Seagrass distribution in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

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Abstract

Seagrass ecosystems are widely recognized as some of the most productive benthic habitats in estuarine and nearshore waters of the gulf coast. Seagrass meadows provide food for wintering waterfowl and important spawning and foraging habitat for several species of commercially important finfish and shellfish. Physical structure provided by seagrasses affords juveniles refuge from predation and allows for attachment of epiphytes and benthic organisms. Seagrass communities also support several endangered and threatened species, including some sea turtles and manatees. Changes in seagrass distribution can reflect the health of a water body, and losses of seagrasses may signal water-quality problems in coastal waters. Losses of seagrasses in the northern Gulf of Mexico over the last five decades have been extensive--from 20% to 100% for most estuaries, with only a few areas experiencing increases in seagrasses.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Title Seagrass distribution in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher National Biological Service
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description 3 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Our living resources: A report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, and ecosystems
First page 273
Last page 275
Country United States
State Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
Other Geospatial Northern Gulf of Mexico