Algae and seagrasses are important trophic and structural components of the Terra Ceia ecosystem.
Large scale photo interpretation is done at four-year intervals to give a big-picture view of
coverage and overall trends. These efforts are complemented by extensive ground truthing efforts
as well. Several transects were established to collect data on species, coverage and fouling
changes to seagrasses with depth. Quadrat and transect monitoring of SAV in Bishop Harbor has been
conducted for five years by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Water
Resource Management program.
Emergent vegetation distributional patterns, somewhat stable on the short term, have experienced
profound changes over the past several decades. Sea level rise, climate change and hydrological
changes are occurring at rates that will continue to drive the evolution of low-lying vegetation
communities. Emergent vegetation research was focusing on the external influences of