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Rising water levels and the future of southeastern Louisiana swamp forests

Estuaries

By:
,
DOI: 10.2307/1351909

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Abstract

An important factor contributing to the deterioration of wetland forests in Louisiana is increasing water levels resulting from eustatic sea-level rise and subsidence. Analyses of long-term water level records from the Barataria and Verret watersheds in southeastern Louisiana indicate an apparent sea level rise of about 1-m per century, mainly the result of subsidence. Permanent study plots were established in cypress-tupelo stands in these two watersheds. The tree, water level, and subsidence data collected in these plots were entered into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicea??s FORFLO bottomland hardwood succession model to determine the long-term effects of rising water levels on forest structure. Analyses were made of 50a??100 years for a cypress-tupelo swamp site in each basin and a bottomland hardwood ridge in the Verret watershed. As flooding increased, less flood tolerant species were replaced by cypress-tupelo within 50 years. As flooding continued, the sites start to become nonforested. From the test analyses, the FORFLO model seems to be an excellent tool for predicting long-term changes in the swamp habitat of south Louisiana.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Rising water levels and the future of southeastern Louisiana swamp forests
Series title:
Estuaries
DOI:
10.2307/1351909
Volume
12
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
National Wetlands Research Center
Description:
p. 318-323
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
318
Last page:
323
Number of Pages:
6