Glenn Guntenspergen, Ph.D.
Science and Products
Development of a Multimetric Index for Integrated Assessment of Salt Marsh Condition in the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network
Salt marsh ecosystems along all US coastlines have been altered, degraded, and destroyed by human activities, including ditching and drainage of the marsh platform, tidal restrictions, discharge of pollutants, and introduction of invasive species. The National Park Service conducts long-term monitoring of salt marsh vegetation and nekton (fish and free-swimming crustaceans) to provide...
Our overall objective is to understand what controls the vulnerability of coastal marshes to risks associated with global change drivers and rising sea levels. Fundamental questions pertaining to coastal wetland vulnerability still need to be addressed. What factors explain spatial and geographic variation in tidal wetland vulnerability? How do short term climatic events (storms) influence the...
The Challenge: The high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy impacted coastal wetlands from Virginia to Maine. Understanding the ecological and geological impacts of hurricanes on coastal wetlands and their interactive effects with local conditions is important for identifying resilience of these communities to predicted global sea-level rise. Given the projected increase in...
We measured the response of plants to disturbance across a gradient in inundation times by transplanting tussocks of Schoenoplectus americanus into mesocosms of different elevation in two marsh organ platforms.
This dataset is comprised of eight files related to salt marsh monitoring data or measures of of human disturbance (i.e. human impacts in terms of physical, chemical, and land-use stressors) collected at 33 marsh study units (MSUs) in five National Parks within the NPS Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN) along the NE coast of the US.
U.S. Pacific coastal wetland resilience and vulnerability to sea-level rise
We used a first-of-its-kind comprehensive scenario approach to evaluate both the vertical and horizontal response of tidal wetlands to projected changes in the rate of sea-level rise (SLR) across 14 estuaries along the Pacific coast of the continental United States. Throughout the U.S. Pacific region, we found that tidal wetlands are highly...Thorne, Karen M.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Ambrose, Richard F.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Freeman, Chase; Janousek, Christopher; Brown, Lauren N.; Rosencranz, Jordan A.; Homquist, James; Smol, John P.; Hargan, Kathryn; Takekawa, John Y.
Development of a multimetric index for integrated assessment of salt marsh ecosystem condition
Tools for assessing and communicating salt marsh condition are essential to guide decisions aimed at maintaining or restoring ecosystem integrity and services. Multimetric indices (MMIs) are increasingly used to provide integrated assessments of ecosystem condition. We employed a theory-based approach that considers the multivariate relationship...Nagel, Jessica L.; Neckles, Hilary A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Rocks, Erika N.; Schoolmaster, Donald; Grace, James B.; Skidds, Dennis; Stevens, Sara
Reply to ‘Marsh vulnerability to sea-level rise’
Response to Parkinson et al. Rebuttal of Kirwan, M. L., Temmerman, S., Skeehan, E. E., Guntenspergen, G. R.,& Fagherazzi, S. (2016). Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise. Nature Climate Change, 6(3):253-2601.Kirwan, Matthew L.; Temmerman, Stijn; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Fagherazzi, Sergio
Inundation, vegetation, and sediment effects on litter decomposition in Pacific Coast tidal marshes
The cycling and sequestration of carbon are important ecosystem functions of estuarine wetlands that may be affected by climate change. We conducted experiments across a latitudinal and climate gradient of tidal marshes in the northeast Pacific to evaluate the effects of climate- and vegetation-related factors on litter decomposition. We...Janousek, Christopher; Buffington, Kevin J.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Thorne, Karen M.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Takekawa, John Y.
Decomposition of plant litter in Pacific coast tidal marshes, 2014-2015
Decomposition of plant matter is one of the key processes affecting carbon cycling and storage in tidal wetlands. In this study, we evaluated the effects of factors related to climate change (temperature, inundation) and vegetation composition on rates of litter decay in seven tidal marsh sites along the Pacific coast. In 2014 we conducted...Janousek, Christopher; Buffington, Kevin J.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Thorne, Karen M.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Takekawa, John Y.
Vegetation recovery in tidal marshes reveals critical slowing down under increased inundation
A declining rate of recovery following disturbance has been proposed as an important early warning for impending tipping points in complex systems. Despite extensive theoretical and laboratory studies, this ‘critical slowing down’ remains largely untested in the complex settings of real-world ecosystems. Here, we provide both observational and...van Belzen, Jim; van de Koppel, Johan; Kirwan, Matthew L.; van der Wal, Daphne; Herman, Peter M. J.; Dakos, Vasilis; Kéfi, Sonia; Scheffer, Marten; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Bouma, Tjeerd J.
Spatio-temporal development of vegetation die-off in a submerging coastal marsh
In several places around the world, coastal marsh vegetation is converting to open water through the formation of pools. This is concerning, as vegetation die-off is expected to reduce the marshes' capacity to adapt to sea level rise by vegetation-induced sediment accretion. Quantitative analyses of the spatial and temporal development of marsh...Schepers, Lennert; Kirwan, Matthew; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Temmerman, Stijn
Fine‐resolution conservation planning with limited climate‐change information
Climate‐change induced uncertainties in future spatial patterns of conservation‐related outcomes make it difficult to implement standard conservation‐planning paradigms. A recent study translates Markowitz's risk‐diversification strategy from finance to conservation settings, enabling conservation agents to use this diversification strategy for...Shah, Payal; Mallory, Mindy L.; Ando , Amy W. ; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.
Modeling the effects of tile drain placement on the hydrologic function of farmed prairie wetlands
The early 2000s saw large increases in agricultural tile drainage in the eastern Dakotas of North America. Agricultural practices that drain wetlands directly are sometimes limited by wetland protection programs. Little is known about the impacts of tile drainage beyond the delineated boundaries of wetlands in upland catchments that may be in...Werner, Brett; Tracy, John; Johnson, W. Carter; Voldseth, Richard A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Millett, Bruce
Balanced sediment fluxes in southern California’s Mediterranean-climate zone salt marshes
Salt marsh elevation and geomorphic stability depends on mineral sedimentation. Many Mediterranean-climate salt marshes along southern California, USA coast import sediment during El Niño storm events, but sediment fluxes and mechanisms during dry weather are potentially important for marsh stability. We calculated tidal creek sediment fluxes...Rosencranz, Jordan A.; Ganju, Neil K.; Ambrose, Richard F.; Brosnahan, Sandra M.; Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.
Effects of climate change on tidal marshes along a latitudinal gradient in California
Public SummaryThe coastal region of California supports a wealth of ecosystem services including habitat provision for wildlife and fisheries. Tidal marshes, mudflats, and shallow bays within coastal estuaries link marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats, and provide economic and recreational benefits to local communities. Climate change...Thorne, Karen M.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Ambrose, Rich F.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Freeman, Chase M.; Janousek, Christopher N.; Brown, Lauren N.; Holmquist, James R.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Powelson, Katherine W.; Barnard, Patrick L.; Takekawa, John Y.
Potential effects of sea-level rise on plant productivity: Species-specific responses in northeast Pacific tidal marshes
Coastal wetland plants are adapted to varying degrees of inundation. However, functional relationships between inundation and productivity are poorly characterized for most species. Determining species-specific tolerances to inundation is necessary to evaluate sea-level rise (SLR) effects on future marsh plant community composition, quantify...Janousek, Christopher; Buffington, Kevin J.; Thorne, Karen M.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Takekawa, John Y.; Dugger, Bruce D.