Coastal Communities


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  • Filling in salt marshes for great waterfront housing
  • Ribbed mussels
  • Red-winged blackbird
  • Horseshoe crab
  • Pickleweed - Halophytes
  • Salt Marsh Hay
  • cordgrass
  • Coastal Communities

    1. 1. Salt Marsh Communities <ul><li>• Found in protected estuarine habitats </li></ul><ul><li>• Created by grasses, which stabilize soft sediment substrate </li></ul>
    2. 2. Salt Marshes – Physical Characteristics <ul><li>• Intertidal habitats </li></ul><ul><li>• Lower elevations of salt marsh are usually submerged daily for several hours, while upper border of salt marsh is only submerged once or twice a month. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Salt Marsh-Zonation <ul><li>Few species can be good at everything. Salt marsh grasses are usually either good competitors or able to tolerate the physiologically stressful conditions of the low salt marsh. </li></ul><ul><li>Grasses and flowering plants that are good stress tolerators like Spartina alterniflora dominate the low marsh . </li></ul>
    4. 4. Salt Marsh - Distribution <ul><li>Worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>-low seacoasts </li></ul><ul><li>-inside barrier bars and beaches </li></ul><ul><li>-in estuaries </li></ul><ul><li>-on deltas </li></ul>
    5. 6. Salt Marshes Plants & Animals <ul><li>Important nursery grounds for many commercially important fishes </li></ul><ul><li>Important feeding and breeding habitat for waterfowl </li></ul>
    6. 7. Plant roots hold the sediment in and are a place for animals to hide.
    7. 8. Uses <ul><li>Natural filter system Natural barrier against coastal flooding </li></ul><ul><li>Nursery ground for economically important species </li></ul><ul><li>Beautiful! </li></ul>
    8. 9. Human Abuses <ul><li>Construction/Development (habitat loss) </li></ul><ul><li>Ditching for mosquito “control” </li></ul><ul><li>Overharvesting of resources </li></ul>
    9. 10. Dominant Animals <ul><li>Birds </li></ul><ul><li>Fish </li></ul><ul><li>Invertebrates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crustaceans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mollusks </li></ul></ul>
    10. 12. Geukensia demissa
    11. 13. Agelaius phoeniceus
    12. 14. Limulus polyphemus
    13. 15. Salt Marsh Plants <ul><li>Halophytes - plants that tolerate salty water -Some push salt through pores </li></ul><ul><li>-Some push salt to the end of the plant and drop the end off - Salicornia </li></ul>
    14. 16. Spartina patens
    15. 17. Spartina alterniflora
    16. 18. Phragmites australis – that all too common, common reed
    17. 19. Salt Marsh at Low Tide
    18. 20. Salt Marsh at High Tide
    19. 21. To Learn More About Salt Marshes <ul><li>Local salt marshes: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Regional salt marshes: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
    20. 22. Mud (Tidal) Flats
    21. 23. Mud (Tidal) Flats – Physical Characteristics <ul><li>Some areas of estuary wetlands are relatively devoid of plant matter. These Soft sediment habitats are the Tidal (Mud) Flats. </li></ul><ul><li>They occur along outer edges of the salt marshes where low current flow allows fine sediment to drop out of suspension </li></ul>
    22. 24. Who lives in Mud (Tidal) Flats? <ul><li>Home to a diverse community of invertebrates: </li></ul><ul><li>Snails, Clams & Segmented worms-all move through the bottom, mixing deeper, oxygen-starved sediments with surface sediments ( bioturbation ). </li></ul>
    23. 25. Mud flats provide habitat/feeding ground for many invertebrates – and their predators
    24. 26. Digging Clams
    25. 27. Human Uses <ul><li>Similar to salt marsh </li></ul><ul><li>- important nursery ground for young fish </li></ul><ul><li>- barrier from storm damage to land/coastal flooding </li></ul><ul><li>- beautiful </li></ul>
    26. 28. Threats to Mud (Tidal) Flats <ul><li>Change in current velocity </li></ul><ul><li>Development of surrounding marshes </li></ul><ul><li>Dredging </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming </li></ul>
    27. 30. Seagrass Distribution <ul><li>- Shallow sub-tidal habitats created by marine grasses </li></ul><ul><li>-Found in estuaries and lagoons in both temperate and tropical systems throughout the world </li></ul>
    28. 31. Values of Seagrasses <ul><li>- Mo dify environment by reducing current velocity, which can in turn affect sedimentation rates & soil grain size </li></ul><ul><li>-Help slow down storms moving inland </li></ul><ul><li>-Increase habitat complexity, reducing predation intensity </li></ul><ul><li>-FOOD, SHELTER, NURSERY !! </li></ul>
    29. 32. Values of Seagrasses continued <ul><li>Increased number of individuals and species in seagrass bed, compared to bare or sandy areas outside the bed. </li></ul>Our local seagrass is Eelgrass
    30. 33. Who Lives There? Values of Seagrasses continued <ul><li>- Fish, crabs, shrimp, and scallops are much more common inside sea grass beds than outside them. Some species, such as clams and scallops, also grow faster within a sea grass bed. </li></ul>
    31. 34. Threats To Seagrasses <ul><li>Boat propeller damage </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming, sea level rise </li></ul><ul><li>Water quality & clarity decreases from runoff (making photosynthesis difficult) </li></ul><ul><li>Brown Tide </li></ul>
    32. 35. To learn more about Seagrasses: <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    33. 36. Rocky Intertidal Communities <ul><li>Physical Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent on tides-periodically covered by water or exposed to elements </li></ul><ul><li>Rocky – cobble to boulder sized sediment </li></ul>
    34. 37. Value of Rocky Intertidal <ul><li>Structure, habitat for economically & environmentally important species </li></ul>
    35. 40. Threats to the Rocky Intertidal <ul><li>Global Climate Change & Sea Level Rise </li></ul><ul><li>Waste disposal/sewage disposal </li></ul><ul><li>Overcollecting, trampling by humans </li></ul>
    36. 41. Barnacles Feeding
    37. 42. Rocky Intertidal Flora & Fauna
    38. 43. Helpful Links to Communities <ul><li>Salt Marsh & Rocky Shores: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Barnacles! </li></ul>