Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations
Small sand volume barrier islands · By Dirk Frankenberg
Salt marsh grass
Figure 5 shows an isolated patch of salt marsh grass that was recently covered with overwashed beach sand. Note that the plants seem to be flourishing. This is characteristic of plants that live successfully in areas where sand is regularly added and removed from their habitat by winds and waves. We will see evidence later that dune plants also adapt well to sand additions and removals.
Another phenomenon to observe in Figure 5 is the brownish stained area in the right foreground. This is a mat of algae growing on the new sand surface. These algal mats can be a major contributor to the productivity of sand flats such as these.