Climate change implications for tidal marshes and food web linkages to estuarine and coastal nekton

Colombano, Denise D., Litvin, Steven Y., Ziegler, Shelby L., Alford, Scott B., Baker, Ronald, Barbeau, Myriam A., Cebrián, Just, Connolly, Rod M., Currin, Carolyn A., Deegan, Linda A., Lesser, Justin S., Martin, Charles W., McDonald, Ashley E., McLuckie, Catherine, Morrison, Blair H., Pahl, James W., Risse, L. Mark, Smith, Joseph A.M., Staver, Lorie W., Turner, R. Eugene, and Waltham, Nathan J. (2021) Climate change implications for tidal marshes and food web linkages to estuarine and coastal nekton. Estuaries and Coasts, 44. pp. 1637-1648.

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Abstract

Climate change is altering naturally fluctuating environmental conditions in coastal and estuarine ecosystems across the globe. Departures from long-term averages and ranges of environmental variables are increasingly being observed as directional changes [e.g., rising sea levels, sea surface temperatures (SST)] and less predictable periodic cycles (e.g., Atlantic or Pacific decadal oscillations) and extremes (e.g., coastal flooding, marine heatwaves). Quantifying the short- and long-term impacts of climate change on tidal marsh seascape structure and function for nekton is a critical step toward fisheries conservation and management. The multiple stressor framework provides a promising approach for advancing integrative, cross-disciplinary research on tidal marshes and food web dynamics. It can be used to quantify climate change effects on and interactions between coastal oceans (e.g., SST, ocean currents, waves) and watersheds (e.g., precipitation, river flows), tidal marsh geomorphology (e.g., vegetation structure, elevation capital, sedimentation), and estuarine and coastal nekton (e.g., species distributions, life history adaptations, predator-prey dynamics). However, disentangling the cumulative impacts of multiple interacting stressors on tidal marshes, whether the effects are additive, synergistic, or antagonistic, and the time scales at which they occur, poses a significant research challenge. This perspective highlights the key physical and ecological processes affecting tidal marshes, with an emphasis on the trophic linkages between marsh production and estuarine and coastal nekton, recommended for consideration in future climate change studies. Such studies are urgently needed to understand climate change effects on tidal marshes now and into the future.

Item ID: 67030
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1559-2731
Keywords: Ecosystem resilience, Multiple stressors, Seascapes, Tidal wetlands, Trophic relays
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link tothe Creative Commonslicence,and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 05:34
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