What Are We Doing
We will look at the salt marsh mud in the past and present. We will measure how thick the mud is by collecting sediment cores. We will collect two cores at each of the primary sites and use radioactive dating methods to tell us how old these sediments are. This is important because sea-level change has varied through time and rose much faster in the last 100 years than before. We will also measure the build-up of mud in the present day.
We will measure how much carbon is stored both above and below the ground. We will survey the plants which are growing on the marsh and then measure thee carbon content in the laboratory. We will measure the amount of carbon in the cores we have collected, and do analyses to find out where the carbon came from (from the marsh vegetation itself or washed in with the tide).
We will gather data from various sources and multiply the data from our sites to find out how representative our findings are for the whole of Britain. All saltmarshes will be mapped in 3 dimensions. We will collect data on all environmental factors and find out which ones can predict how much carbon is in saltmarshes using statistics and computer models.
We will use our results to recommend how managers of coastlines may be able to make use of saltmarshes to help fight climate change and sea-level rise, for example by establishing new saltmarshes on old coastal farmland.