USGS
Patuxent Home

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Staff Profile

Nav Bar link Staff Profiles Nav Bar Link Patuxent Nav Bar Link Biological Resources Nav Bar Link USGS Nav Bar Link Interior Navigation Bar

Donald R. Cahoon                               

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Beltsville Lab, c/o BARC-East
Building 308, Rm 223
10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705

 Photo of Donald R. Cahoon

Telephone: 301-497-5523

Fax: 301-497-5624

Email: dcahoon@usgs.gov 

Research Ecologist

Primary Responsibilities: 
Conduct research on the processes controlling wetland vertical accretion and elevation change in coastal ecosystems in order to: (1) determine the impacts of sea-level rise on long-term marsh stability, (2) identify the processes of wetland loss, submergence, and soil erosion in both natural and managed coastal marshes, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of wetland restoration and management techniques (e.g., sediment introduction via crevasses and thin-layer disposal of dredged material, managed hydrology by impoundments and freshwater introductions, and restoration of tidal exchange in impounded and diked marshes) at restoring wetland sediment elevation.
Education/Training: 
BA, Drew University, 1972, Botany
MS, University of Maryland, 1975, Plant Ecology
PhD, University of Maryland, 1982, Plant Ecology
Areas of Expertise/Interest: Wetland plant ecology, wetland accretionary processes, wetland restoration and management, and wetland soils and hydrologic processes

Accomplishments/Awards/Achievements: 

Merit Award, Society of Wetland Scientists, 2011
Fellow, Society of Wetland Scientists, 2011
President, Society of Wetland Scientists, 1997-1998
USGS, Global Change Research Program funding, 1991-present 
Star Award: 1998, 2001, 2006, 2009

Active Projects: 

Predicting the persistence of coastal wetland to global change effects

Improved identification and delineation of lands vulnerable to sea-level rise: communicating the risk

Ecological effects of sea-level rise on coastal North Carolina marshes

Do annual prescribed fires enhance or slow the loss of coastal marsh habitat at Blackwater NWR?

Monitoring salt marsh development processes at Jamaica Bay, Gateway NRA, New York

Post-hurricane wetland elevation-accretion monitoring with the SET-MH network in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida

Gulf of Mexico SET-MH Network: development of a landscape framework to understand the role of chronic low-level stress and infrequent, high magnitude disturbances on coastal ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Marsh elevation dynamics at Blackwater NWR using surface elevation tables

Publications:


White, K. P., J. A. Langley, D. R. Cahoon, and J. P. Megonigal. 2012. C 3 and C 4 biomass allocation responses to elevated CO 2 and nitrogen: Contrasting resource capture strategies. Estuaries and Coasts 35(4):1028-1035. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R., B. C. Perez, B. D. Segura, and J. C. Lynch. 2011. Elevation trends and shrink-swell response of wetland soils to flooding and drying. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 91(4):463-474. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R., D. H. White, and J. C. Lynch. 2011. Sediment infilling and wetland formation dynamics in an active crevasse splay of the Mississippi River delta. Geomorphology 131(3-4):57-68. Abstract

Day, J. W., G. P. Kemp, D. J. Reed, D. R. Cahoon, R. M. Boumans, J. M. Suhayda, and R. Gambrell. 2011. Vegetation death and rapid loss of surface elevation in two contrasting Mississippi delta salt marshes: The role of sedimentation, autocompaction and sea-level rise. Ecological Engineering 37(2):229-240. Abstract

Lovelock, E. E., V. Bennion, A. Grinham, and D. R. Cahoon. 2011. The role of surface and subsurface processes in keeping pace with sea level rise in intertidal wetlands of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Ecosystems 14(5):745-757. Abstract

Vandenbruwaene, W., T. Maris, T. J. S. Cox, D. R. Cahoon, P. Meire, and S. Temmerman. 2011. Sedimentation and response to sea-level rise of a restored marsh with reduced tidal exchange: Comparison with a natural tidal marsh. Geomorphology 130(3-4):115-126. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R., G. Guntenspergen, and S. Baird. 2010. Do annual prescribed fires enhance or slow the loss of coastal marsh habitat at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge? Final Report: JFSP Project Number 06-2-1-35 . Joint Fire Science Program, Boise, Idaho. 19 pp. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R. and G. R. Guntenspergen. 2010. Climate change, sea-level rise, and coastal wetlands. National Wetlands Newsletter 32(1):8-12.

Krauss, K. W., D. R. Cahoon, J. A. Allen, K. C. Ewel, J. C. Lynch, and N. Cormier. 2010. Surface elevation change and susceptibility of different mangrove zones to sea-level rise on Pacific High Islands of Micronesia. Ecosystems 13(1):129-143. Abstract

Baldwin, A. H., R. S. Hammerschlag, and D. R. Cahoon. 2009. Evaluation of restored tidal freshwater wetlands. Pages 801-831 in Gerardio M. E. Perillo, Eric Wolanski, Donald R. Cahoon, and Mark M. Brinson, editors. Coastal wetlands: an integrated ecosystem approach. Elsevier, New York. xxxi, 941 pp. + CD book info

Langley, J. A., K. L. McKee, D. R. Cahoon, J. A. Cherry, and J. P. Megonigala. 2009. Elevated CO2 stimulates marsh elevation gain, counterbalancing sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106(15):6182-6186. Abstract

Perillo, G. M. E., E. Wolanski, D. R. Cahoon, and M. M. Brinson, editors. 2009. Coastal wetlands: an integrated ecosystem approach. Elsevier, New York. xxxi, 941 pp. + CD. book info

Perillo, G. M. E., E. Wolanski, D. R. Cahoon, and M. M. Brinson. 2009. Preface. Pages xix-xx in Gerardio M. E. Perillo, Eric Wolanski, Donald R. Cahoon, and Mark M. Brinson, editors. Coastal wetlands: an integrated ecosystem approach. Elsevier, New York. xxxi, 941 pp. + CD book info

Titus, J. G., K. E. Anderson, D. R. Cahoon, D. B. Gesch, S. K. Gill, B. T. Gutierrez, E. R. Thieler, and S. J. Williams. 2009. Coastal sensitivity to sea-level rise : a focus on the mid-Atlantic Region. Synthesis and assessment product ; 4.1 . U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Washington, D.C. xvi, 298 pp. Abstract

Wolanski, E., M. M. Brinson, D. R. Cahoon, and G. M. E. Perillo. 2009. Coastal wetlands: A synthesis. Pages 1-62 in Gerardio M. E. Perillo, Eric Wolanski, Donald R. Cahoon, and Mark M. Brinson, editors. Coastal wetlands: an integrated ecosystem approach. Elsevier, New York. xxxi, 941 pp. + CD book info

Cahoon, D. R. 2007. Factors affecting coastal wetland loss and restoration. Pages 50-53 in S. W. Phillips, editor. Synthesis of U.S. Geological Survey science for the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and implications for environmental management. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1316.63 pp. Abstract Circular 1316

McKee, K. L., D. R. Cahoon, and I. C. Feller. 2007. Caribbean mangroves adjust to rising sea level through biotic controls on change in soil elevation. Global Ecology and Biogeography 16(5):545-556. Abstract

Roman, C. T., D. R. King, D. R. Cahoon, J. C. Lynch, and P. G. Appleby. 2007. Evaluation of marsh development processes at Fire Island National Seashore: Recent and historic perspectives. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2007/089. U.S. National Park Service, Northeast Region, Boston, MA. viii, 62 pp. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R. 2006. A review of major storm impacts on coastal wetland elevations. Estuaries and Coasts 29(6):889-898. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R. and P. F. Hensel. 2006. High-resolution global assessment of mangrove responses to sea-level rise: a review. Pages 9-17 in E. Gilman, editor. Proceedings of the Symposium on Mangrove Responses to Changes in Sea Level and Other Climate Change Effects, 13 July 2006. Catchments to Coast. The Society of Wetland Scientists 27th International Conference, 9-14 July 2006, Cairns Convention Center, Cairns, Australia. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii. ii, 81 pp. Conference PDF

Cahoon, D. R., P. F. Hensel, T. Spencer, D. J. Reed, K. L. McKee, and N. Saintilan. 2006. Coastal wetland vulnerability to relative sea-level rise: wetland elevation trends and process controls. Pages 271-292 in J. T. A. Verheven, B. Beltman, R. Bobbink, and D. F. Whigham, editors. Wetlands and natural resource management. Ecological studies 190. Springer, New York. xxii, 347 pp. book info

Erwin, R. M., D. R. Cahoon, D. J. Prosser, G. M. Sanders, and P. Hensel. 2006. Surface elevation dynamics in vegetated Spartina marshes versus unvegetated tidal ponds along the mid-Atlantic coast, USA, with implications to waterbirds. Estuaries and Coasts 29(1):96-106. Abstract

Erwin, R. M., G. M. Sanders, D. J. Prosser, and D. R. Cahoon. 2006. High tides and rising seas: potential effects on estuarine waterbirds . Pages 214-228 in Russell Greenberg, Jesus E. Maldonado, Sam Droege, and M. Victoria McDonald, associate editors. Terrestrial vertebrates of tidal marshes: evolution, ecology, and conservation. Studies in Avian Biology No. 32. Cooper Ornithological Society, Camarillo, CA. 339 pp. PDF

Rogers, K., N. Saintilan, and D. Cahoon. 2005. Surface elevation dynamics in a regenerating mangrove forest at Homebush Bay, Australia. Wetlands Ecology and Management 13(5):587-598. Abstract

Whelan, K. R. T., T. J. Smith, III, D. R. Cahoon, J. C. Lynch, and G. H. Anderson. 2005. Groundwater control of mangrove surface elevation: shrink and swell varies with soil depth. Estuaries 28(6):833-843. Abstract

Cahoon, D. R., M. A. Ford, and P. F. Hensel. 2004. Ecogeomorphology of Spartina patens-dominated tidal marshes: Soil organic matter accumulation, marsh elevation dynamics, and disturbance. Pages 247-266 in Sergio Fagherazzi, Marco Marani, and Linda K. Blum, editors. Ecogeomorphology of Tidal Marshes. Coastal and Estuarine Studies 59. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. viii, 266 pp. book info

Cahoon, D. R. 2003. Storms as agents of wetland elevation change: their impact on surface and subsurface sediment processes. Pages 1-14 in . Coastal Sediments 03 Conference: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries: proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Coastal Engineering and Science of Coastal Sediment Processes, Clearwater Beach, FL, May 18-23. World Scientific Publishing Corp. and East Meets West Productions, Corpus Christi, Texas [CD-Rom].

Cahoon, DR, PF Hensel, J Rybczyk, KL McKee, CE Proffitt and BC Perez 2003. Mass tree mortality leads to mangrove peat collapse at Bay Islands, Honduras after Hurricane Mitch. Journal of Ecology 91(6):1093-1105. abstract

Chmura, GL, SC Anisfeld, DR Cahoon, and JC Lynch 2003. Global carbon sequestration in tidal, saline wetland soils. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 17(4):22-1 to 22-14. abstract

Cahoon, DR, JC Lynch, PF Hensel, RM Boumans, BC Perez, B Segura, and JW Day, Jr. 2002. High precision measurement of wetland sediment elevation: I. recent improvements to the sedimentation-erosion table. Journal of Sedimentary Research 72(5):730-733. abstract

Cahoon, DR, JC Lynch, BC Perez, B Segura, R Holland, C Stelly, G Stephenson, and PF Hensel 2002. High precision measurement of wetland sediment elevation: II. the rod surface elevation table. Journal of Sedimentary Research 72(5):734-739. abstract

Rybczyk, JM and DR Cahoon 2002. Estimating the potential for submergence for two subsiding wetlands in the Mississippi River delta. Estuaries 25(5):985-998. abstract

Cahoon, D. R., J. French, T. Spencer, D. J. Reed, and I. Moller. 2000. Vertical accretion versus elevational adjustment in UK salt marshes: an evaluation of alternative methodologies. Pages 223-238 in K. Pye  &  J. R.  Allen (eds.). Coastal and Estuarine Environments: sedimentology, geomorphology and geoarchaeology. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 175. abstract        

Cahoon, D. R., J. W. Day, Jr., and D. J. Reed. 1999. The influence of surface and shallow subsurface soil processes on wetland elevation: a synthesis. Current Topics in Wetland Biogeochemistry 3:72-88. 

Cahoon, D.  R., D.  J. Reed, and J. W. Day, Jr. 1995. Estimating shallow subsidence in microtidal salt marshes of the southeastern United States: Kaye and Barghoorn revisited. Marine Geology 128(1/2):1-9.  abstract

Cahoon, D.  R. 1994.  Recent accretion in two managed marsh impoundments in coastal Louisiana. Ecological Applications 4(1):166-176. abstract

Cahoon, D. R. and J. C. Stevenson. 1986. Production, predation and decomposition in a low salinity Hibiscus marsh. Ecology 67(5):1341-1350. abstract        

Return to Staff Profiles Listing

Nav Bar link Staff Profiles Nav Bar Link Patuxent Nav Bar Link Biological Resources Nav Bar Link USGS Nav Bar Link Interior Navigation Bar