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 used 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 were examined to evaluate the potential for future mangrove forest range expansion in response to climate change.
This project was conducted in partnership with the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
For the final paper, click here.