Irregularly Flooded Salt Marshes of the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts of the United States

  • Judy P. Stout


Salt marshes may be characterized on the basis of the frequency of tidal inundation into (a) regularly flooded — flooded by most high tides and (b) irregularly flooded — flooded infrequently in a pattern not related entirely to the local tidal regime (Uhler and Hotchkiss, 1968). Regularly flooded marshes are typically dominated by Spartina alterniflora (saltmarsh cordgrass) and have been extensively studied along the US Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico (see summaries by Day, Smith, Wagner and Wilmer, 1973; Cooper, 1974; Pomeroy and Wiegert, 1981). The black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) is the dominant marsh plant of irregularly flooded marshes. Though considerable information has been developed concerning the structure and function of Gulf coast irregularly flooded marshes (Stout, 1984), little work beyond vegetational descriptions and primary productivity studies has been provided for Atlantic Juncus marshes (Marshall, 1974). Basic features of the two marsh types have been compared by de la Cruz (1980).


Salt Marsh Tidal Marsh Spartina Alterniflora Estuarine Wetland Juncus Roemerianus 
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© Donal D. Hook 1988

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  • Judy P. Stout

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