Estuarine Intertidal Sand: Partly Enclosed, Eulittoral, Polyhaline (Marsh)

This is a common habitat often associated with deltas and along shorelines having some freshwater influence.  Waves, currents, tides or freshwater flows are sufficient to prevent siltation.  Substrata often have some peat or silt.

Diagnostic Species

There are three marsh communities dominant in this habitat:  (1) Distichlis spicata community; (2) Distichlis spicata-Salicornia virginica community; and (3) Salicornia virginica community. They generally occur in order from higher to lower on the shore.

Common Associates

Each of the three communities can occur as pure stands of the diagnostic species, but typically the following vascular plant species are also found: Jaumea carnosa, Puccinellia spp., Triglochin maritimum, Glaux maritima, Spergularia spp. Plantago maritima, Stellaria humifusa.

Sites Surveyed

Thorndyke Bay, Gibson Spit, Duckabush River Delta, Hamma Hamma River Delta, Dosewallips River Delta, Skokomish River Delta, Lynch Cover, Skookum Inlet, Kennedy Creek, Nisqually River Delta, The Sink, Markham Island, Elk River Estuary, Westport, Leadbetter Point, Long Island, Niawiakum River.


Kunze, 1984; Kunze and Cornelius, 1982; Burg, 1980; Jefferson, 1975.