Tidal marsh seminar – spring 2016

Tentative schedule:

Week 1 (Jan. 25)

Introduction – technical difficulties, format, goals (Led by Kate); readings: none

Tidal marsh ecology – the highlights and the unique (Chris E.); readings: Greenberg 2006 (into to Studies in Avian Biology special issue), skim Adam


Week 2 (Feb. 1)

Paleo-history of salt marshes (Joe Kelley); readings: none

Physical environment (Kate); readings: Redfield 1965 – Ontongeny of a salt marsh,Magic School bus Gets Swamped (season 4, episode 4 on Netflix or here though the quality isn’t great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQFX8QKZi3U).  Please also find a picture or map of one of your study plots/areas from at least 100 years ago.  Compare it to the current extent of marsh, think about how it’s changed, and be prepared to talk about it in class (please send Kate your photo/map before class).


Week 3 (Feb. 8)

Trophic interactions (Laura); readings:

Silliman et al. (2009). Human Impacts on Salt Marshes. Chapter 6
Hairston, N. G., Smith, F. E., & Slobodkin, L. B. (1960). Community structure, population control, and competition. American naturalist, 421-425.
Finke, D. L., & Denno, R. F. (2006). Spatial refuge from intraguild predation: implications for prey suppression and trophic cascades. Oecologia149(2), 265-275.

Methods – trophic interactions in the marsh (Laura); readings: none


Week 4 (Feb. 15) – No class


Week 5 (Feb. 22)

STSPs and hybrid zone (Logan, with Jen Hill); readings


Allendorf et al. 2001. The problems with hybrids: setting conservation guidelines. Trends in Ecology and Evolution v.16(11), 613-622.

Optional: Jackiw et al. 2015. A framework to guide the conservation of species hybrids based on ethical and ecological considerations. Conservation Biology v.29(4). p. 1040-1051

Methods – SALS adaptations (Bri); readings:

Pike et al. 2003. Potential mechanisms of avian sex manipulation. Biological Reivews. V. 78(4) p. 553-574.


Week 6 (Feb. 29)

Conservation threats – introductions and development (Alison); readings:

  1. Introductions: Gunterspergen, G. R. & J. C. Nordby (2006). The impact of invasive plants on tidal-marsh vertebrate species: common reed (Phragmites australis) and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) as case studies. Studies in Avian Biology, 32, 229-237.
  2. Development: Silliman, B. R., Grosholz, E. D. & M. D. Bertness (2009). Human Impacts on Salt Marshes: A Global Perspective. Chapter 8: Shoreline development and the future of New England salt marsh landscapes.

Methods – NYC: why so weird and might that be a good thing? (Alison); readings:

Optional reading for those interested in a background on NYC tidal marsh issues:
Hartig, E. K., Gomitz, V., Kolker, A., Mushacke, F. and D. Fallon (2002). Anthropogenic and climate-change impacts on salt marshes of Jamaica Bay, New York City. Wetlands, 22(1), 71-89.


Week 7 (Mar. 7) – No class


Week 8 (Mar. 14)

Climate change, saltmarsh loss (Sam); readings:

Silliman, B. R., Grosholz, E. D. & M. D. Bertness (2009). Human Impacts on Salt
Marshes: A Global Perspective
. Chapter 10: Impacts of Global Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Tidal Wetlands.

Kirwan, M. L., S. Temmerman, E. E. Skeehan, G. R. Guntenspergen, and S. Fagherazzi. 2016. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise. Nature Climate Change 6:253–260.

Optional: Reed, D. J. 2002. Sea-level rise and coastal marsh sustainability: geological and ecological factors in the Mississippi delta plain. Geomorphology 48:233–243.

Methods – SALS vs. SESP SLR (Sam); readings:

Sam’s summary of PVA methods and preliminary results


Week 9 (Mar. 21)

Marshes outside North America (Tim); readings: Johnson 2009, Wiest 2016

Regional monitoring programs and lessons learned from SHARP (Tim); readings: none


Week 10 (Mar. 28)

Tidal marsh bird resilience (Britt and Kate); readings: Folke et al. 2004, Benson et al. 2012


Week 11 (Apr. 4) – No class!


Week 12 (Apr. 11)

Restoration and management (Bri); readings: Overton 2015, Wiest 2015 (!!)

Methods – floating islands and conservation planning (Bri and Brian K.)


Week 13 (Apr. 18)

SHARP, what have we learned so far? Results (Led by Kate, might become redundant); readings:

Marsh specialization evolutionary fail (Brian O.); readings:


Week 14 (Apr. 25)

Endangered species, management (Adrienne, Suzanne); readings:

Evans, et al. 2016. Species recovery in the United States: increasing the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act. Issues in Ecology No. 20.

What should we do about SALS? Discussion (PI’s); readings: