Seasonal Biomass and Energy Content in Seagrass Communities on the West Coast of Florida

Clinton J. Dawes, Margaret O. Hall, Raymond K. Riechert


Seasonal collections were made over a 16 month period in seven seagrass communities on the west coast of Florida. The seagrass component accounted for at least 45% of the total biomass and Thalassia testudinum was the dominant species. The 15 month mean of total biomass at six sites that were dominated year around by T. testudinum from Tampa Bay to Cedar Key, Florida was 385 g dry wt-1 m-2 or 1.42 tons dry wt -1 acre-2  .The drift and attached seaweed components showed seasonal fluctuations in terms of species and biomass. Of the six open water sites, only one site, characterized by depressed salinity, showed significant differences in seasonal biomass for T. testudinum using a nested ANOVA and Student-Newman-Keul's test for variance. Available kilocalories ranged from a 16 month low of 344 to a high of 1837 kcal-1 m-2 with the highest biomass and caloric values occurring in the late spring and summer.






Caloric levels; macrophytes; seagrass communities; seasonal biomass; subtidal region; Thalassia

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