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Publication Type J
Authors Meixler, MS; Kennish, MJ; Crowley, KF
Author Full Name Meixler, Marcia S.; Kennish, Michael J.; Crowley, Katherine F.
Title Assessment of Plant Community Characteristics in Natural and Human-Altered Coastal Marsh Ecosystems
Source ESTUARIES AND COASTS
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords Tuckerton Peninsula; Salt marsh habitat; Marsh plant communities; Species composition; Climate change effects
Keywords Plus ENGLAND SALT-MARSH; DECAPOD CRUSTACEANS; CLIMATE-CHANGE; IMPACTS; COMPETITION; ELEVATION; WETLANDS; ZONATION; HABITAT; DEFENSE
Abstract Salt marsh ecosystems provide many critical ecological functions, yet they are subject to considerable disturbance ranging from direct human alteration to increased inundation due to climate change. We assessed emergent salt marsh plant characteristics in the Tuckerton Peninsula, a large expanse (similar to 2000 ha) of highly inundated habitat along the southern New Jersey coast, USA. Key salt marsh plant parameters were monitored in the heavily grid-ditched northern segment, Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM) altered central segment, and the shoreline altered southern segment of the peninsula in the summer months of 2011 and 2013. Plant species composition and three metrics of abundance and structure (maximum canopy height, percent areal cover, and shoot density) were examined among marsh segments, along transects within segments, seasonally by month and between years. Despite seasonal or annual variability, the northern segment of the marsh differed in plant species composition from the central and southern segments. This difference was partly due to greater percent areal cover in the northern segment of upper marsh species such as Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata. S. patens also exhibited higher shoot densities in the northern segment than the central segment. Despite the higher abundance of upper marsh species, marsh surface elevations were lower in the northern segment than in the central or southern segments, suggesting the influence of altered hydrology due to human activities. Understanding current variation in the emergent salt marsh vegetation along the peninsula will help inform future habitat change in other coastal wetlands of New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic region subject to natural and anthropogenic drivers.
Author Address [Meixler, Marcia S.] Rutgers State Univ, Dept Ecol Evolut & Nat Resources, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 USA; [Kennish, Michael J.] Rutgers State Univ, Dept Marine & Coastal Sci, New Brunswick, NJ USA; [Kennish, Michael J.] Jacques Cousteau Natl Estuarine Res Reserve, Tuckerton, NJ USA; [Crowley, Katherine F.] Cary Inst Ecosyst Studies, Millbrook, NY USA
Reprint Address Meixler, MS (reprint author), Rutgers State Univ, Dept Ecol Evolut & Nat Resources, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 USA.
E-mail Address meixler@sebs.rutgers.edu
Funding Agency and Grant Number National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD [NA10NOS4200198, NA12NOS4200152]; Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University [5527]
Funding Text This is Contribution Number 5527 of the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University. Grant funding in support of this work was provided by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD (award numbers NA10NOS4200198 and NA12NOS4200152). Many thanks to Kyle Oschell for assisting with the literature search for this study and to Karen Grace-Martin for assistance with the statistical analyses.
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Cited Reference Count 51
Publisher SPRINGER
Publisher City NEW YORK
Publisher Address 233 SPRING ST, NEW YORK, NY 10013 USA
ISSN 1559-2723
29-Character Source Abbreviation ESTUAR COAST
ISO Source Abbreviation Estuaries Coasts
Publication Date JAN
Year Published 2018
Volume 41
Issue 1
Beginning Page 52
Ending Page 64
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1007/s12237-017-0296-0
Subject Category 13
Document Delivery Number Environmental Sciences; Marine & Freshwater Biology
Unique Article Identifier Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology
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