Man-made salt marshes fail to meet European demands on plants-study
Artificial salt marshes did not perform as well as natural ones based on a study by Mossman et al. 2012. Does managed coastal realignment create saltmarshes with ‘equivalent biological characteristics’ to natural reference sites? Journal of Applied Ecology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02198.x
These results challenge the argument that mitigation is a valuable means of compensating for wetland removal. These are not exhibiting “equivalent biological characteristics.”
The team studied 18 artificial salt marshes in England and found less divers marshland with many marsh plants (e.g. sea lavender, sea arrowgrass or sea plantain) under-represented compared to natural marshes. 17 accidentally created salt marshes were similarly lacking in plant variety.