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Venice Marsh

Resilient, To a Point

Rising seas threaten coastal marshes worldwide, like this marsh just outside Venice, Italy pictured in a satellite image. But a new study by Marco Marani of the Nicholas School finds marshes are more resilient than previously believed. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 boost plant biomass production, allowing marshes to trap more sediment and generate more organic soil. This partially offset the effects of reduced sediment delivery and accelerating sea-level rise and may raise the point at which relative sea-level rise overwhelms marshes and drowns them.  Learn More