Sea-Level Rise, El Niño, and Storm Effects on Coastal Tidal Marshes
Tidal marshes exist as a transitional environment between the land and sea, and provides habitat to fish and wildlife, protects human developments from coastal flooding, and stores carbon at high density, among other important ecosystem services. Over the next century, accelerating sea-level rise poses a risk to tidal marshes, especially in areas with insufficient sediment delivery. In the near-term, El Niño events and extreme storms can both increase and decrease marsh resilience to sea-level rise. Marsh wildlife inhabitants, including several endangered species, are at acute risk via increased predation and losses of both breeding area and high-tide refugia. Through a combination of long-term monitoring and computer simulations, this research explores the sensitivity of tidal marsh habitat to both short-term climate variation and long-term change and provide land managers the information needed to guide resource management and restoration practices. In this webinar, Southwest CASC supported researcher Kevin Buffington discusses how climate change may affect El Niño events and extreme storms on coastal wetlands.