COLLBORATIVE RESEARCH: RAPID: IMPACT OF DISTURBANCE FROM HURRICANE SANDY ON METHANE EMISSION AND CARBON SEQUESTRATION RATES IN NJ COASTAL WETLANDS

Project Details

Description

1311713 (Schafer), 1311796 (Jaffe), and 1311547 (Bohrer). This RAPID will evaluate the consequences on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes of ?superstorm? Sandy in a temperate urban coastal wetland in New Jersey. Ongoing experiments have already been providing baseline data for more than a year of intensive measurements of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes with the eddy covariance technique, methane fluxes with the chamber technique and below ground porewater measurements. With this baseline data, it is possible to characterize the impact Sandy had and will continue to have on the processes governing methane release and carbon dioxide emission and uptake. Advanced remote sensing analysis will be conducted to map the storm disturbance to wetland vegetation at very high resolution, and additional chamber measurements will target locations where specific types of disturbances occurred (uprooting, wind damage, flood-sediment cover). The production, emission and uptake of methane and CO2 from the wetland as a whole will be determined using eddy-covariance measurements, and the relative rates of carbon and methane cycling in specific microsites will be quantified, along a gradient of disturbance and among different vegetation types, including native and invasive vegetation. The effects of the storm, in terms of greenhouse gas budget of the wetland and its microsites from a few days to a year following the storm, will be determined. Regular monitoring of eddy flux, chamber measurements and porewater will continue longer than a year as part of an on-going CBET/ENG/NSF project. This study will provide the first report of the greenhouse gas response (including methane) of a coastal wetland to the effects of a large storm. The insight from this study could further inform the scientific and land-management communities about the role of wetlands, and the vulnerability of their ecosystem service, in terms of GHG, to storms and future climate that may include stronger and more frequent storm events. Results will be communicated to the many visitors at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) that offers a wide range of workshops and educational activities for high school students in the area and hosts research symposia with scholars from the New Jersey and New York area. Sharing the insights of this research will also be made available to the Meadowlands Commission, which is the policy arm of MERI and thus may have management implications.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date12/1/1211/30/13

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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