Published on December 13, 2008
Science in the National Seashore State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference November 15, 2008
National Park Service Mission: “… ..conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Preserve and Protect Natural and Cultural Resources
Preserving and Protecting Natural Resources: Responding to forces of change (Management) -Recognizing sources of change - avoiding/minimizing impacts -Repairing damage -Addressing legacy conditions Understanding natural resources (Science) -Inventory -Monitoring -Research Integrating science and management -Adaptive management
Science: -Inventory: snap shot - distribution / abundance of resources - resources in areas of specific interest -Monitoring: trends over time - key parameters over the long term : "vital signs" - system /species response -Research: why and how - hypothesis testing - assessment, causation - prediction, modeling - mechanisms of response
plant and animal groups: amphibians and reptiles small and meso-mammals breeding birds migratory shorebirds and waterfowl freshwater fish estuarine nekton plant assemblage maps SAV distribution Inventory species of special concern: non-native invasive plants golden club broom crowberry water willow stem borer New England cottontails system features / habitats: heathlands vernal wetlands surface elevations intertidal sediments
estuaries/salt marshes: tidal hydrology estuarine water quality nutrient enrichment * salt marsh vegetation* sediment elevation* nekton* beaches / spits / barrier islands: geomorphic change* inlet dynamics nesting shorebirds Monitoring *Long-term Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring Program
ponds and freshwater wetlands: kettle pond water quality* pond vegetation* vernal pond vegetation* purple loosestrife amphibians* coastal uplands: dune grassland vegetation* heathland vegetation* forest vegetation* cultural landscape restoration response non-native invasive plants broom crowberry mitigation Monitoring *Long-term Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring Program
multi-system: vegetation cover type* meteorologic parameters* air quality* atmospheric deposition* ground water hydrology* Monitoring *Long-term Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring Program
Research - In Press & Recently Published Smith, S.M. 2007. Removal of salt-killed vegetation during tidal restoration of a New England salt marsh: effects on wrack movement and the establishment of native halophytes. Ecological Restoration 24:268-273. Lyons, P., C. Thornber, J. Portnoy, and E. Gwilliam. In press. Dynamics of Macroalgal Blooms along the Cape Cod National Seashore . Northeastern Naturalist.
Research - In Press & Recently Published Tupper, T. A. and R. P.Cook. 2008. Habitat variables influencing breeding effort in northern clade Bufo fowleri : Implications for conservation . Applied Herpetology 5:101-119. Martin, L. 2008. Simulation of groundwater flow at Beach Point, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Cape Cod National Seashore . Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NRPC/WRD/NRTR-2008/111. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Research - Near Completion Characterization of breeding habitat and impacts of road kill for the Eastern spadefoot toad (Timm - UMass) 20 th Century dune migration, wetland formation, and hydrological change at CCNS (Foreman - U of I, Smith - CCNS) Comparison of mercury in atmospheric deposition and in fish using the natural continental gradient in atmospheric deposition of mercury (Colman - USGS, Lee - CCNS) Preliminary assessment of fish utilization in the waters adjacent to CCNS (Esty - URI)
Research - Recently Initiated A demographic study and experimental restoration of Corema conradii at CCNS (VonHolle - UCF) Preliminary evaluation of common eider die-off at CCNS (Ellis - Tufts, Cook - CCNS) Evaluating the status of spawning horseshoe crabs, Limulus polyphemus , within CCNS (James-Pirri - URI) Cape Cod shoreline change and resource protection: Century-scale change and sediment flux (Giese - PCCS, Adams - CCNS)
Inventory, Monitoring, Research . . . Current and Future Questions: Inventory, modeling for Herring River Restoration EIS East Harbor water quality / nutrient dynamics Pre- and post-restoration monitoring at Hatches Harbor, EH, HR Long-term Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring Program projects Salt marsh dieback Atmospheric deposition monitoring synthesis Aquifer flux of Ca, Hg, N Assess Hg levels in estuarine food webs Turkey / quail population assessment and monitoring methods
Inventory, Monitoring, Research . . . Current and Future Questions: IPCC, 2001 water & air temperatures, humidity, precipitation sea level rise, tidal & groundwater hydrology, saltmarsh retreat storm frequency / timing / intensity, shoreline dynamics ocean acidification native and non-native species range changes, phenology impacts of human infrastructure demands
Who does all this great work? Some very very smart people: Dr. Bob Cook - Wildlife Ecologist Dr. John Portnoy - Ecologist (forever on our speed dial) Judith Oset - Lab Technician Kelly Chapman - Hydrology Technician Krista Lee - Chemist, Lab Manager Mark Adams - GIS Specialist Mary Hake - Shorebird Biologist Dr. Megan Tyrrell - Research & Monitoring Coordinator Dr. Steve Smith - Plant Ecologist
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