Native SpeciesCord grass

Spartina alterniflora
FOUND by York73
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by rmaclean
Peer reviewed by York73
Field Notes
We have been learning about Maine's salt marshes. We are studying the connections between organisms and their environment. On this day we went out to get a better sense of what is out there and to try and find the organisms that we have been researching in science class. We were also there to make Winogradsky columns to bring back to class to look at microbes from the marsh. The day started rainy and ended up sunny and REAL WINDY. My paper blew away but a friend caught it. The tide was coming in and moved alot between 10am and 1pm. We used a transect line with 4 quadrats and each group had to look for the rough periwinkle and cordgrass in their quadrat. One team got stuck in the mud. Some of the smells we encountered were salty air also a smell of mud. We heard seagulls above us and water rushing as well as wind blowing. One of the students found a dead crab, its body had broken in their hand and felt squishy and hard. The ice cream sandwiches were especially yummy!
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Leaf length was 30 cm leaf width was .5 cm The size of the leaf matched the description on the species card.
Photo of my evidence.
The plant was in the low marsh at 8.2 meters from the waterline. The plant location matched where the species card told us we would find the plant.
Photo of my evidence.
The last year dead ones were flopping down on the ground and brown from the mud. The new ones were bright green and just coming up. The stem length was very short because it was just sprouting.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Spartina alterniflora
Common name:
Cord grass
Is it alive?: 
Some dead & some alive
Count of individuals: 
Less than 1/4 covered
Vegetative structures (plants)
How big is it?: 
Greater than 10 cm
Is it male or female?: 
Can't tell
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (randomized- placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.563922 °
W -70.365565 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Coastal - Saltmarsh
Trip Information
Eastern Trail - Scarborough Marsh
Trip date: 
Fri, 2012-04-27 09:30
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Time of low tide: 
Thu, 2012-04-12 09:44
Habitat Observations
Species diversity: 
7 different species
Evidence of vectors: 
Paved road
Dirt road
Walking trail
Recent disturbance
Water temperature: 
Dissolved oxygen: 


You certainly saw some cordgrass, but it's tough to ID it in April, unless you already know what you are looking at.

The photo of the dead plant "litter" clearly includes some stems from S. alterniflora. So it WAS present at this site.

The other photos, with the quadrats in view, showing smaller green grasses, however, show a bunch of other species.

Your first evidence photo is a little out of focus but other than that nice entry. -TC

What an incredible post. Thanks for raising the bar on data quality and sharing your many talents from drawing to photography to some serious scientific evidence!

It doesn't look like you have the right coordinates for the map. You didn't mention any Gulf of Maine boat rides in your field notes! Use this online tool to get the right coordinates in decimal degrees, and put them in the comments so your data can be used by scientists and others: