Growth of common brackish marsh macrophytes under altered hydrology and salinity regimes

By: , and 



Coastal marsh plants are increasingly subject to physicochemical stressors under rising sea levels, and the maintenance of marsh ecological functions can depend on the ability of individual species and communities to tolerate or adapt to altered conditions. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to identify hydrology and salinity effects on growth of three common brackish marsh macrophytes of coastal Florida, USA: Distichlis spicataJuncus roemerianus, and Spartina bakeri. The species were potted as monocultures and exposed to three salinities (0, 15, or 28 psu) and two hydrologic conditions (saturated, tidal) over 22 months. Final stem density of J. roemerianus and S. bakeri did not differ among treatments. In D. spicata, however, stem density was lowest at 28 psu and lower in tidal compared to saturated conditions. Mean stem height of all species was lowest at 28 psu. Aboveground biomass of J. roemerianus was not affected by the treatments, but in D. spicata andS. bakeri it was lowest at 28 psu. Results indicated that J. roemerianus was the most adaptable species and may, therefore, be more resilient to climate-change driven stressors. However, plant-plant interactions such as interspecific competition and facilitation can alter the response of individual species to environmental factors.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Growth of common brackish marsh macrophytes under altered hydrology and salinity regimes
Series title Wetlands
DOI 10.1007/s13157-015-0711-x
Volume 36
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Society of Wetland Scientists
Publisher location Lawrence, KS
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 10 p.
First page 11
Last page 20
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details