Zonation of aboveground vegetation often occurs in salt marshes along salinity and moisture gradients. The aboveground vegetation and seed bank in four physiognomically different vegetation zones in a salt marsh were compared to determine their level of similarity using percent similarity as a distance measure. Ten meter transects were established along a salinity gradient through four different zones, a Salicornia zone, a Salicornia-Atriplex zone, an Atriplex zone, and an Atriplex-Hordeum zone. A UPGMA cluster analysis demostrated that the aboveground vegetation usually was not highly correlated with the seed bank composition of zonal communities. Since seeds of these annual salt marsh species occurred in all zones, the levels of salt stress may be the main factor determining which species were found in the aboveground vegetation.

Key words: Atriplex prostrata, community, halophyte, Salicornia europaea, salt marsh, seed bank