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USGS Pacific Tidal Marsh Soil Core Surveys

Metadata Updated: June 15, 2024

We conducted vegetation surveys concurrently with elevation surveys at every fourth elevation point (~25% of the elevation points) (Figure 5). We visually assessed percent cover of all plant species within a 0.25 m2 quadrat, and recorded the average and maximum height (measured to the nearest centimeter) of each species. Total plant cover in a plot could exceed 100% due to vegetation layering. Vascular plant nomenclature generally follows Baldwin et al. (2012) and Cook et al. (2013). We located 69 tidal wetland species in 2,154 vegetation plots across the nine estuaries in the study. Common species included Carex lyngbyei, Sarcocornia perennis, Distichlis spicata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Juncus balticus and Potentilla anserina. The frequency of several common species varied markedly across the sites. Distichlis spicata dominated the flora at five of the nine sites, but was relatively uncommon at Port Susan and Grays Harbor. Deschampsia cespitosa, a middle to high marsh tussock-forming species was frequent at the three Oregon sites and at Willapa but much less common in Puget Sound marshes. The high marsh rush, Juncus balticus, was most frequent at Siletz and absent or rare at Willapa and Padilla. Carex lyngbyei occurrence was variable regionally, ranging from >75% frequency at Bull Island to near absence at Padilla (it did not occur in any surveyed plots, but a few plants were observed at the upland margin of the site in late 2014). See appendices for detailed site specific results.We delineated marsh zones using long-term NOAA tidal data combined with our site-specific elevation and water level data and examined plant abundance in these major zones across the sites. At many sites, plant composition tended to vary by zone, but not necessarily in consistent ways across the region. For instance, at Bandon, Sarcocornia perennis was the most abundant high marsh species (with Deschampsia cespitosa most abundant in middle and low marsh), while S. perennis was the most abundant plant in low marsh at Grays Harbor (Carex spp. dominated in mid-marsh and Potentilla anserina dominated high marsh). Vertical zonation of plant assemblages was less pronounced at other sites, including Nisqually where Distichlis spicata had the highest mean cover in all three major marsh zones. Low marsh habitat was common at Bull Island, Willapa, Nisqually, and Port Susan. Common species in this zone included Sarcocornia perennis, Distichlis spicata, Carex lyngbyei, and Triglochin maritima. Middle tidal marsh was present at all of the sites and particularly common at Skokomish. Common species included all of the aforementioned taxa and Deschampsia cespitosa, Juncus balticus and Agrostis stolonifera. High marsh was only common at Bandon, Siletz, Willapa, Grays Harbor and Padilla. Common high marsh species included many species found in other zones, but also included Potentilla anserine and Atriplex prostrata. Transition zone habitat (defined as wetland flooding at least once per year but no more than once per month) was limited at most of our study sites. Zonation of individual species per site are illustrated in the respective appendices.

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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 May 31, 2023
Metadata Updated Date June 15, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date May 31, 2023
Metadata Updated Date June 15, 2024
Publisher Climate Adaptation Science Centers
Identifier b0495ca3-ae48-48c4-a5d1-d7e31ca8b804
Data Last Modified 2015-07-21
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 5f285c71-2dc8-4be6-9db3-293e96aca59c
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -124.406547,43.12466,-122.32929,48.453718
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash d7ea8acb0a9d790176f83d9bf3d8819530b66e226ea3c078f38aa52306aa875c
Source Schema Version 1.1
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