Success of coastal wetlands restoration is driven by sediment availability

TitleSuccess of coastal wetlands restoration is driven by sediment availability
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLiu Z, Fagherazzi S, Cui B
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Date Publisheddec

Abstract Shorelines and their ecosystems are endangered by sea-level rise. Nature-based coastal protection is becoming a global strategy to enhance coastal resilience through the cost-effective creation, restoration and sustainable use of coastal wetlands. However, the resilience to sea-level rise of coastal wetlands created under Nature-based Solution has been assessed largely on a regional scale. Here we assess, using a meta-analysis, the difference in accretion, elevation, and sediment deposition rates between natural and restored coastal wetlands across the world. Our results show that restored coastal wetlands can trap more sediment and that the effectiveness of these restoration projects is primarily driven by sediment availability, not by wetland elevation, tidal range, local rates of sea-level rise, and significant wave height. Our results suggest that Nature-based Solutions can mitigate coastal wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise, but are effective only in coastal locations where abundant sediment supply is available.

Citation Keyliu_success_2021