Ecosystem-Scale Study of the Impact of Excess Nutrients on a Salt Marsh within the Plum Island Estuary of Massachusetts

By: Christopher Haight '11 and Clara Chaisson '12

Advising Faculty: R. Scott Warren

Tidal marshes across the world and in the northeastern United States are being lost at alarming rates. Now, scientists have a much better understanding of why at least some of these valuable resources are disappearing, thanks in large part to nine years of research by emeritus professor R. Scott Warren and a dozen Connecticut College students.

An article published in Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific journals, details the results of this ecosystem-scale study of the impact of excess nutrients on a salt marsh within the Plum Island Estuary of Massachusetts. Conducted by a multi-disciplinary national research group, including Warren and lead author Linda Deegan of the Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystem Center, the study found excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus from sewer and septic systems and lawn fertilizer runoff, can drive significant salt marsh loss.

Read more about "Botany professor and students prove sewage and fertilizer nutrients are destroying northeastern salt marshes."

Related Fields: Botany