Salt Marshes

Zaid, Mota { } Eliseo, Columbie


Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides. They are marshy because the soil may be composed of deep mud and peat. Peat is made of decomposing plant matter that is often several feet thick. Peat is waterlogged, root-filled, and very spongy.
  • There are many salt marshes in the US
  • Big Lagoon State Park [] Christchurch, New Zealand [] Sapelo Island, Georgia []
  • Marshes are part of a larger category of wetlands
  • American Alligators are the Apex predators of Salt Marshes


The three roles of decomposers, principally bacteria and fungi, in estuarine intertidal flats and marshes have been reviewed by Peterson and Peterson (1979). They are:

  • decomposition of dead organic matter into inorganic nutrients and the cycling of these nutrients

  • conversion of often indigestible plant materials (such as cellulose) to a form (i.e., microbial biomass) that can be assimilated readily by detritus­ and deposit feeding organisms

  • conversion of dissolved organic and inorganic materials into consumable particulate matter

American Aligator

Domain: Eukaryote

Kingdom: animal

Phylum: chordate

Class: Reptile

Order: Crocodalia

Family: Aligatoridae

Genus: Alligator

Species: Alligator mississippiensis

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Food web

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The Abiotic Factors of Salt Marshes

The Abiotic factors of Salt Marshes are:

  1. Temperature
  2. pH
  3. Currents
  4. Minerals
  5. Sunlight
  6. Rock
  7. Water
  8. Flooding
  9. Mud and Cement
  10. Tides

Biotic Factors of Salt Marshes

There are many biotic factors in Salt Marshes such as:

  1. Animals

  2. Plants

  3. Fungi

  4. Bacteria

  5. Protist

Human Impacts on Salt Marshes.

Three hundred and fifty years of wetland destruction and pollution have left a legacy on New England salt marshes. Today, some of the challenges facing wetland managers and scientist include the identification or imperiled salt marshes, the prioritization of sites for restoration, and the development of ways to measure the effectiveness of restoration efforts. Human Impacts are:

  1. Pollution

  2. Coastal Development

  3. Improper marsh elevations

  4. Non-native species