Tidal Saline Wetland Regeneration of Sentinel Vegetation Types in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: An Overview
Tidal saline wetlands in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) are dynamic and frequently disturbed systems that provide myriad ecosystem services. For these services to be sustained, dominant macrophytes must continuously recolonize and establish after disturbance. Macrophytes accomplish this regeneration through combinations of vegetative propagation and sexual reproduction, the relative importance of which varies by species. Concurrently, tidal saline wetland systems experience both anthropogenic and natural hydrologic alterations, such as levee construction, sea-level rise, storm impacts, and restoration activities. These hydrologic alterations can affect the success of plant regeneration, leading to large-scale, variable changes in ecosystem structure and function. This review describes the specific regeneration requirements of four dominant coastal wetland macrophytes along the NGoM (Spartina alterniflora, Avicennia germinans, Juncus roemerianus, and Batis maritima) and compares them with current hydrologic alterations to provide insights into potential future changes in dominant ecosystem structure and function and to highlight knowledge gaps in the current literature that need to be addressed.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Jones, S.F., K.W. Krauss, C.L. Stagg, M.W. Hester. 2016. Tidal saline wetland regeneration of sentinel vegetation types in the northern Gulf of Mexico: an overview. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 174: A1-A10. Invited review & featured on cover. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2016.02.010