Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants

A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus

Alexandra Silinski, Maike Heuner, Jonas Schoelynck, Sara Puijalon, Uwe Schröder, Elmar Fuchs, Peter A Troch, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Patrick Meire, Stijn Temmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent research indicates that many ecosystems, including intertidal marshes, follow the alternative stable states theory. This theory implies that thresholds of environmental factors can mark a limit between two opposing stable ecosystem states, e.g. vegetated marshes and bare mudflats. While elevation relative to mean sea level is considered as the overall threshold condition for colonization of mudflats by vegetation, little is known about the individual driving mechanisms, in particular the impact of waves, and more specifically of wave period. We studied the impact of different wave regimes on plants in a full scale flume experiment. Seedlings and adult shoots of the pioneer Scirpus maritimus were subjected to two wave periods at two water levels. Drag forces acting on, and sediment scouring occurring around the plants were quantified, as these are the two main mechanisms determining plant establishment and survival. Depending on life stage, two distinct survival strategies emerge: seedlings present a stress avoidance strategy by being extremely flexible, thus limiting the drag forces and thereby the risk of breaking. Adult shoots present a stress tolerance strategy by having stiffer stems, which gives them a higher resistance to breaking. These strategies work well under natural, short period wind wave conditions. For long period waves, however, caused e.g. by ships, these survival strategies have a high chance to fail as the flexibility of seedlings and stiffness of adults lead to plant tissue failure and extreme drag forces respectively. This results in both cases in strongly bent plant stems, potentially limiting their survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0118687
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 23 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tidal Waves
Bolboschoenus maritimus
salt marsh plants
Ships
Wetlands
ships
Seedlings
marshes
seedlings
Ecosystem
Drag
stems
shoots
ecosystems
plant establishment
Plant Stems
stress tolerance
Ecosystems
sea level
plant tissues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Silinski, A., Heuner, M., Schoelynck, J., Puijalon, S., Schröder, U., Fuchs, E., ... Temmerman, S. (2015). Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants: A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus. PLoS One, 10(3), [e0118687]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118687

Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants : A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus. / Silinski, Alexandra; Heuner, Maike; Schoelynck, Jonas; Puijalon, Sara; Schröder, Uwe; Fuchs, Elmar; Troch, Peter A; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Meire, Patrick; Temmerman, Stijn.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 3, e0118687, 23.03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Silinski, A, Heuner, M, Schoelynck, J, Puijalon, S, Schröder, U, Fuchs, E, Troch, PA, Bouma, TJ, Meire, P & Temmerman, S 2015, 'Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants: A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus', PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 3, e0118687. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118687
Silinski, Alexandra ; Heuner, Maike ; Schoelynck, Jonas ; Puijalon, Sara ; Schröder, Uwe ; Fuchs, Elmar ; Troch, Peter A ; Bouma, Tjeerd J. ; Meire, Patrick ; Temmerman, Stijn. / Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants : A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus. In: PLoS One. 2015 ; Vol. 10, No. 3.
@article{8b2e179cc17b45cd8d822f17c7d4f7d4,
title = "Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants: A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus",
abstract = "Recent research indicates that many ecosystems, including intertidal marshes, follow the alternative stable states theory. This theory implies that thresholds of environmental factors can mark a limit between two opposing stable ecosystem states, e.g. vegetated marshes and bare mudflats. While elevation relative to mean sea level is considered as the overall threshold condition for colonization of mudflats by vegetation, little is known about the individual driving mechanisms, in particular the impact of waves, and more specifically of wave period. We studied the impact of different wave regimes on plants in a full scale flume experiment. Seedlings and adult shoots of the pioneer Scirpus maritimus were subjected to two wave periods at two water levels. Drag forces acting on, and sediment scouring occurring around the plants were quantified, as these are the two main mechanisms determining plant establishment and survival. Depending on life stage, two distinct survival strategies emerge: seedlings present a stress avoidance strategy by being extremely flexible, thus limiting the drag forces and thereby the risk of breaking. Adult shoots present a stress tolerance strategy by having stiffer stems, which gives them a higher resistance to breaking. These strategies work well under natural, short period wind wave conditions. For long period waves, however, caused e.g. by ships, these survival strategies have a high chance to fail as the flexibility of seedlings and stiffness of adults lead to plant tissue failure and extreme drag forces respectively. This results in both cases in strongly bent plant stems, potentially limiting their survival.",
author = "Alexandra Silinski and Maike Heuner and Jonas Schoelynck and Sara Puijalon and Uwe Schr{\"o}der and Elmar Fuchs and Troch, {Peter A} and Bouma, {Tjeerd J.} and Patrick Meire and Stijn Temmerman",
year = "2015",
month = "3",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0118687",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "10",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of wind waves versus ship waves on tidal marsh plants

T2 - A flume study on different life stages of scirpus maritimus

AU - Silinski, Alexandra

AU - Heuner, Maike

AU - Schoelynck, Jonas

AU - Puijalon, Sara

AU - Schröder, Uwe

AU - Fuchs, Elmar

AU - Troch, Peter A

AU - Bouma, Tjeerd J.

AU - Meire, Patrick

AU - Temmerman, Stijn

PY - 2015/3/23

Y1 - 2015/3/23

N2 - Recent research indicates that many ecosystems, including intertidal marshes, follow the alternative stable states theory. This theory implies that thresholds of environmental factors can mark a limit between two opposing stable ecosystem states, e.g. vegetated marshes and bare mudflats. While elevation relative to mean sea level is considered as the overall threshold condition for colonization of mudflats by vegetation, little is known about the individual driving mechanisms, in particular the impact of waves, and more specifically of wave period. We studied the impact of different wave regimes on plants in a full scale flume experiment. Seedlings and adult shoots of the pioneer Scirpus maritimus were subjected to two wave periods at two water levels. Drag forces acting on, and sediment scouring occurring around the plants were quantified, as these are the two main mechanisms determining plant establishment and survival. Depending on life stage, two distinct survival strategies emerge: seedlings present a stress avoidance strategy by being extremely flexible, thus limiting the drag forces and thereby the risk of breaking. Adult shoots present a stress tolerance strategy by having stiffer stems, which gives them a higher resistance to breaking. These strategies work well under natural, short period wind wave conditions. For long period waves, however, caused e.g. by ships, these survival strategies have a high chance to fail as the flexibility of seedlings and stiffness of adults lead to plant tissue failure and extreme drag forces respectively. This results in both cases in strongly bent plant stems, potentially limiting their survival.

AB - Recent research indicates that many ecosystems, including intertidal marshes, follow the alternative stable states theory. This theory implies that thresholds of environmental factors can mark a limit between two opposing stable ecosystem states, e.g. vegetated marshes and bare mudflats. While elevation relative to mean sea level is considered as the overall threshold condition for colonization of mudflats by vegetation, little is known about the individual driving mechanisms, in particular the impact of waves, and more specifically of wave period. We studied the impact of different wave regimes on plants in a full scale flume experiment. Seedlings and adult shoots of the pioneer Scirpus maritimus were subjected to two wave periods at two water levels. Drag forces acting on, and sediment scouring occurring around the plants were quantified, as these are the two main mechanisms determining plant establishment and survival. Depending on life stage, two distinct survival strategies emerge: seedlings present a stress avoidance strategy by being extremely flexible, thus limiting the drag forces and thereby the risk of breaking. Adult shoots present a stress tolerance strategy by having stiffer stems, which gives them a higher resistance to breaking. These strategies work well under natural, short period wind wave conditions. For long period waves, however, caused e.g. by ships, these survival strategies have a high chance to fail as the flexibility of seedlings and stiffness of adults lead to plant tissue failure and extreme drag forces respectively. This results in both cases in strongly bent plant stems, potentially limiting their survival.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84925812910&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84925812910&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0118687

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0118687

M3 - Article

VL - 10

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 3

M1 - e0118687

ER -