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An Individual-Based Modeling Approach To Predict Multiple Stressor Effects on Swamp Productivity and Forest Dynamics in a Coastal LandscapeEPA Grant Number: U915960
Title: An Individual-Based Modeling Approach To Predict Multiple Stressor Effects on Swamp Productivity and Forest Dynamics in a Coastal Landscape
Investigators: Hoeppner, Susanne S.
Institution: Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
EPA Project Officer: Boddie, Georgette
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2002
Project Amount: $57,586
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Aquatic Ecosystems , Fellowship - Aquatic Ecology and Ecosystems
The Louisiana coastal zone contains large expanses of swamp forests. The majority of the swamps in the deltaic plain are in various stages of degradation because of cumulative impacts of accelerated relative sea-level rise or alterations in their hydrologic regimes. During the last four decades, many greenhouse studies of seedling responses and field studies of mature swamp forests have added to our understanding of these stressors. This modeling study seeks to synthesize the available knowledge into a process-oriented model of swamp sustainability.
The tree species of interest in this coastal landscape include water tupelo and bald cypress as dominant canopy trees and swamp red maple and green ash as midstory vegetation. The model follows the growth, reproduction, and death of individual trees of the dominant species in 1-ha plots. The plots were arranged in a 10 by 10 grid to allow for spatial gradients of the main stressors in the model, which consist of salinity, flooding, and nutrient deprivation. A sound understanding of the individual and cumulative effects of these stressors is of paramount importance to conservation and restoration efforts under consideration in Louisiana.