The ecology of Morecambe Bay. 6. Soils and vegetation of the salt marshes: a multivariate approach.
Data from 168 soil and vegetation samples were examined using a combination of association-analysis and principal component analysis. Cluster analysis showed the presence of 4 marsh types. Mature marshes on well developed organic soils at 5.3-6.6 m alt. contained Holcus lanatus, Festuca arundinacea, Trifolium repens, Festuca rubra, Parapholis strigosa, Juncus ger-ardii and Phragmites communis[Phragmites australis]. High-level saltings submerged by the tide 10-100 times/year bore F. rubra swards, with J. gerardii where soil OM was high, Armeria maritima and Plantago coronopus where it was lower. Low-level saltings submerged 150-220 times/year contained Puccinellia maritima, and some sites submerged > 200 times/year had sparse P. maritima and Spartina anglica. Local differences in vegetation were related to soil type.