University Of Tasmania
139524 - A systematic review of methods used to study fish in saltmarsh flats.pdf (1.25 MB)
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A systematic review of methods used to study fish in saltmarsh flats

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There is a growing body of research highlighting the importance of saltmarshes as habitats for fish for feeding, refuge from predation and reproduction. However, more work is needed on fish on vegetated marsh flats (or surfaces). We reviewed 60 studies that used 21 methods to sample fish assemblages on saltmarsh flats. Drop samplers, fyke nets and pop nets were most frequently employed, with considerably more studies being conducted in graminoid than succulent marsh. Reporting of sampling temporal and tidal details, environmental variables and fish attributes was inconsistent. Most of the papers focussed on one or more of conservation management, comparisons among habitat types, and the use of saltmarsh (including fish activity type or residency status). Important potential areas of research include the relationships between the fish assemblages of saltmarsh flats and coastal fisheries, the effects of invasive plant species and marsh restoration efforts in areas outside the United States, and the potential effects of sea-level rise on vegetated flats as fish habitat. Sampling methods that provide density measures are likely to be most useful for most of this research. Thus, drop samplers and pop nets are an appropriate choice, the former in graminoid saltmarshes and the latter in succulent saltmarshes.


Publication title

Marine and Freshwater Research








School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


CSIRO Publishing

Place of publication

150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 CSIRO. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Coastal or estuarine biodiversity; Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems