Our research focus is to characterize the impact of natural (e.g. dieback) and man-made  (e.g. oil spill) disturbances
on marsh  vegetation. Our target species is smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora Loisel), a dominant vascular
plant in the salt marsh ecosystem that can account for up to 90% of biomass production.  We conduct morphological,
anatomical and cytological analyses at organismal, organ, tissue and cellular levels to study the mechanisms
involved in marsh dieback and to develop a database of normal characteristics of S. alterniflora.

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