bio 126 marsh and wetlands
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Bio 126 Marsh and Wetlands. Current state:. In California we have lost 90\% of our wetlands. Much of the Great Central valley was a seasonal marsh. Our Largest lakes with miles of marshy shoreline were by Bakersfield. They had 2,100 miles of marshy shoreline.

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Presentation Transcript
slide2
Current state:
  • In California we have lost 90% of our wetlands
  • Much of the Great Central valley was a seasonal marsh
  • Our Largest lakes with miles of marshy shoreline were by Bakersfield. They had 2,100 miles of marshy shoreline
  • 40% of the SF Bay has been filled in with land.
  • Rivers have been channelized, shoreline reduced
types of marshes
Types of Marshes:
  • Salt water – marine or sea water marshes – along bays and sea shore
  • Mangrove swamps, important for island building in warm waters
  • Brackish – mix of salt or sea water and fresh water – locations may vary by seasonal flow
  • Estuaries – river meets a bay, or sea
  • Fresh water – along streams and lakes
ecological roles of wetlands
Ecological Roles of Wetlands:
  • High productivity
  • Filters water – Laminar flow
  • Fisheries
  • Migrating & resident birds
    • Food, cover, nesting sites
  • Traps nutrients, pollutants
salt marsh plants
Salt Marsh Plants
  • Halophytes at leading edge
    • Plants adapted to salty conditions
    • Many have Salt glands
    • Succulents have swollen tissues that store water – like Pickleweed
anatomy of salt marsh
Anatomy of Salt Marsh
  • Open sea water
  • Mudflats – still under water
  • Salt marsh – above ground by inches, right next to mudflats.
    • Salt content of soil high
  • Fresh water marsh, higher up, and farther back from mud flats
    • Salt content of soil very low
mudflats
Mudflats
  • Forms new land by silting,
  • Limited by high-tide line
    • Area still under water at high tides
  • Wind blows dust, plant trap sediments settling down & slowly build up soil
  • Differences in compaction create tidal meanders – deeper channels
  • Highest salt content – same as sea
  • Eel grass and sea lettuce- dominants
  • Wading birds eat animals in mud
salt marsh edge with sea water
Salt Marsh edge with sea water
  • Cordgrass dominates
    • Hollow stems, 2-3 ft. tall
    • Rhizomes trap detritus, and sediments add to soil
  • Highly productive
    • Has nitrogen fixing bacteria in roots
  • Few things eat cordgrass
  • Fuels a detrivore based food chain
  • Decays in mud, microorganism eat detritus
  • Worms, snails, fish larvae eat microorganisms
  • Birds, larger fish, eat worms etc.
salt marsh farther inland
Salt Marsh farther inland
  • Salt in soil is less than 2%
  • Saltgrass most common
  • Other salt-tolerant species may be present such as:
    • Saltbush
    • Sea Blite
    • Marsh Grindelia – a “gum weed”
fresh water marsh
Fresh Water Marsh
  • On inflow of creeks into salt marshes
  • Around lakes streams inland
  • Deltas of rivers
fresh water marsh plants
Fresh Water Marsh Plants
  • Floating plants – microphytes
    • Duckweed and Water-ferns
    • Water hyacinth an introduce weedy species
  • Tule – Bullrush small spike of flowers and seeds
    • Triangular stems up to 6 ft.
  • Cattails – column of small flowers / feather seeds
    • Round hollow stems up to 10 ft.
    • Can not tolerate water deeper than 4 ft.
  • Shrubs and Trees – Riparian areas
    • may include Willows, Alder, Cottonwood, Sycamore
good website to view marshplants
Good website to view marshplants
  • www.msnucleus.org/.../ mudslough/mudplants.html
marsh birds
Marsh Birds
  • Northern Harrier
  • Rails
  • Black Phoebe
  • Kingfishers
  • Egrets, Herons
  • Ducks
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Smaller Waders: Stilts, Avocet, Peeps Brewers and Red-winged Black birds
other marsh animals
Other Marsh Animals
  • Black-tailed Jack Rabbit
  • Tule Elk
  • Racoons
  • Skunks
  • Muskrats
  • Otters
  • Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
  • Norway Rats
  • Introduced red fox – hunts marsh birds
a new dawn for the delta
A new Dawn for the Delta
  • Glen Martin
  • SF Chronicle December 30, 2005
slide55
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Bonanza of birds on the bay Tidal marshes' recovery has brought record counts
  • Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer
  • Saturday, March 26, 2005
slide57
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Bay researchers try to mow down enemy Invasive hybrid weed is suffocating mudflat habitats
  • Glen Martin, Chronicle Environment Writer
  • Tuesday, October 11, 2005
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