Neumeier U. (2005) Quantification of vertical density variations of salt-marsh vegetation. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 63/4, 489-496.
Density and structure of salt-marsh canopies control the reduction of water flow by the vegetation,
which may cause inter alia increased accretion. This paper presents and evaluates two methods that
quantify the vertical density variations of salt-marsh canopies: the vertical biomass distribution and
the lateral obstruction ratio obtained from a binarised picture. The former provides accurate results
and is well adapted to define canopy heights; the second reflects better the flow hindrance, but is
unsuitable for dense canopies. Both methods are used to illustrate density variation over short
distances in Spartina marshes and to monitor two English salt-marshes over one year.
The results demonstrate the great seasonal variability in the vegetation, which must be taken into
account when long-term predictions are extrapolated from short-term measurements.
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