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Reference Site Data

Between 2007 and 2009, researchers from the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve collected data on ecological and physical characteristics at five high-quality "least disturbed" tidal wetland sites in four Oregon estuaries.

The data, which quantify a range of parameters including tidal and groundwater hydrology, elevation, water quality, soils, vegetation, and benthic macroinvertebrate communities, are intended to be used by restoration practitioners and others to define reference conditions for the habitat classes represented: Estuarine Intertidal Emergent Wetland (High Marsh); Estuarine Intertidal Emergent Wetland (Low Marsh); Estuarine Intertidal Scrub-Shrub Wetland; Estuarine Intertidal Forested Wetland, Tidally-influenced Palustrine Scrub-Shrub Wetland, and Tidally-influenced Palustrine Forested Wetland.

The reference sites included in this project are (1) Blind Slough (tidally-influenced palustrine swamp, lower Columbia estuary), Coal Creek (estuarine tidal swamp, Nehalem estuary), Millport Slough and Siletz Keys (high and low marsh, Siletz estuary), and Hidden Creek Marsh (high and low marsh, South Slough, Coos estuary).

The data are compiled in the CICEET final report and are also presented in separate PDF files for quick access. Also included is information about the use of a temperature sensor method for measuring tidal inundation regime in tidal wetlands and a report characterizing the carbon content of Oregon tidal wetland soils.

This project was funded by the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technologies (CICEET).

Compiled by Craig Cornu, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Laura Brophy, Green Point Consulting (2012).