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Authors Hackney, CT; Avery, GB
Author Full Name Hackney, Courtney T.; Avery, G. Brooks
Title Tidal Wetland Community Response to Varying Levels of Flooding by Saline Water
Source WETLANDS
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords Tidal swamp; Tidal marsh; Biogeochemistry; Sulfate reduction; Methanogenesis; Hydrogen sulfide toxicity
Keywords Plus ORGANIC-CARBON; SEDIMENTS; ECOSYSTEM; MARSHES
Abstract A long-term data base (2000-2009) was used to evaluate tidal floodwater salinity and the resulting soil biogeochemical setting (methanogenic or sulfate reducing) at 54 substations, which included a variety of marsh and swamp community types along the freshwater/saltwater boundary of the Cape Fear River/Estuary, North Carolina. During this decade, a variety of extreme climatic events, i.e. floods and droughts, occurred, but overall data reflected long-term, natural conditions. At sites flooded by > 1 ppt saline water more than 25 % of the time, wetlands consisted of varying types of tidal marsh. Temperate, tidal swamps were present at sites flooded by this level of saline water less than 12 % of high tides. Flooding > 25 % of tides by > 1 ppt seawater converted soils in those wetlands from methanogenic into sulfate reducing conditions > 50 % of the time. The point along an estuarine gradient where adjacent wetlands are flooded by > 1 ppt saline water less than 25 %, but more than 12 % is the zone of transition. The conversion of a tidal swamp to tidal marsh is not only caused by salt water itself, but by the sulfate constituent in seawater. Once a sufficient concentration of sulfate enters soils, sulfate reducing bacteria become active reducing the sulfate into hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic to any wetland plant species not adapted to this toxic substance. The incidence of flooding by high tides containing > 1 ppt salinity is an accurate predictor of functional change in adjacent wetlands. Wetlands receiving intermediate levels of saline water, i.e. 12-25 % flooding with 1 ppt floodwater, were in some state of transition from swamp to marsh. Once trees in tidal swamps are killed, the wetland moves inevitably towards a tidal marsh dominated by species of herbaceous vascular plants with varying tolerance to saline water.
Author Address [Hackney, Courtney T.] Univ N Florida, Dept Biol, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; [Avery, G. Brooks] Univ N Carolina, Dept Chem, Wilmington, NC 28403 USA
Reprint Address Hackney, CT (corresponding author), Univ N Florida, Dept Biol, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA.
E-mail Address c.hackney@unf.ed
Funding Agency and Grant Number U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District
Funding Text Data for this study was generated through a monitoring program funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District. During the decade long study, numerous students spent long, difficult hours collecting and analyzing the large quantity of data required to generate our understanding of the impact of saline water on tidal swamps. Dave DuMond provided information on plant species. Our thanks to the dozens of students who slaved under difficult conditions and especially to field supervisors Jason Hall, Amy Clark and Dawn Carrol who kept data flowing and everyone safe for over a decade.
Times Cited 10
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 10
Publisher SPRINGER
Publisher City DORDRECHT
Publisher Address VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS
ISSN 0277-5212
29-Character Source Abbreviation WETLANDS
ISO Source Abbreviation Wetlands
Publication Date APR
Year Published 2015
Volume 35
Issue 2
Beginning Page 227
Ending Page 236
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1007/s13157-014-0597-z
Page Count 10
Web of Science Category Ecology; Environmental Sciences
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Document Delivery Number CE0XA
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000351532700002
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