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Interactive effects of vegetation and sediment properties on erosion of salt marshes in the Northern Adriatic Sea
Lo, V.B.; Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J.; Van Colen, C.; Airoldi, L. (2017). Interactive effects of vegetation and sediment properties on erosion of salt marshes in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Mar. Environ. Res. 131: 32-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.09.006
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136; e-ISSN 1879-0291, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Erosion; Saltmarsh; Spartina spp; Eutrophication; Coastal defence; Coastal protection; Wave mesocosm; Coastal ecosystem services

Authors  Top 
  • Lo, V.B.
  • Bouma, T.J., more
  • van Belzen, J., more
  • Van Colen, C., more
  • Airoldi, L.

Abstract
    We investigated how lateral erosion control, measured by novel photogrammetry techniques, is modified by the presence of Spartina spp. vegetation, sediment grain size, and the nutrient status of salt marshes across 230 km of the Italian Northern Adriatic coastline. Spartina spp. vegetation reduced erosion across our study sites. The effect was more pronounced in sandy soils, where erosion was reduced by 80% compared to 17% in silty soils. Erosion resistance was also enhanced by Spartina spp. root biomass. In the absence of vegetation, erosion resistance was enhanced by silt content, with mean erosion 72% lower in silty vs. sandy soils. We found no relevant relationships with nutrient status, likely due to overall high nutrient concentrations and low C:N ratios across all sites. Our results contribute to quantifying coastal protection ecosystem services provided by salt marshes in both sandy and silty sediments.

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