Skip to main content

Free Content Responses of Plant Communities in Western Florida Bay to the Die-off of Seagrasses

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 527.900390625 kb)
 
Seagrass habitats in western Florida Bay have been undergoing changes from monotypic Thalassia testudinum meadows to large landscapes of barren bottoms or to increasingly heterogeneous Thalassia meadows as a result of seagrass die-off patch formation. The cause of this die-off is unknown but current hypotheses point to environmental stress making this seagrass susceptible to disease. The potential exists for colonization and recovery of these die-off patches but the sequence of events and the persistence of the recovery have not been evaluated. Based on an existing model that represents theoretical successional steps toward the Thalassia climax, four habitat types were sampled in each of two basins of western Florida Bay. Data demonstrated a high potential for recovery of the denuded die-off patches. The alga Batophora oerstedi is the first colonizer with replacement by other algal species and subsequently Halodule wrightii and eventually Thalassia. Under the existing conditions of high resuspended carbonate sediment and biological turbidity, which are thought to be secondary responses of the system to the die-off of seagrasses, persistence of the colonizing habitats and the climax community itself is tenuous. Decreases in both Halodule and Thalassia in non-die-off areas of Johnson Key Basin between spring and fall 1991 occurred as did decreases in densities of these species in recovering patches. Subsequent visits in 1993 revealed that the sample sites were devoid of seagrasses.

7 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more