||Detritus Processing and Mineral Cycling in Seagrass 'Zostera' Litter in an Oregon Salt Marsh.
Gallagher, J. L. ;
Kibby, H. V. ;
Skirvin, K. W. ;
||Corvallis Environmental Research Lab., OR. ;Delaware Univ., Lewes. Coll. of Marine Studies.
Organic compounds ;
Plant growth ;
Plant canopy ;
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In estuaries where seagrass beds adjoin marshes, the import and decomposition of seagrass litter in the marsh provide a mechanism for retaining nutrients within the wetlands and preventing loss to adjacent oceanic waters. Several aspects of the influence of seagrass litter on an Oregon salt marsh were studied. The quantity of Zostera litter in the marsh vegetation depended on elevation and on the marsh-plant canopy structure. Litter decomposition was most complete in the seagrass bed and in the highest marsh area. At intermediate elevations decomposition was very low after 40% of the material was degraded. The respiration rates of dead-plant communities (DPCs) and the release rates of dissolved organic carbon into the tidal waters depended on the location of the DPC in the marsh. (Copyright (c) Aquatic Botany, 20(1984) 97-108, Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam.)