European salt marshes: Ecology and conservation in a changing world

Angus Garbutt, Alma de Groot, Chris Smit, Julien Petillon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Saltmarsh habitats have been studied and reported on in the scientific literature for over a century. The earliest papers were given over to descriptive studies of plant species zonation and distribution. As the science of ecology developed, experimental studies set out to understand the physical processes that play such an important part in the formation of salt marshes and their interaction with the biota. As the twentieth century progressed, ecological theory developed into its own branch of science and salt marshes, with their strong environmental gradients and relatively low number species richness, became ideal habitats to test the latest concepts. At the same time, there became greater awareness of the effects of estuarine and coastal zone degradation due to centuries of over-exploitation, habitat modification and pollution resulting in loss of biodiversity and habitat extent. Studies on habitat management and the restoration of biodiversity and natural processes began to influence policy makers and land managers. Today, there is a global and active science community involved in the descriptive, experimental, applied, theoretical and legislative disciplines of saltmarsh ecology. This special issue brings together some of these areas presented at the Coastal Ecology Workshop, an annual forum for scientists working on saltmarsh related topics throughout Northern Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-408
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Coastal Conservation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2017


  • Tidal marsh
  • Conference proceedings
  • Biogeomorphology
  • Ecosystem functioning

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