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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Biomass and Primary Production of Sediment Microalgae in Halodule Wrightii Seagrass Beds

item Buccolo, A - UNIV. OF ALABAMA
item Zimba, Paul

Submitted to: Phycological Society of America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2006
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Citation: Buccolo, A.P., Sullivan, M.J., Zimba, P.V. 2006. Effects of nutrient enrichment on biomass and primary production of sediment microalgae in halodule wrightii seagrass beds. Phycological Society of America.

Interpretive Summary: Seagrasses are important habitat for many fish and invertebrate species of commercial importance. Declines in seagrass production may affect fish production, particularly if this void is not replaced by algae. Enrichment studies were conducted to determine what role algae have when nutrient enrichment causes seagrass mortality. Seagrass production was equaled by sediment microalgae in these enriched systems.

Technical Abstract: Eutrophication of coastal waters often leads to excessive growth of microalgal epiphytes attached to seagrass leaves. If epiphyte growth is excessive, seagrass communities may disappear and be replaced by sediment microalgal communities. Applications of a slow release fertilizer were made within seagrass beds (Halodule wrightii) in Perdido Key, Florida. Nutrient enrichment significantly increased sediment microalgal biomass. These results suggest microalgae can fill the void in primary production during seagrass declines.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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