Aeration for plant root respiration in a tidal marsh

Li, H. L., Li, L. and Lockington, D. A. (2005) Aeration for plant root respiration in a tidal marsh. Water Resources Research, 41 6: 6023-6024. doi:10.1029/2004WR003759

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Author Li, H. L.
Li, L.
Lockington, D. A.
Title Aeration for plant root respiration in a tidal marsh
Journal name Water Resources Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-1397
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1029/2004WR003759
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 41
Issue 6
Start page 6023
End page 6024
Total pages 11
Place of publication Washington
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
291101 Environmental Engineering Modelling
770402 Land and water management
Abstract This paper investigates the tidal effects on aeration conditions for plant root respiration in a tidal marsh. We extend the work of Ursino et al. ( 2004) by using a two-phase model for air and water flows in the marsh. Simulations have been conducted to examine directly the link between the airflow dynamics and the aeration condition in the marsh soil. The results show that the effects of entrapped air on water movement in the vadose zone are significant in certain circumstances. Single-phase models based on Richards' equation, which neglect such effects, may not be adequate for quantifying the aeration condition in tidal marsh. The optimal aeration condition, represented by the maximum of the integral magnitude of tidally advected air mass ( TAAM) flux, is found to occur near the tidal creek for the four soil textures simulated. This may explain the observation that some salt marsh plant species grow better near tidal creeks than in the inner marsh areas. Our analyses, based on the two-phase model and predicted TAAM flux magnitude, provide further insight into the positive feedback'' mechanism proposed by Ursino et al. ( 2004). That is, pioneer plants may grow successfully near the creek where the root aeration condition is optimal. The roots of the pioneer plants can soften and loosen the rhizosphere soil, which increases the evapotranspiration rate, the soil porosity, and absolute permeability and weakens the capillary effects. These, in turn, improve further the root aeration conditions and may lead to colonization by plants less resistant to anaerobic conditions.
Keyword Environmental Sciences
Water Resources
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:23:08 EST