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Examines in Marine Biology & Oceanography

Pigment-Based Chemotaxonomy of Seagrass Epiphyte Communities; Variables to Consider and uses in Ecosystem Assessment and Monitoring
  • Open or CloseJ William Louda1*, Alya G Singh White1,2 and Annabelle ML Brooks3

    1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Environmental Sciences Program, USA

    2Currently: TMDL Section USEPA REGION-4, USA

    3The Cape Eleuthera Institute of The Island School, Bahamas

    *Corresponding author:J William Louda, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Environmental Sciences Program, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Submission: September 1, 2021; Published: October 22, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/EIMBO.2021.04.000588

ISSN : 2578-031X
Volume4 Issue3


This paper presents pigment-based chemotaxonomy as a rapid method for the analysis of seagrass epiphyte communities and how that data may be applied to the assessment of the full seagrass ecosystem. Pigments-based chemotaxonomy uses diagnostic pigments to determine the biomass, using chlorophyll-a as a proxy, of microalgal taxa within phytoplankton or epiphyte communities. Seagrass samples were taken from Florida Bay, USA and around the southern tip of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas.
Data is presented which reveals.
A. The need for care during sampling in order to avoid losing epiphytes due to sloughing,
B. Consideration of the exact site of sampling with a given area,
C. Variations in epiphyte production and community makeup with respect to time of year,
D. Epiphyte loading variations along the length of a seagrass blade,
E. Potential effects of light (top-down) and grazing (bottom-up) on epiphyte communities,
F. The importance of diatoms on the seagrasses and macro-algae of Florida Bay,
G. The use of epiphytometers to monitor epiphyte production versus time, and
H. The strong variation in epiphyte communities around the southern tip of Eleuthera Island.
All of these results and discussion are presented in order to reveal the application of pigment-based chemotaxonomy and epiphytometers (aka fake seagrass) in the assessment of seagrass epiphyte communities

Keywords: Epiphytometers; Biodiversity; Atmospheric; Seagrass; Epiphyte; Cyanobacteria

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