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Decomposition of plant litter in Pacific coast tidal marshes, 2014-2015


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Janousek, C.N., Buffington, K.J., Guntenspergen, G.R., Thorne, K.M., Dugger, B.D., and Takekawa, J.Y., 2017, Decomposition of plant litter in Pacific coast tidal marshes, 2014-2015: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Decomposition of plant matter is one of the key processes affecting carbon cycling and storage in tidal wetlands. In this study, we evaluated the effects of factors related to climate change (temperature, inundation) and vegetation composition on rates of litter decay in seven tidal marsh sites along the Pacific coast. In 2014 we conducted manipulative experiments to test inundation effects on litter decay at Siletz Bay, OR and Petaluma marsh, CA. In 2015 we studied decay of litter in high and low elevation marshes at seven Pacific coast sites. These data support the following publication: Janousek, C.N., Buffington, K.J., Guntenspergen, G.R. et al. Ecosystems (2017). doi:10.1007/s10021-017-0111-6.

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A02_4189 SIL low marsh by CNJ.JPG
“Siletz marsh in Oregon. Photographer: Christopher N. Janousek (OSU)”
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These data were collected to help evaluate the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on decomposition of organic matter in Pacific Coast tidal marshes.


The authors of these data require that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Siletz marsh in Oregon. Photographer: Christopher N. Janousek (OSU)
Siletz marsh in Oregon. Photographer: Christopher N. Janousek (OSU)


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  • Southwest CASC
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  • USGS Western Ecological Research Center



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DOI doi:10.5066/F70P0X6C

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