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The salt marsh to tidal woodland transition
Ranwell, D.S. (1974). The salt marsh to tidal woodland transition. Hydrobiol. Bull. 8(1-2): 139-151
In: Hydrobiological Bulletin. Netherlands Hydrobiological Society: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-1404, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Ranwell, D.S. (1974). The salt marsh to tidal woodland transition, in: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ecology and Physiology of the Brackish Environment, Amsterdam, September 4-7, 1973. Hydrobiological Bulletin, 8(1-2): pp. 139-151, more

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    Ecology; Ecosystems; Salt marshes; Marine; Brackish water

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  • Ranwell, D.S.

    (1) A study of the salt marsh tidal woodland transition has been made on the Fal estuary in Cornwall, England. (2) The presence of kaolin china clay workings in the catchment is responsible for high suspended loads of sediment in the Fal river. (3) Study of historical documents and maps showed that over the past 100yr, salt marsh advance onto mudflats was being followed by Salix, and Alnus woodland invasion of the upper limits of the salt marsh. Tree ageing estimates confirmed that the trees were < 100 years old. (4) Vegetation was recorded on transects and levelling survey to standard datum carried out. (5) Measurements of tidal submergence were made at equinoctial tides which reached and flooded the seaward parts of the woodland. The chlorinity of water flooding the salt marsh to tidal woodland transition was equivalent to one tenth of the concentration in sea water. (6) The salt marsh to woodland transition appears to depend on natural phenomena associated with siltation. (7) Direct stratigraphical study of plant remains in the soil profile shows that these recapitulate in time the spatial zonation from salt marsh to woodland found at the surface at the present time. Mature Quercus robur occur on riverbank levees on tidal silt subject to occasional flooding with saline water. (8) Other examples of British and Continental salt marsh to tidal woodland transitions are given.

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