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Evaluation of Brown Marsh in Savannah, GA

PI: Mary Carla Curran (Savannah State University, Savannah, GA, USA)

Support: GA Sea Grant and Savannah State University

Timeframe: 2003 - ongoing

Project Overview:
     "Dead" or "brown" marsh is indicated by large bald patches devoid of Spartina, and has been observed in coastal Georgia. The Savannah State University Marine Ecology Class is evaluating this phenomenon. The purpose of the study is provide an opportunity for students to collect data valuable to a topic of current ecological concern.

     To assess the marsh areas, the densites of live and dead Spartina shoots were determined using transects performed through live and dead marsh areas. Shoots were counted and measured in 0.5m x 0.5m quadrats.   

Preliminary results indicate that dead shoots outnumbered live shoots in both the live and dead marsh areas. Some dead marsh areas had no live shoots. Furthermore, dead shoots tended to be taller than live shoots. Preliminary evaluation of the sediment indicated that more meiofauna, primarily nematodes, were found in live marsh.


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This page was updated October 13, 2006