Skip to main content
Log in

Experimental restoration of a salt marsh with some comments on ecological restoration of coastal vegetated ecosystems in Korea

Ocean Science Journal Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


Since the 1980s, the coastal wetlands in Korea have been rapidly degraded and destroyed mainly due to reclamation and landfills for coastal development. In order to recover damaged coastal environments and to develop wetland restoration technologies, a 4-year study on ecological the restoration of coastal vegetated ecosystems was started in 1998. As one of a series of studies, a small-scale experiment on salt marsh restoration was carried out from April 2000 to August 2001. The experiment was designed to find effective means of ecological restoration through a comparison of the changes in environmental components and species structure between two different experimental plots created using sediment fences, one with and one without small canals. Temporal variation in surface elevation, sedimentary facies, and benthic species were measured seasonally in each plot and in the adjacent natural reference sites. Monthly exposure occurred from 330 cm to mean sea level, which represents the critical tidal level (CTL) at which salt marsh plants colonize. Vegetation, especially Suaeda japonica, colonized the site the following spring and recovered to a similar extent in the natural marshes 16 months later. The sedimentary results indicated that the sediment fences had effects on particle size and sediment accumulation, especially in the plot with small canals. This experiment also showed that tidal height, especially that exceeding the CTL, is an important factor in the recovery of the benthic fauna of salt marshes. From these results, we suggested that designs for the restoration of salt marsh ecosystems must consider the inclusion of a tidal height exceeding CTL, as this may allow reconstruction of the previous natural ecosystem without artificial transplanting.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions


  • Boumans RMJ, Day JW, Kemp GP, Kilgen K (1997) The effect of intertidal sediment fences on wetland surface elevation, wave energy and vegetation establishment in two Lousiana coastal marshes. Ecol Eng 9:37–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bouwersma P, Bossinade JH, Dijkema KS, Meegen JWTMV, Reenders R (1986) The progression in height and area of the saltwater marshes associated with the reclamation projects in Friesland en Groningen. The Netherlands, R.I.N. rapport 86/3

  • Bradshaw AD (1987) The reclamation of derelict land and the ecology of ecosystems. In: Jordan III WR, Gilpin ME, Aber JD (ed) Restoration ecology, a synthetic approach to ecological research. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 53–74

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2001) Primer, v5: User manual/tutorial. PRIMER-E Ltd, Plymouth, UK, 91 p

    Google Scholar 

  • Craft CB, Reader JM, Sacco JN, Broome SW (1999) Twenty five years of ecosystem development of constructed Spartina alterniflora (Loisei) marshes. Ecol Appl 9:1405–1419

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dauvin J-C, Bellan G, Bellan-Santini D (2008) The need for clear and terminology in benthic ecology. Part I. Ecological concepts. Aquat Conserv: Mar Freshwater Ecosyst 18:432–445

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris JA, van Diggelen R (2006) Ecological restoration as a project for global society. In: van Andel J, Aronson J (ed) Restoration Ecology. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, pp 3–15

    Google Scholar 

  • Folk RL (1980) Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks. Hemphill publishing, Austin, Texas, 184 p

    Google Scholar 

  • Folk RL, Ward WC (1957) Brazos river bar: a study in the significance of grain-size parameters. J Sed Petrol 27:3–27

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim JH (1994) Theory and practice for restoration of damaged ecosystems. Nat Conserv 88:1–5

    Google Scholar 

  • Koo BJ, Je JG (2002) A preliminary study on changes in macrobenthic assemblages in the fenced experimental plots for restoring tidal marsh, Hogok-Ri tidal flat, West Coast of Korea. Ocean and Polar Res 24:63–71

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Je JG (2002) Restoration needs for coastal vegetated ecosystems in Korea: an introduction. Ocean and Polar Res 24:33–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levin LA, Talllley D, Thayer G (1996) Succession of macrobenthos in a created salt marsh. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 141:67–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lieberman N, Matheja A, Zimmermann C (1997) Foreland stabilisation under waves in shallow tidal waters. In: Abstract of the 2nd Indian National Conference on Harbour and Ocean Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, India, pp 1236–1245

  • McNulty IB (1985) Rapid osmotic adjustment by asucculent halophyte to saline shock. Plant physiol 78:100–103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mitsch WJ, Wu X, Nairn RW, Weihe PE, Wang N, Deal R, Boucher CE (1998) Creating and restoring wetlands: a whole ecosystem experiment in self-design. BioScience 48:1019–1030

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nair VD, Graetz DA, Reddy KR, Olila OC (2001) Soil development in phosphate-mined created wetlands of Florida, USA. Wetlands 21:232–239

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sacco J, Seneca ED, Wentworth T (1994) Infaunal community development of artificially established salt marshes in North Carolina. Estuaries 17:489–500

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scarton F, Day JWJr, Rismondo A, Cecconi G, Are D (2000) Effects of an intertidal sediment fence on sediment elevation and vegetation distribution in a Venice (Italy) lagoon salt marsh. Ecol Eng 16:223–233

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schubauer JP, Hopkinson CS (1984) Above- and belowground emergent macrophyte production and turnover in a coastal marsh ecosystem, Georgia. Limnol Oceanogr 29:1052–1065

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Statistics Korea (2010)

  • Zedler JB (1988) Salt marsh restoration: lessons from California. In: Cairns J (ed) Rehabilitating damaged ecosystems. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 123–138

    Google Scholar 

  • Zedler JB (2001) Introduction. In: Zedler JB (ed) Handbook for Restoring Tidal Wetlands. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 1–38

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bon Joo Koo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Koo, B.J., Je, J.G. & Woo, H.J. Experimental restoration of a salt marsh with some comments on ecological restoration of coastal vegetated ecosystems in Korea. Ocean Sci. J. 46, 47–53 (2011).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words