Mycorrhizal Biogeophysical Distribution in Response to Dike Removal

Authors: Elinore Webb*, Portland State University
Topics: Physical Geography, Coastal and Marine, Biogeography
Keywords: coastal wetlands, arbuscular mycorrhizae, dike-removal, sea-level rise
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Astor Ballroom I, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Coastal wetlands are highly productive and provide essential ecosystem services, such as improved water quality and mitigation to possible climate change, but uncertainties exist about tidal marsh resiliency to accelerated sea-level rise under increased rates of inundation from sea level rise. Diking of estuarine wetlands to reduce tidal influence has been an extensive practice throughout Oregon, but it causes extensive biogeophysical fragmentation. Salt marsh arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) has the potential to increase salt and flooding tolerance to plants by influencing nutrient exchange and plant distribution in salt marshes. The objective of this study was to assess the correspondence between the occurrence of AMF root colonization in the rhizosphere of Distichlis spicata along an elevation gradient in an un-diked area and a dike removal area of the Salmon River Estuary. Mapping of the dynamic soil and mycelium spatial patterns was used to determine the current and to predict the likely future AMF distributions as wetland migration landward continues due sea level rise. This research is important to inform environmental management for continued dike removal and wetland restoration especially due to present conditions of accelerating sea-level rise. These biogeomorphic processes will be crucial to the resilience of west coast salt marshes.

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