Proposed Abstract Title

Distribution of Large Woody Debris in Tidal Marshes

Presenter/Author Information

Greg HoodFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

General Habitat Topics

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Many tidal marsh restoration projects include large woody debris (LWD) supplementation, particularly in tidal channels. These projects assume that LWD plays a similar ecological and geomorphological role in tidal marshes as it does in rivers. However, in contrast to the fluvial literature, the literature on tidal marsh LWD is extremely sparse and provides no guidance on how much LWD normally occurs in tidal marshes, where it is located, how it behaves, or what its ecological and geomorphological role is. Consequently, it is unclear if restoration planners and engineers are putting too much, too little, or just the right amount of LWD in their projects, or if they are putting it in the right places and in the right manner. This contribution addresses this information gap and provide useful guidance for restoration planning and design by examining the distribution of LWD in tidal marshes of the Skagit, Snohomish, and Dosewallips river deltas. LWD distribution is affected by proximity to river distributaries, fetch, topography, vegetation, and dikes. LWD density and total length on the marsh surface scales allometrically with marsh area, while LWD density and total length in tidal channels scales negatively with channel size, except for the smallest channels which are too small to accommodate LWD.

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Distribution of Large Woody Debris in Tidal Marshes

2016SSEC

Many tidal marsh restoration projects include large woody debris (LWD) supplementation, particularly in tidal channels. These projects assume that LWD plays a similar ecological and geomorphological role in tidal marshes as it does in rivers. However, in contrast to the fluvial literature, the literature on tidal marsh LWD is extremely sparse and provides no guidance on how much LWD normally occurs in tidal marshes, where it is located, how it behaves, or what its ecological and geomorphological role is. Consequently, it is unclear if restoration planners and engineers are putting too much, too little, or just the right amount of LWD in their projects, or if they are putting it in the right places and in the right manner. This contribution addresses this information gap and provide useful guidance for restoration planning and design by examining the distribution of LWD in tidal marshes of the Skagit, Snohomish, and Dosewallips river deltas. LWD distribution is affected by proximity to river distributaries, fetch, topography, vegetation, and dikes. LWD density and total length on the marsh surface scales allometrically with marsh area, while LWD density and total length in tidal channels scales negatively with channel size, except for the smallest channels which are too small to accommodate LWD.