Coastal Marsh Dieback (Brown Marsh)
Sudden marsh dieback events have occurred in coastal marshes from the Northern Gulf of Mexico to Maine over the last decade. One of the most severe events occurred in 2000, where over 100,000 ha of salt marsh were impacted throughout Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta Plain. In 2009 Louisiana experienced another episode of large-scale coastal dieback that rivaled the peak dieback conditions from earlier in the decade. The cause of sudden marsh dieback is still under debate but may be cyclical depending on interactive climate conditions, sea level anomalies, and other biotic factors. NWRC scientists have been engaged in field and laboratory studies to contribute our best understanding of possible causal mechanisms and management implications of sudden marsh dieback on long-term marsh resiliency and vulnerability to climate change.
Research: Understanding the Cause and Extent of Salt Marsh Dieback