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Document Type

Book Chapter


Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date


Book Title

Chesapeake Bay program technical studies: A synthesis


United States Environmental Protection Agency


Washington, D.C.


The Chesapeake Bay, with its extensive littoral zone and broad salinity regime of Oto 25 ppt, supports many different species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) (Anderson 1972, Stevenson and Confer 1978, Orth et al. 1979). Approximately ten species of submerged vascular plants are abundant in the Bay, with another ten species occurring less frequently. In many areas, more than one species is found in a particular bed of SAV because of the similarity in the physiological tolerances of some species. Between regions of the Bay, salinity appears to be the most important factor in controlling the species composition of an individual bed of SAV (Stevenson and Confer 1978), while sediment composition and light regime are important factors in controlling the distribution of SAV within regions of the Bay. All species, regardless of the salinity regime, are found in regions of the Bay's littoral zone and are iocated in water less than two to three meters deep (mean low water - MLW), primarily because of low levels of light that occur below these depths (Wetzel et al. 1981).

Publication Statement

Part 4: Submerged Aquatic Vegetation - Chapter 1

Distribution and Abundance of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in Chesapeake Bay