Seagrasses are one of the primary indicators of ecosystem health; therefore, seagrass research is important when evaluating the impacts of management decisions on overall estuarine condition. Seagrass losses prior to the 1980ís have been attributed to deleterious nitrogen loading, and recent seagrass recovery has been attributed to improved water quality conditions.
Seagrass community metabolism and other benthic communities has been measured at several sites in Tampa Bay. These (photosynthesis, and respiration) measurements are performed using the Submersible Habitat for Analyzing Reef Quality (SHARQ) and are determined from precise measurements of pH, temperature, salinity, and changes in dissolved oxygen and carbonate system parameters.
* For detailed descriptions of methodology see Refereed Publications below.