Cordgrass | Bulls Island Natural Area (S.C.)

Spartina alterniflora
• Dominant vegetation in salt marsh
• Salt-tolerant perennial
• Tough 1-inch wide blades grow 1.5 inches long
• Excretes excess salt through salt glands on leaves
• Air tubes transport oxygen to roots
• Few herbivores (ants and grasshoppers) feed on Spartina
• Seeds by October
• Leaves and stalks die each winter while roots remain alive
• Dead grass decomposes with bacteria becoming a major food source (detritus) for organisms living in marsh and open ocean

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NatureScene / Bulls Island Natural Area (S.C.) | NatureScene