Local Weather Conditions
MarshBunny Notes
The St. Johns River The Intracoastal and Beyond
Erosion in the Marsh

Water levels change constantly in the marsh. Heavy rains can raise the water level quickly, but it drains away just as fast. All this fluctuation in the flow of water washes away what little soil the vegetation has managed to take root in.

Erosion of soil under roots

Most of the plants and trees that grow in the marsh have very shallow root systems that create a thick, spongy mat on the surface of the soil. The water washes the soil out from underneath this mat of roots, causing bushes and trees to fall over.

Erosion of soil

Smaller plants drop their seeds on higher ground and die off. Trees like Maples - with very shallow roots and tall, fully leafed branches - pull up big chunks of sod as they fall over and die. Cabbage Palms, however, are designed to live very well in their ever-changing environment. As the ground falls away underneath them they gracefully slide over the edge, but they don't fall down.

Leaning palm tree

The Cabbage Palms quickly curve upwards to the sun, while maintaining their firm hold in the ground.

Several leaning palm trees

You can see by the many trees leaning at different angles that this process has been going on for a long, long time!

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