Are Landscape Patterns Related to Marsh Loss Processes?

by J. A. Nyman, LSU, Baton Rouge, United States,
M. Carloss, LSU, Baton Rouge, United States,
R. D. DeLaune, LSU, Baton Rouge, United States,
W. H. Patrick, Jr., LSU, Baton Rouge, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


Marsh loss that occurs in Louisiana is seldom associated with shoreline erosion of lakes and bayous; instead, marshes break up internally. Marsh loss is attributed to processes that stress vegetation, such as salt-water intrusion or excessive flooding, and occurs in two landscape patterns. We recently studied marsh loss processes where it occurred in a hotspot pattern and in a scattered pattern. Marsh loss at the hotspot proceeded by the previously recognized process of inadequate vertical accretion, which led to excessive flooding of the marsh surface, and subsequent plant stress followed by collapse of the marsh surface and ponding. Marsh loss at the scattered site proceeded by erosion of soil below the living root zone, which is a process that has not previously been recognized as important in Louisiana.

Subject Headings: Landscaping | Coastal processes | Vegetation | Shoreline protection | Floods | Erosion | Vertical loads | Louisiana | United States

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