This dataset displays the extent of our knowledge regarding the distribution of saltmarshes globally, drawing from occurrence data (surveyed and/or remotely sensed). The dataset was developed to provide a baseline inventory of the extent of our knowledge regarding the global distribution of saltmarshes, which are ecosystems located in the intertidal zone of sheltered marine and estuarine coastlines. These ecosystems comprise brackish, shallow water with salt-tolerant plants such as herbs, grasses and shrubs, and are commonly found at temperate and high latitudes. Saltmarshes are of ecological importance as they underpin the estuarine food web. In particular, saltmarshes serve as nesting, nursery and feeding grounds for numerous species of birds, fish, molluscs and crustaceans, including commercially important fish species such as herring (Clupea harengus), and are also home to a number of Endangered and Critically Endangered species.
The dataset consists of one polygon layer, one point layer, and an accompanying Access database that contains species information (linked exclusively to the point dataset).
UNEP-WCMC, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy (2016). Global distribution of saltmarsh (ver. 4.0). Cambridge (UK): UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. URL: http://data.unep-wcmc.org/datasets/43
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