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Abstract (from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26022481): Premise of the study: Salt marshes are highly productive and valuable ecosystems, providing many services on which people depend. Spartina alterniflora Loisel (Poaceae) is a foundation species that builds and maintains salt marshes. Despite this species' importance, much of its basic reproductive biology is not well understood, including flowering phenology, seed production, and the effects of flowering on growth and biomass allocation. We sought to better understand these life history traits and use that knowledge to consider how this species may be affected by climate change. Methods: We examined temporal and spatial patterns in flowering and seed...
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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 atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and water availability may become more prominent drivers of species interactions under future climate conditions. In this greenhouse study we examined the effects of CO2 concentration (ambient, elevated) and water regime (drought, saturated, flooded) on early growth of the mangrove species Avicennia germinans and Spartina alterniflora, a herbaceous grass.
Winter climate change has the potential to have a large impact on coastal wetlands in the southeastern U.S. Warmer winter temperatures and reductions in the intensity of freeze events would likely lead to mangrove forest range expansion and salt marsh displacement in parts of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast. The objective of this research was to better understand some of the ecological implications of mangrove forest migration and salt marsh displacement. The potential ecological effects of mangrove migration are diverse ranging from important biotic impacts (e.g., coastal fisheries, land bird migration; colonial nesting wading birds) to ecosystem stability (e.g., response to sea level rise and drought;...
Historically, terrestrial food web theory has been compartmentalized into interactions among aboveground or belowground communities. In this study we took a more synthetic approach to understanding food web interactions by simultaneously examining four trophic levels and investigating how nutrient (nitrogen and carbon) and detrital subsidies impact the ability of the belowground microbial community to alter the abundance of aboveground arthropods (herbivores and predators) associated with the intertidal cord grass Spartina alterniflora. We manipulated carbon, nitrogen, and detrital resources in a field experiment and measured decomposition rate, soil nitrogen pools, plant biomass and quality, herbivore density,...
Winter climate change has the potential to have a large impact on coastal wetlands in the southeastern U.S. Warmer winter temperatures and reductions in the intensity of freeze events would likely lead to mangrove forest range expansion and salt marsh displacement in parts of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast. The objective of this research was to better understand some of the ecological implications of mangrove forest migration and salt marsh displacement. The potential ecological effects of mangrove migration are diverse ranging from important biotic impacts (e.g., coastal fisheries, land bird migration; colonial nesting wading birds) to ecosystem stability (e.g., response to sea level rise and drought;...
Rising sea levels threaten the sustainability of coastal wetlands around the globe, thus understanding how increased inundation alters the elevation change mechanisms in these systems is increasingly important. Typically, the ability of coastal marshes to maintain their position in the intertidal zone depends on the accumulation of both organic and inorganic materials, so one, if not both, of these processes must increase to keep pace with rising seas, assuming all else constant. To determine the importance of vegetation in these processes, we measured elevation change and surface accretion over a 4-year period in recently subsided, unvegetated marshes, resulting from drought-induced marsh dieback, in paired planted...
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Mangrove forests are among the world’s most productive and carbon-rich ecosystems. In addition to providing important fish and wildlife habitat and supporting coastal food webs, these coastal wetlands provide many ecosystem goods and services including clean water, stable coastlines, food, recreational opportunities, and stored carbon. Despite a growing understanding of the factors controlling mangrove soil carbon stocks, there is a pressing need to advance understanding of the pace of peat development beneath maturing mangroves - especially in created and restored mangroves, which are often intended to compensate for ecosystem functions lost during mangrove conversion to other land uses. To better quantify the...


    map background search result map search result map Early growth interactions between a mangrove and an herbaceous salt marsh species are not affected by elevated CO2 or drought, Louisiana saltmarsh, 2015 Rapid peat development beneath maturing mangrove forests: quantifying ecosystem changes along a 25-year chronosequence of created coastal wetlands Rapid peat development beneath maturing mangrove forests: quantifying ecosystem changes along a 25-year chronosequence of created coastal wetlands Early growth interactions between a mangrove and an herbaceous salt marsh species are not affected by elevated CO2 or drought, Louisiana saltmarsh, 2015