Date of Award

4-21-2017

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Biological Science (MBioSci)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Curtis Bohlen

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Wilson

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeff Walker

Keywords

Long Reach Lane, Casco Bay Estuary

Abstract

Salt marsh vegetation plays an important role in building and maintaining elevation on the marsh surface. For marshes to persist as sea-level-rise (SLR) occurs, the marsh accretion process must increase elevation at a rate greater than or equal to the rate of SLR. If salt marshes do not maintain elevation above sea level, salt marshes will drown, and associated benefits to humans, fish, and wildlife, and their contribution to the health of estuarine and marine ecosystems will be lost. Salt tolerant plant species are adapted to frequent and prolonged periods of inundation with seawater and typically maintain elevation where they persist along the seaward edge of salt marshes. Brackish and freshwater species often occur along the marsh’s landward margins. It is not well understood how these brackish and freshwater species respond to SLR. Monitoring vegetation before and after tidal restoration can provide insight into how vegetation responds to hydrologic change and thus may help to predict response of tidal marsh vegetation to SLR. To better understand the mechanisms responsible for changes in vegetation, this study looked at the effects of increased inundation and pore water salinity on the brackish species Typha angustifolia and the freshwater species Typha latifolia one year following tidal restoration.

Included in

Biology Commons

Share

COinS