WorldWideScience

Sample records for seagrass posidonia oceanica

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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....

  4. 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...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus; Arrieta, J M; Duarte, Carlos M.; Marbà , Nú ria

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Fungal root symbionts of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in the central Adriatic Sea revealed by microscopy, culturing and 454-pyrosequencing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Župan, I.; Kolařík, Miroslav; Sudová, Radka

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 583, November 16 (2017), s. 107-120 ISSN 0171-8630 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : seagrass es * Posidonia oceanica * root mycobionts Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EE - Microbiology, Virology (MBU-M) OBOR OECD: Ecology; Microbiology (MBU-M) Impact factor: 2.292, year: 2016

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Palaeoclimatic conditions in the Mediterranean explain genetic diversity of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Chefaoui, Rosa M.

    2017-05-26

    Past environmental conditions in the Mediterranean Sea have been proposed as main drivers of the current patterns of distribution of genetic structure of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, the foundation species of one of the most important ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, the location of cold climate refugia (persistence regions) for this species during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is not clear, precluding the understanding of its biogeographical history. We used Ecological Niche Modelling together with existing phylogeographic data to locate Pleistocene refugia in the Mediterranean Sea and to develop a hypothetical past biogeographical distribution able to explain the genetic diversity presently found in P. oceanica meadows. To do that, we used an ensemble approach of six predictive algorithms and two Ocean General Circulation Models. The minimum SST in winter and the maximum SST in summer allowed us to hindcast the species range during the LGM. We found separate glacial refugia in each Mediterranean basin and in the Central region. Altogether, the results suggest that the Central region of the Mediterranean Sea was the most relevant cold climate refugium, supporting the hypothesis that long-term persistence there allowed the region to develop and retain its presently high proportion of the global genetic diversity of P. oceanica.

  14. Palaeoclimatic conditions in the Mediterranean explain genetic diversity of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

    Past environmental conditions in the Mediterranean Sea have been proposed as main drivers of the current patterns of distribution of genetic structure of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, the foundation species of one of the most important ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, the location of cold climate refugia (persistence regions) for this species during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is not clear, precluding the understanding of its biogeographical history. We used Ecological Niche Modelling together with existing phylogeographic data to locate Pleistocene refugia in the Mediterranean Sea and to develop a hypothetical past biogeographical distribution able to explain the genetic diversity presently found in P. oceanica meadows. To do that, we used an ensemble approach of six predictive algorithms and two Ocean General Circulation Models. The minimum SST in winter and the maximum SST in summer allowed us to hindcast the species range during the LGM. We found separate glacial refugia in each Mediterranean basin and in the Central region. Altogether, the results suggest that the Central region of the Mediterranean Sea was the most relevant cold climate refugium, supporting the hypothesis that long-term persistence there allowed the region to develop and retain its presently high proportion of the global genetic diversity of P. oceanica.

  15. Responses of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica to hypersaline stress duration and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Guirao, Lázaro; Sandoval-Gil, Jose Miguel; Bernardeau-Esteller, Jaime; Ruíz, Juan Manuel; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis

    2013-03-01

    We studied the hypersaline stress responses of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica to determine if the species was tolerant to salinity increases that occur in coastal waters by the desalination industry. Water relations, amino acids, carbohydrates, ions, photosynthesis, respiration, chlorophyll a fluorescence, leaf growth and morphology, and plant mortality were analysed after exposing the mesocosm P. oceanica to a salinity level of 43 for one and three months followed by a month for recovery. One-month saline-stressed plants exhibited sub-lethal effects, including a leaf cell turgor pressure reduction, loss of ionic equilibrium and decreased leaf growth. There were also changes in photoprotective mechanisms, increased concentrations of organic osmolytes in leaves and reduced leaf ageing. All these dysfunctions recovered after removing the stress. After the longer exposure of three months, stress symptoms were much more acute and plants showed an excessive ionic exclusion capacity, increased leaf cell turgor, reduced plant carbon balance, increased leaf aging and leaf decay and increased plant mortality, which indicated that the plant had entered a stage of severe physiological stress. In addition, the long-term saline-stressed plants were not able to recover, still showing sustained injury after the one-month recovery period as reflected by unbalanced leaf ionic content, persistently impaired photosynthesis, decline in internal carbon resources and decreased leaf growth that resulted in undersized plants. In conclusion, P. oceanica was not able to acclimate to the saline conditions tested since it could not reach a new physiological equilibrium or recover after a chronic exposure of 3 months. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Response of Posidonia oceanica seagrass and its epibiont communities to ocean acidification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Guilini

    Full Text Available The unprecedented rate of CO2 increase in our atmosphere and subsequent ocean acidification (OA threatens coastal ecosystems. To forecast the functioning of coastal seagrass ecosystems in acidified oceans, more knowledge on the long-term adaptive capacities of seagrass species and their epibionts is needed. Therefore we studied morphological characteristics of Posidonia oceanica and the structure of its epibiont communities at a Mediterranean volcanic CO2 vent off Panarea Island (Italy and performed a laboratory experiment to test the effect of OA on P. oceanica photosynthesis and its potential buffering capacity. At the study site east of Basiluzzo Islet, venting of CO2 gas was controlled by tides, resulting in an average pH difference of 0.1 between the vent and reference site. P. oceanica shoot and leaf density was unaffected by these levels of OA, although shorter leaves at the vent site suggest increased susceptibility to erosion, potentially by herbivores. The community of sessile epibionts differed in composition and was characterized by a higher species richness at the vent site, though net epiphytic calcium carbonate concentration was similar. These findings suggest a higher ecosystem complexity at the vent site, which may have facilitated the higher diversity of copepods in the otherwise unaffected motile epibiont community. In the laboratory experiment, P. oceanica photosynthesis increased with decreasing pHT (7.6, 6.6, 5.5, which induced an elevated pH at the leaf surfaces of up to 0.5 units compared to the ambient seawater pHT of 6.6. This suggests a temporary pH buffering in the diffusive boundary layer of leaves, which could be favorable for epibiont organisms. The results of this multispecies study contribute to understanding community-level responses and underlying processes in long-term acidified conditions. Increased replication and monitoring of physico-chemical parameters on an annual scale are, however, recommended to

  19. Response of Posidonia oceanica seagrass and its epibiont communities to ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilini, Katja; Weber, Miriam; de Beer, Dirk; Schneider, Matthias; Molari, Massimiliano; Lott, Christian; Bodnar, Wanda; Mascart, Thibaud; De Troch, Marleen; Vanreusel, Ann

    2017-01-01

    The unprecedented rate of CO2 increase in our atmosphere and subsequent ocean acidification (OA) threatens coastal ecosystems. To forecast the functioning of coastal seagrass ecosystems in acidified oceans, more knowledge on the long-term adaptive capacities of seagrass species and their epibionts is needed. Therefore we studied morphological characteristics of Posidonia oceanica and the structure of its epibiont communities at a Mediterranean volcanic CO2 vent off Panarea Island (Italy) and performed a laboratory experiment to test the effect of OA on P. oceanica photosynthesis and its potential buffering capacity. At the study site east of Basiluzzo Islet, venting of CO2 gas was controlled by tides, resulting in an average pH difference of 0.1 between the vent and reference site. P. oceanica shoot and leaf density was unaffected by these levels of OA, although shorter leaves at the vent site suggest increased susceptibility to erosion, potentially by herbivores. The community of sessile epibionts differed in composition and was characterized by a higher species richness at the vent site, though net epiphytic calcium carbonate concentration was similar. These findings suggest a higher ecosystem complexity at the vent site, which may have facilitated the higher diversity of copepods in the otherwise unaffected motile epibiont community. In the laboratory experiment, P. oceanica photosynthesis increased with decreasing pHT (7.6, 6.6, 5.5), which induced an elevated pH at the leaf surfaces of up to 0.5 units compared to the ambient seawater pHT of 6.6. This suggests a temporary pH buffering in the diffusive boundary layer of leaves, which could be favorable for epibiont organisms. The results of this multispecies study contribute to understanding community-level responses and underlying processes in long-term acidified conditions. Increased replication and monitoring of physico-chemical parameters on an annual scale are, however, recommended to assure that the

  20. Effects of fish farm loadings on seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) distribution, growth and photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, J M; Pérez, M; Romero, J

    2001-09-01

    The spatial extent and timing of the impact of fish farms on the distribution and performance of a Posidonia oceanica meadow were examined in an embayment of the south-eastern coast of Spain (Hornillo Bay, Murcia). Changes in seagrass distribution were determined using available seagrass mapping (from 1988, i.e., before the onset of aquaculture activities and 1998) and by successive sampling in 1994 and 1998. Environmental variables (light attenuation coefficient, water-column dissolved nutrients and organic content of sediments) together with plant performance (shoot biomass, leaf growth rate, photosynthetic activity, carbohydrate reserves, the number of leaves per shoot, epiphyte loads and herbivore pressure) were measured in plants affected by organic discharges, and were compared with those found in reference healthy plants over an annual growth cycle. Since the onset of fish farm activity, 11.29 ha of P. oceanica meadow has been completely lost and 9.86 ha significantly degraded, thus resulting in a total affected area which accounts for about 53% of the former meadow, or 7-fold the fish farming area. Unequal propagation of seagrass die-off or degradation reflects the relevance of local factors such as depth and hydrodynamism on the true extent of fish farm impact. Water transparency decreases and dissolved nutrient and organic content of sediments increases in the vicinity of cages compared to distant reference stations, thus supporting the notion of environmental gradients caused by the organic release from cages, which spreads outwards. Shoot size, leaf growth rate and the number of leaves per shoot in plants close to the fish farm decreased. Moreover, low leaf growth and low rhizome carbohydrate concentration (always relative to that found in an undisturbed area) indicated carbon budget imbalances. Since light reduction in the affected area was only modest (31% of light reaching the sea surface, while at the same depth this figure was 39% at the reference

  1. 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.

  2. Physiological responses of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica as indicators of fish farm impact

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, Marta; Garcia, Tania; Invers, Olga; Ruiz, Juan Manuel

    2008-01-01

    The development of aquaculture along the Mediterranean coastline degrades the marine environment, in particular Posidonia oceanica meadows, which, in extreme cases, show high mortality. Here we studied the effects of organic matter and nutrient input from the effluents of three fish farms, located along the Mediterranean coast, on P. oceanica physiology. For this purpose, we measured physiological variables such as total nitrogen (N) content, free amino acid (FAA) concentration and composition, N stable isotope ratio (δ 15 N), total phosphorus (P) content and total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) content in plant tissues and epiphytes affected by organic discharges (highly impacted stations: HI, and less impacted stations: LI) and compared these results with those obtained in references sites (control stations: C). For all the descriptors analyzed in P. oceanica epiphytes, the values recorded in the vicinity of cages were, in general, much higher than those in C. Leaves did not respond consistently in any case. Total N content and δ 15 N in epiphytes together with the total P content in rhizomes and epiphytes were the physiological descriptors that showed the most consistent responses to fish farm effluents. On the basis of these observations, we conclude that fish farm activities strongly affect the physiological parameters of nearby P. oceanica meadows. We propose that changes in these physiological parameters may be useful indicators of marine environmental degradation in studies that monitor the effects of fish farming

  3. Physiological responses of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica as indicators of fish farm impact

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez, Marta [Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona Avda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Garcia, Tania [Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona Avda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)], E-mail: irulagun@hotmail.com; Invers, Olga [Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona Avda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Ruiz, Juan Manuel [Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia C/Varadero 1, 30740 San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia (Spain)

    2008-05-15

    The development of aquaculture along the Mediterranean coastline degrades the marine environment, in particular Posidonia oceanica meadows, which, in extreme cases, show high mortality. Here we studied the effects of organic matter and nutrient input from the effluents of three fish farms, located along the Mediterranean coast, on P. oceanica physiology. For this purpose, we measured physiological variables such as total nitrogen (N) content, free amino acid (FAA) concentration and composition, N stable isotope ratio ({delta}{sup 15}N), total phosphorus (P) content and total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) content in plant tissues and epiphytes affected by organic discharges (highly impacted stations: HI, and less impacted stations: LI) and compared these results with those obtained in references sites (control stations: C). For all the descriptors analyzed in P. oceanica epiphytes, the values recorded in the vicinity of cages were, in general, much higher than those in C. Leaves did not respond consistently in any case. Total N content and {delta}{sup 15}N in epiphytes together with the total P content in rhizomes and epiphytes were the physiological descriptors that showed the most consistent responses to fish farm effluents. On the basis of these observations, we conclude that fish farm activities strongly affect the physiological parameters of nearby P. oceanica meadows. We propose that changes in these physiological parameters may be useful indicators of marine environmental degradation in studies that monitor the effects of fish farming.

  4. Effects of disturbances caused by coastal constructions on spatial structure, growth dynamics and photosynthesis of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, J M; Romero, J

    2003-12-01

    The light-limitation hypothesis was tested to assess whether water turbidity had caused the decline of a Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile meadow in an area affected by a harbor. The annual growth, photosynthesis and rhizome starch concentrations of seagrass were measured and related to changes in light availability and dissolved nutrient concentration along a gradient of meadow degradation from areas close to the harbor outwards. Environmental and plant variables were measured in three stations placed along this gradient and compared with a reference station at an undisturbed meadow. The light attenuation coefficient (k) increased toward the inner harbor area, mainly due to sediment resuspension. The shoot density and leaf productivity of P. oceanica shoots were much lower in disturbed stations of the inner harbor area than in the outer, less disturbed station and the reference meadow. However, daily leaf carbon gains, calculated from the photosynthetic rates at saturating irradiance (P(max)) and the daily period in which seagrass receives light higher than its saturating irradiance (H(sat)), suggested positive C-balance in all stations. This was partly explained by photo-acclimatization of seagrass to the reduced light availability at the disturbed harbor stations (inner and intermediate), as indicated by the lengthening of H(sat) and the decrease in saturating irradiance (I(sat)) and respiratory demands. Despite photo-acclimatization, disturbed harbor stations showed less positive C-balance, seen not only in their lower leaf growth and biomass but also in a decrease in rhizome carbohydrate reserves (starch). Our results suggest that light reduction account for the reduced seagrass productivity and abundance. However, meadow decline (in terms of shoot mortality) in the harbor area is well above that predicted from similar light environments of nearby meadows or simulated in shading experiments. Thus, there are other factors than light limitation

  5. An ecosystem-based approach to assess the status of a Mediterranean ecosystem, the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Personnic

    Full Text Available Biotic indices, which reflect the quality of the environment, are widely used in the marine realm. Sometimes, key species or ecosystem engineers are selected for this purpose. This is the case of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, widely used as a biological quality element in the context of the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD. The good quality of a water body and the apparent health of a species, whether or not an ecosystem engineer such as P. oceanica, is not always indicative of the good structure and functioning of the whole ecosystem. A key point of the recent Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD is the ecosystem-based approach. Here, on the basis of a simplified conceptual model of the P. oceanica ecosystem, we have proposed an ecosystem-based index of the quality of its functioning, compliant with the MSFD requirements. This index (EBQI is based upon a set of representative functional compartments, the weighting of these compartments and the assessment of the quality of each compartment by comparison of a supposed baseline. The index well discriminated 17 sites in the north-western Mediterranean (French Riviera, Provence, Corsica, Catalonia and Balearic Islands covering a wide range of human pressure levels. The strong points of the EBQI are that it is easy to implement, non-destructive, relatively robust, according to the selection of the compartments and to their weighting, and associated with confidence indices that indicate possible weakness and biases and therefore the need for further field data acquisition.

  6. The impact of dredge-fill on Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: regression and patterns of recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badalamenti, Fabio; Alagna, Adriana; D'Anna, Giovanni; Terlizzi, Antonio; Di Carlo, Giuseppe

    2011-03-01

    Posidonia oceanica meadows can be severely damaged by dredge-fill operations. We report on the construction of gas pipelines that occurred between 1981 and 1993 in SW Sicily, Italy. A large portion of the meadow was mechanically removed, and the excavated trench was filled with a mosaic of substrates, ranging from sand to consolidated rock debris. Meadow loss and recovery were quantified over 7 years after the end of operations. We recorded an overall loss of 81.20 ha of meadow. Substrate strongly affected recovery as the percent cover by P. oceanica consistently increased on calcareous rubble, reaching values of 44.37 ± 3.05% in shallow sites after 7 years, whereas no significant increase occurred on other substrates. As in the Mediterranean Sea exploitation of coastal areas continues to grow with consequent impacts on P. oceanica meadows, this case study illustrates how artificial rubble-like materials could be employed to support the restoration of damaged meadows. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Tissue-specific transcriptomic profiling provides new insights into the reproductive ecology and biology of the iconic seagrass species Posidonia oceanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Entrambasaguas, Laura; Jahnke, Marlene; Biffali, Elio; Borra, Marco; Sanges, Remo; Marín-Guirao, Lázaro; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2017-10-01

    Seagrasses form extensive meadows in shallow coastal waters and are among the world's most productive ecosystems. Seagrasses can produce both clonally and sexually, and flowering has long been considered infrequent, but important for maintaining genetically diverse stands. Here we investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in flowering of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, an iconic species endemic to the Mediterranean. We generated a de novo transcriptome of this non-model species for leaf, male and female flower tissue of three individuals, and present molecular evidence for genes that may be involved in the flowering process and on the reproductive biology of the species. We present evidence that suggests that P. oceanica exhibits a strategy of protogyny, where the female part of the hermaphroditic flower develops before the male part, in order to avoid self-fertilization. We found photosynthetic genes to be up-regulated in the female flower tissues, indicating that this may be capable of photosynthesis. Finally, we detected a number of interesting genes, previously known to be involved in flowering pathways responding to light and temperature cues and in pathways involved in anthocyanin and exine synthesis. This first comparative transcriptomic approach of leaf, male and female tissue provides a basis for functional genomics research on flower development in P. oceanica and other seagrass species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Na+-Dependent High-Affinity Nitrate, Phosphate and Amino Acids Transport in Leaf Cells of the Seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Rubio

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile is a seagrass, the only group of vascular plants to colonize the marine environment. Seawater is an extreme yet stable environment characterized by high salinity, alkaline pH and low availability of essential nutrients, such as nitrate and phosphate. Classical depletion experiments, membrane potential and cytosolic sodium measurements were used to characterize the high-affinity NO3−, Pi and amino acids uptake mechanisms in this species. Net uptake rates of both NO3− and Pi were reduced by more than 70% in the absence of Na+. Micromolar concentrations of NO3− depolarized mesophyll leaf cells plasma membrane. Depolarizations showed saturation kinetics (Km = 8.7 ± 1 μM NO3−, which were not observed in the absence of Na+. NO3− induced depolarizations at increasing Na+ also showed saturation kinetics (Km = 7.2 ± 2 mM Na+. Cytosolic Na+ measured in P. oceanica leaf cells (17 ± 2 mM Na+ increased by 0.4 ± 0.2 mM Na+ upon the addition of 100 μM NO3−. Na+-dependence was also observed for high-affinity l-ala and l-cys uptake and high-affinity Pi transport. All together, these results strongly suggest that NO3−, amino acids and Pi uptake in P. oceanica leaf cells are mediated by high-affinity Na+-dependent transport systems. This mechanism seems to be a key step in the process of adaptation of seagrasses to the marine environment.

  9. Variation along the year of trace metal levels in the compartments of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakhama-Sraieb, Rym; Sghaier, Yassine Ramzi; Hmida, Ahmed Ben; Cappai, Giovanna; Carucci, Alessandra; Charfi-Cheikhrouha, Faouzia

    2016-01-01

    The accumulation of the five trace metals (TMs) cadmium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc was measured in Posidonia oceanica leaves. Shoots were seasonally sampled at 8-10-m depth from four stations located in Port El Kantaoui area, Tunisia, during four campaigns performed in 2012. Levels of the five TMs were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) in three compartments of P. oceanica shoots: blades and sheaths of adult leaves and intermediate leaves. Results showed a preferential accumulation of Cd, Pb, Ni and Zn in adult leaf blades. Therefore, we focus on the study of this compartment. TM levels of blades of adult leaves decreased in the following order: Zn > Ni > Cu > Pb > Cd, irrespective of the season. Levels of the five TMs significantly differed between seasons (p < 0.01). Levels of Cd and Cu showed a seasonal pattern: Cd decreased from spring to winter while Cu increased during that same period of time. A significant correlation (p < 0.01) was found between Cd-Cu and Cd-Pb. A significant correlation (p < 0.05) was also noted between Cd-Ni in the adult leaf blades. A relationship was recorded between the foliar surface of the adult leaf blades and Zn accumulation. This survey allowed to highlight the annual variation of TM accumulation in adult leaf blades of P. oceanica, in relation with ecophysiology of this seagrass. Therefore, this study reinforces the usefulness and the relevance of this compartment of P. oceanica, easy to sample without destruction of whole shoot, as a bioindicator of Zn, Ni, Cd and Pb contamination.

  10. Implications of extreme life span in clonal organisms: millenary clones in meadows of the threatened seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Arnaud-Haond

    Full Text Available The maximum size and age that clonal organisms can reach remains poorly known, although we do know that the largest natural clones can extend over hundreds or thousands of metres and potentially live for centuries. We made a review of findings to date, which reveal that the maximum clone age and size estimates reported in the literature are typically limited by the scale of sampling, and may grossly underestimate the maximum age and size of clonal organisms. A case study presented here shows the occurrence of clones of slow-growing marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica at spatial scales ranging from metres to hundreds of kilometres, using microsatellites on 1544 sampling units from a total of 40 locations across the Mediterranean Sea. This analysis revealed the presence, with a prevalence of 3.5 to 8.9%, of very large clones spreading over one to several (up to 15 kilometres at the different locations. Using estimates from field studies and models of the clonal growth of P. oceanica, we estimated these large clones to be hundreds to thousands of years old, suggesting the evolution of general purpose genotypes with large phenotypic plasticity in this species. These results, obtained combining genetics, demography and model-based calculations, question present knowledge and understanding of the spreading capacity and life span of plant clones. These findings call for further research on these life history traits associated with clonality, considering their possible ecological and evolutionary implications.

  11. Response of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica to different light environments: Insights from a combined molecular and photo-physiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dattolo, E; Ruocco, M; Brunet, C; Lorenti, M; Lauritano, C; D'Esposito, D; De Luca, P; Sanges, R; Mazzuca, S; Procaccini, G

    2014-10-01

    Here we investigated mechanisms underlying the acclimation to light in the marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica, along its bathymetric distribution (at -5 m and -25 m), combining molecular and photo-physiological approaches. Analyses were performed during two seasons, summer and autumn, in a meadow located in the Island of Ischia (Gulf of Naples, Italy), where a genetic distinction between plants growing above and below the summer thermocline was previously revealed. At molecular level, analyses carried out using cDNA-microarray and RT-qPCR, revealed the up-regulation of genes involved in photoacclimation (RuBisCO, ferredoxin, chlorophyll binding proteins), and photoprotection (antioxidant enzymes, xanthophyll-cycle related genes, tocopherol biosynthesis) in the upper stand of the meadow, indicating that shallow plants are under stressful light conditions. However, the lack of photo-damage, indicates the successful activation of defense mechanisms. This conclusion is also supported by several responses at physiological level as the lower antenna size, the higher number of reaction centers and the higher xanthophyll cycle pigment pool, which are common plant responses to high-light adaptation/acclimation. Deep plants, despite the lower available light, seem to be not light-limited, thanks to some shade-adaptation strategies (e.g. higher antenna size, lower Ek values). Furthermore, also at the molecular level there were no signs of stress response, indicating that, although the lower energy available, low-light environments are more favorable for P. oceanica growth. Globally, results of whole transcriptome analysis displayed two distinct gene expression signatures related to depth distribution, reflecting the different light-adaptation strategies adopted by P. oceanica along the depth gradient. This observation, also taking into account the genetic disjunction of clones along the bathymetry, might have important implications for micro-evolutionary processes

  12. Patch types in Posidonia oceanica meadows around Corsica. How can we use them in seascape ecology?

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    The meadows formed by the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica are subjected to various natural (e.g., water movement, light availability, sedimentation) and anthropogenic (e.g., anchoring, trawling, fish farms, explosives) phenomena that erode them and create diverse types of patches. The assemblage of the P. oceanica matrix and these patches creates particular seascapes. On the basis of this assessment, we aimed to investigate the importance of the patch type in structuring P. oceanica...

  13. 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

  14. Photosynthesis, growth and survival of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica in response to simulated salinity increases in a laboratory mesocosm system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Guirao, Lázaro; Sandoval-Gil, José M.; Ruíz, Juan M.; Sánchez-Lizaso, José L.

    2011-04-01

    This study aims to examine the effect of increased salinity on the photosynthetic activity of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica in a laboratory mesocosm system. To do this, large rhizome fragments were transplanted in a mesocosm laboratory system and maintained at 37 (ambient salinity, control treatment), 39, 41 and 43 (hypersaline treatments) for 47 days. Pigment content, light absorption, photosynthetic characteristics (derived from P vs. E curves and fluorescence parameters), and shoot size, growth rates and net shoot change were determined at the end of the experimental period. Both net and gross photosynthetic rates of plants under hypersaline conditions were significantly reduced, with rates some 25-33% and 13-20% lower than in control plants. The pigment content (Chl a, Chl b, Chl b:Chl a molar ratio, total carotenoids and carotenoids:Chl a ratio), leaf absorptance and maximum quantum yield of PSII ( F v/ F m) of control plants showed little or no changes under hypersaline conditions, which suggests that alterations to the capacity of the photosynthetic apparatus to capture and process light were not responsible for the reduced photosynthetic rates. In contrast, dark respiration rates increased substantially, with mean values up to 98% higher than in control leaves. These results suggest that the respiratory demands of the osmoregulatory process are likely to be responsible for the observed decrease in photosynthetic rates, although alterations to photosynthetic carbon assimilation and reduction could also be involved. As a consequence, leaf carbon balance was considerably impaired and leaf growth rates decreased as salinity increased above the ambient (control) salinity. No significant differences were found in the percentage of net shoot change, but mean values were clearly negative at salinity levels of 41 and 43. Results presented here indicate that photosynthesis of P. oceanica is highly sensitive to hypersaline stress and that it likely

  15. 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

  16. SUITABLE MORDANTS FOR DYEING POSIDONIA OCEANICA FIBERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMÁN Silvia

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Posidonia oceanica is the most extended sea grass in the Mediterranean Sea. Important quantities of this alga are accumulated on coasts making necessary the cleaninness of those beaches where it can be found. For this reason, many authors are developmenting new products made by this raw material, like green composites or are studing this material to be used as biomass, for example. The aim of this study is to dye the Posidonia Oceanica fiber using commercial natural dye to change their appearance to get a material more attractive for different areas. To achieve this aim, fibers were scoured and bleached in order to remove the brown colour of the Posidonia Oceanica fibers. Scoured and bleached processes were followed by the treatment done for cellulosic fibers, because some researches indicate that P. Oceanica is composed of high quantity of cellulose. Different types of biomordants were use in the pre-treatment of the fiber to improve the affinity between the fiber and the dye used. To compare the results, we evaluate the colour of each sample using CIELAB parameters and colour differences (ΔE*, which are obtained by reflexion spectrophotometre. The results showed that medium molecular weight chitosan, which was used as biomordant, gets the highest intensity of colour

  17. Anatomically and morphologically unique dark septate endophytic association in the roots of the Mediterranean endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Župan, I.; Vondrášek, D.; Petrtýl, M.; Sudová, Radka

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 8 (2015), s. 663-672 ISSN 0940-6360 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP504/10/0781 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : seagrasses * fungal symbioses * Mediterranean Sea Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.252, year: 2015

  18. Is Posidonia oceanica regression a general feature in the Mediterranean Sea?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. BONACORSI

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Over the last few years, a widespread regression of Posidonia oceanica meadows has been noticed in the Mediterranean Sea. However, the magnitude of this decline is still debated. The objectives of this study are (i to assess the spatio-temporal evolution of Posidonia oceanica around Cap Corse (Corsica over time comparing available ancient maps (from 1960 with a new (2011 detailed map realized combining different techniques (aerial photographs, SSS, ROV, scuba diving; (ii evaluate the reliability of ancient maps; (iii discuss observed regression of the meadows in relation to human pressure along the 110 km of coast. Thus, the comparison with previous data shows that, apart from sites clearly identified with the actual evolution, there is a relative stability of the surfaces occupied by the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The recorded differences seem more related to changes in mapping techniques. These results confirm that in areas characterized by a moderate anthropogenic impact, the Posidonia oceanica meadow has no significant regression and that the changes due to the evolution of mapping techniques are not negligible. However, others facts should be taken into account before extrapolating to the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. actually mapped surfaces and assessing the amplitude of the actual regression.

  19. Bioaccumulation of aluminium in the seagrasses Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Aschers. and Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and macroalgae of the Gulf of Antikyra (Greece)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malea, P. [Thessaloniki Univ. (Greece). Inst. of Botany

    1993-12-31

    Mean concentrations of Aluminium ({+-}SE) in two seagrasses, four Chlorophytes, three Chromophytes and seven Rhodophyte species from the Gulf of Antikyra (Greece) decreased in the order: Chlorophyta > Chromophyta > Rhodophyta > P. oceanica > C. nodosa. This area is of particular interest because of the bauxite composition of the substrate and of the wate discharge from an aluminium factory in the Gulf. Aluminium concentrations in the two seagrasses were evenly distributed at the Gulf stations. Only the concentrations of Al in C. nodosa displayed significant seasonal variation. The mean concentrations increased from spring to summer, at which point they reached their maxima. This pattern is discussed in relation to the leaf-age of the seagrass. Regarding the amount of Al accumulated by the macroalgae of each division, there were interspecific differences which were attributed to differences in the structure, the ecology and the binding sites offered by the plants. The dependence of Al concentrations in the macrophytes on the concentrations in the sediment and the correlation of Al concentrations with the concentrations of some other metals in the plants were also investigated. (orig.)

  20. An unexplored sedimentary record for the study of environmental change in mediterranean coastal environments: Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile peats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mateo, M.-A.; Renom, P.; Romero, J.; Julia, R.; Michener, R.

    2002-01-01

    Information on seagrass paleo-ecology is very scarce because detailed seagrass paleorecords are virtually lacking. The endemic Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica conjugates two unusual features that allow the reconstruction of the past history of the plant at two different time scales. On the one hand, the study of the leaf sheaths that remain attached to the rhizomes after leaf abcision (lepidochronology), allows to differentiate up to 30 yearly cycles. On the other hand, radiocarbon dating of peat-like deposits derived from Posidonia oceanica rhizomes and roots ('mattes'), reveals a chronological organic record of the plant spanning several thousands of years. Changes in the isotopic signature (δ 13 C) of the sheaths along Posidonia rhizomes from a meadow off Medes Islands (NW Mediterranean, Spain), were highly correlated with changes in annual leave production and with water transparency. These relationships and the isotopic analysis of sheath debris from several Posidonia peats along the Spanish Mediterranean coast are used to make some preliminary inferences about long-term meadow history. Several phenomena potentially making difficult the interpretation of the information contained in Posidonia peats are critically discussed. It is concluded that a detailed study of P. oceanica peats will open new vistas in Mediterranean paleo-ecological and paleo-environmental research (author)

  1. Trace metal distributions in Posidonia oceanica and sediments from Taranto Gulf (Ionian Sea, Southern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. DI LEO

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of metals (Hg, Pb, Sn, Cu, Cd and Zn was determined in sediments and in different tissues of Posidonia oceanica collected from San Pietro Island, Taranto Gulf (Ionian Sea, Southern Italy. In seagrass, results, compared with metal concentrations in sediments, showed that the highest concentrations of Hg, Pb, Sn and Cu were found in the roots, while in the green leaves were found the highest levels of Cd and Zn. Instead the lowest metal concentrations were found in the basal part of the leaf. Levels of  metals in the leaves were similar to those found by other authors in uncontaminated areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Mercury levels in roots were correlated to levels in sediments. This could demonstrate the plant memorizes sediments contamination . This study reinforces the usefulness and the relevance of Posidonia oceanica as an indicator of spatial metal contamination and an interesting tool for environmental quality evaluation.

  2. Effects of fish farm waste on Posidonia oceanica meadows: Synthesis and provision of monitoring and management tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmer, Marianne [Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M (Denmark)], E-mail: holmer@biology.sdu.dk; Argyrou, Marina [Marine Environment Division, Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, 101 Bethleem Street, 1416 Nicosia (Cyprus); Dalsgaard, Tage [Department of Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University, Vejlsovej 25, P.O. Box 314, DK-8600 Silkeborg (Denmark); Danovaro, Roberto [Department of Marine Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona (Italy); Diaz-Almela, Elena; Duarte, Carlos M. [IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Miquel Marques 21, 07190 Esporles (Illes Balears) (Spain); Frederiksen, Morten [Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M (Denmark); Grau, Antoni [Direccio General de Pesca, Conselleria d' Agricultura i Pesca, Govern de les Illes Balears, Foners 10, 07006 Palma de Mallorca (Illes Balears) (Spain); Karakassis, Ioannis [Marine Ecology Laboratory, Biology Department, University of Crete, Heraklion, 71409 Crete (Greece); Marba, Nuria [IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Miquel Marques 21, 07190 Esporles (Illes Balears) (Spain); Mirto, Simone [Institute for the Marine Coastal Environment, National Council of Research, Spianata S. Raineri, 86, 98122 Messina (Italy); Perez, Marta [Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Pusceddu, Antonio [Department of Marine Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona (Italy); Tsapakis, Manolis [Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Center for Marine Research, P.O. Box 2214, GR 71003 Heraklion, Crete (Greece)

    2008-09-15

    This paper provides a synthesis of the EU project MedVeg addressing the fate of nutrients released from fish farming in the Mediterranean with particular focus on the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica habitat. The objectives were to identify the main drivers of seagrass decline linked to fish farming and to provide sensitive indicators of environmental change, which can be used for monitoring purposes. The sedimentation of waste particles in the farm vicinities emerges as the main driver of benthic deterioration, such as accumulation of organic matter, sediment anoxia as well as seagrass decline. The effects of fish farming on P. oceanica meadows are diverse and complex and detected through various metrics and indicators. A safety distance of 400 m is suggested for management of P. oceanica near fish farms followed by establishment of permanent seagrass plots revisited annually for monitoring the health of the meadows.

  3. Effects of fish farm waste on Posidonia oceanica meadows: Synthesis and provision of monitoring and management tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holmer, Marianne; Argyrou, Marina; Dalsgaard, Tage; Danovaro, Roberto; Diaz-Almela, Elena; Duarte, Carlos M.; Frederiksen, Morten; Grau, Antoni; Karakassis, Ioannis; Marba, Nuria; Mirto, Simone; Perez, Marta; Pusceddu, Antonio; Tsapakis, Manolis

    2008-01-01

    This paper provides a synthesis of the EU project MedVeg addressing the fate of nutrients released from fish farming in the Mediterranean with particular focus on the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica habitat. The objectives were to identify the main drivers of seagrass decline linked to fish farming and to provide sensitive indicators of environmental change, which can be used for monitoring purposes. The sedimentation of waste particles in the farm vicinities emerges as the main driver of benthic deterioration, such as accumulation of organic matter, sediment anoxia as well as seagrass decline. The effects of fish farming on P. oceanica meadows are diverse and complex and detected through various metrics and indicators. A safety distance of 400 m is suggested for management of P. oceanica near fish farms followed by establishment of permanent seagrass plots revisited annually for monitoring the health of the meadows

  4. Metal contamination of Posidonia oceanica meadows along the Corsican coastline (Mediterranean)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafabrie, C. [University of Corsica, Faculty of Sciences, Equipe Ecosystemes Littoraux, BP 52, 20250 Corte (France)], E-mail: lafabrie@univ-corse.fr; Pergent-Martini, C.; Pergent, G. [University of Corsica, Faculty of Sciences, Equipe Ecosystemes Littoraux, BP 52, 20250 Corte (France)

    2008-01-15

    The aim of this study is to determine metal (Cd, Co, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb) concentrations in Posidonia oceanica tissues along the Corsican coastline. The results show that except for Cr, all the metals are preferentially accumulated in the blades; this is particularly interesting as it means that future metal analyses may be carried out only on the blades avoiding thus the removal of the shoots. Moreover, they show that metal concentrations may reflect the 'background noise' of the Mediterranean Sea. Station 15 (Canari) can however be distinguished from the others due to its high Co, Cr and Ni concentrations. This result may be related to the presence of a previous asbestos mine, located near this station. Therefore, this study reinforces the usefulness and the relevance of Posidonia oceanica as a tracer of spatial metal contamination and as an interesting tool for water quality evaluation. - The seagrass Posidonia oceanica is a relevant tracer of spatial metal contamination and an interesting tool for water quality evaluation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Future heat waves due to climate change threaten the survival of Posidonia oceanica seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Meseguer, Laura; Marín, Arnaldo; Sanz-Lázaro, Carlos

    2017-11-01

    Extreme weather events are major drivers of ecological change, and their occurrence is likely to increase due to climate change. The transient increases in atmospheric temperatures are leading to a greater occurrence of heat waves, extreme events that can produce a substantial warming of water, especially in enclosed basins such as the Mediterranean Sea. Here, we tested the effects of current and predicted heat waves on the early stages of development of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Temperatures above 27 °C limited the growth of the plant by inhibiting its photosynthetic system. It suffered a reduction in leaf growth and faster leaf senescence, and in some cases mortality. This study demonstrates that the greater frequency of heat waves, along with anticipated temperature rises in coming decades, are expected to negatively affect the germination of P. oceanica seedlings. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile Ethanolic Extract Modulates Cell Activities with Skin Health Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cornara

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are high plants sharing adaptive metabolic features with both terrestrial plants and marine algae, resulting in a phytocomplex possibly endowed with interesting biological properties. The aim of this study is to evaluate the in vitro activities on skin cells of an ethanolic extract obtained from the leaves of Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile, family Potamogetonaceae, herein named Posidonia ethanolic extract (PEE. PEE showed high radical scavenging activity, high phenolic content, and resulted rich in chicoric acid, as determined through HPLC-MS analysis. The use of MTT assay on fibroblasts showed a PEE cytotoxicity threshold (IC05 of 50 µg/mL at 48 h, while a sub-toxic dose of 20 µg/mL induced a significant increase of fibroblast growth rate after 10 days. In addition, an ELISA assay revealed that PEE doses of 5 and 10 µg/mL induced collagen production in fibroblasts. PEE induced dose-dependent mushroom tyrosinase inhibition, up to about 45% inhibition at 1000 µg/mL, while 50% reduction of melanin was observed in melanoma cells exposed to 50 µg/mL PEE. Finally, PEE lipolytic activity was assessed by measuring glycerol release from adipocytes following triglyceride degradation. In conclusion, we have collected new data about the biological activities of the phytocomplex of P. oceanica seagrass on skin cells. Our findings indicate that PEE could be profitably used in the development of products for skin aging, undesired hyperpigmentation, and cellulite.

  9. Communities of cultivable root mycobionts of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in the northwest Mediterranean Sea are dominated by a hitherto undescribed pleosporalean dark septate endophyte

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Kolařík, Miroslav

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 2 (2016), s. 442-451 ISSN 0095-3628 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : seagrasses * fungal symbioses * Mediterranean Sea Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EE - Microbiology, Virology (MBU-M) Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016

  10. Purification of intact chloroplasts from marine plant Posidonia oceanica suitable for organelle proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piro, Amalia; Serra, Ilia Anna; Spadafora, Antonia; Cardilio, Monica; Bianco, Linda; Perrotta, Gaetano; Santos, Rui; Mazzuca, Silvia

    2015-12-01

    Posidonia oceanica is a marine angiosperm, or seagrass, adapted to grow to the underwater life from shallow waters to 50 m depth. This raises questions of how their photosynthesis adapted to the attenuation of light through the water column and leads to the assumption that biochemistry and metabolism of the chloroplast are the basis of adaptive capacity. In the present study, we described a protocol that was adapted from those optimized for terrestrial plants, to extract chloroplasts from as minimal tissue as possible. We obtained the best balance between tissue amount/intact chloroplasts yield using one leaf from one plant. After isopynic separations, the chloroplasts purity and integrity were evaluated by biochemical assay and using a proteomic approach. Chloroplast proteins were extracted from highly purified organelles and resolved by 1DE SDS-PAGE. Proteins were sequenced by nLC-ESI-IT-MS/MS of 1DE gel bands and identified against NCBInr green plant databases, Dr. Zompo database for seagrasses in a local customized dataset. The curated localization of proteins in sub-plastidial compartments (i.e. envelope, stroma and thylakoids) was retrieved in the AT_CHLORO database. This purification protocol and the validation of compartment markers may serve as basis for sub-cellular proteomics in P. oceanica and other seagrasses. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Alterations of the structure of Posidonia oceanica beds due to the introduced alga Caulerpa taxifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heike Molenaar

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The impact of Caulerpa taxifolia on the structure of shallow Posidonia oceanica beds was studied in permanent quadrats from 1995 to 2005 at the invaded site of Cap Martin and the control site of Cap d’Antibes (French Riviera, France. The cover of C. taxifolia, shoot density, number of orthotropic and plagiotropic shoots and proportion of ramifications of P. oceanica were measured yearly. The cover of C. taxifolia in the invaded zone rapidly reached a maximum of infestation in 2000 with 93% of the quadrats covered by the alga. In 2001 an unexplained phenomenon led to a sharp decrease in the infestation and in the following years the colonisation remained low. Within the 10 years of the study, P. oceanica did not disappear from the permanent quadrats, but we observed a drastic change in the structure of the meadow invaded by C. taxifolia. Between 1999 and 2000 a decrease in the shoot density observed at both sites was probably related to the warm temperature event recorded in 1999 (from 636 to 143 shoots m-2 at the invaded site and from 488 to 277 at the control site. At the invaded site, the seagrass never recovered its initial density even after a sharp decrease in C. taxifolia. The orthotropic/plagiotropic shoot ratio was strongly modified at the invaded site, where plagiotropic shoots became dominant because of an increase in their ramification.

  12. Mapping of Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile Meadows Using Geographic Information Systems: A case study in Ufakdere - Kaş (Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volkan Demir

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Posidonia oceanica (Linnaeus Delile 1813 is an endemic and the most widespread seagrass species of the Mediterranean Sea. Seagrass meadows are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, providing habitat to numerous organisms. Therefore, mapping of seagrass meadows is of crucial importance for conservation and coastal management purposes. Here we present an integrated geographic information system approach with SCUBA diving, providing a cost effective method to monitor seagrass beds at shallow coastal habitats. In this case study P. oceanica meadows were mapped in Ufakdere region of Kaş (Antalya coastal area between April – September 2015. A total of 25000 m2 are were screened to create seagrass coverage maps. Results indicate that P. oceanica meadows cover 21200 m2 and we estimated that 520 m2 of this area is highly damaged. This integrated approach provided one of the most detailed small-scale Posidonia mapping in Turkey and this time and cost effective methodology can be applied to any seagrass meadow with great ease to increase our knowledge on this important habitat.

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

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    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.

  14. Acclimation to different depths by the marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica: transcriptomic and proteomic profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuela eDattolo

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available For seagrasses, seasonal and daily variations in light and temperature represent the mains factors driving their distribution along the bathymetric cline. Changes in these environmental factors, due to climatic and anthropogenic effects, can compromise their survival. In a framework of conservation and restoration, it becomes crucial to improve our knowledge about the physiological plasticity of seagrass species along environmental gradients. Here, we aimed to identify differences in transcriptomic and proteomic profiles, involved in the acclimation along the depth gradient in the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, and to improve the available molecular resources in this species, which is an important requisite for the application of eco-genomic approaches. To do that, from plant growing in the shallow (-5m and a deep (-25m portions of a single meadow, (i we generated two reciprocal EST (Expressed Sequences Tags libraries using a Suppressive Subtractive Hybridization (SSH approach, to obtain depth/specific transcriptional profiles, and (ii we identified proteins differentially expressed, using the highly innovative USIS mass spectrometry methodology, coupled with 1D-SDS electrophoresis and labeling free approach. Mass spectra were searched in the open source Global Proteome Machine (GPM engine against plant databases and with the X!Tandem algorithm against a local database. Transcriptional analysis showed both quantitative and qualitative differences between depths. EST libraries had only the 3% of transcripts in common. A total of 315 peptides belonging to 64 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. ATP synthase subunits were among the most abundant proteins in both conditions. Both approaches identified genes and proteins in pathways related to energy metabolism, transport and genetic information processing, that appear o be the most involved in depth acclimation in P. oceanica. Their putative rules in acclimation to depth were discussed.

  15. Acclimation to different depths by the marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica: transcriptomic and proteomic profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dattolo, Emanuela; Gu, Jenny; Bayer, Philipp E; Mazzuca, Silvia; Serra, Ilia A; Spadafora, Antonia; Bernardo, Letizia; Natali, Lucia; Cavallini, Andrea; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    For seagrasses, seasonal and daily variations in light and temperature represent the mains factors driving their distribution along the bathymetric cline. Changes in these environmental factors, due to climatic and anthropogenic effects, can compromise their survival. In a framework of conservation and restoration, it becomes crucial to improve our knowledge about the physiological plasticity of seagrass species along environmental gradients. Here, we aimed to identify differences in transcriptomic and proteomic profiles, involved in the acclimation along the depth gradient in the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, and to improve the available molecular resources in this species, which is an important requisite for the application of eco-genomic approaches. To do that, from plant growing in shallow (-5 m) and deep (-25 m) portions of a single meadow, (i) we generated two reciprocal Expressed Sequences Tags (EST) libraries using a Suppressive Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) approach, to obtain depth/specific transcriptional profiles, and (ii) we identified proteins differentially expressed, using the highly innovative USIS mass spectrometry methodology, coupled with 1D-SDS electrophoresis and labeling free approach. Mass spectra were searched in the open source Global Proteome Machine (GPM) engine against plant databases and with the X!Tandem algorithm against a local database. Transcriptional analysis showed both quantitative and qualitative differences between depths. EST libraries had only the 3% of transcripts in common. A total of 315 peptides belonging to 64 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. ATP synthase subunits were among the most abundant proteins in both conditions. Both approaches identified genes and proteins in pathways related to energy metabolism, transport and genetic information processing, that appear to be the most involved in depth acclimation in P. oceanica. Their putative rules in acclimation to depth were discussed.

  16. Light availability and temperature, not increased CO2, will structure future meadows of Posidonia oceanica

    KAUST Repository

    Hendriks, Iris E.

    2017-02-15

    We evaluated the photosynthetic performance of Posidonia oceanica during short-term laboratory exposures to ambient and elevated temperatures (24–25°C and 29–30°C) warming and pCO2 (380, 750 and 1000ppm pCO2) under normal and low light conditions (200 and 40μmol photons m−2s−1 respectively). Plant growth was measured at the low light regime and showed a negative response to warming. Light was a critical factor for photosynthetic performance, although we found no evidence of compensation of photosynthetic quantum efficiency in high light. Relative Electron Rate Transport (rETRmax) was higher in plants incubated in high light, but not affected by pCO2 or temperature. The saturation irradiance (Ik) was negatively affected by temperature. We conclude that elevated CO2 does not enhance photosynthetic activity and growth, in the short term for P. oceanica, while temperature has a direct negative effect on growth. Low light availability also negatively affected photosynthetic performance during the short experimental period examined here. Therefore increasing concentrations of CO2 may not compensate for predicted future conditions of warmer water and higher turbidity for seagrass meadows.

  17. Light availability and temperature, not increased CO2, will structure future meadows of Posidonia oceanica

    KAUST Repository

    Hendriks, Iris E.; Olsen, Ylva S.; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluated the photosynthetic performance of Posidonia oceanica during short-term laboratory exposures to ambient and elevated temperatures (24–25°C and 29–30°C) warming and pCO2 (380, 750 and 1000ppm pCO2) under normal and low light conditions (200 and 40μmol photons m−2s−1 respectively). Plant growth was measured at the low light regime and showed a negative response to warming. Light was a critical factor for photosynthetic performance, although we found no evidence of compensation of photosynthetic quantum efficiency in high light. Relative Electron Rate Transport (rETRmax) was higher in plants incubated in high light, but not affected by pCO2 or temperature. The saturation irradiance (Ik) was negatively affected by temperature. We conclude that elevated CO2 does not enhance photosynthetic activity and growth, in the short term for P. oceanica, while temperature has a direct negative effect on growth. Low light availability also negatively affected photosynthetic performance during the short experimental period examined here. Therefore increasing concentrations of CO2 may not compensate for predicted future conditions of warmer water and higher turbidity for seagrass meadows.

  18. Epiphytes modulate Posidonia oceanica photosynthetic production, energetic balance, antioxidant mechanisms and oxidative damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monya Mendes Costa

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Epiphytes impose physical barriers to light penetration into seagrass leaves causing shading, which may decrease the production of oxygen reactive species (ROS, but also constitute a physical aggression that may trigger the production of ROS, leading to oxidative damage. Here we investigate the effects of epiphytes on Posidonia oceanica under both interactive perspectives, light attenuation and oxidative stress. Specifically the role of epiphytes in net photosynthesis, chlorophyll a and b, photoprotection (Violaxanthin+Anteraxanthin+Zeaxanthin cycle, soluble sugar and starch contents, enzymatic (ascorbate peroxidase (APX and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR and global (trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC and oxygen radical antioxidant capacity (ORAC antioxidant responses, phenolics and oxidative damage (malondialdehyde are tested. Leaves with epiphytes showed higher chlorophyll b and lower content in VAZ cycle carotenoids. Epiphyte shading was the probable reason for the lower VAZ de-epoxidation-ratio of leaves with epiphytes. In spite of being shaded, leaves with epiphytes showed higher antioxidant levels, indicating that epiphytes trigger the production of ROS. Both ORAC and TEAC and also APX and DHAR activities were higher in leaves with epiphytes, indicating that this response was related with its presence. Malondialdehyde concentrations also suggest oxidative damage caused by epiphytes. We conclude that the epiphyte load causes oxidative stress in P. oceanica and the mechanisms to scavenge ROS were not completely effective to avoid cell damage.

  19. Interaction between Posidonia oceanica meadows upper limit and hydrodynamics of four Mediterranean beaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Muro, Sandro; Ruju, Andrea; Buosi, Carla; Porta, Marco; Passarella, Marinella; Ibba, Angelo

    2017-04-01

    Posidonia oceanica meadow is considered to play an important role in the coastal geomorphology of Mediterranean beach systems. In particular, the importance of the meadow in protecting the coastline from erosion is well-recognized. Waves are attenuated by greater friction across seagrass meadows, which have the capacity to reduce water flow and therefore increase sediment deposition and accumulation as well as beach stability. The P. oceanica meadow upper limit usually occurs within the most dynamic zone of the beach system. Considering the great attention paid in the literature to the connection between the growth of P. oceanica and coastal hydrodynamics (Infantes et al., 2009; Vacchi et al., 2014; De Muro et al., 2016, 2017), this study aims at extending the previous work by investigating the combined influence of hydrodynamic parameters (e.g., wave-induced main currents and wave orbital velocity at the bottom) and different types of sea bottom (e.g., soft sediment, rocky substrates) on the position of the upper limit of the P. oceanica meadow. We applied this approach to 4 Mediterranean beach systems located on the Sardinian coastline (3 on the South and 1 on the North) and characterized by a wide range of orientations and incoming wave conditions. On these beaches, the extension of the P. oceanica meadows and the bathymetry have been obtained through detailed surveying campaigns and aerial photo analysis. In addition, high spatial resolution wave hydrodynamics have been reconstructed by running numerical simulations with Delft 3D. Offshore wave climate has been reconstructed by using measured datasets for those beaches that have a nearby buoy whose dataset is representative of the incoming wave conditions for that particular stretch of coast. Whereas, for those beaches with no availability of a representative measured dataset, wave climate has been analyzed from the NOAA hindcast dataset. From the whole range of incoming wave directions in deep waters, we

  20. Potential adsorption of methylene blue from aqueous solution using green macroalgaePosidonia oceanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allouche, F.-N.; Yassaa, N.

    2018-03-01

    The use of inexpensive biological materials, such as marine algae for removing dyes from contaminated industrial effluents appears as a potential alternative method. The aim of this study is to investigate the aptitude of marine macroalgae Posidonia Oceanica local biomass abundant on the coasts of Algeria for selective sorption of methylene blue (MB) from an aqueous solution in batch experiments at 20 °C. A maximum percentage removal of Posidonia oceanica occurs at pH 5. Equilibrium isotherm data were analyzed using the Langmuir and the Freundlich isotherms. The adsorption equilibrium of methylene blue was best describe by Langmuir model than the Freundlich model. The maximum sorption capacity was 357 mgg-1at pH 5. The sorption data were very well described by the pseudo-second-order model. Keywords: Posidonia oceanica, Methylene blue (MB), Biosorption, Isotherm Equilibrium, Kinetics; Modelling.

  1. Altered epiphyte community and sea urchin diet in Posidonia oceanica meadows in the vicinity of volcanic CO2 vents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Patricia; Gambi, Maria Cristina; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Califano, Gianmaria; Tavares, Ana Mafalda; Santos, Rui; Martínez-Crego, Begoña

    2017-06-01

    Ocean acidification (OA) predicted for 2100 is expected to shift seagrass epiphyte communities towards the dominance of more tolerant non-calcifying taxa. However, little is known about the indirect effects of such changes on food provision to key seagrass consumers. We found that epiphyte communities of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in two naturally acidified sites (i.e. north and south sides of a volcanic CO 2 vent) and in a control site away from the vent at the Ischia Island (NW Mediterranean Sea) significantly differed in composition and abundance. Such differences involved a higher abundance of non-calcareous crustose brown algae and a decline of calcifying polychaetes in both acidified sites. A lower epiphytic abundance of crustose coralline algae occurred only in the south side of the vents, thus suggesting that OA may alter epiphyte assemblages in different ways due to interaction with local factors such as differential fish herbivory or hydrodynamics. The OA effects on food items (seagrass, epiphytes, and algae) indirectly propagated into food provision to the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, as reflected by a reduced P. oceanica exploitation (i.e. less seagrass and calcareous epiphytes in the diet) in favour of non-calcareous green algae in both vent sites. In contrast, we detected no difference close and outside the vents neither in the composition of sea urchin diet nor in the total abundance of calcareous versus non-calcareous taxa. More research, under realistic scenarios of predicted pH reduction (i.e. ≤ 0.32 units of pH by 2100), is still necessary to better understand cascading effects of this altered urchin exploitation of food resources under acidified conditions on ecosystem diversity and function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Magnetically modified Posidonia oceanica biomass as an adsorbent for organic dyes removal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šafařík, Ivo; Ashoura, N.; Maděrová, Z.; Pospíšková, K.; Baldíková, E.; Šafaříková, Miroslava

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 2 (2016), s. 351-358 ISSN 1108-393X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Posidonia oceanica * Neptune balls * magnetic biomass * organic dyes * adsorbent Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality Impact factor: 1.683, year: 2016

  3. Effect of environmental factors (wave exposure and depth) and anthropogenic pressure in the C sink capacity of Posidonia oceanica meadows

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass are among the most important natural carbon sinks on Earth with Posidonia oceanica (Mediterranean Sea) considered as the most relevant species. Yet, the number of direct measurements of organic carbon burial rates in P. oceanica is still scarce and the effect of local environmental factors remains largely unexplored. In addition, P. oceanica meadows are declining due to the increase in anthropogenic pressure in coastal areas during the last century. The aim of this study is to assess the recent carbon sink capacity of P. oceanica and particularly the effect of human pressure and two environmental factors, water depth and exposure to wave energy (based on a fetch index), on the carbon burial rate since 1900. We conducted an extensive survey of sediment cores in meadows distributed across a gradient of depth, fetch, and human pressure around The Balearic Islands. Sediment and carbon accumulation rates were obtained from 210Pb concentrations profiles. Top-30 centimeters carbon stocks (6.1 ± 1.4 kg C m−2) and burial rates (26 ± 6 g C m−2 yr1) varied up to fivefold across meadows. No significant effect of water depth in carbon burial rates was observed. Although fetch was significantly correlated with sediment mean grain size, confirming the effect of wave exposure in the patterns of sedimentation, fetch alone could not explain the differences in carbon burial rates among the meadows examined. Human pressure affected carbon burial rates, leading to increased rates since the onset of the rise in anthropogenic pressure, particularly so in sheltered meadows supporting high human pressure.

  4. Effect of environmental factors (wave exposure and depth) and anthropogenic pressure in the C sink capacity of Posidonia oceanica meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Inés

    2017-03-20

    Seagrass are among the most important natural carbon sinks on Earth with Posidonia oceanica (Mediterranean Sea) considered as the most relevant species. Yet, the number of direct measurements of organic carbon burial rates in P. oceanica is still scarce and the effect of local environmental factors remains largely unexplored. In addition, P. oceanica meadows are declining due to the increase in anthropogenic pressure in coastal areas during the last century. The aim of this study is to assess the recent carbon sink capacity of P. oceanica and particularly the effect of human pressure and two environmental factors, water depth and exposure to wave energy (based on a fetch index), on the carbon burial rate since 1900. We conducted an extensive survey of sediment cores in meadows distributed across a gradient of depth, fetch, and human pressure around The Balearic Islands. Sediment and carbon accumulation rates were obtained from 210Pb concentrations profiles. Top-30 centimeters carbon stocks (6.1 ± 1.4 kg C m−2) and burial rates (26 ± 6 g C m−2 yr1) varied up to fivefold across meadows. No significant effect of water depth in carbon burial rates was observed. Although fetch was significantly correlated with sediment mean grain size, confirming the effect of wave exposure in the patterns of sedimentation, fetch alone could not explain the differences in carbon burial rates among the meadows examined. Human pressure affected carbon burial rates, leading to increased rates since the onset of the rise in anthropogenic pressure, particularly so in sheltered meadows supporting high human pressure.

  5. 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

  6. Trace metal concentrations in Posidonia oceanica of North Corsica (northwestern Mediterranean Sea: use as a biological monitor?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gosselin Marc

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Within semi-closed areas like the Mediterranean Sea, anthropic wastes tend to concentrate in the environment. Metals, in particular, are known to persist in the environment and can affect human health due to accumulation in the food chain. The seagrass Posidonia oceanica, widely found in Mediterranean coastal waters, has been chosen as a "sentinel" to quantify the distribution of such pollutants within the marine environment. Using a technique similar to dendrochronology in trees, it can act as an indicator of pollutant levels over a timeframe of several months to years. In the present study, we measured and compared the levels of eight trace metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd, and Pb in sheaths dated by lepidochronology and in leaves of shoots sampled from P. oceanica meadows collected from six offshore sites in northern Corsica between 1988 and 2004; in the aim to determine 1 the spatial and 2 temporal variations of these metals in these areas and 3 to compared these two types of tissues. Results We found low trace metal concentrations with no increase over the last decade, confirming the potential use of Corsican seagrass beds as reference sites for the Mediterranean Sea. Temporal trends of trace metal concentrations in sheaths were not significant for Cr, Ni, Cu, As or Se, but Zn, Cd, and Pb levels decreased, probably due to the reduced anthropic use of these metals. Similar temporal trends between Cu levels in leaves (living tissue and in sheaths (dead tissue demonstrated that lepidochronology linked with Cu monitoring is effective for surveying the temporal variability of this metal. Conclusion Leaves of P. oceanica can give an indication of the metal concentration in the environment over a short time period (months with good accuracy. On the contrary, sheaths, which gave an indication of changes over long time periods (decades, seem to be less sensitive to variations in the metal concentration in the environment

  7. Highly diverse molluscan assemblages of Posidonia oceanica meadows in northwestern Alboran Sea (W Mediterranean): Seasonal dynamics and environmental drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urra, Javier; Mateo Ramírez, Ángel; Marina, Pablo; Salas, Carmen; Gofas, Serge; Rueda, José L.

    2013-01-01

    The seasonal dynamics of the molluscan fauna associated with the westernmost populations of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, has been studied throughout an annual cycle in the northwestern coasts of the Alboran Sea. Samples were collected seasonally (5 replicated per season) using a non-destructive sampling technique (airlift sampler) on quadrats of 50 × 50 cm at 2 sites located 7 km apart. Several environmental variables from the water column (temperature, chlorophyll a), the sediment (percentage of organic matter) and the seagrass meadows (shoot density, leaf height and width, number of leaves per shoot) were also measured in order to elucidate their relationships with the dynamics of the molluscan assemblages. In these meadows, a total of 17,416 individuals of molluscs were collected, belonging to 71 families and 171 species, being Rissoidae, Pyramidellidae and Trochidae the best-represented families, and Mytilidae, Nassaridae and Trochidae the dominant ones in terms of abundance. The assemblages were dominated by micro-algal grazers, filter feeders and ectoparasites (including those feeding on sessile preys). The species richness and the abundance displayed significant maximum values in summer, whereas evenness and diversity displayed maximum values in spring, being significant for the evenness. Both abundance and species richness values were positively correlated to seawater temperature and percentage organic matter, only for the latter, and negatively to leaf width. Significant seasonal groupings were obtained with multivariate analyses (MDS, Cluster, ANOSIM) using qualitative and quantitative data that could be mainly related to biological aspects (i.e. recruitment) of single species. The molluscan assemblages are influenced by the biogeographical location of the area (Alboran Sea), reflected in the absence or scarcity of most Mediterranean species strictly associated with P. oceanica (e.g. Tricolia speciosa, Rissoa ventricosa) and by the

  8. The use of banquettes of Posidonia oceanica as a source of fiber and minerals in ruminant nutrition. An observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, C; Mantecón, A R; Sotillo, J; Benedito, J L; Abuelo, A; Gutiérrez, C; Hernández, J

    2014-10-01

    In the search for new food sources that contribute to the optimization of livestock production this paper discusses the possibility of using waste (called banquettes) of a marine plant commonly found on the Mediterranean coasts: Posidonia oceanica. The idea stems from the use of a waste that in summertime generates large costs because it is considered bothersome on the beaches. Thus, tons and tons of residues are collected each year from the beach, being destined for incineration. However, alternative uses for these residues are suggested, such as forage that is particularly relevant for the Mediterranean coast, where the weather does not support abundant grass growth. With this purpose, samples of banquettes of P. oceanica from six different points of a touristic place located in the Murcia Region (S.E. of Spain) were collected in April 2012 on the same day directly from the beach above the water line, washed with distilled water and sun-dried for 48 h. Approximately 500 g of each sample of plant material was chopped and two subsamples of 200 g each were placed in airtight plastic containers and sent to the laboratory for mineral and chemical analysis. This report provides data on the nutritional composition of P. oceanica such as mineral contents (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) and chemical composition (ash, CP, ether extract (EE), NDF and ADF, respectively) and ADL. Finally, the in sacco rumen disappearance of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), CP and NDF were studied. Our results showed that minerals, except for Fe, where within the range of values reported for P. oceanica in other parts of the Mediterranean region. Given the high Fe content further studies assessing the antagonic Fe-Cu interaction and its effect on animal health should be addressed. In relation to chemical composition, it is clear that this seagrass is a poor protein source and has levels of DM degradability at 24 h, similar to those obtained for cereal straw. The information

  9. Seasonal grazing and food preference of herbivores in a Posidonia oceanica meadow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Peirano

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal grazing of the fish Sarpa salpa (L., the urchin Paracentrotus lividus Lamarck and the isopods Idotea spp. was compared with the C/N ratio of adult and intermediate leaves and epiphytes of Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile, collected at three different depths. Despite seasonal differences in grazing, herbivores showed preferences throughout the year for adult leaves with more epiphyte and higher N contents. The maximum grazing on adult and intermediate leaves was observed in September and in June for fish and in March for urchins, whereas it was irregular for isopods. Grazing by the three herbivores was not related to their preference for leaves or epiphytes, notwithstanding the seasonal differences in their C and N contents. We concluded that herbivores show no preference for food type throughout the year and that seasonal consumption of P. oceanica is related mainly to herbivore behaviour.

  10. Transplantation assessment of degraded Posidonia oceanica habitats: site selection and long-term monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. PIRROTTA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A model developed for Zostera marina was adapted and used to select suitable areas for Posidonia oceanica transplantation in the Gulf of Palermo, where recent rehabilitation programmes have reduced human pressure. This model consists of three steps: (1 habitat selection, by calculation of the Preliminary Transplant Suitability Index (PTSI; (2 field assessments and test-transplanting, to evaluate the site suitability and to estimate the effects of tearing on transplant units (about 50%; (3 identification of suitable restoration sites, by calculation of the Transplant Suitability Index (TSI. A new parameter was added to the literature model: the number of grids detached, which is linked to factors (hydrodynamic regime, anchoring, fishing that have a potentially great effect on the final outcome of the transplant. Only one site (TSI = 16 in the Gulf of Palermo was indicated as potentially suitable for restoration with P. oceanica. In this site, a transplant of 40 m2 was implemented. From 2008 to 2014, transplant effectiveness was evaluated in terms of establishment, detachment and mortality of cuttings and shoot density. The long-term monitoring (6 years allowed us to detect changes in the structural conditions of the transplanted meadow and to identify the possible turning point in P. oceanica recovery (2 years after transplanting. Moreover, 6 years after transplantation the P. oceanica meadow has exceeded the transplant shoot density of about 16%, with a mean and a maximum value of 11.6 and 17 shoots per cutting, respectively.

  11. Towards Visual Navigation of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle in Areas with Posidonia Oceanica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Bonin-Font

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an exhaustive, extensive and detailed experimental assessment of different types of visual key-points in terms of robustness, stability and traceability, in images taken in marine areas densely colonized with Posidonia Oceanica (P.O.. This work has been focused mainly in two issues: a evaluating the  capacity of several image color and contrast enhancing preprocessing techniques to increase the image quality and the number of stable features, and b finding the pair feature detector/descriptor, from a wide range of different combinations, that maximizes the number of inlier correspondences in consecutive frames or frames that close a loop (images that overlap, taken at distant time instants, from different viewpoints or even with different environmental conditions. Conclusions extracted from both evaluations will affect directly the quality of visual odometers and/or the image registration processes involved in visual SLAM approaches.

  12. Simulations of dredged sediment spreading on a Posidonia oceanica meadow off the Ligurian coast, Northwestern Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capello, M; Cutroneo, L; Ferranti, M P; Budillon, G; Bertolotto, R M; Ciappa, A; Cotroneo, Y; Castellano, M; Povero, P; Tucci, S

    2014-02-15

    The sandy deposits from dredging can have negative effects on the environment such as increase in suspended solids in the water column and their consequent transport. An experimental study was conducted to characterize water masses, dynamics, and sedimentation rates on the Ligurian continental shelf (Italy), where both a sand deposit, that could be used for beach nourishment, and a nearby Posidonia oceanica meadow coexist. The environmental plan provides a mathematical simulation of the sediment-dispersion to evaluate the possible impact on the meadow. It has been calculated that the dredging could double the concentration of suspended particles, but its scheduling will preclude a sediment accumulation. All the information obtained from this work will be used to study the environmental feasibility of the sand deposit exploitation and as starting point for drawing up the monitoring plan in case of dredging. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Activated carbon derived from marine Posidonia Oceanica for electric energy storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Boukmouche

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the synthesis and characterization of activated carbon from marine Posidonia Oceanica were studied. The activated carbon was prepared by a simple process namely pyrolysis under inert atmosphere. The activated carbon can be used as electrodes for supercapacitor devices. X-ray diffraction result revealed a polycrystalline graphitic structure. While scanning electron microscope investigation showed a layered structure with micropores. The EDS analysis showed that the activated carbon contains the carbon element in high atomic percentage. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy revealed a capacitive behavior (electrostatic phenomena. The specific capacity per unit area of the electrochemical double layer of activated carbon electrode in sulfuric acid electrolyte was 3.16 F cm−2. Cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic chronopotentiometry demonstrated that the electrode has excellent electrochemical reversibility. It has been found that the surface capacitance was strongly related to the specific surface area and pore size.

  14. 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.

  15. Mapping Spatial Patterns of Posidonia oceanica Meadows by Means of Daedalus ATM Airborne Sensor in the Coastal Area of Civitavecchia (Central Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Marcelli

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The spatial distribution of sea bed covers and seagrass in coastal waters is of key importance in monitoring and managing Mediterranean shallow water environments often subject to both increasing anthropogenic impacts and climate change effects. In this context we present a methodology for effective monitoring and mapping of Posidonia oceanica (PO meadows in turbid waters using remote sensing techniques tested by means of LAI (Leaf Area Index point sea truth measurements. Preliminary results using Daedalus airborne sensor are reported referring to the PO meadows at Civitavecchia site (central Tyrrhenian sea where vessel traffic due to presence of important harbors and huge power plant represent strong impact factors. This coastal area, 100 km far from Rome (Central Italy, is characterized also by significant hydrodynamic variations and other anthropogenic factors that affect the health of seagrass meadows with frequent turbidity and suspended sediments in the water column. During 2011–2012 years point measurements of several parameters related to PO meadows phenology were acquired on various stations distributed along 20 km of coast between the Civitavecchia and S. Marinella sites. The Daedalus airborne sensor multispectral data were preprocessed with the support of satellite (MERIS derived water quality parameters to obtain here improved thematic maps of the local PO distribution. Their thematic accuracy was then evaluated as agreement (R2 with the point sea truth measurements and regressive modeling using an on purpose developd method.

  16. Posidonia oceanica as a Renewable Lignocellulosic Biomass for the Synthesis of Cellulose Acetate and Glycidyl Methacrylate Grafted Cellulose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Vismara

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available High-grade cellulose (97% α-cellulose content of 48% crystallinity index was extracted from the renewable marine biomass waste Posidonia oceanica using H2O2 and organic peracids following an environmentally friendly and chlorine-free process. This cellulose appeared as a new high-grade cellulose of waste origin quite similar to the high-grade cellulose extracted from more noble starting materials like wood and cotton linters. The benefits of α-cellulose recovery from P. oceanica were enhanced by its transformation into cellulose acetate CA and cellulose derivative GMA-C. Fully acetylated CA was prepared by conventional acetylation method and easily transformed into a transparent film. GMA-C with a molar substitution (MS of 0.72 was produced by quenching Fenton’s reagent (H2O2/FeSO4 generated cellulose radicals with GMA. GMA grafting endowed high-grade cellulose from Posidonia with adsorption capability. GMA-C removes β-naphthol from water with an efficiency of 47%, as measured by UV-Vis spectroscopy. After hydrolysis of the glycidyl group to glycerol group, the modified GMA-C was able to remove p-nitrophenol from water with an efficiency of 92%, as measured by UV-Vis spectroscopy. α-cellulose and GMA-Cs from Posidonia waste can be considered as new materials of potential industrial and environmental interest.

  17. 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...

  18. Removal of phosphorus from aqueous solution by Posidonia oceanica fibers using continuous stirring tank reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wahab, Mohamed Ali, E-mail: waheb_med@yahoo.fr [University of Carthage, Water Research and Technologies Centre (CERTE), Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Laboratory, B.P. 273, 8020 Soliman (Tunisia); Hassine, Rafik Ben [International Environmental Green Technology (IGET) (Tunisia); Jellali, Salah, E-mail: salah.jallali@certe.rnrt.tn [University of Carthage, Water Research and Technologies Centre (CERTE), Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Laboratory, B.P. 273, 8020 Soliman (Tunisia)

    2011-05-15

    The present study aims to develop a new potentially low-cost, sustainable treatment approach to soluble inorganic phosphorus removal from synthetic solutions and secondary wastewater effluents in which a plant waste (Posidonia oceanica fiber: POF) is used for further agronomic benefit. Dynamic flow tests using a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) were carried out to study the effect of initial concentration of phosphorus, amount of adsorbent, feeding flow rate and anions competition. The experimental results showed that the removal efficiency of phosphorus from synthetic solutions is about 80% for 10 g L{sup -1} of POF. In addition, the variation of the initial concentration of phosphorus from 8 to 50 mg L{sup -1} increased the adsorption capacity from 0.99 to 3.03 mg g{sup -1}. The use of secondary treated wastewater showed the presence of competition phenomenon between phosphorus and sulphate which could be overcoming with increasing the sorptive surface area and providing more adsorption sites when increasing the adsorbent dosage of POF. Compared with columns studies, this novel CSTR system showed more advantages for the removal of soluble phosphorus as a tertiary treatment of urban secondary effluents with more adsorption efficiency and capacity, in addition to the prospect use of saturated POF with nutriment as fertilizer and compost.

  19. Removal of phosphorus from aqueous solution by Posidonia oceanica fibers using continuous stirring tank reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wahab, Mohamed Ali; Hassine, Rafik Ben; Jellali, Salah

    2011-01-01

    The present study aims to develop a new potentially low-cost, sustainable treatment approach to soluble inorganic phosphorus removal from synthetic solutions and secondary wastewater effluents in which a plant waste (Posidonia oceanica fiber: POF) is used for further agronomic benefit. Dynamic flow tests using a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) were carried out to study the effect of initial concentration of phosphorus, amount of adsorbent, feeding flow rate and anions competition. The experimental results showed that the removal efficiency of phosphorus from synthetic solutions is about 80% for 10 g L -1 of POF. In addition, the variation of the initial concentration of phosphorus from 8 to 50 mg L -1 increased the adsorption capacity from 0.99 to 3.03 mg g -1 . The use of secondary treated wastewater showed the presence of competition phenomenon between phosphorus and sulphate which could be overcoming with increasing the sorptive surface area and providing more adsorption sites when increasing the adsorbent dosage of POF. Compared with columns studies, this novel CSTR system showed more advantages for the removal of soluble phosphorus as a tertiary treatment of urban secondary effluents with more adsorption efficiency and capacity, in addition to the prospect use of saturated POF with nutriment as fertilizer and compost.

  20. Sp. Radicis-Lycopersici Using Mixture of Vegetable and Posidonia oceanica Compost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kouki

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A compost of vegetable waste and Posidonia oceanica mixture (70 : 30% vol : vol was tested in vitro and in vivo for its efficacy against Fusarium oxysporum f.sp radicis-lycopersici (Forl, the causal agent of Fusarium wilt of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. chourouk.The incorporation of non-sterilized VPC in the culture medium showed potent antifungal activity against Forl and complete inhibition of mycelium growth was observed for all the tested compost rates (0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15 and 20%. However, only the highest rates (15 and 20% of a sterilized suspension of VPC were effective in preventing mycelial growth. Nine indigenous bacterial strains isolated from VPC exhibited antagonism against Forl. Based on 16S rDNA sequence analysis, the isolates were assigned to Bacillus sphaericus (B12 and BS2, Pseudomonas putida PPS7 and Burkholderia gladioli BuC16. Under green house condition, seed inoculation by B12, BS2, PP7 and BuC16 strains protected significantly tomato against Fusarium oxysporum f.sp radicis-lycopersici (Forl attacks.

  1. Lack of Impact of Posidonia oceanica Leaf Nutrient Enrichment on Sarpa salpa Herbivory: Additional Evidence for the Generalist Consumer Behavior of This Cornerstone Mediterranean Herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco-Méndez, Candela; Wessel, Caitlin; Scheffel, Whitney; Ferrero-Vicente, Luis; Fernández-Torquemada, Yolanda; Cebrián, Just; Heck, Kenneth L; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis

    2016-01-01

    The fish Sarpa salpa (L.) is one of the main macroherbivores in the western Mediterranean. Through direct and indirect mechanisms, this herbivore can exert significant control on the structure and functional dynamics of seagrass beds and macroalgae. Past research has suggested nutritional quality of their diet influences S. salpa herbivory, with the fish feeding more intensively and exerting greater top down control on macrophytes with higher internal nutrient contents. However recent findings have questioned this notion and shown that herbivores do not preferentially feed on macrophytes with higher nutrient contents, but rather feed on a wide variety of them with no apparent selectivity. To contribute to this debate, we conducted a field fertilization experiment where we enriched leaves of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, a staple diet for S. salpa, and examined the response by the herbivore. These responses included quantification of leaf consumption in fertilized and non-fertilized/control plots within the bed, and food choice assays where fertilized and non-fertilized/control leaves were simultaneously offered to the herbivore. Despite the duration of leaf exposure to herbivores (30 days) and abundant schools of S. salpa observed around the plots, leaf consumption was generally low in the plots examined. Consumption was not higher on fertilized than on non-fertilized leaves. Food choice experiments did not show strong evidence for selectivity of enriched leaves. These results add to a recent body of work reporting a broad generalist feeding behavior by S. salpa with no clear selectivity for seagrass with higher nutrient content. In concert, this and other studies suggest S. salpa is often generalist consumers not only dictated by diet nutrient content but by complex interactions between other traits of nutritional quality, habitat heterogeneity within their ample foraging area, and responses to predation risk.

  2. Relationship of non-protein thiol pools and accumulated Cd or Hg in the marine macrophyte Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maserti, B.E.; Ferrillo, V.; Avdis, O.; Nesti, U.; Di Garbo, A.; Catsiki, A.; Maestrini, P.L.

    2005-01-01

    The accumulation of cadmium or mercury and the effect of these elements on the levels of non-protein thiols in the blades of the marine macrophyte Posidonia oceanica were investigated. A significant accumulation of cadmium or mercury, dependent on metal concentration supplied, was observed in metal-treated blades. In the blades treated either with cadmium or mercury, a significant increase in the levels of non-protein thiols (other than glutathione) and a marked depletion of the reduced glutathione content as a function of the metal, exposure time and metal concentration supplied were found. This investigation provides first experimental report on the relationship between non-protein thiol pools and accumulated cadmium or mercury in P. oceanica

  3. Collaboration between research institutions and Marine Protected Area contributes to Posidonia oceanica conservation: The Egadi Island’s experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cocito, Silvia; Lombardi, Chiara; Peirano, Andrea; Donati, Stefano; Patti Genovese, Pietro; Ponzè, Niccolo

    2015-01-01

    Preliminary results on the collaboration between the ENEA’s Marine Environment Research Center and the Egadi Islands’ Marine Protected Area (MPA), aimed to evaluate effectiveness of artificial reefs in limiting the impact of trawling on Posidonia oceanica meadow at Favignana Island, are reported. The methods and parameters chosen for monitoring showed their reliability in training non-experienced personnel for data collection within the MPA. The proposed monitoring approach is of great value to the MPA interested in both gathering basic and long-term data on the health status of protected habitats and acquiring baseline information useful for the evaluation of protection and conservation actions. [it

  4. Effects of recreational fishing on three fish species from the Posidonia oceanica meadows off Minorca (Balearic archipelago, western Mediterranean

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    Luis Cardona

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Experimental fishing and visual censuses were conducted at nine Posidonia oceanica sites off Minorca exposed to different levels of fishing intensity to assess the effects of recreational fishing on the species that dominate the catch. Total catch per unit effort (CPUE was highly seasonal and a statistically significant interaction term existed between the season and the level of fishing intensity. CPUE decreased everywhere at the end of the fishing season (autumn, but such a reduction was more intense at those sites exposed to the highest level of fishing. Visual censuses confirmed that there was a lower abundance of vulnerable fish in autumn. Differences vanished in spring probably because fish reshuffled between the considered sites throughout the winter, when the level of fishing intensity was extremely low. Although the average total lengths of Serranus scriba and Diplodus annularis were unaffected by the level of fishing intensity, the average total length of Coris julis was smaller at the most heavily fished sites. In conclusion, recreational fishing has a relevant impact on most of the exploited species and some of the seasonality reported for the Posidonia oceanica fish assemblages might be caused by the seasonality of the fishery.

  5. Legal protection is not enough: Posidonia oceanica meadows in marine protected areas are not healthier than those in unprotected areas of the northwest Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montefalcone, Monica; Albertelli, Giancarlo; Morri, Carla; Parravicini, Valeriano; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2009-04-01

    Using the Conservation Index, which measures the proportional amount of dead matte relative to live Posidonia oceanica, we assessed the health of 15 P. oceanica meadows at a regional scale along the coast of Liguria (NW Mediterranean). These areas were characterized by different degrees of anthropization, from highly urbanized sites to marine protected areas. Two different scenarios were identified according to depth: in shallow zones, the health of P. oceanica meadows was related to the degree of anthropization along the coastline. In contrast, in deep zones, most meadows exhibited poor health, independent of both the degree of disturbance and the legal measures protecting the area. Working synergistically with the regional impact of increased water turbidity, local impacts from the coast were recognized as the main causes of the severe regression of most Ligurian P. oceanica meadows. We conclude that marine protected areas alone are not sufficient to guarantee the protection of P. oceanica meadows. We emphasize the need for a management network involving the Sites of Community Interest (SCIs) containing P. oceanica meadows.

  6. Study of the interaction mechanism in the biosorption of copper(II) ions onto posidonia oceanica and peat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izquierdo, Marta; Marzal, Paula; Gabaldon, Carmen [Departamento de Ingenieria Quimica, Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieria, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia (Spain); Silvetti, Margherita; Castaldi, Paola [Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e Agrarie e Biotecnologie Agro-Alimentari, Sez. Chimica Agraria ed Ambientale, University of Sassari, Sassari (Italy)

    2012-04-15

    A systematic approach was used to characterize the biosorption of copper(II) onto two biosorbents, Posidonia oceanica and peat, focusing on the interaction mechanisms, the copper(II) sorption-desorption process and the thermal behavior of the biosorbents. Sorption isotherms at pH 4-6 were obtained and the experimental data were fitted to the Langmuir model with a maximum uptake (q{sub max}) at pH 6 of 85.78 and 49.69 mg g{sup -1}, for P. oceanica and peat, respectively. A sequential desorption (SD) with water, Ca(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, and EDTA was applied to copper-saturated biosorbents. Around 65-70% copper(II) were desorbed with EDTA, indicating that this heavy metal was strongly bound. The reversibility of copper(II) sorption was obtained by desorption with HCl and SD. Fourier transform IR spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis detected the presence of peaks associated with OH groups in aromatic and aliphatic structures, CH, CH{sub 2}, and CH{sub 3} in aliphatic structures, COO{sup -} and COOH groups and unsaturated aromatic structures on the surface of both biosorbents, as well as peaks corresponding to Si-O groups on the surface of peat. The results of SEM-EDX and FTIR analysis of copper-saturated samples demonstrated that ion exchange was one of the mechanisms involved in copper(II) retention. Thermal analysis of biosorbent samples showed that copper(II) sorption-desorption processes affected the thermal stability of the biosorbents. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  7. Variability in patterns of macro-epiphytic leaf community of Posidonia oceanica in the Islands of Kuriate: Western coast of Tunisia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Brahim Mounir

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To test the response of the epiphyte community structure and biomass of the Posidonia oceanica (P. oceanica leaves to natural disturbance. Methods: Sampling of P. oceanica was carried in winter and summer on three sites in Kuriate Islands (western coast of Tunisia subject to different environments disturbances. Shoots of P. oceanica were preserved in seawater-formalin (5% solution for macro-epiphytes species identification in the laboratory. The samples were examined for leaf surface per shoot and the coverage (expressed as a percentage of leaf surface of each morphological group, then carefully scraped with a razor blade. Epiphytes and scraped leaves were oven-dried at 60 °C for 48 h. Biomass was expressed as g dry weight/shoot. Results: The biomass and the percentage cover of macro-epiphytic leaves showed seasonal variation. The highest values of epiphytic leaves were detected in summer whereas the lowest values were registered during winter. ANOVA showed that Kuriate Islands functioned as a single ecosystem in terms assemblage of macro-epiphytic leaves since no significant variation was detected for biomass and percentage cover at the scale site. Our study showed that natural disturbance had no effect on the assemblage distribution and the biomass of macro-epiphyte on the leaves of P. oceanica between the scales of site, whereas variability at the smallest scale was detected. ANOVA showed that exposure to wind and current had no effect on the biomass of macro-epiphytes leaves. Conclusions: Biomass and assemblages of macro-epiphytic leaves of P. oceanica were high in summer and homogenous between all sites investigated. Natural disturbances such as exposure to wind have no effect on the distribution and the biomass of epiphytes on the shallow meadow.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Impact of ISWEC sea wave energy converter on posidonia oceanica meadows assessed by satellite remote sensing in the coastal areas of Pantelleria island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borfecchia, Flavio; Micheli, Carla; Belmonte, Alessandro; De Cecco, Luigi; Sannino, Gianmaria; Bracco, Giovanni; Mattiazzo, Giuliana; Vittoria Struglia, Maria

    2016-04-01

    Marine renewable energy extraction plays a key role both in energy security of small islands and in mitigation of climate change, but at the same time poses the important question of monitoring the effects of the interaction of such devices with the marine environment. In this work we present a new methodology, integrating satellite remote sensing techniques with in situ observations and biophysical parameters analysis, for the monitoring and mapping of Posidonia Oceanica (PO) meadows in shallow coastal waters. This methodology has been applied to the coastal area offshore Pantelleria Island (Southern Mediterranean) where the first Italian Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC) prototype has been recently installed. The prototype, developed by the Polytechnic of Turin consists of a platform 8 meters wide, 15 meters long and 4.5 meters high, moored at about 800 meters from the shore and at 31 m depth. It is characterized by high conversion efficiency, resulting from its adaptability to different wave conditions, and a limited environmental impact due to its mooring innovative method with absence of fixed anchors to the seabed. The island of Pantelleria, is characterized by high transparency of coastal waters and PO meadows ecosystems with still significant levels of biodiversity and specific adaptation to accentuated hydrodynamics of these shores. Although ISWEC is a low-impact mooring inertial system able to ensure a reliable connection to the electric grid with minimal impact on seagrass growing in the seabed, the prototype installation and operation involves an interaction with local PO and seagrass meadows and possible water transparency decreasing. In this view monitoring of local PO ecosystem is mandatory in order to allow the detection of potential stress and damages due to ISWEC related activities and/or other factors. However, monitoring and collection of accurate and repetitive information over large areas of the necessary parameters by means of

  11. Whole-system metabolism and CO2 fluxes in a Mediterranean Bay dominated by seagrass beds (Palma Bay, NW Mediterranean)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gazeau, F.P.H.; Duarte, C.M.; Gattuso, J.P.; Barrón, C.; Navarro, N.; Ruiz, S.; Prairie, Y.T.; Calleja, M.; Delille, B.; Frankignoulle, M.; Borges, A.V.

    2005-01-01

    Planktonic and benthic incubations (bare and Posidonia oceanica vegetated sediments) were performed at monthly intervals from March 2001 to October 2002 in a seagrass vegetated area of the Bay of Palma (Mallorca, Spain). Results showed a contrast between the planktonic compartment, which was on

  12. Human impact, geomorphological and bio-environmental indicators for mapping and monitoring of a Mediterranean urban-beach with Posidonia oceanica (Gulf of Cagliari-Sardinia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Muro, Sandro; Pusceddu, Nicola; Frongia, Paolo; Buosi, Carla; Passarella, Marinella; Ibba, Angelo

    2016-04-01

    This work describes the human conditioned evolution (medium term) and the short term dynamics (mainly sediment transport) in southern Sardinia beach (between Giorgino and Cala d'Orri, about 11km), composed of fine to coarse quartz sand, backed by dune ridges and lagoons. The study was founded by NEPTUNE Project, Tender6 (L n. 7/2007). Geomorphological and bio-environmental indicators as: urbanization and coastal defence expansion, dune and beach changes, biotic indices (benthic foraminifera and Posidonia meadow) have been used. Medium-term evolution, over a period of 60 years, was carried out by ortho-images (1954-2015) for reconstructing coastline changes at this temporal scale. The main modifications were the building of the canal harbor, the consequent loss of 2.5km of beach, and the construction of several coastal defense structures, which caused asymmetric accumulations (lee zones) and erosion areas. Short-term variations have been periodically monitored (2014-2015) during 5 different field surveys (DGPS and Echo-sounder data) obtaining topo-bathymetric digital models. Sedimentary and hydrodynamic characteristics have been studied. Wave propagation, coastal currents and sediment transport, have been simulated through numerical models within Delft3D software. The results obtained allowed to visualize the response of the beach to wave stress, forced from SW, S, SE (Cagliari buoy and weather data). The comparison between data collected, thematic maps and models allowed to identify the main controlling factors and distribution mechanisms of the sedimentary paths on the shoreface. Those human modifications (e.g. building of the canal harbour and jetties, lagoon mouths stabilization, the consequent modified hydrodynamics and bottom trawling) have direct influence on the Posidonia oceanica and on its upper limit. In 2002, the Italian Environment Office reported a wide area (between -4m and -20m) of degraded Posidonia and dead matte in front of the study beach

  13. Settlement pattern of Posidonia oceanica epibionts along a gradient of ocean acidification: an approach with mimics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. DONNARUMMA

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Effects of ocean acidification (OA on the colonization/settlement pattern of the epibiont community of the leaves and rhizomesof the Mediterranean seagrass,Posidoniaoceanica, have been studied at volcanic CO2vents off Ischia (Italy, using “mimics”as artificial substrates. The experiments were conducted in shallowPosidoniastands (2-3 m depth, in three stations on the northand three on the south sides of the study area, distributed along a pH gradient. At each station, 4 rhizome mimics and 6 artificialleaves were collected every three months (Sept 2009-Sept 2010. The epibionts on both leaf and rhizome mimics showed clearchanges along the pH gradient; coralline algae and calcareous invertebrates (bryozoans, serpulid polychaetes and barnacles weredominant at control stations but progressively disappeared at the most acidified stations. In these extremely low pH sites theassemblage was dominated by filamentous algae and non calcareous taxa such as hydroids and tunicates. Settlement pattern onthe artificial leaves and rhizome mimics over time showed a consistent distribution pattern along the pH gradient and highlightedthe peak of recruitment of the various organisms in different periods according to their life history.Posidoniamimics at theacidified station showed a poor and very simplified assemblage where calcifying epibionts seemed less competitive for space. Thisprofound difference in epiphyte communities in low pH conditions suggests cascading effects on the food web of the meadow and,consequently, on the functioning of the system

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

    , 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

  15. El conocimiento de la Posidonia oceanica y sus funciones ecológicas como herramienta de gestión litoral. La realización de encuestas a los usuarios de playas y calas de la isla de Menorca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesc Xavier Roig i Munar

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available La Posidonia oceanica juega un papel primordial como producción de sedimento y defensa de las playas y calas de la isla de Menorca. La realización de encuestas de percepción a los usuarios de playa sobre el conocimiento y las funciones ecológicas de esta planta resulta una herramienta de gestión primordial para la conservación y mantenimiento de los espacios litorales insulares.

  16. Ictioplancton asociado a praderas de Posidonia oceanica durante la época estival en la reserva marina de Tabarca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Del Pilar Ruso, Y.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Ichthyoplankton associated with P. oceanica meadows during the summer season in the Tabarca marine reserveHabitat complexity plays a key role in survival in early stages of fish larvae. We investigated fish larvae assemblage and its relation with P. oceanicaseagrass at the Tabarca Island Marine Reserve. Samples were taken using moored plankton nets at two depths (0 and 2 m from P. oceanica meadow over five consecutive days in July 2000. Three hundred and fifty¿three larvae were captured. The mostabundant families were Clupeidae (31%, Sparidae (27%, Engraulidae (11% and Gobiidae (6%. We observed that small fish larvae were able to select nursery areas. We conclude that the P. oceanica leaf canopy is a major factor in structuring the larval fish assemblages of some demersal species.

  17. Effects of high salinity from desalination brine on growth, photosynthesis, water relations and osmolyte concentrations of seagrass Posidonia australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambridge, M L; Zavala-Perez, A; Cawthray, G R; Mondon, J; Kendrick, G A

    2017-02-15

    Highly saline brines from desalination plants expose seagrass communities to salt stress. We examined effects of raised salinity (46 and 54psu) compared with seawater controls (37psu) over 6weeks on the seagrass, Posidonia australis, growing in tanks with the aim of separating effects of salinity from other potentially deleterious components of brine and determining appropriate bioindicators. Plants survived exposures of 2-4weeks at 54psu, the maximum salinity of brine released from a nearby desalination plant. Salinity significantly reduced maximum quantum yield of PSII (chlorophyll a fluorescence emissions). Leaf water potential (Ψ w ) and osmotic potential (Ψ π ) were more negative at increased salinity, while turgor pressure (Ψ p ) was unaffected. Leaf concentrations of K + and Ca 2+ decreased, whereas concentrations of sugars (mainly sucrose) and amino acids increased. We recommend leaf osmolarity, ion, sugar and amino acid concentrations as bioindicators for salinity effects, associated with brine released in desalination plant outfalls. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Effects of high salinity from desalination brine on growth, photosynthesis, water relations and osmolyte concentrations of seagrass Posidonia australis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cambridge, M L; Zavala-Perez, A; Cawthray, G R; Mondon, J; Kendrick, G A

    2017-01-01

    Highly saline brines from desalination plants expose seagrass communities to salt stress. We examined effects of raised salinity (46 and 54 psu) compared with seawater controls (37 psu) over 6 weeks on the seagrass, Posidonia australis, growing in tanks with the aim of separating effects of salinity from other potentially deleterious components of brine and determining appropriate bioindicators. Plants survived exposures of 2–4 weeks at 54 psu, the maximum salinity of brine released from a nearby desalination plant. Salinity significantly reduced maximum quantum yield of PSII (chlorophyll a fluorescence emissions). Leaf water potential (Ψ w ) and osmotic potential (Ψ π ) were more negative at increased salinity, while turgor pressure (Ψ p ) was unaffected. Leaf concentrations of K + and Ca 2+ decreased, whereas concentrations of sugars (mainly sucrose) and amino acids increased. We recommend leaf osmolarity, ion, sugar and amino acid concentrations as bioindicators for salinity effects, associated with brine released in desalination plant outfalls. - Highlights: • We separated salt effects of desalination brine from other deleterious components. • Sublethal salinity stress depended on both salinity increase and exposure time. • Very effective osmoregulation led to tolerance of short intervals of high salinity.

  19. Enhancement of biofuels production by means of co-pyrolysis of Posidonia oceanica (L.) and frying oil wastes: Experimental study and process modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaafouri, Kaouther; Ben Hassen Trabelsi, Aida; Krichah, Samah; Ouerghi, Aymen; Aydi, Abdelkarim; Claumann, Carlos Alberto; André Wüst, Zibetti; Naoui, Silm; Bergaoui, Latifa; Hamdi, Moktar

    2016-05-01

    Energy recovery from lignocellulosic solid marine wastes, Posidonia oceanica wastes (POW) with slow pyrolysis responds to the growing trend of alternative energies as well as waste management. Physicochemical, thermogravimetric (TG/DTG) and spectroscopic (FTIR) characterizations of POW were performed. POW were first converted by pyrolysis at different temperatures (450°C, 500°C, 550°C and 600°C) using a fixed-bed reactor. The obtained products (bio-oil, syngas and bio char) were analyzed. Since the bio-oil yield obtained from POW pyrolysis is low (2wt.%), waste frying oil (WFO) was added as a co-substrate in order to improve of biofuels production. The co-pyrolysis gave a better yield of liquid organic fraction (37wt.%) as well as syngas (CH4,H2…) with a calorific value around 20MJ/kg. The stoichiometric models of both pyrolysis and co-pyrolysis reactions were performed according to the biomass formula: CαHβOγNδSε. The thermal kinetic decomposition of solids was validated through linearized Arrhenius model. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Microbiological parameters and maturity degree during composting of Posidonia oceanica residues mixed with vegetable wastes in semi-arid pedo-climatic condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saidi, Neyla; Kouki, Soulwene; M'hiri, Fadhel; Jedidi, Naceur; Mahrouk, Meriam; Hassen, Abdennaceur; Ouzari, Hadda

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the biological stability and maturity degree of compost during a controlled pile-composting trial of mixed vegetable residues (VR) collected from markets of Tunis City with residues of Posidonia oceanica (PoR), collected from Tunis beaches. The accumulation in beaches (as well as their removal) constitutes a serious environmental problem in all Mediterranean countries particularly in Tunisia. Aerobic-thermophilic composting is the most reasonable way to profit highly-valuable content of organic matter in these wastes for agricultural purposes. The physical, chemical, and biological parameters were monitored during composting over 150 d. The most appropriate parameters were selected to establish the maturity degree. The main result of this research was the deduction of the following maturity criterion: (a) C/N ratio 80%. These five parameters, considered jointly are indicative of a high maturity degree and thus of a high-quality organic amendment which employed in a rational way, may improve soil fertility and soil quality. The mature compost was relatively rich in N (13.0 g/kg), P (4.74 g/kg) and MgO (15.80 g/kg). Thus composting definitively constitutes the most optimal option to exploit these wastes.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Whole-system metabolism and CO2 fluxes in a Mediterranean Bay dominated by seagrass beds (Palma Bay, NW Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gazeau

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Planktonic and benthic incubations (bare and Posidonia oceanica vegetated sediments were performed at monthly intervals from March 2001 to October 2002 in a seagrass vegetated area of the Bay of Palma (Mallorca, Spain. Results showed a contrast between the planktonic compartment, which was on average near metabolic balance (−4.6±5.9 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 and the benthic compartment, which was autotrophic (17.6±8.5 mmol O2 m-2 d-1. During two cruises in March and June 2002, planktonic and benthic incubations were performed at several stations in the bay to estimate the whole-system metabolism and to examine its relationship with partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2 and apparent oxygen utilisation (AOU spatial patterns. Moreover, during the second cruise, when the residence time of water was long enough, net ecosystem production (NEP estimates based on incubations were compared, over the Posidonia oceanica meadow, to rates derived from dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and oxygen (O2 mass balance budgets. These budgets provided NEP estimates in fair agreement with those derived from direct metabolic estimates based on incubated samples over the Posidonia oceanica meadow. Whereas the seagrass community was autotrophic, the excess organic carbon production therein could only balance the planktonic heterotrophy in shallow waters relative to the maximum depth of the bay (55 m. This generated a horizontal gradient from autotrophic or balanced communities in the shallow seagrass-covered areas, to strongly heterotrophic communities in deeper areas of the bay. It seems therefore that, on an annual scale in the whole bay, the organic matter production by the Posidonia oceanica may not be sufficient to fully compensate the heterotrophy of the planktonic compartment, which may require external organic carbon inputs, most likely from land.

  4. Development of an Efficient Protein Extraction Method Compatible with LC-MS/MS for Proteome Mapping in Two Australian Seagrasses Zostera muelleri and Posidonia australis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhijian Jiang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The availability of the first complete genome sequence of the marine flowering plant Zostera marina (commonly known as seagrass in early 2016, is expected to significantly raise the impact of seagrass proteomics. Seagrasses are marine ecosystem engineers that are currently declining worldwide at an alarming rate due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Seagrasses (especially species of the genus Zostera are compromised for proteomic studies primarily due to the lack of efficient protein extraction methods because of their recalcitrant cell wall which is rich in complex polysaccharides and a high abundance of secondary metabolites in their cells. In the present study, three protein extraction methods that are commonly used in plant proteomics i.e., phenol (P; trichloroacetic acid/acetone/SDS/phenol (TASP; and borax/polyvinyl-polypyrrolidone/phenol (BPP extraction, were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively based on two dimensional isoelectric focusing (2D-IEF maps and LC-MS/MS analysis using the two most abundant Australian seagrass species, namely Zostera muelleri and Posidonia australis. All three tested methods produced high quality protein extracts with excellent 2D-IEF maps in P. australis. However, the BPP method produces better results in Z. muelleri compared to TASP and P. Therefore, we further modified the BPP method (M-BPP by homogenizing the tissue in a modified protein extraction buffer containing both ionic and non-ionic detergents (0.5% SDS; 1.5% Triton X-100, 2% PVPP and protease inhibitors. Further, the extracted proteins were solubilized in 0.5% of zwitterionic detergent (C7BzO instead of 4% CHAPS. This slight modification to the BPP method resulted in a higher protein yield, and good quality 2-DE maps with a higher number of protein spots in both the tested seagrasses. Further, the M-BPP method was successfully utilized in western-blot analysis of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC—a key enzyme for carbon

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Depth-acclimation of photosynthesis, morphology and demography of Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, B.; Enríquez, Susana; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2002-01-01

    and roots at greater depths, thereby promoting the balance between photosynthesis and respiration in the shoots. C. nodosa, being a potentially fast-growing species compared to P. oceanica, had higher maximum photosynthetic and respiration rates as well as light compensation points for photosynthesis....... Photosynthetic efficiency at low light, however, was almost the same for the 2 species as suggested by the relatively small differences in mass-specific light absorption. Only C. nodosa acclimated physiologically to depth as light-use efficiency increased, and light compensation point declined significantly from...... shallow to deep water. P. oceanica, however, possessed low respiration rates and slightly lower light compensation points values than C. nodosa throughout the depth range. Shoot mortality and recruitment rates were unaffected by rooting depth. C. nodosa stand experienced fast shoot turnover compared to P...

  8. Establishing research strategies, methodologies and technologies to link genomics and proteomics to seagrass productivity, community metabolism, and ecosystem carbon fluxes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzuca, Silvia; Björk, M; Beer, S; Felisberto, P; Gobert, S; Procaccini, G; Runcie, J; Silva, J; Borges, A V; Brunet, C; Buapet, P; Champenois, W; Costa, M M; D'Esposito, D; Gullström, M; Lejeune, P; Lepoint, G; Olivé, I; Rasmusson, L M; Richir, J; Ruocco, M; Serra, I A; Spadafora, A; Santos, Rui

    2013-01-01

    A complete understanding of the mechanistic basis of marine ecosystem functioning is only possible through integrative and interdisciplinary research. This enables the prediction of change and possibly the mitigation of the consequences of anthropogenic impacts. One major aim of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action ES0609 "Seagrasses productivity. From genes to ecosystem management," is the calibration and synthesis of various methods and the development of innovative techniques and protocols for studying seagrass ecosystems. During 10 days, 20 researchers representing a range of disciplines (molecular biology, physiology, botany, ecology, oceanography, and underwater acoustics) gathered at The Station de Recherches Sous-marines et Océanographiques (STARESO, Corsica) to study together the nearby Posidonia oceanica meadow. STARESO is located in an oligotrophic area classified as "pristine site" where environmental disturbances caused by anthropogenic pressure are exceptionally low. The healthy P. oceanica meadow, which grows in front of the research station, colonizes the sea bottom from the surface to 37 m depth. During the study, genomic and proteomic approaches were integrated with ecophysiological and physical approaches with the aim of understanding changes in seagrass productivity and metabolism at different depths and along daily cycles. In this paper we report details on the approaches utilized and we forecast the potential of the data that will come from this synergistic approach not only for P. oceanica but for seagrasses in general.

  9. Establishing research strategies, methodologies and technologies to link genomics and proteomics to seagrass productivity, community metabolism and ecosystem carbon fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia eMazzuca

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A complete understanding of the mechanistic basis of marine ecosystem functioning is only possible through integrative and interdisciplinary research. This enables the prediction of change and possibly the mitigation of the consequences of anthropogenic impacts. One major aim of the COST Action ES0609 Seagrasses productivity. From genes to ecosystem management, is the calibration and synthesis of various methods and the development of innovative techniques and protocols for studying seagrass ecosystems.During ten days, twenty researchers representing a range of disciplines (molecular biology, physiology, botany, ecology, oceanography, underwater acoustics gathered at the marine station of STARESO (Corsica to study together the nearby Posidonia oceanica meadow. The Station de Recherches Sous-marine et Océanographiques (STARESO is located in an oligotrophic area classified as "pristine site" where environmental disturbances caused by anthropogenic pressure are exceptionally low. The healthy P. oceanica meadow, that grows in front of the lab, colonizes the sea bottom from the surface to 37 m depth. During the study, genomic and proteomic approaches were integrated with ecophysiological and physical approaches with the aim of understanding changes in seagrass productivity and metabolism at different depths and along daily cycles. In this paper we report details on the approaches utilized and we forecast the potential of the data that will come from this synergistic approach not only for P. oceanica but for seagrasses in general.

  10. 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.

  11. Physiological and molecular evidence of differential short-term heat tolerance in Mediterranean seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Guirao, Lazaro; Ruiz, Juan M; Dattolo, Emanuela; Garcia-Munoz, Rocio; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2016-06-27

    The increase in extreme heat events associated to global warming threatens seagrass ecosystems, likely by affecting key plant physiological processes such as photosynthesis and respiration. Understanding species' ability to acclimate to warming is crucial to better predict their future trends. Here, we study tolerance to warming in two key Mediterranean seagrasses, Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. Stress responses of shallow and deep plants were followed during and after short-term heat exposure in mesocosms by coupling photo-physiological measures with analysis of expression of photosynthesis and stress-related genes. Contrasting tolerance and capacity to heat acclimation were shown by shallow and deep P. oceanica ecotypes. While shallow plants acclimated through respiratory homeostasis and activation of photo-protective mechanisms, deep ones experienced photosynthetic injury and impaired carbon balance. This suggests that P. oceanica ecotypes are thermally adapted to local conditions and that Mediterranean warming will likely diversely affect deep and shallow meadow stands. On the other hand, contrasting mechanisms of heat-acclimation were adopted by the two species. P. oceanica regulates photosynthesis and respiration at the level of control plants while C. nodosa balances both processes at enhanced rates. These acclimation discrepancies are discussed in relation to inherent attributes of the two species.

  12. Physiological and molecular evidence of differential short-term heat tolerance in Mediterranean seagrasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Guirao, Lazaro; Ruiz, Juan M.; Dattolo, Emanuela; Garcia-Munoz, Rocio; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2016-06-01

    The increase in extreme heat events associated to global warming threatens seagrass ecosystems, likely by affecting key plant physiological processes such as photosynthesis and respiration. Understanding species’ ability to acclimate to warming is crucial to better predict their future trends. Here, we study tolerance to warming in two key Mediterranean seagrasses, Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. Stress responses of shallow and deep plants were followed during and after short-term heat exposure in mesocosms by coupling photo-physiological measures with analysis of expression of photosynthesis and stress-related genes. Contrasting tolerance and capacity to heat acclimation were shown by shallow and deep P. oceanica ecotypes. While shallow plants acclimated through respiratory homeostasis and activation of photo-protective mechanisms, deep ones experienced photosynthetic injury and impaired carbon balance. This suggests that P. oceanica ecotypes are thermally adapted to local conditions and that Mediterranean warming will likely diversely affect deep and shallow meadow stands. On the other hand, contrasting mechanisms of heat-acclimation were adopted by the two species. P. oceanica regulates photosynthesis and respiration at the level of control plants while C. nodosa balances both processes at enhanced rates. These acclimation discrepancies are discussed in relation to inherent attributes of the two species.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Cumulative impacts from multiple human activities on seagrass meadows in eastern Mediterranean waters: the case of Saronikos Gulf (Aegean Sea, Greece).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodersen, Maren Myrto; Pantazi, Maria; Kokkali, Athina; Panayotidis, Panayotis; Gerakaris, Vasilis; Maina, Irida; Kavadas, Stefanos; Kaberi, Helen; Vassilopoulou, Vassiliki

    2017-12-05

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) addresses the fundamental need to account for cumulative impacts of human activities with the aim of sustainably delivering ecosystem services. The Saronikos Gulf, a large embayment of the Aegean Sea, provides a wide range of ecosystem services that are impacted by multiple human activities, deriving from the metropolitan area of Athens (situated at the northeast part of the Gulf). The anthropogenic impacts affect the status of several marine ecosystem components, e.g., seagrass meadows. Cymodocea nodosa meadows are only present at the most confined western part of the Gulf, whereas Posidonia oceanica meadows are mainly distributed in the inner and outer part of the Gulf. The aim of this study is to assess the cumulative impacts from multiple human activities on the seagrass meadows in the Gulf. The main results indicated that most impacted meadows are P. oceanica in the inner part of the Gulf, adjacent to the most urbanized coastal areas, and near port infrastructures. Land-based pollution, as well as physical damage and loss seem to be the main pressures exerted on the meadows. Understanding cumulative impacts is crucial for informing policy decisions under an EBM approach.

  17. Laboratory investigation of the acoustic response of seagrass tissue in the frequency band 0.5-2.5 kHz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Preston S; Dunton, Kenneth H

    2009-04-01

    Previous in situ investigations of seagrass have revealed acoustic phenomena that depend on plant density, tissue gas content, and free bubbles produced by photosynthetic activity, but corresponding predictive models that could be used to optimize acoustic remote sensing, shallow water sonar, and mine hunting applications have not appeared. To begin to address this deficiency, low frequency (0.5-2.5 kHz) acoustic laboratory experiments were conducted on three freshly collected Texas Gulf Coast seagrass species. A one-dimensional acoustic resonator technique was used to assess the biomass and effective acoustic properties of the leaves and rhizomes of Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass), Syringodium filiforme (manatee grass), and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). Independent biomass and gas content estimates were obtained via microscopic cross-section imagery. The acoustic results were compared to model predictions based on Wood's equation for a two-phase medium. The effective sound speed in the plant-filled resonator was strongly dependent on plant biomass, but the Wood's equation model (based on tissue gas content alone) could not predict the effective sound speed for the low irradiance conditions of the experiment, in which no free bubbles were generated by photosynthesis. The results corroborate previously published results obtained in situ for another seagrass species, Posidonia oceanica.

  18. 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

    . nodosa has a higher tolerance to hypersaline conditions than the highly sensitive Posidonia oceanica, the other dominant Mediterranean seagrass, which is limited to marine environments with stable salinities.

  19. Pervasive plastisphere: First record of plastics in egagropiles (Posidonia spheroids).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrelli, Loris; Di Gennaro, Alessia; Menegoni, Patrizia; Lecce, Francesca; Poeta, Gianluca; Acosta, Alicia T R; Battisti, Corrado; Iannilli, Valentina

    2017-10-01

    The ability of Posidonia oceanica spheroids (egagropiles, EG) to incorporate plastics was investigated along the central Italy coast. Plastics were found in the 52.84% of the egagropiles collected (n = 685). The more represented size of plastics has range within 1-1.5 cm, comparable to the size of natural fibres. Comparing plastics occurring both in EG and in surrounding sand, Polyethylene, Polyester and Nylon were the most abundant polymers in EG, while PSE, PE, PP and PET were the most represented in sand. In particular PE and PP were significantly more represented in sand, while PE, Nylon, Polyester and microfibers (as pills) were more represented in EG. Within plastics found in EG, 26.9% were microfibers as small pills (PET mixing. These microfibers might be produced by discharges from washing machines and currently represents an emerging pollutant with widespread distribution in marine and freshwater ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Short-term Responses of Posidonia australis to Changes in Light Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Strydom

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows are highly productive ecosystems that provide ecosystem services to the coastal zone but are declining globally, particularly due to anthropogenic activities that reduce the quantity of light reaching seagrasses, such as dredging, river discharge and eutrophication. Light quality (the spectral composition of the light is also altered by these anthropogenic stressors as the differential attenuation of wavelengths of light is caused by materials within the water column. This study addressed the effect of altered light quality on different life-history stages of the seagrass Posidonia australis, a persistent, habitat-forming species in Australia. Aquarium-based experiments were conducted to determine how adult shoots and seedlings respond to blue (peak λ = 451 nm; green (peak λ = 522 nm; yellow (peak λ = 596 nm and red (peak λ = 673 nm wavelengths with a control of full-spectrum light (λ = 400 – 700 nm, at 200 μmol photons m-2 s-1. Posidonia australis adults did not respond to changes in light quality relative to full-spectrum light, demonstrating a capacity to obtain enough photons from a range of wavelengths across the visible spectrum to maintain short-term growth at high irradiances. Posidonia australis seedlings (<4 months old grown in blue light showed a significant increase in xanthophyll concentrations when compared to plants grown in full-spectrum, demonstrating a pigment acclimation response to blue light. These results differed significantly from negative responses to changes in light quality recently described for Halophila ovalis, a colonizing seagrass species. Persistent seagrasses such as P. australis, appear to be better at tolerating short-term changes in light quality compared to colonizing species when sufficient PPFD is present.

  1. Key biogeochemical factors affecting soil carbon storage in Posidonia meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar

    2016-08-15

    Biotic and abiotic factors influence the accumulation of organic carbon (C-org) in seagrass ecosystems. We surveyed Posidonia sinuosa meadows growing in different water depths to assess the variability in the sources, stocks and accumulation rates of Corg. We show that over the last 500 years, P. sinuosa meadows closer to the upper limit of distribution (at 2-4 m depth) accumulated 3- to 4-fold higher C-org stocks (averaging 6.3 kg C-org m(-2) at 3- to 4-fold higher rates (12.8 gC(org) m(-2) yr(-1) ) compared to meadows closer to the deep limits of distribution (at 6-8 m depth; 1.8 kg C-org m(-2) and 3.6 g C-org m(-2) yr(-1) . In shallower meadows, C-org stocks were mostly derived from seagrass detritus (88% in average) compared to meadows closer to the deep limit of distribution (45% on average). In addition, soil accumulation rates and fine-grained sediment content (< 0.125 mm) in shallower meadows (2.0 mm yr(-1) and 9 %, respectively) were approximately 2-fold higher than in deeper meadows (1.2 mm yr(-1) and 5 %, respectively). The C-org stocks and accumulation rates accumulated over the last 500 years in bare sediments (0.6 kg C-org m(-2) and 1.2 g C-org m(-2) yr(-1)were 3- to 11-fold lower than in P. sinuosa meadows, while fine-grained sediment content (1 %) and seagrass detritus contribution to the Corg pool (20 %) were 8- and 3-fold lower than in Posidonia meadows, respectively. The patterns found support the hypothesis that Corg storage in seagrass soils is influenced by interactions of biological (e.g., meadow productivity, cover and density), chemical (e.g., recalcitrance of Corg stocks) and physical (e.g., hydrodynamic energy and soil accumulation rates) factors within the meadow. We conclude that there is a need to improve global estimates of seagrass carbon storage accounting for biogeochemical factors driving variability within habitats.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Key biogeochemical factors affecting soil carbon storage in Posidonia meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar; Ricart, Aurora M.; Lavery, Paul S.; Mateo, Miguel Angel; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Masque, Pere; Rozaimi, Mohammad; Steven, Andy; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors influence the accumulation of organic carbon (C-org) in seagrass ecosystems. We surveyed Posidonia sinuosa meadows growing in different water depths to assess the variability in the sources, stocks and accumulation rates of Corg. We show that over the last 500 years, P. sinuosa meadows closer to the upper limit of distribution (at 2-4 m depth) accumulated 3- to 4-fold higher C-org stocks (averaging 6.3 kg C-org m(-2) at 3- to 4-fold higher rates (12.8 gC(org) m(-2) yr(-1) ) compared to meadows closer to the deep limits of distribution (at 6-8 m depth; 1.8 kg C-org m(-2) and 3.6 g C-org m(-2) yr(-1) . In shallower meadows, C-org stocks were mostly derived from seagrass detritus (88% in average) compared to meadows closer to the deep limit of distribution (45% on average). In addition, soil accumulation rates and fine-grained sediment content (< 0.125 mm) in shallower meadows (2.0 mm yr(-1) and 9 %, respectively) were approximately 2-fold higher than in deeper meadows (1.2 mm yr(-1) and 5 %, respectively). The C-org stocks and accumulation rates accumulated over the last 500 years in bare sediments (0.6 kg C-org m(-2) and 1.2 g C-org m(-2) yr(-1)were 3- to 11-fold lower than in P. sinuosa meadows, while fine-grained sediment content (1 %) and seagrass detritus contribution to the Corg pool (20 %) were 8- and 3-fold lower than in Posidonia meadows, respectively. The patterns found support the hypothesis that Corg storage in seagrass soils is influenced by interactions of biological (e.g., meadow productivity, cover and density), chemical (e.g., recalcitrance of Corg stocks) and physical (e.g., hydrodynamic energy and soil accumulation rates) factors within the meadow. We conclude that there is a need to improve global estimates of seagrass carbon storage accounting for biogeochemical factors driving variability within habitats.

  5. 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

    Perception of the ecological status of European seagrasses varied greatly among species and countries. Z. noltei and Z. marina got low scores in most of the countries whereas P. oceanica was rated from “moderate” to “very good” and Cymodocea nodosa got very dissimilar scores (Fig 1. Coastal development and eutrophication were reported as the mayor threats to seagrasses (Fig 2, in agreement with recent global or regional assessments (Grech et al., 2012, Marbà et al., 2014. Some of the respondent underlined the limited research background to score seagrass threats or their local particularity. Seagrasses have been reported as uncharismatic ecosystems (Duarte et al., 2008 and this was reflected in our results: scores were low for the public and policy makers and variable for managers (Fig 1. Some respondents highlighted a differential awareness among species (higher for P. oceanica than for other co-existing species. Several management and conservation instruments are, however, increasing the seagrass awareness in Europe, such as the use of seagrasses as indicators in the Water Framework Directory (WFD and the existence of volunteer-based monitoring programmes, which typically include outreach initiatives for the general public and interactions with managers (e.g. www.lifeposidoniandalucia.es, www.famar.wordpress.com. Borum et al. (2004 stated that “several countries already have established comprehensive and advanced monitoring programmes for seagrasses, but in many European countries programmes are virtually absent”. After a decade, our survey showed that seagrass monitoring effort, although increasing, is still variable or absent in some countries (Figs 2 & 3. Similarly, the mapped area of seagrass beds is very poor in many countries (Fig 2, or only presence/absence data or roughly theoretical estimations of total area are available. Seagrass mapping and/or monitoring were reported to be unorganised (specially when various local groups and/or regional

  6. Oceanographic Multisensor Buoy Based on Low Cost Sensors for Posidonia Meadows Monitoring in Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Sendra

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available There are some underwater areas with high ecological interest that should be monitored. Posidonia and seagrasses exert considerable work in protecting the coastline from erosion. In these areas, many animals and organisms live and find the grassland food and the protection against predators. It is considered a bioindicator of the quality of coastal marine waters. It is important to monitor them and maintain these ecological communities as clean as possible. In this paper, we present an oceanographic buoy for Posidonia meadows monitoring. It is based on a set of low cost sensors which are able to collect data from water such as salinity, temperature, and turbidity and from the weather as temperature, relative humidity, and rainfall, among others. The system is mounted in a buoy which keeps it isolated to possible oxidation problems. Data gathered are processed using a microcontroller. Finally the buoy is connected with a base station placed on the mainland through a wireless connection using a FlyPort module. The network performance is checked in order to ensure that no delays will be generated on the data transmission. This proposal could be used to monitor other areas with special ecological interest and for monitoring and supervising aquaculture activities.

  7. 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...

  8. Novel Sustainable Composites Based on Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate and Seagrass Beach-CAST Fibers: Performance and Degradability in Marine Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizia Seggiani

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In order to produce sustainable, bio-based and highly biodegradable materials, composites based on poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV and fibers of Posidonia oceanica (PO, a dominant Mediterranean seagrass, were produced by simple melt mixing and characterized in terms of thermal stability, morphology and rheological/mechanical properties. In view of their potential application in marine environments, degradation of the developed composites was evaluated under simulated and real marine environmental conditions for 1 year. Using 10 wt % of acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC as a plasticizer, smooth processing was achieved for up to 30 wt % of PO fibers, despite the reduction of the melt fluidity observed with increasing fiber loading. The tensile modulus slightly increased (from 2 to 2.4 GPa while the tensile strength and the elongation decreased (from 23.6 to 21.5 MPa and from 3.2 to 1.9%, respectively by increasing the PO fiber content from 0 to 30 wt %. Interestingly, the impact resistance of the composites increased with the increasing of the PO content: the Charpy’s impact energy increased from 3.6 (without fiber to 4.4 kJ/m2 for the composite with 30 wt %. The results of the aerobic biodegradation under simulated marine conditions showed that the presence of PO fibers favored the physical disintegration of the composite increasing the biodegradation rate of the polymeric matrix: after 216 days, the composite with 20 wt % PO fibers showed a biodegradability of about 30% compared to 20% of the composite without fibers. Under real marine conditions, the specimens containing PO fibers showed higher weight losses and deterioration of tensile properties compared to those without fibers. Presumably, biodegradation occurred after colonization of the specimen, and the specimens with 20 wt % PO fibers showed well-developed biofilm consisting of bacteria and fungi on the surface after only 3 months of incubation in marine sediments, unlike the

  9. Novel Sustainable Composites Based on Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) and Seagrass Beach-CAST Fibers: Performance and Degradability in Marine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallegni, Norma; Stefanelli, Eleonora; Rossi, Alessia

    2018-01-01

    In order to produce sustainable, bio-based and highly biodegradable materials, composites based on poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and fibers of Posidonia oceanica (PO), a dominant Mediterranean seagrass, were produced by simple melt mixing and characterized in terms of thermal stability, morphology and rheological/mechanical properties. In view of their potential application in marine environments, degradation of the developed composites was evaluated under simulated and real marine environmental conditions for 1 year. Using 10 wt % of acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC) as a plasticizer, smooth processing was achieved for up to 30 wt % of PO fibers, despite the reduction of the melt fluidity observed with increasing fiber loading. The tensile modulus slightly increased (from 2 to 2.4 GPa) while the tensile strength and the elongation decreased (from 23.6 to 21.5 MPa and from 3.2 to 1.9%, respectively) by increasing the PO fiber content from 0 to 30 wt %. Interestingly, the impact resistance of the composites increased with the increasing of the PO content: the Charpy’s impact energy increased from 3.6 (without fiber) to 4.4 kJ/m2 for the composite with 30 wt %. The results of the aerobic biodegradation under simulated marine conditions showed that the presence of PO fibers favored the physical disintegration of the composite increasing the biodegradation rate of the polymeric matrix: after 216 days, the composite with 20 wt % PO fibers showed a biodegradability of about 30% compared to 20% of the composite without fibers. Under real marine conditions, the specimens containing PO fibers showed higher weight losses and deterioration of tensile properties compared to those without fibers. Presumably, biodegradation occurred after colonization of the specimen, and the specimens with 20 wt % PO fibers showed well-developed biofilm consisting of bacteria and fungi on the surface after only 3 months of incubation in marine sediments, unlike the no

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Epiphytic bryozoans on Neptune grass - a sample-based data set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepoint, Gilles; Heughebaert, André; Michel, Loïc N

    2016-01-01

    The seagrass Posidonia oceanica L. Delile, commonly known as Neptune grass, is an endemic species of the Mediterranean Sea. It hosts a distinctive and diverse epiphytic community, dominated by various macroalgal and animal organisms. Mediterranean bryozoans have been extensively studied but quantitative data assessing temporal and spatial variability have rarely been documented. In Lepoint et al. (2014a, b) occurrence and abundance data of epiphytic bryozoan communities on leaves of Posidonia oceanica inhabiting Revellata Bay (Corsica, Mediterranean Sea) were reported and trophic ecology of Electra posidoniae Gautier assessed. Here, metadata information is provided on the data set discussed in Lepoint et al. (2014a) and published on the GBIF portal as a sampling-event data set: http://ipt.biodiversity.be/resource?r=ulg_bryozoa&v=1.0). The data set is enriched by data concerning species settled on Posidonia scales (dead petiole of Posidonia leaves, remaining after limb abscission).

  13. 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

  14. First record of Ligia oceanica (Linnaeus, 1767) (Isopoda: Ligiidae) in the Canary Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Ramírez, Rubén; Riera, Rodrigo

    2013-01-01

    This study presents the first record of L. oceanica in the Canary Islands. Additionally, body features between L. oceanica and Ligia italica Fabricius, 1798, the other sea-slater inhabiting the Archipelago, were compared.

  15. 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

  16. Utilisation de Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile comme bio-indicateur de la contamination métallique

    OpenAIRE

    Lafabrie, Céline

    2007-01-01

    La zone littorale du plateau continental renferme une grande richesse écologique. Or, cette zone présente une grande fragilité vis-à-vis des xénobiotiques ; la pollution de ce milieu peut porter atteinte à la structure des biocénoses et à la productivité des écosystèmes. Les métaux sont des constituants normaux de l'environnement à l'état de traces, contrairement à de nombreux contaminants, et sont tous toxiques au dessus d'un certain seuil. A la fin des années 1970, plusieurs chercheurs prop...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    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 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The effects of short term exposure to Bass Strait crude oil and Corexit 8667 on benthic community metabolism in Posidonia australis Hook. f. dominated microcosms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatcher, A.I.; Larkum, A.W.D.

    1982-03-01

    Microcosms consisting of a sublittoral seagrass meadow from Botany Bay, N.S.W. were maintained in aquaria in a controlled environment room from March to August 1979. Oxygen production and consumption in the microcosms and leaf turnover of the seagrass, Posidonia australis Hook.f. were measured before, during and after a 7-day treatment in June with Bass Strait crude oil and the dispersant Corexit 8667. Four microcosms received oil and two of these received dispersant. The leaf turnover of P. australis was not significantly affected by the addition of oil and dispersant. Photosynthetic oxygen production decreased and respiration increased in the microcosms during treatment. In August, 40 days after treatment, oxygen production rates and P/R ratios in the oil-treated microcosms were higher than rates measured before treatment. The oil-and-dispersant-treated microcosms did not show this trend. The results of this study indicate that a more severe stress is placed on the P. australis dominated benthic community by oil and dispersant than by oil alone.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. Reproduction at the extremes: pseudovivipary, hybridization and genetic mosaicism in Posidonia australis (Posidoniaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Elizabeth A; Statton, John; Hovey, Renae; Anthony, Janet M; Dixon, Kingsley W; Kendrick, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    Organisms occupying the edges of natural geographical ranges usually survive at the extreme limits of their innate physiological tolerances. Extreme and prolonged fluctuations in environmental conditions, often associated with climate change and exacerbated at species' geographical range edges, are known to trigger alternative responses in reproduction. This study reports the first observations of adventitious inflorescence-derived plantlet formation in the marine angiosperm Posidonia australis, growing at the northern range edge (upper thermal and salinity tolerance) in Shark Bay, Western Australia. These novel plantlets are described and a combination of microsatellite DNA markers and flow cytometry is used to determine their origin. Polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers were used to generate multilocus genotypes to determine the origin of the adventitious inflorescence-derived plantlets. Ploidy and genome size were estimated using flow cytometry. All adventitious plantlets were genetically identical to the maternal plant and were therefore the product of a novel pseudoviviparous reproductive event. It was found that 87 % of the multilocus genotypes contained three alleles in at least one locus. Ploidy was identical in all sampled plants. The genome size (2 C value) for samples from Shark Bay and from a separate site much further south was not significantly different, implying they are the same ploidy level and ruling out a complete genome duplication (polyploidy). Survival at range edges often sees the development of novel responses in the struggle for survival and reproduction. This study documents a physiological response at the trailing edge, whereby reproductive strategy can adapt to fluctuating conditions and suggests that the lower-than-usual water temperature triggered unfertilized inflorescences to 'switch' to growing plantlets that were adventitious clones of their maternal parent. This may have important long-term implications as both genetic and

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Genotypic Diversity and Short-term Response to Shading Stress in a Threatened Seagrass: Does Low Diversity Mean Low Resilience?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanna M. Evans

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses that are predominantly clonal often have low levels of genetic variation within populations and predicting their response to changing conditions requires an understanding of whether genetic variation confers increased resistance to environmental stressors. A higher level of genetic diversity is assumed to benefit threatened species due to the increased likelihood of those populations having genotypes that can persist under environmental change. To test this idea, we conducted an in situ shading experiment with six geographically distinct meadows of the threatened seagrass Posidonia australis that vary in genetic diversity. Different genotypes within meadows varied widely in their physiological and growth responses to reduced light during a simulated short-term turbidity event. The majority of meadows were resistant to the sudden reduction in light availability, but a small subset of meadows with low genotypic diversity were particularly vulnerable to the early effects of shading, showing substantially reduced growth rates after only 3 weeks. Using the photosynthetic performance (maximum quantum yield of known genotypes, we simulated meadows of varying genetic diversity to show that higher diversity can increase meadow resilience to stress by ensuring a high probability of including a high-performing genotype. These results support the hypothesis that complementarity among genotypes enhances the adaptive capacity of a population, and have significant implications for the conservation of declining P. australis meadows close to the species range edge on the east coast of Australia, where the genotypic diversity is low.

  12. Genotypic Diversity and Short-term Response to Shading Stress in a Threatened Seagrass: Does Low Diversity Mean Low Resilience?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Suzanna M; Vergés, Adriana; Poore, Alistair G B

    2017-01-01

    Seagrasses that are predominantly clonal often have low levels of genetic variation within populations and predicting their response to changing conditions requires an understanding of whether genetic variation confers increased resistance to environmental stressors. A higher level of genetic diversity is assumed to benefit threatened species due to the increased likelihood of those populations having genotypes that can persist under environmental change. To test this idea, we conducted an in situ shading experiment with six geographically distinct meadows of the threatened seagrass Posidonia australis that vary in genetic diversity. Different genotypes within meadows varied widely in their physiological and growth responses to reduced light during a simulated short-term turbidity event. The majority of meadows were resistant to the sudden reduction in light availability, but a small subset of meadows with low genotypic diversity were particularly vulnerable to the early effects of shading, showing substantially reduced growth rates after only 3 weeks. Using the photosynthetic performance (maximum quantum yield) of known genotypes, we simulated meadows of varying genetic diversity to show that higher diversity can increase meadow resilience to stress by ensuring a high probability of including a high-performing genotype. These results support the hypothesis that complementarity among genotypes enhances the adaptive capacity of a population, and have significant implications for the conservation of declining P. australis meadows close to the species range edge on the east coast of Australia, where the genotypic diversity is low.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Verification of mutagen function of Zeocin in Nannochloropsis oceanica through transcriptome analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Genmei; Wang, Yamei; Guo, Li; Ding, Haiyan; Hu, Yongmei; Liang, Sijie; Zhang, Zhongyi; Yang, Guanpin

    2017-06-01

    Zeocin can cause double strand breaks of DNA and thus is frequently used as a selective antibiotic of eukaryotic Sh ble transformants. In non-transformation system, Zeocin may function as a mutagen if not totally lethal. To verify such function of Zeocin, we mutated Nannochloropsis oceanica by increasing the concentration of Zeocin in medium gradually, and isolated a N. oceanica strain (single cell culture) which survived Zeocin up to 10.0 μg mL-1. The Zeocin-tolerant strain entered the exponential growth phase later and grew slower than the wild strain. Transcriptome profiling showed that the Zeocin-tolerant N. oceanica strain survived Zeocin mainly by adapting (heritable), rather than acclimating (plastic) to Zeocin. Hence mutating N. oceanica with Zeocin was approved effective. Meanwhile, the physiological characteristics of this Zeocin-tolerant strain were demonstrated. As we proposed, N. oceanica tolerated Zeocin by strengthening its protein degradation and antioxidation. The genes controlling cell division and cellular response to stimuli may also have played important roles in the reduction of growth and the tolerance to Zeocin. Our findings evidenced that Zeocin can serve as an appropriate mutagen of microalgae. Creating variations through mutation with Zeocin may help to study the genetic basis of the traits of this monoploidy and asexual microalga, as well as improve its production.

  16. 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...

  17. Identifying critical recruitment bottlenecks limiting seedling establishment in a degraded seagrass ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statton, John; Montoya, Leonardo R; Orth, Robert J; Dixon, Kingsley W; Kendrick, Gary A

    2017-11-01

    Identifying early life-stage transitions limiting seagrass recruitment could improve our ability to target demographic processes most responsive to management. Here we determine the magnitude of life-stage transitions along gradients in physical disturbance limiting seedling establishment for the marine angiosperm, Posidonia australis. Transition matrix models and sensitivity analyses were used to identify which transitions were critical for successful seedling establishment during the first year of seed recruitment and projection models were used to predict the most appropriate environments and seeding densities. Total survival probability of seedlings was low (0.001), however, transition probabilities between life-stages differed across the environmental gradients; seedling recruitment was affected by grazing and bioturbation prevailing during the first life-stage transition (1 month), and 4-6 months later during the third life-stage transition when establishing seedlings are physically removed by winter storms. Models projecting population growth from different starting seed densities showed that seeds could replace other more labour intensive and costly methods, such as transplanting adult shoots, if disturbances are moderated sufficiently and if large numbers of seed can be collected in sufficient quantity and delivered to restoration sites efficiently. These outcomes suggest that by improving management of early demographic processes, we could increase recruitment in restoration programs.

  18. Engineering the Chloroplast Genome of Oleaginous Marine Microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qinhua Gan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plastid engineering offers an important tool to fill the gap between the technical and the enormous potential of microalgal photosynthetic cell factory. However, to date, few reports on plastid engineering in industrial microalgae have been documented. This is largely due to the small cell sizes and complex cell-wall structures which make these species intractable to current plastid transformation methods (i.e., biolistic transformation and polyethylene glycol-mediated transformation. Here, employing the industrial oleaginous microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica as a model, an electroporation-mediated chloroplast transformation approach was established. Fluorescent microscopy and laser confocal scanning microscopy confirmed the expression of the green fluorescence protein, driven by the endogenous plastid promoter and terminator. Zeocin-resistance selection led to an acquisition of homoplasmic strains of which a stable and site-specific recombination within the chloroplast genome was revealed by sequencing and DNA gel blotting. This demonstration of electroporation-mediated chloroplast transformation opens many doors for plastid genome editing in industrial microalgae, particularly species of which the chloroplasts are recalcitrant to chemical and microparticle bombardment transformation.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Back to the sea twice: identifying candidate plant genes for molecular evolution to marine life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reusch Thorsten BH

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. Results In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. Conclusions These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence.

  2. Back to the sea twice: identifying candidate plant genes for molecular evolution to marine life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissler, Lothar; Codoñer, Francisco M; Gu, Jenny; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Olsen, Jeanine L; Procaccini, Gabriele; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2011-01-12

    Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica) and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Shale oil potential and thermal maturity of the Lower Toarcian Posidonia Shale in NW Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Song, J.; Littke, R.; Weniger, P.; Ostertag-Henning, C.; Nelskamp, S.

    2015-01-01

    A suite of drilling cores and outcrop samples of the Lower Toarcian Posidonia Shale (PS) were collected from multiple locations including the Swabian Alb and Franconian Alb of Southwest-Germany, Runswick Bay of UK and Loon op Zand well (LOZ-1) of the West Netherlands Basin. In order to assess the

  6. Geomechanical and anisotropic acoustic properties of Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shales from Whitby (UK)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhubayev, Alimzhan; Houben, Maartje|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370588843; Smeulders, David; Barnhoorn, Auke|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304843636

    2014-01-01

    The Posidonia Shale Formation (PSF) is one of the possible resource shales for unconventional gas in Northern Europe and currently is of great interest to hydrocarbon exploration and production. Due to low permeability of shales, economically viable production requires hydraulic fracturing of the

  7. Genetic indicators of iron limitation in wild populations of Thalassiosira oceanica from the northeast Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, P Dreux; Whitney, LeAnn P; Wallace, Joselynn R; Darer, Adam I; Jean-Charles, Samua; Jenkins, Bethany D

    2015-03-01

    Assessing the iron (Fe) nutritional status of natural diatom populations has proven challenging as physiological and molecular responses can differ in diatoms of the same genus. We evaluated expression of genes encoding flavodoxin (FLDA1) and an Fe-starvation induced protein (ISIP3) as indicators of Fe limitation in the marine diatom Thalassiosira oceanica. The specificity of the response to Fe limitation was tested in cultures grown under Fe- and macronutrient-deficient conditions, as well as throughout the diurnal light cycle. Both genes showed a robust and specific response to Fe limitation in laboratory cultures and were detected in small volume samples collected from the northeast Pacific, demonstrating the sensitivity of this method. Overall, FLDA1 and ISIP3 expression was inversely related to Fe concentrations and offered insight into the Fe nutritional health of T. oceanica in the field. As T. oceanica is a species tolerant to low Fe, indications of Fe limitation in T. oceanica populations may serve as a proxy for severe Fe stress in the overall diatom community. At two shallow coastal locations, FLD1A and ISIP3 expression revealed Fe stress in areas where dissolved Fe concentrations were high, demonstrating that this approach may be powerful for identifying regions where Fe supply may not be biologically available.

  8. Creep of Posidonia Shale at Elevated Pressure and Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybacki, E.; Herrmann, J.; Wirth, R.; Dresen, G.

    2017-12-01

    The economic production of gas and oil from shales requires repeated hydraulic fracturing operations to stimulate these tight reservoir rocks. Besides simple depletion, the often observed decay of production rate with time may arise from creep-induced fracture closure. We examined experimentally the creep behavior of an immature carbonate-rich Posidonia shale, subjected to constant stress conditions at temperatures between 50 and 200 °C and confining pressures of 50-200 MPa, simulating elevated in situ depth conditions. Samples showed transient creep in the semibrittle regime with high deformation rates at high differential stress, high temperature and low confinement. Strain was mainly accommodated by deformation of the weak organic matter and phyllosilicates and by pore space reduction. The primary decelerating creep phase observed at relatively low stress can be described by an empirical power law relation between strain and time, where the fitted parameters vary with temperature, pressure and stress. Our results suggest that healing of hydraulic fractures at low stresses by creep-induced proppant embedment is unlikely within a creep period of several years. At higher differential stress, as may be expected in situ at contact areas due to stress concentrations, the shale showed secondary creep, followed by tertiary creep until failure. In this regime, microcrack propagation and coalescence may be assisted by stress corrosion. Secondary creep rates were also described by a power law, predicting faster fracture closure rates than for primary creep, likely contributing to production rate decline. Comparison of our data with published primary creep data on other shales suggests that the long-term creep behavior of shales can be correlated with their brittleness estimated from composition. Low creep strain is supported by a high fraction of strong minerals that can build up a load-bearing framework.

  9. 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...

  10. A three-dimensional niche comparison of Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica: reconciling observations with projections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. A. Gafar

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Coccolithophore responses to changes in carbonate chemistry speciation such as CO2 and H+ are highly modulated by light intensity and temperature. Here, we fit an analytical equation, accounting for simultaneous changes in carbonate chemistry speciation, light and temperature, to published and original data for Emiliania huxleyi, and compare the projections with those for Gephyrocapsa oceanica. Based on our analysis, the two most common bloom-forming species in present-day coccolithophore communities appear to be adapted for a similar fundamental light niche but slightly different ones for temperature and CO2, with E. huxleyi having a tolerance to lower temperatures and higher CO2 levels than G. oceanica. Based on growth rates, a dominance of E. huxleyi over G. oceanica is projected below temperatures of 22 °C at current atmospheric CO2 levels. This is similar to a global surface sediment compilation of E. huxleyi and G. oceanica coccolith abundances suggesting temperature-dependent dominance shifts. For a future Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP 8.5 climate change scenario (1000 µatm fCO2, we project a CO2 driven niche contraction for G. oceanica to regions of even higher temperatures. However, the greater sensitivity of G. oceanica to increasing CO2 is partially mitigated by increasing temperatures. Finally, we compare satellite-derived particulate inorganic carbon estimates in the surface ocean with a recently proposed metric for potential coccolithophore success on the community level, i.e. the temperature-, light- and carbonate-chemistry-dependent CaCO3 production potential (CCPP. Based on E. huxleyi alone, as there was interestingly a better correlation than when in combination with G. oceanica, and excluding the Antarctic province from the analysis, we found a good correlation between CCPP and satellite-derived particulate inorganic carbon (PIC with an R2 of 0.73, p < 0.01 and a slope of 1.03 for austral winter

  11. Preparation and characterization of new succinic anhydride grafted Posidonia for the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chadlia, Aguir; Mohamed, Khalfaoui; Najah, Laribi; Farouk, M'henni Mohamed

    2009-01-01

    The present work describes the preparation of new chelating materials derived from Posidonia for adsorption of heavy metal ions and dye in aqueous solution. The first part of this report deals with the chemical modification of Posidonia with succinic anhydride. Thus, we have obtained materials with various succinyl groups contents (from 29.8 to 39.2%). The obtained materials were characterized by infrared and CP/MAS 13 C-RMN spectroscopy. The rate of succinyl content of the modified Posidonia was determined by saponification. The second part is devoted to the evaluation of the adsorption capacity of metal ions such as Pb 2+ and dye such as direct red 75 (DR75) for raw and modified Posidonia materials. Two possible ways for the adsorption of these pollutants are studied: adsorption of each pollutant alone onto these supports, and cumulative adsorption of both metal ions and dye on the same supports. In the last case, the pollutant is adsorbed successively from two different solutions. The effects of pollutants concentration, support dose, pH, contact time and temperature on adsorption of each pollutant were evaluated. The results showed that the raw and modified Posidonia show a high capacity for Pb 2+ adsorption. The capacity of modified Posidonia saturated with Pb 2+ to adsorb DR75 was found 147.12 mg g -1 . While the adsorption capacity of the nonsaturated modified Posidonia was equal to 81.63 mg g -1 . The pseudo-second-order model was the best to represent adsorption kinetics of DR75. The pseudo-first-order model would be better for fitting the adsorption kinetic process of Pb 2+ onto raw and modified Posidonia. The adsorption isotherms of Pb 2+ could be described by the Jossens equation model. Any of the tested models can describe the adsorption of DR75 onto the studied materials. These results confirm that the adsorption of DR75 from aqueous solution was multilayer.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fire-resistance, physical, and mechanical characterization of particleboard containing Oceanic Posidonia waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saval, J. M.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In this work, particleboards manufactured with Oceanic Posidonia waste and bonded with cement are investigated. The particleboards are made with 3/1.5/0.5 parts of cement per part of Posidonia waste. The physical properties of bulk density, swelling, surface absorption, and dimensional changes due to relative humidity as well as the mechanical properties of modulus of elasticity, bending strength, surface soundness, perpendicular tensile strength and impact resistance are studied. In terms of the above properties, the best results were obtained for particleboards with high cement content and when the waste “leaves” are treated (crushed before board fabrication, due to internal changes to the board structure under these conditions. Based on the results of fire tests, the particleboard is non-flammable without any fire-resistant treatment.En esta investigación se han diseñado y fabricado tableros con residuo de Posidonia Oceánica y cemento. Los tableros se han fabricado con 3/1.5/0.5 partes de cemento por cada parte de Posidonia estudiándose sus propiedades físicas (densidad, hinchazón, absorción superficial, variaciones dimensionales por humedad y mecánicas (módulo de elasticidad, resistencia a flexión, al arranque de superficie, al arranque de tornillo, a la tracción perpendicular y al choque. Se observa una mejora de los resultados de resistencia mecánica con el incremento de la cantidad de cemento y si la hoja del residuo es previamente tratada ya que proporciona una mejor estructura interna en el tablero. Además, tras los ensayos de reacción al fuego, se observa que el material es no inflamable sin ningún tipo de tratamiento ignifugante.

  19. Genome, Functional Gene Annotation, and Nuclear Transformation of the Heterokont Oleaginous Alga Nannochloropsis oceanica CCMP1779

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-15

    development of such an algal model system for basic discovery, we sequenced the genome and two sets of transcriptomes of N. oceanica CCMP1779, assembled...CCMP1779 has a gene encoding a highly conserved violax- anthin de-epoxidase ( VDE ) protein like that found in plants (Table S9). In Arabidopsis, VDE is...HLA3 or LCI1 were present. This result suggests that CCMP1779 might have a plastid Ci transport system similar to that of Chlamydomonas, but a distinct

  20. The influence of light on copper-limited growth of an oceanic diatom, Thalassiosira oceanica (Coscinodiscophyceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jun-Woo; Price, Neil M

    2017-10-01

    Thalassiosira oceanica (CCMP 1005) was grown over a range of copper concentrations at saturating and subsaturating irradiance to test the hypothesis that Cu and light were interacting essential resources. Growth was a hyperbolic function of irradiance in Cu-replete medium (263 fmol Cu' · L -1 ) with maximum rates achieved at 200 μmol photons · m -2  · s -1 . Lowering the Cu concentration at this irradiance to 30.8 fmol Cu' · L -1 decreased cellular Cu quota by 7-fold and reduced growth rate by 50%. Copper-deficient cells had significantly slower (P light, low-Cu concentration was no longer limiting to growth: Cu concentration and light interacted strongly to affect growth rate of T. oceanica (P light-dependent, suggesting that faster growth of T. oceanica under high light and low Cu was a result of light-stimulated Cu uptake. © 2017 Phycological Society of America.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Is the endemic Maltese Top-shell Gibbula nivosa extinct?

    OpenAIRE

    Schembri, Patrick J.; Borg, Joseph A.; Deidun, Alan; Knittweis, Leyla; Mellado Lopez, T.

    2007-01-01

    The trochid gastropod Gibbula nivosa, endemic to the Maltese Islands, has recently only been found in two Maltese bays, where it occurred on seagrass leaves and under stones at depths of 1-4m. Intensive sampling of Cymodocea nodosa and Posidonia oceanica meadows, sediment and pebbles at depths of 2-12m, carried out in 2000 and 2002, resulted only in empty shells but no live animals, suggesting that the species is extinct from these localities where previously good populations were found. Howe...

  7. Preparation and characterization of new succinic anhydride grafted Posidonia for the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chadlia, Aguir, E-mail: aguirc@yahoo.ca [Unite de Recherche de Chimie Appliquee et Environnement, Faculte des Sciences de Monastir, 5000 (Tunisia); Mohamed, Khalfaoui [Unite de Recherche de Physique Quantique, Faculte des Sciences de Monastir, 5000 (Tunisia); Najah, Laribi; Farouk, M' henni Mohamed [Unite de Recherche de Chimie Appliquee et Environnement, Faculte des Sciences de Monastir, 5000 (Tunisia)

    2009-12-30

    The present work describes the preparation of new chelating materials derived from Posidonia for adsorption of heavy metal ions and dye in aqueous solution. The first part of this report deals with the chemical modification of Posidonia with succinic anhydride. Thus, we have obtained materials with various succinyl groups contents (from 29.8 to 39.2%). The obtained materials were characterized by infrared and CP/MAS {sup 13}C-RMN spectroscopy. The rate of succinyl content of the modified Posidonia was determined by saponification. The second part is devoted to the evaluation of the adsorption capacity of metal ions such as Pb{sup 2+} and dye such as direct red 75 (DR75) for raw and modified Posidonia materials. Two possible ways for the adsorption of these pollutants are studied: adsorption of each pollutant alone onto these supports, and cumulative adsorption of both metal ions and dye on the same supports. In the last case, the pollutant is adsorbed successively from two different solutions. The effects of pollutants concentration, support dose, pH, contact time and temperature on adsorption of each pollutant were evaluated. The results showed that the raw and modified Posidonia show a high capacity for Pb{sup 2+} adsorption. The capacity of modified Posidonia saturated with Pb{sup 2+} to adsorb DR75 was found 147.12 mg g{sup -1}. While the adsorption capacity of the nonsaturated modified Posidonia was equal to 81.63 mg g{sup -1}. The pseudo-second-order model was the best to represent adsorption kinetics of DR75. The pseudo-first-order model would be better for fitting the adsorption kinetic process of Pb{sup 2+} onto raw and modified Posidonia. The adsorption isotherms of Pb{sup 2+} could be described by the Jossens equation model. Any of the tested models can describe the adsorption of DR75 onto the studied materials. These results confirm that the adsorption of DR75 from aqueous solution was multilayer.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Iuculano, Francesca; Duarte, Carlos M.; Marbà , Nú ria; Agusti, Susana

    2017-01-01

    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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....

  13. 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,

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The shale gas potential of the Opalinus Clay and Posidonia Shale in Switzerland - A first assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leu, W. [Geoform Ltd, Villeneuve (Switzerland); Gautschi, A. [NAGRA, Wettingen (Switzerland)

    2014-07-01

    There has been recent interest in the shale gas potential of the Opalinus Clay and Posidonia Shale (Middle and Lower Jurassic) below the Swiss Molasse Basin in the light of the future role of domestic gas production within the expected future energy shift of Switzerland and possible conflicts in underground use. The Opalinus Clay of northern Switzerland is a potential host rock for repositories of both high-level and low-to-intermediate level radioactive waste and the exploitation of shale gas resources within or below this formation would represent a serious conflict of use. Well data from northern Switzerland shows that these two formations are unsuitable for future shale gas recovery. They never reached the gas window during their burial history (maturity values are ≤ 0.6% R{sub o}) and as a consequence never generated significant quantities of thermogenic gas. Geochemical data further shows that the average TOC values are in the range of 0.7%, i.e. clearly below accepted values of more than 1.5% for prospective shales. A review of available exploration data for the Opalinus Clay and Posidonia Shale in the deeper and western part of the Swiss Molasse Basin indicate that their shale gas potential may be substantial. The gross Posidonia Shale thickness increases from central Switzerland from less than 10 m to over 100 m in the Yverdon-Geneva area and is characterised by numerous bituminous intervals. A simplified shale gas resource calculation results for a geologically likely scenario in a technically recoverable gas volume of ∼120 billions m{sup 3}. The current database for such estimates is small and as a consequence, the uncertainties are large. However, these first encouraging results support a more detailed exploration phase with specific geochemical and petrophysical analysis of existing rock and well log data. (authors)

  19. The shale gas potential of the Opalinus Clay and Posidonia Shale in Switzerland - A first assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leu, W.; Gautschi, A.

    2014-01-01

    There has been recent interest in the shale gas potential of the Opalinus Clay and Posidonia Shale (Middle and Lower Jurassic) below the Swiss Molasse Basin in the light of the future role of domestic gas production within the expected future energy shift of Switzerland and possible conflicts in underground use. The Opalinus Clay of northern Switzerland is a potential host rock for repositories of both high-level and low-to-intermediate level radioactive waste and the exploitation of shale gas resources within or below this formation would represent a serious conflict of use. Well data from northern Switzerland shows that these two formations are unsuitable for future shale gas recovery. They never reached the gas window during their burial history (maturity values are ≤ 0.6% R o ) and as a consequence never generated significant quantities of thermogenic gas. Geochemical data further shows that the average TOC values are in the range of 0.7%, i.e. clearly below accepted values of more than 1.5% for prospective shales. A review of available exploration data for the Opalinus Clay and Posidonia Shale in the deeper and western part of the Swiss Molasse Basin indicate that their shale gas potential may be substantial. The gross Posidonia Shale thickness increases from central Switzerland from less than 10 m to over 100 m in the Yverdon-Geneva area and is characterised by numerous bituminous intervals. A simplified shale gas resource calculation results for a geologically likely scenario in a technically recoverable gas volume of ∼120 billions m 3 . The current database for such estimates is small and as a consequence, the uncertainties are large. However, these first encouraging results support a more detailed exploration phase with specific geochemical and petrophysical analysis of existing rock and well log data. (authors)

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shale in southern Germany: results of a shale gas analogue study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biermann, Steffen; Schulz, Hans-Martin; Horsfield, Brian

    2013-04-01

    The shale gas potential of Germany was recently assessed by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (2012 NiKo-Project) and is - in respect of the general natural gas occurrence in Germany - regarded as a good alternative hydrocarbon source. The Posidonia Shale in northern and southern Germany is one of the evaluated rock formation and easily accessible in outcrops in the Swabian Alps (southern Germany). The area of interest in this work is located in such an outcrop that is actively used for open pit mining next to the town of Dotternhausen, 70 km southwest of Stuttgart. 31 samples from the quarry of Dotternhausen were analyzed in order to characterize the immature Posidonia Shale (Lower Toarcian, Lias ɛ) of southern Germany as a gas shale precursor. Methods included are Rock Eval, Open Pyrolysis GC, SEM, Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry, XRD, and other. The samples of Dotternhausen contain exclusively type II kerogen. The majority of the organic matter is structureless and occurs in the argillaceous-calcareous matrix. Structured organic matter appears predominantly as alginite, in particular the algae "tasmanite" is noticeable. The TOC content ranges up to 16 wt% with a high bitumen content. The mineral content characterizes the Posidonia Shale as a marlstone or mudstone with varying clay-calcite ratios. The quartz and pyrite content reaches up to 20 wt% and 9 wt%, respectively. The rock fabric is characterized by a fine grained and laminated matrix. The mean porosity lies between 4 and 12 %. Fractures other than those introduced by sample preparation were not observed. The Posidonia Shale is predicted to have an excellent source rock potential and will generate intermediate, P-N-A low wax oil when exposed to higher P-T-conditions ("oil kitchen"). Contact surfaces between the kerogen and matrix will be vulnerable to pressure induced fracturing caused by hydrocarbon formation. Additional porosity will be formed during maturation due to the

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Preferred Orientation and Anisotropy of Clay minerals and Pores in Posidonia Shales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanitpanyacharoen, W.; Chen, K.; Wenk, H.

    2010-12-01

    Shales compose a large part of sedimentary basins and form the seal and source rocks for hydrocarbon reservoirs. They are also of great interest in context of repositories for nuclear waste and carbon sequestration. A comprehensive study of shale properties is thus crucial for seismic prospecting, particularly due to high elastic anisotropy that is contributed by the alignment of constituent clay minerals during compaction and diagenesis. In this study, we quantitatively analyze composition, crystal preferred orientation (or texture), and the 3D porosity structure in four Posidonia shales from Germany using high energy synchrotron x-rays. We can infer texture information from x-ray diffraction images relying on the Rietveld method, as well as determine the 3D porosity structure from tomography images. We observed that quartz and calcite are dominating phases while illite-smectite, illite-mica and kaolinite are the major clay minerals. The texture strength of clays range from 4.22 to 6.12 m.r.d. A comparison of shallow Posidonia shales with deep shales from the North Sea, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf of Mexico documents that P-wave anisotropy increases with increasing phyllosilicate content (mainly illite-smectite and kaolinite) and increasing burial. Low absorption features in microtomography images indicate porosity (including kerogen and fractures), which is estimated at 1 vol% and observed to be anisotropic, mainly organized parallel to bedding with little connectivity of flat pores in direction perpendicular to the bedding plane.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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....

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Complete genome sequence of Marinomonas posidonica type strain (IVIA-Po-181T)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucas-Elio, Patricia [University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Goodwin, Lynne A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Woyke, Tanja [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Pitluck, Sam [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Nolan, Matt [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Kyrpides, Nikos C [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Detter, J C [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Copeland, A [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Lu, Megan [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Bruce, David [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Detter, J. Chris [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Tapia, Roxanne [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Han, Cliff [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Ivanova, N [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Mikhailova, Natalia [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Johnston, Andrew W. B. [University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom; Sanchez-Amat, Antonio [University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

    2012-01-01

    Marinomonas posidonica IVIA-Po-181T Lucas-Eli o et al. 2011 belongs to the family Oceanospirillaceae within the phylum Proteobacteria. Different species of the genus Marinomonas can be readily isolated from the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. M. posidonica is among the most abundant species of the genus detected in the cultured microbiota of P. oceanica, suggesting a close relationship with this plant, which has a great ecological value in the Mediterranean Sea, covering an estimated surface of 38,000 Km2. Here we describe the genomic features of M. posidonica. The 3,899,940 bp long genome harbors 3,544 pro- tein-coding genes and 107 RNA genes and is a part of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. Metabolic Remodeling of Membrane Glycerolipids in the Microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica under Nitrogen Deprivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danxiang Han

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available HIGHLIGHTSAn electrospray ionization mass spectrometry-based lipidomics method was developed and integrated with transcriptomics to elucidate metabolic remodeling and turnover of microalgal membrane lipids by using Nannochloropsis oceanica as a model.The lack of lipidome analytical tools has limited our ability to gain new knowledge about lipid metabolism in microalgae, especially for membrane glycerolipids. An electrospray ionization mass spectrometry-based lipidomics method was developed for Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1, which resolved 41 membrane glycerolipids molecular species belonging to eight classes. Changes in membrane glycerolipids under nitrogen deprivation and high-light (HL conditions were uncovered. The results showed that the amount of plastidial membrane lipids including monogalactosyldiacylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, and the extraplastidic lipids diacylglyceryl-O-4′-(N, N, N,-trimethyl homoserine and phosphatidylcholine decreased drastically under HL and nitrogen deprivation stresses. Algal cells accumulated considerably more digalactosyldiacylglycerol and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols under stresses. The genes encoding enzymes responsible for biosynthesis, modification and degradation of glycerolipids were identified by mining a time-course global RNA-seq data set. It suggested that reduction in lipid contents under nitrogen deprivation is not attributable to the retarded biosynthesis processes, at least at the gene expression level, as most genes involved in their biosynthesis were unaffected by nitrogen supply, yet several genes were significantly up-regulated. Additionally, a conceptual eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA biosynthesis network is proposed based on the lipidomic and transcriptomic data, which underlined import of EPA from cytosolic glycerolipids to the plastid for synthesizing EPA-containing chloroplast membrane lipids.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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,

  20. 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

  1. Genetic delineation between and within the widespread coccolithophore morpho-species Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica (Haptophyta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendif, El Mahdi; Probert, Ian; Carmichael, Margaux; Romac, Sarah; Hagino, Kyoko; de Vargas, Colomban

    2014-02-01

    Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica are abundant coccolithophore morpho-species that play key roles in ocean carbon cycling due to their importance as both primary producers and cal-cifiers. Global change processes such as ocean acidification impact these key calcifying species. The physiology of E. huxleyi, a developing model species, has been widely studied, but its genetic delineation from G. oceanica remains unclear due to a lack of resolution in classical genetic markers. Using nuclear (18S rDNA and 28S rDNA), mitochondrial (cox1, cox2, cox3, rpl16, and dam), and plastidial (16S rDNA, rbcL, tufA, and petA) DNA markers from 99 E. huxleyi and 44 G. oceanica strains, we conducted a multigene/multistrain survey to compare the suitability of different markers for resolving phylogenetic patterns within and between these two morpho-species. The nuclear genes tested did not provide sufficient resolution to discriminate between the two morpho-species that diverged only 291Kya. Typical patterns of incomplete lineage sorting were generated in phylogenetic analyses using plastidial genes. In contrast, full morpho-species delineation was achieved with mitochondrial markers and common intra-morpho-species phylogenetic patterns were observed despite differing rates of DNA substitution. Mitochondrial genes are thus promising barcodes for distinguishing these coccolithophore morpho-species, in particular in the context of environmental monitoring. © 2013 Phycological Society of America.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Adsorption and Biocirculation in Oceanic Waters; Adsorcion y Biocirculacion en las Aguas Oceanicas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zenkevich, L. A.

    1960-07-01

    It is generally known that in recent years oceanographers in all countries have denoted great attention to studying the dispersion routes and speed of movement of radioactive decay products in oceanic waters. At the same time the form, degree and extent of contamination of oceanic waters by fission products has been investigated. It is clear that scientists are becoming more and more interested in living organisms as a factor responsible for the transport and distribution of radioactive substances in water. B. Ketchum and Y. Bowen discuss the concept of 'biological transport' and make an interesting attempt to define it in mathematical terms and to collate it with research on 'physical transport'. The term 'biocirculation' has come into use. It is evident that this factor cannot be left out of account as a means of transport or system of adsorption. The great volume of suspension formed of mineral substances and not containing living organisms is characterized by its relatively low mobility, and the bacterial and phytoplankton bodies constitute a vast adsorption surface (Tables 1 and 2). The ocean water column contains a vast quantity of matter in suspension, including living organisms (bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton) and components not containing living organisms (bioseston and abioseston). Quantitative determination of all the seston enables its role as an adsorption surface and as a mechanism of vertical and horizontal biocirculation to be evaluated. The adsorption surface for various seston groups in average density distribution zones, and the index of subsurface biocirculation in a water column less than 1 m{sup 2} in the habitat are given [Spanish] Es bien sabido que en el transcurso de los ultimos anos, los oceanografos del mundo entero han venido prestando gran atencion al estudio de la distribucion y de la velocidad de desplazamiento de los productos de la precipitacion radiactiva en las aguas oceanicas. Al mismo tiempo se esta estudiando la forma

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular Characterization of CTR-type Copper Transporters in an Oceanic Diatom, Thalassiosira oceanica 1005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, L.; Price, N. M.

    2016-02-01

    Copper is an essential micronutrient for phytoplankton growth because of its role as a redox cofactor in electron transfer proteins in photosynthesis and respiration, and a potentially limiting resource in parts of the open sea. Thalassiosira oceanica 1005 can grow at inorganic copper concentrations varying from 10 fmol/L to 10 nmol/L by regulating copper uptake across plasma membrane. Four putative CTR-type copper transporter genes (ToCTR1, ToCTR2, ToCTR3.1 and ToCTR3.2) were identified by BLASTP search against the T. oceanica genome. Predicted gene models were revised by assembled mRNA sequencing transcripts and updated gene models contained all conserved features of characterized CTR-type copper transporters. ToCTR3.1 and ToCTR3.2 may arise from one another by gene duplication as they shared a sequence similarity of 97.6% with a peptide insertion of 5 amino acids at N-terminus of ToCTR3.1. The expression of ToCTR1, ToCTR2 and ToCTR3.1/3.2 was upregulated in low copper concentrations, but only ToCTR3.1/3.2 showed a significant increase (2.5 fold) in copper-starved cells. Both ToCTR3.1 and ToCTR3.2 restored growth of a yeast double mutant, Saccharomyces cerevisiae ctr1Δctr3Δ, in copper deficient medium. GFP-fused ToCTR expression showed that some ToCTR3.1 localized to the plasma membrane but a large portion was retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. Inefficient targeting of ToCTR3.1 to the yeast outer membrane may explain poorer growth compared to the Saccharomyces native ScCTR1 transformant. Thus, diatom CTR genes encoding CTR-type copper transporters show high-affinity copper uptake and their regulation may enable diatoms to survive in ocean environments containing a wide range of copper concentrations.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newmaster AF

    2011-11-01

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

  17. 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

  18. n-Nonacosadienes from the marine haptophytes Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Hideto; Sawada, Ken; Araie, Hiroya; Suzuki, Iwane; Shiraiwa, Yoshihiro

    2015-03-01

    The hydrocarbons in cultures of marine haptophytes Emiliania huxleyi NIES837 and Gephyrocapsa oceanica NIES1315 were analyzed, and nonacosadienes and hentriacontadienes were detected as the major compounds in both strains. C29 and C31 monoenes and di-, tri- and tetra-unsaturated C33 alkenes were also detected as minor compounds but not C37 and C38 alkenes. The positions of the double bonds in the C29 and C31 alkenes were determined by mass spectrometry of their dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) adducts. Among the four C29 alkenes identified, the most abundant isomer was 2,20-nonacosadiene, and the other three compounds were 1,20-nonacosadiene, 3,20-nonacosadiene and 9-nonacosene, respectively. Hitherto, 2,20-nonacosadiene and 3,20-nonacosadiene were unknown to be natural products. The double bond at the n-9 (ω9) position in these C29 alkenes is hypothesized to be derived from precursors of unsaturated fatty acids possessing an n-9 double bond, such as (9Z)-9-octadecenoic acid. Nonacosadienes have the potential for being used as distinct haptophyte biomarkers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Thermal evolution and shale gas potential estimation of the Wealden and Posidonia Shale in NW-Germany and the Netherlands : a 3D basin modelling study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruns, B.; Littke, R.; Gasparik, M.; van Wees, J.-D.; Nelskamp, S.

    Sedimentary basins in NW-Germany and the Netherlands represent potential targets for shale gas exploration in Europe due to the presence of Cretaceous (Wealden) and Jurassic (Posidonia) marlstones/shales as well as various Carboniferous black shales. In order to assess the regional shale gas

  10. Microstructure and permeability of the Whitby Mudstone (UK) as an analogue for the Posidonia shale (NL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, Maartje; Barnhoorn, Auke; Drury, Martyn; Peach, Colin; Spiers, Christopher

    2015-04-01

    In order to make gas productivity from a shale economically interesting we should find ways to better connect the in-situ pore network to the natural occurring and mechanical induced fractures in the rock. When trying to improve gas productivity a first aim is to understand gas storage and gas flow potential through the rock by investigating the microstructure and measure the matrix porosity and permeability of the unfractured shales. Using a combination of methods we have characterized the porosity and permeability of the Jet Dogger section of the Whitby Mudstone Formation (UK), which we use as an analogue for the Posidonia Shale (NL). The Posidonia shale is a possible unconventional source for gas in Northern Europe. A combination of Precision Ion Polishing (PIPS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) has been used to investigate the microstructure and the pores. Microstructurally the circa 8 meter thick Jet section of the Whitby Mudstone Formation can be subdivided into a fossil rich (>15 %) top half with an organic matter content of 7-10% and a sub-mm laminated (alternating clay-rich, carbonate-rich, not necessarily fossils, layers) lower half were the organic matter content varies from 0.3-16%. In addition, any possible flow in the rock has to go through the fine-grained clay matrix (all grains 100 nm) is in the order of 0.5-2.5% and is not connected in 2D. Furthermore, overall more than 40% of the visible porosity is present within the clay matrix (sometimes even up to 80%). Porosity and pore size distributions for pores with smaller diameters (2 < diameter < 100 nm) were determined using Ar and N2 gas adsorption. The adsorption porosity was in the order of 1-5%, were we found 1-2.5% porosity for the top half of the section and 2-5% porosity for the bottom half. Ar gas permeability of the samples was measured on 1-inch diameter cores using Ar-gas-permeametry with a pressure step of 0.2 MPa. The permeability measured was in the order of 2•10-19 - 1•10

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Selective enrichment of Eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) in N. oceanica CASA CC201 by natural auxin supplementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udayan, Aswathy; Arumugam, Muthu

    2017-10-01

    The present study aims to evaluate the effect of different concentration of natural auxin, Indole-3 acetic acid (IAA) on growth, lipid yield, PUFA and EPA accumulation in Nannochloropsis oceanica CASA CC201. It was observed that the, treatment with 10ppm concentration of IAA resulted in high cell number 579.5×10 6 cells/ml than the control (215.5×10 6 cells/ml). Treatment with IAA at a concentration of 40ppm gives the highest cellular lipid accumulation of 60.9% DCW than the control 31.05% DCW). Lipid yield is also found to be increased by the addition of 40ppm IAA (319.5mg/L) compared with the control (121.5mg/L). EPA percentage is increased to 10.76% by the addition of 40ppm IAA compared to the control (1.87%). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Efficient light-harvesting using non-carbonyl carotenoids: Energy transfer dynamics in the VCP complex from Nannochloropsis oceanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keşan, Gürkan; Litvín, Radek; Bína, David; Durchan, Milan; Šlouf, Václav; Polívka, Tomáš

    2016-04-01

    Violaxanthin-chlorophyll a protein (VCP) from Nannochloropsis oceanica is a Chl a-only member of the LHC family of light-harvesting proteins. VCP binds carotenoids violaxanthin (Vio), vaucheriaxanthin (Vau), and vaucheriaxanthin-ester (Vau-ester). Here we report on energy transfer pathways in the VCP complex. The overall carotenoid-to-Chla energy transfer has efficiency over 90%. Based on their energy transfer properties, the carotenoids in VCP can be divided into two groups; blue carotenoids with the lowest energy absorption band around 480nm and red carotenoids with absorption extended up to 530nm. Both carotenoid groups transfer energy efficiently from their S2 states, reaching efficiencies of ~70% (blue) and ~60% (red). The S1 pathway, however, is efficient only for the red carotenoid pool for which two S1 routes characterized by 0.33 and 2.4ps time constants were identified. For the blue carotenoids the S1-mediated pathway is represented only by a minor route likely involving a hot S1 state. The relaxed S1 state of blue carotenoids decays to the ground state within 21ps. Presence of a fraction of non-transferring red carotenoids with the S1 lifetime of 13ps indicates some specific carotenoid-protein interaction that must shorten the intrinsic S1 lifetime of Vio and/or Vau whose S1 lifetimes in methanol are 26 and 29ps, respectively. The VCP complex from N. oceanica is the first example of a light-harvesting complex binding only non-carbonyl carotenoids with carotenoid-to-chlorophyll energy transfer efficiency over 90%. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Antagonistic roles of abscisic acid and cytokinin during response to nitrogen depletion in oleaginous microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica expand the evolutionary breadth of phytohormone function

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lu, Y.; Tarkowská, Danuše; Turečková, Veronika; Luo, T.; Xin, Y.; Li, J.; Wang, Q.; Jiao, N.; Strnad, Miroslav; Xu, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 80, č. 1 (2014), s. 52-68 ISSN 0960-7412 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1284; GA MŠk LK21306; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) ED0007/01/01 Program:ED Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Nannochloropsis oceanica * antagonistic synergy * abscisic acid Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 5.972, year: 2014

  18. The effect of temperature, salinity and growth rate on the stable hydrogen isotopic composition of long chain alkenones produced by Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Schouten

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Two haptophyte algae, Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica, were cultured at different temperatures and salinities to investigate the impact of these factors on the hydrogen isotopic composition of long chain alkenones synthesized by these algae. Results showed that alkenones synthesized by G. oceanica were on average depleted in D by 30 compared to those of E. huxleyi when grown under similar temperature and salinity conditions. The fractionation factor, αalkenones-H2O, ranged from 0.760 to 0.815 for E. huxleyi and from 0.741 to 0.788 for G. oceanica. There was no significant correlation of αalkenones-H2O with temperature but a positive linear correlation was observed between αalkenones-H2O and salinity with ~3 change in fractionation per salinity unit and a negative correlation between αalkenones-H2O and growth rate. This suggests that both salinity and growth rate can have a substantial impact on the stable hydrogen isotopic composition of long chain alkenones in natural environments.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)'.

  1. 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‧.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  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. 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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Understanding seagrass resilience in temperate systems: the importance of timing of the disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.; Li, B.; Han, Q.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2016-01-01

    Temperate seagrass meadows form valuable ecosystems in coastal environments and present a distinctseasonal growth. They are threatened by an increasing amount of stressors, potentially affecting theircapacity to recover from disturbances. We hypothesized that their resilience to disturbances is

  18. Understanding seagrass resilience in temperate systems: the importance of timing of the disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soissons, L.M.; Li, B.Q.; Han, Q.Y.; Katwijk, M.M. van; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J.

    2016-01-01

    Temperate seagrass meadows form valuable ecosystems in coastal environments and present a distinct seasonal growth. They are threatened by an increasing amount of stressors, potentially affecting their capacity to recover from disturbances. We hypothesized that their resilience to disturbances is

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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...

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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%.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. [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

  3. Contrasting Physiological and Proteomic Adaptations to Iron and/or Copper Limitation in Two Strains of the Same Open Ocean Diatom Thalassiosira oceanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuback, N.; Hippmann, A.; Maldonado, M. T.; Allen, A. E.; McCrow, J.; Foster, L. J.; Green, B. R.; Alami, M.

    2016-02-01

    Iron plays a significant role in controlling marine primary productivity. Despite that extremely low dissolved iron (Fe) concentrations are found in Fe-limited regions, some phytoplankton are able to survive and thrive. Two strains of the model oceanic diatom Thalassiosira oceanica, TO 1003 and TO 1005, have both been used in previous studies to characterize adaptations to iron limitation. These studies have shown that T. oceanica has lowered its Fe requirements and increased its Fe acquisition efficiency compared to coastal counterparts. Both strategies may impose a higher cellular copper (Cu) demand. However, the underlying biochemical adaptations in these oceanic diatoms remain unknown. Recently, the genome, as well as the first proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of T. oceanica 1005 grown under different Fe levels, were published. To further our understanding of the interplay between Fe- and Cu- physiology in open ocean diatoms, we examined an array of physiological responses to varying degrees of Fe-, Cu- and Fe/Cu co-limitation in both strains. We also determined the differential expression of proteins using stable isotope labeling and LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis. The two strains, TO 1003 and TO 1005, need markedly different metal concentrations in the media. TO1003 requires 30% less Cu to sustain its optimal growth and less than 1/10th of the minimum Cu that is needed by TO 1005 to survive. In contrast, TO 1005 is able to grow with less Fe available in the media. The physiological and proteomic responses of these two strains when acclimated to low Fe and/or Cu concentrations will be presented. The evolutionary implications will be discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. The complete mitochondrial genome of the common sea slater, Ligia oceanica (Crustacea, Isopoda bears a novel gene order and unusual control region features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podsiadlowski Lars

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sequence data and other characters from mitochondrial genomes (gene translocations, secondary structure of RNA molecules are useful in phylogenetic studies among metazoan animals from population to phylum level. Moreover, the comparison of complete mitochondrial sequences gives valuable information about the evolution of small genomes, e.g. about different mechanisms of gene translocation, gene duplication and gene loss, or concerning nucleotide frequency biases. The Peracarida (gammarids, isopods, etc. comprise about 21,000 species of crustaceans, living in many environments from deep sea floor to arid terrestrial habitats. Ligia oceanica is a terrestrial isopod living at rocky seashores of the european North Sea and Atlantic coastlines. Results The study reveals the first complete mitochondrial DNA sequence from a peracarid crustacean. The mitochondrial genome of Ligia oceanica is a circular double-stranded DNA molecule, with a size of 15,289 bp. It shows several changes in mitochondrial gene order compared to other crustacean species. An overview about mitochondrial gene order of all crustacean taxa yet sequenced is also presented. The largest non-coding part (the putative mitochondrial control region of the mitochondrial genome of Ligia oceanica is unexpectedly not AT-rich compared to the remainder of the genome. It bears two repeat regions (4× 10 bp and 3× 64 bp, and a GC-rich hairpin-like secondary structure. Some of the transfer RNAs show secondary structures which derive from the usual cloverleaf pattern. While some tRNA genes are putative targets for RNA editing, trnR could not be localized at all. Conclusion Gene order is not conserved among Peracarida, not even among isopods. The two isopod species Ligia oceanica and Idotea baltica show a similarly derived gene order, compared to the arthropod ground pattern and to the amphipod Parhyale hawaiiensis, suggesting that most of the translocation events were already

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Interaction between Ammonium Toxicity and Green Tide Development Over Seagrass Meadows: A Laboratory Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Moreno-Marín

    Full Text Available Eutrophication affects seagrasses negatively by increasing light attenuation through stimulation of biomass of fast-growing, bloom-forming algae and because high concentrations of ammonium in the water can be toxic to higher plants. We hypothesized nevertheless, that moderate amounts of nitrophilic macroalgae that coexists with seagrasses under eutrophic conditions, can alleviate the harmful effects of eutrophication on seagrasses by reducing ammonium concentrations in the seawater to non-toxic levels because such algae have a very large capacity to take up inorganic nutrients. We studied therefore how combinations of different ammonium concentrations (0, 25 and 50 μM and different standing stocks of macroalgae (i.e. 0, 1 and 6 layers of Ulva sp. affected survival, growth and net production of the seagrass Zostera noltei. In the absence of Ulva sp., increasing ammonium concentrations had a negative influence on the performance of Z. noltei. The presence of Ulva sp. without ammonium supply had a similar, but slightly smaller, negative effect on seagrass fitness due to light attenuation. When ammonium enrichment was combined with presence of Ulva sp., Ulva sp. ameliorated some of negative effects caused by high ammonium availability although Ulva sp. lowered the availability of light. Benthic microalgae, which increased in biomass during the experiment, seemed to play a similar role as Ulva sp.--they contributed to remove ammonium from the water, and thus, aided to keep the ammonium concentrations experienced by Z. noltei at relatively non-toxic levels. Our findings show that moderate amounts of drift macroalgae, eventually combined with increasing stocks of benthic microalgae, may aid seagrasses to alleviate toxic effects of ammonium under eutrophic conditions, which highlights the importance of high functional diversity for ecosystem resistance to anthropogenic disturbance.

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. Porosity and permeability determination of organic-rich Posidonia shales based on 3-D analyses by FIB-SEM microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grathoff, Georg H.; Peltz, Markus; Enzmann, Frieder; Kaufhold, Stephan

    2016-07-01

    The goal of this study is to better understand the porosity and permeability in shales to improve modelling fluid and gas flow related to shale diagenesis. Two samples (WIC and HAD) were investigated, both mid-Jurassic organic-rich Posidonia shales from Hils area, central Germany of different maturity (WIC R0 0.53 % and HAD R0 1.45 %). The method for image collection was focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy coupled with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). For image and data analysis Avizo and GeoDict was used. Porosity was calculated from segmented 3-D FIB based images and permeability was simulated by a Navier Stokes-Brinkman solver in the segmented images. Results show that the quantity and distribution of pore clusters and pores (≥ 40 nm) are similar. The largest pores are located within carbonates and clay minerals, whereas the smallest pores are within the matured organic matter. Orientation of the pores calculated as pore paths showed minor directional differences between the samples. Both samples have no continuous connectivity of pore clusters along the axes in the x, y, and z direction on the scale of 10 to 20 of micrometer, but do show connectivity on the micrometer scale. The volume of organic matter in the studied volume is representative of the total organic carbon (TOC) in the samples. Organic matter does show axis connectivity in the x, y, and z directions. With increasing maturity the porosity in organic matter increases from close to 0 to more than 5 %. These pores are small and in the large organic particles have little connection to the mineral matrix. Continuous pore size distributions are compared with mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) data. Differences between both methods are caused by resolution limits of the FIB-SEM and by the development of small pores during the maturation of the organic matter. Calculations show no permeability when only considering visible pores due to the lack of axis connectivity. Adding the organic matter with a

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Density, size structure, shell orientation and epibiontic colonization of the fan mussel Pinna nobilis L. 1758 (Mollusca: Bivalvia in three contrasting habitats in an estuarine area of Sardinia (W Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piero Addis

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the spatial distribution, size structure, shell orientation and valve colonization by epibionts of the endangered Mediterranean bivalve Pinna nobilis in three continuous but different habitats in the Gulf of Oristano (Sardinia, western Mediterranean. The sampling stations chosen were: an estuarine area (E of coastal salt-marshes characterized by unvegetated sea-bottoms; and two areas in a seagrass meadow characterized by an extensive Posidonia oceanica meadow (Mw and patched mixed meadows of P. oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa (Me. We found significant differences in mean densities among stations and the highest value was found in the estuarine area. Shell orientation showed that there was uniform circular distribution of specimens in the Mw station and a unimodal distribution in the Me and E stations, where specimens were set at 0°N and 10°NNE, which is a pattern related to sea drift. Shell epibiosis displayed differences between habitats. The highest valve colonization was in the estuary, with filamentous dark algae and Ostrea edulis reaching almost 90 percent of shell coverage. This study provides new information on habitat preferences and data for assessing local populations of P. nobilis that is useful for its conservation and improving the knowledge of its ecology.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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,

  7. 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, ...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Reconstruction of centennial-scale fluxes of chemical elements in the Australian coastal environment using seagrass archives

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar; Davis, Grace; Lavery, Paul S.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Martinez-Cortizas, Antonio; Mateo, Miguel Angel; Masqué , Pere; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Rozaimi, Mohammad; Kendrick, Gary A.

    2015-01-01

    The study of a Posidonia australis sedimentary archive has provided a record of changes in element concentrations (Al, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd, Co, As, Cu, Ni and S) over the last 3000 years in the Australian marine environment. Human-derived contamination in Oyster Harbor (SW Australia) started ~. 100 years ago (AD ~. 1900) and exponentially increased until present. This appears to be related to European colonization of Australia and the subsequent impact of human activities, namely mining, coal and metal production, and extensive agriculture. Two contamination periods of different magnitude have been identified: Expansion period (EXP, AD ~. 1900-1970) and Establishment period (EST, AD ~. 1970 to present). Enrichments of chemical elements with respect to baseline concentrations (in samples older than ~. 115 cal. years BP) were found for all elements studied in both periods, except for Ni, As and S. The highest enrichment factors were obtained for the EST period (ranging from 1.3-fold increase in Cu to 7.2-fold in Zn concentrations) compared to the EXP period (1.1-fold increase for Cu and Cr to 2.4-fold increase for Pb). Zinc, Pb, Mn and Co concentrations during both periods were 2- to 7-fold higher than baseline levels. This study demonstrates the value of Posidonia mats as long-term archives of element concentrations and trends in coastal ecosystems. We also provide preliminary evidence on the potential for Posidonia meadows to act as significant long-term biogeochemical sinks of chemical elements.

  9. Reconstruction of centennial-scale fluxes of chemical elements in the Australian coastal environment using seagrass archives

    KAUST Repository

    Serrano, Oscar

    2015-10-02

    The study of a Posidonia australis sedimentary archive has provided a record of changes in element concentrations (Al, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd, Co, As, Cu, Ni and S) over the last 3000 years in the Australian marine environment. Human-derived contamination in Oyster Harbor (SW Australia) started ~. 100 years ago (AD ~. 1900) and exponentially increased until present. This appears to be related to European colonization of Australia and the subsequent impact of human activities, namely mining, coal and metal production, and extensive agriculture. Two contamination periods of different magnitude have been identified: Expansion period (EXP, AD ~. 1900-1970) and Establishment period (EST, AD ~. 1970 to present). Enrichments of chemical elements with respect to baseline concentrations (in samples older than ~. 115 cal. years BP) were found for all elements studied in both periods, except for Ni, As and S. The highest enrichment factors were obtained for the EST period (ranging from 1.3-fold increase in Cu to 7.2-fold in Zn concentrations) compared to the EXP period (1.1-fold increase for Cu and Cr to 2.4-fold increase for Pb). Zinc, Pb, Mn and Co concentrations during both periods were 2- to 7-fold higher than baseline levels. This study demonstrates the value of Posidonia mats as long-term archives of element concentrations and trends in coastal ecosystems. We also provide preliminary evidence on the potential for Posidonia meadows to act as significant long-term biogeochemical sinks of chemical elements.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Towards a framework for assessment and management of cumulative human impacts on marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Halpern, Benjamin S; Michel, Loïc N; Gobert, Sylvie; Sini, Maria; Boudouresque, Charles-François; Gambi, Maria-Cristina; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Lejeune, Pierre; Montefalcone, Monica; Pergent, Gerard; Pergent-Martini, Christine; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Velimirov, Branko; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Abadie, Arnaud; Coll, Marta; Guidetti, Paolo; Micheli, Fiorenza; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-08-01

    Effective ecosystem-based management requires understanding ecosystem responses to multiple human threats, rather than focusing on single threats. To understand ecosystem responses to anthropogenic threats holistically, it is necessary to know how threats affect different components within ecosystems and ultimately alter ecosystem functioning. We used a case study of a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) food web and expert knowledge elicitation in an application of the initial steps of a framework for assessment of cumulative human impacts on food webs. We produced a conceptual seagrass food web model, determined the main trophic relationships, identified the main threats to the food web components, and assessed the components' vulnerability to those threats. Some threats had high (e.g., coastal infrastructure) or low impacts (e.g., agricultural runoff) on all food web components, whereas others (e.g., introduced carnivores) had very different impacts on each component. Partitioning the ecosystem into its components enabled us to identify threats previously overlooked and to reevaluate the importance of threats commonly perceived as major. By incorporating this understanding of system vulnerability with data on changes in the state of each threat (e.g., decreasing domestic pollution and increasing fishing) into a food web model, managers may be better able to estimate and predict cumulative human impacts on ecosystems and to prioritize conservation actions. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. 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

  7. {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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    Knowledge of nutrient pathways and their resulting ecological interactions can alleviate numerous environmental problems associated with nutrient increases in both natural and managed systems. Although not unique, coastal systems are particularly prone to complex ecological interactions resulting from nutrient inputs from both the land and sea. Nutrient inputs to coastal systems often spur ulvoid macroalgal blooms, with negative consequences for seagrasses, primarily through shading, as well as through changes in local biogeochemistry. We conducted complementary field and mesocosm experiments in an upwelling-influenced estuary, where marine-derived nutrients dominate, to understand the direct and indirect effects of nutrients on the macroalgal-eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) interaction. In the field experiment, we found weak evidence that nutrients and/or macroalgal treatments had a negative effect on eelgrass. However, in the mesocosm experiment, we found that a combination of nutrient and macroalgal treatments led to strongly negative eelgrass responses, primarily via indirect effects associated with macroalgal additions. Together, increased total light attenuation and decreased sediment oxygen levels were associated with larger effects on eelgrass than shading alone, which was evaluated using mimic algae treatments that did not alter sediment redox potential. Nutrient addition in the mesocosms directly affected seagrass density; biomass, and morphology, but not as strongly as macroalgae. We hypothesize that the contrary results from these parallel experiments are a consequence of differences in the hydrodynamics between field and mesocosm settings. We suggest that the high rates of water movement and tidal submersion of our intertidal field experiments alleviated the light reduction and negative biogeochemical changes in the sediment associated with macroalgal canopies, as well as the nutrient effects observed in the mesocosm experiments. Furthermore, adaptation

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  1. 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.

  2. [Biomass and density of 2 seagrass species in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Aguirre, M A; de la Fuente-Betancourt, M G; Cervantes-Martínez, A

    2000-01-01

    The biomass and productivity of a seagrass community are useful for determining the ecological status of the coast. Leaf biomass and shoot density in beds of Thalassia testudinum Banks & Sol. ex K. D. Koenig, were compared for two environments in the Mexican Caribbean coast (N = 6 quadrants/site) in November 1998. Shoot and leaf biomass values were lower in the mangrove-associated meadow than in the reef lagoon meadow. This could be related to the higher percentage of epiphytes on the leaves. In addition, T. testudinum had more biomass than Syringodium filiforme Kütz in the reef lagoon.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, 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 ( T opt ) for gross photosynthesis of Z. muelleri , which is more commonly distributed in sub-tropical to temperate regions, was 31°C. The T opt 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 ( T opt 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 T opt for gross photosynthesis were higher than T opt 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 T opt 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

  6. Carbon Stock of Seagrass Community in Barranglompo Island, Makassar (Stok Karbon pada Komunitas Lamun di Pulau Barranglompo, Makassar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supriadi Supriadi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Konsep blue carbon yang diperkenalkan oleh UNEP, FAO dan UNESCO pada tahun 2009 memasukkan padang lamun sebagai salah satu ekosistem yang mempunyai peran dalam penyerapan karbon global. Karbon yang diserap disimpan dan dialirkan dalam beberapa kompartemen, antara lain di sedimen, herbivora, kolom air, ekosistem lain dan dalam bentuk biomassa. Penelitian dilakukan di Pulau Barranglompo, Makassar, untuk melihat potensi stok karbon yang tersimpan dalam biomassa lamun. Kepadatan lamun diukur dengan melakukan sampling menggunakan metode transek kuadrat dengan ukuran 50cm x 50cm. Sedangkan untuk biomassa dilakukan dengan transek 20cm x 20cm. Hubungan antara kepadatan, biomassa dan kandungan karbon dari lamun digunakan untuk menentukan jumlah stok karbon. Kepadatan lamun disurvei pada 236 titik, sedangkan untuk pengambilan sampel biomassa dilakukan pada 30 titik. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa komunitas lamun mempunyai total stok karbon sebesar 73,86 ton dari total luas padang lamun 64,3 ha. Karbon di bawah substrat sebesar 56,55 ton (76,3%, lebih tinggi dibanding karbon di atas substrat yang hanya 17,57 ton (23,7%. Jenis lamun Enhalus acoroides menyumbang lebih dari 70% terhadap total stok karbon. Berdasarkan kelas karbon, kontribusi terbesar ditemukan pada kelas 100-200 gC.m-2 sebesar 29,41 ton (39,7%. Hasil ini menunjukkan bahwa ekosistem lamun berperan sangat penting dalam menjaga stok karbon di laut sehingga perlu mendapatkan perhatian untuk konservasinya. Kata kunci: konsep blue karbon, lamun, Barranglompo   Blue carbon concept as introduced by UNEP, FAO and UNESCO in 2009 included seagrass beds as one ecosystem having a significant role in global carbon absorption. Absorbed carbon was stored and distributed in various compartments such as in sediments, herbivores, water column, other ecosystems and in form of biomass. The research was conducted in Barranglompo Island, Makassar City to analyze the potency of carbon stock that stored within