Hurricanes, Floods, Levees, and Nutria: Vegetation Responses to Interacting Disturbance and Fertility Regimes with Implications for Coastal Wetland Restoration

  title={Hurricanes, Floods, Levees, and Nutria: Vegetation Responses to Interacting Disturbance and Fertility Regimes with Implications for Coastal Wetland Restoration},
  author={Tiffany B. McFalls and Paul A. Keddy and Daniel Campbell and Gary Shaffer},
Abstract A primary cause of wetland loss in the Louisiana coastal zone has been the construction of flood control levees along the Mississippi River. These levees restrict the inputs of freshwater, nutrients, and sediment that historically replenished these wetlands. Wetland loss is compounded by other factors such as storms, introduced herbivores, and saltwater intrusion. How do such simultaneous changes in fertility and disturbance regimes affect the vegetation of coastal wetlands? Will… 
Use of NDVI and Landscape Metrics to Assess Effects of Riverine Inputs on Wetland Productivity and Stability
Alterations to Louisiana’s river systems and local hydrology have resulted in reduced freshwater, sediment, and nutrient inputs to wetland landscapes, causing significant negative impacts on marsh
Top-down and sideways: Herbivory and cross-ecosystem connectivity shape restoration success at the salt marsh-upland ecotone
This work characterizes consumer effects of mammal consumers affecting salt marsh restoration success and finds extremely strong consumer effects at sites with extensive stands of exotic forbs upland of the high marsh; uncaged restoration plants suffered heavy herbivory and high mortality, while most caged plants survived.
Wetland Biomass and Productivity in Coastal Louisiana: Base Line Data (1976–2015) and Knowledge Gaps for the Development of Spatially Explicit Models for Ecosystem Restoration and Rehabilitation Initiatives
Coastal Louisiana hosts 37% of the coastal wetland area in the conterminous US, including one of the deltaic coastal regions more susceptible to the synergy of human and natural impacts causing
Using Natural Wetlands for Municipal Effluent Assimilation: A Half-Century of Experience for the Mississippi River Delta and Surrounding Environs
An assimilation wetland is a natural (non-constructed) wetland into which secondarily-treated, disinfected, non-toxic municipal effluent is discharged. In the Mississippi River Delta, the wetland is
Interactions Between Surface Water and Groundwater: Key Processes in Ecological Restoration of Degraded Coastal Wetlands Caused by Reclamation
Interactions between surface water and groundwater (SW-GW), composed of complex hydrological networks, maintain a dynamic balance between water regimes and salinity in coastal wetlands. Impacted by
Efficacy of Plastic Mesh Tubes in Reducing Herbivory Damage by the Invasive Nutria (Myocastor coypus) in an Urban Restoration Site
The results suggest that Vexar® plastic mesh tubing can be an effective short-term herbivory mitigation tool when habitat use by nutria is low, and planting functionally equivalent woody plant species that are less preferred by Nutria, and other herbivores, may be another method for reducing herbivorous damage and improving revegetation success.
The Interactive Effects of Pulsed Grazing Disturbance and Patch Size Vary among Wetland Arthropod Guilds
The disturbance effects of vegetation removal on arthropod density and community composition were stronger than patch size effects, and there were few interactions between pulsed disturbance and patch size.
Response to: Turner, R.E., J.E. Bodker, and C. Schulz. 2017. The belowground intersection of nutrients and buoyancy in a freshwater marsh. Wetlands Ecology & Management: 1–9
Turner et al. (2017) report on wetland degradation following introduction of secondarily-treated municipal effluent into a freshwater emergent and forested wetland in southeastern Louisiana, referred


Effects of flooding, salinity and herbivory on coastal plant communities, Louisiana, United States
Overall, herbivore pressure further reduced species richness and biomass under conditions of increased flooding and increased salinity, supporting other findings that coastal marsh species can tolerate increasingly stressful conditions unless another factor, e.g., herbivory, is also present.
Fire and Herbivory in a Great Salt Lake Marsh
Evidence of increased protein in vegetation responding after fire and preferential grazing was consistent with the hypothesis that wetland vertebrates select vegetation of higher nutritive quality, however, alternative hypotheses such as increased foraging efficiency in burned areas could not be dismissed.
Nutrient Trapping by Sediment Deposition in a Seasonally Flooded Lakeside Wetland
Sediment and nutrient retention was studied in a seasonally flooded lakeside wetland as a natural mechanism for preventing water quality deterioration. Both wetland and upland soils in the watershed
The influence of vegetation, salinity, and inundation on seed banks of oligohaline coastal marshes
It is found that the presence or absence of vegetation within a community affected the abundance of some species in the seed bank but had little effect on species composition, and the seed banks of the three communities exhibited considerable overlap in species composition and had similar species richness and diversity, despite differences in vegetation type.
Quantifying ecological filters: the relative impact of herbivory, neighbours, and sediment on an oligohaline marsh
Herbivory had the largest general effect of reducing biomass, but on a species-specific basis, significantly reduced the biomass of only two species, supporting the emerging view that herbivory is an important filter in coastal wetlands.
Some effects of herbivory and 30 years of weir management on emergent vegetation in Brackish Marsh
Weirs are low-level dams used in Louisiana’s coastal marshes to improve habitat quality for ducks and furbearers; however, some ecologists question whether weir management inhibits soil drainage and
The interactive effects of fire and herbivory on a coastal marsh in Louisiana
Both vertebrate herbivores and fire have long been known to have dramatic and important effects on wetland vegetation. However, the interactive effects of burning and herbivory have received less
Wetland loss in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Multiple working hypotheses
I examined four hypotheses about causes for the dramatically high coastal wetland losses (0.86% yr−1) in the northern Gulf of Mexico: an extensive dredged canal and spoil bank network, a decline in
Vegetation Patterns and Processes in New England Salt Marshes
This paper deals primarily with the origin, vegetation patterns, and productivity of southern New England marshes and the role of man's impact on them.