Alternate Title

A Land-Based Thalassia testudinum Nursery Near Tampa Bay, Florida


An experimental, land-based seagrass nursery, built near Tampa Bay, FL, produced cultivars of Thalassia testudinum Banks and Solander ex König (turtle grass). The nursery was a rectangular basin measuring 6.1 X 12.2 m that graded from 1.5 to 2.0 m in depth constructed inside a fiberglass-covered pole building. The basin had a vinyl liner covered with 10–20 cm of sand and 1.0–1.3 m of water. The nursery ran for 26 mo and focused on producing cultivars of T. testudinum using differing planting techniques. Survival rates were 84% after 3–12 mo in the first planting and 91% after 4 mo in the second planting because early harvesting was required as a result of leaks in the vinyl liner. The planting method that resulted in the highest survival rate was bare rhizomes with two or more short shoots. The cultivars from the two nursery experiments were used in two mitigation projects in Tampa Bay. The nonrecurring cost of the nursery was $12,081.45 over a 3-yr period, and recurring costs are estimated at $22,280.00, with a potential production of 2,500 turf-like 20-cm2 units of T. testudinum that could be sold at $20.00 per planting unit.