The map shows the bottom types for Florida Bay that resulted from site surveys and boat transects (summer 1996-January 1997) compared with aerial photographs (December 1994-January 1995) and SPOT satellite imagery (1987).
The purpose of this map is to describe the bottom types found within Florida Bay for use in 1) assessing bottom friction associated with sediment and benthic communities and 2) ... providing a very general description for other research needs. For these purposes, two descriptors were considered particularly important: density of seagrass cover and sediment texture. Seagrass estimates are visual estimates of the amount of seagrass cover including both number of plants and leaf length. Therefore, seagrass cover may be greater in areas with long leaves than in areas with short blades, even though the number of shoots may be the same. Seagrass cover is a different measure than density (Zieman et al., 1989 or Durako et al., 1996). It is used here to more accurately reflect hydrodynamic influence than the standing crop of seagrass. The use and definitions of dense, intermediate and sparse seagrass cover are similar to those used by Scoffin (1970). This map and associated descriptions are not meant to assess ecologic communities or detail sedimentological facies. The resolution of the map has been selected in an effort to define broad regions for use in modeling efforts. For these purposes, small-scale changes in bottom type (e.g. small seagrass patches) are not delineated.