Chapter

Tidal Marshes in the Context of Climate Change

V. Thomas Parker, John C. Callaway, Lisa M. Schile, Michael C. Vasey and Ellen R. Herbert

in Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780520274297
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520954014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520274297.003.0006
Tidal Marshes in the Context of Climate Change

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In the Mediterranean climate of the San Francisco Bay and Delta, climate change will impact tidal wetlands in several ways, especially through increased CO2 and salt concentrations, along with higher rates of sea-level rise. The greatest impacts to plant-community composition will occur in brackish and freshwater tidal wetlands, where the majority of endemic plant species appear, and where biodiversity and productivity are highest. Plant-species diversity and ecosystem productivity across the estuary will likely decline, due to increases in estuarine salinities associated with changes in watershed runoff, with subsequent impacts on ecosystem functioning and services. Increases in sea-level rise also will threaten bay and delta tidal wetlands, especially if they are at the high end of recent predictions.

Keywords: salt marshes; brackish tidal wetlands; freshwater tidal wetlands; climate change; inundation; salinity; sea-level rise; Mediterranean climate; salinity gradient

Chapter.  5215 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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