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A Look At. Tidal Wetlands. Marsh Profile. Let’s take a walk into a local salt marsh. We’ll enter by water and walk to the maritime forest. Be careful! You never know what you’ll find as you come ashore. Much of the lower marsh is dominated by saltmarsh cordgrass ( spartina alterniflroa).

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A Look At

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Slide1 l.jpg

A Look At

Tidal Wetlands



Let s take a walk into a local salt marsh we ll enter by water and walk to the maritime forest l.jpg
Let’s take a walk into a local salt marsh. We’ll enter by water and walk to the maritime forest.


Be careful you never know what you ll find as you come ashore l.jpg
Be careful! by water and walk to the maritime forest. You never know what you’ll find as you come ashore.


Much of the lower marsh is dominated by saltmarsh cordgrass spartina alterniflroa l.jpg
Much of the lower marsh is dominated by saltmarsh cordgrass by water and walk to the maritime forest.(spartina alterniflroa).


Dark areas in the cordgrass are often signs of black needlerush juncus sp l.jpg
Dark areas in the cordgrass are often signs of by water and walk to the maritime forest.black needlerush(Juncus sp.).


You should wear glasses around needlerush get the point l.jpg
You should wear glasses around by water and walk to the maritime forest.needlerush!.......GET THE POINT?


Now that you have your glasses on take a look at the ground l.jpg
Now that you have your glasses on, take a look at the ground by water and walk to the maritime forest.

  • There are many things to see!


Do you know what made all these holes l.jpg
Do you know what made all these holes? by water and walk to the maritime forest.

Marsh Fiddler Crabs


Can you see the fiddler crab l.jpg
Can you see the fiddler crab? by water and walk to the maritime forest.


Notice anything around this hole l.jpg
Notice anything around this hole? by water and walk to the maritime forest.

Muskrat tracks


There are also mussels l.jpg
There are also mussels by water and walk to the maritime forest.


Notice anything here l.jpg
Notice anything here? by water and walk to the maritime forest.

Marsh Periwinkle or Snail


Time to move on l.jpg
Time to move on! by water and walk to the maritime forest.


A coastal marsh will often contain many drainage guts l.jpg
A coastal marsh will often contain many drainage by water and walk to the maritime forest.guts.

  • These guts can be narrow or wide.

  • They can be shallow or deep.

  • They are the roadways for many of the marine species like fish and crabs to enter the marsh.


That means food for some l.jpg
That means food for some by water and walk to the maritime forest.


Can you name this visitor to the gut l.jpg
Can you name this visitor to the by water and walk to the maritime forest.gut?

It’s a Rail




Time to move on20 l.jpg
Time to move on! natural bridge?




Saltmeadow cordgrass and saltgrass together form salthay l.jpg
Saltmeadow cordgrass and Saltgrass together form “ quite distinct!Salthay”.

  • Saltmeadow cordgrass or Spartina patens is usually the more common of the two.

  • Saltgrass or Distichlis sp. can be distiguished from S. patens by the close in branching found on the saltgrass.


Take a look under the top layer of the salthay l.jpg
Take a look under the top layer of the quite distinct!Salthay.

  • What type of animals would you expect to live under the Salthay?

  • The Meadow Mole lives here.


Along the edges of the upper marsh you may also find sedges l.jpg
Along the edges of the upper marsh you may also find quite distinct!sedges.

  • Scirpus is the genus of the three-squares.

  • They have solid stems which are triangular in cross section.



Salt pans l.jpg
Salt Pans quite distinct!


Salt pans form when areas of the marsh are covered by wrack l.jpg
Salt pans form when areas of the marsh are covered by quite distinct!wrack.

  • Wrack is made up of the organic material of the marsh and other areas.


Salt pans form when areas of the marsh are covered by wrack29 l.jpg
Salt pans form when areas of the marsh are covered by quite distinct!wrack.

  • This organic materials collects during storms or other high tide events.


Salt pans form when areas of the marsh are covered by wrack30 l.jpg
Salt pans form when areas of the marsh are covered by quite distinct!wrack.

  • This wrack then“smothers” the flora underneath and leaves a baron depression.


Salt often collects in these depressions due to evaporation l.jpg
Salt often collects in these depressions due to evaporation. quite distinct!

  • Because of the increased salinity, halophilic plants like saltwort or pickleweed (Salicornia) usually dominate in the pans.


Time to move on32 l.jpg
Time to move on! quite distinct!



Marsh elder iva and groundsel tree baccharis dominate this area l.jpg
Marsh Elder ( quite distinct!Iva) and Groundsel Tree (Baccharis) dominate this area.

  • Baccharis is a robust shrub with alternate leaves.

  • This shrub may grow to a height of 15 feet.


Marsh elder iva and groundsel tree baccharis dominate this area35 l.jpg
Marsh Elder ( quite distinct!Iva) and Groundsel Tree (Baccharis) dominate this area.

  • Ivais found in the same areas and has opposite deciduous leaves.

  • This bush seldom grows over 10 feet tall.


Slide36 l.jpg

Big Cordgrass ( quite distinct!Spartina cynosuroides) and Giant Reed (Phragmites communis) are often found in this area as well as other patches throughout the marsh.


Phragmites or common reed l.jpg
Phragmites quite distinct!or Common Reed

  • This reed is a familiar invader of marshy areas.

  • It grows to over 12 feet high.


Phragmites or common reed38 l.jpg
Phragmites quite distinct!or Common Reed

  • Common reed becomes established via seeds, but spreads by rhizoids.


Phragmites or common reed39 l.jpg
Phragmites quite distinct!or Common Reed

  • The brown, feathery head and the smooth blades are a distinguishing feature of this marsh reed.


Big cordgrass or spartina l.jpg
Big Cordgrass or quite distinct!Spartina


Big cordgrass l.jpg
Big Cordgrass quite distinct!

  • This is another tall grass that can be confused with Common Reed at first glance.


Big cordgrass42 l.jpg
Big Cordgrass quite distinct!

  • It also grows to over 12 feet and is found in the same areas as the Common or Giant Reed.


Big cordgrass43 l.jpg
Big Cordgrass quite distinct!

  • Its “open” head and tapering leaves with upturned minute teeth on their margins are the clues you need to know the difference.


Time to move on44 l.jpg
Time to move on! quite distinct!


Welcome to the upland zone l.jpg
Welcome to the Upland Zone quite distinct!

Maritime Forest



Other plants can be found here l.jpg
Other plants can be found here. Loblolly Pines.

  • Can you name this common plant of the Upland Zone?

    If you touch it, you might need an ocean of Calamine Lotion.


Slide48 l.jpg

Poison Ivy! Loblolly Pines.


You might find wild cherry l.jpg
You might find Loblolly Pines.Wild Cherry,


Or waxed myrtle l.jpg
Or Loblolly Pines.Waxed Myrtle.



Slide53 l.jpg

The End! Loblolly Pines.


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