Coastal wetlands are not only among the world’s most valued ecosystems but also among the most threatened by high greenhouse gas emissions that lead to accelerated sea level rise. There is intense debate regarding the extent to which landward migration of wetlands might compensate for seaward wetland losses. By integrating data from 166 estuaries across the conterminous United States, we show that landward migration of coastal wetlands will transform coastlines but not counter seaward losses. Two-thirds of potential migration is expected to occur at the expense of coastal freshwater wetlands, while the remaining one-third is expected to occur at the expense of valuable uplands, including croplands, forests, pastures, and grasslands. Our analyses underscore the need to better prepare for coastal transformations and net wetland loss due to rising seas.
|Title||Migration and transformation of coastal wetlands in response to rising seas|
|Authors||Michael Osland, Bogdan Chivoiu, Nicholas Enwright, Karen M. Thorne, Glenn R. Guntenspergen, James Grace, Leah Dale, William Brooks, Nathaniel Herold, John W. Day, Fred H. Sklar, Christopher M. Swarzenski|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Science Advances|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Louisiana Water Science Center; Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Western Ecological Research Center; Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|