Soil elevation change in mangrove forests and marshes of the greater Everglades: A regional synthesis of surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) data
Coastal wetlands adapt to rising seas via feedbacks that build soil elevation, which lead to wetland stability. However, accelerated rates of sea-level rise can exceed soil elevation gain, leading to wetland instability and loss. Thus, there is a pressing need to better understand regional and landscape variability in rates of wetland soil elevation change. Here, we conducted a regional synthesis of surface elevation change data from mangrove forests and coastal marshes in the iconic Greater Everglades region of south Florida (USA). We integrated data from 51 sites in which a total of 122 surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) stations were installed. Several of these sites have been periodically monitored since the 1990s and are among the oldest SET-MH datasets in the world. Rates of surface elevation change ranged from −9.8 to 15.2 mm year−1, indicating some wetlands are keeping pace with sea-level rise while others are at risk of submergence and conversion to open water. Vertical accretion rates ranged from 0.6 to 12.9 mm year−1, and subsurface change rates ranged from −13.5 to 8.6 mm year−1. Rates of surface elevation change were positively related to subsurface change but not vertical accretion. There were no significant relationships between rates of surface elevation change and elevation (NAVD 88) or rates of sea-level rise. Site-specific examples indicate that hurricanes, plant productivity, hydrologic exchange, and proximity to sediment and nutrient inputs are critical but confounding drivers of surface elevation change dynamics in the Greater Everglades region. Collectively, our results reinforce the value of long-term SET-MH data that incorporate spatial variability for advancing understanding of surface elevation change dynamics in coastal wetlands.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Soil elevation change in mangrove forests and marshes of the greater Everglades: A regional synthesis of surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) data|
|Series title||Estuaries and Coasts|
|Contributing office(s)||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|