Submerged Aquatic & Emergent Vegetation

Changes in the ecological characteristics and aerial extent of vegetated habitats and communities can provide a sensitive indicator of the health and vitality of the estuarine ecosystem. This element includes periodic assessments (e.g., biomass, growth, and species distribution) of estuarine plant communities at a series of representative study sites. Monitoring of biotic communities occurs in close association with the collection of abiotic data, and done in conjunction with high-resolution mapping to quantify the larger scale spatial extent of vegetative communities in the watershed. The sampling approach adopted by SWMP has been used to assess a variety of vegetative communities.