Salt marches

Importance of salt marshes

Salt marshes are unique ecosystemssituated in the interface between terrestrial and marine environments.

Flora and fauna communities in salt marshes are adapted to the influence of the tides that cause different inundation and salinity conditions. For this reason these communities often show clear zonation patterns in their distribution.

marshes are extremely valuable ecosystems considered biodiversity hotspots. In addition, they provide many services and goods for people at local and global scales. Some of these services include carbon sequestration, and protection of coastal areas against flooding, erosion or pollution.

Despite their ecological and socio-economic importance, these habitats are threatened by multiple anthropogenic pressures and  natural hazards.

Salt marshes distribution

Salt marshes are found in most parts of the world. Mainly in temperate zones and at locations without strong wave action.

In MaCoBioS we have focused on the salt marshes located in the Northern European Region.

Ireland: Bull Island (Dublin Bay)

UK : Keyhaven marshes (near Lymington), Langstone, Medmerry Nature Reserve

MaCoBioS fieldwork

To know a bit more about its biodiversity and health condition, during the project  we performed several field campaigns in salt marshes in countries such as Ireland and UK.

During our fieldwork we deployed cross-shore transects from the stranding line to the back of salt marshes. We assessed shore profile elevation and salinity along the transect and deployed quadrats for finer biodiversity and plants community characterization.

Due to their boggy conditions was not always easy to walk on them!