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Publication #SGEF156

Are native and nonindigenous seaweeds overgrowing Florida's east coast reefs?1

Charles Jacoby, Brian LaPointe, LeRoy Creswell2

The reefs found in the Atlantic Ocean off southern Palm Beach and northern Broward counties appear to be under threat. Since 1990, scientists have recorded a series of algal blooms that covered these reefs. Initially, the blooms comprised native species, but in 2001, scientists discovered a bloom of an introduced algal species. This fact sheet explains the history of observations, discusses what may be driving the observed changes, and suggests how we can help reverse or prevent damage to the reefs.

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Footnotes

1.

This document is SGEF-156, published by the Florida Sea Grant College Program with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Sea Grant, U.S. Department of Commerce. Published June 2004. Reviewed March 2009. For more information or printed copies, contact Florida Sea Grant, PO Box 110400, Gainesville, FL 32611-0400, 352-392-5870.

2.

Charles Jacoby, UF/IFAS Program for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611; Brian LaPointe, Division of Marine Science, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 5600 US 1 North, Ft. Pierce, FL, 34946; LeRoy Creswell, Florida Sea Grant Marine Extension Service, 8400 Picos Road, Suite 101, Ft. Pierce, FL, 34945


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.