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					Submerged Aquatic Vegetation                                                                                                                                        2008 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ELIZABETH CITY STATE UNIVERSITY

Lottie Nolan, Aaron Baker, Eduardo Santos, Tristan Bonds

 PROBLEM STATEMENT                                                                               WHAT IS TURBIDITY?                          WHY IS SAV IMPORTANT?                                                                                DESIRED LEVELS
 Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is diminishing due                                           "Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness    SAV is very important to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.                                               • pH-the desired levels for pH are 6.5 to 8.2
 to human activity. What are some suggestions on how                                             of a fluid caused by individual particles   Beds of SAV are found all throughout the bay, but in fewer                                           • DO-the desired levels of dissolved oxygen
 to help restore the SAV?                                                                        (suspended solids) that are generally       acres then they once were. SAV serves as a natural safe                                                are 5 - 6ppm
                                                                                                 invisible to the naked eye, similar to      house for finfish and shellfish from predators. Juvenile blue                                        • Salinity – Desired levels of salinity are
 WHAT IS SAV?                                                                                    smoke in air."                              crabs can be in quantities 30 times larger in beds of SAV then                                         between .5 and 18 ppt
 Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: Vascular plants that live                                                                                     in non-SAV areas. SAV produces oxygen as a byproduct of
 and grow completely underwater or just above the                                                                                            photosynthesis, which is essential to animals living in the bay.
 waters surface when they are flowering.                                                         HYPOTHESIS                                  SAV can help slow erosion by keeping sediment down with
                                                                                                 Human activity causes damage and/or         their roots and slow the force of waves that would otherwise
 ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS FOR SAV                                                                death to many different species of SAV.     take more sand from the beaches. SAV uses the same
                                                                                                 In the future, human activity if left       nutrients that algae use. By beating them to it, it keeps algae                                                                        CS05-
 FOUND IN OLIGOHALINE SOUNDS AND                                                                 unchanged will cause the extinction of      growth from flaring out of control.                                                                 WHAT WE FOUND                      pH-7.84
 ESTUARIES OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                                     many SAV species.                                                                                                                                                                  Salinity 6.96
 (Ferguson and Wood 1994)
                                                                                                                                             WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO FISHERIES AND                                                                                                   PR 02-
                                                                     WHAT WE KNOW                                                                                                                                                                                                   pH-6.71
          Species           Salinity      Secchi      Water Depths   • SAV is Submerged Aquatic Vegetation                                   WILD LIFE?                                                                                                                             Salinity 3.08
                            Range       Depth Range      Range       • SAV is partially submerged in water if not fully submerged
                             (ppt)          (m)           (m)                                                                                They provide critical food for many fish.
                                                                     • SAV is an important habitat to under water animals                    They provide shelter for many aquatic organisms.                                                                                       DS01-
       Redhead Grass
                                                                     • Its distribution and abundance is rapidly decreasing due to           They also remove harmful pollution from the water.
                             0-20         0.4-1.4       0.4-2.4                                                                                                                                                                                                                     pH(s)-5.64
                                                                       human activity
        Wild Celery          0-10         0.2-2.0       0.2-2.3
                                                                                                                                             HOW ARE HUMANS AFFECTING THE SAV?                                                                                                      Salinity 0.06
                                                                     INVASIVE PLANTS THAT WE IDENTIFIED
    Eurasian Watermilfoil    0-10         0.2-1.4       0.5-2.4      Myriophyllum spicatum - Eurasian Watermilfoil                           Humans affect SAV in many ways like boating activities,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ECSU 03-
      Southern Naiad         0-10         0.2-2.0       0.5-1.7
                                                                                                                                             sewage treatment plants discharge, construction of highways,
                                                                                                                                             runoff, and even more indirect ways like causing acid rain.
      Sago Pondweed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Salinity 4.8
                             0-9          0.2-0.4       0.6-0.9
                                                                                                                                             HOW TURBIDITY AFFECTS THE SAV                                                                                                          ECSU- 04
  COMMON SAV PLANTS                                                                                                                          Turbitity, which is usually invisible to the naked eye, limits the                                                                     pH-7.21
                                                                                                                                             amount of sun light that penetrates through the water thus                                                                             Salinity 0.41
                                                                                                                                             limiting the amount of plants able to survive since
                                                                                                                                             photosynthesis uses sunlight. It would be like giving a hundred
                                                                                                                                             people a happy meal and telling them to survive off of it.

                                                                     HOW SAV IS BEING AFFECTED?                                                                                                                    SUGGESTIONS TO REDUCE THE DECLINE OF SAV
                                                                     The factor that is becoming the biggest cause of the dying SAV
                                                                     is turbidity. Now what causes it can be a variety of things like                                                                              The best way to eradicate all problems affecting SAV would be to completely
                            Stuckenia pectinata
                                                                     suspended sediment that blocks out sun light. Contributors of                                                                                 remove the number one factor that is ailing them. Humans, and while this is
                            Sago pondweed
                                                                     this are runoff from farms, construction of highways, and boat                                                                                obviously an unreasonable suggestion it would also be the most effective. So
                                                                     traffic.                                                                                                                                      to be a little more reasonable another good way to help their population would
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   be to have SAV beds off limits to boaters, and stricter laws limiting the amount
                                                                     An increase of nutrients causes an increase of algae which in                                                                                 of nutrients farmers can use that would runoff in to the water.
  Myriophyllum spicatum                                              turn causes sunlight to be blocked out. The nutrients can come
  Eurasian Watermilfoil                                              from many things such as sewage treatment plants, acid rain,
  (invasive)                                                         agricultural fields and fertilized lawns.                                                                                                     HOW IS SAV IMPORTANT TO WATERFOWL?
      Najas guadalupensis                                                                                                                                                                                          Migrating waterfowl search the sediment for nutritious seeds, roots, and tubers
      Southern naiad                                                                                                                                                                                               that help fuel there journey during migration.
                                                                     HOW IS THE DECLINE OF SAV IS AFFECTING
                                                                                                                                              COMMON SAV PLANTS IN OLIGOHALINE
                                                                     THE WATER?
  COMMON PLANTS WE IDENTIFIED                                                                                                                 SOUNDS AND ESTUARIES IN NC                                           REFLECTIONS
                                                                     The decline of SAV is causing                                                                                                                 In the beginning of this workshop we were lectured and given straight up
                                                                     the water quality to                                                                                                                          information, and while this was useful it wasn’t until we were put into our
                                                                     decrease. The loss of the                                                                                                                     groups that we really started to learn this for ourselves. No longer were the
                                                                     sea grass is making the water                                                                                                                 answers just handed to us on a silver platter,. We learned to work to each
                                                                     cloudy. It is causing the fish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   others strengths, and strengthen each others weaknesses. As a group we
                                                                     to migrate because their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   finished this project at a much higher level than any of us could have done
                                                                     homes are disappearing.

   Ruppia martima                                                                                                                                                                                                  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
   Widgeon grass                                                                                                                                                        Vallisneria americana - Wild Celery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   We would like to thank all of the Burroughs Wellcome staff for their time and
                                       Chara                                                                                                                         Potamogeton perfoliatus                       effort to make us better individuals in the field of science and we would like to
                                       Muskgrass                                                                                                                     Redhead Grass                                 thank our teachers for giving us this opportunity.

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