Occurrence and Variation in Submersed Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Along the Northern Gulf of Mexico: A Hierarchical Approach to Assess Impacts of Environmental Change on SAV Resources

Megan La Peyre
Posted on: 7/18/2022 -

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CakeX Site Admin



Submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) communities are highly productive ecosystems that provide significant ecological benefits to coastal areas. Despite their critical importance, and their global decline, the scientific community lacks consistent baseline data on SAV resources across the gradient from fresh to brackish (slightly salty) to salt water. This project will 1) provide data on the occurrence and abundance of SAV (e.g., coverage, composition, seed resources) within the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2) quantitatively assess environmental factors affecting its variation across space and time, and 3) develop a conceptual model of factors influencing SAV resources. These data are critical in identifying numerical relationships between SAV resources and environmental variables, and will enable predictive modeling of SAV resources under different scenarios of landscape and climate change. This work will contribute to the refinement of existing models of ecosystem change and directly benefit efforts to forecast the effects of climate change on distribution, abundance, and diversity of SAV resources and the priority fish and wildlife populations that depend upon them.


The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.


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