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Between Coastal Marshes and Coastal Waters- A Review of Twenty Years of Speculation and Research on the Role of Salt Marshes in Estuarine Productivity and Water Chemistry

Author(s): Nixon SW


It has been almost 20 years since John Teal (1962) published his well-known paper synthesizing a variety of independent studies of production, respiration, and animal abundances in the salt marsh ecosystem of Sapelo Island, Georgia. Teal’s work brought out a number of interesting points, but I think the reason the paper is most often cited is because of its last sentence. After discussing various trophic relationships in the marsh, the paper ended with the conclusion that “...the tides remove 45% of the production before the marsh consumers have a chance to use it and in so doing permit the estuaries to support an abundance of animals.”

KeywordsSalt MarshParticulate Organic CarbonTidal CycleAccretion RateTidal Marsh

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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