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In the northern Gulf of Mexico, mangrove forests have been expanding their northern range limits in parts of Texas, Louisiana, and north Florida since 1989. In response to warming winter temperatures, mangroves, which are dominant in warmer climates, are expected to continue migrating northward at the expense of salt marshes, which fare better in cooler climates. The ecological implications and timing of mangrove expansion is not well understood, and coastal wetland managers need information and tools that will enable them to identify and forecast the ecological impacts of this shift from salt marsh to mangrove-dominated coastal ecosystems. To address this need, researchers will host workshops and leverage existing...
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The U.S. Geological Survey collected multispectral and visible light imagery via a quadcopter, small unoccupied aircraft system (sUAS) deployed near Ashville Bridge Creek in Virginia Beach, VA. Approximately 0.25 sq mi surrounding U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge along Ashville Bridge Creek approximately 0.5 mi south of Lotus Garden Park on July 17 and 18, 2018. Photos were collected at a height of 400ft above ground level (AGL) with approximately 70% frontlap between photos and approximately 30% sidelap between survey lines. Multispectral images were collected in a tif format using a Micasense RedEdge M with a Ground Sample Distance of 8.2 cm/pixel, visible light images were...
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The sustainability of coastal wetlands largely hinges on their ability to accrue elevation capital at a rate that equals or exceeds relative sea-level rise. A better understanding of these processes is needed to accurately assess the sustainability of these landscapes, and to predict their response to restoration measures such as sediment delivery through river diversions.
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These datasets provide: 1) field-collected biomass and structural attributes for coastal salt marsh in the Port Fourchon area, Louisiana; 2) simulated biomass and structural attributes along flooding gradients using mixed model regression outputs; and 3) resilience metrics calculated using multivariate hypervolumes along with potential environmental covariates of resilience metrics.
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Hurricanes periodically deliver sediment to coastal wetlands, such as those in the Mississippi River Delta Complex (MRDC), slowing elevation loss and improving resilience to sea-level rise. However, the amount of hurricane sediment deposited and retained in a wetland may vary depending on the dominant vegetation. In the subtropical climate of the MRDC, the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans (L.) L.) has been expanding and replacing salt marsh (Spartina alterniflora Loisel). Because these vegetation types differ in aboveground structure, their influence on sedimentation may also differ. We conducted a survey for 160 km along the outer coast of Louisiana, USA from Oyster Bayou to the Mississippi River to determine...
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Plant-mediated processes are often important in determining carbon cycling and storage in ecosystems. With climate-induced changes in the environment, plant-associated processes may also shift. Salt marshes in particular are useful systems to investigate plant-mediated carbon cycling, as these systems experience both sea-level rise and increased carbon dioxide concentrations due to climate change, in addition to stochastically experiencing extreme drought and flood conditions. We measured biomass, soil, and gas carbon pools and the fluxes between those pools using a mesocosm approach in a salt marsh system, to investigate the response of plant-mediated carbon cycling to near-term climate change.
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This dataset includes barrier island land cover types collected from mid-November 2015 to mid-December 2015 along randomly placed transects at seven sites throughout the east end of Dauphin Island. Specifically, this data collection included characterizing land cover types and measuring horizontal position and elevation. We characterized plant community composition and structure for a subset of these points (see Vegetation Survey Data Table). This work was conducted through a joint effort by the State of Alabama, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the feasibility of various restoration alternatives and how specific alternatives might increase the resiliency and sustainability...
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...
The northern Gulf of Mexico coast spans a dramatic water availability gradient (precipitation range: 700 to 1800 mm/year) and represents an excellent natural laboratory for developing climate-influenced ecological models for natural resource managers and culture keepers. In this project, we used this zone of remarkable transition to develop macroclimate-based models for quantifying the regional responses of coastal wetland ecosystems to climate variation. 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. Our objective...


    map background search result map search result map Beyond just sea level rise: incorporating climate into coastal  wetland vulnerability assessments Barrier island habitat map and vegetation survey, Dauphin Island, AL, 2015 Salt marsh carbon dynamics under altered hydrologic regimes and elevated CO2 conditions, Louisiana, USA (2014-2015) Soil properties, soil radioisotope activity, and end-of-season belowground biomass across Barataria basin wetlands (2016) Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Multispectral and visual photogrammetric data collected via sUAS: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia, July 2018 Hurricane sedimentation in a subtropical salt marsh-mangrove community in the Mississippi River Delta Complex unaffected by vegetation type Field and simulated data to construct hypervolumes of coastal wetland plant states for resilience quantification, Louisiana, USA (2016-2017) Multispectral and visual photogrammetric data collected via sUAS: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia, July 2018 Barrier island habitat map and vegetation survey, Dauphin Island, AL, 2015 Salt marsh carbon dynamics under altered hydrologic regimes and elevated CO2 conditions, Louisiana, USA (2014-2015) Field and simulated data to construct hypervolumes of coastal wetland plant states for resilience quantification, Louisiana, USA (2016-2017) Soil properties, soil radioisotope activity, and end-of-season belowground biomass across Barataria basin wetlands (2016) Hurricane sedimentation in a subtropical salt marsh-mangrove community in the Mississippi River Delta Complex unaffected by vegetation type Beyond just sea level rise: incorporating climate into coastal  wetland vulnerability assessments Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico