Mud flat habitats are areas of mud and sandy mud exposed between the extreme high tide and extreme low tide marks. They form from the deposition of mud in sheltered tidal water, particularly in estuaries where there is a large sediment supply.
Primary production is limited to diatoms and other algae, and cord grass. Most energy enters the system from plankton, or as organic detritus from the land or adjacent tidal marshes. There can be large populations of molluscs, amphipods and polychaete worms. The animal and plant species are affected by the substrate and tidal conditions.
The best mud flats are in Minas Basin, Cobequid Bay and Cumberland Basin. Here, large populations of a few species of benthic infauna support large flocks of migrating shore birds, an important ecological feature of Nova Scotia.
This Document Includes:
Distribution in Nova Scotia
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T6.2 Oceanic Environments
T6.3 Coastal Aquatic Environments
T7.2 Coastal Environments
T7.3 Coastal Landforms
T10.5 Seed-bearing Plants
T11.6 Shorebirds and other Birds of Coastal Wetlands
T11.12 Marine Mammals
T11.14 Marine Fishes
T11.17 Marine Invertebrates
T12.7 The Coast and Resources
H2.1 Rocky Shore
H2.2 Boulder/Cobble Shore
H2.3 Sandy Shore
H2.5 Tidal Marsh
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