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Suitability of seagrasses and submerged aquatic vegetation as indicators of eutrophication
KALDY, III, J. E. AND M. Sutula. Suitability of seagrasses and submerged aquatic vegetation as indicators of eutrophication. Chapter 5, Martha Sutula (ed.), Review of Indicators for Development of Nutrient Numeric End-points in California Estuaries. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, 121-164, (2011).
WED researcher Dr. James Kaldy, in collaboration with Dr. Martha Sutula of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), has produced a review and synthesis of how seagrass and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) can be used as bio-indicators to assess numeric nutrient criteria. With technical leadership by SCCWRP, the State Water Resources Control Board of California is developing numeric nutrient criteria for California to address the problem of excessive nutrients and resultant eutrophication in estuaries. The SAV bioindicator review chapter identified existing data gaps and needs for future research efforts, and made recommendations for which seagrass metrics may be most appropriate for California estuaries. Indicators associated with reduced light availability (e.g. epiphyte load, light attenuation, chlorophyll a) coupled with a rapid assessment framework are recommended for further development. Recommended areas for further research included development of improved empirical nutrient load-biological response relationships and the critical evaluation of physiologically linked indicators. These research areas are considered as part of the EPA/ORD Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research Action Plan.
Rooted submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) encompasses a large diversity of species that range from obligate halophytes such as, seagrasses, to euryhaline species and freshwater obligates. All seagrass and SAV provide key biological functions within the enclosed bays, estuaries, and lagoons where they are found. These macrophytes have a variety of characteristics that make them good candidates to be “end-points of concern” or “bio-indicators” for numeric nutrient criteria. We provide details on the ecology of Ruppia spp. and Zostera spp., the dominant seagrass and brackish SAV species in California enclosed bays and estuaries. We identify existing data gaps and the need for new research efforts as well as making recommendations for which seagrass metrics may be appropriate for California estuaries. Indicators associated with reduced light availability (e.g. epiphyte load, light attenuation, chl a, etc.) in a rapid assessment framework are recommended for continued development. Areas for further research focus include empirical nutrient load- biological response relationships and the critical evaluation of physiology linked indicators.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (BOOK CHAPTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
PACIFIC COASTAL ECOLOGY BRANCH