Advertisement

Wetlands

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1233–1244 | Cite as

Spartina patens Productivity and Soil Organic Matter Response to Sedimentation and Nutrient Enrichment

  • Shannon Matzke
  • Tracy Elsey-QuirkEmail author
General Wetland Science

Abstract

Many coastal wetlands are subject to the combined effects of reduced sediment input and increased nutrient loads from watersheds. Restoration strategies focused on increasing marsh elevation and acreage can involve adding sediment through dredge sediment deposition or diversion of river water. It is unclear, however, how sediment inputs influence plant productivity in areas also receiving high nutrient loads. We tested the hypothesis that productivity of Spartina patens is greater with both nutrient and sediment addition than either or neither in a greenhouse experiment. Soil organic matter and nitrogen concentrations were predicted to increase with nutrient addition, but decrease with sediment addition. Plants experienced one of two levels of sediment deposition (control and 4 applications of 2 cm river silt) within either nutrient-enriched (6.96 N, 1.82 P, 1.82 K mg/L) or control tanks. Spartina patens exhibited nearly double the height, stem density, and aboveground biomass in nutrient treatments as compared to controls. Belowground biomass was also stimulated by nutrient-enrichment. Sedimentation reduced the emergence of new stems, but increased fine root biomass. Nutrient enrichment further stimulated root and rhizome growth into added surface sediment. Despite a large plant response to added nutrients, soil properties were unaffected by nutrient-enrichment.

Keywords

Salt marsh Greenhouse Belowground biomass Nitrogen Louisiana Sedimentation River diversions 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Callie Sno, Robert Denoux, Kyle Candilora, Victoria Primeaux, Noelle Primeaux, Madeline Conrad, Dalton Guidry, Garin Matzke, Allie Beyer, Maria Bilello, Andy Muench, and William Quirk for help in the field and in the greenhouse. LSU greenhouse staff, Claudette Oster and Bill Salzer provided assistance with greenhouse maintenance. We would like to thank Bayou Savage Wildlife Refuge for access to field sites. Financial support for this research was provided by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program through its Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Two anonymous reviewers gave helpful commentary and recommendations.

Supplementary material

13157_2018_1030_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)

References

  1. Anisfeld SC, Hill TD (2012) Fertilization effects on elevation change and belowground carbon balance in a long island sound tidal marsh. Estuaries and Coasts 35:201–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anisfeld SC, Tobin MJ, Benoit GB (1999) Sedimentation rates in flow-restricted and restored salt marshes in long Island sound. Estuaries 22:231–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandyopadhyay BK, Pezeshki SR, Delaune RD, Lindau CW (1993) Influence of soil oxidation-reduction potential and salinity on nutrition, N-15 uptake and growth of Spartina patens. Wetlands 13:10–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bloom AJ, Chapin FS, Mooney HA (1985) Resource limitations in plants – an economic analogy. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 16:363–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blum MD, Roberts HH (2009) Drowning of the Mississippi Delta due to insufficient sediment supply and global sea-level rise. Nature Geoscience 2:488–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bricker-Urso S, Nixon SW, Cochran JK, Hirschberg DJ, Hunt C (1989) Accretion rates and sediment accumulation in Rhode Island salt marshes. Estuaries 12:300–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caffrey JM, Murrell MC, Wigand C, McKinney R (2007) Effect of nutrient loading on biogeochemical and microbial processes in a New England salt marsh. Biogeochemistry 82:251–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Callaway JC, DeLaune RD, Patrick WH Jr (1997) Sediment accretion rates from four coastal wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Coastal Research 13:181–1997Google Scholar
  9. Chmura GL, Hung GA (2004) Controls on salt marsh accretion: a test in salt marshes of eastern Canada. Estuaries 27:70–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Civco DL, Kennard WC, Lefor MW (1986) Changes in Connecticut salt-marsh vegetation as revealed by historical aerial photographs and computer-assisted cartographics. Environmental Management 10:229–239.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01867361 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Couvillion BR, Barras JA, Steyer GD, Sleavin W, Fischer M, Beck H, Trahan N, Griffin B, Heckman D (2011) Land area change in coastal Louisiana from 1932 to 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3164, scale 1:265,000, p. 12. pamphletGoogle Scholar
  12. Craft CB, Seneca ED, Broome SW (1991) Porewater chemistry of natural and created marsh soils. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 152:187–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Craft C, Clough J, Ehman J, Joye S, Park R, Pennings S, Guo H, Machmuller (2009) Forecasting the effects of accelerated sea-level rise on tidal marsh ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7:73–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Darby FA, Turner RE (2008) Below- and aboveground biomass of Spartina alterniflora: response to nutrient addition in a Louisiana salt marsh. Estuaries and Coasts 31:326–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Davy AJ, Brown MJ, Mossman HL, Grant A (2011) Colonization of a newly developing salt marsh: disentangling independent effects of elevation and redox potential on halophytes. Journal of Ecology 99:1350–1357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Day JW, Pont D, Hensel PF, Ibañez C, Ibanez C (1995) Impacts of sea-level rise on deltas in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean: the importance of pulsing events to sustainability. Estuaries 18(4):636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Day JW Jr, Shaffer GP, Britsch LD, Reed DJ, Hawes SR, Cahoon D (2000) Pattern and process of land loss in the Mississippi Delta: a spatial and temporal analysis of wetland habitat change. Estuaries 23:425–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Day JW, Boesch DF, Clairain EJ, Kemp GP, Laska SB, Mitsch WJ, Orth K, Mashrigui H, Reed DJ, Shabman L et al (2007) Restoration of the Mississippi Delta: lessons from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Science 315:1679–1684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Day JW, Kemp GP, Reed DJ, Cahoon DR, Boumans RM, Suhayda JM, Gambrell R (2011) Vegetation death and rapid loss of surface elevation in two contrasting Mississippi delta marshes: the role of sedimentation, autocompaction, and sea-level rise. Ecological Engineerig 37:29–240Google Scholar
  20. Deegan L, 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
  21. DeLaune RD, Pezeshki SR, Pardue JH, Whitcomb JH, Patrick WH Jr (1990) Some influences of sediment addition to a deteriorating salt marsh in the Mississippi River deltaic plain: a pilot study. Journal of Coastal Research 6:181–188Google Scholar
  22. DeLaune RD, Pezeshki SR, Jugsujinda A (2005) Impact of Mississippi River freshwater reintroduction on Spartina patens marshes: responses to nutrient input and lowering of salinity. Wetlands 25:155–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ford MA, Cahoon DD, Lynch JC (1999) Restoring marsh elevation in a rapidly subsiding salt marsh by thin layer deposition of dredged material. Ecological Engineering 12:189–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fraterrigo JM, Turner MG, Pearson SM (2006) Previous land use alters plant allocation and growth in forest herbs. Journal of Ecology 94:548–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Friedrichs CT, Perry JE (2001) Tidal salt marsh morphodynamics: a synthesis. Journal of Coastal Research, SI 27:7–37Google Scholar
  26. Gallagher JL (1975) Effect of an ammonium-nitrate pulse on growth and elemental composition of natural stands of Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus. American Journal of Botany 62:644–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gleeson SK, Tilman D (1990) Allocation and the transient dynamics of succession on poor soils. Ecology 71:1144–1155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Graham SA, Mendelssohn IA (2016) Contrasting effects of nutrient enrichment on below-ground biomass in coastal wetlands. Journal of Ecology 104:249–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Grime JP (1977) Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. The American Naturalist 111:1169–1194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 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. Botanical Gazette 137:224–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hatton RS, DeLaune RD, Patrick WH Jr (1983) Sedimentation, accretion, and subsidence in marshes of Barataria Basin, Louisiana. Limnology and Oceanography 28:494–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Huxham M, Langat J, Tamooh F, Kennedy H, Mencuccini M, Skov MW, Kairo J (2010) Decomposition of mangrove roots: effects of location, nutrients, species identity and mix in a Kenyan forest. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 88:135–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kirwan ML, Megonigal JP (2013) Tidal wetland stability in the face of human impacts and sea-level rise. Nature 504:53–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kirwan ML, Murray AB (2007) A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolution. Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences USA 104:6118–6122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Long SP, Mason CF (1983) Saltmarsh ecology Balackie & Son Ltd, Glasgow, p125Google Scholar
  36. McCaffrey RJ, Thomson J (1980) A record of the accumulation of sediment and trace metals in a Connecticut salt marsh. Advances in Geophysics 22:165–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Melillo JM, Aber JD, Muratore JF (1982) Nitrogen and lignin control of hardwood leaf litter decomposition dynamics. Ecology 63(3):621–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mendelssohn IA, Kuhn NL (2003) Sediment subsidy: effects on soil-plant responses in a rapidly submerging coastal salt marsh. Ecological Engineering 21:115–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Merino JH, Huval D, Nyman AJ (2010) Implication of nutrient and salinity interaction on the productivity of Spartina patens. Wetlands Ecology and Management 18(2):111–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mudd SM (2011) The life and death of salt marshes in response to anthropogenic disturbance of sediment supply. Geology 39:511–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nyman JA, DeLaune RD, Roberts HH, Patrick WH Jr (1993) Relationship between vegetation and soil formation in a rapidly submerging coastal marsh. Marine Ecology Progress Series 98:269–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nyman JA, Walters RJ, Delaune RD, Patrick Jr WH (2006) Marsh vertical accretion via vegetative growth. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 69(3–4):370–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nyman JA, La Peyre MK, Caldwell A, Piazza S, Thom C, Winslow C (2009) Defining restoration targets for water depth and salinity in wind-dominated Spartina patens (Ait) Muhl coastal marshes. Journal of Hydrology 676:327–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ouyang X, Yip Lee S, Connolly RM (2017) The role of root decomposition in global mangrove and saltmarsh carbon budgets. Earth-Science Reviews 166:53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Patrick WH, Delaune RD (1976) Nitrogen and phosphorus utilization by Spartina alterniflora in a salt marsh in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 4(1):59–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rasse DP, Rumpel C, Dignac M-F (2005) Is soil carbon mostly root carbon? Mechanisms for specific stabilization. Plant and Soil 269:341–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Reddy KR, DeLaun RD (2008) Biogeochemistry of wetlands: science and applications. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Reimold RJ, Hardisky MA, Adams PC (1978) The effects of smothering a Spartina alterniflora salt marsh with dredged material US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC Technical Report D-78-38Google Scholar
  49. Rybczyk JM, Garson G, Day JW Jr (1996) Nutrient enrichment and decomposition in wetland ecosystems: models, analyses, and effects. Current Topics in Wetland Biogeochemistry 2:52–72Google Scholar
  50. Slocum MG, Mendelssohn IA, Kuhn NL (2005) Effects of sediment slurry enrichment on salt marsh rehabilitation: plant and soil responses over seven years. Estuaries 28:519–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Smith SM (2015) Vegetation change in salt marshes of cape cod National Seashore (Massachusetts, USA) between 1984 and 2013. Wetlands 35:127–136.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-014-0601-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Snedden GA, Cretini K, Patton B (2015) Inundation and salinity impacts to above- and belowground productivity in Spartina patens and Spartina alterniflora in the Mississippi River deltaic plain: implications for using river diversions as restoration tools. Ecological Engineering 81:133–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stagg CL, Mendelssohn IA (2011) Controls on resilience and stability in a sediment-subsidized salt marsh. Ecological Applications 21:1731–1744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sundareshwar PV, Morris JT, Koepfler EK, Fornwalt B (2003) Phosphorus limitation of coastal ecosystem processes. Science 299:563–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Swenson EM, Turner RE (1987) Spoil banks: Effects on a coastal marsh water-level regime. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 24:599–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thornley JHM (1972) A balanced quantitative model for root: shoot ratios in vegetative plants. Annals of Botany 36:431–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tobias VD, Williamson MF, Nyman JA (2014) A comparison of the elemental composition of leaf tissue of Spartina Patens and Spartina Alternifora in Louisiana’s coastal marshes. Journal of Plant Nutrition 37:1327–1344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Turner RE, Swenson EM, Milan CS (2000) Organic and inorganic contribution to vertical accretion in salt marsh sediments. In: Weinstein MP, Kreeger DA (eds) Concepts and controversies in tidal marsh ecology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp 583–595Google Scholar
  59. Van Wijnen H, Bakker J (1999) Nitrogen and phosphorus limitation in a coastal barrier salt marsh: the implications for vegetation succession. Journal Ecology 87(2):265–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Valiela I, Teal JM, Persson NY (1976) Production and dynamics of experimentally enriched salt marsh vegetation: belowground biomass. Limnology and Oceanography 21:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Valiela I, Teal JM, Allen SD, Van Etten R, Goehringer D, Volkmann S (1985) Decomposition in salt marsh ecosystems: the phases and major factors affecting disappearance of above-ground organic matter. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 89(1):29–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Watson EB, Oczkowski AJ, Wigand C, Hanson AR, Davey EW, Crosby SC, Johnson RL, Andrews HM (2014) Nutrient enrichment and precipiration changes do no enhance resiliency of salt marshes to sea level rise in the northeastern US. Climatic Change 125:501–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Watson EB, Andrews HM, Fischer A, Cencer M, Coiro L, Kelley S, Wigand C (2015) Growth and photosynthesis responses of two co-occurring marsh grasses to inundation and varied nutrients. Botany 93:671–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Weston NB (2014) Declining sediments and rising seas: an unfortunate convergence for tidal wetlands. Estuaries and Coasts 37:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wigand C, Thursby GB, McKinney RA, Santos AF (2004) Response of Sparina patens to dissolved inorganic nutrient additions in the field. Journal of Coastal Research 45:134–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wigand C, Davey E, Johnson R, Sundberg K, Morris J, Kenny P, Smith E, Holt M (2015) Nutrient effects on belowground organic matter in a minerogenic salt marsh, North Inlet, SC. Estuaries and Coasts 38(6):1838–1853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wigand C, Sundberg K, Hanson A, Davey E, Johnson R, Watson E, Morris J (2016) Varying inundation regimes differentially affect natural and sand-amended marsh sediments. PLoS One 11(10):e0164956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wong JX, Van Colen C, Airoldi L (2015) Nutrient levels modify saltmarsh responses to increased inundation in different soil types. Marine Environmental Research 104:37–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yan B, Zhonghua J, Fan B, Wang X, He G, Shi L, Liu G (2016) Plants adapted to nutrient limitation allocate less biomass into stems in an arid-hot grassland. The New Phytologist 211:1232–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of the Coast and Environment, Department of Oceanography and Coastal SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

Personalised recommendations