Yong Zhao

Advisor: Peter Raymond


Considered as one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, tidal salt marshes have long been considered a source of organic carbon to estuaries and coastal oceans (Odum 1980). However, new research reveals that some marshes export considerable amounts of inorganic respiratory products to estuaries, and that the organic matter to the estuaries is a minor process by comparison (Cai et al. 1999). Among the organic carbon transferred by the tidal cycle twice a day, chlorophyll is considered to be a proxy for the standing stock of primary producers. Researchers have found that the CO2 originates from the respiration of young marsh organic matter (Raymond and Hopkinson 2003).

Some studies suggest that marshes can be described both as sinks and sources of inorganic nutrients (Jordan et al, 1991). The belief that salt marshes export organic materials has been central to the description of these ecosystems as well as a prime argument for their conservation. However, there is very limited information about the controls of carbon dynamics within and across marshes. The degree of marsh flooding, for instance, might be an important component of outwelling. In this research we consecutively monitor the concentration of CO2, O2, and Chlorophyll, as well as other necessary parameters in a tidal gate of a small salt marsh to address the pattern of carbon dynamic transportation in the water flux of tide. To address the potential reason for the transportation pattern, we also establish a GIS model from the Landsat and Aster remote sensing datasets..