WorldWideScience

Sample records for experimental seagrass habitat

  1. Fish responses to experimental fragmentation of seagrass habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macreadie, Peter I; Hindell, Jeremy S; Jenkins, Gregory P; Connolly, Rod M; Keough, Michael J

    2009-06-01

    Understanding the consequences of habitat fragmentation has come mostly from comparisons of patchy and continuous habitats. Because fragmentation is a process, it is most accurately studied by actively fragmenting large patches into multiple smaller patches. We fragmented artificial seagrass habitats and evaluated the impacts of fragmentation on fish abundance and species richness over time (1 day, 1 week, 1 month). Fish assemblages were compared among 4 treatments: control (single, continuous 9-m(2) patches); fragmented (single, continuous 9-m(2) patches fragmented to 4 discrete 1-m(2) patches); prefragmented/patchy (4 discrete 1-m(2) patches with the same arrangement as fragmented); and disturbance control (fragmented then immediately restored to continuous 9-m(2) patches). Patchy seagrass had lower species richness than actively fragmented seagrass (up to 39% fewer species after 1 week), but species richness in fragmented treatments was similar to controls. Total fish abundance did not vary among treatments and therefore was unaffected by fragmentation, patchiness, or disturbance caused during fragmentation. Patterns in species richness and abundance were consistent 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after fragmentation. The expected decrease in fish abundance from reduced total seagrass area in fragmented and patchy seagrass appeared to be offset by greater fish density per unit area of seagrass. If fish prefer to live at edges, then the effects of seagrass habitat loss on fish abundance may have been offset by the increase (25%) in seagrass perimeter in fragmented and patchy treatments. Possibly there is some threshold of seagrass patch connectivity below which fish abundances cannot be maintained. The immediate responses of fish to experimental habitat fragmentation provided insights beyond those possible from comparisons of continuous and historically patchy habitat. ©2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Johnsons Seagrass Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Johnson's Seagrass as designated by Federal Register Vol. 65, No. 66, Wednesday, April 5, 2000, Rules and Regulations.

  3. Nutrient enrichment and food web composition affect ecosystem metabolism in an experimental seagrass habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda C Spivak

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Food web composition and resource levels can influence ecosystem properties such as productivity and elemental cycles. In particular, herbivores occupy a central place in food webs as the species richness and composition of this trophic level may simultaneously influence the transmission of resource and predator effects to higher and lower trophic levels, respectively. Yet, these interactions are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using an experimental seagrass mesocosm system, we factorially manipulated water column nutrient concentrations, food chain length, and diversity of crustacean grazers to address two questions: (1 Does food web composition modulate the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant and grazer biomasses and stoichiometry? (2 Do ecosystem fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nutrients more closely reflect above-ground biomass and community structure or sediment processes? Nutrient enrichment and grazer presence generally had strong effects on biomass accumulation, stoichiometry, and ecosystem fluxes, whereas predator effects were weaker or absent. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on producer biomass or net ecosystem production but strongly increased seagrass nutrient content, ecosystem flux rates, and grazer secondary production, suggesting that enhanced production was efficiently transferred from producers to herbivores. Gross ecosystem production (oxygen evolution correlated positively with above-ground plant biomass, whereas inorganic nutrient fluxes were unrelated to plant or grazer biomasses, suggesting dominance by sediment microbial processes. Finally, grazer richness significantly stabilized ecosystem processes, as predators decreased ecosystem production and respiration only in the zero- and one- species grazer treatments. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, our results indicate that consumer presence and species composition strongly influence ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment, and

  4. Seagrasses - The forgotton marine habitat

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Rodrigues, R.S.

    Seagrasses, a specialized group of flowering plants, submerged in the marine, estuarine, bay and backwater regions of the world. Though seagrass beds are of great ecological and socio economic importance, they are mostly unknown to Indians. Seagrass...

  5. 50 CFR 226.213 - Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass. 226.213 Section 226.213 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.213 Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass....

  6. Habitat fragmentation has some impacts on aspects of ecosystem functioning in a sub-tropical seagrass bed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweatman, Jennifer L; Layman, Craig A; Fourqurean, James W

    2017-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation impacts ecosystem functioning in many ways, including reducing the availability of suitable habitat for animals and altering resource dynamics. Fragmentation in seagrass ecosystems caused by propeller scarring is a major source of habitat loss, but little is known about how scars impact ecosystem functioning. Propeller scars were simulated in seagrass beds of Abaco, Bahamas, to explore potential impacts. To determine if plant-herbivore interactions were altered by fragmentation, amphipod grazers were excluded from half the experimental plots, and epiphyte biomass and community composition were compared between grazer control and exclusion plots. We found a shift from light limitation to phosphorus limitation at seagrass patch edges. Fragmentation did not impact top-down control on epiphyte biomass or community composition, despite reduced amphipod density in fragmented habitats. Seagrass and amphipod responses to propeller scarring suggest that severely scarred seagrass beds could be subject to changes in internal nutrient stores and amphipod distribution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Can functional equivalency between seagrasses and other coastal habitats offset loss of ecosystem health with reduced seagrass abundance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebrian, J.; Anton, A.; Christiaen, B.; Gamble, R.; Stutes, J.

    2016-02-01

    Seagrasses provide important ecosystem services, such as habitat for fisheries, shoreline stabilization, pollution filtration, and carbon sequestration. Thus, seagrass loss may seriously compromise coastal ecosystem services worldwide. However, functional equivalency (or redundancy) between seagrasses and other components of coastal ecosystems, such as algae and marshes, can offset the loss of services under declining seagrass abundance. That is, if seagrasses are redundant with algae and marshes in their functionality, then ecosystem services may be preserved in changing coasts with declining seagrass but pervading algal and marsh communities. Here we present several instances of functional redundancy between seagrasses and other coastal components in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. We first examine how net ecosystem production, which sets a limit to carbon accumulation and export to neighbouring communities, changes with eutrophication-induced seagrass decline and concomitant increase in algal abundance. Results from comparative and manipulative field studies are congruent and show no change in net ecosystem production despite drastic shifts from seagrass to algal dominance. We further provide evidence that fringing marshes can counteract the reduction in habitat provision for structure-dependent fisheries due to seagrass loss. Using a large-scale field comparison we show that, as long as fringing marshes are preserved, the abundance and diversity of structure-dependent fisheries are maintained despite large seagrass loss. Functional redundancy for habitat provision also occurs between seagrasses and well-oxygenated macroagal stands, since canopy-dwelling faunal abundance remains unaltered if seagrasses are replaced by normoxic algal stands. In concert the results demonstrate substantial functional equivalency between seagrasses and other coastal components, and indicate seagrass loss does not necessarily result in depressed coastal ecosystem health and services.

  8. Structure, food and shade attract juvenile coral reef fish to mangrove and seagrass habitats: a field experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwey, M.C.; Nagelkerken, I.; Graaff, D. de; Peeters, M.; Bakker, E.J.; Velde, G. van der

    2006-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds are considered nurseries for juvenile fish, but little experimental evidence exists to elucidate which factors make them attractive habitats. A multifactorial field experiment on the use of these habitats by juvenile reef fish and their behaviour was performed during

  9. Structure, food and shade attract juvenile coral reef fish to mangrove and seagrass habitats: a field experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, M.C.; Nagelkerken, I.; Graaff, de D.; Peeters, M.; Bakker, E.J.; Velde, van der G.

    2006-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds are considered nurseries for juvenile fish, but little experimental evidence exists to elucidate which factors make them attractive habitats. A multifactorial field experiment on the use of these habitats by juvenile reef fish and their behaviour was performed during

  10. Spatially explicit feedbacks between seagrass meadow structure, sediment and light: Habitat suitability for seagrass growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, Paul; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    In shallow coastal bays where nutrient loading and riverine inputs are low, turbidity, and the consequent light environment are controlled by resuspension of bed sediments due to wind-waves and tidal currents. High sediment resuspension and low light environments can limit benthic primary productivity; however, both currents and waves are affected by the presence of benthic plants such as seagrass. This feedback between the presence of benthic primary producers such as seagrass and the consequent light environment has been predicted to induce bistable dynamics locally. However, these vegetated areas influence a larger area than they footprint, including a barren adjacent downstream area which exhibits reduced shear stresses. Here we explore through modeling how the patchy structure of seagrass meadows on a landscape may affect sediment resuspension and the consequent light environment due to the presence of this sheltered region. Heterogeneous vegetation covers comprising a mosaic of randomly distributed patches were generated to investigate the effect of patch modified hydrodynamics. Actual cover of vegetation on the landscape was used to facilitate comparisons across landscape realizations. Hourly wave and current shear stresses on the landscape along with suspended sediment concentration and light attenuation characteristics were then calculated and spatially averaged to examine how actual cover and mean water depth affect the bulk sediment and light environment. The results indicate that an effective cover, which incorporates the sheltering area, has important controls on the distributions of shear stress, suspended sediment, light environment, and consequent seagrass habitat suitability. Interestingly, an optimal habitat occurs within a depth range where, if actual cover is reduced past some threshold, the bulk light environment would no longer favor seagrass growth.

  11. Caribbean mangroves and seagrass beds as daytime feeding habitats for juvenile French grunts, Haemulon flavolineatum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, M.C.; Nagelkerken, I.; Wartenbergh, S.L.J.; Pen, I.R.; Van der Velde, G.

    Caribbean seagrass beds are important feeding habitats for so-called nocturnally active zoobenthivorous fish, but the extent to which these fishes use mangroves and seagrass beds as feeding habitats during daytime remains unclear. We hypothesised three feeding strategies: (1) fishes feed

  12. Light indirectly mediates bivalve habitat modification and impacts on seagrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Castorani, Max Christopher Nicholas; Glud, Ronnie N.; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald

    2015-01-01

    and plant responseswere measured. Light modified the effect of mussels on porewater ammonium, but eelgrass was not nutrient limited and, therefore, mussels did not enhance growth. Mussels increased sediment sulfides irrespective of light availability and, by reducing net oxygen flux (production...... by directly or indirectly influencing the effects of habitat-modifying organisms that are capable of simultaneously ameliorating and exacerbating multiple stressors. Itwas hypothesized that light availability changes seagrassmetabolismand thereby indirectly regulates bivalve habitat modification...... and subsequent impacts on seagrasses by shifting net effects between alleviation of nutrient stress and intensification of sulfide stress. To test this hypothesis, manipulations of light availability and blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) abundance were made in eelgrass (Zostera marina) mesocosms and biogeochemical...

  13. Seagrass edge effects on fish assemblages in deep and shallow habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy M.; Jenkins, Gregory P.; Hutchinson, Neil

    2012-12-01

    Shallow seagrass is an important habitat for many fish species, but little is known about fish distribution in deep seagrass or if depth affects fish distribution within patches. Using stereo video, fish distribution patterns in Port Phillip Bay, Australia, were examined in deep (3.5-6 m) and shallow (sampled in relation to seagrass patches; the interior of seagrass patches, at the edge of seagrass patches and over sand distant (>100 m) from seagrass. Recorded video was subsequently analysed using time in view (TiV) and MaxN, with fish showing strong responses to both depth and habitat type. Fish assemblages were different between deep and shallow seagrass, and many species were found only in shallow (e.g. Australian salmon, King George whiting, southern garfish) or deep (e.g. bridled leatherjackets, goatfish) seagrass. King George whiting spent more time at the edge than the middle of shallow patches, while TiV and MaxN indicated that garfish and odacids were more common in the middle than the edge of patches. Few species were observed over sand. Overall fish lengths were greater in shallow than deep seagrass and at the edge than middle of patches. Edge effects were found to occur in both deep and shallow seagrass and should be considered when designing sampling regimes and determining conservation strategies.

  14. Predicting habitat distribution to conserve seagrass threatened by sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, M. I.; Baldock, T.; Brown, C. J.; Callaghan, D. P.; Golshani, A.; Hamylton, S.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Leon, J. X.; Lovelock, C. E.; Lyons, M. B.; O'Brien, K.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) over the 21st century will cause significant redistribution of valuable coastal habitats. Seagrasses form extensive and highly productive meadows in shallow coastal seas support high biodiversity, including economically valuable and threatened species. Predictive habitat models can inform local management actions that will be required to conserve seagrass faced with multiple stressors. We developed novel modelling approaches, based on extensive field data sets, to examine the effects of sea level rise and other stressors on two representative seagrass habitats in Australia. First, we modelled interactive effects of SLR, water clarity and adjacent land use on estuarine seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland. The extent of suitable seagrass habitat was predicted to decline by 17% by 2100 due to SLR alone, but losses were predicted to be significantly reduced through improvements in water quality (Fig 1a) and by allowing space for seagrass migration with inundation. The rate of sedimentation in seagrass strongly affected the area of suitable habitat for seagrass in sea level rise scenarios (Fig 1b). Further research to understand spatial, temporal and environmental variability of sediment accretion in seagrass is required. Second, we modelled changes in wave energy distribution due to predicted SLR in a linked coral reef and seagrass ecosystem at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Scenarios where the water depth over the coral reef deepened due to SLR and minimal reef accretion, resulted in larger waves propagating shoreward, changing the existing hydrodynamic conditions sufficiently to reduce area of suitable habitat for seagrass. In a scenario where accretion of the coral reef was severely compromised (e.g. warming, acidification, overfishing), the probability of the presence of seagrass declined significantly. Management to maintain coral health will therefore also benefit seagrasses subject to SLR in reef environments. Further

  15. New Tools to Identify the Location of Seagrass Meadows: Marine Grazers as Habitat Indicators

    KAUST Repository

    Hays, Graeme C.

    2018-02-21

    Seagrasses are hugely valuable to human life, but the global extent of seagrass meadows remains unclear. As evidence of their value, a United Nations program exists (http://data.unep-wcmc.org/datasets/7) to try and assess their distribution and there has been a call from 122 scientists across 28 countries for more work to manage, protect and monitor seagrass meadows (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37606827). Emerging from the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop, held in October 2016, has been the view that grazing marine megafauna may play a useful role in helping to identify previously unknown seagrass habitats. Here we describe this concept, showing how detailed information on the distribution of both dugongs (Dugong dugon) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) obtained, for example, by aerial surveys and satellite tracking, can reveal new information on the location of seagrass meadows. We show examples of how marine megaherbivores have been effective habitat indicators, revealing major, new, deep-water seagrass meadows and offering the potential for more informed estimates of seagrass extent in tropical and sub-tropical regions where current information is often lacking.

  16. Patterns of shading tolerance determined from experimental light reduction studies of seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    An extensive review of the experimental literature on seagrass shading evaluated the relationship between experimental light reductions, duration of experiment and seagrass response metrics to determine whether there were consistent statistical patterns. There were highly signif...

  17. Feeding ecology of King George whiting Sillaginodes punctatus (Perciformes) recruits in seagrass and unvegetated habitats. Does diet reflect habitat utilization?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, G P; Syme, A; Macreadie, P I

    2011-05-01

    This study investigated the feeding ecology of King George whiting Sillaginodes punctatus recruits to determine how diet composition varies between habitat types (seagrass and unvegetated habitats), and between sites separated by distance. Broad-scale sampling of seagrass and unvegetated habitats at nine sites in Port Phillip Bay (Australia) indicated the diet composition varied more by distance into the bay than by habitat. Near the entrance to the bay the diet was dominated by harpacticoids and gammarid amphipods, in the middle reaches of the bay the diet was completely dominated by harpacticoids, while at sites furthest into the bay, mysids and crab zoea were also important. Abundances of prey in guts was significantly higher between 1000 and 2200 hours compared with other times, indicating diurnal feeding. Laboratory determined gut evacuation rate (based on an exponential model) was estimated to be -0·54. Daily rations were highly variable among sites and habitat types. Sillaginodes punctatus recruits consumed much higher quantities of prey on unvegetated habitat than seagrass habitat at some middle reach sites; with prey consumption of harpacticoid copepods on unvegetated habitat approaching 3000 individuals per day at one site. The results of this study provide insight into why habitat associations of S. punctatus recruits within mosaics of seagrass and unvegetated habitat show high spatial variation. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  18. Contribution of seagrass plants to CO2 capture in a tropical seagrass meadow under experimental disturbance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Deyanova

    Full Text Available Coastal vegetative habitats are known to be highly productive environments with a high ability to capture and store carbon. During disturbance this important function could be compromised as plant photosynthetic capacity, biomass, and/or growth are reduced. To evaluate effects of disturbance on CO2 capture in plants we performed a five-month manipulative experiment in a tropical seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii meadow exposed to two intensity levels of shading and simulated grazing. We assessed CO2 capture potential (as net CO2 fixation using areal productivity calculated from continuous measurements of diel photosynthetic rates, and estimates of plant morphology, biomass and productivity/respiration (P/R ratios (from the literature. To better understand the plant capacity to coping with level of disturbance we also measured plant growth and resource allocation. We observed substantial reductions in seagrass areal productivity, biomass, and leaf area that together resulted in a negative daily carbon balance in the two shading treatments as well as in the high-intensity simulated grazing treatment. Additionally, based on the concentrations of soluble carbohydrates and starch in the rhizomes, we found that the main reserve sources for plant growth were reduced in all treatments except for the low-intensity simulated grazing treatment. If permanent, these combined adverse effects will reduce the plants' resilience and capacity to recover after disturbance. This might in turn have long-lasting and devastating effects on important ecosystem functions, including the carbon sequestration capacity of the seagrass system.

  19. Seagrass-Watch: Engaging Torres Strait Islanders in marine habitat monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellors, Jane E.; McKenzie, Len J.; Coles, Robert G.

    2008-09-01

    Involvement in scientifically structured habitat monitoring is a relatively new concept to the peoples of Torres Strait. The approach we used was to focus on awareness, and to build the capacity of groups to participate using Seagrass-Watch as the vehicle to provide education and training in monitoring marine ecosystems. The project successfully delivered quality scientifically rigorous baseline information on the seasonality of seagrasses in the Torres Strait—a first for this region. Eight seagrass species were identified across the monitoring sites. Seagrass cover varied within and between years. Preliminary evidence indicated that drivers for seagrass variability were climate related. Generally, seagrass abundance increased during the north-west monsoon ( Kuki), possibly a consequence of elevated nutrients, lower tidal exposure times, less wind, and higher air temperatures. Low seagrass abundance coincided with the presence of greater winds and longer periods of exposure at low tides during the south-east trade wind season ( Sager). No seasonal patterns were apparent when frequency of disturbance from high sedimentation and human impacts was high. Seagrass-Watch has been incorporated in to the Thursday Island High School's Marine Studies Unit ensuring continuity of monitoring. The students, teachers, and other interested individuals involved in Seagrass-Watch have mastered the necessary scientific procedures to monitor seagrass meadows, and developed skills in coordinating a monitoring program and skills in mentoring younger students. This has increased the participants' self-esteem and confidence, and given them an insight into how they may participate in the future management of their sea country.

  20. Ecological structure and function differs between habitats dominated by seagrasses and green seaweeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuya, Fernando; Png-Gonzalez, Lydia; Riera, Rodrigo; Haroun, Ricardo; Espino, Fernando

    2014-07-01

    Marine vegetated habitats, e.g. seagrass meadows, deliver essential functions and services to coastal ecosystems and human welfare. Impacts induced by humans, however, have facilitated the replacement of seagrasses by alternative vegetation, e.g. green rhizophytic seaweeds. The implications of habitat shifts for ecosystem attributes and processes and the services they deliver remain poorly known. In this study, we compared ecosystem structure and function between Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows and bottoms dominated by Caulerpa prolifera, a green, native, rhizophytic seaweed, through 5 ecological proxies: (i) primary production (via community metabolism), (ii) composition and abundance of epifauna (a proxy for provision of habitat for epifauna), composition and abundance of (iii) small-sized (juvenile) and (iv) large-sized (adult) fishes (proxies for provision of habitat for fishes), and (v) sediment retention (a proxy for sediment stabilization). Four of these proxies were greater in C. nodosa seagrass meadows than in C. prolifera beds: gross primary productivity (∼1.4 times), the total abundance, species density and biomass of small-sized fishes (∼2.1, 1.3 and 1.3 times, respectively), the total abundance and species density of large-sized fishes (∼3.6 and 1.5 times, respectively), and sediment stabilization (∼1.4 times). In contrast, the total abundance and species density of epifauna was larger (∼3.1 and 1.7 times, respectively) in C. prolifera than in C. nodosa seagrass beds. These results suggest that ecosystem structure and function may differ if seagrasses are replaced by green rhizophytic seaweeds. Importantly, ecosystem functions may not be appropriate surrogates for one another. As a result, assessments of ecosystem services associated with ecosystem functions cannot be based on exclusively one service that is expected to benefit other services. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Applications of Side Scan and Parametric Echosounders for Mapping Shallow Seagrass Habitats and Their Associated Organic Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Austin L.

    Despite a global valuation of $1.9 trillion seagrass habitats world-wide are in decline--directly impacting the large soil carbon stocks associated with seagrasses. Many methods exist to measure the health of seagrass habitats, yet few apply to shallow coastal ecosystems. Those that do lack spatial resolution (satellite surveys) or do not provide continuous data across large areas (point-based surveys). Furthermore, carbon content of these ecosystems is largely limited to destructive and time-consuming soil core sampling. Side scan and parametric acoustics represent a unique technological opportunity to study habitat coverage and carbon content of vegetated coastal habitats (< 3 m depth). This study presents proof of concept for applications of recreational side scan and parametric sub-bottom profiling sonars in mapping both habitat coverage and organic carbon distribution in shallow seagrass habitats, and explores how these methods might be improved in future applications.

  2. Caridean shrimps (Crustacea, Decapoda) from seagrass habitats in Hansa Bay, Papua New Guinea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grave, de Sammy

    1999-01-01

    Five species of caridean shrimps collected from seagrass habitats at Hansa Bay, on the northern coastline of Papua New Guinea are reported. Four species are new to the fauna of Papua New Guinea. Morphological details of Nikoides danae, Latreutes pymoeus and L. porcinus are discussed and compared to

  3. LINKS BETWEEN MARSH, NONVEGETATED, AND SEAGRASS HABITATS IN A PRISTINE VIRGINIA SYSTEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract: We describe habitat linkages in a narrow, contiguous marsh-nonvegetated seagrass system as is found bordering many undeveloped shorelines. Nekton were quantitatively sampled in eight spatial/tidal subhabitats on a Spartina-nonvegetated- Ruppia gradient using 1.75 m2 dro...

  4. Contrasting metabolic patterns among seagrass and sand-bottom habitats: relative roles of plankton and benthic metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human activities can alter the ecological function of estuaries, affecting the ecosystem metabolic balance, which in turn dictates the magnitude and mode of organic matter accumulation. Because human perturbations can cause a loss of seagrass habitat, seagrasses can be a sensitiv...

  5. Assessing the contribution of beach-cast seagrass wrack to global GHGs emissions: experimental models, problems and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misson, Gloria; Incerti, Guido; Alberti, Giorgio; Delle Vedove, Gemini; Pirelli, Tiziana; Peressotti, Alessandro

    2017-04-01

    Carbon stock in coastal seagrass ecosystems is estimated to be 4.2-8.4 Pg C. While covering less than 0.2% of the ocean floor, seagrasses store about 10% of the carbon buried in the oceans each year. However, such a potential contribution is reduced by the annual loss of seagrasses globally (-1.5% per year) mainly because of anthropogenic coastal development and climate change. Like many terrestrial higher plants, marine seagrasses lose their old leaves during annual or inter-annual senescence, and a significant proportion of these residues is transported in surface waters and washed up on shores by surf, tides and winds. This beach-cast seagrass wrack provides important ecosystem services, such as reducing wave impact, protecting beaches from erosion, providing habitat to bird and invertebrate species that colonize shorelines, and being a primary food resource for beach detritivores. However, accumulation of seagrass wrack on beaches, following degradation of meadows, can negatively impact tourism. Therefore, wrack piles are frequently collected and disposed of in landfills or biomass waste facilities, and the adoption of these management practices implies substantial environmental and economic costs. On the other hand, wrack piles might be a significant source of greenhouse emissions (GHGs). Recent studies reported CO2 emission rates and suggested possible mitigation options, such as energy conversion and biochar production through pyrolysis. Even though quantitative estimates of both seagrass coastal distribution and residues disposal to seashores are partially available, at least at regional level, the assessment of their contribution to global GHGs emissions is still lacking, due to a knowledge gap about the effects of peculiar environmental conditions of beach ecosystems on seagrass decay rates. In this framework, we propose an experimental model to assess seagrass wrack decomposition dynamics in both controlled conditions and experimental fields in North

  6. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaxion-Harm, Jessica; Saunders, James; Speight, Martin R

    2012-06-01

    Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs), by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef). During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 and June 22nd - Aug 17th, 2008, visual surveys (SCUBA and snorkel) were performed in belt transects in different areas: eleven coral reef, six seagrass beds, and six mangroves sites. Juvenile densities and total habitat surface area were used to calculate nursery value of seagrass and mangroves. A total of 113 fish species from 32 families were found during underwater surveys. Multi-dimensional analyses revealed distinct clusters of fish communities in each habitat type by separating fish associated with seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. Coral reefs showed the highest mean fish species richness and were dominated by adult fish, while juvenile fish characterized seagrass beds and mangrove sites. Habitat use differed widely at the fish species level. Scarus iseri (Striped Parrotfish), the most abundant fish in this study, were found in all three habitat types, while Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster Snapper) juveniles were located primarily in mangroves before migrating to coral reefs. Many species used seagrass beds and mangroves as nurseries; however, the nursery value could not be generalized at the family level. Furthermore, for some fish species, nursery value varied between islands and sites. Our results suggest that connectivity of seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef sites at a species and site levels, should be taken into consideration when implementing policy and conservation practices.

  7. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Jaxion-Harm

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs, by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef. During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 and June 22nd - Aug 17th, 2008, visual surveys (SCUBA and snorkel were performed in belt transects in different areas: eleven coral reef, six seagrass beds, and six mangroves sites. Juvenile densities and total habitat surface area were used to calculate nursery value of seagrass and mangroves. A total of 113 fish species from 32 families were found during underwater surveys. Multi-dimensional analyses revealed distinct clusters of fish communities in each habitat type by separating fish associated with seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. Coral reefs showed the highest mean fish species richness and were dominated by adult fish, while juvenile fish characterized seagrass beds and mangrove sites. Habitat use differed widely at the fish species level. Scarus iseri (Striped Parrotfish, the most abundant fish in this study, were found in all three habitat types, while Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster Snapper juveniles were located primarily in mangroves before migrating to coral reefs. Many species used seagrass beds and mangroves as nurseries; however, the nursery value could not be generalized at the family level. Furthermore, for some fish species, nursery value varied between islands and sites. Our results suggest that connectivity of seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef sites at a species and site levels, should be taken into consideration when implementing policy and conservation practices. Rev. Biol. Trop. 60 (2: 683-698. Epub 2012 June 01.

  8. Relative importance of interlinked mangroves and seagrass beds as feeding habitats for juvenile reef fish on a Caribbean island

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nagelkerken, I.A.; Velde, G. van der

    2004-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds are important daytime shelter habitats for juvenile Caribbean reef fish species, but little is known about their relative importance as feeding grounds. In the present study, we tested the degree to which these 2 habitats are used as a feeding ground for 4 nocturnally

  9. Impact of drilling fluids on seagrasses: an experimental community approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morton, R.D.; Duke, T.W.; Macauley, J.M.; Clark, J.R.; Price, W.A.

    1985-06-01

    Effects of a used drilling fluid on an experimental seagrass community (Thalassia testudinum) were measured by exposing the community to the suspended particulate phase (SPP) in laboratory microcosms. Structure of the macroinvertebrate assemblage, growth and chlorophyll content of grass and associated epiphytes, and rates of decomposition as indicated by weight loss of grass leaves in treated and untreated microcosms were compared. There were statistically significant differences in community structure and function among untreated microcosms and those receiving the clay and drilling fluid. For example, drilling fluid and clay caused a significant loss in the number of the ten most numerically abundant (dominant) macroinvertebrates, and drilling fluid decreased the rate at which Thalassia leaves decomposed.

  10. Variability in the carbon storage of seagrass habitats and its implications for global estimates of blue carbon ecosystem service.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul S Lavery

    Full Text Available The recent focus on carbon trading has intensified interest in 'Blue Carbon'-carbon sequestered by coastal vegetated ecosystems, particularly seagrasses. Most information on seagrass carbon storage is derived from studies of a single species, Posidonia oceanica, from the Mediterranean Sea. We surveyed 17 Australian seagrass habitats to assess the variability in their sedimentary organic carbon (C org stocks. The habitats encompassed 10 species, in mono-specific or mixed meadows, depositional to exposed habitats and temperate to tropical habitats. There was an 18-fold difference in the Corg stock (1.09-20.14 mg C org cm(-3 for a temperate Posidonia sinuosa and a temperate, estuarine P. australis meadow, respectively. Integrated over the top 25 cm of sediment, this equated to an areal stock of 262-4833 g C org m(-2. For some species, there was an effect of water depth on the C org stocks, with greater stocks in deeper sites; no differences were found among sub-tidal and inter-tidal habitats. The estimated carbon storage in Australian seagrass ecosystems, taking into account inter-habitat variability, was 155 Mt. At a 2014-15 fixed carbon price of A$25.40 t(-1 and an estimated market price of $35 t(-1 in 2020, the C org stock in the top 25 cm of seagrass habitats has a potential value of $AUD 3.9-5.4 bill. The estimates of annual C org accumulation by Australian seagrasses ranged from 0.093 to 6.15 Mt, with a most probable estimate of 0.93 Mt y(-1 (10.1 t. km(-2 y(-1. These estimates, while large, were one-third of those that would be calculated if inter-habitat variability in carbon stocks were not taken into account. We conclude that there is an urgent need for more information on the variability in seagrass carbon stock and accumulation rates, and the factors driving this variability, in order to improve global estimates of seagrass Blue Carbon storage.

  11. Aquatic food webs in mangrove and seagrass habitats of Centla Wetland, a Biosphere Reserve in Southeastern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

    Full Text Available Mangrove and seagrass habitats are important components of tropical coastal zones worldwide, and are conspicuous habitats of Centla Wetland Biosphere Reserve (CWBR in Tabasco, Mexico. In this study, we examine food webs in mangrove- and seagrass-dominated habitats of CWBR using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen. Our objective was to identify the importance of carbon derived from mangroves and seagrasses to secondary production of aquatic consumers in this poorly studied conservation area. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of basal sources and aquatic consumers indicated that the species-rich food webs of both habitats are dependent on riparian production sources. The abundant Red mangrove Rhizophora mangle appears to be a primary source of carbon for the mangrove creek food web. Even though dense seagrass beds were ubiquitous, most consumers in the lagoon food web appeared to rely on carbon derived from riparian vegetation (e.g. Phragmites australis. The introduced Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis had isotope signatures overlapping with native species (including high-value fisheries species, suggesting potential competition for resources. Future research should examine the role played by terrestrial insects in linking riparian and aquatic food webs, and impacts of the expanding P. pardalis population on ecosystem function and fisheries in CWBR. Our findings can be used as a baseline to reinforce the conservation and management of this important reserve in the face of diverse external and internal human impacts.

  12. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras

    OpenAIRE

    Jessica Jaxion-Harm; James Saunders; Martin R Speight

    2012-01-01

    Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs), by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef). During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 ...

  13. Biodiversity and Complexity Influence Seagrass Functioning: A Comparative-Experimental Approach Across the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, P. L.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal ecosystems are mediated by interactions between resource supply, consumer pressure, and community composition, with the balance shifting along environmental gradients. Comparative-experimental approaches, including observational and experimental networks, are a promising way forward to organizing this complexity into predictive models and to quantify the role of biodiversity on ocean processes. Through the Zostera Experimental Network we utilize this approach to study the community ecology of eelgrass (Zostera marina), the most widespread marine plant and foundation of important but threatened coastal ecosystems throughout the northern hemisphere. In 2014, parallel field surveys and experiments were conducted at 50 field sites to measure correlations between mesograzer species diversity, eelgrass genetic diversity, predation pressure, and seagrass dynamics. Biodiversity was positively correlated with plant and grazer biomass across sites. Predation pressure in these systems decreased with grazer biomass and latitude. In subsequent experiments in 2015, habitat complexity influenced the grazer community. These results suggest that the impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystems will be of comparable magnitude to those of other global change factors and should be accounted for in relevant monitoring and restoration activities.

  14. Population structure of the pearly razorfish, Xyrichtys novacula (Actinopterygii: Labridae, in sand-seagrass mosaics: spatial variation according to habitat features and sampling techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Espino

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Habitat structure affects the distribution of fishes, particularly across reef-dominated habitats, but few studies have connected patterns in the abundance of soft-bottom fishes with the structure of the habitat. The spatial and temporal patterns of variation in the abundance, biomass and population structure of the pearly razorfish, Xyrichtys novacula, inhabiting sand-Cymodocea nodosa seagrass mosaics were described through two complementary techniques: underwater visual counts and seine nets. We sought to analyse whether biotic (seagrass shoot density, leaf length and meadow cover and abiotic (sediment composition and particle size structural elements explained variation in patterns of abundance and biomass. Underwater visual counts registered a larger abundance of individuals and proved significant variation in fish abundance and biomass at the scale of locations, which was otherwise not detected through seine nets. Seasonal variation in fish abundance and biomass was, in all cases, minor. Habitat structural elements helped to explain patterns in fish abundance and biomass. This fish species was particularly abundant in sediments dominated by coarse sands in continuous meadows of C. nodosa ( > 90% seagrass cover with intermediate densities of 500 to 1000 shoots m–2, followed by large-sized seagrass patches with >1000 shoots m–2. A trade-off between protection provided by seagrass canopies and protection derived from its burial behaviour, limited under high seagrass shoot densities, may explain spatial variation patterns.

  15. PRIMARY PRODUCTION OF SEAGRASS BEDS IN SOUTH SULAWESI (INDONESIA) - A COMPARISON OF HABITATS, METHODS AND SPECIES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ERFTEMEIJER, PLA; OSINGA, R; MARS, AE

    Primary production of tropical seagrass meadows was studied between April and August 1990 in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oxygen evolution studies in enclosures over seagrass vegetation revealed gross community production values between 900 and 4400 mg C m-2 day-1. Assumed community respiration ranged

  16. Primary production of seagrass beds in south Sulawesi (Indonesia): a comparison of habitats, methods and species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erftemeijer, P.L.A.; Osinga, R.; Mars, A.E.

    1993-01-01

    Primary production of tropical seagrass meadows was studied between April and August 1990 in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oxygen evolution studies in enclosures over seagrass vegetation revealed gross community production values between 900 and 4400 mg C m−2 day−1. Assumed community respiration ranged

  17. Fish species utilization of contrasting sub-habitats distributed along an ocean-to-land environmental gradient in a tropical mangrove and seagrass lagoon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hylkema, A.; Vogelaar, W.; Meesters, H.W.G.; Nagelkerken, I.; Debrot, A.O.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of mangrove and seagrass lagoonal habitats as nursery areas for many reef-associated fish species is well established in the scientific literature. However, few studies have examined the relative use by nursery species of different sub-habitats within such systems. Here, we

  18. Seagrass habitat complexity and macroinvertebrate abundance in Lakshadweep coral reef lagoons, Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari, Z.A.; Rivonker, C.U.; Ramani, P.; Parulekar, A.H.

    Macrofauna of seagrass community in the five Lakshadweep atolls were studied and compared. The associated epifaunal and infaunal taxa comprising nine major taxonomic groups, showed significant differences in the total number of individuals (1041...

  19. Restoration scaling of seagrass habitats in the oceanic islands of Lakshadweep, India using geospatial technology

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nobi, E.P.; Dilipan, E.; Thangaradjou, T.; DineshKumar, P.K.

    ) Guidelines for the conservation and restoration of seagrasses in the United States and adjacent waters. Silver Spring (MD): NOAA Coastal Ocean Program Decision Analysis Series no. 12 Harrison PG (1990) Variations in success of eelgrass transplants over a... and field observations Satellite data of the years 2000 (IRS ID LISS III) and 2008 (IRS P6 LISS III) were used for estimating the seagrass spatial changes over a time period for the six islands following the methodology of Mumby and Green (2000). Digital...

  20. Extinction risk assessment of the world’s seagrass species

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Short, F.T.; Polidoro, B.; Livingstone, S.R.; Carpenter, K.E.; Bandeira, S.; Bujang, J.S.; Calumpong, H.P.; Carruthers, T.J.B.; Coles, R.G.; Dennison, W.C.; Erftemeijer, P.L.A.; Fortes, M.D.; Freeman, A.S.; Jagtap, T.G.; Kamal, A.H.M.; Kendrick, G.A.; Kenworthy, W.J.; LaNafie, Y.A.; Nasution, I.M.; Orth, R.J.; Prathep, A.; Sanciangco, J.C.; Tussenbroek, B.V.; Vergara, S.G.; Waycott, M.; Zieman, J.C.

    studies have indicated that seagrass habitat is declining worldwide. Our focus is to determine the risk of extinction for individual seagrass species, a 4-year process involving seagrass experts internationally, compilation of data on species’ status...

  1. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Jaxion-Harm

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs, by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef. During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 and June 22nd - Aug 17th, 2008, visual surveys (SCUBA and snorkel were performed in belt transects in different areas: eleven coral reef, six seagrass beds, and six mangroves sites. Juvenile densities and total habitat surface area were used to calculate nursery value of seagrass and mangroves. A total of 113 fish species from 32 families were found during underwater surveys. Multi-dimensional analyses revealed distinct clusters of fish communities in each habitat type by separating fish associated with seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. Coral reefs showed the highest mean fish species richness and were dominated by adult fish, while juvenile fish characterized seagrass beds and mangrove sites. Habitat use differed widely at the fish species level. Scarus iseri (Striped Parrotfish, the most abundant fish in this study, were found in all three habitat types, while Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster Snapper juveniles were located primarily in mangroves before migrating to coral reefs. Many species used seagrass beds and mangroves as nurseries; however, the nursery value could not be generalized at the family level. Furthermore, for some fish species, nursery value varied between islands and sites. Our results suggest that connectivity of seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef sites at a species and site levels, should be taken into consideration when implementing policy and conservation practices. Rev. Biol. Trop. 60 (2: 683-698. Epub 2012 June 01.Muchos peces de

  2. Experimental in situ exposure of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile to 15 trace elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richir, J; Luy, N; Lepoint, G; Rozet, E; Alvera Azcarate, A; Gobert, S

    2013-09-15

    The Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile has been used for trace element (TE) biomonitoring since decades ago. However, present informations for this bioindicator are limited mainly to plant TE levels, while virtually nothing is known about their fluxes through P. oceanica meadows. We therefore contaminated seagrass bed portions in situ at two experimental TE levels with a mix of 15 TEs (Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Mo, Ag, Cd, Pb and Bi) to study their uptake and loss kinetics in P. oceanica. Shoots immediately accumulated pollutants from the beginning of exposures. Once contaminations ended, TE concentrations came back to their original levels within two weeks, or at least showed a clear decrease. P. oceanica leaves exhibited different uptake kinetics depending on elements and leaf age: the younger growing leaves forming new tissues incorporated TEs more rapidly than the older senescent leaves. Leaf epiphytes also exhibited a net uptake of most TEs, partly similar to that of P. oceanica shoots. The principal route of TE uptake was through the water column, as no contamination of superficial sediments was observed. However, rhizomes indirectly accumulated many TEs during the overall experiments through leaf to rhizome translocation processes. This study thus experimentally confirmed that P. oceanica shoots are undoubtedly an excellent short-term bioindicator and that long-term accumulations could be recorded in P. oceanica rhizomes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Habitat selection of the pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus paulensis and the blue crab Callinectes sapidus in an estuary in southern Brazil: influence of salinity and submerged seagrass meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinicius Mendes Ruas

    Full Text Available This study was conducted in two estuarine inlets (Saco da Mangueira and Saco do Arraial at the Patos Lagoon estuary, southern Brazil. The changes in relative abundance and size of post-larvae and juvenile shrimp Farfantepenaeus paulensis and juvenile blue crab Callinectes sapidus were compared, considering the influence of salinity and the presence of submerged seagrass meadows. The analyses were performed using generalized linear models (GLM for abundance variations and ANOVA for variations on the size of individuals. The pink shrimp was more abundant at Saco da Mangueira, in seagrass meadows and areas of higher salinity. The blue crab was more abundant at Saco do Arraial and in lower levels of salinity. The importance of submerged vegetation for the blue crab lies in a preference of smaller crabs of the species for the seagrass meadows. It has been shown that these species choose different habitats in the estuary, and both the salinity and the presence of submerged seagrass meadows influence the selection of habitat.

  4. Impact of drilling fluids on seagrasses: an experimental community approach (journal version)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morton, R.D.; Duke, T.W.; Macauley, J.M.; Clark, J.R.; Price, W.A.

    1986-01-01

    Effects of a used drilling fluid on an experimental seagrass community (Thalassia testudinum Konig et Sims) were measured by exposing the community to the suspended particulate phase (SPP) in laboratory microcosms. Structure of the macroinvertebrate assemblage, growth, and chlorophyll content of grass and associated epiphytes, and rates of decomposition as indicated by weight loss of grass leaves in treated and untreated microcosms were compared. There were statistically significant differences in community structure and function among untreated microcosms and those receiving the clay and drilling fluid. For example, drilling fluid and clay caused a significant decrease in the numbers of the ten most numerically abundant (dominant) macroinvertebrates, and drilling fluid decreased the rate at which Thalassia leaves decomposed.

  5. Decreasing seagrass density negatively influences associated fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCloskey, Rosemary M; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2015-01-01

    Seagrass meadows globally are disappearing at a rapid rate with physical disturbances being one of the major drivers of this habitat loss. Disturbance of seagrass can lead to fragmentation, a reduction in shoot density, canopy height and coverage, and potentially permanent loss of habitat. Despite being such a widespread issue, knowledge of how such small scale change affects the spatial distribution and abundances of motile fauna remains limited. The present study investigated fish and macro faunal community response patterns to a range of habitat variables (shoot length, cover and density), including individual species habitat preferences within a disturbed and patchy intertidal seagrass meadow. Multivariate analysis showed a measurable effect of variable seagrass cover on the abundance and distribution of the fauna, with species specific preferences to both high and low seagrass cover seagrass. The faunal community composition varied significantly with increasing/decreasing cover. The faunal species composition of low cover seagrass was more similar to sandy control plots than to higher cover seagrass. Shannon Wiener Diversity (H') and species richness was significantly higher in high cover seagrass than in low cover seagrass, indicating increasing habitat value as density increases. The results of this study underline how the impacts of small scale disturbances from factors such as anchor damage, boat moorings and intertidal vehicle use on seagrass meadows that reduce shoot density and cover can impact upon associated fauna. These impacts have negative consequences for the delivery of ecosystem services such as the provision of nursery habitat.

  6. Evidences of adaptive traits to rocky substrates undermine paradigm of habitat preference of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badalamenti, Fabio; Alagna, Adriana; Fici, Silvio

    2015-03-01

    Posidonia oceanica meadows are acknowledged as one of the most valuable ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea. P. oceanica has been historically described as a species typically growing on mobile substrates whose development requires precursor communities. Here we document for the first time the extensive presence of sticky hairs covering P. oceanica seedling roots. Adhesive root hairs allow the seedlings to firmly anchor to rocky substrates with anchorage strength values up to 5.23 N, regardless of the presence of algal cover and to colonise bare rock without the need for precursor assemblages to facilitate settlement. Adhesive root hairs are a morphological trait common on plants living on rocks in high-energy habitats, such as the riverweed Podostemaceae and the seagrass Phyllospadix scouleri. The presence of adhesive root hairs in P. oceanica juveniles suggests a preference of this species for hard substrates. Such an adaptation leads to hypothesize a new microsite driven bottleneck in P. oceanica seedling survival linked to substrate features. The mechanism described can favour plant establishment on rocky substrates, in contrast with traditional paradigms. This feature may have strongly influenced P. oceanica pattern of colonisation through sexual propagules in both the past and present.

  7. Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua benefits from the availability of seagrass (Zostera marina nursery habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J. Lilley

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua is a species of significant economic and historic importance but infamous for its decline. Apart from overfishing, the causes of this decline and its subsequent lack of recovery remain largely unresolved. Indeed, the degree to which specific habitats are important for this species remains unquantified at the scale of North Atlantic. Here, the literature on the role of eelgrass meadows (Zostera marina as valuable nursery habitat for the Atlantic cod is reviewed and synthesized. Evidence is presented on relative densities of Atlantic cod in shallow water environments and in eelgrass meadows in comparison to alternative habitats. In addition, evidence pertaining to the ’viability gains’ attributed to the use of eelgrass meadows as nursery habitat (growth and survival by juvenile Atlantic cod is analyzed. Although juvenile Atlantic cod use of Z. marina is found to be facultative, when possible, available literatures indicates that they may select Z. marina as a nursery habitat where they are found in high density (average of at least 246 ha−1. From their use of Z. marina habitat the juvenile Atlantic cod receives viability benefits from it, improving their chances of reaching maturation. This paper provides strong evidence that eelgrass meadows are of significant importance to contributing to Atlantic cod stocks.

  8. Seagrasses in tropical Australia, productive and abundant for ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Seagrass ecosystems provide unique coastal habitats critical to the life cycle of many species. Seagrasses are a major store of organic carbon. While seagrasses are globally threatened and in decline, in Cairns Harbour, Queensland, on the tropical east coast of Australia, they have flourished. We assessed seagrass ...

  9. Development of hydroacoustical techniques for the monitoring and classification of benthic habitats in Puck Bay: Modeling of acoustic waves scattering by seagrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raczkowska, A.; Gorska, N.

    2012-12-01

    Puck Bay is an area of high species biodiversity belonging to the Coastal Landscape Park of Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPA) and is also included in the list of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and covered by the protection program "Natura 2000". The underwater meadows of the Puck Bay are important for Europe's natural habitats due to their role in enhancing the productivity of marine ecosystems and providing shelter and optimal feeding conditions for many marine organisms. One of the dominant species comprising the underwater meadows of the Southern Baltic Sea is the seagrass Zostera marina. The spatial extent of underwater seagrass meadows is altered by pollution and eutrophication; therefore, to properly manage the area one must monitor its ecological state. Remote acoustic methods are useful tools for the monitoring of benthic habitats in many marine areas because they are non-invasive and allow researchers to obtain data from a large area in a short period of time. Currently there is a need to apply these methods in the Baltic Sea. Here we present an analysis of the mechanism of scattering of acoustic waves on seagrass in the Southern Baltic Sea based on the numerical modeling of acoustic wave scattering by the biological tissues of plants. The study was conducted by adapting a model developed on the basis of DWBA (Distorted Wave Born Approximation) developed by Stanton and Chu (2005) for fluid-like objects, including the characteristics of the Southern Baltic seagrass. Input data for the model, including the morphometry of seagrass leaves, their angle of inclination and the density plant cover, was obtained through the analysis of biological materials collected in the Puck Bay in the framework of a research project financed by the Polish Government (Development of hydroacoustic methods for studies of underwater meadows of Puck Bay, 6P04E 051 20). On the basis of the developed model, we have analyzed the dependence of the target strength of a single

  10. A survey-based assessment of seagrass status, management and legislation in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen B. De Los Santos

    2014-06-01

    agencies are involved and without standardised methodologies in some countries, and the information was said to be unaccessible sometimes. Several attempts of seagrass recovery were reported in Europe (Fig 3, mainly for Zostera spp, although most of them were described as experimental, in early stage to determine their success, or with “poor” or “very poor” success. Although restoration programmes are considered as a feasible solution to seagrass recovery, efforts towards natural restoration potential has been recommended (Cunha et al., 2012. Rating of seagrass management was unequal across European countries (Fig 1. Only the 39% of the countries mentioned the existence of management plans for seagrasses, but in most cases they were not strictly aimed at seagrass ecosystems. In other regions, management plans were under construction or they only included a single seagrass species (e.g. P. oceanica in the Mediterranean Sea. Respondents mentioned a lack of coordination between different administrative levels (national, regional, local dealing with seagrass management. Detailed perceptions about positive interaction with managers were only given by some respondents (Germany and The Netherlands. Other countries only mentioned that interactions were “good”, “positive” and/or “useful” although others described them as “scarce”, “ineffective” or “constrained”, or only exclusive for monitoring issues. Some respondents pointed out that managers, and no scientists, should take the initiative in this kind of interactions, and that the WFD offers an excellent opportunity to improve the scientific-managers interface. Seagrass species and habitats in Europe are subjected to different levels of protection which ranges from international directives and conventions, to national and regional regulations. Within this ample sphere of legislation to protect seagrasses, only a few of them act at a specific level. At the international level, the compiled

  11. Experimental assessment and modeling evaluation of the effects of seagrass Posidonia oceanica on flow and particle trapping

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, I.E.; Sintes, T.; Bouma, T.J.; Duarte, C.M.

    2008-01-01

    Retention of particles in seagrass canopies is usually attributed to only the indirect, attenuating effects canopies have on flow, turbulence and wave action, promoting sedimentation and reducing resuspension within seagrass meadows. Yet recent evidence suggests that seagrasses are also able to

  12. Keeping tabs on seagrass beds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuhl, D.E.; Sargent, F.J.; Leary, T.J. [Florida Marine Research Institute, St. Petersburg, FL (United States)

    1997-06-01

    Seagrasses form the foundation of complex, fragile communities that include marine and estuarine animals, especially larval and juvenile fish, providing critical shelter and sustenance. Seagrasses also have a role in providing habitat for waterfowl, marine turtles and manimals. In addition, seagrasses improve water quality by stabilizing mobile sediments and converting some pollutants into plant biomass. The issue of propeller scarring or propeller dredging in seagrass beds has received much attention since 1990. The scarring of seagrass results from personal watercraft. Heightened interest has instigated numerous monitoring and mapping projects on propeller scarring and regrowth characteristics within seagrasses. The study areas selected for this paper are located within Tampa Bay, Florida. Specifically, they are Shell Island and Miquel Bay. Spatial monitoring for the extent of seagrass scarring in the Tampa Bay region was conducted in two ways, a regional (general) approach and a site specific (detailed) approach. Regional monitoring assessed the status of seagrass in Tampa Bay and identified {open_quote}hot spots{close_quote}. After identifying {open_quote}hot spots{close_quote}, boat surveys were used to confirm or deny the initial assessment. This poster involves the design of a propeller scarring monitoring program using several methods: Hi8 video, digital cameras, film cameras, and differential GPS combined with Arcview. A pilot program to evaluate the adequacy of these monitoring devices and the recommendation of specific actions in areas of severe propeller scarring will be presented.

  13. Nitrogen fixation in Red Sea seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Malak

    2017-05-01

    Seagrasses are key coastal ecosystems, providing many ecosystem services. Seagrasses increase biodiversity as they provide habitat for a large set of organisms. In addition, their structure provides hiding places to avoid predation. Seagrasses can grow in shallow marine coastal areas, but several factors regulate their growth and distribution. Seagrasses can uptake different kinds of organic and inorganic nutrients through their leaves and roots. Nitrogen and phosphorous are the most important nutrients for seagrass growth. Biological nitrogen fixation is the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia by diazotrophic bacteria. This process provides a significant source of nitrogen for seagrass growth. The nitrogen fixation is controlled by the nif genes which are found in diazotrophs. The main goal of the project is to measure nitrogen fixation rates on seagrass sediments, in order to compare among various seagrass species from the Red Sea. Moreover, we will compare the fixing rates of the Vegetated areas with the bare sediments. This project will help to ascertain the role of nitrogen fixing bacteria in the development of seagrass meadows.

  14. Southeast Alaska ESI: HABITATS (Habitat and Plant Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains biological resource data for seagrass habitats in Southeast Alaska. Vector polygons in this data set represent locations of seagrass...

  15. 1992 Seagrass and Mangrove Habitats of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, St Croix, USVI

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Habitat maps were created as part of a larger ecological assessment conducted by NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), Biogeography Program, for Salt River Bay...

  16. 2000 Seagrass and Mangrove Habitats of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, St. Croix, USVI

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Habitat maps were created as part of a larger ecological assessment conducted by NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), Biogeography Program, for Salt River Bay...

  17. 1988 Seagrass and Mangrove Habitats of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, St. Croix, USVI

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Habitat maps were created as part of a larger ecological assessment conducted by NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), Biogeography Program, for Salt River Bay...

  18. 1970's Seagrass and Mangrove Habitats of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Habitat maps were created as part of a larger ecological assessment conducted by NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), Biogeography Branch, for Salt River Bay...

  19. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras

    OpenAIRE

    Jaxion-Harm, Jessica; Saunders, James; Speight, Martin R.

    2012-01-01

    Muchos peces de arrecifes de coral estan sometidos a la fragmentación del habitat a lo largo de su vida. Estos patrones son evidentes en el Caribe donde la investigación se llevó a cabo, principalmente en la región este. La motivación para la realización de este trabajo fue la escasez de datos sobre la distribución de peces de arrecife de Honduras en tres tipos de hábitat (pastos marinos, manglares y arrecifes de coral), por lo que se realizaron censos de peces en las islas de Utila y Cayos C...

  20. [Seagrass ecosystems: contributions to and mechanisms of carbon sequestration].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Guang-Long; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Li, Zong-Shan; Fan, Hang-Qing; Zhou, Hao-Lang; Liu, Guo-Hua

    2014-06-01

    The ocean's vegetated habitats, in particular seagrasses, mangroves and salt marshes, each capture and store a comparable amount of carbon per year, forming the Earth's blue carbon sinks, the most intense carbon sinks on the planet. Seagrass meadows, characterized by high primary productivity, efficient water column filtration and sediment stability, have a pronounced capacity for carbon sequestration. This is enhanced by low decomposition rates in anaerobic seagrass sediments. The carbon captured by seagrass meadows contributes significantly to the total blue carbon. At a global scale, seagrass ecosystems are carbon sink hot spots and have profound influences on the global carbon cycle. This importance combined with the many other functions of seagrass meadows places them among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, seagrasses are declining globally at an alarming rate owing to anthropogenic disturbances and climate change, making them also among the most threatened ecosystems on the Earth. The role of coastal systems in carbon sequestration has received far too little attention and thus there are still many uncertainties in evaluating carbon sequestration of global seagrass meadows accurately. To better assess the carbon sequestration of global seagrass ecosystems, a number of scientific issues should be considered with high priorities: 1) more accurate measurements of seagrass coverage at national and global levels; 2) more comprehensive research into species- and location-specific carbon sequestration efficiencies; 3) in-depth exploration of the effects of human disturbance and global climate change on carbon capture and storage by seagrass ecosystems.

  1. The Impact of Unsteady Reconfiguration on Turbulence Structure within a Flexible Canopy: Experimental Study of a Model Seagrass Meadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nepf, H. M.; Follett, E.; Chamecki, M.; Pan, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Flexible plants bend in response to fluid motion and this reconfiguration reduces drag forces, which protects against uprooting and breaking. The impact of reconfiguration can be described quantitatively by introducing a drag coefficient (CD) that decreases as a power-law function of velocity (U) with a negative exponent known as the Vogel number (B). That is, CD is proportional to UB. In this experimental study, we explored the link between reconfiguration and turbulence dynamics using a model seagrass meadow. As the flow rate in the channel increased, both the mean and unsteady reconfiguration increased. The unsteady reconfiguration, called monami, provides visual evidence that stronger turbulent events cause greater reconfiguration, and we hypothesize that the greater reconfiguration leads to proportionally lower drag, as reflected in a lower drag coefficient, such that stronger turbulent events preferentially penetrate deeper into the meadow. The preferential penetration of stronger events is reflected in the skewness of the streamwise velocity, which increases as the penetration of strong events gain greater preference. The measurements confirmed that a more negative Vogel number led to a higher skewness peak within the canopy. Previous studies were used to link the Vogel number and the Cauchy number. In the transition between the asymptotic regimes of negligible (B = 0) and strong (B = -2/3) reconfiguration, there is a regime of weak reconfiguration that extends over Ca = 10 to 100. The Vogel number achieved its peak negative value (B = -1.1) within the weak reconfiguration regime. The peak skewness also occurred within the regime of weak reconfiguration.

  2. First record of a Caribbean green turtle (Chelonia mydas) grazing on invasive seagrass (Halophila stipulacea)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, Leontine E.; van Bussel, Tineke C. J. M.; Debrot, Adolphe O.; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.

    2014-01-01

    From Bonaire, we here provide the first documented case of the green turtle feeding on the invasive seagrass, Halophila stipulacea, in the Caribbean. The seagrass is rapidly invading existing seagrass meadows and altering key foraging habitat of this endangered marine reptile throughout the eastern

  3. Effects of seagrasses and algae of the Caulerpa family on hydrodynamics and particle-trapping rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, I.E.; Bouma, T.J.; Morris, E.P.; Duarte, C.M.

    2010-01-01

    The widespread decline of seagrass beds within the Mediterranean often results in the replacement of seagrasses by opportunistic green algae of the Caulerpa family. Because Caulerpa beds have a different height, stiffness and density compared to seagrasses, these changes in habitat type modify the

  4. Role of the source community for the recovery of seagrass ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seagrass communities are subject to frequent disturbances that can affect the associated fauna. Seagrass loss in Kenya has been mainly due to extensive grazing by the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla, leading to habitat fragmentation. The challenge is whether the system can recover fully and function as before. Density ...

  5. Distribution of seagrasses and associated macroalgae in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheij, E.; Erftemeijer, P.L.A.

    1993-01-01

    Eleven seagrass species were found in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Seagrasses occurred in five different habitats, i.e. intertidal terrigenous mudflats, shallow terrigenous sandy bays, coastal reef flats, reef flats of patch reefs, and sandy reef bases, from the intertidal to a maximum depth of 35 m.

  6. Changes in seagrass species composition in northwestern Gulf of Mexico estuaries: effects on associated seagrass fauna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon R Ray

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to measure the communities associated with different seagrass species to predict how shifts in seagrass species composition may affect associated fauna. In the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, coverage of the historically dominant shoal grass (Halodule wrightii is decreasing, while coverage of manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme and turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum is increasing. We conducted a survey of fishes, crabs, and shrimp in monospecific beds of shoal, manatee, and turtle grass habitats of South Texas, USA to assess how changes in sea grass species composition would affect associated fauna. We measured seagrass parameters including shoot density, above ground biomass, epiphyte type, and epiphyte abundance to investigate relationships between faunal abundance and these seagrass parameters. We observed significant differences in communities among three seagrass species, even though these organisms are highly motile and could easily travel among the different seagrasses. Results showed species specific relationships among several different characteristics of the seagrass community and individual species abundance. More work is needed to discern the drivers of the complex relationships between individual seagrass species and their associated fauna.

  7. Changes in seagrass species composition in northwestern Gulf of Mexico estuaries: effects on associated seagrass fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Brandon R; Johnson, Matthew W; Cammarata, Kirk; Smee, Delbert L

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to measure the communities associated with different seagrass species to predict how shifts in seagrass species composition may affect associated fauna. In the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, coverage of the historically dominant shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) is decreasing, while coverage of manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme) and turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) is increasing. We conducted a survey of fishes, crabs, and shrimp in monospecific beds of shoal, manatee, and turtle grass habitats of South Texas, USA to assess how changes in sea grass species composition would affect associated fauna. We measured seagrass parameters including shoot density, above ground biomass, epiphyte type, and epiphyte abundance to investigate relationships between faunal abundance and these seagrass parameters. We observed significant differences in communities among three seagrass species, even though these organisms are highly motile and could easily travel among the different seagrasses. Results showed species specific relationships among several different characteristics of the seagrass community and individual species abundance. More work is needed to discern the drivers of the complex relationships between individual seagrass species and their associated fauna.

  8. Temporal variation of intertidal seagrass in southern China (2008-2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Guanglong; Short, Frederick T.; Fan, Hangqing; Liu, Guohua

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the temporal dynamics of seagrasses and the major influences on seagrass growth is critical for seagrass habitat conservation and administration. However, little work has been done regarding these issues in southern China. To examine inter-annual and seasonal variations of the intertidal Halophila ovalis community in southern China, we conducted quarterly sampling using the SeagrassNet methodology and assessed environmental conditions as well as direct anthropogenic impacts on the seagrass meadow from July 2008 to October 2014. Our study demonstrated strong inter-annual and seasonal dynamics of the intertidal seagrass meadow in the study area. Generally, the community performed best (highest seagrass cover, leaf area, shoot density, total biomass) in summer and worst in spring among the 4 seasons. The temporal variations in the seagrass community attributes (e.g. above-ground biomass) were significantly affected by precipitation, atmospheric visibility, and salinity, while leaf width was significantly negatively correlated with temperature, atmospheric visibility and salinity. Temperature was a major factor influencing the seagrass community (both macroalgae and seagrass), with temperature data showing an inverse relationship between seagrass and macroalgae. The above-ground: below-ground biomass ratio and leaf width of H. ovalis were the most sensitive plant parameters monitored when assessing environmental interactions. Human physical disturbances did not have a significant effect on seagrass dynamics in the study area. We concluded that long-term monitoring (like SeagrassNet) is valuable in understanding the relationship between environmental variables and seagrasses.

  9. Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessing-Lewis, Margot; Rechsteiner, Erin U.; Hughes, Brent B.; Tinker, M. Tim; Monteith, Zachary L.; Olson, Angeleen M.; Henderson, Matthew Morgan; Watson, Jane C.

    2017-01-01

    Comparing sea otter recovery in California (CA) and British Columbia (BC) reveals key ecosystem properties that shape top-down effects in seagrass communities. We review potential ecosystem drivers of sea otter foraging in CA and BC seagrass beds, including the role of coastline complexity and environmental stress on sea otter effects. In BC, we find greater species richness across seagrass trophic assemblages. Furthermore, Cancer spp. crabs, an important link in the seagrass trophic cascade observed in CA, are less common. Additionally, the more recent reintroduction of sea otters, more complex coastline, and reduced environmental stress in BC seagrass habitats supports the hypotheses that sea otter foraging pressure is currently reduced there. In order to manage the ecosystem features that lead to regional differences in top predator effects in seagrass communities, we review our findings, their spatial and temporal constraints, and present a social-ecological framework for future research.

  10. Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessing-Lewis, Margot; Rechsteiner, Erin U; Hughes, Brent B; Tim Tinker, M; Monteith, Zachary L; Olson, Angeleen M; Henderson, Matthew Morgan; Watson, Jane C

    2017-12-06

    Comparing sea otter recovery in California (CA) and British Columbia (BC) reveals key ecosystem properties that shape top-down effects in seagrass communities. We review potential ecosystem drivers of sea otter foraging in CA and BC seagrass beds, including the role of coastline complexity and environmental stress on sea otter effects. In BC, we find greater species richness across seagrass trophic assemblages. Furthermore, Cancer spp. crabs, an important link in the seagrass trophic cascade observed in CA, are less common. Additionally, the more recent reintroduction of sea otters, more complex coastline, and reduced environmental stress in BC seagrass habitats supports the hypotheses that sea otter foraging pressure is currently reduced there. In order to manage the ecosystem features that lead to regional differences in top predator effects in seagrass communities, we review our findings, their spatial and temporal constraints, and present a social-ecological framework for future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Habitat Selection and Behaviour of a Reintroduced Passerine: Linking Experimental Restoration, Behaviour and Habitat Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Victoria A.; Doerr, Veronica A. J.; Doerr, Erik D.; Manning, Adrian D.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Yoon, Hwan-Jin

    2013-01-01

    Habitat restoration can play an important role in recovering functioning ecosystems and improving biodiversity. Restoration may be particularly important in improving habitat prior to species reintroductions. We reintroduced seven brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) social groups into two nature reserves in the Australian Capital Territory in south-eastern Australia. This study provided a unique opportunity to understand the interactions between restoration ecology, behavioural ecology and habitat ecology. We examined how experimental restoration treatments (addition of coarse woody debris, variations in ground vegetation cover and nest box installation) influenced the behaviour and microhabitat use of radio-tracked individuals to evaluate the success of restoration treatments. The addition of coarse woody debris benefited the brown treecreeper through increasing the probability of foraging on a log or on the ground. This demonstrated the value of using behaviour as a bio-indicator for restoration success. Based on previous research, we predicted that variations in levels of ground vegetation cover would influence behaviour and substrate use, particularly that brown treecreepers would choose sites with sparse ground cover because this allows better access to food and better vigilance for predators. However, there was little effect of this treatment, which was likely influenced by the limited overall use of the ground layer. There was also little effect of nest boxes on behaviour or substrate use. These results somewhat confound our understanding of the species based on research from extant populations. Our results also have a significant impact regarding using existing knowledge on a species to inform how it will respond to reintroduction and habitat restoration. This study also places great emphasis on the value of applying an experimental framework to ecological restoration, particularly when reintroductions produce unexpected outcomes. PMID:23349923

  12. Habitat selection and behaviour of a reintroduced passerine: linking experimental restoration, behaviour and habitat ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria A Bennett

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration can play an important role in recovering functioning ecosystems and improving biodiversity. Restoration may be particularly important in improving habitat prior to species reintroductions. We reintroduced seven brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus social groups into two nature reserves in the Australian Capital Territory in south-eastern Australia. This study provided a unique opportunity to understand the interactions between restoration ecology, behavioural ecology and habitat ecology. We examined how experimental restoration treatments (addition of coarse woody debris, variations in ground vegetation cover and nest box installation influenced the behaviour and microhabitat use of radio-tracked individuals to evaluate the success of restoration treatments. The addition of coarse woody debris benefited the brown treecreeper through increasing the probability of foraging on a log or on the ground. This demonstrated the value of using behaviour as a bio-indicator for restoration success. Based on previous research, we predicted that variations in levels of ground vegetation cover would influence behaviour and substrate use, particularly that brown treecreepers would choose sites with sparse ground cover because this allows better access to food and better vigilance for predators. However, there was little effect of this treatment, which was likely influenced by the limited overall use of the ground layer. There was also little effect of nest boxes on behaviour or substrate use. These results somewhat confound our understanding of the species based on research from extant populations. Our results also have a significant impact regarding using existing knowledge on a species to inform how it will respond to reintroduction and habitat restoration. This study also places great emphasis on the value of applying an experimental framework to ecological restoration, particularly when reintroductions produce unexpected outcomes.

  13. Seagrasses in tropical Australia, productive and abundant for decades decimated overnight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Peter C; Greenway, Margaret

    2013-03-01

    Seagrass ecosystems provide unique coastal habitats critical to the life cycle of many species. Seagrasses are a major store of organic carbon. While seagrasses are globally threatened and in decline, in Cairns Harbour, Queensland, on the tropical east coast of Australia, they have flourished. We assessed seagrass distribution in Cairns Harbour between 1953 and 2012 from historical aerial photographs, Google map satellite images, existing reports and our own surveys of their distribution. Seasonal seagrass physiology was assessed through gross primary production, respiration and photosynthetic characteristics of three seagrass species, Cymodocea serrulata, Thalassia hemprichii and Zostera muelleri. At the higher water temperatures of summer, respiration rates increased in all three species, as did their maximum rates of photosynthesis. All three seagrasses achieved maximum rates of photosynthesis at low tide and when they were exposed. For nearly six decades there was little change in seagrass distribution in Cairns Harbour. This was most likely because the seagrasses were able to achieve sufficient light for growth during intertidal and low tide periods. With historical data of seagrass distribution and measures of species production and respiration, could seagrass survival in a changing climate be predicted? Based on physiology, our results predicted the continued maintenance of the Cairns Harbour seagrasses, although one species was more susceptible to thermal disturbance. However, in 2011 an unforeseen episodic disturbance - Tropical Cyclone Yasi - and associated floods lead to the complete and catastrophic loss of all the seagrasses in Cairns Harbour.

  14. An experimental test of whether habitat corridors affect pollen transfer.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Townsend, Patricia A.; Levey, Douglas J.

    2005-02-01

    Abstract. Negative effects of habitat fragmentation are thought to be diminished when habitat patches are joined by a corridor. A key assumption is that corridors facilitate exchange rates of organisms between otherwise isolated patches. If the organisms are pollinators, corridors may be important for maintaining genetically viable populations of the plants that they pollinate. We tested the hypothesis that corridors increase the movement of insect pollinators into patches of habitat and thereby increase pollen transfer for two species of plants, one pollinated by butterflies (Lantana camara) and the other by bees and wasps (Rudbeckia hirta). We worked in an experimental landscape consisting of 40 greater than or equal to 1-ha patches of early-successional habitat in a matrix of forest. Within each of eight experimental units, two patches were connected by a corridor (150 X 25 m), and three were not. Patch shape varied to control for the area added by the presence of a corridor. Differences in patch shape also allowed us to test alternative hypotheses of how corridors might function. The Traditional Corridor Hypothesis posits that corridors increase immigration and emigration by functioning as movement conduits between patches. The Drift Fence Hypothesis posits that corridors function by ‘‘capturing’’ organisms dispersing through the matrix, redirecting them into associated habitat patches. Using fluorescent powder to track pollen, we found that pollen transfer by butterflies between patches connected by a corridor was significantly higher than between unconnected patches (all values mean plus or minus 1 SE: 59% plus or minus 9.2% vs. 25% plus or minus 5.2% of flowers receiving pollen). Likewise, pollen transfer by bees and wasps was significantly higher between connected patches than between unconnected patches (30% plus or minus 4.2% vs. 14.5% plus or minus 2.2%). These results support the Traditional Corridor Hypothesis. There was little support, however

  15. Carbon storage in the seagrass meadows of Gazi Bay, Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N Githaiga

    Full Text Available Vegetated marine habitats are globally important carbon sinks, making a significant contribution towards mitigating climate change, and they provide a wide range of other ecosystem services. However, large gaps in knowledge remain, particularly for seagrass meadows in Africa. The present study estimated biomass and sediment organic carbon (Corg stocks of four dominant seagrass species in Gazi Bay, Kenya. It compared sediment Corg between seagrass areas in vegetated and un-vegetated 'controls', using the naturally patchy occurence of seagrass at this site to test the impacts of seagrass growth on sediment Corg. It also explored relationships between the sediment and above-ground Corg, as well as between the total biomass and above-ground parameters. Sediment Corg was significantly different between species, range: 160.7-233.8 Mg C ha-1 (compared to the global range of 115.3 to 829.2 Mg C ha-1. Vegetated areas in all species had significantly higher sediment Corg compared with un-vegetated controls; the presence of seagrass increased Corg by 4-6 times. Biomass carbon differed significantly between species with means ranging between 4.8-7.1 Mg C ha-1 compared to the global range of 2.5-7.3 Mg C ha-1. To our knowledge, these are among the first results on seagrass sediment Corg to be reported from African seagrass beds; and contribute towards our understanding of the role of seagrass in global carbon dynamics.

  16. Optimising methods for community-based sea cucumber ranching: Experimental releases of cultured juvenile Holothuria scabra into seagrass meadows in Papua New Guinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Hair

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Hatchery-cultured juveniles of the commercial holothurian, sandfish (Holothuria scabra, were used for release experiments in a variety of marine habitats under traditional marine tenure near Kavieng, Papua New Guinea (PNG. Juveniles of approximately 4 g mean weight were released inside 100 m2 sea pens installed within seagrass meadows nearby partner communities, under the care of local ‘wardens’. Within each sea pen, varying levels of protection (free release, 1-day cage and 7-day cage were provided at release in order to determine if short-term predator exclusion improved survival. Ossicles of juvenile sandfish were tagged with different fluorochromes for each treatment and sandfish survival and growth was recorded after release. A range of biophysical parameters were recorded at the four sites. Contrary to expectations, short-term cage protection did not lead to higher survival at three sites, while a fourth site, despite meeting all considered criteria for suitable release habitat, experienced total loss of juveniles. There were significant differences in mean weight of juveniles between sites after four months. Multivariate analysis of biophysical factors clearly separated the sea pen habitats, strongly differentiating the best-performing site from the others. However, further research is needed to elucidate which biophysical or human factors are most useful in predicting the quality of potential sea ranch sites. Methods developed or refined through these trials could be used to establish pilot test plots at potential ranching sites to assess site suitability and provide guidance on the level of animal husbandry required before commencing community sea ranching operations in New Ireland Province, PNG.

  17. Coral Community Structure and Recruitment in Seagrass Meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E. Lohr

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Coral communities are increasingly found to populate non-reef habitats prone to high environmental variability. Such sites include seagrass meadows, which are generally not considered optimal habitats for corals as a result of limited suitable substrate for settlement and substantial diel and seasonal fluctuations in physicochemical conditions relative to neighboring reefs. Interest in understanding the ability of corals to persist in non-reef habitats has grown, however little baseline data exists on community structure and recruitment of scleractinian corals in seagrass meadows. To determine how corals populate seagrass meadows, we surveyed the established and recruited coral community over 25 months within seagrass meadows at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Simultaneous surveys of established and recruited coral communities at neighboring back-reef sites were conducted for comparison. To fully understand the amount of environmental variability to which corals in each habitat were exposed, we conducted complementary surveys of physicochemical conditions in both seagrass meadows and back-reefs. Despite overall higher variability in physicochemical conditions, particularly pH, compared to the back-reef, 14 coral taxa were capable of inhabiting seagrass meadows, and multiple coral families were also found to recruit to these sites. However, coral cover and species diversity, richness, and evenness were lower at sites within seagrass meadows compared to back-reef sites. Although questions remain regarding the processes governing recruitment, these results provide evidence that seagrass beds can serve as functional habitats for corals despite high levels of environmental variability and suboptimal conditions compared to neighboring reefs.

  18. SEAGRASS RHIZOSPHERE MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devereux, Richard. 2005. Seagrass Rhizosphere Microbial Communities. In: Interactions Between Macro- and Microorganisms in Marine Sediments. E. Kristense, J.E. Kostka and R.H. Haese, Editors. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. p199-216. (ERL,GB 1213). Seagrasses ...

  19. Temporal shifts in top-down vs. bottom-up control of epiphytic algae in a seagrass ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whalen, Matthew A.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Grace, James B.

    2013-01-01

    In coastal marine food webs, small invertebrate herbivores (mesograzers) have long been hypothesized to occupy an important position facilitating dominance of habitat-forming macrophytes by grazing competitively superior epiphytic algae. Because of the difficulty of manipulating mesograzers in the field, however, their impacts on community organization have rarely been rigorously documented. Understanding mesograzer impacts has taken on increased urgency in seagrass systems due to declines in seagrasses globally, caused in part by widespread eutrophication favoring seagrass overgrowth by faster-growing algae. Using cage-free field experiments in two seasons (fall and summer), we present experimental confirmation that mesograzer reduction and nutrients can promote blooms of epiphytic algae growing on eelgrass (Zostera marina). In this study, nutrient additions increased epiphytes only in the fall following natural decline of mesograzers. In the summer, experimental mesograzer reduction stimulated a 447% increase in epiphytes, appearing to exacerbate seasonal dieback of eelgrass. Using structural equation modeling, we illuminate the temporal dynamics of complex interactions between macrophytes, mesograzers, and epiphytes in the summer experiment. An unexpected result emerged from investigating the interaction network: drift macroalgae indirectly reduced epiphytes by providing structure for mesograzers, suggesting that the net effect of macroalgae on seagrass depends on macroalgal density. Our results show that mesograzers can control proliferation of epiphytic algae, that top-down and bottom-up forcing are temporally variable, and that the presence of macroalgae can strengthen top-down control of epiphytic algae, potentially contributing to eelgrass persistence.

  20. Optical sensor nanoparticles in artificial sediments--a new tool to visualize O2 dynamics around the rhizome and roots of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koren, Klaus; Brodersen, Kasper E; Jakobsen, Sofie L; Kühl, Michael

    2015-02-17

    Seagrass communities provide important ecosystems services in coastal environments but are threatened by anthropogenic impacts. Especially the ability of seagrasses to aerate their below-ground tissue and immediate rhizosphere to prevent sulfide intrusion from the surrounding sediment is critical for their resilience to environmental disturbance. There is a need for chemical techniques that can map the O2 distribution and dynamics in the seagrass rhizosphere upon environmental changes and thereby identify critical stress thresholds of e.g. water flow, turbidity, and O2 conditions in the water phase. In a novel experimental approach, we incorporated optical O2 sensor nanoparticles into a transparent artificial sediment matrix consisting of pH-buffered deoxygenated sulfidic agar. Seagrass growth and photosynthesis was not inhibited in the experimental setup when the below-ground biomass was immobilized in the artificial sulfidic sediment with nanoparticles and showed root growth rates (∼ 5 mm day(-1)) and photosynthetic quantum yields (∼ 0.7) comparable to healthy seagrasses in their natural habitat. We mapped the real-time below ground O2 distribution and dynamics in the whole seagrass rhizosphere during experimental manipulation of light exposure and O2 content in the overlaying water. Those manipulations showed that oxygen release from the belowground tissue is much higher in light as compared to darkness and that water column hypoxia leads to diminished oxygen levels around the rhizome/roots. Oxygen release was visualized and analyzed on a whole rhizosphere level, which is a substantial improvement to existing methods relying on point measurements with O2 microsensors or partial mapping of the rhizosphere in close contact with a planar O2 optode. The combined use of optical nanoparticle-based sensors with artificial sediments enables imaging of chemical microenvironments in the rhizosphere of aquatic plants at high spatiotemporal resolution with a relatively

  1. Phylogeny and temporal divergence of the seagrass family Zosteraceae using one nuclear and three chloroplast loci

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coyer, J. A.; Hoarau, G.; Kuo, J.; Tronholm, A.; Veldsink, J.; Olsen, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Seagrasses are among the most productive habitats in the marine realm, performing several crucial physical and biological ecosystem services. One group of seagrasses is the family Zosteraceae, which includes three to four genera and >20 species inhabiting temperate waters of both the northern and

  2. Eutrophication threatens Caribbean seagrasses – An example from Curaçao and Bonaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govers, L.L.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Bouma, T.J.; de Brouwer, J.H.F.; van Katwijk, M.M.

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass beds are globally declining due to human activities in coastal areas. We here aimed to identify threats from eutrophication to the valuable seagrass beds of Curaçao and Bonaire in the Caribbean, which function as nursery habitats for commercial fish species. We documented surface- and

  3. Experimental Woodcock Habitat Management, Baring Unit, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The overall objectives of this study were to develop woodcock habitat management techniques that: (1) small landowners can apply with a minimum of equipment and...

  4. Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation

    KAUST Repository

    Potouroglou, Maria

    2017-09-13

    Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services and their rapid global loss may reduce human welfare as well as ecological integrity. In common with the other \\'blue carbon\\' habitats (mangroves and tidal marshes) seagrasses are thought to provide coastal defence and encourage sediment stabilisation and surface elevation. A sophisticated understanding of sediment elevation dynamics in mangroves and tidal marshes has been gained by monitoring a wide range of different sites, located in varying hydrogeomorphological conditions over long periods. In contrast, similar evidence for seagrasses is sparse; the present study is a contribution towards filling this gap. Surface elevation change pins were deployed in four locations, Scotland, Kenya, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia, in both seagrass and unvegetated control plots in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. The presence of seagrass had a highly significant, positive impact on surface elevation at all sites. Combined data from the current work and the literature show an average difference of 31 mm per year in elevation rates between vegetated and unvegetated areas, which emphasizes the important contribution of seagrass in facilitating sediment surface elevation and reducing erosion. This paper presents the first multi-site study for sediment surface elevation in seagrasses in different settings and species.

  5. Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potouroglou, Maria; Bull, James C.; Krauss, Ken W.; Kennedy, Hilary A.; Fusi, Marco; Daffonchio, Daniele; Mangora, Mwita M.; Githaiga, Michael N.; Diele, Karen; Huxham, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services and their rapid global loss may reduce human welfare as well as ecological integrity. In common with the other ‘blue carbon’ habitats (mangroves and tidal marshes) seagrasses are thought to provide coastal defence and encourage sediment stabilisation and surface elevation. A sophisticated understanding of sediment elevation dynamics in mangroves and tidal marshes has been gained by monitoring a wide range of different sites, located in varying hydrogeomorphological conditions over long periods. In contrast, similar evidence for seagrasses is sparse; the present study is a contribution towards filling this gap. Surface elevation change pins were deployed in four locations, Scotland, Kenya, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia, in both seagrass and unvegetated control plots in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. The presence of seagrass had a highly significant, positive impact on surface elevation at all sites. Combined data from the current work and the literature show an average difference of 31 mm per year in elevation rates between vegetated and unvegetated areas, which emphasizes the important contribution of seagrass in facilitating sediment surface elevation and reducing erosion. This paper presents the first multi-site study for sediment surface elevation in seagrasses in different settings and species.

  6. Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potouroglou, Maria; Bull, James C; Krauss, Ken W; Kennedy, Hilary A; Fusi, Marco; Daffonchio, Daniele; Mangora, Mwita M; Githaiga, Michael N; Diele, Karen; Huxham, Mark

    2017-09-20

    Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services and their rapid global loss may reduce human welfare as well as ecological integrity. In common with the other 'blue carbon' habitats (mangroves and tidal marshes) seagrasses are thought to provide coastal defence and encourage sediment stabilisation and surface elevation. A sophisticated understanding of sediment elevation dynamics in mangroves and tidal marshes has been gained by monitoring a wide range of different sites, located in varying hydrogeomorphological conditions over long periods. In contrast, similar evidence for seagrasses is sparse; the present study is a contribution towards filling this gap. Surface elevation change pins were deployed in four locations, Scotland, Kenya, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia, in both seagrass and unvegetated control plots in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. The presence of seagrass had a highly significant, positive impact on surface elevation at all sites. Combined data from the current work and the literature show an average difference of 31 mm per year in elevation rates between vegetated and unvegetated areas, which emphasizes the important contribution of seagrass in facilitating sediment surface elevation and reducing erosion. This paper presents the first multi-site study for sediment surface elevation in seagrasses in different settings and species.

  7. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waycott, Michelle; Duarte, Carlos M; Carruthers, Tim J B; Orth, Robert J; Dennison, William C; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Calladine, Ainsley; Fourqurean, James W; Heck, Kenneth L; Hughes, A Randall; Kendrick, Gary A; Kenworthy, W Judson; Short, Frederick T; Williams, Susan L

    2009-07-28

    Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are adversely affected by a wide variety of human activities. In particular, seagrass meadows are negatively affected by impacts accruing from the billion or more people who live within 50 km of them. Seagrass meadows provide important ecosystem services, including an estimated $1.9 trillion per year in the form of nutrient cycling; an order of magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity; a habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and invertebrate species; and a major food source for endangered dugong, manatee, and green turtle. Although individual impacts from coastal development, degraded water quality, and climate change have been documented, there has been no quantitative global assessment of seagrass loss until now. Our comprehensive global assessment of 215 studies found that seagrasses have been disappearing at a rate of 110 km(2) yr(-1) since 1980 and that 29% of the known areal extent has disappeared since seagrass areas were initially recorded in 1879. Furthermore, rates of decline have accelerated from a median of 0.9% yr(-1) before 1940 to 7% yr(-1) since 1990. Seagrass loss rates are comparable to those reported for mangroves, coral reefs, and tropical rainforests and place seagrass meadows among the most threatened ecosystems on earth.

  8. Relative foraminiferan abundance as an indicator of seagrass sediment health:

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cajandig, P.; Quiros, A.; Nolan, H.; Tallman, R.; Cooper, N.; Ayala, J.; Courtier, C.

    2013-12-01

    Authors: Patrick Cajandig*, Jose Ayala**, Nathaniel Cooper**, Catherine Courtier**, Hannah Nolan**, Rachelle Tallman**, T.E. Angela L. Quiros** * Davis High-School CA, **University of California Santa Cruz, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department Seagrasses are a key component in coastal ecosystems. Found in shallow marine environments, they make a large contribution to coastal ecosystem health by sustaining water quality, stabilizing the sea bottom, and providing habitat as well as food for other organisms. Seagrasses accumulate tiny grains of sediment, increasing water clarity. Just like barren hills are prone to erosion compared to vegetated, rooted down hills, we find a similar situation in the ocean. Seagrasses have broad roots that extend vertically and horizontally to help stabilize the seabed. Seagrasses support a whole ecosystem, because some organisms feed off of the seagrass alone, while others feed off the inhabitants of the seagrass. The quality of sediment is a vital part of seagrass health, just like nutrient rich soils are important to land plants. But what in seagrass sediment is a good indication of health? We hypothesize that seagrass health measures such as percent cover and seagrass species diversity are related to the abundance of foraminiferans relative to other seagrass sediment components. My mentor, T. E. Angela L. Quiros, from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), collected the sediment samples from seagrass beds in the Philippines. Samples were dried and brought to UCSC for sediment sieving. We used different sized sieves to sort the sediment. These sieves ranged from coarse to very fine sieves (Phi -2.0 (coarse) through +3.0 (fine) going in 0.5 intervals on a log scale). We weighed the sediment that was caught in each tray and separated them into bags of different size classes. To analyze each sample, we subsampled four size classes (Phi's -2.0, -1.5,-1.0, 0.0), and used a dissecting scope to identify and then weigh the

  9. Pathogenic Labyrinthula associated with Australian seagrasses: Considerations for seagrass wasting disease in the southern hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M; Sullivan, Brooke K; Robinson, Katie; Lilje, Osu; Macreadie, Peter I; Gleason, Frank H

    2018-01-01

    Marine disease ecology is a growing field of research, particularly for host organisms negatively impacted by a changing climate and anthropogenic activities. A decrease in health and increase in susceptibility to disease has been hypothesised as the mechanism behind wide-spread seagrass die-offs related to wasting disease in the past. However, seagrass wasting disease and the causative pathogen, Labyrinthula, have been vastly understudied in the southern hemisphere. Our aim was to build on the current knowledge of Australian Labyrinthula descriptions and phylogeny, while also providing a first look at wasting disease ecology in Australia. Five seagrass species along a 750km stretch of coastline in southeastern Australia were sampled. The resulting 38 Labyrinthula isolates represented a diversity of morphotypes and five haplotypes of varying phylogenetic clade positions and virulence. The haplotypes clustered with previously-described phylogenetic clades containing isolates from Asia, USA and Europe. Pathogenicity tests confirmed, for the first time, the presence of at least two pathogenic haplotypes in Australia. While historically there have been no reports of wasting disease-related seagrass habitat loss, the presence of pathogenic Labyrinthula highlights the need for disease monitoring and research to understand seagrass wasting disease ecology in Australia. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Seagrass ecophysiological performance under ocean warming and acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repolho, Tiago; Duarte, Bernardo; Dionísio, Gisela; Paula, José Ricardo; Lopes, Ana R; Rosa, Inês C; Grilo, Tiago F; Caçador, Isabel; Calado, Ricardo; Rosa, Rui

    2017-02-01

    Seagrasses play an essential ecological role within coastal habitats and their worldwide population decline has been linked to different types of anthropogenic forces. We investigated, for the first time, the combined effects of future ocean warming and acidification on fundamental biological processes of Zostera noltii, including shoot density, leaf coloration, photophysiology (electron transport rate, ETR; maximum PSII quantum yield, Fv/Fm) and photosynthetic pigments. Shoot density was severely affected under warming conditions, with a concomitant increase in the frequency of brownish colored leaves (seagrass die-off). Warming was responsible for a significant decrease in ETR and Fv/Fm (particularly under control pH conditions), while promoting the highest ETR variability (among experimental treatments). Warming also elicited a significant increase in pheophytin and carotenoid levels, alongside an increase in carotenoid/chlorophyll ratio and De-Epoxidation State (DES). Acidification significantly affected photosynthetic pigments content (antheraxanthin, β-carotene, violaxanthin and zeaxanthin), with a significant decrease being recorded under the warming scenario. No significant interaction between ocean acidification and warming was observed. Our findings suggest that future ocean warming will be a foremost determinant stressor influencing Z. noltii survival and physiological performance. Additionally, acidification conditions to occur in the future will be unable to counteract deleterious effects posed by ocean warming.

  11. The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guannel, Greg; Arkema, Katie; Ruggiero, Peter; Verutes, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion. We find that, together, live corals, seagrasses, and mangroves supply more protection services than any individual habitat or any combination of two habitats. Specifically, we find that, while mangroves are the most effective at protecting the coast under non-storm and storm conditions, live corals and seagrasses also moderate the impact of waves and storms, thereby further reducing the vulnerability of coastal regions. Also, in addition to structural differences, the amount of service supplied by habitats in our analysis is highly dependent on the geomorphic setting, habitat location and forcing conditions: live corals in the fringing reef profile supply more protection services than seagrasses; seagrasses in the barrier reef profile supply more protection services than live corals; and seagrasses, in our simulations, can even compensate for the long-term degradation of the barrier reef. Results of this study demonstrate the importance of taking integrated and place-based approaches when quantifying and managing for the coastal protection services supplied by ecosystems.

  12. Palm Beach County FL 2007 Seagrass GIS Maps and Trends Analysis (NODC Accession 0061752)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Geographic Information System (GIS) coverage of Palm Beach County seagrasses, mangrove habitat, oyster reef, and spartina. The mapped area is the Lake Worth Lagoon...

  13. Direct versus indirect effects of habitat fragmentation on community patterns in experimental landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    With, Kimberly A; Pavuk, Daniel M

    2012-10-01

    Habitat area and fragmentation are confounded in many ecological studies investigating fragmentation effects. We thus devised an innovative experiment founded on fractal neutral landscape models to disentangle the relative effects of habitat area and fragmentation on arthropod community patterns in red clover (Trifolium pratense). The conventional approach in experimental fragmentation studies is to adjust patch size and isolation to create different landscape patterns. We instead use fractal distributions to adjust the overall amount and fragmentation of habitat independently at the scale of the entire landscape, producing different patch properties. Although habitat area ultimately had a greater effect on arthropod abundance and diversity in this system, we found that fragmentation had a significant effect in clover landscapes with ≤40 % habitat. Landscapes at these lower habitat levels were dominated by edge cells, which had fewer arthropods and lower richness than interior cells. Fragmentation per se did not have a direct effect on local-scale diversity, however, as demonstrated by the lack of a broader landscape effect (in terms of total habitat area and fragmentation) on arthropods within habitat cells. Fragmentation-through the creation of edge habitat-thus had a strong indirect effect on morphospecies richness and abundance at the local scale. Although it has been suggested that fragmentation should be important at low habitat levels (≤20-30 %), we show that fragmentation per se is significant only at intermediate (40 %) levels of habitat, where edge effects were neither too great (as at lower levels of habitat) nor too weak (as at higher levels of habitat).

  14. Seagrass metabolism and carbon dynamics in a tropical coastal embayment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguly, Dipnarayan; Singh, Gurmeet; Ramachandran, Purvaja; Selvam, Arumughan Paneer; Banerjee, Kakolee; Ramachandran, Ramesh

    2017-10-01

    Net ecosystem metabolism and subsequent changes in environmental variables were studied seasonally in the seagrass-dominated Palk Bay, located along the southeast coast of India. The results showed that although the water column was typically net heterotrophic, the ecosystem as a whole displayed autotrophic characteristics. The mean net community production from the seagrass meadows was 99.31 ± 45.13 mM C m-2 d-1, while the P/R ratio varied between 1.49 and 1.56. Oxygen produced through in situ photosynthesis, exhibited higher dependence over dissolved CO2 and available light. Apportionment of carbon stores in biomass indicated that nearly three-fourths were available belowground compared to aboveground. However, the sediment horizon accumulated nearly 40 times more carbon than live biomass. The carbon storage capacities of the sediments and seagrass biomass were comparable with the global mean for seagrass meadows. The results of this study highlight the major role of seagrass meadows in modification of seawater chemistry. Though the seagrass meadows of Palk Bay are increasingly subject to human impacts, with coupled regulatory and management efforts focused on improved water quality and habitat conservation, these key coastal ecosystems will continue to be valuable for climate change mitigation, considering their vital role in C dynamics and interactions with the overlying water column.

  15. Biodiversity of seagrass bed in Balanan Resort - Baluran National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soedarti, T.; Hariyanto, S.; Wedayanti, A.; Rahmawati, A. D.; Safitri, D. P.; Alificia, R. I.; Suwono

    2017-09-01

    Seagrass beds are flowering plants that live on the seabed. Seagrass provides a habitat for diverse flora and fauna, spawning ground, nursery ground, raising ground, and feeding ground. Balanan Resort - Baluran National Park has many beaches, such as Kajang Beach, Si Banjir Beach, Kakapa Beach, and Serondo Beach. This study was aimed to determine species composition, seagrass dominated, and the diversity index of seagrass and substrate in Resort Balanan - Baluran National Park. This research was carried out in Kajang Beach, Sibanjir Beach, Kakapa Beach, and Sirondo Beach from August to September 2015 using belt transect method, each transect consists of 15 plots (19 transects = 285 plots) and using the frame of 1x1 m. This research found seven genera and ten species : Cymodoce (C rotundata and C. serrulata), Syringodium (S. isoelifolium), Thallassodendron (T. ciliatum), Enhalus (E. acoroides) , Halodule (H. univernis and H. pinifolia), Halophila (H. ovalis and H. decipiens), and Thalassia (T. hemprichii). The diversity index of seagrass bed was moderate [H'=1.90] in Balanan Resort. The substrate of seagrass bed was mud, gravel, sand, clay sand and rubble in Balanan Resort. The dominance index was near zero [C = 0.194], that means no dominant species.

  16. Ocean acidification buffering effects of seagrass in Tampa Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly K.; Moyer, Ryan P.; Moore, Christopher; Tomasko, David A.; Smiley, Nathan A.; Torres-Garcia, Legna; Powell, Christina E.; Chappel, Amanda R.; Bociu, Ioana; Smiley, Nathan; Torres-Garcia, Legna M.; Powell, Christina E.; Chappel, Amanda R.; Bociu, Ioana

    2016-01-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified ocean acidification as a critical threat to marine and estuarine species in ocean and coastal ecosystems around the world. However, seagrasses are projected to benefit from elevated atmospheric pCO2, are capable of increasing seawater pH and carbonate mineral saturation states through photosynthesis, and may help buffer against the chemical impacts of ocean acidification. Additionally, dissolution of carbonate sediments may also provide a mechanism for buffering seawater pH. Long-term water quality monitoring data from the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County indicates that seawater pH has risen since the 1980‘s as seagrass beds have continued to recover since that time. We examined the role of seagrass beds in maintaining and elevating pH and carbonate mineral saturation state in northern and southern Tampa Bay where the percent of carbonate sediments is low (40%), respectively. Basic water quality and carbonate system parameters (including pH, total alkalinity, dissolved inorganic carbon, partial pressure of CO2, and carbonate mineral saturation state) were measured over diurnal time periods along transects (50-100 m) including dense and sparse Thalassia testudinum. seagrass beds, deep edge seagrass, and adjacent bare sand bottom. Seagrass density and productivity, sediment composition and hydrodynamic parameters were also measured, concurrently. Results indicate that seagrass beds locally elevate pH by up to 0.5 pH unit and double carbonate mineral saturation states relative to bare sand habitats. Thus, seagrass beds in Tampa Bay may provide refuge for marine organisms from the impacts of ocean acidification.

  17. Geoengineering with seagrasses: is credit due where credit is given?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannessen, Sophia C.; Macdonald, Robie W.

    2016-11-01

    Blue carbon, the carbon fixed by vegetated coastal ecosystems including seagrasses, is reported to have a large potential to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide. Planting, expanding or protecting seagrass meadows has, accordingly, been proposed as a form of geoengineering. Seagrasses are reported to account for up to 18% of the carbon burial in the world’s oceans, which is on the same order of magnitude as other proposed geoengineering techniques, including iron fertilization. International protocols have been developed to quantify carbon sequestration in seagrass meadows, with a view to awarding carbon credits under the Verified Carbon Standard. Unfortunately, because these protocols do not adequately account for post-depositional processes in marine sediment, they significantly overestimate carbon capture by seagrass beds and give an incorrect view of its distribution. Specifically, neglecting biomixing and remineralization of carbon in surface sediments biases burial rates high, while using sediment carbon inventory (soil carbon stock) over the top 1 m as a proxy for burial rate incorrectly identifies areas of high carbon burial. Seagrass beds likely provide a limited setting for geoengineering, because they generally comprise slowly-accumulating, fine to medium sand, which captures organic carbon less efficiently than fine-grained sediments or rapidly-accumulating delta deposits. While there is no question that seagrass meadows provide valuable habitat, nor that they are disappearing rapidly, their contribution to the global burial of carbon has not yet been established. The danger of geoengineering with seagrasses before reliable assessment methods have been established is that overestimated carbon offsets could lead to a net increase in emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

  18. Relative effects of grazers and nutrients on seagrasses: a meta-analysis approach

    OpenAIRE

    Hughes, A Randall R; Bando, K J; Rodriguez, L. F.; S. L Williams

    2004-01-01

    Recent large-scale seagrass declines have prompted experimental investigations of potential mechanisms. Although many studies have implicated eutrophication or reductions of epiphyte grazers in these declines, few experiments have simultaneously manipulated both factors to assess their relative effects. This study used meta-analyses of 35 published seagrass studies to compare the relative strength of 'top-down' grazer effects and 'bottom-up' nutrient effects on epiphyte biomass and seagrass a...

  19. Distribution of seagrasses along the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    Seagrass environments, from the main coast of India, Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands, were surveyed for seagrass and marine algal composition. Extensive seagrass meadows and the maximum number of species (seven genera and 12 species) occurred along...

  20. Seagrasses in the Age of Sea Turtle Conservation and Shark Overfishing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R Heithaus

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Efforts to conserve globally declining herbivorous green sea turtles have resulted in promising growth of some populations. These trends could significantly impact critical ecosystem services provided by seagrass meadows on which turtles feed. Expanding turtle populations could improve seagrass ecosystem health by removing seagrass biomass and preventing of the formation of sediment anoxia. However, overfishing of large sharks, the primary green turtle predators, could facilitate turtle populations growing beyond historical sizes and trigger detrimental ecosystem impacts mirroring those on land when top predators were extirpated. Experimental data from multiple ocean basins suggest that increasing turtle populations can negatively impact seagrasses, including triggering virtual ecosystem collapse. Impacts of large turtle populations on seagrasses are reduced in the presence of intact shark populations. Healthy populations of sharks and turtles, therefore, are likely vital to restoring or maintaining seagrass ecosystem structure, function, and their value in supporting fisheries and as a carbon sink.

  1. Real-Time Classification of Seagrass Meadows on Flat Bottom with Bathymetric Data Measured by a Narrow Multibeam Sonar System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Hamana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows, one of the most important habitats for many marine species, provide essential ecological services. Thus, society must conserve seagrass beds as part of their sustainable development efforts. Conserving these ecosystems requires information on seagrass distribution and relative abundance, and an efficient, accurate monitoring system. Although narrow multibeam sonar systems (NMBSs are highly effective in resolving seagrass beds, post-processing methods are required to extract key data. The purpose of this study was to develop a simple method capable of detecting seagrass meadows and estimating their relative abundance in real time using an NMBS. Because most seagrass meadows grow on sandy seafloors, we proposed a way of discriminating seagrass meadows from the sand bed. We classify meadows into three categories of relative seagrass abundance using the 95% confidence level of beam depths and the depth range of the beam depth. These are respectively two times the standard deviation of beam depths, and the difference between the shallowest and the deepest depths in a 0.5 × 0.5 m grid cell sampled with several narrow beams. We examined Zostera caulescens Miki, but this simple NMBS method of seagrass classification can potentially be used to map seagrass meadows with longer shoots of other species, such as Posidonia, as both have gas filled cavities.

  2. Seagrass status and trends in the northern Gulf of Mexico: 1940-2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, L.; Altsman, D.; DeMay, R.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past century, seagrass habitats from the bays of Texas to the gulf shores of Florida have decreased. Seagrass beds, which are highly dependent on water quality and clarity for survival, are home to a multitude of aquatic plants and animals and a source of economic activity through commercial and recreational fishing and ecotourism. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) and its partners have made a commitment to restore, enhance, and protect this important ecosystem. As seagrass habitats decrease, the need for information on the causes and effects of seagrass loss, current mapping information, and education on the importance of seagrassess becomes greater. This report is the initial effort of the GMP’s research and restoration plan for seagrasses. The purpose of this report is to provide scientists, managers, and citizens with valuable baseline information on the status and trends of seagrasses in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Within the northern Gulf of Mexico region, 14 individual estuarine systems where seagrasses occur, as well as statewide summaries for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, are examined in this study. Each estuarine system is detailed in vignettes that address current and historical extent and quality of seagrasses, seagrass mapping and monitoring, causes of status change, restoration and enhancement activities, background information for the entire study area as well as the subareas for study, and the methodology employed to analyze and document the historical trends and current status of seagrasses. The systems, moving from west to east, include the Laguna Madre, Texas Coastal Bend region, and Galveston Bay in Texas; the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana; the Mississippi Sound; and Perdido Bay, Pensacola/Escambia Bay, Choctawhatchee Bay, St. Andrew Bay, Florida’s Big Bend region, Tampa Bay/St. Joseph Sound, Sarasota Bay, Greater Charlotte Harbor, and Florida Bay in Florida

  3. Edge Effects along a Seagrass Margin Result in an Increased Grazing Risk on Posidonia australis Transplants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statton, John; Gustin-Craig, Samuel; Dixon, Kingsley W; Kendrick, Gary A

    2015-01-01

    A key issue in habitat restoration are the changes in ecological processes that occur when fragments of habitat are lost, resulting in the persistence of habitat-degraded margins. Margins often create or enhance opportunities for negative plant-herbivore interactions, preventing natural or assisted re-establishment of native vegetation into the degraded area. However, at some distance from the habitat margin these negative interactions may relax. Here, we posit that the intensity of species interactions in a fragmented Posidonia australis seagrass meadow may be spatially dependent on proximity to the seagrass habitat edge, whereby the risk of grazing is high and the probability of survival of seagrass transplants is low. To test this, transplants were planted 2 m within the meadow, on the meadow edge at 0m, and at 2m, 10m, 30m, 50m and 100m distance from the edge of the seagrass meadow into the unvegetated sand sheet. There was an enhanced grazing risk 0-10m from the edge, but decreased sharply with increasing distances (>30m). Yet, the risk of grazing was minimal inside the seagrass meadow, indicating that grazers may use the seagrass meadow for refuge but are not actively grazing within it. The relationship between short-term herbivory risk and long-term survival was not straightforward, suggesting that other environmental filters are also affecting survival of P. australis transplants within the study area. We found that daily probability of herbivory was predictable and operating over a small spatial scale at the edge of a large, intact seagrass meadow. These findings highlight the risk from herbivory can be high, and a potential contributing factor to seagrass establishment in restoration programs.

  4. Turbulent mixing and fluid transport within Florida Bay seagrass meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jennifer C. R.; Reidenbach, Matthew A.

    2017-10-01

    Seagrasses serve an important function in the ecology of Florida Bay, providing critical nursery habitat and a food source for a variety of organisms. They also create significant benthic structure that induces drag, altering local hydrodynamics that can influence mixing and nutrient dynamics. Thalassia testudinum seagrass meadows were investigated to determine how shoot density and morphometrics alter local wave conditions, the generation of turbulence, and fluid exchange above and within the canopy. Sparsely vegetated and densely vegetated meadows were monitored, with shoot densities of 259 ± 26 and 484 ± 78 shoots m-2, respectively. The temporal and spatial structure of velocity and turbulence were measured using acoustic Doppler velocimeters and an in situ particle image velocimetry (PIV) system positioned both above and within the seagrass canopy. The retention of fluid within the canopy was determined by examining e-folding times calculated from the concentration curves of dye plumes released within the seagrass canopy. Results show that a shear layer with an inflection point develops at the top of the seagrass canopy, which generates instabilities that impart turbulence into the seagrass meadow. Compared to the overlying water column, turbulence was enhanced within the sparse canopy due to flow interaction with the seagrass blades, but reduced within the dense canopy. Wave generated oscillatory motion penetrated deeper into the canopy than unidirectional currents, enhancing fluid exchange. Both shoot density and the relative magnitude of wave- versus current-driven flow conditions were found to be important controls on turbulent exchange of water masses across the canopy-water interface.

  5. A Meta-Analysis of Seaweed Impacts on Seagrasses: Generalities and Knowledge Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Mads S.; Wernberg, Thomas; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mat A.; Holmer, Marianne; McGlathery, Karen J.; Arenas, Francisco; Kotta, Jonne; Silliman, Brian R.

    2012-01-01

    Seagrasses are important habitat-formers and ecosystem engineers that are under threat from bloom-forming seaweeds. These seaweeds have been suggested to outcompete the seagrasses, particularly when facilitated by eutrophication, causing regime shifts where green meadows and clear waters are replaced with unstable sediments, turbid waters, hypoxia, and poor habitat conditions for fishes and invertebrates. Understanding the situations under which seaweeds impact seagrasses on local patch scales can help proactive management and prevent losses at greater scales. Here, we provide a quantitative review of available published manipulative experiments (all conducted at the patch-scale), to test which attributes of seaweeds and seagrasses (e.g., their abundances, sizes, morphology, taxonomy, attachment type, or origin) influence impacts. Weighted and unweighted meta-analyses (Hedges d metric) of 59 experiments showed generally high variability in attribute-impact relationships. Our main significant findings were that (a) abundant seaweeds had stronger negative impacts on seagrasses than sparse seaweeds, (b) unattached and epiphytic seaweeds had stronger impacts than ‘rooted’ seaweeds, and (c) small seagrass species were more susceptible than larger species. Findings (a) and (c) were rather intuitive. It was more surprising that ‘rooted’ seaweeds had comparatively small impacts, particularly given that this category included the infamous invasive Caulerpa species. This result may reflect that seaweed biomass and/or shading and metabolic by-products like anoxia and sulphides could be lower for rooted seaweeds. In conclusion, our results represent simple and robust first-order generalities about seaweed impacts on seagrasses. This review also documented a limited number of primary studies. We therefore identified major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed before general predictive models on seaweed-seagrass interactions can be build, in order to effectively

  6. A meta-analysis of seaweed impacts on seagrasses: generalities and knowledge gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Mads S; Wernberg, Thomas; Engelen, Aschwin H; Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mat A; Holmer, Marianne; McGlathery, Karen J; Arenas, Francisco; Kotta, Jonne; Silliman, Brian R

    2012-01-01

    Seagrasses are important habitat-formers and ecosystem engineers that are under threat from bloom-forming seaweeds. These seaweeds have been suggested to outcompete the seagrasses, particularly when facilitated by eutrophication, causing regime shifts where green meadows and clear waters are replaced with unstable sediments, turbid waters, hypoxia, and poor habitat conditions for fishes and invertebrates. Understanding the situations under which seaweeds impact seagrasses on local patch scales can help proactive management and prevent losses at greater scales. Here, we provide a quantitative review of available published manipulative experiments (all conducted at the patch-scale), to test which attributes of seaweeds and seagrasses (e.g., their abundances, sizes, morphology, taxonomy, attachment type, or origin) influence impacts. Weighted and unweighted meta-analyses (Hedges d metric) of 59 experiments showed generally high variability in attribute-impact relationships. Our main significant findings were that (a) abundant seaweeds had stronger negative impacts on seagrasses than sparse seaweeds, (b) unattached and epiphytic seaweeds had stronger impacts than 'rooted' seaweeds, and (c) small seagrass species were more susceptible than larger species. Findings (a) and (c) were rather intuitive. It was more surprising that 'rooted' seaweeds had comparatively small impacts, particularly given that this category included the infamous invasive Caulerpa species. This result may reflect that seaweed biomass and/or shading and metabolic by-products like anoxia and sulphides could be lower for rooted seaweeds. In conclusion, our results represent simple and robust first-order generalities about seaweed impacts on seagrasses. This review also documented a limited number of primary studies. We therefore identified major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed before general predictive models on seaweed-seagrass interactions can be build, in order to effectively protect

  7. A meta-analysis of seaweed impacts on seagrasses: generalities and knowledge gaps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mads S Thomsen

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are important habitat-formers and ecosystem engineers that are under threat from bloom-forming seaweeds. These seaweeds have been suggested to outcompete the seagrasses, particularly when facilitated by eutrophication, causing regime shifts where green meadows and clear waters are replaced with unstable sediments, turbid waters, hypoxia, and poor habitat conditions for fishes and invertebrates. Understanding the situations under which seaweeds impact seagrasses on local patch scales can help proactive management and prevent losses at greater scales. Here, we provide a quantitative review of available published manipulative experiments (all conducted at the patch-scale, to test which attributes of seaweeds and seagrasses (e.g., their abundances, sizes, morphology, taxonomy, attachment type, or origin influence impacts. Weighted and unweighted meta-analyses (Hedges d metric of 59 experiments showed generally high variability in attribute-impact relationships. Our main significant findings were that (a abundant seaweeds had stronger negative impacts on seagrasses than sparse seaweeds, (b unattached and epiphytic seaweeds had stronger impacts than 'rooted' seaweeds, and (c small seagrass species were more susceptible than larger species. Findings (a and (c were rather intuitive. It was more surprising that 'rooted' seaweeds had comparatively small impacts, particularly given that this category included the infamous invasive Caulerpa species. This result may reflect that seaweed biomass and/or shading and metabolic by-products like anoxia and sulphides could be lower for rooted seaweeds. In conclusion, our results represent simple and robust first-order generalities about seaweed impacts on seagrasses. This review also documented a limited number of primary studies. We therefore identified major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed before general predictive models on seaweed-seagrass interactions can be build, in order to effectively

  8. Assessment of the abiotic and biotic effects of sodium metabisulphite pulses discharged from desalination plant chemical treatments on seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) habitats in the Canary Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo, E; Ruiz de la Rosa, M; Louzara, G; Ruiz, J M; Marín-Guirao, L; Quesada, J; González, J C; Roque, F; González, N; Mendoza, H

    2014-03-15

    Reverse osmosis membranes at many desalination plants are disinfected by periodic shock treatments with sodium metabisulphite, which have potentially toxic effects to the environment for marine life, although no empirical and experimental evidence for this is yet available. The aim of this study was to characterise for the first time, the physico-chemical modification of the marine environment and its biological effects, caused by hypersaline plumes during these membrane cleaning treatments. The case study was the Maspalomas II desalination plant, located in the south of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). Toxicity bioassays were performed on marine species characteristic for the infralittoral soft bottoms influenced by the brine plume (Synodus synodus and Cymodocea nodosa), and revealed a high sensitivity to short-term exposure to low sodium metabisulphite concentrations. The corrective measure of incorporating a diffusion system with Venturi Eductors reduced nearly all the areas of influence, virtually eliminating the impact of the disinfectant. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Impact of mooring activities on carbon stocks in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, O.

    2016-03-16

    Boating activities are one of the causes that threaten seagrass meadows and the ecosystem services they provide. Mechanical destruction of seagrass habitats may also trigger the erosion of sedimentary organic carbon (Corg) stocks, which may contribute to increasing atmospheric CO2. This study presents the first estimates of loss of Corg stocks in seagrass meadows due to mooring activities in Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Sediment cores were sampled from seagrass meadows and from bare but previously vegetated sediments underneath moorings. The Corg stores have been compromised by the mooring deployment from 1930s onwards, which involved both the erosion of existing sedimentary Corg stores and the lack of further accumulation of Corg. On average, undisturbed meadows had accumulated ~6.4 Kg Corg m−2 in the upper 50 cm-thick deposits at a rate of 34 g Corg m−2 yr−1. The comparison of Corg stores between meadows and mooring scars allows us to estimate a loss of 4.8 kg Corg m−2 in the 50 cm-thick deposits accumulated over ca. 200 yr as a result of mooring deployments. These results provide key data for the implementation of Corg storage credit offset policies to avoid the conversion of seagrass ecosystems and contribute to their preservation.

  10. A Meta-Analysis of Seaweed Impacts on Seagrasses: Generalities and Knowledge Gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, M. S.; Wernberg, T.; Engelen, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    are replaced with unstable sediments, turbid waters, hypoxia, and poor habitat conditions for fishes and invertebrates. Understanding the situations under which seaweeds impact seagrasses on local patch scales can help proactive management and prevent losses at greater scales. Here, we provide a quantitative...... seagrass species were more susceptible than larger species. Findings (a) and (c) were rather intuitive. It was more surprising that 'rooted' seaweeds had comparatively small impacts, particularly given that this category included the infamous invasive Caulerpa species. This result may reflect that seaweed...... identified major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed before general predictive models on seaweed-seagrass interactions can be build, in order to effectively protect seagrass habitats from detrimental competition from seaweeds....

  11. Combined effects of temperature and the herbicide diuron on Photosystem II activity of the tropical seagrass Halophila ovalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Adam D.; Collier, Catherine J.; Flores, Florita; Langlois, Lucas; Ralph, Peter J.; Negri, Andrew P.

    2017-03-01

    Tropical seagrasses are at their highest risk of exposure to photosystem II (PSII) herbicides when elevated rainfall and runoff from farms transports these toxicants into coastal habitats during summer, coinciding with periods of elevated temperature. PSII herbicides, such as diuron, can increase the sensitivity of corals to thermal stress, but little is known of the potential for herbicides to impact the thermal optima of tropical seagrass. Here we employed a well-plate approach to experimentally assess the effects of diuron on the photosynthetic performance of Halophila ovalis leaves across a 25 °C temperature range (36 combinations of these stressors across 15-40 °C). The thermal optimum for photosynthetic efficiency (▵) in H. ovalis was 31 °C while lower and higher temperatures reduced ▵ as did all elevated concentrations of diuron. There were significant interactions between the effects of temperature and diuron, with a majority of the combined stresses causing sub-additive (antagonistic) effects. However, both stressors caused negative responses and the sum of the responses was greater than that caused by temperature or diuron alone. These results indicate that improving water quality (reducing herbicide in runoff) is likely to maximise seagrass health during extreme temperature events that will become more common as the climate changes.

  12. An experimental study of habitat selection by birds in a coffee plantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Angón, Andrea; Sillett, T Scott; Greenberg, Russell

    2008-04-01

    Unique components of tropical habitats, such as abundant vascular epiphytes, influence the distribution of species and can contribute to the high diversity of many animal groups in the tropics. However, the role of such features in habitat selection and demography of individual species has not been established. Understanding the mechanisms of habitat selection requires both experimental manipulation of habitat structure and detailed estimation of the behavioral and demographic response of animals, e.g., changes in movement patterns and survival probabilities. Such studies have not been conducted in natural tropical forest, perhaps because of high habitat heterogeneity, high species diversity, and low abundances of potential target species. Agroforestry systems support a less diverse flora, with greater spatial homogeneity which, in turn, harbors lower overall species diversity with greater numerical dominance of common species, than natural forests. Furthermore, agroforestry systems are already extensively managed and lend themselves easily to larger scale habitat manipulations than protected natural forest. Thus, agroforestry systems provide a good model environment for beginning to understand processes underlying habitat selection in tropical forest animals. Here, we use multistate, capture-recapture models to investigate how the experimental removal of epiphytes affected monthly movement and survival probabilities of two resident bird species (Common Bush-Tanager [Chlorospingus ophthalmicus] and Golden-crowned Warbler [Basileuterus culicivorus]) in a Mexican shade coffee plantation. We established two paired plots of epiphyte removal and control. We found that Bush-Tanagers were at least five times more likely to emigrate from plots where epiphytes were removed compared to control plots. Habitat-specific movement patterns were not detected in the warbler. However, unlike the Golden-crowned Warbler, Common Bush-Tanagers depend upon epiphytes for nest sites and

  13. Different surrounding landscapes may result in different fish assemblages in East African seagrass beds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dorenbosch, M.; Grol, M.G.G.; Nagelkerken, I.; Velde, G. van der

    2006-01-01

    Few studies have considered how seagrass fish assemblages are influenced by surrounding habitats. This information is needed for a better understanding of the connectivity between tropical coastal ecosystems. To study the effects of surrounding habitats on the composition, diversity and densities of

  14. The Seagrass Effect Turned Upside Down Changes the Prospective of Sea Urchin Survival and Landscape Implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Farina

    Full Text Available Habitat structure plays an important mediating role in predator-prey interactions. However the effects are strongly dependent on regional predator pools, which can drive predation risk in habitats with very similar structure in opposite directions. In the Mediterranean Sea predation on juvenile sea urchins is commonly known to be regulated by seagrass structure. In this study we test whether the possibility for juvenile Paracentrotus lividus to be predated changes in relation to the fragmentation of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (four habitat classes: continuous, low-fragmentation, high-fragmentation and rocks, and to the spatial arrangement of such habitat classes at a landscape scale. Sea urchin predation risk was measured in a 20-day field experiment on tethered individuals placed in three square areas 35×35 m2 in size. Variability of both landscape and habitat structural attributes was assessed at the sampling grain 5×5 m2. Predation risk changed among landscapes, as it was lower where more 'rocks', and thus less seagrass, were present. The higher risk was found in the 'continuous' P. oceanica rather than in the low-fragmentation, high-fragmentation and rock habitats (p-values = 0.0149, 0.00008, and 0.0001, respectively. Therefore, the expectation that juvenile P. lividus survival would have been higher in the 'continuous' seagrass habitat, which would have served as shelter from high fish predation pressure, was not met. Predation risk changed across habitats due to different success between attack types: benthic attacks (mostly from whelks were overall much more effective than those due to fish activity, the former type being associated with the 'continuous' seagrass habitat. Fish predation on juvenile sea urchins on rocks and 'high-fragmentation' habitat was less likely than benthic predation in the 'continuous' seagrass, with the low seagrass patch complexity increasing benthic activity. Future research should be aimed at

  15. Interannual Change Detection of Mediterranean Seagrasses Using RapidEye Image Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimosthenis Traganos

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent research studies have highlighted the decrease in the coverage of Mediterranean seagrasses due to mainly anthropogenic activities. The lack of data on the distribution of these significant aquatic plants complicates the quantification of their decreasing tendency. While Mediterranean seagrasses are declining, satellite remote sensing technology is growing at an unprecedented pace, resulting in a wealth of spaceborne image time series. Here, we exploit recent advances in high spatial resolution sensors and machine learning to study Mediterranean seagrasses. We process a multispectral RapidEye time series between 2011 and 2016 to detect interannual seagrass dynamics in 888 submerged hectares of the Thermaikos Gulf, NW Aegean Sea, Greece (eastern Mediterranean Sea. We assess the extent change of two Mediterranean seagrass species, the dominant Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, following atmospheric and analytical water column correction, as well as machine learning classification, using Random Forests, of the RapidEye time series. Prior corrections are necessary to untangle the initially weak signal of the submerged seagrass habitats from satellite imagery. The central results of this study show that P. oceanica seagrass area has declined by 4.1%, with a trend of −11.2 ha/yr, while C. nodosa seagrass area has increased by 17.7% with a trend of +18 ha/yr throughout the 5-year study period. Trends of change in spatial distribution of seagrasses in the Thermaikos Gulf site are in line with reported trends in the Mediterranean. Our presented methodology could be a time- and cost-effective method toward the quantitative ecological assessment of seagrass dynamics elsewhere in the future. From small meadows to whole coastlines, knowledge of aquatic plant dynamics could resolve decline or growth trends and accurately highlight key units for future restoration, management, and conservation.

  16. Mapping spatial resources with GPS animal telemetry: foraging manatees locate seagrass beds in the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slone, Daniel H.; Reid, James P.; Kenworthy, W. Judson

    2013-01-01

    Turbid water conditions make the delineation and characterization of benthic habitats difficult by traditional in situ and remote sensing methods. Here, we develop and validate modeling and sampling methodology for detecting and characterizing seagrass beds by analyzing GPS telemetry records from radio-tagged manatees. Between October 2002 and October 2005, 14 manatees were tracked in the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI) in southwest Florida (USA) using Global Positioning System (GPS) tags. High density manatee use areas were found to occur off each island facing the open, nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We implemented a spatially stratified random sampling plan and used a camera-based sampling technique to observe and record bottom observations of seagrass and macroalgae presence and abundance. Five species of seagrass were identified in our study area: Halodule wrightii, Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme, Halophila engelmannii, and Halophila decipiens. A Bayesian model was developed to choose and parameterize a spatial process function that would describe the observed patterns of seagrass and macroalgae. The seagrasses were found in depths <2 m and in the higher manatee use strata, whereas macroalgae was found at moderate densities at all sampled depths and manatee use strata. The manatee spatial data showed a strong association with seagrass beds, a relationship that increased seagrass sampling efficiency. Our camera-based field sampling proved to be effective for assessing seagrass density and spatial coverage under turbid water conditions, and would be an effective monitoring tool to detect changes in seagrass beds.

  17. The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg Guannel

    Full Text Available Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion. We find that, together, live corals, seagrasses, and mangroves supply more protection services than any individual habitat or any combination of two habitats. Specifically, we find that, while mangroves are the most effective at protecting the coast under non-storm and storm conditions, live corals and seagrasses also moderate the impact of waves and storms, thereby further reducing the vulnerability of coastal regions. Also, in addition to structural differences, the amount of service supplied by habitats in our analysis is highly dependent on the geomorphic setting, habitat location and forcing conditions: live corals in the fringing reef profile supply more protection services than seagrasses; seagrasses in the barrier reef profile supply more protection services than live corals; and seagrasses, in our simulations, can even compensate for the long-term degradation of the barrier reef. Results of this study demonstrate the importance of taking integrated and place-based approaches when quantifying and managing for the coastal protection services supplied by ecosystems.

  18. Landscape configuration modulates carbon storage in seagrass sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricart, Aurora M.; Pérez, Marta; Romero, Javier

    2017-02-01

    Climate change has increased interest in seagrass systems as natural carbon sinks and recent studies have estimated the carbon stocks associated with seagrass meadows. However, the factors that affect their variability remain poorly understood. This paper assesses how landscape-level attributes (patch size and matrix composition) influence carbon storage in seagrass sediments. We quantified the organic carbon (Corg) content and other geochemical properties (δ13C and particle size) in surface sediments of continuous Posidonia oceanica meadows, patchy meadows interspersed with rocky-algal reefs and patchy meadows on sedimentary bottoms. We also took samples of potential carbon sources for isotopic composition determination. Our results indicate that the continuous meadows accumulated larger amounts of Corg than patchy meadows, whether embedded in a rock or sand matrix. The Corg from continuous meadows was also more 13C enriched, which suggests that a high proportion of the carbon was derived from plant material (autochthonous sources); in contrast in patchy meadows (especially in a sand matrix), lower δ13C values indicated a higher contribution from allochthonous sources (mainly suspended particulate organic matter, SPOM). These findings suggest that the sediment of continuous meadows stores more Corg in than that of patchy meadows. This is probably due to the increased contribution from seagrass leaves, which are much more refractory than SPOM. In general, certain landscape configurations, and especially patchiness, appear to reduce the carbon storage capacity of seagrasses. Since the current decline of seagrass is leading to habitat fragmentation, our results increase the argument for the promotion of effective measures to preserve the integrity of these natural carbon sinks.

  19. Photorespiration and carbon limitation determine productivity in temperate seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buapet, Pimchanok; Rasmusson, Lina M; Gullström, Martin; Björk, Mats

    2013-01-01

    The gross primary productivity of two seagrasses, Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima, and one green macroalga, Ulva intestinalis, was assessed in laboratory and field experiments to determine whether the photorespiratory pathway operates at a substantial level in these macrophytes and to what extent it is enhanced by naturally occurring shifts in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and O2 in dense vegetation. To achieve these conditions in laboratory experiments, seawater was incubated with U. intestinalis in light to obtain a range of higher pH and O2 levels and lower DIC levels. Gross photosynthetic O2 evolution was then measured in this pretreated seawater (pH, 7.8-9.8; high to low DIC:O2 ratio) at both natural and low O2 concentrations (adjusted by N2 bubbling). The presence of photorespiration was indicated by a lower gross O2 evolution rate under natural O2 conditions than when O2 was reduced. In all three macrophytes, gross photosynthetic rates were negatively affected by higher pH and lower DIC. However, while both seagrasses exhibited significant photorespiratory activity at increasing pH values, the macroalga U. intestinalis exhibited no such activity. Rates of seagrass photosynthesis were then assessed in seawater collected from the natural habitats (i.e., shallow bays characterized by high macrophyte cover and by low DIC and high pH during daytime) and compared with open baymouth water conditions (where seawater DIC is in equilibrium with air, normal DIC, and pH). The gross photosynthetic rates of both seagrasses were significantly higher when incubated in the baymouth water, indicating that these grasses can be significantly carbon limited in shallow bays. Photorespiration was also detected in both seagrasses under shallow bay water conditions. Our findings indicate that natural carbon limitations caused by high community photosynthesis can enhance photorespiration and cause a significant decline in seagrass primary production in shallow waters.

  20. Photorespiration and carbon limitation determine productivity in temperate seagrasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pimchanok Buapet

    Full Text Available The gross primary productivity of two seagrasses, Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima, and one green macroalga, Ulva intestinalis, was assessed in laboratory and field experiments to determine whether the photorespiratory pathway operates at a substantial level in these macrophytes and to what extent it is enhanced by naturally occurring shifts in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and O2 in dense vegetation. To achieve these conditions in laboratory experiments, seawater was incubated with U. intestinalis in light to obtain a range of higher pH and O2 levels and lower DIC levels. Gross photosynthetic O2 evolution was then measured in this pretreated seawater (pH, 7.8-9.8; high to low DIC:O2 ratio at both natural and low O2 concentrations (adjusted by N2 bubbling. The presence of photorespiration was indicated by a lower gross O2 evolution rate under natural O2 conditions than when O2 was reduced. In all three macrophytes, gross photosynthetic rates were negatively affected by higher pH and lower DIC. However, while both seagrasses exhibited significant photorespiratory activity at increasing pH values, the macroalga U. intestinalis exhibited no such activity. Rates of seagrass photosynthesis were then assessed in seawater collected from the natural habitats (i.e., shallow bays characterized by high macrophyte cover and by low DIC and high pH during daytime and compared with open baymouth water conditions (where seawater DIC is in equilibrium with air, normal DIC, and pH. The gross photosynthetic rates of both seagrasses were significantly higher when incubated in the baymouth water, indicating that these grasses can be significantly carbon limited in shallow bays. Photorespiration was also detected in both seagrasses under shallow bay water conditions. Our findings indicate that natural carbon limitations caused by high community photosynthesis can enhance photorespiration and cause a significant decline in seagrass primary production in shallow

  1. Testing the effect of habitat structure and complexity on nekton assemblages using experimental oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Austin T.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Kimball, Matthew E.; Rozas, Lawrence P.

    2011-01-01

    Structurally complex habitats are often associated with more diverse and abundant species assemblages in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Biogenic reefs formed by the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are complex in nature and are recognized for their potential habitat value in estuarine systems along the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Few studies, however, have examined the response of nekton to structural complexity within oyster reefs. We used a quantitative sampling technique to examine how the presence and complexity of experimental oyster reefs influence the abundance, biomass, and distribution of nekton by sampling reefs 4 months and 16 months post-construction. Experimental oyster reefs were colonized immediately by resident fishes and decapod crustaceans, and reefs supported a distinct nekton assemblage compared to mud-bottom habitat. Neither increased reef complexity, nor age of the experimental reef resulted in further changes in nekton assemblages or increases in nekton abundance or diversity. The presence of oyster reefs per se was the most important factor determining nekton usage.

  2. Specificity in Mesograzer-Induced Defences in Seagrasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña Martínez-Crego

    Full Text Available Grazing-induced plant defences that reduce palatability to herbivores are widespread in terrestrial plants and seaweeds, but they have not yet been reported in seagrasses. We investigated the ability of two seagrass species to induce defences in response to direct grazing by three associated mesograzers. Specifically, we conducted feeding-assayed induction experiments to examine how mesograzer-specific grazing impact affects seagrass induction of defences within the context of the optimal defence theory. We found that the amphipod Gammarus insensibilis and the isopod Idotea chelipes exerted a low-intensity grazing on older blades of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, which reflects a weak grazing impact that may explain the lack of inducible defences. The isopod Synischia hectica exerted the strongest grazing impact on C. nodosa via high-intensity feeding on young blades with a higher fitness value. This isopod grazing induced defences in C. nodosa as indicated by a consistently lower consumption of blades previously grazed for 5, 12 and 16 days. The lower consumption was maintained when offered tissues with no plant structure (agar-reconstituted food, but showing a reduced size of the previous grazing effect. This indicates that structural traits act in combination with chemical traits to reduce seagrass palatability to the isopod. Increase in total phenolics but not in C:N ratio and total nitrogen of grazed C. nodosa suggests chemical defences rather than a modified nutritional quality as primarily induced chemical traits. We detected no induction of defences in Zostera noltei, which showed the ability to replace moderate losses of young biomass to mesograzers via compensatory growth. Our study provides the first experimental evidence of induction of defences against meso-herbivory that reduce further consumption in seagrasses. It also emphasizes the relevance of grazer identity in determining the level of grazing impact triggering resistance and

  3. Specificity in Mesograzer-Induced Defences in Seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Crego, Begoña; Arteaga, Pedro; Ueber, Alexandra; Engelen, Aschwin H; Santos, Rui; Molis, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Grazing-induced plant defences that reduce palatability to herbivores are widespread in terrestrial plants and seaweeds, but they have not yet been reported in seagrasses. We investigated the ability of two seagrass species to induce defences in response to direct grazing by three associated mesograzers. Specifically, we conducted feeding-assayed induction experiments to examine how mesograzer-specific grazing impact affects seagrass induction of defences within the context of the optimal defence theory. We found that the amphipod Gammarus insensibilis and the isopod Idotea chelipes exerted a low-intensity grazing on older blades of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, which reflects a weak grazing impact that may explain the lack of inducible defences. The isopod Synischia hectica exerted the strongest grazing impact on C. nodosa via high-intensity feeding on young blades with a higher fitness value. This isopod grazing induced defences in C. nodosa as indicated by a consistently lower consumption of blades previously grazed for 5, 12 and 16 days. The lower consumption was maintained when offered tissues with no plant structure (agar-reconstituted food), but showing a reduced size of the previous grazing effect. This indicates that structural traits act in combination with chemical traits to reduce seagrass palatability to the isopod. Increase in total phenolics but not in C:N ratio and total nitrogen of grazed C. nodosa suggests chemical defences rather than a modified nutritional quality as primarily induced chemical traits. We detected no induction of defences in Zostera noltei, which showed the ability to replace moderate losses of young biomass to mesograzers via compensatory growth. Our study provides the first experimental evidence of induction of defences against meso-herbivory that reduce further consumption in seagrasses. It also emphasizes the relevance of grazer identity in determining the level of grazing impact triggering resistance and compensatory

  4. Seagrasses as indicators for coastal trace metal pollution: A global meta-analysis serving as a benchmark, and a Caribbean case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govers, L.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Bouma, T.; Eygensteyn, J.; de Brouwer, J.H.F.; Hendriks, A.J.; Huijbers, C.; van Katwijk, M.M.

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass beds are globally declining due to human activities in coastal areas. We here aimed to identify threats from eutrophication to the valuable seagrass beds of Curaçao and Bonaire in the Caribbean, which function as nursery habitats for commercial fish species. We documented surface- and

  5. Stability and resilience of seagrass meadows to seasonal and interannual dynamics and environmental stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joel A.; D'Odorico, Paolo; McGlathery, Karen J.; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2012-03-01

    Shallow coastal bays provide habitat for diverse fish and invertebrate populations and are an important source of sediment for surrounding marshes. The sediment dynamics of these bays are strongly affected by seagrass meadows, which limit sediment resuspension, thereby providing a more favorable light environment for their own survival and growth. Due to this positive feedback between seagrass and light conditions, it has been suggested that bare sediment and seagrass meadows are potential alternate stable states of the benthos in shallow coastal bays. To investigate the stability and resilience of seagrass meadows subjected to variation in environmental conditions (e.g., light, temperature), a coupled model of vegetation-sediment-water flow interactions and vegetation growth was developed. The model was used to examine the effect of dynamically varying seasonal and interannual seagrass density on sediment resuspension, water column turbidity, and the subsequent light environment on hourly time steps and then run over decadal time scales. A daily growth model was designed to capture both belowground biomass and the growth and senescence of aboveground biomass structural components (e.g., leaves and stems). This allowed us to investigate how the annual and seasonal variability in shoot and leaf density within a meadow affects the strength of positive feedbacks between seagrass and their light environment. The model demonstrates both the emergence of bistable behavior from 1.6 to 1.8 m mean sea level due to the strength of the positive feedback, as well as the limited resilience of seagrass meadows within this bistable range.

  6. Photosynthethic carbon reduction by seagrasses exposed to ultraviolet b radiation. Final technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-03-15

    The species of seagrasses were selected on the basis of their dominance in the marine system, contribution to total productivity, and importance to the life histories of organisms in the Indian River lagoon system along the central Florida east coast. The three seagrasses were Halophilia engelmannii, Halodule wrightii, and Syringodium filiforme. These seagrasses form an excellent experimental system as their areas of dominance fall more or less along a natural gradient of UV-B and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) penetration. The sensitivity of photosynthesis in the seagrasses was determined and their photosynthetic response to levels of UV-B simulating atmospheric ozone depletion was monitored. Further experiments explore the possible attenuation or repair of UV-B induced photosynthetic inhibition by PAR, the role of epiphytic growth upon seagrasses as a protective UV-B shield, and the inhibition of photosynthesis in response to UV-A is studied.

  7. Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses assessed by stable sulfur isotopes—a synthesis of current results

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmer, Marianne; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald

    2014-01-01

    Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses, as assessed by stable sulfur isotope signals, is widespread in all climate zones, where seagrasses are growing. Seagrasses can incorporate substantial amounts of 34S-depleted sulfide into their tissues with up to 87% of the total sulfur in leaves derived from...... sedimentary sulfide. Correlations between δ34S in leaves, rhizomes, and roots show that sedimentary sulfide is entering through the roots, either in the form of sulfide or sulfate, and translocated to the rhizomes and the leaves. The total sulfur content of the seagrasses increases as the proportion...... in sulfur in the tissue, and other sulfur containing compounds such as thiols, organic sulfur, and sulfate contribute to the accumulated sulfur pool. Experimental studies with seagrasses exposed to environmental and biological stressors show decreasing δ34S in the tissues along with reduction in growth...

  8. Seaweed beds support more juvenile reef fish than seagrass beds in a south-western Atlantic tropical seascape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggertsen, L.; Ferreira, C. E. L.; Fontoura, L.; Kautsky, N.; Gullström, M.; Berkström, C.

    2017-09-01

    Seascape connectivity is regarded essential for healthy reef fish communities in tropical shallow systems. A number of reef fish species use separate adult and nursery habitats, and hence contribute to nutrient and energy transfer between habitats. Seagrass beds and mangroves often constitute important nursery habitats, with high structural complexity and protection from predation. Here, we investigated if reef fish assemblages in the tropical south-western Atlantic demonstrate ontogenetic habitat connectivity and identify possible nurseries on three reef systems along the eastern Brazilian coast. Fish were surveyed in fore reef, back reef, Halodule wrightii seagrass beds and seaweed beds. Seagrass beds contained lower abundances and species richness of fish than expected, while Sargassum-dominated seaweed beds contained significantly more juveniles than all other habitats (average juvenile fish densities: 32.6 per 40 m2 in Sargassum beds, 11.2 per 40 m2 in back reef, 10.1 per 40 m2 in fore reef, and 5.04 per 40 m2 in seagrass beds), including several species that are found in the reef habitats as adults. Species that in other regions worldwide (e.g. the Caribbean) utilise seagrass beds as nursery habitats were here instead observed in Sargassum beds or back reef habitats. Coral cover was not correlated to adult fish distribution patterns; instead, type of turf was an important variable. Connectivity, and thus pathways of nutrient transfer, seems to function differently in east Brazil compared to many tropical regions. Sargassum-dominated beds might be more important as nurseries for a larger number of fish species than seagrass beds. Due to the low abundance of structurally complex seagrass beds we suggest that seaweed beds might influence adult reef fish abundances, being essential for several keystone species of reef fish in the tropical south-western Atlantic.

  9. Habitat fragmentation, vole population fluctuations, and the ROMPA hypothesis: An experimental test using model landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batzli, George O

    2016-11-01

    Increased habitat fragmentation leads to smaller size of habitat patches and to greater distance between patches. The ROMPA hypothesis (ratio of optimal to marginal patch area) uniquely links vole population fluctuations to the composition of the landscape. It states that as ROMPA decreases (fragmentation increases), vole population fluctuations will increase (including the tendency to display multi-annual cycles in abundance) because decreased proportions of optimal habitat result in greater population declines and longer recovery time after a harsh season. To date, only comparative observations in the field have supported the hypothesis. This paper reports the results of the first experimental test. I used prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster, and mowed grassland to create model landscapes with 3 levels of ROMPA (high with 25% mowed, medium with 50% mowed and low with 75% mowed). As ROMPA decreased, distances between patches of favorable habitat (high cover) increased owing to a greater proportion of unfavorable (mowed) habitat. Results from the first year with intensive live trapping indicated that the preconditions for operation of the hypothesis existed (inversely density dependent emigration and, as ROMPA decreased, increased per capita mortality and decreased per capita movement between optimal patches). Nevertheless, contrary to the prediction of the hypothesis that populations in landscapes with high ROMPA should have the lowest variability, 5 years of trapping indicated that variability was lowest with medium ROMPA. The design of field experiments may never be perfect, but these results indicate that the ROMPA hypothesis needs further rigorous testing. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  10. Major Seagrass Carbon Sinks Worldwide, Shark Bay, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-Ortiz, A.; Serrano, O.; Masque, P.; Lavery, P.; Duarte, C. M.; Kendrick, G. A.

    2016-02-01

    Seagrasses are marine foundation species that provide valuable ecosystem services including the stabilization of sediment, carbon dioxide sequestration, and habitat for diverse fauna and flora. Shark Bay, Western Australia, registered as a World Heritage Property, has the largest reported assemblage of seagrass meadows worldwide, thus has an important role in producing, sequestering and storing organic carbon (Corg). We surveyed 30 seagrass meadows in Shark Bay accounting for species composition, seagrass contribution to the sedimentary Corg pool, and habitat variability. The sediment accumulation rates (SAR) and Corg accumulation over short and long terms were determined by means of 210Pb and 14C dating. Sediment grain size was used to characterize sedimentary environments and δ13C analyses to determine the sources of sedimentary Corg stocks in each meadow. Corg stocks accumulated in the last century varied from 0.4 to 4.5 kg Corg m-2, with an average burial rate of 24 ± 11 g Corg m-2 y-1 (10 - 20 cm-thick deposits). Stocks in the top meter ranged from 4 to 30 kg Corg m-2, which is equivalent to a long-term carbon burial rate averaging 8 ± 5 g Corg m-2 y-1 (over the last millennia). With an area of 4,000 km2, seagrass meadows in Shark Bay store the vast amount of 45 ± 23 Tg Corg in the top meter, which would represent about 1% of the Corg stored in seagrass meadows worldwide. Spatial and temporal variability in Corg storage results from various factors, including biological (e.g. net primary production), chemical (e.g. recalcitrance of Corg stocks) and geological (e.g. hydrodynamic energy and sediment accumulation rates). Higher SAR and smaller sediment size appeared to contribute to a higher accumulation and preservation of Corg. Moreover, sediments with highest Corg stocks were characterized by high δ13C, suggesting that the plant itself plays a key role in Corg storage. These findings combined with sediment chronologies help us to understand the formation

  11. Development of a DNA barcoding system for seagrasses: successful but not simple.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Lucas

    Full Text Available Seagrasses, a unique group of submerged flowering plants, profoundly influence the physical, chemical and biological environments of coastal waters through their high primary productivity and nutrient recycling ability. They provide habitat for aquatic life, alter water flow, stabilize the ground and mitigate the impact of nutrient pollution. at the coast region. Although on a global scale seagrasses represent less than 0.1% of the angiosperm taxa, the taxonomical ambiguity in delineating seagrass species is high. Thus, the taxonomy of several genera is unsolved. While seagrasses are capable of performing both, sexual and asexual reproduction, vegetative reproduction is common and sexual progenies are always short lived and epimeral in nature. This makes species differentiation often difficult, especially for non-taxonomists since the flower as a distinct morphological trait is missing. Our goal is to develop a DNA barcoding system assisting also non-taxonomists to identify regional seagrass species. The results will be corroborated by publicly available sequence data. The main focus is on the 14 described seagrass species of India, supplemented with seagrasses from temperate regions. According to the recommendations of the Consortium for the Barcoding of Life (CBOL rbcL and matK were used in this study. After optimization of the DNA extraction method from preserved seagrass material, the respective sequences were amplified from all species analyzed. Tree- and character-based approaches demonstrate that the rbcL sequence fragment is capable of resolving up to family and genus level. Only matK sequences were reliable in resolving species and partially the ecotype level. Additionally, a plastidic gene spacer was included in the analysis to confirm the identification level. Although the analysis of these three loci solved several nodes, a few complexes remained unsolved, even when constructing a combined tree for all three loci. Our approaches

  12. The short-term impacts of a cyclone on seagrass communities in Southwest Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côté-Laurin, Marie-Claude; Benbow, Sophie; Erzini, Karim

    2017-04-01

    Cyclones are large-scale disturbances with highly destructive potential in coastal ecosystems. On February 22, 2013, a powerful tropical cyclone made landfall on the southwest coast of Madagascar, a region which is infrequently hit by such extreme weather events coming from the Mozambique Channel. Seagrass ecosystems, which provide valuable ecosystems services to local communities, are especially vulnerable because they thrive in shallow waters. The impact of Cyclone Haruna on seagrass diversity, height and coverage and associated fish diversity, abundance and biomass was assessed in 3 sites near Andavadoaka (22°07‧S, 43°23‧E) before and after the event using fish underwater visual census, video-transects, and seagrass quadrats. The cyclone caused a significant loss in seagrass cover at all 3 sites. Thalassia hemprichii and Syringodium isoetifolium were the most affected species. Andavadoaka beach, the most exposed site, which was also subject to human use and was most fragmented, suffered the largest negative effects of the cyclone. Cyclone Haruna was not found to significantly affect fish assemblages, which are highly mobile organisms able to use a diversity of niches and adjacent habitats after seagrass fragmentation. Extensive sampling and longer time-scale studies would be needed to fully evaluate the cyclone impact on communities of seagrass and fish, and track potential recovery in seagrass coverage. The intensity and destructive potential of cyclones is expected to increase with global warming, which is of concern for developing countries that encompass most of the world's seagrass beds. This study provided a unique and key opportunity to monitor immediate impacts of an extreme disturbance in a region where cyclones rarely hit coastal ecosystems and where local populations remain highly dependent on seagrass meadows.

  13. Development of a DNA barcoding system for seagrasses: successful but not simple.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Christina; Thangaradjou, Thirunavakkarasu; Papenbrock, Jutta

    2012-01-01

    Seagrasses, a unique group of submerged flowering plants, profoundly influence the physical, chemical and biological environments of coastal waters through their high primary productivity and nutrient recycling ability. They provide habitat for aquatic life, alter water flow, stabilize the ground and mitigate the impact of nutrient pollution. at the coast region. Although on a global scale seagrasses represent less than 0.1% of the angiosperm taxa, the taxonomical ambiguity in delineating seagrass species is high. Thus, the taxonomy of several genera is unsolved. While seagrasses are capable of performing both, sexual and asexual reproduction, vegetative reproduction is common and sexual progenies are always short lived and epimeral in nature. This makes species differentiation often difficult, especially for non-taxonomists since the flower as a distinct morphological trait is missing. Our goal is to develop a DNA barcoding system assisting also non-taxonomists to identify regional seagrass species. The results will be corroborated by publicly available sequence data. The main focus is on the 14 described seagrass species of India, supplemented with seagrasses from temperate regions. According to the recommendations of the Consortium for the Barcoding of Life (CBOL) rbcL and matK were used in this study. After optimization of the DNA extraction method from preserved seagrass material, the respective sequences were amplified from all species analyzed. Tree- and character-based approaches demonstrate that the rbcL sequence fragment is capable of resolving up to family and genus level. Only matK sequences were reliable in resolving species and partially the ecotype level. Additionally, a plastidic gene spacer was included in the analysis to confirm the identification level. Although the analysis of these three loci solved several nodes, a few complexes remained unsolved, even when constructing a combined tree for all three loci. Our approaches contribute to the

  14. The movement ecology of seagrasses

    OpenAIRE

    McMahon, Kathryn; van Dijk, Kor-jent; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Kendrick, Gary A.; Krauss, Siegfried L.; Waycott, Michelle; Verduin, Jennifer; Lowe, Ryan; Statton, John; Brown, Eloise; Duarte, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and ...

  15. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area seagrasses: Managing this iconic Australian ecosystem resource for the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, Robert G.; Rasheed, Michael A.; McKenzie, Len J.; Grech, Alana; York, Paul H.; Sheaves, Marcus; McKenna, Skye; Bryant, Catherine

    2015-02-01

    The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) includes one of the world's largest areas of seagrass (35,000 km2) encompassing approximately 20% of the world's species. Mapping and monitoring programs sponsored by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Queensland Port Authorities have tracked a worrying decrease in abundance and area since 2007. This decline has almost certainly been the result of a series of severe tropical storms and associated floods exacerbating existing human induced stressors. A complex variety of marine and terrestrial management actions and plans have been implemented to protect seagrass and other habitats in the GBRWHA. For seagrasses, these actions are inadequate. They provide an impression of effective protection of seagrasses; reduce the sense of urgency needed to trigger action; and waste the valuable and limited supply of "conservation capital". There is a management focus on ports, driven by public concerns about high profile development projects, which exaggerates the importance of these relatively concentrated impacts in comparison to the total range of threats and stressors. For effective management of seagrass at the scale of the GBRWHA, more emphasis needs to be placed on the connectivity between seagrass meadow health, watersheds, and all terrestrial urban and agricultural development associated with human populations. The cumulative impacts to seagrass from coastal and marine processes in the GBRWHA are not evenly distributed, with a mosaic of high and low vulnerability areas. This provides an opportunity to make choices for future coastal development plans that minimise stress on seagrass meadows.

  16. Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) - Volusia County Seagrass

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Local Govt | GIS Inventory — Aquatic vegetation in Volusia County. DEP SEA_GRASSES This polygon GIS data set represents a compilation of statewide seagrass data from various source agencies and...

  17. Seagrass responses to interacting abiotic stresses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    La Nafie, Y.A.

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are coastal and marine flowering plants that inhabit thetropical and temperate coastal and marine areas around the globe. They havemany important functions and values, physically, ecologically andeconomically. Physically, seagrass contribute to coastal protection as theyattenuate wave

  18. Flowers and sexes in Malaysian seagrasses

    OpenAIRE

    Japar, Sidik Bujang; Muta, Harah Zakaria; Aziz, Arshad; Shiau, Lee Lam; Ogawa, Hisao

    2006-01-01

    Seagrasses are aquatic angiosperms growing in shallow coastal waters, although some species are found in deep waters. Similar to higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, seagrasses are also flowering plants. Structurally, seagrass flowers are less complex and adapted for hydrophilous pollination and fertilization. Two modes of propagation typical of seagrasses are vegetative and sexual propagation. Vegetative propagation allows increase in ramet numbers and hence covers, while sexual reproduc...

  19. Rhizome elongation and seagrass clonal growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marbà, N.; Duarte, C.M.

    1998-01-01

    A compilation of published and original data on rhizome morphometry, horizontal and vertical elongation rates and branching patterns for 27 seagrass species developing in 192 seagrass stands allowed an examination of the variability of seagrass rhizome and clonal growth programmes across and within

  20. Food supply depends on seagrass meadows in the coral triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Richard K. F.; Hinder, Stephanie L.; Bodger, Owen G.; Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C.

    2014-09-01

    The tropical seascape provides food and livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people, but the support of key habitats to this supply remains ill appreciated. For fisheries and conservation management actions to help promote resilient ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods, and food supply, knowledge is required about the habitats that help support fisheries productivity and the consequences of this for food security. This paper provides an interdisciplinary case study from the coral triangle of how seagrass meadows provide support for fisheries and local food security. We apply a triangulated approach that utilizes ecological, fisheries and market data combined with over 250 household interviews. Our research demonstrates that seagrass associated fauna in a coral triangle marine protected area support local food supply contributing at least 50% of the fish based food. This formed between 54% and 99% of daily protein intake in the area. Fishery catch was found to significantly vary with respect to village (p management mean the security of this food supply has the potential to be undermined in the long-term. Findings of this study have implications for the management and assessment of fisheries throughout the tropical seascape. Our study provides an exemplar for why natural resource management should move beyond biodiversity and consider how conservation and local food security are interlinked processes that are not mutually exclusive. Seagrass meadows are under sustained threat worldwide, this study provides evidence of the need to conserve these not just to protect biodiversity but to protect food security.

  1. The distribution of seagrasses in Dominica, Lesser Antilles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.C.C Steiner

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass beds are the largest organism-built marine habitat in Dominica, yet have only been surveyed since 2007. Standardized examinations along a depth gradient between 0 and 24m, focusing on magnoliophyte species composition and benthic cover of shoots at 17 seagrass bed sites, were carried out between September 10 and December 7, 2008. The Cymodoceaceae Syringodium filiforme (Kuetzing 1860 and Halodule wrightii (Ascherson 1868, as well as the Hydrocharitaceae Halophila decipiens (Ostenfeld 1902, H. stipulacea (Fosskal & Ascherson 1867 and Thalassia testudinum (Banks ex König 1805 displayed distinct regional and horizontal distribution patterns. Syringodium filiforme is the island’s dominant seagrass along the western and northern coasts, occurring at depths between 2 and 18m and with a mean benthic cover ranging from 0.9-10% along the West coast. Along the North coast it grew between 0.2 and 1m depth with a mean maximum benthic cover of 48.9%. Halodule wrightii grew along the North and West coasts, in depths between 1 and 14m in areas of recent and chronic disturbances. Its delicate morphology and sparse benthic cover (<0.1% did not constitute seagrass beds. Halophila decipiens grew along the deep, shallow and lateral margins of west coast S. filiforme beds and monospecifically in depths between 3 and 24m. Halophila stipulacea, an invasive species, was widespread along 45km of the West coast and was found in depths between 5 and 24m. Both Halophila species formed extensive beds at depths beyond the survey limit of 24m thus playing a potentially important role in the resettlement of shallow areas after storms. H. decipiens and H. stipulacea are currently the second and third most common seagrasses on the island respectively, despite their absence along the North coast. T. testudinum was confined to North coast’s sheltered reef flats at depths 1m or less with mean a benthic cover ranging from 2 to 76%. It grew monospecifically in the most

  2. Review of nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism in seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchette; Burkholder

    2000-07-30

    Within the past few decades, major losses of seagrass habitats in coastal waters impacted by cultural eutrophication have been documented worldwide. In confronting a pressing need to improve the management and protection of seagrass meadows, surprisingly little is known about the basic nutritional physiology of these critical habitat species, or the physiological mechanisms that control their responses to N and P gradients. The limited available evidence to date already has revealed, for some seagrass species such as the north temperate dominant Zostera marina, unusual responses to nutrient enrichment in comparison to other vascular plants. Seagrasses derive N and P from sediment pore water (especially ammonium) and the water column (most nitrate). The importance of leaves versus roots in nutrient acquisition depends, in part, on the enrichment conditions. For example, a shift from reliance on sediment pore water to increased reliance on the overlying water for N and P supplies has been observed under progressive water-column nutrient enrichment. Seagrasses may be N-limited in nutrient-poor waters with sandy or (less so) organic sediments, and P-limited in carbonate sediments. On the basis of data from few species, seagrasses appear to have active uptake systems for NO(3)(-) and PO(4)(-3), but NH(4)(+) uptake may involve both low- and high-affinity systems. P(i) uptake affinities reported thus far are much lower than values for active ammonium uptake, but comparable to values for nitrate uptake by leaf tissues. Beyond such basic information, seagrass species have shown considerable variation in nutritional response. Dominance of acropetal versus basipetal nutrient translocation appears to vary among species as an innate trait. While some species follow classic Michaelis-Menten kinetics for N(i) uptake, others have exhibited sustained linear uptake with limited or negligible product feedback inhibition, perhaps in adaptation to oligotrophic environments. Zostera

  3. The impact of sediment burial and erosion on seagrasses: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabaço, Susana; Santos, Rui; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2008-09-01

    The available information from experimental and descriptive studies on the effects of sediment burial and erosion on seagrasses was compiled to synthesize the information regarding the species-specific impacts and to relate them to plant characteristics. Burial thresholds (i.e. the burial levels causing 50% and 100% shoot mortality) and mortality-burial curves were estimated for the 15 seagrass species where the effects of experimental burial have been tested. All the species investigated reached 50% shoot mortality at burial levels ranging from 2 cm ( Halophila ovalis) to 19.5 cm ( Posidonia australis). P. australis was the most tolerant seagrass species to burial, while Thalassia testudinum was the most tolerant species to erosion. The relationships among plant size, growth, biomass and density with burial thresholds were examined. There were significant relationships between the burial thresholds and the shoot mass, the rhizome diameter, the aboveground biomass, the horizontal rhizome elongation and the leaf length of seagrass species. The leaf size and the rhizome diameter are the best predictors of the capacity of seagrasses to withstand burial. The burial thresholds estimated for seagrass species were in many cases in agreement with the burial impacts described by field observations (bioturbation), while in some cases was related to the species long-term colonization capacity (dune migration). Most human-induced impacts result in important changes of the sedimentary environment, with permanent negative effects on seagrass meadows (regression and complete destruction), whereas natural events, whether extreme (hurricane) or regular (dune migration), allow the recovery and/or adaptation of seagrasses to the burial/erosion sediment dynamics. The extent of the effects of burial and erosion on seagrasses is species-specific and strongly size-dependent.

  4. Carbon-concentrating mechanisms in seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkum, Anthony William D; Davey, Peter A; Kuo, John; Ralph, Peter J; Raven, John A

    2017-06-01

    Seagrasses are unique angiosperms that carry out growth and reproduction submerged in seawater. They occur in at least three families of the Alismatales. All have chloroplasts mainly in the cells of the epidermis. Living in seawater, the supply of inorganic carbon (Ci) to the chloroplasts is diffusion limited, especially under unstirred conditions. Therefore, the supply of CO2 and bicarbonate across the diffusive boundary layer on the outer side of the epidermis is often a limiting factor. Here we discuss the evidence for mechanisms that enhance the uptake of Ci into the epidermal cells. Since bicarbonate is plentiful in seawater, a bicarbonate pump might be expected; however, the evidence for such a pump is not strongly supported. There is evidence for a carbonic anhydrase outside the outer plasmalemma. This, together with evidence for an outward proton pump, suggests the possibility that local acidification leads to enhanced concentrations of CO2 adjacent to the outer tangential epidermal walls, which enhances the uptake of CO2, and this could be followed by a carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) in the cytoplasm and/or chloroplasts. The lines of evidence for such an epidermal CCM are discussed, including evidence for special 'transfer cells' in some but not all seagrass leaves in the tangential inner walls of the epidermal cells. It is concluded that seagrasses have a CCM but that the case for concentration of CO2 at the site of Rubisco carboxylation is not proven. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Are Seagrass effective Sentinels of Ecosystem Health in Port Phillip Bay, Australia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, R. S.; Cook, P. L. M.; Jenkins, G.; Nayar, S.; Hirst, A.; Keough, M. J.; Smith, T.; Ferguson, A.; Gay, J.; Longmore, A. R.; Macreadie, P.; Sherman, C.; Ross, J.; York, P.

    2016-02-01

    Seagrasses are an important part of many coastal systems, but are also under threat in many areas, as a result of a wide range of human activities, including habitat loss and changes to water quality. Due to these sensitivities seagrass are often selected as sentinels of change for coastal marine ecosystems, but could these sensitivities be too complex and varied to provide a clear or reliable measure of change? A recent three year study focused on the resilience of Zostera seagrasses in Port Phillip Bay, Southern Australia, where these ecosystem "engineers", have a dramatic influence on biodiversity and ecosystem function. This large temperate embayment experiences extreme climatic variability, significant loading from urbanized catchments and inflows from the largest sewage treatment facility in Australia, making it a challenging case study for assessing seagrass as a suitable ecosystem metric. Studies on the influence of nutrients, light and sediments using modelling, chemical analyses and field experiments assessed characteristics of Zostera habitat within the bay. Nutrients could be obtained directly in dissolved form from the water column, or sediment, or as atmospheric nitrogen fixed by bacteria associated with the root/rhizome system. Isotopic nutrients were traced to a variety of sources including river inflows, sewage discharges, groundwater, the open ocean, the atmosphere and indirectly via phytoplankton and detritus. Broad-scale seagrass coverage is often depth limited by light, however for regions of significant wave exposure deeper beds existed adjacent to less favorable shallows. Ephemeral beds in more exposed regions showed the greatest potential for responding to change. For these beds, resilience was dependent on bed architecture, connectivity to indirect nutrient sources, and genetic interactions with seagrass communities around the bay. While observed changes in seagrass cover may be a symptomatic trigger of ecosystem health, much as high blood

  6. Water Relations of Seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyerman, Stephen D.

    1982-01-01

    The stationary volumetric elastic modulus (εs) of the leaf cells of three seagrasses (Halophila ovalis (R.Br.) Hook, Zostera capricorni Aschers, and Posidonia australis Hook f.) was evaluated from estimates of εs plus intracellular osmotic pressure (εs + IIi) and IIi. The estimates of (εs + IIi) were made using a linear displacement transducer to measure very small changes in thickness of leaf tissue produced by changes in external osmotic pressure (IIo). εs increases with increasing turgor pressure in each of the species and the maximum values of εs are: 22 megapascals for H. ovalis, 17 megapascals for Z. capricorni, and 51 megapascals for P. australis. There is a hysteresis in thickness changes versus changes in IIo which indicates a hysteresis in the relationship between volume and turgor pressure. The hysteresis results in εs being different for swelling and for shrinking cells over the same range of IIo and this may be important in other aspects of plant-water relations. A new design of an apparatus employing a linear displacement transducer for measuring very small changes in tissue thickness is described. The new design has the advantages of virtually frictionless movement and a precision of 0.05 micrometer. PMID:16662326

  7. Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science - Tampa Bay Study: Examining the Impact of Urbanization on Seafloor Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly

    2005-01-01

    Seafloor habitats, such as seagrass beds, provide essential habitat for fish and marine mammals. For many years, the study of seagrass vitality has been a priority for scientists and resource managers working in Tampa Bay. Seafloor habitats are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality. Like a canary in a coal mine, seagrass can serve as an ecological indicator of estuary health. Between the 1940s and the 1970s, seagrass gradually died in Tampa Bay. This loss has been attributed to a rise in urbanization and an increase in nutrient loading into the bay. Better treatment of industrial wastewater and runoff beginning in the 1980s resulted in the continuous recovery of seagrass beds. However, in the mid-1990s, the recovery began to level off in areas where good water quality was expected to support continued seagrass recovery, demonstrating that nutrient loading may be only one factor impacting seagrass health. Researchers now are trying to determine what might be affecting the recovery of seagrass in these areas. Currently, little is understood about the effects that other aspects of urbanization and natural change, such as groundwater and sediment quality, might have on seagrass vitality. This segment of the Tampa Bay integrated science study is intended to identify, quantify, and develop models that illustrate the impact that urbanization may have on seafloor habitat distribution, health, and restoration.

  8. Seagrass response to CO₂ contingent on epiphytic algae: indirect effects can overwhelm direct effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnell, Owen W; Russell, Bayden D; Irving, Andrew D; Connell, Sean D

    2014-11-01

    Increased availability of dissolved CO2 in the ocean can enhance the productivity and growth of marine plants such as seagrasses and algae, but realised benefits may be contingent on additional conditions (e.g. light) that modify biotic interactions between these plant groups. The combined effects of future CO2 and differing light on the growth of seagrass and their algal epiphytes were tested by maintaining juvenile seagrasses Amphibolis antarctica under three different CO2 concentrations representing ambient, moderate future and high future forecasts (i.e. 390, 650 vs. 900 µl l(-1)) and two light levels representing low and high PAR (i.e. 43 vs. 167 µmol m(-2) s(-1)). Aboveground and belowground biomass, leaf growth, epiphyte cover, tissue chemistry and photosynthetic parameters of seagrasses were measured. At low light, there was a neutral to positive effect of elevated CO2 on seagrass biomass and growth; at high light, this effect of CO2 switched toward negative, as growth and biomass decreased at the highest CO2 level. These opposing responses to CO2 appeared to be closely linked to the overgrowth of seagrass by filamentous algal epiphytes when high light and CO2 were combined. Importantly, all seagrass plants maintained positive leaf growth throughout the experiment, indicating that growth was inhibited by some experimental conditions but not arrested entirely. Therefore, while greater light or elevated CO2 provided direct physiological benefits for seagrasses, such benefits were likely negated by overgrowth of epiphytic algae when greater light and CO2 were combined. This result demonstrates how indirect ecological effects from epiphytes can modify independent physiological predictions for seagrass associated with global change.

  9. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Upper Coast of Texas: BENTHIC (Benthic habitat polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains known locations of patchy and continuous seagrass and oyster reef habitat for the Upper Coast of Texas benthic habitat data. This data set...

  10. Nutrient resorption from seagrass leaves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stapel, J.; Hemminga, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    The resorption of nutrients (C, N and P) from senescent leaves of six seagrass species from nine different locations in tropical (Indonesia and Kenya), Mediterranean (Spain) and temperate (The Netherlands) regions has been investigated. Resorption was quantitatively assessed by calculating the

  11. Seagrasses under threat: Understanding the resilience of temperate seagrass meadows in a changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.

    2017-01-01

    Despite being highly valuable ecosystems, seagrass meadows are threatened worldwide, mostly by human activities. In order to preserve seagrass meadows from collapse, we need to better understand their resilience in a changing environment. By means of various

  12. Preventable fine sediment export from the Burdekin River catchment reduces coastal seagrass abundance and increases dugong mortality within the Townsville region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooldridge, Scott A

    2017-01-30

    The coastal seagrass meadows in the Townsville region of the Great Barrier Reef are crucial seagrass foraging habitat for endangered dugong populations. Deteriorating coastal water quality and in situ light levels reduce the extent of these meadows, particularly in years with significant terrestrial runoff from the nearby Burdekin River catchment. However, uncertainty surrounds the impact of variable seagrass abundance on dugong carrying capacity. Here, I demonstrate that a power-law relationship with exponent value of -1 (R2~0.87) links mortality data with predicted changes in annual above ground seagrass biomass. This relationship indicates that the dugong carrying capacity of the region is tightly coupled to the biomass of seagrass available for metabolism. Thus, mortality rates increase precipitously following large flood events with a response lag of <12-months. The management implications of this result are discussed in terms of climate scenarios that indicate an increased future likelihood of extreme flood events. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The distribution of seagrasses in Dominica, Lesser Antilles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, S C C; Macfarlane, K J; Price, L M; Willette, D A

    2010-10-01

    Seagrass beds are the largest organism-built marine habitat in Dominica, yet have only been surveyed since 2007. Standardized examinations along a depth gradient between 0 and 24 m, focusing on magnoliophyte species composition and benthic cover of shoots at 17 seagrass bed sites, were carried out between September 10 and December 7, 2008. The Cymodoceaceae Syringodium filiforme (Kuetzing 1860) and Halodule wrightii (Ascherson 1868), as well as the Hydrocharitaceae Halophila decipiens (Ostenfeld 1902), H. stipulacea (Fosskal & Ascherson 1867) and Thalassia testudinum (Banks ex König 1805) displayed distinct regional and horizontal distribution patterns. Syringodium filiforme is the island's dominant seagrass along the western and northern coasts, occurring at depths between 2 and 18 m and with a mean benthic cover ranging from 0.9-10% along the West coast. Along the North coast it grew between 0.2 and 1 m depth with a mean maximum benthic cover of 48.9%. Halodule wrightii grew along the North and West coasts, in depths between 1 and 14m in areas of recent and chronic disturbances. Its delicate morphology and sparse benthic cover (depths between 3 and 24m. Halophila stipulacea, an invasive species, was widespread along 45km of the West coast and was found in depths between 5 and 24m. Both Halophila species formed extensive beds at depths beyond the survey limit of 24m thus playing a potentially important role in the resettlement of shallow areas after storms. H. decipiens and H. stipulacea are currently the second and third most common seagrasses on the island respectively, despite their absence along the North coast. T. testudinum was confined to North coast's sheltered reef flats at depths Im or less with mean a benthic cover ranging from 2 to 76%. It grew monospecifically in the most turbulent and in the calmest locations, yet intermixed with S. filiforme in areas of moderate turbulence. Strong surge along the West coast (October 15-16, 2008), associated with

  14. Small-scale experimental habitat fragmentation reduces colonization rates in species-rich grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Jasmin; Stoll, Peter; Rusterholz, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Bernhard; Dolt, Claudine; Baur, Bruno

    2006-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the most important threats to biodiversity. Decreasing patch size may lead to a reduction in the size of populations and to an increased extinction risk of remnant populations. Furthermore, colonization rates may be reduced in isolated patches. To investigate the effects of isolation and patch size on extinction and colonization rates of plant species, calcareous grasslands at three sites in the Swiss Jura Mountains were experimentally fragmented into patches of 0.25, 2.25, and 20.25 m2 by frequent mowing of the surrounding area from 1993 to 1999. Species richness in the fragment plots and adjacent control plots of the same sizes was recorded during these 7 years. In agreement with the theory of island biogeography, colonization rate was reduced by 30% in fragments versus non-isolated controls, and extinction increased in small versus large plots. Habitat specialists, in contrast to generalists, were less likely to invade fragments. In the last 4 years of the experiment, extinction rates tended to be higher in fragment than in control plots at two of the three sites. Despite reduced colonization rates and a tendency of increased extinction rates in fragments, fragmented plots had only marginally fewer species than control plots after 7 years. Hence, rates were a more sensitive measure for community change than changes in species richness per se. From a conservation point of view, the detected reduced colonization rates are particularly problematic in small fragments, which are more likely to suffer from high extinction rates in the long run.

  15. Causes of seasonal and decadal variability in a tropical seagrass seascape (Reunion Island, south western Indian Ocean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuvillier, A.; Villeneuve, N.; Cordier, E.; Kolasinski, J.; Maurel, L.; Farnier, N.; Frouin, P.

    2017-01-01

    While seagrass meadows are considered as vulnerable or declining habitats worldwide, facing many natural and anthropogenic pressures, the opposite trend is suggested by this study in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean). Located at the benthos-pelagos interface, seagrass beds are critical coastal habitats and can be used as relevant health indicators for larger marine ecosystems or land-sea continuum. In order to determine which are the factors driving seagrass ecosystems health it is essential to quantify their seascape pattern fluctuations. The long-term (over 65 years) and seasonal scale variability was assessed in the monospecific Syringodium isoetifolium seagrass bed seascape at the Ermitage/La Saline fringing reef using aerial photographs and field measurements. Both long-term and short-term scales have been informative and both types of monitoring appear as useful tools for seagrass ecosystem management. Strong variations in seagrass coverage were observed in the 16 rasters analyzed from years 1950-2015, the magnitude order was however similar to the one observed at the recent seasonal scale (up to 2016 m2 gained or 4863 m2 lost over few months at site scale). Seascape pattern analysis revealed that physical factors (swell events, cyclones) had a major impact on the ocean-exposed site with varying impact degree depending on frequency, duration and intensity. Biotic (herbivory) or anthropogenic (grubbing, nutrient inputs) factors were also identified to influence the structural shape, fragmentation, or disappearance of seagrass beds. Further work is required to better quantify the effect of each single factor, a difficult task due to their combined expression. At the reef scale, these results showed a positive correlation between seagrass beds and inner reef flat coverage suggesting that common factors drive these highly resilient ecosystems.

  16. Sulfide intrusion and detoxification in seagrasses ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses represents a global threat to seagrasses and thereby an important parameter in resilience of seagrass ecosystems. In contrast seegrasses colonize and grow in hostile sediments, where they are constantly exposed to invasion of toxic gaseous sulfide. Remarkably little...... strategies of seagrasses to sustain sulfide intrusion. Using stable isotope tracing, scanning electron microscopy with x-ray analysis, tracing sulfur compounds combined with ecosystem parameters we found different spatial, intraspecific and interspecific strategies to cope with sulfidic sediments. 1...... not present in terrestrial plants at that level. Sulfide is not necessarily toxic but used as sulfur nutrition, presupposing healthy seagrass ecosystems that can support detoxification mechanisms. Presence or absence of those mechanisms determines susceptibility of seagrass ecosystems to sediment sulfide...

  17. Harnessing the climate mitigation, conservation and poverty alleviation potential of seagrasses: prospects for developing blue carbon initiatives and payment for ecosystem service programmes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Peter Hejnowicz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass ecosystems provide numerous ecosystem services that support coastal communities around the world. They sustain abundant marine life as well as commercial and artisanal fisheries, and help protect shorelines from coastal erosion. Additionally, seagrass meadows are a globally significant sink for carbon and represent a key ecosystem for combating climate change. However, seagrass habitats are suffering rapid global decline. Despite recognition of the importance of ‘Blue Carbon’, no functioning seagrass restoration or conservation projects supported by carbon finance currently operate, and the policies and frameworks to achieve this have not been developed. Yet, seagrass ecosystems could play a central role in addessing important international research questions regarding the natural mechanisms through which the ocean and the seabed can mitigate climate change, and how ecosystem structure links to service provision. The relative inattention that seagrass ecosystems have received represents both a serious oversight and a major missed opportunity. In this paper we review the prospects of further inclusion of seagrass ecosystems in climate policy frameworks, with a particular focus on carbon storage and sequestration, as well as the potential for developing payment for ecosystem service (PES schemes that are complementary to carbon management. Prospects for the inclusion of seagrass Blue Carbon in regulatory compliance markets are currently limited; yet despite the risks the voluntary carbon sector offers the most immediately attractive avenue for the development of carbon credits. Given the array of ecosystem services seagrass ecosystems provide the most viable route to combat climate change, ensure seagrass conservation and improve livelihoods may be to complement any carbon payments with seagrass PES schemes based on the provision of additional ecosystem services.

  18. Distribution of Seagrasses in Inner Ambon Bay

    OpenAIRE

    Irawan, Andri; Nganro, Noorsalam R

    2016-01-01

    Excessive sedimentation in Inner Ambon Bay (IAB) is alleged to cause the degradation of seagrass ve-getation in the area. To get a clearer picture about the matter, we conducted a field study in October 2010 - January 2011 to describe the distribution and density of seagrass at several locations in IAB with different conditions of sedimentation levels. Data were collected using transects perpendicular to the coastline along the seagrass vegetation. The results showed that there were six speci...

  19. Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses assessed by stable sulfur isotopes – A synthesis of current results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne eHolmer

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses, as assessed by stable sulfur isotope signals, is widespread in all climate zones, where seagrasses are growing. Seagrasses can incorporate substantial amounts of 34S-depleted sulfide into their tissues with up to 87% of the total sulfur in leaves derived from sedimentary sulfide. Correlations between δ34S in leaves, rhizomes and roots show that sedimentary sulfide is entering through the roots, either in the form of sulfide or sulfate, and translocated to the rhizomes and the leaves. The total sulfur content of the seagrasses increases as the proportion of sedimentary sulfide in the plant increases, and accumulation of elemental sulfur (S0 inside the plant with δ34S values similar to the sedimentary sulfide suggests that S0 is an important reoxidation product of the sedimentary sulfide. The accumulation of S0 can, however, not account for the increase in sulfur in the tissue, and other sulfur containing compounds such as thiols, organic sulfur and sulfate contribute to the accumulated sulfur pool. Experimental studies with seagrasses exposed to environmental and biological stressors show decreasing δ34S in the tissues along with reduction in growth parameters, suggesting that sulfide intrusion can affect seagrass performance.

  20. Seasonal variation in species composition and abundance of demersal fish and invertebrates in a Seagrass Natural Reserve on the eastern coast of the Shandong Peninsula, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qiang; Guo, Dong; Zhang, Peidong; Zhang, Xiumei; Li, Wentao; Wu, Zhongxin

    2016-03-01

    Seagrass habitats are structurally complex ecosystems, which support high productivity and biodiversity. In temperate systems the density of seagrass may change seasonally, and this may influence the associated fish and invertebrate community. Little is known about the role of seagrass beds as possible nursery areas for fish and invertebrates in China. To study the functioning of a seagrass habitat in northern China, demersal fish and invertebrates were collected monthly using traps, from February 2009 to January 2010. The density, leaf length and biomass of the dominant seagrass Zostera marina and water temperature were also measured. The study was conducted in a Seagrass Natural Reserve (SNR) on the eastern coast of the Shandong Peninsula, China. A total of 22 fish species and five invertebrate species were recorded over the year. The dominant fish species were Synechogobius ommaturus, Sebastes schlegelii, Pholis fangi, Pagrus major and Hexagrammos otakii and these species accounted for 87% of the total number of fish. The dominant invertebrate species were Charybdis japonica and Octopus variabilis and these accounted for 98% of the total abundance of invertebrates. There was high temporal variation in species composition and abundance. The peak number of fish species occurred in August-October 2009, while the number of individual fish and biomass was highest during November 2009. Invertebrate numbers and biomass was highest in March, April, July and September 2009. Temporal changes in species abundance of fishes and invertebrates corresponded with changes in the shoot density and leaf length of the seagrass, Zostera marina.

  1. Eutrophication threatens Caribbean seagrasses - An example from Curaçao and Bonaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govers, Laura L; Lamers, Leon P M; Bouma, Tjeerd J; de Brouwer, Jan H F; van Katwijk, Marieke M

    2014-12-15

    Seagrass beds are globally declining due to human activities in coastal areas. We here aimed to identify threats from eutrophication to the valuable seagrass beds of Curaçao and Bonaire in the Caribbean, which function as nursery habitats for commercial fish species. We documented surface- and porewater nutrient concentrations, and seagrass nutrient concentrations in 6 bays varying in nutrient loads. Water measurements only provided a momentary snapshot, due to timing, tidal stage, etc., but Thalassia testudinum nutrient concentrations indicated long-term nutrient loads. Nutrient levels in most bays did not raise any concern, but high leaf % P values of Thalassia in Piscadera Bay (∼0.31%) and Spanish Water Bay (∼0.21%) showed that seagrasses may be threatened by eutrophication, due to emergency overflow of waste water and coastal housing. We thus showed that seagrasses may be threatened and measures should be taken to prevent loss of these important nursery areas due to eutrophication. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The detrimental consequences for seagrass of ineffective marine park management related to boat anchoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Manna, G; Donno, Y; Sarà, G; Ceccherelli, G

    2015-01-15

    Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile meadows are recognized as priority habitat for conservation by the EU Habitats Directive. The La Maddalena Archipelago National Park (Mediterranean Sea) P. oceanica meadow, the dominant coastal habitat of the area, is mostly threatened by boat anchoring. 12 years after the establishment of mooring fields and anchoring restrictions, a study was conducted to measure their effectiveness on the conservation of seagrass and the mitigation of anchoring damage. We found that: (i) the condition of P. oceanica was disturbed, both in the mooring fields and in control locations; (ii) mooring fields and anchoring restrictions did not show to be an efficient system for the protection of seagrass, in fact anchor scars increased after the tourist season; (iii) the mooring systems had an impact on the surrounding area of the meadow, probably due to their misuse. On the basis of these results, management recommendations for marine parks are proposed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. A miniature bioassay for testing the acute phytotoxicity of photosystem II herbicides on seagrass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam D Wilkinson

    Full Text Available Photosystem II (PSII herbicides have been detected in nearshore tropical waters such as those of the Great Barrier Reef and may add to the pressure posed by runoff containing sediments and nutrients to threatened seagrass habitats. There is a growing number of studies into the potential effects of herbicides on seagrass, generally using large experimental setups with potted plants. Here we describe the successful development of an acute 12-well plate phytotoxicity assay for the PSII herbicide Diuron using isolated Halophila ovalis leaves. Fluorescence images demonstrated Diuron affected the entire leaf surface evenly and responses were not influenced by isolating leaves from the plant. The optimum exposure duration was 24 h, by which time the inhibition of effective quantum yield of PSII (∆F/F(m' was highest and no deterioration of photosystems was evident in control leaves. The inhibition of ∆F/F(m' by Diuron in isolated H. ovalis leaves was identical to both potted and hydroponically grown plants (with leaves remaining attached to rhizomes, indicating similar reductions in photosynthetic activity in these acute well-plate assays. The sensitivity of the assay was not influenced by irradiance (range tested 40 to 400 μmol photons m(-2 s(-1. High irradiance, however, caused photo-oxidative stress in H. ovalis and this generally impacted in an additive or sub-additive way with Diuron to damage PSII. The bioassay using isolated leaves is more rapid, uses far less biological material and does not rely on specialised aquarium facilities in comparison with assays using potted plants. The development and validation of this sensitive bioassay will be useful to reliably screen and monitor the phytotoxicity of existing and emerging PSII herbicides and contribute to risk assessments and water quality guideline development in the future.

  4. The movement ecology of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; van Dijk, Kor-Jent; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Kendrick, Gary A; Krauss, Siegfried L; Waycott, Michelle; Verduin, Jennifer; Lowe, Ryan; Statton, John; Brown, Eloise; Duarte, Carlos

    2014-11-22

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and demographic connectivity over multiple timeframes is the novel feature of the movement ecology of seagrasses with significant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The space-time movement footprint of different life-history stages varies. For example, the distance moved by reproductive propagules and vegetative expansion via clonal growth is similar, but the timescales range exponentially, from hours to months or centuries to millennia, respectively. Consequently, environmental factors and key traits that interact to influence movement also operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales. Six key future research areas have been identified.

  5. An experimental test of the habitat-amount hypothesis for saproxylic beetles in a forested region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seibold, Sebastian; Bässler, Claus; Brandl, Roland; Fahrig, Lenore; Förster, Bernhard; Heurich, Marco; Hothorn, Torsten; Scheipl, Fabian; Thorn, Simon; Müller, Jörg

    2017-06-01

    The habitat-amount hypothesis challenges traditional concepts that explain species richness within habitats, such as the habitat-patch hypothesis, where species number is a function of patch size and patch isolation. It posits that effects of patch size and patch isolation are driven by effects of sample area, and thus that the number of species at a site is basically a function of the total habitat amount surrounding this site. We tested the habitat-amount hypothesis for saproxylic beetles and their habitat of dead wood by using an experiment comprising 190 plots with manipulated patch sizes situated in a forested region with a high variation in habitat amount (i.e., density of dead trees in the surrounding landscape). Although dead wood is a spatio-temporally dynamic habitat, saproxylic insects have life cycles shorter than the time needed for habitat turnover and they closely track their resource. Patch size was manipulated by adding various amounts of downed dead wood to the plots (~800 m³ in total); dead trees in the surrounding landscape (~240 km2 ) were identified using airborne laser scanning (light detection and ranging). Over 3 yr, 477 saproxylic species (101,416 individuals) were recorded. Considering 20-1,000 m radii around the patches, local landscapes were identified as having a radius of 40-120 m. Both patch size and habitat amount in the local landscapes independently affected species numbers without a significant interaction effect, hence refuting the island effect. Species accumulation curves relative to cumulative patch size were not consistent with either the habitat-patch hypothesis or the habitat-amount hypothesis: several small dead-wood patches held more species than a single large patch with an amount of dead wood equal to the sum of that of the small patches. Our results indicate that conservation of saproxylic beetles in forested regions should primarily focus on increasing the overall amount of dead wood without considering its

  6. Seagrasses and the Coastal Marine Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Ronald C.

    1978-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are the most highly productive in the world. This article discusses seagrasses, major coastal producers, and provides information on their ecology, productivity, position in food chains, and role in sediment stabilization. Recent attempts to restore seagrasses in areas of massive kills are described. (MA)

  7. Abrupt transitions between macrobenthic faunal assemblages across seagrass bed margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R. S. K.; Hamylton, S.

    2013-10-01

    The nature of the transition from one contrasting macrobenthic assemblage to another across interfaces between intertidal seagrass and unvegetated sand was investigated in the subtropical Moreton Bay Marine Park, eastern Australia, via six two-dimensional core lattices. The same pattern of transition was manifested in each lattice. Macrofaunal abundance, species density (both observed and estimated total) and assemblage composition did not vary with distance away from the interface within the 0.75 m wide marginal bands of each habitat type. Neither were there significant differences in assemblage metrics or composition between the marginal and non-edge regions of either habitat. There were, however, very marked differences in assemblage composition, abundance and species density across the 25 cm wide strip on either side of the actual interface, the interacting assemblages reacting symmetrically. All these differences therefore took place over an ecotone distance of only 0.5 m at most. Spatial trends in assemblage metrics across the boundary zone were captured accurately by second and third order polynomial regression models. It also appeared that edge effects on individual species within the seagrass were a variable local response not a consistent effect of closeness to the bare sand.

  8. Patterns of Abundance of Seagrasses and Associated Infaunal Communities at Inhaca Island, Mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula, J.; Fidalgo Ecosta, P.; Martins, A.; Gove, D.

    2001-09-01

    second group comprises pH, macrofauna, ammonia, both seagrass components and epibiota on above-ground seagrass fraction. These two groups of parameters may correspond to different functional components of the seagrass ecosystem. The sediment biotic structure seems largely dependent on detritus-based chains, and has a high degree of spatial variability. On the other hand, macrofauna seems to be more related to the direct influence of seagrass standing crop, probably caused by the increased habitat complexity provided by higher seagrass biomass.

  9. Low-canopy seagrass beds still provide important coastal protection services.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjolijn J A Christianen

    Full Text Available One of the most frequently quoted ecosystem services of seagrass meadows is their value for coastal protection. Many studies emphasize the role of above-ground shoots in attenuating waves, enhancing sedimentation and preventing erosion. This raises the question if short-leaved, low density (grazed seagrass meadows with most of their biomass in belowground tissues can also stabilize sediments. We examined this by combining manipulative field experiments and wave measurements along a typical tropical reef flat where green turtles intensively graze upon the seagrass canopy. We experimentally manipulated wave energy and grazing intensity along a transect perpendicular to the beach, and compared sediment bed level change between vegetated and experimentally created bare plots at three distances from the beach. Our experiments showed that i even the short-leaved, low-biomass and heavily-grazed seagrass vegetation reduced wave-induced sediment erosion up to threefold, and ii that erosion was a function of location along the vegetated reef flat. Where other studies stress the importance of the seagrass canopy for shoreline protection, our study on open, low-biomass and heavily grazed seagrass beds strongly suggests that belowground biomass also has a major effect on the immobilization of sediment. These results imply that, compared to shallow unvegetated nearshore reef flats, the presence of a short, low-biomass seagrass meadow maintains a higher bed level, attenuating waves before reaching the beach and hence lowering beach erosion rates. We propose that the sole use of aboveground biomass as a proxy for valuing coastal protection services should be reconsidered.

  10. Differences in macrofaunal and seagrass assemblages in seagrass beds with and without seaweed farms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklöf, J. S.; de la Torre Castro, M.; Adelsköld, L.; Jiddawi, N. S.; Kautsky, N.

    2005-05-01

    Since it was introduced to Zanzibar (Tanzania), seaweed farming has significantly contributed to local, socio-economic development. However, several investigations have shown impacts on the coastal environment near where the farms are located. As many seaweed farms are located on seagrass beds, there is a risk that seaweed farming could affect seagrass beds, and thereby disturb important ecosystem functions and the flow of ecological goods and services. This study compares characteristics of macrophytes (focusing on seagrasses), benthic macrofauna and sediment in seagrass beds, with and without seaweed farms, and a sand bank without vegetation in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar. The results showed that seagrass beds underneath seaweed farms generally had less seagrass and macroalgae, finer sediment, lower sediment organic matter content and a reduced abundance and biomass of macrofauna, than seagrass beds without seaweed farms. Further, the macrofaunal community structure in seaweed farms showed more similarities to that on the sand bank than in the unfarmed seagrass beds. Most of the dissimilarity was attributable to Lucinidae (suspension-feeding bivalves), which were almost absent in the seaweed farms, resulting in the large difference in biomass between the seaweed farms and the unfarmed seagrass beds. When interpreted together with information from farmers, the observed pattern is believed to be caused by the seaweed farming activities. This indicates that more research is needed to establish the effects of seaweed farming on seagrass beds, and that more attention should be given to the location of farms and the choice of farming methods.

  11. Eelgrass habitat near Liberty Bay: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinicola, Richard S.; Takesue, Renee K.

    2015-01-01

    Seagrasses are a widespread type of marine flowering plants that grow in nearshore intertidal and subtidal zones. Seagrass beds are ecologically important because they affect physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of nearshore habitat, and they are sensitive to changes in coastal water quality (Stevenson and others, 1993; Koch, 2001; Martinez-Crego and others, 2008). Zostera marina, commonly known as eelgrass, is protected by a no-net-loss policy in Washington State where it may be used as spawning habitat by herring, a key prey species for salmon, seabirds, and marine mammals (Bargmann, 1998). Eelgrass forms broad meadows in shallow embayments or narrow fringes on open shorelines (Berry and others, 2003). Anthropogenic activities that increase turbidity, nutrient loading, and physical disturbance at the coast can result in dramatic seagrass decline (Ralph and others, 2006).

  12. Overview on seagrasses and related research in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yajun; Fan, Hangqing; Cui, Xiaojian; Pan, Lianghao; Li, Sen; Song, Xiukai

    2010-03-01

    Seagrass research in China is still in its infancy. Even though there has been progress recently, there is still a great deal of research needed to gain a better understanding of seagrass. In this article we review and discuss the advances in seagrass research in China from two aspects: (1) seagrass species and their distribution; (2) seagrass research in China, including studies on their taxonomy, ecology, photosynthesis, applications in aquaculture, salt-tolerance mechanisms and other research topics. A total of 18 seagrass species belonging to 8 genera are distributed in nine provinces and regions in China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), as well as the Xisha and Nansha Archipelagos. They can be divided into two groups: a North China Group and a South China Group. Based on the seagrass distribution, the Chinese mainland coast can be divided into three sections: North China Seagrass Coast, Middle China Seagrass Coast, and South China Seagrass Coast. Ecological studies include research on seagrass communities, nutrient cycling in seagrass ecosystems, genetic diversity, pollution ecology and research in the key regions of Shandong, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan. Seagrass species and their locations, community structure, ecological evaluation, epiphytes, ecological functions and threats in the key regions are also summarized. Other studies have focused on remote sensing of seagrass, threatened seagrass species of China, and pollen morphology of Halophila ovalis.

  13. Seagrass as major source of transparent exopolymer particles in the oligotrophic Mediterranean coast

    KAUST Repository

    Iuculano, Francesca

    2017-01-09

    The role of seagrass, Posidonia oceanica, meadows as a source of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) to Mediterranean coastal waters was tested by comparing the TEP dynamics in two adjacent coastal waters in the oligotrophic NW Mediterranean Sea, one characterized by oligotrophic open-sea waters and the other accumulating seagrass leaf litter, together with an experimental examination of TEP release by seagrass litter. TEP concentrations ranged from 4.6 µg XG Eq L−1 to 90.6 µg XG Eq L−1, with mean (±SE) values of 38.7 (±2.02) µg XG Eq L−1 in the site devoid of seagrass litter, whereas the coastal beach site accumulating leaf litter had > 10-fold mean TEP concentrations of 487.02 (±72.8) µg XG Eq L−1 . Experimental evaluation confirmed high rates of TEP production by P. oceanica litter, allowing calculations of the associated TEP yield. We demonstrated that P. oceanica is an important source of TEP to the Mediterranean Sea, contributing an estimated 0.10 Tg C as TEP annually. TEP release by P. oceanica seagrass explains the elevated TEP concentration relative to the low chlorophyll a concentration in the Mediterranean Sea.

  14. Reviews and syntheses: Hidden forests, the role of vegetated coastal habitats in the ocean carbon budget

    KAUST Repository

    Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-23

    Vegetated coastal habitats, including seagrass and macroalgal beds, mangrove forests and salt marshes, form highly productive ecosystems, but their contribution to the global carbon budget remains overlooked, and these forests remain

  15. Coastal Bend Texas Benthic Habitat Mapping Patchy Shapefile Map - Lower Laguna Madre

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) requested the creation of benthic habitat data along the southern Texas coast to support the Texas Seagrass Monitoring...

  16. Coastal Bend Texas Benthic Habitat Mapping Patchy Shapefile Map - Lower Laguna Madre (NODC Accession 0070784)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) requested the creation of benthic habitat data along the southern Texas coast to support the Texas Seagrass Monitoring...

  17. Quantifying Seagrass Light Requirements Using an Algorithm to Spatially Resolve Depth of Colonization-CERF presentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depth of colonization (Zc) is a useful seagrass growth metric that describes seagrass response to light availability. Similarly, percent surface irradiance at Zc (% SI) is an indicator of seagrass light requirements with applications in seagrass ecology and management. Methods ...

  18. Genetic diversity of seagrass seeds influences seedling morphology and biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall Hughes, A; Hanley, Torrance C; Schenck, Forest R; Hays, Cynthia G

    2016-12-01

    Genetic diversity can influence ecological processes throughout ontogeny, yet whether diversity at early life history stages is important in long-lived taxa with overlapping generations is unclear. Seagrass systems provide some of the best evidence for the ecological effects of genetic diversity among adult shoots, but we do not know if the genetic diversity of seeds and seedlings also influences seagrass ecology. We tested the effects of seagrass (Zostera marina) seed diversity and relatedness on germination success, seedling morphology, and seedling production by comparing experimental assemblages of seeds collected from single reproductive shoots ("monocultures") to assemblages of seeds collected from multiple reproductive shoots ("polycultures"). There was no difference in seedling emergence, yet seedlings from polycultures had larger shoots above and below ground than seedlings from monocultures at the end of the 1-yr experiment. Genetic relatedness of the seedlings predicted some aspects of shoot morphology, with more leaves and longer roots and shoots at intermediate levels of relatedness, regardless of seed diversity. Our results suggest that studies of only adult stages may underestimate the importance of genetic diversity if the benefits at early life history stages continue to accrue throughout the life cycle. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Remote influence of off-shore fish farm waste on Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, J M; Marco-Méndez, C; Sánchez-Lizaso, J L

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was estimating the remote influence of waste dispersed from a large off-shore fish farm complex (6197 ton year(-1)) on the near-shore Posidonia oceanica meadow (26-27 m deep) located at a distance of 3 km. Measurements of isotopic nitrogen content in epiphytes and seagrass leaf tissues, epiphyte biomass, shoot size, herbivory pressure, shoot density and seagrass meadow cover, performed in this meadow (FA area) were compared with those obtained in an undisturbed control meadow (CA area) to evaluate: (1) the remote influence of waste and (2) the impact of such influence on seagrass condition. In addition, delta(15)N measurements in particulate organic matter of natural and anthropogenic origin were used in a single-isotope mixing model to elucidate the relative contributions of these sources to the isotopic N signal measured in epiphytes and leaf tissues. Total tissue N content was similar between meadow areas, but delta(15)N signatures were significantly higher in the FA area than in the CA area both in epiphytes and seagrass leaf tissues. Results from the mixing model, together with available information on local currents and previous studies, support the conclusion that the dispersion of farm wastes over large areas (spanning kilometres) are responsible for the elevated delta(15)N signatures found in the FA meadow area. Despite this, no changes in meadow structure were detected and only some changes at the level of seagrass community (epiphytes abundances and herbivores activity) could be interpreted at the light of nutrient-induced effects in the FA area. Results from this study indicate that concentrating aquaculture facilities in off-shore areas is a strategy not totally exempt of environmental risk on near-shore sensitive habitats such as seagrass meadows. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The Role of Seagrass Traits in Mediating Zostera noltei Vulnerability to Mesograzers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña Martínez-Crego

    Full Text Available Understanding how intra-specific differences in plant traits mediate vulnerability to herbivores of relevant habitat-forming plants is vital to attain a better knowledge on the drivers of the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Such studies, however, are rare in seagrass-mesograzer systems despite the increasingly recognized relevance of mesograzers as seagrass consumers. We investigated the role and potential trade-offs of multiple leaf traits in mediating the vulnerability of the seagrass Zostera noltei to different mesograzer species, the amphipod Gammarus insensibilis and the isopod Idotea chelipes. We worked with plants from two different meadows for which contrasting chemical and structural traits were expected based on previous information. We found that plants with high vulnerability to mesograzers (i.e. those preferred and subjected to higher rates of leaf area loss had not only higher nitrogen content and lower C:N, fibre, and phenolics, but also tender and thinner leaves. No trade-offs between chemical and structural traits of the seagrass were detected, as they were positively correlated. When leaf physical structure was removed using agar-reconstituted food, amphipod preference towards high-susceptibility plants disappeared; thus indicating that structural rather than chemical traits mediated the feeding preference. Removal of plant structure reduced the size of isopod preference to less than half, indicating a stronger contribution of structural traits (> 50% but combined with chemical/nutritional traits in mediating the preference. We then hypothesized that the high environmental nutrient levels recorded in the meadow exhibiting high susceptibility modulate the differences observed between meadows in seagrass traits. To test this hypothesis, we exposed low-vulnerability shoots to eutrophic nutrient levels in a 6-week enrichment experiment. Nutrient enrichment increased Z. noltei nitrogen content and lowered C:N, fibre, and

  1. Influence of water depth on the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S.; Rozaimi, Mohammad; Mateo, Miguel Ángel

    2014-09-01

    The actual estimates of carbon stocks beneath seagrass meadows worldwide are derived from few data, resulting in a tendency to generalize global carbon stocks from a very limited number of seagrass habitats. We surveyed Posidonia oceanica and Posidonia sinuosa meadows along depth-induced gradients of light availability to assess the variability in their sedimentary organic carbon (Corg) stocks and accretion rates. This study showed a fourfold decrease in Corg stocks from 2-4 m to 6-8 m depth P. sinuosa meadows (averaging 7.0 and 1.8 kg m-2, respectively; top meter of sediment) and a fourteenfold to sixteenfold decrease from shallow (2 m) to deep (32 m) P. oceanica meadows (200 and 19 kg m-2 average, respectively; top 2.7 m of sediment). The average Corg accretion rates in shallow P. sinuosa meadows were higher (10.5 g m-2 yr-1) than in deeper meadows (2.1 g m-2 yr-1). The reduction of sedimentary Corg stocks and accretion rates along depth-related gradients of light reduction suggests that irradiance, controlling plant productivity, meadow density, and sediment accretion rates, is a key environmental factor affecting Corg storage potential of seagrasses. The results obtained highlighted the exceptional carbon storage capacity of P. oceanica meadows at Balearic Islands (Spain), containing the highest areal Corg stocks of all seagrasses (estimated in up to 691-770 kg m-2 in 8-13 m thick deposits). Seagrass communities are experiencing worldwide decline, and reduced irradiance (following e.g., eutrophication or sediment regime alterations) will lead to photoacclimation responses (i.e., reduced plant productivity and shoot density), which may impact the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrasses.

  2. Habitat selection of two gobies (Microgobius gulosus, Gobiosoma robustum): influence of structural complexity, competitive interactions and presence of a predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, P.J.

    2003-01-01

    Herein I compare the relative importance of preference for structurally complex habitat against avoidance of competitors and predators in two benthic fishes common in the Gulf of Mexico. The code goby Gobiosoma robustum Ginsburg and clown goby Microgobius gulosus (Girard) are common, ecologically similar fishes found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. In Florida Bay, these fishes exhibit habitat partitioning: G. robustum is most abundant in seagrass-dominated areas while M. gulosus is most abundant in sparsely vegetated habitats. In a small-scale field survey, I documented the microhabitat use of these species where their distributions overlap. In a series of laboratory experiments, I presented each species with structured (artificial seagrass) versus nonstructured (bare sand) habitats and measured their frequency of choosing either habitat type. I then examined the use of structured versus nonstructured habitats when the two species were placed together in a mixed group. Finally, I placed a predator (Opsanus beta) in the experimental aquaria to determine how its presence influenced habitat selection. In the field, G. robustum was more abundant in seagrass and M. gulosus was more abundant in bare mud. In the laboratory, both species selected grass over sand in allopatry. However, in sympatry, M. gulosus occupied sand more often when paired with G. robustum than when alone. G. robustum appears to directly influence the habitat choice of M. gulosus: It seems that M. gulosus is pushed out of the structured habitat that is the preferred habitat of G. robustum. Thus, competition appears to modify the habitat selection of these species when they occur in sympatry. Additionally, the presence of the toadfish was a sufficient stimulus to provoke both M. gulosus and G. robustum to increase their selection for sand (compared to single-species treatments). Distribution patterns of M. gulosus and G. robustum

  3. The Effects of Water Parameters on Monthly Seagrass Percentage Cover in Lawas, East Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmad-Kamil, E. I.; Ramli, R.; S. A. Jaaman; Bali, J.; Al-Obaidi, J. R.

    2013-01-01

    Seagrass is a valuable marine ecosystem engineer. However, seagrass population is declining worldwide. The lack of seagrass research in Malaysia raises questions about the status of seagrasses in the country. The seagrasses in Lawas, which is part of the coral-mangrove-seagrass complex, have never been studied in detail. In this study, we examine whether monthly changes of seagrass population in Lawas occurred. Data on estimates of seagrass percentage cover and water physicochemical parameter...

  4. Mapping Nearshore Seagrass and Colonized Hard Bottom Spatial Distribution and Percent Biological Cover in Florida, USA Using Object Based Image Analysis of WorldView-2 Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumstark, R. D.; Duffey, R.; Pu, R.

    2016-12-01

    The offshore extent of seagrass habitat along the West Florida (USA) coast represents an important corridor for inshore-offshore migration of economically important fish and shellfish. Surviving at the fringe of light requirements, offshore seagrass beds are sensitive to changes in water clarity. Beyond and intermingled with the offshore seagrass areas are large swaths of colonized hard bottom. These offshore habitats of the West Florida coast have lacked mapping efforts needed for status and trends monitoring. The objective of this study was to propose an object-based classification method for mapping offshore habitats and to compare results to traditional photo-interpreted maps. Benthic maps depicting the spatial distribution and percent biological cover were created from WorldView-2 satellite imagery using Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) method and a visual photo-interpretation method. A logistic regression analysis identified depth and distance from shore as significant parameters for discriminating spectrally similar seagrass and colonized hard bottom features. Seagrass, colonized hard bottom and unconsolidated sediment (sand) were mapped with 78% overall accuracy using the OBIA method compared to 71% overall accuracy using the photo-interpretation method. This study presents an alternative for mapping deeper, offshore habitats capable of producing higher thematic (percent biological cover) and spatial resolution maps compared to those created with the traditional photo-interpretation method.

  5. Experimental illumination of natural habitat : How does artificial light influence daily and seasonal timing?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spoelstra, K.; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Berendse, Frank; Veenendaal, Elmar M.; Visser, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    Artificial illumination has increased dramatically over the last few decades. In natural habitat, anthropogenic light at night may lead to changes in species composition and differences in population densities. On the individual level, the presence of artificial light may disturb the temporal

  6. Gradients in the number of species at reef-seagrass ecotones explained by gradients in abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Tuya

    Full Text Available Gradients in the composition and diversity (e.g. number of species of faunal assemblages are common at ecotones between juxtaposed habitats. Patterns in the number of species, however, can be confounded by patterns in abundance of individuals, because more species tend to be found wherever there are more individuals. We tested whether proximity to reefs influenced patterns in the composition and diversity ('species density'  =  number of species per area and 'species richness'  =  number of species per number of individuals of prosobranch gastropods in meadows of two seagrasses with different physiognomy: Posidonia and Amphibolis. A change in the species composition was observed from reef-seagrass edges towards the interiors of Amphibolis, but not in Posidonia meadows. Similarly, the abundance of gastropods and species density was higher at edges relative to interiors of Amphibolis meadows, but not in Posidonia meadows. However, species richness was not affected by proximity to reefs in either type of seagrass meadow. The higher number of species at the reef-Amphibolis edge was therefore a consequence of higher abundance, rather than species richness per se. These results suggest that patterns in the composition and diversity of fauna with proximity to adjacent habitats, and the underlying processes that they reflect, likely depend on the physiognomy of the habitat.

  7. The exergy of a phase shift: Ecosystem functioning loss in seagrass meadows of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montefalcone, Monica; Vassallo, Paolo; Gatti, Giulia; Parravicini, Valeriano; Paoli, Chiara; Morri, Carla; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2015-04-01

    Sustained functioning of ecosystems is predicted to depend upon the maintenance of their biodiversity, structure and integrity. The large consensus achieved in this regard, however, faces to the objective difficulty of finding appropriate metrics to measure ecosystem functioning. Here, we aim at evaluating functional consequence of the phase shift occurring in meadows of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, a priority habitat that is undergoing regression in many coastal areas due to multiple human pressures. Structural degradation of the P. oceanica ecosystem, consequent to increasing coastal exploitation and climate change, may result in the progressive replacement of this seagrass by opportunistic macrophytes, either native or alien. Reviewing published information and our personal records, we measured changes in biological habitat provisioning, species richness and biomass associated to each of the alternative states characterizing the phase shift. Then, ecosystem functioning was assessed by computing the exergy associated to each state, exergy being a state variable that measures the ecosystem capacity to produce work. Phase shift was consistently shown to imply loss in habitat provision, species richness, and biomass; structural and compositional loss was parallelled by a reduction of exergy content, thus providing for the first time an objective and integrative measure of the loss of ecosystem functioning following the degradation of healthy seagrass meadows.

  8. Genome-wide survey of the seagrass Zostera muelleri suggests modification of the ethylene signalling network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golicz, Agnieszka A; Schliep, Martin; Lee, Huey Tyng; Larkum, Anthony W D; Dolferus, Rudy; Batley, Jacqueline; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Sablok, Gaurav; Ralph, Peter J; Edwards, David

    2015-03-01

    Seagrasses are flowering plants which grow fully submerged in the marine environment. They have evolved a range of adaptations to environmental challenges including light attenuation through water, the physical stress of wave action and tidal currents, high concentrations of salt, oxygen deficiency in marine sediment, and water-borne pollination. Although, seagrasses are a key stone species of the costal ecosystems, many questions regarding seagrass biology and evolution remain unanswered. Genome sequence data for the widespread Australian seagrass species Zostera muelleri were generated and the unassembled data were compared with the annotated genes of five sequenced plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Phoenix dactylifera, Musa acuminata, and Spirodela polyrhiza). Genes which are conserved between Z. muelleri and the five plant species were identified, together with genes that have been lost in Z. muelleri. The effect of gene loss on biological processes was assessed on the gene ontology classification level. Gene loss in Z. muelleri appears to influence some core biological processes such as ethylene biosynthesis. This study provides a foundation for further studies of seagrass evolution as well as the hormonal regulation of plant growth and development. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  9. Export from Seagrass Meadows Contributes to Marine Carbon Sequestration

    KAUST Repository

    Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-17

    Seagrasses export a substantial portion of their primary production, both in particulate and dissolved organic form, but the fate of this export production remains unaccounted for in terms of seagrass carbon sequestration. Here we review available evidence on the fate of seagrass carbon export to conclude that this represents a significant contribution to carbon sequestration, both in sediments outside seagrass meadows and in the deep sea. The evidence presented implies that the contribution of seagrass meadows to carbon sequestration has been underestimated by only including carbon burial within seagrass sediments.

  10. Mangrove and seagrass beds provide different biogeochemical services for corals threatened by climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma F Camp

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are driving acidification in parallel with warming of the oceans. Future ocean acidification scenarios have the potential to impact coral growth and associated reef function, although reports suggest such affects could be reduced in adjacent seagrass habitats as a result of physio-chemical buffering. To-date, it remains unknown whether these habitats can actually support the metabolic function of a diverse range of corals. Similarly, whether mangroves provide the same ecological buffering service remains unclear. We examine whether reef-associated habitat sites (seagrass and mangroves can act as potential refugia to future climate change by maintaining favorable chemical conditions (elevated pH and aragonite saturation state relative to the open-ocean, but by also assessing whether the metabolic function (photosynthesis, respiration and calcification of important reef-building corals are sustained. We investigated three sites in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and consistently observed that seagrass beds experience an overall elevation in mean pH (8.15 ± 0.01 relative to the adjacent outer-reef (8.12 ± 0.03, but with periods of high and low pH. Corals in the seagrass habitats either sustained calcification or experienced an average reduction of 17.0 ± 6.1 % relative to the outer-reef. In contrast, mangrove habitats were characterized by a low mean pH (8.04 ± 0.01 and a relatively moderate pH range. Corals within mangrove-dominated habitats were thus pre-conditioned to low pH but with significant suppression to calcification (70.0 ± 7.3 % reduction relative to the outer-reef. Both habitats also experienced more variable temperatures (diel range up to 2.5°C relative to the outer-reef (diel range less than 0.7°C, which did not correspond with changes in calcification rates. Here we report, for the first time, the biological costs for corals living in reef-associated habitats and

  11. EPA Seagrass Restoration 1994-1995

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Study compared nekton densities and community composition in a natural mixed seagrass bed dominated by Halodule wrightii (shoalgrass) with those found in three...

  12. Variations of the macrobenthic community in a seagrass transplanted area of the Lagoon of Venice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pranovi

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Modifications in a benthic community, induced by an experimental transplant of seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa Ucria, were studied in an area located in the southern basin of the Lagoon of Venice. Two surveys, carried out in March and September 1996, indicated that species composition and numerical dominants changed with season, with increasing dissimilarity between the transplanted meadow and the surrounding area. The latter was used as a control area and was characterised by the presence of pleustophytic algae (Ulva rigida, Gracilaria verrucosa, Chaetomorpha linum. Comparison with a natural C. nodosa bed showed that, only two vegetative seasons after transplant, seagrass performance and the structure of the macrobenthic community were quite similar to those recorded in a natural meadow. The experiment demonstrated the importance of C. nodosa transplant in the Lagoon of Venice and the changes induced in the whole benthic community by the introduction of seagrass in an area previously lacking it.

  13. Habitat-dependent growth in a Caribbean sea urchin Tripneustes ventricosus: the importance of food type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciá, Silvia; Robinson, Michael P.

    2008-12-01

    The sea urchin Tripneustes ventricosus is a common, yet relatively poorly known, grazer of seagrass beds and coral reefs throughout the Caribbean. We compared the size and abundance of urchins between adjacent seagrass and coral reef habitats (where macroalgae are the dominant primary producers). We also conducted a laboratory experiment comparing the growth rate of juvenile urchins fed a diet of either macroalgae or seagrass. Reef urchins had significantly larger test diameter than those in the seagrass on some sampling dates. This size difference may be at least partially explained by diet, because laboratory-reared urchins fed macroalgae grew significantly faster than those fed seagrass. The seagrass population, however, was stable over time, whereas the reef population exhibited strong fluctuations in abundance. Overall, our study indicates that both the seagrass and coral reef habitats are capable of supporting healthy, reproductive populations of T. ventricosus. Each, however, appears to offer a distinct advantage: faster growth on the reef and greater population stability in the seagrass.

  14. Notes on Seagrasses along Myanmar Coastal Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Soe-htun, U.; San-tha-htun, U.; Mu-mu-aye, Daw; Ni-ni-win, Daw; Lei-lei-win, Daw; Ohno, Masao

    2002-01-01

    A total of nine species belonging to five genera from two families of seagrasses was collected from the three coastal regions of Myanmar. These are Cymodocea rotundata, C. serrulata, Halodule pinifolia, H. uninervis, Syringodium isotoefolium, Enhalus acoroides, Halophila beccarii, H. decipiens and H. ovalis. Due to turbid water by enormous sediment discharge of two greatest rivers, the Ayeyarwady and the Thanlwin, the subtidal vegetation of seagrasses is totally absent in the Ayeyarwady Delta...

  15. Scale-dependent mechanisms of habitat selection for a migratory passerine: an experimental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Therese M.; Cornell, Kerri L.

    2010-01-01

    Habitat selection theory predicts that individuals choose breeding habitats that maximize fitness returns on the basis of indirect environmental cues at multiple spatial scales. We performed a 3-year field experiment to evaluate five alternative hypotheses regarding whether individuals choose breeding territories in heterogeneous landscapes on the basis of (1) shrub cover within a site, (2) forest land-cover pattern surrounding a site, (3) conspecific song cues during prebreeding settlement periods, (4) a combination of these factors, and (5) interactions among these factors. We tested hypotheses with playbacks of conspecific song across a gradient of landscape pattern and shrub density and evaluated changes in territory occupancy patterns in a forest-nesting passerine, the Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens). Our results support the hypothesis that vegetation structure plays a primary role during presettlement periods in determining occupancy patterns in this species. Further, both occupancy rates and territory turnover were affected by an interaction between local shrub density and amount of forest in the surrounding landscape, but not by interactions between habitat cues and social cues. Although previous studies of this species in unfragmented landscapes found that social postbreeding song cues played a key role in determining territory settlement, our prebreeding playbacks were not associated with territory occupancy or turnover. Our results suggest that in heterogeneous landscapes during spring settlement, vegetation structure may be a more reliable signal of reproductive performance than the physical location of other individuals.

  16. Metabolomics Reveals Cryptic Interactive Effects of Species Interactions and Environmental Stress on Nitrogen and Sulfur Metabolism in Seagrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Castorani, Max C. N.; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication of estuaries and coastal seas is accelerating, increasing light stress on subtidal marine plants and changing their interactions with other species. To date, we have limited understanding of how such variations in environmental and biological stress modify the impact of interactions...... among foundational species and eventually affect ecosystem health. Here, we used metabolomics to assess the impact of light reductions on interactions between the seagrass Zostera marina, an important habitat-forming marine plant, and the abundant and commercially important blue mussel Mytilus edulis....... Plant performance varied with light availability but was unaffected by the presence of mussels. Metabolomic analysis, on the other hand, revealed an interaction between light availability and presence of M. edulis on seagrass metabolism. Under high light, mussels stimulated seagrass nitrogen and energy...

  17. Interactions between Seagrass Complexity, Hydrodynamic Flow and Biomixing Alter Food Availability for Associated Filter-Feeding Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Ortiz, Vanessa; Egea, Luis G.; Jiménez-Ramos, Rocio; Moreno-Marín, Francisco; Pérez-Lloréns, José L.; Bouma, Tjeed J.; Brun, Fernando G.

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass shoots interact with hydrodynamic forces and thereby a positively or negatively influence the survival of associated species. The modification of these forces indirectly alters the physical transport and flux of edible particles within seagrass meadows, which will influence the growth and survivorship of associated filter-feeding organisms. The present work contributes to gaining insight into the mechanisms controlling the availability of resources for filter feeders inhabiting seagrass canopies, both from physical (influenced by seagrass density and patchiness) and biological (regulated by filter feeder density) perspectives. A factorial experiment was conducted in a large racetrack flume, which combined changes in hydrodynamic conditions, chlorophyll a concentration in the water and food intake rate (FIR) in a model active filter-feeding organism (the cockle). Results showed that seagrass density and patchiness modified both hydrodynamic forces and availability of resources for filter feeders. Chlorophyll a water content decreased to 50% of the initial value when densities of both seagrass shoots and cockles were high. Also, filter feeder density controlled resource availability within seagrass patches, depending on its spatial position within the racetrack flume. Under high density of filter-feeding organisms, chlorophyll a levels were lower between patches. This suggests that the pumping activity of cockles (i.e. biomixing) is an emergent key factor affecting both resource availability and FIR for filter feeders in dense canopies. Applying our results to natural conditions, we suggest the existence of a direct correlation between habitat complexity (i.e. shoot density and degree of patchiness) and filter feeders density. Fragmented and low-density patches seem to offer both greater protection from hydrodynamic forces and higher resource availability. In denser patches, however, resources are allocated mostly within the canopy, which would benefit

  18. Benthic macro-invertebrate community composition within a mangrove/seagrass estuary in northern New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro, Andrea C.

    2006-01-01

    In the tropics and sub-tropics, estuarine environments with mangrove and seagrass habitats provide important structures and resources for diverse communities of benthic organisms. However, temperate estuarine habitats, especially in mangrove areas, may differ significantly in their community associations and interactions. The community composition of benthic macro-fauna was investigated within temperate Matapouri Estuary, northern New Zealand. The density and distribution of fauna were sampled within six distinctive habitats (mangrove stands, pneumatophore zones, Zostera beds, channels, banks, and sand flats), within four sampling events between December 2002 and September 2003. Each type of habitat was replicated seven times within different locations in the estuary. Counts of all infauna and epifauna within four replicate cores were recorded from each habitat and location. Multidimensional scaling plots were used to identify differences in structure and composition of assemblages among habitats and locations within each sampling event. Results from these benthic samples indicate that Matapouri Estuary has a high overall biodiversity, with distinctive faunal assemblages found within different habitats, and some seasonal variations also apparent. In terms of both number of individuals and taxa per unit area, seagrass beds had the highest numbers and mangrove areas had the lowest numbers, with all other habitats in between. Some locations were found to support a high diversity of organisms across habitats, while other locations had high densities of a few species only. Several physical and biological differences between tropical/sub-tropical and New Zealand's temperate mangrove habitats are put forth as potential reasons for the lower density and diversity of the benthic component observed herein. Further ongoing studies aim to elucidate the structure and interactions within food webs in this estuarine ecosystem.

  19. Potential roles of Labyrinthula spp. in global seagrass population declines

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sullivan, B.K.; Sherman, T.D.; Damare, V.S.; Lilje, O.; Gleason, F.H.

    Overwhelming evidence suggests that seagrass ecosystems are declining around the world. Pathogens from the genus Labyrinthula have repeatedly been found to cause disease in a variety of seagrass species. For example, the ‘wasting disease’ of Zostera...

  20. Abundance patterns of macrofauna and infauna in nursery habitats of Christmas Bay, Texas: July 1984 through June 1985.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Between July 1984 and June 1985, monthly samples were collected from marsh, seagrass, and nonvegetated habitats in Christmas Bay and West Bay in the Galveston Bay...

  1. Strategy for assessing impacts in ephemeral tropical seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovey, Renae K; Statton, John; Fraser, Matthew W; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Zavala-Perez, Andrea; Rees, Max; Stoddart, James; Kendrick, Gary A

    2015-12-30

    We investigated the phenology and spatial patterns in Halophila decipiens by assessing biomass, reproduction and seed density in ~400 grab samples collected across nine sites (8 to 14 m water depth) between June 2011 and December 2012. Phenology correlated with light climate which is governed by the summer monsoon (wet period). During the wet period, sedimentary seed banks prevailed, varying spatially at both broad and fine scales, presenting a source of propagules for re-colonisation following the unfavourable growing conditions of the monsoon. Spatial patterns in H. decipiens biomass following monsoon conditions were highly variable within a landscape that largely comprised potential seagrass habitat. Management strategies for H. decipiens and similar transient species must recognise the high temporal and spatial variability of these populations and be underpinned by a framework that emphasises vulnerability assessments of different life stages instead of relying solely on thresholds for standing stock at fixed reference sites. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Experimental illumination of natural habitat--an experimental set-up to assess the direct and indirect ecological consequences of artificial light of different spectral composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; van Grunsven, Roy H A; Donners, Maurice; Gienapp, Phillip; Huigens, Martinus E; Slaterus, Roy; Berendse, Frank; Visser, Marcel E; Veenendaal, Elmar

    2015-05-05

    Artificial night-time illumination of natural habitats has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Generally, studies that assess the impact of artificial light on various species in the wild make use of existing illumination and are therefore correlative. Moreover, studies mostly focus on short-term consequences at the individual level, rather than long-term consequences at the population and community level-thereby ignoring possible unknown cascading effects in ecosystems. The recent change to LED lighting has opened up the exciting possibility to use light with a custom spectral composition, thereby potentially reducing the negative impact of artificial light. We describe here a large-scale, ecosystem-wide study where we experimentally illuminate forest-edge habitat with different spectral composition, replicated eight times. Monitoring of species is being performed according to rigid protocols, in part using a citizen-science-based approach, and automated where possible. Simultaneously, we specifically look at alterations in behaviour, such as changes in activity, and daily and seasonal timing. In our set-up, we have so far observed that experimental lights facilitate foraging activity of pipistrelle bats, suppress activity of wood mice and have effects on birds at the community level, which vary with spectral composition. Thus far, we have not observed effects on moth populations, but these and many other effects may surface only after a longer period of time. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Lethal and sub-lethal chronic effects of the herbicide diuron on seagrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Negri, Andrew P., E-mail: a.negri@aims.gov.au [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland 4810 (Australia); Flores, Florita [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland 4810 (Australia); Mercurio, Phil [Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland 4810 (Australia); University of Queensland and National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108 (Australia); Mueller, Jochen F. [University of Queensland and National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108 (Australia); Collier, Catherine J. [Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870 (Australia)

    2015-08-15

    Highlights: • We performed chronic exposures of two seagrass species to the herbicide diuron. • Diuron affected photosystem II (PSII) at 0.3 μg l{sup −1} and growth at 7.2 μg l{sup −1}. • Biomarkers indicated that carbon-assimilation from photosynthesis dropped following 0.6 μg l{sup −1} diuron exposure. • Energetic reserves in the seagrass were halved at 1.7 μg l{sup −1} after 11 weeks. • Chronic exposure to diuron is likely to enhance the impacts of low light stress during flood plumes - Abstract: Photosystem II herbicides from agricultural sources have been detected throughout nearshore tropical habitats including seagrass meadows. While PSII herbicides have been shown to inhibit growth in microalgae at low concentrations, the potential impacts of chronic low concentration exposures to seagrass health and growth have not been investigated. Here we exposed two tropical seagrass species Halodule uninervis and Zostera muelleri to elevated diuron concentrations (from 0.3 to 7.2 μg l{sup −1}) over a 79-day period followed by a 2-week recovery period in uncontaminated seawater. PAM fluorometry demonstrated rapid effect of diuron on photosystem II (PSII) in both seagrass species at 0.3 μg l{sup −1}. This effect included significant inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/F{sub m}′) and inactivation of PSII (F{sub v}/F{sub m}) over the 11 week exposure period. Significant mortality and reductions in growth was only observed at the highest exposure concentration of 7.2 μg l{sup −1} diuron. However, biochemical indicators demonstrated that the health of seagrass after this prolonged exposure was significantly compromised at lower concentrations. For example, the drop in C:N ratios (0.6 μg l{sup −1}) and reduced δ{sup 13}C (1.7 μg l{sup −1}) in seagrass leaves indicated reduced C-assimilation from photosynthesis. Critically, the energetic reserves of the plants (as measured by starch content in the root-rhizome complex) were

  4. Diversity and coverage of seagrass ecosystems in south-west ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seagrass meadows provide important nursery and feeding grounds for many commercially valuable fish species. Here, we address the paucity of published information on the status of seagrasses in Madagascar by documenting the results from ecological surveys of 11 seagrass beds in Velondriake, a locally managed ...

  5. SeagrassDB: An open-source transcriptomics landscape for phylogenetically profiled seagrasses and aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sablok, Gaurav; Hayward, Regan J; Davey, Peter A; Santos, Rosiane P; Schliep, Martin; Larkum, Anthony; Pernice, Mathieu; Dolferus, Rudy; Ralph, Peter J

    2018-02-09

    Seagrasses and aquatic plants are important clades of higher plants, significant for carbon sequestration and marine ecological restoration. They are valuable in the sense that they allow us to understand how plants have developed traits to adapt to high salinity and photosynthetically challenged environments. Here, we present a large-scale phylogenetically profiled transcriptomics repository covering seagrasses and aquatic plants. SeagrassDB encompasses a total of 1,052,262 unigenes with a minimum and maximum contig length of 8,831 bp and 16,705 bp respectively. SeagrassDB provides access to 34,455 transcription factors, 470,568 PFAM domains, 382,528 prosite models and 482,121 InterPro domains across 9 species. SeagrassDB allows for the comparative gene mining using BLAST-based approaches and subsequent unigenes sequence retrieval with associated features such as expression (FPKM values), gene ontologies, functional assignments, family level classification, Interpro domains, KEGG orthology (KO), transcription factors and prosite information. SeagrassDB is available to the scientific community for exploring the functional genic landscape of seagrass and aquatic plants at: http://115.146.91.129/index.php .

  6. Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrodynamic Measurements over a Palauan Seagrass Bed: Can Seagrasses Mitigate Local Acidification Stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirsh, H.; Torres, W.; Shea, M.

    2016-02-01

    Interest in seagrass beds as a tool to locally mitigate ocean acidification is growing rapidly. Much of the interest in seagrasses is motivated by their root structure, which is able to sequester carbon over interannual and longer timescales. Far less is known about their biogeochemistry on shorter diel timescales, yet we know that diel cycle variation in CO2 chemistry on coral reefs can be quite substantial. Understanding short-term seagrass biogeochemistry is critical to evaluating if, and how, seagrasses may eventually be utilized to mitigate OA on coral reefs. We present the results of a high-resolution, 24-hour control volume experiment conducted in the Republic of Palau covering a 50m x 100m seagrass bed. Our dataset includes diel cycles of hydrodynamic (current profiles and turbulence), biogeochemical (pH, pCO2, TA, DIC, and O2), and environmental (temperature and salinity) parameters. We use these coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical measurements to estimate ecosystem metabolism and better quantify the capacity of seagrass to mitigate local acidification through the photosynthetic uptake of CO2. Combining our field observations with box model predictions allows us to gain better insight into the mechanisms that control seagrass metabolism and their ability to buffer CO2 for downstream corals.

  7. Restoration of seagrasses with economic analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thorhaug, A. (Univ. of Miami, FL); Austin, C.B.

    1976-01-01

    The technique of restoration of populations of land plants is an old one that is well understood by scientists, agronomists, forestry experts, and the general public. However, only recently has attention been turned to restoring underwater areas with so-called seagrasses. From 1947 onwards, attempts have been made to restore suitable marine areas by using important species; however, only very recently (from August 1973) have large-scale restoration projects been undertaken. The efforts that have been made to replant various seagrass species by different techniques are reviewed, but only two seagrasses, Zostera noltii and Thalassia testudinum, have been restored on a large scale. Both of these can be restored successfully; however, the seeding method of Thalassia appears to be the most practical operation of all, and the most potentially valuable for future research into large-scale restoration, as it allows flexibility of location and of depth of transplantation, and involves the minimum of damage to the donor site. It also ensures the most rapid regrowth, besides being in the long run the most economical method yet devised of restoring a seagrass community. An economic model and analysis for restoration costs are given and finally a wide range of uses of restoration of such beds of seagrasses are enumerated.

  8. Can mud (silt and clay) concentration be used to predict soil organic carbon content within seagrass ecosystems?

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar

    2016-09-07

    The emerging field of blue carbon science is seeking cost-effective ways to estimate the organic carbon content of soils that are bound by coastal vegetated ecosystems. Organic carbon (C-org) content in terrestrial soils and marine sediments has been correlated with mud content (i.e., silt and clay, particle sizes <63 mu m), however, empirical tests of this theory are lacking for coastal vegetated ecosystems. Here, we compiled data (n = 1345) on the relationship between C-org and mud contents in seagrass ecosystems (79 cores) and adjacent bare sediments (21 cores) to address whether mud can be used to predict soil C-org content. We also combined these data with the delta C-13 signatures of the soil C-org to understand the sources of Corg stores. The results showed that mud is positively correlated with soil C-org content only when the contribution of seagrass-derived C-org to the sedimentary C-org pool is relatively low, such as in small and fast-growing meadows of the genera Zostera, Halodule and Halophila, and in bare sediments adjacent to seagrass ecosystems. In large and long-living seagrass meadows of the genera Posidonia and Amphibolis there was a lack of, or poor relationship between mud and soil C-org content, related to a higher contribution of seagrass-derived C-org to the sedimentary C-org pool in these meadows. The relatively high soil C-org contents with relatively low mud contents (e.g., mud-C-org saturation) in bare sediments and Zostera, Halodule and Halophila meadows was related to significant allochthonous inputs of terrestrial organic matter, while higher contribution of seagrass detritus in Amphibolis and Posidonia meadows disrupted the correlation expected between soil C-org and mud contents. This study shows that mud is not a universal proxy for blue carbon content in seagrass ecosystems, and therefore should not be applied generally across all seagrass habitats. Mud content can only be used as a proxy to estimate soil C-org content for

  9. Seagrass proliferation precedes mortality during hypo-salinity events: a stress-induced morphometric response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine J Collier

    Full Text Available Halophytes, such as seagrasses, predominantly form habitats in coastal and estuarine areas. These habitats can be seasonally exposed to hypo-salinity events during watershed runoff exposing them to dramatic salinity shifts and osmotic shock. The manifestation of this osmotic shock on seagrass morphology and phenology was tested in three Indo-Pacific seagrass species, Halophila ovalis, Halodule uninervis and Zostera muelleri, to hypo-salinity ranging from 3 to 36 PSU at 3 PSU increments for 10 weeks. All three species had broad salinity tolerance but demonstrated a moderate hypo-salinity stress response--analogous to a stress induced morphometric response (SIMR. Shoot proliferation occurred at salinities <30 PSU, with the largest increases, up to 400% increase in shoot density, occurring at the sub-lethal salinities <15 PSU, with the specific salinity associated with peak shoot density being variable among species. Resources were not diverted away from leaf growth or shoot development to support the new shoot production. However, at sub-lethal salinities where shoots proliferated, flowering was severely reduced for H. ovalis, the only species to flower during this experiment, demonstrating a diversion of resources away from sexual reproduction to support the investment in new shoots. This SIMR response preceded mortality, which occurred at 3 PSU for H. ovalis and 6 PSU for H. uninervis, while complete mortality was not reached for Z. muelleri. This is the first study to identify a SIMR in seagrasses, being detectable due to the fine resolution of salinity treatments tested. The detection of SIMR demonstrates the need for caution in interpreting in-situ changes in shoot density as shoot proliferation could be interpreted as a healthy or positive plant response to environmental conditions, when in fact it could signal pre-mortality stress.

  10. Introduced goldfish affect amphibians through inhibition of sexual behaviour in risky habitats: an experimental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winandy, Laurane; Denoël, Mathieu

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of alien species is one of the major causes of current and global biodiversity loss. The introduction of fish can be a particular threat to native amphibian populations, which are declining worldwide. One way for amphibians to persist in such altered environments is to adopt anti-predator strategies especially at the behavioural level. However, although it has been shown that avoidance behaviour may decrease the probability of being detected by a potential predator, little is known on the consequences on sexual behaviour. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that adult Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris) use shelters more often and exhibit less sexual activity in the presence of goldfish (Carassius auratus) and that they reduce sexual activity more in risky micro-habitats than in safe environments. To this end, we assessed behavioural patterns of adult newts in a replicated laboratory design. Goldfish were present in direct contact with newts in half of the tanks. Consistently throughout the study period, significantly more newts used shelter in the presence of fish than in their absence. Newts also significantly decreased their sexual activity level overall, but specially outside the shelter when they were in direct contact with fish. These results show that fish presence can affect newts in complex ways, such as through inhibition of their reproduction. Our work highlights that integrating behaviour in conservation studies is essential to understanding the patterns of coexistence and exclusion between introduced fish and amphibians.

  11. Morphological asymmetry and habitat quality: using fleas and their rodent hosts as a novel experimental system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warburton, Elizabeth M; Khokhlova, Irina S; Kiefer, Daniel; Krasnov, Boris R

    2017-04-01

    Morphological asymmetry is widely used to measure developmental instability and higher levels of asymmetry often correlate with decreased mating success, increased inbreeding, increased stress and decreased habitat quality. We studied asymmetry and relationships between asymmetry and host identity in two flea species, host generalist Xenopsylla ramesis and host specialist Parapulex chephrenis , and asked: (1) what the level of asymmetry was in their femurs and tibiae; (2) which type of asymmetry predominates; and (3) whether fleas that fed on host species distantly related to their principal host species produced offspring that exhibited greater asymmetry compared with offspring of fleas that fed on their principal host species. We found fluctuating asymmetry in femurs and tibiae of X. ramesis and in the tibiae of P. chephrenis as well as significantly left-handed directional asymmetry in the femurs of P. chephrenis Host species identity significantly impacted asymmetry in leg segments of P. chephrenis but not in those of X. ramesis Offspring asymmetry increased when mother fleas fed on a host that was distantly related to the principal host. Fleas parasitizing multiple host species might compensate for developmental instability when utilizing a novel host species; therefore, host-switching events in host-specific parasites could be constrained by the relatedness between a novel and a principal host species. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. The utilization of Depth Invariant Index and Principle Component Analysis for mapping seagrass ecosystem of Kotok Island and Karang Bongkok, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuputty, Agnestesya; Lumban Gaol, Jonson; Bahri Agus, Syamsul; Wayan Nurjaya, I.

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass perform a variety of functions within ecosystems, and have both economic and ecological values, therefore it has to be kept sustainable. One of the stages to preserve seagrass ecosystems is monitoring by utilizing thespatial data accurately. The purpose of the study was to assess and compare the accuracy of DII and PCA transformationsfor mapping of seagrass ecosystems. Fieldstudy was carried out in Karang Bongkok and Kotok Island waters, in Agustus 2014 and in March 2015. A WorldView-2 image acquisition date of 5 October 2013 was used in the study. The transformations for image processing data were Depth Invariant Index (DII) and Principle Component Analysis (PCA) using Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification. The result shows that benthic habitat mapping of Karang Bongkok using DII and PCA transformations were 72%and 81% overall’s accuracy respectively, whereas of Kotok Island were 83% and 84% overall’s accuracy respectively. There were seven benthic habitat types found in karang Bongkok waters and in Kotok Island namely seagrass, sand, rubble, coral, logoon, sand mix seagrass, and sand mix rubble. PCA transformation was effectively to improve mapping accuracy of sea grass mapping in Kotok Island and Karang Bongkok.

  13. The importance of mangroves, mud and sand flats, and seagrass beds as feeding areas for juvenile fishes in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar : gut content and stable isotope analyses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lugendo, B.; Nagelkerken, I.; Velde, G. van der; Mgaya, Y.D.

    2006-01-01

    The relative importance of bay habitats, consisting of mangrove creeks and channel, seagrass beds, and mud and sand flats, as feeding grounds for a number of fish species was studied in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania, using gut content analysis and stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen. Gut

  14. Biomass and productivity of seagrasses in Africa.

    OpenAIRE

    Githaiga, Michael N..; Gilpin, Linda; Kairo, James G.; Huxham, Mark

    2016-01-01

    There is growing interest in carbon stocks and flows in seagrass ecosystems, but recent global reviews suggest a paucity of studies from Africa. This paper reviews work on seagrass productivity, biomass and sediment carbon in Africa. Most work was conducted in East Africa with a major geographical gap in West Africa. The mean above-ground, below-ground and total biomasses from all studies were 174.4, 474.6 and 514 g DW m-2, respectively with a global range of 461-738 g DW m-2. Mean annual pro...

  15. The emergence of molecular profiling and omics techniques in seagrass biology; furthering our understanding of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davey, Peter A; Pernice, Mathieu; Sablok, Gaurav; Larkum, Anthony; Lee, Huey Tyng; Golicz, Agnieszka; Edwards, David; Dolferus, Rudy; Ralph, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Seagrass meadows are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of increasing coastal development and climate change. The emergence of omics and molecular profiling techniques in seagrass research is timely, providing a new opportunity to address such global issues. Whilst these applications have transformed terrestrial plant research, they have only emerged in seagrass research within the past decade; In this time frame we have observed a significant increase in the number of publications in this nascent field, and as of this year the first genome of a seagrass species has been sequenced. In this review, we focus on the development of omics and molecular profiling and the utilization of molecular markers in the field of seagrass biology. We highlight the advances, merits and pitfalls associated with such technology, and importantly we identify and address the knowledge gaps, which to this day prevent us from understanding seagrasses in a holistic manner. By utilizing the powers of omics and molecular profiling technologies in integrated strategies, we will gain a better understanding of how these unique plants function at the molecular level and how they respond to on-going disturbance and climate change events.

  16. Interspecific differences in habitat selection of syngnathids in the Ria Formosa lagoon, Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Carolin; Erzini, Karim

    2017-04-01

    Interspecific patterns of local population abundances and differences in habitat preference of two seagrass resident pipefish species of the genus Syngnathus were investigated in a semi-protected lagoon system in Southern Portugal. The results of the combination of field surveys across different seagrass meadows and laboratory habitat choice experiments between May and September 2014 demonstrate that the pipefish population structure in a single-species meadow composed of Zostera noltei differed significantly from the ones in a single-species meadow of Cymodocea nodosa and a mixed meadow of both seagrasses. In addition, the two most abundant pipefish species, Syngnathus typhle and Syngnathus abaster, showed interspecific and intersexual differences in habitat selection both on a macro- and a microhabitat scale in laboratory experiments. The study suggests that in addition to the investigated structural characteristics of sea grasses (i.e. shoot length and density), other factors such as flow velocity may influence habitat selection of syngnathids.

  17. Faunistic analysis of the caridean shrimps inhabiting seagrasses along the NW coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Everardo Barba Macías

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows are highly productive and ecologically important habitats in estuaries and coastal lagoons, and contain a variety of faunal communities, from which the caridean shrimps are a dominant component. The purpose of this work was to analyze the environmental parameters of water and sediments, with the biological components in seagrass epifaunal communities, from the Western Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. For this, density and diversity of caridean shrimps were analyzed and correlated with environmental parameters and seagrass biomass, and zoogeographic affinities were determined. The spatial distribution of caridean shrimps was recorded for 12 localities with Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum monospecific seagrass meadows. A total of 72 158 individuals of 16 taxa were collected. Among results, the Hippolytidae resulted the most abundant group (92.3% with eight species, and was followed by Palaemonidae with 7.6% of the abundance and seven species, and the Alpheidae with only one genus. From the total of collected carideans, a 37.3% was found in H. wrightii and 62.7% in T. testudinum. The dominant species were Hippolyte zostericola (12.39ind./m2, Tozeuma carolinense (9.5ind./m2, Thor dobkini (4.84ind./m2 and Palaemonetes vulgaris (4.87ind./m2. The zoogeographic distribution of the carideans presented two groups: species of the Virginian-Carolinean province representing its Southern limit (43.75% and species of the Brazilian-Caribbean province representing its Northern limit (56.25%. The species H. zostericola, T. carolinense, P. vulgaris, P. pugio and P. intermedius are widely distributed along the Western Atlantic coast. This study has base line information for seagrass habitats, the community of epifaunal carideans and their ecological affinities, previous to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

  18. Faunistic analysis of the caridean shrimps inhabiting seagrasses along the NW coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macías, Everardo Barba

    2012-09-01

    Seagrass meadows are highly productive and ecologically important habitats in estuaries and coastal lagoons, and contain a variety of faunal communities, from which the caridean shrimps are a dominant component. The purpose of this work was to analyze the environmental parameters of water and sediments, with the biological components in seagrass epifaunal communities, from the Western Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. For this, density and diversity of caridean shrimps were analyzed and correlated with environmental parameters and seagrass biomass, and zoogeographic affinities were determined. The spatial distribution of caridean shrimps was recorded for 12 localities with Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum monospecific seagrass meadows. A total of 72158 individuals of 16 taxa were collected. Among results, the Hippolytidae resulted the most abundant group (92.3%) with eight species, and was followed by Palaemonidae with 7.6% of the abundance and seven species, and the Alpheidae with only one genus. From the total of collected carideans, a 37.3% was found in H. wrightii and 62.7% in T. testudinum. The dominant species were Hippolyte zostericola (12.39ind./m2), Tozeuma carolinense (9.5ind./m2), Thor dobkini (4.84ind./m2) and Palaemonetes vulgaris (4.87ind./m2). The zoogeographic distribution of the carideans presented two groups: species of the Virginian-Carolinean province representing its Southern limit (43.75%) and species of the Brazilian-Caribbean province representing its Northern limit (56.25%). The species H. zostericola, T. carolinense, P. vulgaris, P. pugio and P. intermedius are widely distributed along the Western Atlantic coast. This study has base line information for seagrass habitats, the community of epifaunal carideans and their ecological affinities, previous to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

  19. Methane Production by Seagrass Ecosystems in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus

    2017-11-07

    Atmospheric methane (CH) is the second strongest greenhouse gas and it is emitted to the atmosphere naturally by different sources. It is crucial to define the dimension of these natural emissions in order to forecast changes in atmospheric CH mixing ratio in future scenarios. However, CH emissions by seagrass ecosystems in shallow marine coastal systems have been neglected although their global extension. Here we quantify the CH production rates of seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. We measured changes in CH concentration and its isotopic signature by cavity ring-down spectroscopy on chambers containing sediment and plants. We detected CH production in all the seagrass stations with an average rate of 85.09 ± 27.80 μmol CH m d. Our results show that there is no seasonal or daily pattern in the CH production rates by seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. Taking in account the range of global estimates for seagrass coverage and the average seagrass CH production, the global CH production and emission by seagrass ecosystems could range from 0.09 to 2.7 Tg yr. Because CH emission by seagrass ecosystems had not been included in previous global CH budgets, our estimate would increase the contribution of marine global emissions, hitherto estimated at 9.1 Tg yr, by about 30%. Thus, the potential contribution of seagrass ecosystems to marine CH emissions provides sufficient evidence of the relevance of these fluxes as to include seagrass ecosystems in future assessments of the global CH budgets.

  20. Manatees mapping seagrass (USA & Puerto Rico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slone, Daniel H.; Reid, James P.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Di Carlo, Giuseppe; Butler, Susan M.

    2012-01-01

    West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are secretive creatures. While some of their behaviours at winter aggregation sites in Florida are readily visible to the casual observer, many of their habits and movements are difficult to observe. They rely on submerged vegetation for nutrition, and seagrasses are one of their most important food sources.

  1. Distribution of Seagrasses and Common Seaweeds Around ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bandeira 2003), focusing on seagrass and seaweed assemblages, mapping, microhabitat characterization and species value including subtidal macroalgae. It has however been difficult to extend research to the northern part of. Mozambique due the difficulties of access to such remote areas. This is the first record on both.

  2. abundance and diversity of seagrass and macrofauna

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    in stations without seaweed farms than in the stations with seaweed farms, which could be due to activities ... from wave erosion. Temporal variability in seagrass area has been found to occur in response to either anthropogenic or natural disturbances. (Wakibia 1995, Short and Wyllie-Echeverria. 1996; Creed and Amado ...

  3. Mapping Mediterranean seagrasses with Sentinel-2 imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traganos, Dimosthenis; Reinartz, Peter

    2017-07-01

    Mediterranean seagrasses have been hailed for their numerous ecosystem services, yet they are undergoing a decline in their coverage. The major complication with resolving this tendency is the sparsity of data on their overall distribution. This study addresses the suitability of the recently launched Sentinel-2 satellite for mapping the distribution of Mediterranean seagrass meadows. A comprehensive methodology is presented which applies atmospheric and analytical water column corrections and compares the performance of three different supervised classifiers. Remote sensing of the Thermaikos Gulf, northwestern Aegean Sea (Greece, eastern Mediterranean Sea) reveals that the utilization of Support Vector Machines on water column corrected reflectances yields best accuracies. Two Mediterranean seagrasses, Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, cover a total submerged area of 1.48km2 between depths of 1.4-16.5m. With its 10-m spatial resolution and 5-day revisit frequency, Sentinel-2 imagery can mitigate the Mediterranean seagrass distribution data gap and allow better management and conservation in the future in a retrospective, time- and cost-effective fashion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Dissolved organic nitrogen uptake by seagrasses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Stapel, J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2008-01-01

    We examined the ability of seagrasses to take up dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) with leaves (in situ) and roots (laboratory) in an oligotrophic tropical offshore meadow in Indonesia using 15N-labeled nitrogen (N) substrates. We compared the uptake of urea and amino acids with that of ammonium

  5. Determining the trophic guilds of fishes and macroinvertebrates in a seagrass food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luczkovich, J.J.; Ward, G.P.; Johnson, J.C.; Christian, R.R.; Baird, D.; Neckles, H.; Rizzo, W.M.

    2002-01-01

    We established trophic guilds of macroinvertebrate and fish taxa using correspondence analysis and a hierarchical clustering strategy for a seagrass food web in winter in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. To create the diet matrix, we characterized the trophic linkages of macroinvertebrate and fish taxa. present in Hatodule wrightii seagrass habitat areas within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (Florida) using binary data, combining dietary links obtained from relevant literature for macroinvertebrates with stomach analysis of common fishes collected during January and February of 1994. Heirarchical average-linkage cluster analysis of the 73 taxa of fishes and macroinvertebrates in the diet matrix yielded 14 clusters with diet similarity greater than or equal to 0.60. We then used correspondence analysis with three factors to jointly plot the coordinates of the consumers (identified by cluster membership) and of the 33 food sources. Correspondence analysis served as a visualization tool for assigning each taxon to one of eight trophic guilds: herbivores, detritivores, suspension feeders, omnivores, molluscivores, meiobenthos consumers, macrobenthos consumers, and piscivores. These trophic groups, cross-classified with major taxonomic groups, were further used to develop consumer compartments in a network analysis model of carbon flow in this seagrass ecosystem. The method presented here should greatly improve the development of future network models of food webs by providing an objective procedure for aggregating trophic groups.

  6. Influence of habitat structure and environmental variables on larval fish assemblage in the Johor Strait, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ara, Roushon; Arshad, Aziz; Amin, S M Nurul; Idris, M H; Gaffar, Mazlan Abd; Romano, Nicholas

    2016-07-01

    Our previous study demonstrated that among different habitat sites (mangrove, estuary, river, seagrass and Open Sea) in Johor Strait, Malaysia, seagrass showed highest family diversity and abundance of larval fish. However, it is unclear whether this was due to difference in habitat complexity or water quality parameters.? To test this, larval fish were collected by using a bongo net equipped with a flow meter by subsurface horizontal towing from different habitats in Johor Strait between October 2007 and September 2008.? Various physico-chemical parameters were measured and then examined for any relationship to fish larvae diversity and abundance. Among the 24 families identified from the sites, seven families (Blenniidae, Clupeidae, Mullidae, Nemipteridae, Syngnathidae, Terapontidae and Uranoscopeidae) were significantly correlated with the tested waters quality parameters.? Salinity showed a positive and negative significant correlation with Clupeidae (p < 0.01) and Uranoscopeidae (p < 0.05), respectively. Terapontidae was significantly correlated with dissolved oxygen (p < 0.01), while both Mullidae and Syngnathidae were significantly correlated with pH (p < 0.05). However, a canonical correspondence analysis test indicated weak overall correlation (36.4%) between larval assemblage and in the seagrass-mangrove ecosystem of Johor Strait, Malaysia. This likely indicates that habitat structure was more important in determining larval abundance (highest in the seagrass habitat) as compared to water quality at the tested sites. This study emphasizes the need to conserve seagrass beds as important nursery grounds for various fish larvae to ensure adequate recruitment and ultimately sustainable fisheries management. ?

  7. Fast detection of nutrient limitation in macroalgae and seagrass with nutrient-induced fluorescence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost den Haan

    Full Text Available Rapid determination of which nutrients limit the primary production of macroalgae and seagrasses is vital for understanding the impacts of eutrophication on marine and freshwater ecosystems. However, current methods to assess nutrient limitation are often cumbersome and time consuming. For phytoplankton, a rapid method has been described based on short-term changes in chlorophyll fluorescence upon nutrient addition, also known as Nutrient-Induced Fluorescence Transients (NIFTs. Thus far, though, the NIFT technique was not well suited for macroalgae and seagrasses.We developed a new experimental setup so that the NIFT technique can be used to assess nutrient limitation of benthic macroalgae and seagrasses. We first tested the applicability of the technique on sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca cultured in the laboratory on nutrient-enriched medium without either nitrogen or phosphorus. Addition of the limiting nutrient resulted in a characteristic change in the fluorescence signal, whereas addition of non-limiting nutrients did not yield a response. Next, we applied the NIFT technique to field samples of the encrusting fan-leaf alga Lobophora variegata, one of the key algal species often involved in the degradation of coral reef ecosystems. The results pointed at co-limitation of L. variegata by phosphorus and nitrogen, although it responded more strongly to phosphate than to nitrate and ammonium addition. For turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum we found the opposite result, with a stronger NIFT response to nitrate and ammonium than to phosphate.Our extension of the NIFT technique offers an easy and fast method (30-60 min per sample to determine nutrient limitation of macroalgae and seagrasses. We successfully applied this technique to macroalgae on coral reef ecosystems and to seagrass in a tropical inner bay, and foresee wider application to other aquatic plants, and to other marine and freshwater ecosystems.

  8. Meadow development of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica on the rocky seabed: a preliminary study in the Ligurian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montefalcone, Monica; Vacchi, Matteo; Schiaffino, Chiara Francesca; Morri, Carla; Cristina, Carbone; Cabella, Roberto; Elter, Franco Marco; Nike Bianchi, Carlo; Ferrari, Marco

    2014-05-01

    Seagrass meadows are key ecosystems in coastal waters, influencing coastal zone features in terms of wave attenuation and shoreline stabilization. Landscape patterns observed in seagrass habitats are often associated with natural effects by waves or currents, as well as by human induced disturbances. Posidonia oceanica, the most important and abundant seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea, forms large meadows from the sea surface down to 40 m depth, colonizing a wide range of substratum typologies. Several studies have correlated the occurrence of P. oceanica meadows with sedimentological features, but few have investigated the role of substratum typology in shaping the geometry of a meadow. Meadows often develop on sand, but may also colonize rock. The present study relates geological parameters (structural, geotechnical, and mineralogical) of the rocky substrata with the development and characteristics of two shallow P. oceanica meadows in the Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean). Preliminary results show that the seagrass, in situations of high hydrodynamics, may colonize only specific lithotypes of the rocky substratum such as the clastic sedimentary rocks (mainly sandstone) that are characterized by low porosity and high values of strength. Under these conditions, the plant is capable to settle in areas with high hydrodynamics, where its development is usually prevented by lack of strong rhizome anchoring. When the upper portion of the meadow is installed on sub-verticalized layered rock, on which differential erosion acts, the arrangement of the more tenacious layers becomes the main element characterizing meadow geometry.

  9. An ecosystem perspective on potential impacts of drilling fluid discharges on seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, John R.; Duke, Thomas W.; Harwell, Mark A.; Harwell, Christine C.

    1987-08-01

    Potential effects of oil drilling fluid discharges upon Thalassia seagrass ecosystems were examined using seagrass core microcosms. Observed experimental effects, summarized in this article, included changes in both autotrophic ( Thalassia and epiphyte) and heterotrophic (dominant benthic macroinvertebrates) species, and the processes of primary productivity and decomposition. The physical disturbance related to greater turbidity and sedimentation caused some effects, while others seemed a direct response to the toxic constituents of drilling fluids. Using these experimental results and the case of Thalassia and drilling fluids as a case study, we explore general methodological and philosophical issues for ecotoxicology and, furthermore, focus upon the challenge of providing a scientific basis for judging acceptability of environmental changes likely to ensue from human activities.

  10. Rapidly spreading seagrass invades the Caribbean with unknown ecological consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.; Willette, Demian A; Miller, Jeff

    2014-01-01

    The non-native seagrass Halophila stipulacea has spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean Sea (Willette et al. 2014); without additional research, the ecological ramifications of this invasion are difficult to predict. Biodiversity, connectivity of marine ecosystems, and recovery of degraded coral reefs could all be affected. The invasive seagrass, native to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, has taken over sand bottoms and intermixed with or replaced native seagrasses, including Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme, and Halodule wrightii.

  11. Seagrasses in northern Gulf of Mexico: An ecosystem in trouble

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2000-01-01

    The USGS National Wetlands Research Center has documented that Seagrasses in the northern Gulf of Mexico constitute an ecosystem in trouble. From studies in St. Andrews Bay, Period Bay, the Chandeleur Islands, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, scientists have discovered that declining seagrass acreage ranges from 12% to 66% in bays and estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico. Not only are seagrasses disappearing, but they are also changing in species composition, densities, and patchiness.

  12. Effects of light and biomass partitioning on growth, photosynthesis and carbohydrate content of the seagrass Zostera nolti Hornem.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivé, I.; Brun Murillo, F.G.; Vergara, J.J.; Pérez-Lloréns, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Plants of the seagrass Zostera noltii were cultured in the laboratory (mesocosms) for two weeks to assess the effect of above:below-ground (AG/BG) biomass ratios and light on growth, photosynthesis and chemical composition. Experimental plant units (EPUs) with different proportions between AG and BG

  13. Micro-PIXE mapping of sodium and chlorine in selected seagrasses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Przybylowicz, W.J. E-mail: przybylowicz@nac.ac.za; Pineda, C.A.; Barnabas, A.D.; Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, J

    1999-04-02

    The distributions of sodium and chlorine in leaf cross sections of the seagrasses Zostera capensis and Thalassodendron ciliatum were studied using the true elemental imaging system (Dynamic Analysis) of the NAC nuclear microprobe. Analyses were performed using protons of 0.6 and 1.5 MeV and experimental conditions were compared in detail. Using protons of 0.6 MeV is recommended for mapping of Na, Mg and Al.

  14. Micro-PIXE mapping of sodium and chlorine in selected seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przybylowicz, W. J.; Pineda, C. A.; Barnabas, A. D.; Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, J.

    1999-04-01

    The distributions of sodium and chlorine in leaf cross sections of the seagrasses Zostera capensis and Thalassodendron ciliatum were studied using the true elemental imaging system (Dynamic Analysis) of the NAC nuclear microprobe. Analyses were performed using protons of 0.6 and 1.5 MeV and experimental conditions were compared in detail. Using protons of 0.6 MeV is recommended for mapping of Na, Mg and Al.

  15. Threshold effects of habitat fragmentation on fish diversity at landscapes scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeager, Lauren A; Keller, Danielle A; Burns, Taylor R; Pool, Alexia S; Fodrie, F Joel

    2016-08-01

    Habitat fragmentation involves habitat loss concomitant with changes in spatial configuration, confounding mechanistic drivers of biodiversity change associated with habitat disturbance. Studies attempting to isolate the effects of altered habitat configuration on associated communities have reported variable results. This variability may be explained in part by the fragmentation threshold hypothesis, which predicts that the effects of habitat configuration may only manifest at low levels of remnant habitat area. To separate the effects of habitat area and configuration on biodiversity, we surveyed fish communities in seagrass landscapes spanning a range of total seagrass area (2-74% cover within 16 000-m 2 landscapes) and spatial configurations (1-75 discrete patches). We also measured variation in fine-scale seagrass variables, which are known to affect faunal community composition and may covary with landscape-scale features. We found that species richness decreased and the community structure shifted with increasing patch number within the landscape, but only when seagrass area was low (fragmentation threshold hypothesis and we suggest that poor matrix quality and low dispersal ability for sensitive taxa in our system may explain why our results support the hypothesis, while previous empirical work has largely failed to match predictions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Seagrass, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_seagrass_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) seagrass data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which characterizes...

  17. Habitat collapse due to overgrazing threatens turtle conservation in marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christianen, Marjolijn J A; Herman, Peter M J; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Lamers, Leon P M; van Katwijk, Marieke M; van der Heide, Tjisse; Mumby, Peter J; Silliman, Brian R; Engelhard, Sarah L; van de Kerk, Madelon; Kiswara, Wawan; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-02-22

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools for combatting the global overexploitation of endangered species. The prevailing paradigm is that MPAs are beneficial in helping to restore ecosystems to more 'natural' conditions. However, MPAs may have unintended negative effects when increasing densities of protected species exert destructive effects on their habitat. Here, we report on severe seagrass degradation in a decade-old MPA where hyper-abundant green turtles adopted a previously undescribed below-ground foraging strategy. By digging for and consuming rhizomes and roots, turtles create abundant bare gaps, thereby enhancing erosion and reducing seagrass regrowth. A fully parametrized model reveals that the ecosystem is approaching a tipping point, where consumption overwhelms regrowth, which could potentially lead to complete collapse of the seagrass habitat. Seagrass recovery will not ensue unless turtle density is reduced to nearly zero, eliminating the MPA's value as a turtle reserve. Our results reveal an unrecognized, yet imminent threat to MPAs, as sea turtle densities are increasing at major nesting sites and the decline of seagrass habitat forces turtles to concentrate on the remaining meadows inside reserves. This emphasizes the need for policy and management approaches that consider the interactions of protected species with their habitat.

  18. A catalogue of the seagrasses of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Hartog, C.; Yang, Zongdai

    1990-03-01

    In this overall survey of the seagrasses of China 15 species are listed, eight of which are recorded for the first time. The Potamogetonaceae (subfamilies Zosteroideae and Cymodoceoideae) are represented by 10 species, and the Hydrocharitaceae (subfamilies Vallisnerioideae, Thalassioideae and Halophiloideae) by 5 species. Halophila ovalis (R. Br.) Hook. f. is represented by 2 subspecies. A key to the species based on vegetative and generative characteristics is presented.

  19. Epiphyte presence and seagrass species identity influence rates of herbivory in Mediterranean seagrass meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco-Méndez, Candela; Ferrero-Vicente, Luis Miguel; Prado, Patricia; Heck, Kenneth L.; Cebrián, Just; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis

    2015-03-01

    Herbivory on Mediterranean seagrass species is generally low compared to consumption of some other temperate and tropical species of seagrasses. In this study we: (1) investigate the feeding preference of the two dominant Mediterranean seagrass herbivores, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the fish Sarpa salpa, on Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa and (2) elucidate the role of epiphytes in herbivore choices. We assessed consumption rates by tethering seagrass shoots, and preferences by food choice experiments with the following paired combinations: 1) Epiphytized leaves of both C. nodosa vs. P. oceanica (CE vs PE); 2) Non-epiphytized leaves of C. nodosa vs. P. oceanica (CNE vs. PNE); 3) Epiphytized vs non-epiphytized leaves of C. nodosa (CE vs. CNE) and 4) Epiphytized vs non-epiphytized leaves of P. oceanica (PE vs PNE). We found that preference for C. nodosa was weak for S. salpa, but strong for P. lividus, the species responsible for most consumption at our study. Overall both herbivores showed preference for epiphytized leaves. The higher nutritional quality of C. nodosa leaves and epiphytes together with the high coverage and diversity of the epiphyte community found on its leaves help explain the higher levels of herbivory recorded on epiphyted leaves of C. nodosa. Other factors such as seagrass accessibility, herbivore mobility and size, and behavioral responses to predation risks, may also affect the intensity of seagrass herbivory, and studies addressing the interactions with these factors are needed to improve our understanding of the nature, extent and implications of herbivory in coastal ecosystems.

  20. Seagrass blue carbon dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico: Stocks, losses from anthropogenic disturbance, and gains through seagrass restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorhaug, Anitra; Poulos, Helen M; López-Portillo, Jorge; Ku, Timothy C W; Berlyn, Graeme P

    2017-12-15

    Seagrasses comprise a substantive North American and Caribbean Sea blue carbon sink. Yet fine-scale estimates of seagrass carbon stocks, fluxes from anthropogenic disturbances, and potential gains in sedimentary carbon from seagrass restoration are lacking for most of the Western Hemisphere. To begin to fill this knowledge gap in the subtropics and tropics, we quantified organic carbon (Corg) stocks, losses, and gains from restorations at 8 previously-disturbed seagrass sites around the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) (n=128 cores). Mean natural seagrass Corg stocks were 25.7±6.7MgCorgha(-1) around the GoM, while mean Corg stocks at adjacent barren sites that had previously hosted seagrass were 17.8MgCorgha(-1). Restored seagrass beds contained a mean of 38.7±13.1MgCorgha(-1). Mean Corg losses differed by anthropogenic impact type, but averaged 20.98±7.14MgCorgha(-1). Corg gains from seagrass restoration averaged 20.96±8.59Mgha(-1). These results, when combined with the similarity between natural and restored Corg content, highlight the potential of seagrass restoration for mitigating seagrass Corg losses from prior impact events. Our GoM basin-wide estimates of natural Corg totaled ~36.4Tg for the 947,327ha for the USA-GoM. Including Mexico, the total basin contained an estimated 37.2-37.5Tg Corg. Regional US-GoM losses totaled 21.69Tg Corg. Corg losses differed significantly among anthropogenic impacts. Yet, seagrass restoration appears to be an important climate change mitigation strategy that could be implemented elsewhere throughout the tropics and subtropics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. EVALUATING THE ROLE OF SEAGRASS IN CENOZOIC CO2 VARIATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Brandano

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Marine seagrass angiosperms play an important role in carbon sequestration, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and binding it as organic matter. Carbon is stored in the plants themselves, but also in the sediments both in inorganic and organic forms. The inorganic component is represented by carbonates produced by calcareous organisms living as epiphytes on seagrass leaves and rhizomes. In this paper, we find that the rate of seagrass epiphyte production (leaves and rhizomes, averages 400 g m-2 yr-1, as result of seagrass sampling at seven localities along the Mediterranean coasts, and related laboratory analysis. Seagrasses have appeared in the Late Cretaceous, becoming a place of remarkable carbonate production and C sequestration during the whole Cenozoic era. Here, we explore the potential contribution of seagrass as C sink on the atmospheric CO2 decrease by measuring changes in seagrass extent, which is directly associated with variations in the global coastal length associated with plate tectonics. We claim that global seagrass distribution significantly affected the atmospheric composition, particularly at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, when the CO2 concentration fell to 400 ppm, i.e. the approximate value of current atmospheric CO2.

  2. Seagrass-sediment feedbacks in shallow coastal lagoons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, J. A.; D'Odorico, P.; McGlathery, K.; Wiberg, P.

    2009-12-01

    Shallow coastal lagoons are environments where a delicate equilibrium exists between water quality and sea grass cover. Seagrass cover limits the resuspension of bed sediments thereby favoring a clearer water column. These conditions allow for the penetration of adequate levels of light, which in turn, is fundamental for the survival of seagrass. It is still unclear what role this positive feedback may play in the dynamics and restoration of seagrass communities. Positive feedbacks are often associated with the existence of bistable dynamics in ecosystems. In this specific case a bare and a fully vegetated sediment bed could be both stable states of the system. This study develops a one dimensional hydrodynamic model of vegetation-sediment-water flow interactions to investigate the strengths of positive feedbacks between sea grass cover, stabilization of bed sediments, turbidity of the water column, and the existence of a favorable light environment for seagrasses. The model is applied to Hog Island Bay, a shallow coastal lagoon on the eastern shore of Virginia. The effects of temperature, eutrophication, and bed grain size on bistability of seagrass ecosystems in the lagoon are explored. The results indicate that under typical conditions, seagrass is stable in water depths sustain seagrass. Decreases in sediment size and increases in water temperature and degree of eutrophication shift the bistable range to shallower depths, with more of the bay bottom unable to sustain seagrass.

  3. Seagrass Biomass and Productivity in Seaweed and Non Seaweed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seagrasses in the Great Barrier Reef Region. Nadicprint Services Pty. Ltd., Townsville,. Queensland. 54 pp. Lin, H & Shao, K. (1998) Temporal changes in the abundance and growth of intertidal Thalassia hemprichii seagrass beds in southern Taiwan. Bot. Bull. Acad. Sci. 39: 191-198. Martins, A.R.O. & Bandeira, S. (2001) ...

  4. Leaf transport in mimic mangrove forests and seagrass beds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gillis, L.G.; Bouma, T.J.; Kiswara, W.; Ziegler, A.D.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2014-01-01

    Mangrove forests and seagrass beds are thought to exchange particulate organic material, especially in the form of leaves. However, relatively little is known about the trapping capacity of mangrove above-ground roots and seagrass plants for leaf segments. We aimed to identify the major factors

  5. Prophylactic antioxidants and phenolics of seagrass and seaweed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prophylactic antioxidants and phenolics of seagrass and seaweed species: A seasonal variation study in a Southern Indian Ocean Island, Mauritius. ... The collective data are indicative of the potential of Mauritian seaweeds and seagrasses as possible sources of secondary metabolites for pharmaceuticals. Further analysis ...

  6. Seagrass epiphytes: useful indicator, potential biological criterion, or forlorn hope?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epiphytes on seagrasses have been studied for more than 50 years, and proposed as an indicator of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment for over 30 years. Epiphytes have been correlated with seagrass declines, causally related to nutrient additions in both field and mesocosm experim...

  7. Tissue anoxia - a key factor in seagrass mortality?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borum, Jens; Zieman, Jay; Frankovich, Tom M

    Abstractet er offentliggjort i Schedule and Abstracts til det 7. international seagrass biology workshop - er ikke tilgængelig online.......Abstractet er offentliggjort i Schedule and Abstracts til det 7. international seagrass biology workshop - er ikke tilgængelig online....

  8. Review of nekton patterns and ecological processes in seagrass landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Rod M.; Hindell, Jeremy S.

    2006-07-01

    We reviewed seagrass landscape studies on nekton (fish and larger mobile crustaceans) to summarise: (1) patterns of nekton abundance in relation to patch attributes; and (2) models used to explain processes underpinning observed patterns. The response of nekton to landscape attributes is highly variable. Different taxa showed increasing densities with: increasing and decreasing patch size (12 and 11 taxa, respectively), increasing and decreasing proximity within a patch to edge (9, 14), increasing and decreasing distances from nearest seagrass patch (4, 11), and with patches perpendicular and parallel to currents (1, 2). The majority of taxa (213 out of 281, or 82%) showed no relationships. Landscape scale patterns are important for some species but evidence so far does not demonstrate major landscape effects overall. The lack of pattern might reflect the overriding importance of other factors such as within-patch characteristics, water depth or position within an estuary. It might also result from measurements at the wrong scale. The rigour of surveys can be improved by avoiding confounding of patch attributes by other factors, increasing awareness of statistical power, and more considered survey designs for attributes such as edge effects. The predation model is the most frequently invoked and tested model. Other explanatory models are based on disturbance, rates of encounter, food availability, larval supply, migration and reproductive success, but in many cases are not based on observed patterns. The best experimental work has been done on nekton species for which landscape studies have been built on a detailed understanding of the ecology of the species, such as for blue crabs ( Callinectes sapidus). As this basic ecological platform is laid for more species, the landscape approach will become increasingly fruitful.

  9. Functional changes due to invasive species: Food web shifts at shallow Posidonia oceanica seagrass beds colonized by the alien macroalga Caulerpa racemosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deudero, S.; Box, A.; Alós, J.; Arroyo, N. L.; Marbà, N.

    2011-06-01

    Multiple stable isotope analyses were used to examine the trophic shifts at faunal assemblages within the invading macroalga Caulerpa racemosa in comparison to established communities of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows. Sampling of macrobenthic invertebrates and their potential food sources of algal mats and seagrass meadows in Mallorca (NW Mediterranean) showed differences in species composition of faunal and primary producers among seagrass and C. racemosa. Accordingly, changes in food web structure and trophic guilds were observed, not only at species level but also at community level. The carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures of herbivores, detritivores and deposit feeders confirmed that the seagrass provided a small contribution to the macrofaunal organisms. δ 13C at the P. oceanica seagrass and at the C. racemosa assemblages differed, ranging from -6.19 to -21.20‰ and -2.67 to -31.41‰, respectively. δ 15N at the Caulerpa mats was lower (ranging from 2.64 to 10.45‰) than that at the seagrass meadows (3.51-12. 94‰). Significant differences in isotopic signatures and trophic level among trophic guilds at P. oceanica and C. racemosa were found. N fractionation at trophic guild level considerable differed between seagrass and macroalgae mats, especially for detritivores, deposit feeders, and herbivores. Filter feeders slightly differed with a relatively lower N signal at the seagrass and CR values at community level and at trophic guild level were higher in the C. racemosa invaded habitats indicating an increase in diversity of basal resource pools. C. racemosa did seem to broaden the niche diversity of the P. oceanica meadows it colonised at the base of the food web, may be due to the establishment of a new basal resource. The extent of the effects of invasive species on ecosystem functioning is a fundamental issue in conservation ecology. The observed changes in invertebrate and macrophytic composition, stable isotope signatures of concomitant

  10. Ecology of the seagrasses of south Florida: a community profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zieman, J.C.

    1982-09-01

    A detailed description is given of the community structure and ecosystem processes of the seagrass ecosystems of south Florida. This description is based upon a compilation of information from numerous published and unpublished sources. The material covered includes distribution, systematics, physiology, and growth of the plants, as well as succession and community development. The role of seagrass ecosystems in providing both food and shelter for juveniles as well as foraging grounds for larger organisms is treated in detail. Emphasis is given to the functional role of seagrass communities in the overall coastal marine system. The final section considers the impacts of human development on seagrass ecosystems and their value to both man and the natural system. Because seagrass systems are fully submerged and less visually obvious, recognition of their value as a natural resource has been slower than that of the emergent coastal communities. They must, however, be treated as a valuable natural resource and preserved from further degradation.

  11. The importance of genetic make-up in seagrass restoration : a case study of the seagrass Zostera noltei

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jahnke, Marlene; Serra, Ilia Anna; Bernard, Guillaume; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are among the most important coastal ecosystems. Their ongoing decline is of concern, and transplantations are carried out in many parts of the world to restore the ecosystem services seagrass meadows provide. Several studies have highlighted the importance of genetic diversity for

  12. Methane Production by Seagrass Ecosystems in the Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neus Garcias-Bonet

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric methane (CH4 is the second strongest greenhouse gas and it is emitted to the atmosphere naturally by different sources. It is crucial to define the dimension of these natural emissions in order to forecast changes in atmospheric CH4 mixing ratio in future scenarios. However, CH4 emissions by seagrass ecosystems in shallow marine coastal systems have been neglected although their global extension. Here we quantify the CH4 production rates of seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. We measured changes in CH4 concentration and its isotopic signature by cavity ring-down spectroscopy on chambers containing sediment and plants. We detected CH4 production in all the seagrass stations with an average rate of 85.09 ± 27.80 μmol CH4 m−2 d−1. Our results show that there is no seasonal or daily pattern in the CH4 production rates by seagrass ecosystems in the Red Sea. Taking in account the range of global estimates for seagrass coverage and the average seagrass CH4 production, the global CH4 production and emission by seagrass ecosystems could range from 0.09 to 2.7 Tg yr−1. Because CH4 emission by seagrass ecosystems had not been included in previous global CH4 budgets, our estimate would increase the contribution of marine global emissions, hitherto estimated at 9.1 Tg yr−1, by about 30%. Thus, the potential contribution of seagrass ecosystems to marine CH4 emissions provides sufficient evidence of the relevance of these fluxes as to include seagrass ecosystems in future assessments of the global CH4 budgets.

  13. Burial Duration and Frequency Influences Resilience of Differing Propagule Types in a Subtidal Seagrass, Posidonia australis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marnie L Campbell

    Full Text Available Sedimentation that leads to periodic, and often prolonged, burial events is becoming more common on the world's coastlines as human populations expand and create urbanised marine environments. Different seagrass species react differently to sediment burial but many species in the southern hemisphere are yet to be examined. How seagrasses react to burial has restoration implications. There is a need to critically assess seagrass transplant propagule responses to periodic (pulse and prolonged (press burial events before selecting the most appropriate species, transplant propagule, and transplant site. In my study, mesocosm experiments, coupled with field measurements were used to assess how sexual (seedlings and vegetative (sprigs propagules of Posidonia australis responded to pulse and press burial events. Seedlings were highly susceptible to burial (both pulse and press, with no survival at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, rhizome growth in vegetative propagules was stimulated by pulse burial, although press burial events resulted in mortality. The implication for Posidonia australis restoration efforts in areas where burial is periodic, was that vegetative propagules are optimal transplant units, in comparison to seedlings. Press burial however, renders a transplant site sub-optimal for both seedling and sprig transplants.

  14. Burial Duration and Frequency Influences Resilience of Differing Propagule Types in a Subtidal Seagrass, Posidonia australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Marnie L

    2016-01-01

    Sedimentation that leads to periodic, and often prolonged, burial events is becoming more common on the world's coastlines as human populations expand and create urbanised marine environments. Different seagrass species react differently to sediment burial but many species in the southern hemisphere are yet to be examined. How seagrasses react to burial has restoration implications. There is a need to critically assess seagrass transplant propagule responses to periodic (pulse) and prolonged (press) burial events before selecting the most appropriate species, transplant propagule, and transplant site. In my study, mesocosm experiments, coupled with field measurements were used to assess how sexual (seedlings) and vegetative (sprigs) propagules of Posidonia australis responded to pulse and press burial events. Seedlings were highly susceptible to burial (both pulse and press), with no survival at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, rhizome growth in vegetative propagules was stimulated by pulse burial, although press burial events resulted in mortality. The implication for Posidonia australis restoration efforts in areas where burial is periodic, was that vegetative propagules are optimal transplant units, in comparison to seedlings. Press burial however, renders a transplant site sub-optimal for both seedling and sprig transplants.

  15. Response of seagrass indicators to shifts in environmental stressors: A global review and management synthesis

    KAUST Repository

    Roca, G.

    2016-01-01

    Although seagrass-based indicators are widely used to assess coastal ecosystem status, there is little universality in their application. Matching the plethora of available indicators to specific management objectives requires a detailed knowledge of their species-specific sensitivities and their response time to environmental stressors. We conducted an extensive survey of experimental studies to determine the sensitivity and response time of seagrass indicators to ecosystem degradation and recovery. We identified seagrass size and indicator type (i.e. level of biological organization of the measure) as the main factors affecting indicator sensitivity and response time to degradation and recovery. While structural and demographic parameters (e.g. shoot density, biomass) show a high and unspecific sensitivity, biochemical/physiological indicators present more stressor-specific responses and are the most sensitive detecting early phases of environmental improvement. Based on these results we present a simple decision tree to assist ecosystem managers to match adequate and reliable indicators to specific management goals. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT REQUIREMENTS OF THE WHITE-CLAWED CRAYFISH, AUSTROPOTAMOBIUS PALLIPES, IN A STREAM FROM THE PAYS DE LOIRE REGION, FRANCE: AN EXPERIMENTAL AND DESCRIPTIVE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BROQUET T.

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available A population of white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes was studied from January to October 2000 in a stream from the Pays de Loire region (Western France. An experimental modification of habitat was performed in four stream sections by providing refuges for crayfish, followed by a regular survey of population dynamics in these areas. The crayfish distribution along the brook was studied in relation to several parameters, including water quality, current speed, brook depth and presence of refuges for crayfish. Presence of hiding places was the only habitat parameter correlated with crayfish distribution along the stream whereas colonization process in modified sections was determined by sun exposure and current speed conditions. Despite a presumably high growth rate and its ability to reach locally important densities, the population appeared to be fragmented.

  17. Experimental evaluation of imprinting and the role innate preference plays in habitat selection in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixson, Danielle L; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L; Planes, Serge; Pratchett, Morgan S; Thorrold, Simon R

    2014-01-01

    When facing decisions about where to live, juveniles have a strong tendency to choose habitats similar to where their parents successfully bred. Developing larval fishes can imprint on the chemical cues from their natal habitat. However, to demonstrate that imprinting is ecologically important, it must be shown that settlers respond and distinguish among different imprinted cues, and use imprinting for decisions in natural environments. In addition, the potential role innate preferences play compared to imprinted choices also needs to be examined. As environmental variability increases due to anthropogenic causes these two recognition mechanisms, innate and imprinting, could provide conflicting information. Here we used laboratory rearing and chemical choice experiments to test imprinting in larval anemonefish (Amphiprion percula). Individuals exposed to a variety of benthic habitat or novel olfactory cues as larvae either developed a preference for (spent >50% of their time in the cue) or increased their attraction to (increased preference but did not spend >50% of their time in the cue) the cue when re-exposed as settlers. Results indicate not only the capacity for imprinting but also the ability to adjust innate preferences after early exposure to a chemical cue. To test ecological relevance in the natural system, recruits were collected from anemones and related to their parents, using genetic parentage analysis, providing information on the natal anemone species and the species chosen at settlement. Results demonstrated that recruits did not preferentially return to their natal species, conflicting with laboratory results indicating the importance imprinting might have in habitat recognition.

  18. Experimental illumination of natural habitat-an experimental set-up to assess the direct and indirect ecological consequences of artificial light of different spectral composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Donners, Maurice; Gienapp, Phillip; Huigens, Martinus E.; Slaterus, Roy; Berendse, Frank; Visser, Marcel E.; Veenendaal, Elmar

    2015-01-01

    Artificial night-time illumination of natural habitats has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Generally, studies that assess the impact of artificial light on various species in the wild make use of existing illumination and are therefore correlative. Moreover, studies mostly focus on

  19. Phytotoxicity of four photosystem II herbicides to tropical seagrasses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florita Flores

    Full Text Available Coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR are contaminated with agricultural pesticides, including the photosystem II (PSII herbicides which are the most frequently detected at the highest concentrations. Designed to control weeds, these herbicides are equally potent towards non-target marine species, and the close proximity of seagrass meadows to flood plumes has raised concerns that seagrasses may be the species most threatened by herbicides from runoff. While previous work has identified effects of PSII herbicides on the photophysiology, growth and mortality in seagrass, there is little comparative quantitative toxicity data for seagrass. Here we applied standard ecotoxicology protocols to quantify the concentrations of four priority PSII herbicides that inhibit photochemistry by 10, 20 and 50% (IC10, IC20 and IC50 over 72 h in two common seagrass species from the GBR lagoon. The photosystems of seagrasses Zosteramuelleri and Haloduleuninervis were shown to be generally more sensitive to the PSII herbicides Diuron, Atrazine, Hexazinone and Tebuthiuron than corals and tropical microalgae. The herbicides caused rapid inhibition of effective quantum yield (∆F/F m ', indicating reduced photosynthesis and maximum effective yields (Fv/Fm corresponding to chronic damage to PSII. The PSII herbicide concentrations which affected photosynthesis have been exceeded in the GBR lagoon and all of the herbicides inhibited photosynthesis at concentrations lower than current marine park guidelines. There is a strong likelihood that the impacts of light limitation from flood plumes and reduced photosynthesis from PSII herbicides exported in the same waters would combine to affect seagrass productivity. Given that PSII herbicides have been demonstrated to affect seagrass at environmental concentrations, we suggest that revision of environmental guidelines and further efforts to reduce PSII herbicide concentrations in floodwaters may both help protect

  20. Phytotoxicity of four photosystem II herbicides to tropical seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Florita; Collier, Catherine J; Mercurio, Philip; Negri, Andrew P

    2013-01-01

    Coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are contaminated with agricultural pesticides, including the photosystem II (PSII) herbicides which are the most frequently detected at the highest concentrations. Designed to control weeds, these herbicides are equally potent towards non-target marine species, and the close proximity of seagrass meadows to flood plumes has raised concerns that seagrasses may be the species most threatened by herbicides from runoff. While previous work has identified effects of PSII herbicides on the photophysiology, growth and mortality in seagrass, there is little comparative quantitative toxicity data for seagrass. Here we applied standard ecotoxicology protocols to quantify the concentrations of four priority PSII herbicides that inhibit photochemistry by 10, 20 and 50% (IC10, IC20 and IC50) over 72 h in two common seagrass species from the GBR lagoon. The photosystems of seagrasses Zosteramuelleri and Haloduleuninervis were shown to be generally more sensitive to the PSII herbicides Diuron, Atrazine, Hexazinone and Tebuthiuron than corals and tropical microalgae. The herbicides caused rapid inhibition of effective quantum yield (∆F/F m '), indicating reduced photosynthesis and maximum effective yields (Fv/Fm ) corresponding to chronic damage to PSII. The PSII herbicide concentrations which affected photosynthesis have been exceeded in the GBR lagoon and all of the herbicides inhibited photosynthesis at concentrations lower than current marine park guidelines. There is a strong likelihood that the impacts of light limitation from flood plumes and reduced photosynthesis from PSII herbicides exported in the same waters would combine to affect seagrass productivity. Given that PSII herbicides have been demonstrated to affect seagrass at environmental concentrations, we suggest that revision of environmental guidelines and further efforts to reduce PSII herbicide concentrations in floodwaters may both help protect seagrass meadows of

  1. Differences in nutrient concentrations and resources between seagrass communities on carbonate and terrigenous sediments in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erftemeijer, P.L.A.

    1994-01-01

    Water column, sediment and plant parameters were studied in six tropical seagrass beds in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, to evaluate the relation between seagrass bed nutrient concentrations and sediment type. Coastal seagrass beds on terrigenous sediments had considerably higher biomass of

  2. Patterns of top-down control in a seagrass ecosystem: could a roving apex predator induce a behaviour-mediated trophic cascade?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkholder, Derek A; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Wirsing, Aaron; Dill, Lawrence M

    2013-11-01

    1. The loss of large-bodied herbivores and/or top predators has been associated with large-scale changes in ecosystems around the world, but there remain important questions regarding the contexts in which such changes are most likely and the mechanisms through which they occur, particularly in marine ecosystems. 2. We used long-term exclusion cages to examine the effects of large grazers (sea cows, Dugong dugon; sea turtles Chelonia mydas) on seagrass community structure, biomass and nutrient dynamics. Experiments were conducted in habitats with high risk of predation (interior of shallow banks) and lower risk (edges of banks) to elucidate whether nonconsumptive (risk) effects of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), a roving predator, structure herbivore impacts on seagrasses. 3. In lower-risk habitats, excluding large herbivores resulted in increased leaf length for Cymodocea angustata and Halodule uninervis. C. angustata shoot densities nearly tripled when released from herbivory, while H. uninervis nearly disappeared from exclusion cages over the course of the study. 4. We found no support for the hypothesis that grazing increases seagrass nutrient content. Instead, phosphorus content was higher in seagrasses within exclosures. This pattern is consistent with decreased light availability in the denser C. angustata canopies that formed in exclosures, and may indicate that competition for light led to the decrease in H. uninervis. 5. Impacts of large grazers were consistent with a behaviour-mediated trophic cascade (BMTC) initiated by tiger sharks and mediated by risk-sensitive foraging by large grazers. 6, Our results suggest that large-bodied grazers likely played important roles in seagrass ecosystem dynamics historically and that roving predators are capable of initiating a BMTC. Conservation efforts in coastal ecosystems must account for such interactions or risk unintended consequences. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological

  3. Beach-cast seagrass material fertilizes the foredune vegetation of Mediterranean coastal dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Luis; García, Marta

    2008-07-01

    Stable nitrogen isotopes were used to assess the relevance of debris from the seagrass Posidonia oceanica as a source of inorganic nutrients for the members of three functional groups of plants (camephytes, geophytes, and C3 perennial grasses) in three coastal dune systems of Minorca (Balearics Archipelago, western Mediterranean). The δ15N of foredune camephytes and geophytes was usually higher than that of atmospheric nitrogen and often was not statistically different from that of P. oceanica debris. Conversely, the δ15N of camephytes and geophytes collected in hinddunes and matorral areas was not statistically different from that of atmospheric nitrogen and usually lower than that of P. oceanica. Two-way ANOVA revealed a strong and significant effect of habitat on the δ15N of camephytes and geophytes, without any significant effect of the functional type or a significant interaction term. Although the δ15N of the C3 perennial grasses from the foredunes was never statistically different from that of beach-cast seagrass material and that of perennial C3 grasses from the matorral was always significantly lower than that of beach-cast seagrass material, Student's t-test was unable to reveal statistically significant differences between the C3 grasses from the foredunes and the matorral, due to the high standard deviation. The foliar nitrogen contents of foredune plants other than grasses were higher than those of plants from the hinddune and matorral sites, and the foliar C:N ratios were much lower. However, the differences between the grasses growing in the foredunes and in the matorral were not statistically significant for foliar N content or the foliar C:N ratio. On the whole, this evidence strongly supports the hypothesis that beach-cast P. oceanica material is a relevant source of nitrogen for the vegetation of Mediterranean foredunes.

  4. Recruitment and Patch Establishment by Seed in the Seagrass Posidonia oceanica: Importance and Conservation Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Lardicci, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Seagrasses are declining globally, and deeper understanding is needed on the recruitment potential and distribution of new populations for many threatened species to support conservation planning in the face of climate change. Recruitment of Posidonia oceanica, a threatened seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean, has long been considered rare due to infrequent flowering, but mounting evidence demonstrates that the species is responding to a changing climate through greater reproductive effort. Due to the fragmentary information on recruit occurrence and distribution, little is known about reproductive success in the species and its contribution to persistence. We assembled P. oceanica recruitment data from published and unpublished sources, including our own, to examine the frequency and extent of recruitment events (establishment of seedlings in a site), seedling growth potential and habitat characteristics at recruitment sites. Results show that at least one recruitment event has occurred about every 3 years, and 18 localities were colonized at least one time since the first seedling record in 1986. Notably, consistently high seedling inputs were observed in four localities of the Western Mediterranean. Seedlings established mainly on unoccupied substrate areas along the coasts of islands, in sheltered sites and at shallower depths (recruitment is rare and usually unsuccessful for P. oceanica, and highlight the potential importance of recruitment for the long-term persistence and adaptation of the species to sea level rise predicted in the next century in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, management actions have mainly focused on established meadows, ignoring the presence of recruits in outside areas. Therefore, it will be useful to identify and consider regeneration sites in designing future management strategies to improve seagrass conservation effectiveness.

  5. Recovery of a top predator mediates negative eutrophic effects on seagrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Brent B.; Eby, Ron; Van Dyke, Eric; Tinker, M. Tim; Marks, Corina I.; Johnson, Kenneth S.; Wasson, Kerstin

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental goal of the study of ecology is to determine the drivers of habitat-forming vegetation, with much emphasis given to the relative importance to vegetation of “bottom-up” forces such as the role of nutrients and “top-down” forces such as the influence of herbivores and their predators. For coastal vegetation (e.g., kelp, seagrass, marsh, and mangroves) it has been well demonstrated that alterations to bottom-up forcing can cause major disturbances leading to loss of dominant vegetation. One such process is anthropogenic nutrient loading, which can lead to major changes in the abundance and species composition of primary producers, ultimately affecting important ecosystem services. In contrast, much less is known about the relative importance of apex predators on coastal vegetated ecosystems because most top predator populations have been depleted or lost completely. Here we provide evidence that an unusual four-level trophic cascade applies in one such system, whereby a top predator mitigates the bottom-up influences of nutrient loading. In a study of seagrass beds in an estuarine ecosystem exposed to extreme nutrient loading, we use a combination of a 50-y time series analysis, spatial comparisons, and mesocosm and field experiments to demonstrate that sea otters (Enhydra lutris) promote the growth and expansion of eelgrass (Zostera marina) through a trophic cascade, counteracting the negative effects of agriculturally induced nutrient loading. Our results add to a small but growing body of literature illustrating that significant interactions between bottom-up and top-down forces occur, in this case with consequences for the conservation of valued ecosystem services provided by seagrass.

  6. Long Distance Dispersal Potential of Two Seagrasses Thalassia hemprichii and Halophila ovalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuoyan Wu

    Full Text Available The wide distribution of many seagrasses may be attributable to exploitation of currents. However, many species have seeds heavier than seawater, limiting surface floating, and thus, deep water becomes a potential barrier between suitable habitats. In this investigation, we studied the dispersal potential of various life history stages of two species of seagrasses, Thalassia hemprichii and Halophila ovalis, at Dongsha Atoll and Penghu Islands in Taiwan Strait, west Pacific. The adult plants of both species, often dislodged naturally from substrate by waves, could float, but only that of T. hemprichii could float for months and still remain alive and potentially able to colonize new territories. The seedlings of T. hemprichii could also float for about a month once failing to anchor to substrate of coral sand, but that of H. ovalis could not. The fruits and seeds of T. hemprichii could both float, but for too short a duration to enable long distance travel; those seeds released from long floating fruits had low germination rates in our tests. Obviously, their seeds are not adaptive for long distance dispersal. Fruits and seeds of H. ovalis do not float. The potential of animals as vectors was tested by feeding fruits and seeds of both species to a goose, a duck, and two fish in the laboratory. The fruits and seeds of T. hemprichii were digested and could no longer germinate; those of H. ovalis could pass through the digestive tracts and have a much higher germination rates than uningested controls. Therefore, birds could be important vectors for long distance dispersal of H. ovalis. The two seagrasses adopted very different dispersal mechanisms for long distance travel, and both exploited traits originally adaptive for other purposes.

  7. Are large macroalgal blooms necessarily bad? Nutrient impacts on seagrass in upwelling-influenced estuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessing-Lewis, Margot L; Hacker, Sally D; Menge, Bruce A; McConville, Sea-oh; Henderson, Jeremy

    2015-07-01

    of ulvoids and eelgrass to high, but variable, background nutrient concentrations in upwelling-influenced estuaries may partly explain the venue-specific results reported here. In order to manage critical seagrass habitats, nutrient criteria and macroalgal indicators must consider variability in marine-based nutrient delivery and local physical conditions among estuaries.

  8. Long Distance Dispersal Potential of Two Seagrasses Thalassia hemprichii and Halophila ovalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kuoyan; Chen, Ching-Nen Nathan; Soong, Keryea

    2016-01-01

    The wide distribution of many seagrasses may be attributable to exploitation of currents. However, many species have seeds heavier than seawater, limiting surface floating, and thus, deep water becomes a potential barrier between suitable habitats. In this investigation, we studied the dispersal potential of various life history stages of two species of seagrasses, Thalassia hemprichii and Halophila ovalis, at Dongsha Atoll and Penghu Islands in Taiwan Strait, west Pacific. The adult plants of both species, often dislodged naturally from substrate by waves, could float, but only that of T. hemprichii could float for months and still remain alive and potentially able to colonize new territories. The seedlings of T. hemprichii could also float for about a month once failing to anchor to substrate of coral sand, but that of H. ovalis could not. The fruits and seeds of T. hemprichii could both float, but for too short a duration to enable long distance travel; those seeds released from long floating fruits had low germination rates in our tests. Obviously, their seeds are not adaptive for long distance dispersal. Fruits and seeds of H. ovalis do not float. The potential of animals as vectors was tested by feeding fruits and seeds of both species to a goose, a duck, and two fish in the laboratory. The fruits and seeds of T. hemprichii were digested and could no longer germinate; those of H. ovalis could pass through the digestive tracts and have a much higher germination rates than uningested controls. Therefore, birds could be important vectors for long distance dispersal of H. ovalis. The two seagrasses adopted very different dispersal mechanisms for long distance travel, and both exploited traits originally adaptive for other purposes.

  9. Modelling the spatial distribution of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, 1813 along the North African coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucchetta, Matteo; Venier, Chiara; Amine Taji, Mohamed; Mangin, Antoine; Pastres, Roberto

    2014-05-01

    Posidonia oceanica is a seagrass species endemic to the Mediterranean sea, which is considered as an indicator of environment quality in coastal areas. This species forms large meadows, which are sensitive to several anthropogenic pressures, as a result the decrease in their extension of is considered a priority issue for the Mediterranean sea. The aim of this study was to develop a Species Distribution Model for P. oceanica, to be applied to the Mediterranean North African coast, in order to obtain an estimation of the potential distribution of this species in the region. As the study area is a data-poor zone with regard to seagrass distribution, the SDM was calibrated using data from 5 Mediterranean sites, located in Italy and Spain and validated using available data concerning the NA coast. The probability of presence of the species in a given area was modeled as a function of the bathymetry and some water characteristics (i.e. water transparency; dissolved organic matter; chlorophyll concentration) obtained from Earth Observations (EOs), mainly derived from MERIS imagery. Water transparency plays a major role, but also other variables, such as chlorophyll concentration (probably related to nutrients availability), are important in explaining meadows distribution. The availability of high resolution time-series of the input data allowed us to apply the validated model to the whole NA coast. These results (maps of potential distribution) are combined with the use of ecosystem service indicators in order to assess the importance of seagrass habitat within the NA coastal ecosystem.

  10. Energetic consequences of a major change in habitat use: endangered Brent Geese Branta bernicla hrota losing their main food source

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Clausen, Preben; Fælled, Casper Cæsar

    2012-01-01

    Coastal seagrasses are declining at increasing rates worldwide, forcing herbivores previously reliant on these habitats to abandon them in search of alternative ways to fulfil their daily energy budgets. After two decades of declining seagrass abundance in Mariager Fjord, Denmark, the Svalbard...... in thermoregulatory costs, the effect of changes in habitat use translated into a body mass reduction of c. 56 g, which could adversely affect survival and future reproduction. Flyway-wide declines in Zostera abundance and further reductions in traditional habitats due to climate change give cause to reassess...

  11. The effects of docks on seagrasses, with particular emphasis on the threatened seagrass, Halophila johnsonii

    OpenAIRE

    Landry, J. Brooke; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Di Carlo, Giuseppe

    2008-01-01

    In March of 2005, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Special Projects Office released "Population Trends along the Coastal United States: 1980-2008." This report includes population changes and trends between 1980 and 2003 and projected changes in coastal populations by 2008. Given the findings, pressure on coastal resources around the country will continue to rise, particularly in Florida. ... One of our most valuable coastal resources is seagrass, but human desire and nee...

  12. Comparison of the assemblage functioning of estuary systems dominated by the seagrass Nanozostera noltii versus the invasive drift seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacabelos, Eva; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Mejia, Astrid; Arenas, Francisco

    2012-08-01

    Seagrasses are important habitat-formers and facilitator species that form the basis of complex ecosystems in estuaries throughout the world. However, general worldwide declines in seagrass beds have been reported with (invading) bloom-forming seaweeds, which threaten to displace the seagrasses and change the ecosystem fundamentally. We compared the functioning of the community with the intertidal seagrass Nanozostera noltii as the only macrophyte, in a mixed status with the invasive drift seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla and with only G. vermiculophylla as macrophyte. These assemblages represent different phases of seaweed invasion. Assemblage functioning was assessed as the metabolic state of the system based on carbon dioxide and oxygen metabolism during submerged and emerged conditions. Across all assemblages production rates were much higher during submerged than during emerged conditions. Assemblage productivity increased from monospecific N. noltii, through mixed to monospecific assemblages of G. vermiculophylla. However, the photosynthetic efficiency at low light intensities (α) of N. noltii assemblages was higher than those dominated by G. vermiculophylla. Metabolic performance patterns were mainly caused by increasing macrophyte biomass from N. noltii to G. vermiculophylla dominated assemblages. Therefore, with the shift from N. noltii to G. vermiculophylla domination, it is likely that these communities will become less efficient, but their productivity will increase considerably.

  13. Functioning of Philippine seagrass species under deteriorating light conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uy, W.H.

    2001-01-01

    Industrialization, urbanization and agricultural intensification result in increased sediment loading and eutrophication of S.E.Asian coastal waters and associated deterioration of light availability to seagrasses inhabiting coastal waters. In the present study, different (internal and external)

  14. Seagrass from Unified Florida Reef Tract Map (NODC Accession 0123059)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is a subset of the Unified Map representing Seagrass areas. Version 1.1 - December 2013. The Unified Florida Reef Tract Map (Unified Reef Map) provides...

  15. Seagrass Importance in Food Provisioning Services: Fish Stomach ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    i.e. the human benefits from those) are elusive. In this paper, the food provisioning service of seagrass meadows is operationalized through the study of the stomach contents of 13 important commercial fish species in. Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar.

  16. Sulfide Intrusion and Detoxification in the Seagrass Zostera marina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Gaseous sulfide intrusion into seagrasses growing in sulfidic sediments causes little or no harm to the plant, indicating the presence of an unknown sulfide tolerance or detoxification mechanism. We assessed such mechanism in the seagrass Zostera marina in the laboratory and in the field with sca......Gaseous sulfide intrusion into seagrasses growing in sulfidic sediments causes little or no harm to the plant, indicating the presence of an unknown sulfide tolerance or detoxification mechanism. We assessed such mechanism in the seagrass Zostera marina in the laboratory and in the field...... of the detoxification occurred in underground tissues, where sulfide intrusion was greatest. Elemental sulfur was a major detoxification compound, precipitating on the inner wall of the aerenchyma of underground tissues. Sulfide was metabolized into thiols and entered the plant sulfur metabolism as well as being stored...

  17. Deriving habitat models for northern long-eared bats from historical detection data: A case study using the Fernow Experimental Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W. Mark; Silvis, Alexander; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kniowski, Andrew B.; Johnson, Joshua B.

    2016-01-01

    The listing of the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act following severe population declines from white-nose syndrome presents considerable challenges to natural resource managers. Because the northern long-eared bat is a forest habitat generalist, development of effective conservation measures will depend on appropriate understanding of its habitat relationships at individual locations. However, severely reduced population sizes make gathering data for such models difficult. As a result, historical data may be essential in development of habitat models. To date, there has been little evaluation of how effective historical bat presence data, such as data derived from mist-net captures, acoustic detection, and day-roost locations, may be in developing habitat models, nor is it clear how models created using different data sources may differ. We explored this issue by creating presence probability models for the northern long-eared bat on the Fernow Experimental Forest in the central Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia using a historical, presence-only data set. Each presence data type produced outputs that were dissimilar but that still corresponded with known traits of the northern long-eared bat or are easily explained in the context of the particular data collection protocol. However, our results also highlight potential limitations of individual data types. For example, models from mist-net capture data only showed high probability of presence along the dendritic network of riparian areas, an obvious artifact of sampling methodology. Development of ecological niche and presence models for northern long-eared bat populations could be highly valuable for resource managers going forward with this species. We caution, however, that efforts to create such models should consider the substantial limitations of models derived from historical data, and address model assumptions.

  18. Antioxidant response to heat stress in seagrasses. A gene expression study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tutar, O; Marín-Guirao, L; Ruiz, J M; Procaccini, G

    2017-12-01

    Seawater warming associated to the ongoing climate change threatens functioning and survival of keystone coastal benthic species such as seagrasses. Under elevated temperatures, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is increased and plants must activate their antioxidant defense mechanisms to protect themselves from oxidative damage. Here we explore from a molecular perspective the ability of Mediterranean seagrasses to activate heat stress response mechanisms, with particular focus on antioxidants. The level of expression of targeted genes was analyzed in shallow and deep plants of the species Posidonia oceanica and in shallow plants of Cymodocea nodosa along an acute heat exposure of several days and after recovery. The overall gene expression response of P. oceanica was more intense and complete than in C. nodosa and reflected a higher oxidative stress level during the experimental heat exposure. The strong activation of genes with chaperone activity (heat shock proteins and a luminal binding protein) just in P. oceanica plants, suggested the higher sensitivity of the species to increased temperatures. In spite of the interspecific differences, genes from the superoxide dismutase (SOD) family seem to play a pivotal role in the thermal stress response of Mediterranean seagrasses as previously reported for other marine plant species. Shallow and deep P. oceanica ecotypes showed a different timing of response to heat. Shallow plants early responded to heat and after a few days relaxed their response which suggests a successful early metabolic adjustment. The response of deep plants was delayed and their recovery incomplete evidencing a lower resilience to heat in respect to shallow ecotypes. Moreover, shallow ecotypes showed some degree of pre-adaptation to heat as most analyzed genes showed higher constitutive expression levels than in deep ecotypes. The recurrent exposure of shallow plants to elevated summer temperatures has likely endowed them with a

  19. The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea

    KAUST Repository

    Olsen, Jeanine L.

    2016-01-27

    Seagrasses colonized the sea1 on at least three independent occasions to form the basis of one of the most productive and widespread coastal ecosystems on the planet2. Here we report the genome of Zostera marina (L.), the first, to our knowledge, marine angiosperm to be fully sequenced. This reveals unique insights into the genomic losses and gains involved in achieving the structural and physiological adaptations required for its marine lifestyle, arguably the most severe habitat shift ever accomplished by flowering plants. Key angiosperm innovations that were lost include the entire repertoire of stomatal genes3, genes involved in the synthesis of terpenoids and ethylene signalling, and genes for ultraviolet protection and phytochromes for far-red sensing. Seagrasses have also regained functions enabling them to adjust to full salinity. Their cell walls contain all of the polysaccharides typical of land plants, but also contain polyanionic, low-methylated pectins and sulfated galactans, a feature shared with the cell walls of all macroalgae4 and that is important for ion homoeostasis, nutrient uptake and O2/CO2 exchange through leaf epidermal cells. The Z. marina genome resource will markedly advance a wide range of functional ecological studies from adaptation of marine ecosystems under climate warming5, 6, to unravelling the mechanisms of osmoregulation under high salinities that may further inform our understanding of the evolution of salt tolerance in crop plants7.

  20. Waves in Seagrass Systems: Review and Technical Recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-11-01

    Seagrasses are marine flowering plants. They differ from macroalgae (also known as seaweed) as these do not flower but reproduce via spores. Sea...grasses also have a root and true rhizome system while macroalgae only have rhizoids. As a result, macroalgae tend to attach to hard substrates such as...Patter- son et al. (2001) showed that reproductive shoots of Z. marina are as tough as macroalgae and that, among a population, a few reproductive

  1. The effects of water parameters on monthly seagrass percentage cover in Lawas, East Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad-Kamil, E I; Ramli, R; Jaaman, S A; Bali, J; Al-Obaidi, J R

    2013-01-01

    Seagrass is a valuable marine ecosystem engineer. However, seagrass population is declining worldwide. The lack of seagrass research in Malaysia raises questions about the status of seagrasses in the country. The seagrasses in Lawas, which is part of the coral-mangrove-seagrass complex, have never been studied in detail. In this study, we examine whether monthly changes of seagrass population in Lawas occurred. Data on estimates of seagrass percentage cover and water physicochemical parameters (pH, turbidity, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) were measured at 84 sampling stations established within the study area from June 2009 to May 2010. Meteorological data such as total rainfall, air temperature, and Southern Oscillation Index were also investigated. Our results showed that (i) the monthly changes of seagrass percentage cover are significant, (ii) the changes correlated significantly with turbidity measurements, and (iii) weather changes affected the seagrass populations. Our study indicates seagrass percentage increased during the El-Nino period. These results suggest that natural disturbances such as weather changes affect seagrass populations. Evaluation of land usage and measurements of other water physicochemical parameters (such as heavy metal, pesticides, and nutrients) should be considered to assess the health of seagrass ecosystem at the study area.

  2. The Effects of Water Parameters on Monthly Seagrass Percentage Cover in Lawas, East Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. I. Ahmad-Kamil

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass is a valuable marine ecosystem engineer. However, seagrass population is declining worldwide. The lack of seagrass research in Malaysia raises questions about the status of seagrasses in the country. The seagrasses in Lawas, which is part of the coral-mangrove-seagrass complex, have never been studied in detail. In this study, we examine whether monthly changes of seagrass population in Lawas occurred. Data on estimates of seagrass percentage cover and water physicochemical parameters (pH, turbidity, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen were measured at 84 sampling stations established within the study area from June 2009 to May 2010. Meteorological data such as total rainfall, air temperature, and Southern Oscillation Index were also investigated. Our results showed that (i the monthly changes of seagrass percentage cover are significant, (ii the changes correlated significantly with turbidity measurements, and (iii weather changes affected the seagrass populations. Our study indicates seagrass percentage increased during the El-Nino period. These results suggest that natural disturbances such as weather changes affect seagrass populations. Evaluation of land usage and measurements of other water physicochemical parameters (such as heavy metal, pesticides, and nutrients should be considered to assess the health of seagrass ecosystem at the study area.

  3. Recruitment and Patch Establishment by Seed in the Seagrass Posidonia oceanica: Importance and Conservation Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Lardicci, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Seagrasses are declining globally, and deeper understanding is needed on the recruitment potential and distribution of new populations for many threatened species to support conservation planning in the face of climate change. Recruitment of Posidonia oceanica, a threatened seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean, has long been considered rare due to infrequent flowering, but mounting evidence demonstrates that the species is responding to a changing climate through greater reproductive effort. Due to the fragmentary information on recruit occurrence and distribution, little is known about reproductive success in the species and its contribution to persistence. We assembled P. oceanica recruitment data from published and unpublished sources, including our own, to examine the frequency and extent of recruitment events (establishment of seedlings in a site), seedling growth potential and habitat characteristics at recruitment sites. Results show that at least one recruitment event has occurred about every 3 years, and 18 localities were colonized at least one time since the first seedling record in 1986. Notably, consistently high seedling inputs were observed in four localities of the Western Mediterranean. Seedlings established mainly on unoccupied substrate areas along the coasts of islands, in sheltered sites and at shallower depths (<3 m) than the upper limit of adjacent P. oceanica meadows. Seedling establishment occurred more frequently on rocky than on sandy substrate, and rarely on dead “matte” or meadows of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa. The chance of colonization success on rock was two times higher than on sand. Our 11 years of observations have allowed for the first time the documentation of the formation and development of patches by P. oceanica seed. These findings contradict the historical assumption that sexual recruitment is rare and usually unsuccessful for P. oceanica, and highlight the potential importance of recruitment for the long

  4. Recruitment and Patch Establishment by Seed in the Seagrass Posidonia oceanica: Importance and Conservation Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Balestri

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are declining globally, and deeper understanding is needed on the recruitment potential and distribution of new populations for many threatened species to support conservation planning in the face of climate change. Recruitment of Posidonia oceanica, a threatened seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean, has long been considered rare due to infrequent flowering, but mounting evidence demonstrates that the species is responding to a changing climate through greater reproductive effort. Due to the fragmentary information on recruit occurrence and distribution, little is known about reproductive success in the species and its contribution to persistence. We assembled P. oceanica recruitment data from published and unpublished sources, including our own, to examine the frequency and extent of recruitment events (establishment of seedlings in a site, seedling growth potential and habitat characteristics at recruitment sites. Results show that at least one recruitment event has occurred about every 3 years, and 18 localities were colonized at least one time since the first seedling record in 1986. Notably, consistently high seedling inputs were observed in four localities of the Western Mediterranean. Seedlings established mainly on unoccupied substrate areas along the coasts of islands, in sheltered sites and at shallower depths (<3 m than the upper limit of adjacent P. oceanica meadows. Seedling establishment occurred more frequently on rocky than on sandy substrate, and rarely on dead “matte” or meadows of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa. The chance of colonization success on rock was two times higher than on sand. Our 11 years of observations have allowed for the first time the documentation of the formation and development of patches by P. oceanica seed. These findings contradict the historical assumption that sexual recruitment is rare and usually unsuccessful for P. oceanica, and highlight the potential importance of recruitment for

  5. Effects of sediment burial on tropical ruderal seagrasses are moderated by clonal integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ooi, Jillian Lean Sim; Kendrick, Gary A.; Van Niel, Kimberly P.

    2011-12-01

    . uninervis are disadvantaged. Clonal integration is an important trait in moderating the response of seagrasses to sediment burial and in this way, helps them to cope in high-stress habitats.

  6. Changes to habitats over time in Narragansett Bay and setting management targets using BCG approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compare changes in the distributions of seagrass, benthic, macroalgal, saltmarsh, and shellfish habitat in Narragansett Bay (U.S.A.) since the 1700s to changes in stressors and management decisions over the same time period, and describe a method that management programs can u...

  7. North Pacific Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi) presence in Eelgrass habitat in the Salish Sea, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke E. Penaluna; Leo R. Bodensteiner

    2015-01-01

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is the dominant seagrass along the Pacific North American Coast, providing complex physical structure, high trophic productivity, and protection from predators (Phillips 1984; Simenstad 1994). Because of these multiple functions, many fish species and life stages use Eelgrass beds more than other nearshore habitat types (...

  8. Manatee grazing impacts on a mixed species seagrass bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Lynn W.; Provancha, Jane A.; Slone, Daniel H.; Kenworthy, W. Judson

    2017-01-01

    The endangered manatee Trichechus manatus is one of few large grazers in seagrass systems. To assess the long-term impacts of repeated grazing on seagrasses, we selected a study site within Kennedy Space Center in the northern Banana River, Brevard County, Florida, that was typically grazed by large numbers of manatees in spring. Two 13x13 m manatee exclosures and 2 paired open plots of equal size were established at the study site in October 1990. Shoot counts, biomass, and species composition of the co-dominant seagrass species, Syringodium filiforme and Halodule wrightii, were sampled 3 times per year in all 4 plots between October 1990 and October 1994. We used a Bayesian modelling approach, accounting for the influence of depth, to detect treatment (exclosed vs. open) effects. S. filiforme shoot counts, total biomass, and frequency of occurrence significantly increased in the exclosures. By July 1993, mean biomass values in the exclosures (167 g dry wt m-2) greatly exceeded those in the open plots (28 g dry wt m-2). H. wrightii decreased in the exclosures by 1994. Initially, both S. filiforme and H. wrightii responded positively to release from manatee grazing pressure. As S. filiforme continued to become denser in the exclosures, it gradually replaced H. wrightii. Our findings may be helpful to biologists and managers interested in predicting seagrass recovery and manatee carrying capacity of repeatedly grazed seagrass beds in areas of special significance to manatees and seagrass conservation.

  9. Dissolved organic carbon fluxes by seagrass meadows and macroalgal beds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina eBarron

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Estimates of dissolved organic carbon (DOC release by marine macrophyte communities (seagrass meadows and macroalgal beds based on in situ benthic chambers from published and unpublished are compiled in this study. The effect of temperature and light availability on DOC release by macrophyte communities was examined. Almost 85 % of the seagrass communities and all of macroalgal communities examined acted as net sources of DOC. Net DOC fluxes in seagrass communities increase positively with water temperature. In macroalgal communities net DOC fluxes under light exceeded those under dark condition, however, this trend was weaker in seagrass communities. Shading of a mixed seagrass meadow in The Philippines led to a significant reduction on the net DOC release when shading was maintained for 6 days compared to only 2 days of shading. Net DOC fluxes increased with increasing community respiration, but were independent of primary production or net community production. The estimated global net DOC flux, and hence export, from marine macrophytes is about 0.158 ± 0.055 Pg C yr-1 or 0.175 ± 0.056 Pg C yr-1 depending on the global extent of seagrass meadows considered.

  10. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) roots

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus

    2016-03-09

    Biological nitrogen fixation by diazotrophic bacteria in seagrass rhizosphere and leaf epiphytic community is an important source of nitrogen required for plant growth. However, the presence of endophytic diazotrophs remains unclear in seagrass tissues. Here, we assess the presence, diversity and taxonomy of nitrogen-fixing bacteria within surface-sterilized roots of Posidonia oceanica. Moreover, we analyze the nitrogen isotopic signature of seagrass tissues in order to notice atmospheric nitrogen fixation. We detected nitrogen-fixing bacteria by nifH gene amplification in 13 out of the 78 roots sampled, corresponding to 9 locations out of 26 meadows. We detected two different types of bacterial nifH sequences associated with P. oceanica roots, which were closely related to sequences previously isolated from the rhizosphere of a salt marsh cord grass and a putative anaerobe. Nitrogen content of seagrass tissues showed low isotopic signatures in all the sampled meadows, pointing out the atmospheric origin of the assimilated nitrogen by seagrasses. However, this was not related with the presence of endophytic nitrogen fixers, suggesting the nitrogen fixation occurring in rhizosphere and in the epiphytic community could be an important source of nitrogen for P. oceanica. The low diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria reported here suggests species-specific relationships between diazotrophs and P. oceanica, revealing possible symbiotic interactions that could play a major role in nitrogen acquisition by seagrasses in oligotrophic environments where they form lush meadows.

  11. Invasion success in a marginal habitat: an experimental test of competitive ability and drought tolerance in Chromolaena odorata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    te Beest, Mariska; Elschot, Kelly; Olff, Han; Etienne, Rampal S

    2013-01-01

    Climatic niche models based on native-range climatic data accurately predict invasive-range distributions in the majority of species. However, these models often do not account for ecological and evolutionary processes, which limit the ability to predict future range expansion. This might be particularly problematic in the case of invaders that occupy environments that would be considered marginal relative to the climatic niche in the native range of the species. Here, we assess the potential for future range expansion in the shrub Chromolaena odorata that is currently invading mesic savannas (>650 mm MAP) in South Africa that are colder and drier than most habitats in its native range. In a greenhouse experiment we tested whether its current distribution in South Africa can be explained by increased competitive ability and/or differentiation in drought tolerance relative to the native population. We compared aboveground biomass, biomass allocation, water use efficiency and relative yields of native and invasive C. odorata and the resident grass Panicum maximum in wet and dry conditions. Surprisingly, we found little differentiation between ranges. Invasive C. odorata showed no increased competitive ability or superior drought tolerance compared to native C. odorata. Moreover we found that P. maximum was a better competitor than either native or invasive C. odorata. These results imply that C. odorata is unlikely to expand its future range towards more extreme, drier, habitats beyond the limits of its current climatic niche and that the species' invasiveness most likely depends on superior light interception when temporarily released from competition by disturbance. Our study highlights the fact that species can successfully invade habitats that are at the extreme end of their ranges and thereby contributes towards a better understanding of range expansion during species invasions.

  12. Invasion success in a marginal habitat: an experimental test of competitive ability and drought tolerance in Chromolaena odorata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariska te Beest

    Full Text Available Climatic niche models based on native-range climatic data accurately predict invasive-range distributions in the majority of species. However, these models often do not account for ecological and evolutionary processes, which limit the ability to predict future range expansion. This might be particularly problematic in the case of invaders that occupy environments that would be considered marginal relative to the climatic niche in the native range of the species. Here, we assess the potential for future range expansion in the shrub Chromolaena odorata that is currently invading mesic savannas (>650 mm MAP in South Africa that are colder and drier than most habitats in its native range. In a greenhouse experiment we tested whether its current distribution in South Africa can be explained by increased competitive ability and/or differentiation in drought tolerance relative to the native population. We compared aboveground biomass, biomass allocation, water use efficiency and relative yields of native and invasive C. odorata and the resident grass Panicum maximum in wet and dry conditions. Surprisingly, we found little differentiation between ranges. Invasive C. odorata showed no increased competitive ability or superior drought tolerance compared to native C. odorata. Moreover we found that P. maximum was a better competitor than either native or invasive C. odorata. These results imply that C. odorata is unlikely to expand its future range towards more extreme, drier, habitats beyond the limits of its current climatic niche and that the species' invasiveness most likely depends on superior light interception when temporarily released from competition by disturbance. Our study highlights the fact that species can successfully invade habitats that are at the extreme end of their ranges and thereby contributes towards a better understanding of range expansion during species invasions.

  13. Bottom-up and top-down controls on coral reef sponges: disentangling within-habitat and between-habitat processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, Janie

    2017-04-01

    Polarized debates about top-down vs. bottom-up control have given way to more nuanced understanding of control by both resources and consumers in many systems, but coral reef sponges have recently been asserted to differ from other groups in being controlled exclusively top-down. This assertion has been countered by reports of exclusively bottom-up control, with both conclusions based on studies of the same species. Accelerating deterioration of coral reefs motivates knowing the contexts in which either consumers or nutrients or both control key ecosystem role players like sponges. Accordingly, genotype- and size-controlled individuals of 12 common Caribbean reef sponge species were transplanted, in the field, into five circumstances differing in predators, competitors, and the picoplankton consumed by sponges. Growth and survival of the experimental transplants for periods of 1-9 yr revealed context-dependent control of sponges. Primary control of growth was bottom-up, with more picoplankton resulting in consistent and sustained higher growth rates for all 12 of these ecologically and phylogenetically diverse species. Top-down control was not detected within-habitat, on the coral reef. However, between-habitat control was by predation and competition, with reef sponges excluded from adjacent seagrass meadows by spongivorous starfish, and excluded from mangrove prop roots by faster-growing mangrove sponges. These results highlight the strong importance of experimental design details that consider behavior idiosyncrasies, sufficiently long time scales, and appropriate division of species into categories. Diametrically opposite results from studies of the same species also illustrate the inherently greater difficulty of detecting bottom-up processes and the importance of distinguishing within-habitat vs. between-habitat patterns and processes. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. Distribution of algae, seagrasses, and coral communities from Lakshadweep islands, eastern Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    Marine algae, seagrasses and coral from the intertidal, lagoon, reef and subtidal regions (up to 22 m depth) at Kavaratti, Agatti, Bangaram and Suheli islands, of Lakshadweep were studied Marine algae and seagrasses were mainly confined...

  15. Nitrate fertilisation does not enhance CO2 responses in two tropical seagrass species

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ow, Y X; Vogel, N; Collier, C J; Holtum, J A M; Flores, F; Uthicke, S

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are often considered "winners" of ocean acidification (OA); however, seagrass productivity responses to OA could be limited by nitrogen availability, since nitrogen-derived metabolites are required for carbon assimilation...

  16. Suitability of seagrasses and submerged aquatic vegetation as indicators of eutrophication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooted submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) encompasses a large diversity of species that range from obligate halophytes such as, seagrasses, to euryhaline species and freshwater obligates. All seagrass and SAV provide key biological functions within the enclosed bays, estuaries, a...

  17. Burrowing shrimps and seagrass dynamics in shallow-water meadows off Bolinao (Nw Philippines)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nacorda, H.M.

    2008-01-01

    Keywords: sediment gaps, Alpheus macellarius, Thalassinidea, burrows, seagrass canopies, sediment characteristics, Philippines Small-scale disturbance of seagrass meadows by burrowing shrimps was assessed by mapping and quantifying apparent disturbance marks (burrow openings, sand patches, sand

  18. Nutrient Loading Fosters Seagrass Productivity Under Ocean Acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravaglioli, Chiara; Lauritano, Chiara; Buia, Maria Cristina; Balestri, Elena; Capocchi, Antonella; Fontanini, Debora; Pardi, Giuseppina; Tamburello, Laura; Procaccini, Gabriele; Bulleri, Fabio

    2017-10-23

    The effects of climate change are likely to be dependent on local settings. Nonetheless, the compounded effects of global and regional stressors remain poorly understood. Here, we used CO2 vents to assess how the effects of ocean acidification on the seagrass, Posidonia oceanica, and the associated epiphytic community can be modified by enhanced nutrient loading. P. oceanica at ambient and low pH sites was exposed to three nutrient levels for 16 months. The response of P. oceanica to experimental conditions was assessed by combining analyses of gene expression, plant growth, photosynthetic pigments and epiphyte loading. At low pH, nutrient addition fostered plant growth and the synthesis of photosynthetic pigments. Overexpression of nitrogen transporter genes following nutrient additions at low pH suggests enhanced nutrient uptake by the plant. In addition, enhanced nutrient levels reduced the expression of selected antioxidant genes in plants exposed to low pH and increased epiphyte cover at both ambient and low pH. Our results show that the effects of ocean acidification on P. oceanica depend upon local nutrient concentration. More generally, our findings suggest that taking into account local environmental settings will be crucial to advance our understanding of the effects of global stressors on marine systems.

  19. Comparison of intestinal microbiota and activities of digestive and immune-related enzymes of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus in two habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Zhang, Xiumei; Chen, Muyan; Li, Wentao; Zhang, Peidong

    2017-09-01

    Sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus stock enhancement by releasing hatchery-produced seeds is a management tool used to recover its population under natural environmental conditions. To assess the suitability of releasing sites, we examined the microbiota of the gut contents of A. japonicus from two populations (one in sandy-muddy seagrass beds and one in rocky intertidal reefs) and the microbiota in their surrounding sediments. The activities of digestive and immune-related enzymes in the A. japonicus were also examined. The results indicated that higher bacterial richness and Shannon diversity index were observed in all the seagrass-bed samples. There were significant differences in intestinal and sediment microorganisms between the two habitats, with a 2.87 times higher abundance of Firmicutes in the seagrass bed sediments than that in the reefs. Meanwhile, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were significantly higher abundant in the gut content of A. japonicus from seagrass bed than those from the reefs. In addition, the seagrass-bed samples exhibited a relatively higher abundance of potential probiotics. Principal coordinates analysis and heatmap showed the bacterial communities were classified into two groups corresponding to the two habitat types. Moreover, compared to A. japonicus obtained from rocky intertidal habitat, those obtained from the seagrass bed showed higher lysozyme, superoxide dismutase and protease activities. Our results suggest that bacterial communities present in seagrass beds might enhance the digestive function and immunity of A. japonicus. Therefore, compared with the rocky intertidal reef, seagrass bed seems to be more beneficial for the survival of A. japonicus.

  20. Development of Microsatellite Markers for a Tropical Seagrass, Syringodium filiforme (Cymodoceaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra L. Bijak

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: A total of 17 polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed for the tropical Atlantic seagrass Syringodium filiforme (Cymodoceaceae, enabling analysis of population genetic structure in this species for the first time. Methods and Results: The 17 primers amplified di- and trinucleotide repeats revealing two to eight alleles per locus among the South Florida populations tested. In the analysis of two populations from the Florida Keys (Florida, USA, observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.063 to 0.905, although sampling was from relatively closely located populations so heterozygosity is expected to be higher across larger spatial scales. Multiplex PCRs consisting of two 6-plex and one 5-plex reactions were developed to maximize genotyping efficiency. Conclusions: We present here 17 polymorphic markers that will be useful for the study of clonality and population structure of S. filiforme, a marine plant that forms extensive habitat throughout the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean.

  1. Sulfur cycling and sulfide intrusion in mixed Southeast Asian tropical seagrass meadows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmer, Marianne; Pedersen, Ole; Ikejima, Kou

    2006-01-01

    Seagrass distribution and sediment biogeochemical conditions were measured around Libong Island in the Andaman Sea, Thailand. Seagrass diversity was moderate for a tropical site (four species found: Cymodocea rotundata, Enhalus acoroides, Halophila ovalis and Thalassia hemprichii), with the dimin......Seagrass distribution and sediment biogeochemical conditions were measured around Libong Island in the Andaman Sea, Thailand. Seagrass diversity was moderate for a tropical site (four species found: Cymodocea rotundata, Enhalus acoroides, Halophila ovalis and Thalassia hemprichii...

  2. An experimental study of habitat choice by Daphnia: plants signal danger more than refuge in subtropical lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meerhoff, Mariana; Fosalba, C.; Bruzzone, C.

    2006-01-01

    1. In shallow temperate lakes, submerged plants often provide refuge for pelagic zooplankton against fish predation, a mechanism with potential strong cascading effects on water transparency and on the entire ecosystem. In (sub)tropical lakes, however, the interaction between aquatic plants...... and predation may be more complex, particularly because fish density is high within the plant beds in such systems. 2. Using laboratory 'habitat choice' experiments, we determined the effects of three (sub)tropical free-floating plants, Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes and Salvinia auriculata...... and the cosmopolitan submerged Ceratophyllum demersum, on horizontal movement by the water flea Daphnia obtusa. We tested for avoidance of plants in the absence and presence of alarm signals from crushed conspecifics and chemical cues from the fish Cnesterodon decemmaculatus, the fish have been subjected to different...

  3. The relationship between habitat complexity and nursery provision for an estuarine-dependent fish species in a permanently open South African Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Timothy; James, Nicola C.; Potts, Warren M.; Rajkaran, Anusha

    2017-11-01

    Estuarine-dependent marine fish species rely on shallow, sheltered and food rich habitats for protection from predators, growth and ultimately recruitment to adult populations. Hence, habitats within estuaries function as critical nursery areas for an abundance of fish species. However, these habitats vary in the degree of nursery function they provide and few studies have quantitatively assessed the relative nursery value of different habitat types within estuaries, particularly in the context of habitat complexity. This study aimed to assess the nursery value of the dominant vegetated habitats, namely the submergent Zostera capensis (Setch.) (seagrass) beds and emergent Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald (salt marsh) beds in the Bushmans Estuary, South Africa. Biomass and stem density were sampled seasonally in order to gain insight into the vegetation dynamics of seagrass and salt marsh beds. Aerial cover, canopy height and underwater camera imagery were used to develop multiple complexity indices for prioritizing habitat complexity. The relatively consistent results of the dimensionless indices (interstitial space indices and fractal geometry) suggest that Z. capensis exhibits an overall greater degree of complexity than S. maritima, and hence it can be expected that fish abundance is likely to be higher in Z. capensis beds than in S. maritima habitats. Underwater video cameras were deployed in seagrass, salt marsh and sand flat habitats to assess the relative abundance and behaviour of the estuarine-dependent sparid Rhabosargus holubi (Steindachner 1881) in different habitats. The relative abundance of R. holubi was significantly higher in Z. capensis seagrass than S. maritima salt marsh and sand flats, whilst the behaviour of R. holubi indicated a high degree of habitat use in structured habitats (both Z. capensis and S. martima) and a low degree of habitat use in unstructured sand flat habitats.

  4. Meiofauna communities, nematode diversity and C degradation rates in seagrass (Posidonia oceanica L.) and unvegetated sediments invaded by the algae Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Fraschetti, Simona; Scopa, Mariaspina; Rizzo, Lucia; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-08-01

    We investigated meiofauna and sedimentary C cycling in seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) and unvegetated sediments invaded and not invaded by the non-indigenous tropical algae Caulerpa cylindracea. In both habitats, invaded sediments were characterized by higher organic matter contents. No effect was observed for prokaryotes and C degradation rates. In seagrass sediments, C turnover in invaded beds was about half that in not invaded ones. Meiofaunal communities varied significantly among invaded and not invaded grounds only in bare sediments. In both habitats, nematode species richness and assemblage composition were not affected by the algae. The effect of C. cylindracea on the turnover and nestedness components of the Jaccard dissimilarity varied between the two habitats. We show that the presence of C. cylindracea gives rise to variable consequences on meiofauna biodiversity and C cycling in different habitats. We conclude that further studies across different habitats and ecological components are needed to ultimately understand and predict the consequences of C. cylindracea invasion in shallow Mediterranean ecosystems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Mass-Balance Constraints on Nutrient Cycling in Tropical Seagrass Beds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erftemeijer, P.L.A.; Middelburg, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A relatively simple mass balance model is presented to study the cycling of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in tropical seagrass beds. The model is based on quantitative data on nutrient availability, seagrass primary production, community oxygen metabolism, seagrass tissue nutrient contents,

  6. Modeling ecosystem processes with variable freshwater inflow to the Caloosahatchee River Estuary, southwest Florida. II. Nutrient loading, submarine light, and seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzzelli, Christopher; Doering, Peter; Wan, Yongshan; Sun, Detong

    2014-12-01

    Short- and long-term changes in estuarine biogeochemical and biological attributes are consequences of variations in both the magnitude and composition of freshwater inputs. A common conceptualization of estuaries depicts nutrient loading from coastal watersheds as the stressor that promotes algal biomass, decreases submarine light penetration, and degrades seagrass habitats. Freshwater inflow depresses salinity while simultaneously introducing colored dissolved organic matter (color or CDOM) which greatly reduces estuarine light penetration. This is especially true for sub-tropical estuaries. This study applied a model of the Caloosahatchee River Estuary (CRE) in southwest Florida to explore the relationships between freshwater inflow, nutrient loading, submarine light, and seagrass survival. In two independent model series, the loading of dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus (DIN and DIP) was reduced by 10%, 20%, 30%, and 50% relative to the base model case from 2002 to 2009 (2922 days). While external nutrient loads were reduced by lowering inflow (Q0) in the first series (Q0 series), reductions were accomplished by decreasing the incoming concentrations of DIN and DIP in the second series (NP Series). The model also was used to explore the partitioning of submarine light extinction due to chlorophyll a, CDOM, and turbidity. Results suggested that attempting to control nutrient loading by decreasing freshwater inflow could have minor effects on water column concentrations but greatly influence submarine light and seagrass biomass. This is because of the relative importance of Q0 to salinity and submarine light. In general, light penetration and seagrass biomass decreased with increased inflow and CDOM. Increased chlorophyll a did account for more submarine light extinction in the lower estuary. The model output was used to help identify desirable levels of inflow, nutrient loading, water quality, salinity, and submarine light for seagrass in the lower CRE

  7. Flowering and fruiting of the Tropical Intertidal Seagrass H. stipulacea under Controlled ex- situ conditions: Understanding the Effect of Climate change on Sexual reproduction of World's seagrasses using Ex-situ set ups- A case of Tanzanian coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimba, M. J.

    2016-02-01

    Flowers and fruits have not been reported for tropical seagrass Halophila stipulacea along the coast of Tanzania, Indo-Pacific, but after transplanting from Kunduchi intertidal mudflats to experimental cultures, flowers and fruits were observed. Transplanted cuttings from Kunduchi intertidal mudflats were successfully grown in sand-mud substrate in the growth chamber in a 12 hr photoperiod (582 Lux, approximately 20 µmol photons m2s-1) and an inductive temperature and salinity of 24 - 28 oC, 34 - 38 ‰ respectively. Plants began to flower after three months of culturing, while fruits were observed after seven months. A total of 79 flowers and 10 fruits were recorded from January to December; where 54 staminate and 25 pistillate flowers (2:1) were observed throughout the experimental culture. The presence of viable seeds and seedlings demonstrated the successful pollination and sexual reproduction of H. stipulacea in culture. The results of the present investigation suggest that flowering and fruiting in H. stipulacea is related primarily to temperature and salinity; and that differences in flowering and fruiting in responses to temperature or salinity account for the nearly synchronous phenological timing in natural H. stipulacea meadows at different locations along tropical coast of East Africa. This could therefore form the foundation in assessing the impacts of climate change on the world ocean seagrasses; this will therefore allow incorporation of seagrasses into a global science policy for the world's oceans.

  8. An experimental approach to assess Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774) resistance to osmotic stress in estuarine habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira-Rodríguez, Noé; Pardo, Isabel

    2016-07-01

    Corbicula fluminea arrived in the Miño Estuary in 1989 and, from there, colonized more than 150 km upstream. Our aim was to test the capacity of C. fluminea to cope with osmotic stress conditions previously to invade new freshwater habitats through estuaries. Based on previously collected information, the experiment aims to study the response of the species to marine osmotic stress, evaluated by survival and behaviour. Experiments determined the resistance by the species to various levels of osmotic stress, and recovery time after exposure to high salinity levels, representative of the temporal and spatial salinity variation existing in the estuary. Under osmotic stress the semi-maximum response was reached after 19 days exposure. The species tolerance range, measured by individual maintained activity, was at salinity ∼20 when exposed to winter temperatures, while when animals were exposed to summer ones its tolerance was reduced to salinity lower than 15. C. fluminea show a large physiological flexibility to cope with salinity variations in estuaries. In summer, the temperature increases the metabolic rate thus making the species more vulnerable to osmotic stress exposure. These findings are relevant to preventing new invasions through ship ballast waters ensuring complete mortality if individuals are retained for >26 days.

  9. Mangrove habitat use by juvenile reef fish: meta-analysis reveals that tidal regime matters more than biogeographic region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias M Igulu

    Full Text Available Identification of critical life-stage habitats is key to successful conservation efforts. Juveniles of some species show great flexibility in habitat use while other species rely heavily on a restricted number of juvenile habitats for protection and food. Considering the rapid degradation of coastal marine habitats worldwide, it is important to evaluate which species are more susceptible to loss of juvenile nursery habitats and how this differs across large biogeographic regions. Here we used a meta-analysis approach to investigate habitat use by juvenile reef fish species in tropical coastal ecosystems across the globe. Densities of juvenile fish species were compared among mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats. In the Caribbean, the majority of species showed significantly higher juvenile densities in mangroves as compared to seagrass beds and coral reefs, while for the Indo-Pacific region seagrass beds harbored the highest overall densities. Further analysis indicated that differences in tidal amplitude, irrespective of biogeographic region, appeared to be the major driver for this phenomenon. In addition, juvenile reef fish use of mangroves increased with increasing water salinity. In the Caribbean, species of specific families (e.g. Lutjanidae, Haemulidae showed a higher reliance on mangroves or seagrass beds as juvenile habitats than other species, whereas in the Indo-Pacific family-specific trends of juvenile habitat utilization were less apparent. The findings of this study highlight the importance of incorporating region-specific tidal inundation regimes into marine spatial conservation planning and ecosystem based management. Furthermore, the significant role of water salinity and tidal access as drivers of mangrove fish habitat use implies that changes in seawater level and rainfall due to climate change may have important effects on how juvenile reef fish use nearshore seascapes in the future.

  10. Differential methods of localisation of fungal endophytes in the seagrasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Raja

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Sections of three seagrass species (Halophila ovalis, Cymodocea serrulata and Halodule pinifolia were assessed for endophytes based on differential staining using light and fluorescence microscopy method. Acridine orange and aniline blue detected endophytic fungi in 20% and 10% of the segments, respectively, whereas lactophenol cotton blue was more sensitive to detect the fungal hyphae in 70% of the segments. Hyphae were the principal fungal structures generally observed under the cuticle, within the epidermal cells, mesophyll (Parenchyma cells and occasionally within the vascular tissue that varied in type, size and location within the leaf tissue. Present study also recorded the sporulation for the first time from the seagrass endophytes. Successfully amplified products of the ITS region of endophytic fungal DNA, directly from seagrass tissue and also from culture-dependent fungal DNA clearly depicted the presence of endophytic fungi in H. ovalis with two banding patterns (903 and 1381 bp confirming the presence of two dominant fungal genera. The fingerprinting of endophytic fungal community within the seagrass tissue was assessed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE that derived with multiple bands that clarified the presence of more than one taxon within the seagrass tissue.

  11. Seagrass as the main food source of Neaxius acanthus (Thalassinidea: Strahlaxiidae), its burrow associates, and of Corallianassa coutierei (Thalassinidea: Callianassidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneer, Dominik; Asmus, Harald; Vonk, Jan Arie

    2008-09-01

    palaemonid shrimp species and two species of tube-building polychaetes, one of which was also found as an epibiont on N. acanthus. Stable-isotope and gut content analyses indicate that the diet of Neaxius acanthus, its commensal Austrolethops wardi, and Corallianassa coutierei is mainly derived from detrital seagrass leaves, with a potential contribution of sediment organic matter and seagrass epiphytes. In contrast the isotopic signature of Barrimysia cumingii suggests the presence of symbiotic sulphide metabolism bacteria. This study underlines that, besides their interactions with the surrounding ecosystem, thalassinid shrimp burrows play an important role as a sub-habitat with a unique associated fauna.

  12. Food resources influence spatial ecology, habitat selection, and foraging behavior in an ambush-hunting snake (Viperidae: Bothrops asper): an experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasko, Dennis K; Sasa, Mahmood

    2012-06-01

    Prey availability affects many aspects of predators' life history and is considered a primary factor influencing individuals' decisions regarding spatial ecology and behavior, but few experimental data are currently available. Snakes may represent ideal model organisms relative to other animal groups for addressing such resource dependency, due to a presumably more direct link between food resources and many aspects of behavior and natural history. We experimentally investigated the relationship between food intake and spatial behavior in a population of the snake Bothrops asper in a Costa Rican lowland rainforest. Six adult snakes were allowed to forage naturally while six were offered supplemental food in the field, with both groups monitored using radiotelemetry. Mean home range size did not differ between groups presumably due to small sample size, but supplementally fed snakes demonstrated altered patterns of macro- and microhabitat selection, shorter and less frequent movements, and increased mass acquisition. Fed snakes also devoted less time to foraging efforts, instead more frequently remaining inactive and utilizing shelter. Because snakes were always fed in situ and not at designated feeding stations, observed shifts in habitat selection are not explained by animals simply moving to areas of higher food availability. Rather, B. asper may have moved to swamps in order to feed on amphibians when necessary, but remained in preferred forest habitat when food was otherwise abundant. The strong behavioral and spatiotemporal responses of snakes in this population may have been influenced by an overall scarcity of mammalian prey during the study period. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Shallow Habitat Air Dive (SHAD-I): Psychological Screening of Divers as Subjects for Long Duration Saturation Experimentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-05-31

    interest in diving, etc. I. Inadequate Ego Structure (Lack of self confidence, introverted , passive, etc.) No response 8 8 13 8 6...and recent memory were unchanged from pre- experimental data. No motor abnormalities were observed. In short, there were no differ- ences of any...which of the following activities or hobbles have you been so Inter- ested that you have devoted considerable time and energy to them? a. Music

  14. Seagrass Health Modeling and Prediction with NASA Science Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Harold D.; Easson, Greg; Slattery, Marc; Anderson, Daniel; Blonski, Slawomir; DeCurtins, Robert; Underwood, Lauren

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that MODIS data products can be used as inputs into the seagrass productivity model developed by Fong and Harwell (1994). To further explore this use to predict seagrass productivity, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) custom data products, including Sea Surface Temperature, Light Attenuation, and Chlorophyll-a have been created for use as model parameter inputs. Coastal researchers can use these MODIS data products and model results in conjunction with historical and daily assessment of seagrass conditions to assess variables that affect the productivity of the seagrass beds. Current monitoring practices involve manual data collection (typically on a quarterly basis) and the data is often insufficient for evaluating the dynamic events that influence seagrass beds. As part of a NASA-funded research grant, the University of Mississippi, is working with researchers at NASA and Radiance Technologies to develop methods to deliver MODIS derived model output for the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to coastal and environmental managers. The result of the project will be a data portal that provides access to MODIS data products and model results from the past 5 years, that includes an automated process to incorporate new data as it becomes available. All model parameters and final output will be available through the use National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?s (NOAA) Environmental Research Divisions Data Access Program (ERDDAP) tools as well as viewable using Thematic Realtime Environmental Distributed Data Services (THREDDS) and the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV). These tools provide the ability to create raster-based time sequences of model output and parameters as well as create graphs of model parameters versus time. This tool will provide researchers and coastal managers the ability to analyze the model inputs so that the factors influencing a change in seagrass productivity can be determined over time.

  15. The distribution of seagrasses in Dominica, Lesser Antilles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.C.C Steiner

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass beds are the largest organism-built marine habitat in Dominica, yet have only been surveyed since 2007. Standardized examinations along a depth gradient between 0 and 24m, focusing on magnoliophyte species composition and benthic cover of shoots at 17 seagrass bed sites, were carried out between September 10 and December 7, 2008. The Cymodoceaceae Syringodium filiforme (Kuetzing 1860 and Halodule wrightii (Ascherson 1868, as well as the Hydrocharitaceae Halophila decipiens (Ostenfeld 1902, H. stipulacea (Fosskal & Ascherson 1867 and Thalassia testudinum (Banks ex König 1805 displayed distinct regional and horizontal distribution patterns. Syringodium filiforme is the island’s dominant seagrass along the western and northern coasts, occurring at depths between 2 and 18m and with a mean benthic cover ranging from 0.9-10% along the West coast. Along the North coast it grew between 0.2 and 1m depth with a mean maximum benthic cover of 48.9%. Halodule wrightii grew along the North and West coasts, in depths between 1 and 14m in areas of recent and chronic disturbances. Its delicate morphology and sparse benthic cover (Pastos marinos son los ambientes más grandes constituidos por organismos en Dominica. Sin embargo, sólo se han examinado desde 2007. Entre el 10 de septiembre y 9 de diciembre 2008, se examinaron la composicion de especies y la densidad de magnoliofitas en profundidades de 0 a 24m. Los Cymodoceaceae: Syringodium filiforme y Halodule wrightii, tal como los Hydrocharitaceae: Halophila decipiens, H. stipulacea y Thalassia testudinum, mostraron una distribución regional y horizontal muy distinta. Syringodium filiforme fue la especie dominante en las costas del oeste y del norte de la isla. Se encontró en profundidades de 2 a 18m y con un promedio de cobertura béntica de 0.9-10% en la costa del oeste. En las costas del norte creció entre 0.2 y 1m de profundidad con un pormedio de cobertura béntica de 48.9%. Halodule

  16. Local Knowledge and Conservation of Seagrasses in the Tamil Nadu State of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newmaster AF

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Local knowledge systems are not considered in the conservation of fragile seagrass marine ecosystems. In fact, little is known about the utility of seagrasses in local coastal communities. This is intriguing given that some local communities rely on seagrasses to sustain their livelihoods and have relocated their villages to areas with a rich diversity and abundance of seagrasses. The purpose of this study is to assist in conservation efforts regarding seagrasses through identifying Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK from local knowledge systems of seagrasses from 40 coastal communities along the eastern coast of India. We explore the assemblage of scientific and local traditional knowledge concerning the 1. classification of seagrasses (comparing scientific and traditional classification systems, 2. utility of seagrasses, 3. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK of seagrasses, and 4. current conservation efforts for seagrass ecosystems. Our results indicate that local knowledge systems consist of a complex classification of seagrass diversity that considers the role of seagrasses in the marine ecosystem. This fine-scaled ethno-classification gives rise to five times the number of taxa (10 species = 50 local ethnotaxa, each with a unique role in the ecosystem and utility within coastal communities, including the use of seagrasses for medicine (e.g., treatment of heart conditions, seasickness, etc., food (nutritious seeds, fertilizer (nutrient rich biomass and livestock feed (goats and sheep. Local communities are concerned about the loss of seagrass diversity and have considerable local knowledge that is valuable for conservation and restoration plans. This study serves as a case study example of the depth and breadth of local knowledge systems for a particular ecosystem that is in peril. Key words: local health and nutrition, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK, conservation and natural resources management, consensus

  17. Local knowledge and conservation of seagrasses in the Tamil Nadu state of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmaster, A F; Berg, K J; Ragupathy, S; Palanisamy, M; Sambandan, K; Newmaster, S G

    2011-11-23

    Local knowledge systems are not considered in the conservation of fragile seagrass marine ecosystems. In fact, little is known about the utility of seagrasses in local coastal communities. This is intriguing given that some local communities rely on seagrasses to sustain their livelihoods and have relocated their villages to areas with a rich diversity and abundance of seagrasses. The purpose of this study is to assist in conservation efforts regarding seagrasses through identifying Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) from local knowledge systems of seagrasses from 40 coastal communities along the eastern coast of India. We explore the assemblage of scientific and local traditional knowledge concerning the 1. classification of seagrasses (comparing scientific and traditional classification systems), 2. utility of seagrasses, 3. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of seagrasses, and 4. current conservation efforts for seagrass ecosystems. Our results indicate that local knowledge systems consist of a complex classification of seagrass diversity that considers the role of seagrasses in the marine ecosystem. This fine-scaled ethno-classification gives rise to five times the number of taxa (10 species = 50 local ethnotaxa), each with a unique role in the ecosystem and utility within coastal communities, including the use of seagrasses for medicine (e.g., treatment of heart conditions, seasickness, etc.), food (nutritious seeds), fertilizer (nutrient rich biomass) and livestock feed (goats and sheep). Local communities are concerned about the loss of seagrass diversity and have considerable local knowledge that is valuable for conservation and restoration plans. This study serves as a case study example of the depth and breadth of local knowledge systems for a particular ecosystem that is in peril.

  18. Low frequency acoustic properties of Posidonia oceanica seagrass leaf blades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jay R.; Venegas, Gabriel R.; Wilson, Preston S.; Hermand, Jean-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    The acoustics of seagrass meadows impacts naval and oceanographic sonar applications. To study this environment, a one-dimensional resonator was used to assess the low-frequency (1–5 kHz) acoustic response of the leaf blades of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica in water. Three separate collections of plants from Crete, Greece, and Sicily, Italy were investigated. A high consistency in effective sound speed was observed within each collection while a strong variability was observed between different collections. Average size, mass, and epiphytic coverage within each collection were quantified, and discoloration and stiffness are discussed qualitatively with respect to the observed acoustic variability. PMID:28618796

  19. The effect of salinity increase on the photosynthesis, growth and survival of the Mediterranean seagrass Cymodocea nodosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval-Gil, José M.; Marín-Guirao, Lázaro; Ruiz, Juan M.

    2012-12-01

    There are major concerns in the Mediterranean Sea over the effects of hypersaline effluents from seawater desalination plants on seagrass communities. However, knowledge concerning the specific physiological capacities of seagrasses to tolerate or resist salinity increases is still limited. In this study, changes in the photosynthetic characteristics, pigment content, leaf light absorption, growth and survival of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa were examined across a range of simulated hypersaline conditions. To this end, large plant fragments were maintained under salinities of 37 (control ambient salinity), 39, 41 and 43 (practical salinity scale) in a laboratory mesocosm system for 47 days. At the end of the experimental period, net photosynthesis exhibited a modest, but significant, decline (12-17%) in all tested hypersaline conditions (39-43). At intermediate salinity levels (39-41), the decline in photosynthetic rates was mainly accounted for by substantial increases in respiratory losses (approximately 98% of the control), the negative effects of which on leaf carbon balance were offset by an improved capacity and efficiency of leaves to absorb light, mainly through changes in accessory pigments, but also in optical properties related to leaf anatomy. Conversely, inhibition of gross photosynthesis (by 19.6% compared to the control mean) in the most severe hypersaline conditions (43) reduced net photosynthesis. In this treatment, the respiration rate was limited in order to facilitate a positive carbon balance (similar to that of the control plants) and shoot survival, although vitality would probably be reduced if such metabolic alterations persisted. These results are consistent with the ecology of Mediterranean C. nodosa populations, which are considered to have high morphological and physiological plasticity and a capacity to grow in a wide variety of coastal environments with varying salinity levels. The results from this study support the premise that C

  20. Overview of the physiological ecology of carbon metabolism in seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchette; Burkholder

    2000-07-30

    The small but diverse group of angiosperms known as seagrasses form submersed meadow communities that are among the most productive on earth. Seagrasses are frequently light-limited and, despite access to carbon-rich seawaters, they may also sustain periodic internal carbon limitation. They have been regarded as C3 plants, but many species appear to be C3-C4 intermediates and/or have various carbon-concentrating mechanisms to aid the Rubisco enzyme in carbon acquisition. Photorespiration can occur as a C loss process that may protect photosynthetic electron transport during periods of low CO(2) availability and high light intensity. Seagrasses can also become photoinhibited in high light (generally>1000 µE m(-2) s(-1)) as a protective mechanism that allows excessive light energy to be dissipated as heat. Many photosynthesis-irradiance curves have been developed to assess light levels needed for seagrass growth. However, most available data (e.g. compensation irradiance I(c)) do not account for belowground tissue respiration and, thus, are of limited use in assessing the whole-plant carbon balance across light gradients. Caution is recommended in use of I(k) (saturating irradiance for photosynthesis), since seagrass photosynthesis commonly increases under higher light intensities than I(k); and in estimating seagrass productivity from H(sat) (duration of daily light period when light equals or exceeds I(k)) which varies considerably among species and sites, and which fails to account for light-limited photosynthesis at light levels less than I(k). The dominant storage carbohydrate in seagrasses is sucrose (primarily stored in rhizomes), which generally forms more than 90% of the total soluble carbohydrate pool. Seagrasses with high I(c) levels (suggesting lower efficiency in C acquisition) have relatively low levels of leaf carbohydrates. Sucrose-P synthase (SPS, involved in sucrose synthesis) activity increases with leaf age, consistent with leaf maturation from

  1. Main constituents of polyphenol complex from seagrasses of the genus Zostera, their antidiabetic properties and mechanisms of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Styshova, Olga Nikolaevna; Popov, Alexander Michailovich; Artyukov, Alexander Alekseevish; Klimovich, Anna Anatolievna

    2017-05-01

    The present review analyzed the recent experimental studies of the alleviating activity of main constituents of the polyphenol complex from seagrasses of the genus Zostera, namely rosmarinic acid, luteolin and its sulfated derivatives, on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism disorders. A number of studies by our group and others, in which various experimental models of diabetes and hyperlipidemia were used, show a therapeutic action of the polyphenol complex and the abovementioned phenolic constituents, when applied separately and in combination. Based on the analysis of the results of these studies, the probable mechanisms of the therapeutic action of these compounds in diabetes and hyperlipidemia were proposed.

  2. Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) seedlings in a high-CO2 world: from physiology to herbivory

    KAUST Repository

    Hernán, Gema

    2016-12-01

    Under future increased CO2 concentrations, seagrasses are predicted to perform better as a result of increased photosynthesis, but the effects in carbon balance and growth are unclear and remain unexplored for early life stages such as seedlings, which allow plant dispersal and provide the potential for adaptation under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, the outcome of the concomitant biochemical changes in plant-herbivore interactions has been poorly studied, yet may have important implications in plant communities. In this study we determined the effects of experimental exposure to current and future predicted CO2 concentrations on the physiology, size and defense strategies against herbivory in the earliest life stage of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The photosynthetic performance of seedlings, assessed by fluorescence, improved under increased pCO2 conditions after 60 days, although these differences disappeared after 90 days. Furthermore, these plants exhibited bigger seeds and higher carbon storage in belowground tissues, having thus more resources to tolerate and recover from stressors. Of the several herbivory resistance traits measured, plants under high pCO2 conditions had a lower leaf N content but higher sucrose. These seedlings were preferred by herbivorous sea urchins in feeding trials, which could potentially counteract some of the positive effects observed.

  3. Global warming enhances sulphide stress in a key seagrass species (NW Mediterranean).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Rosa; Holmer, Marianne; Duarte, Carlos M; Marbà, Núria

    2013-12-01

    The build-up of sulphide concentrations in sediments, resulting from high inputs of organic matter and the mineralization through sulphate reduction, can be lethal to the benthos. Sulphate reduction is temperature dependent, thus global warming may contribute to even higher sulphide concentrations and benthos mortality. The seagrass Posidonia oceanica is very sensitive to sulphide stress. Hence, if concentrations build up with global warming, this key Mediterranean species could be seriously endangered. An 8-year monitoring of daily seawater temperature, the sulphur isotopic signatures of water (δ(34)S(water)), sediment (δ(34)SCRS ) and P. oceanica leaf tissue (δ(34)S(leaves)), along with total sulphur in leaves (TS(leaves)) and annual net population growth along the coast of the Balearic archipelago (Western Mediterranean) allowed us to determine if warming triggers P. oceanica sulphide stress and constrains seagrass survival. From the isotopic S signatures, we estimated sulphide intrusion into the leaves (F(sulphide)) and sulphur incorporation into the leaves from sedimentary sulphides (SS(leaves)). We observed lower δ(34)S(leaves), higher F(sulphide) and SS(leaves) coinciding with a 6-year period when two heat waves were recorded. Warming triggered sulphide stress as evidenced by the negative temperature dependence of δ(34)S(leaves) and the positive one of F(sulphide), TS(leaves) and SS(leaves). Lower P. oceanica net population growth rates were directly related to higher contents of TS(leaves). At equivalent annual maximum sea surface water temperature (SST(max)), deep meadows were less affected by sulphide intrusion than shallow ones. Thus, water depth acts as a protecting mechanism against sulphide intrusion. However, water depth would be insufficient to buffer seagrass sulphide stress triggered by Mediterranean seawater summer temperatures projected for the end of the 21st century even under scenarios of moderate greenhouse gas emissions, A1B

  4. Phylogeny as a proxy for ecology in seagrass amphipods: which traits are most conserved?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J Best

    Full Text Available Increasingly, studies of community assembly and ecosystem function combine trait data and phylogenetic relationships to gain novel insight into the ecological and evolutionary constraints on community dynamics. However, the key to interpreting these two types of information is an understanding of the extent to which traits are phylogenetically conserved. In this study, we develop the necessary framework for community phylogenetics approaches in a system of marine crustacean herbivores that play an important role in the ecosystem functioning of seagrass systems worldwide. For 16 species of amphipods and isopods, we (1 reconstructed phylogenetic relationships using COI, 16S, and 18S sequences and Bayesian analyses, (2 measured traits that are potentially important for assembling species between and within habitats, and (3 compared the degree to which each of these traits are evolutionarily conserved. Despite poor phylogenetic resolution for the order Amphipoda as a whole, we resolved almost all of the topology for the species in our system, and used a sampling of ultrametric trees from the posterior distribution to account for remaining uncertainty in topology and branch lengths. We found that traits varied widely in their degree of phylogenetic signal. Body mass, fecundity, and tube building showed very strong phylogenetic signal, and temperature tolerance and feeding traits showed much less. As such, the degree of signal was not predictable based on whether the trait is related to environmental filtering or to resource partitioning. Further, we found that even with strong phylogenetic signal in body size, (which may have large impacts on ecosystem function, the predictive relationship between phylogenetic diversity and ecosystem function is not straightforward. We show that patterns of phylogenetic diversity in communities of seagrass mesograzers could lead to a variety of interpretations and predictions, and that detailed study of trait

  5. A comparison of the impact of 'seagrass-friendly' boat mooring systems on Posidonia australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demers, Marie-Claire A; Davis, Andrew R; Knott, Nathan A

    2013-02-01

    Permanent boat moorings have contributed to the decline of seagrasses worldwide, prompting the development of 'seagrass-friendly' moorings. We contrasted seagrass cover and density (predominantly Posidonia australis) in the vicinity of three mooring types and nearby reference areas lacking moorings in Jervis Bay, Australia. We examined two types of 'seagrass-friendly' mooring and a conventional 'swing' mooring. 'Swing' moorings produced significant seagrass scour, denuding patches of ~9 m radius. Seagrass-friendly 'cyclone' moorings produced extensive denuded patches (average radius of ~18 m). Seagrass-friendly 'screw' moorings, conversely, had similar seagrass cover to nearby reference areas. Our findings reinforce previous work highlighting the negative effects of 'swing' and 'cyclone' moorings. In contrast, the previously unstudied 'screw' moorings were highly effective. We conclude that regular maintenance of moorings and the monitoring of surrounding seagrass are required to ensure that 'seagrass-friendly' moorings are operating effectively. This is important, as following damage Posidonia will take many decades to recover. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Carbon Stored on Seagrass Community in Marine Nature Tourism Park of Kotania Bay, Western Seram, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mintje Wawo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the function of seagrass community as carbon storage has been discussed in line with “blue carbon” function of that seagrass has. Seagrass bed are a very valuable coastal ecosystem, however, seagrass bed is threatened if compared to other coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and coral reefs. The threatened seagrass experienced also contributes to its capacity in absorbing CO2 emission from greenhouse gasses such as CO2 emission Temporal estimation shows that CO2 emission will increase in the coming decade. On the other side, efforts to decrease climate change can be influenced by the existence of seagrass. Informations about existence of seagrass as carbon storage are still very rare or limited. This study was aimed to estimate carbon storage on seagrass community in Marine Nature Tourism Park of Kotania Bay Area, Western Seram, Maluku Province. The quadrat transect method of 0.25 m2 for each plot was used to collect seagrass existence. The content of carbon in the sample of dry biomass of seagrass was analyzed in the laboratory using Walkley & Black method. The results showed that total carbon stored was higher in both Osi and Burung Islands of Kotania Bay than other studied areas (Buntal and Tatumbu Islands, Marsegu Island, Barnusang Peninsula, Loupessy and Tamanjaya Village. The average carbon stored in Kotania Bay waters was 2.385 Mg C ha-1, whereas the total of carbon stored was 2054.4967 Mg C.

  7. Important value index and biomass (estimation) of seagrass on Talango Island, Sumenep, Madura

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewi, Citra Satrya Utama; Sukandar

    2017-11-01

    Seagrass is the only plant that can live in shallow waters, and in groups with the same species (monospecies), as well as with different species (heterospecies), and form a seagrass bed. Seagrass beds have an important ecological role, one of them as a carbon storage in shallow water. Seagrasses can store carbon in the form of biomass from its body. Seagrass beds can be found on Talango Island, Sumenep, Madura. Exploration of seagrass beds in this location has not been carried out, especially related to its potential in storing carbon. The aim of this study was to find out the important value index of seagrass species and to estimate their biomass. This research was conducted from October to November 2016 at two stations on Talango Island, Sumenep, Madura, using the Point Intercept Transect (PIT) method. The data taken during the research comprise the species diversity, density, covering and frequency of seagrass. Data analysis was performed to obtain the important value index and to estimate the biomass of seagrass species. The results show that Enhalus acoroides have the highest important value index. Furthermore, the highest biomass estimation value is obtained from Enhalus acoroides, which is 1,650 gram/Ha. Moreover, the total estimation of the seagrass bed on Talango Island is 1,721.250 gram/Ha.

  8. Heavy metal enrichment in the seagrasses of Lakshadweep group of islands--a multivariate statistical analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thangaradjou, T; Raja, S; Subhashini, Pon; Nobi, E P; Dilipan, E

    2013-01-01

    An assessment on heavy metal (Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) accumulation by seven seagrass species of Lakshadweep group of islands was carried out using multivariate statistical tools like principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). Among all the metals, Mg and Al were determined in higher concentration in all the seagrasses, and their values varied with respect to different seagrass species. The concentration of the four toxic heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Zn and Cu) was found higher in all the seagrasses when compared with the background values of seagrasses from Flores Sea, Indonesia. The contamination factor of these four heavy metals ranged as Cd (1.97-12.5), Cu (0.73-4.40), Pb (2.3-8.89) and Zn (1.27-2.787). In general, the Pollution Load Index (PLI) calculated was found to be maximum for Halophila decipiens (58.2). Results revealed that Halophila decipiens is a strong accumulator of heavy metals, followed by Halodule uninervis and Halodule pinifolia, among all the tested seagrasses. Interestingly, the small-leaved seagrasses were found to be efficient in heavy metal accumulation than the large-leaved seagrass species. Thus, seagrasses can better be used for biomonitoring, and seagrasses can be used as the heavy metal sink as the biomass take usually long term to get remineralize in nature.

  9. Assessing gear modifications needed to optimize yields in a heavily exploited, multi-species, seagrass and coral reef fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Christina C; McClanahan, Timothy R

    2012-01-01

    Effective management is necessary if small-scale fisheries, such as those found in mixed habitats including seagrass and coral reefs, are to continue providing food for many of the poorest communities of the world. Gear-based management, although under represented and under studied, has the potential to be adaptive, address multiple objectives, and be crafted to the socio-economic setting. Management effectiveness in seagrass and coral reef fisheries has generally been evaluated at the scale of the fish community. However, community level indicators can mask species-specific declines that provide significant portions of the fisheries yields and income. Using a unique dataset, containing ten years of species level length frequency catch data from a multi-gear, multi-species seagrass and coral reef fishery in Kenya, we evaluate species specific fishery statuses, compare gear use to gear regulations and estimate the potential needs for further gear restrictions. Despite the high diversity of the fishery, fifteen species represented over 90% of the catch, and only three species represented 60% of the catch. The three most abundant species in the catch, Lethrinus lentjan (Lacepède), Siganus sutor (Valenciennes) and Leptoscarus vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard) all showed evidence of growth overfishing. Lethrinus lentjan, with an exploitation rate of 0.82, also shows evidence of recruitment overfishing. Current legal but weakly enforced gear restrictions are capable of protecting a significant portion of the catch up to maturity but optimization of yield will require that the current mesh size be increased from 6.3 to 8.8 and 9.2 cm to increase yields of L. lentjan and S. sutor, respectively. Given the difficulties of enforcing mesh size, we recommend that the economic benefits of these larger mesh sizes be communicated and enforced through co-management. This abstract is also available in Kiswahili (Abstract S1).

  10. Rapid analysis for the identification of the seagrass Halophila ovalis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Maslin

    2015-02-25

    Feb 25, 2015 ... conventional identification keys alone: i) the variability of morphological characteristics and ii) lack of needed morphological ... Key words: DNA barcoding, Halophila ovalis, rbcL, trnH-psbA, species identification. INTRODUCTION ..... of lignified tissue, the structure of seagrasses is flexible and vulnerable to.

  11. Declines of seagrasses in a tropical harbour, North Queensland ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-17

    Apr 17, 2015 ... governance of port and shipping impacts in the Great Barrier. Reef. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 75 8–20. Grice AM, Loneragan NR and Dennison WC 1996 Light intensity and the interactions between physiology, morphology and stable isotope ratios in five species of seagrass. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 195 91–110.

  12. Functioning of Philippine seagrass species under deteriorating light conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uy, W.H.

    2001-01-01

    Enhanced eutrophication as well as siltation are important environmental issues in Southeast Asian coastal waters. Both lead to increased turbidity and hence to lower light availability for the originally extensive seagrass beds that fringe most of the Philippine coastlines. Consequent large-scale

  13. CONTROLS OF SEAGRASS EPIPHYTE ABUNDANCE: DOES LIGHT TRUMP NUTRIENTS?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epiphytes on seagrass growing in the lower intertidal were examined along an estuarine gradient within Yaquina Bay, Oregon over a period of 4 years. The Yaquina Estuary receives high levels of nutrients from the watershed during the wet season and from the ocean during the dry s...

  14. Cyanobacterial Occurrence and Diversity in Seagrass Meadows in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract: We report on the occurrence and diversity of cyanobacteria in intertidal seagrass meadows at Ocean Road and Mjimwema, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Nutrients, temperature and salinity were measured as comparative environmental factors. A total of 19 different cyanobacteria taxa were encountered, out of which ...

  15. Declines of seagrasses in a tropical harbour, North Queensland ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A recent paper inferred that all seagrass in Cairns Harbour, tropical north-eastern Australia, had undergone 'complete and catastrophic loss' as a result of tropical cyclone Yasi in 2011. While we agree with the concern expressed, we would like to correct the suggestion that the declines were the result of a single climatic ...

  16. Seagrass Importance in Food Provisioning Services: Fish Stomach ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2008-05-21

    May 21, 2008 ... Abstract—The links between ecosystem processes and functions and ecosystem services (i.e. the human benefits from those) are elusive. In this paper, the food provisioning service of seagrass meadows is operationalized through the study of the stomach contents of 13 important commercial fish species ...

  17. Dissolved organic matter uptake in a temperate seagrass ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Engeland, T.; Bouma, T.J.; Morris, E.P.; Brun, F.G.; Peralta, G.; Lara, M.; Hendriks, I.E.; van Rijswijk, P.; Veuger, B.; Soetaert, K.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    We assessed the utilization of inorganic and organic nitrogen compounds of different complexity by primary producers and bacteria in a seagrass ecosystem. Using double-labeled (C-13 and N-15) substrates, the net transfers from the dissolved nitrogen and carbon pools to phytoplankton, planktonic

  18. Seagrasses in tropical Australia, productive and abundant for ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-01-22

    Jan 22, 2013 ... This was most likely because the seagrasses were able to achieve sufficient light for growth during intertidal and low tide periods. With historical data of ... provide food and shelter for invertebrates and fish, endan- gered species such as ..... ecosystem health because they respond to environmental change.

  19. abundance and diversity of seagrass and macrofauna in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It was shown that the macrofauna abundance and diversity was higher in stations without seaweed farms than in the stations with seaweed farms, which could be due to activities associated with seaweed farming which contributed to the loss of diversity and biomass of flora and macrofauna of the seagrass meadows.

  20. Antioxidant activity of seagrasses of the Mandapam coast, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rengasamy, Ragupathi Raja Kannan; Rajasekaran, Arumugam; Micheline, Grignon-Dubois; Perumal, Anantharaman

    2012-02-01

    In the search for new sources of safe and inexpensive antioxidants, the leaves of eight species of seagrasses were screened for antioxidant properties. Most of the seagrasses were evaluated for the first time for their antioxidant activities. Total phenolic content and in vitro antioxidant activity using, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrozyl (DPPH) radical scavenging capacity and FRAP assay. The leaves of Halophila stipulacea (Forssk.) Aschers showed high levels of phenols (1.398 ± 0.055 mg GAE/g) and high reducing power (46.289 ± 1.002) in terms of mg GAE/g. Similarly, H. pinifolia exhibited high total antioxidant activity (132.38, 75.027 mg AscAE/g) and a high percentage of DPPH radical scavenging activity (68.14%). The TAA and FRAP assays showed positive and significantly high correlation (R2 = 0.646). The total phenolic content in the seagrass extracts showed a better correlation with reducing power (R2 = 0.597) than the DPPH radical-scavenging activity (R2 = 0.495). The antioxidant capacities of the seagrasses showed potential rich sources of natural antioxidants. Further studies are necessary for isolation and characterization of the active antioxidant compounds, which can be used to treat various oxidative stress-related diseases.

  1. Trace elements in Mediterranean seagrasses and macroalgae. A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe; Orlando-Bonaca, Martina

    2018-03-15

    This review investigates the current state of knowledge on the levels of the main essential and non-essential trace elements in Mediterranean vascular plants and macroalgae. The research focuses also on the so far known effects of high element concentrations on these marine organisms. The possible use of plants and algae as bioindicators of marine pollution is discussed as well. The presence of trace elements is overall well known in all five Mediterranean vascular plants, whereas current studies investigated element concentrations in only c. 5.0% of all native Mediterranean macroalgae. Although seagrasses and macroalgae can generally accumulate and tolerate high concentrations of trace elements, phytotoxic levels are still not clearly identified for both groups of organisms. Moreover, although the high accumulation of trace elements in seagrasses and macroalgae is considered as a significant risk for the associated food webs, the real magnitude of this risk has not been adequately investigated yet. The current research provides enough scientific evidence that seagrasses and macroalgae may act as effective bioindicators, especially the former for trace elements in sediments, and the latter in seawater. The combined use of seagrasses and macroalgae as bioindicators still lacks validated protocols, whose application should be strongly encouraged to biomonitor exhaustively the presence of trace elements in the abiotic and biotic components of coastal ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, I.

    2015-08-24

    There has been growing interest in quantifying the capacity of seagrass ecosystems to act as carbon sinks as a natural way of offsetting anthropogenic carbon emissions to the atmosphere. However, most of the efforts have focused on the particulate organic carbon (POC) stocks and accumulation rates and ignored the particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) fraction, despite important carbonate pools associated with calcifying organisms inhabiting the meadows, such as epiphytes and benthic invertebrates, and despite the relevance that carbonate precipitation and dissolution processes have in the global carbon cycle. This study offers the first assessment of the global PIC stocks in seagrass sediments using a synthesis of published and unpublished data on sediment carbonate concentration from 403 vegetated and 34 adjacent un-vegetated sites. PIC stocks in the top 1 m of sediment ranged between 3 and 1660 Mg PIC ha−1, with an average of 654 ± 24 Mg PIC ha−1, exceeding those of POC reported in previous studies by about a factor of 5. Sedimentary carbonate stocks varied across seagrass communities, with meadows dominated by Halodule, Thalassia or Cymodocea supporting the highest PIC stocks, and tended to decrease polewards at a rate of −8 ± 2 Mg PIC ha−1 per degree of latitude (general linear model, GLM; p < 0.0003). Using PIC concentrations and estimates of sediment accretion in seagrass meadows, the mean PIC accumulation rate in seagrass sediments is found to be 126.3 ± 31.05 g PIC m−2 yr−1. Based on the global extent of seagrass meadows (177 000 to 600 000 km2), these ecosystems globally store between 11 and 39 Pg of PIC in the top metre of sediment and accumulate between 22 and 75 Tg PIC yr−1, representing a significant contribution to the carbonate dynamics of coastal areas. Despite the fact that these high rates of carbonate accumulation imply CO2

  3. Global and local disturbances interact to modify seagrass palatability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egea, Luis G.; Ortega, María J.; Hernández, Ignacio; Vergara, Juan J.; Brun, Fernando G.

    2017-01-01

    Global change, such as warming and ocean acidification, and local anthropogenic disturbances, such as eutrophication, can have profound impacts on marine organisms. However, we are far from being able to predict the outcome of multiple interacting disturbances on seagrass communities. Herbivores are key in determining plant community structure and the transfer of energy up the food web. Global and local disturbances may alter the ecological role of herbivory by modifying leaf palatability (i.e. leaf traits) and consequently, the feeding patterns of herbivores. This study evaluates the main and interactive effects of factors related to global change (i.e. elevated temperature, lower pH levels and associated ocean acidification) and local disturbance (i.e. eutrophication through ammonium enrichment) on a broad spectrum of leaf traits using the temperate seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, including structural, nutritional, biomechanical and chemical traits. The effect of these traits on the consumption rates of the generalist herbivore Paracentrotus lividus (purple sea urchin) is evaluated. The three disturbances of warming, low pH level and eutrophication, alone and in combination, increased the consumption rate of seagrass by modifying all leaf traits. Leaf nutritional quality, measured as nitrogen content, was positively correlated to consumption rate. In contrast, a negative correlation was found between feeding decisions by sea urchins and structural, biomechanical and chemical leaf traits. In addition, a notable accomplishment of this work is the identification of phenolic compounds not previously reported for C. nodosa. Our results suggest that global and local disturbances may trigger a major shift in the herbivory of seagrass communities, with important implications for the resilience of seagrass ecosystems. PMID:28813506

  4. Biomass dynamics of seagrasses and the role of mangrove and seagrass vegetation as different nutrient sources for an intertidal ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.

    2000-01-01

    The input of organic matter and nutrients produced by mangrove and seagrass vegetation in the intertidal bay on Inhaca island, Mozambique, was estimated. Mean mangrove tree height was 2.20 m, diameter at breast height was 6.4 cm and density was 6047 trees per hectare. Above-ground biomass of

  5. The fundamental role of ecological feedback mechanisms for the adaptive management of seagrass ecosystems - a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maxwell, Paul S.; Eklof, Johan S.; van Katwijk, Marieke M.

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are vital ecosystems in coastal zones worldwide, but are also under global threat. One of the major hurdles restricting the success of seagrass conservation and restoration is our limited understanding of ecological feedback mechanisms. In these ecosystems, multiple, self......-reinforcing feedbacks can undermine conservation efforts by masking environmental impacts until the decline is precipitous, or alternatively they can inhibit seagrass recovery in spite of restoration efforts. However, no clear framework yet exists for identifying or dealing with feedbacks to improve the management...... of seagrass ecosystems. Here we review the causes and consequences of multiple feedbacks between seagrass and biotic and/or abiotic processes. We demonstrate how feedbacks have the potential to impose or reinforce regimes of either seagrass dominance or unvegetated substrate, and how the strength...

  6. Winners and losers as mangrove, coral and seagrass ecosystems respond to sea-level rise in Solomon Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Simon; Saunders, Megan I.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Leon, Javier X.; Johnstone, Elizabeth; Mackenzie, Jock R.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Grinham, Alistair R.; Phinn, Stuart R.; Duke, Norman C.; Mumby, Peter J.; Kovacs, Eva; Woodroffe, Colin D.

    2017-09-01

    A 2007 earthquake in the western Solomon Islands resulted in a localised subsidence event in which sea level (relative to the previous coastal settings) rose approximately 30-70 cm, providing insight into impacts of future rapid changes to sea level on coastal ecosystems. Here, we show that increasing sea level by 30-70 cm can have contrasting impacts on mangrove, seagrass and coral reef ecosystems. Coral reef habitats were the clear winners with a steady lateral growth from 2006-2014, yielding a 157% increase in areal coverage over seven years. Mangrove ecosystems, on the other hand, suffered the largest impact through a rapid dieback of 35% (130 ha) of mangrove forest in the study area after subsidence. These forests, however, had partially recovered seven years after the earthquake albeit with a different community structure. The shallow seagrass ecosystems demonstrated the most dynamic response to relative shifts in sea level with both losses and gains in areal extent at small scales of 10-100 m. The results of this study emphasize the importance of considering the impacts of sea-level rise within a complex landscape in which winners and losers may vary over time and space.

  7. Tropical species at the northern limit of their range: composition and distribution in Bermuda's benthic habitats in relation to depth and light availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuel, Sarah A; Coates, Kathryn A; Kenworthy, W Judson; Fourqurean, James W

    2013-08-01

    Surveys were undertaken on the shallow Bermuda marine platform between 2006 and 2008 to provide a baseline of the distribution, condition and environmental characteristics of benthic communities. Bermuda is located in temperate latitudes but coral reefs, tropical seagrasses and calcareous green algae are common in the shallow waters of the platform. The dominant organisms of these communities are all living at or near their northern latitudinal range limits in the Atlantic Ocean. Among the major benthic autotrophs surveyed, seagrasses were most restricted by light availability. We found that the relatively slow-growing and long-lived seagrass Thalassia testudinum is restricted to habitats with much higher light availability than in the tropical locations where this species is commonly found. In contrast, the faster growing tropical seagrasses in Bermuda, Syringodium filiforme, Halodule sp. and Halophila decipiens, had similar ecological compensation depths (ECD) as in tropical locations. Increasing sea surface temperatures, concomitant with global climate change, may either drive or allow the poleward extensions of the ranges of such tropical species. However, due to latitudinal light limitations at least one abundant and common tropical autotroph, T. testudinum, is able to occupy only shallower depths at the more temperate latitudes of Bermuda. We hypothesize that the poleward shift of seagrass species ranges would be accompanied by restrictions to even shallower depths of T. testudinum and by very different seagrass community structures than in tropical locations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Birds and butterflies respond to soil-induced habitat heterogeneity in experimental plantings of tallgrass prairie species managed as agroenergy feedstocks in Iowa, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The positive association between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity has been well-documented for many taxa at various spatial and temporal scales, and the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity in agricultural landscapes has been promoted as a key strategy in efforts to conserve biodiversity....

  9. Fractionation of the stable isotopes of inorganic carbon by seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedict, C R; Wong, W W; Wong, J H

    1980-03-01

    The delta(13)C values for seagrasses collected along the Texas Gulf Coast range from -10.9 to -11.4 per thousand. These values are similar to the delta(13)C values of terrestrial C(4) plants, but seagrasses lack bundle sheath cells which are important in determining the delta(13)C values of C(4) plants. This work attempts to explain the reason the delta(13)C values of seagrasses resemble the delta(13)C values of C(4) plants.Investigations on the photosynthetic characteristics of seagrasses show that dissolved CO(2) is the species of inorganic carbon absorbed or accumulated by Thalassia testudinum. The rate of photosynthetic CO(2) fixation varies from 9.6 to 129.0 micromoles CO(2) per milligram chlorophyll per hour in the presence of 0.042 to 1.9 millimolar dissolved CO(2) due to the high resistances of Thalassia leaves to CO(2) diffusion. Phosphoglyceric acid is the first stable product of photosynthetic CO(2) fixation in Thalassia which is a Calvin cycle plant. The light/dark ratios of (14)CO(2) release from submerged Thalassia leaf sections at 1, 21, and 100% O(2) indicate a small apparent photorespiration. Dark respiration continues in the light and is stimulated by 21 and 100% O(2). The low apparent photorespiration may be due to membrane and H(2)O resistances to CO(2) diffusion with subsequent refixation of the photorespired CO(2). The internal pool of CO(2) is not in equilibrium with the external pool of CO(2) which results in a closed system in the seagrasses.The delta(13)C value of CO(2) in sea H(2)O in isotopic equilibrium with HCO(3) (-) is -10.3 per thousand and the delta(13)C value of hexoses isolated from the leaves of Thalassia is -11.5 per thousand. In the closed system of the seagrasses there is a -1.2 per thousand fractionation of CO(2) by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase and the Calvin cycle. This contrasts to a fractionation of about -17 to -27 per thousand of the stable carbon isotopes of CO(2) by the Calvin cycle in the open system of

  10. Rhizosphere microbiomes of European seagrasses are selected by the plant, but are not species specific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina eCúcio

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are marine flowering plants growing in soft-body sediments of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal zones. They play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals, and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately with both beneficial and unfavourable microorganisms. Although much is known about the microbiomes of terrestrial plants, little is known about the microbiomes of seagrasses. Here we present the results of a detailed study on the rhizosphere microbiome of seagrass species across the North-eastern Atlantic Ocean: Zostera marina, Zostera noltii and Cymodocea nodosa. High-resolution amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that the rhizobiomes were significantly different from the bacterial communities of surrounding bulk sediment and seawater. Although we found no significant differences between the rhizobiomes of different seagrass species within the same region, those of seagrasses in different geographical locations differed strongly. These results strongly suggest that the seagrass rhizobiomes are shaped by plant metabolism, but not coevolved with their host. The core rhizobiome of seagrasses includes mostly bacteria involved in the sulfur cycle, thereby highlighting the importance of sulfur-related processes in seagrass ecosystems.

  11. Rhizosphere Microbiomes of European + Seagrasses Are Selected by the Plant, But Are Not Species Specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cúcio, Catarina; Engelen, Aschwin H; Costa, Rodrigo; Muyzer, Gerard

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine flowering plants growing in soft-body sediments of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal zones. They play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals, and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately with both beneficial and unfavorable microorganisms. Although much is known about the microbiomes of terrestrial plants, little is known about the microbiomes of seagrasses. Here we present the results of a detailed study on the rhizosphere microbiome of seagrass species across the North-eastern Atlantic Ocean: Zostera marina, Zostera noltii, and Cymodocea nodosa. High-resolution amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that the rhizobiomes were significantly different from the bacterial communities of surrounding bulk sediment and seawater. Although we found no significant differences between the rhizobiomes of different seagrass species within the same region, those of seagrasses in different geographical locations differed strongly. These results strongly suggest that the seagrass rhizobiomes are shaped by plant metabolism, but not coevolved with their host. The core rhizobiome of seagrasses includes mostly bacteria involved in the sulfur cycle, thereby highlighting the importance of sulfur-related processes in seagrass ecosystems.

  12. Rhizosphere Microbiomes of European Seagrasses Are Selected by the Plant, But Are Not Species Specific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cúcio, Catarina; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Costa, Rodrigo; Muyzer, Gerard

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine flowering plants growing in soft-body sediments of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal zones. They play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals, and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately with both beneficial and unfavorable microorganisms. Although much is known about the microbiomes of terrestrial plants, little is known about the microbiomes of seagrasses. Here we present the results of a detailed study on the rhizosphere microbiome of seagrass species across the North-eastern Atlantic Ocean: Zostera marina, Zostera noltii, and Cymodocea nodosa. High-resolution amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that the rhizobiomes were significantly different from the bacterial communities of surrounding bulk sediment and seawater. Although we found no significant differences between the rhizobiomes of different seagrass species within the same region, those of seagrasses in different geographical locations differed strongly. These results strongly suggest that the seagrass rhizobiomes are shaped by plant metabolism, but not coevolved with their host. The core rhizobiome of seagrasses includes mostly bacteria involved in the sulfur cycle, thereby highlighting the importance of sulfur-related processes in seagrass ecosystems. PMID:27065991

  13. Growth dynamics and state of the seagrass Thalassia testudinum in the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, Caribbean, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia S Krupp

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass beds are highly productive and valuable habitats, which fulfill a key role in coastal ecosystems. Spatial distribution, biomass, density, productivity and leaf dynamics of the dominant seagrass species Thalassia testudinum were studied at five locations in the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, from November 2005 until March 2006. Seagrass beds within the study area cover approximately 16 ha. Spatial and temporal differences in ecological seagrass parameters were examined along gradients of riverine inputs and related to a range of environmental parameters (depth, grain size distribution, nutrient concentrations, salinity and temperature. Average canopy cover and above-ground biomass of T. testudinum inversely correlated with depth, but did not vary significantly between study sites when compared along depth ranges. Considerable spatio-temporal variations in shoot densities, areal productivity and leaf sizes seem to be related to riverine inputs and wave energy. It appeared that T. testudinum at exposed sites respond to increased environmental disturbance related to the offset of the rainy season with clonal recruitment, whereby shoot densities increase and average leaf sizes are reduced. Lower shoot densities and greater leaf sizes, in contrast, are characteristic for locations with rather consistent environmental conditions, where seagrasses are sheltered. T. testudinum in the refuge has higher shoot densities but shorter leaves and lower productivity compared to sites in 15 other Caribbean countries. The seagrass beds appear to be in a relatively healthy state, however, observations of temporal increased stocks of filamentous epiphytes and macroalgae indicate temporal environmental stress in the system. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (Suppl. 1: 187-201. Epub 2009 November 30.Las praderas de pastos marinos son sitios altamente productivos y hábitats valiosos en los ecosistemas costeros. Se estudió los

  14. An evaluation of sampling methodology for assessing settlement of temperate fish in seagrass meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. A. CATALAN

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available All demersal fish with planktonic larvae settle at some point early in life, generally around the transformation from larvae to juveniles or soon after. Sampling pre-settlement or very young, settled fish is challenging due to spatial concretions within the habitat and the pulsed, rapid nature of the settlement process. There is a lack of robust methods that enable this sampling, but information on the settlement, that represents a mortality bottleneck, is crucial for the follow-up of populations for fisheries and conservation purposes. An empirical evaluation of sampling methods has not been conducted in temperate habitats. Here, we compare six different sampling methods to collect pre- and post-settlement stages of fish to determine the best combination of techniques to utilise in Posidonia oceanica, an endemic Mediterranean seagrass that provides a key nursery habitat for coastal fish. We considered three types of pelagic nets (bongo net, neuston net and ring net, two types of light-traps (Quatrefoil and Ecocean CARE® to sample pre-settled stages and a low-impact epibenthic trawl for recent settlers. Our results show a significantly different size-spectrum for each method, with a continuous range of sizes from 2 mm to 200 mm. The smallest sizes were collected by the bongo net, followed by the ring net, the neuston net, the Quatrefoil, the Ecocean and finally the epibenthic trawl. Our results suggest that an appropriate strategy for collecting and estimating the abundance of key littoral fish species around settlement size is the combination of the Ecocean light trap and the epibenthic trawl.

  15. Short and long-term movement and site fidility of juvenile Haemulidae in back-reef habitats of a Caribbean embayment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, M.C.; Nagelkerken, I.

    2007-01-01

    Studies showing that tagged reef fish connect different habitat types are crucial for effective ecosystem management on a seascape-level, but are rare. Therefore we analysed movement of juvenile Haemulon flavolineatum and Haemulon sciurus among seagrass beds, mangroves and fossilised eroded coral

  16. Multidimensional Evaluation of Sustainability Status of Seagrass Ecosystems to Support Fisheries Management in Barrang Lompo Island, South Sulawesi

    OpenAIRE

    Nurdin, Nadiarti; Riani, Etty; Djuwita, Etty; Budiharsono, Sugeng; Purbayanto, Ari

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were 1) to examine the sustainability status of seagrass ecosystems based on ecology, social, economy, technology, and institutional dimensions, 2) to examine the most influence attribute within each dimension to the sustainability status of the seagrass fisheries, 3) to suggest intervention strategy of each dimension for future seagrass ecosystems sustainability management. Rapsecs (Rapid appraisal technique for evaluating seagrass ecosystem sustainability) analys...

  17. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton

    2012-09-04

    Tropical marine ecosystems are under mounting anthropogenic pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction, leading to declines in their structure and function on a global scale. Although maintaining connectivity among habitats within a seascape is necessary for preserving population resistance and resilience, quantifying movements of individuals within seascapes remains challenging. Traditional methods of identifying and valuing potential coral reef fish nursery habitats are indirect, often relying on visual surveys of abundance and correlations of size and biomass among habitats. We used compound-specific stable isotope analyses to determine movement patterns of commercially important fish populations within a coral reef seascape. This approach allowed us to quantify the relative contributions of individuals from inshore nurseries to reef populations and identify migration corridors among important habitats. Our results provided direct measurements of remarkable migrations by juvenile snapper of over 30 km, between nurseries and reefs. We also found significant plasticity in juvenile nursery residency. Although a majority of individuals on coastal reefs had used seagrass nurseries as juveniles, many adults on oceanic reefs had settled directly into reef habitats. Moreover, seascape con figuration played a critical but heretofore unrecognized role in determining connectivity among habitats. Finally, our approach provides key quantitative data necessary to estimate the value of distinctive habitats to ecosystem services provided by seascapes.

  18. Carbon Stored on Seagrass Community in Marine Nature Tourism Park of Kotania Bay, Western Seram, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mintje Wawo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the function of seagrass community as carbon storage has been discussed in line with “blue carbon” function of  that seagrass has. Seagrass bed are a very valuable coastal ecosystem, however, seagrass bed is threatened if compared to other coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and coral reefs.  The threatened seagrass experienced also contributes to its capacity in absorbing CO2 emission from greenhouse gasses such as CO2 emission Temporal estimation  shows that CO2 emission will increase in the coming decade. On the other side, efforts to decrease climate change  can be influenced  by the  existence of seagrass.  Informations about existence of seagrass as carbon storage are still very rare or limited. This study was aimed to estimate carbon storage on seagrass community  in Marine Nature Tourism Park of Kotania Bay Area, Western  Seram,  Maluku Province. The  quadrat transect method of 0.25 m2 for each plot was used to collect seagrass existence. The content of carbon in the sample of dry biomass of seagrass was analyzed in the laboratory using Walkley & Black method. The results  showed that total carbon stored was higher in both Osi and Burung Islands of Kotania Bay  than other studied areas (Buntal and  Tatumbu Islands, Marsegu Island, Barnusang Peninsula, Loupessy and  Tamanjaya Village.    The average  carbon stored in  Kotania Bay waters was 2.385 Mg C ha-1,  whereas the total of carbon stored was 2054.4967 Mg C. Keywords: biomass, seagrass, blue carbon, carbon stock

  19. Habitat Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These data provide information on the relationship between California red-legged frogs and their habitat in a unique ecosystem to better conserve this threatened...

  20. Nutrient Loading Fosters Seagrass Productivity Under Ocean Acidification

    OpenAIRE

    Ravaglioli, Chiara; Lauritano, Chiara; Buia, Maria Cristina; Balestri, Elena; Capocchi, Antonella; Fontanini, Debora; Pardi, Giuseppina; Tamburello, Laura; Procaccini, Gabriele; Bulleri, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    The effects of climate change are likely to be dependent on local settings. Nonetheless, the compounded effects of global and regional stressors remain poorly understood. Here, we used CO2 vents to assess how the effects of ocean acidification on the seagrass, Posidonia oceanica, and the associated epiphytic community can be modified by enhanced nutrient loading. P. oceanica at ambient and low pH sites was exposed to three nutrient levels for 16 months. The response of P. oceanica to experime...

  1. The capacity of seagrasses to survive increased turbidity and siltation: The significance of growth form and light use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Agawin, N.S.R.; Fortes, M.D.; Uri, J.; Duarte, C.M.; Marbà, N.; Enriquez, S.; Van Vierssen, W.

    1997-01-01

    Seagrasses are submerged or intertidal angiosperms that form extensive meadows in shallow coastal waters. Tropical as well as temperate seagrass beds are subject to man's interference. Most human activities affect seagrasses either through reductions in light availability or changes in sediment

  2. Current state of seagrass ecosystem services: Research and policy integration

    KAUST Repository

    Ruiz-Frau, A.

    2017-10-12

    Seagrasses contribute to the maintenance of human wellbeing. However certain aspects of their role as ecosystem service (ES) providers remain understudied. Here, we synthesise the state of seagrass ES (SGES) research and policy implications. Additionally, we recommend ways in which SGES research can be integrated in to policy design, by drawing lessons from the case of Blue Carbon (BC). SGES research suffers from three main biases: a geographical bias, SGES has been restricted to chartered seagrass areas; a type of service research bias, provisioning and regulating services have received extensive attention while cultural services remain understudied; a type of discipline bias, the ecological aspects of SGES have been well documented while economic and social aspects remain in comparison understudied. These are particularly important, as an understanding of the social and economic considerations of the provision of ES is fundamental to facilitate its integration into policy frameworks. Lessons drawn from the operationalization process of BC show the reoccurrence of certain aspects that have enabled the integration of BC into policy. These aspects are grouped under 4 different categories. From the analysis of these elements we draw lessons that could facilitate the operationalization of other ecosystem services and their incorporation into management policy frameworks.

  3. Sulfide Intrusion and Detoxification in the Seagrass Zostera marina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Gaseous sulfide intrusion into seagrasses growing in sulfidic sediments causes little or no harm to the plant, indicating the presence of an unknown sulfide tolerance or detoxification mechanism. We assessed such mechanism in the seagrass Zostera marina in the laboratory and in the field with scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, chromatographic and spectrophotometric methods, and stable isotope tracing coupled with a mass balance of sulfur compounds. We found that Z. marina detoxified gaseous sediment-derived sulfide through incorporation and that most of the detoxification occurred in underground tissues, where sulfide intrusion was greatest. Elemental sulfur was a major detoxification compound, precipitating on the inner wall of the aerenchyma of underground tissues. Sulfide was metabolized into thiols and entered the plant sulfur metabolism as well as being stored as sulfate throughout the plant. We conclude that avoidance of sulfide exposure by reoxidation of sulfide in the rhizosphere or aerenchyma and tolerance of sulfide intrusion by incorporation of sulfur in the plant are likely major survival strategies of seagrasses in sulfidic sediments. PMID:26030258

  4. Small scale change in mollusk diversity along a depth gradient in a seagrass bed off Cabo Frio, (Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Christopher Creed

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We know little about animal communities in seagrass beds in the southeast Atlantic. The aim of the current study was to characterize and quantify the mollusk assemblages within these unique tropical seagrass habitats at a spatial scale fine enough to relate change in assemblage structure to gradients in exposure to air/depth. The study was carried out off Cabo Frio, Southeast Brazil. A 1250 m² area vegetated by the seagrass Halodule wrightii was defined (50 m parallel to the shoreline × 25 m distance from the shore margin. Twenty-six transects were established and the sampling carried out in order to characterize and to quantify the associated mollusk fauna. The mollusk assemblage presented overall density, density of key species and mean richness which increased systematically along the onshore-to-offshore gradient. Furthermore over the short spatial distance of the study the mollusk assemblage changed sufficiently for ordination to detect different assemblages.Há pouco conhecimento sobre a comunidade animal em bancos de fanerógamas marinhas no Atlântico sudeste. O presente estudo teve como objetivo caracterizar e quantificar assembléias de Mollusca nesses habitats únicos, utilizando uma escala espacial sensível suficiente para relacionar mudança na estrutura da assembléia aos gradientes em exposição ao ar/profundidade. O estudo foi realizado em Cabo Frio, no sudeste do Brasil. Delimitou-se uma área de vegetação de Halodule wrightii de 1250 m² (50 m paralelo ao costão × 25 m distância da orla. Foram estabelecidos 26 transectos e realizada a amostragem, de modo a caracterizar e quantificar a malacofauna. A assembléia apresentou uma densidade, densidade de espécies chaves e riqueza média que aumentou sistematicamente ao longo do gradiente orla-mar. Além disso, em escala espacial curta, a assembléia de Mollusca mudou suficientemente que, através de uma ordenação, se detectou diferenças entre assembléias.

  5. The effect of patch isolation on epifaunal colonization in two different seagrass ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Camilla; Salo, Tiina

    2012-01-01

    in the Northern Baltic Sea. At each site, artificial seagrass units were placed at 10- and 0-m distances from a continuous seagrass meadow, as well as inside the meadow over a 5-day colonization time. With the exception of amphipods in Gulf of Mexico, patch isolation had a negative effect on colonization...

  6. Effect of the Presence of Seagrass and Nutrients on Growth Rates of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effects of seagrass cover and nutrients on seaweed cultivation were examined in tidal pools in Tanzania. The seaweeds Eucheuma denticulatumand Kappaphycus alvareziiwere cultivated from August 2006 - August 2007 in pools with and without seagrasses, and with and without added nutrients. Growth rates of ...

  7. Seagrass-sediment interactions, positive feedbacks and critical thresholds for occurrence: a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.

    2007-01-01

    Abstract This literature review summarizes the limiting factors for seagrass occurrence, and the effect positive feedbacks in seagrass systems have on these threshold levels. Minimum water depth is mainly determined by wave orbital velocity, tide and wave energy; and maximum depth by light

  8. Satellite-based monitoring of tropical seagrass vegetation: current techniques and future developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferwerda, J.G.; Leeuw, de J.; Atzberger, C.; Vekerdy, Z.

    2007-01-01

    Decline of seagrasses has been documented in many parts of the world. Reduction in water clarity, through increased turbidity and increased nutrient concentrations, is considered to be the primary cause of seagrass loss. Recent studies have indicated the need for new methods that will enable early

  9. Rhizosphere microbiomes of European seagrasses are selected by the plant, but are not species specific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cúcio, C.; Engelen, A.H.; Costa, R.; Muyzer, G.

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine flowering plants growing in soft-body sediments of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal zones. They play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals, and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately

  10. Acclimation of seagrass Zostera noltii to co-occurring hydrodynamic and light stresses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De los Santos, C.B.; Brun, F.G.; Bouma, T.J.; Vergara, J.J.; Pérez-Lloréns, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    Seagrasses may frequently experience a combination of velocity and light stresses, as elevated hydrodynamics often enhances turbidity and the subsequent light reduction. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects that these stressors induce on morphometric and dynamic seagrass

  11. Particulate Matter in Mangrove Forests and Seagrass Beds as a Nitrogen Source in Tropical Coastal Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gillis, L.G.; Bouma, T.J.; Cathalot, C.; Ziegler, A.D.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2015-01-01

    We show in laboratory and field investigations that in the short-term seagrasses obtain most of their required nitrogen from the degradation of seagrass leaves, rather than degradation of leaves exported from adjacent mangroves. Mangrove forests at our Thailand site retain the majority of their

  12. Ecology of seagrass bed of Halophila beccarii (Aschers) in Mandovi estuary, Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Untawale, A.G.

    of seagrass bed. Maximum average biomass of 26.44 g/m2 was recorded in October followed by a flowering period of the seagrass. Protein content was maximum (393.12 mg/g) in August while carbohydrate was maximum (476.18 mg/g) in May and August. Maximum organic...

  13. Low Light Availability Alters Root Exudation and Reduces Putative Beneficial Microorganisms in Seagrass Roots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belinda C. Martin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass roots host a diverse microbiome that is critical for plant growth and health. Composition of microbial communities can be regulated in part by root exudates, but the specifics of these interactions in seagrass rhizospheres are still largely unknown. As light availability controls primary productivity, reduced light may impact root exudation and consequently the composition of the root microbiome. Hence, we analyzed the influence of light availability on root exudation and community structure of the root microbiome of three co-occurring seagrass species, Halophila ovalis, Halodule uninervis and Cymodocea serrulata. Plants were grown under four light treatments in mesocosms for 2 weeks; control (100% surface irradiance (SI, medium (40% SI, low (20% SI and fluctuating light (10 days 20% and 4 days 100%. 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing revealed that microbial diversity, composition and predicted function were strongly influenced by the presence of seagrass roots, such that root microbiomes were unique to each seagrass species. Reduced light availability altered seagrass root exudation, as characterized using fluorescence spectroscopy, and altered the composition of seagrass root microbiomes with a reduction in abundance of potentially beneficial microorganisms. Overall, this study highlights the potential for above-ground light reduction to invoke a cascade of changes from alterations in root exudation to a reduction in putative beneficial microorganisms and, ultimately, confirms the importance of the seagrass root environment – a critical, but often overlooked space.

  14. Expansion and fragment settlement of the non-native seagrass Halophila stipulacea in a Caribbean bay

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smulders, Fee O.H.; Vonk, J.A.; Engel, M.S.; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A.

    2017-01-01

    The non-native seagrass species Halophila stipulacea has spread throughout the Eastern Caribbean since 2002, and could potentially impact the functioning of local seagrass ecosystems. Important characteristics for invasiveness, such as dispersal, recruitment and expansion of H. stipulacea at a

  15. Cover versus recovery: Contrasting responses of two indicators in seagrass beds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.; Han, Q.; Li, B.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite being a highly valuable key-stone ecosystem, seagrass meadows are threatened and declining worldwide, creating urgent need for indicators of their health status. We compared two indicators for seagrass health: standing leaf area index versus relative recovery from local disturbance.

  16. Seagrass Epiphytes as a Nutrient Stressor Indicator: Towards Development of Threshold Values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epiphytes on seagrasses have been studied for more than 50 years, and proposed as an indicator of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment for over 30 years. Epiphytes have been correlated with seagrass declines, causally related to nutrient additions in both field and mesocosm experim...

  17. Sulfide intrusion in the tropical seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmer, Marianne; Pedersen, Ole; Krause-Jensen, Dorte

    2009-01-01

    Sulfur and oxygen dynamics in the seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme and their sediments were studied in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) in order to explore sulfide intrusion into tropical seagrasses. Four study sites were selected based on the iron concentration in sediments...

  18. SEAGRASS EPIPHYTES AS A NUTRIENT STRESSOR INDICATOR: APPROACHES TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT OF THRESHOLD VALUES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epiphytes on seagrasses have been studied for more than 50 years, and proposed as an indicator of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment for over 30 years. Epiphytes have been correlated with seagrass declines, causally related to nutrient additions in both field and mesocosm experim...

  19. The role of seagrasses in coastal protection in a changing climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ondiviela, B.; Losada, I.J.; Lara, J.L.; Maza, M.; Galván, C.; Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J.

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of seagrasses to coastal protection is examined through the review of the most relevant existing knowledge. Seagrasses are the largest submerged aquatic vegetation ecosystem protected in Europe and it is worth examining their contribution to coastal protection. The review performed

  20. Photosynthetic activity buffers ocean acidification in seagrass meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriks, I. E.; Olsen, Y. S.; Ramajo, L.; Basso, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Moore, T. S.; Howard, J.; Duarte, C. M.

    2013-07-01

    Macrophytes growing in shallow coastal zones characterized by intense metabolic activity have the capacity to modify pH within their canopy and beyond. We observed diel pH ranges is in shallow (5-12 m) seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadows from 0.06 pH units in September to 0.24 units in June. The carbonate system (pH, DIC, and aragonite saturation state (ΩAr) and O2 within the meadows displayed strong diel variability driven by primary productivity, and changes in chemistry were related to structural parameters of the meadow, in particular, the leaf surface area available for photosynthesis (LAI). LAI was positively correlated to mean and max pHNBS and max ΩAr. Oxygen production positively influenced the range and maximum pHNBS and the range of ΩAr. In June, vertical mixing (as Turbulent Kinetic Energy) influenced ΩAr, while in September there was no effect of hydrodynamics on the carbonate system within the canopy. ΩAr was positively correlated with the calcium carbonate load of the leaves, demonstrating a direct link between structural parameters, ΩAr and carbonate deposition. There was a direct relationship between ΩAr, influenced directly by meadow LAI, and CaCO3 content of the leaves. Therefore, calcifying organisms, e.g. epiphytes with carbonate skeletons, might benefit from the modification of the carbonate system by the meadow. The meadow might be capable of providing refugia for calcifiers by increasing pH and ΩAr through metabolic activity. There is, however, concern for the ability of seagrasses to provide this refugia function in the future. The predicted decline of seagrass meadows may alter the scope for alteration of pH within a seagrass meadow and in the water column above the meadow, particularly if shoot density and biomass decline, both strongly linked to LAI. Organisms associated with seagrass communities may therefore suffer from the loss of pH buffering capacity in degraded meadows.

  1. Transcriptomic resilience to global warming in the seagrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franssen, Susanne U.; Gu, Jenny; Bergmann, Nina; Winters, Gidon; Klostermeier, Ulrich C.; Rosenstiel, Philip; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2011-01-01

    Large-scale transcription profiling via direct cDNA sequencing provides important insights as to how foundation species cope with increasing climatic extremes predicted under global warming. Species distributed along a thermal cline, such as the ecologically important seagrass Zostera marina, provide an opportunity to assess temperature effects on gene expression as a function of their long-term adaptation to heat stress. We exposed a southern and northern European population of Zostera marina from contrasting thermal environments to a realistic heat wave in a common-stress garden. In a fully crossed experiment, eight cDNA libraries, each comprising ∼125 000 reads, were obtained during and after a simulated heat wave, along with nonstressed control treatments. Although gene-expression patterns during stress were similar in both populations and were dominated by classical heat-shock proteins, transcription profiles diverged after the heat wave. Gene-expression patterns in southern genotypes returned to control values immediately, but genotypes from the northern site failed to recover and revealed the induction of genes involved in protein degradation, indicating failed metabolic compensation to high sea-surface temperature. We conclude that the return of gene-expression patterns during recovery provides critical information on thermal adaptation in aquatic habitats under climatic stress. As a unifying concept for ecological genomics, we propose transcriptomic resilience, analogous to ecological resilience, as an important measure to predict the tolerance of individuals and hence the fate of local populations in the face of global warming. PMID:22084086

  2. Novel seed adaptations of a monocotyledon seagrass in the wavy sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keryea Soong

    Full Text Available Returning to the sea, just like invasion of land, has occurred in many groups of animals and plants. For flowering plants, traits adapted to the terrestrial environments have to change or adopt a new function to allow the plants to survive and prosper in the sea where water motion tends to rotate and move seeds. In this investigation, how seeds of the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii (Hydrocharitaceae, a common monocotyledon in the Indo-Pacific, adapt to the wavy environment was studied. Mature seeds were collected from Dongsha Atoll in South China Sea. The effects of light qualities on seed germination, the seed morphology, the unipolar distribution of starch granules in the endosperms and growth of root hair-like filamentous cells from basal surface of the seeds were all found to differ from those of terrestrial monocotyledons. Physiologically, germination of the seeds was stimulated by blue light rather than red light. Morphologically, the bell-shaped seeds coupled with the unipolar distribution of starch granules in the enlarged bases helped maintain their upright posture on the tidal seafloor. Growth of root hair-like filamentous cells from the basal surface of the seeds prior to primary root growth served to attach onto sediments, providing leverage and attachment required by the primary roots to insert into sediments. These filamentous cells grasped coral sand but not silicate sand, demonstrating a habitat preference of this species.

  3. Trace elements in Mediterranean seagrasses: Accumulation, tolerance and biomonitoring. A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe; Orlando-Bonaca, Martina

    2017-12-15

    This study investigated the state of the art on trace elements in Mediterranean seagrasses, and their close environment (seawater and sediment). The analyzed species were Posidonia oceanica, Cymodocea nodosa, Halophila stipulacea, Zostera marina and Zostera noltei. All these species showed high tolerance to pollution and high capacity of accumulation of trace elements. Seagrasses also showed similar patterns of accumulation: the highest concentrations of As, Hg and Pb were found in the roots, whereas those of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn were found in the leaves. Phytotoxic levels in seagrasses are unknown for most trace elements. The accumulation of trace elements in seagrasses is widely recognized as a risk to the whole food web, but the real magnitude of this risk is still uncertain. Seagrasses are known to act as trace element bioindicators, but this potential is still poorly valued for the creation of biomonitoring networks. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) habitat preference in a heterogeneous, urban, coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Limited information is available regarding the habitat preference of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in South Australian estuarine environments. The need to overcome this paucity of information is crucial for management and conservation initiatives. This preliminary study investigates the space-time patterns of habitat preference by the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the Port Adelaide River-Barker Inlet estuary, a South Australian, urbanised, coastal environment. More specifically, the study aim was to identify a potential preference between bare sand substrate and seagrass beds, the two habitat types present in this environment, through the resighting frequency of recognisable individual dolphins. Results Photo-identification surveys covering the 118 km2 sanctuary area were conducted over 2 survey periods May to August 2006 and from March 2009 to February 2010. Sighting frequency of recognisable individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins established a significant preference for the bare sand habitat. More specifically, 72 and 18% of the individuals sighted at least on two occasions were observed in the bare sand and seagrass habitats respectively. This trend was consistently observed at both seasonal and annual scales, suggesting a consistency in the distinct use of these two habitats. Conclusions It is anticipated that these results will benefit the further development of management and conservation strategies. PMID:23369354

  5. Meta-Analysis of Reciprocal Linkages between Temperate Seagrasses and Waterfowl with Implications for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole M. Kollars

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Multi-trophic conservation and management strategies may be necessary if reciprocal linkages between primary producers and their consumers are strong. While herbivory on aquatic plants is well-studied, direct top-down control of seagrass populations has received comparatively little attention, particularly in temperate regions. Herein, we used qualitative and meta-analytic approaches to assess the scope and consequences of avian (primarily waterfowl herbivory on temperate seagrasses of the genus Zostera. Meta-analyses revealed widespread evidence of spatio-temporal correlations between Zostera and waterfowl abundances as well as strong top-down effects of grazing on Zostera. We also documented the identity and diversity of avian species reported to consume Zostera and qualitatively assessed their potential to exert top-down control. Our results demonstrate that Zostera and their avian herbivores are ecologically linked and we suggest that bird herbivory may influence the spatial structure, composition, and functioning of the seagrass ecosystem. Therefore, the consequences of avian herbivory should be considered in the management of seagrass populations. Of particular concern are instances of seagrass overgrazing by waterfowl which result in long-term reductions in seagrass biomass or coverage, with subsequent impacts on local populations of waterfowl and other seagrass-affiliated species. While our results showed that bird density and type may affect the magnitude of the top-down effects of avian herbivory, empirical research on the strength, context-dependency, and indirect effects of waterfowl–Zostera interactions remains limited. For example, increased efforts that explicitly measure the effects of different functional groups of birds on seagrass abundance and/or document how climate change-driven shifts in waterfowl migratory patterns impact seagrass phenology and population structure will advance research programs for both ecologists and

  6. Deriving habitat models for northern long-eared bats from historical detection data: a case study using the Fernow Experimental Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Mark Ford; Alexander Silvis; Jane L. Rodrigue; Andrew B. Kniowski; Joshua B. Johnson

    2016-01-01

    The listing of the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act following severe population declines from white-nose syndrome presents considerable challenges to natural resource managers. Because the northern long-eared bat is a forest habitat generalist, development of effective...

  7. Kinetics of cadmium accumulation and its effects on microtubule integrity and cell viability in the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malea, Paraskevi, E-mail: malea@bio.auth.gr [Department of Botany, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-541 24 Thessaloniki (Greece); Adamakis, Ioannis-Dimosthenis S. [Department of Botany, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-541 24 Thessaloniki (Greece); Kevrekidis, Theodoros [Laboratory of Environmental Research and Education, Democritus University of Thrace, Nea Hili, GR-68100 Alexandroupolis (Greece)

    2013-11-15

    Highlights: •Cd effect on microtubules and viability of seagrass leaf cells was assessed. •The Michaelis–Menten equation satisfactorily dercribed the kinetics of Cd uptake. •Cd depolymerized MTs after 3–9 d of exposure, cell death occurred at later time. •Toxicity appeared to depend on Cd uptake rate rather than on tissue Cd content. •MTs can be used as biomarker of Cd stress and uptake rate for predicting effects. -- Abstract: The kinetics of cadmium accumulation and its effects on microtubule cytoskeleton and cell viability in leaf blades of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa were investigated under laboratory conditions in exposure concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 40 mg L{sup −1}. An initial rapid accumulation of cadmium was followed by a steady state. The Michaelis–Menten model adequately described metal accumulation; equilibrium concentration and uptake velocity tended to increase, whereas bioconcentration factor at equilibrium to decrease, as the exposure concentration increased. Cadmium depolymerized microtubules after 3–9 d of exposure, depending on trace metal concentration, indicating that microtubules could be used as an early biomarker of cadmium stress; cell death, occurring at later time than microtubule disturbance, was also observed. Microtubule depolymerization expressed as percentage of reduction of fluorescence intensity and cell mortality expressed as percentage of live cells increased with time. The lowest experimental tissue concentration associated with the onset of microtubule depolymerization and cell death (98.5–128.9 μg g{sup −1} dry wt, 0.5 mg L{sup −1} treatment, 7th and 9th d) was within the wide range of reported cadmium concentrations in leaves of seagrass species from various geographical areas. This lowest tissue concentration was exceeded up to the 3rd d at higher exposure concentrations, but toxic effects were generally detected at later time. The time periods required for the onset of depolymerization and

  8. Monitoring coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves in Costa Rica (CARICOMP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cortés

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves from the Costa Rican Caribbean coast have been monitored since 1999 using the CARICOMP protocol. Live coral cover at Meager Shoal reef bank (7 to 10m depth at the Parque Nacional Cahuita (National Park, increased from 13.3% in 1999, to 28.2% in 2003, but decreased during the next 5 years to around 17.5%. Algal cover increased significantly since 2003 from 36.6% to 61.3% in 2008. The density of Diadema antillarum oscillated between 2 and 7ind/m2, while Echinometra viridis decreased significantly from 20 to 0.6ind/m2. Compared to other CARICOMP sites, live coral cover, fish diversity and density, and sea urchin density were low, and algal cover was intermediate. The seagrass site, also in the Parque Nacional Cahuita, is dominated by Thalassia testudinum and showed an intermediate productivity (2.7±1.15 g/m2/d and biomass (822.8±391.84 g/m2 compared to other CARICOMP sites. Coral reefs and seagrasses at the Parque Nacional Cahuita continue to be impacted by high sediment loads from terrestrial origin. The mangrove forest at Gandoca, within the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo (National Wildlife Refuge, surrounds a lagoon and it is dominated by the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle. Productivity and flower production peak was in July. Biomass (14kg/m2 and density (9.0±0.58 trees/100m2 in Gandoca were relatively low compared to other CARICOMP sites, while productivity in July in Costa Rica (4g/m2/d was intermediate, similar to most CARICOMP sites. This mangrove is expanding and has low human impact thus far. Management actions should be taken to protect and preserve these important coastal ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3: 1-22. Epub 2010 October 01.

  9. Monitoring coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves in Costa Rica (CARICOMP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés, Jorge; Fonseca, Ana C; Nivia-Ruiz, Jaime; Nielsen-Muñoz, Vanessa; Samper-Villarreal, Jimena; Salas, Eva; Martínez, Solciré; Zamora-Trejos, Priscilla

    2010-10-01

    The coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves from the Costa Rican Caribbean coast have been monitored since 1999 using the CARICOMP protocol. Live coral cover at Meager Shoal reef bank (7 to 10 m depth) at the Parque Nacional Cahuita (National Park), increased from 13.3% in 1999, to 28.2% in 2003, but decreased during the next 5 years to around 17.5%. Algal cover increased significantly since 2003 from 36.6% to 61.3% in 2008. The density of Diadema antillarum oscillated between 2 and 7ind/m2, while Echinometra viridis decreased significantly from 20 to 0.6ind/m2. Compared to other CARICOMP sites, live coral cover, fish diversity and density, and sea urchin density were low, and algal cover was intermediate. The seagrass site, also in the Parque Nacional Cahuita, is dominated by Thalassia testudinum and showed an intermediate productivity (2.7 +/- 1.15 g/m2/d) and biomass (822.8 +/- 391.84 g/m2) compared to other CARICOMP sites. Coral reefs and seagrasses at the Parque Nacional Cahuita continue to be impacted by high sediment loads from terrestrial origin. The mangrove forest at Gandoca, within the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo (National Wildlife Refuge), surrounds a lagoon and it is dominated by the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle. Productivity and flower production peak was in July. Biomass (14 kg/m2) and density (9.0 +/- 0.58 trees/100 m2) in Gandoca were relatively low compared to other CARICOMP sites, while productivity in July in Costa Rica (4 g/m2/d) was intermediate, similar to most CARICOMP sites. This mangrove is expanding and has low human impact thus far. Management actions should be taken to protect and preserve these important coastal ecosystems.

  10. The ecology of the seagrass meadows of the west coast of Florida: A community profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zieman, J.C.; Zieman, R.T. (Virginia Univ., Charlottesville, VA (USA). Dept. of Environmental Sciences)

    1989-09-01

    This report summarizes information on the ecology of seagrass meadows on the west coast of Florida, from south of Tampa Bay to Pensacola. This area contains more than 3500 ha of seagrass beds, dominated by three species, Thalasia testudinum (turtle grass), Syringodium filiforme (manatee grass), and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). Beds occur both on the shallow, zero-energy Continental Shelf and in inshore bays and estuaries. Species ecology, distribution, biomass, and productivity of these dominant seagrass species are discussed. Seagrass beds support a very diverse and abundant algal flora and fauna, and these organisms, and seagrass detritus form the base of a productive food chain. Seagrass beds are important nursery areas providing both cover and food, for a number of commercial and sports fishery species. Along the west Florida coast, estuarine grass beds are noticeably more stressed and impacted by human activities than the more pristine nearshore beds. Urban development and dredging and filling are the major threates to seagrass beds in this region. 500 refs., 28 figs., 14 tabs.

  11. Impact of pond aquaculture effluents on seagrass performance in NE Hainan, tropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbeck, Lucia S; Sollich, Miriam; Unger, Daniela; Holmer, Marianne; Jennerjahn, Tim C

    2014-08-15

    The impact of pond aquaculture effluents on the distribution and performance of seagrasses was examined in NE Hainan, tropical China. Samples were taken along transects in three back-reef areas with different extent of aquaculture production in their hinterland. High δ(15)N in seagrass leaves and epiphytes (6-9‰) similar to values in pond effluents documented aquaculture as dominant nitrogen source in the back-reefs with decreasing impact with distance from shore. Seagrass species abundance, shoot density and biomass were lower and concentrations of nutrients, chlorophyll and suspended matter were higher at nearshore sites with high and moderate pond abundance than at the control site. High epiphyte loads and low δ(34)S in seagrass leaves suggest temporal shading and sulphide poisoning of the nearshore seagrasses. Observed gradients in environmental parameters and seagrass performance indicate that the distance from the pond outlets and size of the adjacent pond agglomeration are major determinants of seagrass degradation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Solar radiation and tidal exposure as environmental drivers of Enhalus acoroides dominated seagrass meadows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard K F Unsworth

    Full Text Available There is strong evidence of a global long-term decline in seagrass meadows that is widely attributed to anthropogenic activity. Yet in many regions, attributing these changes to actual activities is difficult, as there exists limited understanding of the natural processes that can influence these valuable ecosystem service providers. Being able to separate natural from anthropogenic causes of seagrass change is important for developing strategies that effectively mitigate and manage anthropogenic impacts on seagrass, and promote coastal ecosystems resilient to future environmental change. The present study investigated the influence of environmental and climate related factors on seagrass biomass in a large ≈250 ha meadow in tropical north east Australia. Annual monitoring of the intertidal Enhalus acoroides (L.f. Royle seagrass meadow over eleven years revealed a declining trend in above-ground biomass (54% significant overall reduction from 2000 to 2010. Partial Least Squares Regression found this reduction to be significantly and negatively correlated with tidal exposure, and significantly and negatively correlated with the amount of solar radiation. This study documents how natural long-term tidal variability can influence long-term seagrass dynamics. Exposure to desiccation, high UV, and daytime temperature regimes are discussed as the likely mechanisms for the action of these factors in causing this decline. The results emphasise the importance of understanding and assessing natural environmentally-driven change when interpreting the results of seagrass monitoring programs.

  13. Spatial self-organized patterning in seagrasses along a depth gradient of an intertidal ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Heide, Tjisse; Bouma, Tjeerd J; van Nes, Egbert H; van de Koppel, Johan; Scheffer, Marten; Roelofs, Jan G M; van Katwijk, Marieke M; Smolders, Alfons J P

    2010-02-01

    The spatial structure of seagrass landscapes is typically ascribed to the direct influence of physical factors such as hydrodynamics, light, and sediment transport. We studied regularly interspaced banded patterns, formed by elongated patches of seagrass, in a small-scale intertidal ecosystem. We investigated (1) whether the observed spatial patterns may arise from feedback interactions between seagrass and its abiotic environment and (2) whether changes in abiotic conditions may lead to predictable changes in these spatial patterns. Field measurements, experiments, and a spatially explicit computer model identified a "scale-dependent feedback" (a mechanism for spatial self-organization) as a possible cause for the banded patterns. Increased protection from uprooting by improved anchoring with increasing seagrass density caused a local positive feedback. Sediment erosion around seagrass shoots increased with distance through the seagrass bands, hence causing a long-range negative feedback. Measurements across the depth gradient of the intertidal, together with model simulations, demonstrated that seagrass cover and mean patch size were predictably influenced by additional external stress caused by light limitation and desiccation. Thus, our study provides direct empirical evidence for a consistent response of spatial self-organized patterns to changing abiotic conditions, suggesting a potential use for self-organized spatial patterns as stress indicators in ecosystems.

  14. Community structure of caprellids (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) on seagrasses from southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, A. R.; Guerra-García, J. M.; Maestre, M. J.; Ruiz-Tabares, A.; Espinosa, F.; Gordillo, I.; Sánchez-Moyano, J. E.; García-Gómez, J. C.

    2008-09-01

    The community structure of caprellids inhabiting two species of seagrass ( Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera marina) was investigated on the Andalusian coast, southern Spain, using uni and multivariate analyses. Three meadows were selected (Almería, AL; Málaga, MA; Cádiz, CA), and changes in seagrass cover and biomass were measured from 2004 to 2005. Four caprellid species were found; the density of Caprella acanthifera, Phtisica marina and Pseudoprotella phasma was correlated to seagrass biomass. No such correlation was found for Pariambus typicus, probably because this species inhabits sediments and does not cling to the seagrass leaves. We recorded a significant decrease in seagrass cover and biomass in MA due to illegal bottom trawling fisheries. Phtisica marina and P. typicus were favoured by this perturbation and increased their densities after the trawling activities. A survey of reports on caprellids in seagrass meadows around the world showed no clear latitudinal patterns in caprellid densities (ranging from 6 to 1,000 ind/m2 per meadow) and species diversity. While caprellid abundances in seagrass meadows are often very high, the number of species per meadow is low (range 1-5).

  15. Removal of the metal ions from aqueous solutions by nanoscaled low molecular pectin isolated from seagrass Phyllospadix iwatensis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khozhaenko, Elena [Far Eastern Federal University, School of Biomedicine, 8, Sukhanova str., Vladivostok 690091 (Russian Federation); A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17, Palchevskgo str., Vladivostok 690059 (Russian Federation); Kovalev, Valeri; Podkorytova, Elena [A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17, Palchevskgo str., Vladivostok 690059 (Russian Federation); Khotimchenko, Maksim, E-mail: maxkhot@yandex.ru [Far Eastern Federal University, School of Biomedicine, 8, Sukhanova str., Vladivostok 690091 (Russian Federation); A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17, Palchevskgo str., Vladivostok 690059 (Russian Federation)

    2016-09-15

    Pectins from sea grasses are considered as promising substances with pronounced metal-binding activity. Due to the high molecular weight and heterogeneous structure, the use of pectins for removal of metal ions is difficult. Technology of directed pectin degradation was developed and homogenous degraded nanoscaled pectin polymers were synthesized. Experimental samples of degraded pectin isolated from Phyllospadix iwatensis were tested for their metal binding activity in comparison with native pectin from this seagrass and commercial citrus pectin. The metal uptake of all pectin compounds was highest within the pH range from 4.0 to 6.0. The Langmuir, Freundlich and BET sorption models were applied to describe the isotherms and constants. Results showed that depolymerized pectin exerts highest lead and cadmium binding activity with pronounced affinity. All pectin compounds were suggested to be favorable sorbents. Therefore, it can be concluded that degraded pectin is a prospective material for creation of metal-removing water treatment systems. - Highlights: • Low molecular nanoscaled pectin was obtained using original hydrolysis method • Metal binding activity of pectin compounds was studied in a batch sorption system • Pectins exert highest metal binding activity at pH 6.0 • Metal binding isotherms of all pectins are best described by the Langmuir equation • Low molecular pectin from seagrasses is more effective than high-molecular pectins.

  16. Habitat use by a large population of Pinna nobilis in shallow waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Prado

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the habitat use and size structure of the fan mussel, Pinna nobilis L. in the Alfacs Bay (Ebro Delta, Spain, NW Mediterranean. Shore-parallel transects were conducted to assess the abundance, size, and orientation of individuals and to record habitat features along the Banya Sandspit, at depths of 20 to 130 cm. Results showed two distinctive areas in terms of population density, marked by the end of local salt pan dikes that we named Good Habitat (GH and Bad Habitat (BH. To extrapolate these results to the full area of BH and GH, perpendicular transects were conducted to determine the local bathymetry. Then, the underestimation of individuals due to the effects of distance, depth and seagrass cover (Distance 6 computer package was added to raw abundances to obtain a corrected population of 90303 individuals (12085 in the BH and 782018 in the GH, the largest so far reported at such low depths. Most recorded individuals were adults (40 to 60 cm shell length, with no occurrence of sizes < 20 cm, and with a strong association with Cymodocea nodosa seagrass beds. Given the shallow distribution of the population, the absence of small sizes during the study period, and the presence of human activities that may damage P. nobilis and its habitat, the development of a management plan appears imperative for the conservation of the species.

  17. Aleutian Islands Coastal Resources Inventory and Environmental Sensitivity Maps: HABITATS (Habitat Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains biological resource data for seagrasses in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Vector polygons in this data set represent locations of seagrass...

  18. De novo assembly and characterization of the transcriptome of seagrass Zostera marina using Illumina paired-end sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanna Kong

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The seagrass Zostera marina is a monocotyledonous angiosperm belonging to a polyphyletic group of plants that can live submerged in marine habitats. Zostera marina L. is one of the most common seagrasses and is considered a cornerstone of marine plant molecular ecology research and comparative studies. However, the mechanisms underlying its adaptation to the marine environment still remain poorly understood due to limited transcriptomic and genomic data. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we explored the transcriptome of Z. marina leaves under different environmental conditions using Illumina paired-end sequencing. Approximately 55 million sequencing reads were obtained, representing 58,457 transcripts that correspond to 24,216 unigenes. A total of 14,389 (59.41% unigenes were annotated by blast searches against the NCBI non-redundant protein database. 45.18% and 46.91% of the unigenes had significant similarity with proteins in the Swiss-Prot database and Pfam database, respectively. Among these, 13,897 unigenes were assigned to 57 Gene Ontology (GO terms and 4,745 unigenes were identified and mapped to 233 pathways via functional annotation against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway database (KEGG. We compared the orthologous gene family of the Z. marina transcriptome to Oryza sativa and Pyropia yezoensis and 11,667 orthologous gene families are specific to Z. marina. Furthermore, we identified the photoreceptors sensing red/far-red light and blue light. Also, we identified a large number of genes that are involved in ion transporters and channels including Na+ efflux, K+ uptake, Cl- channels, and H+ pumping. CONCLUSIONS: Our study contains an extensive sequencing and gene-annotation analysis of Z. marina. This information represents a genetic resource for the discovery of genes related to light sensing and salt tolerance in this species. Our transcriptome can be further utilized in future studies on molecular adaptation to

  19. De novo assembly and characterization of the transcriptome of seagrass Zostera marina using Illumina paired-end sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Fanna; Li, Hong; Sun, Peipei; Zhou, Yang; Mao, Yunxiang

    2014-01-01

    The seagrass Zostera marina is a monocotyledonous angiosperm belonging to a polyphyletic group of plants that can live submerged in marine habitats. Zostera marina L. is one of the most common seagrasses and is considered a cornerstone of marine plant molecular ecology research and comparative studies. However, the mechanisms underlying its adaptation to the marine environment still remain poorly understood due to limited transcriptomic and genomic data. Here we explored the transcriptome of Z. marina leaves under different environmental conditions using Illumina paired-end sequencing. Approximately 55 million sequencing reads were obtained, representing 58,457 transcripts that correspond to 24,216 unigenes. A total of 14,389 (59.41%) unigenes were annotated by blast searches against the NCBI non-redundant protein database. 45.18% and 46.91% of the unigenes had significant similarity with proteins in the Swiss-Prot database and Pfam database, respectively. Among these, 13,897 unigenes were assigned to 57 Gene Ontology (GO) terms and 4,745 unigenes were identified and mapped to 233 pathways via functional annotation against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway database (KEGG). We compared the orthologous gene family of the Z. marina transcriptome to Oryza sativa and Pyropia yezoensis and 11,667 orthologous gene families are specific to Z. marina. Furthermore, we identified the photoreceptors sensing red/far-red light and blue light. Also, we identified a large number of genes that are involved in ion transporters and channels including Na+ efflux, K+ uptake, Cl- channels, and H+ pumping. Our study contains an extensive sequencing and gene-annotation analysis of Z. marina. This information represents a genetic resource for the discovery of genes related to light sensing and salt tolerance in this species. Our transcriptome can be further utilized in future studies on molecular adaptation to abiotic stress in Z. marina.

  20. Status of a seagrass ecosystem: An ecologically sensitive wetland habitat from India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Komarpant, D.S.; Rodrigues, R.S.

    . 2003 Region Southeast coast (Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay) Lakshadweep group of islands Nicobar group of islands West coast Number of Species Biomass (g m- 2 dry weight) 2.5-2l.8' 15-72' Area (hal 112' 830 Patchyb,' Average Standing Crop (metric tonnes... and spawning grounds for diverse biota" They also form a site for human,rec reation and serve as a sensitiveindi~ator'of human pol-' ' lution and perturbations (l(emp''l983. 'Dennisonet aL 1993); Although there is limited d'irect herbivory'onrM standing crop...

  1. Redefining the trophic importance of seagrasses for fauna in tropical Indo-Pacific meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jan Arie; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.; Stapel, Johan

    2008-09-01

    Fauna species living in seagrass meadows depend on different food sources, with seagrasses often being marginally important for higher trophic levels. To determine the food web of a mixed-species tropical seagrass meadow in Sulawesi, Indonesia, we analyzed the stable isotope ( δ13C and δ15N) signatures of primary producers, particulate organic matter (POM) and fauna species. In addition invertebrates, both infauna and macrobenthic, and fish densities were examined to identify the important species in the meadow. The aims of this study were to identify the main food sources of fauna species by comparing isotopic signatures of different primary producers and fauna, and to estimate qualitatively the importance of seagrass material in the food web. Phytoplankton and water column POM were the most depleted primary food sources for δ13C (range -23.1 to -19.6‰), but no fauna species depended only on these sources for carbon. Epiphytes and Sargassum sp. had intermediate δ13C values (-14.2 to -11.9‰). Sea urchins, gastropods and certain fish species were the main species assimilating this material. Seagrasses and sedimentary POM had the least depleted values (-11.5 to -5.7‰). Between the five seagrass species significant differences in δ13C were measured. The small species Halophila ovalis and Halodule uninervis were most depleted, the largest species Enhalus acoroides was least depleted, while Thalassia hemprichii and Cymodocea rotundata had intermediate values. Fourteen fauna species, accounting for ˜10% of the total fauna density, were shown to assimilate predominantly (>50%) seagrass material, either directly or indirectly by feeding on seagrass consumers. These species ranged from amphipods up to the benthic top predator Taeniura lymma. Besides these species, about half of the 55 fauna species analyzed had δ13C values higher than the least depleted non-seagrass source, indicating they depended at least partly for their food on seagrass material. This study

  2. Stability and bistability of seagrass ecosystems in shallow coastal lagoons: Role of feedbacks with sediment resuspension and light attenuation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, J.; D'Odorico, P.; McGlathery, K.; Wiberg, P.

    2010-09-01

    Shallow coastal lagoons are environments where a dynamic equilibrium exists between water quality and seagrass cover. Dense seagrass canopies limit the resuspension of bed sediments thereby creating a clearer water column and a positive feedback for seagrass growth. Positive feedbacks are often associated with the existence of bistable dynamics in ecosystems. For example, a bare and a seagrass covered sediment bed could both be stable states of the system. This study describes a one-dimensional hydrodynamic model of vegetation-sediment-water flow interactions and uses it to investigate the strengths of positive feedbacks between seagrass cover, stabilization of bed sediments, turbidity of the water column, and the existence of a favorable light environment for seagrasses. The model is applied to Hog Island Bay, a shallow coastal lagoon on the eastern shore of Virginia. The effects of temperature, eutrophication, and bed grain size on bistability of seagrass ecosystems in the lagoon are explored. The results indicate that under typical conditions, seagrass is stable in water depths sustain seagrass. Decreases in sediment size and increases in water temperature and degree of eutrophication shift the bistable range to shallower depths, with more of the bay bottom unable to sustain seagrass.

  3. Effects of surrounding land use and water depth on seagrass dynamics relative to a catastrophic algal bloom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breininger, David R; Breininger, Robert D; Hall, Carlton R

    2017-02-01

    Seagrasses are the foundation of many coastal ecosystems and are in global decline because of anthropogenic impacts. For the Indian River Lagoon (Florida, U.S.A.), we developed competing multistate statistical models to quantify how environmental factors (surrounding land use, water depth, and time [year]) influenced the variability of seagrass state dynamics from 2003 to 2014 while accounting for time-specific detection probabilities that quantified our ability to determine seagrass state at particular locations and times. We classified seagrass states (presence or absence) at 764 points with geographic information system maps for years when seagrass maps were available and with aerial photographs when seagrass maps were not available. We used 4 categories (all conservation, mostly conservation, mostly urban, urban) to describe surrounding land use within sections of lagoonal waters, usually demarcated by land features that constricted these waters. The best models predicted that surrounding land use, depth, and year would affect transition and detection probabilities. Sections of the lagoon bordered by urban areas had the least stable seagrass beds and lowest detection probabilities, especially after a catastrophic seagrass die-off linked to an algal bloom. Sections of the lagoon bordered by conservation lands had the most stable seagrass beds, which supports watershed conservation efforts. Our results show that a multistate approach can empirically estimate state-transition probabilities as functions of environmental factors while accounting for state-dependent differences in seagrass detection probabilities as part of the overall statistical inference procedure. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Heat stress of two tropical seagrass species during low tides - impact on underwater net photosynthesis, dark respiration and diel in situ internal aeration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Ole; Colmer, Timothy D; Borum, Jens; Zavala-Perez, Andrea; Kendrick, Gary A

    2016-06-01

    Seagrasses grow submerged in aerated seawater but often in low O2 sediments. Elevated temperatures and low O2 are stress factors. Internal aeration was measured in two tropical seagrasses, Thalassia hemprichii and Enhalus acoroides, growing with extreme tides and diel temperature amplitudes. Temperature effects on net photosynthesis (PN ) and dark respiration (RD ) of leaves were evaluated. Daytime low tide was characterized by high pO2 (54 kPa), pH (8.8) and temperature (38°C) in shallow pools. As PN was maximum at 33°C (9.1 and 7.2 μmol O2  m(-2) s(-1) in T. hemprichii and E. acoroides, respectively), the high temperatures and reduced CO2 would have diminished PN , whereas RD increased (Q10 of 2.0-2.7) above that at 33°C (0.45 and 0.33 μmol O2  m(-2)  s(-1) , respectively). During night-time low tides, O2 declined resulting in shoot base anoxia in both species, but incoming water containing c. 20 kPa O2 relieved the anoxia. Shoots exposed to 40°C for 4 h showed recovery of PN and RD , whereas 45°C resulted in leaf damage. These seagrasses are 'living near the edge', tolerant of current diel O2 and temperature extremes, but if temperatures rise both species may be threatened in this habitat. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Distribution of benthic habitats at Crocker Reef, Florida, 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zawada, David G.; Netchy, Kristin; Resnick, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of benthic habitats for a 1-km x 1-km area around Crocker Reef in the Florida Key is based upon underwater digital images of the seafloor collected June 24-25, 2014. The imagery was collected using the USGS shallow Along-Track Reef Imaging System (sATRIS), a boat-based, pole-mounted sensor package for mapping shallow-water benthic environments.  The polygons contained in this shapefile represent the 4 general habitat types found at Crocker Reef:  hardbottom, rubble, sand, and seagrass.For further information regarding data collection methods refer to DOI: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00078.1The shallow ATRIS imagery is available in USGS data release http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7SF2T9Z

  6. Simulating the interaction of seagrasses with their ambient flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backhaus, Jan O.; Verduin, Jennifer J.

    2008-12-01

    The interaction of seagrasses with the dynamics of an oscillatory wave induced flow is assessed with a new Lagrangian plant model. The plant model simulates moving plants in canopies and their dissipative effect on the ambient flow. Concomitantly the plant model is interactively coupled to a 3D hydrodynamic numerical model allowing for a bilateral feedback between moving plants and flow. Model results demonstrate that this interaction causes a modification of current profiles within and above a canopy as compared to an undisturbed flow. While the overall effect of submerged plant canopies is a dampening of dynamics, the flow may locally be intensified. The model predicted an intensification of the flow near the top of a canopy in concurrence with field and laboratory observations. Dissipation in the coupled model, due to the applied non-linear friction law, grows exponentially with increasing flow. As a result the permeability of a canopy to the ambient flow decreases with increasing dissipation. Consequently, at high flow velocities, while becoming increasingly impermeable, a canopy acts like an obstacle that deflects the flow above it, which causes the observed intensification. Results for canopies consisting of seagrasses with different leaf structure and plant geometry show remarkable differences in predicted plant motions, current profiles, drag forces, and velocity shear. Predictions for moving plants are compared with those for rigid, less flexible, structures and undisturbed flow.

  7. Habitat and scale shape the demographic fate of the keystone sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus in Mediterranean macrophyte communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Prado

    Full Text Available Demographic processes exert different degrees of control as individuals grow, and in species that span several habitats and spatial scales, this can influence our ability to predict their population at a particular life-history stage given the previous life stage. In particular, when keystone species are involved, this relative coupling between demographic stages can have significant implications for the functioning of ecosystems. We examined benthic and pelagic abundances of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus in order to: 1 understand the main life-history bottlenecks by observing the degree of coupling between demographic stages; and 2 explore the processes driving these linkages. P. lividus is the dominant invertebrate herbivore in the Mediterranean Sea, and has been repeatedly observed to overgraze shallow beds of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and rocky macroalgal communities. We used a hierarchical sampling design at different spatial scales (100 s, 10 s and <1 km and habitats (seagrass and rocky macroalgae to describe the spatial patterns in the abundance of different demographic stages (larvae, settlers, recruits and adults. Our results indicate that large-scale factors (potentially currents, nutrients, temperature, etc. determine larval availability and settlement in the pelagic stages of urchin life history. In rocky macroalgal habitats, benthic processes (like predation acting at large or medium scales drive adult abundances. In contrast, adult numbers in seagrass meadows are most likely influenced by factors like local migration (from adjoining rocky habitats functioning at much smaller scales. The complexity of spatial and habitat-dependent processes shaping urchin populations demands a multiplicity of approaches when addressing habitat conservation actions, yet such actions are currently mostly aimed at managing predation processes and fish numbers. We argue that a more holistic ecosystem management also needs to incorporate the

  8. Habitat and scale shape the demographic fate of the keystone sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus in Mediterranean macrophyte communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado, Patricia; Tomas, Fiona; Pinna, Stefania; Farina, Simone; Roca, Guillem; Ceccherelli, Giulia; Romero, Javier; Alcoverro, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    Demographic processes exert different degrees of control as individuals grow, and in species that span several habitats and spatial scales, this can influence our ability to predict their population at a particular life-history stage given the previous life stage. In particular, when keystone species are involved, this relative coupling between demographic stages can have significant implications for the functioning of ecosystems. We examined benthic and pelagic abundances of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus in order to: 1) understand the main life-history bottlenecks by observing the degree of coupling between demographic stages; and 2) explore the processes driving these linkages. P. lividus is the dominant invertebrate herbivore in the Mediterranean Sea, and has been repeatedly observed to overgraze shallow beds of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and rocky macroalgal communities. We used a hierarchical sampling design at different spatial scales (100 s, 10 s and habitats (seagrass and rocky macroalgae) to describe the spatial patterns in the abundance of different demographic stages (larvae, settlers, recruits and adults). Our results indicate that large-scale factors (potentially currents, nutrients, temperature, etc.) determine larval availability and settlement in the pelagic stages of urchin life history. In rocky macroalgal habitats, benthic processes (like predation) acting at large or medium scales drive adult abundances. In contrast, adult numbers in seagrass meadows are most likely influenced by factors like local migration (from adjoining rocky habitats) functioning at much smaller scales. The complexity of spatial and habitat-dependent processes shaping urchin populations demands a multiplicity of approaches when addressing habitat conservation actions, yet such actions are currently mostly aimed at managing predation processes and fish numbers. We argue that a more holistic ecosystem management also needs to incorporate the landscape and habitat

  9. Mechanisms explaining nursery habitat association: how do juvenile snapper (Chrysophrys auratus benefit from their nursery habitat?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren M Parsons

    Full Text Available Nursery habitats provide elevated survival and growth to the organisms that associate with them, and as such are a crucial early life-stage component for many fishes and invertebrates. The exact mechanisms by which these benefits are afforded to associated organisms, however, are often unclear. Here we assessed potential explanations of the nursery function of structurally complex habitats for post-settlement snapper, Chrysophrys auratus, in New Zealand. Specifically, we deployed Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs and used a combination of video observation, netting and diet analysis of associated post-settlement snapper as well describing potential prey within the micro-habitats surrounding ASUs. We did not observe any predation attempts and few potential predators, suggesting that for snapper the nursery value of structurally complex habitats is not as a predation refuge. The diet of post-settlement snapper mostly consisted of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, which were most commonly sampled from within the water column. Nearly all suspected feeding events were also observed within the water column. When considering the velocity of water flow at each ASU, plankton sampling revealed a greater availability of copepods with increasing current strength, while netting and video observation demonstrated that the abundance of snapper was highest at sites with intermediate water velocity. This study highlights that the interaction between water flow and food availability may represent an important trade-off between energy expenditure and food intake for post-settlement snapper. Structurally complex habitats may mediate this relationship, allowing snapper to access sites with higher food availability while reducing swimming costs. This mechanism may have broader relevance, potentially explaining the importance of estuarine nursery habitats for other species.

  10. Mechanisms explaining nursery habitat association: how do juvenile snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) benefit from their nursery habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Darren M; Middleton, Crispin; Spong, Keren T; Mackay, Graeme; Smith, Matt D; Buckthought, Dane

    2015-01-01

    Nursery habitats provide elevated survival and growth to the organisms that associate with them, and as such are a crucial early life-stage component for many fishes and invertebrates. The exact mechanisms by which these benefits are afforded to associated organisms, however, are often unclear. Here we assessed potential explanations of the nursery function of structurally complex habitats for post-settlement snapper, Chrysophrys auratus, in New Zealand. Specifically, we deployed Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs) and used a combination of video observation, netting and diet analysis of associated post-settlement snapper as well describing potential prey within the micro-habitats surrounding ASUs. We did not observe any predation attempts and few potential predators, suggesting that for snapper the nursery value of structurally complex habitats is not as a predation refuge. The diet of post-settlement snapper mostly consisted of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, which were most commonly sampled from within the water column. Nearly all suspected feeding events were also observed within the water column. When considering the velocity of water flow at each ASU, plankton sampling revealed a greater availability of copepods with increasing current strength, while netting and video observation demonstrated that the abundance of snapper was highest at sites with intermediate water velocity. This study highlights that the interaction between water flow and food availability may represent an important trade-off between energy expenditure and food intake for post-settlement snapper. Structurally complex habitats may mediate this relationship, allowing snapper to access sites with higher food availability while reducing swimming costs. This mechanism may have broader relevance, potentially explaining the importance of estuarine nursery habitats for other species.

  11. Mapping of seagrass meadows from the Lakshadweep Islands (India), using aerial photographs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.; Inamdar, S.N.

    six major islands of Lakshadweep was estimated to be 112 ha with standing crop of ca 800 metric tonnes. The dominant seagrass species observed was Thalassia hemprichii while Cymodocea rotundata, Halophila ovata, Syringodium isoetifolium and Halodule...

  12. Processes affecting the spatial distribution of seagrass meadow sedimentary material on Yao Yai Island, Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quak, M.S.Y.; Ziegler, A.D.; Benner, S.G.; Evans, S.; Todd, P.A.; Gillis, L.G.; Vongtanaboon, S.; Jachowski, N.; Bouma, T.J.

    2016-01-01

    Many islands throughout SE Asia are experiencing rapid development and land-cover conversion thatpotentially threaten sensitive coastal ecosystems, such as seagrasses, through increased loading ofsediment and nutrients originating from disturbed catchments draining to the sea. To evaluate this

  13. Fungi and their biomass in detritus of the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Ascherson

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sathe, V.; Raghukumar, S.

    Four different stages of detritus from the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii Ascherson from two coral islands in the Lakshadweep Archipelago, Arabian Sea were examined for the presence of fungi. Direct microscopic examination of the detritus from...

  14. Fast detection of nutrient limitation in macroalgae and seagrass with nutrient-induced fluorescence.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Haan, J.; Huisman, J.; Dekker, F.; ten Brinke, J.L.; Ford, A.K.; van Ooijen, J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Visser, P.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Rapid determination of which nutrients limit the primary production of macroalgae and seagrasses is vital for understanding the impacts of eutrophication on marine and freshwater ecosystems. However, current methods to assess nutrient limitation are often cumbersome and time consuming.

  15. Fast Detection of Nutrient Limitation in Macroalgae and Seagrass with Nutrient-Induced Fluorescence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Haan, J.; Huisman, J.; Dekker, F.; ten Brinke, J.L.; Ford, A.K.; van Ooijen, J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Visser, P.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Rapid determination of which nutrients limit the primary production of macroalgae and seagrasses is vital for understanding the impacts of eutrophication on marine and freshwater ecosystems. However, current methods to assess nutrient limitation are often cumbersome and time consuming.

  16. Interaction between Ammonium Toxicity and Green Tide Development Over Seagrass Meadows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marin, Francisco Moreno; Vergara, Juan J.; Pérez-Llorens, J. Lucas

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication affects seagrasses negatively by increasing light attenuation through stimulation of biomass of fast-growing, bloom-forming algae and because high concentrations of ammonium in the water can be toxic to higher plants. We hypothesized nevertheless, that moderate amounts of nitrophilic...... macroalgae that coexists with seagrasses under eutrophic conditions, can alleviate the harmful effects of eutrophication on seagrasses by reducing ammonium concentrations in the seawater to non-toxic levels because such algae have a very large capacity to take up inorganic nutrients. We studied therefore how...... experienced by Z. noltei at relatively non-toxic levels. Our findings show that moderate amounts of drift macroalgae, eventually combined with increasing stocks of benthic micro algae, may aid seagrasses to alleviate toxic effects of ammonium under eutrophic conditions,...

  17. Understanding seagrass resilience in temperate systems: the importance of timing of the disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.; Li, B.; Han, Q.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2016-01-01

    Temperate seagrass meadows form valuable ecosystems in coastal environments and present a distinctseasonal growth. They are threatened by an increasing amount of stressors, potentially affecting theircapacity to recover from disturbances. We hypothesized that their resilience to disturbances is

  18. Understanding seagrass resilience in temperate systems: the importance of timing of the disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.; Li, B.Q.; Han, Q.Y.; Katwijk, M.M. van; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2016-01-01

    Temperate seagrass meadows form valuable ecosystems in coastal environments and present a distinct seasonal growth. They are threatened by an increasing amount of stressors, potentially affecting their capacity to recover from disturbances. We hypothesized that their resilience to disturbances is

  19. Seagrasses and Protective Criteria: A Review and Assessment of Research Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    WED scientists conducted a literature review of scientific knowledge of the two most broadly distributed U.S. seagrass species in order to inform the process of developing protective criteria for these important coastal resources.

  20. Large-Scale Prediction of Seagrass Distribution Integrating Landscape Metrics and Environmental Factors: The Case of Cymodocea nodosa (Mediterranean–Atlantic)

    KAUST Repository

    Chefaoui, Rosa M.

    2015-05-05

    Understanding the factors that affect seagrass meadows encompassing their entire range of distribution is challenging yet important for their conservation. Here, we predict the realized and potential distribution for the species Cymodocea nodosa modelling its environmental niche in the Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic coastlines. We use a combination of environmental variables and landscape metrics to perform a suite of predictive algorithms which enables examination of the niche and find suitable habitats for the species. The most relevant environmental variables defining the distribution of C. nodosa were sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity. We found suitable habitats at SST from 5.8 °C to 26.4 °C and salinity ranging from 17.5 to 39.3. Optimal values of mean winter wave height ranged between 1.2 and 1.5 m, while waves higher than 2.5 m seemed to limit the presence of the species. The influence of nutrients and pH, despite having weight on the models, was not so clear in terms of ranges that confine the distribution of the species. Landscape metrics able to capture variation in the coastline enhanced significantly the accuracy of the models, despite the limitations caused by the scale of the study. We found potential suitable areas not occupied by the seagrass mainly in coastal regions of North Africa and the Adriatic coast of Italy. The present study describes the realized and potential distribution of a seagrass species, providing the first global model of the factors that can be shaping the environmental niche of C. nodosa throughout its range. We identified the variables constraining its distribution as well as thresholds delineating its environmental niche. Landscape metrics showed promising prospects for the prediction of coastal species dependent on the shape of the coast. By contrasting predictive approaches, we defined the variables affecting the distributional areas that seem unsuitable for C. nodosa as well as those suitable habitats not

  1. Epiphyte loads on seagrasses and microphytobenthos abundance are not reliable indicators of nutrient availability in oligotrophic coastal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourqurean, James W; Muth, Meredith F; Boyer, Joseph N

    2010-07-01

    Despite marked gradients in nutrient availability that control the abundance and species composition of seagrasses in south Florida, and the importance of nutrient availability in controlling abundance and composition of epiphytes on seagrasses in other locations, we did not find that epiphyte load on the dominant seagrass, Thalassia testudinum, or that the relative contribution of algal epiphytes to the epiphyte community, was positively correlated with nutrient availability in the water column or the sediment in oligotrophic seagrass beds. Further, the abundance of microphytobenthos, as indicated by Chlorophyll-a concentration in the sediments, was not directly correlated with concentrations of nutrients in the sediments. Our results suggest that epiphyte and microphytobenthos abundance are not unambiguous indicators of nutrient availability in relatively pristine seagrass environments, and therefore would make poor candidates for indicators of the status and trends of seagrass ecosystems in relatively low-nutrient environments like the Florida Keys. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Modelling benthic macrofauna and seagrass distribution patterns in a North Sea tidal basin in response to 2050 climatic and environmental scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Anja; Millat, Gerald; Staneva, Joanna; Kröncke, Ingrid

    2017-03-01

    Small-scale spatial distribution patterns of seven macrofauna species, seagrass beds and mixed mussel/oyster reefs were modelled for the Jade Bay (North Sea, Germany) in response to climatic and environmental scenarios (representing 2050). For the species distribution models four presence-absence modelling methods were merged within the ensemble forecasting platform 'biomod2'. The present spatial distribution (representing 2009) was modelled by statistically related species presences, true species absences and six high-resolution environmental grids. The future spatial distribution was then predicted in response to expected climate change-induced ongoing (1) sea-level rise and (2) water temperature increase. Between 2009 and 2050, the present and future prediction maps revealed a significant range gain for two macrofauna species (Macoma balthica, Tubificoides benedii), whereas the species' range sizes of five macrofauna species remained relatively stable across space and time. The predicted probability of occurrence (PO) of two macrofauna species (Cerastoderma edule, Scoloplos armiger) decreased significantly under the potential future habitat conditions. In addition, a clear seagrass bed extension (Zostera noltii) on the lower intertidal flats (mixed sediments) and a decrease in the PO of mixed Mytilus edulis/Crassostrea gigas reefs was predicted for 2050. Until the mid-21st century, our future climatic and environmental scenario revealed significant changes in the range sizes (gains-losses) and/or the PO (increases-decreases) for seven of the 10 modelled species at the study site.

  3. Secondary metabolites of seagrasses (Alismatales and Potamogetonales; Alismatidae): Chemical diversity, bioactivity, and ecological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zidorn, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Seagrasses are the only higher plants living in fully marine environments; they play a significant role in coastal ecosystems. Seagrasses inhabit the coastal shelves of all continents except Antarctica and can grow in depths of up to 90 m. Because of their eminent ecological importance, innumerous studies have been dedicated to seagrasses and their ecology. However, the phytochemistry has not been equally well investigated yet and many of the existing studies in chemical ecology are only investigating the chemistry at the level of compound classes, e.g. phenolics, and not at the level of chemically defined metabolites. In the present review, the existing literature on secondary metabolites of seagrasses, their known source seagrasses, their bioactivity, and ecological function are compiled and critically assessed. Moreover, research gaps are highlighted and avenues for future research are discussed. Currently, a total of 154 chemically defined natural products have been reported from the about 70 seagrass species known worldwide. Compounds reported include simple phenols derivatives (four compounds), phenylmethane derivatives (14 compounds), phenylethane derivatives (four compounds), phenylpropane derivatives including their esters and dimers (20 compounds), chalkones (four compounds), flavonoids including catechins (57 compounds), phenylheptanoids (four compounds), one monoterpene derivative, one sesquiterpene, diterpenoids (13 compounds), steroids (31 compounds), and one alkaloid. Most of the existing bioactivity studies of seagrass metabolites and extracts have been directed to potential cytotoxic, antimicrobial, or antimacrofouling activity. Antimicrobial studies have been performed towards panels of both human pathogens and ecologically relevant pathogens. In the antimacrofouling studies, investigations of the potential of zosteric acid from the genus Zostera are the most numerous and have yielded so far the most interesting results. Studies on the chemical

  4. Effects of in situ CO2 enrichment on structural characteristics, photosynthesis, and growth of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, T. Erin; Gazeau, Frédéric; Alliouane, Samir; Hendriks, Iris E.; Mahacek, Paul; Le Fur, Arnaud; Gattuso, Jean-Pierre

    2016-04-01

    Seagrass is expected to benefit from increased carbon availability under future ocean acidification. This hypothesis has been little tested by in situ manipulation. To test for ocean acidification effects on seagrass meadows under controlled CO2/pH conditions, we used a Free Ocean Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FOCE) system which allows for the manipulation of pH as continuous offset from ambient. It was deployed in a Posidonia oceanica meadow at 11 m depth in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. It consisted of two benthic enclosures, an experimental and a control unit both 1.7 m3, and an additional reference plot in the ambient environment (2 m2) to account for structural artifacts. The meadow was monitored from April to November 2014. The pH of the experimental enclosure was lowered by 0.26 pH units for the second half of the 8-month study. The greatest magnitude of change in P. oceanica leaf biometrics, photosynthesis, and leaf growth accompanied seasonal changes recorded in the environment and values were similar between the two enclosures. Leaf thickness may change in response to lower pH but this requires further testing. Results are congruent with other short-term and natural studies that have investigated the response of P. oceanica over a wide range of pH. They suggest any benefit from ocean acidification, over the next century (at a pH of ˜ 7.7 on the total scale), on Posidonia physiology and growth may be minimal and difficult to detect without increased replication or longer experimental duration. The limited stimulation, which did not surpass any enclosure or seasonal effect, casts doubts on speculations that elevated CO2 would confer resistance to thermal stress and increase the buffering capacity of meadows.

  5. Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, Daniela; Yates, Kimberly K.; Vega-Rodriguez, Maria; Toro-Farmer, Gerardo; L'Esperance, Chris; Melo, Nelson; Ramsewak, Deanesch; Estrada, S. Cerdeira; Muller-Karger, Frank E.; Herwitz, Stan R.; McGillis, Wade

    2016-01-01

    Diurnal variation of net community production (NEP) and net community calcification (NEC) were measured in coral reef and seagrass biomes during October 2012 in the lower Florida Keys using a mesocosm enclosure and the oxygen gradient flux technique. Seagrass and coral reef sites showed diurnal variations of NEP and NEC, with positive values at near-seafloor light levels >100–300 µEinstein m-2 s-1. During daylight hours, we detected an average NEP of 12.3 and 8.6 mmol O2 m-2 h-1 at the seagrass and coral reef site, respectively. At night, NEP at the seagrass site was relatively constant, while on the coral reef, net respiration was highest immediately after dusk and decreased during the rest of the night. At the seagrass site, NEC values ranged from 0.20 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 during daylight to -0.15 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at night, and from 0.17 to -0.10 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at the coral reef site. There were no significant differences in pH and aragonite saturation states (Ωar) between the seagrass and coral reef sites. Decrease in light levels during thunderstorms significantly decreased NEP, transforming the system from net autotrophic to net heterotrophic.

  6. Modelling seagrass growth and development to evaluate transplanting strategies for restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renton, Michael; Airey, Michael; Cambridge, Marion L; Kendrick, Gary A

    2011-10-01

    Seagrasses are important marine plants that are under threat globally. Restoration by transplanting vegetative fragments or seedlings into areas where seagrasses have been lost is possible, but long-term trial data are limited. The goal of this study is to use available short-term data to predict long-term outcomes of transplanting seagrass. A functional-structural plant model of seagrass growth that integrates data collected from short-term trials and experiments is presented. The model was parameterized for the species Posidonia australis, a limited validation of the model against independent data and a sensitivity analysis were conducted and the model was used to conduct a preliminary evaluation of different transplanting strategies. The limited validation was successful, and reasonable long-term outcomes could be predicted, based only on short-term data. This approach for modelling seagrass growth and development enables long-term predictions of the outcomes to be made from different strategies for transplanting seagrass, even when empirical long-term data are difficult or impossible to collect. More validation is required to improve confidence in the model's predictions, and inclusion of more mechanism will extend the model's usefulness. Marine restoration represents a novel application of functional-structural plant modelling.

  7. Species specific effects of three morphologically different belowground seagrasses on sediment properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattanachot, Ekkalak; Prathep, Anchana

    2015-12-01

    Roots and rhizomes of seagrass play an important role in coastline zone by anchoring the substrate firmly which prevent resuspension and also controlling sediment biogeochemistry. The aim of this study was to compare the physical and chemical differences of sediments for 3 seagrass species, which have different root morphology between summer (February 2013) and the monsoon month (September 2013). Seven seagrass communities were studied and are: the mono stand of Halophila ovalis, Thalassia hemprichii, and Cymodocea rotundata, the mixed patches of H. ovalis with T. hemprichii, H. ovalis with C. rotundata, and T. hemprichii with C. rotundata and the mixed patches of 3 seagrass species. The roots of seagrasses were the main driver of differences in sediment properties; the branched, long root species, C. rotundata, showed an increasing redox potential by means of oxygen releasing from their roots. The unbranched, long root with dense root hair species, T. hemprichii, tended to cause more poorly sorted sediments. The carbon storage was also estimated and results showed a trend of higher organic carbon density was in the multispecific patches, the mono specific patches and bare sand, respectively. Season also influenced the sediment properties; high wave action in the monsoon stirred up the sediments, this led to lower organic carbon density and high redox potential. Our results suggest that the roots of seagrass species both increase and decrease sediment properties.

  8. Ecosystem engineering by seagrasses interacts with grazing to shape an intertidal landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Heide, Tjisse; Eklöf, Johan S; van Nes, Egbert H; van der Zee, Els M; Donadi, Serena; Weerman, Ellen J; Olff, Han; Eriksson, Britas Klemens

    2012-01-01

    Self-facilitation through ecosystem engineering (i.e., organism modification of the abiotic environment) and consumer-resource interactions are both major determinants of spatial patchiness in ecosystems. However, interactive effects of these two mechanisms on spatial complexity have not been extensively studied. We investigated the mechanisms underlying a spatial mosaic of low-tide exposed hummocks and waterlogged hollows on an intertidal mudflat in the Wadden Sea dominated by the seagrass Zostera noltii. A combination of field measurements, an experiment and a spatially explicit model indicated that the mosaic resulted from localized sediment accretion by seagrass followed by selective waterfowl grazing. Hollows were bare in winter, but were rapidly colonized by seagrass during the growth season. Colonized hollows were heavily grazed by brent geese and widgeon in autumn, converting these patches to a bare state again and disrupting sediment accretion by seagrass. In contrast, hummocks were covered by seagrass throughout the year and were rarely grazed, most likely because the waterfowl were not able to employ their preferred but water requiring feeding strategy ('dabbling') here. Our study exemplifies that interactions between ecosystem engineering by a foundation species (seagrass) and consumption (waterfowl grazing) can increase spatial complexity at the landscape level.

  9. Species-specific response to sulfide intrusion in native and exotic Mediterranean seagrasses under stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolaki, Eugenia T; Holmer, Marianne; Santinelli, Veronica; Karakassis, Ioannis

    2017-12-25

    We explored the sulfur dynamics and the relationships between sediment sulfur and nutrient pools, seagrass structural and physiological variables and sulfide intrusion in native (Posidonia oceanica, Cymodocea nodosa) and exotic (Halophila stipulacea) Mediterranean seagrasses at six sites affected by cumulative anthropogenic pressures to understand the factors controlling sulfide intrusion in seagrass. Sensitive indicators of seagrass stress (leaf TN, δ15N, TS, Fsulfide) were increased at several sites, implying that seagrasses are under pressure. Sulfide intrusion was not related to sediment TOC but it was negatively related to shoot size and below-ground biomass. Sulfide intrusion in seagrass tissue was high in P. oceanica (12-17%) and considerably higher in C. nodosa (27-35%). Intrusion was particularly high in H. stipulacea (30-50%), suggesting that its possible biogeographical expansion due to warming of the Mediterranean may result in accumulation of sulfides in the sediments and hypoxia/anoxia with further implications in ecosystem function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Ecosystem engineering by seagrasses interacts with grazing to shape an intertidal landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tjisse van der Heide

    Full Text Available Self-facilitation through ecosystem engineering (i.e., organism modification of the abiotic environment and consumer-resource interactions are both major determinants of spatial patchiness in ecosystems. However, interactive effects of these two mechanisms on spatial complexity have not been extensively studied. We investigated the mechanisms underlying a spatial mosaic of low-tide exposed hummocks and waterlogged hollows on an intertidal mudflat in the Wadden Sea dominated by the seagrass Zostera noltii. A combination of field measurements, an experiment and a spatially explicit model indicated that the mosaic resulted from localized sediment accretion by seagrass followed by selective waterfowl grazing. Hollows were bare in winter, but were rapidly colonized by seagrass during the growth season. Colonized hollows were heavily grazed by brent geese and widgeon in autumn, converting these patches to a bare state again and disrupting sediment accretion by seagrass. In contrast, hummocks were covered by seagrass throughout the year and were rarely grazed, most likely because the waterfowl were not able to employ their preferred but water requiring feeding strategy ('dabbling' here. Our study exemplifies that interactions between ecosystem engineering by a foundation species (seagrass and consumption (waterfowl grazing can increase spatial complexity at the landscape level.

  11. Demographic and genetic connectivity: the role and consequences of reproduction, dispersal and recruitment in seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, Gary A; Orth, Robert J; Statton, John; Hovey, Renae; Ruiz Montoya, Leonardo; Lowe, Ryan J; Krauss, Siegfried L; Sinclair, Elizabeth A

    2017-05-01

    Accurate estimation of connectivity among populations is fundamental for determining the drivers of population resilience, genetic diversity, adaptation and speciation. However the separation and quantification of contemporary versus historical connectivity remains a major challenge. This review focuses on marine angiosperms, seagrasses, that are fundamental to the health and productivity of temperate and tropical coastal marine environments globally. Our objective is to understand better the role of sexual reproduction and recruitment in influencing demographic and genetic connectivity among seagrass populations through an integrated multidisciplinary assessment of our present ecological, genetic, and demographic understanding, with hydrodynamic modelling of transport. We investigate (i) the demographic consequences of sexual reproduction, dispersal and recruitment in seagrasses, (ii) contemporary transport of seagrass pollen, fruits and seed, and vegetative fragments with a focus on hydrodynamic and particle transport models, and (iii) contemporary genetic connectivity among seagrass meadows as inferred through the application of genetic markers. New approaches are reviewed, followed by a summary outlining future directions for research: integrating seascape genetic approaches; incorporating hydrodynamic modelling for dispersal of pollen, seeds and vegetative fragments; integrating studies across broader geographic ranges; and incorporating non-equilibrium modelling. These approaches will lead to a more integrated understanding of the role of contemporary dispersal and recruitment in the persistence and evolution of seagrasses. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  12. Interactions between seagrasses and seaweeds during surge nitrogen acquisition determine interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandre, Ana; Baeta, Alexandra; Engelen, Aschwin H; Santos, Rui

    2017-10-20

    Seagrasses dominate shallow coastal environments where nitrogen (N) availability in the water column is often sporadic and mainly in the form of pulses. We investigated the N uptake competition between seagrasses and seaweeds through a series of 15N surge uptake experiments combining single-species and mixed incubations across ammonium concentrations. N surge uptake rates of seagrasses were 2 to 14-fold higher than those of seaweeds in the majority of combinations, showing that seagrasses are generally in a competitive advantage over seaweeds in N-poor environments with N-pulses. No threshold concentration of ammonium was found beyond which seaweeds performed better than seagrasses. Mixed incubations revealed interspecific interactions that affected rates positively and negatively. Uptake rates obtained in single-species incubations, therefore, cannot always be used to predict the outcome of uptake competition. Only two (Zostera marina vs. Ulva rotundata and Zostera marina vs. Codium decorticatum) of the nine combinations tested (Z. marina, Z. noltei and Cymodocea nodosa vs. U. rotundata, C. decorticatum and Dictyota dichotoma) were found to enhance macroalgal uptake. Our results showed that the surge uptake capacity of seagrasses represents an important mechanism in their N acquisition strategy that justifies their dominance in shallow oligotrophic environments.

  13. Interaction between birds and macrofauna within food webs of six intertidal habitats of the Wadden Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Sabine; de la Vega, Camille; Asmus, Ragnhild; Schwemmer, Philipp; Enners, Leonie; Garthe, Stefan; Binder, Kirsten; Asmus, Harald

    2017-01-01

    The determination of food web structures using Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) is a helpful tool to get insight into complex ecosystem processes. The intertidal area of the Wadden Sea is structured into diverse habitat types which differ in their ecological functioning. In the present study, six different intertidal habitats (i.e. cockle field, razor clam field, mud flat, mussel bank, sand flat and seagrass meadow) were analyzed using ENA to determine similarities and characteristic differences in the food web structure of the systems. All six systems were well balanced between their degree of organization and their robustness. However, they differed in their detailed features. The cockle field and the mussel bank exhibited a strong dependency on external imports. The razor clam field appeared to be a rather small system with low energy transfer. In the mud flat microphytobenthos was used as a main food source and the system appeared to be sensitive to perturbations. Bird predation was the most pronounced in the sand flat and the seagrass meadow and led to an increase in energy transfer and parallel trophic cycles in these habitats. Habitat diversity appears to be an important trait for the Wadden Sea as each subsystem seems to have a specific role in the overall functioning of the entire ecosystem.

  14. Declines of seagrasses in a tropical harbour, North Queensland, Australia, are not the result of a single event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKENNA, Skye; Jarvis, Jessie; Sankey, Tonia; Reason, Carissa; Coles, Robert; Rasheed, Michael

    2015-06-01

    A recent paper inferred that all seagrass in Cairns Harbour, tropical north-eastern Australia, had undergone 'complete and catastrophic loss' as a result of tropical cyclone Yasi in 2011. While we agree with the concern expressed, we would like to correct the suggestion that the declines were the result of a single climatic event and that all seagrass in Cairns Harbour were lost. Recent survey data and trend analysis from an on-ground monitoring program show that seagrasses in Cairns Harbour do remain, albeit at low levels, and the decline in seagrasses occurred over several years with cyclone Yasi having little additional impact. We have conducted annual on-ground surveys of seagrass distribution and the above-ground meadow biomass in Cairns Harbour and Trinity Inlet since 2001. This has shown a declining trend in biomass since a peak in 2004 and in area since it peaked in 2007. In 2012, seagrass area and above-ground biomass were significantly below the long-term (12 year) average but seagrass was still present. Declines were associated with regional impacts on coastal seagrasses from multiple years of above-average rainfall and severe storm and cyclone activity, similar to other nearby seagrass areas, and not as a result of a single event.

  15. Global analysis of seagrass restoration: the importance of large-scale planting

    KAUST Repository

    van Katwijk, Marieke M.

    2015-10-28

    In coastal and estuarine systems, foundation species like seagrasses, mangroves, saltmarshes or corals provide important ecosystem services. Seagrasses are globally declining and their reintroduction has been shown to restore ecosystem functions. However, seagrass restoration is often challenging, given the dynamic and stressful environment that seagrasses often grow in. From our world-wide meta-analysis of seagrass restoration trials (1786 trials), we describe general features and best practice for seagrass restoration. We confirm that removal of threats is important prior to replanting. Reduced water quality (mainly eutrophication), and construction activities led to poorer restoration success than, for instance, dredging, local direct impact and natural causes. Proximity to and recovery of donor beds were positively correlated with trial performance. Planting techniques can influence restoration success. The meta-analysis shows that both trial survival and seagrass population growth rate in trials that survived are positively affected by the number of plants or seeds initially transplanted. This relationship between restoration scale and restoration success was not related to trial characteristics of the initial restoration. The majority of the seagrass restoration trials have been very small, which may explain the low overall trial survival rate (i.e. estimated 37%). Successful regrowth of the foundation seagrass species appears to require crossing a minimum threshold of reintroduced individuals. Our study provides the first global field evidence for the requirement of a critical mass for recovery, which may also hold for other foundation species showing strong positive feedback to a dynamic environment. Synthesis and applications. For effective restoration of seagrass foundation species in its typically dynamic, stressful environment, introduction of large numbers is seen to be beneficial and probably serves two purposes. First, a large-scale planting

  16. [Hurricane Paloma's effects on seagrasses along Jardines de la Reina Archipelago, Cuba].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarais, Mayrene; Zúñiga, Adán; Pina, Fabián; Matos, Felipe

    2013-09-01

    Seagrasses are one of the most important coastal ecosystems since they promote organic matter flow, nutrient cycling, food availability and refuge. Until now, reports on damages caused by storms and hurricanes on seagrass beds are uncommon and highly variable. The seagrass meadows of the East end of Jardines de la Reina archipelago were surveyed from Nov. 29th to Dec. 5th of 2008, in order to determinate the effects from the passing of Hurricane Paloma: a category three storm on the Saffir-Simpsom scale. A rapid field assessment of the affected areas was carried out using the manta tow technique. In six sites, seagrass was quantitatively evaluated using a 15cm diameter core (four sampling units per site) and shoot density was calculated. Remote sensing techniques were used to estimate seagrass cover. To estimate the percentage of affected areas, a Region of Interest (ROI) was first created over a Landsat image. The percentage of seagrass affected within the ROI was estimated through direct georeferentiation of the contours of the damaged area and with a comparison to the total seagrass extension. To find possible explanations for damages, a false colour image was created using the near infrared band, to highlight the differences between emerged and submerged zones. The direction of winds was estimated using ArcGis 9.2 creating circular buffers, from the centre of the hurricane and generating lines tangent to the buffers. Seagrass in the region was dominated by the angiosperm Thalassia testudinum. Regional mean density was 1 321 +/- 721 shoots/m2, a value regarded as high for the Caribbean area. Seagrass meadows were partly affected by sediment accumulation on the shoots of T. testudinum and uprooting rhizomes. The 7.6 km2 disturbed area represented 1% of the total seagrass area. Other sites, closer to the centre of the hurricane, did not show any damages on the marine vegetation. The keys location with respect to the hurricane track was the most likely cause of the

  17. Relationships between meiofaunal biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production in different tropical habitats and oceanic regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Pusceddu

    Full Text Available Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production across seagrass, mangrove and reef sediments in the Caribbean, Celebes and Red Seas. For all variables we report the presence of differences among habitats within the same region, and among regions within the same habitat. In all regions, the richness of meiofaunal taxa in reef and seagrass sediments is higher than in mangrove sediments. The sediments of the Celebes Sea show the highest meiofaunal biodiversity. The composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies significantly among habitats in the same region. The nematode beta diversity among habitats within the same region is higher than the beta diversity among regions. Although one site per habitat was considered in each region, these results suggest that the composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies primarily among biogeographic regions, whereas the composition of nematode assemblages varies more considerably among habitats. Meiofauna and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production, even after the removal of covariate effects linked with longitude and the quantity and nutritional quality of organic matter, are positively and linearly linked both across regions and within each habitat type. Our results confirm that meiofauna and nematode biodiversity may influence benthic prokaryotic activity, which, in turn, implies that diversity loss could have negative impacts on ecosystem functioning in these systems.

  18. A Global Assessment of the Chemical Recalcitrance of Seagrass Tissues: Implications for Long-Term Carbon Sequestration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass ecosystems have recently been identified for their role in climate change mitigation due to their globally-significant carbon sinks; yet, the capacity of seagrasses to sequester carbon has been shown to vary greatly among seagrass ecosystems. The recalcitrant nature of seagrass tissues, or the resistance to degradation back into carbon dioxide, is one aspect thought to influence sediment carbon stocks. In this study, a global survey investigated how the macromolecular chemistry of seagrass leaves, sheaths/stems, rhizomes and roots varied across 23 species from 16 countries. The goal was to understand how this seagrass chemistry might influence the capacity of seagrasses to contribute to sediment carbon stocks. Three non-destructive analytical chemical analyses were used to investigate seagrass chemistry: thermogravimetric analysis (TGA and solid state 13C-NMR and infrared spectroscopy. A strong latitudinal influence on carbon quality was found, whereby temperate seagrasses contained 5% relatively more labile carbon, and tropical seagrasses contained 3% relatively more refractory carbon. Sheath/stem tissues significantly varied across taxa, with larger morphologies typically containing more refractory carbon than smaller morphologies. Rhizomes were characterized by a higher proportion of labile carbon (16% of total organic matter compared to 8–10% in other tissues; however, high rhizome biomass production and slower remineralization in anoxic sediments will likely enhance these below-ground tissues' contributions to long-term carbon stocks. Our study provides a standardized and global dataset on seagrass carbon quality across tissue types, taxa and geography that can be incorporated in carbon sequestration and storage models as well as ecosystem valuation and management strategies.

  19. Uptake of inorganic phosphorus by temperate seagrass beds of Posidonia and Amphibolis in Southern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayar, S

    2015-08-01

    Seagrasses occupy a narrow band of sandy seabed close to the coast and are therefore vulnerable to anthropogenic influences, particularly meadows near large population centres. Over 5000 ha of seagrasses have been lost from Adelaide coastal waters (South Australia) over the past 70 years and much of this loss has been attributed to nutrient inputs from wastewater, industrial and stormwater discharges. This led to the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study to understand processes along the Adelaide metropolitan coast that led to seagrass loss. This study, a subset of the larger ACWS study, used in situ nutrient spike approach to obtain ecologically relevant estimates of seasonal variability in phosphorus uptake in two species of temperate seagrass common to this coast (Amphibolis antarctica and Posidonia angustifolia). Total uptake of phosphorus by biological components in the seagrass beds, viz., seagrass, epiphytes and phytoplankton, was negligible, never exceeding 0.5% of the total resource. Phosphorus uptake rate varied seasonally with higher rates in winter (1.49 μmol P.g(-1) DW.h(-1)) and lower rates in spring (0.70 μmol P.g(-1) DW.h(-1)) for Amphibolis and highest in winter (2.09 μmol P.g(-1) DW.h(-1)) and least in spring (0.14 μmol P.g(-1) DW.h(-1)) for Posidonia. Low biological uptake rates of inorganic phosphorus could be attributed to carbonate sediments and particulates in the water column binding inorganic phosphorus, limiting its availability for biological uptake. From an environmental perspective, seagrass beds in the Adelaide coastal waters account for the assimilation of only 5.4% (19.53 t yr(-1)) of the total anthropogenic inputs of phosphorus.

  20. Seagrass stems with attached roots from the type area of the Maastrichtian Stage (NE Belgium, SE Netherlands) : Morphology, anatomy, and ecological aspects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ham, R.W.J.M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; Jagt, J.W.M.; Indeherberge, L.; Meuris, R.; Deckers, M.J.M.; Renkens, S.; Laffineur, J.

    Seagrasses are the only seed plants to have invaded marine environments successfully. Seagrass fossils are both rare and have received scant attention so far. However, among the limited number of plant fossils from marine strata in the Maastrichtian type area, remains of seagrasses are relatively

  1. Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Primary Production and Biomass of Sediment Microalgae in a Subtropical Seagrass Bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eutrophication of coastal waters often leads to excessive growth of microalgal epiphytes attached to seagrass leaves; however, the effect of increased nutrient levels on sediment microalgae has not been studied within seagrass communities. A slow-release NPK Osmocote fertilizer was added to sedimen...

  2. Light requirements of seagrasses determined from historical records of light attenuation along the Gulf coast of peninsular Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanethia D. Choice; Thomas K. Frazer; Charles A. Jacoby

    2014-01-01

    Seagrasses around the world are threatened by human activities that degrade water quality and reduce light availability. In this study, light requirements were determined for four common and abundant seagrasses along the Gulf coast of peninsular Florida using a threshold detecting algorithm. Light requirements ranged from 8% to 10% of surface irradiance for Halophila...

  3. Groundwater effects on diversity and abundance of lagoonal seagrasses in Kenya and on Zanzibar Island (East Africa)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamermans, P.; Hemminga, M.A.; Tack, J.F.; Mateo, M.A.; Marbà, N.; Mtolera, M.; Stapel, J.; Verheyden, A.; Van Daele, T.

    2002-01-01

    Seagrass species diversity and abundance were studied in East African back-reef lagoons with contrasting groundwater-outflow rates. The selection of the lagoons was based on a groundwater flow model. A total of 10 seagrass species was observed at all sites together. Sites with a higher groundwater

  4. Interactions between Seagrass Complexity, Hydrodynamic Flow and Biomixing Alter Food Availability for Associated Filter-Feeding Organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    González-Ortis, V.; Egea, L.G.; Jiménez-Ramos, R.; Moreno-Marín, F.; Pérez-Llorens, J.L.; Bouma , T.J.; Brun, F.G.

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass shoots interact with hydrodynamic forces and thereby a positively or negatively influence the survival of associated species. The modification of these forces indirectly alters the physical transport and flux of edible particles within seagrass meadows, which will influence the growth and

  5. Transport, deposition and in situ decay of seagrasses in a tropical mudflat area (Banc D'Arguin, Mauritania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemminga, M. A.; Nieuwenhuize, J.

    Extensive seagrass beds cover large areas of the mudflats and subtidal parts of the Banc d'Arguin (Mauritania, West Africa). The fate of seagrass biomass (mainly Zostera noltii and Cymodocea nodosa) was investigated during a 1-month expedition to the area (May 1988). Only minor amounts of leaf material were found to be transported by water currents at that time. Subtidal detritus depositions were not found in the area. Though conspicuous accumulations of leaf material were present on some parts of the shore, the amounts washed ashore per flood tide formed only a minor proportion of the daily seagrass production. Thus, transport of leaf litter away from the seagrass beds of the Banc d'Arguin appears insignificant. The major part of senescent leaves probably remains trapped within the seagrass beds and will decompose in situ. The observation that a large part of the particulate carbon present in the surface sediment of seagrass beds was derived from above-ground biomass (55% and 37% in Zostera and Cymodocea beds, respectively), is in agreement with this conclusion. Using the litterbag technique, the rate of leaf decomposition in a seagrass bed was investigated. The time required for 50% weight loss of Zostera and Cymodocea leaf litter in the intertidal zone of the seagrass bed was 158 and 50 days, respectively. In the subtidal zone these figures were 49 and 37 days.

  6. Processes affecting the spatial distribution of seagrass meadow sedimentary material on Yao Yai Island, Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quak, Michelle S. Y.; Ziegler, Alan D.; Benner, Shawn G.; Evans, Sam; Todd, Peter A.; Gillis, Lucy G.; Vongtanaboon, Sukanya; Jachowski, Nick; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    2016-12-01

    Many islands throughout SE Asia are experiencing rapid development and land-cover conversion that potentially threaten sensitive coastal ecosystems, such as seagrasses, through increased loading of sediment and nutrients originating from disturbed catchments draining to the sea. To evaluate this threat for one such island in Southern Thailand (Yao Yai), we perform sediment source tracing via end-member mixing analysis using stable isotopes δ13C and δ15N in organic matter to explore sediment loading in a seagrass meadow. The analysis indicates that sedimentary material in the meadow originates mostly from ocean-associated sources (∼62% from seagrass detritus, seston, and ocean sediments). Terrestrial material comprises ∼19% of the organic material found in the seagrass meadow, with another 20% originating from an adjacent mangrove forest. Approximately one-fourth of the seagrass meadow material (24%) is detritus that has been (re)deposited internally. The high contribution of terrestrial-derived organic matter deposited near the river mouth demonstrates that substantial quantities of sediment are being transferred from upslope erosion sources into the seagrass meadow. However, only a small amount of this material is deposited throughout the entire bay because much of the terrestrial- and mangrove-derived sediment is transferred to the open ocean via channels that are periodically dredged to allow boat access to two small inland harbours. This positive affect of dredging has not received very much attention in existing literature. River water flowing to the channels during falling tide delivers sediment to these efficient pathways, where much of it bypasses the seagrass meadow at periods of time when sediment deposition would normally be the greatest. There is growing concern that ongoing land-cover changes and planned urbanization related to tourism and agriculture on the island may boost sediment/nutrients above a critical threshold, beyond that revealed in

  7. Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey was initiated experimentally in 1947 and became operational in 1955. It is conducted cooperatively by the U.S....

  8. Effect of trampling and digging from shellfishing on Zostera noltei (Zosteraceae intertidal seagrass beds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joxe Mikel Garmendia

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass beds are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world but they are also among the ones most affected by human activities, and they have decreased significantly in recent decades. In many areas, such as in the Basque Country (northern Spain, seagrass beds occupy areas that are also of interest for human activities such as recreation and shellfishing. They may therefore face a number of pressures that cause damage or irreversible states. Taking into account the limited distribution of seagrass beds in the Basque Country and the interest in their conservation, an eight-month field experiment focusing on the Zostera noltei growing season was carried out to evaluate the effect of shellfish gathering. We used generalized linear models to assess different intensities of trampling and digging, as the most important pressures of shellfishing applied to Zostera noltei beds. The results indicated that shoot density of Z. noltei was negatively altered by trampling treatments and positively affected (as a recovery by digging treatments. This finding suggests that shellfishing adversely affects seagrass abundance and is potentially responsible for its low density in the Oka estuary. Our findings are important for management and should be taken into account in seagrass conservation and restoration programmes.

  9. Social-Ecological System in Seagrass Ecosystem Management at Kotania Bay Waters, Western Seram, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wawo, Mintje

    2017-10-01

    The concept of the Social-Ecological System (SES) of the coastal region, can be found in the seagrass ecosystem in the Kotania Bay Waters. Seagrass ecosystem as one of the productive ecosystem is part of an ecological system that can influence and influenced social system, in this case by people living around the seagrass ecosystem. This aim to estimating the socio-ecological vulnerability system of the seagrass ecosystem in the Kotania Bay Waters, the Linkage Matrix is used (de Chazal et al., 2008). This linkage matrix was created to determine the perception and understanding of the community on the ecosystem services provided by the seagrass ecosystem through the appraisal of various stakeholders. The results show that social values are rooted in the public perception of ecosystem goods and services, which are rarely considered. The ecological and economic value of natural resources is increasingly being used to determine the priority areas in the planning and management of coastal areas. The social value that exists in natural resources is highly recognized in conservation.

  10. Seagrasses and sediment response to changing physical forcing in a coastal lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo da Silva, J.; Duck, R. W.; Catarino, J. B.

    The Ria de Aveiro is an estuary-coastal lagoon system connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a channel with a cross-sectional area that, for more than a century, has increased steadily, partly because of dredging over the last 50 years. Local ocean tides, with amplitudes of up to 3 m, are today transmitted to the lagoon by the single, engineered inlet channel and propagate to the end of the lagoon channels as a damped progressive wave. The increase in tidal amplitude with time has affected the lagoon ecosystem and the water has become more saline. Seagrass beds are important indicators of ecosystem change; until 1980, much of the lagoon bed was covered by seagrasses (Zostera, Ruppia, Potamogeton), which were collected in large quantities for use in agriculture. After 1960, the harvesting declined and the seagrass beds became covered in sediment, so that the area of seagrasses decreased substantially despite the decline in the quantity collected. The change in the pattern of seagrass populations can be related to changes in the physical forcing associated with increased tidal wave penetration. This has, in turn, induced transport and redistribution of coarser, sandy sediment and increased re-suspension and turbidity in the water column. However, the initiating cause for this ecosystem change was dredging, which, since the 1950s, has been used increasingly to widen and deepen the channels of the system.

  11. Seagrasses and sediment response to changing physical forcing in a coastal lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Figueiredo da Silva

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The Ria de Aveiro is an estuary–coastal lagoon system connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a channel with a cross-sectional area that, for more than a century, has increased steadily, partly because of dredging over the last 50 years. Local ocean tides, with amplitudes of up to 3 m, are today transmitted to the lagoon by the single, engineered inlet channel and propagate to the end of the lagoon channels as a damped progressive wave. The increase in tidal amplitude with time has affected the lagoon ecosystem and the water has become more saline. Seagrass beds are important indicators of ecosystem change; until 1980, much of the lagoon bed was covered by seagrasses (Zostera, Ruppia, Potamogeton, which were collected in large quantities for use in agriculture. After 1960, the harvesting declined and the seagrass beds became covered in sediment, so that the area of seagrasses decreased substantially despite the decline in the quantity collected. The change in the pattern of seagrass populations can be related to changes in the physical forcing associated with increased tidal wave penetration. This has, in turn, induced transport and redistribution of coarser, sandy sediment and increased re-suspension and turbidity in the water column. However, the initiating cause for this ecosystem change was dredging, which, since the 1950s, has been used increasingly to widen and deepen the channels of the system.

  12. Temporal changes in the abundance, leaf growth and photosynthesis of three co-occurring Philippine seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agawin, N S.R.; Duarte, C M.; Fortes, M D.; Uri, J S.; Vermaat, J E.

    2001-06-01

    The analysis of the temporal changes in shoot density, areal leaf biomass, leaf growth and parameters of the photosynthesis-irradiance relationship of three tropical seagrass species (Enhalus acoroides, Thalassia hemprichii and Cymodocea rotundata), co-existing in a shallow subtidal meadow in Cape Bolinao, Philippines, shows that species-specific traits are significant sources of temporal variability, and indicates that these seagrass species respond differently to a common environmental forcing. Species-specific differences are much less important as source of variability of the temporal change in chlorophyll concentration of seagrass leaves. The results indicate that the temporal changes in photosynthetic performance of these seagrasses were driven by environmental forcing and their specific responses to it mostly, but the temporal change in their abundance and leaf growth was also controlled by other factors. The significant contribution of species-specific factors in the temporal changes of biomass, growth and photosynthetic performance of co-occurring seagrass species in Cape Bolinao should contribute to the maintenance of the multispecific, highly productive meadows characteristic of pristine coastal ecosystems in Southeast (SE) Asia.

  13. Faunistic analysis of the caridean shrimps inhabiting seagrasses along the NW coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Everardo Barba Macías

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows are highly productive and ecologically important habitats in estuaries and coastal lagoons, and contain a variety of faunal communities, from which the caridean shrimps are a dominant component. The purpose of this work was to analyze the environmental parameters of water and sediments, with the biological components in seagrass epifaunal communities, from the Western Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. For this, density and diversity of caridean shrimps were analyzed and correlated with environmental parameters and seagrass biomass, and zoogeographic affinities were determined. The spatial distribution of caridean shrimps was recorded for 12 localities with Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum monospecific seagrass meadows. A total of 72 158 individuals of 16 taxa were collected. Among results, the Hippolytidae resulted the most abundant group (92.3% with eight species, and was followed by Palaemonidae with 7.6% of the abundance and seven species, and the Alpheidae with only one genus. From the total of collected carideans, a 37.3% was found in H. wrightii and 62.7% in T. testudinum. The dominant species were Hippolyte zostericola (12.39ind./m2, Tozeuma carolinense (9.5ind./m2, Thor dobkini (4.84ind./m2 and Palaemonetes vulgaris (4.87ind./m2. The zoogeographic distribution of the carideans presented two groups: species of the Virginian-Carolinean province representing its Southern limit (43.75% and species of the Brazilian-Caribbean province representing its Northern limit (56.25%. The species H. zostericola, T. carolinense, P. vulgaris, P. pugio and P. intermedius are widely distributed along the Western Atlantic coast. This study has base line information for seagrass habitats, the community of epifaunal carideans and their ecological affinities, previous to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.Las praderas de pastos marinos son hábitats altamente productivos y ecológicamente importantes a lo largo de las costas y

  14. Photosynthetic response to globally increasing CO2 of co-occurring temperate seagrass species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borum, Jens; Pedersen, Ole; Kotula, Lukasz

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthesis of most seagrass species seems to be limited by present concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Therefore, the ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 could enhance seagrass photosynthesis and internal O2 supply, and potentially change species competition through differential...... anhydrase, or uptake and internal conversion of HCO3 -. Species responded differently to near saturating CO2 implying that increasing atmospheric CO2 may change competition among seagrass species if co-occurring in mixed beds. Increasing CO2 availability also enhanced internal aeration in the one species...... assessed. We expect that future increases in atmospheric CO2 will have the strongest impact on seagrass recruits and sparsely vegetated beds, because densely vegetated seagrass beds are most often limited by light and not by inorganic carbon....

  15. Integrating multisource imagery and GIS analysis for mapping Bermuda`s benthic habitats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vierros, M.K. [Bermuda Biological Station, Ferry Reach (Bermuda)

    1997-06-01

    Bermuda is a group of isolated oceanic situated in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the Sargasso Sea. Bermuda possesses the northernmost coral reefs and mangroves in the Atlantic Ocean, and because of its high population density, both the terrestrial and marine environments are under intense human pressure. Although a long record of scientific research exists, this study is the first attempt to comprehensively map the area`s benthic habitats, despite the need for such a map for resource assessment and management purposes. Multi-source and multi-date imagery were used for producing the habitat map due to lack of a complete up-to-date image. Classifications were performed with SPOT data, and the results verified from recent aerial photography and current aerial video, along with extensive ground truthing. Stratification of the image into regions prior to classification reduced the confusing effects of varying water depth. Classification accuracy in shallow areas was increased by derivation of a texture pseudo-channel, while bathymetry was used as a classification tool in deeper areas, where local patterns of zonation were well known. Because of seasonal variation in extent of seagrasses, a classification scheme based on density could not be used. Instead, a set of classes based on the seagrass area`s exposure to the open ocean were developed. The resulting habitat map is currently being assessed for accuracy with promising preliminary results, indicating its usefulness as a basis for future resource assessment studies.

  16. Genome-wide transcriptomic responses of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Nanozostera noltii under a simulated heatwave confirm functional types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franssen, Susanne U; Gu, Jenny; Winters, Gidon; Huylmans, Ann-Kathrin; Wienpahl, Isabell; Sparwel, Maximiliane; Coyer, James A; Olsen, Jeanine L; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2014-06-01

    Genome-wide transcription analysis between related species occurring in overlapping ranges can provide insights into the molecular basis underlying different ecological niches. The co-occurring seagrass species, Zostera marina and Nanozostera noltii, are found in marine coastal environments throughout the northern hemisphere. Z. marina is often dominant in subtidal environments and subjected to fewer temperature extremes compared to the predominately intertidal and more stress-tolerant N. noltii. We exposed plants of both species to a realistic heat wave scenario in a common-stress-garden experiment. Using RNA-seq (~7million reads/library), four Z. marina and four N. noltii libraries were compared representing northern (Denmark) and southern (Italy) locations within the co-occurring range of the species' European distribution. A total of 8977 expressed genes were identified, of which 78 were directly related to heat stress. As predicted, both species were negatively affected by the heat wave, but showed markedly different molecular responses. In Z. marina the heat response was similar across locations in response to the heatwave at 26°C, with a complex response in functions related to protein folding, synthesis of ribosomal chloroplast proteins, proteins involved in cell wall modification and heat shock proteins (HSPs). In N. noltii the heat response markedly differed between locations, while HSP genes were not induced in either population. Our results suggest that as coastal seawater temperatures increase, Z. marina will disappear along its southern most ranges, whereas N. noltii will continue to move north. As a consequence, sub- and intertidal habitat partitioning may weaken in more northern regions because the higher thermal tolerance of N. noltii provides a competitive advantage in both habitats. Although previous studies have focused on HSPs, the present study clearly demonstrates that a broader examination of stress related genes is necessary. Copyright

  17. Advances in micro-cartography: A two-dimensional photo mosaicing technique for seagrass monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rende, S. F.; Irving, A. D.; Bacci, T.; Parlagreco, L.; Bruno, F.; De Filippo, F.; Montefalcone, M.; Penna, M.; Trabucco, B.; Di Mento, R.; Cicero, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Seagrass meadows are complex ecosystems representing an important source of biodiversity for coastal marine systems, but are subjected to numerous threats from natural and human-based influences. Due to their susceptibility to changing environmental conditions, seagrasses are habitually used in monitoring programmes as biological indicators to assess the ecological status of coastal environments. In this paper we used a non-destructive photo mosaicing technology to quantify seagrass distribution and abundance, and explore benefits of micro-cartographic analysis. Furthermore, the use of photogrammetric tools enhanced the method, which proved to be efficient due to its use of low-cost instruments and its simplicity of implementation. This paper describes the steps required to use this method in meadows of Posidonia oceanica, including: i) camera calibration procedures, ii) programming of video survey, iii) criteria to perform sampling activities, iv) data processing and micro-georeferenced maps restitution, and v) possible study applications.

  18. Cerium Binding Activity of Pectins Isolated from the Seagrasses Zostera marina and Phyllospadix iwatensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeri Kovalev

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Cerium binding activity of three different water soluble pectin compounds of different origin was studied in a batch sorption system. The Langmuir, Freundlich and BET sorption models were adopted to describe the binding reactions between metal ions and pectin molecules. The Langmuir model provided the best fit. Within the pH range from 4.0 to 6.0, the largest amount of the cerium ions was bound by pectin isolated from the seagrass Phylospadix iwatensis in comparison to pectin extracted from the seagrass Zostera marina and pectin obtained from citrus peel (commercial grade. The Langmuir constants were also highest for the pectin samples isolated from the seagrass P. iwatensis. The results obtained from this study suggest that pectin is a prospective source for the development of radioisotope-removing pharmaceuticals.

  19. Cerium binding activity of pectins isolated from the seagrasses Zostera marina and Phyllospadix iwatensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khotimchenko, Yuri; Khozhaenko, Elena; Kovalev, Valeri; Khotimchenko, Maxim

    2012-04-01

    Cerium binding activity of three different water soluble pectin compounds of different origin was studied in a batch sorption system. The Langmuir, Freundlich and BET sorption models were adopted to describe the binding reactions between metal ions and pectin molecules. The Langmuir model provided the best fit. Within the pH range from 4.0 to 6.0, the largest amount of the cerium ions was bound by pectin isolated from the seagrass Phylospadix iwatensis in comparison to pectin extracted from the seagrass Zostera marina and pectin obtained from citrus peel (commercial grade). The Langmuir constants were also highest for the pectin samples isolated from the seagrass P. iwatensis. The results obtained from this study suggest that pectin is a prospective source for the development of radioisotope-removing pharmaceuticals.

  20. Seagrass meadows (Posidonia oceanica) distribution and trajectories of change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telesca, Luca; Belluscio, Andrea; Criscoli, Alessandro; Ardizzone, Giandomenico; Apostolaki, Eugenia T.; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Gristina, Michele; Knittweis, Leyla; Martin, Corinne S.; Pergent, Gérard; Alagna, Adriana; Badalamenti, Fabio; Garofalo, Germana; Gerakaris, Vasilis; Louise Pace, Marie; Pergent-Martini, Christine; Salomidi, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Posidonia oceanica meadows are declining at alarming rates due to climate change and human activities. Although P. oceanica is considered the most important and well-studied seagrass species of the Mediterranean Sea, to date there has been a limited effort to combine all the spatial information available and provide a complete distribution of meadows across the basin. The aim of this work is to provide a fine-scale assessment of (i) the current and historical known distribution of P. oceanica, (ii) the total area of meadows and (iii) the magnitude of regressive phenomena in the last decades. The outcomes showed the current spatial distribution of P. oceanica, covering a known area of 1,224,707 ha, and highlighted the lack of relevant data in part of the basin (21,471 linear km of coastline). The estimated regression of meadows amounted to 34% in the last 50 years, showing that this generalised phenomenon had to be mainly ascribed to cumulative effects of multiple local stressors. Our results highlighted the importance of enforcing surveys to assess the status and prioritize areas where cost-effective schemes for threats reduction, capable of reversing present patterns of change and ensuring P. oceanica persistence at Mediterranean scale, could be implemented. PMID:26216526

  1. Flowers and inflorescences of the seagrass Posidonia (Posidoniaceae, Alismatales).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remizowa, Margarita V; Sokoloff, Dmitry D; Calvo, Sebastiano; Tomasello, Agostino; Rudall, Paula J

    2012-10-01

    The predominantly aquatic order Alismatales displays a highly variable flower groundplan associated with a diverse range of developmental patterns. We present the first detailed description of flower anatomy and development in Posidonia, the sole genus of the seagrass family Posidoniaceae. Existing accounts provide conflicting interpretations of floral and inflorescence structure, so this investigation is important in clarifying morphological evolution within this early-divergent monocot order. • We investigated two species of Posidonia using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Our observations are interpreted in the framework of a recent molecular phylogeny. • Partial inflorescences are bracteate spikes, which are arranged into a botryoid or a panicle. The flowers are perianthless. The gynoecium is monomerous with the ventral carpel side oriented abaxially. The carpel contains a single pendent bitegmic ovule with a nucellus and long chalaza, both extending along the carpel wall. The ovule develops an integumentary outgrowth. Each flower is supplied by a vascular bundle, whereas the flower-subtending bracts are nonvascularized. • Our data support a racemose interpretation for the partial inflorescence of Posidonia and the presence of flower-subtending bracts. In common with some other Alismatales, Posidonia has simultaneous development of the flower and its subtending bract and loss of the bract vascular supply accompanied by innervation of the flower by a single vascular strand. The unusual carpel orientation could be an evolutionary reduction of a formerly tricarpellate gynoecium. The ovule of Posidonia is campylotropous and unusual within Alismatales in possessing an integumentary outgrowth.

  2. Effects of light and pressure on photosynthesis in two seagrasses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beer, S.; Waisel, Y.

    1982-07-01

    Photosynthetic responses to light and pressure (up to 4 atm) were measured for two seagrass species abundant in the Gulf of Eilat (Red Sea). In Halophila stipulacea (Forssk.) Aschers. pressure had no effect on net photosynthetic rates. In both species, light saturation was reached at 300 ..mu..E (400-700 nm) m/sup -2/ s/sup -1/ and the compensation point was at 20-40 ..mu..E (499-700 nm) m/sup -2/ s/sup -1/. Comparing these results to in situ light measurements, neither species should be light limited to a depth of about 15 m, and Halophila stipulacea should reach compensation light intensities at about 50 m. The latter depth corresponds well to the natural depth penetration of this species. Halodule uninervis is never found deeper than 5 m in the Gulf of Eilat, and it appears that pressure rather than light is one of the factors limiting the depth penetration of this species. The differential pressure response of the two species may be related to aspects of leaf morphology and gas diffusion.

  3. Chemoreception of the Seagrass Posidonia Oceanica by Benthic Invertebrates is Altered by Seawater Acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zupo, Valerio; Maibam, Chingoileima; Buia, Maria Cristina; Gambi, Maria Cristina; Patti, Francesco Paolo; Scipione, Maria Beatrice; Lorenti, Maurizio; Fink, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Several plants and invertebrates interact and communicate by means of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds may play the role of infochemicals, being able to carry complex information to selected species, thus mediating inter- or intra-specific communications. Volatile organic compounds derived from the wounding of marine diatoms, for example, carry information for several benthic and planktonic invertebrates. Although the ecological importance of VOCs has been demonstrated, both in terrestrial plants and in marine microalgae, their role as infochemicals has not been demonstrated in seagrasses. In addition, benthic communities, even the most complex and resilient, as those associated to seagrass meadows, are affected by ocean acidification at various levels. Therefore, the acidification of oceans could produce interference in the way seagrass-associated invertebrates recognize and choose their specific environments. We simulated the wounding of Posidonia oceanica leaves collected at two sites (a control site at normal pH, and a naturally acidified site) off the Island of Ischia (Gulf of Naples, Italy). We extracted the VOCs and tested a set of 13 species of associated invertebrates for their specific chemotactic responses in order to determine if: a) seagrasses produce VOCs playing the role of infochemicals, and b) their effects can be altered by seawater pH. Our results indicate that several invertebrates recognize the odor of wounded P. oceanica leaves, especially those strictly associated to the leaf stratum of the seagrass. Their chemotactic reactions may be modulated by the seawater pH, thus impairing the chemical communications in seagrass-associated communities in acidified conditions. In fact, 54% of the tested species exhibited a changed behavioral response in acidified waters (pH 7.7). Furthermore, the differences observed in the abundance of invertebrates, in natural vs. acidified field conditions, are in agreement with these behavioral

  4. Aeolian transport of seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) beach-cast to terrestrial systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Maria A.; Beltran, Rafel; Traveset, Anna; Calleja, Maria Ll; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Marbà, Núria

    2017-09-01

    The annual export of the Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) litter to adjacent beaches and coastal dunes was quantified by examining the fortnight evolution of seagrass beach-cast volume on two beaches in the NW Mediterranean (Son Real and Es Trenc, Mallorca Island, Spain) for two years and analyzing the wind speed and direction obtained from the closest Meteorological Spanish Agency surface weather stations. The decomposition stage of the deposits was examined by analyzing the total hydrolysable amino acids, its percentage distribution and derived degradation indexes. Prevalent winds exceeding 6 m s-1, the coastline morphology and type of terrestrial vegetation determine the annual dynamics of the seagrass beach-cast. In the most protected beach (Son Real) the seagrass beach-cast remained nearly stationary during the two studied years while it exhibited wide annual fluctuations in the less protected one (Es Trenc). The amounts of P. oceanica wrack washed on Son Real and Es Trenc beaches, respectively, were estimated at 309 kg DW m coastline-1 yr-1 and 1359 kg DW m coastline-1 yr-1. They supplied between 20 kg CaCO3 m coastline-1 yr-1 and 47 kg CaCO3 m coastline-1 yr-1. Between 54% (Son Real) and 70% (Es Trenc) of seagrass beach-cast, respectively accounting for 1.5 kg N m coastline-1 yr-1 and 8.6 kg N m coastline-1 yr-1, were annually exported from the beaches to adjacent dune systems. Our results reveal that Mediterranean seagrass meadows might be an important source of materials, including sand and nutrients, for adjacent terrestrial systems, able to support their functioning.

  5. Seagrass Herbivory Levels Sustain Site-Fidelity in a Remnant Dugong Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elrika D'Souza

    Full Text Available Herds of dugong, a largely tropical marine megaherbivore, are known to undertake long-distance movements, sequentially overgrazing seagrass meadows in their path. Given their drastic declines in many regions, it is unclear whether at lower densities, their grazing is less intense, reducing their need to travel between meadows. We studied the effect of the feeding behaviour of a small dugong population in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India to understand how small isolated populations graze seagrasses. In the seven years of our observation, all recorded dugongs travelled either solitarily or in pairs, and their use of seagrasses was limited to 8 meadows, some of which were persistently grazed. These meadows were relatively large, contiguous and dominated by short-lived seagrasses species. Dugongs consumed approximately 15% of meadow primary production, but there was a large variation (3-40% of total meadow production in consumption patterns between meadows. The impact of herbivory was relatively high, with shoot densities c. 50% higher inside herbivore exclosures than in areas exposed to repeated grazing. Our results indicate that dugongs in the study area repeatedly graze the same meadows probably because the proportion of primary production consumed reduces shoot density to levels that are still above values that can trigger meadow abandonment. This ability of seagrasses to cope perhaps explains the long-term site fidelity shown by individual dugongs in these meadows. The fact that seagrass meadows in the archipelago are able to support dugong foraging requirements allows us to clearly identify locations where this remnant population persists, and where urgent management efforts can be directed.

  6. Aeolian transport of seagrass ( Posidonia oceanica ) beach-cast to terrestrial systems

    KAUST Repository

    Jiménez, Maria A.

    2017-06-29

    The annual export of the Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) litter to adjacent beaches and coastal dunes was quantified by examining the fortnight evolution of seagrass beach-cast volume on two beaches in the NW Mediterranean (Son Real and Es Trenc, Mallorca Island, Spain) for two years and analyzing the wind speed and direction obtained from the closest Meteorological Spanish Agency surface weather stations. The decomposition stage of the deposits was examined by analyzing the total hydrolysable amino acids, its percentage distribution and derived degradation indexes. Prevalent winds exceeding 6 m s−1, the coastline morphology and type of terrestrial vegetation determine the annual dynamics of the seagrass beach-cast. In the most protected beach (Son Real) the seagrass beach-cast remained nearly stationary during the two studied years while it exhibited wide annual fluctuations in the less protected one (Es Trenc). The amounts of P. oceanica wrack washed on Son Real and Es Trenc beaches, respectively, were estimated at 309 kg DW m coastline−1 yr−1 and 1359 kg DW m coastline−1 yr−1. They supplied between 20 kg CaCO3 m coastline−1 yr−1 and 47 kg CaCO3 m coastline−1 yr−1. Between 54% (Son Real) and 70% (Es Trenc) of seagrass beach-cast, respectively accounting for 1.5 kg N m coastline−1 yr−1 and 8.6 kg N m coastline−1 yr−1, were annually exported from the beaches to adjacent dune systems. Our results reveal that Mediterranean seagrass meadows might be an important source of materials, including sand and nutrients, for adjacent terrestrial systems, able to support their functioning.

  7. Interaction between Ammonium Toxicity and Green Tide Development Over Seagrass Meadows: A Laboratory Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Moreno-Marín

    Full Text Available Eutrophication affects seagrasses negatively by increasing light attenuation through stimulation of biomass of fast-growing, bloom-forming algae and because high concentrations of ammonium in the water can be toxic to higher plants. We hypothesized nevertheless, that moderate amounts of nitrophilic macroalgae that coexists with seagrasses under eutrophic conditions, can alleviate the harmful effects of eutrophication on seagrasses by reducing ammonium concentrations in the seawater to non-toxic levels because such algae have a very large capacity to take up inorganic nutrients. We studied therefore how combinations of different ammonium concentrations (0, 25 and 50 μM and different standing stocks of macroalgae (i.e. 0, 1 and 6 layers of Ulva sp. affected survival, growth and net production of the seagrass Zostera noltei. In the absence of Ulva sp., increasing ammonium concentrations had a negative influence on the performance of Z. noltei. The presence of Ulva sp. without ammonium supply had a similar, but slightly smaller, negative effect on seagrass fitness due to light attenuation. When ammonium enrichment was combined with presence of Ulva sp., Ulva sp. ameliorated some of negative effects caused by high ammonium availability although Ulva sp. lowered the availability of light. Benthic microalgae, which increased in biomass during the experiment, seemed to play a similar role as Ulva sp.--they contributed to remove ammonium from the water, and thus, aided to keep the ammonium concentrations experienced by Z. noltei at relatively non-toxic levels. Our findings show that moderate amounts of drift macroalgae, eventually combined with increasing stocks of benthic microalgae, may aid seagrasses to alleviate toxic effects of ammonium under eutrophic conditions, which highlights the importance of high functional diversity for ecosystem resistance to anthropogenic disturbance.

  8. Antifouling and toxic properties of the bioactive metabolites from the seagrasses Syringodium isoetifolium and Cymodocea serrulata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyapparaj, Palanisamy; Revathi, Peranandam; Ramasubburayan, Ramasamy; Prakash, Santhiyagu; Palavesam, Arunachalam; Immanuel, Grasian; Anantharaman, Perumal; Sautreau, Asmita; Hellio, Claire

    2014-05-01

    The present study documents the antifouling and toxic properties of seagrasses Syringodium isoetifolium and Cymodocea serrulata. For that, the seagrasses S. isoetifolium and C. serrulata were extracted individually using organic solvents viz. dichloromethane, acetone and methanol. Amongst the extracts, the maximum antimicrofouling and antimacrofouling activities were exhibited by methanol extracts of both the seagrasses. The Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of methanolic extracts of seagrasses was ranged from 1.0 to 10µg/ml against test biofilm bacteria and microalgal strains. Similarly, 100% fouling inhibition of limpet Patella vulgata was found at 6.0mg/ml of methanolic extracts of seagrasses. The mussel Perna indica showed 50% of byssal production and attachment inhibition at 21.51±2.03, 17.82±1.07µg/ml and the anticrustaecean activity for 50% mortality of Artemia salina was recorded at 732.14±9.21 and 394.16±5.16µg/ml respectively for methanolic extracts of S. isoetifolium and C. serrulata. The minimal inhibitory and higher lethal concentrations of active methanol extracts shows it׳s less toxic nature. Based on the prolific results, methanol extracts of S. isoetifolium and C. serrulata were subjected to purification using silica gel column and thin layer chromatography. Then the active compounds of the bioassay guided fractions were partially characterized using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) and keyed out that fatty acids (C16 to C24) were the major components which responsible for the antifouling properties of the candidate seagrasses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Structure of major seagrass beds from three coral reef atolls of Lakshadweep, Arabian Sea, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    earlier studies Jagtap and Inamdar, 1991 . ()T.G. JagtaprAquatic Botany 60 1998 397–408 399 These beds were evaluated for their structural components, from 1–8 November 1993, . when the seagrass standing crop remains at peak in the tropics Fortes, 1986..., and hence were the major contributors of total biomass. The higher biomass at shallower depths obviously resulted . from higher shoot densities of the standing crop Table 1 . A similar trend of seagrass . distribution has been reported, except the more...

  10. A new species of seagrass-boring Limnoria (Limnoriidae, Isopoda, Crustacea) from Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshino, Hiroki; Watabe, Hikari; Ohsawa, Takeshi A

    2017-02-15

    The marine seagrass-boring isopod, Limnoria rhombipunctata sp. nov. (Limnoriidae) is described from the rhizome of Phyllospadix iwatensis seagrass, in shallow coastal waters off Chiba Prefecture, Japan. L. rhombipunctata sp. nov. is distinguished from other Limnoria species by the unique carinae of pleonite 5 and pleotelson, two branched lacinia mobilis of the right mandible, 3 flagellar articles of antenna 1, and triangular epipod of the maxilliped. Specimens of L. magadanensis, a species similar to L. rhombipunctata sp. nov., are re-examined and compared with L. rhombipunctata sp. nov.

  11. Sea urchin overgrazing of seagrasses: A review of current knowledge on causes, consequences, and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklöf, J. S.; de la Torre-Castro, M.; Gullström, M.; Uku, J.; Muthiga, N.; Lyimo, T.; Bandeira, S. O.

    2008-09-01

    Sea urchins are one of the most common seagrass macro-grazers in contemporary seagrass systems. Occasionally their grazing rates exceed seagrass growth rates, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as overgrazing. Because of a reported increasing frequency of overgrazing events, concomitant with loss of seagrass-associated ecosystem services, it has been suggested that overgrazing is one of the key threats to tropical and subtropical seagrasses. In light of this, we review the current knowledge on causes, consequences, and management of sea urchin overgrazing of seagrasses. Initially we argue that the definition of overgrazing must include scale and impairment of ecosystem services, since this is the de facto definition used in the literature, and will highlight the potential societal costs of seagrass overgrazing. A review of 16 identified cases suggests that urchin overgrazing is a global phenomenon, ranging from temperate to tropical coastal waters and involving at least 11 seagrass and 7 urchin species. Even though most overgrazing events seem to affect areas of <0.5 km 2, and recovery often occurs within a few years, overgrazing can have a range of large, long-term indirect effects such as loss of associated fauna and decreased sediment stabilization. A range of drivers behind overgrazing have been suggested, including bottom-up (nutrient enrichment), top-down (reduced predation control due to e.g. overfishing), "side-in" mechanisms (e.g. changes in water temperature) and natural population fluctuations. Based on recent studies, there seems to be fairly strong support for the top-down and bottom-up hypotheses. However, many potential drivers often co-occur and interact, especially in areas with high anthropogenic pressure, suggesting that multiple disturbances—by simultaneously reducing predation control, increasing urchin recruitment and reducing the resistance of seagrasses—could pave the way for overgrazing. In management, the most common response to

  12. Newly discovered seagrass beds and their potential for blue carbon in the coastal seas of Hainan Island, South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhijian; Liu, Songlin; Zhang, Jingping; Zhao, Chunyu; Wu, Yunchao; Yu, Shuo; Zhang, Xia; Huang, Chi; Huang, Xiaoping; Kumar, Manoj

    2017-12-15

    Eight new seagrass beds were discovered along the coastline of Hainan Island in South China Sea with an area of 203.64ha. The leaf N content of all seagrasses was above the median value, indicative of N limitation, with their C:N ratio recorded significantly lower than the limiting criteria. This suggested that N is not limiting but in replete status. Further, the lower C content observed in the seagrass leaves was accompanied by higher nutrient concentration. The mean seagrass biomass C was 0.23±0.16MgCha-1, while the average sediment organic carbon (SOC) stock was 7.02±3.57MgCha-1. The entire SOC stock of the newly discovered seagrass beds was 1306.45 Mg C, and the overall SOC stock of seagrass bed at Hainan Island was 40858.5 Mg C. These seagrass beds are under constant threats from sea reclamation, nutrient input, aquaculture activities for oyster and snail farming, and fishing activities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. In vitro antibacterial, cytotoxicity and haemolytic activities and phytochemical analysis of seagrasses from the Gulf of Mannar, South India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragupathi Raja Kannan, Rengasamy; Arumugam, Radjassegarin; Iyapparaj, Palanisamy; Thangaradjou, Thirunavukarasu; Anantharaman, Perumal

    2013-02-15

    It is essential to study the phytochemical constituents and toxicological properties of seagrasses when considering their food applications. Aqueous methanolic extracts of six seagrasses were evaluated for their antibacterial, cytotoxic (brine shrimp leathality assay) and haemolytic activity. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) and phytochemical analysis were used to compare the phytochemical profiles of six seagrasses. Among the six seagrasses examined, Halodule pinifolia and Cymodocea rotundata showed predominant growth inhibitory activity against all the tested human pathogens. Cytotoxicity of seagrass extracts against nauplii of Artemia salina revealed that Syringodium isoetifolium exhibited lesser toxicity with LC(50) value of 699.096 μg/ml. Of all the seagrasses tested, H. pinifolia recorded the minimum haemolytic activity of 2.07±0.63% at 1000 μg/ml concentration. Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of common plant chemical constituents which varied with respect to species. The present findings suggest the possible pharmacological applications of selected seagrasses that can be used as food ingredients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Ocean Color Products Supporting the Assessment of Good Environmental Status: Development of a Spatial Distribution Model for the Seagrass Posidonia Oceanica (L.) Delille, 1813

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucchetta, M.; Taji, M. A.; Mangin, A.; Pastres, R.

    2015-12-01

    Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, 1813 is a seagrass species endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, which is considered as one of the key habitats of the coastal areas. This species forms large meadows sensitive to several anthropogenic pressures, that can be regarded as indicators of environment quality in coastal environments and its distributional patterns should be take into account when evaluating the Environmental Status following the Ecosystem approach promoted by the Mediterranean Action Plan of UNEP and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). The aim of this study was to develop a Species Distribution Model for P. oceanica, to be applied to the whole Mediterranean North African coast, in order to obtain an estimation of the potential distribution of this species in the region to be considered as an indicator for the assessment of good Environmental Status. As the study area is a data-poor zone with regard to seagrass distribution (i.e. only for some areas detailed distribution maps are available), the Species Distribution Model (SDM) was calibrated using high resolution data from 5 Mediterranean sites, located in Italy and Spain and validated using available data from the North African coast. Usually, when developing SDMs species occupancy data is available at coarser resolution than the information of environmental variables, and thus has to be downscaled at the appropriate grain to be coupled to the environmental conditions. Tackling the case of P. oceanica we had to face the opposite problem: the quality (in terms of resolution) of the information on seagrass distribution is generally very high compared to the environmental data available over large scale in marine domains (e.g. global bathymetry data). The high resolution application and the model transfer (from calibration areas to North African coast) was possible taking advantage of Ocean Color products: the probability of presence of the species in a given area was modelled using a

  15. Linking gene expression to productivity to unravel long- and short-term responses of seagrasses exposed to CO2 in volcanic vents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivé, Irene; Silva, João; Lauritano, Chiara; Costa, Monya M.; Ruocco, Miriam; Procaccini, Gabriele; Santos, Rui

    2017-02-01

    Ocean acidification is a major threat for marine life but seagrasses are expected to benefit from high CO2. In situ (long-term) and transplanted (short-term) plant incubations of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa were performed near and away the influence of volcanic CO2 vents at Vulcano Island to test the hypothesis of beneficial effects of CO2 on plant productivity. We relate, for the first time, the expression of photosynthetic, antioxidant and metal detoxification-related genes to net plant productivity (NPP). Results revealed a consistent pattern between gene expression and productivity indicating water origin as the main source of variability. However, the hypothesised beneficial effect of high CO2 around vents was not supported. We observed a consistent long- and short-term pattern of gene down-regulation and 2.5-fold NPP decrease in plants incubated in water from the vents and a generalized up-regulation and NPP increase in plants from the vent site incubated with water from the Reference site. Contrastingly, NPP of specimens experimentally exposed to a CO2 range significantly correlated with CO2 availability. The down-regulation of metal-related genes in C. nodosa leaves exposed to water from the venting site suggests that other factors than heavy metals, may be at play at Vulcano confounding the CO2 effects.

  16. Tiny is mighty: seagrass beds have a large role in the export of organic material in the tropical coastal zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy G Gillis

    Full Text Available Ecosystems in the tropical coastal zone exchange particulate organic matter (POM with adjacent systems, but differences in this function among ecosystems remain poorly quantified. Seagrass beds are often a relatively small section of this coastal zone, but have a potentially much larger ecological influence than suggested by their surface area. Using stable isotopes as tracers of oceanic, terrestrial, mangrove and seagrass sources, we investigated the origin of particulate organic matter in nine mangrove bays around the island of Phuket (Thailand. We used a linear mixing model based on bulk organic carbon, total nitrogen and δ13C and δ15N and found that oceanic sources dominated suspended particulate organic matter samples along the mangrove-seagrass-ocean gradient. Sediment trap samples showed contributions from four sources oceanic, mangrove forest/terrestrial and seagrass beds where oceanic had the strongest contribution and seagrass beds the smallest. Based on ecosystem area, however, the contribution of suspended particulate organic matter derived from seagrass beds was disproportionally high, relative to the entire area occupied by mangrove forests, the catchment area (terrestrial and seagrass beds. The contribution from mangrove forests was approximately equal to their surface area, whereas terrestrial contributions to suspended organic matter under contributed compared to their relative catchment area. Interestingly, mangrove forest contribution at 0 m on the transects showed a positive relationship with the exposed frontal width of the mangrove, indicating that mangrove forest exposure to hydrodynamic energy may be a controlling factor in mangrove outwelling. However we found no relationship between seagrass bed contribution and any physical factors, which we measured. Our results indicate that although seagrass beds occupy a relatively small area of the coastal zone, their role in the export of organic matter is disproportional and

  17. Effect of habitat degradation on competition, carrying capacity, and species assemblage stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calizza, Edoardo; Costantini, Maria Letizia; Careddu, Giulio; Rossi, Loreto

    2017-08-01

    Changes in species' trophic niches due to habitat degradation can affect intra- and interspecific competition, with implications for biodiversity persistence. Difficulties of measuring species' interactions in the field limit our comprehension of competition outcomes along disturbance gradients. Thus, information on how habitat degradation can destabilize food webs is scarce, hindering predictions regarding responses of multispecies systems to environmental changes. Seagrass ecosystems are undergoing degradation. We address effects of Posidonia oceanica coverage reduction on the trophic organization of a macroinvertebrate community in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy), hypothesizing increased trophic generalism, niche overlap among species and thus competition and decreased community stability due to degraded conditions. Census data, isotopic analysis, and Bayesian mixing models were used to quantify the trophic niches of three abundant invertebrate species, and intra- and interspecific isotopic and resource-use similarity across locations differing in seagrass coverage. This allowed the computation of (1) competition strength, with respect to each other and remaining less abundant species and (2) habitat carrying capacity. To explore effects of the spatial scale on the interactions, we considered both individual locations and the entire study area ("'meadow scale"). We observed that community stability and habitat carrying capacity decreased as P. oceanica coverage declined, whereas niche width, similarity of resource use and interspecific competition strength between species increased. Competition was stronger, and stability lower, at the meadow scale than at the location scale. Indirect effects of competition and the spatial compartmentalization of species interactions increased stability. Results emphasized the importance of trophic niche modifications for understanding effects of habitat loss on biodiversity persistence. Calculation of competition coefficients based

  18. Invasive lionfish use a diversity of habitats in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, Pamela J.; Akins, Lad; Gregoire-Lucente, Denise R.; Pawlitz, Rachel J.

    2014-01-01

    Two species of lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) are the first marine fishes known to invade and establish self-sustaining populations along the eastern seaboard of the United States. First documented off the coast of Florida in 1985, lionfish are now found along the Atlantic coast of the United States as well as in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Although long-term effects of this invasion are not yet fully known, there is early evidence that lionfish are negatively impacting native marine life.The lionfish invasion raises questions about which types of habitat the species will occupy in its newly invaded ecosystem. In their native range, lionfish are found primarily on coral reefs but sometimes are found in other habitats such as seagrasses and mangroves. This fact sheet documents the diversity of habitat types in which invasive lionfish have been reported within Florida’s coastal waters, based on lionfish sightings recorded in the U.S. Geological Survey Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (USGS-NAS).

  19. Impact of blade motion on mass flux to seagrass blade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, J.; Nepf, H. M.

    2016-12-01

    Seagrass and other freshwater macrophytes can acquire nutrients from surrounding water through their blades. This mass flux may depend on the flow velocity (U), which can influence both the posture/motion of flexible blades (reconfiguration) and the thickness of the flux-limiting diffusive layer. Flow over sufficiently pronated, hydraulically-smooth blades resembles flow over a flat-plate, on which a laminar boundary layer develops, producing mass flux that proportionally increases with the square root of the current speed (U0.5). Our laboratory experiments show that a laminar boundary layer condition is appropriate when the blades are sufficiently flexible; however, the model overestimates the flux when the blades are stiff. A meadow-scale analysis suggests that the mass exchange at the blade scale controls the uptake at the meadow scale, so that uptake at the meadow scale should also follow a U0.5 dependence. This is consistent with field measurements under unidirectional current, for which the flux, represented by a transfer velocity (K), exhibits a dependence on velocity of U0.4±0.2. For purely oscillatory flows we anticipate that the mass flux depends on the relative motion between the blade and the water flow. Preliminary flume experiments show that blade motion under wave conditions has two distinct regimes. In the first regime, the blade moves passively with the flow, which diminishes the relative motion and the mass flux. The second regime occurs when the blade is stiff. In this case, the phase lag between the blade and the flow enhances the relative motion, and thus also the mass flux.

  20. Monitoring coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves in Costa Rica (CARICOMP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cortés

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves from the Costa Rican Caribbean coast have been monitored since 1999 using the CARICOMP protocol. Live coral cover at Meager Shoal reef bank (7 to 10m depth at the Parque Nacional Cahuita (National Park, increased from 13.3% in 1999, to 28.2% in 2003, but decreased during the next 5 years to around 17.5%. Algal cover increased significantly since 2003 from 36.6% to 61.3% in 2008. The density of Diadema antillarum oscillated between 2 and 7ind/m2, while Echinometra viridis decreased significantly from 20 to 0.6ind/m2. Compared to other CARICOMP sites, live coral cover, fish diversity and density, and sea urchin density were low, and algal cover was intermediate. The seagrass site, also in the Parque Nacional Cahuita, is dominated by Thalassia testudinum and showed an intermediate productivity (2.7±1.15 g/m2/d and biomass (822.8±391.84 g/m2 compared to other CARICOMP sites. Coral reefs and seagrasses at the Parque Nacional Cahuita continue to be impacted by high sediment loads from terrestrial origin. The mangrove forest at Gandoca, within the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo (National Wildlife Refuge, surrounds a lagoon and it is dominated by the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle. Productivity and flower production peak was in July. Biomass (14kg/m2 and density (9.0±0.58 trees/100m2 in Gandoca were relatively low compared to other CARICOMP sites, while productivity in July in Costa Rica (4g/m2/d was intermediate, similar to most CARICOMP sites. This mangrove is expanding and has low human impact thus far. Management actions should be taken to protect and preserve these important coastal ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3: 1-22. Epub 2010 October 01.Los arrecifes coralinos, pastos marinos y manglares de la costa Caribe de Costa Rica han sido monitoreados desde 1999 siguiendo el protocolo de CARICOMP. La cobertura de coral vivo en el arrecife de Meager Shoal (7 a 10m de

  1. Coastal Critical Habitat Designations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...

  2. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...

  3. Does habitat complexity influence fish recruitment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. CHEMINÉE

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Human activities facilitate coastal habitat transformation and homogenization. The spread of marine invasive species is one example. This in turn may influence fish recruitment and the subsequent replenishment of adult assemblages. We tested habitat complexity effect on fish (Teleostei recruitment by experimentally manipulating meadows of the habitat-forming invasive macroalga Caulerpa taxifolia (Chlorophyta. Among the fourteen fish species recorded during the experiment, only two labrids (Coris julis and Symphodus ocellatus settled in abundance among these meadows. Patterns in the abundance of these juveniles suggested that reduced tri-dimensional meadow complexity may reduce habitat quality and result in altered habitat choices and / or differential mortality of juveniles, therefore reducing fish recruitment and likely the abundance of adults.

  4. On the use of sediment fertilization for seagrass restoration: a mesocosm study on Zostera marina L.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peralta, G.; Bouma, T.J.; Van Soelen, J.; Pérez-Lloréns, J.J.; Hernández, I.

    2003-01-01

    The use of nitrogen and phosphorus sediment fertilization for seagrass restoration is explored. Special attention was given to the effects of nitrogen sediment fertilization. The sediment fertilization treatment combined different levels of nitrogen (0, 30, 500 mg N g DW-1) with sufficient

  5. Effects of light availability on growth, architecture and nutrient content of the seagrass Zostera noltii Hornem.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peralta, G.; Perez-Llorens, J.L.; Hernandez, I.; Vergara, J.J.

    2002-01-01

    The growth vs. irradiance response of the seagrass Zostera noltii from Cadiz Bay Natural Park (southwestern Spain) was characterised. Plants were exposed along 14 days to different light treatments (1%, 7%, 42% and 100% surface irradiance, SI), using shade screens in an outdoor mesocosm. Growth at

  6. Ecological status of seagrass community in Sharm El-Moyia Bay ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    EBB Soc). Ecological status of seagrass community in Sharm El-Moyia Bay, Egyptian Red Sea after its oil pollution in 1999. Ali A-F. A. Gab-Alla. Marine Science Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, lsmailia, Egypt. ABSTRACT.

  7. Inorganic nitrogen uptake kinetics and whole-plant nitrogen budget in the seagrass Zostera noltii

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alexandre, A.; Silva, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Santos, R.

    2011-01-01

    The uptake rates of ammonium and nitrate through the leaves and roots, the leaf–root interactions in the nitrogen uptake and the internal translocation of incorporated nitrogen were simultaneously investigated in the seagrass Zostera noltii. Leaf and root uptake rates, which were measured using

  8. Occurrence of the alien seagrass Halophila stipulacea in Martinique (French West Indies)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marechal, J.P.; Meesters, H.W.G.; Vedie, F.; Hellig, C.

    2013-01-01

    The occurrence of the tropical seagrass Halophila stipulacea (Hydrocharitaceae) is recorded for the first time on the Caribbean coast of Martinique (French West Indies, Caribbean Sea). Specimens were observed, since a large survey in 2006, on sandy substrates between 3 m and 32 m depths in this

  9. North Atlantic phylogeography and large-scale population differentiation of the seagrass Zostera marina L.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, JL; Stam, WT; Coyer, JA; Reusch, TBH; Billingham, M; Bostrom, C; Calvert, E; Christie, H; Granger, S; La Lumiere, R; Milchakova, N; Oudot-Le Secq, MP; Procaccini, G; Sanjabi, B; Serrao, E; Veldsink, J; Widdicombe, S; Wyllie-Echeverria, S

    As the most widespread seagrass in temperate waters of the Northern Hemisphere, Zostera marina provides a unique opportunity to investigate the extent to which the historical legacy of the last glacial maximum (LGM18000-10000 years BP) is detectable in modern population genetic structure. We used

  10. Long-term analysis of Zostera noltei: A retrospective approach for understanding seagrasses' dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calleja, Felipe; Galván, Cristina; Silió-Calzada, Ana; Juanes, José A; Ondiviela, Bárbara

    2017-09-01

    Long-term studies are necessary to establish trends and to understand seagrasses' spatial and temporal dynamic. Nevertheless, this type of research is scarce, as the required databases are often unavailable. The objectives of this study are to create a method for mapping the seagrass Zostera noltei using remote sensing techniques, and to apply it to the characterization of the meadows' extension trend and the potential drivers of change. A time series was created using a novel method based on remote sensing techniques that proved to be adequate for mapping the seagrass in the emerged intertidal. The meadows seem to have a decreasing trend between 1984 and the early 2000s, followed by an increasing tendency that represents a recovery in the extension area of the species. This 30-year analysis demonstrated the Z. noltei's recovery in the study site, similar to that in other estuaries nearby and contrary to the worldwide decreasing behavior of seagrasses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Niche partitioning of intertidal seagrasses: evidence of the influence of substrate temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Marnie L; Heppenstall, Lara D; Hendry, Rebecca; Martin, Ross; Sørensen, Stine; Rubenstein, Ashley N; Hewitt, Chad L

    2017-12-14

    The influence of soil temperature on rhizome depths of four intertidal seagrass species was investigated in central Queensland, Australia. We postulated that certain intertidal seagrass species are soil temperature-sensitive and vertically stratify rhizome depths. Below-ground vertical stratification of intertidal seagrass rhizome depths was analysed based upon microclimate (soil temperature) and microhabitat (soil type). Soil temperature profiles exhibited heat transfer from surface layers to depth that varied by microhabitat, with vertical stratification of rhizome depths between species. Halodule uninervis rhizomes maintain a narrow median soil temperature envelope; compensating for high surface temperatures by occupying deeper, cooler soil substrates. Halophila decipiens, Halophila ovalis and Zostera muelleri rhizomes are shallow-rooted and exposed to fluctuating temperatures, with broader median temperature envelopes. Halodule uninervis appears to be a niche specialist, with the two Halophila species considered as generalist niche usage species. The implications of niche use based upon soil temperature profiles and rhizome rooting depths are discussed in the context of species' thermal tolerances and below-ground biomass O2 demand associated with respiration and maintenance of oxic microshields. This preliminary evidence suggests that soil temperature interaction with rhizome rooting depths may be a factor that influences the distribution of intertidal seagrasses. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  12. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Indian seagrasses against urinary tract pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragupathi Raja Kannan, Rengasamy; Arumugam, Radjassegarin; Anantharaman, Perumal

    2012-12-15

    Seagrasses have a long history of being used for a variety of remedial purposes, such as the fever, skin diseases, muscle pains, wounds and stomach problems. Hence it is essential to study their bioactive metabolites and medicinal properties when considering their food applications. The chemical composition of six seagrasses were determined and evaluated for their potential to urinary tract infection bacteria (UTI). The chemical composition determined by GC-MS yielded 24 compounds. For the first time 4H-Pyran-4-one-2,3-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl- (6.68%), d-allose (3.67%) and 5-Caranol, trans,trans-(+)- (2.14%) were identified from Halodule pinifolia. d-Allose is a aldo-hexose (sugar) used as a potential inhibitor of glycosidases and low-calorie carbohydrate sweeteners. Among the six seagrasses tested, H. pinifolia and Cymodocea rotundata exhibited predominant growth inhibitory activity against all the UTI bacteria. This study shows the presence of various biological metabolites in tested seagrasses that can be used effectively in food and pharmacological industries. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Stable carbon isotopes in seagrasses: Variability in ratios and use in ecological studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemminga, M.A.; Mateo, M.A.

    1996-01-01

    Seagrass delta(13)C values reported in the Literature show variation over a range of approximately 20 parts per thousand. A frequency histogram constructed on the basis of the collected data set shows a unimodal distribution, with values between -10 and -11 parts per thousand (relative to the PDB

  14. Retention of lignin in seagrasses: angiosperms that returned to the sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klap, V.A.; Hemminga, M.A.; Boon, J.J.

    2000-01-01

    Using Curie-point Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (Py-GCMS) and Direct Temperature-resolved Mass Spectrometry (DT-MS), lignin was detected in highly purified preparations (Milled Wood Lignin = MWL) of various tissues of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Posidonia oceanica. The results

  15. Diversity and distribution of seagrasses in the Union of the Comoros ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study represents the first in situ assessment of seagrasses in the Union of the Comoros. The presence of the following 10 species (ranked in order of abundance) was confirmed: Thalassia hemprichii, Thalassodendron ciliatum, Syringodium isoetifolium, Halodule wrightii, Cymodocea rotundata, Cymodocea serrulata, ...