HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Self-organization and vegetation collapse in salt marsh ecosystems

It is a premise in ecology that undisturbed ecosystems are relatively stable, and hence that sudden changes in ecosystem are likely to result from external, mostly human influences. Johan van de Koppel, Daphne van der Wal, Jan P. Bakker, and Peter M. J. Herman present a combined theoretical and empirical study indicating that natural processes within salt-marsh ecosystems can lead to ecosystem destruction. They model salt-marsh development based on the mutually enforcing interaction between plant growth and accumulation of sediment.

Observations from Dutch salt marshes confirm the model predictions that at first, plant-sediment feedback buffers the salt marsh from the strong physical gradient that characterizes the marine-terrestrial boundary, and improves plant growth along the gradient. However, as a consequence of this process, the edge of the salt marsh and the adjacent intertidal flat becomes increasingly steep and vulnerable to wave attack. Disturbance due to for instance a storm, may induce a cascade of vegetation collapse and severe erosion on the cliff edge, leading to salt-marsh destruction. Seawards of this cliff new pioneer vegetation can develop, leading to rejuvenation of the salt marsh.

The study shows that on short timescales, natural processes improve the functioning of salt-marsh ecosystems. On longer timescales, however, the same processes increase ecosystem vulnerability and may lead to collapse of salt-marsh vegetation.


'"/>

Contact: Carrie Olivia Adams
coa@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
2-Feb-2005


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. A thesis of the UGR analyses more than 20-million-year-old vegetation to study climatic evolution
2. Fires from the past predict the vegetation of tomorrow
3. Increased dampness causes vegetation change
4. Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation
5. As world warms, vegetation changes may influence extreme weather
6. Taking the piste out of Alpine vegetation
7. Introduced foxes transformed vegetation on Aleutian Islands from lush grasslands to tundra
8. Census of Marine Life historians detail collapse of bluefin tuna population off northern Europe
9. Antarctic marine explorers reveal first biological changes after collapse of polar ice shelves
10. Climate changes, Cod collapse have altered North Atlantic ecosystems
11. Ongoing collapse of coral reef shark populations

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2014)... and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, Asia and ... do not appear to be impacting native honeybee populations ... researchers., The invasive pests include including Nosema microsporidia ... honeybees appear to be resilient to these invasive pests, ... control pests in Europe, Asia and the United States ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Current Biology on April 17 have discovered ... Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but related species ... example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia. , ... animals, Neotrogla is the only example in ... Yoshizawa from Hokkaido University in Japan. , During copulation, ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Scientists have uncovered a new way the immune system ... aid efforts to use immune cells to treat illness. ... have the immunological equivalent of "neighborhood police" specialized ... single organ, instead of an entire city, the body. ... St. Louis have shown that the liver, skin and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 3In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises 2Some immune cells defend only 1 organ 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... SAN JOSE, California , January 15, 2014 ... antibody-drug conjugates for cancer, today announced the appointment of Thomas ... Reynolds has over 20 years, development experience gained in the ... Genetics. "I am delighted to welcome Tom at ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 This webinar ... nonclinical and clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. , Regulatory ... for biosimilar drug development, however the complex nature of ... quality, safety and efficacy extremely challenging. Based on the ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... January 15, 2014 More than 5 ... about 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s ... These jaw-dropping figures have shocked many Americans into looking ... help prevent these tragic age-related cognitive disorders. Jonathan Weisman, ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... The Microcompetition with Foreign DNA theory explains ... these latent viruses is the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), and ... (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the body’s ... RA patients have high concentrations of EBV DNA in their ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2Biohack Pure Offers 5 Tips for Increasing Memory in 2014 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3
Cached News: