Sediment quality refers to the grain size, organic matter, oxygen, and contaminant contents of the sediment. Sediment quality affects the type and distribution of benthic infauna, as well as plant productivity.
The figure at bottom left shows the distribution of Corophium salmonis in the estuary (Fox et al. 1984).
The figure at bottom right shows a conceptual diagram for habitat-forming processes, with red highlights indicating potential contaminant influence (Ward, unpublished).
Stressors that affect sediment quality:
- Extreme climatic events
- Marinas and overwater structures
- Shoreline armoring
- Volcanic activity
- Wastewater discharges
Ecosystem structures that are affected by sediment quality:
- Scrub-shrub forest
- Emergent marsh
- Mud / sand flats
- Submerged aquatic vegetation
- Shallow slope
- Deep channel
Interactions and equations:
- Hydrogeomorphic functions
- Habitat functions of tidal wetlands