LTER Road Trip – Tracking Change in a Tidal Marsh

Samuel Kelsey and I sped quickly through the marsh in one of the Plum Island Ecosystems LTER (PIE-LTER) site’s motor boats, zipping up our sweaters against the stiff ocean breezes despite the sunny skies of mid-June. The tide was low, and the brown marsh sides rose like miniature cliffs around us. Here and there, pieces of marsh soil, covered with grass, had fallen down the side in a cascade of mini-avalanches. Kelsey explained this “sloughing off” process happened all the time, and PIE-LTER researchers studied whether the frequency of these events corresponded with increasing climate change.

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