Past Research

Mangrove Livelihood and Extreme Weather Events

Research dates: 2014
Investigator(s): Marisa Brumfield, Michael Osland, Richard Day, Mark Shafer

As climate change occurs, the frequency of freeze events will affect the presence and abundance of mangrove trees in Louisiana and neighboring states. Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) provide Louisiana with
numerous ecosystem services, including habitat for wildlife, sediment stabilization, and carbon sequestration. However these trees are highly sensitive to cold weather events. Fewer freeze events would allow for expansion of the black mangrove at the expense of salt marsh vegetation, while more frequent freeze events would result in the contraction or death of mangrove forests. This project uses historical temperature data to identify the frequency, duration, and intensity of cold-air outbreaks along and near the Louisiana coastline. Changes in the frequency, duration, and intensity of cold air outbreaks are being examined to evaluate the potential for future mangrove forest range expansion in response to climate change.