Spartina Alterniflora in Two New Brunswick Salt Marshes. I. Growth and Decomposition
In two salt marshes in New Brunswick, Canada, the growing season lasted from May to September. Spartina alterniflora reached a greater height and produced more leaves at Jourimain (Northumberland Strait) than at Fort Beausejour (Bay of Fundy coast, with lower temperature and extremely high tides). Protein levels of leaves generally decreased, and phenolics levels increased, between May and September. In both marshes, senescence and death of some leaves began very early. Between 11.4% (Jourimain) and 29.4% (Beausejour) of the leaves became detached during the growing season. During decomposition, which was initiated in the standing-dead state, phenolics declined and protein levels showed no clear trend. Mass loss rates of leaves were highest in apical sections at Beausejour. By the following spring, detrital biomass remaining on the marsh was much higher at Jourimain than at Beausejour.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1999-03-01
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