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Transcript of Costal Habitats
Salt marshes are fragile environments. They need to be managed to be preserved.
* Some areas have been designated SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) because of the variety of flora and fauna found. This gives them legal protection and prevents unsuitable development.
*Some areas are used for grazing sheep which have to be moved regularly so they don't damage the environment. They are useful in keeping the long grass down.
* Salt marshes have been preserved as conservation areas/nature reserves with controlled public access. They will often have: Cord grass planted to protect the marsh, Boardwalks, Areas cordoned off to stop erosion, Education centers and Information signs.
*Sea level is rising due to climate change
* Recreational use - walkers can damage salt marsh.
*Grazing can be beneficial if it controls coarse grasses, but sometimes it reduces the height of the vegetation and the diversity of plant and invertebrate species, reducing bird life
* Defenses to protect the land from the rising sea may be built on salt marsh
*They may change the movement of the sediment necessary to maintain salt marshes and mudflats.
*Wave action (including wash from boats) can damage and erode the marsh
* Oil & waste tipping, sewage & water pollution can lead to the growth of green algae (eutrophication) (excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to run-off from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life.)
The main plant that grows, eel grass, helps to stabilise the area further by trapping more sediment.
Gradually, more salt tolerant plants such as glass wort and sea blite colonise the growing mudflats.
These plants trap more sediment and contribute organic matter when they die. These processes help the salty marsh to grow.
Coastal areas are used for many functions which often conflict with one another. On the Northumberland coastline there are farms, industrial developments such as power plants, tourist attractions and services such as beach huts, residential areas and conservation areas (Seaton Sluice sand dunes and the Farne Islands). Not all of these land uses fit with one another or are compatible with one another. However, coasts provide valuable habitats for lots of species and despite all of the land uses there is a recognised need to protect and conserve our vulnerable and precious coastal habitat.
Keyhaven marshes are located on the south coast of England in Southern Hampshire. it is 17.3 miles east of Bournemouth and 107 miles west of Brighton. They have formed behind Hurst Castle Spit, which has formed because of longshore drift from the West.
This spit provided a sheltered place for sediment to form and for vegetation to accumulate away from the impact of strong winds and coastal erosion, forming a marsh.
Coastal Habitats Case Study