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Modeling the long-term vegetation dynamics of a backbarrier salt marsh in the Danish Wadden Sea

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dc.contributor.authorKim, Daehyun-
dc.identifier.citationJournal of Ecology and Environment, Vol.47-
dc.description.abstractBackground: Over the past three decades, gradual eustatic sea-level rise has been considered a primary exogenous factor in the increased frequency of flooding and biological changes in several salt marshes. Under this paradigm, the potential importance of shortterm events, such as ocean storminess, in coastal hydrology and ecology is underrepresented in the literature. In this study, a simulation was developed to evaluate the influence of wind waves driven by atmospheric oscillations on sedimentary and vegetation dynamics at the Skallingen salt marsh in southwestern Denmark. The model was built based on long-term data of mean sea level, sediment accretion, and plant species composition collected at the Skallingen salt marsh from 1933–2006. In the model, the submergence frequency (number yr–1) was estimated as a combined function of wind-driven high water level (HWL) events (> 80 cm Danish Ordnance Datum) affected by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in surface elevation (cm yr–1). Vegetation dynamics were represented as transitions between successional stages controlled by flooding effects. Two types of simulations were performed: (1) baseline modeling, which assumed no effect of wind-driven sea-level change, and (2) experimental modeling, which considered both normal tidal activity and wind-driven sea-level change. Results: Experimental modeling successfully represented the patterns of vegetation change observed in the field. It realistically simulated a retarded or retrogressive successional state dominated by early- to mid-successional species, despite a continuous increase in surface elevation at Skallingen. This situation is believed to be caused by an increase in extreme HWL events that cannot occur without meteorological ocean storms. In contrast, baseline modeling showed progressive succession towards the predominance of late-successional species, which was not the then-current state in the marsh. Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that variations in the NAO index toward its positive phase have increased storminess and wind tides on the North Sea surface (especially since the 1980s). This led to an increased frequency and duration of submergence and delayed ecological succession. Researchers should therefore employ a multitemporal perspective, recognizing the importance of short-term sea-level changes nested within long-term gradual trends.-
dc.publisherEcological Society of Korea-
dc.titleModeling the long-term vegetation dynamics of a backbarrier salt marsh in the Danish Wadden Sea-
dc.citation.journaltitleJournal of Ecology and Environment-
dc.contributor.affiliatedAuthorKim, Daehyun-
dc.subject.keywordAuthormarsh submergence-
dc.subject.keywordAuthorNorth Atlantic Oscillation-
dc.subject.keywordAuthorocean storminess-
dc.subject.keywordAuthorvegetation dynamics-
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