Stress Physiology and Water Use of Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands and Mangroves of the Southeastern United States
By Ken W. Krauss
U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center,
Lafayette, Louisiana USA
29 July 2010, 4pm
Seminar room 1 (S2-04-11) (see map)
Block S2, Level 4
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
About the speaker – Dr. Ken W. Krauss is a Research Physiological Ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Ken’s current research focuses on the effects of different climate change phenomena on mangroves and tidal freshwater forested wetlands in the southeastern United States. Ken focuses on whole-tree physiological stress with flooding and saltwater intrusion, and the consequences of that stress on stand-level water budgeting. Ken also focuses on the vulnerability of coastal swamp forests to sea-level rise, and on how science can inform management of wetlands within the coastal zone. Research ranges from the influence of crabs in structuring coastal forested wetland ecosystems to discerning the relative balance of greenhouse gas emissions from tidal freshwater swamps.
Ken’s talk today will focus on differential vulnerability of mangroves to sea-level rise and disturbance, contrast two different types of mangrove ecosystems (i.e., high island versus atoll), and describe studies that attempt to understand the local effects of root and plantation density in affecting sedimentation and elevation change.
About the talk – Sea-level rise and anthropogenic activity promote salinity incursion into tidal freshwater forested wetlands, while hydrological modifications have altered the structure and function of many mangrove wetlands along sub-tropical coastlines of the Americas. Most of our understanding of the stress physiology of these ecosystems comes from decades of research on seedlings and saplings, often within controlled environments. While these data are important, scaling responses to mature trees and stands is decidedly more difficult without measuring trees within targeted field settings.
In this seminar, I will describe a series of studies from two tidal ecosystems along the southeastern United States coast that attempt not only to relate stress responses to individual trees, but also to relate the consequences of that stress to stand-level water budgeting. These data are important to consider for engineers charged with budgeting water resources, and are useful for furthering our general understanding of the interface between the ecology of a forest and water movement through an ecosystem