COASTAL CRITICAL ZONE

Author: Amy Slocum

Critical Zone Collaborative Network

Climate-driven decoupling of wetland and upland biomass trends on the mid-Atlantic coast

The Kirwan group at VIMS has developed a study to systematically evaluate the dynamic association between four decades of sea-level driven coastal landscape organization and ecosystem carbon pools along the rapidly warming and receding coast of the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. By integrating observations across traditional ecosystem boundaries, the results pointed to a fundamental decoupling between negative…
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Sea level rise leading to growing number of coastal ‘ghost forests’

Ghost forests are cropping up along parts of America’s coastline, particularly along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Trees are giving way to marshes and changing the very nature of the coastline, potentially making some areas more susceptible to erosion and storm surge. To learn more, click link here.

This ecologist thinks coastal wetlands can outrun rising seas. Not everyone’s convinced

BLACKWATER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IN MARYLAND—Coastal scientist Matt Kirwan has a sense of what it’s like to flee from rising seas. More than 100 years ago, Kirwan’s great-great-grandfather owned a farm close to this sprawling wetland refuge near the Chesapeake Bay, a key annual migration stop for hundreds of thousands of geese, ducks, and other waterbirds.…
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