Wetland Elevated CO2 Experimental Facility

Dr. Karen L. McKee

Scientist Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey


Acceleration in sea-level rise (SLR) threatens low-lying coastal areas and the extensive wetland habitat located within these areas.  I am investigating how elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) may interact with other factors such as flooding and salinity to alter wetland ecosystems and their capacity to accommodate SLR.  This work is carried out in the Wetland Elevated CO2 Experimental Facility located at the National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, LA.  Mesocosms containing intact sections of marsh are exposed to different conditions representing future scenarios of climate, CO2, and sea level.  Complimentary field studies are also carried out to relate experimental findings with how these ecosystems accrete vertically in response to SLR.

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