Publication
Title
Early indicators of tidal ecosystem shifts in estuaries
Author
Abstract
Forecasting transitions between tidal ecosystem states, such as between bare tidal flats and vegetated marshes, is crucial because it may imply the irreversible loss of valuable ecosystem services. In this study, we combine geospatial analyses of three European estuaries with a simple numerical model to demonstrate that the development of micro-topographic patterning on tidal flats is an early indicator of marsh establishment. We first show that the development of micro-topographic patterns precedes vegetation establishment, and that patterns tend to form only on tidal flats with a slope of <0.3 degrees. Numerical modelling then provides an explanation for the formation of micro-topography due to the natural concentration of draining surface water over very gentle slopes. We find this early indicator to be robust across three estuaries where anthropogenic deepening and narrowing has occurred in recent decades, which may suggest its broader applicability to other estuaries with similar morphological management.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Nature communications
Publication
2023
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/S41467-023-37444-6
Volume/pages
14 :1 (2023) , p. 1-11
Article Reference
1911
ISI
001164830900038
Pubmed ID
37024451
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Local to global variability in organic carbon dynamics in coastal marsh sediments subject to submergence by sea level rise.
Coastal marsh resilience to sea level rise: a field, flume and modelling study on the role of bio-geomo hic self-organization.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identifier
Creation 04.03.2024
Last edited 02.04.2024
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