Salt Marsh Restoration following Eradication of Spartina

shore birdMuch of the Grosholz Lab's recent work over the last several years has involved measuring the community and ecosystem impacts of the invasive salt marsh cordgrass Spartina on a broad range of organisms from primary producers to shorebirds in San Francisco Bay. This has been a collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation (CNH Coupled Natural and Human Systems). Our currently funded project through the NSF CNH Program focuses on the recovery and restoration of the salt marsh ecosystem following eradication of invasive hybrid Spartina. This work is a collaborative project with other UC Davis faculty including both scientists (Alan Hastings) and social scientists (Jim Sanchirico, Mark Lubell) to understand where, when and why this system may recover to its prior state. Following eradication of the invasive Spartina the system may recover either a marine mudflat or a habitat vegetated with native plants depending on tidal elevation. The Grosholz lab are using a variety of experimental approaches involving habitat manipulations to accelerate or retard recovery, isotopic tracer studies to follow changes in food webs, long-term field surveys conducted both before and after eradication, and active restoration of native vegetation, in partnership with the SF Invasive Spartina Project to quantitatively assess the restoration process under a variety of conditions. With the social science collaborators, They are developing a bioeconomic model of the tradeoffs among eradication and restoration programs under different scenarios of agency participation that attempts to balance the invasive species eradication with the recovery of endangered California Clapper Rails.