Rising seas and sinking coastal marshes: Implications to Atlantic waterbirds

Program for the One Hundred and Eighteenth Stated Meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union in conjunction with the 19th Annual Meeting of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, Societe des Ornithologistes du Canada and the British Ornithologists' Union, August 14-19, 2000. OCLC: 45282415
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Along the mid-Atlantic U.S. coast, relative sea level rise (RSLR) is higher than the global average of 1.5-2.0 mm/yr, ranging from about 2.5 in parts of Virginia and Delaware to about 4.0 in New Jersey (Atlantic City and Sandy Hook) and near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Very few data exist on marsh elevation changes, but information from some areas in Virginia, New Jersey and New York suggest that marsh islands are not 'keeping pace' with this RSLR. We began a study in 1999 that addresses changes in sea level and marsh elevation at sites from Cape Cod to s. Virginia known to be important areas for migratory waterbirds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and seabirds. Marsh monitoring sites have been established and data on microhabitat use by birds during all 4 seasons is being collected at these sites. Species expected to be most vulnerable to RSLR in these marshes are breeding species such as Laughing Gulls, Common, Gull-billed and Forster's terns, Clapper Rails, and American Black Ducks. Most of these species are of special concern at state, regional, or national levels. We show how important this region to these species from a flyway perspective, with> 70% of all Atlantic coast Laughing Gulls and Forster's Terns nesting from New Jersey to Virginia.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Rising seas and sinking coastal marshes: Implications to Atlantic waterbirds
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Memorial University of Newfoundland
Publisher location St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 154
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Living on the Edge -- Birds 2000: Abstracts
First page 12
Last page 13
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