The frequency of hurricane landfall in a given coastal stretch may play a more important role in the ecology of coastal forests than previously thought because of direct and indirect impacts of fallen trees and the introduction of salt water that lingers long after the storm passes. Findings show that surge events can inundate interior freshwater forests many miles from the coast and elevate soil salinities twofold to threefold. These elevated salinities may contribute to delayed mortality of certain tree species and set the stage for eventual forest decline and dieback.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Wind damage and salinity effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on coastal baldcypress forests of Louisiana: Chapter 6F in Science and the storms-the USGS response to the hurricanes of 2005