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Publication Date
Start Date
1950-01-01
End Date
2010-12-31

Citation

Feher, L.C., Osland, M.J., Griffith, K.T., Grace, J.B., Howard, R.J., Stagg, C.L., Enwright, N.M., Krauss, K.W., Gabler, C.A., Day, R.H., and Rogers, K. 2017, Linear and nonlinear effects of temperature and precipitation on ecosystem properties in tidal saline wetlands: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7S180QJ.

Summary

Macroclimatic drivers, such as temperature and rainfall regimes, greatly influence ecosystem structure and function in tidal saline wetlands. Understanding the ecological influence of macroclimatic drivers is important because it provides a foundation for anticipating the effects of climate change. Tidal saline wetlands include mangrove forests, salt marshes, and salt flats, which occupy similar geomorphic settings but different climatic regimes. However, most global- or regional-scale analyses have treated these wetlands as independent systems. Here we used climate and literature-derived ecological data from all three systems, collected across targeted regional-scale macroclimatic gradients, to test hypotheses regarding macroclimatic [...]

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Purpose

In this study, our overarching aim was to quantify the influence of temperature and precipitation regimes upon the following ecosystem properties in tidal saline wetlands: canopy height, above-ground biomass, above-ground productivity, decomposition, soil carbon density, and soil carbon accumulation. Due in part to high productivity and anaerobic conditions that limit decomposition, tidal saline wetlands have the potential for high rates of soil carbon storage; soil carbon stocks and carbon accumulation rates in tidal saline wetlands are often higher than their terrestrial counterparts. The ecosystem attributes examined here are highly relevant to carbon cycling and storage. Due to the importance of foundation plant species in these systems, these attributes also greatly influence the many other ecosystem goods and services that wetlands provide including storm protection, erosion prevention, nutrient cycling, trophic linkages, and fish and wildlife habitat. Our objectives were to incorporate ecosystem structure and function data from all three tidal saline wetland types (i.e., mangrove forests, salt marshes, and salt flats), and determine the influence of two ecologically-relevant macroclimatic variables, absolute minimum air temperature and mean annual precipitation across a multi-decadal period, on the selected ecosystem attributes.

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