impact of Hurricane Ivan on the primary productivity and metabolism of marsh tidal creeks in the NorthCentral Gulf of Mexico
Cebrian, Just | Foster, C. Drew | Plutchak, Rochelle | Sheehan, Kate L. | Miller, Mary-Elizabeth C. | Anton, Andrea | Major, Kelly | Heck, Kenneth L. Jr. | Powers, Sean P.
Past research has examined hurricane impacts on marine communities such as seagrass beds, coral reefs, and mangroves, but studies on how hurricanes affect marsh tidal creeks are lacking despite the important ecological roles that marsh tidal creeks have in coastal ecosystems. Here we report on the impact of Hurricane Ivan, which made landfall on September 16, 2004, on the primary productivity and metabolism of six marsh tidal creeks in the NorthCentral Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane did not seem to have any large, lasting impact on nutrient concentrations, primary productivity, metabolism, and chlorophyll a concentration in the water-column of the marsh tidal creeks. In contrast, the hurricane seemed to largely decrease gross primary productivity, net productivity, and chlorophyll a concentration in the sediment of the marsh tidal creeks. The results observed for Hurricane Ivan were coincident with those observed for four other major storms that made landfall close to the study area during 2005, Tropical Storm Arlene and Hurricanes Cindy, Dennis, and Katrina. However, the apparent negative impact of major storms on the sediment of the marsh tidal creeks did not seem to be long-lived and appeared to be dissipated within a few weeks or months after landfall. This suggests that marsh tidal creeks mostly covered with bare sediment are less disturbed by hurricanes than other types of marine communities populated with bottom-attached and/or more rigid organisms, such as seagrass meadows, coral reefs, and mangroves, where hurricane impacts can be larger and last longer.Show more [+] Less [-]