Sea level rise requires extra management to maintain salt marshes

ScienceDaily | 7/17/2019 | Staff
liizuliizu (Posted by) Level 3
Marsh loss often takes place when waves erode the seaward marsh edge. Sea level rise is expected to increase such erosion by allowing stronger waves on neighboring tidal flats due to raised water depth. While a healthy marsh can recover the lost land via plants recolonizing the bare tidal flats, waves enhanced by sea level rise can greatly slow down or even block such recovery by hampering seed establishment. "A few cm increase of wave height can double the time needed for vegetation recovery on the tidal flats," says Zhenchang Zhu, the leading author of this paper, who conducted this research at NIOZ, but is currently working at Guangdong University of technology, China. "This is problematic as sea level rise may speed up marsh erosion meanwhile limiting its recovery. In the long run, this can cause big loss in marsh extent and key ecosystems services humans rely on, such as coastal defense," Zhu continues.

How to improve marsh health and coastal safety under...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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