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Salt Marshes and Biodiversity

  • A. Teixeira
  • B. Duarte
  • I. Caçador
Chapter
Part of the Tasks for Vegetation Science book series (TAVS, volume 47)

Abstract

Estuaries and coastal lagoons around the world are wetlands of great importance and they are regularly targeted as prime conservation sites. Many include wildlife refuges and have nature reserves that were set up in areas preserved from development in order to keep valuable species and habitats, while maintaining traditions and sustained use.

Tidal wetlands are often mentioned in the literature as natural habitats with high biological productivity. The net primary production in a salt marsh is often higher than in temperate or tropical forests and this productivity is directly linked to the important role halophytes play in estuaries, in terms of the value-added.

Salt marshes may be a sink of heavy metals. The ability to phytostabilize contaminants in the rhizo-sediment is an important aspect in the self-remediative processes and biogeochemistry of this ecosystem, and will help filtering natural and anthropogenic loads of nutrients and pollutants discharged into the wetland.

There is also a provision of rare and unique habitats, which support nursery grounds for commercial fish and wildlife, including vital feeding grounds for many migratory birds. Rediscovered as a new source of amenity and leisure activities for the population living in urban areas, salt marsh halophytes and estuaries have an important role in the preservation of biodiversity.

In this paper we discuss the support of the salt marsh ecosystem to the estuarine birds, and consequently its contribution for biodiversity.

Keywords

Salt Marsh Tidal Flat Migratory Bird Lower Marsh Tidal Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Nature Conservation and ForestsLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centre of Oceanography of the Faculty of SciencesUniversity of Lisbon (CO)LisbonPortugal

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