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Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems? / S.E. Grenfell, R.M. Callaway, M.C. Grenfell, C.M. Bertelli, A.F. Mendzil, I. Tew, Ruth Callaway, Chiara Bertelli, Anouska Mendzil

Science of The Total Environment, Volume: 554-555, Pages: 276 - 292

Swansea University Authors: Ruth Callaway, Chiara Bertelli, Anouska Mendzil

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DOI (Published version): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.196

Abstract

Sea-level rise associated with climate change presents a major challenge to plant diversity and ecosystem serviceprovision in coastal wetlands. In this study, we investigate the effect of sea-level rise on benthos, vegetation, andecosystem diversity in a tidal wetland in west Wales, the UK. Present...

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Published in: Science of The Total Environment
Published: 2016
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa26708
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spelling 2017-01-30T17:05:32.7150275 v2 26708 2016-03-07 Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems? 61d7fe28cbb286de1c9c43f45014c490 0000-0001-9710-2940 Ruth Callaway Ruth Callaway true false ef2a5aa98cae33d09caf7b77f6f16e71 0000-0002-9799-2522 Chiara Bertelli Chiara Bertelli true false 9fb29080ec8094dddaf0233f737b948a 0000-0002-3680-9958 Anouska Mendzil Anouska Mendzil true false 2016-03-07 SBI Sea-level rise associated with climate change presents a major challenge to plant diversity and ecosystem serviceprovision in coastal wetlands. In this study, we investigate the effect of sea-level rise on benthos, vegetation, andecosystem diversity in a tidal wetland in west Wales, the UK. Present relationships between plant communitiesand environmental variables were investigated through 50 plots at which vegetation (species and coverage), hydrological(surface or groundwater depth, conductivity) and soil (matrix chroma, presence or absence of mottles,organic content, particle size) data were collected. Benthic communities were sampled at intervals along a continuumfrom saline to freshwater. To ascertain future changes to the wetlands' hydrology, a GIS-based empiricalmodel was developed. Using a LiDAR derived land surface, the relative effect of peat accumulation and rising sealevels were modelled over 200 years to determine how frequently portions of the wetland will be inundated bymean sea level, mean high water spring and mean high water neap conditions. The model takes into accountchanging extents of peat accumulation as hydrological conditions alter.Model results show that changes to the wetland hydrology will initially be slow. However, changes in frequencyand extent of inundation reach a tipping point 125 to 175 years from 2010 due to the extremely low slope of thewetland. From then onwards, large portions of the wetland become flooded at every flood tide and saltwater intrusionbecomes more common. This will result in a reduction in marsh biodiversity with plant communitiesswitching toward less diverse and occasionally monospecific communities that are more salt tolerant. Journal Article Science of The Total Environment 554-555 276 292 Coastal wetland, Accretion model, LiDAR, Sea level rise 1 6 2016 2016-06-01 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.196 COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE SBI Swansea University 2017-01-30T17:05:32.7150275 2016-03-07T10:44:47.5710923 College of Science Biosciences S.E. Grenfell 1 R.M. Callaway 2 M.C. Grenfell 3 C.M. Bertelli 4 A.F. Mendzil 5 I. Tew 6 Ruth Callaway 0000-0001-9710-2940 7 Chiara Bertelli 0000-0002-9799-2522 8 Anouska Mendzil 0000-0002-3680-9958 9
title Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
spellingShingle Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
Ruth, Callaway
Chiara, Bertelli
Anouska, Mendzil
title_short Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
title_full Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
title_fullStr Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
title_full_unstemmed Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
title_sort Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?
author_id_str_mv 61d7fe28cbb286de1c9c43f45014c490
ef2a5aa98cae33d09caf7b77f6f16e71
9fb29080ec8094dddaf0233f737b948a
author_id_fullname_str_mv 61d7fe28cbb286de1c9c43f45014c490_***_Ruth, Callaway
ef2a5aa98cae33d09caf7b77f6f16e71_***_Chiara, Bertelli
9fb29080ec8094dddaf0233f737b948a_***_Anouska, Mendzil
author Ruth, Callaway
Chiara, Bertelli
Anouska, Mendzil
author2 S.E. Grenfell
R.M. Callaway
M.C. Grenfell
C.M. Bertelli
A.F. Mendzil
I. Tew
Ruth Callaway
Chiara Bertelli
Anouska Mendzil
format Journal article
container_title Science of The Total Environment
container_volume 554-555
container_start_page 276
publishDate 2016
institution Swansea University
doi_str_mv 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.196
college_str College of Science
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hierarchy_top_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Biosciences
document_store_str 0
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description Sea-level rise associated with climate change presents a major challenge to plant diversity and ecosystem serviceprovision in coastal wetlands. In this study, we investigate the effect of sea-level rise on benthos, vegetation, andecosystem diversity in a tidal wetland in west Wales, the UK. Present relationships between plant communitiesand environmental variables were investigated through 50 plots at which vegetation (species and coverage), hydrological(surface or groundwater depth, conductivity) and soil (matrix chroma, presence or absence of mottles,organic content, particle size) data were collected. Benthic communities were sampled at intervals along a continuumfrom saline to freshwater. To ascertain future changes to the wetlands' hydrology, a GIS-based empiricalmodel was developed. Using a LiDAR derived land surface, the relative effect of peat accumulation and rising sealevels were modelled over 200 years to determine how frequently portions of the wetland will be inundated bymean sea level, mean high water spring and mean high water neap conditions. The model takes into accountchanging extents of peat accumulation as hydrological conditions alter.Model results show that changes to the wetland hydrology will initially be slow. However, changes in frequencyand extent of inundation reach a tipping point 125 to 175 years from 2010 due to the extremely low slope of thewetland. From then onwards, large portions of the wetland become flooded at every flood tide and saltwater intrusionbecomes more common. This will result in a reduction in marsh biodiversity with plant communitiesswitching toward less diverse and occasionally monospecific communities that are more salt tolerant.
published_date 2016-06-01T03:46:57Z
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