In the face of accelerating climate change and rising sea levels, quantifying surface elevation change dynamics in coastal wetlands can help to develop a more complete understanding of the implications of sea-level rise on coastal wetland stability. The surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) approach has been widely used to quantify and characterize surface elevation change dynamics in coastal marshes and mangrove forests. Whereas past studies that utilized the SET-MH approach have most often quantified rates of surface elevation change using simple linear regression analyses, several recent studies have shown that elevation patterns can include a diverse combination of linear and non-linear patterns. Generalized additive models (GAMs) are an extension of generalized linear models (GLMs) that have previously been used to analyze a variety of complex ecological processes such as cyclical changes in water quality, species distributions, long-term patterns in wetland area change, and palaeoecological time series. Here, we use long-term SET data to demonstrate the value of generalized additive models for analyzing non-linear patterns of surface elevation change in coastal wetlands. Additionally, we illustrate how the GAM approach can be used to effectively quantify rates of elevation change at both landscape- and local site-level scales.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science Program, the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, and the USGS Climate R&D Program. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
© 2023, This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply.
- Coastal wetlands
- Generalized additive models
- Marker horizon
- Sea-level rise
- Surface elevation change
- Surface elevation table
- Vertical accretion