Comparison of physical characteristics between created and natural estuarine marshes in Galveston Bay, Texas

  • Published source details Delaney T.P., Webb J.W. & Minello T.J. (2000) Comparison of physical characteristics between created and natural estuarine marshes in Galveston Bay, Texas. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 8, 343-352.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Deposit soil/sediment and introduce vegetation: brackish/salt marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Deposit soil/sediment and introduce vegetation: brackish/salt marshes

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1990 of 15 coastal salt marshes in Texas, USA (Delaney et al. 2000) found that marshes created by depositing sediment and/or introducing vegetation had similar coverage of emergent plant community types to natural marshes, but contained larger, smoother patches of the most abundant community type. Created and natural marshes had statistically similar coverage of four of four plant communities: three types of emergent herbaceous vegetation (created: 2–47%; natural: 1–45% coverage/type) and one type of shrubby vegetation (created: 6%; natural: 2%). The most abundant community type was dense, regularly flooded smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora. In created marshes, this occurred in larger blocks with straighter edges (vs smaller patches with undulating edges in natural marshes; data reported as landscape metrics). Methods: Ten created marshes, and representative sections of five nearby natural marshes, were mapped from aerial photographs taken in October 1990. All marshes were landward of barrier islands. The created marshes were 3–15 years old. Marsh creation involved: planting smooth cordgrass onto deposited sediment (five marshes) or excavated upland (one marsh); planting only (two marshes); or depositing sediment only (two marshes). The study does not report further details of creation methods, or separate results for different means of creation. Some sites from this study were also included in (4).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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