• Coastal vegetation;
  • Physical gradient;
  • Tidal flooding
  • Castroviejo et al. (1986–1993) and Tutin et al. (1964–1980) for taxa; Izco et al. (1992) and Díaz & Fernández-Prieto (1994) for syntaxa.

Abstract. Vegetation zonation in salt marshes has traditionally been attributed largely to altitudinal differences, since altitude determines the temporal pattern of tidal flooding and is thus closely related to proximate determinants of the distribution of species and plant communities. We investigated the distribution of vascular plants and plant communities along a series of altitudinal transects in two salt marshes in the northwestern Iberian Peninsula. Our results indicate that altitudinal range varies significantly both among species and among communities, and confirm that salt-marsh vegetation characteristics (species cover and composition) can be predicted on the basis of altitude, particularly at the lower levels of the profile.