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Coastal and Estuarine Studies

 

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COASTAL AND ESTUARINE STUDIES, VOL. 59, PP. 203-230, 2004

Responses of salt marshes to disturbance in an ecogeomorphological context, with a case study of trampling by deer

M. A. Keusenkothen


R. R. Christian


Salt marshes are subject to disturbance from a wide variety of sources including weather, biota, and human activity. The ecogeomorphology of various salt marsh communities helps to determine both the vulnerability to, and the response of, those communities to disturbance. Ecogeomorphology of salt marshes is presented in the context ecosystem states and change associated with sea-level rise. In this chapter, we first discuss disturbances to salt marshes and postulate how ecogeomorphological factors influence salt marsh community susceptibility and response to those disturbances. We then examine the effects of a particular localized type of disturbance, trampling by deer, on four different communities in a mid-Atlantic salt marsh in order to further highlight the importance of ecogeomorphology on the frequency and effects of disturbance. Trampling may slow marsh surface accretion in high and low marsh ecosystem states in different ways due to differences in ecogeomorphology.

Citation: Keusenkothen, M. A., and R. R. Christian (2004), Responses of salt marshes to disturbance in an ecogeomorphological context, with a case study of trampling by deer, in The Ecogeomorphology of Tidal Marshes, Coastal Estuarine Stud., vol. 59, edited by S. Fagherazzi, M. Marani, and L. K. Blum, pp. 203–230, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/CE059p0203.

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