Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020NY266B

Species interactions may enhance resilience and ecosystem services within an urban living shoreline project

Institute: New York
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,681 Total Non-Federal Funds: $41,007

Principal Investigators:

Abstract: Species interactions likely enhance the stability and ecosystem services of coastal marshes, yet they remain a largely overlooked aspect of urban marsh restoration. Mutualistic interactions between ribbed mussels and plants facilitate recovery of marshes following disturbance and likely assist establishment and growth in young restored marshes. Mussels and plants can provide organic carbon and facilitate diffusion of oxygen and nitrate to sediments, creating conditions that should enhance permanent removal of nitrogen by sediment bacteria, carbon sequestration, and improve local water quality. These effects may be particularly important in young restored marsh sediments, which contain very little organic matter. Here we propose to study the addition of ribbed mussels to a living shoreline project in the Harlem River to determine the role of species interactions in promoting marsh growth/ sequestration and nitrogen-removal ecosystem services. This information will improve our ability to plan effective marsh restorations in coastal urban ecosystems.