Biscayne National Park Marine Plants / Algae

Seagrass meadows are among the most diverse of all marine communities. (NPS Photo) Seagrass beds are an important ecological component on nearshore marine environments and they occur in all coastal areas of the world except in Antarctica. They are highly productive, provide nursery habitat for rearing and sheltering small fishes and invertebrates, and provide food for a wide variety of animals and create habitat and substrate diversity. Biscayne National Park contains many seagrass beds. Approximately 70 percent of the Biscayne's recreationally and commercially important fishes, crustaceans, and shellfish spend a portion of their lives in the bay's environment. There are four major types of seagrasses found in the bay. Shoalgrass, Halodule wrightii , is an early colonizer of disturbed areas and usually grows in very shallow water. Turtle-grass, Thalassia testudinum , is the most common seagrass in the park. It has wide leaf blades and a deep root structure, and forms most of the large, lush seagrass meadows found in the park. Manatee grass, Syringodium filiforme , is recognized easily because of its cylin

The following marine plants have been documented in Biscayne National Park. They are listed alphabetically by common name. The list is not exhaustive, and documented sightings of species not on this list are welcome. Submit your sightings to Halophila englemanni Johnson's seagrass, Halophila johnsonni Manatee grass, Syringodium filiforme Paddle grass, Halophila decipiens Shoalgrass, Halodule wrightii Turtle grass, Thalassia testudinum

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