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Publication Type J
Authors Contreras-Cruzado, I., M. D. Infante-Izquierdo, B. Marquez-Garcia, V. Hermoso-Lopez, A. Polo, F. J. J. Nieva, J. B. Cartes-Barroso, J. M. Castillo and A. Munoz-Rodriguez
Title Relationships between spatio-temporal changes in the sedimentary environment and halophytes zonation in salt marshes
Source Geoderma
Author Keywords Organic matter content pH Water content Tidal salt marshes Salinity Seasonality atriplex-portulacoides l. plant zonation spartina-densiflora soil-salinity ria-formosa geographic-variation vegetation zonation relative importance southern portugal edaphic factors
Abstract This study reports the soil-plant relationships along the intertidal gradient from unvegetated mudflats to the ecotone between high marshes and coastal dunes. The main objective was to establish the integrated role of spatial and seasonal changes in the sedimentary abiotic environment in relation to the establishment of the halophytes zonation pattern. The sedimentary environment and the halophytes coverage were sampled bimonthly during a year in nine intertidal habitats characterized by different plant communities. The highest values of sediment water content (40-60%) and electrical conductivity (20-30 mS cm(-1)) were registered in low middle marshes, the highest organic matter content (ca. 23%) was found in middle marshes, and the highest pH (8.5-9.0) was recorded in high marshes. The conductivity and the pH of the marsh sediments changed seasonally. The sediment conductivity reached its highest values during spring and summer. The spatial variations in the sedimentary environment were closely associated with the distribution of most of the recorded halophytes, especially in low and high marshes where the abiotic environment was more stressful. At the same time, cyclical seasonal changes in conductivity seemed to determine the distribution of the halophytes in high marshes, where the seasonality was very marked under Mediterranean climate. The combination and integration over time of these spatio-temporal changes in the sedimentary environment defined habitats with contrasted abiotic conditions parallel to the tidal line and complex abiotic mosaics inside some of these habitats, allowing the cohabitation of > 30 plant species along the intertidal gradient.
Author Address [Contreras-Cruzado, Isabel; Dolores Infante-Izquierdo, Maria; Marquez-Garcia, Belen; Polo, Alejandro; Nieva, Francisco Javier J.; Bautista Cartes-Barroso, Juan; Munoz-Rodriguez, Adolfo] Univ Huelva, Dept Ciencias Integradas, Huelva 21071, Spain. [Hermoso-Lopez, Virgilio] Ctr Tecnol Forestal Catalunya, Solsona 25280, Lleida, Spain. [Castillo, Jesus M.] Univ Seville, Dept Biol Vegetal & Ecol, E-41012 Seville, Spain. [Munoz-Rodriguez, Adolfo] Univ Huelva, CEI MAR, Campus Excelencia Univ Mar, Huelva 21071, Spain. Munoz-Rodriguez, A (reprint author), Univ Huelva, Dept Ciencias Integradas, Huelva 21071, Spain. adolfo.munoz@dbasp.uhu.es
ISSN 0016-7061
ISBN 0016-7061
29-Character Source Abbreviation Geoderma
Publication Date Nov
Year Published 2017
Volume 305
Beginning Page 173-187
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.05.037
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000408075900018

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