Flowering plants of the waters and shores of the Gulf of Mexico
Thorne, Robert F.
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The marine and strand flowering plants of the Gulf of Mexico are discussed in terms of the natural communities in which they typically grow. Throughout the Gulf a characteristic strand flora grows on exposed sandy shores of the fringing barrier islands, the larger bays, and the headlands. Grass-like marine spermatophytes form submarine meadows or carpets in shallow quiet waters, except along extreme northern Gulf coast. Extensive salt marshes cover muddy, protected shores in lagoons, bays, and estuaries along the northern Gulf coasts. Protected shores in the central and southern Gulf region, however, support swamps or thickets dominated by mangroves, with salt-marsh plants restricted to small areas of open marsh, to open saline flats, or to the understory of the more open zones of the mangrove swamps.