Daiber, Franklin C. College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.
- Marsh formation
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A maritime habitat characterized by grasses, sedges, and other plants that have adapted to continual, periodic flooding. Salt marshes (Figs. 1 and 2) are found primarily throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the world. The tide is the dominating characteristic of a salt marsh. The salinity of the tide defines the plants and animals that can survive in the marsh area. The vertical range of the tide determines flooding depths and thus the height of the vegetation, and the tidal cycle controls how often and how long vegetation is submerged. Two areas are delineated by the tide: the low marsh and the high marsh. The low marsh generally floods and drains twice daily with the rise and fall of the tide; the high marsh, which is at a slightly higher elevation, floods less frequently. See also: Ecological communities; Ecology; Mangrove; Marine ecology; Tide; Wetlands
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