Succession and productivity on perturbed and natural Spartina salt-marsh areas in New Jersey

Joanna Burger, Joseph Shisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vegetation growth on spoil placed on a Spartina patens and S. alterniflora marsh in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, was examined for two years following spoil deposition. In areas where spoil was leveled to match the elevation of the marsh, the percent cover by the end of the first growing season ranged from 60 to 90%. By the second year, cover was 100% in all study plots. Even during the first year, there was no difference in species diversity or vegetation species in the experimental and control areas. The percentage of shrubs did not increase on the perturbed (spoil) areas compared to the control plots. During the first year, but not the second, live and dead biomass was greater in the perturbed areas compared to the control plots. In an area where the spoil was thicker succession was exceedingly slow and there was only about 5% grass cover by the end of the first growing season. Because Spartina colonizes primarily by rhizome growth, the comparatively slow recovery was attributed to the inability of the grass to penetrate the thick spoil layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalEstuaries
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)

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