WorldWideScience

Sample records for experimental seagrass habitat

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Inés

    2018-02-17

    Seagrass meadows provide multiple ecosystem services, yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Because of their role as carbon sinks, protection and restoration of seagrass meadows contribute to climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding of the habitat characteristics that influence Corg sequestration. Here, we review the existing knowledge on Blue Carbon research in seagrass meadows to identify the key habitat characteristics that influence Corg sequestration in seagrass meadows, those factors that threaten this function and those with unclear effects. We demonstrate that not all seagrass habitats have the same potential, identify research priorities and describe the implications of the results found for the implementation and development of efficient Blue Carbon strategies based on seagrass meadows.

  4. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarrasa, Inés; Samper-Villarreal, Jimena; Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S; Lovelock, Catherine E; Marbà, Núria; Duarte, Carlos M; Cortés, Jorge

    2018-02-16

    Seagrass meadows provide multiple ecosystem services, yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Because of their role as carbon sinks, protection and restoration of seagrass meadows contribute to climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO 2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding of the habitat characteristics that influence C org sequestration. Here, we review the existing knowledge on Blue Carbon research in seagrass meadows to identify the key habitat characteristics that influence C org sequestration in seagrass meadows, those factors that threaten this function and those with unclear effects. We demonstrate that not all seagrass habitats have the same potential, identify research priorities and describe the implications of the results found for the implementation and development of efficient Blue Carbon strategies based on seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

    Abstract 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

  8. A geospatial modelling approach to predict seagrass habitat recovery under multiple stressor regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restoration of estuarine seagrass habitats requires a clear understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We have developed and demonstrated a geospatial modeling a...

  9. First experimental evidence of corals feeding on seagrass matter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lai, S.; Gillis, L.G.; Mueller, C.; Bouma, T.J.; Guest, J.R.; Last, K.S.; Ziegler, A.D.; Todd, P.A.

    2013-01-01

    We present the first experimental evidence of a coral (Oulastrea crispata) ingesting and assimilating seagrass material. Tropical seagrass meadows export a substantial portion of their productivity and can provide an important source of nutrients to neighbouring systems such as coral reefs; however,

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Patterns in tropical seagrass photosynthesis in relation to light, depth and habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stuart J.; McKenzie, Len J.; Kerville, Simon P.; Bité, Juanita S.

    2007-07-01

    Seagrass meadows across north-eastern Australia, survive a range of environmental conditions in coastal bays, reefs, estuarine and deepwater habitats through adaptation of a range of structural, morphological and physiological features. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of spatial features (habitat type, site and depth) and photon flux on the photosynthetic performance of 11 tropical seagrass species. Pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry was used to generate rapid light curves from which measures of maximal electron transport rate (ETR max), photosynthetic efficiency ( α), saturating irradiance ( Ek) and effective quantum yield (Δ F/ Fm') were derived. The amount of light absorbed by leaves (absorption factor) was also determined for each population. In intertidal habitats many seagrass species exhibited typical sun-type responses with a close coupling of both ETR max and Ek with photon flux. Photosynthetic performance ranged from minima in Thalassodendron ciliatum to maxima in Syringodium isoetifolium. The absence of a coupling between photosynthetic performance and photon flux in subtidal populations was most likely due to highly variable light climates and possible light attenuation, and hence the photo-biology of estuarine and deepwater seagrasses exhibited photosynthetic responses indicative of light limitation. In contrast seagrass species from shallow reef and coastal habitats for the most part exhibited light saturation characteristics. Of all the variables examined ETR max, Ek and Δ F/ Fm' were most responsive to changing light climates and provide reliable physiological indicators of real-time photosynthetic performance of tropical seagrasses under different light conditions.

  13. Benthos of Adjacent Mangrove, Seagrass and Non-vegetated Habitats in Rookery Bay, Florida, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, P.

    1997-04-01

    Benthic faunal abundances and biomasses in adjacent mangrove, seagrass and non-vegetated mud habitats were compared in Rookery Bay, Florida, U.S.A. Although all habitats were intertidal, mangroves received the shortest duration of flooding, and non-vegetated mud received the longest. Replicate cores were taken at high tide in each habitat in July, September and December 1988, and in April 1989. Seagrass substrates were low organic content sands, whereas mangrove and non-vegetated substrates were high organic content sandy clays. Over 300 taxa were recorded, most of them relatively rare, and only 32 taxa were considered dominant (averaging ≥636 individuals m -2or five core -1in any habitat at a given time). Seagrass and non-vegetated mud faunas were more diverse than those of mangrove substrates. Total densities were always higher in red mangrove ( Rhizophora mangle) peat than elsewhere, averaging 22 591 to 52 914 individuals m -2. Densities in mixed seagrasses ranged between 6347 and 23 545 individuals m -2, while those in non-vegetated mud ranged between 3611 and 22 465 individuals m -2. Biomasses, however, were always higher in either seagrasses (15·7-87·4 g wet weight m -2) or non-vegetated mud (11·9-26·2 g m -2) than in mangroves (3·6-8·2 g m -2). Tanaids and annelids were the numerical dominants, reaching maximum densities of 35 127 and 31 388 m -2, respectively, in mangroves. Annelids were also the dominant biomass in most habitats each month. Variation in densities of most of the 32 dominant taxa were related to habitat not time. Each habitat harboured four to eight taxa that were significantly more abundant there than in alternate habitats. Feeding guild analysis indicated few differences among habitats, as surface deposit feeders and carnivores were predominant. Red mangrove appear capable of functioning in a manner similar to intertidal marsh habitats by providing high densities of small prey items for mobile consumers able to exploit the

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Environmental context may influence the sign, strength, andmechanisms of species interactions but few studies have experimentally tested the potential for abiotic conditions to mediate interactions through multiple cooccurring stress pathways. Abiotic conditionsmay mediate species interactions...... 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deyanova, Diana; Gullström, Martin; Lyimo, Liberatus D; Dahl, Martin; Hamisi, Mariam I; Mtolera, Matern S P; Björk, Mats

    2017-01-01

    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.

  17. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Iné s; Samper-Villarreal, Jimena; Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Marbà , Nú ria; Duarte, Carlos M.; Corté s, Jorge

    2018-01-01

    Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding

  18. Florida seagrass habitat evaluation: A comparative survey for chemical quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Michael A. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States)]. E-mail: lewis.michael@epa.gov; Dantin, Darrin D. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States); Chancy, Cynthia A. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States); Abel, Kathryn C. [Department of Biological Sciences, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514 (United States); Lewis, Christopher G. [Department of Water and Soil Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32103 (United States)

    2007-03-15

    Contaminant concentrations were determined for media associated with 13 Florida seagrass beds. Concentrations of 10 trace metals were more commonly detected in surface water, sediment and two seagrass species than PAHs, pesticides and PCBs. Concentrations of copper and arsenic in surface water exceeded Florida aquatic life criteria more frequently than other trace elements. Total organic carbon, mercury, chromium, zinc, total chlordane, total PAHs, total PCBs, DDD and DDE were significantly greater in seagrass-rooted sediments than adjacent non-vegetated sediments. Total DDT, DDD, DDE, total chlordane, arsenic, copper and nickel exceeded proposed sediment quality guidelines at six of 13 grass beds. Pesticides, PAHs, and PCBs were below detection in seagrass tissues. Mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead and silver were detected in 50% or more of the tissues for Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). Spatial, interspecific and tissue differences were usually an order of magnitude or less. - Some anthropogenic contaminants were prevalent in seagrass and their rooted sediments but the biological significance is unknown.

  19. 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

  20. Effects of Copper Exposure on Photosynthesis and Growth of the Seagrass Cymodocea nodosa: An Experimental Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llagostera, Izaskun; Cervantes, Daniel; Sanmartí, Neus; Romero, Javier; Pérez, Marta

    2016-09-01

    Seagrasses form some of the most important coastal habitats. They may be negatively affected by trace metal contamination in certain coastal areas. In this study we experimentally assessed selected morphological and physiological traits of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, with increasing concentrations of copper (Cu) under controlled laboratory conditions. Short term (21 days) sub-lethal effects such as decreased maximum quantum yield, increased leaf necrosis and decreased shoot growth and shoot recruitment were clearly observed at the highest Cu exposure (5 mg L(-1)), while the effects were weaker at the intermediate concentration (2.5 mg L(-1)) and almost absent at the lowest concentration (1 mg L(-1)), indicating that this species is highly tolerant to copper exposure, at least in the short term. This fact could help to explain its distribution in relatively polluted coastal waters.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-09-01

    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 8411 m-2) among sites and habitats. The density of macrofauna was directly related to mean macrophytic biomass (405 895 g wet wt. m-2). The fauna was dominated by epifaunal polychaetes, amphipods and isopods in the vegetated areas. When compared with the density of nearby unvegetated areasleft( {bar x = 815{text{m }}^{ - 2} } right), seagrass meadows harbour a denser and richer macroinvertebrate assemblageleft( {bar x = 4023{text{m }}^{ - 2} } right).

  2. Seagrass and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (VAS Habitats off the Coast of Brazil: state of knowledge, conservation and main threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margareth S. Copertino

    Full Text Available Abstract Seagrass meadows are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth, raising concerns about the equilibrium of coastal ecosystems and the sustainability of local fisheries. The present review evaluated the current status of the research on seagrasses and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV habitats off the coast of Brazil in terms of plant responses to environmental conditions, changes in distribution and abundance, and the possible role of climate change and variability. Despite an increase in the number of studies, the communication of the results is still relatively limited and is mainly addressed to a national or regional public; thus, South American seagrasses are rarely included or cited in global reviews and models. The scarcity of large-scale and long-term studies allowing the detection of changes in the structure, abundance and composition of seagrass habitats and associated species still hinders the investigation of such communities with respect to the potential effects of climate change. Seagrass meadows and SAV occur all along the Brazilian coast, with species distribution and abundance being strongly influenced by regional oceanography, coastal water masses, river runoff and coastal geomorphology. Based on these geomorphological, hydrological and ecological features, we characterised the distribution of seagrass habitats and abundances within the major coastal compartments. The current conservation status of Brazilian seagrasses and SAV is critical. The unsustainable exploitation and occupation of coastal areas and the multifold anthropogenic footprints left during the last 100 years led to the loss and degradation of shoreline habitats potentially suitable for seagrass occupation. Knowledge of the prevailing patterns and processes governing seagrass structure and functioning along the Brazilian coast is necessary for the global discussion on climate change. Our review is a first and much-needed step toward a more integrated

  3. 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

  4. Faunal Communities Are Invariant to Fragmentation in Experimental Seagrass Landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan S Lefcheck

    Full Text Available Human-driven habitat fragmentation is cited as one of the most pressing threats facing many coastal ecosystems today. Many experiments have explored the consequences of fragmentation on fauna in one foundational habitat, seagrass beds, but have either surveyed along a gradient of existing patchiness, used artificial materials to mimic a natural bed, or sampled over short timescales. Here, we describe faunal responses to constructed fragmented landscapes varying from 4-400 m2 in two transplant garden experiments incorporating live eelgrass (Zostera marina L.. In experiments replicated within two subestuaries of the Chesapeake Bay, USA across multiple seasons and non-consecutive years, we comprehensively censused mesopredators and epifaunal communities using complementary quantitative methods. We found that community properties, including abundance, species richness, Simpson and functional diversity, and composition were generally unaffected by the number of patches and the size of the landscape, or the intensity of sampling. Additionally, an index of competition based on species co-occurrences revealed no trends with increasing patch size, contrary to theoretical predictions. We extend conclusions concerning the invariance of animal communities to habitat fragmentation from small-scale observational surveys and artificial experiments to experiments conducted with actual living plants and at more realistic scales. Our findings are likely a consequence of the rapid life histories and high mobility of the organisms common to eelgrass beds, and have implications for both conservation and restoration, suggesting that even small patches can rapidly promote abundant and diverse faunal communities.

  5. 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.

  6. The functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Perry, Christopher T; Dahlgren, Craig P; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    Caribbean coral reef habitats, seagrass beds and mangroves provide important goods and services both individually and through functional linkages. A range of anthropogenic factors are threatening the ecological and economic importance of these habitats and it is vital to understand how ecosystem processes vary across seascapes. A greater understanding of processes will facilitate further insight into the effects of disturbances and assist with assessing management options. Despite the need to study processes across whole seascapes, few spatially explicit ecosystem-scale assessments exist. We review the empirical literature to examine the role of different habitat types for a range of processes. The importance of each of 10 generic habitats to each process is defined as its "functional value" (none, low, medium or high), quantitatively derived from published data wherever possible and summarised in a single figure. This summary represents the first time the importance of habitats across an entire Caribbean seascape has been assessed for a range of processes. Furthermore, we review the susceptibility of each habitat to disturbances to investigate spatial patterns that might affect functional values. Habitat types are considered at the scale discriminated by remotely-sensed imagery and we envisage that functional values can be combined with habitat maps to provide spatially explicit information on processes across ecosystems. We provide examples of mapping the functional values of habitats for populations of three commercially important species. The resulting data layers were then used to generate seascape-scale assessments of "hot spots" of functional value that might be considered priorities for conservation. We also provide an example of how the literature reviewed here can be used to parameterise a habitat-specific model investigating reef resilience under different scenarios of herbivory. Finally, we use multidimensional scaling to provide a basic analysis of the

  7. 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.

  8. The Suez Canal as a habitat and pathway for marine algae and seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleem, A. A.

    The Suez Canal supports a diversified benthic algal flora; 133 species of benthic algae are now known from the Canal, as compared with only 24 in 1924. The vertical and horizontal distribution of algae is considered in relation to hydrographic factors. The algae display zonation and 3-4 algal belts are distinguished on the Canal banks on buoys and pier supports. Associated fauna include Balanus amphitrite and Brachidontes variabilis, together with various hydroids, sponges, ascidians, asteroids, ophiuroids and crustaceans. Merceriella enigmatica thrives well in brackish water habitats. The algal flora in the Bitter Lakes resembles that in the Red Sea. The number of Red Sea species decreases from Suez to Port Said in the littoral zone. On the other hand, bottom algae predominantly belong to Red Sea flora. Thirty of the species of algae found belong to the Indo-Pacific flora; half of these are new records to the Canal. Several of these Indo-Pacific algae have recently become established in the Eastern Mediterranean, whereas only two of the Mediterranean macro-algal flora (viz. Caulerpa prolifera and Halopteris scoparia) have been found in the Gulf of Suez. Two seagrasses, Halopia ovalis and Thalassia hemprichii, are recorded for the first time in the Canal. Only Halophila stipulacea has found its way into the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal, but none of the Mediterranean seagrasses is found either in the Canal or in the Red Sea.

  9. 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.

    , and management points of views. In spite of being one of the predominant marine macrophytic floras, surprisingly, seagrasses have not been introduced in plant science studies, even at the university level. Unawareness regarding the functions of seagrasses...

  10. Local and regional effects of reopening a tidal inlet on estuarine water quality, seagrass habitat, and fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milbrandt, Eric C.; Bartleson, Richard D.; Coen, Loren D.; Rybak, Olexandr; Thompson, Mark A.; DeAngelo, Jacquelyn A.; Stevens, Philip W.

    2012-06-01

    Blind Pass is an inlet that separates Sanibel and Captiva Islands in southwest Florida but has historically closed and opened by both anthropogenic and natural processes. In July 2010, a dredging project to open the small inlet between the two barrier islands was completed. The objective of this study was to use and supplement ongoing estuary-monitoring programs to examine the responses of water quality, seagrass habitat metrics, and fish assemblages both in the immediate vicinity of the inlet and at broader scales (up to 40 km2). As far as we are aware, there are no previous studies with this intensity of sampling, both before and after an inlet opening. Significant increases in salinity and turbidity were observed inside Blind Pass, with significant decreases in CDOM and chlorophyll a, however, the effects were not far-reaching and limited to less than 1.7 km from the inlet within Pine Island Sound. Seagrass habitat metrics were expected to respond rapidly after the inlet was opened given the reduced light attenuation. However, there were no changes in shoot densities, species composition, and epiphytic algae within the approximately one-year duration of the study. The reopening of the pass did not substantially change fish assemblage structure, except for those from deeper habitats. Although immediate increases in the abundances of estuarine-dependent species were predicted in shallow habitats post opening, this did not occur. In conclusion, the effects of reopening a relatively small ocean inlet on water quality were apparent in the immediate vicinity of the inlet (within 1.7 km), but far-reaching effects on water quality, seagrass metrics, and fish assemblages were not immediately apparent in this well-flushed estuary. If subtle changes in tidal exchange and circulation affect productivity of seagrasses or its fish assemblages at broad scales, it may take several years to reach a steady state.

  11. Nitrogen fixation in Red Sea seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Abdallah, Malak

    2017-01-01

    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

  12. Seagrass habitat metabolism increases short-term extremes and long-term offset of CO2 under future ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacella, Stephen R; Brown, Cheryl A; Waldbusser, George G; Labiosa, Rochelle G; Hales, Burke

    2018-04-10

    The role of rising atmospheric CO 2 in modulating estuarine carbonate system dynamics remains poorly characterized, likely due to myriad processes driving the complex chemistry in these habitats. We reconstructed the full carbonate system of an estuarine seagrass habitat for a summer period of 2.5 months utilizing a combination of time-series observations and mechanistic modeling, and quantified the roles of aerobic metabolism, mixing, and gas exchange in the observed dynamics. The anthropogenic CO 2 burden in the habitat was estimated for the years 1765-2100 to quantify changes in observed high-frequency carbonate chemistry dynamics. The addition of anthropogenic CO 2 alters the thermodynamic buffer factors (e.g., the Revelle factor) of the carbonate system, decreasing the seagrass habitat's ability to buffer natural carbonate system fluctuations. As a result, the most harmful carbonate system indices for many estuarine organisms [minimum pH T , minimum Ω arag , and maximum pCO 2(s.w.) ] change up to 1.8×, 2.3×, and 1.5× more rapidly than the medians for each parameter, respectively. In this system, the relative benefits of the seagrass habitat in locally mitigating ocean acidification increase with the higher atmospheric CO 2 levels predicted toward 2100. Presently, however, these mitigating effects are mixed due to intense diel cycling of CO 2 driven by aerobic metabolism. This study provides estimates of how high-frequency pH T , Ω arag , and pCO 2(s.w.) dynamics are altered by rising atmospheric CO 2 in an estuarine habitat, and highlights nonlinear responses of coastal carbonate parameters to ocean acidification relevant for water quality management.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Hays, Graeme C.; Alcoverro, Teresa; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Hamann, Mark; Macreadie, Peter I.; Marsh, Helene D.; Rasheed, Michael A.; Thums, Michele; Unsworth, Richard K. F.; York, Paul H.; Esteban, Nicole

    2018-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Recruitment and connectivity influence the role of seagrass as a penaeid nursery habitat in a wave dominated estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Matthew D; Fry, Brian; Becker, Alistair; Moltschaniwskyj, Natalie

    2017-04-15

    Estuaries provide a diverse mosaic of habitats which support both juveniles and adults of exploited species. In particular, estuaries play an important role in the early life history of many penaeid prawn species. This study used a combination of stable isotope ecology and quantitative sampling to examine recruitment and the nursery function of seagrass habitats for Eastern King Prawn (Penaeus [Melicertus] plebejus), and the processes that contributed to this nursery role. Stable isotopes were used to assign prawns joining the adult stock to putative nursery habitat areas within the estuary. Emigrating prawns originated from only 11 of the 20 sites surveyed. Of these, 8 sites were designated as Effective Juvenile Habitat (EJH), and 5 sites designated as Nursery Habitat (NH). The contribution of individuals from different nursery areas to the adult stock was related to both the abundance of prawns within an area and the distance to the mouth of the estuary, and with the exception of 1 site all EJH and NH were located in the northern section of the estuary. Quantitative sampling in this area indicated that prawns were present at an average density of 165±11 per 100m 2 , and density formed non-linear relationships with the distance to the mouth of the estuary, seagrass cover and temperature. Prawn size also formed non-linear relationships with prawn density and seagrass cover. Spatial patterns in abundance were consistent with wind-driven recruitment patterns, which in turn affected the nursery role of particular areas within the system. These findings have implications for targeted fishery restoration efforts for both Eastern King Prawn and other ocean spawned species in wave dominated estuaries where circulation is primarily wind-driven. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Seagrass habitat metabolism increases short-term extremes and long-term offset of CO2 under future ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacella, Stephen R.; Brown, Cheryl A.; Waldbusser, George G.; Labiosa, Rochelle G.; Hales, Burke

    2018-04-01

    The role of rising atmospheric CO2 in modulating estuarine carbonate system dynamics remains poorly characterized, likely due to myriad processes driving the complex chemistry in these habitats. We reconstructed the full carbonate system of an estuarine seagrass habitat for a summer period of 2.5 months utilizing a combination of time-series observations and mechanistic modeling, and quantified the roles of aerobic metabolism, mixing, and gas exchange in the observed dynamics. The anthropogenic CO2 burden in the habitat was estimated for the years 1765–2100 to quantify changes in observed high-frequency carbonate chemistry dynamics. The addition of anthropogenic CO2 alters the thermodynamic buffer factors (e.g., the Revelle factor) of the carbonate system, decreasing the seagrass habitat’s ability to buffer natural carbonate system fluctuations. As a result, the most harmful carbonate system indices for many estuarine organisms [minimum pHT, minimum Ωarag, and maximum pCO2(s.w.)] change up to 1.8×, 2.3×, and 1.5× more rapidly than the medians for each parameter, respectively. In this system, the relative benefits of the seagrass habitat in locally mitigating ocean acidification increase with the higher atmospheric CO2 levels predicted toward 2100. Presently, however, these mitigating effects are mixed due to intense diel cycling of CO2 driven by aerobic metabolism. This study provides estimates of how high-frequency pHT, Ωarag, and pCO2(s.w.) dynamics are altered by rising atmospheric CO2 in an estuarine habitat, and highlights nonlinear responses of coastal carbonate parameters to ocean acidification relevant for water quality management.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Environmental Impact Research Program. Transplanting of the Seagrasses Halodule wrightii, Syringodium filiforme, and Thalassia testudinum for Sediment Stabilization and Habitat Development in the Southeast Region of the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-01

    light energy transmission becomes insufficient so as to halt photosynthesis by the seagrasses , widespread mortality of the shoots often occurs. When the...TRANSPLANTING OF THE SEAGRASSES HALODULE WRIGHT/I, SYRINGODIUM FILIFORME, AND THALASSIA TESTUDINUM * - -FOR SEDIMENT STABILIZATION AND HABITAT DEVELOPMENT IN...ELEMENT NO NO NO ACCESSION NO1EIRP 31632 ’-" 11 TITLE (Include Security Classfication) Transplanting of the Seagrasses Ha lodue wrightii, Syngodi 31

  20. Herbivory on the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Ascherson in contrasting Spanish Mediterranean habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cebrian, J.; Duarte, C.M.; Marbà, N.

    1996-01-01

    We assess the magnitude and variability of herbivory (i.e. leaf consumption and sloughing caused by herbivore bites) on the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa along the Spanish Mediterranean coast and test the hypothesis that this is higher in meadows growing in sheltered bays than in exposed, open zones.

  1. 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.

  2. Seagrass beds as ocean acidification refuges for mussels? High resolution measurements of pCO2 and O2 in a Zostera marina and Mytilus edulis mosaic habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saderne, V.; Fietzek, P.; Aßmann, S.; Körtzinger, A.; Hiebenthal, C.

    2015-07-01

    It has been speculated that macrophytes beds might act as a refuge for calcifiers from ocean acidification. In the shallow nearshores of the western Kiel Bay (Baltic Sea), mussel and seagrass beds are interlacing, forming a mosaic habitat. Naturally, the diverse physiological activities of seagrasses and mussels are affected by seawater carbonate chemistry and they locally modify it in return. Calcification by shellfishes is sensitive to seawater acidity; therefore the photosynthetic activity of seagrasses in confined shallow waters creates favorable chemical conditions to calcification at daytime but turn the habitat less favorable or even corrosive to shells at night. In contrast, mussel respiration releases CO2, turning the environment more favorable for photosynthesis by adjacent seagrasses. At the end of summer, these dynamics are altered by the invasion of high pCO2/low O2 coming from the deep water of the Bay. However, it is in summer that mussel spats settle on the leaves of seagrasses until migrating to the permanent habitat where they will grow adult. These early life phases (larvae/spats) are considered as most sensitive with regard to seawater acidity. So far, the dynamics of CO2 have never been continuously measured during this key period of the year, mostly due to the technological limitations. In this project we used a combination of state-of-the-art technologies and discrete sampling to obtain high-resolution time-series of pCO2 and O2 at the interface between a seagrass and a mussel patch in Kiel Bay in August and September 2013. From these, we derive the entire carbonate chemistry using statistical models. We found the monthly average pCO2 more than 50 % (approx. 640 μatm for August and September) above atmospheric equilibrium right above the mussel patch together with large diel variations of pCO2 within 24 h: 887 ± 331 μatm in August and 742 ± 281 μatm in September (mean ± SD). We observed important daily corrosiveness for calcium

  3. 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. Keywords: Zostera marina, Eelgrass, Gadus morhua, Fisheries, Juveniles, Nursery habitat

  4. 1988 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...

  5. 2000 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...

  6. 1992 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...

  7. Guidelines for seagrass restoration : Importance of habitat selection and donor population, spreading of risks, and ecosystem engineering effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Katwijk, M. M.; Bos, A. R.; de Jonge, V. N.; Hanssen, L. S. A. M.; Hermus, D. C. R.; de Jong, D. J.

    Large-scale losses of seagrass beds have been reported for decades and lead to numerous restoration programs. From worldwide scientific literature and 20 years of seagrass restoration research in the Wadden Sea, we review and evaluate the traditional guidelines and propose new guidelines for

  8. Trophic behaviour of juvenile reef fishes inhabiting interlinked mangrove-seagrass habitats in offshore mangrove islets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangroves are essential fish habitats acting as shelters and nurseries, but the relative contribution of mangrove resources to fish diets relies on site-specific context and fish life history stage. Stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) and gut-content analyses were used to investigate siz...

  9. What lies beneath: why knowledge of belowground biomass dynamics is crucial to effective seagrass management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.A.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Stapel, J.; O’Brien, K.R.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of seagrasses meadows is important, because these habitats are ecologically important and under threat. Monitoring and modelling are essential tools for assessing seagrass condition and potential threats, however there are many seagrass indicators to choose from, and differentiating

  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. Genomewide transcriptional reprogramming in the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa under experimental ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruocco, Miriam; Musacchia, Francesco; Olivé, Irene; Costa, Monya M; Barrote, Isabel; Santos, Rui; Sanges, Remo; Procaccini, Gabriele; Silva, João

    2017-08-01

    Here, we report the first use of massive-scale RNA-sequencing to explore seagrass response to CO 2 -driven ocean acidification (OA). Large-scale gene expression changes in the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa occurred at CO 2 levels projected by the end of the century. C. nodosa transcriptome was obtained using Illumina RNA-Seq technology and de novo assembly, and differential gene expression was explored in plants exposed to short-term high CO 2 /low pH conditions. At high pCO 2 , there was a significant increased expression of transcripts associated with photosynthesis, including light reaction functions and CO 2 fixation, and also to respiratory pathways, specifically for enzymes involved in glycolysis, in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and in the energy metabolism of the mitochondrial electron transport. The upregulation of respiratory metabolism is probably supported by the increased availability of photosynthates and increased energy demand for biosynthesis and stress-related processes under elevated CO 2 and low pH. The upregulation of several chaperones resembling heat stress-induced changes in gene expression highlighted the positive role these proteins play in tolerance to intracellular acid stress in seagrasses. OA further modifies C. nodosa secondary metabolism inducing the transcription of enzymes related to biosynthesis of carbon-based secondary compounds, in particular the synthesis of polyphenols and isoprenoid compounds that have a variety of biological functions including plant defence. By demonstrating which physiological processes are most sensitive to OA, this research provides a major advance in the understanding of seagrass metabolism in the context of altered seawater chemistry from global climate change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Assessing diversity and phytoremediation potential of seagrass in tropical region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most important resources in the coastal areas. Seagrasses support and provide habitats for many coastal organisms in tropical region. Seagrasses are specialized marine flowering plants that have adapted to the nearshore environment with heterogeneous landscape struct...

  14. Physical structure of artificial seagrass affects macrozoobenthic community recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambo-Rappe, R.; Rani, C.

    2018-03-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are important in supporting marine biodiversity. However, the worldwide decline in seagrass areas due to anthropogenic factors leads to a decrease in the marine biodiversity they can support. There is growing awareness of the need for concepts to conserve and/or rehabilitate seagrass ecosystems. One option is to create artificial seagrass to provide a physical structure for the marine organisms to colonize. The objective of this research was to analyze the effect of some artificial seagrasses and seagrass transplants on marine biodiversity, with a focus on the macrozoobenthic community. The experimental design compared two types of artificial seagrass (polypropylene ribbons and shrub-shaped plastic leaves), and seagrass transplants from nearby seagrass meadows. The experimental plots were 4 x 4 m2 with 3 replicates. Macrozoobenthic communities were sampled fortnightly for 3.5 months. At the end of the experiment, makrozoobenthos were also sampled from a natural seagrass bed nearby. Of 116 macrozoobenthic species in the artificial seagrass plots, 91 were gastropods. The density of the macrobenthic fauna increased from the beginning to the end of the study in all treatments, but the increase was only significant for the artificial seagrass treatment (i.e. shrub-like plastic leaves). There was a distinct separation between the macrozoobenthic community structure found in the restoration plots (artificial seagrass and transplanted seagrass) compared to natural seagrass beds.

  15. 1970's 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. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Benthic Ecology from Space: Optics and Net Primary Production in Seagrass and Benthic Algae Across the Great Bahama Bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    of incident light in peak chlorophyll absorption bands and negatively impacted spectral photosynthesis of their seagrass hosts. For the oxygen...than the above- ground seagrass production reported here. Finally, seagrass photosynthesis in seawater is inher- ently CO2-limited and seagrass ...R, Alberte R, Perez M, Romero J (2001) Inorganic carbon sources for seagrass photosynthesis : an experimental evaluation for bicarbonate use in

  2. [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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L.E.; Bussel, T.; Debrot, A.O.; Christianen, M.

    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

  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. Seagrass Parameter Affect the Fish Assemblages in Karimunjawa Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sri Susilo, Endang; Nugroho Sugianto, Denny; Munasik; Nirwani; Adhi Suryono, Chrisna

    2018-02-01

    Seagrass beds promote high species diversity, abundance and biomass, and become important habitats for some economically important fishes. Plants of seagrasses result in structurally highly complex habitats and offering feeding grounds, shelter from predation as well as nursery areas for diverse fish assemblages. However, research on fish communities in Southeast Asian seagrass bed is rarely conducted. In the present study fish assemblages in seagrass beds with different parameters (cover, diversity and similarity indices, domination) was investigated in the Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia. The purpose of this study were to assess whether fish assemblages differ concerning on the abundance and the species number. This study was conducted on the seagrass bed on Karimunjawa Islands in Java Sea, particularly in the water of Menjangan Besar and Menjangan Kecil Island. Line-quadrant transect was used to assess seagrass data, while the occurrence and individual number of fish harboured in the selected seagrass bed was counted by using underwater visual census in the stationary point count transects. Seagrass cover in Menjangan Kecil Island (41%) with various canopy included both upper and lower canopy was considerable higher than those in Menjangan Besar Island (5%). Fish diversity, species composition and abundance are considerably different between the two study sites. This study revealed that seagrass density or cover and canopy structure affected the fish abundance and species number harboured.

  6. Seagrass restoration enhances "blue carbon" sequestration in coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiner, Jill T; McGlathery, Karen J; Gunnell, John; McKee, Brent A

    2013-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are highly productive habitats that provide important ecosystem services in the coastal zone, including carbon and nutrient sequestration. Organic carbon in seagrass sediment, known as "blue carbon," accumulates from both in situ production and sedimentation of particulate carbon from the water column. Using a large-scale restoration (>1700 ha) in the Virginia coastal bays as a model system, we evaluated the role of seagrass, Zosteramarina, restoration in carbon storage in sediments of shallow coastal ecosystems. Sediments of replicate seagrass meadows representing different age treatments (as time since seeding: 0, 4, and 10 years), were analyzed for % carbon, % nitrogen, bulk density, organic matter content, and ²¹⁰Pb for dating at 1-cm increments to a depth of 10 cm. Sediment nutrient and organic content, and carbon accumulation rates were higher in 10-year seagrass meadows relative to 4-year and bare sediment. These differences were consistent with higher shoot density in the older meadow. Carbon accumulation rates determined for the 10-year restored seagrass meadows were 36.68 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹. Within 12 years of seeding, the restored seagrass meadows are expected to accumulate carbon at a rate that is comparable to measured ranges in natural seagrass meadows. This the first study to provide evidence of the potential of seagrass habitat restoration to enhance carbon sequestration in the coastal zone.

  7. 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.

  8. The Role of Seagrasses and Kelps in Marine Fish Support

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Blackmon, Derrick; Wyllie-Echeverria, Tina; Shafer, Deborah J

    2006-01-01

    This report provides a comprehensive summary of research related to fish utilization of seagrass and kelp habitats in the Pacific Northwest in a single document that will serve as a useful reference...

  9. Cephalopod Experimental Projected Habitat (CEPH: Virtual Reality for Underwater Organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noam Josef

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Cephalopods' visually driven, dynamic, and diverse skin display makes them a key animal model in sensory ethology and camouflage research. Development of novel methods is critically important in order to monitor and objectively quantify cephalopod behavior. In this work, the development of Cephalopod Experimental Projected Habitat (CEPH is described. This newly developed experimental design bridges computational and ethological sciences, providing a visually controlled arena which requires limited physical space and minimal previous technical background. Created from relatively inexpensive and readily available materials, the experimental apparatus utilizes reflected light which closely resembles natural settings. Preliminary results suggest the experimental design reproducibly challenges marine organisms with visually dynamic surroundings, including videos of prey and predator. This new approach should offer new avenues for marine organism sensory research and may serve researchers from various fields.

  10. Seascape ecology in Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: Linking structure and ecological processes for management

    OpenAIRE

    Abadie, Arnaud; Pace, Matthew; Gobert, Sylvie; Borg, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows constitute marine habitats in shallow water temperate and tropical coastal areas worldwide that have a high ecological and economic importance. Amongst the 60 or so seagrass species, the endemic Mediterranean species Posidonia oceanica forms meadows that are arguably the most important shallow water coastal habitat in the region but which are subjected to high anthropogenic pressures. Because of the relatively large size of the plant, the meadows formed by this seagrass have ...

  11. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Ruas, Vinicius Mendes; Rodrigues, Marcos Alaniz; Dumont, Luiz Felipe Cestari; D'Incao, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    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 A...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. Keywords: Holothuria scabra, Mariculture, Sea pens, Predator exclusion, Principal components analysis, Biophysical variables

  16. Impact of experimental habitat manipulation on northern bobwhite survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, David C.; Brooke, Jarred M.; Tanner, Evan P.; Unger, Ashley M.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Harper, Craig A.; Clark, Joseph D.; Morgan, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat management for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) should affect vital rates, but direct linkages with survival are not well documented; therefore, we implemented an experiment to evaluate those responses. We conducted our experiment on a reclaimed surface mine, a novel landscape where conditions were considered sub-optimal because of the dominance of non-native vegetation, such as sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), which has been reported to provide marginal habitat for northern bobwhite and may negatively affect survival. Nonetheless, these areas have great potential for contributing to bobwhite conservation because of the amount of early successional cover they provide. Our study site, a 3,330-ha reclaimed surface mine in western Kentucky, consisted of 2 tracts (Sinclair and Ken, 1,471 ha and 1,853 ha, respectively) that served as replicates with each randomly divided into a treatment (i.e., habitat manipulation through a combination of disking, burning, and herbicide application) and an undisturbed control (n = 4 experimental units). Habitat treatments were applied October 2009 to September 2013. We used radio telemetry to monitor northern bobwhite (n = 1,198) during summer (1 Apr–30 Sep) and winter (1 Oct–31 Mar), 2009–2013. We used the known-fate model in Program MARK to evaluate treatment effects on seasonal survival rates. We included biological, home-range, landscape, and microhabitat metrics as covariates to help improve model sensitivity and further elucidate experimental impacts. Survival varied annually, ranging from 0.139 (SE = 0.031) to 0.301 (SE = 0.032), and seasonally (summer, 0.148 [SE = 0.015]; winter, 0.281 [SE = 0.022]). We found a treatment effect (β = 0.256, 95% CI = 0.057–0.456) with a seasonal interaction (β  = −0.598, 95% CI = −0.898 to −0.298) with survival being higher in summer (0.179 [SE = 0.022] vs. 0.109 [SE = 0.019]) and lower in winter (0.233 [SE

  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. The influence of wave energy and sediment transport on seagrass distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Andrew W.; Lacy, Jessica R.

    2012-01-01

    A coupled hydrodynamic and sediment transport model (Delft3D) was used to simulate the water levels, waves, and currents associated with a seagrass (Zostera marina) landscape along a 4-km stretch of coast in Puget Sound, WA, USA. A hydroacoustic survey of seagrass percent cover and nearshore bathymetry was conducted, and sediment grain size was sampled at 53 locations. Wave energy is a primary factor controlling seagrass distribution at the site, accounting for 73% of the variability in seagrass minimum depth and 86% of the variability in percent cover along the shallow, sandy portions of the coast. A combination of numerical simulations and a conceptual model of the effect of sea-level rise on the cross-shore distribution of seagrass indicates that the area of seagrass habitat may initially increase and that wave dynamics are an important factor to consider in predicting the effect of sea-level rise on seagrass distributions in wave-exposed areas.

  19. Seagrass leaf element content

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.A.; Smulders, Fee O.H.; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A.; Govers, Laura L.

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge on the role of seagrass leaf elements and in particular micronutrients and their ranges is limited. We present a global database, consisting of 1126 unique leaf values for ten elements, obtained from literature and unpublished data, spanning 25 different seagrass species from 28 countries.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Experimental Gravel Bar Habitat Creation in the Tombigbee River, Mississippi

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miller, Andrew C

    2006-01-01

    .... Resource agencies expressed some concerns over the loss of shallow riffle habitat, since large numbers of state-listed endangered organisms, plus fives species of mollusks and three species of fishes...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Photosynthethic carbon reduction by seagrasses exposed to ultraviolet B radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

    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. 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, F v /F m ) 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 F v /F m (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.

  8. Simulation of seagrass bed mapping by satellite images based on the radiative transfer model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagawa, Tatsuyuki; Komatsu, Teruhisa

    2015-06-01

    Seagrass and seaweed beds play important roles in coastal marine ecosystems. They are food sources and habitats for many marine organisms, and influence the physical, chemical, and biological environment. They are sensitive to human impacts such as reclamation and pollution. Therefore, their management and preservation are necessary for a healthy coastal environment. Satellite remote sensing is a useful tool for mapping and monitoring seagrass beds. The efficiency of seagrass mapping, seagrass bed classification in particular, has been evaluated by mapping accuracy using an error matrix. However, mapping accuracies are influenced by coastal environments such as seawater transparency, bathymetry, and substrate type. Coastal management requires sufficient accuracy and an understanding of mapping limitations for monitoring coastal habitats including seagrass beds. Previous studies are mainly based on case studies in specific regions and seasons. Extensive data are required to generalise assessments of classification accuracy from case studies, which has proven difficult. This study aims to build a simulator based on a radiative transfer model to produce modelled satellite images and assess the visual detectability of seagrass beds under different transparencies and seagrass coverages, as well as to examine mapping limitations and classification accuracy. Our simulations led to the development of a model of water transparency and the mapping of depth limits and indicated the possibility for seagrass density mapping under certain ideal conditions. The results show that modelling satellite images is useful in evaluating the accuracy of classification and that establishing seagrass bed monitoring by remote sensing is a reliable tool.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Direct contribution of the seagrass Thalassia testudinum to lime mud production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enríquez, Susana; Schubert, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass beds contribute to oceanic carbonate lime mud production by providing a habitat for a wide variety of calcifying organisms and acting as efficient sediment traps. Here we provide evidence for the direct implication of Thalassia testudinum in the precipitation of aragonite needles. The crystals are located internally in the cell walls, and as external deposits on the blade, and are similar in size and shape to the aragonite needles reported for modern tropical carbonate factories. Seagrass calcification is a biological, light-enhanced process controlled by the leaf, and estimates of seagrass annual carbonate production in a Caribbean reef lagoon are as significant as values reported for Halimeda incrassata. Thus, we conclude that seagrass calcification is another biological source for the aragonite lime mud deposits found in tropical banks, and that tropical seagrass habitats may play a more important role in the oceanic carbon cycle than previously considered. PMID:24848374

  12. 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.

  13. 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 CO 2 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Habitat selection responses of parents to offspring predation risk: An experimental test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

  16. Similarity microalgal epiphyte composition on seagrass of Enhalus acoroides and Thalasia hemprichii from different waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartati, R.; Zainuri, M.; Ambariyanto, A.; Widianingsih; Trianto, A.; Mahendrajaya, R. T.

    2018-03-01

    The epiphytes are all autotrophic organisms that are permanently attached to rhizomes, roots, and leaves of seagrasses. The epiphyte is an important primary producer for the seagrass ecosystem and contributes significantly to the food chain. This study aims to identify the composition of microepiphyte algae on Enhalus acoroides and Thalassia hemprichii and their similarity levels of both compositions. The 20 leaves samples of E. acoroides and T. hemprichii were observed. The epiphytic microalgae which found on the surface of the seagrass leaves were scrapped, collected in a bottle sample, and fixed with 70 % alcohol and identified into genera. The relation of epiphytic microalgal genera to the location and species of seagrass was analyzed using similarity analysis. The Chrysophyta, Cyanophyta, and Chlorophyta epiphytic microalgal were found. There were similarity variations of the microalgal epiphyte in seagrass of E. acoroides and T. hemprichii and seagrass habitat sites. Morphology and seagrass life affects the abundance and diversity of the epiphytic microalgal attached to the seagrass and it may be associated with the epiphytic lifetime in the seagrass.

  17. A comparison of threats, vulnerabilities and management approaches in global seagrass bioregions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grech, Alana; Chartrand-Miller, Katie; McKenzie, Len; Rasheed, Michael; Taylor, Helen; Coles, Rob; Erftemeijer, Paul; Fonseca, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Global seagrass habitats are threatened by multiple anthropogenic factors. Effective management of seagrasses requires information on the relative impacts of threats; however, this information is rarely available. Our goal was to use the knowledge of experts to assess the relative impacts of anthropogenic activities in six global seagrass bioregions. The activities that threaten seagrasses were identified at an international seagrass workshop and followed with a web-based survey to collect seagrass vulnerability information. There was a global consensus that urban/industrial runoff, urban/port infrastructure development, agricultural runoff and dredging had the greatest impact on seagrasses, though the order of relative impacts varied by bioregion. These activities are largely terrestrially based, highlighting the need for marine planning initiatives to be co-ordinated with adjacent watershed planning. Sea level rise and increases in the severity of cyclones were ranked highest relative to other climate change related activities, but overall the five climate change activities were ranked low and experts were uncertain of their effects on seagrasses. The experts’ preferred mechanism of delivering management outcomes were processes such as policy development, planning and consultation rather than prescriptive management tools. Our approach to collecting expert opinion provides the required data to prioritize seagrass management actions at bioregional scales. (letter)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Knowledge gaps in tropical Southeast Asian seagrass systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

    Seagrasses are habitats with significant ecological and economic functions but we have limited knowledge of seagrasses in Southeast Asia, the hypothesized centre-of-origin for tropical seagrasses. There have been only 62 ISI-cited publications on the seagrasses of Southeast Asia in the last three decades and most work has been in few sites such as Northwest Luzon in the Philippines and South Sulawesi in Indonesia. Our understanding of the processes driving spatial and temporal distributions of seagrass species here has focussed primarily on backreef and estuarine seagrass meadows, with little work on forereef systems. We used Pulau Tinggi, an island off the southeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia, as an example of a subtidal forereef system. It is characterized by a community of small and fast growing species such as Halophila ovalis (mean shoot density 1454.6 ± 145.1 m -2) and Halodule uninervis (mean shoot density 861.7 ± 372.0 m -2) growing in relatively low light conditions (mean PAR 162.1 ± 35.0 μmol m -2 s -1 at 10 m depth to 405.8 ± 99.0 μmol m -2 s -1 at 3 m water depth) on sediment with low carbonate (mean 9.24 ± 1.74 percentage dry weight), organic matter (mean 2.56 ± 0.35 percentage dry weight) and silt-clay content (mean 2.28 ± 2.43 percentage dry weight). The literature reveals that there is a range of drivers operating in Southeast Asian seagrass systems and we suggest that this is because there are various types of seagrass habitats in this region, i.e. backreef, forereef and estuary, each of which has site characteristics and ecological drivers unique to it. Based on our case study of Pulau Tinggi, we suggest that seagrasses in forereef systems are more widespread in Southeast Asia than is reflected in the literature and that they are likely to be driven by recurring disturbance events such as monsoons, sediment burial and herbivory.

  1. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, O.; Ruhon, R.; Lavery, P. S.; Kendrick, G. A.; Hickey, S.; Masqué , P.; Arias-Ortiz, A.; Steven, A.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Distribution and community structure of ichthyoplankton in Laguna Madre seagrass meadows: Potential impact of seagrass species change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolan, J.M.; Holt, S.A.; Onuf, C.P.

    1997-01-01

    Seasonal ichthyoplankton surveys were made in the lower Laguna Madre, Texas, to compare the relative utilization of various nursery habitats (shoal grass, Halodule wrightii; manatee grass, Syringodium filiforme;, and unvegetated sand bottom) for both estuarine and offshore-spawned larvae. The species composition and abundance of fish larvae were determined for each habitat type at six locations in the bay. Pushnet ichthyoplankton sampling resulted in 296 total collections, yielding 107,463 fishes representing 55 species in 24 families. A broad spectrum of both the biotic and physical habitat parameters were examined to link the dispersion and distribution of both pre-settlement and post-settlement larvae to the utilization of shallow seagrass habitats. Sample sites were grouped by cluster analysis (Ward's minimum variance method) according to the similarity of their fish assemblages and subsequently examined with a multiple discriminant function analysis to identify important environmental variables. Abiotic environmental factors were most influential in defining groups for samples dominated by early larvae, whereas measures of seagrass complexity defined groups dominated by older larvae and juveniles. Juvenile-stage individuals showed clear habitat preference, with the more shallow Halodule wrightii being the habitat of choice, whereas early larvae of most species were widely distributed over all habitats. As a result of the recent shift of dominance from Halodule wrightii to Syringodium filiforme, overall reductions in the quality of nursery habitat for fishes in the lower Laguna Madre are projected.

  6. The Role of Herbivory in Structuring Tropical Seagrass Ecosystem Service Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Abigail L.; York, Paul H.; Duncan, Clare; Macreadie, Peter I.; Connolly, Rod M.; Ellis, Megan T.; Jarvis, Jessie C.; Jinks, Kristin I.; Marsh, Helene; Rasheed, Michael A.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows support key ecosystem services, via provision of food directly for herbivores, and indirectly to their predators. The importance of herbivores in seagrass meadows has been well-documented, but the links between food webs and ecosystem services in seagrass meadows have not previously been made explicit. Herbivores interact with ecosystem services – including carbon sequestration, cultural values, and coastal protection. Interactions can be positive or negative and depend on a range of factors including the herbivore identity and the grazing type and intensity. There can be unintended consequences from management actions based on a poor understanding of trade-offs that occur with complex seagrass-herbivore interactions. Tropical seagrass meadows support a diversity of grazers spanning the meso-, macro-, and megaherbivore scales. We present a conceptual model to describe how multiple ecosystem services are influenced by herbivore pressure in tropical seagrass meadows. Our model suggests that a balanced ecosystem, incorporating both seagrass and herbivore diversity, is likely to sustain the broadest range of ecosystem services. Our framework suggests the pathway to achieve desired ecosystem services outcomes requires knowledge on four key areas: (1) how size classes of herbivores interact to structure seagrass; (2) desired community and management values; (3) seagrass responses to top–down and bottom–up controls; (4) the pathway from intermediate to final ecosystem services and human benefits. We suggest research should be directed to these areas. Herbivory is a major structuring influence in tropical seagrass systems and needs to be considered for effective management of these critical habitats and their services. PMID:29487606

  7. Future warmer seas: increased stress and susceptibility to grazing in seedlings of a marine habitat-forming species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernán, Gema; Ortega, María J; Gándara, Alberto M; Castejón, Inés; Terrados, Jorge; Tomas, Fiona

    2017-11-01

    Increases in seawater temperature are expected to have negative consequences for marine organisms. Beyond individual effects, species-specific differences in thermal tolerance are predicted to modify species interactions and increase the strength of top-down effects, particularly in plant-herbivore interactions. Shifts in trophic interactions will be especially important when affecting habitat-forming species such as seagrasses, as the consequences on their abundance will cascade throughout the food web. Seagrasses are a major component of coastal ecosystems offering important ecosystem services, but are threatened by multiple anthropogenic stressors, including warming. The mechanistic understanding of seagrass responses to warming at multiple scales of organization remains largely unexplored, especially in early-life stages such as seedlings. Yet, these early-life stages are critical for seagrass expansion processes and adaptation to climate change. In this study, we determined the effects of a 3 month experimental exposure to present and predicted mean summer SST of the Mediterranean Sea (25°C, 27°C, and 29°C) on the photophysiology, size, and ecology (i.e., plant-herbivore interactions) of seedlings of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Warming resulted in increased mortality, leaf necrosis, and respiration as well as lower carbohydrate reserves in the seed, the main storage organ in seedlings. Aboveground biomass and root growth were also limited with warming, which could hamper seedling establishment success. Furthermore, warming increased the susceptibility to consumption by grazers, likely due to lower leaf fiber content and thickness. Our results indicate that warming will negatively affect seagrass seedlings through multiple direct and indirect pathways: increased stress, reduced establishment potential, lower storage of carbohydrate reserves, and increased susceptibly to consumption. This work provides a significant step forward in understanding the

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Acclimatization to high-variance habitats does not enhance physiological tolerance of two key Caribbean corals to future temperature and pH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Emma F; Smith, David J; Evenhuis, Chris; Enochs, Ian; Manzello, Derek; Woodcock, Stephen; Suggett, David J

    2016-05-25

    Corals are acclimatized to populate dynamic habitats that neighbour coral reefs. Habitats such as seagrass beds exhibit broad diel changes in temperature and pH that routinely expose corals to conditions predicted for reefs over the next 50-100 years. However, whether such acclimatization effectively enhances physiological tolerance to, and hence provides refuge against, future climate scenarios remains unknown. Also, whether corals living in low-variance habitats can tolerate present-day high-variance conditions remains untested. We experimentally examined how pH and temperature predicted for the year 2100 affects the growth and physiology of two dominant Caribbean corals (Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides) native to habitats with intrinsically low (outer-reef terrace, LV) and/or high (neighbouring seagrass, HV) environmental variance. Under present-day temperature and pH, growth and metabolic rates (calcification, respiration and photosynthesis) were unchanged for HV versus LV populations. Superimposing future climate scenarios onto the HV and LV conditions did not result in any enhanced tolerance to colonies native to HV. Calcification rates were always lower for elevated temperature and/or reduced pH. Together, these results suggest that seagrass habitats may not serve as refugia against climate change if the magnitude of future temperature and pH changes is equivalent to neighbouring reef habitats. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Short-term effects of habitat fragmentation on the abundance and species richness of beetles in experimental alfalfa micro-landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    GREZ, AUDREY A.; ZAVIEZO, TANIA; REYES, SUSANA

    2004-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered as the main causes of biodiversity depression. Habitat loss implies a reduction of suitable habitat for organisms, and habitat fragmentation is a change in the spatial configuration of the landscape, with the remaining fragments resulting more or less isolated. Recent theory indicates that the effects of habitat loss are more important than those of habitat fragmentation, however there are few experimental studies evaluating both processes separat...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Food-web structure of seagrass communities across different spatial scales and human impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Schmidt, Allison; Romanuk, Tamara; Lotze, Heike K

    2011-01-01

    Seagrass beds provide important habitat for a wide range of marine species but are threatened by multiple human impacts in coastal waters. Although seagrass communities have been well-studied in the field, a quantification of their food-web structure and functioning, and how these change across space and human impacts has been lacking. Motivated by extensive field surveys and literature information, we analyzed the structural features of food webs associated with Zostera marina across 16 study sites in 3 provinces in Atlantic Canada. Our goals were to (i) quantify differences in food-web structure across local and regional scales and human impacts, (ii) assess the robustness of seagrass webs to simulated species loss, and (iii) compare food-web structure in temperate Atlantic seagrass beds with those of other aquatic ecosystems. We constructed individual food webs for each study site and cumulative webs for each province and the entire region based on presence/absence of species, and calculated 16 structural properties for each web. Our results indicate that food-web structure was similar among low impact sites across regions. With increasing human impacts associated with eutrophication, however, food-web structure show evidence of degradation as indicated by fewer trophic groups, lower maximum trophic level of the highest top predator, fewer trophic links connecting top to basal species, higher fractions of herbivores and intermediate consumers, and higher number of prey per species. These structural changes translate into functional changes with impacted sites being less robust to simulated species loss. Temperate Atlantic seagrass webs are similar to a tropical seagrass web, yet differed from other aquatic webs, suggesting consistent food-web characteristics across seagrass ecosystems in different regions. Our study illustrates that food-web structure and functioning of seagrass habitats change with human impacts and that the spatial scale of food-web analysis

  18. Food-web structure of seagrass communities across different spatial scales and human impacts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Coll

    Full Text Available Seagrass beds provide important habitat for a wide range of marine species but are threatened by multiple human impacts in coastal waters. Although seagrass communities have been well-studied in the field, a quantification of their food-web structure and functioning, and how these change across space and human impacts has been lacking. Motivated by extensive field surveys and literature information, we analyzed the structural features of food webs associated with Zostera marina across 16 study sites in 3 provinces in Atlantic Canada. Our goals were to (i quantify differences in food-web structure across local and regional scales and human impacts, (ii assess the robustness of seagrass webs to simulated species loss, and (iii compare food-web structure in temperate Atlantic seagrass beds with those of other aquatic ecosystems. We constructed individual food webs for each study site and cumulative webs for each province and the entire region based on presence/absence of species, and calculated 16 structural properties for each web. Our results indicate that food-web structure was similar among low impact sites across regions. With increasing human impacts associated with eutrophication, however, food-web structure show evidence of degradation as indicated by fewer trophic groups, lower maximum trophic level of the highest top predator, fewer trophic links connecting top to basal species, higher fractions of herbivores and intermediate consumers, and higher number of prey per species. These structural changes translate into functional changes with impacted sites being less robust to simulated species loss. Temperate Atlantic seagrass webs are similar to a tropical seagrass web, yet differed from other aquatic webs, suggesting consistent food-web characteristics across seagrass ecosystems in different regions. Our study illustrates that food-web structure and functioning of seagrass habitats change with human impacts and that the spatial scale of

  19. Sex- and habitat-specific responses of a high arctic willow, Salix arctica, to experimental climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, M.H.; Macdonald, S.E. [Univ. of Alberta, Dept. of Renewable Resources, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Henry, G.H.R. [Univ. of British Columbia, Dept. of Geography, Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    1999-10-01

    Dioecious plant species and those occupying diverse habitats may present special analytical problems to researchers examining effects of climate change. Here we report the results from two complementary studies designed to determine the importance of sex and habitat on gas exchange and growth of male and female individuals of a dioecious, circumpolar willow, Salix arctica, in the Canadian High Arctic. In field studies, male and female willows from dry and wet habitats were subjected to passively enhanced summer temperature ({approx} to 1.3 deg C) using small open-top chambers over three years. Peak season gas exchange varied significantly by willow sex and habitat. Overall net assimilation was higher in the dry habitat than in the wet, and higher in females than in males. In the dry habitat, net assimilation of females was enhanced by experimental warming, but decreased in males. In the wet habitat, net assimilation of females was substantially depressed by experimental warming, while males showed an inconsistent response. Development and growth of male and female catkins were enhanced by elevated temperature more than leaf fascicles, but leaf fascicle development and growth varied more between the two habitats, particularly in males. In a controlled environment study, male and female willows from these same wet and dry habitats were grown in a 2x2 factorial experiment including 1 x or 2 x ambient [CO{sub 2}] and 5 or 12 deg. C. The sexes responded very differently to the experimental treatments, but we found no effect of original habitat. Net assimilation in males was affected by the interaction of temperature and CO{sub 2}, but in females by CO{sub 2} only. Our results demonstrate (a) significant intraspecific and intersexual differences in arctic willow physiology and growth, (b) that these differences are affected by environmental conditions expected to accompany global climate change, and (c) that sex- and habitat-specific responses should be explicitly

  20. 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.

  1. Distribution of seagrasses along the Indian coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jagtap, T.G.

    the Tamil Nadu Coast. Seagrasses were observed from intertidal to subtidal regions down to 8 m depth. Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Aschers. and Cymodocea serrulata (R. Brown) Aschers. and Magnus were the dominant seagrasses in the subtidal zones...

  2. abundance and diversity of seagrass and macrofauna

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    with and without seaweed farms at Chwaka Bay and Jambiani, in the East Coast of Zanzibar. Eight seagrass .... Ascherson, Cymodocea serrulata (Brown). Ascherson et ..... Meadows with the same composition of seagrass species may ...

  3. 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

  4. Seagrass mapping in Greek territorial waters using Landsat-8 satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topouzelis, Konstantinos; Makri, Despina; Stoupas, Nikolaos; Papakonstantinou, Apostolos; Katsanevakis, Stelios

    2018-05-01

    Seagrass meadows are among the most valuable coastal ecosystems on earth due to their structural and functional roles in the coastal environment. This study demonstrates remote sensing's capacity to produce seagrass distribution maps on a regional scale. The seagrass coverage maps provided here describe and quantify for the first time the extent and the spatial distribution of seagrass meadows in Greek waters. This information is needed for identifying priority conservation sites and to help coastal ecosystem managers and stakeholders to develop conservation strategies and design a resilient network of protected marine areas. The results were based on an object-based image analysis of 50 Landsat-8 satellite images. The time window of image acquisition was between June 2013 and July 2015. In total, the seagrass coverage in Greek waters was estimated at 2619 km2. The largest coverages of individual seagrass meadows were found around Lemnos Island (124 km2), Corfu Island (46 km2), and East Peloponnese (47 km2). The accuracy assessment of the detected areas was based on 62 Natura 2000 sites, for which habitat maps were available. The mean total accuracy for all 62 sites was estimated at 76.3%.

  5. Salt marsh and seagrass communities of Bakkhali Estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hena, M. K. Abu; Short, F. T.; Sharifuzzaman, S. M.; Hasan, M.; Rezowan, M.; Ali, M.

    2007-10-01

    The species identification, distribution pattern, density and biomass of salt marsh and seagrass plants with some of the ecological parameters were studied in the Bakkhali river estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh during the first half of 2006. Two salt marsh species ( Spartina sp. and Imperata cylindrica) and one seagrass species ( Halophila beccarii) were identified during this investigation, providing the first reports of Spartina sp. and H. beccarii in coastal Bangladesh. Seagrass H. beccarii was found in an accreted area and co-existing with salt marsh, and scattered sparsely in the salt marsh habitat and macroalgae Ulva intestinalis. Flowering and fruiting were recorded from the seagrass H. beccarri during January and February. No flowers and fruits were observed for the salt marsh Spartina sp. during the study period. Results showed that the shoot density of Spartina ranged from 400 to 2875 shoots m -2 with the highest total biomass (165.80 g dry weight (DW) m -2) in March. Shoot density of H. beccarii ranged from 2716 to 14320 shoots m -2 in this estuarine coastal environment. The total biomass of seagrass was higher (17.56 g DW m -2) in March compared to the other months. The highest H. beccarii above ground (AG) biomass and below ground (BG) biomass were 9.59 g DW m -2 and 9.42 g DW m -2, respectively. These parameters are comparable with those generally observed for the salt marsh and seagrass species in the other places of the world.

  6. Interoperability challenges for the Sustainable Management of seagrass meadows (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nativi, S.; Pastres, R.; Bigagli, L.; Venier, C.; Zucchetta, M.; Santoro, M.

    2013-12-01

    Seagrass meadows (marine angiosperm plants) occupy less than 0.2% of the global ocean surface, annually store about 10-18% of the so-called 'Blue Carbon', i.e. the Carbon stored in coastal vegetated areas. Recent literature estimates that the flux to the long-term carbon sink in seagrasses represents 10-20% of seagrasses global average production. Such figures can be translated into economic benefits, taking into account that a ton of carbon dioxide in Europe is paid at around 15 € in the carbon market. This means that the organic carbon retained in seagrass sediments in the Mediterranean is worth 138 - 1128 billion €, which represents 6-23 € per square meter. This is 9-35 times more than one square meter of tropical forest soil (0.66 € per square meter), or 5-17 times when considering both the above and the belowground compartments in tropical forests. According the most conservative estimations, about 10% of the Mediterranean meadows have been lost during the last century. In the framework of the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) initiative, the MEDINA project (funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the University of Ca'Foscari in Venice) prepared a showcase as part of the GEOSS Architecture Interoperability Pilot -phase 6 (AIP-6). This showcase aims at providing a tool for the sustainable management of seagrass meadows along the Mediterranean coastline. The application is based on an interoperability framework providing a set of brokerage services to easily ingest and run a Habitat Suitability model (a model predicting the probability a given site to provide a suitable habitat for the development of seagrass meadow and the average coverage expected). The presentation discusses such a framework explaining how the input data is discovered, accessed and processed to ingest the model (developed in the MEDINA project). Furthermore, the brokerage framework provides the necessary services to run the model and visualize results

  7. The discovery of deep-water seagrass meadows in a pristine Indian Ocean wilderness revealed by tracking green turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, N; Unsworth, R K F; Gourlay, J B Q; Hays, G C

    2018-03-21

    Our understanding of global seagrass ecosystems comes largely from regions characterized by human impacts with limited data from habitats defined as notionally pristine. Seagrass assessments also largely focus on shallow-water coastal habitats with comparatively few studies on offshore deep-water seagrasses. We satellite tracked green turtles (Chelonia mydas), which are known to forage on seagrasses, to a remote, pristine deep-water environment in the Western Indian Ocean, the Great Chagos Bank, which lies in the heart of one of the world's largest marine protected areas (MPAs). Subsequently we used in-situ SCUBA and baited video surveys to survey the day-time sites occupied by turtles and discovered extensive monospecific seagrass meadows of Thalassodendron ciliatum. At three sites that extended over 128 km, mean seagrass cover was 74% (mean range 67-88% across the 3 sites at depths to 29 m. The mean species richness of fish in seagrass meadows was 11 species per site (mean range 8-14 across the 3 sites). High fish abundance (e.g. Siganus sutor: mean MaxN.site -1  = 38.0, SD = 53.7, n = 5) and large predatory shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) (mean MaxN.site -1  = 1.5, SD = 0.4, n = 5) were recorded at all sites. Such observations of seagrass meadows with large top predators, are limited in the literature. Given that the Great Chagos Bank extends over approximately 12,500 km 2 and many other large deep submerged banks exist across the world's oceans, our results suggest that deep-water seagrass may be far more abundant than previously suspected. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Tropical seagrass meadows modify seawater carbon chemistry: implications for coral reefs impacted by ocean acidification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unsworth, Richard K F; Collier, Catherine J; Henderson, Gideon M; McKenzie, Len J

    2012-01-01

    Highly productive tropical seagrasses often live adjacent to or among coral reefs and utilize large amounts of inorganic carbon. In this study, the effect of seagrass productivity on seawater carbonate chemistry and coral calcification was modelled on the basis of an analysis of published data. Published data (11 studies, 64 records) reveal that seagrass meadows in the Indo-Pacific have an 83% chance of being net autotrophic, resulting in an average net sink of 155 gC m −2 yr −1 . The capacities for seagrass productivity were analysed using an empirical model to examine the effect on seawater carbonate chemistry. Our analyses indicate that increases in pH of up to 0.38 units, and Ω arag increases of 2.9 are possible in the presence of seagrass meadows (compared to their absence) with the precise values of these increases dependent on water residence time (tidal flushing) and water depth. In shallow water reef environments, Scleractinian coral calcification downstream of seagrass has the potential to be ≈18% greater than in an environment without seagrass. If this potential benefit to reef calcifiers is supported by further study it offers a potential tool in marine park management at a local scale. The applicability of this will depend upon local physical conditions as well as the spatial configuration of habitats, and the factors that influence their productivity. This novel study suggests that, in addition to their importance to fisheries, sediment stabilization and primary production, seagrass meadows may enhance coral reef resilience to future ocean acidification. (letter)

  10. 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

  11. Marine megaherbivore grazing may increase seagrass tolerance to high nutrient loads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Govers, L.L.; Bouma, T.J.; Kiswara, W.; Roelofs, J.G.M.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Van Katwijk, M.

    2012-01-01

    1.Populations of marine megaherbivores including green turtle (Chelonia mydas) have declined dramatically at a global scale as a result of overharvesting and habitat loss. This decline can be expected to also affect the tolerance of seagrass systems to coastal eutrophication. Until now, however,

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    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 < 0.01) with habitat configuration a probable driver. Juvenile fish comprised 26% of the fishery catch and gear type significantly influenced this proportion (<0.05). Limited sustainability of fishery practices (high juvenile catch and a 51% decline in CPUE for the biggest fishery) and poor habitat 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. (letter)

  13. Applications of C and N stable isotopes to ecological and environmental studies in seagrass ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lepoint, Gilles [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)]. E-mail: g.lepoint@ulg.ac.be; Dauby, Patrick [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, rue Vautier, B1000 Brussels (Belgium); Gobert, Sylvie [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2004-12-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen are increasingly used in marine ecosystems, for ecological and environmental studies. Here, we examine some applications of stable isotopes as ecological integrators or tracers in seagrass ecosystem studies. We focus on both the use of natural isotope abundance as food web integrators or environmental tracers and on the use of stable isotopes as experimental tools. As ecosystem integrators, stable isotopes have helped to elucidate the general structure of trophic webs in temperate, Mediterranean and tropical seagrass ecosystems. As environmental tracers, stable isotopes have proven their utility in sewage impact measuring and mapping. However, to make such environmental studies more comprehensible, future works on understanding of basic reasons for variations of N and C stable isotopes in seagrasses should be encouraged. At least, as experimental tracers, stable isotopes allow the study of many aspects of N and C cycles at the scale of a plant or at the scale of the seagrass ecosystem.

  14. 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...

  15. Constancy despite variability: Local and regional macrofaunal diversity in intertidal seagrass beds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyé, Aurélien; Legendre, Pierre; Grall, Jacques; Gauthier, Olivier

    2017-12-01

    The importance of seagrass habitat for the diversity of benthic fauna has been extensively studied worldwide. Most of the information available is, however, about α diversity while little consideration has been given to β diversity. To fill the knowledge gaps regarding the variability of epifaunal and infaunal seagrass assemblages at large spatial and temporal scales, we scrutinized an extensive dataset covering five years of monitoring of eight intertidal Zostera marina meadows around Brittany (France). High species richness arose at the regional scale from the combination of high local diversity of the meadows and substantial among-meadows β diversity. Epifauna and infauna appeared as distinct self-communities as they displayed different spatial and temporal patterns and varied in their responses to local hydrological conditions. Infauna had higher total β diversity than epifauna due to a tighter link to the great variability of local environmental conditions in the region. Both exhibited substantial variations in species composition and community structure with variations of dominant species that were accompanied by extensive change in numerous rare species. The dominant epifaunal species were all grazers. Changes in species composition were induced mostly by species replacement and rarely by richness differences between meadows. Indeed, species richness remained within a narrow range for all seagrass beds, suggesting a potential carrying capacity for species richness of the meadows. Overall, all meadows contributed equally to the regional turnover of seagrass macrofauna, emphasizing high variability and complementarity among beds at the regional scale. The implications of this substantial within-seagrass variability for the functioning of benthic ecosystems at broad scale and for conservation purposes in habitat mosaics warrant further investigations but our results clearly advocate taking into account within-habitat variation when evaluating the diversity

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Detection of seagrass beds in Khunk Graben Bay, Thailand, using ALOS AVNI2 image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komatsu, Teruhisa; Noiraksar, Thidarat; Sakamoto, Shingo X.; Sawayama, Shuhei; Miyamoto, Hiroomi; Phauk, Sophany; Thongdee, Pornthep; Jualaong, Suthep; Nishida, Shuhei

    2012-11-01

    Coastal habitats having high productivity provide numerous ecological services such as foods, protection from strong waves through buffering effect, fixation of CO2 through photosynthesis, fostering biodiversity etc. However, increasing human impacts and climate change decrease or degrade coastal habitats. ASEAN region is developing most rapidly in the world. In the developing region, it is necessary to grasp present spatial distributions of habitats as a baseline data with standardized mapping methods. Remote sensing is one of the most effective methods for mapping. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) provides non-commercial satellite images with ultra-high spatial resolution optical sensors (10 m), AVNIR2, similar to LANDSAT TM. Using ALOS AVNIR2 images it may be possible to make habitat map in the region. In Thailand, shrimp ponds cause degradation of coastal ecosystem through cutting mangroves and eutrophicated discharge from ponds. We examined capability of remote sesing with ALOS AVNIR2 to map seagrass beds in Khung Kraben Bay, Chanthaburi Province, Thailand, surrounded by shrimp ponds. We analyzed ALOS AVNIR2 taken on 25 January 2008. Ground truth survey was conducted in October 2010 using side scan sonar and scuba diving. The survey revealed that there were broad seagrass beds consisting of Enhalus acroides. We used a decision tree to detect seagrass beds in the bay with quite turbid seawater coupled with Depth-Invariant Index proposed by Lyzenga (1985) and bottom reflectances. We could succeed to detect seagrass beds. Thus it is concluded that ALOS AVNIR2 is practical to map seagrass beds in this region.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A Miniature Bioassay for Testing the Acute Phytotoxicity of Photosystem II Herbicides on Seagrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Adam D.; Collier, Catherine J.; Flores, Florita; Mercurio, Phil; O’Brien, Jake; Ralph, Peter J.; Negri, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    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/Fm’) was highest and no deterioration of photosystems was evident in control leaves. The inhibition of ∆F/Fm’ 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. PMID:25674791

  3. Are seagrass beds indicators of anthropogenic nutrient stress in the rocky intertidal?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Honig, Susanna E.; Mahoney, Brenna; Glanz, Jess S.; Hughes, Brent B.

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that anthropogenic nutrient inputs harm estuarine seagrasses, but the influence of nutrients in rocky intertidal ecosystems is less clear. In this study, we investigated the effect of anthropogenic nutrient loading on Phyllospadix spp., a rocky intertidal seagrass, at local and regional scales. At sites along California, Washington, and Oregon, we demonstrated a significant, negative correlation of urban development and Phyllospadix bed thickness. These results were echoed locally along an urban gradient on the central California coast, where Phyllospadix shoot δ 15 N was negatively associated with Phyllospadix bed thickness, and experimentally, where nutrient additions in mesocosms reduced Phyllospadix shoot formation and increased epiphytic cover on Phyllospadix shoots. These findings provide evidence that coastal development can threaten rocky intertidal seagrasses through increased epiphytism. Considering that seagrasses provide vital ecosystem services, mitigating eutrophication and other factors associated with development in the rocky intertidal coastal zone should be a management priority. - Highlights: • The effect of nutrient loading on rocky intertidal seagrasses is not well studied. • Regionally, development was negatively associated with Phyllospadix bed thickness. • Locally, shoot δ 15 N was negatively associated with Phyllospadix bed thickness. • Mesocosms with added nutrients had a net loss in shoots and increased epiphytes. • Nutrient loading may have a negative effect on intertidal seagrass bed health.

  4. Nest-site habitat of cavity-nesting birds at the San Joaquin Experimental Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared. Verner

    2008-01-01

    Detailed information about the nesting habitats of birds, including those needed for successful nesting, can provide a better understanding of the ecological factors that permit coexistence of different species and may aid in conservation efforts. From 1989 through 1994, we studied the nesting habitat of secondary cavity-nesting birds in oak woodlands at the San...

  5. 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.

  6. 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 km 2 ) 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

  7. SEAGRASS AND CDOM IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagrasses play a variety of important ecological roles in coastal ecosystems. Here we present evidence that seagrass detritus from the widespread species, Thalassia testudinum, is an important source of ocean color and UV-protective substances in a low latitude coastal shelf reg...

  8. Field data sets for seagrass biophysical properties for the Eastern Banks, Moreton Bay, Australia, 2004-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelfsema, Chris M.; Kovacs, Eva M.; Phinn, Stuart R.

    2015-08-01

    This paper describes seagrass species and percentage cover point-based field data sets derived from georeferenced photo transects. Annually or biannually over a ten year period (2004-2014) data sets were collected using 30-50 transects, 500-800 m in length distributed across a 142 km2 shallow, clear water seagrass habitat, the Eastern Banks, Moreton Bay, Australia. Each of the eight data sets include seagrass property information derived from approximately 3000 georeferenced, downward looking photographs captured at 2-4 m intervals along the transects. Photographs were manually interpreted to estimate seagrass species composition and percentage cover (Coral Point Count excel; CPCe). Understanding seagrass biology, ecology and dynamics for scientific and management purposes requires point-based data on species composition and cover. This data set, and the methods used to derive it are a globally unique example for seagrass ecological applications. It provides the basis for multiple further studies at this site, regional to global comparative studies, and, for the design of similar monitoring programs elsewhere.

  9. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Andrew P; Flores, Florita; Mercurio, Phil; Mueller, Jochen F; Collier, Catherine J

    2015-08-01

    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 7.2μgl(-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 0.3μgl(-1). This effect included significant inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/Fm') and inactivation of PSII (Fv/Fm) over the 11 week exposure period. Significant mortality and reductions in growth was only observed at the highest exposure concentration of 7.2μgl(-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 (0.6μgl(-1)) and reduced δ(13)C (1.7μgl(-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 approximately halved following diuron exposure at and above 1.7μgl(-1). During the 2-week recovery period, the photosynthetic capacity of the seagrass improved with only plants from the highest diuron treatment still exhibiting chronic damage to PSII. This study shows that, although seagrass may survive prolonged herbicide exposures, concentrations ≥0.6μgl(-1) diuron equivalents cause measureable impacts on energetic status that may leave the plants vulnerable to other simultaneous stressors. For example, tropical seagrasses have been heavily impacted by reduced light from coastal

  11. Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collier, C.J.; Waycott, M.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Temperature extremes occur during low tide in shallow seagrass meadows. • The effects of temperature extremes were tested experimentally at 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C. • 40 °C was a critical threshold with a large impact on growth and mortality. • At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2–3 days. • Lower light conditions (e.g. poor water quality) led to a greater negative impact. - Abstract: Extreme heating (up to 43 °C measured from five-year temperature records) occurs in shallow coastal seagrass meadows of the Great Barrier Reef at low tide. We measured effective quantum yield (ϕ PSII ), growth, senescence and mortality in four tropical seagrasses to experimental short-duration (2.5 h) spikes in water temperature to 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C, for 6 days followed by one day at ambient temperature. Increasing temperature to 35 °C had positive effects on ϕ PSII (the magnitude varied between days and was highly correlated with PPFD), with no effects on growth or mortality. 40 °C represented a critical threshold as there were strong species differences and there was a large impact on growth and mortality. At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2–3 days. These findings indicate that increasing duration (more days in a row) of thermal events above 40 °C is likely to affect the ecological function of tropical seagrass meadows

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

    KAUST Repository

    Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. 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...

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The effect of patch isolation on epifaunal colonization in two different seagrass ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Camilla; Salo, Tiina

    2012-01-01

    The macrofaunal colonization of isolated habitats is affected by many factors, ranging from distance to the nearest source population to the dispersal mechanism of the species. We investigated the initial epifaunal colonization at two sites, one situated in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and the other...... 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...... for the other faunal species, irrespective of the sites. This inverse colonization pattern of amphipods suggests that they are not equally sensitive to patch isolation in different regions. Our results indicate that increasing habitat isolation can have serious consequences for the community composition...

  18. Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, C J; Waycott, M

    2014-06-30

    Extreme heating (up to 43 °C measured from five-year temperature records) occurs in shallow coastal seagrass meadows of the Great Barrier Reef at low tide. We measured effective quantum yield (ϕPSII), growth, senescence and mortality in four tropical seagrasses to experimental short-duration (2.5h) spikes in water temperature to 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C, for 6 days followed by one day at ambient temperature. Increasing temperature to 35 °C had positive effects on ϕPSII (the magnitude varied between days and was highly correlated with PPFD), with no effects on growth or mortality. 40 °C represented a critical threshold as there were strong species differences and there was a large impact on growth and mortality. At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2-3 days. These findings indicate that increasing duration (more days in a row) of thermal events above 40 °C is likely to affect the ecological function of tropical seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Seagrasses and Eutrophication : Interactions between seagrass photosynthesis, epiphytes, macroalgae and mussels

    OpenAIRE

    Mvungi, Esther Francis

    2011-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are highly productive, ecologically and economically valuable ecosystems. However, increased human activities along the coastal areas leading to processes such as eutrophication have resulted in the rapid loss and deterioration of seagrass ecosystems worldwide. This thesis focuses on the responses of seagrasses to increases in nutrients, subsequent increases in ephemeral algae, and changes in the physical-chemical properties of seawater induced by interaction with other marin...

  1. 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

  2. Export from Seagrass Meadows Contributes to Marine Carbon Sequestration

    KAUST Repository

    Duarte, Carlos M.; Krause-Jensen, Dorte

    2017-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Carbon and nitrogen translocation between seagrass ramets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marbà, N.; Hemminga, M.A.; Mateo, M.A.; Duarte, C.M.; Maas, Y.E.M.; Terrados, J.; Gacia, E.

    2002-01-01

    The spatial scale and the magnitude of carbon and nitrogen translocation was examined in 5 tropical (Cymodocea serrulata, Halophila stipulacea, Halodule uninervis, Thalassodendron ciliatum, Thalassia hemprichii) and 3 temperate (Cymodocea nodosa, Posidonia oceanica, Zostera noltii) seagrass species

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Habitat selection in a rocky landscape: experimentally decoupling the influence of retreat site attributes from that of landscape features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M Croak

    Full Text Available Organisms selecting retreat sites may evaluate not only the quality of the specific shelter, but also the proximity of that site to resources in the surrounding area. Distinguishing between habitat selection at these two spatial scales is complicated by co-variation among microhabitat factors (i.e., the attributes of individual retreat sites often correlate with their proximity to landscape features. Disentangling this co-variation may facilitate the restoration or conservation of threatened systems. To experimentally examine the role of landscape attributes in determining retreat-site quality for saxicolous ectotherms, we deployed 198 identical artificial rocks in open (sun-exposed sites on sandstone outcrops in southeastern Australia, and recorded faunal usage of those retreat sites over the next 29 months. Several landscape-scale attributes were associated with occupancy of experimental rocks, but different features were important for different species. For example, endangered broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides preferred retreat sites close to cliff edges, flat rock spiders (Hemicloea major preferred small outcrops, and velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii preferred rocks close to the cliff edge with higher-than-average sun exposure. Standardized retreat sites can provide robust experimental data on the effects of landscape-scale attributes on retreat site selection, revealing interspecific divergences among sympatric taxa that use similar habitats.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

    are able to cause ecologically significant diseases of protists, plants and animals. Here, the pathosystem model is applied to host–parasite relationships in seagrass ecosystems. Known physical and biological stressors of seagrass are reviewed. Finally, we...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-01-22

    Jan 22, 2013 ... carbon balance, and the way a plant allocates photosynthate between above- ..... Figure 3 shows PAR on the falling tide immediately above the seagrass at .... ture controls the growth of seagrasses and since then there have.

  11. Role of seagrass photosynthesis in root aerobic processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R D; Dennison, W C; Alberte, R S

    1984-04-01

    The role of shoot photosynthesis as a means of supporting aerobic respiration in the roots of the seagrass Zostera marina was examined. O(2) was transported rapidly (10-15 minutes) from the shoots to the root-rhizome tissues upon shoot illumination. The highest rates of transport were in shoots possessing the greatest biomass and leaf area. The rates of O(2) transport do not support a simple gas phase diffusion mechanism. O(2) transport to the root-rhizome system supported aerobic root respiration and in many cases exceeded respiratory requirements leading to O(2) release from the subterranean tissue. Release of O(2) can support aerobic processes in reducing sediments typical of Z. marina habitats. Since the root-rhizome respiration is supported primarily under shoot photosynthetic conditions, then the daily period of photosynthesis determines the diurnal period of root aerobiosis.

  12. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negri, Andrew P.; Flores, Florita; Mercurio, Phil; Mueller, Jochen F.; Collier, Catherine J.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We performed chronic exposures of two seagrass species to the herbicide diuron. • Diuron affected photosystem II (PSII) at 0.3 μg l −1 and growth at 7.2 μg l −1 . • Biomarkers indicated that carbon-assimilation from photosynthesis dropped following 0.6 μg l −1 diuron exposure. • Energetic reserves in the seagrass were halved at 1.7 μg l −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 −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 −1 . This effect included significant inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/F m ′) and inactivation of PSII (F v /F 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 −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 −1 ) and reduced δ 13 C (1.7 μg l −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 approximately halved following diuron exposure at and above

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Seagrass biomass and productivity in the Florida Keys, USA: ground-level and airborne measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbro, L.; Carlson, P. R., Jr.; McHan, C.; Carlson, D. F.; Hu, C.; Danielson, T.; Durnan, B.; English, D. C.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Yates, K. K.; Herwitz, S.; Merrill, J.; Mewes, T.

    2013-12-01

    Seagrass communities serve as essential habitat for fish and shellfish, and recent research indicates that they can play a significant role in reducing ocean acidification. As part of a collaborative project funded by the NASA ROSES program and administered by the NASA UAV Collaborative, we collected hyperspectral imagery of seagrass beds and measured productivity of Thalassia testudinum at Sugarloaf Key, Florida, in May 2012, October 2012, and May 2013. Our primary goal was to evaluate the utility of hyperspectral sensors, in general, and UAV platforms, in specific, to measure seagrass health and productivity. Airborne measurements using the AISA Eagle hyperspectral imaging system were carried out simultaneously with ground measurements of Thalassia fluorescence, oxygen metabolism, growth, and biomass, as well as remote sensing reflectance and several in situ optical properties. Water depths at the study site ranged from less than 1 m to 5 m. Phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentrations (0.09-0.72 ug l-1), ag(440) (0-0.02 m-1), and turbidity (0.12-4.1 ntu) were relatively low for all three deployments, facilitating the collection of excellent imagery and application of water-column radiative-transfer corrections. Aboveground Thalassia and macroalgal biomass, at 18 sites in the study area, ranged from 210 to 690 and 11 to 590 gDW m-2, respectively. One-sided green leaf area index of Thalassia ranged from 0.7 to 3.0. Preliminary findings show that the sensitivity of relationships between seagrass productivity and biomass parameters and remotely-sensed habitat spectra is reduced with increasing water depth and, even in shallow water, is complicated by epiphytic algae and sediment coverage of leaf surfaces.

  18. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics of the intertidal seagrass, Zostera japonica, on the southern coast of the Korean peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong-Hyeob; Kim, Seung Hyeon; Kim, Young Kyun; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2016-12-01

    Seagrasses require a large amount of nutrient assimilation to support high levels of production, and thus nutrient limitation for growth often occurs in seagrass habitats. Seagrasses can take up nutrients from both the water column and sediments. However, since seagrasses inhabiting in the intertidal zones are exposed to the air during low tide, the intertidal species may exhibit significantly different carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics compared to the subtidal species. To examine C and N dynamics of the intertidal seagrass, Zostera japonica, C and N content and stable isotope ratios of above- and below-ground tissues were measured monthly at the three intertidal zones in Koje Bay on the southern coast of Korea. The C and N content and stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) ratios of seagrass tissues exhibited significant seasonal variations. Both leaf and rhizome C content were not significantly correlated with productivity. Leaf δ13C values usually exhibited negative correlations with leaf productivity. These results of tissue C content and δ13C values suggest that photosynthesis of Z. japonica in the study site was not limited by inorganic C supply, and sufficient inorganic C was provided from the atmosphere. The tissue N content usually exhibited negative correlations with leaf productivity except at the upper intertidal zone, suggesting that Z. japonica growth was probably limited by N availability during high growing season. In the upper intertidal zone, no correlations between leaf productivity and tissue elemental content and stable isotope ratios were observed due to the severely suppressed growth caused by strong desiccation stress.

  19. Molluscan assemblages of seagrass-covered and bare intertidal flats on the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, in relation to characteristics of sediment and organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honkoop, Pieter J. C.; Berghuis, Eilke M.; Holthuijsen, Sander; Lavaleye, Marc S. S.; Piersma, Theunis

    2008-11-01

    The Banc d'Arguin, a non-estuarine area of shallows and intertidal flats off the tropical Saharan coast of Mauritania, is characterised by extensive intertidal and subtidal seagrass beds. We examined the characteristics of intertidal seagrass ( Zostera noltii) meadows and bare areas in terms of the presence and abundance of molluscs (gastropods and bivalves). To explain observed differences between molluscan assemblages in seagrass and bare patches, some aspects of the feeding habitat (top-5 mm of the sediment) and of food (organic materials) of molluscs were examined. The novelty of this study is that phytopigments were measured and identified to assess source and level of decay (freshness) of organic material in the sediment and to study their importance as an explanatory variable for the distribution of molluscs. Over an area of 36 km 2 of intertidal flats, at 12 sites, paired comparisons were made between seagrass-covered and nearby bare patches. Within seagrass meadows, dry mass of living seagrass was large and amounted to 180 ±10 g AFDM m - 2 (range 75-240). Containing twice the amount of silt per unit dry sediment mass, seagrass sediments were muddier than bare areas; the relative amount of organic material was also larger. The total number of species of bivalves and gastropods amounted to 27, 14 of which were found only in seagrass areas, 4 only in bare and 9 in both types of habitat. Among the three numerically most abundant species, the bivalves Anadara senilis, Dosinia hepatica and Loripes lacteus, the first was numerically most abundant in bare and the other two in seagrass-covered areas. Bare intertidal areas had greater mean total biomass of molluscs (80.5 g AFDM m - 2 ) than seagrass meadows (30.0 g AFDM m - 2 ). In both habitats, the bulk of the biomass was made up by A. senilis. Excluding this species, bare mudflats contained on average only 3.1 g AFDM m - 2 and seagrass meadows 6.9 g AFDM m - 2 . As compared to previous surveys in 1980-1986, the

  20. A Global Synthesis Reveals Gaps in Coastal Habitat Restoration Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Stacy Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Coastal ecosystems have drastically declined in coverage and condition across the globe. To combat these losses, marine conservation has recently employed habitat restoration as a strategy to enhance depleted coastal ecosystems. For restoration to be a successful enterprise, however, it is necessary to identify and address potential knowledge gaps and review whether the field has tracked scientific advances regarding best practices. This enables managers, researchers, and practitioners alike to more readily establish restoration priorities and goals. We synthesized the peer-reviewed, published literature on habitat restoration research in salt marshes, oyster reefs, and seagrasses to address three questions related to restoration efforts: (i How frequent is cross-sector authorship in coastal restoration research? (ii What is the geographic distribution of coastal restoration research? and (iii Are abiotic and biotic factors equally emphasized in the literature, and how does this vary with time? Our vote-count survey indicated that one-third of the journal-published studies listed authors from at least two sectors, and 6% listed authors from all three sectors. Across all habitat types, there was a dearth of studies from Africa, Asia, and South America. Finally, despite many experimental studies demonstrating that species interactions can greatly affect the recovery and persistence of coastal foundation species, only one-fourth of the studies we examined discussed their effects on restoration. Combined, our results reveal gaps and discrepancies in restoration research that should be addressed in order to further propel coastal restoration science.

  1. Spatial variation in reproductive effort of a southern Australian seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy M; York, Paul H; Macreadie, Peter I; Keough, Michael J; Ross, D Jeff; Sherman, Craig D H

    2016-09-01

    In marine environments characterised by habitat-forming plants, the relative allocation of resources into vegetative growth and flowering is an important indicator of plant condition and hence ecosystem health. In addition, the production and abundance of seeds can give clues to local resilience. Flowering density, seed bank, biomass and epiphyte levels were recorded for the temperate seagrass Zostera nigricaulis in Port Phillip Bay, south east Australia at 14 sites chosen to represent several regions with different physicochemical conditions. Strong regional differences were found within the large bay. Spathe and seed density were very low in the north of the bay (3 sites), low in the centre of the bay (2 sites) intermediate in the Outer Geelong Arm (2 sites), high in Swan Bay (2 sites) and very high in the Inner Geelong Arm (3 sites). In the south (2 sites) seed density was low and spathe density was high. These regional patterns were largely consistent for the 5 sites sampled over the three year period. Timing of flowering was consistent across sites, occurring from August until December with peak production in October, except during the third year of monitoring when overall densities were lower and peaked in November. Seagrass biomass, epiphyte load, canopy height and stem density showed few consistent spatial and temporal patterns. Variation in spathe and seed density and morphology across Port Phillip Bay reflects varying environmental conditions and suggests that northern sites may be restricted in their ability to recover from disturbance through sexual reproduction. In contrast, sites in the west and south of the bay have greater potential to recover from disturbances due to a larger seed bank and these sites could act as source populations for sites where seed production is low. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Methane Production by Seagrass Ecosystems in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  4. Effects of seagrass bed removal for tourism purposes in a Mauritian bay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daby, D.

    2003-01-01

    Tourism affects marine environments adversely and these effects may be a major threat to the future of tourism. - Stresses and shocks are increasing on the main natural assets in Mauritius (Western Indian Ocean) by tourism (marine-based) development activities. Seagrasses are removed by hotels in the belief that they are unsightly or harbour organisms causing injury to bathers. Environmental changes (e.g. sediment characteristics and infauna distribution, water quality, seagrass biomass) resulting from clearing of a seagrass bed to create an aesthetically pleasant swimming zone for clients of a hotel were monitored during June 2000-July 2001, and compared to conditions prevailing in an adjacent undisturbed area. Key observations in the disturbed area were: highly turbid water overlying a destabilized lagoon seabed, complete loss of sediment infauna, and dramatic dry weight biomass declines (e.g. 72 and 65% in S. isoetifolium and H. uninervis, respectively). Such disruptions draw-down resilience rendering the marine habitats less robust and more vulnerable to environmental change and extreme events, with higher risks of chaos and ecological collapse, and constitute a major threat to the industry itself

  5. Effects of seagrass bed removal for tourism purposes in a Mauritian bay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daby, D

    2003-10-01

    Tourism affects marine environments adversely and these effects may be a major threat to the future of tourism. - Stresses and shocks are increasing on the main natural assets in Mauritius (Western Indian Ocean) by tourism (marine-based) development activities. Seagrasses are removed by hotels in the belief that they are unsightly or harbour organisms causing injury to bathers. Environmental changes (e.g. sediment characteristics and infauna distribution, water quality, seagrass biomass) resulting from clearing of a seagrass bed to create an aesthetically pleasant swimming zone for clients of a hotel were monitored during June 2000-July 2001, and compared to conditions prevailing in an adjacent undisturbed area. Key observations in the disturbed area were: highly turbid water overlying a destabilized lagoon seabed, complete loss of sediment infauna, and dramatic dry weight biomass declines (e.g. 72 and 65% in S. isoetifolium and H. uninervis, respectively). Such disruptions draw-down resilience rendering the marine habitats less robust and more vulnerable to environmental change and extreme events, with higher risks of chaos and ecological collapse, and constitute a major threat to the industry itself.

  6. Losing a winner: thermal stress and local pressures outweigh the positive effects of ocean acidification for tropical seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, Catherine J; Langlois, Lucas; Ow, Yan; Johansson, Charlotte; Giammusso, Manuela; Adams, Matthew P; O'Brien, Katherine R; Uthicke, Sven

    2018-06-01

    Seagrasses are globally important coastal habitat-forming species, yet it is unknown how seagrasses respond to the combined pressures of ocean acidification and warming of sea surface temperature. We exposed three tropical species of seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, and Zostera muelleri) to increasing temperature (21, 25, 30, and 35°C) and pCO 2 (401, 1014, and 1949 μatm) for 7 wk in mesocosms using a controlled factorial design. Shoot density and leaf extension rates were recorded, and plant productivity and respiration were measured at increasing light levels (photosynthesis-irradiance curves) using oxygen optodes. Shoot density, growth, photosynthetic rates, and plant-scale net productivity occurred at 25°C or 30°C under saturating light levels. High pCO 2 enhanced maximum net productivity for Z. muelleri, but not in other species. Z. muelleri was the most thermally tolerant as it maintained positive net production to 35°C, yet for the other species there was a sharp decline in productivity, growth, and shoot density at 35°C, which was exacerbated by pCO 2 . These results suggest that thermal stress will not be offset by ocean acidification during future extreme heat events and challenges the current hypothesis that tropical seagrass will be a 'winner' under future climate change conditions. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. The Growth and Mortality Rate of Mullet (Mugil dussumieri) on Seagrass Beds of The Teluk Awur Bay, Jepara

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinandita, L. K.; Riniatsih, I.; Irwani, I.

    2018-02-01

    Seagrass beds that have relatively high primary productivity are used as habitat for many marine species. Fish use seagrass as feeding, nursery, and spawning grounds. This research aimed to determinate the growth and mortality rates of mullet (Mugil dussumieri) on seagrass bed ecosystems of Teluk Awur Bay water, Jepara, Central Java. The descriptive method was applied in this research with the purposive method for sampling. Microsoft Excel software and FISAT II of FAO were used for data analyses, and the samples of 347 mullet (M. dussumieri) were taken from October until December 2016. The results of this research showed that length of fish ranges 8 - 28.9 cm with weight range 5 - 248 grams. The growth coefficient value (K) was 0.33 with asymptotic length (L∞) 30.24 cm, and the value of t was - 0.305, which will be reaching for 11 years. The rate of total mortality (Z) was 0.854 per year, the value of natural mortality (M) was 0.706 per year and the value of fishing mortality (F) was 0.148 per year. Exploitation ratio (E) was 0.173 per year, it indicated that only 17.3% of mullet’s (M. dussumieri) deaths in Teluk Awur Bay waters caused bycatch. It can be estimated that the death of mullet in Teluk Awur Bay waters affected more by the condition of the waters, in this case, the decreasing density of seagrass in research location is expected to affect the growth of mullet.

  8. Effects of CO2 enrichment on photosynthesis, growth, and nitrogen metabolism of the seagrass Zostera noltii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandre, Ana; Silva, João; Buapet, Pimchanok; Björk, Mats; Santos, Rui

    2012-01-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are expected to benefit from the global increase in CO2 in the ocean because the photosynthetic rate of these plants may be Ci-limited at the current CO2 level. As well, it is expected that lower external pH will facilitate the nitrate uptake of seagrasses if nitrate is cotransported with H+ across the membrane as in terrestrial plants. Here, we investigate the effects of CO2 enrichment on both carbon and nitrogen metabolism of the seagrass Zostera noltii in a mesocosm experiment where plants were exposed for 5 months to two experimental CO2 concentrations (360 and 700 ppm). Both the maximum photosynthetic rate (Pm) and photosynthetic efficiency (α) were higher (1.3- and 4.1-fold, respectively) in plants exposed to CO2-enriched conditions. On the other hand, no significant effects of CO2 enrichment on leaf growth rates were observed, probably due to nitrogen limitation as revealed by the low nitrogen content of leaves. The leaf ammonium uptake rate and glutamine synthetase activity were not significantly affected by increased CO2 concentrations. On the other hand, the leaf nitrate uptake rate of plants exposed to CO2-enriched conditions was fourfold lower than the uptake of plants exposed to current CO2 level, suggesting that in the seagrass Z. noltii nitrate is not cotransported with H+ as in terrestrial plants. In contrast, the activity of nitrate reductase was threefold higher in plant leaves grown at high-CO2 concentrations. Our results suggest that the global effects of CO2 on seagrass production may be spatially heterogeneous and depend on the specific nitrogen availability of each system. Under a CO2 increase scenario, the natural levels of nutrients will probably become limiting for Z. noltii. This potential limitation becomes more relevant because the expected positive effect of CO2 increase on nitrate uptake rate was not confirmed. PMID:23145346

  9. Effects of CO(2) enrichment on photosynthesis, growth, and nitrogen metabolism of the seagrass Zostera noltii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandre, Ana; Silva, João; Buapet, Pimchanok; Björk, Mats; Santos, Rui

    2012-10-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are expected to benefit from the global increase in CO(2) in the ocean because the photosynthetic rate of these plants may be C(i)-limited at the current CO(2) level. As well, it is expected that lower external pH will facilitate the nitrate uptake of seagrasses if nitrate is cotransported with H(+) across the membrane as in terrestrial plants. Here, we investigate the effects of CO(2) enrichment on both carbon and nitrogen metabolism of the seagrass Zostera noltii in a mesocosm experiment where plants were exposed for 5 months to two experimental CO(2) concentrations (360 and 700 ppm). Both the maximum photosynthetic rate (P(m)) and photosynthetic efficiency (α) were higher (1.3- and 4.1-fold, respectively) in plants exposed to CO(2)-enriched conditions. On the other hand, no significant effects of CO(2) enrichment on leaf growth rates were observed, probably due to nitrogen limitation as revealed by the low nitrogen content of leaves. The leaf ammonium uptake rate and glutamine synthetase activity were not significantly affected by increased CO(2) concentrations. On the other hand, the leaf nitrate uptake rate of plants exposed to CO(2)-enriched conditions was fourfold lower than the uptake of plants exposed to current CO(2) level, suggesting that in the seagrass Z. noltii nitrate is not cotransported with H(+) as in terrestrial plants. In contrast, the activity of nitrate reductase was threefold higher in plant leaves grown at high-CO(2) concentrations. Our results suggest that the global effects of CO(2) on seagrass production may be spatially heterogeneous and depend on the specific nitrogen availability of each system. Under a CO(2) increase scenario, the natural levels of nutrients will probably become limiting for Z. noltii. This potential limitation becomes more relevant because the expected positive effect of CO(2) increase on nitrate uptake rate was not confirmed.

  10. Bacterial interactions in the rhizosphere of seagrass communities in shallow coastal lagoons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, A P; Herbert, R A

    1998-12-01

    Rooted phanerogam communities in the shallow intertidal and subtidal coastal zone represent productive and healthy ecosystems. Inorganic nutrients are assimilated into seagrass biomass. Much of the organic matter resulting from moribund seagrass is rapidly mineralized, principally by bacteria. The microbial community of the rhizosphere is also highly active due to the supply of organic matter released during photosynthesis. This active sediment community plays an important role through carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous cycling in maintaining the stability and productivity of seagrass meadows. Over the last two decades, however, seagrass meadows in European coastal areas have declined due to increasing pollution. As eutrophication advances a trasition occurs from rooted phanerogram dominated communities to planktonic algal blooms and/or cyanobacterial blooms. Such changes represent the decline of a stable, high biodiversity habitat to an unstable one dominated by a few species. These changes of community structure can occur rapidly once the internal nutrient and organic matter control cycles are exceeded. A field investigation was undertaken to establish the spatial distribution of bacterial populations of Zostera noltii colonized and uncolonized sediment in the Bassin d'Arcachon, France. Bacteria were enumerated using both plate count and MPN techniques for different functional groups as well as determining the total bacterial populations present. Nitrogen fixation, ammonification, sulphate reduction rates, as well as alkaline phosphatase activity were also determined. Colonization of the Z. noltii roots and rhizomes was studied by light and scanning electron microscopy. Results confirmed that higher bacterial populations were present in the rhizosphere of Z. noltii compared to uncolonized sediments. Furthermore, electron microscopy identified the rhizome as the main site of colonization for a diverse range of morphological groups of bacteria. Sulphate reducing

  11. Waves in Seagrass Systems: Review and Technical Recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-11-01

    Florida, St. Petersburg, FL, 123 pp. Koch, E. W. 1994. Hydrodynamics, diffusion boundary layers and photosynthesis of the seagrasses Thalassia testudinum...ER D C TR -0 6- 15 System-Wide Water Resources Program Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration Research Program Waves in Seagrass ...Water Resources Research Program and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration Research Program ERDC TR-06-15 November 2006 Waves in Seagrass Systems

  12. Application of Dredged Materials and Steelmaking Slag as Basal Media to Restore and Create Seagrass Beds: Mesocosm and Core Incubation Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukasaki, A.; Suzumura, M.; Tsurushima, N.; Nakazato, T.; Huang, Y.; Tanimoto, T.; Yamada, N.; Nishijima, W.

    2016-02-01

    Seagrass beds stabilize bottom sediments, improve water quality and light conditions, enhance species diversity, and provide habitat complexity in coastal marine environments. Seagrass beds are now experiencing worldwide decline by rapid environmental changes. Possible options of seagrass bed restoration are civil engineering works including mounding to raise the bottom to elevations with suitable light for seagrass growth. Reuse or recycling of dredged materials (DM) and various industrial by-products including steelmaking slags is a beneficial option to restore and create seagrass beds. To evaluate the applicability of DM and dephosphorization slag (Slag) as basal media of seagrass beds, we carried out mesocosm experiments and core incubation experiments in a land-based flow-through seawater tank over a year. During the mesocosm experiment, no difference was found in growth of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and macrobenthic community structures between Slag-based sediments and sand-based control experiments, even though Slag-based sediments exhibited substantially higher pH than sand-based sediments. During the core incubation experiment, we investigated detailed variation and distributions of pH and nutrients, and diffusion fluxes of nutrients between the sediment/seawater interface. Though addition of Slag induced high pH up to 10.7 in deep layers (sediments, whereas dissolved phosphate concentration was substantially reduced by the addition of Slag. The low concentrations of phosphate was likely due to precipitation with calcium under high pH condition. Diffusion fluxes of nutrients from the cores were comparable with those reported in natural coastal systems. It was suggested that the mixture of Slag and DM is applicable as basal media for construction of artificial seagrass beds.

  13. Sexual production in SE Asian seagrasses: the absence of a seed bank in Thalassia hemprichii (Bolinao, NW Philippines)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rollon, R.N.; Nacorda, H.M.E.; Vermaat, J.E.

    2003-01-01

    We report the absence of a persistent seed bank in Thalassia hemprichii in NW Philippine seagrass beds. The survival of buried seeds was assessed experimentally since such a capacity is a prerequisite for the formation of seed bank. We found a rapid germination of non-dormant seeds and development

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Balancing the edge effects budget: bay scallop settlement and loss along a seagrass edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, John M; Furman, Bradley T; Tettelbach, Stephen T; Peterson, Bradley J

    2012-07-01

    Edge effects are a dominant subject in landscape ecology literature, yet they are highly variable and poorly understood. Often, the literature suggests simple models for edge effects-positive (enhancement at the edge), negative (enhancement at the interior), or no effect (neutral)--on a variety of metrics, including abundance, diversity, and mortality. In the marine realm, much of this work has focused on fragmented seagrass habitats due to their importance for a variety of commercially important species. In this study, the settlement, recruitment, and survival of bay scallops was investigated across a variety of seagrass patch treatments. By simultaneously collecting settlers (those viable larvae available to settle and metamorphose) and recruits (those settlers that survive some period of time, in this case, 6 weeks) on the same collectors, we were able to demonstrate a "balance" between positive and negative edge effects, resulting in a net neutral effect. Scallop settlement was significantly enhanced along seagrass edges, regardless of patch type while survival was elevated within patch interiors. However, recruitment (the net result of settlement and post-settlement loss) did not vary significantly from edge to center, representing a neutral effect. Further, results suggest that post-settlement loss, most likely due to predation, appears to be the dominant mechanism structuring scallop abundance, not patterns in settlement. These data illustrate the complexity of edge effects, and suggest that the metric used to investigate the effect (be it abundance, survival, or other metrics) can often influence the magnitude and direction of the perceived effect. Traditionally, high predation along a habitat edge would have indicated an "ecological trap" for the species in question; however, this study demonstrates that, at the population level, an ecological trap may not exist.

  17. Seagrass ecosystem response to long-term high CO2 in a Mediterranean volcanic vent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolaki, Eugenia T; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Hendriks, Iris E; Olsen, Ylva S

    2014-08-01

    We examined the long-term effect of naturally acidified water on a Cymodocea nodosa meadow growing at a shallow volcanic CO2 vent in Vulcano Island (Italy). Seagrass and adjacent unvegetated habitats growing at a low pH station (pH = 7.65 ± 0.02) were compared with corresponding habitats at a control station (pH = 8.01 ± 0.01). Density and biomass showed a clear decreasing trend at the low pH station and the below- to above-ground biomass ratio was more than 10 times lower compared to the control. C content and δ(13)C of leaves and epiphytes were significantly lower at the low pH station. Photosynthetic activity of C. nodosa was stimulated by low pH as seen by the significant increase in Chla content of leaves, maximum electron transport rate and compensation irradiance. Seagrass community metabolism was intense at the low pH station, with significantly higher net community production, respiration and gross primary production than the control community, whereas metabolism of the unvegetated community did not differ between stations. Productivity was promoted by the low pH, but this was not translated into biomass, probably due to nutrient limitation, grazing or poor environmental conditions. The results indicate that seagrass response in naturally acidified conditions is dependable upon species and geochemical characteristics of the site and highlight the need for a better understanding of complex interactions in these environments. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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 (C org ) stocks, losses, and gains from restorations at 8 previously-disturbed seagrass sites around the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) (n=128 cores). Mean natural seagrass C org stocks were 25.7±6.7MgC org ha -1 around the GoM, while mean C org stocks at adjacent barren sites that had previously hosted seagrass were 17.8MgC org ha -1 . Restored seagrass beds contained a mean of 38.7±13.1MgC org ha -1 . Mean C org losses differed by anthropogenic impact type, but averaged 20.98±7.14MgC org ha -1 . C org gains from seagrass restoration averaged 20.96±8.59Mgha -1 . These results, when combined with the similarity between natural and restored C org content, highlight the potential of seagrass restoration for mitigating seagrass C org losses from prior impact events. Our GoM basin-wide estimates of natural C org totaled ~36.4Tg for the 947,327ha for the USA-GoM. Including Mexico, the total basin contained an estimated 37.2-37.5Tg C org . Regional US-GoM losses totaled 21.69Tg C org . C org 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.

  19. Moderate Increase in TCO2 Enhances Photosynthesis of Seagrass Zostera japonica, but Not Zostera marina: Implications for Acidification Mitigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cale A. Miller

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthesis and respiration are vital biological processes that shape the diurnal variability of carbonate chemistry in nearshore waters, presumably ameliorating (daytime or exacerbating (nighttime short-term acidification events, which are expected to increase in severity with ocean acidification (OA. Biogenic habitats such as seagrass beds have the capacity to reduce CO2 concentration and potentially provide refugia from OA. Further, some seagrasses have been shown to increase their photosynthetic rate in response to enriched total CO2 (TCO2. Therefore, the ability of seagrass to mitigate OA may increase as concentrations of TCO2 increase. In this study, we exposed native Zostera marina and non-native Zostera japonica seagrasses from Padilla Bay, WA (USA to various levels of irradiance and TCO2. Our results indicate that the average maximum net photosynthetic rate (Pmax for Z. japonica as a function of irradiance and TCO2 was 3x greater than Z. marina when standardized to chlorophyll (360 ± 33 μmol TCO2 mg chl−1 h−1 and 113 ± 10 μmol TCO2 mg chl−1 h−1, respectively. Additionally, Z. japonica increased its Pmax ~50% when TCO2 increased from ~1,770 to 2,051 μmol TCO2 kg−1. In contrast, Z. marina did not display an increase in Pmax with higher TCO2, possibly due to the variance of photosynthetic rates at saturating irradiance within TCO2 treatments (coefficient of variation: 30–60% relative to the range of TCO2 tested. Our results suggest that Z. japonica can affect the OA mitigation potential of seagrass beds, and its contribution may increase relative to Z. marina as oceanic TCO2 rises. Further, we extended our empirical results to incorporate various biomass to water volume ratios in order to conceptualize how these additional attributes affect changes in carbonate chemistry. Estimates show that the change in TCO2 via photosynthetic carbon uptake as modeled in this study can produce positive diurnal changes in pH and

  20. Importance of seagrass-mangrove continuum as feeding grounds for juvenile pink ear emperor Lethrinus lentjan in Setiu Lagoon, Malaysia: Stable isotope approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Dung Quang; Tanaka, Kentaro; Hii, Yii Siang; Sano, Yuji; Nanjo, Kusuto; Shirai, Kotaro

    2018-05-01

    The commercially important pink ear emperor fish, Lethrinus lentjan, often occurs as a juvenile in subtropical and tropical interlinked mangrove and seagrass ecosystems, but little is known about its feeding habits and habitat use. Here, we used gut contents and stable isotopic (δ13C and δ15N) ratios to determine temporal changes in food sources and foraging habits of juvenile and sub-adult fish collected in mangrove forests and seagrass beds in the Setiu Lagoon. Gut content examination identified the main food sources as crustaceans, gastropods, bivalves, and annelids. Stable isotope analysis of food sources showed marked differences between the mangroves (δ13C = -26.8 ± 2.0‰; δ15N = 4.3 ± 1.7‰) and the seagrasses (mean ± S.D. δ13C = -20.5 ± 5.5‰; δ15N = 5.8 ± 1.2‰). The isotopic composition of L. lentjan revealed that it mainly utilized seagrass-based food sources. Rainfall and the semi-diurnal tidal regimes may affect the foraging habitats of fish in the lagoon. A significant depletion of 13C related to body size was observed, suggesting that mangroves provided some benefits to sub-adult fish. In contrast, trophic position increased with fish growth, although this increase was negligible. A stable isotope mixing model confirmed that the seagrass bed constituted the main carbon source for the fish, but with an increasing contribution of mangrove prey, such as sesarmid crabs, related to fish growth. This study provided novel information on seasonal variations in feeding areas and flexible habitat use in L. lentjan in the Setiu Lagoon, which will help optimize management strategies for sustainable use and wildlife conservation.

  1. Seagrass Biomass and Productivity in Seaweed and Non-Seaweed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seagrass beds are often subjected to stress resulting from natural and human activities. In this study, the shoot density, biomass and growth characteristics of Thalassia hemprichii and Enhalus acoroides were measured to assess the impact of seaweed farming activities on seagrass meadows at Marumbi, Chwaka Bay and ...

  2. 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....

  3. Status and threats on seagrass beds using GIS in Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Cao Van; Thao, Nguyen Van; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Ve, Nguyen Dac; Tien, Dam Duc

    2012-10-01

    Seagrasses, marine flowering plants, are widely distributed along temperate and tropical coastlines of the world. Seagrasses have key ecological roles in coastal ecosystems and can form extensive meadows supporting high biodiversity. Till now, fourteen seagrass species belonging to four families were found in Vietnam: Halophila beccarii, H. decipiens, H. ovalis, H. minor, Thalassia hemprichii, Enhalus acoroides, Ruppia maritima, Halodule pinifolia, H. uninervis, Syringodium isoetifolium, Cymadocea rotundata, C. serrulata and Thalassodendron ciliatum. A total area of seagrass beds in Vietnam is estimated to be approximately 17000 ha by satellite images and GIS technology. In recent years, the distribution areas and densities of seagrass beds in Vietnam have been serious decreased compared with those 10-15 years ago. The decline level depended on the impacts by the natural process, the economical activities and the conservation awareness of local people. Thus, it is different at each coastal area. Generally speaking, the distribution areas and densities of seagrass beds were decreased by more than 50%. Seagrasses on tidal flats in some areas such as Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Phu Quoc seem to be nearly lost. The distribution areas of seagrass beds in 2009 at Tam Giang-Cau Hai lagoon and Cua Dai estuary was decreased by 50-70% of those in early 1990s.

  4. Contribution of genetics and genomics to seagrass biology and conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Procaccini, Gabriele; Olsen, Jeanine L.; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2007-01-01

    Genetic diversity is one of three forms of biodiversity recognized by the IUCN as deserving conservation along with species and ecosystems. Seagrasses provide all three levels in one. This review addresses the latest advances in our understanding of seagrass population genetics and genomics within

  5. 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

  6. Food choice effects on herbivory: Intra-specific seagrass palatability and inter-specific macrophyte palatability in seagrass communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Ramos, Rocío; Brun, Fernando G.; Egea, Luis G.; Vergara, Juan J.

    2018-05-01

    Interactions between the palatability and abundance of different food sources may influence herbivory patterns in seagrass-dominated communities. In addition, intra-specific differences in nutrient and structural quality of leaves may also alter seagrass palatability and generate different rates of consumption within these communities. We offered two temperate seagrasses species, (Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera noltei) from two different locations to look at intraspecific differences, and two other macrophytes, both of which occur at the same location as seagrasses but represent the extremes of palatability, to a generalist herbivore Paracentrotus lividus (purple sea urchin). Using feeding assays, we compared the consumption rates in individual (single plant species) and combined diets at different food availabilities. Intra-specific differences between seagrass species growing at different locations (inner and outer bay) were indeed found to significantly modify the consumption rate for one species. Structural traits such as carbon content were linked to the low consumption found in Cymodocea nodosa from the inner bay location. In addition, we found that the co-occurrence of different macrophyte species can result in preferential consumption of the more palatable macrophyte with high nutritional content and low structural defence over seagrasses, especially when P. lividus has an abundant food supply. Overall, our findings suggest that intra- and inter-specific differences in seagrass traits and the relative abundance of other macrophytes may explain the variability in patterns of herbivory found within seagrass communities.

  7. Short-term effects of habitat fragmentation on the abundance and species richness of beetles in experimental alfalfa micro-landscapes Efectos a corto plazo de la fragmentación del hábitat sobre la abundancia y riqueza de especies de coleópteros en micro-paisajes experimentales de alfalfa

    OpenAIRE

    AUDREY A. GREZ; TANIA ZAVIEZO; SUSANA REYES

    2004-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered as the main causes of biodiversity depression. Habitat loss implies a reduction of suitable habitat for organisms, and habitat fragmentation is a change in the spatial configuration of the landscape, with the remaining fragments resulting more or less isolated. Recent theory indicates that the effects of habitat loss are more important than those of habitat fragmentation, however there are few experimental studies evaluating both processes separat...

  8. 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 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. ?

  9. 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.

  10. Predicting Seagrass Occurrence in a Changing Climate Using Random Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydin, O.; Butler, K. A.

    2017-12-01

    Seagrasses are marine plants that can quickly sequester vast amounts of carbon (up to 100 times more and 12 times faster than tropical forests). In this work, we present an integrated GIS and machine learning approach to build a data-driven model of seagrass presence-absence. We outline a random forest approach that avoids the prevalence bias in many ecological presence-absence models. One of our goals is to predict global seagrass occurrence from a spatially limited training sample. In addition, we conduct a sensitivity study which investigates the vulnerability of seagrass to changing climate conditions. We integrate multiple data sources including fine-scale seagrass data from MarineCadastre.gov and the recently available globally extensive publicly available Ecological Marine Units (EMU) dataset. These data are used to train a model for seagrass occurrence along the U.S. coast. In situ oceans data are interpolated using Empirical Bayesian Kriging (EBK) to produce globally extensive prediction variables. A neural network is used to estimate probable future values of prediction variables such as ocean temperature to assess the impact of a warming climate on seagrass occurrence. The proposed workflow can be generalized to many presence-absence models.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 Zostera muelleri and Halodule uninervis 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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...... 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....

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Linking pipefishes and seahorses to their habitat: implications for species conservation in the Venice lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Scapin

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows of the Venice lagoon (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy are spatially heterogeneous systems, with attributes such as degree of coverage and plant assemblages varying along multiple environmental gradients. They play a particularly relevant role in conservation of fish diversity, since they provide vital habitats for pipefish and seahorse species (family Syngnathidae. Aim of the study was to investigate the diversity of syngnathid assemblages in the Venice lagoon and link species distributions to habitat characteristics, in order to evaluate the importance of seagrass meadows of the lagoon for the conservation of these species. The analyses of this work are based on eight years of fish data collected between 2001 and 2014 in 186 shallow water sites across the entire lagoon. Water parameters, presence of macroalgae, seagrass presence and coverage, as well as meadows species composition, were considered as predictors in a modelling framework, to explain the distribution of each species. Overall, two species of seahorses and seven species of pipefishes including the Adriatic endemism Syngnathus taenionotus were found. Three species (S. abaster, S. typhle and Nerophis ophidion were the most abundant, together accounting for 98% of total individuals caught. Both seagrass presence and its coverage resulted significant predictors, with densities of S. abaster, S. typhle, N. ophidion and Hippocampus guttulatus being positively associated with higher percentages of seagrass cover. In addition, some evidences suggested a different functionality of different meadow types in supporting both S. typhle and N. ophidion. The study highlighted the role of Venice lagoon as biodiversity hotspot for syngnathids, since it supports nine out of the 10 species known in the Mediterranean (with only S. phlegon being absent. Results also suggested the importance of habitat management, which should aim at compensating for seagrass habitat loss and therefore

  1. Seagrass Control Project: Containment Boom Evaluation. A Method to Protect Seawater Intakes from Seagrass Accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-10-01

    containment booms at other mooring sites with significantly different physical and environ- mental conditions is recommended before full-scale application...deployment pattern for the different ship types. Modified procedures may also be needed to deploy the boom under a different set of physical and environmental... STPM Press Publ. New York, 353pp. 1980. Pulich, W., S. Barnes and P. Parker. Trace metal cycles in seagrass communities. pp 493-506 in M. Wiley, ed

  2. 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)

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

    KAUST Repository

    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

    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

  4. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Arun Kumar Agnihotri

    KEY WORDS: Antioxidant; Total Phenols; Total Flavonoids; FRAP; TEAC; Seagrass;. Seaweed; Seasonal ... ozone (O3) and peroxynitrite (ONOO−) are not free radicals but can ... oxygen during respiration and from the synthesis of complex ...

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The influence of CO2 enrichment on net photosynthesis of seagrass Zostera marina in a brackish water environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liina Pajusalu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are distributed across the globe and their communities may play key roles in the coastal ecosystems. Seagrass meadows are expected to benefit from the increased carbon availability which might be used in photosynthesis in a future high CO2 world. The main aim of this study was to examine the effect of elevated pCO2 on the net photosynthesis of seagrass Zostera marina in a brackish water environment. The short-term mesocosm experiments were conducted in Kõiguste Bay (northern part of Gulf of Riga, the Baltic Sea in June-July 2013 and 2014. As the levels of pCO2 naturally range from ca. 150 μatm to well above 1000 μatm under summer conditions in Kõiguste Bay we chose to operate in mesocosms with the pCO2 levels of ca. 2000, ca. 1000 and ca. 200 μatm. Additionally, in 2014 the photosynthesis of Z. marina was measured outside of the mesocosm in the natural conditions. In the shallow coastal Baltic Sea seagrass Z. marina lives in a highly variable environment due to seasonality and rapid changes in meteorological conditions. This was demonstrated by the remarkable differences in water temperatures between experimental years of ca. 8°C. Thus, the current study also investigated the effect of elevated pCO2 in combination with short-term natural fluctuations of environmental factors, i.e. temperature and PAR on the photosynthesis of Z. marina. Our results show that elevated pCO2 alone did not enhance the photosynthesis of the seagrass. The photosynthetic response of Z. marina to CO2 enrichment was affected by changes in water temperature and light availability.

  10. Modeled CO2 Emissions from Coastal Wetland Transitions to Other Land Uses: Tidal Marshes, Mangrove Forests, and Seagrass Beds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E. Lovelock

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The sediments of coastal wetlands contain large stores of carbon which are vulnerable to oxidation once disturbed, resulting in high levels of CO2 emissions that may be avoided if coastal ecosystems are conserved or restored. We used a simple model to estimate CO2 emissions from mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and tidal marshes based on known decomposition rates for organic matter in these ecosystems under either oxic or anoxic conditions combined with assumptions of the proportion of sediment carbon being deposited in either oxic or anoxic environments following a disturbance of the habitat. Our model found that over 40 years after disturbance the cumulative CO2 emitted from tidal marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds were ~70–80% of the initial carbon stocks in the top meter of the sediment. Comparison of our estimates of CO2 emissions with empirical studies suggests that (1 assuming 50% of organic material moves to an oxic environment after disturbance gives rise to estimates that are similar to CO2 emissions reported for tidal marshes; (2 field measurements of CO2 emissions in disturbed mangrove forests were generally higher than our modeled emissions that assumed 50% of organic matter was deposited in oxic conditions, suggesting higher proportions of organic matter may be exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance in mangrove ecosystems; and (3 the generally low observed rates of CO2 emissions from disturbed seagrasses compared to our estimates, assuming removal of 50% of the organic matter to oxic environments, suggests that lower proportions may be exposed to oxic conditions in seagrass ecosystems. There are significant gaps in our knowledge of the fate of wetland sediment carbon in the marine environment after disturbance. Greater knowledge of the distribution, form, decomposition, and emission rates of wetland sediment carbon after disturbance would help to improve models.

  11. Predicting the cumulative effect of multiple disturbances on seagrass connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech, Alana; Hanert, Emmanuel; McKenzie, Len; Rasheed, Michael; Thomas, Christopher; Tol, Samantha; Wang, Mingzhu; Waycott, Michelle; Wolter, Jolan; Coles, Rob

    2018-03-15

    The rate of exchange, or connectivity, among populations effects their ability to recover after disturbance events. However, there is limited information on the extent to which populations are connected or how multiple disturbances affect connectivity, especially in coastal and marine ecosystems. We used network analysis and the outputs of a biophysical model to measure potential functional connectivity and predict the impact of multiple disturbances on seagrasses in the central Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), Australia. The seagrass networks were densely connected, indicating that seagrasses are resilient to the random loss of meadows. Our analysis identified discrete meadows that are important sources of seagrass propagules and that serve as stepping stones connecting various different parts of the network. Several of these meadows were close to urban areas or ports and likely to be at risk from coastal development. Deep water meadows were highly connected to coastal meadows and may function as a refuge, but only for non-foundation species. We evaluated changes to the structure and functioning of the seagrass networks when one or more discrete meadows were removed due to multiple disturbance events. The scale of disturbance required to disconnect the seagrass networks into two or more components was on average >245 km, about half the length of the metapopulation. The densely connected seagrass meadows of the central GBRWHA are not limited by the supply of propagules; therefore, management should focus on improving environmental conditions that support natural seagrass recruitment and recovery processes. Our study provides a new framework for assessing the impact of global change on the connectivity and persistence of coastal and marine ecosystems. Without this knowledge, management actions, including coastal restoration, may prove unnecessary and be unsuccessful. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Phytotoxicity of Four Photosystem II Herbicides to Tropical Seagrasses

    OpenAIRE

    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 identi...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:24163635

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    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...

  19. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks

    KAUST Repository

    Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Serrano, Oscar; Masqué , Pere; Lavery, P. S.; Mueller, U.; Kendrick, G. A.; Rozaimi, M.; Esteban, A.; Fourqurean, J. W.; Marbà , N.; Mateo, M. A.; Murray, K.; Rule, M. J.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass

  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. Acute and additive toxicity of ten photosystem-II herbicides to seagrass

    OpenAIRE

    Adam D. Wilkinson; Catherine J. Collier; Florita Flores; Andrew P. Negri

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II herbicides are transported to inshore marine waters, including those of the Great Barrier Reef, and are usually detected in complex mixtures. These herbicides inhibit photosynthesis, which can deplete energy reserves and reduce growth in seagrass, but the toxicity of some of these herbicides to seagrass is unknown and combined effects of multiple herbicides on seagrass has not been tested. Here we assessed the acute phytotoxicity of 10 PSII herbicides to the seagrass Halophila ...

  2. 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

  3. 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,

  4. 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.

  5. Impact of pond aquaculture effluents on seagrass performance in NE Hainan, tropical China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbeck, Lucia S.; Sollich, Miriam; Unger, Daniela; Holmer, Marianne; Jennerjahn, Tim C.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Seagrass performance in relation to large-scale pond aquaculture was assessed. • Effluent-affected seagrass meadows have a low biodiversity, shoot density and biomass. • Shading by epiphytes and sulphide poisoning are major decline mechanisms of seagrasses. • Distance to effluent source and pond agglomeration size are major determinants of seagrass degradation. - Abstract: 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

  6. ESTIMATION OF SEAGRASS COVERAGE BY DEPTH INVARIANT INDICES ON QUICKBIRD IMAGERY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Anshar Amran

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Management of seagrass ecosystem requires availability of information on the actual condition of seagrass coverage. Remote sensing technology for seagrass mapping has been used to detect the presence of seagrass coverage, but so far no information on the condition of seagrass could be obtained. Therefore, a research is required using remote sensing imagery to obtain information on the condition of seagrass coverage.The aim of this research is to formulate mathematical relationship between seagrass coverage and depth invariant indices on Quickbird imagery. Transformation was done on multispectral bands which could detect sea floor objects that are in the region of blue, green and red bands.The study areas covered are the seas around Barranglompo Island and Barrangcaddi Island, westward of Makassar city, Indonesia. Various seagrass coverages were detected within the region under study.Mathematical relationship between seagrass coverage and depth invariant indices was obtained by multiple linear regression method. Percentage of seagrass coverage (C was obtained by transformation of depth invariant indices (Xij on Quickbird imagery, with transformation equation as follows:C = 19.934 – 63.347 X12 + 23.239 X23.A good accuracy of 75% for the seagrass coverage was obtained by transformation of depth invariant indices (Xij on Quickbird imagery.

  7. 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

  8. Dugong dugon feeding in tropical Australian seagrass meadows: implications for conservation planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha J. Tol

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Dugongs (Dugong dugon are listed as vulnerable to extinction due to rapid population reductions caused in part by loss of seagrass feeding meadows. Understanding dugong feeding behaviour in tropical Australia, where the majority of dugongs live, will assist conservation strategies. We examined whether feeding patterns in intertidal seagrass meadows in tropical north-eastern Australia were related to seagrass biomass, species composition and/or nitrogen content. The total biomass of each seagrass species removed by feeding dugongs was measured and compared to its relative availability. Nitrogen concentrations were also determined for each seagrass species present at the sites. Dugongs consumed seagrass species in proportion to their availability, with biomass being the primary determining factor. Species composition and/or nitrogen content influenced consumption to a lesser degree. Conservation plans focused on protecting high biomass intertidal seagrass meadows are likely to be most effective at ensuring the survival of dugong in tropical north-eastern Australia.

  9. Quantifying and modelling the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrass meadows--a critical assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macreadie, P I; Baird, M E; Trevathan-Tackett, S M; Larkum, A W D; Ralph, P J

    2014-06-30

    Seagrasses are among the planet's most effective natural ecosystems for sequestering (capturing and storing) carbon (C); but if degraded, they could leak stored C into the atmosphere and accelerate global warming. Quantifying and modelling the C sequestration capacity is therefore critical for successfully managing seagrass ecosystems to maintain their substantial abatement potential. At present, there is no mechanism to support carbon financing linked to seagrass. For seagrasses to be recognised by the IPCC and the voluntary C market, standard stock assessment methodologies and inventories of seagrass C stocks are required. Developing accurate C budgets for seagrass meadows is indeed complex; we discuss these complexities, and, in addition, we review techniques and methodologies that will aid development of C budgets. We also consider a simple process-based data assimilation model for predicting how seagrasses will respond to future change, accompanied by a practical list of research priorities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Redox-Stratified Bacterial Communities in Sediments Associated with Multiple Lucinid Bivalve Species: Implications for Symbiosis in Changing Coastal Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, A. T.; Fortier, C. M.; Long, B.; Kokesh, B. S.; Lim, S. J.; Campbell, B. J.; Anderson, L. C.; Engel, A. S.

    2017-12-01

    Lucinids, chemosymbiotic marine bivalves, occupy strong redox gradient habitats, including the rhizosphere of coastal seagrass beds and mangrove forests in subtropical to tropical ecosystems. Lucinids and their sulfide-oxidizing gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts, which are acquired from the environment, provide a critical ecosystem service by removing toxic reduced sulfur compounds from the surrounding environment, and lucinids may be an important food source to economically valuable fisheries. The habitats of Phacoides pectinatus, Stewartia floridana, Codakia orbicularis, Ctena orbiculata, and Lucina pensylvanica lucinids in Florida and San Salvador in The Bahamas were evaluated in comprehensive malacological, microbiological, and geochemical surveys. Vegetation cover included different seagrass species or calcareous green macroalgae. All sites were variably affected by anthropogenic activities, as evidenced by visible prop scars in seagrass beds, grain size distributions atypical of low energy environments (i.e., artificial fill or dredge material from nearby channels), and high levels of pyrogenic hydrocarbon compounds in sediment indicative of urbanization impact. Where present, lucinid population densities frequently exceeded 2000 individuals per cubic meter, and were typically more abundant underlying seagrass compared to unvegetated, bare sand. Dissolved oxygen and sulfide levels varied from where lucinids were recovered. The sediment bacterial communities from classified 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the diversity of putative anaerobic groups increased with sediment depth, but putative aerobes, including of Gammaproteobacteria related to the lucinid endosymbionts, decreased with depth. Where multiple seagrass species co-occurred, retrieved bacterial community compositions correlated to overlying seagrass species, but diversity differed from bare sand patches, including among putative free-living endosymbiont groups. As such, continued sea

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernán, Gema; Ramajo, Laura; Basso, Lorena; Delgado, Antonio; Terrados, Jorge; Duarte, Carlos M; Tomas, Fiona

    2016-12-01

    Under future increased CO 2 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 CO 2 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 pCO 2 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 pCO 2 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.

  18. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina C Hicks

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We discuss the natural and anthropogenic factors that may account for the observed low diversity of seagrasses in southern Velondriake, including overfishing, beach-seining, cyclones, siltation and mangrove deforestation. Based on these baseline surveys, as well as discussions with local communities, it is recommended ...

  1. Nearshore drift dynamics of natural versus artificial seagrass wrack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baring, Ryan J.; Fairweather, Peter G.; Lester, Rebecca E.

    2018-03-01

    Drifting macrophytes such as seagrass and macroalgae are commonly found washed ashore on sandy beaches but few studies have investigated the drift trajectories of macrophytes whilst near to the coast. This is the first study to investigate the surface drifting of small clumps of seagrass released at various distances from shore, across multiple days with contrasting wind and tidal conditions, in a large gulf in southern Australia. Natural and artificial radio-tagged seagrass units generally travelled in the same directions as tides but trajectories were variable across sampling days and when tagged units were released at different distances from shore. Natural and artificial units diverged from each other particularly on days when wind speeds increased but generally drifted in the same direction and ended up within close proximity to each other at the 6-h endpoint. During calm conditions, tagged seagrass units drifted with tides for 0.25-5 km and, during one sampling day when wind speeds increased, drifted for >5 km over the 6-h time period. Only tagged units that were released closest to shore stranded on sandy beaches within the six hours of observation, so it would be difficult to predict the eventual stranding location on shorelines for macrophytes released further offshore. This study provides evidence of the variability of macrophyte drift dynamics near to coastlines. Acknowledging this variability is essential for further understanding of the ecological significance of allochthonous material arriving at shorelines, which should be integrated into future research and management of sandy-beach ecosystems.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Seagrass Ecosystem Services and Their Variability across Genera and Geographical Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mtwana Nordlund, Lina; Koch, Evamaria W; Barbier, Edward B; Creed, Joel C

    2016-01-01

    Threats to and loss of seagrass ecosystems globally, impact not only natural resources but also the lives of people who directly or indirectly depend on these systems. Seagrass ecosystems play a multi-functional role in human well-being, e.g. food through fisheries, control of erosion and protection against floods. Quantifying these services reveals their contributions to human well-being and helps justify seagrass conservation. There has been no comprehensive assessment as to whether seagrass ecosystem services are perceived to vary over the globe or amongst genera. Our study compiles the most complete list of ecosystem services provided by seagrasses so far, including bioregional- and genus-specific information from expert opinion and published studies. Several seagrass ecosystem services vary considerably in their (known) provision across genera and over the globe. Seagrasses genera are clearly not all equal with regard to the ecosystem services they provide. As seagrass genera are not evenly distributed over all bioregions, the presence of an ecosystem service sometimes depends on the genera present. Larger sized seagrass genera (e.g. Posidonia, Enhalus) are perceived to provide more substantial and a wider variety of ecosystem services than smaller species (e.g. Halophila, Lepilaena). Nevertheless, smaller species provide important services. Our findings point out data gaps, provide new insight for more efficient management and recommend caution in economic valuation of seagrass services worldwide.

  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. Effects of an Experimental Enrichment of Instream Habitat Heterogeneity on the Stream Bed Morphology and Chironomid Community of a Straightened Section in a Sandy Lowland Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spänhoff, Bernd; Riss, Wolfgang; Jäkel, Paul; Dakkak, Nadja; Meyer, Elisabeth I.

    2006-02-01

    A straightened stream stretch with poor habitat heterogeneity was divided into a “control” section with a low amount of submerged woody debris and an experimentally “wood-enriched” downstream section to study the effect of enhanced habitat diversity on the benthic invertebrate community. The downstream section was enriched by fixing 25 wood packages constructed from 9-10 branches on the stream bottom. Succession processes occurring in the two stream sections were compared by chironomid exuviae drift from July to November 2000 and from April to August 2001. During the first sampling period, more drifting chironomid exuviae (medians of control vs. wood-enriched: 446 vs. 331, no significant difference) and total number of taxa (44 vs. 36, Wilcoxon signed-rank test P = 0.019) were recorded for the control section. Although species compositions of both stream sections were highly similar (Sørensen index: 0.83) the diversity in the wood-enriched section was distinctly lower compared to the control section (Shannon-Weaver index: 1.19 vs. 1.50). During the second sampling period, exuviae numbers remained higher in the control section (median: 326 vs. 166), but total numbers of taxa were nearly equal (51 vs. 49), as well as species diversity (Shannon-Weaver index: 1.67 vs. 1.64). The lower chironomid diversity observed during the first sampling period coincided with a gradual but significant change of the streambed morphology in the wood-enriched section. There, the initially more U-shaped profile (V/U = 0.81 ± 0.37) had turned into a pronounced V shape (V/U = 1.14 ± 0.21), whereas the control section retained its unaltered U shape (V/U = 0.62-0.75). This small-scale study on experimental of woody debris in sandy lowland streams showed that the negative impact of increased hydraulic disturbance of the existing streambed more than outweighed any positive impact resulting from the increase in woody debris.

  8. Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, I.; Marbà , N.; Lovelock, C. E.; Serrano, O.; Lavery, P. S.; Fourqurean, J. W.; Kennedy, H.; Mateo, M. A.; Krause-Jensen, D.; Steven, A. D. L.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

    2014-01-01

    Macrophytes growing in shallow coastal zones characterised by intense metabolic activity have the capacity to modify pH within their canopy and beyond. We observed diel pH changes in shallow (5-12 m) seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadows spanning 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, max and range pHNBS and max and range ΩAr. In June, vertical mixing (as Turbulent Kinetic Energy) influenced max and min ΩAr, while in September there was no effect of hydrodynamics on the carbonate system within the canopy. Max and range ΩAr within the meadow showed a positive trend with the calcium carbonate load of the leaves, pointing to a possible link between structural parameters, ΩAr and carbonate deposition. Calcifying organisms, e.g. epiphytes with carbonate skeletons, may benefit from the modification of the carbonate system by the meadow. There is, however, concern for the ability of seagrasses to provide modifications of similar importance 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, on which LAI is based. Organisms associated with seagrass communities may therefore suffer from the loss of pH buffering capacity in degraded meadows.

  11. Towards understanding temporal and spatial dynamics of seagrass landscapes using time-series remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Mitchell B.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Phinn, Stuart R.

    2013-03-01

    The spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrasses have been well studied at the leaf to patch scales, however, the link to large spatial extent landscape and population dynamics is still unresolved in seagrass ecology. Traditional remote sensing approaches have lacked the temporal resolution and consistency to appropriately address this issue. This study uses two high temporal resolution time-series of thematic seagrass cover maps to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrass at both an inter- and intra-annual time scales, one of the first globally to do so at this scale. Previous work by the authors developed an object-based approach to map seagrass cover level distribution from a long term archive of Landsat TM and ETM+ images on the Eastern Banks (≈200 km2), Moreton Bay, Australia. In this work a range of trend and time-series analysis methods are demonstrated for a time-series of 23 annual maps from 1988 to 2010 and a time-series of 16 monthly maps during 2008-2010. Significant new insight was presented regarding the inter- and intra-annual dynamics of seagrass persistence over time, seagrass cover level variability, seagrass cover level trajectory, and change in area of seagrass and cover levels over time. Overall we found that there was no significant decline in total seagrass area on the Eastern Banks, but there was a significant decline in seagrass cover level condition. A case study of two smaller communities within the Eastern Banks that experienced a decline in both overall seagrass area and condition are examined in detail, highlighting possible differences in environmental and process drivers. We demonstrate how trend and time-series analysis enabled seagrass distribution to be appropriately assessed in context of its spatial and temporal history and provides the ability to not only quantify change, but also describe the type of change. We also demonstrate the potential use of time-series analysis products to investigate seagrass growth and

  12. Macroinvertebrate diet in intertidal seagrass and sandflat communities : a study using C, N, and S stable isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leduc, D.; Probert, P.K.; Frew, R.D.; Hurd, C.L.

    2006-01-01

    Most seagrass community food-web studies using stable isotopes have been carried out in subtidal habitats during one sampling event. We used C, N, and S stable isotopes to characterise the diet of the dominant macroinvertebrates found in intertidal Zostera capricorni and sandflat communities of southern New Zealand in late summer and winter. The range of δ 13 C and δ 34 S values for Z. capricorni was wide (>5 permille), which highlights the importance of accounting for spatial and temporal variability in primary producer isotopic signatures. The range of δ 15 N values for Z. capricorni was comparatively small ( 13 C and δ 15 N signatures suggested that Z. capricorni was a potentially important contributor (24-99%) to the diet of most consumers sampled at the seagrass site, whereas microphytobenthos dominated the diet of the same consumers at the sandflat site. The main exception was the bivalve Austrovenus stutchburyi, which had a diet consisting mostly (up to 85%) of Ulva and Polysiphonia spp. at both sites. S isotopes proved to be of limited use owing to the difficulty of sampling microphytobenthos and to potential non-dietary sources of 34 S-depleted sulfur to consumers. Mixing models also suggested that Z. capricorni contributed more to the diet of deposit feeders in August (late winter) than in March (late summer). (author). 75 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  13. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks

    KAUST Repository

    Arias-Ortiz, A.

    2018-03-29

    Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass ecosystem, containing up to 1.3% of the total C stored within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. On the basis of field studies and satellite imagery, we estimate that 36% of Shark Bay’s seagrass meadows were damaged following a marine heatwave in 2010/2011. Assuming that 10 to 50% of the seagrass sediment C stock was exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance, between 2 and 9 Tg CO could have been released to the atmosphere during the following three years, increasing emissions from land-use change in Australia by 4–21% per annum. With heatwaves predicted to increase with further climate warming, conservation of seagrass ecosystems is essential to avoid adverse feedbacks on the climate system.

  14. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world's largest seagrass carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-Ortiz, A.; Serrano, O.; Masqué, P.; Lavery, P. S.; Mueller, U.; Kendrick, G. A.; Rozaimi, M.; Esteban, A.; Fourqurean, J. W.; Marbà, N.; Mateo, M. A.; Murray, K.; Rule, M. J.; Duarte, C. M.

    2018-04-01

    Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass ecosystem, containing up to 1.3% of the total C stored within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. On the basis of field studies and satellite imagery, we estimate that 36% of Shark Bay's seagrass meadows were damaged following a marine heatwave in 2010/2011. Assuming that 10 to 50% of the seagrass sediment C stock was exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance, between 2 and 9 Tg CO2 could have been released to the atmosphere during the following three years, increasing emissions from land-use change in Australia by 4-21% per annum. With heatwaves predicted to increase with further climate warming, conservation of seagrass ecosystems is essential to avoid adverse feedbacks on the climate system.

  15. 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....

  16. Optimum Temperatures for Net Primary Productivity of Three Tropical Seagrass Species

    OpenAIRE

    Collier, Catherine J.; Ow, Yan X.; Langlois, Lucas; Uthicke, Sven; Johansson, Charlotte L.; O'Brien, Katherine R.; Hrebien, Victoria; Adams, Matthew P.

    2017-01-01

    Rising sea water temperature will play a significant role in responses of the world's seagrass meadows to climate change. In this study, we investigated seasonal and latitudinal variation (spanning more than 1,500 km) in seagrass productivity, and the optimum temperatures at which maximum photosynthesis and net productivity (for the leaf and the whole plant) occurs, for three seagrass species (Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, and Zostera muelleri). To obtain whole plant net production...

  17. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kelton W; Berumen, Michael L; Thorrold, Simon R

    2012-09-18

    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 configuration 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. 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.

  19. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton; Berumen, Michael L.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    breeding population of Light-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla hrota has experienced substantial changes in habitat use at this traditional autumn staging area. Declines in seagrasses have caused birds to depend increasingly on Sea Lettuce Ulva lactuca in recent years, and forced birds into terrestrial...

  2. Heat stress of two tropical seagrass species during low tides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Ole; Colmer, Timothy D.; Borum, Jens

    2016-01-01

    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......), 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...

  3. Photosynthetic carbon reduction by seagrasses exposed to ultraviolet A radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

    The seagrasses Halophila engelmannii, Halodule wrightii, and Syringodium filiforme were examined for their intrinsic sensitivity to ultraviolet-A-UV-A and ultraviolet-B-UV-B radiation. The effect of UV-A on photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was also determined. Ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B were studied with emphasis on the greater respective environmental consequence in terms of seagrass distribution and abundance. Results indicate that an intrinsic sensitivity to UV-A alone is apparent only in Halophila, while net photosynthesis in Halodule and Syringodium seems unaffected by the level of UV-A provided. The sensitivity of Halophila to UV-A in the absense of (PAR) indicates that the photosynthetic reaction does not need to be in operation for damage to occur. Other significant results are reported.

  4. 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...

  5. Middle Eocene seagrass facies from Apennine carbonate platforms (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassetti, Laura; Benedetti, Andrea; Brandano, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Two stratigraphic sections located in the Latium-Abruzzi (Monte Porchio, Central Apennines, Central Italy) and in the Apulian carbonate platform (S. Cesarea-Torre Tiggiano, Salento, Southern Italy) were measured and sampled to document the sedimentological characteristic and the faunistic assemblages of Middle Eocene seagrass deposits. The faunistic assemblages are dominated by porcellaneous foraminifera Orbitolites, Alveolina, Idalina, Spiroloculina, Quinqueloculina, Triloculina and abundant hooked-shaped gypsinids, associated with hooked red algae and green algae Halimeda. Fabiania, rotaliids and textulariids as well as nummulitids are subordinated. The samples were assigned to Lutetian (SBZ13-16) according to the occurrence of Nummulites cf. lehneri, Alveolina ex. gr. elliptica, Idalina berthelini, Orbitolites complanatus, Slovenites decastroi and Medocia blayensis. At Santa Cesarea reticulate nummulites occur in association with Alveolina spp. and Halkyardia minima marking the lower Bartonian (SBZ17). Three main facies associations have been recognised: I) larger porcellaneous foraminiferal grainstones with orbitolitids and alveolinids deposited into high-energy shallow-water settings influenced by wave processes that reworked the sediments associated with a seagrass; II) grainstone to packstone with small porcellaneous foraminifera and abundant permanently-attached gypsinids deposited in a more protected (e.g., small embayment) in situ vegetated environment; III) bioclastic packstone with parautochthonous material reworked from the seagrass by rip currents and accumulated into rip channels in a slightly deeper environment. The biotic assemblages suggest that the depositional environment is consistent with tropical to subtropical vegetated environments within oligotrophic conditions.

  6. 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.

  7. Inhibition of seagrass photosynthesis by ultraviolet-B radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trocine, R.P.; Rice, J.D.; Wells, G.N.

    1981-01-01

    Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on the photosynthesis of seagrasses (Halophila engelmanni Aschers, Halodule wrightii Aschers, and Syringodium filiforme (Kuetz) were examined. The intrinsic tolerance of each seagrass to ultraviolet-B, the presence and effectiveness of photorepair mechanisms to ultraviolet-B-induced photosynthetic inhibition, and the role of epiphytic growth as a shield from ultraviolet-B were investigated. Halodule was found to possess the greatest photosynthetic tolerance for ultraviolet-B. Photosynthesis in Syringodium was slightly more sensitive to ultraviolet-B while Halophila showed relatively little photosynthetic tolerance. Evidence for a photorepair mechanism was found only in Halodule. Syringodium appeared to rely primarily on a thick epidermal cell layer to reduce photosynthetic damage. Halophila seemed to have no morphological or photorepair capabilities to deal with ultraviolet-B. This species appeared to rely on epiphytic and detrital shielding and the shade provided by other seagrasses to reduce ultraviolet-B irradiation to tolerable levels. The presence of epiphytes on leaf surfaces was found to reduce the extent of photosynthetic inhibition from ultraviolet-B exposure in all species. Halophila appears to obtain an increased photosynthetic tolerance to ultraviolet-B as an indirect benefit of chloroplast clumping to avoid photo-oxidation by intense levels of photosynthetically active radiation

  8. Evaluation of a Single-Beam Sonar System to Map Seagrass at Two Sites in Northern Puget Sound, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Andrew W.; Lacy, Jessica R.; Finlayson, David P.; Gelfenbaum, Guy

    2008-01-01

    Seagrass at two sites in northern Puget Sound, Possession Point and nearby Browns Bay, was mapped using both a single-beam sonar and underwater video camera. The acoustic and underwater video data were compared to evaluate the accuracy of acoustic estimates of seagrass cover. The accuracy of the acoustic method was calculated for three classifications of seagrass observed in underwater video: bare (no seagrass), patchy seagrass, and continuous seagrass. Acoustic and underwater video methods agreed in 92 percent and 74 percent of observations made in bare and continuous areas, respectively. However, in patchy seagrass, the agreement between acoustic and underwater video was poor (43 percent). The poor agreement between the two methods in areas with patchy seagrass is likely because the two instruments were not precisely colocated. The distribution of seagrass at the two sites differed both in overall percent vegetated and in the distribution of percent cover versus depth. On the basis of acoustic data, seagrass inhabited 0.29 km2 (19 percent of total area) at Possession Point and 0.043 km2 (5 percent of total area) at the Browns Bay study site. The depth distribution at the two sites was markedly different. Whereas the majority of seagrass at Possession Point occurred between -0.5 and -1.5 m MLLW, most seagrass at Browns Bay occurred at a greater depth, between -2.25 and -3.5 m MLLW. Further investigation of the anthropogenic and natural factors causing these differences in distribution is needed.

  9. 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

  10. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) habitat preference in a heterogeneous, urban, coastal environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cribb, Nardi; Miller, Cara; Seuront, Laurent

    2013-02-01

    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. 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. It is anticipated that these results will benefit the further development of management and conservation strategies.

  11. Dynamics of organic and inorganic carbon across contiguous mangrove and seagrass systems (Gazi Bay, Kenya)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouillon, S.; Dehairs, F.; Velimirov, B.; Abril, G.; Borges, A.V.

    2007-01-01

    We report on the water column biogeochemistry in adjacent mangrove and seagrass systems in Gazi Bay (Kenya), with a focus on assessing the sources and cycling of organic and inorganic carbon. Mangrove and seagrass-derived material was found to be the dominant organic carbon sources in the water

  12. Leaf nutrient resorption, leaf lifespan and the retention of nutrients in seagrass systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemminga, M.A.; Marbà, N.; Stapel, J.

    1999-01-01

    Efficient nutrient resorption from senescing leaves, and extended leaf life spans are important strategies in order to conserve nutrients for plants in general. Despite the fact that seagrasses often grow in oligotrophic waters, these conservation strategies are not strongly developed in seagrasses.

  13. Positive feedbacks in seagrass ecosystems - implications for success in conservation and restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heide, van Tj.; Nes, van E.H.; Geerling, G.W.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Bouma, T.J.; Katwijk, van M.M.

    2007-01-01

    Seagrasses are threatened by human activity in many locations around the world. Their decline is often characterized by sudden ecosystem collapse from a vegetated to a bare state. In the 1930s, such a dramatic event happened in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Before the shift, large seagrass beds (Zostera

  14. Decadal changes in the structure of Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows: Natural vs. human influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuya, Fernando; Ribeiro-Leite, Luís; Arto-Cuesta, Noelia; Coca, Josep; Haroun, Ricardo; Espino, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are deteriorating worldwide. However, numerous declines are still unreported, which avoid accurate evaluations of seagrass global trends. This is particularly relevant for the western African coast and nearby oceanic archipelagos in the eastern Atlantic. The seagrass Cymodocea nodosa is an 'ecological engineer' on shallow soft bottoms of the Canary Islands. A comparative decadal study was conducted in 21 C. nodosa seagrass meadows at Gran Canaria Island to compare the structure (shoot density, leaf length and cover) between 2003 and 2012. Overall, 11 meadows exhibited a severe regression, while 10 remained relatively stable. During this period, natural influences (sea surface temperature, Chlorophyll-a concentration and PAR light, as well as the number of storm episodes detaching seagrasses) had a low predictive power on temporal patterns in seagrass structure. In contrast, proximity from a range of human-mediated influences (e.g. the number of outfalls and ports) seem to be related to the loss of seagrass; the rate of seagrass erosion between 2003 and 2012 was significantly predicted by the number of human-mediated impacts around each meadow. This result highlights promoting management actions to conserve meadows of C. nodosa at the study region through efficient management of local impacts.

  15. Surviving in Changing Seascapes: Sediment Dynamics as Bottleneck for Long-Term Seagrass Presence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suykerbuyk, W.; Bouma, T.J.; Govers, L.L.; Giesen, K.; de Jong, D.J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Hendriks, J.; van Katwijk, M.M.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the seascape often result in altered hydrodynamics that lead to coinciding changes in sediment dynamics. Little is known on how altered sediment dynamics affect long-term seagrass persistence. We studied the thresholds of sediment dynamics in relation to seagrass presence by comparing

  16. 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

  17. Meadow fragmentation and reproductive output of the S.E. Asian seagrass Enhalus acoroides

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Rollon, R.N.; Lacap, C.D.A.; Billot, C.; Alberto, F.; Nacorda, H.M.E.; Wiegman, F.; Terrados, J.T.

    2004-01-01

    Flower and fruit production of the abundant, tall, long-lived, dioecious, surface-pollinating seagrass species Enhalus acoroides (L.) Royle were estimated at seven sites in the reef flats off Bolinao (NW Luzon, The Philippines) featuring different fragmentation of the seagrass meadows. Fragmentation

  18. Spatial self-organized patterning in seagrasses along a depth gradient of an intertidal ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, Tjisse; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Nes, Egbert H. van; van de Koppel, Johan; Scheffer, Marten; Roelofs, Jan G.M.; Katwijk, Marieke M. van; Smolders, Alfons J.P.

    2010-01-01

    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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Positive feedbacks in seagrass ecosystems : Implications for success in conservation and restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, T.; van Nes, E.H.; Geerling, G.W.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Bouma, T.J.; van Katwijk, M.

    2007-01-01

    Seagrasses are threatened by human activity in many locations around the world. Their decline is often characterized by sudden ecosystem collapse from a vegetated to a bare state. In the 1930s, such a dramatic event happened in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Before the shift, large seagrass beds (Zostera

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of the Presence of Seagrass and Nutrients on Growth Rates of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract—The effects of seagrass cover and nutrients on seaweed cultivation were examined in tidal pools in Tanzania. ... of water at low tide ideal for the addition of the nutrients. ... In the “without seagrass” treatment, the seagrasses in the ...

  4. Functional implications of changes in seagrass species composition in two shallow coastal lagoons

    Science.gov (United States)

    While the consequences of losing seagrass meadows are well known, there is less information on the functional implications of changes in seagrass species composition. In this study, we use data from a long-term monitoring project in shallow lagoons on the Florida Gulf Coast to as...

  5. Seagrass vegetation and meiofauna enhance the bacterial abundance in the Baltic Sea sediments (Puck Bay).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowska, Emilia; Jankowska, Katarzyna; Włodarska-Kowalczuk, Maria

    2015-09-01

    This study presents the first report on bacterial communities in the sediments of eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows in the shallow southern Baltic Sea (Puck Bay). Total bacterial cell numbers (TBNs) and bacteria biomass (BBM) assessed with the use of epifluorescence microscope and Norland's formula were compared between bare and vegetated sediments at two localities and in two sampling summer months. Significantly higher TBNs and BBM (PERMANOVA tests, P PERMANOVA distance-based linear model (DISTLM) procedures and showed that the main factors explaining bacteria characteristics are bottom type (vegetated vs. unvegetated) and meiofauna density. These two factors explained together 48.3% of variability in TBN and 40.5% in BBM, and their impacts did not overlap (as indicated by DISTLM sequential tests) demonstrating the different natures of these relationships. The effects of seagrass were most probably related to the increase of organic matter and providing habitat while higher numbers of meiofauna organisms may have stimulated the bacterial growth by increased grazing.

  6. 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 diminutive species H. ovalis particularly abundant and perhaps serving as important food for dugongs present in the area. Although the sediment organic matter content was low in the seagrass meadows, the sulfate reduction rates were high (48-138 mmol m-2 d-1). A significant positive relationship between...... belowground biomass and sulfate reduction rates across the seagrass species examined indicates that stimulation of microbial activity in the rhizosphere sediments is controlled by the biomass of roots and rhizomes, rather than by specific seagrass characteristics (e.g., morphology, plant activity). The low...

  7. Herbicide contamination and the potential impact to seagrass meadows in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; Bengtson Nash, Susan; Eaglesham, Geoff; Müller, Jochen F; Duke, Norman C; Winderlich, Steve

    2005-01-01

    Low concentrations of herbicides (up to 70 ng l(-1)), chiefly diuron (up to 50 ng l(-1)) were detected in surface waters associated with inter-tidal seagrass meadows of Zostera muelleri in Hervey Bay, south-east Queensland, Australia. Diuron and atrazine (up to 1.1 ng g(-1) dry weight of sediment) were detected in the sediments of these seagrass meadows. Concentration of the herbicides diuron, simazine and atrazine increased in surface waters associated with seagrass meadows during moderate river flow events indicating herbicides were washed from the catchment to the marine environment. Maximum herbicide concentration (sum of eight herbicides) in the Mary River during a moderate river flow event was 4260 ng l(-1). No photosynthetic stress was detected in seagrass in this study during low river flow. However, with moderate river flow events, nearshore seagrasses are at risk of being exposed to concentrations of herbicides that are known to inhibit photosynthesis.

  8. Do nursery habitats provide shelter from flow for juvenile fish?

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    Darren M Parsons

    Full Text Available Juvenile fish nurseries are an essential life stage requirement for the maintenance of many fish populations. With many inshore habitats globally in decline, optimising habitat management by increasing our understanding of the relationship between juvenile fish and nursery habitats may be a prudent approach. Previous research on post-settlement snapper (Chrysophrys auratus has suggested that structure may provide a water flow refuge, allowing snapper to access high water flow sites that will also have a high flux of their pelagic prey. We investigated this hypothesis by describing how Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs modified water flow while also using a multi-camera set up to quantify snapper position in relation to this water flow environment. Horizontal water flow was reduced on the down-current side of ASUs, but only at the height of the seagrass canopy. While the highest abundance of snapper did occur down-current of the ASUs, many snapper also occupied other locations or were too high in the water column to receive any refuge from water flow. The proportion of snapper within the water column was potentially driven by strategy to access zooplankton prey, being higher on the up-current side of ASUs and on flood tides. It is possible that post-settlement snapper alternate position to provide opportunities for both feeding and flow refuging. An alternative explanation relates to an observed interaction between post-settlement snapper and a predator, which demonstrated that snapper can utilise habitat structure when threatened. The nature of this relationship, and its overall importance in determining the value of nursery habitats to post-settlement snapper remains an elusive next step.

  9. Do nursery habitats provide shelter from flow for juvenile fish?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Darren M; MacDonald, Iain; Buckthought, Dane; Middleton, Crispin

    2018-01-01

    Juvenile fish nurseries are an essential life stage requirement for the maintenance of many fish populations. With many inshore habitats globally in decline, optimising habitat management by increasing our understanding of the relationship between juvenile fish and nursery habitats may be a prudent approach. Previous research on post-settlement snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) has suggested that structure may provide a water flow refuge, allowing snapper to access high water flow sites that will also have a high flux of their pelagic prey. We investigated this hypothesis by describing how Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs) modified water flow while also using a multi-camera set up to quantify snapper position in relation to this water flow environment. Horizontal water flow was reduced on the down-current side of ASUs, but only at the height of the seagrass canopy. While the highest abundance of snapper did occur down-current of the ASUs, many snapper also occupied other locations or were too high in the water column to receive any refuge from water flow. The proportion of snapper within the water column was potentially driven by strategy to access zooplankton prey, being higher on the up-current side of ASUs and on flood tides. It is possible that post-settlement snapper alternate position to provide opportunities for both feeding and flow refuging. An alternative explanation relates to an observed interaction between post-settlement snapper and a predator, which demonstrated that snapper can utilise habitat structure when threatened. The nature of this relationship, and its overall importance in determining the value of nursery habitats to post-settlement snapper remains an elusive next step.

  10. Limitations of habitats as biodiversity surrogates for conservation planning in estuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shokri, Mohammad Reza; Gladstone, William

    2013-04-01

    Increasing pressures on global biodiversity and lack of data on the number and abundance of species have motivated conservation planners and researchers to use more readily available information as proxies or surrogates for biodiversity. "Habitat" is one of the most frequently used surrogates but its assumed value in marine conservation planning is not often tested. The present study developed and tested three alternative habitat classification schemes of increasing complexity for a large estuary in south-east Australia and tested their effectiveness in predicting spatial variation in macroinvertebrate biodiversity and selecting estuarine protected areas to represent species. The three habitat classification schemes were: (1) broad-scale habitats (e.g., mangroves and seagrass), (2) subdivision of each broad-scale habitat by a suite of environmental variables that varied significantly throughout the estuary, and (3) subdivision of each broad-scale habitat by the subset of environmental variables that best explained spatial variation in macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Macroinvertebrate assemblages differed significantly among the habitats in each classification scheme. For each classification scheme, habitat richness was significantly correlated with species richness, total density of macroinvertebrates, assemblage dissimilarity, and summed irreplaceability. However, in a reserve selection process designed to represent examples of each habitat, no habitat classification scheme represented species significantly better than a random selection of sites. Habitat classification schemes may represent variation in estuarine biodiversity; however, the results of this study suggest they are inefficient in designing representative networks of estuarine protected areas.

  11. 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

  12. Habitat use by a large population of Pinna nobilis in shallow waters

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    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.

  13. Monitoring coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves in Costa Rica (CARICOMP

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    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.

  14. Inhibition of seagrass photosynthesis by ultraviolet-B radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trocine, R P; Rice, J D; Wells, G N

    1981-07-01

    Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on the photosynthesis of seagrasses (Halophila engelmanni Aschers, Halodule wrightii Aschers, and Syringodium filiforme Kütz) were examined. The intrinsic tolerance of each seagrass to ultraviolet-B, the presence and effectiveness of photorepair mechanisms to ultraviolet-B-induced photosynthetic inhibition, and the role of epiphytic growth as a shield from ultraviolet-B were investigated.Halodule was found to possess the greatest photosynthetic tolerance for ultraviolet-B. Photosynthesis in Syringodium was slightly more sensitive to ultraviolet-B while Halophila showed relatively little photosynthetic tolerance. Evidence for a photorepair mechanism was found only in Halodule. This mechanism effectively attenuated photosynthetic inhibition induced by ultraviolet-B dose rates and dosages in excess of natural conditions. Syringodium appeared to rely primarily on a thick epidermal cell layer to reduce photosynthetic damage. Halophila seemed to have no morphological or photorepair capabilities to deal with ultraviolet-B. This species appeared to rely on epiphytic and detrital shielding and the shade provided by other seagrasses to reduce ultraviolet-B irradiation to tolerable levels. The presence of epiphytes on leaf surfaces was found to reduce the extent of photosynthetic inhibition from ultraviolet-B exposure in all species.Observations obtained in this study seem to suggest the possibility of anthocyanin and/or other flavonoid synthesis as an adaptation to long term ultraviolet-B irradiation by these species. In addition, Halophila appears to obtain an increased photosynthetic tolerance to ultraviolet-B as an indirect benefit of chloroplast clumping to avoid photo-oxidation by intense levels of photosynthetically active radiation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    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 hidden in representations of the global carbon budget. Despite being confined to a narrow belt around the shoreline of the world's oceans, where they cover less than 7 million km2, vegetated coastal habitats support about 1 to 10 % of the global marine net primary production and generate a large organic carbon surplus of about 40 % of their net primary production (NPP), which is either buried in sediments within these habitats or exported away. Large, 10-fold uncertainties in the area covered by vegetated coastal habitats, along with variability about carbon flux estimates, result in a 10-fold bracket around the estimates of their contribution to organic carbon sequestration in sediments and the deep sea from 73 to 866 Tg C yr-1, representing between 3 % and 1/3 of oceanic CO2 uptake. Up to 1/2 of this carbon sequestration occurs in sink reservoirs (sediments or the deep sea) beyond these habitats. The organic carbon exported that does not reach depositional sites subsidizes the metabolism of heterotrophic organisms. In addition to a significant contribution to organic carbon production and sequestration, vegetated coastal habitats contribute as much to carbonate accumulation as coral reefs do. While globally relevant, the magnitude of global carbon fluxes supported by salt-marsh, mangrove, seagrass and macroalgal habitats is declining due to rapid habitat loss, contributing to loss of CO2 sequestration, storage capacity and carbon subsidies. Incorporating the carbon fluxes' vegetated coastal habitats' support into depictions of the carbon budget of the global ocean and its perturbations will improve current representations of the carbon budget of the global ocean.

  16. 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.

  17. Acute and additive toxicity of ten photosystem-II herbicides to seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Adam D; Collier, Catherine J; Flores, Florita; Negri, Andrew P

    2015-11-30

    Photosystem II herbicides are transported to inshore marine waters, including those of the Great Barrier Reef, and are usually detected in complex mixtures. These herbicides inhibit photosynthesis, which can deplete energy reserves and reduce growth in seagrass, but the toxicity of some of these herbicides to seagrass is unknown and combined effects of multiple herbicides on seagrass has not been tested. Here we assessed the acute phytotoxicity of 10 PSII herbicides to the seagrass Halophila ovalis over 24 and/or 48 h. Individual herbicides exhibited a broad range of toxicities with inhibition of photosynthetic activity (∆F/F(m)') by 50% at concentrations ranging from 3.5 μg l(-1) (ametryn) to 132 μg l(-1) (fluometuron). We assessed potential additivity using the Concentration Addition model of joint action for binary mixtures of diuron and atrazine as well as complex mixtures of all 10 herbicides. The effects of both mixture types were largely additive, validating the application of additive effects models for calculating the risk posed by multiple PSII herbicides to seagrasses. This study extends seagrass ecotoxicological data to ametryn, metribuzin, bromacil, prometryn and fluometuron and demonstrates that low concentrations of PSII herbicide mixtures have the potential to impact ecologically relevant endpoints in seagrass, including ∆F/F(m)'.

  18. Acute and additive toxicity of ten photosystem-II herbicides to seagrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Adam D.; Collier, Catherine J.; Flores, Florita; Negri, Andrew P.

    2015-11-01

    Photosystem II herbicides are transported to inshore marine waters, including those of the Great Barrier Reef, and are usually detected in complex mixtures. These herbicides inhibit photosynthesis, which can deplete energy reserves and reduce growth in seagrass, but the toxicity of some of these herbicides to seagrass is unknown and combined effects of multiple herbicides on seagrass has not been tested. Here we assessed the acute phytotoxicity of 10 PSII herbicides to the seagrass Halophila ovalis over 24 and/or 48 h. Individual herbicides exhibited a broad range of toxicities with inhibition of photosynthetic activity (∆F/Fm‧) by 50% at concentrations ranging from 3.5 μg l-1 (ametryn) to 132 μg l-1 (fluometuron). We assessed potential additivity using the Concentration Addition model of joint action for binary mixtures of diuron and atrazine as well as complex mixtures of all 10 herbicides. The effects of both mixture types were largely additive, validating the application of additive effects models for calculating the risk posed by multiple PSII herbicides to seagrasses. This study extends seagrass ecotoxicological data to ametryn, metribuzin, bromacil, prometryn and fluometuron and demonstrates that low concentrations of PSII herbicide mixtures have the potential to impact ecologically relevant endpoints in seagrass, including ∆F/Fm‧.

  19. Photosynthetic response to globally increasing CO2 of co-occurring temperate seagrass species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borum, Jens; Pedersen, Ole; Kotula, Lukasz; Fraser, Matthew W; Statton, John; Colmer, Timothy D; Kendrick, Gary A

    2016-06-01

    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 responses to increasing CO2 availability among species. We used short-term photosynthetic responses of nine seagrass species from the south-west of Australia to test species-specific responses to enhanced CO2 and changes in HCO3 (-) . Net photosynthesis of all species except Zostera polychlamys were limited at pre-industrial compared to saturating CO2 levels at light saturation, suggesting that enhanced CO2 availability will enhance seagrass performance. Seven out of the nine species were efficient HCO3 (-) users through acidification of diffusive boundary layers, production of extracellular carbonic 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Spectral reflectance of carbonate sediments and application to remote sensing classification of benthic habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louchard, Eric Michael

    Remote sensing is a valuable tool in marine research that has advanced to the point that images from shallow waters can be used to identify different seafloor types and create maps of benthic habitats. A major goal of this dissertation is to examine differences in spectral reflectance and create new methods of analyzing shallow water remote sensing data to identify different seafloor types quickly and accurately. Carbonate sediments were used as a model system as they presented a relatively uniform, smooth surface for measurement and are a major bottom type in tropical coral reef systems. Experimental results found that sediment reflectance varied in shape and magnitude depending on pigment content, but only varied in magnitude with variations in grain size and shape. Derivative analysis of the reflectance spectra identified wavelength regions that correlate to chlorophyll a and chlorophyllide a as well as accessory pigments, indicating differences in microbial community structure. Derivative peak height also correlated to pigment content in the sediments. In remote sensing data, chlorophyll a, chlorophyllide a, and some xanthophylls were identified in derivative spectra and could be quantified from second derivative peak height. Most accessory pigments were attenuated by the water column, however, and could not be used to quantify pigments in sediments from remote sensing images. Radiative transfer modeling of remote sensing reflectance showed that there was sufficient spectral variation to separate major sediment types, such as ooid shoals and sediment with microbial layers, from different densities of seagrass and pavement bottom communities. Both supervised classification with a spectral library and unsupervised classification with principal component analysis were used to create maps of seafloor type. The results of the experiments were promising; classified seafloor types correlated with ground truth observations taken from underwater video and were

  1. Shrimp burrow in tropical seagrass meadows: An important sink for litter

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

    The abundance, burrow characteristics, and in situ behaviour of the burrowing shrimps Neaxius acanthus (Decapoda: Strahlaxiidae) and Alpheus macellarius (Decapoda: Alpheidae) were studied to quantify the collection of seagrass material, to identify the fate of this collected material, and to determine the importance of these burrowing crustaceans in the nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) cycling of two tropical seagrass meadows on Bone Batang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Alpheus macellarius harvested 0.70 g dry weight (DW) burrow -1 d -1 seagrass material, dominantly by active cutting of fresh seagrass leaves. Neaxius acanthus collected 1.66 g DW burrow -1 d -1, mainly detached leaves which floated past the burrow opening. The A. macellarius and N. acanthus communities together collected in their burrows an amount of seagrass leaf material corresponding to more than 50% of the leaf production in the meadows studied. The crustacean species studied might therefore fulfil an important function in the nutrient cycling of tropical meadows. In the burrow most of the collected material is shredded into pieces. The burrows of both species had special chambers which serve as a storage for seagrass leaf material. Neaxius acanthus incorporated most of the material into the burrow wall lining, which is made of small sediment particles and macerated seagrass leaves. Phosphate concentrations measured in N. acanthus burrows compared with pore-water and water-column concentrations suggests that a substantial amount of the seagrass material undergoes decomposition in the burrows. Oxygen levels measured in these water bodies are indicative for a possible exchange of water between the burrow and its surroundings, most likely supported by the shrimps irrigating their burrows. By collecting leaf material in their burrows, nutrients that are otherwise lost from the seagrass meadow associated with detached leaves and leaf fragments carried away in the water column, are maintained in the

  2. 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

  3. De novo assembly and characterization of the transcriptome of seagrass Zostera marina using Illumina paired-end sequencing.

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    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

  4. Contemporary reliance on bicarbonate acquisition predicts increased growth of seagrass Amphibolis antarctica in a high-CO2 world.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 is increasing the availability of dissolved CO2 in the ocean relative to HCO3 (-). Currently, many marine primary producers use HCO3 (-) for photosynthesis, but this is energetically costly. Increasing passive CO2 uptake relative to HCO3 (-) pathways could provide energy savings, leading to increased productivity and growth of marine plants. Inorganic carbon-uptake mechanisms in the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica were determined using the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor acetazolamide (AZ) and the buffer tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS). Amphibolis antarctica seedlings were also maintained in current and forecasted CO2 concentrations to measure their physiology and growth. Photosynthesis of A. antarctica was significantly reduced by AZ and TRIS, indicating utilization of HCO3 (-)-uptake mechanisms. When acclimated plants were switched between CO2 treatments, the photosynthetic rate was dependent on measurement conditions but not growth conditions, indicating a dynamic response to changes in dissolved CO2 concentration, rather than lasting effects of acclimation. At forecast CO2 concentrations, seedlings had a greater maximum electron transport rate (1.4-fold), photosynthesis (2.1-fold), below-ground biomass (1.7-fold) and increase in leaf number (2-fold) relative to plants in the current CO2 concentration. The greater increase in photosynthesis (measured as O2 production) compared with the electron transport rate at forecasted CO2 concentration suggests that photosynthetic efficiency increased, possibly due to a decrease in photorespiration. Thus, it appears that the photosynthesis and growth of seagrasses reliant on energetically costly HCO3 (-) acquisition, such as A. antarctica, might increase at forecasted CO2 concentrations. Greater growth might enhance the future prosperity and rehabilitation of these important habitat-forming plants, which have experienced declines of global significance.

  5. Removal of the metal ions from aqueous solutions by nanoscaled low molecular pectin isolated from seagrass Phyllospadix iwatensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khozhaenko, Elena; Kovalev, Valeri; Podkorytova, Elena; Khotimchenko, Maksim

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Stability of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) depth limits: influence of habitat type

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greve, T. M.; Krause-Jensen, D.

    2005-01-01

    significantly between habitat types, and neither did stability of physicochemical variables. However, when data from all habitat types were analysed together, they showed that eelgrass populations at the depth limit were significantly more constant and thus, in this respect, more stable when occurring in deep......Seagrass meadows are generally considered stable although few studies have specified and tested this statement. On the basis of a large monitoring dataset from Danish coastal waters, we aimed to test whether the stability of deep eelgrass populations changes along a eutrophication gradient...... waters as compared to shallow waters. Areas of good water quality may thus obtain the double benefit of deeper-growing and more stable eelgrass populations. The most likely reason why this pattern did not appear at habitat-type level is that the habitat types studied represented wide spatial variation...

  9. 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

  10. Large-Scale Prediction of Seagrass Distribution Integrating Landscape Metrics and Environmental Factors: The Case of Cymodocea nodosa (Mediterranean–Atlantic)

    KAUST Repository

    Chefaoui, Rosa M.; Assis, Jorge; Duarte, Carlos M.; Serrã o, Ester A.

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Dynamics of carbon sources supporting burial in seagrass sediments under increasing anthropogenic pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Iné s; Marbà , Nú ria; Garcia-Orellana, Jordi; Masqué , Pere; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    , an increase in the contribution of sestonic carbon and a decrease in that of seagrass derived carbon toward present was observed in most of the meadows examined, coincident with the onset of the tourism industry development and coastal urbanization

  12. Geographic Information System (GIS) characterization of Perdido Bay historical seagrass coverage, 1940 (NODC Accession 0000604)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — GIS representations of 1940 Historical seagrass coverage in Perdido Bay from United States Geological Survey/National Wetlands Research Center (USGS/NWRC).

  13. Pedological Studies of Subaqueous Soils as a Contribution to the Protection of Seagrass Meadows in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Nuto Nóbrega

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Seagrass meadows are considered one of the most important and valuable ecosystems on the planet, but also one of the most threatened. Missing knowledge about their existence and their subtidal nature are the main reasons for the lack of information about seagrass soils, especially in Brazil and other tropical areas. This study discussed the paradoxical lack of information about subaqueous soils, with a view to stimulate research on soil properties of seagrass meadows. This short communication provides information about the ecosystem and first descriptions of seagrass soils along the Brazilian Coast, marked by gleyzation, sulfidization, salinization, paludization, solonization, and classified as Gleissolos tiomórficos. Pedological studies on these ecosystems provide useful tools for their management, protection, and restoration. Thus, it is fundamental that soil scientists increase their knowledge about subaqueous soils, not only as a contribution to the Brazilian Soil Classification System, but for the conservation of these ecosystems.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Roca, G.; Alcoverro, T.; Krause-Jensen, D.; Balsby, T.J.S.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Marbà , N.; Santos, R.; Arthur, R.; Mascaró , O.; Ferná ndez-Torquemada, Y.; Pé rez, M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Romero, J.

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...... responses to increasing CO2 availability among species. We used short-term photosynthetic responses of nine seagrass species from the south-west of Australia to test species-specific responses to enhanced CO2 and changes in HCO3 -. Net photosynthesis of all species except Zostera polychlamys were limited...... at pre-industrial compared to saturating CO2 levels at light saturation, suggesting that enhanced CO2 availability will enhance seagrass performance. Seven out of the nine species were efficient HCO3 - users through acidification of diffusive boundary layers, production of extracellular carbonic...

  19. Strong links between metal contamination, habitat modification and estuarine larval fish distributions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKinley, Andrew C., E-mail: andrew.mckinley@hotmail.com [Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052 (Australia); Miskiewicz, Anthony [Environment and Recreation, Wollongong City Council, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong, New South Wales 2500 (Australia); Taylor, Matthew D.; Johnston, Emma L. [Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052 (Australia)

    2011-06-15

    Changes to larval fish assemblages may have far reaching ecological impacts. Correlations between habitat modification, contamination and marine larval fish communities have rarely been assessed in situ. We investigated links between the large-scale distribution of stressors and larval fish assemblages in estuarine environments. Larval fish communities were sampled using a benthic sled within the inner and outer zones of three heavily modified and three relatively unmodified estuaries. Larval abundances were significantly greater in modified estuaries, and there were trends towards greater diversity in these systems. Differences in larval community composition were strongly related to sediment metal levels and reduced seagrass cover. The differences observed were driven by two abundant species, Paedogobius kimurai and Ambassis jacksoniensis, which occurred in large numbers almost exclusively in highly contaminated and pristine locations respectively. These findings suggest that contamination and habitat alteration manifest in substantial differences in the composition of estuarine larval fish assemblages. - Highlights: > We examine contamination/habitat modification impacts on larval fish. > Larvae communities differ between modified/unmodified estuaries. > Larvae are more abundant/diverse in modified areas. > Trends are strongly related to sediment metals/seagrass cover. > Larval impacts have wider ecological importance. - We describe strong links between sediment metals contamination, habitat modification and substantial differences in the composition of the estuarine larval fish assemblage.

  20. Strong links between metal contamination, habitat modification and estuarine larval fish distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKinley, Andrew C.; Miskiewicz, Anthony; Taylor, Matthew D.; Johnston, Emma L.

    2011-01-01

    Changes to larval fish assemblages may have far reaching ecological impacts. Correlations between habitat modification, contamination and marine larval fish communities have rarely been assessed in situ. We investigated links between the large-scale distribution of stressors and larval fish assemblages in estuarine environments. Larval fish communities were sampled using a benthic sled within the inner and outer zones of three heavily modified and three relatively unmodified estuaries. Larval abundances were significantly greater in modified estuaries, and there were trends towards greater diversity in these systems. Differences in larval community composition were strongly related to sediment metal levels and reduced seagrass cover. The differences observed were driven by two abundant species, Paedogobius kimurai and Ambassis jacksoniensis, which occurred in large numbers almost exclusively in highly contaminated and pristine locations respectively. These findings suggest that contamination and habitat alteration manifest in substantial differences in the composition of estuarine larval fish assemblages. - Highlights: → We examine contamination/habitat modification impacts on larval fish. → Larvae communities differ between modified/unmodified estuaries. → Larvae are more abundant/diverse in modified areas. → Trends are strongly related to sediment metals/seagrass cover. → Larval impacts have wider ecological importance. - We describe strong links between sediment metals contamination, habitat modification and substantial differences in the composition of the estuarine larval fish assemblage.

  1. 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.

  2. Coastal habitat mapping in the Aegean Sea using high resolution orthophoto maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topouzelis, Konstantinos; Papakonstantinou, Apostolos; Doukari, Michaela; Stamatis, Panagiotis; Makri, Despina; Katsanevakis, Stelios

    2017-09-01

    The significance of coastal habitat mapping lies in the need to prevent from anthropogenic interventions and other factors. Until 2015, Landsat-8 (30m) imagery were used as medium spatial resolution satellite imagery. So far, Sentinel-2 satellite imagery is very useful for more detailed regional scale mapping. However, the use of high resolution orthophoto maps, which are determined from UAV data, is expected to improve the mapping accuracy. This is due to small spatial resolution of the orthophoto maps (30 cm). This paper outlines the integration of UAS for data acquisition and Structure from Motion (SfM) pipeline for the visualization of selected coastal areas in the Aegean Sea. Additionally, the produced orthophoto maps analyzed through an object-based image analysis (OBIA) and nearest-neighbor classification for mapping the coastal habitats. Classification classes included the main general habitat types, i.e. seagrass, soft bottom, and hard bottom The developed methodology applied at the Koumbara beach (Ios Island - Greece). Results showed that UAS's data revealed the sub-bottom complexity in large shallow areas since they provide such information in the spatial resolution that permits the mapping of seagrass meadows with extreme detail. The produced habitat vectors are ideal as reference data for studies with satellite data of lower spatial resolution.

  3. Trends of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa (Magnoliophyta in the Canary Islands: population changes in the last two decades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Fabbri

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows perform essential ecosystem functions and services. Though the meadows are globally deteriorating, numerous regressions remain unreported as a result of data fragmentation. Cymodocea nodosa is the most important seagrass in shallow coastal waters of the Canary Islands. No study has so far investigated temporal population trends at the entire archipelago scale. Using data collected in the past 23 years by local companies, public authorities and research groups, the population trends of Cymodocea nodosa were analysed over the past two decades at the scales of islands, island sectors and meadows. During this period, a prevalence of negative trends was revealed for three seagrass demographic descriptors (seagrass shoot density, coverage and leaf length at the three scales, evidencing an overall deterioration in seagrass meadow integrity. These results suggest the need to develop correct management strategies to guarantee the conservation of this seagrass and the meadows it creates.

  4. Comment on Geoengineering with seagrasses: is credit due where credit is given?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreska, Matthew P. J.; McGlathery, Karen J.; Emmer, Igino M.; Needelman, Brian A.; Emmett-Mattox, Stephen; Crooks, Stephen; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Myers, Doug

    2018-03-01

    In their recent review, ‘Geoengineering with seagrasses: is credit due where credit is given?,’ Johannessen and Macdonald (2016) invoke the prospect of carbon offset-credit over-allocation by the Verified Carbon Standard as a pretense for their concerns about published seagrass carbon burial rate and global stock estimates. Johannessen and Macdonald (2016) suggest that projects seeking offset-credits under the Verified Carbon Standard methodology VM0033: Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration will overestimate long-term (100 yr) sediment organic carbon (SOC) storage because issues affecting carbon burial rates bias storage estimates. These issues warrant serious consideration by the seagrass research community; however, VM0033 does not refer to seagrass SOC ‘burial rates’ or ‘storage.’ Projects seeking credits under VM0033 must document greenhouse gas emission reductions over time, relative to a baseline scenario, in order to receive credits. Projects must also monitor changes in carbon pools, including SOC, to confirm that observed benefits are maintained over time. However, VM0033 allows projects to conservatively underestimate project benefits by citing default values for specific accounting parameters, including CO2 emissions reductions. We therefore acknowledge that carbon crediting methodologies such as VM0033 are sensitive to the quality of the seagrass literature, particularly when permitted default factors are based in part on seagrass burial rates. Literature-derived values should be evaluated based on the concerns raised by Johannessen and Macdonald (2016), but these issues should not lead to credit over-allocation in practice, provided VM0033 is rigorously followed. These issues may, however, affect the feasibility of particular seagrass offset projects.

  5. Seagrass distribution and abundance in Eastern Gulf of Mexico coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Richard L.; Bittaker, Henry F.

    1986-05-01

    The marine angiosperms Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme, and Halodule wrightii form two of the largest reported seagrass beds along the northwest and southern coasts of Florida where they cover about 3000 square km in the Big Bend area and about 5500 square km in Florida Bay, respectively. Most of the leaf biomass in the Big Bend area and outer Florida Bay was composed of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme which were distributed throughout the beds but which were more abundant in shallow depths. A short-leaved form of Halodule wrightii grew in monotypic stands in shallow water near the inner edges of the beds, while Halophila decipiens and a longer-leaved variety of H. wrightii grew scattered throughout the beds, in monotypic stands near the outer edges of the beds, and in deeper water outside the beds. Halophila engelmanni was observed scattered at various depths throughout the seagrass beds and in monospecific patches in deep water outside the northern bed. Ruppia maritima grew primarily in brackish water around river mouths. The cross-shelf limits of the two major seagrass beds are controlled nearshore by increased water turbidity and lower salinity around river mouths and off-shore by light penetration to depths which receive 10% or more of sea surface photosynthetically active radiation. Seagrasses form large beds only along low energy reaches of the coast. The Florida Bay seagrass bed contained about twice the short-shoot density of both Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme, for data averaged over all depths, and about four times the average short-shoot density of both species in shallow water compared with the Big Bend seagrass bed. The differences in average seagrass abundance between Florida Bay and the Big Bend area may be a consequence of the effects of greater seasonal solar radiation and water temperature fluctuations experienced by plants in the northern bed, which lies at the northern distribution limit for American

  6. Humans and Seagrasses in East Africa : A social-ecological systems approach

    OpenAIRE

    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela

    2006-01-01

    The present study is one of the first attempts to analyze the societal importance of seagrasses (marine flowering plants) from a Natural Resource Management perspective, using a social-ecological systems (SES) approach. The interdisciplinary study takes place in East Africa (Western Indian Ocean, WIO) and includes in-depth studies in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Natural and social sciences methods were used. The results are presented in six articles, showing that seagrass ecosystems are ri...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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....

  8. The Habitat Connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Consists of activities which address the causes of habitat destruction and the effects of habitat loss on animals and plants. Identifies habitat loss as the major reason for the endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species. (ML)

  9. 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.

  10. Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social-ecological system: implications for human wellbeing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C; Nordlund, Lina Mtwana; Paddock, Jessica; Baker, Susan; McKenzie, Len J; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass ecosystems are diminishing worldwide and repeated studies confirm a lack of appreciation for the value of these systems. In order to highlight their value we provide the first discussion of seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system on a global scale. We consider the impact of a declining resource on people, including those for whom seagrass meadows are utilised for income generation and a source of food security through fisheries support. Case studies from across the globe are used to demonstrate the intricate relationship between seagrass meadows and people that highlight the multi-functional role of seagrasses in human wellbeing. While each case underscores unique issues, these examples simultaneously reveal social-ecological coupling that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We conclude that understanding seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system is crucial in carving pathways for social and ecological resilience in light of current patterns of local to global environmental change. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Environmental Impact Research Program. The Use of Fertilizer To Enhance Transplants of the Seagrasses Zostera marina and Halodule wrightii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-08-01

    Bot. Mar. 27:547-555. Smith, R.D., W.C. Dennison, and R.S. Alberte. 1984. Role of seagrass photosynthesis in root aerobic processes. Plant Physiol. 74...IMPACT RESEARCH PROGRAM * TECHNICAL REPORT EL-87-12 THE USE OF FERTILIZER TO ENHANCE TRANSPLANTS OF THE SEAGRASSES ZOSTERA MARINA AND HALODULE WRIGHT...in numerous attempts to transplant most of the North American seagrass species. Transplant ing technology also has rece ived increased at tent ion. b

  12. 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.

  13. Global analysis of seagrass restoration: the importance of large-scale planting

    KAUST Repository

    van Katwijk, Marieke M.; Thorhaug, Anitra; Marbà , Nú ria; Orth, Robert J.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Althuizen, Inge H. J.; Balestri, Elena; Bernard, Guillaume; Cambridge, Marion L.; Cunha, Alexandra; Durance, Cynthia; Giesen, Wim; Han, Qiuying; Hosokawa, Shinya; Kiswara, Wawan; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Lardicci, Claudio; Lee, Kun-Seop; Meinesz, Alexandre; Nakaoka, Masahiro; O'Brien, Katherine R.; Paling, Erik I.; Pickerell, Chris; Ransijn, Aryan M. A.; Verduin, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Biomechanical factors contributing to self-organization in seagrass landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, M.S.; Koehl, M.A.R.; Kopp, B.S.

    2007-01-01

    Field observations have revealed that when water flow is consistently from one direction, seagrass shoots align in rows perpendicular to the primary axis of flow direction. In this study, live Zostera marina shoots were arranged either randomly or in rows perpendicular to the flow direction and tested in a seawater flume under unidirectional flow and waves to determine if shoot arrangement: a) influenced flow-induced force on individual shoots, b) differentially altered water flow through the canopy, and c) influenced light interception by the canopy. In addition, blade breaking strength was compared with flow-induced force to determine if changes in shoot arrangement might reduce the potential for damage to shoots. Under unidirectional flow, both current velocity in the canopy and force on shoots were significantly decreased when shoots were arranged in rows as compared to randomly. However, force on shoots was nearly constant with downstream distance, arising from the trade-off of shoot bending and in-canopy flow reduction. The coefficient of drag was higher for randomly-arranged shoots at low velocities (rows tended to intercept slightly more light than those arranged randomly. Effects of shoot arrangement under waves were less clear, potentially because we did not achieve the proper plant size?row spacing ratio. At this point, we may only suggest that water motion, as opposed to light capture, is the dominant physical mechanism responsible for these shoot arrangements. Following a computation of the Environmental Stress Factor, we concluded that even photosynthetically active blades may be damaged or broken under frequently encountered storm conditions, irrespective of shoot arrangement. We hypothesize that when flow is generally from one direction, seagrass bed patterns over multiple scales of consideration may arise as a cumulative effect of individual shoot self-organization driven by reduced force and drag on the shoots and somewhat improved light capture.

  16. Relationships between meiofaunal biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production in different tropical habitats and oceanic regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    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.

  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. The utilization of seagrass and macroalgae substrate for settlement of sandfish Holothuria scabra larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Fajar Indriana

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Sandfish (Holothuria scabra is one of endangered species, which has high economical value but has not been commonly cultivated. One factor that affects the success of sandfish culture is survival of larvae during attachment phase . In this phase the larvae of H. scabra need a substrate as a place to live. This study investigated the effect of seagrass and macroalgae as the settlement substrates on the survival of H. scabra larvae. The experiment trial was conducted in UPT LPBIL LIPI Mataram using completely randomized design with five replications for each substrate treatment. The settlement substrates used were Ulva sp. (P1, Gracilaria gigas (P2, Enhalus acoroides (P3, and Eucheuma cottoni (P4. Surface area was 14x19 cm2 in each treatment. At the beginning of experiment trial, one thousand larvae were distributed into plastic tank containing 10 L seawater for each tank. After 13 days experimental period, the survival of H. scabra larvae showed significantly different among substrates treatment. The highest survival was achieved by E. acoroides (15.53±2.23%, and followed by Ulva sp. (5.07±0.74%, E. cottoni (2.57±0.25%, and G. gigas (1.96±0.17%. Keywords: settlement, Holothuria scabra, substrate, seagrass, macroalgae  ABSTRAK Teripang pasir (Holothuria scabra adalah salah satu spesies berekonomi tinggi yang terancam punah, tetapi belum banyak dibudidayakan. Salah satu faktor yang mempengaruhi tingkat keberhasilan budidaya teripang pasir adalah sintasan pada fase penempelan. Pada fase tersebut larva H. scabra memerlukan substrat sebagai tempat hidup. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengevaluasi pengaruh jenis substrat lamun dan makroalga yang berbeda terhadap sintasan (STS larva teripang pasir pada fase penempelan. Penelitian dilaksanakan di Laboratorium Budidaya UPT LPBIL LIPI Mataram menggunakan metode eksperimental rancangan acak lengkap dengan lima ulangan. Perlakuan jenis substrat, yaitu: Ulva sp. (P1, Gracilaria gigas (P2

  19. [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

  20. 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.

  1. Carbon budget of leaves of the tropical intertidal seagrass Thalassia hemprichii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Shih-Han; Huang, Yen-Hsun; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2013-07-01

    The question of whether seagrass beds are effective carbon sinks has recently attracted much attention. Leaf production and consumption, and detrital export and decomposition were determined to quantify the carbon budget of leaf production in a southern Taiwan seagrass bed composed of the tropical intertidal seagrass Thalassia hemprichii, which is widely distributed in intertidal zones of the western Pacific. The influence of elevation in the intertidal zone on these processes was also investigated. Leaf production and consumption, and export of leaf detritus showed seasonal variations, with higher rates in the wet season (summer and autumn) and lower rates in the dry season (winter and spring). At the high-elevation site, leaf consumption by fish was significantly higher than that by sea urchins. At the low-elevation site, however, the proportion of leaves consumed by sea urchins was equivalent to that by fish. Leaf detritus decomposed rapidly within the first 9 days, then gradually slowed down, and stabilised after 212 days, at which only 8.7% of dry weight remained in the litterbags. The carbon budget of seagrass leaves demonstrated that 20% of leaf production was grazed by fish and sea urchins and 80% flowed to detritus. This suggests that seagrass leaves are important food sources for inhabiting herbivores. Most of the detritus decomposed (44% of leaf production) or was exported (32% of leaf production), and only 4% of leaf production or 22 g C m-2 yr-1 was stored in this tropical intertidal seagrass bed. Mass balance calculations support this tropical seagrass bed acting as a carbon sink and an outwelling system which exports organic detritus to neighboring coral reefs.

  2. Early warning indicators for river nutrient and sediment loads in tropical seagrass beds: A benchmark from a near-pristine archipelago in Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Katwijk, M.; Van der Welle, M.E.W.; Lucassen, E.C.H.E.T.; Vonk, J.A.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Kiswara, W.; Inayat al Hakim, I.; Arifin, A.; Bouma, T.J.; Roelofs, J.G.M.; Lamers, L.P.M.

    2011-01-01

    In remote, tropical areas human influences increase, potentially threatening pristine seagrass systems. We aim (i) to provide a bench-mark for a near-pristine seagrass system in an archipelago in East Kalimantan, by quantifying a large spectrum of abiotic and biotic properties in seagrass meadows

  3. 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

  4. Coastal habitats as surrogates for taxonomic, functional and trophic structures of benthic faunal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Törnroos, Anna; Nordström, Marie C; Bonsdorff, Erik

    2013-01-01

    Due to human impact, there is extensive degradation and loss of marine habitats, which calls for measures that incorporate taxonomic as well as functional and trophic aspects of biodiversity. Since such data is less easily quantifiable in nature, the use of habitats as surrogates or proxies for biodiversity is on the rise in marine conservation and management. However, there is a critical gap in knowledge of whether pre-defined habitat units adequately represent the functional and trophic structure of communities. We also lack comparisons of different measures of community structure in terms of both between- (β) and within-habitat (α) variability when accounting for species densities. Thus, we evaluated a priori defined coastal habitats as surrogates for traditional taxonomic, functional and trophic zoobenthic community structure. We focused on four habitats (bare sand, canopy-forming algae, seagrass above- and belowground), all easily delineated in nature and defined through classification systems. We analyzed uni- and multivariate data on species and trait diversity as well as stable isotope ratios of benthic macrofauna. A good fit between habitat types and taxonomic and functional structure was found, although habitats were more similar functionally. This was attributed to within-habitat heterogeneity so when habitat divisions matched the taxonomic structure, only bare sand was functionally distinct. The pre-defined habitats did not meet the variability of trophic structure, which also proved to differentiate on a smaller spatial scale. The quantification of trophic structure using species density only identified an epi- and an infaunal unit. To summarize the results we present a conceptual model illustrating the match between pre-defined habitat types and the taxonomic, functional and trophic community structure. Our results show the importance of including functional and trophic aspects more comprehensively in marine management and spatial planning.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Effects of ocean acidification on single and mixed seagrass species meadows in estuarine waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    In an outdoor mesocosm, we tested the hypothesis that OA would benefit seagrasses in mesohaline waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico in homo- and hetero- specific seagrass beds of Halodule wrightii and Ruppia maritima. In this estuarine environment, short-term increases in CO2 ...

  8. Range-edge genetic diversity: locally poor extant southern patches maintain a regionally diverse hotspot in the seagrass Zostera marina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diekmann, Onno E; Serrão, Ester A

    2012-04-01

    Refugial populations at the rear edge are predicted to contain higher genetic diversity than those resulting from expansion, such as in post-glacial recolonizations. However, peripheral populations are also predicted to have decreased diversity compared to the centre of a species' distribution. We aim to test these predictions by comparing genetic diversity in populations at the limits of distribution of the seagrass Zostera marina, with populations in the species' previously described central diversity 'hotspot'. Zostera marina populations show decreased allelic richness, heterozygosity and genotypic richness in both the 'rear' edge and the 'leading' edge compared to the diversity 'hotspot' in the North Sea/Baltic region. However, when populations are pooled, genetic diversity at the southern range is as high as in the North Sea/Baltic region while the 'leading edge' remains low in genetic diversity. The decreased genetic diversity in these southern Iberian populations compared to more central populations is possibly the effect of drift because of small effective population size, as a result of reduced habitat, low sexual reproduction and low gene flow. However, when considering the whole southern edge of distribution rather than per population, diversity is as high as in the central 'hotspot' in the North Sea/Baltic region. We conclude that diversity patterns assessed per population can mask the real regional richness that is typical of rear edge populations, which have played a key role in the species biogeographical history and as marginal diversity hotspots have very high conservation value. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Diel activity and variability in habitat use of white sea bream in a temperate marine protected area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Lorenzo, Manfredi; Fernández, Tomás Vega; Badalamenti, Fabio; Guidetti, Paolo; Starr, Richard M; Giacalone, Vincenzo Maximiliano; Di Franco, Antonio; D'Anna, Giovanni

    2016-05-01

    Fish populations are often comprised of individuals that use habitats and associated resources in different ways. We placed sonic transmitters in, and tracked movements of, white sea bream (Diplodus sargus sargus) in the no-take zone of a Mediterranean marine protected area: the Torre Guaceto marine protected area, (Adriatic Sea, Italy). Tagged fish displayed three types of diel activity patterns in three different habitats: sand, rocky reefs and "matte" of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Individuals were more active during the day than at night. Overall, white sea bream displayed a remarkable behavioural plasticity in habitat use. Our results indicate that the observed behavioural plasticity in the marine protected area could be the result of multiple ecological and environmental drivers such as size, sex and increased intra-specific competition. Our findings support the view that habitat diversity helps support high densities of fishes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. δ15N of seagrass leaves for monitoring anthropogenic nutrient increases in coral reef ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamamuro, M.; Kayanne, H.; Yamano, H.

    2003-01-01

    In a coral reef environment, a slight increase in dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN;≥1.0 μM) can alter the ecosystem via macroalgal blooms. We collected seagrass leaves from the tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean in five countries and examined the interactions between nutrient concentrations (C, N, P), molar ratios of nutrients, and δ 15 N to find a possible indicator of the DIN conditions. Within most sites, the concentrations of nutrients and their molar ratios showed large variations owing to species-specific values. On the other hand, almost identical δ 15 N values were found in seagrass leaves of several species at each site. The correlations between δ 15 N and nutrient concentrations and between δ 15 N and molar ratios of nutrients suggested that nutrient availability did not affect the δ 15 N value of seagrass leaves by altering the physiological condition of the plants. Increases in δ 15 N of seagrass leaves mostly matched increases in DIN concentrations in the bottom water. We suggest that δ 15 N in seagrass leaves can be a good tool to monitor time-integrated decrease/increase of DIN concentrations at a site, both in the water column and the interstitial water

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The use of remote sensing to estimate changes of seagrass extent and biomass in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidyan, S.

    2018-05-01

    The extent of seagrasses in Cockburn Sound was examined using Nearmap images of year 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 to be compared to the last assessment in 1999. It was identified that the seagrass coverage has increased by 231 Ha since 1999, with most of the growth occurred in the southern part. While the water quality in Cockburn Sound has improved, it is believed that there are other pressures affecting the slow growth rate of the seagrasses. Seagrass biomass was also evaluated using Landsat images of year 1994, 1999, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 in addition to a field survey data of leaf biomass in 2016. Despite its increasing extent, seagrass in Cockburn Sound indicated a declining biomass since 1994, which is believed due to the changing nutrient content.

  15. 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

  16. Recurrence of Seagrass Mortality in Florida Bay: The Role of Climate Change and Implications for Carbon Sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbro, L.; Carlson, P. R., Jr.

    2016-02-01

    Catastrophic mortality of seagrass in Florida Bay (USA) from 1987 to 1991 resulted in the complete loss of thousands of hectares of dense Thalassia testudinum beds. At that time, acutely toxic levels of dissolved sulfide in sediments were determined to be the proximal cause of seagrass mortality, but the mechanisms responsible for sulfide accumulation in sediments were not demonstrated. With the recurrence of seagrass mortality in Florida Bay in summer 2015, we show that several processes create the conditions that lead to sulfide toxicity and catastrophic mortality of Thalassia. Regional drought and elevated water temperature lead to hypersalinity, particularly in the northern Bay. In addition, evaporation of seawater on mudbanks and microtidal flow patterns create stratified brine layers in basins adjacent to mudbanks. Because of very high seagrass shoot densities and limited tidal exchange, brine layers limit oxygen diffusion and prevent oxidation of sulfide in sediments and bottom water, exposing roots, rhizomes and lateral meristems of Thalassia to acutely toxic levels of sulfide, causing extensive mortality. Dead belowground tissues provide labile carbon sources to sulfate-reducing bacteria enhancing sulfide production and creating a positive feedback loop of increasing sulfide toxicity leading to further seagrass death. The carbon sequestration capacity of these dense seagrass communities is diminished three ways: 1) export of dead seagrass shoots and leaves as floating wrack, 2) in situ decomposition of roots, rhizomes, and some leaf material, and 3) reduced areal productivity of surviving seagrasses. Climate analyses show that, in the short term ( 50 years), higher water temperatures and evaporation rates might result in recurring seagrass mortality events. However, in the long term, sea level rise will increase tidal exchange and flushing in Florida Bay reducing the likelihood of seagrass mortality.

  17. Reduced carbon sequestration in a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) ecosystem impacted by fish farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Apostolaki, E; Holmer, Marianne; Marbà, N

    2011-01-01

    We studied the relationship between sediment nutrient enrichment and carbon sequestration, using the ratio of gross primary production to respiration (P/R), in a fish-farming impacted and an unaffected Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) ecosystem in the Aegean Sea, Greece. Carbon (C......), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) sedimentation, nutrient pools in sediment and dissolved nutrients in pore water were significantly and positively intercorrelated, indicating close linkage between sedimentation and sediment nutrient pools in seagrass meadows. C, N and P sediment pools were significantly...... nutrient enrichment. Threshold values are given for C, N and P sedimentation rates and sediment pools, and for N and P concentrations in pore waters, after which P/R ratio in the seagrass meadow decreases below 1, indicating a shift from autotrophy to heterotrophy with sediment nutrient enrichment...

  18. 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.

  19. Distribution and ecology of seagrass communities in the Western Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleem, A. A.

    1. Nine seagrasses were identified and their distributions on coral reef islands and the African coastline studied. 2. Transects were worked to show the vertical zonation of the seagrasses. The more important communities encountered in order from low water spring tide level to the infralittoral were a Halodule uninervis community, a halodule - Thalassi or Thalassia - Cymodocea serrulata community, a Thalassia - Syringodium community, a Thalassia hemprichii community, and finally a Cymodocea ciliata community. 3. Halodule was the main pioneer species. 4. Thalassia and Cymodocea ciliata formed beds which in thelatter seagrass grew at depths of up to 40m. 5. Cymodecea ciliata grew on exposed or semi-exposed shores and formed mats 30-40cm thick. 6. The main environmental factors influencing the zonation of these seagrasses are substrate type, water depth, exposure to waves and current, and tidal range. They grow where water temperatures ranges between 26-30°C, but in littoral pools they may have to withstand temperatures as high as 38°C for short periods. 7. The substrates in which these seagrasses grow range from fine sand and silt to coarse sand mixed with coral debris. Thalassia was the only species which tolerated anoxic sediments and its roots can ramify through black sediments smelling of hydrogen sulphide. Halodule and Syringodium tolerates some lowering of sediment oxygen content. 8. Average standing stock of the main communities expressed as g Fresh Weight per square metre were ss follows: Halodule uninervis, 2430; Halophila ovalis, 465; Thalassia-Halodule, 4250; Thalassia-Cymodecea serrulata, 2907; Thalassia hemprichii, 4125; Cymodocea ciliata, 6050. There was evidence that seagrass biomass increased from LWS down into the infralittoral. The same communities were also analysed for the standing crops of assocated algae and macrofauna.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Aeolian transport of seagrass ( Posidonia oceanica ) beach-cast to terrestrial systems

    KAUST Repository

    Jimé nez, Maria A.; Beltran, Rafel; Traveset, Anna; Calleja, Maria Ll; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Marbà , Nú ria

    2017-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — 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...

  8. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. The fundamental role of ecological feedback mechanisms for the adaptive management of seagrass ecosystems - a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Paul S; Eklöf, Johan S; van Katwijk, Marieke M; O'Brien, Katherine R; de la Torre-Castro, Maricela; Boström, Christoffer; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Unsworth, Richard K F; van Tussenbroek, Brigitta I; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2017-08-01

    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 and importance of these feedbacks vary across environmental gradients. Although a myriad of feedbacks have now been identified, the co-occurrence and likely interaction among feedbacks has largely been overlooked to date due to difficulties in analysis and detection. Here we take a fundamental step forward by modelling the interactions among two distinct above- and belowground feedbacks to demonstrate that interacting feedbacks are likely to be important for ecosystem resilience. On this basis, we propose a five-step adaptive management plan to address feedback dynamics for effective conservation and restoration strategies. The management plan provides guidance to aid in the identification and prioritisation of likely feedbacks in different seagrass ecosystems. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  12. Tiny is mighty: seagrass beds have a large role in the export of organic material in the tropical coastal zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, Lucy G; Ziegler, Alan D; van Oevelen, Dick; Cathalot, Cecile; Herman, Peter M J; Wolters, Jan W; Bouma, Tjeerd J

    2014-01-01

    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 should be

  13. 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

  14. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration

  15. Phosphorus mobilization by sulfide oxidation in carbonate sediments from seagrass and unvegetated sites in the US Virgin Islands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Henning; Pedersen, Ole; Koch, M. R.

    PHOSPHORUS MOBILIZATION BY SULFIDE OXIDATION IN CARBONATE SEDIMENTS FROM SEAGRASS AND UNVEGETATED SITES IN THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS Sulfide produced by sulfate reduction (SR) can be oxidized by seagrass root O2 flux in shallow carbonate sediments low in Fe. The sulfuric acid produced from sulfide...... oxidation, as well as metabolic acids from aerobic respiration, has the potential to mobilize solid phase phosphorus (P) pools in support of seagrass nutrition. Fresh sediments from four US Virgin Islands sites were modestly acidified to near-neutral pH in slurries. Following sulfuric acid amendments...

  16. The Influence of CO2 Enrichment on Net Photosynthesis of Seagrass Zostera marina in a Brackish Water Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Pajusalu, Liina; Martin, Georg; Põllumäe, Arno; Paalme, Tiina

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are distributed across the globe and their communities may play key roles in the coastal ecosystems. Seagrass meadows are expected to benefit from the increased carbon availability which might be used in photosynthesis in a future high CO2 world. The main aim of this study was to examine the effect of elevated pCO2 on the net photosynthesis of seagrass Zostera marina in a brackish water environment. The short-term mesocosm experiments were conducted in Kõiguste Bay (northern part o...

  17. 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

    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...

  18. Effect of the Presence of Seagrass and Nutrients on Growth Rates of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 129-135, 2011 .... seaweeds at low tide, allowing 2-3 h for the seaweeds to take up the nutrients. Fertilised .... Kappaphycus alvarezii in tidal pools with and without seagrass; c) unfertilised Eucheuma denticulatum and d) Kappaphycus alvarezii in tidal pools with and ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; van Belzen, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Bouma, T.J.

    2013-01-01

    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)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, Jeanine; Rouzé, Pierre; Verhelst, Bram; Lin, Yao-Cheng; Bayer, Till; Collen, Jonas; Dattolo, Emanuela; De Paoli, Emanuele; Dittami, Simon; Maumus, Florian; Michel, Gurvan; Kersting, Anna; Lauritano, Chiara; Lohaus, Rolf; Töpel, Mats; Tonon, Thierry; Vanneste, Kevin; Amirebrahimi, Mojgan; Brakel, Janina; Boström, Christoffer; Chovatia, Mansi; Grimwood, Jane; Jenkins, Jerry W; Jueterbock, Alexander; Mraz, Amy; Stam, Wytze T; Tice, Hope; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Green, Pamela J; Pearson, Gareth A; Procaccini, Gabriele; Duarte, Carlos M; Schmutz, Jeremy; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Van de Peer, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses colonized the sea on at least three independent occasions to form the basis of one of the most productive and widespread coastal ecosystems on the planet. Here we report the genome of Zostera marina (L.), the first, to our knowledge, marine angiosperm to be fully sequenced. This reveals

  1. Fungal Community Successions in Rhizosphere Sediment of Seagrasses Enhalus acoroides under PAHs Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Ling

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows represent one of the highest productive marine ecosystems and are of great ecological and economic values. Recently, they have been confronted with worldwide decline. Fungi play important roles in sustaining the ecosystem health as degraders of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, but fewer studies have been conducted in seagrass ecosystems. Hence, we investigated the dynamic variations of the fungal community succession under PAH stress in rhizosphere sediment of seagrasses Enhalus acoroides in this study. Polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE, quantitative PCR (qPCR and a clone library have been employed to analyze the fungal community’s shifts. Sequencing results of DGGE and the clone library showed that the predominant species belong to phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The abundance of three groups decreased sharply over the incubation period, whereas they demonstrated different fungal diversity patterns. Both the exposure time and the PAH concentrations affected the microbial diversity as assessed by PCR-DGGE analysis. Redundancy analysis (RDA indicated that significant factors driving community shifts were ammonium and pH (p < 0.05. Significant amounts of the variations (31.1% were explained by pH and ammonium, illustrating that those two parameters were the most likely ones to influence or be influenced by the fungal communities’ changes. Investigation results also indicated that fungal communities in seagrass meadow were very sensitive to PAH-induced stress and may be used as potential indicators for the PAH contamination.

  2. A three-stage symbiosis forms the foundation of seagrass ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, T.; Govers, L.L.; de Fouw, J.; Olff, H.; van der Geest, M.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Piersma, T.; van de Koppel, J.; Silliman, B.R.; Smolders, A.J.P.; van Gils, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Seagrasses evolved from terrestrial plants into marine foundation species around 100 million years ago. Their ecological success, however, remains a mystery because natural organic matter accumulation within the beds should result in toxic sediment sulfide levels. Using a meta-analysis, a field

  3. 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, ...

  4. 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

  5. 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 nitrophil...

  6. 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

  7. EFFECTS OF A COASTAL GOLF COMPLEX ON WATER QUALITY, PERIPHYTON, AND SEAGRASS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a golf course complex on water quality, colonized periphyton and seagrass meadows in adjacent freshwater, near-coastal and wetland areas. The environmental impact of the recreational facility, which uses spray wastewater...

  8. Effects of multiple disturbances in seagrass meadows : shading decreases resilience to grazing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eklof, Johan S.; McMahon, Kathryn; Lavery, Paul S.

    2009-01-01

    Ecosystem shifts are often associated with multiple disturbances, but limited knowledge on the mechanisms involved hampers management. This study investigated how short-term shading affected the resilience of the seagrass Halophila ovalis to grazing by black swans (Cygnus atratus) - a historically

  9. Unpredictability in seagrass restoration: analysing the role of positive feedback and environmental stress on

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suykerbuyk, W.; Govers, L.L.; Bouma, T.J.; Giesen, W.B.J.T.; de Jong, D.J.; van de Voort, R.; Giesen, K.; Giesen, P.T.; van Katwijk, M.M.

    2016-01-01

    1. Restoration of key species in dynamic coastal ecosystems benefits from reduction in environmentalstress. This can be realized by promoting positive feedback (intrinsic processes) orby reducing extrinsic negative forcing.2. In a seagrass (Zostera noltii) restoration project in the south-western

  10. Rare phytomyxid infection on the alien seagrass Halophila stipulacea in the southeast Aegean Sea

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Özbek, E. Ö.; Aslan, E. S. O.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 3 (2017), s. 433-442 ISSN 1108-393X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : seagrasses * plasmodiophorids * Halophila stipulacea Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Marine biology, freshwater biology, limnology Impact factor: 1.683, year: 2016

  11. Chronic light reduction reduces overall resilience to additional shading stress in the seagrass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yaakub, S.M.; Chen, E.; Bouma, T.; Erftemeijer, P.L.A.; Todd, P.A.

    2014-01-01

    Seagrasses have substantial capacity to survive long periods of light reduction, but how acclimation to chronic low light environments may influence their ability to cope with additional stress is poorly understood. This study examines the effect of temporal light reduction by adding two levels of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-15

    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. We tested nitrogen uptake and assimilation, photosynthesis, growth, and carbon allocation responses of the tropical seagrasses Halodule uninervis and Thalassia hemprichii to OA scenarios (428, 734 and 1213 μatm pCO2) under two nutrients levels (0.3 and 1.9 μM NO3(-)). Net primary production (measured as oxygen production) and growth in H. uninervis increased with pCO2 enrichment, but were not affected by nitrate enrichment. However, nitrate enrichment reduced whole plant respiration in H. uninervis. Net primary production and growth did not show significant changes with pCO2 or nitrate by the end of the experiment (24 d) in T. hemprichii. However, nitrate incorporation in T. hemprichii was higher with nitrate enrichment. There was no evidence that nitrogen demand increased with pCO2 enrichment in either species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, nutrient increases to levels approximating present day flood plumes only had small effects on metabolism. This study highlights that the paradigm of increased productivity of seagrasses under ocean acidification may not be valid for all species under all environmental conditions.

  13. Determining light stress responses for a tropical multi-species seagrass assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statton, John; McMahon, Kathryn; Lavery, Paul; Kendrick, Gary A

    2018-03-01

    Existing mitigations to address deterioration in water clarity associated with human activities are based on responses from single seagrass species but may not be appropriate for diverse seagrass assemblages common to tropical waters. We present findings from a light experiment designed to determine the effects of magnitude and duration of low light on a mixed tropical seagrass assemblage. Mixed assemblages of three commonly co-occurring Indo-West Pacific seagrasses, Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis and Halophila ovalis were grown in climate-controlled tanks, where replicate pots were subjected to a gradient in light availability (0.9-21.6 mols PAR m -2 day -1 ) for 12 weeks. Increased shading resulted in declines in growth and changes in cellular and photosynthesis responses for all species, although time-scale and magnitude of response were species-specific. Applying management criteria (e.g. thresholds) relevant to one species may under- or over-estimate potential for impact on other species and the meadow as a whole. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Expressed sequence tags from heat-shocked seagrass Zostera noltii (Hornemann) from its southern distribution range

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Massa, Sonia I.; Pearson, Gareth A.; Aires, Tania; Kube, Michael; Olsen, Jeanine L.; Reinhardt, Richard; Serrao, Ester A.; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie

    Predicted global climate change threatens the distributional ranges of species worldwide. We identified genes expressed in the intertidal seagrass Zostera midi during recovery from a simulated low tide heat-shock exposure. Five Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) libraries were compared, corresponding to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    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. We tested nitrogen uptake and assimilation, photosynthesis, growth, and carbon allocation responses of the tropical seagrasses Halodule uninervis and Thalassia hemprichii to OA scenarios (428, 734 and 1213 μatm pCO2) under two nutrients levels (0.3 and 1.9 μM NO3-). Net primary production (measured as oxygen production) and growth in H. uninervis increased with pCO2 enrichment, but were not affected by nitrate enrichment. However, nitrate enrichment reduced whole plant respiration in H. uninervis. Net primary production and growth did not show significant changes with pCO2 or nitrate by the end of the experiment (24 d) in T. hemprichii. However, nitrate incorporation in T. hemprichii was higher with nitrate enrichment. There was no evidence that nitrogen demand increased with pCO2 enrichment in either species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, nutrient increases to levels approximating present day flood plumes only had small effects on metabolism. This study highlights that the paradigm of increased productivity of seagrasses under ocean acidification may not be valid for all species under all environmental conditions.

  16. The root/rhizome system of seagrasses: an asset and a burden

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemminga, M.A.

    1998-01-01

    Large-scale declines in seagrass vegetation have been frequently observed in recent decades. Many of these declines can be traced to the reduction of light levels in the water column. In this paper, it is argued that the root/rhizome system offers a competitive advantage in nutrient-poor waters, but

  17. Population characteristics, space use and habitat associations of the seahorse Hippocampus reidi (Teleostei: Syngnathidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ierecê Lucena Rosa

    Full Text Available This paper provides a case study of a threatened seahorse species, Hippocampus reidi, highlighting the importance of using ecological information to assist conservation and management initiatives. Underwater visual sighting data (50 x 2m transect gathered along the NE, SE and S portions of the Brazilian coast revealed an unequal distribution across localities, perhaps related to harvesting pressure, and a mean density of 0.026 ind.m-2. Our findings suggest some restricted spatial use by H. reidi, which was consistent with its estimated home range, and with re-sighting of specimens. Reproduction was recorded year-round, however productive peaks may exist. Components of habitat structure mostly used as anchoring points were mangrove plants, macroalgae, cnidarians, seagrass, sponges, and bryozoans. Conservation recommendations include: further characterization and mapping of habitats; assessment of availability and condition of microhabitats in selected areas, and studies on dispersal routes during initial life stages.

  18. Mapping Submerged Habitats and Mangroves of Lampi Island Marine National Park (Myanmar from in Situ and Satellite Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Giardino

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we produced the first thematic maps of submerged and coastal habitats of Lampi Island (Myanmar from in situ and satellite data. To focus on key elements of bio-diversity typically existing in tropical islands the detection of corals, seagrass, and mangrove forests was addressed. Satellite data were acquired from Landsat-8; for the purpose of validation Rapid-Eye data were also used. In situ data supporting image processing were collected in a field campaign performed from 28 February to 4 March 2015 at the time of sensors overpasses. A hybrid approach based on bio-optical modeling and supervised classification techniques was applied to atmospherically-corrected Landsat-8 data. Bottom depth estimations, to be used in the classification process of shallow waters, were in good agreement with depth soundings (R2 = 0.87. Corals were classified with producer and user accuracies of 58% and 77%, while a lower accuracy (producer and user accuracies of 50% was found for the seagrass due to the patchy distribution of meadows; accuracies more than 88% were obtained for mangrove forests. The classification indicated the presence of 18 mangroves sites with extension larger than 5 km2; for 15 of those the coexistence of corals and seagrass were also found in the fronting bays, suggesting a significant rate of biodiversity for the study area.

  19. Dynamics of carbon sources supporting burial in seagrass sediments under increasing anthropogenic pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Inés

    2017-03-15

    Seagrass meadows are strong coastal carbon sinks of autochthonous and allochthonous carbon. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of coastal anthropogenic pressure on the variability of carbon sources in seagrass carbon sinks during the last 150 yr. We did so by examining the composition of the sediment organic carbon (Corg) stocks by measuring the δ13Corg signature and C : N ratio in 210Pb dated sediments of 11 Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows around the Balearic Islands (Spain, Western Mediterranean) under different levels of human pressure. On average, the top meter sediment carbon deposits were mainly (59% ± 12%) composed by P. oceanica derived carbon whereas seston contribution was generally lower (41% ± 8%). The contribution of P. oceanica to the total sediment carbon stock was the highest (∼ 80%) in the most pristine sites whereas the sestonic contribution was the highest (∼ 40–80%) in the meadows located in areas under moderate to very high human pressure. Furthermore, an increase in the contribution of sestonic carbon and a decrease in that of seagrass derived carbon toward present was observed in most of the meadows examined, coincident with the onset of the tourism industry development and coastal urbanization in the region. Our results demonstrate a general increase of total carbon accumulation rate in P. oceanica sediments during the last century, mainly driven by the increase in sestonic Corg carbon burial, which may have important implications in the long-term carbon sink capacity of the seagrass meadows in the region examined.

  20. Climate change and Mediterranean seagrass meadows: a synopsis for environmental managers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. PERGENT

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This synopsis focuses on the effects of climate change on Mediterranean seagrasses, and associated communities, and on the contribution of the main species, Posidonia oceanica, to the mitigation of climate change effects through its role of sequestering carbon dioxide. Whilst the regression of seagrass meadows is well documented, generally linked to anthropogenic pressures, global warming could be a cause of new significant regressions, notably linked to the introduction of exotic species, the rise of Sea-Surface Temperature (SST, and relative sea level. Seagrass communities could also be affected by climate change through the replacement of seagrass species having high structural complexity by species of lower complexity and even by opportunistic introduced species. Although it is currently very difficult to predict the consequences of these alterations and their cascade effects, two main conflicting trends in the functioning of seagrass ecosystems that could occur are acceleration of the herbivore pathway or of the detritivore pathway. The mean net primary production of the dominant species, Posidonia oceanica, is relatively high and can be estimated to range between 92.5 to 144.7 g C m-2 a-1. Around 27% of the total carbon fixed by this species enters the sedimentary pathway leading to formation, over millennia, of highly organic deposits rich in refractory carbon. At the Mediterranean scale, the sequestration rate might reach 1.09 Tg C a-1. The amount of this stored carbon is estimated to range from 71 to 273 kg C m-2, which when considered at the Mediterranean scale would represent 11 to 42% of the CO2 emissions produced by Mediterranean countries since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The greatest value of the P. oceanica ecosystem, in the context of mitigation of global climate change, is linked to this vast long-term carbon stock accumulated over the millennia, and therefore, efforts should be focused on preserving the

  1. Spatial assessment of intertidal seagrass meadows using optical imaging systems and a lightweight drone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, James P.; Pratt, Laura; Anderson, Karen; Land, Peter E.; Shutler, Jamie D.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are highly sensitive to environmental change. They are also in global decline and under threat from a variety of anthropogenic factors. There is now an urgency to establish robust monitoring methodologies so that changes in seagrass abundance and distribution in these sensitive coastal environments can be understood. Typical monitoring approaches have included remote sensing from satellites and airborne platforms, ground based ecological surveys and snorkel/scuba surveys. These techniques can suffer from temporal and spatial inconsistency, or are very localised making it hard to assess seagrass meadows in a structured manner. Here we present a novel technique using a lightweight (sub 7 kg) drone and consumer grade cameras to produce very high spatial resolution (∼4 mm pixel-1) mosaics of two intertidal sites in Wales, UK. We present a full data collection methodology followed by a selection of classification techniques to produce coverage estimates at each site. We trialled three classification approaches of varying complexity to investigate and illustrate the differing performance and capabilities of each. Our results show that unsupervised classifications perform better than object-based methods in classifying seagrass cover. We also found that the more sparsely vegetated of the two meadows studied was more accurately classified - it had lower root mean squared deviation (RMSD) between observed and classified coverage (9-9.5%) compared to a more densely vegetated meadow (RMSD 16-22%). Furthermore, we examine the potential to detect other biotic features, finding that lugworm mounds can be detected visually at coarser resolutions such as 43 mm pixel-1, whereas smaller features such as cockle shells within seagrass require finer grained data (<17 mm pixel-1).

  2. Radiative transfer within seagrass canopies: impact on carbon budgets and light requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Richard C.; Mobley, Curtis D.

    1997-02-01

    Seagrasses are ecologically important but extremely vulnerable to anthropogenic modifications of the coastal zone that affect light availability within these unique ecosystems. Strongly pigmented seagrass leaves can extend for more than 1 m above the substrate and biomass is distributed unevenly throughout the canopy. in this study, light attenuation in a 7 m water column that contained a seagrass canopy extending 1.5 m above the bottom was calculated by the radiative transfer model Hydrolight using the spectral absorbance of eelgrass leaves and a non-uniform vertical distribution of biomass. Runs were performed in clear and turbid water columns, over san d and mud substrates, and with shoot densities ranging from 25 to 200 m-2 using solar angles for both winter and summer solstices. The flux of photosynthetically active irradiance (EPAR) reaching the top of the seagrass canopy was twice as high in summer compared to winter, and in clear water compared to turbid water. Sediment type had a measurable effect on EPAR only within the bottom third of the canopy. Light penetration within the canopy was inversely proportional to shoot density. Introduction of daylength and a sinusoidal distribution of EPAR throughout the day greatly increased the importance of solar elevation on daily integrated production relative to water column turbidity and sediment type. Shoot-specific productivity decreased and the position of maximum shoot productivity within the canopy shallowed as shoot density increased. Positive net photosynthesis for entire shoots was possible only when plant density was lower than 100 shoots m-2 in winter; values consistent with field observations. Although very simplistic with regard to inherent optical properties of real seagrass leaves, this model was able to generate estimates of maximum sustainable shoot density that were fully testable by, and wholly consistent with, field observations.

  3. Ontogenetic and sex-based differences in habitat preferences and site fidelity of White's seahorse Hippocampus whitei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harasti, D; Martin-Smith, K; Gladstone, W

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this study was to determine and compare habitat preferences for male and female adult and juvenile White's seahorse Hippocampus whitei and assess their movements and site fidelity over 4 years. Data were collected from three sites along 1.5 km of estuarine shoreline in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia, from 2006 to 2009 using H. whitei that had been tagged with visible implant fluorescent elastomer. Relative availability of 12 habitats and habitat preferences of H. whitei was determined, based on the habitat that H. whitei used as a holdfast. Hippocampus whitei occurred in nine different habitats; adults preferred sponge and soft coral Dendronephthya australis habitats with no difference between male and female habitat preferences whilst juveniles preferred gorgonian Euplexaura sp. habitat. There was a significant preference by adults for D. australis colonies with height >40 cm and avoidance of colonies <20 cm. Neither adults nor juveniles used sand or the seagrasses Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni and Halophila ovalis. Hippocampus whitei showed cryptic behaviour with c. 50% of adult sightings cryptic and c. 75% for juveniles with crypsis occurring predominantly in Sargassum sp. for adults and Euplexaura sp. habitat for juveniles. Within sites, females moved significantly longer distances (maximum of 70 m) than males (maximum of 38 m) over 20 months. Strong site fidelity was displayed by H. whitei with males persisting at the same site for up to 56 months and females for 49 months and no H. whitei moved between sites. The longest period that an H. whitei was recorded on the same holdfast was 17 months for a male and 10 months for a female. As this species displays strong site fidelity, specific habitat preferences and has a limited distribution, future management needs to minimize the risk of habitat disturbance as loss of key habitats could have a negative effect on species abundance and distribution. © 2014 The Fisheries Society of the

  4. Geographic Information System (GIS) characterization of historical seagrass coverage in St. Andrew Bay, Florida, 1953 (NODC Accession 0000608)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Graphical representation of historical seagrass coverage in St. Andrew Bay from United States Geological Survey/National Wetlands Research Center (USGS/NWRC) in...

  5. Cultivation-dependent analysis of the microbial diversity associated with the seagrass meadows in Xincun Bay, South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yu-Feng; Ling, Juan; Wang, You-Shao; Chen, Biao; Zhang, Yan-Ying; Dong, Jun-De

    2015-10-01

    Microbial communities have largely existed in the seagrass meadows. A total of 496 strains of the bacteria in the seagrass meadows, which belonged to 50 genera, were obtained by the plate cultivation method from three sites of Xincun Bay, South China Sea. The results showed that Bacillales and Vibrionales accounted for the highest proportions of organisms in all communities. The diversity of the bacteria in the sediment was higher than that associated with seagrass. Thalassia hemperichii possessed the highest abundance of bacteria, followed by Enhalus acoroides and Cymodocea rotundata. Robust seasonal dynamics in microbial community composition were also observed. It was found that microbial activities were closely tied to the growth stage of the seagrass. The microbial distribution was the lowest in site 3. The abundance of the bacteria was linked to the interactions between bacteria and plants, the condition of plant and even the coastal water quality and the nutrition level in the sediment.

  6. Genome-wide transcriptomic responses of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Nanozostera noltii under a simulated heatwave confirm functional types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franssen, Susanne U.; Gu, Jenny; Winters, Gidon; Huylmans, Ann-Kathrin; Wienpahl, Isabell; Sparwel, Maximiliane; Coyer, James; Olsen, Jeanine; Reusch, Thorsten; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    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

  7. Geographic Information System (GIS) characterization of historical extent of seagrass beds in Tampa Bay, Florida (NODC Accession 0000613)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The coverage is the historical extent of seagrass beds in Tampa Bay. Vector coverage was rasterized using ELAS software. The project was completed by US Fish and...

  8. Stratification of habitats for identifying habitat selection by Merriam's turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1992-01-01

    Habitat selection patterns of Merriam’s Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...

  9. Environmental characteristics of tropical coral reef-seagrass dominated lagoons (Lakshadweep, India) and implications to resilience to climate change.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nobi, E.P.; DineshKumar, P.K.

    , also known as rainforests of the sea, are some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth (Davidson 1998). The health, abundance and diversity of organisms of coral reef ecosystems are directly linked to the surrounding marine environment. Seagrass beds... to a disturbed ecosystem (Gunderson 2000). Since the health and growth of coral and seagrass are regulated by several factors, the environmental monitoring of the coral ecosystem is a challenging study (Bulthius 1983; Haynes et al. 2005; Prange et...

  10. CoBOP: Microbial Biofilms: A Parameter Altering the Apparent Optical Properties of Sediments, Seagrasses and Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-09-30

    CoBOP: Microbial Biofilms: A Parameter Altering the Apparent Optical Properties of Sediments, Seagrasses and Surfaces Alan W. Decho Department...TITLE AND SUBTITLE CoBOP: Microbial Biofilms: A Parameter Altering the Apparent Optical Properties of Sediments, Seagrasses and Surfaces 5a. CONTRACT...structures produced by bacteria. Their growth appears to depend on biofilm processes and light distributions ( photosynthesis ). Therefore, the data acquired

  11. Surface Habitat Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are

  12. Resilience and stability of Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows over the last four decades in a Mediterranean lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Marie; Lafabrie, Céline; Torre, Franck; Fernandez, Catherine; Pasqualini, Vanina

    2013-09-01

    Understanding what controls the capacity of a coastal lagoon ecosystem to recover following climatic and anthropogenic perturbations and how these perturbations can alter this capacity is critical to efficient environmental management. The goal of this study was to examine the resilience and stability of Cymodocea nodosa-dominated seagrass meadows in Urbino lagoon (Corsica, Mediterranean Sea) by characterizing the spatio-temporal dynamics of seagrass meadows over a 40-year period and comparing (anthropogenic and climatic) environmental fluctuations. The spatio-temporal evolution of seagrass meadows was investigated using previous maps (1973, 1979, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999) and a 2011 map realized by aerial photography-remote sensing combined with GIS technology. Environmental fluctuation was investigated via physical-chemical parameters (rainfall, water temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen) and human-impact changes (aquaculture, artificial channel). The results showed a severe decline (estimated at -49%) in seagrass meadows between 1973 and 1994 followed by a period of strong recovery (estimated to +42%) between 1994 and 2011. Increased turbidity, induced either by rainfall events, dredging or phytoplankton growth, emerged as the most important driver of the spatio-temporal evolution of Cymodocea nodosa-dominated meadows in Urbino lagoon over the last four decades. Climate events associated to increased turbidity and reduced salinity and temperature could heavily impact seagrass dynamics. This study shows that Urbino lagoon, a system relatively untouched by human impact, shelters seagrass meadows that exhibit high resilience and stability.

  13. The degree of urbanization across the globe is not reflected in the δ(15)N of seagrass leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiaen, Bart; Bernard, Rebecca J; Mortazavi, Behzad; Cebrian, Just; Ortmann, Alice C

    2014-06-30

    Many studies show that seagrass δ(15)N ratios increase with the amount of urbanization in coastal watersheds. However, there is little information on the relationship between urbanization and seagrass δ(15)N ratios on a global scale. We performed a meta-analysis on seagrass samples from 79 independent locations to test if seagrass δ(15)N ratios correlate with patterns of population density and fertilizer use within a radius of 10-200 km around the sample locations. Our results show that seagrass δ(15)N ratios are more influenced by intergeneric and latitudinal differences than the degree of urbanization or the amount of fertilizer used in nearby watersheds. The positive correlation between seagrass δ(15)N ratios and latitude hints at an underlying pattern in discrimination or a latitudinal gradient in the (15)N isotopic signature of nitrogen assimilated by the plants. The actual mechanisms responsible for the correlation between δ(15)N and latitude remain unknown. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. North American Brant: Effects of changes in habitat and climate on population dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David H.; Reed, Austin; Sedinger, James S.; Black, Jeffrey M.; Derksen, Dirk V.; Castelli, Paul M.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the importance of key habitats used by four nesting populations of nearctic brant (Branta bernicla) and discuss the potential relationship between changes in these habitats and population dynamics of brant. Nearctic brant, in contrast to most geese, rely on marine habitats and native intertidal plants during the non-breeding season, particularly the seagrass, Zostera, and the macroalgae, Ulva. Atlantic and Eastern High Arctic brant have experienced the greatest degradation of their winter habitats (northeastern United States and Ireland, respectively) and have also shown the most plasticity in feeding behavior. Black and Western High Arctic brant of the Pacific Flyway are the most dependent on Zostera, and are undergoing a shift in winter distribution that is likely related to climate change and its associated effects on Zostera dynamics. Variation in breeding propensity of Black Brant associated with winter location and climate strongly suggests that food abundance on the wintering grounds directly affects reproductive performance in these geese. In summer, salt marshes, especially those containing Carex and Puccinellia, are key habitats for raising young, while lake shorelines with fine freshwater grasses and sedges are important for molting birds. Availability and abundance of salt marshes has a direct effect on growth and recruitment of goslings and ultimately, plays an important role in regulating size of local brant populations. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Edward L., Jr.; Benson, Delwin E.

    The National 4-H Wildlife Invitational is a competitive event to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife management. Youth learn that management for wildlife means management of wildlife habitat and providing for the needs of wildlife. This handbook provides information about wildlife habitat management concepts in both urban and rural…

  16. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen Y. Smith

    2000-01-01

    Fire, insects, disease, harvesting, and precommercial thinning all create mosaics on Northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. These mosaics are important for faunal habitat. Consequently, changes such as created openings or an increase in heavily stocked areas affect the water, cover, and food of forest habitats. The “no action” alternative in ecosystem management of low...

  17. Critical Habitat :: NOAA Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential essential for conservation. Critical Habitat Maps NOTE: The critical habitat maps provided here are for Data Leatherback Turtle (U.S. West Coast) » Biological Report » Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to

  18. The influence of seagrass on shell layers and Florida Bay mudbanks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, E.J.; Halley, R.B.

    1999-01-01

    Aerial photography indicates that sometime since the early 1970's, an emergent ridge of shell debris developed on a mudbank north of Calusa Key in Florida Bay. Coarse shell deposits on and within the Bay's shallow mudbanks are believed to be the product of transport during major storm events and subsequent winnowing. However, shell material from the ridge contains nuclear bomb 14C, supporting formation within the past 30 years and the last major hurricanes to influence Florida Bay were Donna and Betsy (1960 and 1965). Results from this study suggest that the Calusa ridge and other coarse shell deposits in Florida Bay can result from, 1) periodic seagrass mortality and wave-induced transport during frequent winter cold fronts and/or 2) mollusc blooms and subsequent burial. A survey of bottom types indicates that dense to intermediate beds of seagrass, mainly Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass), occur within the shallow basins of western Florida Bay and along the margins of Bay mudbanks. Wave measurements and modeling indicate that Thalassia along mudbank margins can reduce incoming wave-energy by over 80%. Seagrass beds also host particularly dense populations of molluscs from periodic 'blooms' and are believed to be the major source of coarse sediments in the Bay. Thus, if bank-edge seagrass dies, sediments, including shell debris, become exposed and subject to greatly increased wave energy. Modeling indicates that winds typical of winter cold fronts in South Florida can produce near-bottom velocities and shear stress at a grass-free bank edge which are sufficient to transport coarse carbonate grains. Shell layers found at depth in mudbank cores can also be explained by previous episodes of sediment accretion over mollusc-rich seagrass beds or grass bed mortality at the edge of a mudbank and shell transport during cold front passage. The latter implies that mortality of marginal seagrass beds has occurred throughout the history of Florida Bay and that the

  19. The root/rhizome system of seagrasses: an asset and a burden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemminga, M. A.

    1998-06-01

    Large-scale declines in seagrass vegetation have been frequently observed in recent decades. Many of these declines can be traced to the reduction of light levels in the water column. In this paper, it is argued that the root/rhizome system offers a competitive advantage in nutrient-poor waters, but that it makes the plant vulnerable when changes in water quality lead to reduction of incident light. Seagrasses are capable of exploiting the nutrient stocks of both the water column and the sediment pore water, by leaves and roots, respectively. A survey of the literature shows that the median concentrations of water-column ammonium and phosphate in seagrass beds worldwide are 1.7 and 0.35 μM, respectively, whereas the same compounds in the pore water of the root zone reach median concentrations of 60 and 6.5 μM. The dual possibilities for nutrient uptake may underlie the apparent lack of strongly developed nutrient conservation strategies in seagrasses. The possession of roots becomes a disadvantage when the photosynthetically active radiation available to the plants decreases. At saturating light levels, the maximum rate of net photosynthesis (measured as O 2 production) of the leaves typically exceeds leaf respiration (measured as O 2 consumption) about 5 times. In low-light environments, the respiring below-ground biomass (which can greatly exceed the above-ground biomass) can be a considerable burden to the carbon balance of the plant, limiting its survival potential. In addition, secondary and tertiary effects of light reduction involving the roots and rhizomes may undermine plant vitality as well. Leaf photosynthesis is the major source of oxygen for the roots and rhizomes. Hence, decreased photosynthetic activity following light reduction may lead to hypoxic or anoxic conditions in the below-ground organs, presumably making them vulnerable to carbon starvation. A decreased flux of oxygen to the roots and rhizomes also restricts the possibilities for

  20. Early warning indicators for river nutrient and sediment loads in tropical seagrass beds: a benchmark from a near-pristine archipelago in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Katwijk, M M; van der Welle, M E W; Lucassen, E C H E T; Vonk, J A; Christianen, M J A; Kiswara, W; al Hakim, I Inayat; Arifin, A; Bouma, T J; Roelofs, J G M; Lamers, L P M

    2011-07-01

    In remote, tropical areas human influences increase, potentially threatening pristine seagrass systems. We aim (i) to provide a bench-mark for a near-pristine seagrass system in an archipelago in East Kalimantan, by quantifying a large spectrum of abiotic and biotic properties in seagrass meadows and (ii) to identify early warning indicators for river sediment and nutrient loading, by comparing the seagrass meadow properties over a gradient with varying river influence. Abiotic properties of water column, pore water and sediment were less suitable indicators for increased sediment and nutrient loading than seagrass properties. Seagrass meadows strongly responded to higher sediment and nutrient loads and proximity to the coast by decreasing seagrass cover, standing stock, number of seagrass species, changing species composition and shifts in tissue contents. Our study confirms that nutrient loads are more important than water nutrient concentrations. We identify seagrass system variables that are suitable indicators for sediment and nutrient loading, also in rapid survey scenarios with once-only measurements. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Habitat Blocks and Wildlife Corridors

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Habitat blocks are areas of contiguous forest and other natural habitats that are unfragmented by roads, development, or agriculture. Vermonts habitat blocks are...

  2. Using MODIS data for understanding changes in seagrass meadow health: a case study in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petus, Caroline; Collier, Catherine; Devlin, Michelle; Rasheed, Michael; McKenna, Skye

    2014-07-01

    Stretching more than 2000 km along the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBR) shelters over 43,000 square km of seagrass meadows. Despite the status of marine protected area and World Heritage listing of the GBR, local seagrass meadows are under stress from reduced water quality levels; with reduction in the amount of light available for seagrass photosynthesis defined as the primary cause of seagrass loss throughout the GBR. Methods have been developed to map GBR plume water types by using MODIS quasi-true colour (hereafter true colour) images reclassified in function of their dominant colour. These data can be used as an interpretative tool for understanding changes in seagrass meadow health (as defined in this study by the seagrass area and abundance) at different spatial and temporal scales. We tested this method in Cleveland Bay, in the northern GBR, where substantial loss in seagrass area and biomass was detected by annual monitoring from 2007 to 2011. A strong correlation was found between bay-wide seagrass meadow area and biomass and exposure to turbid Primary (sediment-dominated) water type. There was also a strong correlation between the changes of biomass and area of individual meadows and exposure of seagrass ecosystems to Primary water type over the 5-year period. Seagrass meadows were also grouped according to the dominant species within each meadow, irrespective of location within Cleveland Bay. These consolidated community types did not correlate well with the exposure to Primary water type, and this is likely to be due to local environmental conditions with the individual meadows that comprise these groupings. This study proved that remote sensing data provide the synoptic window and repetitivity required to investigate changes in water quality conditions over time. Remote sensing data provide an opportunity to investigate the risk of marine-coastal ecosystems to light limitation due to increased water turbidity when in situ

  3. Macro-grazer herbivory regulates seagrass response to pulse and press nutrient loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravaglioli, Chiara; Capocchi, Antonella; Fontanini, Debora; Mori, Giovanna; Nuccio, Caterina; Bulleri, Fabio

    2018-05-01

    Coastal ecosystems are exposed to multiple stressors. Predicting their outcomes is complicated by variations in their temporal regimes. Here, by means of a 16-month experiment, we investigated tolerance and resistance traits of Posidonia oceanica to herbivore damage under different regimes of nutrient loading. Chronic and pulse nutrient supply were combined with simulated fish herbivory, treated as a pulse stressor. At ambient nutrient levels, P. oceanica could cope with severe herbivory, likely through an increase in photosynthetic activity. Elevated nutrient levels, regardless of the temporal regime, negatively affected plant growth and increased leaf nutritional quality. This ultimately resulted in a reduction of plant biomass that was particularly severe under chronic fertilization. Our results suggest that both chronic and pulse nutrient loadings increase plant palatability to macro-grazers. Strategies for seagrass management should not be exclusively applied in areas exposed to chronic fertilization since even short-term nutrient pulses could alter seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Photosynthetic carbon fixation pathways in Zostera marina and three Florida seagrasses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beer, S.; Wetzel, R.G.

    1982-06-01

    The photosynthetic carbon fixation pathways of four seagrass species, Zostera marina L. from Alaska and Thalassia testudinum Banks ex Konig, Syringodium filiforme Kutz. and Halodule wrightii Aschers. from the Gulf of Mexico, were investigated with a /sup 14/C pulse-chase technique. All species were found to be principally of the C/sub 3/ type. However, Thalassia and Halodule had higher initial incorporation rates into organic acids than is typical for terrestrial C/sub 3/ plants. Of 11 seagrass species investigated thus far for C/sub 3/ or C/sub 4/ metabolism using this technique, 10 were found to be principally of the C/sub 3/ type while only one exhibited C/sub 4/ metabolism.

  5. Seagrass sediments reveal the long-term deterioration of an estuarine ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar

    2016-01-28

    © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The study of a Posidonia australis sediment archive has provided a record of ecosystem dynamics and processes over the last 600 years in Oyster Harbour (SW Australia). Ecosystem shifts are a widespread phenomenon in coastal areas, and this study identifies baseline conditions and the time-course of ecological change (cycles, trends, resilience and thresholds of ecosystem change) under environmental stress in seagrass-dominated ecosystem. The shifts in the concentrations of chemical elements, carbonates, sediments <0.125 mm and stable carbon isotope signatures (δ13C) of the organic matter were detected between 1850s and 1920s, whereas the shift detected in P concentration occurred several decades later (1960s). The first degradation phase (1850s-1950s) follows the onset of European settlement in Australia and was characterized by a strong increase in sediment accumulation rates and fine-grained particles, driven primarily by enhanced run-off due to land clearance and agriculture in the catchment. About 80% of total seagrass area at Oyster Harbour was lost during the second phase of environmental degradation (1960s until present). The sharp increase in P concentration and the increasing contribution of algae and terrestrial inputs into the sedimentary organic matter pool around 1960s provides compelling evidence of the documented eutrophication of the estuary and the subsequent loss of seagrass meadows. The results presented demonstrate the power of seagrass sedimentary archives to reconstruct the trajectories of anthropogenic pressures on estuarine ecosystem and the associated regime shifts, which can be used to improve the capacity of scientists and environmental managers to understand, predict and better manage ecological change in these ecosystems.

  6. Characterization of available light for seagrass and patch reef productivity in Sugarloaf Key, Lower Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toro-Farmer, Gerardo; Muller-Karger, Frank E.; Vega-Rodriguez, Maria; Melo, Nelson; Yates, Kimberly K.; Johns, Elizabeth; Cerdeira-Estrada, Sergio; Herwitz, Stan R.

    2016-01-01

    Light availability is an important factor driving primary productivity in benthic ecosystems, but in situ and remote sensing measurements of light quality are limited for coral reefs and seagrass beds. We evaluated the productivity responses of a patch reef and a seagrass site in the Lower Florida Keys to ambient light availability and spectral quality. In situ optical properties were characterized utilizing moored and water column bio-optical and hydrographic measurements. Net ecosystem productivity (NEP) was also estimated for these study sites using benthic productivity chambers. Our results show higher spectral light attenuation and absorption, and lower irradiance during low tide in the patch reef, tracking the influx of materials from shallower coastal areas. In contrast, the intrusion of clearer surface Atlantic Ocean water caused lower values of spectral attenuation and absorption, and higher irradiance in the patch reef during high tide. Storms during the studied period, with winds >10 m·s−1, caused higher spectral attenuation values. A spatial gradient of NEP was observed, from high productivity in the shallow seagrass area, to lower productivity in deeper patch reefs. The highest daytime NEP was observed in the seagrass, with values of almost 0.4 g·O2·m−2·h−1. Productivity at the patch reef area was lower in May than during October 2012 (mean = 0.137 and 0.177 g·O2·m−2·h−1, respectively). Higher photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) levels measured above water and lower light attenuation in the red region of the visible spectrum (~666 to ~699 nm) had a positive correlation with NEP. Our results indicate that changes in light availability and quality by suspended or resuspended particles limit benthic productivity in the Florida Keys.

  7. Marine space ecology and seagrasses. Does patch type matter in Posidonia oceanica seascapes?

    OpenAIRE

    Abadie, Arnaud; Gobert, Sylvie; Bonacorsi, Marina; Lejeune, Pierre; Pergent, Gérard; Pergent-Martini, Christine

    2015-01-01

    The use of landscape tools in the study of seagrass meadows (seascapes) begins to be widely spreadbut still require the establishment of several basis, i.e. a patch type classification based on numericalcharacteristics. Thanks to the complex seascapes created by the Posidonia oceanica meadows, they appearto be suitable for a study at a patch type level (class), which bring a new insight of their arrangement at thewhole seascape scale. By interpreting side scan sonar images from the Corsican c...

  8. Biodegradable plastic bags on the seafloor: A future threat for seagrass meadows?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestri, Elena; Menicagli, Virginia; Vallerini, Flavia; Lardicci, Claudio

    2017-12-15

    Marine plastic litter is a global concern. Carrier bags manufactured from non-biodegradable polymers constitute a large component of this litter. Because of their adverse impact on marine life, non-biodegradable bags have recently been replaced by biodegradable ones. However, growing evidence shows that these latter are not readily degradable in marine sediments and can alter benthic assemblages. The potential impact of biodegradable bags on seagrasses inhabiting sandy bottoms, which are the most widespread and productive ecosystems of the coastal zones, has been ignored. Mesocosm experiments were conducted to assess the effect of a commercialized biodegradable bag on a common seagrass species of the Mediterranean, Cymodocea nodosa, both at the level of individual plant (clonal growth) and of plant community (plant-plant relationships), under three culture regimes (plant alone, in combination with a neighbour of the same species or of the co-existing seagrass Zostera noltei) simulating different natural conditions (bare substrate, monospecific meadows or mixed meadows). The bag behaviour in marine sediment and sediment physical/chemical variables were also examined. After six months of sediment exposure, the bag retained considerable mass (85% initial weight) and reduced sediment pore-water oxygen concentration and pH. In the presence of bag, C. nodosa root spread and vegetative recruitment increased compared to controls, both intra- and interspecific interactions shifted from neutral to competitive, and the growth form changed from guerrilla (loosely arranged group of widely spaced ramets) to phalanx form (compact structure of closed spaced ramets) but only with Z. noltei. These findings suggest that biodegradable bags altering sediment geochemistry could promote the spatial segregation of seagrass clones and influence species coexistence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Seagrass sediments reveal the long-term deterioration of an estuarine ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul; Masque, Pere; Inostroza, Karina; Bongiovanni, James; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The study of a Posidonia australis sediment archive has provided a record of ecosystem dynamics and processes over the last 600 years in Oyster Harbour (SW Australia). Ecosystem shifts are a widespread phenomenon in coastal areas, and this study identifies baseline conditions and the time-course of ecological change (cycles, trends, resilience and thresholds of ecosystem change) under environmental stress in seagrass-dominated ecosystem. The shifts in the concentrations of chemical elements, carbonates, sediments <0.125 mm and stable carbon isotope signatures (δ13C) of the organic matter were detected between 1850s and 1920s, whereas the shift detected in P concentration occurred several decades later (1960s). The first degradation phase (1850s-1950s) follows the onset of European settlement in Australia and was characterized by a strong increase in sediment accumulation rates and fine-grained particles, driven primarily by enhanced run-off due to land clearance and agriculture in the catchment. About 80% of total seagrass area at Oyster Harbour was lost during the second phase of environmental degradation (1960s until present). The sharp increase in P concentration and the increasing contribution of algae and terrestrial inputs into the sedimentary organic matter pool around 1960s provides compelling evidence of the documented eutrophication of the estuary and the subsequent loss of seagrass meadows. The results presented demonstrate the power of seagrass sedimentary archives to reconstruct the trajectories of anthropogenic pressures on estuarine ecosystem and the associated regime shifts, which can be used to improve the capacity of scientists and environmental managers to understand, predict and better manage ecological change in these ecosystems.

  10. Characterization of Available Light for Seagrass and Patch Reef Productivity in Sugarloaf Key, Lower Florida Keys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Toro-Farmer

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Light availability is an important factor driving primary productivity in benthic ecosystems, but in situ and remote sensing measurements of light quality are limited for coral reefs and seagrass beds. We evaluated the productivity responses of a patch reef and a seagrass site in the Lower Florida Keys to ambient light availability and spectral quality. In situ optical properties were characterized utilizing moored and water column bio-optical and hydrographic measurements. Net ecosystem productivity (NEP was also estimated for these study sites using benthic productivity chambers. Our results show higher spectral light attenuation and absorption, and lower irradiance during low tide in the patch reef, tracking the influx of materials from shallower coastal areas. In contrast, the intrusion of clearer surface Atlantic Ocean water caused lower values of spectral attenuation and absorption, and higher irradiance in the patch reef during high tide. Storms during the studied period, with winds >10 m·s−1, caused higher spectral attenuation values. A spatial gradient of NEP was observed, from high productivity in the shallow seagrass area, to lower productivity in deeper patch reefs. The highest daytime NEP was observed in the seagrass, with values of almost 0.4 g·O2·m−2·h−1. Productivity at the patch reef area was lower in May than during October 2012 (mean = 0.137 and 0.177 g·O2·m−2·h−1, respectively. Higher photosynthetic active radiation (PAR levels measured above water and lower light attenuation in the red region of the visible spectrum (~666 to ~699 nm had a positive correlation with NEP. Our results indicate that changes in light availability and quality by suspended or resuspended particles limit benthic productivity in the Florida Keys.

  11. ELEVATED NUTRIENT CONTENT OF MACROALGAE INCREASES RATES OF HERBIVORY IN CORAL, SEAGRASS, AND MANGROVE HABITATS. (R827637)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  12. Location and associated carbon storage of erosional escarpments of seagrass Posidonia mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar eSerrano

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses of the genus Posidonia can form an irregular seascape due to erosional processes exposing thick walls of organic matter-rich soils. However, little is known about the location and characteristics of these particular formations. Here we provide comprehensive estimates of organic carbon (Corg storage in P. oceanica and P. australis meadows, while providing insight into their location and mechanisms of formation, and highlighting future research directions. Erosional reef escarpments are restricted to shallow highly productive P. oceanica meadows from the Mediterranean Sea and P. australis meadows from the Indian Ocean, and sustain the existence of Corg-rich deposits in surrounding meadows. The thickness of the mat escarpments can reach up to 3 m and their length can vary from few to hundreds meters. Mechanisms of formation appear to differ among sites, from naturally-induced escarpments by wave action and/or tidal flow to human-induced escarpments by dredging activities. The inter-twined remains of seagrass shoots within the sediment matrix consolidate the sandy substrate and hold the exposed Posidonia mat escarpments together, maintaining a semi-rigid structure. This phenomenon is unusual but of exceptional importance in marine biogeochemical cycles, revealing the largest Corg sinks among seagrasses worldwide (ranging from 15-176 kg Corg m-2 in 2 m-thick mats accumulated at 2-249 g Corg m-2 yr-1 over 300 to 3000 yr.

  13. In situ impact of petrochemicals on the photosynthesis of the seagrass Zostera capricorni

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macinnis-Ng, Catriona M.O.; Ralph, Peter J.

    2003-01-01

    We used photosynthetic activity (measured as chlorophyll a fluorescence) and photosynthetic pigment concentrations to assess the effect of pulsed exposures of aged crude oil (Champion Crude), dispersant (VDC) and an oil + dispersant mixture on the seagrass Zostera capricorni Aschers in laboratory and field experiments, using custom-made chambers. Samples were exposed for 10 h to 0.25% and 0.1% concentrations of aged crude oil and dispersant as well as mixtures of 0.25% oil + 0.05% dispersant and 0.1% oil + 0.02% dispersant. During this time and for the subsequent four day recovery period, the maximum and effective quantum yields of photosystem II (Fv/Fm and ΔF/Fm ' respectively) were measured. In the laboratory experiments, both values declined in response to oil exposure and remained low during the recovery period. Dispersant exposure caused a decline in both values during the recovery period, while the mixture of aged crude oil + dispersant had little impact on both quantum yields. In situ samples were less sensitive than laboratory samples, showing no photosynthetic impact due to dispersant and oil + dispersant mixture. Despite an initial decline in ΔF/Fm ' , in situ oil-exposed samples recovered by the end of the experiment. Chlorophyll pigment analysis showed only limited ongoing impact in both laboratory and field situations. This study suggests that laboratory experiments may overestimate the ongoing impact of petrochemicals on seagrass whilst the dispersant VDC can reduce the impact of oil on seagrass photosynthesis

  14. Photosynthetic carbon metabolism in seagrasses C-labeling evidence for the c(3) pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, T J; Abel, K M

    1979-04-01

    The delta(13)C values of several seagrasses were considerably less negative than those of terrestrial C(3) plants and tended toward those of terrestrial C(4) plants. However, for Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenb.) Aschers and Halophila spinulosa (R. Br.) Aschers, phosphoglycerate and other C(3) cycle intermediates predominated among the early labeled products of photosynthesis in (14)C-labeled seawater (more than 90% at the earliest times) and the labeling pattern at longer times was brought about by the operation of the C(3) pathway. Malate and aspartate together accounted for only a minor fraction of the total fixed label at all times and the kinetic data of this labeling were not at all consistent with these compounds being early intermediates in seagrass photosynthesis. Pulse-chase (14)C-labeling studies further substantiated these conclusions. Significant labeling of photorespiratory intermediates was observed in all experiments. The kinetics of total fixation of label during some steady-state and pulse-chase experiments suggested that there may be an intermediate pool of inorganic carbon of variable size closely associated with the leaves, either externally or internally. Such a pool may be one cause for the C(4)-like carbon isotope ratios of seagrasses.

  15. Linking Seed Photosynthesis and Evolution of the Australian and Mediterranean Seagrass Genus Posidonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Celdran

    Full Text Available Recent findings have shown that photosynthesis in the skin of the seed of Posidonia oceanica enhances seedling growth. The seagrass genus Posidonia is found only in two distant parts of the world, the Mediterranean Sea and southern Australia. This fact led us to question whether the acquisition of this novel mechanism in the evolution of this seagrass was a pre-adaptation prior to geological isolation of the Mediterranean from Tethys Sea in the Eocene. Photosynthetic activity in seeds of Australian species of Posidonia is still unknown. This study shows oxygen production and respiration rates, and maximum PSII photochemical efficiency (Fv : Fm in seeds of two Australian Posidonia species (P. australis and P. sinuosa, and compares these with previous results for P. oceanica. Results showed relatively high oxygen production and respiratory rates in all three species but with significant differences among them, suggesting the existence of an adaptive mechanism to compensate for the relatively high oxygen demands of the seeds. In all cases maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem II rates reached similar values. The existence of photosynthetic activity in the seeds of all three species implicates that it was an ability probably acquired from a common ancestor during the Late Eocene, when this adaptive strategy could have helped Posidonia species to survive in nutrient-poor temperate seas. This study sheds new light on some aspects of the evolution of marine plants and represents an important contribution to global knowledge of the paleogeographic patterns of seagrass distribution.

  16. In situ impact of petrochemicals on the photosynthesis of the seagrass Zostera capricorni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macinnis-Ng, Catriona M O; Ralph, Peter J

    2003-11-01

    We used photosynthetic activity (measured as chlorophyll a fluorescence) and photosynthetic pigment concentrations to assess the effect of pulsed exposures of aged crude oil (Champion Crude), dispersant (VDC) and an oil+dispersant mixture on the seagrass Zostera capricorni Aschers in laboratory and field experiments, using custom-made chambers. Samples were exposed for 10 h to 0.25% and 0.1% concentrations of aged crude oil and dispersant as well as mixtures of 0.25% oil+0.05% dispersant and 0.1% oil+0.02% dispersant. During this time and for the subsequent four day recovery period, the maximum and effective quantum yields of photosystem II (Fv/Fm and DeltaF/Fm' respectively) were measured. In the laboratory experiments, both values declined in response to oil exposure and remained low during the recovery period. Dispersant exposure caused a decline in both values during the recovery period, while the mixture of aged crude oil+dispersant had little impact on both quantum yields. In situ samples were less sensitive than laboratory samples, showing no photosynthetic impact due to dispersant and oil+dispersant mixture. Despite an initial decline in DeltaF/Fm', in situ oil-exposed samples recovered by the end of the experiment. Chlorophyll pigment analysis showed only limited ongoing impact in both laboratory and field situations. This study suggests that laboratory experiments may overestimate the ongoing impact of petrochemicals on seagrass whilst the dispersant VDC can reduce the impact of oil on seagrass photosynthesis.

  17. Model fit versus biological relevance: Evaluating photosynthesis-temperature models for three tropical seagrass species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Matthew P; Collier, Catherine J; Uthicke, Sven; Ow, Yan X; Langlois, Lucas; O'Brien, Katherine R

    2017-01-04

    When several models can describe a biological process, the equation that best fits the data is typically considered the best. However, models are most useful when they also possess biologically-meaningful parameters. In particular, model parameters should be stable, physically interpretable, and transferable to other contexts, e.g. for direct indication of system state, or usage in other model types. As an example of implementing these recommended requirements for model parameters, we evaluated twelve published empirical models for temperature-dependent tropical seagrass photosynthesis, based on two criteria: (1) goodness of fit, and (2) how easily biologically-meaningful parameters can be obtained. All models were formulated in terms of parameters characterising the thermal optimum (T opt ) for maximum photosynthetic rate (P max ). These parameters indicate the upper thermal limits of seagrass photosynthetic capacity, and hence can be used to assess the vulnerability of seagrass to temperature change. Our study exemplifies an approach to model selection which optimises the usefulness of empirical models for both modellers and ecologists alike.

  18. Linking Seed Photosynthesis and Evolution of the Australian and Mediterranean Seagrass Genus Posidonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celdran, David; Lloret, Javier; Verduin, Jennifer; van Keulen, Mike; Marín, Arnaldo

    2015-01-01

    Recent findings have shown that photosynthesis in the skin of the seed of Posidonia oceanica enhances seedling growth. The seagrass genus Posidonia is found only in two distant parts of the world, the Mediterranean Sea and southern Australia. This fact led us to question whether the acquisition of this novel mechanism in the evolution of this seagrass was a pre-adaptation prior to geological isolation of the Mediterranean from Tethys Sea in the Eocene. Photosynthetic activity in seeds of Australian species of Posidonia is still unknown. This study shows oxygen production and respiration rates, and maximum PSII photochemical efficiency (Fv : Fm) in seeds of two Australian Posidonia species (P. australis and P. sinuosa), and compares these with previous results for P. oceanica. Results showed relatively high oxygen production and respiratory rates in all three species but with significant differences among them, suggesting the existence of an adaptive mechanism to compensate for the relatively high oxygen demands of the seeds. In all cases maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem II rates reached similar values. The existence of photosynthetic activity in the seeds of all three species implicates that it was an ability probably acquired from a common ancestor during the Late Eocene, when this adaptive strategy could have helped Posidonia species to survive in nutrient-poor temperate seas. This study sheds new light on some aspects of the evolution of marine plants and represents an important contribution to global knowledge of the paleogeographic patterns of seagrass distribution.

  19. Model fit versus biological relevance: Evaluating photosynthesis-temperature models for three tropical seagrass species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Matthew P.; Collier, Catherine J.; Uthicke, Sven; Ow, Yan X.; Langlois, Lucas; O'Brien, Katherine R.

    2017-01-01

    When several models can describe a biological process, the equation that best fits the data is typically considered the best. However, models are most useful when they also possess biologically-meaningful parameters. In particular, model parameters should be stable, physically interpretable, and transferable to other contexts, e.g. for direct indication of system state, or usage in other model types. As an example of implementing these recommended requirements for model parameters, we evaluated twelve published empirical models for temperature-dependent tropical seagrass photosynthesis, based on two criteria: (1) goodness of fit, and (2) how easily biologically-meaningful parameters can be obtained. All models were formulated in terms of parameters characterising the thermal optimum (Topt) for maximum photosynthetic rate (Pmax). These parameters indicate the upper thermal limits of seagrass photosynthetic capacity, and hence can be used to assess the vulnerability of seagrass to temperature change. Our study exemplifies an approach to model selection which optimises the usefulness of empirical models for both modellers and ecologists alike.

  20. Use of carbon monoxide and hydrogen by a bacteria–animal symbiosis from seagrass sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holler, Thomas; Lavik, Gaute; Harder, Jens; Lott, Christian; Littmann, Sten; Kuypers, Marcel M. M.; Dubilier, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Summary The gutless marine worm O lavius algarvensis lives in symbiosis with chemosynthetic bacteria that provide nutrition by fixing carbon dioxide (CO 2) into biomass using reduced sulfur compounds as energy sources. A recent metaproteomic analysis of the O . algarvensis symbiosis indicated that carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H 2) might also be used as energy sources. We provide direct evidence that the O . algarvensis symbiosis consumes CO and H 2. Single cell imaging using nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry revealed that one of the symbionts, the γ3‐symbiont, uses the energy from CO oxidation to fix CO 2. Pore water analysis revealed considerable in‐situ concentrations of CO and H 2 in the O . algarvensis environment, Mediterranean seagrass sediments. Pore water H 2 concentrations (89–2147 nM) were up to two orders of magnitude higher than in seawater, and up to 36‐fold higher than previously known from shallow‐water marine sediments. Pore water CO concentrations (17–51 nM) were twice as high as in the overlying seawater (no literature data from other shallow‐water sediments are available for comparison). Ex‐situ incubation experiments showed that dead seagrass rhizomes produced large amounts of CO. CO production from decaying plant material could thus be a significant energy source for microbial primary production in seagrass sediments. PMID:26013766

  1. Fish assemblages associated with natural and anthropogenically-modified habitats in a marine embayment: comparison of baited videos and opera-house traps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corey B Wakefield

    Full Text Available Marine embayments and estuaries play an important role in the ecology and life history of many fish species. Cockburn Sound is one of a relative paucity of marine embayments on the west coast of Australia. Its sheltered waters and close proximity to a capital city have resulted in anthropogenic intrusion and extensive seascape modification. This study aimed to compare the sampling efficiencies of baited videos and fish traps in determining the relative abundance and diversity of temperate demersal fish species associated with naturally occurring (seagrass, limestone outcrops and soft sediment and modified (rockwall and dredge channel habitats in Cockburn Sound. Baited videos sampled a greater range of species in higher total and mean abundances than fish traps. This larger amount of data collected by baited videos allowed for greater discrimination of fish assemblages between habitats. The markedly higher diversity and abundances of fish associated with seagrass and limestone outcrops, and the fact that these habitats are very limited within Cockburn Sound, suggests they play an important role in the fish ecology of this embayment. Fish assemblages associated with modified habitats comprised a subset of species in lower abundances when compared to natural habitats with similar physical characteristics. This suggests modified habitats may not have provided the necessary resource requirements (e.g. shelter and/or diet for some species, resulting in alterations to the natural trophic structure and interspecific interactions. Baited videos provided a more efficient and non-extractive method for comparing fish assemblages and habitat associations of smaller bodied species and juveniles in a turbid environment.

  2. Use of multiple chemical tracers to define habitat use of Indo-Pacific mangrove crab, Scylla serrata (Decapoda: Portunidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Cormier, N.; Ewel, K.C.; Fry, B.

    2008-01-01

    The mangrove or mud crab, Scylla serrata, is an important component of mangrove fisheries throughout the Indo-Pacific. Understanding crab diets and habitat use should assist in managing these fisheries and could provide additional justification for conservation of the mangrove ecosystem itself. We used multiple chemical tracers to test whether crab movements were restricted to local mangrove forests, or extended to include adjacent seagrass beds and reef flats. We sampled three mangrove forests on the island of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia at Lelu Harbor, Okat River, and Utwe tidal channel. Samples of S. serrata and likely food sources were analyzed for stable carbon (??13C), nitrogen (??15N), and sulfur (??34S) isotopes. Scylla serrata tissues also were analyzed for phosphorus (P), cations (K, Ca, Mg, Na), and trace elements (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and B). Discriminant analysis indicated that at least 87% of the crabs remain in each site as distinct populations. Crab stable isotope values indicated potential differences in habitat use within estuaries. Values for ??13C and ??34S in crabs from Okat and Utwe were low and similar to values expected from animals feeding within mangrove forests, e.g., feeding on infauna that had average ??13C values near -26.5???. In contrast, crabs from Lelu had higher ?? 13C and ??34S values, with average values of -21.8 and 7.8???, respectively. These higher isotope values are consistent with increased crab foraging on reef flats and seagrasses. Given that S. serrata have been observed feeding on adjacent reef and seagrass environments on Kosrae, it is likely that they move in and out of the mangroves for feeding. Isotope mixing model results support these conclusions, with the greatest mangrove ecosystem contribution to S. serrata diet occurring in the largest mangrove forests. Conserving larger island mangrove forests (> 1 km deep) appears to support crab foraging activities. ?? 2007 Coastal and Estuarine Research

  3. Assessing habitat selection when availability changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, S.; Garner, G.; ,

    1996-01-01

    We present a method of comparing data on habitat use and availability that allows availability to differ among observations. This method is applicable when habitats change over time and when animals are unable to move throughout a predetermined study area between observations. We used maximum-likelihood techniques to derive an index that estimates the probability that each habitat type would be used if all were equally available. We also demonstrate how these indices can be used to compare relative use of available habitats, assign them ranks, and assess statistical differences between pairs of indices. The set of these indices for all habitats can be compared between groups of animals that represent different seasons, sex or age classes, or experimental treatments. This method allows quantitative comparisons among types and is not affected by arbitrary decisions about which habitats to include in the study. We provide an example by comparing the availability of four categories of sea ice concentration to their use by adult female polar bears, whose movements were monitored by satellite radio tracking in the Bering and Chukchi Seas during 1990. Use of ice categories by bears was nonrandom, and the pattern of use differed between spring and late summer seasons.

  4. Designated Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining populations of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as...

  5. VT Wildlife Linkage Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage...

  6. Deep Space Habitat Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Deep Space Habitat was closed out at the end of Fiscal Year 2013 (September 30, 2013). Results and select content have been incorporated into the new Exploration...

  7. Smalltooth Sawfish Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinatat) as designated by 74 FR 45353, September 2, 2009, Rules and Regulations.

  8. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  9. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  10. Habitat Mapping Camera (HABCAM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset entails imagery collected using the HabCam towed underwater vehicle and annotated data on objects or habitats in the images and notes on image...

  11. Effects of habitat and substrate complexity on shallow sublittoral fish assemblages in the Cyclades Archipelago, North-eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. GIAKOUMI

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This is the first study to explore fish community structure and its relations to habitat and topographic complexity in the shallow coastal waters of the Cyclades Archipelago, North-eastern Mediterranean Sea. In situ visual surveys were carried out at 233 sampling sites in 26 islands of the Cyclades Archipelago. Fish community parameters and biomass were estimated across seven substrate types: sand, seagrass, vertical walls, boulders, horizontal/subhorizontal continuous rock, rocky substrate with patches of sand, and rocky substrate with patches of sand and Posidonia oceanica. Topographic complexity and percentage of algal cover were estimated on hard substrate. Substrate type was found to be a determining factor affecting the structure and composition of fish assemblages. Species number, abundance and biomass were significantly lower in sandy areas and always higher on hard substrates, with seagrass habitats presenting intermediate values. Topographic complexity in rocky bottoms did not seem to affect species richness, density or biomass. This study provides a baseline for future evaluation of changes produced by potential management actions such as the creation of marine protected areas in the study region.

  12. Foraging habits in a generalist predator: sex and age influence habitat selection and resource use among bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sam Rossman,; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Nelio B. Barros,; Hasand Gandhi,; Peggy H. Ostrom,; Stricker, Craig A.; Randall S. Wells,

    2015-01-01

    This study examines resource use (diet, habitat use, and trophic level) within and among demographic groups (males, females, and juveniles) of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We analyzed the δ13C and δ15N values of 15 prey species constituting 84% of the species found in stomach contents. We used these data to establish a trophic enrichment factor (TEF) to inform dietary analysis using a Bayesian isotope mixing model. We document a TEF of 0‰ and 2.0‰ for δ13C and δ15N, respectively. The dietary results showed that all demographic groups relied heavily on low trophic level seagrass-associated prey. Bayesian standard ellipse areas (SEAb) were calculated to assess diversity in resource use. The SEAb of females was nearly four times larger than that of males indicating varied resource use, likely a consequence of small home ranges and habitat specialization. Juveniles possessed an intermediate SEAb, generally feeding at a lower trophic level compared to females, potentially an effect of natal philopatry and immature foraging skills. The small SEAb of males reflects a high degree of specialization on seagrass associated prey. Patterns in resource use by the demographic groups are likely linked to differences in the relative importance of social and ecological factors.

  13. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Grol, Monique G G; Mumby, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access) the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas) for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length). For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length), an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass) than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher). The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  14. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Nagelkerken

    Full Text Available No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length. For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length, an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher. The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  15. Molluscan assemblages of seagrass-covered and bare intertidal flats on the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, in relation to characteristics of sediment and organic matter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honkoop, Pieter J. C.; Berghuis, Eilke M.; Holthuijsen, Sander; Lavaleye, Marc S. S.; Piersma, Theunis

    2008-01-01

    The Banc d'Arguin, a non-estuarine area of shallows and intertidal flats off the tropical Saharan coast of Mauritania, is characterised by extensive intertidal and subtidal seagrass beds. We examined the characteristics of intertidal seagrass (Zostera noltii) meadows and bare areas in terms of the

  16. Leveraging Carbon Cycling in Coastal Wetlands for Habitat Conservation: Blue Carbon Policy Opportunities (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton-Grier, A.

    2013-12-01

    Recent scientific studies suggest that the carbon sequestered and stored in coastal wetlands (specifically mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows) is an important, previously not well-recognized service provided by these ecosystems. Coastal wetlands have unique characteristics that make them incredibly efficient, natural carbon sinks with most carbon stored belowground in soils. Based on this new scientific evidence, there is growing interest in leveraging the carbon services of these habitats (termed 'blue carbon') to develop new policy opportunities to protect and restore coastal wetlands around the globe. The overall goal is to take full advantage of the carbon services of these habitats in order to ensure and maintain the many benefits provided to society by these habitats - including natural climate, food security, and storm protection benefits - and to enhance the resiliency of coastal communities and economies around the world. This presentation will give an update on some of the policy opportunities including: (1) examining how the implementation of U.S. federal policies can be expanded to include carbon services of ecosystems in order to improve management and decision making; (2) developing an international blue carbon community of science and practice to provide best practice guidance for protection and restoration of blue carbon habitats; and (3) developing innovative financing mechanisms for coastal conservation including carbon market credits for wetlands. Finally, the presentation will conclude by highlighting some of the most pressing blue carbon scientific gaps that need to be filled in order to support these developing policies.

  17. [Growth adaptability of Zostera marina at different habitats of the Swan Lake in Rongcheng, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Mei Yu; Li, Wen Tao; Yang, Xiao Long; Zhang, Xiu Mei; Liu, Jian Ying; Li, Chang Jun

    2017-05-18

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina), a seagrass species widely distributed in the coastal regions of northern hemisphere, has suffered with a great decline due to a variety of anthropogenic and environmental stresses. In order to examine the adaptability of eelgrass to different environmental stresses, studies on the morphology and reproductive capacity of eelgrass had been carried out monthly from November 2014 to October 2015 at four different habitats of the Swan Lake, including patch area inintertidal area and subtidal area, eelgrass meadow edge, and eelgrass meadow area. The results showed significant spatio-temporal variations in the morphological parameters and branch frequency of eelgrass shoots at different habitats of the Swan Lake. The highest values of leaf length, leaf width, aboveground/belowground biomass, and internode length/diameter were observed in the meadow area, i.e., 78.54 cm, 7.93 mm, 7.03 and 3.88, respectively, while the highest branch frequency was observed in the meadow edge (88.4%). The plasticity index for aboveground/belowground biomass was higher (ranging from 0.77 to 0.92) at the four habitats, but those for the leaf width was slightly lower (ranging from 0.41 to 0.64). The number of spathes in each shoot showed no significant difference at different habitats, whereas the number of spathes per unit area was significantly different. Clonal reproduction was more dominant in meadow area than in the patch area where human disturbance was high.

  18. {delta}{sup 15}N of seagrass leaves for monitoring anthropogenic nutrient increases in coral reef ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamamuro, M.; Kayanne, H.; Yamano, H

    2003-04-01

    In a coral reef environment, a slight increase in dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN;{>=}1.0 {mu}M) can alter the ecosystem via macroalgal blooms. We collected seagrass leaves from the tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean in five countries and examined the interactions between nutrient concentrations (C, N, P), molar ratios of nutrients, and {delta}{sup 15}N to find a possible indicator of the DIN conditions. Within most sites, the concentrations of nutrients and their molar ratios showed large variations owing to species-specific values. On the other hand, almost identical {delta}{sup 15}N values were found in seagrass leaves of several species at each site. The correlations between {delta}{sup 15}N and nutrient concentrations and between {delta}{sup 15}N and molar ratios of nutrients suggested that nutrient availability did not affect the {delta}{sup 15}N value of seagrass leaves by altering the physiological condition of the plants. Increases in {delta}{sup 15}N of seagrass leaves mostly matched increases in DIN concentrations in the bottom water. We suggest that {delta}{sup 15}N in seagrass leaves can be a good tool to monitor time-integrated decrease/increase of DIN concentrations at a site, both in the water column and the interstitial water.

  19. An Experimental Comparison of the Effects of Zostera marina and Zostera japonica on the Diurnal Variability of the Carbonate System in the Context of a Pacific Northwest Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, C.; Love, B. A.; Yang, S.

    2016-02-01

    Atmospheric CO2 emissions are being absorbed at an unprecedented rate by the global and coastal oceans, shifting the baseline pCO2, and inducing anthropogenic ocean acidification (OA). Recent studies have highlighted the potential benefits of near-shore vegetated habitats, such as seagrass beds as carbon sinks, potentially mitigating the effects of OA for vulnerable calcifying organisms. Seagrasses are capable of raising seawater pH and CaCO3 saturation state during times of high photosynthetic activity; however, the converse occurs during periods of dark respiration, resulting in a cyclical pattern of high and low pH and saturation state. A better understanding of diurnal seagrass induced carbonate system variability is needed to determine whether seagrass beds act as refugia from OA, and if individual species differentially affect the carbonate system. We conducted experiments to compare the effects of the native Zostera marina and non-native Zostera japonica on the carbonate system. Leaf clippings were incubated at five different light intensities (including dark) and pCO2 levels, representing the range of light and pCO2 in a given day. Induced changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) via photosynthesis and respiration were measured as well as pH and alkalinity. As irradiance and concentration of bio-available inorganic carbon are the two main drivers of photosynthetic activity, our measurements of the short-term response of photosynthesis to a spectrum of pCO2 and irradiance intensity can predict the diurnal fluctuation of pH and DIC for both species. This lab study provides a mechanistic background for building complex models based on field monitoring of carbonate chemistry in seagrass communities by comparing and integrating our results with in situ measurements. Interpretation of our findings will be placed in the context of short-term seagrass response to the spatiotemporal variability of pCO2 with respect to the progression of ocean acidification.

  20. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Mississippi: HABITATS (Habitat Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for submerged aquatic vegetation (seagrass) and inshore/offshore artificial reefs in Mississippi. Vector...

  1. The effect of ocean acidification on carbon storage and sequestration in seagrass beds; a global and UK context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrard, Samantha L; Beaumont, Nicola J

    2014-09-15

    Ocean acidification will have many negative consequences for marine organisms and ecosystems, leading to a decline in many ecosystem services provided by the marine environment. This study reviews the effect of ocean acidification (OA) on seagrasses, assessing how this may affect their capacity to sequester carbon in the future and providing an economic valuation of these changes. If ocean acidification leads to a significant increase in above- and below-ground biomass, the capacity of seagrass to sequester carbon will be significantly increased. The associated value of this increase in sequestration capacity is approximately £500 and 600 billion globally between 2010 and 2100. A proportionally similar increase in carbon sequestration value was found for the UK. This study highlights one of the few positive stories for ocean acidification and underlines that sustainable management of seagrasses is critical to avoid their continued degradation and loss of carbon sequestration capacity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The energetic consequences of habitat structure for forest stream salmonids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naman, Sean M; Rosenfeld, Jordan S; Kiffney, Peter M; Richardson, John S

    2018-05-08

    1.Increasing habitat availability (i.e. habitat suitable for occupancy) is often assumed to elevate the abundance or production of mobile consumers; however, this relationship is often nonlinear (threshold or unimodal). Identifying the mechanisms underlying these nonlinearities is essential for predicting the ecological impacts of habitat change, yet the functional forms and ultimate causation of consumer-habitat relationships are often poorly understood. 2.Nonlinear effects of habitat on animal abundance may manifest through physical constraints on foraging that restrict consumers from accessing their resources. Subsequent spatial incongruence between consumers and resources should lead to unimodal or saturating effects of habitat availability on consumer production if increasing the area of habitat suitable for consumer occupancy comes at the expense of habitats that generate resources. However, the shape of this relationship could be sensitive to cross-ecosystem prey subsidies, which may be unrelated to recipient habitat structure and result in more linear habitat effects on consumer production. 3.We investigated habitat-productivity relationships for juveniles of stream-rearing Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.), which typically forage in low-velocity pool habitats, while their prey (drifting benthic invertebrates) are produced upstream in high-velocity riffles. However, juvenile salmonids also consume subsidies of terrestrial invertebrates that may be independent of pool-riffle structure. 4.We measured salmonid biomass production in 13 experimental enclosures each containing a downstream pool and upstream riffle, spanning a gradient of relative pool area (14-80% pool). Increasing pool relative to riffle habitat area decreased prey abundance, leading to a nonlinear saturating effect on fish production. We then used bioenergetics model simulations to examine how the relationship between pool area and salmonid biomass is affected by varying levels of

  3. Effects of ocean acidification and hydrodynamic conditions on carbon metabolism and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes in seagrass populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egea, Luis G; Jiménez-Ramos, Rocío; Hernández, Ignacio; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Brun, Fernando G

    2018-01-01

    Global change has been acknowledged as one of the main threats to the biosphere and its provision of ecosystem services, especially in marine ecosystems. Seagrasses play a critical ecological role in coastal ecosystems, but their responses to ocean acidification (OA) and climate change are not well understood. There have been previous studies focused on the effects of OA, but the outcome of interactions with co-factors predicted to alter during climate change still needs to be addressed. For example, the impact of higher CO2 and different hydrodynamic regimes on seagrass performance remains unknown. We studied the effects of OA under different current velocities on productivity of the seagrass Zostera noltei, using changes in dissolved oxygen as a proxy for the seagrass carbon metabolism, and release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in a four-week experiment using an open-water outdoor mesocosm. Under current pH conditions, increasing current velocity had a positive effect on productivity, but this depended on shoot density. However, this positive effect of current velocity disappeared under OA conditions. OA conditions led to a significant increase in gross production rate and respiration, suggesting that Z. noltei is carbon-limited under the current inorganic carbon concentration of seawater. In addition, an increase in non-structural carbohydrates was found, which may lead to better growing conditions and higher resilience in seagrasses subjected to environmental stress. Regarding DOC flux, a direct and positive relationship was found between current velocity and DOC release, both under current pH and OA conditions. We conclude that OA and high current velocity may lead to favourable growth scenarios for Z. noltei populations, increasing their productivity, non-structural carbohydrate concentrations and DOC release. Our results add new dimensions to predictions on how seagrass ecosystems will respond to climate change, with important implications for the

  4. Recreating the shading effects of ship wake induced turbidity to test acclimation responses in the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Nicola K.; Yaakub, Siti Maryam; Tay, Jason K. L.; Todd, Peter A.

    2017-12-01

    Elevated sediment delivery and resuspension in coastal waters from human activities such as shipping can have detrimental effects on seagrass health by limiting light penetration. Managing seagrasses requires knowledge of their light acclamatory abilities so guidelines for coastal activities (e.g. ship movements) that influence sediment dynamics can be created. Guidelines typically focus on ensuring that seagrasses are able to meet their minimal light requirements (MLR). MLRs can be achieved by different light regimes, but it remains unknown whether a chronically low yet stable light regime is less or more detrimental than a highly variable regime with periods of extreme low to no light. To test this, we compared the physiological and morphological responses of Thalassia hemprichii among three light regimes: an open control (30-40% ambient light), a shaded control with (11-15% ambient light), and a fluctuating shade (4-30% ambient light). The MLR for the T. hemprichii we studied was lower (4-10% ambient light) than previous reports (mean = 18%) illustrating enhanced light acclimation in Singapore's chronically turbid waters. Seagrass shoots in the shaded control, however, exhibited significantly more morphological stress symptoms, with reduced shoot growth and lower below ground biomass. These data suggest that for seagrass exposed to periods of acute light stress, energetic costs associated with photo-acclimation to more variable light regimes can be offset if the plant can meet its daily light requirements during periods of high light. Management of seagrass beds should incorporate regular light monitoring and move towards an adaptive feedback-based approach to ensure the long-term viability of these vulnerable ecosystems.

  5. Effects of ocean acidification and hydrodynamic conditions on carbon metabolism and dissolved organic carbon (DOC fluxes in seagrass populations.

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    Luis G Egea

    Full Text Available Global change has been acknowledged as one of the main threats to the biosphere and its provision of ecosystem services, especially in marine ecosystems. Seagrasses play a critical ecological role in coastal ecosystems, but their responses to ocean acidification (OA and climate change are not well understood. There have been previous studies focused on the effects of OA, but the outcome of interactions with co-factors predicted to alter during climate change still needs to be addressed. For example, the impact of higher CO2 and different hydrodynamic regimes on seagrass performance remains unknown. We studied the effects of OA under different current velocities on productivity of the seagrass Zostera noltei, using changes in dissolved oxygen as a proxy for the seagrass carbon metabolism, and release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC in a four-week experiment using an open-water outdoor mesocosm. Under current pH conditions, increasing current velocity had a positive effect on productivity, but this depended on shoot density. However, this positive effect of current velocity disappeared under OA conditions. OA conditions led to a significant increase in gross production rate and respiration, suggesting that Z. noltei is carbon-limited under the current inorganic carbon concentration of seawater. In addition, an increase in non-structural carbohydrates was found, which may lead to better growing conditions and higher resilience in seagrasses subjected to environmental stress. Regarding DOC flux, a direct and positive relationship was found between current velocity and DOC release, both under current pH and OA conditions. We conclude that OA and high current velocity may lead to favourable growth scenarios for Z. noltei populations, increasing their productivity, non-structural carbohydrate concentrations and DOC release. Our results add new dimensions to predictions on how seagrass ecosystems will respond to climate change, with important

  6. Coastal habitat degradation and green sea turtle diets in Southeastern Brazil

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    Santos, Robson G.; Martins, Agnaldo Silva; Farias, Julyana da Nobrega; Horta, Antunes Paulo; Pinheiro, Hudson Tercio; Baptistotte, Cecilia; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.

    2011-01-01

    To show the influence of coastal habitat degradation on the availability of food for green turtles (Chelonia mydas), we assessed the dietary preferences and macroalgae community at a feeding area in a highly urbanized region. The area showed low species richness and was classified as degraded. We examined stomach contents of 15 dead stranded turtles (CCL = 44.0 cm (SD 6.7 cm)). The diet was composed primarily of green algae Ulva spp. (83.6%). In contrast, the macroalgae community was dominated by the green alga Caulerpa mexicana. We found a selection for red algae, seagrass and Ulva spp., and avoidance for C. mexicana and brown alga Dictyopteris delicatula. The low diversity of available food items, possibly a result of environmental degradation, likely contributed to the low dietary diversity. The nutritional implications of this restricted diet are unclear.

  7. Decadal increase in seagrass biomass and temperature at the CARICOMP site in Bocas del Toro, Panama

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    Jorge M. López-Calderón

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP was launched in 1993 to study regional long-term interactions between land and sea, taking standardized measurements of productivity and biomass of mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses. Since 1999 continuous measurements of seagrass (Thalassia testudinum parameters as well as environmental data have been recorded in Caribbean Panama. Replicate stations were selected near the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro. Sediment cores and quadrants were placed there to estimate biomass and productivity, respectively. Mean values for productivity, standing crop, turnover rate, total dry biomass, and Leaf Area Index were 1.74gDW/m²/d, 66.6gDW/m², 2.62%/d, 1 481 gDW/m², and 4.65, respectively. Total dry biomass (shoots, rhizomes and roots and LAI of T. testudinum increased significantly during the study period. Mean values for total rainfall, Secchi disk depth, sea surface temperature, and salinity were 3 498mm, 8.24m, 28.79°C, and 32.26psu, respectively. Sea surface temperature was the only environmental variable with a statistically significant change, increasing from 1999 to 2010. Correlation between sea surface temperature and T. testudinum parameters (total biomass and LAI were both positive and significant. Human population has increased dramatically over the last ten years in Bocas del Toro region, increasing pressure (deforestation, runoff, wastewater over coastal ecosystems (seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs. Change in the abundance of T. testudinum may be linked to ocean warming, as a consequence to satisfy plant’s metabolic requirements, although other local factors need to be analyzed (reduced grazing and increased eutrophication. A further warming of the ocean could have a negative effect on T. testudinum population, increasing respiratory demands and microbial metabolism.

  8. Against the odds: complete outcrossing in a monoecious clonal seagrass Posidonia australis (Posidoniaceae).

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    Sinclair, Elizabeth A; Gecan, Ilena; Krauss, Siegfried L; Kendrick, Gary A

    2014-06-01

    Seagrasses are marine, flowering plants with a hydrophilous pollination strategy. In these plants, successful mating requires dispersal of filamentous pollen grains through the water column to receptive stigmas. Approximately 40 % of seagrass species are monoecious, and therefore little pollen movement is required if inbreeding is tolerated. Outcrossing in these species is further impacted by clonality, which is variable, but can be extensive in large, dense meadows. Despite this, little is known about the interaction between clonal structure, genetic diversity and mating systems in hydrophilous taxa. Polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers were used to characterize genetic diversity, clonal structure, mating system and realized pollen dispersal in two meadows of the temperate, monoecious seagrass, Posidonia australis, in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. Within the two sampled meadows, genetic diversity was moderate among the maternal shoots (R = 0·45 and 0·64) and extremely high in the embryos (R = 0·93-0·97). Both meadows exhibited a highly clumping (or phalanx) structure among clones, with spatial autocorrelation analysis showing significant genetic structure among shoots and embryos up to 10-15 m. Outcrossing rates were not significantly different from one. Pollen dispersal distances inferred from paternity assignment averaged 30·8 and 26·8 m, which was larger than the mean clone size (12·8 and 13·8 m). These results suggest highly effective movement of pollen in the water column. Despite strong clonal structure and moderate genetic diversity within meadows, hydrophilous pollination is an effective vector for completely outcrossed offspring. The different localized water conditions at each site (highly exposed conditions vs. weak directional flow) appear to have little influence on the success and pattern of successful pollination in the two meadows. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All

  9. In situ impact of petrochemicals on the photosynthesis of the seagrass Zostera capricorni

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    Macinnis-Ng, Catriona M.O.; Ralph, Peter J

    2003-11-01

    We used photosynthetic activity (measured as chlorophyll a fluorescence) and photosynthetic pigment concentrations to assess the effect of pulsed exposures of aged crude oil (Champion Crude), dispersant (VDC) and an oil + dispersant mixture on the seagrass Zostera capricorni Aschers in laboratory and field experiments, using custom-made chambers. Samples were exposed for 10 h to 0.25% and 0.1% concentrations of aged crude oil and dispersant as well as mixtures of 0.25% oil + 0.05% dispersant and 0.1% oil + 0.02% dispersant. During this time and for the subsequent four day recovery period, the maximum and effective quantum yields of photosystem II (Fv/Fm and {delta}F/Fm{sup '} respectively) were measured. In the laboratory experiments, both values declined in response to oil exposure and remained low during the recovery period. Dispersant exposure caused a decline in both values during the recovery period, while the mixture of aged crude oil + dispersant had little impact on both quantum yields. In situ samples were less sensitive than laboratory samples, showing no photosynthetic impact due to dispersant and oil + dispersant mixture. Despite an initial decline in {delta}F/Fm{sup '}, in situ oil-exposed samples recovered by the end of the experiment. Chlorophyll pigment analysis showed only limited ongoing impact in both laboratory and field situations. This study suggests that laboratory experiments may overestimate the ongoing impact of petrochemicals on seagrass whilst the dispersant VDC can reduce the impact of oil on seagrass photosynthesis.

  10. Partitioning mechanisms of predator interference in different habitats.

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    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-01-01

    Prey are often consumed by multiple predator species. Predation rates on shared prey species measured in isolation often do not combine additively due to interference or facilitation among the predator species. Furthermore, the strength of predator interactions and resulting prey mortality may change with habitat type. We experimentally examined predation on amphipods in rock and algal habitats by two species of intertidal crabs, Hemigrapsus sanguineus (top predators) and Carcinus maenas (intermediate predators). Algae provided a safer habitat for amphipods when they were exposed to only a single predator species. When both predator species were present, mortality of amphipods was less than additive in both habitats. However, amphipod mortality was reduced more in rock than algal habitat because intermediate predators were less protected in rock habitat and were increasingly targeted by omnivorous top predators. We found that prey mortality in general was reduced by (1) altered foraging behavior of intermediate predators in the presence of top predators, (2) top predators switching to foraging on intermediate predators rather than shared prey, and (3) density reduction of intermediate predators. The relative importance of these three mechanisms was the same in both habitats; however, the magnitude of each was greater in rock habitat. Our study demonstrates that the strength of specific mechanisms of interference between top and intermediate predators can be quantified but cautions that these results may be habitat specific.

  11. Optimum Temperatures for Net Primary Productivity of Three Tropical Seagrass Species

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    Catherine J. Collier

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Rising sea water temperature will play a significant role in responses of the world's seagrass meadows to climate change. In this study, we investigated seasonal and latitudinal variation (spanning more than 1,500 km in seagrass productivity, and the optimum temperatures at which maximum photosynthesis and net productivity (for the leaf and the whole plant occurs, for three seagrass species (Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, and Zostera muelleri. To obtain whole plant net production, photosynthesis, and respiration rates of leaves and the root/rhizome complex were measured using oxygen-sensitive optodes in closed incubation chambers at temperatures ranging from 15 to 43°C. The temperature-dependence of photosynthesis and respiration was fitted to empirical models to obtain maximum metabolic rates and thermal optima. The thermal optimum (Topt for gross photosynthesis of Z. muelleri, which is more commonly distributed in sub-tropical to temperate regions, was 31°C. The Topt for photosynthesis of the tropical species, H. uninervis and C. serrulata, was considerably higher (35°C on average. This suggests that seagrass species are adapted to water temperature within their distributional range; however, when comparing among latitudes and seasons, thermal optima within a species showed limited acclimation to ambient water temperature (Topt varied by 1°C in C. serrulata and 2°C in H. uninervis, and the variation did not follow changes in ambient water temperature. The Topt for gross photosynthesis were higher than Topt calculated from plant net productivity, which includes above- and below-ground respiration for Z. muelleri (24°C and H. uninervis (33°C, but remained unchanged at 35°C in C. serrulata. Both estimated plant net productivity and Topt are sensitive to the proportion of below-ground biomass, highlighting the need for consideration of below- to above-ground biomass ratios when applying thermal optima to other meadows. The

  12. Thalassiolin D: a new flavone O-glucoside Sulphate from the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawas, Usama W; Abou El-Kassem, Lamia T

    2017-10-01

    Thalassiolin D, a new flavone O-glucoside sulphate along with three flavonoids, two steroids, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, 4,4'-dihydroxybenzophenone and nitrogen compound, octopamine were isolated from the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii, collected from the Saudi Red Sea coast. By extensive spectroscopic analysis including 1D and 2D NMR and MS data, the structure of the new compound was elucidated as diosmetin 7-O-β-glucosyl-2″-sulphate. The new compound displayed moderately in vitro antiviral HCV protease activity with IC 50 value 16 μM.