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Publication Type J
Authors Timoney, K. P.
Title String and net-patterned salt marshes: Rare landscape elements of boreal Canada
Source Canadian Field-Naturalist
Abstract A rare form of wetland, string and net-patterned salt marshes, exist in and near Wood Buffalo National Park in northeastern Alberta and the adjacent Northwest Territories. In two wetlands (Benchmark, and Lobstick creeks) examined in August 2001, a benthic blue-green algae/diatom community covered flark bottoms. Calamagrostis stricta (Narrow Reed Grass) and Triglochin maritima (Seaside Arrow-grass) at Benchmark Creek and Atriplex subspicata (Saltbush), Puccinellia nutalliana (Nuttall's Salt-Meadow Grass), and Triglochin palustris (Slender Arrow-grass) at Lobstick Creek dominated the strings. Hordeum jubatum (Foxtail Barley), Puccinellia nuttalliana, Spergularia marina (Salt-marsh Sand Sporty), and Triglochin palustris were common to both wetlands. Other noteworthy plant occurrences included Aster ericoides (Tufted White Prairie Aster), A. pauciflorus (Few-flowered Aster), Carex mackenzici (Mackenzie's Sedge), Glaux maritima (Sea Milkwort), Monolepis nuttalliana (Spear-leaved Goosefoot). Plantago eriopoda (Saline Plantain). P. maritima (Sea-side Plantain), Scirpus paludosus (Prairie Bulrush), and Suaeda calceoliformis (Western Sea-blite). The wetlands observed were associated with valleys. In order to form, they may require a gentle elevational gradient for lateral flow of saline surface water. The patterns may be related also to soil processes involving excessive soil salts. Soil augering revealed an insufficient amount of peat for the sites to be classified as fens; soils appear to classify as Rego Humic Gleysols. These rare wetlands require study of their mode of formation, distribution, and their biota. I suggest a new type designation: interior patterned saline marsh.
Publication Date Jul-Sep
Year Published 2001
Volume 115
Issue 3
Beginning Page 406-412
Unique Article Identifier ISI:000175520500003
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