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Differential Effects of Press Versus Pulse Saltwater Intrusion on Microbial Communities of a Tidal Freshwater Marsh

GCE members from Indiana University and the University of Georgia published an article in L&O Letters, an open access journal, invetigating the effects of press versus pulse saltwater intrusion on microbial communities of a tidal freshwater marsh.

Seawater intrusion, via episodic events and long-term sea level rise, threatens tidal freshwater marshes (TFMs) and the ecosystem services they provide. Seawater intrusion can occur across a range of timescales, due to events like storm surges or drought, or long-term rising sea level. To date, there have been no large-scale, long-term studies that address the effects of episodic versus continuous stressors on microbial communities in situ. Our multi-year SALTEx field manipulation of brackish water inputs to a TFM suggests episodic seawater intrusion, while altering the microbial community composition, does not modify it in ways that affect ecosystem functioning. In contrast, continuous seawater intrusion leads to reduced microbial diversity and activity (soil respiration, extracellular enzyme activity) leading to a diminished ability to cycle carbon.

Differential Effects of Saltwater Intrusion on Microbial Communities: LOL2020_Reprint.pdf (771kb)

(Contact Chris Craft for additional information)

submitted Nov 07, 2020


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.