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Free Content Studies on the Plant Community of a North Florida Salt Marsh

Part II. Nutritive Value and Decomposition

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Nutritive values of dominant halophytes in a Juncus roemerianus marsh at St. Marks, Florida were measured bimonthly from September 1974 through August 1975. Leaves and rhizomes of J. roemerianus and leaves of Spartina alterniflora were sampled from three marsh zones; Distichlis spicata leaves were collected only from the high marsh. Changes in nutrient composition in decomposing Juncus and Spartina were followed at three locations within the marsh as well as in a tidal stream.

Zonal differences were significant in ash content of live Juncus leaves, ash and lipid of dead leaves, and ash, crude fiber, protein, lipid, and phosphorus content of rhizomes. Ash, lipid, and protein content of Spartina showed significant zonal differences. Annual decomposition of Juncus was 70% in low and upper marsh zones and 30% in the high marsh; Spartina litterbags lost 80 to 89% of weight at all marsh sites.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1978-10-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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