the marshes appear uniform, but there is in fact a great deal of
heterogeneity present. The cross-section of a marsh (above) shows
the variations in height of Spartina and the gradient in
elevation that is present in a typical Georgia salt marsh. Although
variations in elevation over much of the marsh surface are in the
centimeter range and are not represented on topographic maps of
the area, the small variations that do occur produce gradients in
physical and chemical conditions in marsh sediments that affect
plant growth and zonation.
marsh vegetation on and near creek banks grows most robustly, averaging
as much as 2 m in height. At a distance from the creek banks, the
grass is of intermediate height, with the shortest grass being found
at the greatest distance from a creek or at relatively high elevations.