Seagrass impact on sediment exchange between tidal flats and salt marsh, and the sediment budget of shallow bays
Ganju, Neil K.
MetadataShow full item record
Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that strongly impact their physical and biological surroundings and are therefore frequently referred to as ecological engineers. The effect of seagrasses on coastal bay resilience and sediment transport dynamics is understudied. Here we use six historical maps of seagrass distribution in Barnegat Bay, USA, to investigate the role of these vegetated surfaces on the sediment storage capacity of shallow bays. Analyses are carried out by means of the Coupled‐Ocean‐Atmosphere‐Wave‐Sediment Transport (COAWST) numerical modeling framework. Results show that a decline in the extent of seagrass meadows reduces the sediment mass potentially stored within bay systems. The presence of seagrass reduces shear stress values across the entire bay, including unvegetated areas, and promotes sediment deposition on tidal flats. On the other hand, the presence of seagrasses decreases suspended sediment concentrations, which in turn reduces the delivery of sediment to marsh platforms. Results highlight the relevance of seagrasses for the long‐term survival of coastal ecosystems, and the complex dynamics regulating the interaction between subtidal and intertidal landscapes.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 45 (2018): 4933-4943, doi:10.1029/2018GL078056.
Suggested CitationGeophysical Research Letters 45 (2018): 4933-4943
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
A nonlinear relationship between marsh size and sediment trapping capacity compromises salt marshes' stability Donatelli, Carmine; Zhang, Xiaohe; Ganju, Neil K.; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Leonardi, Nicoletta (Geological Society of America, 2020-10-01)Global assessments predict the impact of sea-level rise on salt marshes with present-day levels of sediment supply from rivers and the coastal ocean. However, these assessments do not consider that variations in marsh ...
Donatelli, Carmine; Ganju, Neil K.; Zhang, Xiaohe; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Leonardi, Nicoletta (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-10-27)The current paradigm is that salt marshes and their important ecosystem services are threatened by global climate change; indeed, large marsh losses have been documented worldwide. Morphological changes associated with ...
Salt marsh sediment diversity : a test of the variability of the rare biosphere among environmental replicates Bowen, Jennifer L.; Morrison, Hilary G.; Hobbie, John E.; Sogin, Mitchell L. (2011-12-17)Much of the phylogenetic diversity in microbial systems arises from rare taxa that comprise the long tail of taxon rank distribution curves. This vast diversity presents a challenge to testing hypotheses about the effects ...