Advertisement

Response to: Turner, R.E., J.E. Bodker, and C. Schulz. 2017. The belowground intersection of nutrients and buoyancy in a freshwater marsh. Wetlands Ecology & Management: 1–9

  • John W. Day
  • Robert R. Lane
  • Rachael G. Hunter
  • Gary P. Shaffer
Original Paper
Turner et al. ( 2017) report on wetland degradation following introduction of secondarily-treated municipal effluent into a freshwater emergent and forested wetland in southeastern Louisiana, referred to as the Hammond assimilation wetland (HAW). They assign the cause of the wetland loss to a combination of increased decomposition and decreased soil strength due to the presence of nutrients from the effluent that led to buoyancy in the marsh soil. They do not, however, discuss or even cite two other papers that have examined the same wetland and have come to different conclusions (Shaffer et al. 2015; Lane et al. 2015), specifically that nutria herbivory was the main cause of the wetland deterioration (Fig.  1), or a workshop in October 2016 where these issues were discussed in detail. Most importantly, the authors fail to mention or consider that the wetland vegetation began to recover as soon as nutria control was implemented (Fig.  2), though with a different species assemblage most...

Keywords

Treatment wetlands Soil strength Nutria Wetland restoration 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by Comite Resources, Inc., which received funding from the City of Hammond. John W. Day, Robert R. Lane, and Rachael G. Hunter acknowledge in the manuscript that they carried out both ecological baseline studies and routine monitoring as employees of Comite Resources, Inc.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

JWD, RRL, and RGH acknowledge that they carried out both ecological baseline studies and routine monitoring as employees of Comite Resources (comiteres.com), which received funding from the City of Hammond, however no funds from the city were used for this work.

References

  1. Allen Y (2016) Remote sensing of the North Joyce Wetlands from 1952 to 2015. Wetland Assimilation Workshop. Oct 25–26, 2015. Hammond LouisianaGoogle Scholar
  2. Anisfeld SC, Hill TD (2012) Fertilization effects on elevation change and belowground carbon balance in a Long Island Sound tidal marsh. Estuaries Coasts 35:201–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodker JE, Turner RE, Tweel A, Schulz C, Swarzenski C (2015) Nutrient-enhanced decomposition of plant biomass in a freshwater wetland. Aquat Bot 127:44–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brantley CG, Day JW, Lane RR, Hyfield E, Day JN, Ko J-Y (2008) Primary production, nutrient dynamics, and accretion of a coastal freshwater forested wetland assimilation system in Louisiana. Ecol Eng 34:7–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buresh RJ, DeLaune RD, Patrick W (1980) Nitrogen and phosphorus distribution and utilization by Spartina alternaflora in a Louisiana Gulf Coast marsh. Estuaries 3:111–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carrell CE (2009) Assembly rules and hurricane induced wetland habitat-state change. Master’s Thesis. Southeastern Louisiana University, p 84Google Scholar
  7. Darby FA, Turner RE (2008a) Below- and aboveground Spartina alterniflora production in a Louisiana salt marsh. Estuaries Coast 31:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Darby FA, Turner RE (2008b) Below- and aboveground biomass of Spartina alterniflora: response to nutrient addition in a Louisiana salt marsh. Estuaries Coasts 31:326–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darby FA, Turner RE (2008c) Effects of eutrophication on salt marsh root and rhizome accumulation. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 363:63–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Day J, Ko J-Y, Rybczyk J, Sabins D, Bean R, Berthelot G, Brantley C, Breaux A, Cardoch L, Conner W, Courville C, Day J, Englande A, Feagley S, Hyfield E, Lane R, Lindsey J, Mistich J, Mitsch W, Reyes E, Twilley R, Yáñez-Arancibia A, Zhang X (2004) The use of wetlands in the Mississippi Delta for wastewater assimilation: a review. Ocean Coast Manag 47:671–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Day JW, Westphal A, Pratt R, Hyfield E, Rybczyk J, Kemp GP, Day JN, Marx B (2006) Effects of long-term municipal effluent discharge on the nutrient dynamics, productivity, and benthic community structure of a tidal freshwater forested wetland in Louisiana. Ecol Eng 27:242–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Day J, Lane R, Moerschbaecher M, DeLaune R, Mendelssohn I, Baustian J, Twilley R (2013) Vegetation and soil dynamics of a Louisiana estuary receiving pulsed Mississippi River water following Hurricane Katrina. Estuaries Coasts 36:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Day JW, DeLaune RD, White JR, Lane RR, Hunter RG, Shaffer GP (2018a) Can denitrification explain coastal wetland loss: a review of case studies in the Mississippi Delta and New England. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 213:294–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Day JW, Hunter RG, Lane RR, Shaffer GP, Day JN (2018b) Long-term assimilation wetlands in coastal Louisiana: review of monitoring data and management. Ecol Eng 2:3.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.09.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deegan LA, Johnson DS, Warren RS, Peterson BJ, Fleeger JW, Fagherazzi S, Wollheim WM (2012) Coastal eutrophication as a driver of salt marsh loss. Nature 490:388–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Evers DE, Sasser CE, Gosselink JG, Fuller DA, Visser JM (1998) The impact of vertebrate herbivores on wetland vegetation in Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana. Estuaries 21:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ford MA, Grace JB (1998a) The interactive effects of fire and herbivory on a coastal marsh in Louisiana. Wetlands 18:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ford MA, Grace JB (1998b) Effects of vertebrate herbivores on soil processes, plant biomass, litter accumulation and soil elevation changes in a coastal marsh. J Ecol 86:974–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fox L, Valiela I, Kinney EL (2012) Vegetation cover and elevation in long-term experimental nutrient-enrichment plots in Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh, Cape Cod, Massachusetts: implications for eutrophication and sea level rise. Estuaries Coasts 35:445–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Geho EM, Campbell D, Keddy PA (2007) Quantifying ecological filters: the relative impact of herbivory, neighbors, and sediment on an oligohaline marsh. Oikos 116:1006–1016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gough L, Grace JB (1998a) Herbivore effects on plant species density at varying productivity levels. Ecology 79:1586–1594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gough L, Grace JB (1998b) Effects of flooding, salinity and herbivory on coastal plant communities, Louisiana, United States. Oecologia 117:527–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Graham SA, Mendelssohn IA (2014) Coastal wetland stability maintained through counterbalancing accretionary responses to chronic nutrient enrichment. Ecology 95:3271–3283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haines BL, Dunn EL (1976) Growth and resource allocation responses of Spartina alterniflora loisel to three levels of NH4-N, Fe and NaCl in solution culture. Bot Gaz 137:224–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harrison A, Latter P, Walton D (1988) Cotton strip assay: An index of decomposition in soils. ITE Symposium no. 24. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Grange-Over-Sands, Great Britain. 176 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Hesse ID, Day J, Doyle T (1998) Long-term growth enhancement of baldcypress (Taxodium Distichum) from municipal wastewater application. Environ Manage 22:119–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hillmann E, Henkel T, Lopez J, Baker D (2015) Recommendations for restoration: Central Wetlands Unit, Louisiana. Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, New Orleans, p 69Google Scholar
  28. Hillmann ER, Shaffer GP, Wood WB, Day JW, Day J, Mancuso J, Lane RR, Hunter RG (2018) Above-and belowground response of baldcypress and water tupelo seedlings to variable rates of nitrogen loading: mesocosm and field studies. Ecol Eng.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.08.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hunter RG, Day JW, Lane RR, Lindsey J, Day JN, Hunter MG (2009a) Impacts of secondarily treated municipal effluent on a freshwater forested wetland after 60 years of discharge. Wetlands 29:363–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hunter RG, Lane RR, Day JW, Lindsey J, Day JN, Hunter MG (2009b) Nutrient removal and loading rate analysis of Louisiana forested wetlands assimilating treated municipal effluent. Environ Manage 44:865–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hunter R, Day JW, Shaffer G, Lane R, Englande A, Reimers R, Kandalepas D, Wood W, Day JN, Hillmann E (2016) Restoration and management of a degraded swamp and freshwater marsh in coastal Louisiana. Water 8(3):71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hunter RG, Day JW, Lane RR, Shaffer GP, Day JN, Conner WH, Rybczyk JM, Mistich JA, Ko J-Y (2018) Using natural wetlands for municipal effluent assimilation: a half-century of experience for the Mississippi River Delta and surrounding environs. In: Nagabhatla N, Metcalfe CD (eds) Multifunctional wetlands. Springer, Cham, pp 15–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ialeggio JS, Nyman JA (2014) Nutria grazing preference as a function of fertilization. Wetlands 34:1039–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Izdepski CW, Day JW, Sasser CE, Fry B (2009) Early floating marsh establishment and growth dynamics in a nutrient amended wetland in the lower Mississippi delta. Wetlands 29:1004–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kearney MS, Riter JCA, Turner RE (2011) Freshwater river diversions for marsh restoration in Louisiana: twenty-six years of changing vegetative cover and marsh area. Geophys Res Lett 38:L16405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Keeland BD, Draugelis-Dale RO, Darville R, McCoy JW (2011) Effects of herbivory and flooding on reforestation of baldcupress (Taxodium distichum [L.] saplings planted in Caddo Lake, Texas. Tex J Sci 63:47–68Google Scholar
  37. Lane RR, Day JW, Shaffer GP, Hunter RG, Day JN, Wood WB, Settoon P (2015) Hydrology and water budget analysis of the East Joyce wetlands: past history and prospects for the future. Ecol Eng 87:34–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McFalls TB, Keddy PA, Campbell D, Shaffer G (2010) Hurricanes, floods, levees, and nutria: vegetation responses to interacting disturbance and fertility regimes with implications for coastal wetland restoration. J Coast Res 26:901–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mendelssohn I, Slocum M (2004) Relationship between soil cellulose decomposition and oil contamination after an oil spill at Swanson Creek, Maryland. Mar Pollut Bull 48:359–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mendelssohn I, Sorrell B, Brix H, Schierup H, Lorenzen B, Maltby E (1999) Controls on soil cellulose decomposition along a salinity gradient in a Phragmites australis wetland in Denmark. Aquat Bot 64:381–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Morris JT, Bradley PM (1999) Effects of nutrient loading on the carbon balance of coastal wetland sediments. Limnol Oceanogr 44:699–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Morris JT, Shaffer GP, Nyman JA (2013) Brinson review: perspectives on the influence of nutrients on the sustainability of coastal wetlands. Wetlands 33:975–988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Morris JT, Nyman JA, Shaffer GP (2014) The influence of nutrients on the coastal wetlands of the Mississippi delta. In: Day JW, Kemp GP, Freemen AM, Muth DP (eds) Perspectives on the restoration of the Mississippi Delta. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Morton R, Barras J (2011) Hurricane impacts on coastal wetlands: a half-century record of storm-generated features from southern Louisiana. J Coast Res 26:27–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ravit B, Ehrenfeld J, Häggblom M, Bartels M (2007) The effects of drainage and nitrogen enrichment on Phragmites australis, Spartina alterniflora, and their root-associated microbial communities. Wetlands 27:915–927CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reddy KR, DeLaune RD (2008) Biogeochemistry of wetlands: science and applications. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sasser CE, Holm GO, Visser JM, Swenson EM (2004) Thin-mat floating marsh enhancement demonstration project, TE-36. Final Report to Louisiana Department of Natural Resources by Coastal Ecology Institute, School of the Coast & Environment. Louisiana State University, Baton RougeGoogle Scholar
  48. Sasser CE, Holm GO, Evers-Hebert E, Shaffer GP (2018) The nutria in Louisiana: a current and historical perspective. In: Day J, Erdman J (eds) Mississippi Delta restoration. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 39–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shaffer GP, Sasser CE, Gosselink JG, Rejmanek M (1992) Vegetation dynamics in the emerging Atchafalaya Delta, Louisiana, USA. J Ecol 80:677–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shaffer GP, Wood WB, Hoeppner SS, Perkins TE, Zoller J, Kandalepas D (2009) Degradation of Baldcypress-Water Tupelo Swamp to marsh and open water in southeastern Louisiana, USA: an irreversible trajectory? J Coast Res 54:152–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shaffer GP, Day JW, Hunter RG, Lane RR, Lundberg CJ, Wood WB, Hillman ER, Day JN, Strickland E, Kandalepas D (2015) System response, nutria herbivory, and vegetation recovery of a wetland receiving secondarily-treated effluent in coastal Louisiana. Ecol Eng 79:120–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Slocum M, Roberts J, Mendelssohn I (2009) Artist canvas as a new standard for the cotton-strip assay. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 172:71–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Smith C, DeLaune R, Patrick W (1982) Nitrate reduction in Spartina alterniflora marsh soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46:748–750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Steinmuller HE, Graham SA, White JR, McKee M, Mendelssohn IA (2016) A decadal-scale nutrient loading study in a coastal wetland: impacts on soil microbial processes. Ecol Eng 97:58–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Swarzenski CM, Doyle TW, Fry B, Hargis TG (2008) Biogeochemical response of organic-rich freshwater marshes in the Louisiana delta plain to chronic river water influx. Biogeochemistry 90:49–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Turner R (2010) Beneath the salt marsh canopy: loss of soil strength with increasing nutrient loads. Estuaries Coasts 34:1084–1093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Turner RE, Bodker JE, Schulz C (2017) The belowground intersection of nutrients and buoyancy in a freshwater marsh. Wetl Ecol Manag: 1–9Google Scholar
  58. Valiela I, Teal JM, Persson NY (1976) Production and dynamics of experimentally enriched salt marsh vegetation: belowground biomass. Limnol Oceanogr 21:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Verhoeven J, Whigham D, van Logtestijn R, O’Neill J (2001) A comparative study of nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in tidal and non-tidal riverine wetlands. Wetlands 21:210–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weller MO, Bossart JL (2017) Insect community diversity tracks degradation and recovery of a wastewater assimilation marsh in southeast Louisiana. Wetlands 37:661–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wigand CP, Brennan M, Stolt M Holt, Ryba S (2009) Soil respiration rates in coastal marshes subject to increasing watershed nitrogen loads in southern New England, USA. Wetlands 29:952–963CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhang Y, Wang L, Xie X, Huang L, Wu Y (2013) Effects of invasion of Spartina alterniflora and exogenous N deposition on N2O emissions in a coastal salt marsh. Ecol Eng 58:77–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Day
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert R. Lane
    • 1
  • Rachael G. Hunter
    • 1
  • Gary P. Shaffer
    • 3
  1. 1.Comite Resources, Inc. (CRI)Baton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, College of the Coast & EnvironmentLouisiana State University (LSU)Baton RougeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesSoutheastern Louisiana University (SELU)HammondUSA

Personalised recommendations