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Authors Morgan, PA; Adams, MDO
Author Full Name Morgan, Pamela A.; Adams, Mark D. O.
Title TIDAL MARSHES IN THE SACO RIVER ESTUARY, MAINE: A STUDY OF PLANT DIVERSITY AND POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF SHORELINE DEVELOPMENT
Source RHODORA
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords tidal freshwater marsh; brackish marsh; salt marsh; nitrogen; plant diversity; coastal development
Keywords Plus FRESH-WATER; SALT-MARSH; NEW-ENGLAND; UNITED-STATES; NUTRIENT; NITROGEN; PHOSPHORUS; EUTROPHICATION; ACCUMULATION; GRADIENTS
Abstract We surveyed plant diversity in the tidal fresh, brackish and salt marshes of the 10-km long Saco River estuary in southern Maine. We also investigated possible relationships between shoreline development in the estuary, nitrogen levels in marsh sediments, and marsh plant species composition. Plant species cover was determined in 1 m(2) quadrats along transects in sixteen marsh study sites, and land cover was mapped in a 100-m buffer around each site. Nitrogen content (total nitrogen, nitrate and ammonium) of marsh sediments was measured at ten sites. Marsh porewater salinities were determined to range from 0.2 +/- 0.1 to 18.61 +/- 2.9 ppt (mean +/- 1 SE), with species diversity the greatest in marshes where salinity was less than 8 ppt. We identified 72 vascular plant species in the estuary's marshes, including ten that are listed as threatened or of special concern in the state of Maine. Ordination results showed that the extent of development along the shoreline correlated with the variation in plant species abundance at tidal marsh sites. The proportion of high intensity development also correlated negatively (r(s(16))=-0.571, p=0.021) with plant diversity as measured by the Shannon Wiener index. Nitrogen levels in marsh sediments did not explain these results. The results of this study establish a baseline for future studies of tidal marsh plant communities in the Saco River estuary, and show that the extent of shoreline development may influence tidal marsh plant diversity, even across a salinity gradient.
Author Address [Morgan, Pamela A.; Adams, Mark D. O.] Univ New England, Dept Environm Studies, Biddeford, ME 04005 USA
Reprint Address Morgan, PA (reprint author), Univ New England, Dept Environm Studies, Biddeford, ME 04005 USA.
E-mail Address pmorgan@une.edu
Funding Agency and Grant Number National Science FoundationNational Science Foundation (NSF) [EPS-0904155]
Funding Text This research was conducted as part of the Sustainability Solutions Initiative, supported by National Science Foundation award EPS-0904155 to the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research at the University of Maine. Thanks to student researchers Will Almeida, Danielle Behn, Sarah Cowles, Chris Dracoules, Cory French, David Hague, Katie Hill, Gail Loescher, Shane Murphy, Brittany Parsons, Deidra Sargent, Matt Simpson, Cassandra Smith, and Rachel Tamulonis. Thanks also to Eric Sorenson, who provided invaluable advice throughout, and to two anonymous reviewers, whose suggestions greatly improved the manuscript. A special thank you to Dr. Michele Dionne for her advice in the early stages of the project.
Times Cited 1
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 1
Publisher NEW ENGLAND BOTANICAL CLUB INC
Publisher City LAWRENCE
Publisher Address P.O. BOX 368, LAWRENCE, KS 66044 USA
ISSN 0035-4902
29-Character Source Abbreviation RHODORA
ISO Source Abbreviation Rhodora
Publication Date OCT
Year Published 2017
Volume 119
Issue 980
Beginning Page 304
Ending Page 331
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.3119/16-19
Page Count 28
Web of Science Category Plant Sciences
Subject Category Plant Sciences
Document Delivery Number GB6CH
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000429155400002
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