Comparative Ecophysiological Studies on Puccinellia maritima and Festuca rubra; Bank End Coastal Marsh, Irish Sea, England


  • M.A. Zahran


Irish Sea, Puccinellia maritima, Festuca rubra, Hank End marsh, salinity, tidal movement, ground relief


This paper deals with an ecophysiological study of two salt marsh grasses: Puccinellia maritima and Festuca rubra. They dominate the second and third zones of Bank End marsh on the Irish Sea, northwest of England. Three types of experiments (germination, glasshouse and field) were conducted to shed light on their zonation patterns, response to mineral nutrients and tolerance to salinity. The results of these experiments indicate that a combination of several factors (tidal movements, relief, soil salinity etc.) controls the zonation of the two communities but their individual effects differ. Tidal movement and ground relief are major environmental factors. Because both species are salt-tolerant and the salinities of their soils are almost comparable, salinity seems to playa less important role. Nitrogen deficiency is harmful to the growth of both species. The absence of phosphorus causes a slight decrease in yields.