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Gulf of Mexico Tidal Wetlands

A Photo Gallery of Florida's Big Bend Tidal Wetlands

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Ellen Raabe

Storm Effects

  Tidal Creek Wrack storm debris on marsh
Storm tides, or surge, along this Florida coast often deposit thick piles of wrack on the marsh. This wrack is composed mostly of the decaying stems of black needlerush. Black needlerush has a hollow, rounded leaf, that floats easily and can be carried great distances by a storm surge.

In severe storms, wrack deposits can be found even in the coastal hammocks. This intrusion of salt water into normally freshwater areas can stress the plants. Wrack deposits and salt-water inundation are not the only effects from severe storms. Trees are also uprooted and die as a result of storm surge and wind.

Coastal hammocks occupying high elevations throughout the marsh have been exposed to increased tidal flow with rising sea level. The loss of tree stands is attributed to tree damage, a gradual decline in health from increased tidal flooding, and erosion of the organic soil layer.

red cedar roots
Red cedar roots
  toppled red cedar near Suwannee River
Toppled red cedar

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Coastal and Marine Geology Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Gulf of Mexico Tidal Wetlands > Photo Gallery > Storm Effects

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Updated January 04, 2013 @ 10:28 AM (THF)