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Incorporating future change into current conservation planning: evaluating wetland migration along the Gulf of Mexico under alternative sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios


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Enwright, N.M., Griffith, K.T., and Osland, M.J., 2015, Incorporating future change into current conservation planning—Evaluating tidal saline wetland migration along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 969,


In the next 100 years, accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) and urbanization will greatly modify coastal landscapes across the globe. More than one-half of coastal wetlands in the contiguous United States are located along the Gulf of Mexico coast. In addition to supporting fish and wildlife habitat, these highly productive wetlands support many ecosystem goods and services including storm protection, recreation, clean water, and carbon sequestration. Historically, tidal saline wetlands (TSWs) have adapted to sea-level fluctuations through lateral and vertical movement on the landscape. As sea levels rise in the future, some TSWs will adapt and migrate landward in undeveloped low-lying areas where migration corridors exist; however, where [...]

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In this study, we quantified the potential for tidal saline wetland (i.e., mangrove forests, salt marshes, and salt flats) landward migration along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative future SLR scenarios and urban growth projections. Collectively, our approach and findings provide useful information for environmental planners working to develop future-focused adaptation strategies for conserving coastal landscapes and wetland ecosystem goods and services.


Acknowledgement of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) as a data source would be appreciated in products developed from these data. Such acknowledgement as is standard for citation and legal practices for data sources is expected by users of these data. Sharing new data layers developed directly from the data would be appreciated by the WARC staff. Users should be aware that comparison with other datasets for the same area from other time periods may be inaccurate because of inconsistencies resulting from changes in mapping conventions, data collection procedures, and computer processes over time. These data have been approved for release by the USGS. Although these data have been subjected to rigorous review and are substantially complete, the USGS reserves the right to revise the data pursuant to further analysis and review. Furthermore, these data are released on condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from its authorized or unauthorized use.


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  • LC MAP - Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal
  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • South Central CASC



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doi unknown doi:10.5066/F7NK3C3D

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