TITLE

RESULTS OF THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, CHARLOTTE HARBOR AQUATIC PRESERVES' SEAGRASS MONITORING PROGRAM FROM 1999-2009

AUTHOR(S)
BROWN, M.; LEARY, R.; LANGENBERG, N.; MCMURRAY, M.; STAFFORD, H.
PUB. DATE
March 2013
SOURCE
Florida Scientist;Spring2013, Vol. 76 Issue 2, p92
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Seagrass monitoring is conducted annually throughout the Charlotte Harbor estuarine complex by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves office. This program provides baseline, status and trends data of seagrass parameters for assessing estuarine health. Results from 1999-2009 show the three most common seagrass species throughout the Charlotte Harbor area are Halodule wrightii, Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme. Seagrass appears relatively stable across the study area with minor declines associated with considerable wet years and hurricane events. Since 2004, the total abundance of all seagrass species, as well as the density of H. wrightii, increased significantly. In 2009, H. wrightii and S. filiforme had the highest mean shoot count in Gasparilla Sound and Lemon Bay. The tidal Peace and Myakka river systems have the lowest occurrence, abundance and densities of seagrass. The maximum depth of seagrass growth has increased since 1999 with San Carlos Bay having the deepest growing seagrass. San Carlos Bay experienced declines in seagrass abundance during high flow events from the Caloosahatchee River. Continued monitoring will be important to track changes, understand potential causes of trends, and to aid in estuarine management so the aquatic preserves can be maintained in an essentially natural condition.
ACCESSION #
87631663

 

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