Research progress on the ecohydrological mechanisms of Spartina alterniflora invasion in coastal wetlands.
Coastal wetlands have important ecological services and economic value. Invasion by Spartina alterniflora has had several adverse effects on these ecosystems. Therefore, it is critical to understand the inherent ecohydrological mechanisms of invasion. This paper reviewed the research on S. alterniflora on the following aspects:(1) the influences of hydrological gradients and soil salinity on its physiological and ecological features, (2) its spatial pattern and biomass distribution under hydrological and salinity gradients, and (3) the modelling of its successional pattern in coastal wetlands. The main conclusions were that the hydrological and salinity gradients determined the physiological and ecological features, the distribution, and successional pattern of S. alterniflora. Further, with the developments in remote sensing technology and GIS methods, research on the spatial dynamics of S. alterniflora at the community scale would tend to be more precise. Additionally, quantitative studies on the spatial pattern of S. alterniflora and the corresponding ecological mechanisms at the community scale would be a key research area. The hydrodynamic processes, biological patterns and geomorphological evolution processes and so on should be considered in the modeling and forecast of the spatial pattern of S. alterniflora..