Community Interactions That Affect Nutrient Dynamics in Salt Marshes: Lessons for Habitat Restoration

EPA Grant Number: U915399
Title: Community Interactions That Affect Nutrient Dynamics in Salt Marshes: Lessons for Habitat Restoration
Investigators: Boyer, Katharyn E.
Institution: University of California - Los Angeles
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $77,522
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology and Ecosystems


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) gain an understanding of how complex community relationships in coastal salt marshes affect nutrient dynamics; and (2) use this understanding to improve habitat restoration and pollution management.


I am examining the interactions of four groups of organisms in the low to midintertidal zone of southern California salt marshes: vascular plants, macroalgae, microalgae, and benthic invertebrates. In a series of field and greenhouse experiments, I am assessing the relative importance of representatives within these groups on nutrient partitioning within the biotic and abiotic compartments of the community. Experiments include the use of isotope labeling techniques to trace the fate of nutrients in the systems. Numerical approximation techniques will be used to combine the different components of salt marsh nutrient cycling in a simulation model.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, salt marsh, restoration, macroalgae, microalgae, California, CA, invertebrate, sediment, community ecology, benthic invertebrates, vascular plants, habitat restoration, pollution management, nutrient partitioning, biotic, abiotic, isotope labeling, nutrients., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, exploratory research environmental biology, Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Chemistry, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Biochemistry, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, nutrient dynamics, stess response, salt marshes, Enteromorpha intestinalis, structuring ecological communities, Cerithidea californica (California horn snail), Salicornia virginica (pickleweed), ecological communities, competition in ecological communities, Pachygrapsus crassipes (lined shore crab)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final