California Salt Marshes
high summer-fall humidity limited by salt, 25-35 inches(fog raises
the base of 10-15 inches of rainfall)
Sea Birds, Heron, Sandpipers, Killdeer, Rails
Blite, Suaeda spp., Pickleweed,
Salicornia spp., Saltbush,
Atriplex spp., Frankenia salina, Salt
Grass, Distichlis spicata, in the brackish areas you can find Cottonwood,
Populus spp., Willow, Salix
Myrtle, Myrica californica, Rushes, Juncus spp.
Soil and climate notes:
sodium impacted clay or silt (occasionally sand/clay), high pH
About California Salt Marshes
They keep debating as to how much of California's Coastal Salt
marsh community is actually left, 5%-10% seems to be the number. It is
easy to fill in, and usually located in a vary valuable area. It is
also easily damaged by human activity.
The salt marshes also exist in a few inland spots like the
edges of the Salton Sea and Soda Lake in Carrizo, but for the most part
are in tidal flats next to the ocean. The inland areas have slightly
different plants than the coastal sites, but very close.
Salt marshes are a mixture of halophytes (salt loving) plants
and wetland adapted plants (where the freshwater inlet lowers the salt
to the point where not-so-salt-tolerant plants can survive).
So plants like Frankenia sp., Distichlis
sp., and Suaeda
sp. live in the full salt areas.
californica, Scirpus spp.
and occasionally some Salix spp.
live on the edges where the salt isn't full strength.
This is a plant community to observe, and stay out of!
list of California native plants that grow in the Coastal Salt Marsh