Annual production of vegetation is an important indicator of various ecosystem processes in coastal marshes; many factors, both biotic and abiotic, can influence production of aboveground biomass. Using a 14-year data set, we evaluated the relative influence of 38 biotic and abiotic factors on annual aboveground biomass of an intermediate coastal marsh on the upper Gulf Coast of Texas. We used visual obstruction (VO) measurements as a surrogate variable in a prediction model to estimate available aboveground biomass in the marsh. Available biomass was greatest (3.34 kg/m2) when sampling site was flooded. Plant growth form, type of animal present, and composition of the ground cover influenced biomass of the marsh. Presence of insects was related to biomass (regression beta weight = 0.28), uniquely accounting for 7.6% of the incremental variance in biomass. The presence of moderate amounts of litter was also related to available biomass (beta weight = 0.86). Soil capping had little or no influence on aboveground biomass. Implementing standard protocols for long-term vegetation monitoring can be cost and time intensive. Our results suggest quantitative measurement of VO and qualitative observation of few variables (standing water, insects, and litter) measured annually can yield a reasonable assessment of aboveground biomass of intermediate coastal marshes.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 29 • No. 2