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Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 20th Biennial ConferenceEstuaries and Coasts in a Changing World1-5 November 2009, Portland, Oregon, USA

Topic: Marsh

SCI-210: Ecology of Coastal Marshes

Convener: Rui Santos (rosantos@ualg.pt)

SCI-048: Anthropogenic Impacts on the Health and Survival of Tidal Wetlands.

Conveners: Matthew Kirwan (mkirwan@usgs.gov) and Brian Silliman (brs@uf.edu)

In this session, we will explore how humans impact the diversity, health, and long-term survival of tidal wetlands. For example, upstream land-use and the presence of dams control rates of sediment delivery, while elevated CO2 and its influence on climate impact both the rate at which sea level rises, and patterns of vegetation growth. Anthropogenic effects may be positive (e.g., nutrient loading increasing plant productivity and rate of elevation change) or negative (e.g., geese and snail herbivory denuding substrate and increasing erosion). Contributions will focus on historical, modern and future impacts at spatial scales ranging from an individual marsh to global wetland distributions, and provide recommendations for mitigation.

SCI-080: Geographic Variability in the Nursery Function of Coastal Salt Marshes.

Conveners: Lawrence Rozas (lawrence.rozas@noaa.gov), Cuizhang Fu (czfu@fudan.edu.cn) and Ronnie Baker (ronnie.baker@noaa.gov)

Coastal salt marshes occur in temperate and tropical regions around the globe. Today, they are widely recognized as important nursery areas for the young of fishery species. Most of the research supporting this nursery role function, however, is geographically restricted to a relatively small portion of North America. Recent investigations, both within and outside the U.S., show significant regional differences in the nursery function of salt marshes. This session will present examples and provide a forum for describing the nursery function of salt marsh systems from various regions of the world and discussing how these systems support fishery populations.

SCI-039: Response of Wetlands to Rising Sea Level: Past, Present and Future.

Conveners: Zoe Hughes (zoeh@bu.edu), Steven Pennings (spennings@uh.edu) and Christopher Craft (ccraft@indiana.edu)

Coastal wetlands are sensitive to sea level change. Increased inundation and intrusion of salinity affects marsh hydrology, sedimentology and ecology; feedbacks between these factors are complex. Rates of sea level rise (SLR) are expected to accelerate over the next century. Responses of coastal wetlands to past sea level changes can be inferred from stratigraphy; contemporaneous studies of wetlands are documenting active responses to SLR; and modeling approaches help predict effects of future SLR on coastal wetlands. In this joint session sponsored by SWS and CERF, we invite speakers to discuss past, present and future responses of coastal wetlands to SLR.

SCI-094: Tidal Freshwater Marshes: Impacts and Response to a Changing Environment.

Conveners: Chris Swarth (RPSWAR96@aacounty.org) and Patricia Delgado (pdelgado@dnr.state.md.us)

Two hundred years of intense development have reduced many tidal freshwater marshes in the United States to scattered remnants. Today the best examples are found along the East Coast. Mounting pressure from development and land use practices - leading to increased sediment and nutrient loads, hydrological alterations, etc. - in addition to invasive species and potential impacts from climate change (particularly salt water intrusion and sea level rise), continue to threaten these productive ecosystems. Presentations in this session will address some of the main issues currently affecting tidal freshwater marshes and associated fauna while also providing the latest information on their status, restoration, protection, and management efforts around the country.

© 2009 Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation
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