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Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal MarshesThe San Francisco Estuary$
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Arnas Palaima

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274297

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274297.001.0001

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Tidal Wetland Vegetation and Ecotone Profiles: The Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve

Tidal Wetland Vegetation and Ecotone Profiles: The Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve

(p.113) Chapter Eight Tidal Wetland Vegetation and Ecotone Profiles: The Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve
Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes

Christine R. Whitcraft

Brenda J. Grewell

Peter Baye

University of California Press

Rush Ranch includes the largest remaining tidal marsh within Suisun Marsh of the San Francisco estuary. Estuarine geomorphic units frame its diverse wetland vegetation, influenced by estuarine position, land-use history, and the hydrogeomorphic structure of the site. The geomorphic-vegetation units (subtidal channel beds, fringing tidal marsh, tidal marsh plain, and tidal marsh-terrestrial ecotones) are distinguished by variations in hydrology, substrate, and elevation. We consider the vegetation with each landform as a function of past and modern physical processes and biological interactions. Historical land uses and exotic plant invasions have substantially altered Rush Ranch tidal-marsh vegetation and species diversity. Rush Ranch's landscape position provides important and increasingly rare terrestrial ecotones between the tidal marsh and lowland grasslands, providing potential for estuarine transgression with rising sea level.

Keywords:   Suisun Marsh, estuarine wetlands, tidal wetlands, brackish marsh, invasive species, plant community, vegetation, anthropogenic drivers

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