Floristic and seasonal characteristics of inshore Georgia macroalgae
Abstract:The marine macroalgal flora of coastal Georgia has previously received limited study. This portion of the Carolinian province is characterized by sandy barrier islands, large river drainage, large tidal range, low seawater salinity, and limited hard substrata, thus creating conditions that are not condusive to high benthic algal productivity and diversity. Macroalgae were collected from a variety of substrata throughout the Georgia coastal zone year-round, and the phenology for each species was determined. Floating docks generally supported the greatest abundance and diversity, and macroalgae were generally limited to the intertidal zone on jetties, groins and fixed docks. The inshore flora was dominated by Polysiphonia spp., Ulva curvata (Kütz.) De Toni and Enteromorpha spp. A relatively abundant and conspicuous year-round assemblage was present, and the highest species diversity developed in spring during the overlap of winter and spring species. A distinct summer assemblage, however, was not evident. The rock jetty at the south end of Cumberland Island, the southernmost Georgia barrier island, supported a relatively distinct assemblage consisting of many species, especially Rhodophyceae, not apparent elsewhere in Georgia but present intertidally elsewhere in the Carolinian province. Thus the Georgia coastal zone is an area having fewer macroalgal species typical of the Carolinian province inshore flora that extends between Cape Hatteras and Cape Canaveral.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1987
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