Ecological consequences of changing hydrological conditions in wetland forests of coastal Louisiana

  • Authors: Keim, Richard F.; Chambers, Jim L.; Hughes, Melinda S.; Nyman, J. Andrew; Miller, Craig A.; Amos, Blake J.; Conner, William H.; Day, John W.; Faulkner, Stephen P.; Gardiner, Emile S.; King, Sammy L.; McLeod, Kenneth W.; Shaffer, Gary P.
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Coastal Environment and Water Quality: 383-396

Abstract

Large-scale and localized alterations of processes affecting deltaic coastal wetlands have caused the complete loss of some coastal wetland forests and reduced the productivity and vigor of many areas in coastal Louisiana. This loss and degradation threatens ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This paper summarizes ecological relationships controlled by hydrological processes in coastal wetland forests of the Mississippi River delta and presents two case studies that illustrate the complexity of assessing hydrological control on swamp forest establishment and growth. Productivity of overstory trees has been affected by these changes, but the first case study illustrates that the relationship between flooding and growth may be site-specific. An important effect of increased flooding has been to reduce regeneration of swamp forest trees. The second case study is an outline of the kind of hydrological analysis required to assess probability of regeneration success.

  • Citation: Keim, Richard F.; Chambers, Jim L.; Hughes, Melinda S.; Nyman, J. Andrew; Miller, Craig A.; Amos, Blake J.; Conner, William H.; Day, John W., Jr.; Faulkner, Stephen P.; Gardiner, Emile S.; King, Sammy L.; McLeod, Kenneth W.; Shaffer, Gary P. 2006. Ecological consequences of changing hydrological conditions in wetland forests of coastal Louisiana. Coastal Environment and Water Quality: 383-396
  • Posted Date: December 18, 2006
  • Modified Date: May 14, 2007
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.