Some Influences of Sediment Addition to a Deteriorating Salt Marsh in the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain: A Pilot Study


  • R. D. DeLaune
  • S. R. Pezeshki
  • J. H. Pardue
  • J. H. Whitcomb
  • W. H Patrick, Jr.


Wetlands, marsh deterioration, sedimentation, 137Cs, Spartina alterniflora, marsh restoration


The effect of adding sediment to deteriorating  Spartina alternflora Loisel. Salt marsh which was not accreting rapidly enough in relation to submergence was examined. Raising the marsh surface approximately 10 cm with the equivalent of 94 kg sediment m-2 more than doubled plant above ground biomass production by the end of the second growing  season. Similarly, numbers of regenerating shoots increased substantially compared to control plots. Plant tissue content of Fe, Mn, P and Ca increased substantially. Furthermore, uptake of N, Fe , Mn, P, AI, Ca , Mg, and K increased in response to the added sediment. Results presented suggest that if Mississippi River sediment could be reintroduced and distributed into these rapidly deteriorating salt marshes, plant regeneration and productivity would be enhanced thus reducing the rate of wetland loss.