Impact of Mississippi River freshwater reintroduction on Spartina patens marshes: Responses to nutrient input and lowering of salinity

Research paper by Ronald D. DeLaune, S. Reza Pezeshki, Aroon Jugsujinda

Indexed on: 01 Mar '05Published on: 01 Mar '05Published in: Wetlands


Greenhouse studies using soil-plant plugs extracted from a Spartina patens marsh receiving diverted Mississippi River water shows that lowring of salinity and increased nutrient input associated with freshwater reintroduction into Louisiana estuaries will enhance nutrient uptake and biomass production of wiregrass (Spartina patens). Biomass production doubled in response to the addition of 10g N m−2. A salinity-nutrient interaction was shown. Plants grown in fertilized treatments at 0 ppt had significantly greater biomass production than plants grown under fertilized treatment and 8 ppt salinity. However, a significantly greater amount of biomass was measured in both fertilized treatments (0 and 8 ppt) as compared to control. Lowering of salinity alone also stimulated plant growth. Results demonstrated that proposed reintroduction of Mississippi River water into Spartina patens marshes of Breton Sound should enhance plant growth and improve marsh stability.