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Distribution and Abundance of Submersed Aquatic Vegetation in the Tidal Potomac River and Estuary, Maryland and Virginia, May 1978 to November 1981

Published: January 01, 1985

The distribution and abundance of submersed aquatic vegetation in the tidal Potomac River and Estuary were studied from 1978 through 1981 with asistance of the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service.  Sixteen species of submersed aquatic plants were identified, fourteen vascular plants and two species of the algae Chara.  Most of the plants were located in the transition zone of the Potomac River and Wicomico Riber tributary, with a few isolated populations in the tidal river and estuary.  Vallisneria americana, Zannichellia palustria, Ruppina maritime, and Potamogeton perfoliatus were the most abundant and widespread species.  The present distribution and abundance differ considerably from that in the early 1900's when flats in the tidal river were covered with lush vegetation including Vallisneria and Potamogeton spp. the the estuary ahd an abundance of Zostera marina.

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