The tree that gave birth to a forest
This 10 centimetre giant is a pioneer of marine conquest. All summer, glassworts (Salicornia europaea) will be rhythmically swept by the tide, gradually trapping seaborne sediment on the shores of Aberlady Bay in Scotland. The resulting elevation of the mudflat marks the start of a race of growth against waves, currents and sea level rise, eventually leading to the development of a salt marsh. However, even in sheltered bays this race is seldom won, and coastal wetlands across the world are retreating an alarming rate, a trend in which mankind plays no small role.
Guillaume Goodwin (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)