f01u1p2 - Unit One Hydrodynamics Unit 1 Hydrodynamics On...

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Unit One Hydrodynamics Project Oceanography Fall 2001 3 Unit 1 Hydrodynamics On the cutting edge… Scientists at the University of South Florida’s Biology department are on the cutting edge of science studying how water velocity influences the ecology of seagrass communities. They have developed a portable flume system that can be used in natural settings to modify the flow of water and investigate the effects of water velocity and nutrient cycling. Measurements taken with the flume in natural seagrass beds are compared to measurements predicted using simple mathematical models that describe nutrient cycling processes. From the data, scientists are able to determine the efficiency with which seagrass communities remove nutrients from the water column. In addition, models developed from the data will assist in understanding the effects of nutrient loading on the marine and estuarine environment. Introduction to Seagrasses Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to do the following: Describe a seagrass community List three ways seagrass beds are important Analyze two reasons for loss of seagrass bed habitat Key concepts: ecosystems, interdependent communities, seagrass beds, rhizomes, water quality Description of Seagrasses Ecosystems are composed of living and nonliving components that are interrelated through their energy flow. Our coastlines are characterized by a variety of marine ecosystems. These systems are influenced by oceanographic processes such as tides , waves , and currents. They are also ecologically rich environments that include offshore, continental shelf , and beach communities. Within the continental shelf community, we will be exploring the seagrass beds. Seagrasses are flowering plants that live completely submerged in water. They are similar to terrestrial grasses found on land. These plant producers are generally located in shallow waters, because they need sunlight to photosynthesize . In addition, they utilize nutrients from the bottom sediment and water column to produce energy. This process also creates oxygen as a byproduct. They reproduce from seeds or send out new plants from
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Unit One Hydrodynamics Project Oceanography Fall 2001 4 their rhizomes or underground stems. (More information on this subject is available in our Spring 1999 Problems and Solutions packet.) Seagrass beds can be sparsely populated, patchy areas or lush, dense, and green areas. This difference in density depends on the water depth and quality and bottom conditions. Sparsely populated beds can be found in recently colonized areas or areas where the bottom sediment is disturbed. Boat motor propellers are an example of a disturbing force in seagrass beds. Scarring caused by
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2011 for the course OCB 6050 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of South Florida - Tampa.

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f01u1p2 - Unit One Hydrodynamics Unit 1 Hydrodynamics On...

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