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-
• 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
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,
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.
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
suspended sediment that blocks out sun light. Contributors of remove the number one factor that is ailing them. Humans, and while this is
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
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.