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Monthly growth of the fouling community at eight test panel sites in the Loxahatchee River Estuary was related to salinity and temperature. Growth was lowest in January 1981 (averaging 23 g per m2, dry weight), and increased during spring and early summer with increasing water temperature. Maximum growth occurred during early or midsummer at upstream locations, before river or canal discharge substantially reduced salinity, and in late summer at downstream locations. Growth was greatest at salinities slightly less than that of seawater and decreased at salinities less than about 10???. Growth was suppressed throughout the estuary in August 1981, probably because of the sudden decrease in temperature and salinity, and perhaps the increase in physical scouring, caused by runoff from Tropical Storm Dennis. Large loads of nutrients transported to the estuary from storm runoff, however, may have subsequently stimulated growth, which increased in September 1981 to the maximum for the year (averaging 683 g per m2, dry weight). ?? 1984 Estuarine Research Federation.
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Fouling community of the Loxahatchee River estuary, Florida, 1980-81