We examined the utility of five measures of salt marsh function, focusing on angiosperms and microbes, as potential indicators of salt marsh health. We studied twelve salt marsh creeks around Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, USA, six of which were polluted with metals and/or organic compounds and six of which were relatively pristine. Physical variables (sediment clay-silt content, creek water salinity) did not differ between impacted and reference sites. Microtox toxicity measures (expressed as wet or dry units) did not differ between impacted and reference sites. Photosynthesis and transpiration rates of creekbank Spartina alterniflora did not differ between impacted and reference sites, nor did measures of peroxidase activity in S. alterniflora. The glutathione concentration of S. alterniflora was lower at impacted sites than at reference sites; however, glutathione concentration did not respond to pollution in an earlier study in Georgia, likely because glutathione responds differently to particular chemicals rather than being a generic indicator of plant stress. Overall, these measures showed little promise as rapid indicators of salt marsh health. Other methods, such as quantifying benthic invertebrate taxa, may be more reliable for assessing ecosystem health in salt marsh systems.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 22 • No. 2