Resilience of coastal systems is an important feature but not easily measured. One way to measure resilience is how fast an ecosystem rebounds from a disturbance. This project provides an approach to quantify ecosystem rebound that may be broadly applicable and take advantage of the growing availability of high frequency monitoring data.

We will be measuring recovery rates of water quality variables in response to Florence and a number of earlier hurricanes. The goal of our project is to test a method of measuring resilience directly from field data. The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) maintains a monitoring program at a large number of geographically  distributed coastal sites. Data from this program provide high frequency (15 minute) observations of temperature, salinity, conductivity oxygen, pH, and turbidity. More recently, NERR sites have begun measuring phytoplankton dynamics. Successful repeated measures of resilience would allow tests of theory about how resilience changes near thresholds, how resilience differs among systems and among variables, and how return rates vary with the magnitude and type of disturbance.