Michael J. Osland

Michael J. Osland
United States Geological Survey | USGS · Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (Lafayette Louisiana)

Ph.D. Ecology

About

59
Publications
30,510
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2,638
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Introduction
Michael Osland is a Research Ecologist at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. In broad terms, his research examines the effects of global change on ecosystems and the implications for ecological conservation and restoration. Much of his research focuses on wetland ecosystems at the dynamic interface between land and ocean (mangrove forests, salt marshes).
Education
August 2003 - May 2009
Duke University
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 1996 - May 2000
Willamette University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
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Coastal wetlands are not only among the world's most valued ecosystems but also among the most threatened by high greenhouse gas emissions that lead to accelerated sea level rise. There is intense debate regarding the extent to which landward migration of wetlands might compensate for seaward wetland losses. By integrating data from 166 estuaries a...
Article
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Accelerated sea-level rise and intensifying hurricanes highlight the need to better understand surface elevation change in coastal wetlands. We used the surface elevation table-marker horizon approach to measure surface elevation change in 14 coastal marshes along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, within five National Wildlife Refuges in Texas (USA)...
Article
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Climate change is transforming ecosystems and affecting ecosystem goods and services. Along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of the southeastern United States, the frequency and intensity of extreme freeze events greatly influences whether coastal wetlands are dominated by freeze‐sensitive woody plants (mangrove forests) or freeze‐tolerant gr...
Preprint
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A paradigm in carbon cycling science predicts that sea-level rise will enhance carbon accumulation in an apparent negative carbon-climate feedback1,2. However, ecosystems exposed to combinations of stressors and subsidies – such as saltwater intrusion and sea-level rise – may adapt, transition to an alternative state, or experience a decline in fun...
Article
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Climate extremes are becoming more frequent with global climate change and have the potential to cause major ecological regime shifts. Along the northern Gulf of Mexico, a coastal wetland in Texas suffered sudden vegetation dieback following an extreme precipitation and flooding event associated with Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Historical salt marsh...
Article
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Increases in temperature are expected to facilitate encroachment of tropical mangrove forests into temperate salt marshes, yet the effects on ecosystem services are understudied. Our work was conducted along a mangrove expansion front in Louisiana (USA), an area where coastal wetlands are in rapid decline due to compounding factors, including reduc...
Article
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In coastal wetlands, one of the most striking examples of climate change is the poleward range expansion of mangrove forests in response to warming winters. In North America, the Cedar Key region has often been considered the range limit for mangroves along the western coast of Florida (USA). However, within the past several decades, robust stands...
Article
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Barrier islands are dynamic environments that experience gradual change from waves, tides, and currents, and rapid change from extreme storms. These islands are expected to change drastically over the coming century due to accelerated sea-level rise and changes in frequency and intensity of storm events. The dynamic nature of barrier islands couple...
Article
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Breithaupt et al. (2020) investigated why rates of organic carbon (OC) burial in coastal wetlands appear to increase over the past ~120 years. After comparing dating methods and applying biogeochemical analyses, we concluded that neither dating method nor carbon degradation contribute to the observed trend. Rather, we concluded that OC burial has i...
Article
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Tropicalization is a term used to describe the transformation of temperate ecosystems by poleward‐moving tropical organisms in response to warming temperatures. In North America, decreases in the frequency and intensity of extreme winter cold events are expected to allow the poleward range expansion of many cold‐sensitive tropical organisms, someti...
Article
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Coastal wetland restoration can be used to offset past wetland losses and/or reduce future losses due to land‐use changes, rising sea levels, and accelerating climate change. However, there is a need for information regarding the restoration‐relevant performance of foundation species like mangrove and marsh plants, including their responses to acut...
Article
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Temperate grasslands are experiencing worldwide declines due to habitat conversion. Grassland restoration efforts are employed to compensate for these losses. However, there is a need to better understand the ecological effects of grassland restoration and management practices. We investigated the effects of three different grassland management reg...
Article
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Aim Climate change is expected to result in the tropicalization of coastal wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico, as warming winters allow tropical mangrove forests to expand their distribution poleward at the expense of temperate salt marshes. Data limitations near mangrove range limits have hindered understanding of the effects of winter temper...
Article
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Mangrove forests in the Florida Everglades (USA) are frequently affected by hurricanes that produce high-velocity winds, storm surge, and extreme rainfall, but also provide sediment subsidies that help mangroves adjust to sea-level rise. The long-term influence of hurricane sediment inputs on soil elevation dynamics in mangrove forests is not well...
Article
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The ecological effects of tropical cyclones on mangrove forests are diverse and highly location- and cyclone-dependent. Ecological resistance, resilience, and enhancement are terms that describe most mangrove forest responses to tropical cyclones. However, in the most extreme cases, tropical cyclones can trigger abrupt and irreversible ecological t...
Article
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Rates of organic carbon (OC) burial in some coastal wetlands appear to be greater in recent years than they were in the past. Possible explanations include ongoing mineralization of older OC or the influence of an unaccounted-for artifact of the methods used to measure burial rates. Alternatively, the trend may represent real acceleration in OC bur...
Article
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Mangrove forests are among the world’s most productive and carbon‐rich ecosystems. Despite growing understanding of factors controlling mangrove forest soil carbon stocks, there is a need to advance understanding of the speed of peat development beneath maturing mangrove forests— especially in created and restored mangrove forests that are intended...
Article
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Background: Many mangrove ecosystems are periodically exposed to high velocity winds and surge from tropical cyclones and often recover with time and continue to provide numerous societal benefits in the wake of storm events. Scope: This review focuses on the drivers and disturbance mechanisms (visible and functional) that tropical cyclones of v...
Article
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Foundation plant species play a critical role in coastal wetlands, often modifying abiotic conditions that are too stressful for most organisms and providing the primary habitat features that support entire ecological communities. Here, we consider the influence of climatic drivers on the distribution of foundation plant species within coastal wetl...
Article
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Background and aims: Coastal wetlands have evolved to withstand stressful abiotic conditions through the maintenance of hydrologic feedbacks among vegetation production and flooding. However, disruption of these feedbacks can lead to ecosystem collapse, or a regime shift from vegetated wetland to open water. To prevent the loss of critical coastal...
Article
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Near the tropical‐temperate transition zone, warming winter temperatures are expected to facilitate the poleward range expansion of freeze‐sensitive tropical organisms. In coastal wetlands of eastern and central North America, freeze‐sensitive woody plants (mangroves) are expected to expand northward into regions currently dominated by freeze‐toler...
Article
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Winter climate change is expected to lead to the tropicalization of temperate ecosystems, where tropical species expand poleward in response to a decrease in the intensity and duration of winter temperature extremes (i.e., freeze events). In the southeastern United States, freezing temperatures control the northern range limits of many invasive non...
Article
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During coastal wetland restoration, foundation plant species are critical in creating habitat, modulating ecosystem functions, and supporting ecological communities. Following initial hydrologic restoration, foundation plant species can help stabilize sediments and jump‐start ecosystem development. Different foundation species, however, have differ...
Article
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Barrier islands are dynamic environments because of their position along the marine-estuarine interface. Geomorphology influences habitat distribution on barrier islands by regulating exposure to harsh abiotic conditions. Researchers have identified linkages between habitat and landscape position, such as elevation and distance from shore, yet thes...
Article
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Barrier islands are dynamic ecosystems that change gradually from coastal processes, including currents and tides, and rapidly from episodic events, such as storms. These islands provide many important ecosystem services, including storm protection and erosion control to the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, and tourism. Habitat maps, develo...
Article
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In response to warming winter air temperatures, freeze-sensitive mangrove forests are expected to expand at the expense of freeze-tolerant salt marshes. To better anticipate and prepare for mangrove range expansion, there is a need to advance understanding of the modulating role of microclimate. Here, we synthesized hypotheses regarding the effects...
Article
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Coastal wetlands are among the most productive and carbon‐rich ecosystems on Earth. Long‐term carbon storage in coastal wetlands occurs primarily belowground as soil organic matter (SOM). In addition to serving as a carbon sink, SOM influences wetland ecosystem structure, function, and stability. To anticipate and mitigate the effects of climate ch...
Article
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Coastal wetland ecosystems are expected to migrate landwards in response to rising seas. However, due to differences in topography and coastal urbanization, estuaries vary in their ability to accommodate migration. Low‐lying urban areas can constrain migration and lead to wetland loss (i.e. coastal squeeze), especially where existing wetlands canno...
Article
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Ecotone dynamics and shifting range limits can be used to advance our understanding of the ecological implications of future range expansions in response to climate change. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, the salt marsh–mangrove ecotone is an area where range limits and ecotone dynamics can be studied in tandem as recent decreases in winter tempera...
Article
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While airborne lidar data have revolutionized the spatial resolution that elevations can be realized, data limitations are often magnified in coastal settings. Researchers have found that airborne lidar can have a vertical error as high as 60 cm in densely vegetated intertidal areas. The uncertainty of digital elevation models is often left unaddre...
Article
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Mangrove wetlands provide ecosystem services for millions of people, most prominently by providing storm protection, food and fodder. Mangrove wetlands are also valuable ecosystems for promoting carbon (C) sequestration and storage. However, loss of mangrove wetlands and these ecosystem services are a global concern, prompting the restoration and c...
Chapter
Mangrove forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services to society, yet they are among the most anthropogenically impacted coastal ecosystems in the world. In this chapter, we discuss and provide examples for how macroecology can advance our understanding of mangrove ecosystems. Macroecology is broadly defined as a discipline that uses statisti...
Article
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2017. Linear and nonlinear effects of temperature and precipitation on ecosystem properties in tidal saline wetlands. Ecosphere 8(10): Abstract. Climate greatly influences the structure and functioning of tidal saline wetland ecosystems. However, there is a need to better quantify the effects of climatic drivers on ecosystem properties, particularl...
Article
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Coastal wetland responses to sea-level rise are greatly influenced by biogeomorphic processes that affect wetland surface elevation. Small changes in elevation relative to sea level can lead to comparatively large changes in ecosystem structure, function, and stability. The surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) approach is being used glob...
Technical Report
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Barrier islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, waves, tides, currents, and relative sea-level rise are powerful forces that shape barrier island geomorphology and habitats (for example, beach, dune, marsh, and forest). Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010 are two m...
Article
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The global distribution and diversity of mangrove forests is greatly influenced by the frequency and intensity of winter air temperature extremes. However, our understanding of how different mangrove species respond to winter temperature extremes has been lacking because extreme freezing and chilling events are, by definition, relatively uncommon a...
Article
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Coastal wetlands, existing at the interface between land and sea, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Macroclimate (for example, temperature and precipitation regimes) greatly influences coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. However, research on climate change impacts in coastal wetlands has concentrated primarily on sea-level rise...
Article
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Mangrove forests are highly productive tidal saline wetland ecosystems found along sheltered tropical and subtropical coasts. Ecologists have long assumed that climatic drivers (i.e., temperature and rainfall regimes) govern the global distribution, structure, and function of mangrove forests. However, data constraints have hindered the quantificat...
Article
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Within the context of climate change, there is a pressing need to better understand the ecological implications of changes in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Along subtropical coasts, less frequent and warmer freeze events are expected to permit freeze-sensitive mangrove forests to expand poleward and displace freeze-tolerant salt...
Article
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In the 21st century, accelerated sea-level rise and continued coastal development are expected to greatly alter coastal landscapes across the globe. Historically, many coastal ecosystems have responded to sea-level fluctuations via horizontal and vertical movement on the landscape. However, anthropogenic activities, including urbanization and the c...
Article
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Changing winter climate extremes are expected to result in the poleward migration of mangrove forests at the expense of salt marshes. Although mangroves and marshes are both highly valued ecosystems, the ecological implications of mangrove expansion have not been fully investigated. Here, we examined the effects of mangrove expansion on below-groun...
Chapter
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Mangrove forests grow on saline, permanently or periodically flooded soils of the tropical and subtropical coasts. The tree species that compose the mangrove are halophytes that have suites of traits that confer differing levels of tolerance of salinity, aridity, inundation and extremes of temperature. Here we review how climate change and elevated...
Article
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Due to their position at the land-sea interface, coastal wetlands are vulnerable to many aspects of climate change. However, climate change vulnerability assessments for coastal wetlands generally focus solely on sea-level rise without considering the effects of other facets of climate change. Across the globe and in all ecosystems, macroclimatic d...
Article
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In subtropical coastal wetlands on multiple continents, climate change-induced reductions in the frequency and intensity of freezing temperatures are expected to lead to the expansion of woody plants (i.e., mangrove forests) at the expense of tidal grasslands (i.e., salt marshes). Since some ecosystem goods and services would be affected by mangrov...
Article
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Across the globe, species distributions are changing in response to climate change and land use change. In parts of the southeastern United States, climate change is expected to result in the poleward range expansion of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) at the expense of some salt marsh vegetation. The morphology of A. germinans at its northern...
Article
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Climate gradient-focused ecological research can provide a foundation for better understanding critical ecological transition points and nonlinear climate?ecological relationships, which is information that can be used to better understand, predict, and manage ecological responses to climate change. In this study, we examined the influence of fresh...
Article
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Humans both alter and benefit from ecosystems in many ways. In many places human presence dominates the landscape, especially in urban and agricultural settings. Every place on Earth is directly or indirectly affected in some way by humans. As a result, many now feel that humans should be included in the definition of ecosystems, while others still...
Article
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We live in an era of unprecedented ecological change in which ecologists and natural resource managers are increasingly challenged to anticipate and prepare for the ecological effects of future global change. In this study, we investigated the potential effect of winter climate change upon salt marsh and mangrove forest foundation species in the so...
Article
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Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland losses. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands are poorly understood. We compared a 20-year chronosequence of created tidal wetland sites in Tampa Bay, Florida (USA...
Article
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Wetlands in tropical wet-dry climates are governed by distinct and extreme seasonal hydrologic fluctuations. In this study, we investigated the plant community response to seasonal flooding and drought in Palo Verde Marsh, Costa Rica. Climate change models for the region predict reduced rainfall and a drier wet season which would likely alter seaso...
Article
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As the human footprint expands, ecologists and resource managers are increasingly challenged to explain and manage abrupt ecosystem transformations (i.e., regime shifts). In this study, we investigated the role of a mechanical disturbance that has been used to restore and maintain local wetland diversity after a monotypic regime shift in northweste...
Article
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Giant cane (Arundinaria gigantea) is a native bamboo species that was once abundant in wetlands and riparian areas throughout the Southeastern United States. As part of an effort to identify competitive-dominant native species that can be utilized to maximize the restoration of riparian ecosystem functions/services and reduce non-native community i...