Tidal marsh restoration enhances sediment accretion and carbon accumulation in the Stillaguamish River estuary, Washington
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Tidal marsh restoration enhances sediment accretion and carbon accumulation in the Stillaguamish River estuary, Washington

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  • Journal Title:
    PLOS ONE
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    Tidal marshes have been recognized globally for their ability to sequester “blue carbon” but there is still a need for studies investigating the marsh response to restoration, particularly in the Pacific Northwest United States. Here we report carbon stocks and accumulation rates for restored and natural tidal marshes in the Stillaguamish River estuary in Puget Sound, Washington, where a 60-hectare marsh was reintroduced to the tidal regime from its previous use as diked and drained farmland. We found that the restoration not only maximized carbon accumulation but also enhanced resilience to rising sea levels. Four years after restoration, mean sediment carbon stocks in the upper 30 cm within the restored marsh (4.43 kg C m-2) were slightly lower than those measured in the adjacent natural marshes (5.95 kg C m-2). Mean carbon accumulation rates, however, were nearly twice as high in the restored marsh (230.49 g C m-2 yr-1) compared to the natural marshes (123.00 g C m-2 yr-1) due to high rates of accretion in the restored marsh (1.57 cm yr-1). Mean elevation change rates were nearly twice that of corresponding 210Pb accretion rates, but all were greater than the current rate of sea level rise.
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    PLOS ONE, 16(9), e0257244
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    1932-6203
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    CC BY
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    Library
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