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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Chen, Ying [1], Holland, Marjorie [2].

Seasonal Changes in Coastal Vegetation Biomass.

Surges and waves generated by hurricanes and other severe storms can cause devastating damage to property and loss of life in coastal areas. Vegetation in wetlands and coastal fringes can reduce storm surges and waves while complementing traditional coastal defense approaches such as permanent levees, seawalls and gates. Moreover, the roots and rhizomes of marsh plants help coastal sediments cohere and consolidate. Soil and plant samples were collected from December 2009 to November 2010 in both low and high marsh zones directly along a coastal edge as well as further inland in eight transects at Graveline Bayou and at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GNDNERR) on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In these eight transects, four transects are located in coastal areas and four are in the inland marsh sites. The inland marshes are dominated by Juncus roemerianus (needlegrass rush), while Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) dominates the coastal marshes. Hydrologic and chemical data including salinity, pH, and water depth have been obtained from the monitoring stations at GNDNERR. Field measurements include collection of soil cores and plant samples within a 0.25 m2 quadrat, plant heights, percent cover, and elevation. Laboratory analyses of the soil samples include moisture, bulk density, organic matter, mean grain size, and percentage of sand, silt, and clay. Laboratory analyses of the plant samples include measurements of above- and belowground biomass and rhizome thickness. Initial results suggest that above- and belowground biomass differs significantly over Spring, Summer, and Fall in coastal and inland marsh sites. Both above- and belowground biomass is highest in Summer and lowest in Spring in the coastal marsh sites. Although there is no significant difference in elevation gradients between the coastal and inland marshes, native vegetation at lower elevations with lower density in close proximity to storm surges within the coastal marsh sites tends to have lower above- and belowground primary production.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Mississippi, Biology, oxford, MS, 38677
2 - University Of Mississippi, Biology, P.O. Box 1848, Shoemaker Hall, University, MS, 38677, USA

seasonal changes
primary production
coastal marshes.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC001
Abstract ID:19

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