Tidal Wetland Gross Primary Production Across the Continental United States, 2000–2019

R. A. Feagin, I. Forbrich, T. P. Huff, J. G. Barr, J. Ruiz-Plancarte, J. D. Fuentes, R. G. Najjar, R. Vargas, A. Vázquez-Lule, L. Windham-Myers, K. D. Kroeger, E. J. Ward, G. W. Moore, M. Leclerc, K. W. Krauss, C. L. Stagg, M. Alber, S. H. Knox, K. V.R. Schäfer, T. S. BianchiJ. A. Hutchings, H. Nahrawi, A. Noormets, B. Mitra, A. Jaimes, A. L. Hinson, B. Bergamaschi, J. S. King, G. Miao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We mapped tidal wetland gross primary production (GPP) with unprecedented detail for multiple wetland types across the continental United States (CONUS) at 16-day intervals for the years 2000–2019. To accomplish this task, we developed the spatially explicit Blue Carbon (BC) model, which combined tidal wetland cover and field-based eddy covariance tower data into a single Bayesian framework, and used a super computer network and remote sensing imagery (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Enhanced Vegetation Index). We found a strong fit between the BC model and eddy covariance data from 10 different towers (r2 = 0.83, p < 0.001, root-mean-square error = 1.22 g C/m2/day, average error was 7% with a mean bias of nearly zero). When compared with NASA's MOD17 GPP product, which uses a generalized terrestrial algorithm, the BC model reduced error by approximately half (MOD17 had r2 = 0.45, p < 0.001, root-mean-square error of 3.38 g C/m2/day, average error of 15%). The BC model also included mixed pixels in areas not covered by MOD17, which comprised approximately 16.8% of CONUS tidal wetland GPP. Results showed that across CONUS between 2000 and 2019, the average daily GPP per m2 was 4.32 ± 2.45 g C/m2/day. The total annual GPP for the CONUS was 39.65 ± 0.89 Tg C/year. GPP for the Gulf Coast was nearly double that of the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts combined. Louisiana alone accounted for 15.78 ± 0.75 Tg C/year, with its Atchafalaya/Vermillion Bay basin at 4.72 ± 0.14 Tg C/year. The BC model provides a robust platform for integrating data from disparate sources and exploring regional trends in GPP across tidal wetlands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019GB006349
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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