Hurricane wrack generates landscape-level heterogeneity in coastal pine savanna

Metadata Updated: January 29, 2020

Wrack (vegetation debris) deposited by storm surges of major hurricanes along the northern Gulf of Mexico produces depressant eff ects that vary from partial to complete mortality of groundcover vegetation in coastal savannas. As wrack decomposes or is relocated by a subsequent hurricane, patches are opened to colonization. We postulated that patterns of wrack deposition and removal, coupled with diff erential responses by savanna plant species should produce alternate states of groundcover vegetation. We explored extreme eff ects of wrack deposited by Hurricane Katrina (2005) in savannas dominated by slash pine Pinus elliottii and cordgrass Spartina patens and located above mean high tide at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mississippi, USA. In 2008, we established plots in adjacent areas with and without wrack deposits. Almost no groundcover plant species occurred in wrack deposits compared to adjacent groundcover without wrack. We simulated redistribution of wrack during a new storm surge by removing wrack from replicated plots and depositing it in plots without wrack, recording plant species in treatment and control plots before, then one month and one year after manipulations. One year later, about half the species present before wrack addition (especially dominant graminoids) grew back through redistributed wrack, suggesting that some species were resistant to burial of limited amounts of wrack. Wrack removal resulted in germination and establishment of numerous herbaceous plant species not in undisturbed groundcover, doubling total aboveground numbers of species in the pine savanna and shifting groundcover communities to alternate states not present prior to Katrina. Removal of wrack opens space colonized by resilient species, including those transported in wrack and those surviving intervals between disturbances belowground. Wrack dynamics (deposition and removal) generated alternate states that resulted from resistance- and resilience-driven changes in diff erent patches of groundcover in coastal savannas.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date January 29, 2020
Metadata Updated Date January 29, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI Open Data

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date January 29, 2020
Metadata Updated Date January 29, 2020
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_60128
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:18
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID C:\Program Files (x86)\FWS\DataStore\Application\OpenData\FWS_ServCat_v1_1.json
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Data Quality true
Harvest Object Id a221f565-9baf-43ca-b69a-7e4f3e9141d7
Harvest Source Id 5b7e4031-1e2d-428b-92e2-56554bbd7371
Harvest Source Title DOI Open Data
Data First Published 2014-04-24
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2014-04-24
Program Code 010:094, 010:028
Related Documents ""
Source Datajson Identifier true
Source Hash 08790d2e68d46f1be1bdc4aec71f1e16c8dfcd4b
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial -90.01818,30.179533,-89.69077,30.3366776
Category "Published Report"

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