Improving Coastal Management Room 201C
Jan 25, 2023 10:50 AM - 11:50 AM(America/Chicago)
20230125T1050 20230125T1150 America/Chicago Improving Coastal Management Room 201C 2023 Bays and Bayous Symposium
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The Impact of Soil Porewater Salinity and Fire Management on the Salt Marsh, Ecotone, and Forest Habitats
10:50 AM - 11:05 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 16:50:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 17:05:00 UTC
Coastal marshes are one of the most productive and intensively used ecosystems in the world, providing numerous ecosystem services that are critical to the communities that surround them and beyond. However, they are under threat due to a variety of natural and anthropogenic stressors, such as climate change and sea-level rise (SLR). SLR can cause marshes to drown, converting them to open water. Meanwhile, marshes can respond to SLR through landward migration when suitable geomorphological condition and habitat are available. This research focuses on the mechanisms that drive landward migration of salt marshes including the role of proscribed fire. The objective is to predict how soil porewater salinity and prescribed fire affect productivity of salt marsh and understory vegetation along the gradient of salt marsh-ecotone-pine savanna in the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, MS. Using Bayesian multi-level models, we found that fire management likely helps facilitate landward migration of coastal marshes by increasing productivity of salt marsh vegetation and understory vegetation in ecotone and upland forests as well as decreasing tree height growth through increased salinity stress. The findings provide insights as to how salt marshes respond to SLR and fire management.
Wei Wu
University Of Southern Mississippi, Division Of Coastal Sciences
Graham Creek Nature Preserve: Balancing Conservation, Education and Recreation
11:35 AM - 11:50 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 17:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 17:50:00 UTC
As populations flock to the Gulf Coast, conservation of habitats and headwaters are a primary goal of communities. Coastal Alabama draws drinking water from aquifers and with growing development wellhead protection is critical. Foley, one of the fastest growing cities in state, has developed a 600 acre nature preserve offering passive recreation and educational programs while preserving habitats and protecting groundwater and headwater resources. This presentation will highlight the overall goal of conservation while gathering public support through partnerships, educational opportunities, and recreation. Multiple universities have performed research in the preserve as it is an untouched headwater system that flows to a major coastal bay. The Preserve has been awarded multiple grants and donations to purchase adjacent lands and amenities including a modular large scale hydroponics operation and demonstration longleaf forest; however municipal funds cover all operational costs. Graham Creek Nature Preserve has been in operation for fifteen years demonstrating the collaboration of conservation and passive land use.
Leslie Gahagan
City Of Foley
University of Southern Mississippi, Division of Coastal Sciences
Mississippi State University
City of Foley
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