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Authors Crain, CM; Albertson, LK; Bertness, MD
Author Full Name Crain, Caitlin Mullan; Albertson, Lindsey K.; Bertness, Mark D.
Title SECONDARY SUCCESSION DYNAMICS IN ESTUARINE MARSHES ACROSS LANDSCAPE-SCALE SALINITY GRADIENTS
Source ECOLOGY
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords brackish marsh; coastal marsh restoration; community assembly; estuarine salinity gradient; functional groups; life history strategy; oligohaline marsh; salt marsh; secondary succession; seed banks; seedling dynamics
Keywords Plus TIDAL FRESH-WATER; ENGLAND SALT MARSHES; SOIL SEED BANK; PLANT COMMUNITY; ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENT; POSITIVE INTERACTIONS; SPECIES COMPOSITION; WETLAND; RESTORATION; VEGETATION
Abstract Secondary succession plays a critical role in driving community structure in natural communities, yet how succession dynamics vary with environmental context is generally unknown. We examined the importance of seedling and vegetative recruitment in the secondary succession of coastal marsh vegetation across a landscape-scale environmental stress gradient. Replicate bare patches were initiated in salt, brackish, and oligohaline marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA, and allowed to recover unmanipulated or with colonizing seedlings or vegetative runners removed for three years. Seed dispersal and seed bank studies were conducted at the same sites. We found that rates of recovery were 3-10 times faster in brackish and oligohaline marshes than in salt marshes. The fast pace of recovery in oligohaline marshes was driven by seedling colonization, while recovery was dominated by vegetative runners in brackish marshes and by both seedlings and runners in salt marshes. Seed and seedling availability was much greater in oligohaline marshes with up to 24 times the seed bank density compared with salt marshes. In contrast to the facilitated succession generally found in salt marshes, oligohaline marshes follow the tolerance model of succession where numerous species colonize from seed and are slowly displaced by clonal grasses whose recovery is slowed by preemptive competition from seedlings, contributing to the higher species diversity of oligohaline marshes. These findings reveal fundamental differences in the dynamics and assembly of marsh plant communities along estuarine salinity gradients that are important for conceptually understanding wetlands and for guiding the management and restoration of various types of coastal marshes.
Author Address [Crain, Caitlin Mullan; Albertson, Lindsey K.; Bertness, Mark D.] Brown Univ, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Providence, RI 02912 USA
Reprint Address Crain, CM (corresponding author), Ctr Ocean Hlth, 100 Shaffer Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA.
E-mail Address crainc@biology.ucsc.edu
Funding Agency and Grant Number Rhode Island Sea; Nature Conservancy's Global Marine Initiative
Funding Text We thank Keryn Bromberg and Wes Crain for help in the field, and Fred Jackson for help in the greenhouse. Earlier versions of the manuscript were improved by helpful comments from Tish Conway-Cranos and Mary Allessio Leck. This research was funded by Rhode Island Sea Grant and supported by the Nature Conservancy's Global Marine Initiative.
Times Cited 44
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 48
Publisher ECOLOGICAL SOC AMER
Publisher City WASHINGTON
Publisher Address 1990 M STREET NW, STE 700, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
ISSN 0012-9658
29-Character Source Abbreviation ECOLOGY
ISO Source Abbreviation Ecology
Publication Date OCT
Year Published 2008
Volume 89
Issue 10
Beginning Page 2889
Ending Page 2899
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1890/07-1527.1
Page Count 11
Web of Science Category Ecology
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Document Delivery Number 359NW
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000259995100023
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