Purpose and significance of the study: Salt marshes are dynamic environments, increasing in vertical elevation and migrating, often landward, as sea level rises. With sea level rise greater than marsh elevation increase, marshes can be submerged, marsh soils become waterlogged, and plant growth becomes stressed, often resulting in conversion of vegetation-dominated marsh to mudflat or open water habitat. Given that the rate of sea level rise is expected to accelerate over the next century and that some marshes in the northeast are becoming submerged (e.g., Jamaica Bay, NY), it is important to understand the processes that control marsh development. More specifically, the objectives of this project were to quantify vertical marsh elevation change in relation to recent rates of sea-level rise and to investigate factors or processes that are most influential in controlling the development and maintenance of Fire Island salt marshes.
Additional publication details
Federal Government Series
Evaluation of marsh development processes at Fire Island National Seashore: Recent and historic perspectives