CS17 Invasive Species
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 4:30:00 PM
Location: Sidney
 
HellquistCE, Washington State University, School of Biological Sciences, Pullman, WA, USA, ehellqui@mail.wsu.edu
Black , R, A, Washington State University, School of Biological Sciences, Pullman, WA, USA, blackra@wsu.edu
 
THE POTENTIAL FOR INTERTIDAL HABITAT ALTERATION BY SPARTINA ANGLICA IN PUGET SOUND, WA, USA
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Spartina anglica, an introduced cordgrass in Washington State, is capable of altering a variety of intertidal habitats at different scales. Isolated Spartina clones had less reduced conditions (mean = -161 mV) compared to adjacent mudflat (mean -257 mV; p <0.0001; n = 53) although no correlation existed with tiller number (p>0.05). Dense growth of Spartina tillers (e.g. mean = 169 tillers per 0.5 m2; n = 10) can accumulate sediment and alter shoreline topography. High tiller densities also create detrital subsidies that can potentially alter estuarine carbon budgets. This study reports what are believed to be the first carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic data for Puget Sound S. anglica populations. Additional forms of habitat alteration related to Spartina colonization including changes in detrital deposition and trophic interactions can be described with stable isotopic data.