Site: Florida Coastal Everglades LTER

Eddy covariance tower at SRS-6 in lower Shark River before (left) and after (right) Hurricane Irma.
Credit: (left) Jordan Barr (right) Edward Castaneda

Long term data reveal that multiple types of disturbances — including cold snaps, fires, droughts, floods, and tides — play a strong role in shaping coastal ecosystems. Tropical storms can be beneficial by connecting upstream and downstream food webs and dispersing mangrove propagules into disturbance-generated canopy gaps. They also deliver phosphorus rich mineral deposits that promote mangrove transgression, increased soil elevation relative to sea level, and more rapid mangrove wetland recovery.