Ecology of salt panne habitats in Juncus roemerianus salt marshes of the north-central Gulf of Mexico:Category: Projects, Research Projects
The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has some of the most extensive and best examples of salt panne habitat on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. These areas are more salty and have different plants growing on them than the surrounding marsh. We are studying the salt pannes to determine the ecological importance of these rare habitats. There are two types of pannes which can be grouped together by their soil types: sandy-clay and organic-rich clay. We laid out transects on a total of six salt pannes to survey and inventory groups of plants and animals such as benthic and terrestrial invertebrates, fish, birds, and mammals on a seasonal basis. We also monitored water depth, water temperature, and the frequency and duration of flooding associated with these salt pannes. So far on the pannes we have collected or observed 2 shrimp species, 8 fish species, 2 gastropod species, 3 crab species, 20 orders of terrestrial arthropods (mostly insects), 10 mammal species, 20 plant species, and 58 bird species.