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Monitoring submerged aquatic vegetation in Hillsborough Bay, Florida
Avery, W. (2000). Monitoring submerged aquatic vegetation in Hillsborough Bay, Florida, in: Bortone, S.A. (Ed.) Seagrasses: monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management. pp. 137-145
In: Bortone, S.A. (Ed.) (2000). Seagrasses: monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management. CRC Marine Science Series, 16. CRC Press: Boca Raton. ISBN 0-8493-2045-3. 318 pp., more
In: Kennish, M.J.; Lutz, P.L. (Ed.) CRC Marine Science Series., more

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    VLIZ: Botany [8760]


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  • Avery, W.

    In 1976, the City of Tampa, Bay Study Group began monitoring Hillsborough Bay in anticipation of sewage pollution abatement. Included in the multidisciplinary monitoring plan were a drift macroalgae program and a submerged aquatic vegetation program, which commenced in 1983 and 1986, respectively. Since the inception of the macroalgae program, the maximum average monthly macroalgal biomass of 164 gdwtm-2 in 1987 declined to 2.87 x 10-3 gdwtm-2 in 1998. Ruppia maritima, Halodule wrightii, and the rhizophytic alga Caulerpa prolifera were monitored during the submerged aquatic vegetation program. R. maritima presence was typically ephemeral with areal coverage fluctuating between 2 ha and 40 ha. In contrast, H. wrightii areal coverage steadily increased from about 0.2 ha in 1986 to nearly 57 ha in 1998. C. prolifera began to colonize areas of Hillsborough Bay in 1986, and areal coverage reached a maximum of nearly 220 ha in 1988 before declining to zero by 1997. Monitoring techniques have been modified as a result of expanding seagrass coverage and recent technological innovations. Presently, the Bay Study Group uses a combination of high and low altitude photography, on-site groundtruth surveys, and a global positioning system to delineate seagrass meadows and follow changes in seagrass coverage. Additionally, the Bay Study Group developed a seagrass program under the auspices of the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program. This program is an interagency effort to monitor changes in distribution and coverage of the major seagrass species in Tampa Bay.

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