Salt marshes provide many critical ecosystem functions, some of which are threatened by climate change. The fate of these wetlands and the success of restorations are unknown under altered climate regimes. Climate change projections for Southern California include increasingly variable precipitation and increases in temperature. Using mini-greenhouse experimental structures, I evaluated how increased and decreased precipitation and increased temperature affected a restored high marsh berm in Southern California. Over twenty-four months, plant cover was reduced in treatments with decreased precipitation and increased temperature. At certain time points, decreased precipitation treatments had an increase in microalgae abundance potentially due to an increase in light. Again at certain time points, the invertebrate community showed an increase in abundance and diversity in combined increased temperature and increased precipitation treatments. My results emphasize the importance of plants in ameliorating harsh physical conditions and potentially in speeding the recovery of high marsh restoration.
|Advisor:||Whitcraft, Christine R.|
|Commitee:||Allen, Bengt J., Pernet, Bruno G.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Climate Change, Conservation, Natural Resource Management|
|Keywords:||Altered precipitation, California, Increased warming, Macroinvertebrates, Microalgae, Salt marsh, Variable precipitation, Vegetation|
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