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Water regimes and marsh distribution. In: McComb, A.J., Kobryn, H.T. and Latchford, J.A. (eds) Samphire marshes of the Peel-Harvey estuarine system Western Australia.

Murray, R., Latchford, J.A. and McComb, A.J. (1995) Water regimes and marsh distribution. In: McComb, A.J., Kobryn, H.T. and Latchford, J.A. (eds) Samphire marshes of the Peel-Harvey estuarine system Western Australia. Peel Preservation Group and Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

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Abstract

Tide has long been recognised as the most influential factor determining plant zonation and the development of saltmarsh communities, and it is the tide that largely determines the structure and function of saltmarshes (Clarke & Hannon, 1969).

The zonation of species with increasing distance from the water's edge and increasing elevation is initially determined by the frequency of tidal flooding and the tolerance of various species to this (Huiskes, 1990). Tidal range usually sets the upper and lower limits of the marsh. The lower limits are set by depth and duration of flooding, and the consequent mechanical effect of the waves, sediment availability and rate of erosion. The upper limits are influenced mainly by soil water salinity and nutrient availability, both of which are linked to tidal flooding frequency (Mitsch & Gosselink, 1993), tidal water being the main source of soil salt and the major mechanism for nutrient transport (Clarke & Hannon, 1971).

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Peel Preservation Group and Murdoch University
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6163
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