The objective of this study was to determine if the placement of dredged material on sediment-starved back barrier marshes in southeastern North Carolina could offset submergence without negatively affecting function. Clean sediment was placed in thickness from 0 to 10 cm, on deteriorated and non-deteriorated marsh plots. Original stem densities were greater, in non-deteriorated plots (256 stems m−2) compared to deteriorated sites (149 stems m−2). By the second growing season (after sediment additions), stem densities in the deteriorated plots (308 stems m−2) approached levels in the non-deteriorated plots (336 stems m−2). Sediment additions to, both nos-deteriorated and deteriorated plots resulted in a higher redox potential with plots receiving the most sediment exhibiting the highest Eh values. In deteriorated plots, placement of dredged material had the greatest effect on plant density, but also affected soil oxidation-reduction potential and sediment deposition (or mobility). Following sediment placement, substrate texture and composition incrementally returned to prefill conditions due to a combination of bioturbation and sedimentation. Where infaunal differences occurred, they were generally less abundant in deteriorated plots, but responses to sediment addition were variable. Sediment addition had little effect on the non-deteriorated plots, suggesting that the disposal of certain types of dredged material in marshes may be useful to mitigate the effects of marsh degradation without adversely affecting non-deteriorating marsh.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Becker, M. E. 1996. The effects of nutrient loading on benthic microalgal biomass and taxonomic composition. M.S. Thesis, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina.
Cahoon, D. R. andJ. H. Cowan, Jr. 1988. Environmental impacts and regulatory policy implications of spray disposal of dredged material in Lousiana wetlands.Coastal Management 16:341–362.
Cahoon, L. B., J. E. Nearhoof, andC. L. Tilton. 1999. Sediment grain size effect on benthic microalgal biomass in shallow aquatic ecosystems.Estuaries 22:735–741.
Davis, M. W. andH. Lee. 1983. Colonization of sediment-associated microalgae and effects of estuarine infauna on microalgal production.Marine Ecology Progress Series 11:227–232.
DeLaune, R. D., S. R. Pezeshki, J. H. Pardue, J. H. Whitcomb, andW. H. Patrick, 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: 181–188.
DeLaune, R. D., C. J. Smith, andW. H. Patrick, Jr. 1983. Relationship of marsh elevation, redox potential, and sulfide toSpartina alterniflora productivity.Soil Science Society of American Journal 47:930–935.
Faulkner, S. P., W. H. Patrick, Jr, andR. P. Gambrell. 1989. Field techniques for measuring wetland soil parameters.Soil Science Society of American Journal 53:883–890.
Folk, R. L. 1980. Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks, 1st edition. Hemphill Publishing, Austin, Texas.
Ford, M. A., D. R. Cahoon, andJ. C. Lynch. 1999. Restoring marsh elevation in a rapidly subsiding salt marsh by thin-layer deposition of dredged material.Ecological Engineering 12:189–205.
Freeman, Jr,D. B. 1989. The distribution and trophic significance of benthic microalgae in Masonboro Sound, North Carolina. M.S. Thesis, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina.
Frey, R. W. andP. B. Basan. 1985. Coastal salt marshes, p. 225–301.In R. A. Davis Jr. (ed.), Coastal Sedimentary Environments, 2nd edition. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Friedrichs, C. T. andJ. E. Perry. 2001. Tidal salt marsh morphodynamics.Journal of Coastal Research 27:6–36.
Hackney, C. T. andW. J. Cleary. 1987. Saltmarsh loss in southeastern North Carolina lagoons: Importance of sea level rise and inlet dredging.Journal of Coastal Research 3: 93–97.
Howes, B. L., R. W. Howarth, J. M. Teal, andI. Valiela. 1981. Oxidation-reduction potentials in a salt marsh: Spatial patterns and interactions with primary production.Limnology and Oceanography 26:350–360.
Kennett, D. M. andP. E. Hargraves. 1985. Benthic diatoms and sulfide fluctuations: Upper basin of Pettaquamscutt River, Rhode Island.Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 21:577–586.
Koning, C. O. 2004. Impacts of small amounts of sandy sediment on wetland soils and vegetation: Results from field and greenhouse studies.Wetlands 24:295–308.
Langmuir, D. 1971. Eh-pH determination, p. 597–635.In R. E. Carver (ed.), Procedures in Sedimentary Petrology, 1st edition. Interscience Publishers, New York.
Leonard, L. A. andM. E. Luther. 1997. Flow hydrodynamics in tidal marsh canopies.Limnology and Oceanography 40:1474–1484.
Mckee, K. L. andI. A. Mendelssohn. 1988.Spartina alterniflora dieback in Louisiana: Time-course investigation of soil water-logging effects.Journal of Ecology 76:509–521.
Mitsch, W. J. andJ. G. Gosselink. 1993. Wetlands, 2nd edition. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Nyman, J. A., R. D. Delaune, andW. H. Patrick, Jr. 1990. Wetland soil formation in the rapidly subsiding Mississippi River deltaic plain: Mineral and organic matter relationships.Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 31:57–69.
Posey, M. H. 1990. Functional approaches to soft-substrate communities: How useful are they?Reviews in Aquatic Science 2/3:343–356.
Reed, D. J. 1989. Patterns of sediment deposition in subsiding coastal salt marshes: The role of winter storms.Estuaries 12:222–227.
Reed, D. J. 1990. The impact of sea-level rise on coastal salt marshes.Progress in Physical Geography 14:465–481.
Sigmon, D. E. 1995. The effects of benthic microalgae on sediment nutrient fluxes. M.S. Thesis, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina.
Slocum, M. G., I. A. Mendelssohn, andN. L. Kuhn. 2005. Effect of sediment slurry enrichment on salt marsh rehabilitation: Plant and soil responses over seven years.Estuaries 28: 519–528.
Stevenson, J. C., M. S. Kearney, andE. C. Pendleton. 1985. Sedimentation and erosion in a Chesapeake Bay brackish marsh system.Marine Geology 67:213–235.
Stevenson, J. C., L. G. Ward, andM. S. Kearney. 1986. Vertical accretion in marshes with varying rates of sea level rise, p. 241–259.In D. A. Wolfe (ed.), Estuarine Variability, 1st edition. Academic Press, New York.
Whitney, D. E. andW. M. Darley. 1979. A method for the determination of chlorophylla in samples containing degradation products.Limnology and Oceanography 24:183–186.
Wilber, P. 1992a. Case studies of the thin-layer disposal of dredged material—Gull Rock, North Carolina.Environmental Effects of Dredging D-92-3.
Wilber, P. 1992b. Case studies of the thin-layer disposal of dredged material—Fowl River, Alabama.Environmental Effects of Dredging D-92-5.
About this article
Cite this article
Croft, A.L., Leonard, L.A., Alphin, T.D. et al. The effects of thin layer sand renourishment on tidal marsh processes: Masonboro Island, North Carolina. Estuaries and Coasts: J ERF 29, 737–750 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02786525
- Plant Height
- Salt Marsh
- Control Plot
- Stem Density
- Marsh Surface