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Natural Communities of St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics
Composite substrate

Composite substrate

Natural Community Type # Acres Comments
Algal Bed


Large populations of nondrift macro or micro algae.
Composite Substrate


Consist of a combination of natural communities such as "beds" of algae and seagrasses.
Mollusk Reef


Expansive concentrations of sessile mollusks occurring in intertidal and subtidal zones to a depth of 40 feet.
Octocoral Bed


Non-sessile benthic and pelagic invertebrates and vertebrates (e.g., sponges, mollusks, tube worms, burrowing shrimp, crabs, isopods, amphipods, sand dollars, and fishes) are associated with Octocoral Beds.
Seagrass Bed


Expansive stands of vascular plants that occur in subtidal (rarely intertidal) zones, in clear, coastal waters where wave energy is moderate.
Sponge Bed


Dense populations of sessile invertebrates of the phylum Porifera, Class Demospongiae.
Tidal Marsh


Expanses of grasses, rushes and sedges along coastlines of low wave energy and river mouths.
Unconsolidated Substrate


Expansive, relatively open areas of subtidal, intertidal, and supratidal zones which lack dense populations of sessile plant and animal species.


Categorized as an Unconsolidated Substrate. Mudflats are created by sediment that is deposited by the changing tides and Gulf of Mexico.
Salt marsh

Salt marsh






Last updated: April 06, 2015

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