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Lambs, L., Bompy, F., Imbert, D., Corenblit, D., & Dulormne, M. (2015). Seawater and freshwater circulations through coastal forested wetlands on a Caribbean Island. Water, 7(8), 4108–4128.
Abstract: Structure and composition of coastal forested wetlands are mainly controlled by local topography and soil salinity. Hydrology plays a major role in relation with tides, seaward, and freshwater inputs, landward. We report here the results of a two-year study undertaken in a coastal plain of the Guadeloupe archipelago (FWI). As elsewhere in the Caribbean islands, the study area is characterized by a micro-tidal regime and a highly seasonal climate. This work aimed at understanding groundwater dynamics and origin (seawater/freshwater) both at ecosystems and stand levels. These hydrological processes were assessed through 18O/16O and 2H/1H isotopic analyses, and from monthly monitoring of water level and soil salinity at five study sites located in mangrove (3) and swamp forest (2). Our results highlight the importance of freshwater budget imbalance during low rainfall periods. Sustained and/or delayed dry seasons cause soil salinity to rise at the mangrove/swamp forest ecotone. As current models on climate change project decreasing rainfall amounts over the inner Caribbean region, one may expect for this area an inland progression of the mangrove forest to the expense of the nearby swamp forest. © 2015 by the authors.
Keywords: 18O/2H stable isotope; Hydrology; Mangrove; Salinity; Swamp forest; Water level