Emergent Aquatic Vegetation
Emergent aquatic vegetation is an indicator of the littoral marsh condition in Lake Okeechobee. The Lake Okeechobee littoral marsh consists of approximately 100,000 acres bounded by the Herbert Hoover Dike and the 10 ft NGVD bathymetric contour. The distribution and composition of plant communities within this area is primarily a function of water depth, as well as the interaction between water depth and horizontal mixing of turbid, nutrient enriched water from the pelagic zone. Emergent aquatic vegetation provides important habitat for birds and other organisms.
See the results for emergent aquatic vegetation in Lake Okeechobee.
How is it measured?
Emergent aquatic vegetation is measured by mapping of the littoral marsh every three years with frequency dependent on available funding. However, for the years when data are not available to map the entire marsh, assessment scoring is done annually based on evaluating the emergent plant communities within 50 one-hectare grids located at 24 representative sentinel sites distributed throughout the marsh. The thresholds are specific for different emergent plant communities and are based on the Interim Goals.
|Vegetation Target||Target (hectares)||within 25% (hectares)||within 50% (hectares)|
|Bulrush||1,900 or greater||1425-1,899||950-1,424|
|Beakrush/Spikerush||10,000 or greater||7,500-9,999||5,000-7,499|
|Sawgrass||1,900 or greater||1425-1,899||950-1,424|
|Cattail||8,000 or less||8,001-10,000||10,001-12,000|
|Willow||3,000 – 5,000||2,250-2,999 or 5,001- 6,250||1,500-2,999 or 5,001-7,499|
|Floating leaf above 3.88m||1,500 or less||1,501-1,875||1,501-2,250|
|Torpedograss||2,000 or less||2,001-2,500||2,001-3,000|
|Other Invasive Exotics||25 or less||26-32||33- 38|
|Woody Vegetation, Not Willow||500 – 1,500||375-499 or 1,501-1,875||250-499 or 1,501-2,250|