CESI Research Project 97-12

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Relationship of Sedimentary Sulfur, Iron and Phosphorus Cycling to Water Quality in Florida Bay: How Seagrass Die-offs Contribute to Algal Blooms
Randolph M. Chambers & James W. Forqurean


Florida Bay has been dubbed a "nationally significant estuary", thanks to the myriad ecological, economic and recreational opportunities it sustains. The dense beds of seagrass that grow along the bottom of the shallow bay play an important role in maintaining the exceptionally high quality of water in which numerous coastal species historically thrived.

The past two decades have seen pronounced changes in the bay, including widespread seagrass die-offs and seasonally common algal blooms. This CESI-funded investigation examines how biogeochemical processes involving iron, sulfur and phosphorus affect the growth of both algae and seagrasses. Results suggest that period disturbances, such as those observed over the past twenty years, may be a natural occurrence in the history of the bay.


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Sedimentary, Sulfur, Iron, Phosphorus, Cycling, Water Quality, Florida Bay, Seagrass Die-offs, Algal Blooms, Everglades National Park, CESI, Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative

Last updated: June 3, 2021

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