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Influence of geomorphic setting on the metabolism of Lake Huron fringing wetlands


We measured gross primary productivity (GPP) and respiration® seasonally in benthic, water column, and epiphytic microhabitats of Lake Huron fringing wetlands. Both GPP and R were highest in deep wetlands protected from hydrologic energy and declined with increasing wave exposure. With increasing exposure, wetlands were restricted to shallower water and benthic GPP and R increased relative to water column GPP and R. This pattern persisted to intermediate levels of exposure, beyond which benthic GPP and R declined as a result of physical disturbance to the sediment. Coastal wetlands are hotspots of productivity in Lake Huron and hydrologic energy is an important driver of total metabolism rates, as well as the distribution of GPP and R among microhabitats.