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Publication Type J
Authors Zedler, J. B.
Title Salt-Marsh Community Structure in Tijuana Estuary, California
Source Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science
Author Keywords Salinity, halophyte
Abstract Vegetation of the Tijuana Estuary salt marsh was investigated in relationship to measured environmental factors over a one-meter elevation gradient. Elevation was a good indicator of the changing environment, with lower elevations having higher salinity, more inundation, higher soil organic matter and more clay than upper elevations. Dominance of vascular plants changed gradually with elevation. Spartina foliosa dominated the lowest elevations, then Salicornia bigelovii and Batis maritima, Jaumea carnosa, Suaeda californica, Frankenia grandifolia, Monanthochloe littoralis, and Salicornia subterminalis, with Salicornia virginica common at all but the highest elevations studied. The vegetation could not be separated into realistic zones or associations on the basis of occurrence measured in 0.~5 m2 quadrats. The most discernible change in composition across the elevation gradient corresponds to the replacement of the tall Spartina foliosa with a mixture of low-growing succulents at 6-7 dm above Mean Sea Level. Species interactions of joint occurrence and cover were investigated to develop hypotheses concerning the role of competition in determining species distributions. It is hypothesized that Salicornia virginica, which has a bimodal distribution over the elevation gradient, is limited in the central part of its range by competition with Batis maritima or Salicornia bigelovii or both. And, because of their common co-occurrence and mutual abundance, it is hypothesized that Batis maritima and Salicornia bigelovii are not competitors.
Year Published 1977
Volume 5
Issue 1
Beginning Page 39-53
Unique Article Identifier WOS:A1977DC48900004
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