Date of Award

Spring 1976

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Lytton J. Musselman

Committee Member

Gerald F. Levy

Committee Member

Frank P. Day

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 D39


The rooted submergent flora of Currituck Sound, North Carolina was determined, and the distributions of its species investigated with respect to salinity, substrate texture, depth, pH, turbidity and species co-occurrence. Eight species of hydrophytes were found: Potamogeton pectinatus, Fotamogeton perfoliatus, Ruppia maritima, Zannichellia palustris, Najas guadalupensis, Elodea nuttallii, Vallisneria americana, and Myriophyllum spicatum. The mean salinities at which each species occurred ranged from 1.0 ppt for E. nuttallii to 3.1 ppt for Z. palustris, Ruppia maritima, Z palustris and V. americana were the only species that commonly occurred on coarse-grained substrates. Elodea nuttallii and N. guadalupensis were tolerant of minimum light and predominated beneath dense M. spicatum mats where water circulation was modified, siltation enhanced, and the substrate stabilized. Myriophyllum spicatum was the only species that grew at depths of less than 21 cm or more than 140 cm. Zannichellia palustris had the smallest depth range (23-66 cm), and was unaffected by exposure to the atmosphere (wind generated tidal effects) of up to eight hours.


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