The Long-Term Effects of Hurricanes Wilma and Irma on Soil Elevation Change in Everglades Mangrove Forests
- 214 Downloads
Mangrove forests in the Florida Everglades (USA) are frequently affected by hurricanes that produce high-velocity winds, storm surge, and extreme rainfall, but also provide sediment subsidies that help mangroves adjust to sea-level rise. The long-term influence of hurricane sediment inputs on soil elevation dynamics in mangrove forests is not well understood. Here, we assessed the effects of sediment deposition during Hurricanes Wilma (2005) and Irma (2017) on soil elevation change at two mangrove forests located along the Shark and Lostmans Rivers in Everglades National Park. We used surface elevation change data from a 16-year period (2002–2018), measured with the surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) approach. At the Shark River mangrove forest, we used marker horizons and a combination of deep, shallow, and original SETs to quantify the contributions of four soil zones to net soil elevation change. Rates of elevation change were greatly influenced by storm sediments. Abrupt increases in elevation due to sediment inputs and subsurface expansion during Hurricane Wilma were followed by: (1) an initial post-hurricane period of elevation loss due to erosion of hurricane sediments and subsurface contraction; (2) a secondary period of elevation gain due primarily to accretion; and (3) an abrupt elevation gain due to new sediment inputs during Hurricane Irma. Our findings suggest that elevation change in hurricane-affected mangrove forests can be cyclical or include disjunct phases, which is critical information for advancing the understanding of wetland responses to accelerated sea-level rise given the expectation of increasing storm intensity due to climate change.
Keywordsmangrove forest hurricane sea-level rise surface elevation change accretion sediment deposition peat storm surge tropical cyclone Everglades National Park
We are grateful to Jim Lynch, Christa Walker, Greg Ward, Fara Ilami, Paul Nelson, Luz Romero, Suzanne Chwala, Matt Finn, and the many other individuals that helped develop, maintain SET sites and collect these data. We also thank the Everglades National Park staff for their permission to conduct this research (Current NPS Permit # EVER-2017-SCI-0049) and Karen McKee for comments on an earlier draft. This research was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science Program, the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, and the USGS Land Change Science Climate R&D Program. Everglades National Park sediment elevation and marker horizon data generated in this study are available at https://doi.org/10.5066/f7348hnp (Feher and others 2017). Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
- Anderson GH, Smith III TJ, Balentine KM. 2014. Land-margin ecosystem hydrologic data for the coastal Everglades, Florida, water years 1996–2012: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 853.Google Scholar
- Cahoon DR. 2003. Storms as agents of wetland elevation change: their impact on surface and subsurface sediment processes. In: Proceedings of the international conference on coastal sediments 2003.Google Scholar
- Cahoon DR, Day JW, Reed DJ. 1999. The influence of surface and shallow subsurface soil processes on wetland elevation: a synthesis. Curr Top Wetl Biogeochem 3:72–88.Google Scholar
- Cahoon DR, Guntenspergen GR. 2010. Climate change, sea-level rise, and coastal Wetlands. Natl Wetl Newsl 32:8–12.Google Scholar
- Cahoon DR, Reed DJ, Day JW, Steyer GD, Boumans RM, Lynch JC, McNally D, Latif N. 1995b. The influence of Hurricane Andrew on sediment in Louisiana coastal marshes distribution. J Coast Res 21:280–94.Google Scholar
- Callaway JC, Cahoon DR, Lynch JC. 2013. The surface elevation table–marker horizon method for measuring wetland accretion and elevation dynamics. In: DeLaune RD, Reddy KR, Richardson CJ, Megonigal JP, Eds. Methods in Biogeochemistry of Wetlands. Madison, Wisconsin: Soil Science Society of America. p 901–17.Google Scholar
- Cangialosi JP, Latto AS, Berg R. 2018. Tropical cyclone report: Hurricane Irma (AL112017).Google Scholar
- Cohen AD. 1968. The petrology of some peats of southern Florida (with special reference to the origin of coal), Ph.D. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University.Google Scholar
- Doyle TW, Smith III TJ, Robblee MB. 1995. Wind damage effects of Hurricane Andrew on mangrove communities along the southwest coast of Florida, USA. J Coast Res 159–68. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25736006.
- Duever MJ, Meeder JF, Meeder LC, McCollom JM. 1994. The climate of South Florida and its role in shaping the Everglades ecosystem. In: Davis SM, Ogden JC, Eds. Everglades: the ecosystem and its restoration. Boca Raton, FL, USA: St. Lucie Press. p 225–48.Google Scholar
- Feher LC, Osland MJ, Anderson GH. 2017. Everglades National Park sediment elevation and marker horizon data release: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7348HNP.
- Kossin JP, Hall T, Knutson T, Kunkel KE, Trapp RJ, Waliser DE, Wehner MF. 2017. Extreme storms. In: Wuebbles DJ, Fahey DW, Hibbard KA, Dokken DJ, Stewart BC, Maycock TK, Eds. Climate science special report: fourth national climate assessment, Vol. 1. Washington, DC: U.S. Global Change Research Program. p 257–76.Google Scholar
- Lynch JC, Hensel P, Cahoon DR. 2015. The surface elevation table and marker horizon technique: a protocol for monitoring wetland elevation dynamics. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCBN/NRR-2015/1078. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.Google Scholar
- Paerl HW, Bales JD, Ausley LW, Buzzelli CP, Crowder LB, Eby LA, Fear JM, Go M, Peierls BL, Richardson TL, Ramus JS. 2001. Ecosystem impacts of three sequential hurricanes (Dennis, Floyd, and Irene) on the United States’ largest lagoonal estuary, Pamlico Sound, NC. Proc Natl Acad Sci 98:5655–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- R Core Team. 2017. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org/.
- South Florida Natural Resources Center [SFNRC]. 2018. Data ForEVER dataset. Homestead, FL: Everglades National Park.Google Scholar
- Tomlinson PB. 1986. The botany of mangroves. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Wanless HR, Vlaswinkel BM. 2005. Coastal landscape and channel evolution affecting critical habitats at Cape Sable, Everglades National Park, Florida. Final Report to Everglades National Park.Google Scholar