Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Species Unique To Tidal Marshes Face Threats

Date:
August 1, 2006
Source:
American Institute Of Biological Sciences
Summary:
Nonaquatic vertebrates endemic to tidal marshes are almost all found in North America, where their habitat is shrinking because of coastal development and rising sea levels, among other threats.

Tidal marshes cover only about 45,000 square kilometers worldwide -- about the area of Denmark.

In comparison with other habitats, tidal marshes support few nonaquatic vertebrate species, but their unique characteristics have led to the evolution of species and subspecies that are endemic (found nowhere else). These endemic species and subspecies, which seem to be largely restricted to North America, have adaptations that suit them to life in a harsh environment in which seed abundance is low, salinity is high, and flooding is frequent.

Yet they face a broad variety of threats from human-caused environmental damage, according to an assessment in the August 2006 issue of BioScience written by Russell Greenberg of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and colleagues.

Tidal marshes occur in mid to high latitudes, along coasts that are protected within estuaries or behind barrier islands. They are most common in North America and China. Some tidal marsh species are protected from high salinity by relatively impermeable skin, and others have kidneys that can concentrate salts from large volumes of water or specialized glands that exude salt. Many are gray or black in color, which is believed to be an advantage because it matches the dark color of the soils often found in tidal marshes.

Why endemic tidal marsh species seem to be largely restricted to North America--which has 24 of the worldwide total of 25--is not clear. Although it could reflect differing taxonomic practices in different countries, it may be related to the history of glaciation or of agriculture.

Endemic tidal marsh species are vulnerable to coastal development and to sea level rise, both of which are rapidly reducing the area of tidal marshes. They are also threatened by toxic wastes and invasive species.

Greenberg and his coauthors argue for an expanded research program to try to understand how species will respond to these threats.

BioScience publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles covering a wide range of biological fields, with a focus on Organisms from Molecules to the Environment. The journal has been published since 1964 by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, an umbrella organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents some 200 member societies and organizations with a combined membership of about 250,000.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute Of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute Of Biological Sciences. "Species Unique To Tidal Marshes Face Threats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060801052128.htm>.
American Institute Of Biological Sciences. (2006, August 1). Species Unique To Tidal Marshes Face Threats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060801052128.htm
American Institute Of Biological Sciences. "Species Unique To Tidal Marshes Face Threats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060801052128.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins