Swamp plants their own masters

Plants in swamps and marshes have been observed actively altering their environment to increase their species’ chance of survival.

A study conducted over a period of 15 years in Italy has produced evidence of plant life subtly adjusting their surroundings by adding organic soil to increase their elevation and by gathering inorganic sediments to increase their growth, similar to coral formations in marine ecosystems.

This goes against previously held beliefs that plant distribution through marshes was a random or passive activity determined by factors such as soil aeration and salinity. The research may also help to predict how marshes will react to climate change factors such as a rise in sea levels.

Read more at Duke University, University of Padova