IGN 22-1 - Coastal agroecosystems in transition: Saltwater intrusion and nutrient dynamics

Friday, August 11, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Katherine Tully, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Keryn Gedan, Biological Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC and Danielle Weissman, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Large swaths of farmland across the North American Coastal Plain may be subject to shallow coastal flooding and saltwater intrusion. As farm fields are abandoned due to sea-level rise, land use (both past and current) will interact with saltwater with consequences for water quality. On the lower shore of the Chesapeake Bay, sea-level rise rates are twice the global average, and centuries of farming have dramatically altered soil chemical and physical properties. Our work shows that saltwater can remobilize nitrogen and phosphorus previously bound to soils, with important implications for downstream ecosystems and water quality.