3-5 Vegetated Bottoms

3-5 Vegetated Bottoms - VEGETATED BOTTOMS Topic 18 Sm alt...

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VEGETATED BOTTOMS Topic 18 Salt marshes, Chapter 8, pages 381-401 Mangroves, Chapter 9, pages 453-486 Seagrasses, Chapter 5, pages 233-243
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Salt marshes, seagrasses and mangroves: Related ecologies: foundation species zonation of flora and fauna detrital food webs nursery characteristics
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Salt marshes: Non-tropical, associated with estuaries Flooded intertidal meadows dominated by halophytegrasses Spartina alterniflora has aerenchyma adventitious (shallow) roots salt glands high lignin content
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Saltmarsh services: Protect coasts from erosion and storms Stromsurgeattenuated ~8 cmper kmof intact wetlands Support fisheries and migrating birds May export energy to surrounding areas Remove/store nutrients and sediments 70% of human populations live near coasts
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Salt marsh appearance: Broad, flat expanse of low land with grasses cut by channels leading to larger tidal creeks (bayous) Mudflats (with benthic microalgae) interface with creeks and are exposed to air at low tide
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Salt marsh at low tide Figure 8.21 BMA
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Spartina alterniflora Mudflat Spartina patens Salt marsh as the tide is rising
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Plant zonation in salt marshes: Along the US east coast: Spartina alterniflora, S. patens, Salicornia and Juncus zone along the tidal creek to upland forest gradient Inundation and elevation gradients combine with competitive differences to cause zonation
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Figure 8.24 New England salt marsh:
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Figure 8.24
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Figure 8.24
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Figure 8.24
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Zonation is related to stress and competition: Inundation at lower elevations causes O 2 and H 2 S stress or toxicity Lower limits of plants set by tolerances Upper elevation limited by competitive ability
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Figure 8.24
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Quiz 14: Compare salt marsh plant responses to the RSP How do environmental stressors in salt marshes differ from those found on the rocky shore?
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Benthic and nekton communities: Meiofauna and Uca (fiddler crabs) also zone perhaps due to soil factors Figure 8.28
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Uca pugilator
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More on animal communities: Although some nekton are intertidal, most enter marsh at high tide from creeks Some marsh benthic inverts are active at low tide, others active at high tide Many nekton aggregate at the marsh edge in creeks
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Littoraria irrorata
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