Skip to main content
Log in

Coastal dynamics and wetlands stability. The Ebro delta case

  • Lagoons and Coastal Wetlands
  • Published:
Hydrobiologia Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Coastal wetland stability and structure can be significantly affected by littoral processes when they are close to the shoreline. Thus, under certain conditions, the combination of shoreline dynamics and direct wave action during storms can influence the stability of marshes and vegetation community composition. This interaction between littoral dynamics and coastal wetlands is illustrated by analysing processes taking place in the Buda Island (Ebro delta, NW Spain), where a coastal lagoon very close to a retreating shoreline exists. Two main time scales have been found to be relevant for interaction of coastal processes with ecosystem dynamics, the decadal and episodic scales. The decadal scale determines the average trend in beach width and directly controls the potential loss of wetland surface. The episodic scale is linked to the occurrence of wave and storm surge events and it determines a pulsing stress in the ecosystem through flooding, being key parameters to determine their direct influence the intensity and repetition of these events.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • J. R. L. Allen (1997) ArticleTitleSimulation models of salt-marsh morphodynamics: Some implications for high-intertidal sediment couplets related to sealevel change Sedimentary Geology 113 211–223 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0037-0738(97)00101-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • J. R. L. Allen (2000) ArticleTitleMorphodynamics of Holocene salt marshes: A review sketch from Atlantic and Southern North sea coasts of Europe Quaternary Science Reviews 19 1155–1231 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0277-3791(99)00034-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • R. H. Baumann J. W. Day C. A. Miller (1984) ArticleTitleMississippi deltaic wetland survival: Sedimentation versus coastal submergence Science 224 1093–1095 Occurrence Handle10.1126/science.224.4653.1093 Occurrence Handle17735245

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Boesch, D. F., M. N. Josselyn, A. J. Mehta, J. T. Morris, W. K. Nuttle, C. A. Simenstad & D. J. P. Swift, 1994. Scientific assessment of coastal wetland loss, restoration and management in Louisiana. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 20, 103 pp.

  • F. Carlsson P. Frykblom C. Liljenstolpe (2003) ArticleTitleValuing wetland attributes: An application of choice experiments Ecological Economics 47 95–103 Occurrence Handle10.1016/j.ecolecon.2002.09.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • G. L. Chmura R. Costanza E. Kosters (1992) ArticleTitleModelling coastal marsh stability in response to sea level rise: A case study in Coastal Louisiana, U.S.A Ecological Modelling 64 47–64 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0304-3800(92)90049-K

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • F. A. Comín M. Menéndez E. Forés (1987) ArticleTitleSalinidad y nutrientes en las lagunas del delta del Ebro Limnética 3 1–8

    Google Scholar 

  • C. S. B. Costa C. V. Cordazzo U. Seeliger (1996) ArticleTitleShore disturbance and dune plant distribution Journal of Coastal Research 12 133–140

    Google Scholar 

  • R. Costanza R. d’Arge R. Groot Particlede S. Farber M. Grasso B. Hannon K. Limbert S. Naeem R. V. O’Neill J. Paruelo R. G. Raskin P. Sutton M. Belt Particlevan den (1997) ArticleTitleThe value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital Nature 387 253–260 Occurrence Handle10.1038/387253a0 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2sXjtlShtbs%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • R. P. Courtemanche M. W. Hester I. A. Mendelssohn (1999) ArticleTitleRecovery of a Louisiana barrier island marsh plant community following extensive hurricane-induced overwash Journal of Coastal Research 15 872–883

    Google Scholar 

  • A. Curcó C. Ibañez J. W. Day N. Prat (2002) ArticleTitleNet primary production and decomposition of salt marshes of the Ebre delta (Catalonia, Spain) Estuaries 25 309–324 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF02695976

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D’Alpaos, A., S. Lanzoni, M. Marani, S. Fagherazzi & A. Rinaldo, 2005. Tidal network ontogeny: Channel initiation and early development. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface 110, 10.1029/2004JF000182.

  • J. W. Day D. Pont P. F. Hensel C. Ibañez (1995) ArticleTitleImpacts of sea-level rise on deltas in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean: The importance of pulsing events to sustainability Estuaries 18 636–647 Occurrence Handle10.2307/1352382 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK28XitVOkuw%3D%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • J. W. Day J. F. Martin L. Cardoch P. H. Templet (1997) ArticleTitleSystem functioning as a basis for sustainable management of deltaic ecosystems Coastal Management 25 115–153

    Google Scholar 

  • Departament de Medi Ambient, 1995. Pla de gestió de l’illa de Buda (Parc natural del delta de l’Ebre). Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona.

  • R. D. Delaune S. R. Pezeshki W. H. Patrick (1987) ArticleTitleResponse of coastal plants to increase in submergence and salinity Journal of Coastal Research 3 535–546

    Google Scholar 

  • K. S. Edyvane (1999) ArticleTitleCoastal and marine wetlands in Gulf St Vincent, South Australia: Understanding their loss and degradation Wetlands Ecology and Management 7 83–104 Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1008481228129

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • L. Fahrig B. Hayden R. Dolan (1993) ArticleTitleDistribution of barrier island plants in relation to overwash disturbance: A test of life history theory Journal of Coastal Research 9 403–412

    Google Scholar 

  • M. S. Fonseca S. S. Bell (1998) ArticleTitleInfluence of physical setting on seagrass landscapes near Beaufort, North Carolina, USA Marine Ecology Progress Series 171 109–121

    Google Scholar 

  • A. O. Gabriel R. D. Kreutzwiser (2000) ArticleTitleConceptualizing environmental stress: A stress–response model of coastal sandy barriers Environmental Management 25 53–69 Occurrence Handle10552102 Occurrence Handle10.1007/s002679910005

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • J. Guillén A. Palanques (1997) ArticleTitleA historical perspective of the morphological evolution in the lower Ebro river Environmental Geology 30 174–180 Occurrence Handle10.1007/s002540050144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • P. Hensel J. W. Day SuffixJr. D. Pont J. N. Day (1998) ArticleTitleShort term sedimentation dynamics in the Rhone River Delta, France: The importance of riverine pulsing Estuaries 21 52–65 Occurrence Handle10.2307/1352546

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • J. A. Jiménez A. Sánchez-Arcilla (1993) ArticleTitleMedium-term coastal response at the Ebro Delta, Spain Marine Geology 114 105–118 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0025-3227(93)90042-T

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • J. A. Jiménez A. Sánchez-Arcilla (2004) ArticleTitleA long-term (decadal scale) evolution model for microtidal barrier systems Coastal Engineering 51 749–764 Occurrence Handle10.1016/j.coastaleng.2004.07.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • J. A. Jiménez A. Sánchez-Arcilla H. I. Valdemoro V. Gracia F. Nieto (1997) ArticleTitleProcesses reshaping the Ebro delta Marine Geology 144 59–79 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0025-3227(97)00076-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • P. A. Keddy (1982) ArticleTitleQuantifying within-lake gradients of wave energy: Interrelationships of wave energy, substrate particle size, and shoreline plants in Axe Lake, Ontario Aquatic Botany 14 41–58 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0304-3770(82)90085-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kraus, N. C. & T. V. Wamsley, 2003. Coastal barrier breaching, Part 1: Overview of breaching processes. ERDC/CHL CHETN IV-56, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg.

  • S. P. Leatherman (1979) ArticleTitleMigration of assateague Island, Maryland, by inlet and overwash processes Geology 7 104–107 Occurrence Handle10.1130/0091-7613(1979)7<104:MOAIMB>2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • H. Mase (1989) ArticleTitleRandom wave runup height on gentle slope Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering 115 649–661 Occurrence Handle10.1061/(ASCE)0733-950X(1989)115:5(649)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McFadden, L., T. Spencer & R. J. Nicholls, 2005. Identifying Vulnerable Wetland Systems: Modelling the Impact of Sea-level Rise on Large-scale Wetland Response. Proc Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2005. ASCE, Charleston, 453–465.

  • M. Menéndez O. Hernández F. A. Comín (2002) ArticleTitleSpatial distribution and ecophysiological characteristics of macrophytes in a Mediterranean Coastal Lagoon Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 55 403–413 Occurrence Handle10.1006/ecss.2001.0914 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38Xntlamt7o%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • R. M. Rolan S. L. Douglass (2005) ArticleTitleEstimating wave tolerance of Spartina alterniflora in Coastal Alabama Journal of Coastal Research 21 453–463 Occurrence Handle10.2112/03-0079.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • C. T. Roman K. F. Nordstrom (1988) ArticleTitleThe effect of erosion rate on vegetation patterns of an east coast barrier island Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 26 233–242 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0272-7714(88)90062-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • M. Ruth F. Pieper (1994) ArticleTitleModeling spatial dynamics of sea-level rise in a coastal area System Dynamics Review 10 375–389

    Google Scholar 

  • A Sallenger (2000) ArticleTitleStorm impact scale for barrier islands Journal of Coastal Research 16 890–895

    Google Scholar 

  • A. Sánchez-Arcilla J. A. Jiménez (1994) ArticleTitleBreaching in a wave-dominated barrier spit: The Trabucador bar (NE Spanish Coast) Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 19 483–498

    Google Scholar 

  • J. A. Stallins A. J. Parker (2003) ArticleTitleThe influence of complex systems interactions on barrier island dune vegetation pattern and process Annals of the Association of American Geographers 93 3–29 Occurrence Handle10.1111/1467-8306.93102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • R. A. Schwimmer J. E. Pizzuto (2000) ArticleTitleA model for the evolution of marsh shorelines Journal of Sedimentary Research 70 1026–1035 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXotVWks7c%3D

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Valdemoro, H. I., 2005. La influencia de la morfodinámica en los usos y recursos costeros. Ph. D. thesis. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona.

  • Valdemoro, H. I., J. A. Jiménez & A. Sánchez-Arcilla, 1999. Vulnerability: Evaluating the consequences of coastal changes. An application to deltaic coasts. Coastal Sediments’99, ASCE: 1450–1461.

  • Valdemoro, H. I., J. A. Jiménez & A. Sánchez-Arcilla, 2001. Vulnerability of Wetlands to Coastal Changes. A Methodological Approach with Application to the Ebro delta. Ecosystem and Sustainable Development III. Advances in Ecological Science Series n. 10, WIT Press: 595–604.

  • S. J. Williams G. W. Stone A. E. Burruuss (1997) ArticleTitleA perspective on the Louisiana wetland loss and coastal erosion problem Journal of Coastal Research 13 593–594

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Herminia I. Valdemoro.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Valdemoro, H.I., Sánchez-Arcilla, A. & Jiménez, J.A. Coastal dynamics and wetlands stability. The Ebro delta case. Hydrobiologia 577, 17–29 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-006-0414-7

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-006-0414-7

Keywords

Navigation