Animal Colonizaion of Man-Initiated Salt Marshes on Dredge Spoil.
COASTAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH CENTER FORT BELVOIR VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Dredge spoil has been successfully stabilized with plantings of North Carolinas dominant marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora smooth cord grass. Benefits of stabilizing spoil with Spartina appear to be 1 Short term--marsh grass slows erosion of spoil back into the waterways, thereby reducing need for frequent and costly dredging and 2 Long term--areas covered with Spartina come to look like natural marshlands. Marsh provides a vital source of nutrients and food for many young fish and shellfish and is, therefore, important to fishery resources. Even though outwardly it looks like natural marsh, scientists arent sure if spoil covered with Spartina has characteristics similar to natures marsh beneath the surface. Natural marsh is habitat for animal life much of which is found nowhere else. Complex nutrient cycles involving the marsh fauna, sediments, grass, and overlying waters are also found only in natural marsh. The purpose of this research was to answer the general question Does spoil covered with smooth cordgrass function similarly to natural marsh. Objectives were 1 To determine what fauna are found in transplanted spoil 2 To compare spoil and natural marsh fauna 3 To determine if spoil will ever resemble that of the natural marsh 4 If the answer to 3 is yes, to determine how long after spoil is deposited animal life in the new marsh will become similar to natural marsh fauna and 5 To investigate how growth of Spartina may affect development of animal life. This research shows that planting Spartina on dredge spoil can lead to creation of salt marsh that resembles natural marsh.
- Biological Oceanography
- Civil Engineering