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Open AccessArticle

Wetland Biomass and Productivity in Coastal Louisiana: Base Line Data (1976–2015) and Knowledge Gaps for the Development of Spatially Explicit Models for Ecosystem Restoration and Rehabilitation Initiatives

1
Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2
Center for Energy Studies, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
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Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, 150 Terrace Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70802, USA
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School of Geosciences and Institute for Coastal and Water Research, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
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Department of Geography and Anthropology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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U.S. Geological Survey Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102054
Received: 20 April 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
Coastal Louisiana hosts 37% of the coastal wetland area in the conterminous US, including one of the deltaic coastal regions more susceptible to the synergy of human and natural impacts causing wetland loss. As a result of the construction of flood protection infrastructure, dredging of channels across wetlands for oil/gas exploration and maritime transport activities, coastal Louisiana has lost approximately 4900 km2 of wetland area since the early 1930s. Despite the economic relevance of both wetland biomass and net primary productivity (NPP) as ecosystem services, there is a lack of vegetation simulation models to forecast the trends of those functional attributes at the landscape level as hydrological restoration projects are implemented. Here, we review the availability of peer-reviewed biomass and NPP wetland data (below and aboveground) published during the period 1976–2015 for use in the development, calibration and validation of high spatial resolution (<200 m × 200 m) vegetation process-based ecological models. We discuss and list the knowledge gaps for those species that represent vegetation community associations of ecological importance, including the long-term research issues associated to limited number of paired belowground biomass and productivity studies across hydrological basins currently undergoing different freshwater diversions management regimes and hydrological restoration priorities.
Keywords: wetland; productivity; biomass; coastal Louisiana; delta plain; Chenier Plain; Mississippi River; ecological models; wetland restoration wetland; productivity; biomass; coastal Louisiana; delta plain; Chenier Plain; Mississippi River; ecological models; wetland restoration
MDPI and ACS Style

Rivera-Monroy, V.H.; Elliton, C.; Narra, S.; Meselhe, E.; Zhao, X.; White, E.; Sasser, C.E.; Visser, J.M.; Meng, X.; Wang, H.; Xue, Z.; Jaramillo, F. Wetland Biomass and Productivity in Coastal Louisiana: Base Line Data (1976–2015) and Knowledge Gaps for the Development of Spatially Explicit Models for Ecosystem Restoration and Rehabilitation Initiatives. Water 2019, 11, 2054.

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