Tidal flats are marine sediments regularly exposed and submerged by the tides, and which gently slope towards the sea. Occasionally they occupy up to 20 km between the tidemarks, as in the European Wadden Sea, but more often tidal flats are restricted to a narrow fringe between the landward marsh grasses or mangroves and the permanent realm of the sea. Tidal flats constitute a transition zone - an ecotone - between the land and the sea, where the biotic elements of the sea clearly dominate. In estuaries, the flats are subject to strong salinity fluctuations. At high latitudes ice cover may last several months, and in regions with an arid climate the daily change in temperature is difficult to endure by the marine inhabitants.
KeywordsTidal Flat Constituent Species Tidal Flat Sediment High Tide Line Tidal Flat Area
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