Soil characteristics of sediment-amended baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) swamps of coastal Louisiana

Wetlands
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Abstract

Amendments of sediment from dredging activities have played an important role in raising the elevation of sinking coastal wetlands. This study compared the soil characteristics of sediment- amended coastal swamps in the Barataria Preserve unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve with natural swamps along Bayou des Familles. The sandy sediment amendments used in the coastal forests had different soil texture and characteristics than the more organic soils of the natural swamps. Three years after the application of these sediments on the sediment-amended swamps, dewatering and compaction of the sediment had occurred but the sediment still had high salinity and bulk density, and low organic matter content. The two sediment-amended swamps differed from each other in that Site 1 had a higher elevation (mean = 25 cm higher) and drier soil than Site 2. The effects of sediment in coastal forested wetlands require separate consideration from studies of salt marshes, e.g., the weight of the sediment might damage tree roots, or the amendments might influence soil stability during storms in a different way. Generally, this study suggests that shallower depths of sediment are more likely to yield environments beneficial to these sinking baldcypress swamps in coastal Louisiana.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Soil characteristics of sediment-amended baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) swamps of coastal Louisiana
Series title Wetlands
DOI 10.1007/s13157-011-0189-0
Volume 31
Issue 4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wetlands
First page 735
Last page 744
Country United States
State Louisiana