The objective of this study was to experimentally evaluate the effects of simulated herbivory on the ability of a freshwater marsh plant to recover from temporary saltwater intrusion such as can be caused by tropical storms. Sods containing Sagittaria lancifolia, a dominant plant in interior coastal marshes, were manipulated in the field so as to subject plants to a pulse of 15‰ salt water for a duration of 1 wk. In addition to the exposure to salt water, some plants were also subjected to both short-term and long-term flooding treatments of 20 cm, and to simulated herbivory (clipping). Following exposure to salt water, plants were allowed to recover over the winter and were harvested the next June. Neither simulated herbivory, nor salinity, nor flooding caused any long-term effect either singly or in pairwise combinations. However, when plants were subjected to herbivory, salt water, and flooding simultaneously, reduced growth and plant death occurred. These results suggest that high levels of grazing by herbivores may increase the susceptibility of coastal marsh plants to damage from saltwater intrusion.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||The potential impact of herbivores on the susceptibility of the marsh plant Sagittaria lancifolia to saltwater intrusion in coastal wetlands|
|Contributing office(s)||National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|
|Other Geospatial||Pass Manchac|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|