COASTAL AND ESTUARINE STUDIES, VOL. 59, PP. 1-4, 2004
Introduction: The coupled evolution of geomorphological and ecosystem structures in salt marshes
Salt marshes are complex environments located between the sea and land. They are geologically ephemeral but ecologically important
components of the coastal landscape because they provide many critical ecosystem functions, such as production of organic
material and nutrient cycling. Pressure from human settlements also has often resulted in the destruction of extensive areas
of salt marsh, so that coastal areas have become increasingly dependent on their few surviving marshes to moderate the effects
of storms and floods, intercept and process terrestrial nutrients, store water, and support productive fisheries. Recognition
of the ecological and economic value of wetlands has lead to a flourishing of tidal marsh restoration projects, among them
those undertaken in the San Francisco Bay, California, the Florida and Louisiana coastal marshes, and the Venice Lagoon, Italy.
Certainly, a deeper understanding of the processes that connect the different components of the tidal marsh landscape is required
to provide a foundation for protection and restoration of remaining salt marshes.
Citation: Fagherazzi, S.,