Coastal realignment at RSPB Nigg Bay Nature Reserve


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Facilitate tidal exchange to restore/create brackish/salt marshes from other land uses

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Facilitate tidal exchange to restore/create brackish/salt marshes from other land uses

    A before-and-after study in 2001–2012 aiming to restore a salt marsh on pasture land in Scotland, UK (Elliott 2015) reported that salt marsh vegetation colonized the site within one year of breaching the sea wall, and dominated the site within three years. Before breaching, all sixty surveyed quadrats contained wet grassland/rush pasture plant communities. After one summer, 18% of quadrats contained salt marsh plant communities, with 57% of quadrats bare mud. Within three years, 65% of quadrats contained salt marsh plant communities, with only 2% bare mud. Wet grassland/rush pasture persisted in 21% of quadrats, at higher elevations. After nine years, 93% of quadrats contained salt marsh plant communities, 6% wet grassland and 1% bare mud. After breaching, there were only 25–32 plant species on the marsh each year, compared to 37 before. Methods: In February 2003, two 20-m-long breaches were dug in a sea wall. This restored tidal exchange to a 25-ha pasture created in the 1950s. Plant species and community types were recorded in sixty permanent quadrats across the site, before breaching (August 2001) and for up to nine years after (summer 2003–2011).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
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