Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Throughout the past century, emergent wetlands have been declining across the Gulf of Mexico. Emergent wetland ecosystems provide a plethora of resources including plant and wildlife habitat, commercial and recreational economic activity, water quality, and natural barriers against storms.
Freshwater wetlands provide critical habitat for a diverse array of organisms, including many amphibians. Yet, under the threat of climate change, these habitats are among the most imperiled ecosystems on Earth.
Mapping of Fort A.P Hill utilizes 2-D interpretation of 2013, 1-foot Color Infrared orthorectified imagery, affording greater detail in wetland interpretation and classification.
In Central America, “tropical dry wetlands” provide numerous ecosystem goods and services. The mosaic of wetlands within and around Palo Verde National Park (a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance) is one of the largest complexes in the region.
As Greater Everglades restoration project implementation progresses, wetlands in near coastal areas may undergo changes in salinity, hydroperiod, and water depth.
This task will involve the compilation of all data sources and expert knowledge of causal mechanisms of specific areas of wetland loss throughout the coastal zone of Louisiana.
Winter climate change has the potential to have a large impact on coastal wetlands in the southeastern United States.
At the poleward marsh-mangrove ecotone, mangrove abundance and coverage is winter temperature-sensitive in that it oscillates in response to the frequency, duration, and/or intensity of extreme winter temperatures. Future winter climate change is expected to facilitate poleward mangrove range expansion at the expense of salt marshes in Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Florida.
When it comes to freshwater wetlands, hydrology plays a large role in nutrient stoichiometry and sensitivity to nutrient inputs. Although wetland biogeochemists intuitively understand these important relationships between landscape position, hydrology, and sensitivity to nutrient inputs, these relationships have never been quantified using geospatial data. The objective of this project will be to evaluate and quantify the linkages between watershed catchment characteristics and freshwater wetland nutrient sensitivity.
More than half of contiguous U.S. coastal wetlands are located along the Gulf of Mexico coast. These highly-productive wetlands support many ecosystem goods and services and fish and wildlife habitat. Historically, coastal wetlands have adapted to sea-level changes via lateral and vertical movement on the landscape. As sea levels rise in the future, coastal wetlands will adapt and migrate landward into undeveloped low-lying areas where migration corridors exist. However, where natural and human-created barriers are present, coastal wetland loss is likely.
At the global-scale, macroclimatic drivers govern ecosystem structure and function in tidal saline wetlands (e.g., salt marshes, mangrove forests, salt flats). However, global reviews and models for these ecosystems typically do not directly include climatic drivers. The objective of this research is to examine and forecast the effects of macroclimatic drivers on wetland ecosystem structure and function.
Mozambique tilapia, a highly invasive non-native fish of the family Cichlidae, were discovered in a wetland in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Big Island of Hawai'i. As the U.S. National Park Service works to restore the natural communities and functions of wetland ecosystems on the island, the eradication of the tilapia population is considered necessary to fully achieve wetland restoration.