Wetlands presentation

Wetlands presentation - The ecology of irregularly flooded...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–6. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The ecology of irregularly flooded salt marshes of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Kathryn Conner Samantha Swanhart
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
2 What are salt marshes? Natural saline soiled communities dominated by  grasslands found on the border of saltwater bodies with  tidally or non-tidally fluctuating inundation.  Least occasionally flooded by high tide, but are not  flooded during low tide. Most vegetative communities cannot grow where waves  are strong, but irregularly flooded communities thrive on  low-energy coasts 2
Background image of page 2
3 Where do salt marshes occur? Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts between 25degrees N  latitude and 42degrees N, reaching their northern limit  on the New Jersey coast. Most abundant in Florida on coastlines above the winter  freeze line (where they do not have to compete with  mangrove wetlands), especially along the "Big Bend"  area of the Gulf coast in low-energy shorelines, sands,  lagoons and bays. Ten percent of Florida's salt marshes are found in  the Indian River Lagoon. 3
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Vegetative Characteristics More than half of Florida's salt marshes are dominated  by needlerush vegetation. provide food and nutrient sources, faunal habitat, water purification systems, and shoreline stabilization Typically, the communities are composed of 90%  grasses and grasslike plants, 5% woody plants  and trees and 5% forbs. Very few plants have the physical and  physiological adaptations to grow and  reproduce in saline areas with periodic  flooding, so salt marsh vegetative species  diversity is relatively low
Background image of page 4
Dominating grasslike species Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) forms a border along open water in salt marshes on broad, gentle slopes: smooth cordgrass occupies band 1-10 meters wide greater slopes: smooth cordgrass mixes with needlerush at upper elevations Needlerush (Juncus roemarianus) comprises largest vegetative zone and bulk of biomass found in small elevation ranges, but can span 100 meters-several miles  wide entire needle rush zone flooded very irregularly: high elevations flood only in  spring tides and storms, high-energy tidal coastal areas are mixed with  cordgrass Other common vegetative species include: saltmeadow cordgrass, giant cordgrass,  salt grass, saltworts, three-square, leafy sedge, sea lavendar, arrow leaf, roseau  cane, saw grass, bullwhip, and blue flag. 5
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 6
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 19

Wetlands presentation - The ecology of irregularly flooded...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 6. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online