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Publication Type J
Authors Saha, A. K., S. Saha, J. Sadle, J. Jiang, M. S. Ross, R. M. Price, L. Sternberg and K. S. Wendelberger
Title Sea level rise and South Florida coastal forests
Source Climatic Change
Author Keywords gulf-of-mexico fresh-water mississippi delta hardwood hammocks salinity keys everglades salt flow simulation
Abstract Coastal ecosystems lie at the forefront of sea level rise. We posit that before the onset of actual inundation, sea level rise will influence the species composition of coastal hardwood hammocks and buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus L.) forests of the Everglades National Park based on tolerance to drought and salinity. Precipitation is the major water source in coastal hammocks and is stored in the soil vadose zone, but vadose water will diminish with the rising water table as a consequence of sea level rise, thereby subjecting plants to salt water stress. A model is used to demonstrate that the constraining effect of salinity on transpiration limits the distribution of freshwater-dependent communities. Field data collected in hardwood hammocks and coastal buttonwood forests over 11 years show that halophytes have replaced glycophytes. We establish that sea level rise threatens 21 rare coastal species in Everglades National Park and estimate the relative risk to each species using basic life history and population traits. We review salinity conditions in the estuarine region over 1999-2009 and associate wide variability in the extent of the annual seawater intrusion to variation in freshwater inflows and precipitation. We also examine species composition in coastal and inland hammocks in connection with distance from the coast, depth to water table, and groundwater salinity. Though this study focuses on coastal forests and rare species of South Florida, it has implications for coastal forests threatened by saltwater intrusion across the globe.
Author Address [Saha, Sonali] Inst Reg Conservat, Miami, FL 33170 USA. [Saha, Amartya K.; Ross, Michael S.; Price, Rene M.] Florida Int Univ, SE Environm Res Ctr, Miami, FL 33199 USA. [Sadle, Jimi] Everglades Natl Pk, Homestead, FL 33034 USA. [Jiang, Jiang; Sternberg, Leonel S. L. O.] Univ Miami, Dept Biol, Coral Gables, FL 33124 USA. [Ross, Michael S.; Price, Rene M.] Florida Int Univ, Dept Earth & Environm, Miami, FL 33199 USA. [Wendelberger, Kristie S.] Univ N Carolina, Curriculum Environm & Ecol, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA. Saha, S, Inst Reg Conservat, 22601 SW 152nd Ave, Miami, FL 33170 USA. sahairc@gmail.com
ISSN 0165-0009
ISBN 0165-0009
29-Character Source Abbreviation Clim. Change
Publication Date Jul
Year Published 2011
Volume 107
Issue 1-2
Beginning Page 81-108
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1007/s10584-011-0082-0
Unique Article Identifier ISI:000291658000005
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