Joanna Nelson

In by Administrator

Graduate Research Fellow (2008-2011)
Environmental Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz
Joanna investigated global-change ecology, resilience, and non-linear ecosystem responses to change, in Elkhorn Slough, where N pollution and sea-level rise  converge at the land-sea interface, impacting rare salt marsh habitats and their provision of ecosystem services.  She focused on the ecosystem service of water filtration, where salt marsh plants intercept watershed-derived nitrogen (N) and buffer the nearshore ocean from nutrient pollution. Nitrogen pollution and sea-level rise both impact coastal ecosystems, yet their interacting effects are poorly understood. She quantified the effects of sea-level rise and nitrogen addition on marsh plant growth and capacity to take up and store N, using two approaches: 1) a manipulative field experiment with simulated sea-level rise and added nitrogen; and 2) a landscape-scale observational study along a nitrogen gradient in Elkhorn Slough and an elevational gradient in the marsh intertidal zone.