A watershed study for wetland restoration

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Where rivers meet oceans, each cycle of the tide moves water in and out of estuaries. The mixing and mingling of fresh and briny water, combined with seasonal weather, creates a unique environment for ecosystems in coastal estuaries and upstream tidal rivers.

But what does climate change mean for these wetland communities? And how might activities such as dam operations and land development affect them?

To help answer those questions, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory‘s Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory developed a predictive framework of ecological indicators and analyses for estuarine–tidal river research and management. A decade in the making, the innovative framework provides a means for understanding how both natural and human forces govern hydrology and plant communities in these complex wetland ecosystems, now and into the future.

Associated journal article: Borde, A. B., Diefenderfer, H. L., Cullinan, V. I., Zimmerman, S. A., and Thom, R. M.. 2020. “Ecohydrology of wetland plant communities along an estuarine to tidal river gradient.” Ecosphere 11(9), e03185. 10.1002/ecs2.3185

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