Salt Marsh Ecosystem

explanatory Essay
1853 words
1853 words

Salt marshes, usually mistaken for a mosquito infested mud pits, have a higher purpose than what the human population gives them credit for. Salt marshes are a unique ecosystem that makes home to many different species of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Salt marsh ecosystem’s serve as nursery grounds for many juvenile game fish such as red fish and black drum and are also home to a very important commercial fish, the bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli). The salt marsh ecosystems also serve as a buffer by filtering the pollution out of our waters. Human industrialization is currently filling in the areas where these salt marshes are inhabited and is altering our coastline significantly. Many efforts are being made to help restore the salt marshes through rehabilitation, re-vegetation, and if needed re-creation. Once a salt marsh has been completely destroyed, despite the best efforts, that ecosystem will no longer function as well as it once did.
Salt marshes occur within the upper intertidal zone between open water and low-energy shorelines. They are periodically flooded by high tide and stay continuously flooded even at low tide. These ecosystems are found in more temperate regions and can range from Europe, Asia, America, Australia and Africa (Katrien, 2009). In North America, salt marshes are located through out New England becoming more abundant in New Jersey and stretching down to the Carolina’s. Once you get into south Florida mangroves, swamps dominated by mangrove species, replace the salt marshes. Salt marshes are found where small amounts of sediments are able to accumulate and secure a foundation so the vegetation can hold onto. The salt marsh vegetation is under water for most of the year and takes in high amo...

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...niversity press. 1997. Print.
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-Wenner, Elizabeth. Dynamics of the Salt Marsh. Sea Science. Marine Resources Research Institute. Copyright 2010.
-Weiss, J. Salt Marsh. The Encyclopedia of Earth. 2013.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that salt marshes are a unique ecosystem that makes home to many different species of vertebrates, invertebrate and plants.
  • Explains that salt marshes occur in the upper intertidal zone between open water and low-energy shorelines and are periodically flooded by high tide.
  • Explains the amount of coastal wetlands that cover the earth is about 40 million acres and they make up 38 percent of the total wetland acreage in the united states.
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