Community dynamics in restored salt marshes

Salt marshes are important coastal ecosystems because they provide many services to surrounding areas. However, due to their highly productive nature, they have a long history of being converted into farmland in Maritime Canada. In recent years, there has been strong interest in restoring salt marshes to protect against coastal erosion, mitigate sea level rise, and provide increased habitat for birds, fish, etc. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and partners initiated a large salt marsh restoration project in 2010 near Fort Beauséjour, NB, with the goals of reverting farmland back to salt marsh habitat and assessing the effectiveness of restoration methods. The intern will continue to document/quantify patterns and rates of restoration of the biological community, at a critical point in the restoration process when the foundational plant species (Spartina alterniflora) is about the spread throughout the restoration sites. This process needs to be fully understood for our region, because dike removal and associated shoreline management are becoming increasingly common in the Maritimes. The project’s information will help develop best management strategies and be useful to various industries (environmental consulting, agricultural, transport, etc.) and to agencies interested in salt marsh restoration.

Allen Beck
Superviseur universitaire: 
Myriam Barbeau
New Brunswick