Relationship of salt marsh vegetation zonation to spatial patterns in soil moisture, salinity and topography

Moffett, Kevan B.; Robinson, David A. ORCID:; Gorelick, Steven M.. 2010 Relationship of salt marsh vegetation zonation to spatial patterns in soil moisture, salinity and topography. Ecosystems, 13. 1287-1302.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img] Text (Supplemental information)
2010_Moffett_supplement.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to NORA staff only

Download (675kB)

Download (1MB) | Preview


An intertidal San Francisco Bay salt marsh was used to study the spatial relationships between vegetation patterns and hydrologic and edaphic variables. Multiple abiotic variables were represented by six metrics: elevation, distance to major tidal channels and to the nearest channel of any size, edaphic conditions during dry and wet circumstances, and the magnitude of tidally induced changes in soil saturation and salinity. A new approach, quantitative differential electromagnetic induction (Q-DEMI), was developed to obtain the last metric. The approach converts the difference in soil electrical conductivity (ECa) between dry and wet conditions to quantitative maps of tidally induced changes in root zone soil water content and salinity. The result is a spatially exhaustive map of edaphic changes throughout the mapped area of the ecosystem. Spatially distributed data on the six metrics were used to explore two hypotheses: (1) multiple abiotic variables relevant to vegetation zonation each exhibit different, uncorrelated, spatial patterns throughout an intertidal salt marsh; (2) vegetation zones and habitats of individual plant species are uniquely characterized by different combinations of key metrics. The first hypothesis was supported by observed, uncorrelated spatial variability in the metrics. The second hypothesis was supported by binary logistic regression models that identified key vegetation zone and species habitat characteristics from among the six metrics. Based on results from 108 models, the Q-DEMI map of saturation and salinity change was the most useful metric of those tested for distinguishing different vegetation zones and plant species habitats in the salt marsh.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.4 - Develop innovative, effective methods for monitoring fluxes, exposure and effects
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Emmett
ISSN: 1432-9840
Additional Keywords: pattern, salt marsh, vegetation, zonation, edaphic,wetland, geophysics, ECa, Q-DEMI
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 20 Dec 2010 11:36 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...