Title

Seasonal and Annual Dynamics In Seagrass Beds of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mississippi

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 9-1-2017

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

Along the mainland coastline of eastern Mississippi Sound, the seagrass species Ruppia maritima (Wigeongrass) and Halodule wrightii (Shoalgrass) co-occur in persistent and sometimes extensive beds within Grand Bay. This paper presents seasonal and annual changes in those Ruppia-Halodule beds that are part of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in western Grand Bay using 2005–2011 transect survey data of percent cover and 2009–2013 biomass sampling data. The seagrass beds exhibited significant interannual variation in areal coverage and seasonal variations in biomass, with peak total aboveground biomass (up to 140 g dry wt/m²) in July and August. Intact R. maritima and H. wrightii seeds were found in the sediment, with densities as high as 4160 seeds/m². The Ruppia-Halodule beds did not show any shortterm declines in their growth or abundance following 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita nor the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Publication Title

Southeastern Geographer

Volume

57

Issue

3

First Page

246

Last Page

272

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