The Chesapeake Bay Program has identified habitat requirements for the restoration of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the Chesapeake Bay estuary and tidal reaches of contributing river systems conditioned on the salinity regime of a specific location. The tidal Potomac River and Potomac Estuary is an important component of the Chesapeake Bay system to which these requirements can be applied. The SAV habitat requirements are formulated as threshold criteria that certain critical water-quality characteristics must satisfy during the SAV growing season. A multivariate scoring system based on these criteria was developed in order to synopsize water quality conditions during the 1983-1997 SAV growing seasons. Chesapeake Bay habitat criteria scores are displayed relative to annual SAV coverage for each Potomac River and Potomac Estuary segment. It is seen that although there is some correspondence in the inter-annual expansion or contraction of SAV coverage and compliance with Chesapeake Bay SAV habitat criteria, individual criteria provide neither necessary nor sufficient conditions to explain inter-annual dynamics of SAV coverage, especially in the Potomac Estuary.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Chesapeake Bay habitat criteria scores and the distribution of submersed aquatic vegetation in the tidal Potomac River and Potomac Estuary, 1983-1997
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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