Status of Submerged Vegetation in the Galveston Bay System




Pulich, Warren Jr., William A. White, Marie Castiglione, and Roger J. Zimmerman

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Galveston Bay National Estuary Program


Submerged vascular plants (SV) provide valuable nursery habitat, organic production, and bottom stability in the estuarine environment. This aquatic vegetation in specially-adapted to estuarine factors which do not significantly impact emergent wetland species, and these physical and water quality growth requirements place strict limits on SV distribution and abundance. Despite documented cases of large-scale changes in SV habitat in other major estuaries, studies on Galveston Bay SV are limited. This report reviews the current status of SV communities throughout the bay and summarizes historical changes and impacts from environmental factors. It includes different SV types in three distinct regions of the bay system: (1) freshwater to oligohaline sites in the Trinity River Delta; (2) mesohaline environment of Trinity Bay proper; and (3) the polyhaline lower-bay environment of West and Christmas Bays.


pgs. 127-132


submerged vegetation, seagrasses, vascular plants, nursery habitat, organic production, bottom stability, estuaries, estuarine environment, widgeongrass, water nymph, historical changes, impacts from environmental factors, mesohaline environment, polyhaline lower-bay environment