PREP Reports & Publications


The recently designated nitrogen impairment and reports of elevated macroalgal growth in Great Bay Estuary indicate ecological imbalance. However, reversing the Estuary’s ecological decline will require commitment of considerable resources and is complicated by the variety of sources that deliver nitrogen to the Estuary and the intermittent nature of historic macroalgal monitoring. To advance our understanding of the macroalgal and nitrogen dynamics of the Estuary, data were collected via three approaches: 1) assessing plant cover and biomass along transects; 2) assessing plant cover at randomly selected points; and 3) comparing the nitrogen isotope ratios of macroalgae collected from different habitats. The results offer insight into changes in macroalgal abundance and species composition and the relative importance of various nitrogen sources to macroalgae in Great Bay. Overall, our results corroborate the findings of increasing macroalgal blooms in previous studies and suggests plausible directions for a long-term macroalgal monitoring program.


Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership

Publication Date



Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, Durham, NH

Document Type