Response of Salt Marsh and Mangrove Wetlands to Changes in Atmospheric CO2, Climate, and Sea Level

Chapter

Abstract

Coastal salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated climate and climate-induced changes. We provide a review of the literature detailing theoretical predictions and observed responses of coastal wetlands to a range of climate change stressors, including CO2, temperature, rainfall, and sea-level rise. This review incorporates a discussion of key processes controlling responses in different settings and thresholds of resilience derived from experimental and observational studies. We specifically consider the potential and observed effects on salt marsh and mangrove vegetation of changes in (1) elevated [CO2] on physiology, growth, and distribution; (2) temperature on distribution and diversity; (3) rainfall and salinity regimes on growth and competitive interactions; and (4) sea level on geomorphological, hydrological, and biological processes.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U. S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research CenterLafayetteUSA
  2. 2.School of Earth and Environmental ScienceThe University of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Rivers and Wetlands UnitOffice of Environment and HeritageSydneyAustralia

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