Overview

Brief Summary

Manatee Grass (Syringodium filiforme) is a prominent component of seagrass beds in shallow warm waters from Florida and the Gulf Coast of the United States south through the West Indies to northern South America (Haynes 2000). It typically grows at depths ranging from around one to three meters (Duarte et al. 2007). It is found in the sublittoral zone (the region between the low tide mark and the edge of the continental shelf) of marine waters with sandy or muddy bottoms (Haynes 2000).

Manatee Grass is dioecious (i.e., there are separate male and female plants) and pollination occurs underwater. Pollen is expelled in strands and forms clumps over several hours. Submarine pollination occurs when the pollen clumps collide with the stigmas (female parts) of the female plants. However, Syringodium pollen released on the water surface floats and coalesces, forming snowflake-like rafts, suggesting the possibility that surface pollination may occur as well during very low tides in populations growing in shallow water. (Cox et al. 1990)

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Comprehensive Description

A descriptive guide to the morphology, including keys and illustrations of plant and flower, occurrence, and global distribution of the 7 species of seagrass (Thalassia testudinum, Halodule beaudettei (formerly H. wrightii), Syringodium filiforme, Ruppia maritima, Halophila engelmannii, Halophila decipiens and Halophila johnsonii) occurring in the Indian River Lagoon is presented by Eiseman (1980).
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Distribution

Range Description

Syringodium filiforme occurs in the western tropical Atlantic from Florida (USA) to Venezuela, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, as well as Bermuda.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Fla., La., Miss., Tex.; e Mexico; West Indies; Bermuda; Central America (Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama); South America (Colombia, Venezuela).
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Syringodium filiforme occurs throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea as well as Bermuda and the Bahamas (Eiseman 1980). Seven species of seagrasses occur in the Indian River Lagoon. Of these, 6 species are known to occur throughout the tropical western hemisphere, while one, Halophila johnsonii, is known only from coastal lagoons of eastern Florida. Among the seagrasses in the India River Lagoon, Halodule beaudettei is the most common. Ruppia maritima is the least common and is found in the most shallow areas of the lagoon. Syringodium filiforme can be locally more abundant than H. wrightii. Thalassia testudinum occurs in the southern portion of the India River Lagoon (Sebastian Inlet and south). Halophila decipiens, Halophila engelmannii and Halophila johnsonii can form mixed or monotypic beds with other species. Because of their abundance in deeper water and high productivity, the distribution and ecological significance of the 3 Halophila species may have previously been underestimated. The significance of seagrass beds as habitat, nursery and food source for ecologically and economically important fauna and flora as well as various management strategies for seagrass beds of the India River Lagoon are discussed in Dawes et al 1995.The northern area of the Indian River Lagoon supports the most developed seagrass beds, presumably because of low levels of urbanization and fresh water inputs. Four species of seagrass - Halodule beaudettei, Syringodium filiforme, Halophila engelmannii and Ruppia maritima - can be found north of Sebastian Inlet, while all 7 species occur to the south (Dawes et al 1995). Seagrasses were ranked in order of decreasing percent cover by Virnstein and Cairns (1986) as follows: Syringodium filiforme, Halodule beaudettei, Halophila johnsonii, Thalassia testudinum, Halophila decipiens, Halophila engelmannii and Ruppia maritima.Distributional Changes: Changes in seagrass distribution and diversity pattern in the Indian River Lagoon (1940 - 1992) are discussed by Fletcher and Fletcher (1995). These authors estimated that seagrass abundance was 11 % less in 1992 than in the 1970's and 16 % less than in 1986 for the entire Indian River Lagoon complex (Ponce to Jupiter Inlet). Decreases in abundance occurred particularly north of Vero Beach. In this area of the lagoon, it was also estimated that maximum depth of seagrass distribution decreased by as much as 50 % from 1943 to 1992. Alteration of such factors as water clarity, salinity and temperature could affect the diversity and balance of seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon system and should be considered when developing management strategies for this resource (Fletcher & Fletcher 1995).Mapping: The distribution of 3 species of seagrass was mapped in a 15 ha area in mid-Indian River Lagoon. Halodule beaudettei and Syringodium filiforme were more abundant in shallow and deeper water respectively. Thalassia testudinum occurred in patches. Areal coverage (%) of monospecific stands of these three species was 35% for Syringodium, 14% for Halodule and 6% for Thalassia. Mixed beds, mostly Syringodium and Halodule accounted for 25% coverage. Biomass (above-ground) was greatest during the summer and minimum in late-winter. In this same study area, drift algae, primarily Gracilaria spp. was initially mapped and then sampled in order to estimate its abundance. It was concluded that at times drift algae can be quantitatively more important than seagrass in terms of habitat, nutrient dynamics and primary production (Virnstein & Carbonara 1985).Sources of mapped distributions of Indian River Lagoon seagrasses include: 1) Seagrass maps of the Indian & Banana Rivers (White 1986); 2) Seagrass maps of the Indian River Lagoon (Virnstein and Cairns 1986); 3) Use of aerial imagery in determining submerged features in three east-coast Florida lagoons (Down 1983); and 4) Photomapping and species composition of the seagrass beds in Florida's Indian River estuary (Thompson 1976). Data from the first two sources (White 1986; Virnstein & Cairns 1986) is now available in GIS format (ARCINFO) ( see Fletcher & Fletcher 1995).Depth: The lower limit of seagrass depth distribution for both Syringodium filiforme and Halodule beaudettei in the southern region of the Indian River Lagoon is controlled by light availability. Both species occur approximately to the same maximum depth, in Hobe (1.75 - 2.0 m depth) and Jupiter (2.5 - 2.75 m depth) sounds, indicating similar minimum light requirements. In more transparent waters, e.g., in the Caribbean, these species can occur at considerably deeper depths (Kenworthy and Fonseca 1996).Although Syringodium has never been observed in intertidal areas, it did occur in shallow areas caused by spring tides and strong winds (Phillips 1960). Near St. Lucie Inlet in the Indian River Lagoon, dense growth of Syringodium was seen at 2 feet (mean low tide) but was collected up to 10 feet. Phillips (1960) reported that densest growth of Syringodium occurred in water 2.0 to 4.5 feet, at mean low tide, although it occurred sparsely in much deeper water, probably a function of light penetration. In Florida, Syringodium has never been reported as deep as Thalassia or Halodule. However, Syringodium did occur at 25 meters in Gaudeloupe.When occurring in a mixed seagrass flat, Halodule beaudettei occurred closest to shore. Ruppia occurred in slightly deeper water. Thalassia testudinum, although probably preferring continuous submersion, was limited by neap tide low water mark, whereas Syringodium was limited by spring tide low water mark and was found in the deepest parts of the mixed flat (Phillips 1960).
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Manatee Grass is found in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; eastern Mexico; the West Indies; Bermuda; Central America (Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama); and northern South America (Colombia, Venezuela) (Haynes 2000).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Leaves: sheath 1.5--7 cm; blade 5--30 cm ´ 0.3--2 mm; peripheral veins 2. Inflorescences: proximal branches dichasial, the distal monochasial, 1.5--5 ´ 1--4.5 cm; bracts: sheath 5--9 ´ 2--4 mm, blade 0.5--1 ´ 0.1--0.3 mm. Staminate flowers: peduncles 5--10 mm; anthers ovate to elliptic, 3--5 mm. Pistillate flowers: ovary ellipsoid. Fruits obovoid, 5--8 ´ 3.5--5 mm.
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Size

Leaf length in Syringodium filiforme varies with water depth. Overall leaf length was greater in deeper water, although maximum leaf length can occur at any depth (Phillips 1960).Shoot longevity and rhizome turnover, rather than capacity to support dense meadows, are key elements in determining either pioneer species (Syringodium filiforme and Halodule beaudettei) or climax species (Thalassia testudinum) of seagrass (Gallegos et al 1994).
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Cymodocea filiformis (Kützing) Correll; C. manatorum Ascherson.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Syringodium filiforme is typically found on sand to mud bottoms down to at least 20 m, but in transparent waters this species can occur at deeper depths (Kenworthy and Fonseca 1996).This is locally a major habitat forming species. It often grows intermixed with Thalassia testudinum and/or Halodule wrightii. For example, in Cuba, it is found at a maximum depth of 16.5 m with biomass of 3.5 g/m². In the Caribbean, it usually grows intermixed with Thalassia testudinum, but also grows in mono-specific areas, beds or patches from the upper sublittoral down to more that 20 m (Green and Short 2003).

This species does not grow in brackish areas (Zieman 1982, UNESCO 1998, Hemminga and Duarte 2000, Green and Short 2003, Larkum et al. 2006), and it is absent in areas of poor water quality (Virnstein 1995). A large portion of the biomass grows below ground and below ground biomass is estimated at 50–60% of total biomass (Zieman, van Tussenbroek, Short, pers comm. 2007). This species has a high seed set from seed banks. Little is known about seed and seedling survival (van Tussenbroek pers comm. 2007).

Syringodium filiforme is heavily grazed by parrotfish in back reef areas and is an important food source for manatees. Other species grazing on this seagrass species are surgeonfish, sea urchins and perhaps pinfish. Other grazers, e.g., the queen conch, eat the epiphytic algae on the seagrass leaves (Zieman 1982).

Systems
  • Marine
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Sublittoral zone of marine waters with sandy or muddy substrates; -25--0m.
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Manatee Grass typically grows at depths ranging from around one to three meters (Duarte et al. 2007). It is found in the sublittoral zone (the region between the low tide mark and the edge of the continental shelf) of marine waters with sandy or muddy bottoms (Haynes 2000).

Lirman and Cropper (2003) investigated the sensitivity of several seagrass species (Turtle Grass, Shoal Grass and Manatee Grass) to varying salinity and its apparent impact on distribution and abundance. Manatee Grass was the most susceptible of the three species; maximum growth rates for this species were observed at 25 parts per thousand and dropped dramatically at higher and lower salinity.

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Depth range based on 788 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 788 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 84
  Temperature range (°C): 25.995 - 27.678
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.161 - 1.248
  Salinity (PPS): 35.179 - 36.531
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.630 - 4.746
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.020 - 0.125
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.354 - 2.300

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 84

Temperature range (°C): 25.995 - 27.678

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.161 - 1.248

Salinity (PPS): 35.179 - 36.531

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.630 - 4.746

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.020 - 0.125

Silicate (umol/l): 1.354 - 2.300
 
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Trophic Strategy

Photosynthetic rates were determined for three species of seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida in March and July. Photosynthetic rates (mg C/g dry wt-h) ranged between 0.009 - 1.72 for Syringodium filiforme, 0.009 - 0.395 for Halodule beaudettei and 0.005 - 0.79 for Thalassia testudinum (Heffernan & Gibson 1983).Habitat: Favorable substratum for Syringodium is very soft bottom, i.e., loose muddy sand; although Syringodium has been reported from a wide variety of substrata including the soft black mud near St. Lucie Inlet in the Indian River Lagoon, as well as in firm muddy sand composed mostly of sand (Phillips 1960).Currents: In south Florida, it appeared that strong current promoted the growth of both Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme as evidenced by their luxuriant growth in tidal channels separating mangrove islands, as opposed to growth observed in quiescent lagoons. It is thought that rapid current will tend to break down diffusion gradients, making more CO2 and inorganic nutrients available to the plant (Zieman 1982).
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Associations

Seagrasses: Syringodium filiforme is usually sparse in areas of dense Ruppia growth, where brackish water Ruppia apparently outcompetes Syringodium (Phillips 1960). Along the northwestern Cuban shelf, Syringodium filiforme was approximately 10 times more abundant than Halophila engelmanii and H. decipiens combined, accounting for 2.2 % composition of seagrasses in the area. Thalassia testudinum accounted for 97.5 % total biomass. Epiphytes: A species list of seagrass epiphytes of the Indian River Lagoon, FL, was provided by Hall and Eiseman (1981). Forty one species of algae occurred on the seagrasses Syringodium filiforme, Halodule beaudettei and Thalassia testudinum. Epiphytic algal diversity and abundance was generally higher in winter and spring and lowest during late summer and early fall.At least 113 epiphytes and up to 120 macroalgal species were later identified from Florida's seagrass blades and communities respectively (Dawes1987).Direct grazing on Florida seagrasses is limited to a number of species, e.g., seaturtles, parrotfish, surgeonfish, sea urchins and perhaps pinfish. Other grazers e.g., the queen conch scrape the epiphytic algae on the seagrass leaves (Zieman 1982). Macrofauna: Amphipods are capable of detecting differences in density of seagrasses and will choose areas of high blade density, presumably as a prey refuge. In addition, when 3 different species of seagrass, Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme and Halodule beaudettei were offered to amphipods at equal blade density, amphipods chose H. wrightii because of its higher surface to biomass ratio (Stoner 1980).A study of decapod crustacea associated with a seagrass/drift algae community in the Indian River Lagoon, FL showed remarkable diversity. The seagrass community sampled was composed of 4 species, 3 of which were abundant: Syringodium filiforme; Halodule beaudettei; and Thalassia testudinum. Brachyuran crabs and caridean shrimp comprised the majority of decapods sampled. In all 38 species in 28 genera and 17 families were sampled. The crustacean community was regulated by above ground plant abundance i.e., a function of habitat complexity. It was concluded that competitive exclusion rather than predation was more important in regulating habitat diversity of the macrocrustacean community in these seagrasses (Gore et al 1981).A study comparing the abundance of macrobenthic invertebrates and epifauna in seagrass (Thalassia testudinum, Halodule beaudettei and to a lesser extent, Syringodium filiforme) vs. adjacent sandy bottom habitats was conducted in the Indian River Lagoon, FL by Virnstein et al (1983). Both groups, but especially the epifauna, were found to be both more abundant in seagrass habitats and also more heavily preyed upon and thus more trophically important than seagrass infauna. The primary transfer path to higher trophic levels occurred through the epifaunal macrobenthos in seagrass habitats and through the infauna in sandy habitats (Virnstein et al 1983).A new anaspidean Phyllaplysia smaragda, associated with manatee grass Syringodium filiforme, was described from material collected between Titusville and Merritt Island, FL . P. smaragda was observed feeding on scrapings of S. filiforme as well as on an encrusting epiphyte Erythrocladia subintegra (Clark 1970).For an extensive treatment of seagrass community components and structure including associated flora and fauna, see Zieman (1982).Virnstein (1995) suggested the "overlap vs. gap hypothesis" to explain the unexpectedly high (e.g., fish) or low (e.g., amphipods) diversity of certain taxa associated with seagrass beds. In a highly variable environment such as the Indian River Lagoon, diversity of a particular taxa is related to its dispersal capabilities. For example, amphipods, lacking a planktonic phase, have limited recruitment and dispersal capabilities, whereas highly mobile taxa such as fish (which also have a planktonic phase) would tend to have overlapping species ranges and hence higher diversity (Virnstein 1995).
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Population Biology

In 1978, Thompson listed Syringodium filiforme and Halodule beaudettei as the most abundant seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon, but between Fort Pierce Inlet and the southern tip of Merritt, Syringodium declined sharply in abundance. North of the southern tip of Merritt Island, Syringodium again was numerically dominant in terms of erect shoots (Thompson 1978). S. filiforme occurs abundantly at mid-depths throughout the IRL, rarely occurs in shallow water and is often mixed with other species. Syringodium is absent in areas of poor water quality (Virnstein 1995). Eiseman (1980) reported S. filiforme occurring throughout the Indian River Lagoon (where waves and current are not strong) often in mixed stands with Thalassia testudinum and Halodule beaudettei.Locomotion: Sessile.
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General Ecology

Ecology

In an experimental study in the Virgin Islands, Manatee Grass was found to be an early colonizer of exposed seabed, following pioneering rhizophyic algae. Manatee Grass later declined over time as a result of competition with Turtle Grass, which propagated and established more slowly, but outcompeted Manatee Grass for nutrients as well as light. Although the frequency and magnitude of disturbance seemed insufficient to prevent complete replacement by Turtle Grass, coexistence of Manatee Grass, Turtle Grass, and other seagrasses and rhizophytic algae was often observed and is apparently facilitated by partitioning of sediments (and the nutrients they contain), with Turtle Grass utilizing sediments deeper than those used by Manatee Grass. (Williams 1990 and references therein) DiCarlo and Kenworthy (2008) found a less clear cut pattern of species succession. Although they did observe rapid colonization by Manatee Grass and/or Shoal Grass (Halodule wrightii) in recovering beds in the Florida Keys (at two sites shifting from previous dominance by Turtle Grass and at 5 other sites ending up with mixed Turtle Grass and Manatee Grass), at their 3 Puerto Rico sites they did not see a succession of species, instead seeing Turtle Grass replaced by Turtle Grass after recovery.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering and fruiting winter--summer (Feb--Jun).
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Reproduction

Seasonality of both growth and biomass is exhibited by all species of seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon, being maximum during April - May and June - July respectively (Dawes et al 1995).When the seasonal distribution of Syringodium filiforme and associated macrophytes was studied in the northern Indian River Lagoon, FL, minimum standing crop occurred during February through April; maximum standing crop occurred in September. Halodule beaudettei, Halophila engelmanii, and drift algae occurred in the study area but were not major components of the system. Sandy patches within these seagrass beds were due to the burrowing activity of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus. Because the study area was at the northern distributional limit of Syringodium filiforme, thermal stress may limit patch regrowth (Gilbert and Clark 1981).Another study in the northern section of the Indian River Lagoon, FL showed that the seagrass communities composed of Syringodium filiforme, Halophila engelmannii and Halodule beaudettei responded to a number of interrelated physical and biological variables some of which varied seasonally (temperature, light, epiphytes). Other variables such as sediment deposition and resuspension vary continuously. Vegetative growth of all three species occurred in the spring and to a lesser extent during the fall (Rice et al. 1983).In a laboratory study, growth of Syringodium filiforme, Ruppia maritima, Halodule beaudettei, Halophila engelmanii and Thalassia testudinum were investigated at various light intensities. Optimum growth for all five species was obtained at light intensities of 200 - 450 foot-candles. At light intensities above or below this range, growth was much slower for all species (Koch et al 1974).Flowering: Water temperature, moreso than photoperiod, appeared to be more influential in controlling floral development as well as subsequent flower density and seed production in seagrasses. Laboratory experiments showing flowering induction under continuous light suggested that photoperiod probably plays a limited role in sexual reproduction (Moffler & Durako 1982).Phillips (1960) speculated that since flowering was so rarely reported in Syringodium filiforme, most dispersion of this seagrass probably occurred through vegetative growth, i.e., rhizome elongation and new branch production. New shoot production occurred in Syringodium throughout the year, except in the coldest winter months.Flowering and reproduction of seagrasses, including Syringodium filiforme, was compared between clones placed in laboratory culture vs. those in Redfish Bay, Texas. Flowering in Syringodium could not be induced in the laboratory and this species flowered only scarcely in Redfish Bay (McMillan 1976).
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Manatee Grass flowering and fruiting occurs from February to June (Haynes 2000).

Cox et al. (1990) studied pollination in Manatee Grass in the Virgin Islands. Manatee Grass is dioecious (i.e., there are separate male and female plants) and pollination occurs underwater. Pollen is expelled in strands and forms clumps over several hours. Submarine pollination occurs when the pollen clumps collide with the stigmas (female parts) of the female plants. However, Syringodium pollen released on the water surface floats and coalesces, forming snowflake-like rafts, suggesting the possibility that surface pollination may occur as well during very low tides in populations growing in shallow water. Cox et al. found that fruit set was higher where staminate (i.e., pollen-producing) inflorescences were present nearby and lower in plots lacking staminate inflorescences. (Cox et al. 1980)

The floral morphology and development of Manatee Grass are described by Tomlinson and Posluszny (1978).

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Growth

Seeds of Syringodium (like Halodule) can have prolonged dormant periods up to 3 years. Fruits mature on reproductive shoots above sediment and can be widely dispersed.
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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Systematics and Taxonomy

Syringodium filiforme was at one time known as Cymodocea filiformis (Haynes 2000).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Syringodium filiforme

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Syringodium filiforme

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., van Tussenbroek, B. & Zieman, J.

Reviewer/s
Livingstone, S., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
Syringodium filiforme is an abundant species throughout its range, and the overall population is stable. Threats include pollution and low water quality and localized coastal development. This species is listed as Least Concern.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Population

Population
Syringodium filiforme is abundant and the population is thought to be stable throughout most of its range. Locally, this seagrass can be a major habitat forming species.

According to the Global Seagrass Trajectories Database, (T.J.B. Carruthers pers. comm. 2007) there are 13 published studies that monitored this species over time, and of these, 11 had no change and two showed increased coverage (all areal extent, biomass, or cover). Global average maximum biomass is estimated to be 368 g dw/m² above ground (from six observations) and 451 g dw/m² below ground (from four observations) (Duarte and Chiscano 1999). In Bermuda, out of 55 sites sampled 59% showed presence of this species. Of these, 22% had greater than 320 shoots/m² (Murdoch et al. 2004). There were wide scale decreases in abundance throughout Florida Bay from about 83.3 shoots/m² in 1984 to about 5.6 shoots/m² in 1994 with an 88% reduction in average dry weight density. The reduced abundance at that time was most likely due to increased light attenuation due to die-off of Thalassia testudinum (Hall et al. 1999).

Population Trend
Stable
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Murdoch et al. (2007) documented the decline of many large seagrass meadows in Bermuda and discussed the results of several unpublished studies that provide information regarding the environmental, biological and anthropogenic causes and characteristics of these habitat changes. Of a total of about 900 hectares of lagoon and offshore meadows documented in 1997, by 2004 about 475 hectares were either reduced to sandy areas with dead and decaying rhizomes or had only very sparsely distributed shoots of Turtle Grass (Thalassia testudinum), Manatee Grass (Syringodium filiforme) or Shoal Grass (Halodule wrightii). Among the likely factors contributing to these widespread declines are anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) nutrient input, chemical pollution, physical damage by moorings, dredging, boat propellers, and increased sedimentation (Murdoch et al. 2007 and references therein). According to Murdoch et al., however, the lagoonal and offshore meadows in Bermuda (in contrast to inshore and nearshore meadows) have not been exposed to obvious anthropogenic disturbance. Thus, the causes of the recent decline and factors preventing re-establishment of the lagoonal and offshore meadows remain unclear, although the large scale of the decline suggests that factors operating over large spatial scales, such as region-wide climate, water quality, and environmental management practices probably played an important role in the decline.

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Threats

Major Threats
Threats affecting Syringodium filiforme are eutrophication and sedimentation. This species does not grow well in low quality water and needs good light.

In Florida, this species is locally affected by sewage pollution from expanded residential and hotel development, and marina and boat usage. It is also incidentally damaged from boat traffic. In the Yucatan Peninsula, this species can be affected locally by trawling, eutrophication, and port development. Coastal developments and pollution from land-based sources, eutrophication (sewage and agricultural fertilizers) are local threats in the Caribbean region.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in a number of marine protected areas throughout its range. In the Caribbean for example, Syringoium filiforme is included in the 24 fully managed marine protected areas. Currently, a seagrass management plan is being developed in Bermuda (S. Sarkis pers. comm. 2007).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Habitat structureBroad-scale Cost/Benefit: Virnstein (1995) stressed the importance of considering both geographic scale and pattern (landscape) in devising appropriate management strategies to maintain seagrass habitat diversity in the Indian River Lagoon. It was suggested that goals be established to maintain seagrass diversity and that these goals should consider not only the preservation of seagrass acreage but more importantly, the number of species of seagrass within an appropriate area. By maintaining seagrass habitat diversity, the maintenance of the diverse assemblage of amphipods, mollusks, isopods and fish associated with seagrass beds will be accomplished (Virnstein 1995).
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Wikipedia

Syringodium filiforme

Syringodium filiforme, commonly known as manatee grass, is a species of marine seagrass. It forms meadows in shallow sandy or muddy locations in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and is also found in the Bahamas and Bermuda.[1]

References

  1. ^ Dineen, J. (2001-07-25). "Syringodium filiforme (Manatee Grass)". Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/syring_filifo.htm. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
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Notes

Comments

Syringodium filiforme has been listed as Cymodocea filiformis (D. S. Correll and H. B. Correll 1972) . Cymodocea was separated from Syringodium, however, by the flattened leaves and solitary flowers of Cymodocea and terete leaves and cymose inflorescences of Syringodium (C. den Hartog 1970). Syringodium occurs in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, as well as subtropical oceans of the Old World, whereas Cymodocea is restricted to the tropical and subtropical oceans of the Old World (C. den Hartog 1970).
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Treated as Cymodocea filiformis by Kartesz (1994); sometimes treated as Syringodium filiforme (e.g., FNA, review draft, 5/98).

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