Tuesday, August 9, 2016: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Grand Floridian Blrm B, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Tiffany G. Troxler, Florida International University
Lisa Windham-Myers, U. S. Geological Survey
Ariana Sutton-Grier, University of Maryland and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In both the U.S. and around the world, human populations are concentrated in coastal regions, thus benefiting from and being exposed to challenges at the land:ocean interface. Coastal wetlands perform a number of critical functions that benefit human communities at the local and global level including protection from storm surges, transformation of nutrients, habitat support for fish and wildlife, and long-term storage of organic carbon. But climate change is impacting the health and functioning of coastal wetlands in many ways. Changes in temperature, sea level, and extreme event frequency are all leading to multiple stresses that are challenging the resilience of coastal wetlands. This is in addition to other human impacts also impact coastal wetlands including nutrient pollution, coastal development, and changes in sedimentation inputs due to upstream hydrologic changes. All of these stressors are impacting the ability of coastal wetlands to sequester and store carbon, which scientists and policy makers have recently determined is a very important climate regulating function of coastal wetlands.
All these combined, stressors and the rapid changes they are leading to in coastal wetlands, make measuring and modeling the carbon cycling dynamics of coastal wetlands particularly challenging. Models at multiple spatio-temporal scales suggest a full range of projections, from marsh expansion to degradation, Specific responses to increasing global temperatures and sea level rise (SLR) may be constrained by barriers to landward migration, sediment supply, nutrient availability, and more. This session aims to consider current and historical drivers of carbon cycling in coastal wetland ecosystems, by reviewing regionally explicit responses to SLR and other natural and anthropogenic stressors with the end goal of better understanding how to monitor and manage coastal wetlands in the future in order to maintain ecosystem processes, including carbon storage. Our goal is to present a variety of papers that illustrate approaches to tackle uncertainties in carbon dynamics in human-dominated coastal ecosystems. Both site-specific and regional to national approaches will be considered.