Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Hurricane Influences on Vegetation Community Change in Coastal Louisiana

June 17, 2010

The impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 on wetland vegetation were investigated in Louisiana coastal marshes. Vegetation cover, pore-water salinity, and nutrients data from 100 marsh sites covering the entire Louisiana coast were sampled for two consecutive growing seasons after the storms. A mixed-model nested ANOVA with Tukey's HSD test for post-ANOVA multiple comparisons was used to analyze the data. Significantly (p<0.05) lower vegetation cover was observed within brackish and fresh marshes in the west as compared to the east and central regions throughout 2006, but considerable increase in vegetation cover was noticed in fall 2007 data. Marshes in the west were stressed by prolonged saltwater logging and increased sulfide content. High salinity levels persisted throughout the study period for all marsh types, especially in the west. The marshes of coastal Louisiana are still recovering after the hurricanes; however, changes in the species composition have increased in these marshes.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2010
Title Hurricane Influences on Vegetation Community Change in Coastal Louisiana
DOI 10.3133/ofr20101105
Authors Gregory D. Steyer, Kari Foster Cretini, Sarai C. Piazza, Leigh A. Sharp, Gregg A. Snedden, Sijan Sapkota
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2010-1105
Index ID ofr20101105
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wetlands Research Center; Wetland and Aquatic Research Center