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Abstract Detail

Strategies for healing our coast lines: Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, erosion and urban degradation: progress for the North American future marine macro-plants

Zedler, Joy [1], Doherty, James [2].

Major restoration efforts are healing biodiversity in Californian coastal marshes.

Despite the historical loss of 90% of California's coastal marsh area, and despite recent challenges (including extreme flooding, sea storms, and a "homeland security fence" at the US-Mexico border), stakeholders are sustaining Tijuana Estuary and much of its plant and animal diversity. Despite budgetary constraints, The State Coastal Conservancy and others have funded restoration planning and implementation; a non-governmental organization (Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association) has engaged local citizens; and education and research coordinators at the National Estuarine Research Reserve helped K-12 and university students study and learn about biodiversity conservation.During 30 years of vegetation monitoring, Tijuana Estuary's 400-ha salt marsh lost its historical diversity in 1984, when the mouth closed and an 8-month drought eliminated stream flow. Soils became dry and extremely hypersaline, and two short-lived species (Salicornia bigelovii, Suaeda esteroa) were greatly reduced in distribution--but not extirpated. Once tidal influence was restored, all but the short-lived species regained their historical distributions.In 1997 a field experiment began to link changes in diversity to ecosystem services. Replicate plots on an excavated marsh plain were planted with 0, 1, 3, and 6 native species. After 2 growing seasons, indicators of the salt marsh's ability to support biodiversity (biomass, height, canopy layering, resistance to invasion) were positively correlated with the number of species planted. By 2009, however, those services were mostly provided by Salicornia virginica, Jaumea carnosa and Frankenia salina. Nevertheless, additional research demonstrated that each of the eight marsh-plain halophytes makes a unique contribution to salt marsh functioning. All are likely necessary for resilience in the face of major disturbances (e.g., rapidly rising sea level or catastrophic flooding). Episodes of sedimentation tend to promote dominance at the expense of diversity, but armed with such knowledge, managers can restore and maintain biodiversity in Californian salt marshes.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University Of Wisconsin, Botany, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706, USA
2 - Universtiy of Wisconsin, Department of Botany, 312 Birge Hall, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madsion , WI, 53706 - 1381, USA

marsh restoration
Salicornia bigelovii
Suaeda esteroa
Coastal Conservancy
Tijuana Estuary
Jaumea carnosa
Frankenia salina
Salicornia virginica.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY13
Location: Lindell D/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: SY13001
Abstract ID:754

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