Coastal habitats have distinct characteristics, using a case study explain why these occur. (8 marks)

On Wallasea Island in Essex, salt marshes were created by flooding agricultural land there due to an excess of pressure on the estuary of the river Crouch that could ultimately lead to flooding. The salt marshes have vegetation, such as cordgrass and sea lavender, that can only survive in salty conditions due to the high salt content of the water. These plants help to absorb the wave power of the sea, preventing floods occurring. Wallasea island is also home to lots of wildlife including birds like geese, ducks and dunlins that nest there as the cordgrass provides protection for nesting and the area is free from human intervention. Otters and fish also dwell there as the water is clean and as a result of little human disturbance there is very little pollution. The island is low lying land as it's on the coast so is partly flooded providing salt marshes for the aforementioned animals and plants. Further from the coast are trees and larger plants, which grow due to sand dune stabilisation created by the cordgrass, allowing succession across the land to occur.

Answered by Hannah G. Geography tutor


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