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Observations on the regrowth of subaquatic vegetation following transplantation: a potential method to assess environmental health of coastal habitats
Davis, W.P.; Davis, M.R.; Flemer, D.A. (2000). Observations on the regrowth of subaquatic vegetation following transplantation: a potential method to assess environmental health of coastal habitats, in: Bortone, S.A. (Ed.) Seagrasses: monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management. pp. 231-238
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

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Botany [8768]

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Davis, W.P.
  • Davis, M.R.
  • Flemer, D.A.

Abstract
    In 1991, experimental transplantings of Vallisneria americana (tapegrass, vallisneria, or wild celery) were initiated at selected sites which lacked grass beds along the north shore of Perdido Bay, located on the Alabama-Florida border. Abatement of organic and color-staining components had been implemented to improve the water quality of effluent discharged by a pulp mill into the headwaters of Elevenmile Creek, a stream entering this low salinity estuary. This study was designed to assess whether previous in situ habitat conditions (e.g., light exclusion, water, or sediment toxicity) had prevented natural recruitrnent of aquatic grasses or if other factors, (e.g., propagule transport) existed which might limit or delayV.americana colonization or growth. Different transplanting configurations were employed in our experimental designs to observe success in establishment of beds and assess our ability to measure plant growth among the varying micro-habitats and substrates. The initial transplanting, in 1991, consisted of two plants each, spaced at 40 cm centers in four 6 x 1 rn parallel row-plots. Subsequently these plants spread rapidly by runners merging the rows into a continuously expanding grass bed. Second and third trials conducted in 1995 were planted in a cross-shaped configuration, which has emerged as our preferred design. The growth of these transplants indicated V. americana grass beds were recruitrnent limited, rather than constrained by prevailing conditions of water quality/toxicity, light reduction, or unsuitable substrate during the study period. Our experience may represent a fundamental method for routine utilization of the responses of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) to assess a broad range of questions concerning habitat and water quality of potential sites for habitat restoration.

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