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An institutional or society member subscription is required to view non-Open Access content. Although hurricanes can damage or destroy coastal wetlands, they may play a beneficial role in reinvigorating marshes by delivering sediments that raise soil elevations and stimulate organic matter production.

We report expansion and contraction of each soil zone.

Hurricane Wilma deposited 37.0 (± 3.0 SE) mm of material; however, the absolute soil elevation change was 42.8 mm due to expansion in the shallow soil zone.

Expansion and contraction in the shallow soil zone may be due to hydrology, and in the middle and bottom soil zones due to shallow subsidence.

Findings thus far indicate that soil elevation has made substantial gains compared to site specific relative sea-level rise, but data trends suggest that belowground processes, which differ by soil zone, may come to dominate the long term ecological impact of storm deposit.

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For further information, including about cookie settings, please read our Cookie Policy .Hurricane damage was related to hydro-geomorphic type of forest.Basin mangroves suffered significantly more damage than riverine or island mangroves.Long-term impacts to mangroves are poorly understood at present.We examine impacts of Hurricane Wilma on mangroves and compare the results to findings from three previous storms (Labor Day, Donna, Andrew).The hurricane by forest type interaction was highly significant.