Do plants really reduce salt marsh erosion in Galveston Bay

dc.acquisition-srcen_US
dc.call-noen_US
dc.contract-noen_US
dc.contributor.authorFeagin, Ren_US
dc.contributor.authorLozada-Bernard, Sen_US
dc.contributor.authorRavens, Ten_US
dc.contributor.otherProceedings of the Eighth Biennial State of the Bay Symposium January 23-25, 2007en_US
dc.date.accessioned2010-02-15T16:46:37Z
dc.date.available2010-02-15T16:46:37Z
dc.date.issuedJan. 24, 2007en_US
dc.degreeen_US
dc.description[np]en_US
dc.description-otheren_US
dc.description.abstractThe results of this study challenge our conception of the traditional paradigm that plant roots directly prevent erosion along the coast. Previous studies have focused solely upon the ability of above-ground plant stems and leaves to reduce wave forces in the water column, yet these studies have ignored the physical mechanism that results in the majority of salt marsh erosion in Galveston Bay- undercutting of the marsh edge by waves. To investigate marsh edge erosion, we placed extracted marsh cores into a wave flume and sent waves at them. The waves simulated a typical windy 24 hour period in Galveston Bay. We tested for differences in erosion rates between cores with plants and without plants, for differences among plant species, and for differences in soil types. The results showed that the soil type was the master variable that determined the erosion rate, rather than the plants. In particular, bulk density and sediment particle size provided the best predictors for erosion rate. The presence of plants or live plant roots made no significant difference upon the erosion rate. Rather than the living plants and roots, we suggest that it is the indirect input of plant detritus in the form of finely-grained organic particles that lends cohesiveness to the soil, along with the associated changes in bulk density and particle size. As plant-produced detritus becomes incorporated into the matrix, the soil becomes less dense, finer, and more resistant to erosion. Thus, plants do not directly reduce erosion, but do so indirectly through modification of the soil parameters. Of all the extracted cores that we tested, the dense, coarse, inorganic, and sandy sediment from the terraces at Galveston Island State Park (a restored salt marsh) eroded the quickest. This study is important because it suggests that salt marsh restoration efforts should place the highest priority upon getting the soil right.en_US
dc.description.urien_US
dc.geo-codeGalveston Bayen_US
dc.history1-16-09 kswen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1969.3/18599
dc.latitudeen_US
dc.locationNot available in house - Please contact GBIC for assistanceen_US
dc.longitudeen_US
dc.notesen_US
dc.placeen_US
dc.publisherGalveston Bay Estuary Programen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries10116.00en_US
dc.relation.urihttp://gbic.tamug.edu/gbeppubs/sobviii/sobviii_rpr.htm#Feaginen_US
dc.scaleen_US
dc.seriesen_US
dc.subjecterosionen_US
dc.subjectmarsh coresen_US
dc.subjectmarsh edgeen_US
dc.subjectmarsh restorationen_US
dc.subjectplant rootsen_US
dc.subjectsoil typesen_US
dc.subjectwavesen_US
dc.titleDo plants really reduce salt marsh erosion in Galveston Bayen_US
dc.typeCONFen_US
dc.universityen_US
dc.vol-issueen_US

Files