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Understanding impacts of sea-level rise and land management on critical coastal marsh habitat

August 5, 2022

Coastal wetlands in the Louisiana Mississippi River Deltaic Plain (MRDP) experience some of the highest rates of relative sea-level rise (SLR) in the world, leading to elevated surface water salinity and prolonged flooding. Elevated salinity causes a shift toward more salt-tolerant vegetation communities, associated with changes in ecosystem function and services. As sea level continues to rise, even salt-tolerant plant communities succumb to impacts of excessive flooding through submergence and conversion to open water. To better characterize the impacts of SLR on coastal wetland health and sustainability, we focused on two key landscape transitions in this project: 1) freshwater marsh transition to saltwater marsh, and 2) saltwater marsh transition to open water. We investigated these transitions using data with greater spatial and temporal resolution than previous studies in this region, allowing us to identify the mechanisms underlying widely observed landscape changes.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Understanding impacts of sea-level rise and land management on critical coastal marsh habitat
Authors Camille Stagg
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Final Report
Index ID 70234258
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center