Spatial Extent of Seagrasses (Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima) along the Central Pacific Coast of Baja California, Mexico, 1999–2000

Open-File Report 2022-1004
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 

Links

  • Documents:
  • Related Work: OFR 2022-1078 — Abundance of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at key Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) wintering sites along the northern Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, 1998–2012
  • Data Releases:
    • USGS data release — Point sampling data for eelgrass (Zostera marina) and widgeongrass (Ruppia maritima) abundance in embayments of the north Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, 1998–2012
    • USGS data release — Mapping data of eelgrass (Zostera marina) distribution, Alaska and Baja California, Mexico
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core

Abstract

The seagrasses eelgrass (Zostera marina) and widgeongrass (Ruppia maritima) are prominent features of coastal lagoons along the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, supporting a rich diversity of marine life. Yet little is known about their spatial distribution in this region. This is a concern because of declining trends in the abundance and distribution of seagrass in parts of northern Baja California and southern California. We used 7-band satellite imagery, 4-band digital multispectral videography, and 3-band color aerial photography to map the distribution of eelgrass and widgeongrass in six embayments along the central Pacific coast of Baja California. The total spatial extent of seagrass was estimated to be 42,697 hectares, of which about 70 percent was eelgrass. This seagrass was primarily lower in the intertidal than widgeongrass in all embayments. Eelgrass and widgeongrass composed the greatest proportion (47 percent) of the spatial extent in the two largest embayments, Lagunas Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio, and these two embayments accounted for 85 percent of all seagrass in the study area. The native cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) and pickleweed (Salicornia spp.) were the predominate vegetation cover type of marshes in the three northern and three southern embayments, respectively. The three southern embayments contained mangrove (Rhizophora spp.) and the three northern embayments did not, thus marking the northern edge of mangroves along the Pacific coast of North America. This study establishes an embayment-wide baseline for continuing investigations and monitoring future changes in the spatial abundance of seagrasses in central Baja California.

Suggested Citation

Ward, D.H., Morton, A., Markon, C.J., and Hogrefe, K.R., 2022, Spatial extent of seagrasses (Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima) along the central Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, 1999–2000: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2022–1004, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20221004.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Spatial extent of seagrasses (Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima) along the central Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, 1999–2000
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2022-1004
DOI 10.3133/ofr20221004
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description Report: vi, 13 p.; Data Release
Country Mexico
Other Geospatial Baja California
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details