Chesapeake Science

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 117–123 | Cite as

Standing crop of salt marshes surrounding Chincoteague Bay, Maryland-Virginia

  • Carolyn W. Keefe
  • Walter R. Boynton


Chincoteague Bay is surrounded by approximately 95 km2 (23,000 acres) of irregularly flooded salt marsh dominated by shortSpartina alterniflora. The maximum standing crop, chemical composition, and live:dead ratio of the marsh grasses were estimated from samples taken at 20 marsh stations in August, 1970. Live standing crop ranged from 427 to 558 g dry matter m−2 and 335 to 470 g organic matter m−2. The total standing crop of live plants consisted of 48×106 kg of dry material of which 39×106 kg was organic material. Chemical analysis indicated that phosphorus and potassium were rapidly leached from the dead plants while magnesium tended to be retained. Live:dead ratios ranged from 0.9 to 2.3 and were lower than those found in regularly flooded marshes.


Salt Marsh Standing Crop Dead Plant Salt Marsh Vegetation Dead Material 
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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn W. Keefe
    • 1
  • Walter R. Boynton
    • 1
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of MarylandSolomons

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