Title

Nearshore Sediment Comparisons Among Natural, Living, and Armored Shorelines In Mobile Bay, Alabama

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-19-2021

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

This study was conducted to compare the sediment parameters of 2 project sites located near Dauphin Island, AL, which each contained a natural shoreline (NS), a living shoreline (LS), and a hardened shoreline (HS) treatment. We collected sediment core samples from the shallow intertidal zone along 3 replicate transects and sectioned them into shallow (0–15 cm) and deep (16–30 cm) fractions. We analyzed sediment subsamples for bulk density, sediment grain size, total carbon, total nitrogen, and extractable phosphorus. At both project sites, HS sediments contained significantly more sand (>90% percent) and higher bulk density than NS and LS sediments. The HS sediments also contained significantly less C and N than the LS and NS. These data suggest that LS treatments over time facilitate conditions that favor organic-matter rich and fine-grained sediments and approach the conditions found in the NS, in contrast to HS sediments that become less suitable for marsh development. These sediment changes in LS treatmnts promote habitat conditions that help facilitate marsh expansion and thereby provide important habitat for estuarine dependent wildlife.

Publication Title

Southeastern Naturalist

Volume

20

Issue

1

First Page

135

Last Page

151

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