Chapter

Diverse Perspectives on Tidal Marshes: An Introduction

Joy B. Zedler

in Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780520274297
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520954014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520274297.003.0001
Diverse Perspectives on Tidal Marshes: An Introduction

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Despite their limited global area, tidal marshes support exceptionally high biodiversity, because their aquatic matrix is continually on the move. River flooding and tides change inundation and salinity levels daily, seasonally, and annually; this limits the number of vascular plant species, while augmenting habitat for hundreds of aquatic and epibenthic algae, micro- and macroinvertebrates, fish and shellfish, and terrestrial arthropods (insects and spiders). At the same time, tidal flushing accelerates critical ecosystem services, especially plant growth (creating an abundant food base for the ecosystem) and nutrient recycling (especially the return of organic nitrogen to nitrogen gas). Due to the heavy use of tidal marshes by humans, future research should focus on restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functions. NERRs are ideal locations for large, long-term experimentation.

Keywords: biodiversity; conservation; ecosystem services; global perspective; inundation; invasive species; research; restoration; rising sea level; salinity variations

Chapter.  10856 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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