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Evaluating the Functional Recovery of Restored Coastal Wetland in Southern California

  • Author(s): Whitcraft, Christine R.
  • Bengt, Allen J.
  • et al.
Abstract

Within the Huntington Beach Wetlands (HBW), we hypothesized that Brookhurst and Magnolia Marshes (marsh areas isolated from tidal influence for approximately 100 years) would have significantly different physical characteristics (salinity, temperature, moisture, sediment parameters), more terrestrial plant, algal, invertebrate and microbial communities and altered food web structure from neighboring Talbert Marsh (a marsh area whose tidal connect was restored 20 years ago). In addition, we hypothesized that once Brookhurst Marsh was restored (Summer 2009), these differences would decrease and with time, resemble those of Talbert Marsh. This restoration of structure and function will occur on differing time scales; we predicted that physical parameters would quickly become similar while algal, invertebrate and microbial communities would begin to change on a month-year time scale. Changes to the plant community and the food web structure are anticipated to occur on a year-decadal time scale (beyond the funding cycle for this project).

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