Salt marshes are areas with a great number of living organisms per square meters because of their rich ecological environment .it act as important habitat for many transient of birds fish and mammals which use the marsh as nesting, feeding or nursery habitat. Amphipods, ribbed mussels, soft-shell clams, snails, crabs, and fish of various species which live frequently in the tidal streams running through salt marshes are some of the living things found in the marshy area.
Saltwater marsh are transitional area between water and land that occur along the intertidal shore of the estuaries and sounds were salinity ranges from near fresh in upriver marshes to ocean strength. Because salt marshes are affected daily by raise and fall of tides, temperature salinity and ocean depth are affected rapidly. Frequency, extent of fooling, and salinity determine the kind of animals and plant found in the region. Wet conditions occur regularly in the low marsh due to regular flooding while high marsh constitute upper areas were flooding occur during storms and unusual high tides. Dead marsh plants are a source of nourishment for many species. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is an example of plant that is found in lower marsh area. Decaying Spartina breaks into small pieces called detritus that fuels the marsh and its animals. Wind, waves, water and storms dislodge and break up decaying leaves and transport them to mad flats. this forms an attachment site for microscopic organisms such as fungi, small algae and bacteria, this colonize the broken bits of plant material and break down portions of the detritus that are not digestible by animals. Scavengers such as worms, fishes, shrimps and crabs eat the decaying plant material along with bacteria and fungi. They then excrete the undigested plant remains in feces which can be colonized again by microorganisms. They utilize detritus and reduce it to smaller and smaller pieces, remaining detritus becomes fertilizer for aquatic plant. The whole food web cycle is repeated in this manner. Pollution in marsh areas is one of the greatest problem affecting plant and animals in the ecosystem. It might disrupt the food web by killing some species and prompting others to greatly increase in number. Pollution also threatens the aesthetic, economy and recreational values of our marshes. Excessive pollution can overburden the cleansing capabilities of marshes. Ditches built to control mosquitoes has alter water flow in some marshes, it causes water loaded with vital nutrient to bypass marsh areas this may result in diminishing of birds that feed on this nutrient.
After student have learn and visited some of the saltwater marsh areas, a teacher can evaluate their stand of understanding by use of classroom test as a group .He or she can also interview individual on the subject and analyze their level of understanding. The teacher can also set questions and give the as an assignment in groups. Through all these ways teachers can assess and evaluate student on the subject.
Through the study of plant and animals interrelationship we have learnt that it is crucial to include the subject in our syllabus to create awareness on student right from the beginning in order to keep our aquatic system safe.
Dynamics of the salt marsh www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/pub/seascience/dynamic.html – 20k – Cached – Similar pages