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Ellison Abstract- 1986 Ellison et al

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Ellison, A. M., M. D. Bertness, and T. Miller. 1986. Seasonal patterns in the belowground biomass of Spartina alterniflora (Gramineae) across a tidal gradient. American Journal of Botany 73: 1548-1554.


Belowground biomass of two ht forms of the salt marsh cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, in a New England salt marsh exhibited a seasonal cycle. Biomass was highest in midsummer with no secondary peak in biomass corresponding with the autumn dieback of aboveground parts. Total annual biomass production and the maximum depth that living tissue penetrated into the substrate decreased with increasing tidal ht. Substrate characteristics (soil aeration, pH, nutrient levels) known to affect aboveground biomass of S. alterniflora also decreased with increasing tidal ht and may similarly affect belowground biomass across the same tidal gradient.

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