Vegetation change and surface elevation dynamics in estuarine wetlands of southeast Australia

K. Rogers, K. M. Wilton, N. Saintilan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


Vertical accretion and surface elevation trends were studied in mangrove and saltmarsh wetlands in southeast Australia. A total of 69 surface elevation tables, each associated with three feldspar marker horizons, was deployed in 10 wetlands across 7 estuaries, and monitored for three years. Saltmarsh and mangrove vegetation distributions were mapped for the same estuaries, and elevation characteristics of the wetlands were modelled. Rates of vertical accretion were found to correlate with tidal range. No relationship was found between rates of vertical accretion and surface elevation increase. A positive relationship was demonstrated between contemporary rates of saltmarsh surface elevation change and longer-term rates of mangrove encroachment into saltmarsh. We conclude that landward mangrove encroachment may be facilitated by local factors contributing to saltmarsh compaction during drought conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-569
Number of pages11
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Autocompaction
  • Mangrove
  • Saltmarsh
  • Sea-level rise
  • Vertical accretion


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