Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 26 Issue 03

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Volume 26, No. 3
Pages 85 - 87


Below the Salt Marsh Surface: Visualization of Plant Roots by Computer-Aided Tomography

By Linda K. Blum  and Earl Davey  
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As sea level rises, salt marshes become subtidal mudflats unless soil surface accretion occurs at rates fast enough to keep the marsh from being submerged (Brinson et al., 1995). The individual processes contributing to accretion are well known but vary geographically in their relative importance. While the complicated interactions among accretion processes are poorly understood (Murray et al., 2008), production of roots and rhizomes is critical to maintenance of salt marsh soil structural integrity and marsh-surface elevation. Many long-term coastal research programs seek to understand how these interactions influence accretion to more accurately predict salt marsh response to sea level rise under widely differing rates of relative sea level rise, tide ranges, sediment supplies, nutrient inputs, coastal geomorphology, and climate.


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