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Vegetation at both sites fully recovered within one year, and accumulation of root matter at Big Branch increased 10-fold from 2005 to 2006, suggesting that the hurricane stimulated belowground productivity.
Results of this study imply that hurricane sediment may benefit subsiding marshes by slowing elevation loss.
One year post-hurricane, the soil profile had lost 10.0 mm in soil elevation, with 8.5 mm of the loss due to erosion.
The remaining soil elevation loss was due to compaction from shallow subsidence.
Long-term impacts to mangroves are poorly understood at present.
Hurricane Katrina altered elevation dynamics of two subsiding brackish marshes in the Mississippi River deltaic plain by adding 3 to 8 cm of sediment to the soil surface in August 2005.