Vegetation - 2 of 3

Vegetation FAQs - 3 Found

What is the Brown Marsh phenomenon?

Sudden marsh dieback events are not uncommon and have occurred in coastal marshes from the Gulf of Mexico to Maine. Brown Marsh is a term given to the unusually rapid and extensive browning of Louisiana’s saltwater marsh grass Spartina alterniflora, commonly known as oyster grass or smooth cordgrass. One of the most severe events occurred in 2000, when over 100,000 hectares (ha) of salt marsh were impacted in Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta Plain.

The cause of sudden marsh dieback is still under debate but may be cyclical depending on interactive climate conditions, sea level anomalies, and other biotic factors.

Healthy marshes and barrier islands are important storm buffers. As marshes and barrier islands deteriorate, people and their communities are placed at increased risk from storm events. Further, the continued loss of coastal landmasses could increase the intrusion of saltwater into freshwater drinking sources.

Tags: Vegetation, Ecosystems, Marsh, Water, Coasts, Wetlands, Rivers, Streams, Measurement, Analysis, Ecology