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Neue Veröffentlichung zur Erhaltung der biomechanischen Eigenschaften von Salzwiesen unter zukünftigen Klimaszenarien

New publication on the insensitivity of salt marsh vegetation to future climate scenarios

© C. Bischoff
© C. Bischoff

Salt marshes are attractive ecosystems in many respects because of their numerous ecosystem services. With their wave and current dampening effect, they are considered a strengthening element for future-oriented coastal protection. Due to its biomechanical properties, there is an interaction with the hydrodynamic effects, which results in the dampening effect.

But what happens to the coastal protection function of the salt marshes if the predicted future is subject to change? Are changes in the climate as factors influencing vegetation growth reflected in their biomechanical properties? Is the wave-dampening effect retained as a component of the coastal protection function of the salt marshes?

Aspects of these questions are answered in the new publication "Biomechanical traits of salt marsh vegetation are insensitive to future climate scenarios" in the Scientific Reports of the Nature portfolio. In the study, the biomechanical properties of the two salt marsh species Spartina anglica and Elymus athericus were examined after they had been exposed to changed environmental conditions in terms of temperature (+ 3 °) and CO2 content (800 ppm) in mesocosms at the Alfred Wegener Institute for 13 weeks. Using 3-point bending tests, the individual stalks of the salt marsh vegetation were then examined for their biomechanical properties. The achieved values for the biomechanical properties were within an expected range. Increases in temperature and CO2 did not adversely affect these properties. Even if the hydrodynamic effects on salt marshes will increase in the future, the results can be seen as an indication that the coastal protection function, provided by the salt marsh vegetation, is basically preserved.

The research project is part of the project sea4soCiety of the DAM Mission CDRmare The idea of this study came about in collaboration with Ketil Koop-Jakobsen for the Alfred Wegener Institute - Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, who carried out mesocosm experiments on Sylt and made the salt marshes available. The cross-institute networking within the Leibniz Universität Hannover enabled the provision of the necessary laboratory equipment and training in measurement technology by the Institute for Plastics and Circular Economy


Paul, M., Bischoff, C. & Koop-Jakobsen, K. Biomechanical traits of salt marsh vegetation are insensitive to future climate scenarios. Sci Rep 12, 21272 (2022).