skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Temperature Across Vegetation Canopy-Water-Soil Interfaces Is Modulated by Hydroperiod and Extreme Weather in Coastal Wetlands
Environmental temperature is a widely used variable to describe weather and climate conditions. The use of temperature anomalies to identify variations in climate and weather systems makes temperature a key variable to evaluate not only climate variability but also shifts in ecosystem structural and functional properties. In contrast to terrestrial ecosystems, the assessment of regional temperature anomalies in coastal wetlands is more complex since the local temperature is modulated by hydrology and weather. Thus, it is unknown how the regional free-air temperature (T Free ) is coupled to local temperature anomalies, which can vary across interfaces among vegetation canopy, water, and soil that modify the wetland microclimate regime. Here, we investigated the temperature differences (offsets) at those three interfaces in mangrove-saltmarsh ecotones in coastal Louisiana and South Florida in the northern Gulf of Mexico (2017–2019). We found that the canopy offset (range: 0.2–1.6°C) between T Free and below-canopy temperature (T Canopy ) was caused by the canopy buffering effect. The similar offset values in both Louisiana and Florida underscore the role of vegetation in regulating near-ground energy fluxes. Overall, the inundation depth did not influence soil temperature (T Soil ). The interaction between frequency and duration of inundation, however, significantly modulated T Soil given the presence of water on the wetland soil surface, thus attenuating any short- or long-term changes in the T Canopy and T Free . Extreme weather events—including cold fronts and tropical cyclones—induced high defoliation and weakened canopy buffering, resulting in long-term changes in canopy or soil offsets. These results highlight the need to measure simultaneously the interaction between ecological and climatic processes to reduce uncertainty when modeling macro- and microclimate in coastal areas under a changing climate, especially given the current local temperature anomalies data scarcity. This work advances the coupling of Earth system models to climate models to forecast regional and global climate change and variability along coastal areas.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2025954
NSF-PAR ID:
10326056
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Marine Science
Volume:
9
ISSN:
2296-7745
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Aim

    Forest understorey microclimates are often buffered against extreme heat or cold, with important implications for the organisms living in these environments. We quantified seasonal effects of understorey microclimate predictors describing canopy structure, canopy composition and topography (i.e., local factors) and the forest patch size and distance to the coast (i.e., landscape factors).

    Location

    Temperate forests in Europe.

    Time period

    2017–2018.

    Major taxa studied

    Woody plants.

    Methods

    We combined data from a microclimate sensor network with weather‐station records to calculate the difference, or offset, between temperatures measured inside and outside forests. We used regression analysis to study the effects of local and landscape factors on the seasonal offset of minimum, mean and maximum temperatures.

    Results

    The maximum temperature during the summer was on average cooler by 2.1 °C inside than outside forests, and the minimum temperatures during the winter and spring were 0.4 and 0.9 °C warmer. The local canopy cover was a strong nonlinear driver of the maximum temperature offset during summer, and we found increased cooling beneath tree species that cast the deepest shade. Seasonal offsets of minimum temperature were mainly regulated by landscape and topographic features, such as the distance to the coast and topographic position.

    Main conclusions

    Forest organisms experience less severe temperature extremes than suggested by currently available macroclimate data; therefore, climate–species relationships and the responses of species to anthropogenic global warming cannot be modelled accurately in forests using macroclimate data alone. Changes in canopy cover and composition will strongly modulate the warming of maximum temperatures in forest understories, with important implications for understanding the responses of forest biodiversity and functioning to the combined threats of land‐use change and climate change. Our predictive models are generally applicable across lowland temperate deciduous forests, providing ecologically important microclimate data for forest understories.

     
    more » « less
  2. Site description. This data package consists of data obtained from sampling surface soil (the 0-7.6 cm depth profile) in black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) dominated forest and black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) saltmarsh along the Gulf of Mexico coastline in peninsular west-central Florida, USA. This location has a subtropical climate with mean daily temperatures ranging from 15.4 °C in January to 27.8 °C in August, and annual precipitation of 1336 mm. Precipitation falls as rain primarily between June and September. Tides are semi-diurnal, with 0.57 m median amplitudes during the year preceding sampling (U.S. NOAA National Ocean Service, Clearwater Beach, Florida, station 8726724). Sea-level rise is 4.0 ± 0.6 mm per year (1973-2020 trend, mean ± 95 % confidence interval, NOAA NOS Clearwater Beach station). The A. germinans mangrove zone is either adjacent to water or fringed on the seaward side by a narrow band of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). A near-monoculture of J. roemerianus is often adjacent to and immediately landward of the A. germinans zone. The transition from the mangrove to the J. roemerianus zone is variable in our study area. An abrupt edge between closed-canopy mangrove and J. roemerianus monoculture may extend for up to several hundred meters in some locations, while other stretches of ecotone present a gradual transition where smaller, widely spaced trees are interspersed into the herbaceous marsh. Juncus roemerianus then extends landward to a high marsh patchwork of succulent halophytes (including Salicornia bigellovi, Sesuvium sp., and Batis maritima), scattered dwarf mangrove, and salt pans, followed in turn by upland vegetation that includes Pinus sp. and Serenoa repens. Field design and sample collection. We established three study sites spaced at approximately 5 km intervals along the western coastline of the central Florida peninsula. The sites consisted of the Salt Springs (28.3298°, -82.7274°), Energy Marine Center (28.2903°, -82.7278°), and Green Key (28.2530°, -82.7496°) sites on the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Pasco County, Florida, USA. At each site, we established three plot pairs, each consisting of one saltmarsh plot and one mangrove plot. Plots were 50 m^2 in size. Plots pairs within a site were separated by 230-1070 m, and the mangrove and saltmarsh plots composing a pair were 70-170 m apart. All plot pairs consisted of directly adjacent patches of mangrove forest and J. roemerianus saltmarsh, with the mangrove forests exhibiting a closed canopy and a tree architecture (height 4-6 m, crown width 1.5-3 m). Mangrove plots were located at approximately the midpoint between the seaward edge (water-mangrove interface) and landward edge (mangrove-marsh interface) of the mangrove zone. Saltmarsh plots were located 20-25 m away from any mangrove trees and into the J. roemerianus zone (i.e., landward from the mangrove-marsh interface). Plot pairs were coarsely similar in geomorphic setting, as all were located on the Gulf of Mexico coastline, rather than within major sheltering formations like Tampa Bay, and all plot pairs fit the tide-dominated domain of the Woodroffe classification (Woodroffe, 2002, "Coasts: Form, Process and Evolution", Cambridge University Press), given their conspicuous semi-diurnal tides. There was nevertheless some geomorphic variation, as some plot pairs were directly open to the Gulf of Mexico while others sat behind keys and spits or along small tidal creeks. Our use of a plot-pair approach is intended to control for this geomorphic variation. Plot center elevations (cm above mean sea level, NAVD 88) were estimated by overlaying the plot locations determined with a global positioning system (Garmin GPS 60, Olathe, KS, USA) on a LiDAR-derived bare-earth digital elevation model (Dewberry, Inc., 2019). The digital elevation model had a vertical accuracy of ± 10 cm (95 % CI) and a horizontal accuracy of ± 116 cm (95 % CI). Soil samples were collected via coring at low tide in June 2011. From each plot, we collected a composite soil sample consisting of three discrete 5.1 cm diameter soil cores taken at equidistant points to 7.6 cm depth. Cores were taken by tapping a sleeve into the soil until its top was flush with the soil surface, sliding a hand under the core, and lifting it up. Cores were then capped and transferred on ice to our laboratory at the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida, USA), where they were combined in plastic zipper bags, and homogenized by hand into plot-level composite samples on the day they were collected. A damp soil subsample was immediately taken from each composite sample to initiate 1 y incubations for determination of active C and N (see below). The remainder of each composite sample was then placed in a drying oven (60 °C) for 1 week with frequent mixing of the soil to prevent aggregation and liberate water. Organic wetland soils are sometimes dried at 70 °C, however high drying temperatures can volatilize non-water liquids and oxidize and decompose organic matter, so 50 °C is also a common drying temperature for organic soils (Gardner 1986, "Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 1", Soil Science Society of America); we accordingly chose 60 °C as a compromise between sufficient water removal and avoidance of non-water mass loss. Bulk density was determined as soil dry mass per core volume (adding back the dry mass equivalent of the damp subsample removed prior to drying). Dried subsamples were obtained for determination of soil organic matter (SOM), mineral texture composition, and extractable and total carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) within the following week. Sample analyses. A dried subsample was apportioned from each composite sample to determine SOM as mass loss on ignition at 550 °C for 4 h. After organic matter was removed from soil via ignition, mineral particle size composition was determined using a combination of wet sieving and density separation in 49 mM (3 %) sodium hexametaphosphate ((NaPO_3)_6) following procedures in Kettler et al. (2001, Soil Science Society of America Journal 65, 849-852). The percentage of dry soil mass composed of silt and clay particles (hereafter, fines) was calculated as the mass lost from dispersed mineral soil after sieving (0.053 mm mesh sieve). Fines could have been slightly underestimated if any clay particles were burned off during the preceding ignition of soil. An additional subsample was taken from each composite sample to determine extractable N and organic C concentrations via 0.5 M potassium sulfate (K_2SO_4) extractions. We combined soil and extractant (ratio of 1 g dry soil:5 mL extractant) in plastic bottles, reciprocally shook the slurry for 1 h at 120 rpm, and then gravity filtered it through Fisher G6 (1.6 μm pore size) glass fiber filters, followed by colorimetric detection of nitrite (NO_2^-) + nitrate (NO_3^-) and ammonium (NH_4^+) in the filtrate (Hood Nowotny et al., 2010,Soil Science Society of America Journal 74, 1018-1027) using a microplate spectrophotometer (Biotek Epoch, Winooski, VT, USA). Filtrate was also analyzed for dissolved organic C (referred to hereafter as extractable organic C) and total dissolved N via combustion and oxidation followed by detection of the evolved CO_2 and N oxide gases on a Formacs HT TOC/TN analyzer (Skalar, Breda, The Netherlands). Extractable organic N was then computed as total dissolved N in filtrate minus extractable mineral N (itself the sum of extractable NH_4-N and NO_2-N + NO_3-N). We determined soil total C and N from dried, milled subsamples subjected to elemental analysis (ECS 4010, Costech, Inc., Valencia, CA, USA) at the University of South Florida Stable Isotope Laboratory. Median concentration of inorganic C in unvegetated surface soil at our sites is 0.5 % of soil mass (Anderson, 2019, Univ. of South Florida M.S. thesis via methods in Wang et al., 2011, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 174, 241-257). Inorganic C concentrations are likely even lower in our samples from under vegetation, where organic matter would dilute the contribution of inorganic C to soil mass. Nevertheless, the presence of a small inorganic C pool in our soils may be counted in the total C values we report. Extractable organic C is necessarily of organic C origin given the method (sparging with HCl) used in detection. Active C and N represent the fractions of organic C and N that are mineralizable by soil microorganisms under aerobic conditions in long-term soil incubations. To quantify active C and N, 60 g of field-moist soil were apportioned from each composite sample, placed in a filtration apparatus, and incubated in the dark at 25 °C and field capacity moisture for 365 d (as in Lewis et al., 2014, Ecosphere 5, art59). Moisture levels were maintained by frequently weighing incubated soil and wetting them up to target mass. Daily CO_2 flux was quantified on 29 occasions at 0.5-3 week intervals during the incubation period (with shorter intervals earlier in the incubation), and these per day flux rates were integrated over the 365 d period to compute an estimate of active C. Observations of per day flux were made by sealing samples overnight in airtight chambers fitted with septa and quantifying headspace CO_2 accumulation by injecting headspace samples (obtained through the septa via needle and syringe) into an infrared gas analyzer (PP Systems EGM 4, Amesbury, MA, USA). To estimate active N, each incubated sample was leached with a C and N free, 35 psu solution containing micronutrients (Nadelhoffer, 1990, Soil Science Society of America Journal 54, 411-415) on 19 occasions at increasing 1-6 week intervals during the 365 d incubation, and then extracted in 0.5 M K_2SO_4 at the end of the incubation in order to remove any residual mineral N. Active N was then quantified as the total mass of mineral N leached and extracted. Mineral N in leached and extracted solutions was detected as NH_4-N and NO_2-N + NO_3-N via colorimetry as above. This incubation technique precludes new C and N inputs and persistently leaches mineral N, forcing microorganisms to meet demand by mineralizing existing pools, and thereby directly assays the potential activity of soil organic C and N pools present at the time of soil sampling. Because this analysis commences with disrupting soil physical structure, it is biased toward higher estimates of active fractions. Calculations. Non-mobile C and N fractions were computed as total C and N concentrations minus the extractable and active fractions of each element. This data package reports surface-soil constituents (moisture, fines, SOM, and C and N pools and fractions) in both gravimetric units (mass constituent / mass soil) and areal units (mass constituent / soil surface area integrated through 7.6 cm soil depth, the depth of sampling). Areal concentrations were computed as X × D × 7.6, where X is the gravimetric concentration of a soil constituent, D is soil bulk density (g dry soil / cm^3), and 7.6 is the sampling depth in cm. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Coastal river deltas are centers of surface water nitrate processing, yet the mechanisms controlling spatio‐temporal patterns in nutrient variability are still little understood. Nitrate fluctuations in these systems are controlled by complex interactions between hydrological and biogeochemical drivers, which act together to transport and transform inorganic nutrients. Distinguishing the contributions of these drivers and identifying wetland zones where nitrate processing is occurring can be difficult, yet is critical to make assessments of nutrient removal capacity in deltaic wetlands. To address these issues, we analyze relationships among regional “external” (river discharge, tides, wind) and local “internal” (water level, temperature, turbidity, and nitrate) variables in a deltaic wetland in coastal Louisiana by coupling a process connectivity framework with information theory measures. We classify variable interactions according to whether they work uniquely, redundantly, or synergistically to influence nitrate dynamics and identify timescales of interaction. We find that external drivers work together to influence nitrate transport. Patterns of hydrological and sediment connectivity change over time due to tidal flushing and discharge variation. This connectivity influences the emergence of functional zones where local nitrate fluctuations and temperature and water level process couplings are strong controls on nitrate variability. High vegetation density decreases hydrological process connectivity, even during periods of high river discharge, but it also increases biogeochemical process connections, due to the lengthening of the hydraulic residence time. Based on these results we make recommendations for monitoring nitrate in a wetland.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Coastal wetlands represent an ecotone between ocean and terrestrial ecosystems, providing important services, including flood mitigation, fresh water supply, erosion control, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat. The environmental setting of a wetland and the hydrological connectivity between a wetland and adjacent terrestrial and aquatic systems together determine wetland hydrology. Yet little is known about regional‐scale hydrological interactions among uplands, coastal wetlands, and coastal processes, such as tides, sea level rise, and saltwater intrusion, which together control the dynamics of wetland hydrology. This study presents a new regional‐scale, physically based, distributed wetland hydrological model, PIHM‐Wetland, which integrates the surface and subsurface hydrology with coastal processes and accounts for the influence of wetland inundation on energy budgets and evapotranspiration (ET). The model was validated using in situ hydro‐meteorological measurements and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) ET data for a forested and herbaceous wetland in North Carolina, USA, which confirmed that the model accurately represents the major wetland hydrological behaviours. Modelling results indicate that topographic gradient is a primary control of groundwater flow direction in adjacent uplands. However, seasonal climate patterns become the dominant control of groundwater flow at lower coastal plain and land–ocean interface. We found that coastal processes largely influence groundwater table (GWT) dynamics in the coastal zone, 300 to 800 m from the coastline in our study area. Among all the coastal processes, tides are the dominant control on GWT variation. Because of inundation, forested and herbaceous wetlands absorb an additional 6% and 10%, respectively, of shortwave radiation annually, resulting in a significant increase in ET. Inundation alters ET partitioning through canopy evaporation, transpiration, and soil evaporation, the effect of which is stronger in cool seasons than in warm seasons. The PIHM‐Wetland model provides a new tool that improves the understanding of wetland hydrological processes on a regional scale. Insights from this modelling study provide benchmarks for future research on the effects of sea level rise and climate change on coastal wetland functions and services.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Recent studies highlight the potential of climate change refugia (CCR) to support the persistence of biodiversity in regions that may otherwise become unsuitable with climate change. However, a key challenge in using CCR for climate resilient management lies in how CCR may intersect with existing forest management strategies, and subsequently influence how landscapes buffer species from negative impacts of warming climate. We address this challenge in temperate coastal forests of the Pacific Northwestern United States, where declines in the extent of late‐successional forests have prompted efforts to restore old‐growth forest structure. One common approach for doing so involves selectively thinning forest stands to enhance structural complexity. However, dense canopy is a key forest feature moderating understory microclimate and potentially buffering organisms from climate change impacts, raising the possibility that approaches for managing forests for old‐growth structure may reduce the extent and number of CCR. We used remotely sensed vegetation indices to identify CCR in an experimental forest with control and thinned (restoration) treatments, and explored the influence of biophysical variables on buffering capacity. We found that remotely sensed vegetation indices commonly used to identify CCR were associated with understory temperature and plant community composition, and thus captured aspects of landscape buffering that might instill climate resilience and be of interest to management. We then examined the interaction between current restoration strategies and CCR, and found that selective thinning for promoting old‐growth structure had only very minor, if any, effects on climatic buffering. In all, our study demonstrates that forest management approaches aimed at restoring old‐growth structure through targeted thinning do not greatly decrease buffering capacity, despite a known link between dense canopy and CCR. More broadly, this study illustrates the value of using remote sensing approaches to identify CCR, facilitating the integration of climate change adaptation with other forest management approaches.

     
    more » « less