Salt Marshes and Friends - Salt Marshes Mangals and...

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Salt Marshes, Mangals, and Seagrass Beds
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Worldwide distribution of salt marshes
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Salt Marshes
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Salt Marshes are harsh environments High soil salinities and anoxic soils are only tolerated by a few plants and organisms Tolerant organisms show a high degree of taxonomic similarity worldwide Worldwide the dominant salt marsh plants include: Spartina Juncus Salicornia Juncu s
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High sediment salinities and anoxic sediments are only tolerated by a few plants with special adaptations Succulence Salt glands Aerenchyma tissue Adventitious roots near the sediment surface Adaptations to Anoxic Sediments Adaptations to High Salinities Salt Marshes are harsh environments
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Animals of the Salt Marsh Dominant salt marsh animals (of marine origin) include: Various crab species ( Uca, Hemigrapsus, Sesarma) Fiddler crabs ( Uca pugilator ) enhance Spartina growth Mussels ( Geukensia ) Marsh mussel ( Geukensia demissa) aids in marsh accretion and enhances grass growth via organic-rich feces Snails ( Littorina, Cerithidea, Melampus ) Small crustaceans (amphipods & shrimp) Dominant salt marsh animals (of terrestrial origin) include: Insects Raccoons
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Fiddler Crabs There are several different species of fiddler crabs that inhabit different regions of the marsh mud fiddlers are in the low and high marsh sand fiddlers are found in exposed sand flats and upper edges of the marsh Large numbers of crabs emerge from their burrows can be seen scuttling along the sediment surface at low tide as they forage for food and try to attract mates Fiddler crabs feed primarily on detritus and microorganisms in the sediment Male Sand Fiddler Crab
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Spartina Salt Marshes Salt marshes are accretionary environments Spartina spp. are dominant plants and play an important role in salt marsh structure act as ecosystem engineers
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Spartina Salt Marshes Salt marshes are accretionary environments Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) is the dominant species and plays an
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