Hurricanes, Floods, Levees, and Nutria: Vegetation Responses to Interacting Disturbance and Fertility Regimes with Implications for Coastal Wetland Restoration

McFalls, T.B., P.A. Keddy, D. Campbell and G. Shaffer

Publication Date:

A primary cause of wetland loss in the Louisiana coastal zone has been the construction of flood control levees along the Mississippi River. These levees restrict the inputs of freshwater, nutrients, and sediment that historically replenished these wetlands. Wetland loss is compounded by other factors such as storms, introduced herbivores, and saltwater intrusion. How do such simultaneous changes in fertility and disturbance regimes affect the vegetation of coastal wetlands? Will proposed restoration strategies, such as freshwater diversions and protection from herbivores, increase the productivity and accretion rates of coastal wetlands without sacrificing plant species diversity?

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Coastal Research