Geographic variation in salt marsh structure and function for Nekton: a guide to finding commonality across multiple scales

Ziegler, Shelby L., Baker, Ronald, Crosby, Sarah C., Colombano, Denise D., Barbeau, Myriam A., Cebrian, Just, Connolly, Rod M., Deegan, Linda A., Gilby, Ben L., Mallick, Debbrota, Martin, Charles W., Nelson, James A., Reinhardt, James F., Simenstad, Charles A., Waltham, Nathan J., Worthington, Thomas A., and Rozas, Lawrence P. (2021) Geographic variation in salt marsh structure and function for Nekton: a guide to finding commonality across multiple scales. Estuaries and Coasts, 44. pp. 1497-1507.

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Abstract

Coastal salt marshes are distributed widely across the globe and are considered essential habitat for many fish and crustacean species. Yet, the literature on fishery support by salt marshes has largely been based on a few geographically distinct model systems, and as a result, inadequately captures the hierarchical nature of salt marsh pattern, process, and variation across space and time. A better understanding of geographic variation and drivers of commonalities and differences across salt marsh systems is essential to informing future management practices. Here, we address the key drivers of geographic variation in salt marshes: hydroperiod, seascape configuration, geomorphology, climatic region, sediment supply and riverine input, salinity, vegetation composition, and human activities. Future efforts to manage, conserve, and restore these habitats will require consideration of how environmental drivers within marshes affect the overall structure and subsequent function for fisheries species. We propose a future research agenda that provides both the consistent collection and reporting of sources of variation in small-scale studies and collaborative networks running parallel studies across large scales and geographically distinct locations to provide analogous information for data poor locations. These comparisons are needed to identify and prioritize restoration or conservation efforts, identify sources of variation among regions, and best manage fisheries and food resources across the globe.

Item ID: 66122
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1559-2731
Keywords: salt marshes, spatial scales, environmental drivers, global networks, open science
Copyright Information: © Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2021. This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12237-020-00894-y
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 18:23
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180201 Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems @ 100%
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