Dr. Marcelo Ardón

Title: Assistant Professor
Area of Study: Wetlands and streams, ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry
Phone: 252-328-6307
Fax: 252-328-4178
Website: Ardón Research Lab
Office: S408 Howell Science Building
Address: East Carolina University
Department of Biology
Greenville, NC 27858


Ph.D.: Ecology, University of Georgia, 2006.

B.S.: Biology and Environmental Studies, Gettysburg College, 2000.

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Research Interests:

I am an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether and to what extent current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions. My current research projects are:

1) Consequences of saltwater intrusion on biogeochemical cycles in a coastal plain wetland: In collaboration with Drs. Emily Bernhardt (Duke), Geoff Poole and Robert Payn (University of Montana), and Amy Burgin (University of Nebraska), we are examining the consequences of drought-induced saltwater intrusion on the coupled cycling of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the Timberlake Wetland Restoration project. Our work combines long-term field measurements, laboratory experiments of soil anaerobic metabolic pathways, mesocosms and simulation modeling.

2) Long-term patterns in tropical stream biogeochemistry: In collaboration with Drs. Cathy Pringle (UGA), Alonso Ramirez (University of Puerto Rico), and Gaston Small (University of Minnesota), we are examining the consequences of changes in dry season rainfall on stream biogeochemistry in La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. This work is funded by a NSF LTREB grant.

3) Synthesizing controls on carbon processing in temperate and tropical streams. I am involved in two groups examining different aspects of carbon processing in temperate and tropical streams. The first group came out of a workshop in La Selva Biological station, and is focusing on the role of tropical streams in the global carbon cycle and how that might change due to climate change. Collaborators include Gaston Small, Emilio Mayorga, David Genereux, Catherine Pringle, and others. I am also a part of a group conducting a Meta-Analysis & SynthesiS of Leaf decomposition in StreamS (MASS-LOSS). This is in collaboration with Jennifer Shah (Utah State University), John Kominoski (UGA) and others. This group is examining the role of temperature, litter chemistry, and biota on decomposition rates of leaf litter in streams worldwide.


Ardón M., J.L. Morse, B.P. Colman, and E.S. Bernhard. 2013. Drought-induced saltwater incursion leads to increased wetland nitrogen export. Global Change Biology 19: 2976-2985.

Ardón M., J.H. Duff, A. Ramírez, G.E. Small, A.P. Jackman, F.J. Triska, and C.M. Pringle.2013. Experimental acidification of two biogeochemically-distinct neotropical streams illustrates differences in buffering mechanisms and sensitivity of invertebrate assemblages. Science of the Total Environment 443: 267-277

Small, G.S.,M. Ardón, A.P. Jackman, J.H. Duff, F.J. Triska, A. Ramírez, M. Snyder, and C.M. Pringle. 2012. Rainfall-driven amplification of seasonal acidification in poorly buffered tropical streams. Ecosystems 15: 974-985

Morse, J.L., M. Ardón, and E.S. Bernhardt. 2012. Using environmental variables and soil processes to forecast denitrification potential and nitrous oxide fluxes in coastal plain wetlands across different land-uses. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences doi:10.1029/2011JG001923

Morse, J.L., M. Ardón, and E.S. Bernhardt. 2012 . Greenhouse gas fluxes in southeastern coastal plain wetlands under contrasting land uses Ecological Applications 22: 264-280

Ardón M., S. Montanari*, J.L. Morse, M.W. Doyle, and E.S. Bernhardt. 2010. Phosphorus export from a restored wetland ecosystem in response to natural and experimental hydrologic fluctuations. Journal of Geophysical Research- Biogeosciences DOI:10.1029/2010JG001331.

Ardón M., J.L. Morse, M.W. Doyle, and E.S. Bernhardt. 2010. The water quality consequences of restoring wetland hydrology to a large agricultural watershed in the southeastern coastal plain. Ecosystems 13: 1060-1078.

Ardón M., C.M. Pringle and S.L. Eggert. 2009. Does leaf chemistry differentially affect breakdown in tropical vs temperate streams? Importance of using standardized analytical techniques to measure leaf chemistry. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 28: 440-453.

Ardón M. and E.S Bernhardt.2009. Restoration of rivers and streams. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. DOI:10.1002/9780470015902.a0020148

Ardón M. and C.M. Pringle. 2008.Do secondary compounds inhibit microbial- and insect-mediated leaf breakdown in a tropical rainforest stream, Costa Rica? Oecologia 155: 311-323

Ardón M. and C.M. Pringle. 2007. The quality of organic matter mediates the response of heterotrophic biofilms to phosphorus enrichment of the water column and substratum. Freshwater Biology 52: 1762-1772

For more information go to:

Courses Taught:

BIOL 7401. Wetland Ecology and Management Laboratory

BIOL 6400/4400. Restoration Ecology

Laboratory Personal


Patrick Korn
M.S. Student


Amanda Powell 
M.S. Student