Groves Creek Project 2: GCCFS
| Groves Creek Carbon Flux Study (GCCFS)
Affiliated researchers: Clark Alexander, Dana Savidge, Trent Moore, Julie Amft, Charles Robertson, Thais Bittar
Salt marshes are recognized as critical mediators of the flux of material between the terrestrial and marine realms. The flooding marsh receives inputs from its estuary. Those inputs are modified chemically and biologically on the flooded marsh platform, and then they, along with autochthonously generated marsh products, are re-exported to the estuary on the ebbing tide. Marshes also receive inputs from rainwater, terrestrial runoff, and groundwaters, making them a ‘meeting ground’ of sorts for organic matter. Because of their position at the terrestrial/marine boundary, salt marsh ecosystems also are sentinels for climate change in the coastal zone. They provide a broad array of valuable ecosystem services to their surrounding human and natural populations. However, their ability to maintain their present function under conditions of sea level rise and altered coastal hydrology is uncertain.
GCCFS seeks to better understand the function of a well-constrained typical salt marsh in Savannah, Georgia. Previous work at the site has resulted in a solid understanding of the hydrology, sedimentology, and the topography of the marsh. This study leverages that knowledge base to better understand the way carbon is input, altered, generated, and lost within this marsh, and by extension, to similar marsh ecosystems found along the southeastern US coast. By sampling in an intensive manner, we plan on capturing a more inclusive picture of carbon flow through the marsh over tidal changes, seasons, and weather events.