Photo Credit: Genevieve Noyce
modelling coastal habitats
The SMARTX team includes researchers from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Geological Survey, Duck Unlimited, and Georgia Southern University. This interdisciplinary group is working to understand the impacts of multiple ecosystem stressors (sea level rise, elevated CO2, and warming) on carbon processing in tidal wetlands. Because tidal wetlands are hotspots of biogeochemical processing, their health and extent have major implications for global carbon cycling.
At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, we are working with the Energy Earth Exascale Model (E3SM) which simulates fully coupled processes and interactions between water, energy, carbon and nutrient cycles. E3SM connects vegetation and soil dynamics through nutrient uptake, plant production, litterfall and decomposition as a function of abiotic parameters (i.e. temperature and moisture). However, E3SM is designed to characterize terrestrial and freshwater habitats and connects terrestrial and open ocean ecosystems using a single transport term, ignoring coastal dynamics. The goals of our project are to:
Parameterize a point version of E3SM to mimic coastal wetland habitats
Determine marsh plant community responses to the interacting effects of sea level rise, increased temperature, and elevated CO2.