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Wetlands

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 89–94 | Cite as

Does intertidal vegetation indicate specific soil and hydrologic conditions

  • Courtney T. Hackney
  • Susan Brady
  • Lynn Stemmy
  • Marta Boris
  • Charles Dennis
  • Tom Hancock
  • Mike O’Bryon
  • Crystal Tilton
  • Eric Barbee
Article

Abstract

Six distinct plant zones were identified within a mesohaline tidal marsh in the Cape Fear Estuary, North Carolina. USA. All six vegetative zones were found within an 18-cm portion of the 1.35-m tidal range. Aerial photographs show that these six zones have existed within the marsh for the past 20 years. A monotypicJuncus roemerianus stand occupied soils with the highest salinity porewater (17 ppt), while stands dominated (>90%) by eitherScirpus robustus orTypha angustifolia were found associated with the least saline soil water (7 ppt) in areas of the marsh least flooded by tidal waters.Spartina cynosuroides dominated areas of the marsh at lowest elevations. In general, Eh was highest in theJuncus zone and lowest in theSpartina alterniflora zone. Four of the six vegetative zones represented distinct physical and chemical environments and could be statistically separated via canonical discriminate analyses. We suggest that established vegetation may be an accurate analog for specific hydrogeomorphic conditions.

Key Words

zonation tidal marsh soil salt marsh Spartina spp. Scirpus spp. Eh soil salinity Juncus roemerianus hydrology 

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Courtney T. Hackney
    • 1
  • Susan Brady
    • 1
  • Lynn Stemmy
    • 1
  • Marta Boris
    • 1
  • Charles Dennis
    • 1
  • Tom Hancock
    • 1
  • Mike O’Bryon
    • 1
  • Crystal Tilton
    • 1
  • Eric Barbee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at WilmingtonWilmington

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