular plants at sites that were not seeded with native grass cultivars averaged just less than 10% after 10 years, showing no appreciable difference between the two approaches. Final surface elevations at the sites affect local hydrology and soil moisture. Other factors that influence the success of vegetation cover are proximity to the Arctic coast (salt effects), depth of remaining gravel, and changes in characteristics of the near-surface soil. Further development of rehabilitation techniques and the

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Hg Storage and Mobility in Tundra Soils of Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, C.; Obrist, D.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) can be transported over long distances to remote regions such as the Arctic where it can then deposit and temporarily be stored in soils. This research aims to improve the understanding of terrestrial Hg storage and mobility in the arctic tundra, a large receptor area for atmospheric deposition and a major source of Hg to the Arctic Ocean. We aim to characterize spatial Hg pool sizes across various tundra sites and to quantify the mobility of Hg from thawing tundra soils using laboratory mobility experiments. Active layer and permafrost soil samples were collected in the summer of 2014 and 2015 at the Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska (68° 38' N) and along a 200 km transect extending from Toolik to the Arctic Ocean. Soil samples were analyzed for total Hg concentration, bulk density, and major and trace elements. Hg pool sizes were estimated by scaling up Hg soil concentrations using soil bulk density measurements. Mobility of Hg in tundra soils was quantified by shaking soil samples with ultrapure Milli-Q® water as an extracting solution for 24 and 72 hours. Additionally, meltwater samples were collected for analysis when present. The extracted supernatant was analyzed for total Hg, dissolved organic carbon, cations and anions, redox, and ph. Mobility of Hg from soil was calculated using Hg concentrations determined in solid soil samples and in supernatant of soil solution samples. Results of this study show Hg levels in tundra mineral soils that are 2-5 times higher than those observed at temperate sites closer to pollution sources. Most of the soil Hg was located in mineral horizons where Hg mass accounted for 72% of the total soil pool. Soil Hg pool sizes across the tundra sites were highly variable (166 - 1,365 g ha-1; avg. 419 g ha-1) due to the heterogeneity in soil type, bulk density, depth to frozen layer, and soil Hg concentration. Preliminary results from the laboratory experiment show higher mobility of Hg in mineral

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsh Pamela E.

    2016-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Plot-scale evidence of tundra vegetation change and links to recent summer warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Bjork; Noemie Boulanger-Lapointe; Elisabeth J. Cooper; Johannes H.C. Cornelissen; Thomas A. Day; Ellen Dorrepaal; Tatiana G. Elumeeva; Mike Gill; William A. Gould; John Harte; David S. Hik; Annika Hofgaard; David R. Johnson; Jill F. Johnstone; Ingijorg Svala Jonsdottir; Janet C. Jorgenson; Kari Klanderud; Julia A. Klein; Saewan Koh; Gaku Kudo; Mark Lara; Esther Levesque; Borgthor Magnusson; Jeremy L. May; Joel A. Mercado; Anders Michelsen; Ulf Molau; Isla H. Myers-Smith; Steven F. Oberbauer; Vladimir G. Onipchenko; Christian Rixen; Niels Martin Schmidt; Gaius R. Shaver; Marko J. Spasojevic; Pora Ellen Porhallsdottir; Anne Tolvanen; Tiffany Troxler; Craig E. Tweedie; Sandra Villareal; Carl-Henrik Wahren; Xanthe Walker; Patrick J. Webber; Jeffrey M. Welker; Sonja Wipf

    2012-01-01

    Temperature is increasing at unprecedented rates across most of the tundra biome1. Remote-sensing data indicate that contemporary climate warming has already resulted in increased productivity over much of the Arctic2,3, but plot-based evidence for vegetation transformation is not widespread. We analysed change in tundra vegetation surveyed between 1980 and 2010 in 158...

  5. Plant volatiles in extreme terrestrial and marine environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  6. Vectors and transmission dynamics for Setaria tundra (Filarioidea; Onchocercidae, a parasite of reindeer in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuusela Jussi

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent studies have revealed expansion by an array of Filarioid nematodes' into the northern boreal region of Finland. The vector-borne nematode, Setaria tundra, caused a serious disease outbreak in the Finnish reindeer population in 2003–05. The main aim of this study was to understand the outbreak dynamics and the rapid expansion of S. tundra in the sub arctic. We describe the vectors of S. tundra, and its development in vectors, for the first time. Finally we discuss the results in the context of the host-parasite ecology of S. tundra in Finland Results Development of S. tundra to the infective stage occurs in mosquitoes, (genera Aedes and Anopheles. We consider Aedes spp. the most important vectors. The prevalence of S. tundra naturally infected mosquitoes from Finland varied from 0.5 to 2.5%. The rate of development in mosquitoes was temperature-dependent. Infective larvae were present approximately 14 days after a blood meal in mosquitoes maintained at room temperature (mean 21 C, but did not develop in mosquitoes maintained outside for 22 days at a mean temperature of 14.1 C. The third-stage (infective larvae were elongated (mean length 1411 μm (SD 207, and width 28 μm (SD 2. The anterior end was blunt, and bore two liplike structures, the posterior end slight tapering with a prominent terminal papilla. Infective larvae were distributed anteriorly in the insect's body, the highest abundance being 70 larvae in one mosquito. A questionnaire survey revealed that the peak activity of Culicidae in the reindeer herding areas of Finland was from the middle of June to the end of July and that warm summer weather was associated with reindeer flocking behaviour on mosquito-rich wetlands. Conclusion In the present work, S. tundra vectors and larval development were identified and described for the first time. Aedes spp. mosquitoes likely serve as the most important and competent vectors for S. tundra in Finland. Warm summers

  7. Estuaries and Tidal Marshes. Habitat Pac.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  8. 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

  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. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  12. Alaska North Slope Tundra Travel Model and Validation Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harry R. Bader; Jacynthe Guimond

    2006-03-01

    The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land, and Water manages cross-country travel, typically associated with hydrocarbon exploration and development, on Alaska's arctic North Slope. This project is intended to provide natural resource managers with objective, quantitative data to assist decision making regarding opening of the tundra to cross-country travel. DNR designed standardized, controlled field trials, with baseline data, to investigate the relationships present between winter exploration vehicle treatments and the independent variables of ground hardness, snow depth, and snow slab thickness, as they relate to the dependent variables of active layer depth, soil moisture, and photosynthetically active radiation (a proxy for plant disturbance). Changes in the dependent variables were used as indicators of tundra disturbance. Two main tundra community types were studied: Coastal Plain (wet graminoid/moist sedge shrub) and Foothills (tussock). DNR constructed four models to address physical soil properties: two models for each main community type, one predicting change in depth of active layer and a second predicting change in soil moisture. DNR also investigated the limited potential management utility in using soil temperature, the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) absorbed by plants, and changes in microphotography as tools for the identification of disturbance in the field. DNR operated under the assumption that changes in the abiotic factors of active layer depth and soil moisture drive alteration in tundra vegetation structure and composition. Statistically significant differences in depth of active layer, soil moisture at a 15 cm depth, soil temperature at a 15 cm depth, and the absorption of photosynthetically active radiation were found among treatment cells and among treatment types. The models were unable to thoroughly investigate the interacting role between snow depth and disturbance due to a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  14. 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

  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. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance1–4. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost2,5–8, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting...... of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate–growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and 42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses...... demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urhan, A Utku; Brodin, Anders

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Age-specific survival of tundra swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixell, Brandt W.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Conn, Paul B.; Dau, Christian P.; Sarvis, John E.; Sowl, Kristine M.

    2013-01-01

    The population of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) breeding on the lower Alaska Peninsula represents the southern extremity of the species' range and is uniquely nonmigratory. We used data on recaptures, resightings, and recoveries of neck-collared Tundra Swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula to estimate collar loss, annual apparent survival, and other demographic parameters for the years 1978–1989. Annual collar loss was greater for adult males fitted with either the thinner collar type (0.34) or the thicker collar type (0.15) than for other age/sex classes (thinner: 0.10, thicker: 0.04). The apparent mean probability of survival of adults (0.61) was higher than that of immatures (0.41) and for both age classes varied considerably by year (adult range: 0.44–0.95, immature range: 0.25–0.90). To assess effects of permanent emigration by age and breeding class, we analyzed post hoc the encounter histories of swans known to breed in our study area. The apparent mean survival of known breeders (0.65) was generally higher than that of the entire marked sample but still varied considerably by year (range 0.26–1.00) and indicated that permanent emigration of breeding swans was likely. We suggest that reductions in apparent survival probability were influenced primarily by high and variable rates of permanent emigration and that immigration by swans from elsewhere may be important in sustaining a breeding population at and near Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

  1. The footprint of Alaskan tundra fires during the past half-century: implications for surface properties and radiative forcing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocha, Adrian V; Loranty, Michael M; Higuera, Phil E; Mack, Michelle C; Hu Fengsheng; Jones, Benjamin M; Breen, Amy L; Rastetter, Edward B; Shaver, Gus R; Goetz, Scott J

    2012-01-01

    Recent large and frequent fires above the Alaskan arctic circle have forced a reassessment of the ecological and climatological importance of fire in arctic tundra ecosystems. Here we provide a general overview of the occurrence, distribution, and ecological and climate implications of Alaskan tundra fires over the past half-century using spatially explicit climate, fire, vegetation and remote sensing datasets for Alaska. Our analyses highlight the importance of vegetation biomass and environmental conditions in regulating tundra burning, and demonstrate that most tundra ecosystems are susceptible to burn, providing the environmental conditions are right. Over the past two decades, fire perimeters above the arctic circle have increased in size and importance, especially on the North Slope, indicating that future wildfire projections should account for fire regime changes in these regions. Remote sensing data and a literature review of thaw depths indicate that tundra fires have both positive and negative implications for climatic feedbacks including a decadal increase in albedo radiative forcing immediately after a fire, a stimulation of surface greenness and a persistent long-term (>10 year) increase in thaw depth. In order to address the future impact of tundra fires on climate, a better understanding of the control of tundra fire occurrence as well as the long-term impacts on ecosystem carbon cycling will be required. (letter)

  2. 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.

  3. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Water track distribution and effects on carbon dioxide flux in an eastern Siberian upland tundra landscape

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curasi, Salvatore R; Loranty, Michael M; Natali, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5–15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO 2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km 2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO 2 . Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling. (letter)

  8. The Contribution of Mosses to the Complex Pattern of Diurnal and Seasonal Metabolism the wet Coastal Tundra Ecosystems Near Barrow Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D.; Oechel, W.; Hastings, S.; Oberbauer, S.; Kopetz, I.; Ikawa, H.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the abundance and importance bryophytes in the Alaskan Arctic tundra there is relatively little information on the role of these plants in determining the CO2 fluxes of Arctic tundra and, in particular, the environmental controls and climate change sensitivities of current and future photosynthesis in Arctic mosses. Studies in the tundra biome during the IBP program implicated high light together with high temperature as causes of decreases in photosynthesis in arctic mosses. Several authors have reported midday depression of moss photosynthesis due to high irradiance, even under optimum temperature and fully hydrated conditions. The focus of this study is to understand the role of Sphagnum ssp. mosses of various species, the dominant moss in the Alaska coastal wet Tundra on the total ecosystem carbon exchange throughout the season and in particular soon after snowmelt when the ecosystem is a carbon source. Our hypothesis is that the ecosystem carbon source activity during this critical period may be a result of sensitivity of mosses to light and photoinhibition in the absence of the protective canopy layer of vascular plants. In this study we measured daily courses of photosynthesis and fluorescence in the moss layer and we compare it to the total ecosystem carbon fluxes determined by the eddy covariance technique. The measurements were conducted in wet coastal tundra from June 2006, right after the snow melt, to August 2006 in the Biological Experimental Observatory (BEO) in Barrow, Alaska. The photosynthesis in the moss layer was found to be strongly inhibited when the radiation exceeded 800 ìmol m-2 s-1. Mosses remained fully hydrated throughout the season, precluding drying as a cause of decreased photosynthesis. Dark-adapted fluorescence measurements (Fv/Fm) showed a relatively low value (0.6) right after the snow melt, and remained fairly stable throughout the season. This low value was previously reported as characteristic of photoinhibited

  9. Hydrodynamic Modeling of Santa Marta's Big Marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saldarriaga, Juan

    1991-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dempsey Mary E

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-23

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucia Del-Rio

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvillion, Brady R.; Beck, Holly

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter I Macreadie

    Full Text Available Increased recognition of the global importance of salt marshes as 'blue carbon' (C sinks has led to concern that salt marshes could release large amounts of stored C into the atmosphere (as CO2 if they continue undergoing disturbance, thereby accelerating climate change. Empirical evidence of C release following salt marsh habitat loss due to disturbance is rare, yet such information is essential for inclusion of salt marshes in greenhouse gas emission reduction and offset schemes. Here we investigated the stability of salt marsh (Spartinaalterniflora sediment C levels following seagrass (Thallasiatestudinum wrack accumulation; a form of disturbance common throughout the world that removes large areas of plant biomass in salt marshes. At our study site (St Joseph Bay, Florida, USA, we recorded 296 patches (7.5 ± 2.3 m(2 mean area ± SE of vegetation loss (aged 3-12 months in a salt marsh meadow the size of a soccer field (7 275 m(2. Within these disturbed patches, levels of organic C in the subsurface zone (1-5 cm depth were ~30% lower than the surrounding undisturbed meadow. Subsequent analyses showed that the decline in subsurface C levels in disturbed patches was due to loss of below-ground plant (salt marsh biomass, which otherwise forms the main component of the long-term 'refractory' C stock. We conclude that disturbance to salt marsh habitat due to wrack accumulation can cause significant release of below-ground C; which could shift salt marshes from C sinks to C sources, depending on the intensity and scale of disturbance. This mechanism of C release is likely to increase in the future due to sea level rise; which could increase wrack production due to increasing storminess, and will facilitate delivery of wrack into salt marsh zones due to higher and more frequent inundation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Henry, Gregory H.R.; Hollister, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations...... of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups...... to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Identifying the tundra-forest border in the stomate record: an analysis of lake surface samples from the Yellowknife area, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, B.C.S. [Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN (United States). Limnological Research Center; MacDonald, G.M. [California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Botanical Sciences; Moser, K.A. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1996-05-01

    The relationship between conifer stomata and existing vegetation across tundra, forest-tundra, and closed zones in the Yellowknife area of the Northwest Territories was studied. Conifer stomata were identified in surface samples from lakes in the treeline zone, but were absent in samples from tundra lakes. Stomate analysis was recorded and the results were presented in a concentration diagram plotting stomate concentrations according to vegetation zone. Conifer stomate analysis was not able to resolve differences between forest-tundra and closed forest. Nevertheless, it was suggested that stomate analysis will become an important technique supplementing pollen analysis for reconstructing past tree-line changes since the presence of stomata in lakes make it possible to separate the tundra from forest-tundra and closed forest. The limited dispersal of conifer stomata permitted a better resolution of tree-line boundaries than did pollen. 13 refs., 3 figs.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine C Shepard

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Salt marshes lie between many human communities and the coast and have been presumed to protect these communities from coastal hazards by providing important ecosystem services. However, previous characterizations of these ecosystem services have typically been based on a small number of historical studies, and the consistency and extent to which marshes provide these services has not been investigated. Here, we review the current evidence for the specific processes of wave attenuation, shoreline stabilization and floodwater attenuation to determine if and under what conditions salt marshes offer these coastal protection services. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a thorough search and synthesis of the literature with reference to these processes. Seventy-five publications met our selection criteria, and we conducted meta-analyses for publications with sufficient data available for quantitative analysis. We found that combined across all studies (n = 7, salt marsh vegetation had a significant positive effect on wave attenuation as measured by reductions in wave height per unit distance across marsh vegetation. Salt marsh vegetation also had a significant positive effect on shoreline stabilization as measured by accretion, lateral erosion reduction, and marsh surface elevation change (n = 30. Salt marsh characteristics that were positively correlated to both wave attenuation and shoreline stabilization were vegetation density, biomass production, and marsh size. Although we could not find studies quantitatively evaluating floodwater attenuation within salt marshes, there are several studies noting the negative effects of wetland alteration on water quantity regulation within coastal areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that salt marshes have value for coastal hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation. Because we do not yet fully understand the magnitude of this value, we propose that decision

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  1. Surface energy exchanges along a tundra-forest transition and feedbacks to climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.

    2005-01-01

    Surface energy exchanges were measured in a sequence of five sites representing the major vegetation types in the transition from arctic tundra to forest. This is the major transition in vegetation structure in northern high latitudes. We examined the influence of vegetation structure on the rates of sensible heating and evapotranspiration to assess the potential feedbacks to climate if high-latitude warming were to change the distribution of these vegetation types. Measurements were made at Council on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, at representative tundra, low shrub, tall shrub, woodland (treeline), and boreal forest sites. Structural differences across the transition from tundra to forest included an increase in the leaf area index (LAI) from 0.52 to 2.76, an increase in canopy height from 0.1 to 6.1 m, and a general increase in canopy complexity. These changes in vegetation structure resulted in a decrease in albedo from 0.19 to 0.10 as well as changes to the partitioning of energy at the surface. Bulk surface resistance to water vapor flux remained virtually constant across sites, apparently because the combined soil and moss evaporation decreased while transpiration increased along the transect from tundra to forest. In general, sites became relatively warmer and drier along the transect with the convective fluxes being increasingly dominated by sensible heating, as evident by an increasing Bowen ratio from 0.94 to 1.22. The difference in growing season average daily sensible heating between tundra and forest was 21 W m-2. Fluxes changed non-linearly along the transition, with both shrubs and trees substantially enhancing heat transfer to the atmosphere. These changes in vegetation structure that increase sensible heating could feed back to enhance warming at local to regional scales. The magnitude of these vegetation effects on potential high-latitude warming is two to three times greater than suggested by previous modeling studies. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All

  2. Quantifying Fire Impact on Alaskan Tundra from Satellite Observations and Field Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loboda, T. V.; Chen, D.; He, J.; Jenkins, L. K.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance agent in Alaskan tundra. The frequency and extent of fire events obtained from paleo, management, and satellite records may yet underestimate the scope of tundra fire impact. Field measurements, collected within the NASA's ABoVE campaign, revealed unexpectedly shallow organic soils ( 15 cm) across all sampled sites of the Noatak valley with no significant difference between recently burned and unburned sites. In typical small and medium-sized tundra burns vegetation recovers rapidly and scars are not discernable in 30 m optical satellite imagery by the end of the first post-fire season. However, field observations indicate that vegetation and subsurface characteristics within fire scars of different ages vary across the landscape. In this study we develop linkages between fire-induced changes to tundra and satellite-based observations from optical, thermal, and microwave imagers to enable extrapolation of in-situ observations to cover the full extent of Alaskan tundra. Our results show that recent ( 30 years) fire history can be reconstructed from optical observations (R2 0.65, pfire history can be determined for 4 years post fire primarily due to increased soil moisture at burned sites. Field measurements suggest that the relatively quick SAR signal dissipation results from more even distribution of surface moisture through the soil column with increases in Active Layer Thickness (ALT). Similar to previous long-term field studies we find an increase in shrub fraction and shrub height within burns over time at the landscape scale; however, the strength and significance of the relationship between shrub fraction and time since fire is governed by burn severity with more severe burns predictably (p post-fire shrub cover. Although reasonably well-correlated to each other when adjusted for topography (R2 0.35, p < 0.001), neither ALT nor soil temperature can be directly linked to optical or thermal brightness observations with acceptable

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. [The processes of methane formation and oxidation in the soils of the Russian arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Rusanov, I I; Vasil'eva, L V; Pimenov, N V

    2005-01-01

    Methane emission from the following types of tundra soils was studied: coarse humic gleyey loamy cryo soil, peaty gley soil, and peaty gleyey midloamy cryo soil of the arctic tundra. All the soils studied were found to be potential sources of atmospheric methane. The highest values of methane emission were recorded in August at a soil temperature of 8-10 degrees C. Flooded parcels were the sources of atmospheric methane throughout the observation period. The rates of methane production and oxidation in tundra soils of various types at 5 and 15 degrees C were studied by the radioisotope method. Methane oxidation was found to occur in bog water, in the green part of peat moss, and in all the soil horizons studied. Methane formation was recorded in the horizons of peat, in clay with plant roots, and in peaty moss dust of the bogey parcels. At both temperatures, the methane oxidation rate exceeded the rate of methane formation in all the horizons of the mossy-lichen tundra and of the bumpy sinkhole complex. Methanogenesis prevailed only in a sedge-peat moss bog at 15 degrees C. Enrichment bacterial cultures oxidizing methane at 5 and 15 degrees C were obtained. Different types of methanotrophic bacteria were shown to be responsible for methane oxidation under these conditions. A representative of type I methylotrophs oxidized methane at 5 degrees C, and Methylocella tundrae, a psychroactive representative of an acidophilic methanotrophic genus Methylocella, at 15 degrees C.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Henry, Gregory H R; Hollister, Robert D; Björk, Robert G; Bjorkman, Anne D; Callaghan, Terry V; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Cooper, Elisabeth J; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Day, Thomas A; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Gould, William A; Grétarsdóttir, Járngerður; Harte, John; Hermanutz, Luise; Hik, David S; Hofgaard, Annika; Jarrad, Frith; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Keuper, Frida; Klanderud, Kari; Klein, Julia A; Koh, Saewan; Kudo, Gaku; Lang, Simone I; Loewen, Val; May, Jeremy L; Mercado, Joel; Michelsen, Anders; Molau, Ulf; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Oberbauer, Steven F; Pieper, Sara; Post, Eric; Rixen, Christian; Robinson, Clare H; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Shaver, Gaius R; Stenström, Anna; Tolvanen, Anne; Totland, Orjan; Troxler, Tiffany; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Webber, Patrick J; Welker, Jeffery M; Wookey, Philip A

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed. There was little indication of saturating or accelerating effects, as would be predicted if negative or positive vegetation feedbacks were common. These results indicate that tundra vegetation exhibits strong regional variation in response to warming, and that in vulnerable regions, cumulative effects of long-term warming on tundra vegetation - and associated ecosystem consequences - have the potential to be much greater than we have observed to date. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  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. Medium and large sized mammal assemblages in coastal dunes and adjacent marshes in southern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v35i1.11705

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Resende Secchi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents data on species composition and use of habitat of medium and large sized mammal assemblages in a coastal dunes segment and adjacent marshes at Rio Grande municipality, southern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Records were obtained through visualization of living animals and identification of footprints, feces and remains. From November 2007 to September 2008, nine 600 m long and 5 m wide linear transects were settled on coastal dunes segment (frontal and intermediate dunes and adjacent marshes, parallel to ocean shore on a 23 km section at Cassino Beach. Transects were settled in areas under high, medium and low levels of anthropic occupancy (A1, A2 and A3, respectively, being three transects on each area. Fourteen species were recorded, distributed in five orders and 10 families. Lepus europaeus was the most frequent species (81.9% of the transect walks, present in all areas and seasons, followed by Lycalopex gimnocercus (23.5% and Conepatus chinga (10.3%.  Five species were present on A1, seven on A2 and fourteen on A3. Seven species were recorded on frontal dunes, nine on intermediate dunes and 13 on adjacent marshes.  

  12. 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.

  13. Soils of Sub-Antarctic tundras: diversity and basic chemical characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumov, Evgeny; Vlasov, Dmitry; Mukhametova, Nadezhda

    2014-05-01

    Antarctic peninsula is known as specific part of Antarctica, which is characterizes by humid and relatively warm climate of so-called sub Antarctic (maritime) zone. Annual precipitation and long above zero period provides the possibility of sustainable tundra's ecosystem formation. Therefore, the soil diversity of these tundra landscapes is maximal in the whole Antarctic. Moreover, the thickness of parent material debris's is also highest and achieves a 1 or 2 meters as highest. The presence of higher vascular plants Deshampsia antarctica which is considered as one of the main edificators provides the development of humus accumulation in upper solum. Penguins activity provides an intensive soil fertilization and development of plant communities with increased density. All these factors leads to formation of specific and quite diverse soil cover in sub Antarctic tundra's. These ecosystems are presented by following permafrost affected soils: Leptosols, Lithoosols, Crysols, Gleysols, Peats and Ornhitosols. Also the post Ornhitosols are widely spreaded in subantarcic ecosystems, they forms on the penguin rockeries during the plant succession development, leaching of nutrients and organic matter mineralization. "Amphibious" soils are specific for seasonal lakes, which evaporates in the end if Australian summer. These soils have specific features of bio sediments and soils as well. Soil chemical characteristic as well as organic matter features discussed in comparison with Antacrtic continental soil in presentation.

  14. 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

  15. Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra landscapes are composed of a complex mosaic of patterned ground features, varying in soil moisture, vegetation composition, and surface hydrology over small spatial scales (10–100 m). The importance of microtopography and associated geomorphic landforms in influencing ecosystem structure and function is well founded, however, spatial data products describing local to regional scale distribution of patterned ground or polygonal tundra geomorphology are largely unavailable. Thus, our understanding of local impacts on regional scale processes (e.g., carbon dynamics) may be limited. We produced two key spatiotemporal datasets spanning the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km2) to evaluate climate-geomorphological controls on arctic tundra productivity change, using (1) a novel 30 m classification of polygonal tundra geomorphology and (2) decadal-trends in surface greenness using the Landsat archive (1999–2014). These datasets can be easily integrated and adapted in an array of local to regional applications such as (1) upscaling plot-level measurements (e.g., carbon/energy fluxes), (2) mapping of soils, vegetation, or permafrost, and/or (3) initializing ecosystem biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or habitat modeling.

  16. 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...

  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. Changes in the structure and function of northern Alaskan ecosystems when considering variable leaf-out times across groupings of species in a dynamic vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E.S.; Carman, T.B.; McGuire, Anthony David

    2013-01-01

    The phenology of arctic ecosystems is driven primarily by abiotic forces, with temperature acting as the main determinant of growing season onset and leaf budburst in the spring. However, while the plant species in arctic ecosystems require differing amounts of accumulated heat for leaf-out, dynamic vegetation models simulated over regional to global scales typically assume some average leaf-out for all of the species within an ecosystem. Here, we make use of air temperature records and observations of spring leaf phenology collected across dominant groupings of species (dwarf birch shrubs, willow shrubs, other deciduous shrubs, grasses, sedges, and forbs) in arctic and boreal ecosystems in Alaska. We then parameterize a dynamic vegetation model based on these data for four types of tundra ecosystems (heath tundra, shrub tundra, wet sedge tundra, and tussock tundra), as well as ecotonal boreal white spruce forest, and perform model simulations for the years 1970 -2100. Over the course of the model simulations, we found changes in ecosystem composition under this new phenology algorithm compared to simulations with the previous phenology algorithm. These changes were the result of the differential timing of leaf-out, as well as the ability for the groupings of species to compete for nitrogen and light availability. Regionally, there were differences in the trends of the carbon pools and fluxes between the new phenology algorithm and the previous phenology algorithm, although these differences depended on the future climate scenario. These findings indicate the importance of leaf phenology data collection by species and across the various ecosystem types within the highly heterogeneous Arctic landscape, and that dynamic vegetation models should consider variation in leaf-out by groupings of species within these ecosystems to make more accurate projections of future plant distributions and carbon cycling in Arctic regions.

  19. Rhododendron aureum Georgi formed a special soil microbial community and competed with above-ground plants on the tundra of the Changbai Mountain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolong; Li, Lin; Zhao, Wei; Zhao, Jiaxin; Chen, Xia

    2017-09-01

    Rhododendron aureum Georgi is a perennial evergreen dwarf shrub that grows at all elevations within the alpine tundra of northern China. Previous research has investigated the plant communities of R. aureum ; however, little information is available regarding interspecific competition and underground soil microbial community composition. The objective of our study was to determine whether the presence of R. aureum creates a unique soil microbiome and to investigate the relationship between R. aureum and other plant species. Our study site ranged from 1,800 to 2,600 m above sea level on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The results show that the soil from sites with an R. aureum community had a higher abundance of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a higher resistance to pathogens than soils from sites without R. aureum . We emphasize that R. aureum promotes a unique soil microbial community structure that is distinct from those associated with other plants. Elevation and microbial biomass were the main influencing factors for plant community structure. Analysis of interspecific relationships reveals that R. aureum is negatively associated with most other dominant shrubs and herbs, suggesting interspecific competition. It is necessary to focus on other dominant species if protection and restoration of the R. aureum competition is to occur. In the future, more is needed to prove whether R. aureum decreases species diversity in the tundra ecosystems of Changbai Mountain.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Increased plant productivity in Alaskan tundra as a result of experimental warming of soil and permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; R.L. Rubin

    2012-01-01

    The response of northern tundra plant communities to warming temperatures is of critical concern because permafrost ecosystems play a key role in global carbon (C) storage, and climate-induced ecological shifts in the plant community will affect the transfer of carbon-dioxide between biological and atmospheric pools. This study, which focuses on the response of tundra...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Peat Archives in the Hudson River Estuary… Marsh Formation, Carbon Storage and Release, and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteet, D. M.; Corbett, E. J.; Nichols, J. E.; Kenna, T. C.; Chang, C.

    2017-12-01

    We target deep peat stores (at least 8 meters) of carbon in the lower Hudson Estuary, which formed as the glacial fjord became an estuary with mid-Holocene sea level rise. These deep marshes play an extremely important role in the estuary health and stability in a changing climate. Never before have we faced the threats to coastal marshes that we are facing today, and the resulting sedimentation rates, inorganic/organic component histories, pollen, macrofossil, isotopic, and XRF data reveal critical information about past vegetation and climate change. Long-term shifts in organic/inorganic storage appear to be linked to drought, as watershed erosion results in more sand, silt and clay in the marshes. Climatic shifts often result in regional watershed shifts in vegetation, both locally and regionally. Understanding how these marshes are linked to human impact (disturbance, invasive species, higher nitrogen, heavy metal pollution, dams) over the last four centuries is critical to providing management of these key ecosystems, and their preservation as sea level rises. Quantification of processes that cause carbon degradation and release from these wetlands to the estuary is also key to this investigation. Peat loss would contribute to heavy metal pollution in the estuary as well as carbon loss. Young investigators from secondary schools in New York City participated in much of the fieldwork as part of the NASA/GISS NYC Research Initiative and the LDEO Secondary School Field Research Carbon Team.

  5. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia, in response to climate change and grazing pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Q; Epstein, H E; Frost, G V; Walker, D A; Forbes, B C

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among the climate, soils and biological system. This study investigates the individual and interaction effects of climate change and reindeer grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil texture types on tundra vegetation community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model that incorporates the reindeer diet, where grazing is a function of both foliar nitrogen concentration and reindeer forage preference. We found that grazing is important, in addition to the latitudinal climate gradient, in controlling tundra plant community composition, explaining about 13% of the total variance in model simulations for all arctic tundra subzones. The decrease in biomass of lichen, deciduous shrub and graminoid plant functional types caused by grazing is potentially dampened by climate warming. Moss biomass had a nonlinear response to increased grazing intensity, and such responses were stronger when warming was present. Our results suggest that evergreen shrubs may benefit from increased grazing intensity due to their low palatability, yet a growth rate sensitivity analysis suggests that changes in nutrient uptake rates may result in different shrub responses to grazing pressure. Heavy grazing caused plant communities to shift from shrub tundra toward moss, graminoid-dominated tundra in subzones C and D when evergreen shrub growth rates were decreased in the model. The response of moss, lichen and forbs to warming varied across the different subzones. Initial vegetation responses to climate change during transient warming are different from the long term equilibrium responses due to shifts in the controlling mechanisms (nutrient limitation versus competition) within tundra plant communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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)

  8. Potential effects of ultraviolet radiation reduction on tundra nitrous oxide and methane fluxes in maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Tao; Zhu, Renbin; Wang, Pei; Ye, Wenjuan; Ma, Dawei; Xu, Hua

    2018-02-27

    Stratospheric ozone has begun to recover in Antarctica since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. However, the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on tundra greenhouse gas fluxes are rarely reported for Polar Regions. In the present study, tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes were measured under the simulated reduction of UV radiation in maritime Antarctica over the last three-year summers. Significantly enhanced N 2 O and CH 4 emissions occurred at tundra sites under the simulated reduction of UV radiation. Compared with the ambient normal UV level, a 20% reduction in UV radiation increased tundra emissions by an average of 8 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 93 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 , whereas a 50% reduction in UV radiation increased their emissions by an average of 17 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 128 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 . No statistically significant correlation (P > 0.05) was found between N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes and soil temperature, soil moisture, total carbon, total nitrogen, NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N contents. Our results confirmed that UV radiation intensity is an important factor affecting tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes in maritime Antarctica. Exclusion of the effects of reduced UV radiation might underestimate their budgets in Polar Regions with the recovery of stratospheric ozone.

  9. Nitrous oxide emissions could reduce the blue carbon value of marshes on eutrophic estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roughan, Brittney L.; Kellman, Lisa; Smith, Erin; Chmura, Gail L.

    2018-04-01

    The supply of nitrogen to ecosystems has surpassed the Earth’s Planetary Boundary and its input to the marine environment has caused estuarine waters to become eutrophic. Excessive supply of nitrogen to salt marshes has been associated with shifts in species’ distribution and production, as well as marsh degradation and loss. Our study of salt marshes in agriculturally intensive watersheds shows that coastal eutrophication can have an additional impact. We measured gas fluxes from marsh soils and verified emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in nitrogen-loaded marshes while the reference marsh was a sink for this gas. Salt marsh soils are extremely efficient carbon sinks, but emissions of N2O, a greenhouse gas 298 times more potent than CO2, reduces the value of the carbon sink, and in some marshes, may counterbalance any value of stored carbon towards mitigation of climate change. Although more research is merited on the nitrogen transformations and carbon storage in eutrophic marshes, the possibility of significant N2O emissions should be considered when evaluating the market value of carbon in salt marshes subject to high levels of nitrogen loading.

  10. Development of a decision support tool for water and resource management using biotic, abiotic, and hydrological assessments of Topock Marsh, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist-Johnson, Christopher; Hanson, Leanne; Daniels, Joan; Talbert, Colin; Haegele, Jeanette

    2016-05-23

    Topock Marsh is a large wetland adjacent to the Colorado River and the main feature of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge (Havasu NWR) in southern Arizona. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Bureau of Reclamation began a project to improve water management capabilities at Topock Marsh and protect habitats and species. Initial construction required a drawdown, which caused below-average inflows and water depths in 2010–11. U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) scientists collected an assemblage of biotic, abiotic, and hydrologic data from Topock Marsh during the drawdown and immediately after, thus obtaining valuable information needed by FWS.Building upon that work, FORT developed a decision support system (DSS) to better understand ecosystem health and function of Topock Marsh under various hydrologic conditions. The DSS was developed using a spatially explicit geographic information system package of historical data, habitat indices, and analytical tools to synthesize outputs for hydrologic time periods. Deliverables include high-resolution orthorectified imagery of Topock Marsh; a DSS tool that can be used by Havasu NWR to compare habitat availability associated with three hydrologic scenarios (dry, average, wet years); and this final report which details study results. This project, therefore, has addressed critical FWS management questions by integrating ecologic and hydrologic information into a DSS framework. This DSS will assist refuge management to make better informed decisions about refuge operations and better understand the ecological results of those decisions by providing tools to identify the effects of water operations on species-specific habitat and ecological processes. While this approach was developed to help FWS use the best available science to determine more effective water management strategies at Havasu NWR, technologies used in this study could be applied elsewhere within the region.

  11. 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

  12. Snowmelt runoff from northern alpine tundra hillslopes: major processes and methods of simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In northern alpine tundra, large slope gradients, late-lying snow drifts and shallow soils overlying impermeable substrates all contribute to large hillslope runoff volumes during the spring freshet. Understanding the processes and pathways of hillslope runoff in this environment is, therefore, critical to understanding the water cycle within northern alpine tundra ecosystems. This study: (a presents the results of a field study on runoff from a sub-alpine tundra hillslope with a large snow drift during the spring melt period; (b identifies the major runoff processes that must be represented in simulations of snowmelt runoff from sub-alpine tundra hillslopes; (c describes how these processes can be represented in a numerical simulation model; and d compares field measurements with modelled output to validate or refute the conceptual understanding of runoff generation embodied in the process simulations. The study was conducted at Granger Creek catchment, 15 km south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on a north-facing slope below a late-lying snow drift. For the freshet period, the major processes to be represented in a runoff model include the rate of meltwater release from the late-lying snowdrift, the elevation and thickness of the saturated layer, the magnitude of the soil permeability and its variation with depth. The daily cycle of net all-wave radiation was observed to drive the diurnal pulses of melt water from the drift; this, in turn, was found to control the daily pulses of flow through the hillslope subsurface and in the stream channel. The computed rate of frost table lowering fell within the observed values; however, there was wide variation among the measured frost table depths. Spatial variability in frost table depth would result in spatial variabilities in saturated layer depth and thickness, which would, in turn, produce variations in subsurface flow rates over the slope, including preferential flowpaths. Keywords

  13. 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

  14. Fire behavior, weather, and burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin M. Jones; Crystal A. Kolden; Randi Jandt; John T. Abatzoglu; Frank Urban; Christopher D. Arp

    2009-01-01

    In 2007, the Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) became the largest recorded tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. The ARF burned for nearly three months, consuming more than 100,000 ha. At its peak in early September, the ARF burned at a rate of 7000 ha d-1. The conditions potentially responsible for this large tundra fire include modeled record high...

  15. Chasing boundaries and cascade effects in a coupled barrier-marsh-lagoon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Trueba, Jorge; Mariotti, Giulio

    2017-08-01

    The long-term dynamic evolution of an idealized barrier-marsh-lagoon system experiencing sea-level rise is studied by coupling two existing numerical models. The barrier model accounts for the interaction between shoreface dynamics and overwash flux, which allows the occurrence of barrier drowning. The marsh-lagoon model includes both a backbarrier marsh and an interior marsh, and accounts for the modification of the wave regime associated with changes in lagoon width and depth. Overwash, the key process that connects the barrier shoreface with the marsh-lagoon ecosystems, is formulated to account for the role of the backbarrier marsh. Model results show that a number of factors that are not typically associated with the dynamics of coastal barriers can enhance the rate of overwash-driven landward migration by increasing backbarrier accommodation space. For instance, lagoon deepening could be triggered by marsh edge retreat and consequent export of fine sediment via tidal dispersion, as well as by an expansion of inland marshes and consequent increase in accommodation space to be filled in with sediment. A deeper lagoon results in a larger fraction of sediment overwash being subaqueous, which coupled with a slow shoreface response sending sediment onshore can trigger barrier drowning. We therefore conclude that the supply of fine sediments to the back-barrier and the dynamics of both the interior and backbarrier marsh can be essential for maintaining the barrier system under elevated rates of sea-level rise. Our results highlight the importance of considering barriers and their associated backbarriers as part of an integrated system in which sediment is exchanged.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linscombe, Robert G.; Hartley, Stephen B.

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Are low altitude alpine tundra ecosystems under threat? A case study from the Parc National de la Gaspésie, Québec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dumais, Catherine; Ropars, Pascale; Denis, Marie-Pier; Dufour-Tremblay, Geneviève; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    According to the 2007 IPCC report, the alpine tundra ecosystems found on low mountains of the northern hemisphere are amongst the most threatened by climate change. A treeline advance or a significant erect shrub expansion could result in increased competition for the arctic-alpine species usually found on mountaintops and eventually lead to their local extinction. The objectives of our study were to identify recent changes in the cover and growth of erect woody vegetation in the alpine tundra of Mont de la Passe, in the Parc National de la Gaspésie (Québec, Canada). The comparison of two orthorectified aerial photos revealed no significant shift of the treeline between 1975 and 2004. During the same period however, shrub species cover increased from 20.2% to 30.4% in the lower alpine zone. Dendrochronological analyses conducted on Betula glandulosa Michx. sampled at three different positions along an altitudinal gradient (low, intermediate and high alpine zone) revealed that the climatic determinants of B. glandulosa radial growth become more complex with increasing altitude. In the lower alpine zone, B. glandulosa radial growth is only significantly associated positively to July temperature. In the intermediate alpine zone, radial growth is associated positively to July temperature but negatively to March temperature. In the high alpine zone, radial growth is positively associated to January, July and August temperature but negatively to March temperature. The positive association between summer temperatures and radial growth suggests that B. glandulosa could potentially benefit from warmer temperatures, a phenomenon that could lead to an increase in its cover over the next few decades. Although alpine tundra vegetation is not threatened in the short-term in the Parc National de la Gaspésie, erect shrub cover, especially B. glandulosa, could likely increase in the near future, threatening the local arctic-alpine flora. (letter)

  19. Comparison of trace metals in South Carolina floodplain and marsh sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gardner, L.R.; Chen, H.S.; Settlemyre, J.L.

    1978-01-01

    A comparative study of trace metals (copper, zinc, lead, and molybdenum) in sediment cores from a pristine marsh near North Inlet, S.C., a polluted marsh near Charleston Harbor, S.C., and South Carolina river floodplains indicates that the Charleston Harbor marsh samples have significantly higher concentrations of copper, zinc, and lead than either North Inlet samples or river floodplain samples. It is not clear, however, whether this result can be attributed to industrial contamination because the peak concentrations of copper and zinc in cores from the Charleston Harbor marsh occur at depths between 10 and 60 cm rather than at or near the sediment surface, as is the case for well-documented occurrences of contaminated marine sediments. Also, both marsh areas show similar linear relationships for copper vs. zinc, which suggest that both areas received the same relative inputs of copper and zinc from similar or identical sources and that the differences in concentrations between the two areas are due to differences in the rates of accumulation. Natural mechanisms are suggested to explain the higher content of copper and zinc in Charleston Harbor vs. North Inlet marsh sediments and the variable depth of peak copper and zinc concentrations

  20. Natural infection by Paramphistomoidea Stiles and Goldberger, 1910 trematodes in wild Marsh Deer (Blastocerus dichotomus Illiger, 1815) from Sérgio Mottas's hydroelectric power station flooding area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Nascimento, Cristiano G; do Nascimento, Adjair A; Mapeli, Elaine B; Tebaldi, José H; Duarte, José M B; Hoppe, Estevam G Lux

    2006-01-01

    Studies on helminthfauna of marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus Illiger, 1815 are rare, although helminthic diseases are an important cause of mortality in these animals. Fifteen male and female adult marsh deer from Sergio Motta's hydroelectric power station flooding area at Paraná River which died during the capture and quarantine procedures, between 1998 and 1999, were necropsied. Three trematodes species, Paramphistomum cervi, Balanorchis anastrofus and Zygocotyle lunatum, all belonging to superfamily Paramphistomoidea, were identified. The obtained trematodes were identified, counted and their respectives descriptors of infection were determined. All necropsied animals were infected by helminths. Paramphistomum cervi was the most prevalent species, while Zygocotyle lunatum was found in only one animal.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Impacts of Intensified Agriculture Developments on Marsh Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaoqing Luan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A spatiotemporal analysis on the changes in the marsh landscape in the Honghe National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar reserve, and the surrounding farms in the core area of the Sanjiang Plain during the past 30 years was conducted by integrating field survey work with remote sensing techniques. The results indicated that intensified agricultural development had transformed a unique natural marsh landscape into an agricultural landscape during the past 30 years. Ninety percent of the natural marsh wetlands have been lost, and the areas of the other natural landscapes have decreased very rapidly. Most dry farmland had been replaced by paddy fields during the progressive change of the natural landscape to a farm landscape. Attempts of current Chinese institutions in preserving natural wetlands have achieved limited success. Few marsh wetlands have remained healthy, even after the establishment of the nature reserve. Their ecological qualities have been declining in response to the increasing threats to the remaining wetland habitats. Irrigation projects play a key role in such threats. Therefore, the sustainability of the natural wetland ecosystems is being threatened by increased regional agricultural development which reduced the number of wetland ecotypes and damaged the ecological quality.

  5. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle C. Mack; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; Randi R. Jandt; Edward A.G. Schuur; Gaius R. Shaver; David L. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Interannual Variability of Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Subarctic European Russian Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Voigt, C.; Gil, J.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Trubnikova, T.; Virtanen, T.; Kaverin, D.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Southern tundra landscapes are particularly vulnerable to climate warming, permafrost thaw and associated landscape rearrangement due to near-zero permafrost temperatures. The large soil C and N stocks of subarctic tundra may create a positive feedback for warming if released to the atmosphere at increased rates. Subarctic tundra in European Russia is a mosaic of land cover types, which all play different roles in the regional greenhouse gas budget. Peat plateaus - massive upheaved permafrost peatlands - are large storehouses of soil carbon and nitrogen, but include also bare peat surfaces that act as hot-spots for both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions. Tundra wetlands are important for the regional greenhouse gas balance since they show high rates of methane emissions and carbon uptake. The most dominant land-form is upland tundra vegetated by shrubs, lichens and mosses, which displays a close-to-neutral balance with respect to all three greenhouse gases. The study site Seida (67°03'N, 62°56'E), located in the discontinuous permafrost zone of Northeast European Russia, incorporates all these land forms and has been an object for greenhouse gas investigations since 2007. Here, we summarize the growing season fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide measured by chamber techniques over the study years. We analyzed the flux time-series together with the local environmental data in order to understand the drivers of interannual variability. Detailed soil profile measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations, soil moisture and temperature provide insights into soil processes underlying the net emissions to the atmosphere. The multiannual time-series allows us to assess the importance of the different greenhouse gases and landforms to the overall climate forcing of the study region.

  11. Tundra shrub effects on growing season energy and carbon dioxide exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafleur, Peter M.; Humphreys, Elyn R.

    2018-05-01

    Increased shrub cover on the Arctic tundra is expected to impact ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and energy resulting in feedbacks to the climate system, yet few direct measurements of shrub tundra-atmosphere exchanges are available to corroborate expectations. Here we present energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique over six growing seasons at three closely located tundra sites in Canada’s Low Arctic. The sites are dominated by the tundra shrub Betula glandulosa, but percent cover varies from 17%–60% and average shrub height ranges from 18–59 cm among sites. The site with greatest percent cover and height had greater snow accumulation, but contrary to some expectations, it had similar late-winter albedo and snow melt dates compared to the other two sites. Immediately after snowmelt latent heat fluxes increased more slowly at this site compared to the others. Yet by the end of the growing season there was little difference in cumulative latent heat flux among the sites, suggesting evapotranspiration was not increased with greater shrub cover. In contrast, lower albedo and less soil thaw contributed to greater summer sensible heat flux at the site with greatest shrub cover, resulting in greater total atmospheric heating. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 revealed the potential for enhanced carbon cycling rates under greater shrub cover. Spring CO2 emissions were greatest at the site with greatest percent cover of shrubs, as was summer net uptake of CO2. The seasonal net sink for CO2 was ~2 times larger at the site with the greatest shrub cover compared to the site with the least shrub cover. These results largely agree with expectations that the growing season feedback to the atmosphere arising from shrub expansion in the Arctic has the potential to be negative for CO2 fluxes but positive for turbulent energy fluxes.

  12. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique P.D.; Blok, Daan

    2015-01-01

    , including expansion of woody vegetation5,6, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing...... the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field......-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation....

  13. Elders Point East Marsh Island Restoration Monitoring Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-21

    accounting for more than 90% of the measured biomass on average, indicative of a well-established marsh (Figure 12). For Elders East the data indicated...61 3.3 Other Biological and Physical Measures ...Figure 9. Growth measurements at Elders East and JoCo Marsh. ....................................................... 20 Figure 10. Stem survival at

  14. Hybrid image classification technique for land-cover mapping in the Arctic tundra, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Debasish

    Remotely sensed image classification techniques are very useful to understand vegetation patterns and species combination in the vast and mostly inaccessible arctic region. Previous researches that were done for mapping of land cover and vegetation in the remote areas of northern Alaska have considerably low accuracies compared to other biomes. The unique arctic tundra environment with short growing season length, cloud cover, low sun angles, snow and ice cover hinders the effectiveness of remote sensing studies. The majority of image classification research done in this area as reported in the literature used traditional unsupervised clustering technique with Landsat MSS data. It was also emphasized by previous researchers that SPOT/HRV-XS data lacked the spectral resolution to identify the small arctic tundra vegetation parcels. Thus, there is a motivation and research need to apply a new classification technique to develop an updated, detailed and accurate vegetation map at a higher spatial resolution i.e. SPOT-5 data. Traditional classification techniques in remotely sensed image interpretation are based on spectral reflectance values with an assumption of the training data being normally distributed. Hence it is difficult to add ancillary data in classification procedures to improve accuracy. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a hybrid image classification approach that effectively integrates ancillary information into the classification process and combines ISODATA clustering, rule-based classifier and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) classifier which uses artificial neural network (ANN). The main goal was to find out the best possible combination or sequence of classifiers for typically classifying tundra type vegetation that yields higher accuracy than the existing classified vegetation map from SPOT data. Unsupervised ISODATA clustering and rule-based classification techniques were combined to produce an intermediate classified map which was

  15. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew M Ramey

    Full Text Available Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC. We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  16. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andrew M; Ely, Craig R; Schmutz, Joel A; Pearce, John M; Heard, Darryl J

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  17. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andrew M.; Ely, Craig R.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Heard, Darryl J.

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  18. Increasing Carbon Loss from Snow-Scoured Alpine Tundra in the Colorado Rocky Mountains: An Indicator of Climate Change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, J. F.; Blanken, P.; Williams, M. W.; Lawrence, C. R.

    2015-12-01

    We used the eddy covariance method to continuously measure the net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide for seven years from a snow-scoured alpine tundra meadow on Niwot Ridge in Colorado, USA that may be underlain by sporadic permafrost. On average, the alpine tundra was a net annual source of 232 g C m-2 to the atmosphere, and the source strength of this ecosystem increased over the length of the seven year period due to both reduced carbon uptake during the growing season and increased respiration throughout the winter. To constrain the contribution of permafrost degradation to observed carbon emissions, we also measured the radiocarbon content of actively cycling, occluded, and mineral soil carbon pools across a meso-scale soil moisture and (possible) permafrost gradient within this meadow, as well as the seasonal radiocarbon content of soil respiration. These data suggest that wintertime soil respiration is limited to patches of wet meadow tundra that may be associated with permafrost. Furthermore, soil respiration from one of these locations indicates preferential turnover of a relatively slow cycling carbon pool during the winter. Given that summer air temperatures and positive degree days have been increasing on Niwot Ridge since the middle of the 20th century, this research suggests that an alpine tundra permafrost-respiration feedback to climate change, similar to that observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, may be currently underway.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Environmental assessment of Al-Hammar Marsh, Southern Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hind Fadhil Abdullah Al-Gburi

    2017-02-01

    Discussion and conclusions: Decreasing of Tigris and Euphrates discharges during the past decades due to drought conditions and upstream damming, as well as the increasing stress of wastewater effluents from anthropogenic activities, led to degradation of the downstream Al-Hammar Marsh water quality in terms of physical, chemical, and biological properties. As such properties were found to consistently exceed the historical and global quality objectives. However, element concentration decreasing trend at the marsh outlet station compared to other stations indicate that the marsh plays an important role as a natural filtration and bioremediation system. Higher element concentrations in winter were due to runoff from the washing of the surrounding Sabkha during flooding by winter rainstorms. Finally, the high concentrations of heavy metals in fish samples can be attributed to bioaccumulation and biomagnification processes.

  1. Can lemmings control the expansion of woody plants on tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto; Hoset, Katrine; Tuomi, Maria; Kyrö, Kukka

    2013-04-01

    The ongoing expansion of woody vegetation in the arctic, due to global warming, creates a positive feed back loop. Increasing abundance of woody plants reduces surface albedo both directly and via speeding up snow melt. Thus a successively greater fraction of incoming solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat. Browsing mammals - both big and small - can prevent this by consuming woody plants. However, the grazer/browser community of many tundra areas is dominated by brown/Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus spp.) which eat graminoids and mosses and cannot use woody plants as forage. It would seem a priori likely that in such areas, mammalian herbivores speed up the expansion of woody plants by improving the chances of their seedlings to get established. We studied the impact of lemmings on woody plants by constructing lemming proof exclosures within piece high-altitude tundra at Joatkanjávri, northernmost Norway. The exclosures were constructed in 1998, during a period of low lemming densities, in snow-beds, where Norwegian lemmings (L. lemmus) were the only ecologically significant herbivorous mammals. (Reindeer migrate through the area in May, when snow-beds are inaccessible for them; during the fall migration, the area represents a dead end and is therefore avoided.) We chose pairs of maximally similar vegetation patches of 0.5 by 0.5 m and randomly assigned one of each pair to become an exclosure while the other plot was left open. The initial state of the vegetation was documented by the point frequency method. In 2008, after the 2007 lemming outbreak, the same documentation was repeated; thereafter the plots were harvested, the vegetation was sorted to species, oven dried and weighed. Exclusion of lemmings resulted to pronounced increase in community level plant biomass. Evergreen woody plants were especially favored by the exclusion of lemming: their above-ground biomass in exclosures was 14 times as great as their biomass on open reference plots. The

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Structural complexity and land-surface energy exchange along a gradient from arctic tundra to boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, C.; Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; McGuire, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Question: Current climate changes in the Alaskan Arctic, which are characterized by increases in temperature and length of growing season, could alter vegetation structure, especially through increases in shrub cover or the movement of treeline. These changes in vegetation structure have consequences for the climate system. What is the relationship between structural complexity and partitioning of surface energy along a gradient from tundra through shrub tundra to closed canopy forest? Location: Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in the Alaskan Arctic. Methods: Along this gradient of increasing canopy complexity, we measured key vegetation characteristics, including community composition, biomass, cover, height, leaf area index and stem area index. We relate these vegetation characteristics to albedo and the partitioning of net radiation into ground, latent, and sensible heating fluxes. Results: Canopy complexity increased along the sequence from tundra to forest due to the addition of new plant functional types. This led to non-linear changes in biomass, cover, and height in the understory. The increased canopy complexity resulted in reduced ground heat fluxes, relatively conserved latent heat fluxes and increased sensible heat fluxes. The localized warming associated with increased sensible heating over more complex canopies may amplify regional warming, causing further vegetation change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  7. Louisiana Marsh Management Plan 1995

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We sampled experimental research areas in the Barataria Basin of Louisiana during March and May, 1995, to examine the effects of structural marsh management on...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, Susan L.

    1994-01-01

    I studied tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) habitat preference in North Dakota during autumn migration, 1988-89. Many thousand tundra swans stop in the Prairie Pothole region during autumn migration, but swan resource use has not been quantified. I examined habitat preference in relation to an index of sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) presence, extent of open water, and wetland size. I compared habitat preference derived from counts of all swans to those derived from foraging swans only and cygnets only. Foraging swans preferred wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.03); the number of foraging swans per wetland was >4 times higher on wetlands with sago pondweed than on wetlands without sago. In contrast, nonforaging swans did not prefer wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.85) but preferred large wetlands (P = 0.02) and those with a high proportion of contiguous open water (P feeding than adults (P = 0.03) and occurred proportionately more often in smaller flocks (P = 0.04), but cygnets and adults had similar habitat preferences.

  11. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boelman, Natalie T [Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964 (United States); Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R [Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Greaves, Heather, E-mail: nboelman@ldeo.columbia.edu [Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States)

    2011-07-15

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI{sub pre-leaf}), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI{sub demi-leaf}) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI{sub peak-leaf}). We found that: (1) NDVI{sub pre-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI{sub peak-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI{sub demi-leaf} does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative

  12. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R; Greaves, Heather

    2011-01-01

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI pre-leaf ), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI demi-leaf ) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI peak-leaf ). We found that: (1) NDVI pre-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI peak-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI demi-leaf does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative energy balance, and wildlife

  13. 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.

  14. Regional and landscape-scale variability of Landsat-observed vegetation dynamics in northwest Siberian tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A

    2014-01-01

    Widespread increases in Arctic tundra productivity have been documented for decades using coarse-scale satellite observations, but finer-scale observations indicate that changes have been very uneven, with a high degree of landscape- and regional-scale heterogeneity. Here we analyze time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) observed by Landsat (1984–2012), to assess landscape- and regional-scale variability of tundra vegetation dynamics in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic, a little-studied region with varied soils, landscape histories, and permafrost attributes. We also estimate spatio-temporal rates of land-cover change associated with expansion of tall alder (Alnus) shrublands, by integrating Landsat time-series with very-high-resolution imagery dating to the mid-1960s. We compiled Landsat time-series for eleven widely-distributed landscapes, and performed linear regression of NDVI values on a per-pixel basis. We found positive net NDVI trends (‘greening’) in nine of eleven landscapes. Net greening occurred in alder shrublands in all landscapes, and strong greening tended to correspond to shrublands that developed since the 1960s. Much of the spatial variability of greening within landscapes was linked to landscape physiography and permafrost attributes, while between-landscape variability largely corresponded to differences in surficial geology. We conclude that continued increases in tundra productivity in the region are likely in upland tundra landscapes with fine-textured, cryoturbated soils; these areas currently tend to support discontinuous vegetation cover, but are highly susceptible to rapid increases in vegetation cover, as well as land-cover changes associated with the development of tall shrublands. (paper)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Copepod (Crustacea) emergence from soils from everglades marshes with different hydroperiods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftus, W.F.; Reid, J.W.

    2000-01-01

    During a severe drought period in the winter and spring of 1989, we made three collections of dried marsh soils from freshwater sloughs in Everglades National Park, Florida, at sites characterized by either long or intermediate annual periods of flooding (hydroperiod). After rehydrating the soils in aquaria, we documented the temporal patterns of copepod emergence over two-week periods. The species richness of copepods in the rehydrated soils was lower than in pre-drought samples from the same slough sites. Only six of the 16 species recorded from the Everglades emerged in the aquarium tests. The long hydroperiod site had a slightly different assemblage and higher numbers of most species than the intermediate-hydroperiod sites. More individuals and species emerged from the early dry-season samples compared with samples taken later in the dry season. The harpacticoid, Cletocamptus deitersi, and the cyclopoid, Microcyclops rubellus, were abundant at most sites. The cyclopoids - Ectocyclops phaleratus, Homocyclops ater, and Paracyclops chiltoni - are new records for the Everglades. We infer that 1) only a subset of Everglades copepod species can survive drought by resting in soils; and that 2) survival ability over time differs by species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

    OAK B188 Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Atmospheric CO{sub 2} is expected to double by the end of the next century. Global mean increases in surface air temperature of 1.5-4.5 C are anticipated with larger increases towards the poles predicted. Changes in CO{sub 2} levels and temperature could have major impacts on ecosystem functioning, including primary productivity, species composition, plant-animal interactions, and carbon storage. Until recently, there has been little direct information on the impact of changes in CO{sub 2} and temperature on native ecosystems. The study described here was undertaken to evaluate the effects of a 50 and 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2}, and a 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2} coupled with a 4 C summer air temperature rise on the structure and function of an arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. The arctic contains large stores of carbon as soil organic matter, much frozen in permafrost and currently not reactive or available for oxidation and release into the atmosphere. About 10-27% of the world's terrestrial carbon occurs in arctic and boreal regions, and carbon is accumulating in these regions at the rate of 0.19 GT y{sup -1}. Mean temperature increases of 11 C and summer temperature increases of 4 C have been suggested. Mean July temperatures on the arctic coastal plain and arctic foothills regions are 4-12 C, and mean annual temperatures are -7 to -13 C (Haugen, 1982). The projected temperature increases represent a substantial elevation above current temperatures which will have major impacts on physical processes such as permafrost development and development of the active layer, and on biological and ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, carbon storage, and species composition. Extreme nutrient and temperature limitation of this ecosystem raised questions of the responsiveness of arctic systems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Complex ecosystem interactions with the effects

  19. Photosynthetic response of Eriophorum vaginatum to in situ shrub shading in tussock tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Pattison, R.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum (Cotton Grass) is an important component of moist acidic tussock tundra, a plant community that appears to be undergoing changes in species composition associated with climate warming. This species is one of the most abundant in the arctic tundra, and provides important forage for caribou in their calving grounds on the Arctic Coastal Plain and along their migratory route through the foothills of Alaska. Recently, remote sensing data, repeat photography and plot-level measurements have indicated that shrub abundance is increasing while Eriophorum abundance is either constant or decreasing. One possible explanation for the reduction of Eriophorum while Betula nana is increasing, is that lower light levels in the taller Betula canopy may be constraining Eriophorum photosynthesis and subsequently reducing plant growth. This study measured the effect of shading on the light response of Eriphorum leaf photosynthesis in four different sites near Toolik Lake Alaska during the summer of 2009. Measurements were taken in: 1) a shrub patch within the drift zone of the ITEX long term snow fence experiment, 2) an LTER shade house (50% shading) built in 1989, 3) water track site 1 and water track site 2 (i.e. control areas with no experimental manipulations) Average photosynthetic rates for Eriophorum at a light level of 800 PAR varied from 3.8 to 10.9 umol m-2 s-1 and were not significantly different in shaded and unshaded areas. This study indicates that shading by shrubs does not appear to be altering the light response of Eriophorum nor does long-term shading by itself eliminate Eriophorum from the community. An alternative explanation for the decline of Eriophorum while Betula increases in abundance under changing climates may be related to plant and soil mineral nutrition, plant water relations or biotic processes involving herbivores.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Vegetation - Suisun Marsh 2000 [ds161

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This vegetation mapping project of Suisun Marsh blends ground-based classification, aerial photo interpretation, and GIS editing and processing. The method is based...

  7. Vegetation - Suisun Marsh 1999 [ds160

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This vegetation mapping project of Suisun Marsh blends ground-based classification, aerial photo interpretation, and GIS editing and processing. The method is based...

  8. Vegetation - Suisun Marsh 2003 [ds162

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This vegetation mapping project of Suisun Marsh blends ground-based classification, aerial photo interpretation, and GIS editing and processing. The method is based...

  9. 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.

  10. Monitoring coastal marshes biomass with CASI: a comparison of parametric and non-parametric models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Y.; Kearney, M.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal marshes are important carbon sinks that face multiple natural and anthropogenic stresses. Optical remote sensing is a powerful tool for closely monitoring the biomass of coastal marshes. However, application of hyperspectral sensors on assessing the biomass of diverse coastal marsh ecosystems is limited. This study samples spectral and biophysical data from coastal freshwater, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes in Louisiana, and develops parametric and non-parametric models for using the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) to retrieve the marshes' biomass. Linear models and random forest models are developed from simulated CASI data (48 bands, 380-1050 nm, bandwidth 14 nm). Linear models are also developed using narrowband vegetation indices computed from all possible band combinations from the blue, red, and near infrared wavelengths. It is found that the linear models derived from the optimal narrowband vegetation indices provide strong predictions for the marshes' Leaf Area Index (LAI; R2 > 0.74 for ARVI), but not for their Aboveground Green Biomass (AGB; R2 > 0.25). The linear models derived from the simulated CASI data strongly predict the marshes' LAI (R2 = 0.93) and AGB (R2 = 0.71) and have 27 and 30 bands/variables in the final models through stepwise regression, respectively. The random forest models derived from the simulated CASI data also strongly predict the marshes' LAI and AGB (R2 = 0.91 and 0.84, respectively), where the most important variables for predicting LAI are near infrared bands at 784 and 756 nm and for predicting ABG are red bands at 684 and 670 nm. In sum, the random forest model is preferable for assessing coastal marsh biomass using CASI data as it offers high R2 for both LAI and AGB. The superior performance of the random forest model is likely to due to that it fully utilizes the full-spectrum data and makes no assumption of the approximate normality of the sampling population. This study offers solutions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Stratospheric ozone depletion: high arctic tundra plant species from Svalbard are not affected by enhanced UV-B after 7 years of UV-B supplementation in the field.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, J.; Boelen, P.; Blokker, P.; Callaghan, T.V.; Solheim, B.; Zielke, M.

    2006-01-01

    The response of tundra plants to enhanced UV-B radiation simulating 15 and 30% ozone depletion was studied at two high arctic sites (Isdammen and Adventdalen, 78° N, Svalbard).The set-up of the UV-B supplementation systems is described, consisting of large and small UV lamp arrays, installed in 1996

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.; Grace, James B.

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

  19. A new species of the gamasid mite genus Arctoseius Thor, 1930 (Parasitiformes, Mesostigmata, Ascidae from Russia with a key to the multidentatus species-group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Makarova

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A new gamasid mite species belonging to the genus Arctoseius Thor, 1930 is described from Russia. Arctoseius koltschaki sp. n. is distributed in the plain and mountain tundras from Khibiny Mountains to Chukotka on the north and to West Sayan Mountains on the south. A diagnosis and a key for identification of species comprising the multidentatus species-group (A. multidentatus Evans, 1955; Arctoseius wisniewskii Gwiazdowicz & Kamczyc, 2009; A. sexsetus Lindquist & Makarova, 2011; A. haarlovi Lindquist & Makarova, 2011; and A. koltschaki sp. n. are given.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Plant functional type affects nitrogen use efficiency in high-Arctic tundra

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oulehle, F.; Rowe, E. C.; Myška, Oldřich; Chuman, T.; Evans, C.D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 94, mar (2016), s. 19-28 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Arctic * Nitrogen * Isotope * Mineralization * Nitrification * Tundra Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  6. 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

  7. The response of tundra springtails (Collembola, Hexapoda) to human activity on the Murman coast of the Kola Penisula, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olejniczak, Izabella; Boniecki, Paweł; Kaliszewicz, Anita; Panteleeva, Ninel

    2018-03-01

    This study was carried out in the Dalne Zelentsy settlement (69°07‧N, 36°03‧E) on the Barents Sea of the Kola Penisula in Russia. Three transects were established: the 'new garden transect'; the 'old garden transect'; and the 'settlement transect'. Overall, the number of springtails increased with distance from the 'settlement' and decreased from the 'old garden' towards the tundra. However, in the case of the 'new garden transect' there were no clear trends in springtail abundance. Eleven species of springtail were found, with Parisotoma notabilis being found at each of the studied areas along the transects. Trends in the species diversity of the springtail communities were not clear, and the values of H‧ ranged from 1.36 to 2.08. The springtail communities located 10 m from the 'new garden' and the 'old garden' were characterized by low species diversity compared with the other sites along the transects (H‧ values of 1.36 and 1.67, respectively). There were no differences in species diversity among the springtail communities along the 'settlement transect'.

  8. 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...

  9. An application of plot-scale NDVI in predicting carbon dioxide exchange and leaf area index in heterogeneous subarctic tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagg, J.; Lafleur, P.

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the flow of carbon into and out of tundra ecosystems. It is necessary to accurately predict carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) exchange in the Tundra because of the impacts of climate change on carbon stored in permafrost. Understanding the relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and vegetation and CO{sub 2} exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO{sub 2} fluxes were measured with a portable chamber in a range of Tundra vegetation communities. Biomass and leaf area were measured with destructive harvest, and NDVI was obtained using a hand-held infrared camera. There was a weak correlation between NDVI and leaf area index in some vegetation communities, but a significant correlation between NDVI and biomass, including mosses. NDVI was found to be strongly related to photosynthetic activity and net CO{sub 2} uptake in all vegetation groups. However, NDVI related to ecosystem respiration only in wet sedge. It was concluded that at plot scale, the ability of NDVI to predict ecosystem properties and CO{sub 2} exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  10. An application of plot-scale NDVI in predicting carbon dioxide exchange and leaf area index in heterogeneous subarctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagg, J.; Lafleur, P.

    2010-01-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the flow of carbon into and out of tundra ecosystems. It is necessary to accurately predict carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) exchange in the Tundra because of the impacts of climate change on carbon stored in permafrost. Understanding the relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and vegetation and CO 2 exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO 2 fluxes were measured with a portable chamber in a range of Tundra vegetation communities. Biomass and leaf area were measured with destructive harvest, and NDVI was obtained using a hand-held infrared camera. There was a weak correlation between NDVI and leaf area index in some vegetation communities, but a significant correlation between NDVI and biomass, including mosses. NDVI was found to be strongly related to photosynthetic activity and net CO 2 uptake in all vegetation groups. However, NDVI related to ecosystem respiration only in wet sedge. It was concluded that at plot scale, the ability of NDVI to predict ecosystem properties and CO 2 exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  11. 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...

  12. Detection and molecular characterization of the mosquito-borne filarial nematode Setaria tundra in Danish roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi Larsen; Oksanen, Antti; Chriél, Mariann

    2017-01-01

    Setaria tundra is a mosquito-borne filarial nematode of cervids in Europe. It has recently been associated with an emerging epidemic disease causing severe morbidity and mortality in reindeer and moose in Finland. Here, we present the first report of S. tundra in six roe deer (Capreolus capreolus...... Europe. Roe deer are generally considered as asymptomatic carriers and their numbers in Denmark have increased significantly in recent decades. In light of climatic changes which result in warmer, more humid weather in Scandinavia greater numbers of mosquitoes and, especially, improved conditions...... for development of parasite larvae in the mosquito vectors are expected, which may lead to increasing prevalence of S. tundra. Monitoring of this vector-borne parasite may thus be needed in order to enhance the knowledge of factors promoting its expansion and prevalence as well as predicting disease outbreaks. (C...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Marsh, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_fresh_marsh_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) fresh marsh data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which...

  16. 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.

  17. Contribution of Cultural Eutrophication to Marsh Loss in Jamaica Bay (NY)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss of salt marsh area in the Jamaica Bay Estuary (NY) has accelerated in recent years, with loss rates as high as 45 acres per year. A contributing factor to this acceleration is likely cultural eutrophication due to over 6 decades of sewage effluent inputs. We examined marsh...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Chronic exposure to soil salinity in terrestrial species: Does plasticity and underlying physiology differ among specialized ground-dwelling spiders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, D; Puzin, C; Foucreau, N; Bouchereau, A; Pétillon, J

    2016-07-01

    In salt marshes, the alternation of low and high tides entails rapid shifts of submersion and aerial exposure for terrestrial communities. In these intertidal environments, terrestrial species have to deal with an osmotic loss in body water content and an increase in sodium chloride concentration when salt load increases. In salt marshes, spiders represent an abundant arthropod group, whose physiological ecology in response to variations of soil salinity must be further investigated. In this study, we compared the effect of salinity on the survival and physiology of three species of Lycosidae; two salt marsh species (Arctosa fulvolineata and Pardosa purbeckensis) and one forest species (P. saltans). Spiders were individually exposed at three salinity conditions (0‰, 35‰ and 70‰) and survival, changes in body water content, hemolymph ions (Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+); ICP-MS technique) and metabolites (mainly amino acids, polyols, sugars; LC and GC techniques) were assessed. The survival of the forest species P. saltans was very quickly hampered at moderate and high salinities. In this spider, variations of hemolymph ions and metabolites revealed a quick loss of physiological homeostasis and a rapid salt-induced dehydration of the specimens. Conversely, high survival durations were measured in the two salt-marsh spiders, and more particularly in A. fulvolineata. In both P. purbeckensis and A. fulvolineata, the proportion of Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+) remained constant at the three experimental conditions. Accumulation of hemolymph Na(+) and amino acids (mainly glutamine and proline) demonstrated stronger osmoregulatory capacities in these salt-marsh resident spiders. To conclude, even if phylogenetically close (belonging to the same, monophyletic, family), we found different physiological capacities to cope with salt load among the three tested spider species. Nevertheless, physiological responses to salinity were highly consistent with the realized

  1. Herbivore Impact on Tundra Plant Community Dynamics Using Long-term Remote Sensing Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q.; Engstrom, R.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra biome is now experiencing dramatic environmental changes accentuated by summer sea-ice decline, permafrost thaw, and shrub expansion. Multi-decadal time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a spectral metric of vegetation productivity) shows an overall "greening" trend across the Arctic tundra biome. Regional trends in climate plausibly explain large-scale patterns of increasing plant productivity, as diminished summer sea-ice extent warms the adjacent land causing tundra vegetation to respond positively (increased photosynthetic aboveground biomass). However, at more local scales, there is a great deal of spatial variability in NDVI trends that likely reflects differences in hydrology and soil conditions, disturbance history, and use by wildlife and humans. Particularly, habitat use by large herbivores, such as reindeer and caribou, has large impacts on vegetation dynamics at local and regional scales, but the role of herbivores in modulating the response of vegetation to warming climate has received little attention. This study investigates regional tundra plant community dynamics within inhabits of different sizes of wild caribou/reindeer herds across the Arctic using GIMMS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) 3g data product. The Taimyr herd in Russia is one of the largest herds in the world with a population increase from 450,000 in 1975 to about 1 million animals in 2000. The population of the porcupine caribou herd has fluctuated in the past three decades between 100,000 and 180,000. Time-series of the maximum NDVI within the inhabit area of the Taimyr herd has increased about 2% per decade over the past three decades, while within the inhabit area of the Porcupine herd the maximum NDVI has increased about 5% per decade. Our results indicate that the impact of large herbivores can be detected from space and further analyses on seasonal dynamics of vegetation indices and herbivore behavior may provide more

  2. 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.

  3. Monitoring for bioremediation efficacy: The marrow marsh experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nadeau, R.; Singhvi, R.; Ryabik, J.; Lin, Yihua; Syslo, J.

    1993-01-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Response Team analyzed samples taken from Marrow Marsh, Galveston Bay, Texas, to assess the efficacy of a bioremediation effort in the marsh following the Apex barges spill on July 28, 1990. Samples from the marsh had been collected over a 96-hour period following the first application of the bioremediation agent and then 25 days after the second application, which occurred 8 days after the first. Results of sample analyses to evaluate changes in the chemical characteristics of spilled oil failed to show evidence of oil degradation during the 96 hours after the initial treatment, but did show evidence of degradation 25 days after the second treatment-although differences between samples from treated and untreated sites were not evident. Because control areas had not been maintained after the second application, contamination by the bioremediation agent of previously untreated (control) areas may have occurred, perhaps negating the possibility of detecting differences between treated and control areas. Better preparedness to implement bioremediation and conduct monitoring might have increased the effectiveness of the monitoring effort

  4. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huemmrich, Karl Fred; Gamon, John A.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Campbell, Petya K. Entcheva; Landis, David R.; Middleton, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    Non-vascular plants (lichens and mosses) are significant components of tundra landscapes and may respond to climate change differently from vascular plants affecting ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed. Gas exchange measurements were collected for pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow, AK. These functional types were found to have three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013 plus or minus 0.0002, 0.0018 plus or minus 0.0002, and 0.0012 plus or minus 0.0001 mol C mol (exp -1) absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Discriminant analysis of the spectra reflectance of these patches identified five spectral bands that separated each of these vegetation functional types as well as nongreen material (bare soil, standing water, and dead leaves). These results were tested along a 100 m transect where midsummer spectral reflectance and vegetation coverage were measured at one meter intervals. Along the transect, area-averaged canopy LUE estimated from coverage fractions of the three functional types varied widely, even over short distances. The patch-level statistical discriminant functions applied to in situ hyperspectral reflectance data collected along the transect successfully unmixed cover fractions of the vegetation functional types. The unmixing functions, developed from the transect data, were applied to 30 m spatial resolution Earth Observing-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data to examine variability in distribution of the vegetation functional types for an area near Barrow, AK. Spatial variability of LUE was derived from the observed functional type distributions. Across this landscape, a

  5. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Somnath Bhowmik; Badal Kumar Datta

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Mercury adsorption in the Mississippi River deltaic plain freshwater marsh soil of Louisiana Gulf coastal wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jong-Hwan; Wang, Jim J; Xiao, Ran; Pensky, Scott M; Kongchum, Manoch; DeLaune, Ronald D; Seo, Dong-Cheol

    2018-03-01

    Mercury adsorption characteristics of Mississippi River deltaic plain (MRDP) freshwater marsh soil in the Louisiana Gulf coast were evaluated under various conditions. Mercury adsorption was well described by pseudo-second order and Langmuir isotherm models with maximum adsorption capacity of 39.8 mg g -1 . Additional fitting of intraparticle model showed that mercury in the MRDP freshwater marsh soil was controlled by both external surface adsorption and intraparticle diffusion. The partition of adsorbed mercury (mg g -1 ) revealed that mercury was primarily adsorbed into organic-bond fraction (12.09) and soluble/exchangeable fraction (10.85), which accounted for 63.5% of the total adsorption, followed by manganese oxide-bound (7.50), easily mobilizable carbonate-bound (4.53), amorphous iron oxide-bound (0.55), crystalline Fe oxide-bound (0.41), and residual fraction (0.16). Mercury adsorption capacity was generally elevated along with increasing solution pH even though dominant species of mercury were non-ionic HgCl 2 , HgClOH and Hg(OH) 2  at between pH 3 and 9. In addition, increasing background NaCl concentration and the presence of humic acid decreased mercury adsorption, whereas the presence of phosphate, sulfate and nitrate enhanced mercury adsorption. Mercury adsorption in the MRDP freshwater marsh soil was reduced by the presence of Pb, Cu, Cd and Zn with Pb showing the greatest competitive adsorption. Overall the adsorption capacity of mercury in the MRDP freshwater marsh soil was found to be significantly influenced by potential environmental changes, and such factors should be considered in order to manage the risks associated with mercury in this MRDP wetland for responding to future climate change scenarios. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Monitoring the numbers and productivity of Tundra Swans in relation to potential natural gas development in the Mackenzie River Delta, western Canadian Arctic, 2001-2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swystun, H.A. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada); Hines, J.E. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Dawson, R.D. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada)

    2005-03-01

    A study was conducted in which tundra swans were used as an indicator species to monitor the environmental change and effects of oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Delta. The objectives were to monitor consistent study plots for tundra swans at development and non development sites and to document nesting success and brood survival. Environmental protection and maintenance of harvestable populations of wildlife are part of land claim agreement for two Aboriginal groups with settled land claims in the Mackenzie Delta. This study also evaluated the possible factors such as habitat and climate, which limit the reproductive success of tundra swans. Their nesting biology was examined along with how they use their habitat. Researchers established 48 plots near exploratory well sites, existing camps, sites of recent seismic exploration and gas fields of known importance. Air surveillance was used to count and observe the swans on a yearly basis, along with their nests and offspring. Plots were located both where development is proposed and where development is not likely to occur. The important spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas were identified along with spring migration patterns, behaviour and feeding areas. The 3 proposed drilling sites include Niglingtak (Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary), Taglu, and Parsons Lake. The concerns regarding future development in tundra swan habitat include: (1) areas where drilling and pipeline structures are built may prompt swans to move away from their traditional nesting and feeding areas, (2) human activity will increase due to gas drilling and pipeline construction, which may reduce nesting success, (3) wastes associated with construction sites may attract predators and increase predation on nesting birds, (4) increased air traffic would disturb geese and swan hunting areas, and (5) waterfowl habitat could be lost if spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas are not considered when planning

  10. Modified Marsh Classification of the Duodenal Biopsies of a Large Database Covering 10 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cansu Abayli

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Celiac is an autoimmune disease caused by of gluten proteins which can be found in multi-grain food like wheat, barley and oat. The disease affects more than 1% of population and characterized by intestinal inflammation. In celiac disease, mucosal damage is a dynamic process. It is shown that it has autoimmune components. It is also T-Cell mediated and can be categorised as a chronic inflammatory disease. The purpose of this study is to make modified Marsh classification of the duodenal biopsies that came to our department in the 10 years. The study deals with reassessment of all events and uncovering the low graded events that were not diagnosed. Material and Methods: 467 biopsies (diagnosed between 2001 and 2011 at the Cukurova University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology were taken and analyzed by two pathologists. Each sample was reevaluated without taking the previous reports into consideration and scored by using modified Marsh classification. Results: According to Modified Marsh Classification total of 48 cases were diagnosed as Type 1. Total of 6 cases according to Modified Marsh Classification was diagnosed as Type 2. Total of 11 cases according to Modified Marsh Classification was diagnosed as Type 3a. Total of 5 cases, according to Modified Marsh Classification, was diagnosed as Type 3b. Total of 6 cases according to Modified Marsh Classification was diagnosed as Type 3c. Conclusion: As a result of this study, it has been found that Modified Marsh Classification is a very important standardization tool for detection of suspicious duodenal biopsies and for early case examinations.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-07-02

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

  15. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Brackish Marsh, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_brackish_marsh_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) brackish marshes data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which...

  16. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Intermediate Marsh, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_intermediate_marsh_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) intermediate marshes data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  1. [Wood transformation in dead-standing trees in the forest-tundra of Central Siberia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhortova, L V; Kirdianov, A V; Myglan, V S; Guggenberger, G

    2009-01-01

    Changes in the composition of wood organic matter in dead-standing spruce and larch trees depending on the period after their death have been studied in the north of Central Siberia. The period after tree death has been estimated by means of cross-dating. The results show that changes in the composition of wood organic matter in 63% of cases are contingent on tree species. Wood decomposition in dead-standing trees is accompanied by an increase in the contents of alkali-soluble organic compounds. Lignin oxidation in larch begins approximately 80 years after tree death, whereas its transformation in spruce begins not earlier than after 100 years. In the forest-tundra of Central Siberia, the rate of wood organic matter transformation in dead-standing trees is one to two orders of magnitude lower than in fallen wood, which accounts for their role as a long-term store of carbon and mineral elements in these ecosystems.

  2. 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.

  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. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J; McGuire, A David; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Tweedie, Craig E; Hinkel, Kenneth M; Skurikhin, Alexei N; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-04-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006-2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between -438.3 and -1366 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux at 28.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2 uptake (-166.9 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux (2.8 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)) with geomorphic change from low

  5. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Skurikhin, Alexei N.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W. Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-01-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006–2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 106gC-CO2 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between −438.3 and −1366 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux at 28.9 106gC-CH4 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 106gC-CH4 day−1), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2uptake (−166.9 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux (2.8 106gC-CH4 day−1) with geomorphic change from

  6. Marsh dieback, loss, and recovery mapped with satellite optical, airborne polarimetric radar, and field data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper and Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite based optical sensors, NASA Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) polarimetric SAR (PolSAR), and field data captured the occurrence and the recovery of an undetected dieback that occurred between the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in the Spartina alterniflora marshes of coastal Louisiana. Field measurements recorded the dramatic biomass decrease from 2010 to 2011 and a biomass recovery in 2012 dominated by a decrease of live biomass, and the loss of marsh as part of the dieback event. Based on an established relationship, the near-infrared/red vegetation index (VI) and site-specific measurements delineated a contiguous expanse of marsh dieback encompassing 6649.9 ha of 18,292.3 ha of S. alterniflora marshes within the study region. PolSAR data were transformed to variables used in biophysical mapping, and of this variable suite, the cross-polarization HV (horizontal send and vertical receive) backscatter was the best single indicator of marsh dieback and recovery. HV backscatter exhibited substantial and significant changes over the dieback and recovery period, tracked measured biomass changes, and significantly correlated with the live/dead biomass ratio. Within the context of regional trends, both HV and VI indicators started higher in pre-dieback marshes and exhibited substantially and statistically higher variability from year to year than that exhibited in the non-dieback marshes. That distinct difference allowed the capturing of the S. alterniflora marsh dieback and recovery; however, these changes were incorporated in a regional trend exhibiting similar but more subtle biomass composition changes.

  7. 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.

  8. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in Arctic tundra soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth; AlBashaireh, Amineh; Singer, David; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Gu, Baohua; Graham, David

    2017-06-01

    Arctic tundra stores large quantities of soil organic matter under varying redox conditions. As the climate warms, these carbon reservoirs are susceptible to increased rates of decomposition and release to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in Arctic tundra systems and are not considered in decomposition models. The accumulation of iron (Fe) oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may be particularly important for carbon cycling given that ferric iron [Fe(III)] species can enhance decomposition by serving as terminal electron acceptors in anoxic soils or inhibit microbial decomposition by binding organic molecules. Here, we examine chemical properties of solid-phase Fe and organic matter in organic and mineral horizons within the seasonally thawed active layer of Arctic tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. Spectroscopic techniques, including micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) mapping, micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μXANES) spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), were coupled with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in soils. Organic horizons were enriched in poorly crystalline and crystalline iron oxides, and approximately 60% of total Fe stored in organic horizons was calculated to derive from upward translocation from anoxic mineral horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris, and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Minor amounts of ferrous iron [Fe(II)] were present in iron sulfides (i.e., pyrite and greigite) in mineral horizon soils and iron phosphates (vivianite) in organic horizons. Concentrations of organic

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Landsat-based Analysis of Mountain Forest-tundra Ecotone Response to Climate Trends in Sayan Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharuk, Viatcheslav I.; Im, Sergey T.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2007-01-01

    observations of temperatures Siberia has shown a several degree warming over the past 30 years. It is expected that forest will respond to warming at high latitudes through increased tree growth and northward or upward slope migration. migration. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. Making repeated satellite observations over several decades provides an opportunity to track vegetation response to climate change. Based on Landsat data of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure and an upward tree-line shift in the of the forest-tundra ecotone during the last quarter of the 2oth century,. On-ground observations, supporting these results, also showed regeneration of Siberian pine in the alpine tundra, and the transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal (upright) forms. During this time period sparse stands transformed into closed stands, with existing closed stands increasing in area at a rate of approx. 1 %/yr, and advancing their upper border at a vertical rate of approx. 1.0 m/yr. In addition, the vertical rate of regeneration propagation is approx. 5 m/yr. It was also found that these changes correlated positively with temperature trends

  12. Assessment of static flood modeling techniques: application to contrasting marshes flooded during Xynthia (western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. F. Breilh

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to assess the performance of raster-based flood modeling methods on a wide diversity of coastal marshes. These methods are applied to the flooding associated with the storm Xynthia, which severely hit the western coast of France in February 2010. Static and semi-dynamic methods are assessed using a combination of LiDAR data, post-storm delineation of flooded areas and sea levels originating from both tide gauge measurements and storm surge modeling. Static methods are applied to 27 marshes showing a wide geomorphological diversity. It appears that these methods are suitable for marshes with a small distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the marsh, which causes these marshes to flood rapidly. On the contrary, these methods overpredict flooded areas for large marshes where the distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the marsh is large, because the flooding cannot be considered as instantaneous. In this case, semi-dynamic methods based on surge overflowing volume calculations can improve the flooding prediction significantly. This study suggests that static and semi-dynamic flood modeling methods can be attractive and quickly deployed to rapidly produce predictive flood maps of vulnerable areas under certain conditions, particularly for small distances between the coastline and the landward boundary of the low-lying coastal area.

  13. Nitrogen availability increases in a tundra ecosystem during five years of experimental permafrost thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Verity G; Soucy, Patrick; Mauritz, Marguerite; Celis, Gerardo; Natali, Susan M; Mack, Michelle C; Schuur, Edward A G

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Modeling the Observed Microwave Emission from Shallow Multi-Layer Tundra Snow Using DMRT-ML

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nastaran Saberi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The observed brightness temperatures (Tb at 37 GHz from typical moderate density dry snow in mid-latitudes decreases with increasing snow water equivalent (SWE due to volume scattering of the ground emissions by the overlying snow. At a certain point, however, as SWE increases, the emission from the snowpack offsets the scattering of the sub-nivean emission. In tundra snow, the Tb slope reversal occurs at shallower snow thicknesses. While it has been postulated that the inflection point in the seasonal time series of observed Tb V 37 GHz of tundra snow is controlled by the formation of a thick wind slab layer, the simulation of this effect has yet to be confirmed. Therefore, the Dense Media Radiative Transfer Theory for Multi Layered (DMRT-ML snowpack is used to predict the passive microwave response from airborne observations over shallow, dense, slab-layered tundra snow. Airborne radiometer observations coordinated with ground-based in situ snow measurements were acquired in the Canadian high Arctic near Eureka, NT, in April 2011. The DMRT-ML was parameterized with the in situ snow measurements using a two-layer snowpack and run in two configurations: a depth hoar and a wind slab dominated pack. With these two configurations, the calibrated DMRT-ML successfully predicted the Tb V 37 GHz response (R correlation of 0.83 when compared with the observed airborne Tb footprints containing snow pits measurements. Using this calibrated model, the DMRT-ML was applied to the whole study region. At the satellite observation scale, observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E over the study area reflected seasonal differences between Tb V 37 GHz and Tb V 19 GHz that supports the hypothesis of the development of an early season volume scattering depth hoar layer, followed by the growth of the late season emission-dominated wind slab layer. This research highlights the necessity to consider the two

  15. Acid-base status of upper rooting zone soil in declining and non-declining sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) stands in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    William E. Sharpe; Troy L. Sunderland

    1995-01-01

    Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) is an important commercial tree species of the central hardwood region which is valued for its wood and maple sugar products. High elevation sugar maple stands in northcentral Pennsylvania have been in serious decline for about the last 15 years with more than 1,200 hectares of maple forest affected. The decline...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Distribution of foraminifera in Chincoteague Bay and the marshes of Assateague Island and the adjacent vicinity, Maryland and Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Alisha M.; Shaw, Jaimie; Osterman, Lisa E.; Smith, Christopher G.

    2017-11-28

    Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted a seasonal collection of estuarine, marsh, and sandy washover surface sediments from Chincoteague Bay, Tom’s Cove, and the surrounding Assateague Island and Delmarva Peninsula in March–April and October 2014, after Hurricane Sandy. Micropaleontology samples were collected as part of a complementary USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Sea-level and Storm Impacts on Estuarine Environments and Shorelines project study. For comparison with estuarine and overwash deposited foraminifera, a group of scientists from the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Massachusetts collected samples offshore of Assateague Island on the inner continental shelf during a seafloor mapping study in the summer of 2014 and shipped select samples to the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center. The micropaleontological subsamples analyzed for foraminifera at each site can be used to establish a foraminiferal baseline assemblage that takes into consideration the seasonal variability of the various species, regarding density and geographic extent, which are influenced by transient and stable environmental parameters. By understanding what parameters affect the various foraminiferal assemblages, researchers can delineate how alterations in salinity, temperature, or marsh-to-bay interactions, such as marsh erosion, might affect that assemblage.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Photosynthesis, plant growth and nitrogen nutrition in Alaskan tussock tundra: Response to experimental warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Moore, D. J.; Sullivan, P.; Ebbs, L.; Pattison, R.

    2009-12-01

    Temperature is predicted to rise significantly in northern latitudes over the next century. The Arctic tundra is a fragile ecosystem with low rates of photosynthesis and low nutrient mineralisation. Rising temperatures may increase photosynthetic capacity in the short term through direct stimulation of photosynthetic rates and also in the longer term due to enhanced nutrient availability. Different species and plant functional types may have different responses to warming which may have an impact on plant community structure. As part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) to investigate the effects of warming on arctic vegetation, a series of open top chambers (OTCs) have been established at the Toolik Field Station (68°38’N, 149°36’W, elevation 720 m). This study employs 12 plots; 6 control plots and 6 warming plots covered with OTCs which maintain a temperature on average +1.54 °C degrees higher than ambient temperatures. The response of photosynthesis to temperature was measured using an infra-red gas analyzer (IRGA) with a cooling adaptor to manipulate leaf temperature and determine AMAX in two contrasting species, Eriophorum vaginatum (sedge) and Betula nana (shrub). Temperature within the chamber head of the IRGA was manipulated from 10 through 25 °C. We also measured the leaf area index of plots using a Decagon Accupar Ceptometer to provide insights into potential differences in canopy cover. In both OTC and control plots the photosynthetic rate of B. nana was greater than that of E. vaginatum, with the AMAX of B. nana peaking at 20.08°C and E. vaginatum peaking slightly lower at 19.7°C in the control plots. There was no apparent difference in the temperature optimum of photosynthesis of either species when exposed to the warming treatment. Although there was no difference in temperature optimum there were differences in the peak values of AMAX between treatment and control plots. In the case of B. nana, AMAX was higher in the OTCs than in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jennifer M; Bell, Susan S

    2012-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background In many parts of the world, salt marshes play a key ecological role as the interface between the marine and the terrestrial environments. Salt marshes are also exceedingly important for public health as larval habitat for mosquitoes that are vectors of disease and significant biting pests. Although grid ditching and pesticides have been effective in salt marsh mosquito control, marsh degradation and other environmental considerations compel a different approach. Targeted h...

  4. Delineation of marsh types from Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, to Perdido Bay, Alabama, in 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Nicholas M.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Michael G. Brasher,; Jenneke M. Visser,; Michael K. Mitchell,; Bart M. Ballard,; Mark W. Parr,; Barry C. Wilson,

    2015-07-23

    Coastal zone managers and researchers often require detailed information regarding emergent marsh vegetation types (that is, fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline) for modeling habitat capacities and needs of marsh dependent taxa (such as waterfowl and alligator). Detailed information on the extent and distribution of emergent marsh vegetation types throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico coast has been historically unavailable. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Gulf Coast Joint Venture, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., and the Texas A&M University-Kingsville, produced a classification of emergent marsh vegetation types from Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, to Perdido Bay, Alabama.

  5. InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance in the Arctic tundra and boreal forests, having a significant impact on soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost dynamics. This study explores the use of the microwave Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to map and quantify ground surface subsidence caused by the Anaktuvuk River fire on the North Slope of Alaska. We detected an increase of up to 8 cm of thaw-season ground subsidence after the fire, which is due to a combination of thickened active layer and permafrost thaw subsidence. Our results illustrate the effectiveness and potential of using InSAR to quantify fire impacts on the Arctic tundra, especially in regions underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Our study also suggests that surface subsidence is a more comprehensive indicator of fire impacts on ice-rich permafrost terrain than changes in active layer thickness alone.

  6. Environmental and vegetation controls on the spatial variability of CH4 emission from wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwing, Katherine Rose; Fisher, James Paul; Zona, Donatella

    Despite multiple studies investigating the environmental controls on CH 4 fluxes from arctic tundra ecosystems, the high spatial variability of CH 4 emissions is not fully understood. This makes the upscaling of CH 4 fluxes from plot to regional scale, particularly challenging. The goal of this study is to refine our knowledge of the spatial variability and controls on CH 4 emission from tundra ecosystems. CH 4 fluxes were measured in four sites across a variety of wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in Alaska using chambers and a Los Gatos CO 2 and CH 4 gas analyser. All sites were found to be sources of CH 4 , with northern sites (in Barrow) showing similar CH 4 emission rates to the southernmost site (ca. 300 km south, Ivotuk). Gross primary productivity (GPP), water level and soil temperature were the most important environmental controls on CH 4 emission. Greater vascular plant cover was linked with higher CH 4 emission, but this increased emission with increased vascular plant cover was much higher (86 %) in the drier sites, than the wettest sites (30 %), suggesting that transport and/or substrate availability were crucial limiting factors for CH 4 emission in these tundra ecosystems. Overall, this study provides an increased understanding of the fine scale spatial controls on CH 4 flux, in particular the key role that plant cover and GPP play in enhancing CH 4 emissions from tundra soils.

  7. Co‐occurrence dynamics of endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbits and free‐ranging domestic cats: Prey responses to an exotic predator removal program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cove, Michael V.; Gardner, Beth; Simons, Theodore R.; O'Connell, Allan F.

    2018-01-01

    The Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) is one of many endangered endemic species of the Florida Keys. The main threats are habitat loss and fragmentation from sea‐level rise, development, and habitat succession. Exotic predators such as free‐ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) pose an additional threat to these endangered small mammals. Management strategies have focused on habitat restoration and exotic predator control. However, the effectiveness of predator removal and the effects of anthropogenic habitat modifications and restoration have not been evaluated. Between 2013 and 2015, we used camera traps to survey marsh rabbits and free‐ranging cats at 84 sites in the National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key, Florida, USA. We used dynamic occupancy models to determine factors associated with marsh rabbit occurrence, colonization, extinction, and the co‐occurrence of marsh rabbits and cats during a period of predator removal. Rabbit occurrence was positively related to freshwater habitat and patch size, but was negatively related to the number of individual cats detected at each site. Furthermore, marsh rabbit colonization was negatively associated with relative increases in the number of individual cats at each site between survey years. Cat occurrence was negatively associated with increasing distance from human developments. The probability of cat site extinction was positively related to a 2‐year trapping effort, indicating that predator removal reduced the cat population. Dynamic co‐occurrence models suggested that cats and marsh rabbits co‐occur less frequently than expected under random conditions, whereas co‐detections were site and survey‐specific. Rabbit site extinction and colonization were not strongly conditional on cat presence, but corresponded with a negative association. Our results suggest that while rabbits can colonize and persist at sites where cats occur, it is the number of individual cats at a site that

  8. Co-occurrence dynamics of endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbits and free-ranging domestic cats: Prey responses to an exotic predator removal program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cove, Michael V; Gardner, Beth; Simons, Theodore R; O'Connell, Allan F

    2018-04-01

    The Lower Keys marsh rabbit ( Sylvilagus palustris hefneri ) is one of many endangered endemic species of the Florida Keys. The main threats are habitat loss and fragmentation from sea-level rise, development, and habitat succession. Exotic predators such as free-ranging domestic cats ( Felis catus ) pose an additional threat to these endangered small mammals. Management strategies have focused on habitat restoration and exotic predator control. However, the effectiveness of predator removal and the effects of anthropogenic habitat modifications and restoration have not been evaluated. Between 2013 and 2015, we used camera traps to survey marsh rabbits and free-ranging cats at 84 sites in the National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key, Florida, USA. We used dynamic occupancy models to determine factors associated with marsh rabbit occurrence, colonization, extinction, and the co-occurrence of marsh rabbits and cats during a period of predator removal. Rabbit occurrence was positively related to freshwater habitat and patch size, but was negatively related to the number of individual cats detected at each site. Furthermore, marsh rabbit colonization was negatively associated with relative increases in the number of individual cats at each site between survey years. Cat occurrence was negatively associated with increasing distance from human developments. The probability of cat site extinction was positively related to a 2-year trapping effort, indicating that predator removal reduced the cat population. Dynamic co-occurrence models suggested that cats and marsh rabbits co-occur less frequently than expected under random conditions, whereas co-detections were site and survey-specific. Rabbit site extinction and colonization were not strongly conditional on cat presence, but corresponded with a negative association. Our results suggest that while rabbits can colonize and persist at sites where cats occur, it is the number of individual cats at a site that more strongly

  9. 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.

  10. Interagency partnership to assess and restore a degraded urban riverine wetland: Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The narrow-leaved cattail wetland known as Dyke Marsh formally became a land holding of George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP, a unit of the national park system) in 1959, along with a congressional directive to honor a newly-let 30-year commercial sand and gravel dredge-mining lease at the site. Dredging continued until 1974 when Public Law 93-251 called for the National Park Service and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to “implement restoration of the historical and ecological values of Dyke Marsh.” By that time, about 83 acres of the marsh remained, and no congressional funding accompanied the passage of the law to effect any immediate conservation or restoration. Decades of dredge mining had severely altered the surface area of Dyke Marsh, the extent of its tidal creek system, and the shallow river bottom of the Potomac River abutting the marsh. Further, mining destabilized the marsh, causing persistent erosion, shoreline retreat, and tidal channel widening after mining ceased. Erosion has continued unchecked until the present; approximately 50 acres of the original marsh are now estimated to remain. The specific cause of persistent erosion had been unknown prior to this collaborative study but previously was assumed to be due to flooding by the Potomac River.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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. 

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, C.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

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

  18. The sedimentological characteristics and geochronology of the marshes of Dauphin Island, Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Alisha M.; Smith, Christopher G.; Marot, Marci E.

    2018-03-22

    In August 2015, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center collected 11 push cores from the marshes of Dauphin Island and Little Dauphin Island, Alabama. Sample site environments included high marshes, low salt marshes, and salt flats, and varied in distance from the shoreline. The sampling efforts were part of a larger study to assess the feasibility and sustainability of proposed restoration efforts for Dauphin Island, Alabama, and to identify trends in shoreline erosion and accretion. The data presented in this publication can provide a basis for assessing organic and inorganic sediment accumulation rates and temporal changes in accumulation rates over multiple decades at multiple locations across the island. This study was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, via the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. This report serves as an archive for the sedimentological and geochemical data derived from the marsh cores. Downloadable data are available and include Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx), comma-separated values (.csv) text files, JPEG files, and formal Federal Geographic Data Committee metadata in a U.S. Geological Survey data release.

  19. Movement of foraging Tundra Swans explained by spatial pattern in cryptic food densities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, R.H.G.; Nolet, B.A.; Bankert, D.

    2006-01-01

    We tested whether Tundra Swans use information on the spatial distribution of cryptic food items (belowground Sago pondweed tubers) to shape their movement paths. In a continuous environment, swans create their own food patches by digging craters, which they exploit in several feeding bouts. Series

  20. Influence of salinity and prey presence on the survival of aquatic macroinvertebrates of a freshwater marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Sung-Ryong; King, Sammy L.

    2012-01-01

    Salinization of coastal freshwater environments is a global issue. Increased salinity from sea level rise, storm surges, or other mechanisms is common in coastal freshwater marshes of Louisiana, USA. The effects of salinity increases on aquatic macroinvertebrates in these systems have received little attention, despite the importance of aquatic macroinvertebrates for nutrient cycling, biodiversity, and as a food source for vertebrate species. We used microcosm experiments to evaluate the effects of salinity, duration of exposure, and prey availability on the relative survival of dominant aquatic macroinvertebrates (i.e., Procambarus clarkii Girard, Cambarellus puer Hobbs, Libellulidae, Dytiscidae cybister) in a freshwater marsh of southwestern Louisiana. We hypothesized that increased salinity, absence of prey, and increased duration of exposure would decrease survival of aquatic macroinvertebrates and that crustaceans would have higher survival than aquatic insect taxon. Our first hypothesis was only partially supported as only salinity increases combined with prolonged exposure duration affected aquatic macroinvertebrate survival. Furthermore, crustaceans had higher survival than aquatic insects. Salinity stress may cause mortality when acting together with other stressful conditions.

  1. PEAT ACCRETION HISTORIES DURING THE PAST 6000 YEARS IN MARSHES OF THE SACRAMENTO - SAN JOAQUIN DELTA, CALIFORNIA, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drexler, J Z; de Fontaine, C S; Brown, T A

    2009-07-20

    Peat cores were collected in 4 remnant marsh islands and 4 drained, farmed islands throughout the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta of California in order to characterize the peat accretion history of this region. Radiocarbon age determination of marsh macrofossils at both marsh and farmed islands showed that marshes in the central and western Delta started forming between 6030 and 6790 cal yr BP. Age-depth models for three marshes were constructed using cubic smooth spline regression models. The resulting spline fit models were used to estimate peat accretion histories for the marshes. Estimated accretion rates range from 0.03 to 0.49 cm yr{sup -1} for the marsh sites. The highest accretion rates are at Browns Island, a marsh at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Porosity was examined in the peat core from Franks Wetland, one of the remnant marsh sites. Porosity was greater than 90% and changed little with depth indicating that autocompaction was not an important process in the peat column. The mean contribution of organic matter to soil volume at the marsh sites ranges from 6.15 to 9.25% with little variability. In contrast, the mean contribution of inorganic matter to soil volume ranges from 1.40 to 8.45% with much greater variability, especially in sites situated in main channels. These results suggest that marshes in the Delta can be viewed as largely autochthonous vs. allochthonous in character. Autochthonous sites are largely removed from watershed processes, such as sediment deposition and scour, and are dominated by organic production. Allochthonous sites have greater fluctuations in accretion rates due to the variability of inorganic inputs from the watershed. A comparison of estimated vertical accretion rates with 20th century rates of global sea-level rise shows that currently marshes are maintaining their positions in the tidal frame, yet this offers little assurance of sustainability under scenarios of increased sea-level rise in

  2. 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 chann