An important component of the Wadden Sea Natura 2000 site are the salt marshes. Up-to-date information on the area and quality of the salt marshes is needed in order to meet national and international obligations. The salt marsh area has gradually increased over the past decade and the conservation objective has been met. However, autonomous succession of the vegetation on the barrier islands and an increase in cover of pioneer plants in the low marshes along the mainland coast indicate that the quality of the marsh ecosystem could decrease in the future. This must be closely monitored to advise managers and landowners about interventions that may be necessary. The area of the pioneer zone is relatively stable. The first effects of a salt marsh recovery plan – a decrease in Elytrigia atherica dominated marsh – can be seen along the Groningen coast. The marsh accretion rates on the various Wadden Sea salt marshes are sufficient to keep up with the current sea level rise. Accelerated sea-level rise in future could lead to problems, especially on the barrier islands and on salt marshes furthest away from the sediment source.
|Name||Wageningen Marine Research rapport|