Macronutrient status of tall and short forms of Spartina alterniflora in a South Carolina salt marsh

WH Ornes, DI Kaplan
1989 Marine Ecology Progress Series  
Macronutrient concentration in shoot (all aboveground live biomass] and root (all belowground live biomass) tissues of tall (TS) and short Spartina alterniflora (SS) were measured monthly in North Inlet Estuary, Winyah Bay, South Carolina, USA. Seasonal changes in shoot N. P, and S concentrations occurred both in TS and SS, while root macronutrient concentrations remained constant throughout the seasons (seasonal root data not presented). Macronutrient concentrations between the 2 forms of S.
more » ... the 2 forms of S. alterniflora also differed. Concentrations of N (as NH:) were greater in the shoots and roots of TS than in SS. Sulfur, however, was greater in SS shoots and roots than in TS. Interstitial waters at the SS site had lower Fe and redox potentials than the TS site. These conditions would result in higher sulfide levels which also decrease plant production. We suggest that decreased growth occurred when S was above the critical concentrations of 0.5 O/ O in shoots and 1.0 % in roots. Our data support the hypothesis that differences in the nutritional status between TS and SS may account for the height and biomass differences between the 2 populations.
doi:10.3354/meps055063 fatcat:4um2msnlf5csbmzpc4bhy7vv6m