WorldWideScience

Sample records for seagrass zostera noltii

  1. Eutrophication as a possible cause of decline in the seagrass Zostera noltii of the Dutch Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Philippart, C.J.M.

    1994-01-01

    The present thesis describes the results of research on the distribution and possible causes for the decrease of the seagrass Z. noltii in the Wadden Sea, carried out from 1986 to 1990. Chapter 2 examines the relation between the distribution of Zostera

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Impacts of urban wastewater discharge on seagrass meadows ( Zostera noltii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabaço, Susana; Machás, Raquel; Vieira, Vasco; Santos, Rui

    2008-06-01

    The abiotic disturbance of urban wastewater discharge and its effects in the population structure, plant morphology, leaf nutrient content, epiphyte load and macroalgae abundance of Zostera noltii meadows were investigated in Ria Formosa coastal lagoon, southern Portugal using both univariate and multivariate analysis. Four sites were assessed, on a seasonal basis, along a gradient from a major Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) discharge to a main navigation channel. The wastewater discharge caused an evident environmental disturbance through the nutrient enrichment of the water and sediment, particularly of ammonium. Zostera noltii of the sites closest to the nutrient source showed higher leaf N content, clearly reflecting the nitrogen load. The anthropogenic nutrient enrichment resulted in higher biomass, and higher leaf and internode length, except for the meadow closest to the wastewater discharge (270 m). The high ammonium concentration (158-663 μM) in the water at this site resulted in the decrease of biomass, and both the leaf and internode length, suggesting a toxic effect on Z. noltii. The higher abundance of macroalgae and epiphytes found in the meadow closest to the nutrient source may also affect the species negatively. Shoot density was higher at the nutrient-undisturbed site. Two of the three abiotic processes revealed by Principal Component Analysis were clearly related to the WWTW discharge, a contrast between water column salinity and nutrient concentration and a sediment contrast between both porewater nutrients and temperature and redox potential. A multiple regression analysis showed that these abiotic processes had a significant effect on the biomass-density dynamics of meadows and on the overall size of Z. noltii plants, respectively. Results show that the wastewater discharge is an important source of environmental disturbance and nutrients availability in Ria Formosa lagoon affecting the population structure, morphology and N content of Z

  6. Implications of Zostera noltii recolonization on Hydrobia ulvae population structure success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilo, T F; Cardoso, P G; Pardal, M A

    2012-02-01

    Over 1990-1998, the Mondego estuary, Portugal, experienced profound modifications due to eutrophication, culminating in the disappearance and replacement of Zostera noltii by opportunistic macroalgae in the inner most disturbed areas. A decade after restoration measures implementation, Z. noltii started to gradually recolonize the inner parts, following 20 years of absence. This work explores the factors underlying successful Z. noltii recolonization and its subsequent implications on a mud snail Hydrobia ulvae population. During the macroalgal bloom, highest values in H. ulvae abundance, biomass and production were recorded, strongly declining afterwards. Three recovery attempts characterized the post-restoration phase, with considerably increases in H. ulvae abundance, biomass and production since Z. noltii reappearance. The seagrass provided long-term protection and abundant food resources for reproductive adults, contrarily to the ephemeral macroalgae. Through time, large size individuals increased, becoming the population more stable, structured and similar to the one inhabiting the "original"Z. noltii meadows. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    Genome-wide transcription analysis between related species occurring in overlapping ranges can provide insights into the molecular basis underlying different ecological niches. The co-occurring seagrass species, Zostera marina and Nanozostera noltii, are found in marine coastal environments throughout the northern hemisphere. Z. marina is often dominant in subtidal environments and subjected to fewer temperature extremes compared to the predominately intertidal and more stress-tolerant N. noltii. We exposed plants of both species to a realistic heat wave scenario in a common-stress-garden experiment. Using RNA-seq (~7million reads/library), four Z. marina and four N. noltii libraries were compared representing northern (Denmark) and southern (Italy) locations within the co-occurring range of the species' European distribution. A total of 8977 expressed genes were identified, of which 78 were directly related to heat stress. As predicted, both species were negatively affected by the heat wave, but showed markedly different molecular responses. In Z. marina the heat response was similar across locations in response to the heatwave at 26°C, with a complex response in functions related to protein folding, synthesis of ribosomal chloroplast proteins, proteins involved in cell wall modification and heat shock proteins (HSPs). In N. noltii the heat response markedly differed between locations, while HSP genes were not induced in either population. Our results suggest that as coastal seawater temperatures increase, Z. marina will disappear along its southern most ranges, whereas N. noltii will continue to move north. As a consequence, sub- and intertidal habitat partitioning may weaken in more northern regions because the higher thermal tolerance of N. noltii provides a competitive advantage in both habitats. Although previous studies have focused on HSPs, the present study clearly demonstrates that a broader examination of stress related genes is necessary. Copyright

  8. Aerial and underwater carbon metabolism of a Zostera noltii seagrass bed in the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clavier, Jacques; Chauvaud, Laurent; Carlier, Antoine; Amice, Erwan; van der Geest, Matthijs; Labrosse, Pierre; Diagne, Ahmed; Hilya, Christian

    Community respiration and primary production were measured in a dense intertidal Zostera noltii bed on the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania (West Africa) under aerial and submerged conditions. Metabolism was studied in situ in dark and transparent benthic chambers. CO2 fluxes in the air were measured over

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, Sónia I; Pearson, Gareth A; Aires, Tânia; Kube, Michael; Olsen, Jeanine L; Reinhardt, Richard; Serrão, Ester A; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie

    2011-09-01

    Predicted global climate change threatens the distributional ranges of species worldwide. We identified genes expressed in the intertidal seagrass Zostera noltii during recovery from a simulated low tide heat-shock exposure. Five Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) libraries were compared, corresponding to four recovery times following sub-lethal temperature stress, and a non-stressed control. We sequenced and analyzed 7009 sequence reads from 30min, 2h, 4h and 24h after the beginning of the heat-shock (AHS), and 1585 from the control library, for a total of 8594 sequence reads. Among 51 Tentative UniGenes (TUGs) exhibiting significantly different expression between libraries, 19 (37.3%) were identified as 'molecular chaperones' and were over-expressed following heat-shock, while 12 (23.5%) were 'photosynthesis TUGs' generally under-expressed in heat-shocked plants. A time course analysis of expression showed a rapid increase in expression of the molecular chaperone class, most of which were heat-shock proteins; which increased from 2 sequence reads in the control library to almost 230 in the 30min AHS library, followed by a slow decrease during further recovery. In contrast, 'photosynthesis TUGs' were under-expressed 30min AHS compared with the control library, and declined progressively with recovery time in the stress libraries, with a total of 29 sequence reads 24h AHS, compared with 125 in the control. A total of 4734 TUGs were screened for EST-Single Sequence Repeats (EST-SSRs) and 86 microsatellites were identified. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. CO2 and nutrient-driven changes across multiple levels of organization in Zostera noltii ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Crego, B.; Olivé, I.; Santos, R.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing evidence emphasizes that the effects of human impacts on ecosystems must be investigated using designs that incorporate the responses across levels of biological organization as well as the effects of multiple stressors. Here we implemented a mesocosm experiment to investigate how the individual and interactive effects of CO2 enrichment and eutrophication scale-up from changes in primary producers at the individual (biochemistry) or population level (production, reproduction, and/or abundance) to higher levels of community (macroalgae abundance, herbivory, and global metabolism), and ecosystem organization (detritus release and carbon sink capacity). The responses of Zostera noltii seagrass meadows growing in low- and high-nutrient field conditions were compared. In both meadows, the expected CO2 benefits on Z. noltii leaf production were suppressed by epiphyte overgrowth, with no direct CO2 effect on plant biochemistry or population-level traits. Multi-level meadow response to nutrients was faster and stronger than to CO2. Nutrient enrichment promoted the nutritional quality of Z. noltii (high N, low C : N and phenolics), the growth of epiphytic pennate diatoms and purple bacteria, and shoot mortality. In the low-nutrient meadow, individual effects of CO2 and nutrients separately resulted in reduced carbon storage in the sediment, probably due to enhanced microbial degradation of more labile organic matter. These changes, however, had no effect on herbivory or on community metabolism. Interestingly, individual effects of CO2 or nutrient addition on epiphytes, shoot mortality, and carbon storage were attenuated when nutrients and CO2 acted simultaneously. This suggests CO2-induced benefits on eutrophic meadows. In the high-nutrient meadow, a striking shoot decline caused by amphipod overgrazing masked the response to CO2 and nutrient additions. Our results reveal that under future scenarios of CO2, the responses of seagrass ecosystems will be complex and

  13. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Using variation in the chemical and stable isotopic composition of Zostera noltii to assess nutrient dynamics in a temperate seagrass meadow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Papadimitriou, S.; Kennedy, H.; Rodrigues, R.M.N.V.; Kennedy, D.P. [University of Wales, Bangor (United Kingdom). School of Ocean Sciences; Heaton, T.H.E. [British Geological Survey, Nottingham (United Kingdom). NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory

    2006-10-15

    The influence of seasonality in growth and benthic organic matter remineralization on the chemical and isotopic composition of the seagrass Zostera noltii was investigated from March to November over the course of two years in a temperate meadow in North Wales, UK. The carbon (C{sub org}) and nitrogen (N{sub org}) concentrations in new {sub leaf} tissue ranged from 25 to 35 mmol C g{sup -1} and 2 to 5 mmol N g{sup -1}. Their stable isotopic composition ranged from -11.0 per thousand to -6.9 per thousand ({delta}{sup 13}C{sub leaf}) and +3.3 per thousand to +7.5 per thousand ({delta}{sup 15}N{sub leaf}), while the stable isotopic composition of sulphur in the new {sub leaf} ({delta}{sup 34}S{sub leaf}) ranged from -3.0 per thousand to +6.4 per thousand. The young seagrass tissues had lowest Norg, highest C:N, most depleted {delta}{sup 13}C{sub leaf}, and most enriched {delta}{sup 15}N{sub leaf} at the standing biomass maximum (approximately 150-200 g dry weight m{sup -2}) in the summer, reflecting the temporal imbalance between inorganic nutrient supply and plant demand imposed by seasonality in the growth rate. The most depleted {delta}{sup 34}S{sub leaf} was recorded in the same season. The isotopic composition of the seagrass tissues reflected that of the external inorganic source. The {delta}{sup 13}C{sub leaf} correlated (r{sup 2} {approx} 0.4) with the {delta}{sup 13}C of total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the surface waters ({delta}{sup 13}C{sub DIC} range: -0.4 per thousand to +1.2 per thousand).The apparent carbon isotope enrichment factor of new leaf relative to the bulk seawater DIC ({epsilon} {sub seagrass-DIC} range: -11.2 to -8.1 per thousand) indicated reliance on direct HCO{sub 3}{sup -} uptake, especially early in the growing season (spring). The {delta}{sup 15}N{sub leaf} reflected the {delta}{sup 15}N of pore water ammonium ({delta}{sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +} range: +6 per thousand to +10 per thousand; average: +7.4 {+-} 0.8 per thousand) as

  17. First Phytochemical Evidence of Chemotypes for the Seagrass Zostera noltii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micheline Grignon-Dubois

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The variability of the flavonoid content of two populations of Z. noltii from different geographical zones, i.e., the Bay of Arcachon and the Bay of Cadiz, was evaluated. Samples were collected in spring and autumn at the two sites, and extracts were prepared by maceration in water. The phenolic content was fully characterized using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR, UV and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS, and the concentration of the individual phenolic was determined by quantitative High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode-Array Detection (HPLC-DAD. The two populations show a strong geographical differentiation in their flavonoid content. The samples from Cadiz were dominated by apigenin 7-sulfate, which represents 71% (autumn collection and 83% (spring collection of the total flavonoids, whereas the samples from Arcachon were characterized by diosmetin 7-sulfate (85 and 93% of the total flavonoids. Structural elucidation of the individual phenolics was assigned using the complementary information from their spectral evidence. In addition, the results were confirmed by acid hydrolysis of the flavonoid sulfates, and comparison to synthetic standards obtained by sulfation of apigenin, diosmetin and luteolin. The results represent the first experimental evidence of the existence of chemotypes within the species Z. noltii.

  18. Microbial production and consumption of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in a sea grass (Zostera noltii)-dominated marine intertidal sediment ecosystem (Bassin d'Arcachon, France)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonkers, HM; van Bergeijk, SA; van Gemerden, H

    The relation between net dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production and changes in near surface (0-5 mm) oxygen concentrations in a sea grass (Zostera noltii Hornem)-covered intertidal sediment ecosystem was examined during a diel cycle. Sediment covered with Zostera was found to be more oxygenated than

  19. Clonal and sexy : The dynamics of sexual and asexual reproduction in dwarf eelgrass, Zostera noltii Hornemann in the northern Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zipperle, Andreas Michael

    2012-01-01

    Zeegrassen zijn ecosysteembouwers die verscheidene ecosysteem diensten leveren. Hun voorkomen in de ondiepe marges van de wereldoceanen maakt ze extra kwetsbaar voor menselijke invloeden wat geresulteerd heeft in een wereldwijde achteruitgang. Zostera noltii (klein zeegras) heeft zich gemanifesteerd

  20. Circular pools in the seagrass beds of the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, and their possible origin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Laan, BBPA; Wolff, WJ

    The tidal flats of the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, are covered by vast beds of Zostera noltii. At low tide these seagrass beds appear to be interspersed with partly vegetated, circular pools of 5-25 in diameter. Between February and May 2001 we described these pools and studied their possible origin.

  1. 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....

  2. 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

  3. Sulphate reduction and nitrogen fixation rates associated with roots, rhizomes and sediments from Zostera noltii and Spartina maritima meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, L B; Finster, K; Welsh, D T; Donelly, A; Herbert, R A; de Wit, R; Lomstein, B A

    2001-01-01

    Sulphate reduction rates (SRR) and nitrogen fixation rates (NFR) associated with isolated roots, rhizomes and sediment from the rhizosphere of the marine macrophytes Zostera noltii and Spartina maritima, and the presence and distribution of Bacteria on the roots and rhizomes, were investigated. Between 1% and 3% of the surface area of the roots and rhizomes of both macrophytes were colonized by Bacteria. Bacteria on the surfaces of S. maritima roots and rhizomes were evenly distributed, while the distribution of Bacteria on Z. noltii roots and rhizomes was patchy. Root- and rhizome-associated SRR and NFR were always higher than rates in the bulk sediment. In particular, nitrogen fixation associated with the roots and rhizomes was 41-650-fold higher than in the bulk sediment. Despite the fact that sulphate reduction was elevated on roots and rhizomes compared with bulk sediment, the contribution of plant-associated sulphate reduction to overall sulphate reduction was small (< or =11%). In contrast, nitrogen fixation associated with the roots and rhizomes accounted for 31% and 91% of the nitrogen fixed in the rhizosphere of Z. noltii and S. maritima respectively. In addition, plant-associated nitrogen fixation could supply 37-1,613% of the nitrogen needed by the sulphate-reducing community. Sucrose stimulated nitrogen fixation and sulphate reduction significantly in the root and rhizome compartments of both macrophytes, but not in the bulk sediment.

  4. 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.

  5. Temporal distribution of intertidal macrozoobenthic assemblages in a Nanozostera noltii-dominated area (Lagoon of Venice).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagliapietra, D; Pessa, G; Cornello, M; Zitelli, A; Magni, P

    2016-03-01

    We describe the temporal distribution of intertidal macrozoobenthic assemblages in a small marsh pond of the Lagoon of Venice colonized by the seagrass Nanozostera noltii (Hornemman) Tomlinson et Posluzny. Three stations ranging in the degree of N. noltii cover were selected about 100 m apart and sampled 9 times at regular intervals from March 1996 to March 1997. We applied the concepts of resistance and resilience to "natural stress" (e.g. extent of protection from seagrass meadows, exposure of macrozoobenthic assemblages to high temperatures in summer) with the aim to assess the stability of a community along a gradient of seagrass coverage. Results showed that the most structured and taxa-rich macrozoobenthic assemblage occurred at the station covered by a continuous stand of N. noltii, where permanent taxa (i.e. found in 100% of samples) were almost double than those found at the other stations. During the annual cycle, the macrozoobenthic assemblages showed a cyclical pattern, with temporal fluctuations increasing as they moved further away from the seagrass beds. We propose the role of N. noltii offering structural complexity and stability as the more probable explanation to the observed differences between stations in the intertidal assemblages. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cale A. Miller

    2017-07-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. PRODUCTION ECOLOGY OF THE NON-INDIGENOUS SEAGRASS, DWARF EELGRASS (ZOSTERA JAPONICA ASCHER. & GRAEB.), IN A PACIFIC NORTHWEST ESTUARY, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The non-indigenous seagrass Zostera japonica Ascher. & Graeb. (dwarf eelgrass) was first identified in central Oregon (USA) estuaries about 30 years ago. The autecology of this species is poorly described at the southern end of its non-native range although several process orien...

  12. Sulfur bacteria in sediments of two coastal ecosystems: the Bassin d'Arcachon and the Etang du Prévost, France

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaub, B E M; van Gemerden, H

    1996-01-01

    Enumeration of the functional groups of sulfur bacteria was performed in the sediments in the Bassin d'Arcachon, a mesotidal lagoon with strong tidal currents and dominant populations of seagrass (Zostera noltii), and in the Etang du Prevost, a shallow lagoon with moderate tidal fluctuations and

  13. Anti-oxidative feedback and biomarkers in the intertidal seagrass Zostera japonica induced by exposure to copper, lead and cadmium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, Haiying; Sun, Tao; Zhou, Yi; Zhang, Xiaomei

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the potential influences of anthropogenic pollutants, we evaluated the responses of the intertidal seagrass Zostera japonica to three heavy metals: copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd). Z. japonica was exposed to various concentrations of Cu, Pb , and Cd (0, 0.5, 5, 50 μM) over seven days. The effects were then analyzed using the antioxidant enzyme catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and lipid peroxidation measured using malondialdehyde (MDA) as proxy. Metal accumulation in the above-ground tissues and phenotypic changes were also investigated. Our results revealed that heavy metal concentration increased in seagrass exposed to high levels of metals. Z. japonica has great potential for metal accumulation and a suitable candidate for the decontamination of moderately Cu contaminated bodies of water and can also potentially enhanced efforts of environmental decontamination, either through phytoextraction abilities or by functioning as an indicator for monitoring programs that use SOD, CAT, GPX, POD and MDA as biomarkers. - Highlights: • Anti-oxidative feedback of Zostera japonica to the heavy metals Cu, Pb, and Cd was determined. • The endangered intertidal seagrass Z. japonica had a high metal accumulation potential. • Z. japonica might be a potential indicator in monitoring programs using SOD, CAT, GPX, POD and MDA as biomarkers.

  14. Effects of salinity on photosynthesis and respiration of the seagrass Zostera japonica: A comparison of two established populations in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zostera japonica is a non-native seagrass along the Pacific Coast of North America that is distributed from Northern California, USA to British Columbia, Canada. Recent observations indicate that the species is expanding both latitudinally and into areas of lower salinity. Ther...

  15. 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

  16. A new mechanistic understanding of light-limitation in the seagrass Zostera muelleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davey, Peter A; Pernice, Mathieu; Ashworth, Justin; Kuzhiumparambil, Unnikrishnan; Szabó, Milán; Dolferus, Rudy; Ralph, Peter J

    2018-03-01

    In this study we investigated the effect of light-limitation (∼20 μmol photons m -2  s -1 ) on the southern hemisphere seagrass, Zostera muelleri. RNA sequencing, chlorophyll fluorometry and HPLC techniques were used to investigate how the leaf-specific transcriptome drives changes in photosynthesis and photo-pigments in Z. muelleri over 6 days. 1593 (7.51%) genes were differentially expressed on day 2 and 1481 (6.98%) genes were differentially expressed on day 6 of the experiment. Differential gene expression correlated with significant decreases in rETR Max , I k , an increase in Yi (initial photosynthetic quantum yield of photosystem II), and significant changes in pigment composition. Regulation of carbohydrate metabolism was observed along with evidence that abscisic acid may serve a role in the low-light response of this seagrass. This study provides a novel understanding of how Z. muelleri responds to light-limitation in the marine water column and provides potential molecular markers for future conservation monitoring efforts. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Diurnal effects of anoxia on the metabolome of the seagrass Zostera marina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Fragner, Lena; Holmer, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the response, adaptation and tolerance mechanisms of the temperate seagrass Zostera marina to water column anoxia. We exposed Z. marina to a diurnal light/dark cycle under anoxia and assessed the metabolic response by measuring the metabolome with gas chromatography coupled to mass...... spectrometry (GC–MS). During anoxia and light exposure the roots showed an altered metabolome whereas the leaves were only marginally affected, indicating that photosynthetically derived oxygen could satisfy the oxygen demand in the leaves but not in the roots. Nocturnal anoxia caused a biphasic shift...... in the metabolome of roots and leaves. The first phase, after 15 h under anoxia and 3 h of darkness showed a fast increase of lactate, pyruvate, GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid), succinate, alanine and a decrease in glutamate and glutamine. The second phase, after 21 h under anoxia and 9 h of darkness showed a decrease...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liina Pajusalu

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanna Kong

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The seagrass Zostera marina is a monocotyledonous angiosperm belonging to a polyphyletic group of plants that can live submerged in marine habitats. Zostera marina L. is one of the most common seagrasses and is considered a cornerstone of marine plant molecular ecology research and comparative studies. However, the mechanisms underlying its adaptation to the marine environment still remain poorly understood due to limited transcriptomic and genomic data. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we explored the transcriptome of Z. marina leaves under different environmental conditions using Illumina paired-end sequencing. Approximately 55 million sequencing reads were obtained, representing 58,457 transcripts that correspond to 24,216 unigenes. A total of 14,389 (59.41% unigenes were annotated by blast searches against the NCBI non-redundant protein database. 45.18% and 46.91% of the unigenes had significant similarity with proteins in the Swiss-Prot database and Pfam database, respectively. Among these, 13,897 unigenes were assigned to 57 Gene Ontology (GO terms and 4,745 unigenes were identified and mapped to 233 pathways via functional annotation against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway database (KEGG. We compared the orthologous gene family of the Z. marina transcriptome to Oryza sativa and Pyropia yezoensis and 11,667 orthologous gene families are specific to Z. marina. Furthermore, we identified the photoreceptors sensing red/far-red light and blue light. Also, we identified a large number of genes that are involved in ion transporters and channels including Na+ efflux, K+ uptake, Cl- channels, and H+ pumping. CONCLUSIONS: Our study contains an extensive sequencing and gene-annotation analysis of Z. marina. This information represents a genetic resource for the discovery of genes related to light sensing and salt tolerance in this species. Our transcriptome can be further utilized in future studies on molecular adaptation to

  4. Analytical determination of the reducing and stabilization agents present in different Zostera noltii extracts used for the biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarzuela, Rafael; Luna, Manuel Jesús; Gil, María Luisa Almoraima; Ortega, María Jesús; Palacios-Santander, José María; Naranjo-Rodríguez, Ignacio; Delgado, Juan José; Cubillana-Aguilera, Laura María

    2018-02-01

    The objective of this work was to ascertain the nature of the components responsible for the reducing and stabilizing properties of Zostera noltii extracts that lead to gold nanoparticle formation using chemical techniques of analysis. In order to achieve this aim, we try the synthesis of AuNPs with three different extracts from plants collected in the Bay of Cádiz (Spain). The n-butanol extract produced the best results. Taking this into account, four fractions were isolated by Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography from this extract and we studied their activity. The chemical study of these fractions led to the isolation of several flavone sulfates and these were identified as the species' responsible for the formation and stabilization of the AuNPs. Flavone sulfates were purified by high performance liquid chromatography and the structures were established by means of spectroscopic methods nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. AuNPs have an average lifetime of about 16weeks. Additionally, the morphology and crystalline phase of the gold nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy. The composition of the nanoparticles was evaluated by electron diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. An 88% of the gold nanoparticles has a diameter in the range 20-35nm, with an average size of 26±2nm. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Olsen, Jeanine L.

    2016-01-27

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

  6. Proteome Analysis Reveals Extensive Light Stress-Response Reprogramming in the Seagrass Zostera muelleri (Alismatales, Zosteraceae) Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Manoj; Padula, Matthew P; Davey, Peter; Pernice, Mathieu; Jiang, Zhijian; Sablok, Gaurav; Contreras-Porcia, Loretto; Ralph, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine ecosystem engineers that are currently declining in abundance at an alarming rate due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances in ecological niches. Despite reports on the morphological and physiological adaptations of seagrasses to extreme environments, little is known of the molecular mechanisms underlying photo-acclimation, and/or tolerance in these marine plants. This study applies the two-dimensional isoelectric focusing (2D-IEF) proteomics approach to identify photo-acclimation/tolerance proteins in the marine seagrass Zostera muelleri . For this, Z. muelleri was exposed for 10 days in laboratory mesocosms to saturating (control, 200 μmol photons m -2 s -1 ), super-saturating (SSL, 600 μmol photons m -2 s -1 ), and limited light (LL, 20 μmol photons m -2 s -1 ) irradiance conditions. Using LC-MS/MS analysis, 93 and 40 protein spots were differentially regulated under SSL and LL conditions, respectively, when compared to the control. In contrast to the LL condition, Z. muelleri robustly tolerated super-saturation light than control conditions, evidenced by their higher relative maximum electron transport rate and minimum saturating irradiance values. Proteomic analyses revealed up-regulation and/or appearances of proteins belonging to the Calvin-Benson and Krebs cycle, glycolysis, the glycine cleavage system of photorespiration, and the antioxidant system. These proteins, together with those from the inter-connected glutamate-proline-GABA pathway, shaped Z. muelleri photosynthesis and growth under SSL conditions. In contrast, the LL condition negatively impacted the metabolic activities of Z. muelleri by down-regulating key metabolic enzymes for photosynthesis and the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids, which is consistent with the observation with lower photosynthetic performance under LL condition. This study provides novel insights into the underlying molecular photo-acclimation mechanisms in Z. muelleri , in addition

  7. Seagrass epiphytic assemblages are strong indicators of agricultural discharge but weak indicators of host features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado, Patricia

    2018-05-01

    Wastewater pulses from rice agriculture are persistently discharged into the northern shore of the Alfacs Bay (Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean) from April to November. The bay also receives water from coastal lagoons which are subjected to freshwater inputs from the Ebro River mixed to an unknown extent with agricultural wastewater during the same period. This paper compares epiphyte assemblages growing on leaves of Cymodocea nodosa in sites exposed to agricultural drainage channels, lagoon connection channels, and control sites in the Ebro Delta Natural Park (southern shore of the bay). Leaf epiphytic assemblages of Zostera noltii patches in the northern shore of the bay were also compared with those of adjacent beds of C. nodosa. Drainage channel sites had consistently distinctive assemblages (higher species richness, biomass load, and taxa composition) than control sites. Assemblages from lagoon channel sites were more variable, with three sites showing particularly high covers of epiphytic algae and two sites more similar to controls. Epiphyte patterns clearly matched in situ measures of nutrient availability, and were consistent with decreased shoot densities in discharge sites. In contrast, differences in epiphyte assemblages between seagrass species were minor, and mostly a result of higher epiphytic loads on C. nodosa than on Z. noltii, which features thinner leaves. Further research is needed to investigate the consequences of these plant and epiphyte alterations in important ecosystem processes such as decomposition and export rates, as well as overall effects of nutrients and salinity in secondary producers such as associated macroinvertebrate assemblages supporting locally important marine fisheries.

  8. Towards a more ecologically relevant assessment of the impact of heavy metals on the photosynthesis of the seagrass, Zostera capricorni.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    This in situ study used photosynthetic activity (measured as chlorophyll a fluorescence) and photosynthetic pigment concentrations to assess the effect of copper, cadmium, lead and zinc on the seagrass Zostera capricorni. Custom-made portable in situ exposure (PIE) chambers were developed so seagrasses could be dosed within the meadow. Z capricorni was exposed to 0.1 and I mg l(-1) of metal solutions for 10 h. During this time and for the subsequent four-day recovery period, the effective quantum yield of photosystem II (PS II) (deltaF/Fm') was measured. While the results were variable, copper and zinc exposed samples had a depressed deltaF/Fm' during the exposure period. Samples exposed to zinc recovered to pre-exposure levels but those exposed to copper did not. Cadmium and lead did not impact on the chlorophyll a fluorescence and the chlorophyll pigment data supported these findings. This study presents an innovative new application of chlorophyll a fluorescence stress assessment.

  9. Phylogeographic differentiation versus transcriptomic adaptation to warm temperatures in Zostera marina, a globally important seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jueterbock, A; Franssen, S U; Bergmann, N; Gu, J; Coyer, J A; Reusch, T B H; Bornberg-Bauer, E; Olsen, J L

    2016-11-01

    Populations distributed across a broad thermal cline are instrumental in addressing adaptation to increasing temperatures under global warming. Using a space-for-time substitution design, we tested for parallel adaptation to warm temperatures along two independent thermal clines in Zostera marina, the most widely distributed seagrass in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. A North-South pair of populations was sampled along the European and North American coasts and exposed to a simulated heatwave in a common-garden mesocosm. Transcriptomic responses under control, heat stress and recovery were recorded in 99 RNAseq libraries with ~13 000 uniquely annotated, expressed genes. We corrected for phylogenetic differentiation among populations to discriminate neutral from adaptive differentiation. The two southern populations recovered faster from heat stress and showed parallel transcriptomic differentiation, as compared with northern populations. Among 2389 differentially expressed genes, 21 exceeded neutral expectations and were likely involved in parallel adaptation to warm temperatures. However, the strongest differentiation following phylogenetic correction was between the three Atlantic populations and the Mediterranean population with 128 of 4711 differentially expressed genes exceeding neutral expectations. Although adaptation to warm temperatures is expected to reduce sensitivity to heatwaves, the continued resistance of seagrass to further anthropogenic stresses may be impaired by heat-induced downregulation of genes related to photosynthesis, pathogen defence and stress tolerance. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Effects of Temperature, Salinity and Seed Age on Induction of Zostera japonica Germination in North America, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagrasses can colonize unstructured mudflats either through clonal growth or seed germination and survival. Zostera japonica is an introduced seagrass in North America that has rapidly colonized mudflats along the Pacific Coast, leading to active management of the species. Gro...

  11. Seasonal growth dynamics of the seagrass Zostera caulescens on the eastern coast of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong-Hyeob; Park, Sang Hoon; Kim, Young Kyun; Kim, Seung Hyeon; Park, Jung-Im; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2014-12-01

    Zostera caulescens is an endemic seagrass species in Northeastern Asia. Estimated distributional area of this species is approximately 1-5 km2 on the coasts of Korea. Because Z. caulescens has a very limited distribution, the growth dynamics of Z. caulescens is little known in the coastal waters of Korea. In the present study, we investigated the growth dynamics of Z. caulescens in relation to coincident measurements of environmental factors, such as underwater irradiance, water temperature, and nutrient availability. The study was conducted on a monotypic meadow of Z. caulescens in Uljin on the eastern coast of Korea from September 2011 to September 2012. Shoot density and biomass of Z. caulescens showed distinct seasonal variations, and exhibited strong correlations with water temperature suggesting that the seasonal growth of this species was regulated by water temperature. Shoot density and biomass rapidly decreased during the high water temperature period in summer, and thus Z. caulescens is considered a cold water adapted species like other temperate seagrass species on coasts of Korea. Biomass of photosynthetic leaf tissues on reproductive shoots was approximately 4 times higher than that on vegetative shoots. The height of reproductive shoots ranged from 1.2 m in February 2012 to 3.2 m in August 2012, whereas the height of vegetative shoots was usually less than 1.0 m. Leaf tissues on reproductive shoots probably received much more light for photosynthesis than those on vegetative shoots. Thus, reproductive shoots may play an important role in total production of Z. caulescens.

  12. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Toxicity effects of an environmental realistic herbicide mixture on the seagrass Zostera noltei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diepens, Noël J; Buffan-Dubau, Evelyne; Budzinski, Hélène; Kallerhoff, Jean; Merlina, Georges; Silvestre, Jérome; Auby, Isabelle; Nathalie Tapie; Elger, Arnaud

    2017-03-01

    Worldwide seagrass declines have been observed due to multiple stressors. One of them is the mixture of pesticides used in intensive agriculture and boat antifouling paints in coastal areas. Effects of mixture toxicity are complex and poorly understood. However, consideration of mixture toxicity is more realistic and ecologically relevant for environmental risk assessment (ERA). The first aim of this study was to determine short-term effects of realistic herbicide mixture exposure on physiological endpoints of Zostera noltei. The second aim was to assess the environmental risks of this mixture, by comparing the results to previously published data. Z. noltei was exposed to a mixture of four herbicides: atrazine, diuron, irgarol and S-metolachlor, simulating the composition of typical cocktail of contaminants in the Arcachon bay (Atlantic coast, France). Three stress biomarkers were measured: enzymatic activity of glutathione reductase, effective quantum yield (EQY) and photosynthetic pigment composition after 6, 24 and 96 h. Short term exposure to realistic herbicide mixtures affected EQY, with almost 100% inhibition for the two highest concentrations, and photosynthetic pigments. Effect on pigment composition was detected after 6 h with a no observed effect concentration (NOEC) of 1 μg/L total mixture concentration. The lowest EQY effect concentration at 10% (EC 10 ) (2 μg/L) and pigment composition NOEC with an assessment factor of 10 were above the maximal field concentrations along the French Atlantic coast, suggesting that there are no potential short term adverse effects of this particular mixture on Z. noltei. However, chronic effects on photosynthesis may lead to reduced energy reserves, which could thus lead to effects at whole plant and population level. Understanding the consequences of chemical mixtures could help to improve ERA and enhance management strategies to prevent further declines of seagrass meadows worldwide. Copyright © 2016

  15. Effects of restoration management on the estuarine isopod Cyathura carinata: mediation by trematodes and habitat change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferreira, S.M.; Brandao, A.; Baeta, A.

    2007-01-01

    A restoration programme was introduced in the Mondego Estuary (Portugal) to recover seagrass beds of Zostera noltii endangered by eutrophication. A long-term survey of 10 years was used to assess the development of the processes involved, focusing one of the key species (Cyathura carinata, Isopoda...... blooms, although both events caused dispersion of individuals. This isopod was not much influenced by the changes occurring in the estuary, showing an unalterable population structure during the entire study period. After 1998, its density and biomass became more stable at an inner unvegetated sand flat...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Distribution patterns of Syllidae (Annelida: Polychaeta from seagrass (Zostera marina and Z. noltei meadows in the Ensenada de O Grove (Galicia, NW Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Quintas

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the distribution and composition of the syllid fauna inhabiting seagrass meadows in the Ensenada de O Grove (NW Spain. Samples were collected on muddy sediments colonized by either Zostera marina L., Zostera noltei Hornemann or by a mixed meadow with both species. Syllids were dominant (13340 individuals; 37% of total polychaete abundance, including 22 species (12 genera. The mixed meadows housed the highest number of species and the Z. noltei meadow had practically no syllids. The dominant species were Exogone naidina, Parapionosyllis elegans, Parexogone hebes and Prosphaerosyllis campoyi ( > 80% of total abundance. Carnivores (mainly species of Parapionosyllis, Amblyosyllis, and Streptosyllis were dominant, especially in muddy sand with either Z. marina or Z. noltei and sandy mud with a mixed meadow. The most important abiotic variables for explaining the composition and distribution of the syllid fauna were bottom water salinity, sorting coefficient and carbonate content. The highest number of species was recorded at sites with a high salinity and carbonate content and the lowest at sites with a high sorting coefficient.

  18. A tale of two seagrasses: Comparing the science and management of Zostera marina and Zostera japonica in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    On the Pacific coast of North America, at least two congeners of Zostera occur: native Zostera marina, and introduced, Z. japonica. Z. japonica is considered “invasive” and therefore, ecologically and economically harmful by some, while others consider it benign or perhaps benef...

  19. A new marine measure enhancing Zostera marina seed germination and seedling survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sousa, Ana I.; Valdemarsen, Thomas; Lillebø, Ana I.

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass global distribution has declined in the last decades due to many causes, and the implementation of recovery programmes as well as the development of new restoration techniques are needed. This work describes the development of an innovative restoration measure to enhance Zostera marina (...

  20. The impact of the herbicide atrazine on growth and photosynthesis of seagrass, Zostera marina (L.), seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yaping; Fang, Jianguang; Zhang, Jihong; Ren, Lihua; Mao, Yuze; Li, Bin; Zhang, Mingliang; Liu, Dinghai; Du, Meirong

    2011-08-01

    The impact of the widely used herbicide atrazine on seedling growth and photosynthesis of eelgrass was determined. The long-term impact of the herbicide atrazine (1, 10 and 100 μg/L) on growth of eelgrass Zostera marina (L.) seedlings, maintained in outdoor aquaria, was monitored over 4 weeks. Exposure to 10 μg/L atrazine resulted in significantly lower plant fresh weight and total chlorophyll concentration and up to 86.67% mortality at the 100 μg/L concentration. Short-term photosynthetic stress on eelgrass seedlings was determined and compared with adult eelgrass using chlorophyll fluorescence. The effective quantum yield in eelgrass seedlings was significantly depressed at all atrazine concentrations (2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 μg/L) even within 2 h and remained at a lower level than for adult plants for each concentration. These results indicate that atrazine presents a potential threat to seagrass seedling functioning and that the impact is much higher than for adult plants. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Low oxygen affects photophysiology and the level of expression of two-carbon metabolism genes in the seagrass Zostera muelleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mikael; Brodersen, Kasper Elgetti; Szabó, Milán; Larkum, Anthony W D; Raven, John A; Ralph, Peter J; Pernice, Mathieu

    2018-05-01

    Seagrasses are a diverse group of angiosperms that evolved to live in shallow coastal waters, an environment regularly subjected to changes in oxygen, carbon dioxide and irradiance. Zostera muelleri is the dominant species in south-eastern Australia, and is critical for healthy coastal ecosystems. Despite its ecological importance, little is known about the pathways of carbon fixation in Z. muelleri and their regulation in response to environmental changes. In this study, the response of Z. muelleri exposed to control and very low oxygen conditions was investigated by using (i) oxygen microsensors combined with a custom-made flow chamber to measure changes in photosynthesis and respiration, and (ii) reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR to measure changes in expression levels of key genes involved in C 4 metabolism. We found that very low levels of oxygen (i) altered the photophysiology of Z. muelleri, a characteristic of C 3 mechanism of carbon assimilation, and (ii) decreased the expression levels of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and carbonic anhydrase. These molecular-physiological results suggest that regulation of the photophysiology of Z. muelleri might involve a close integration between the C 3 and C 4 , or other CO 2 concentrating mechanisms metabolic pathways. Overall, this study highlights that the photophysiological response of Z. muelleri to changing oxygen in water is capable of rapid acclimation and the dynamic modulation of pathways should be considered when assessing seagrass primary production.

  2. Accumulation of Trace Metal Elements (Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb in Surface Sediment via Decomposed Seagrass Leaves: A Mesocosm Experiment Using Zostera marina L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinya Hosokawa

    Full Text Available Accumulation of Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb in the sediment of seagrass ecosystems was examined using mesocosm experiments containing Zostera marina (eelgrass and reference pools. Lead was approximately 20-fold higher in the surface sediment in the eelgrass pool than in eelgrass leaves and epiphytes on the eelgrass leaves, whereas zinc and cadmium were significantly lower in the surface sediment than in the leaves, with intermediate concentrations in epiphytes. Copper concentrations were similar in both the surface sediment and leaves but significantly lower in epiphytes. Carbon and nitrogen contents increased significantly with increasing δ13C in surface sediments of both the eelgrass and reference pools. Copper, Zn, Cd, and Pb also increased significantly with increasing δ13C in the surface sediment in the eelgrass pool but not in the reference pool. By decomposition of eelgrass leaves with epiphytes, which was examined in the eelgrass pool, copper and lead concentrations increased more than 2-fold and approximately a 10-fold, whereas zinc and cadmium concentrations decreased. The high copper and lead concentrations in the surface sediment result from accumulation in decomposed, shed leaves, whereas zinc and cadmium remobilized from decomposed shed leaves but may remain at higher concentrations in the leaves than in the original sediments. The results of our mesocosm study demonstrate that whether the accumulation or remobilization of trace metals during the decomposition of seagrass leaves is trace metal dependent, and that the decomposed seagrass leaves can cause copper and lead accumulation in sediments in seagrass ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diekmann, Onno E; Serrão, Ester A

    2012-04-01

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

  4. Mechanisms of seed dormancy in an annual population of Zostera marina (eelgrass) from the Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harrison, P.G.

    1991-01-01

    Mechanisms of dormancy of seeds from an annual population of the seagrass Zostera marina L. (eelgrass) in the SW Netherlands were investigated in the laboratory. Both physiological dormancy (a requirement for reduced salinity for germination) and physical dormancy (imposed by the seed coat) existed

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  8. In situ impact of multiple pulses of metal and herbicide on the seagrass, Zostera capricorni.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-04-28

    Tides and freshwater inflow which influence water movement in estuarine areas govern the exposure-regime of pollutants. In this experiment, we examined the in situ impact of double pulses of copper and the herbicide Irgarol 1051 on the photosynthesis of the seagrass, Zostera capricorni. Despite a 4-day recovery period between the two 10h pulses of toxicant, the effective quantum yield of photosystem II (DeltaF/Fm') and total chlorophyll concentrations indicated that multiple-pulses had a greater impact than a single pulse. During the first exposure period, samples exposed to Irgarol 1051 had DeltaF/Fm' values as low as zero while controls remained around 0.6 relative units. After the second exposure period, treated samples recovered to only 0.4 relative units. Samples exposed to copper had DeltaF/Fm' values around 0.3 relative units during the first exposure period and while these samples recovered before the second dose, they remained below 0.2 relative units after the second exposure period. Alternate samples were also exposed to one toxicant, allowed to recover and then exposed to the other toxicant. DeltaF/Fm' values indicated that copper exposure followed by Irgarol 1051 exposure was more toxic than Irgarol 1051 exposure followed by copper exposure.

  9. In situ impact of multiple pulses of metal and herbicide on the seagrass, Zostera capricorni

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

    Tides and freshwater inflow which influence water movement in estuarine areas govern the exposure-regime of pollutants. In this experiment, we examined the in situ impact of double pulses of copper and the herbicide Irgarol 1051 on the photosynthesis of the seagrass, Zostera capricorni. Despite a 4-day recovery period between the two 10 h pulses of toxicant, the effective quantum yield of photosystem II (ΔF/Fm') and total chlorophyll concentrations indicated that multiple-pulses had a greater impact than a single pulse. During the first exposure period, samples exposed to Irgarol 1051 had ΔF/Fm' values as low as zero while controls remained around 0.6 relative units. After the second exposure period, treated samples recovered to only 0.4 relative units. Samples exposed to copper had ΔF/Fm' values around 0.3 relative units during the first exposure period and while these samples recovered before the second dose, they remained below 0.2 relative units after the second exposure period. Alternate samples were also exposed to one toxicant, allowed to recover and then exposed to the other toxicant. ΔF/Fm' values indicated that copper exposure followed by Irgarol 1051 exposure was more toxic than Irgarol 1051 exposure followed by copper exposure

  10. In situ impact of multiple pulses of metal and herbicide on the seagrass, Zostera capricorni

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-04-28

    Tides and freshwater inflow which influence water movement in estuarine areas govern the exposure-regime of pollutants. In this experiment, we examined the in situ impact of double pulses of copper and the herbicide Irgarol 1051 on the photosynthesis of the seagrass, Zostera capricorni. Despite a 4-day recovery period between the two 10 h pulses of toxicant, the effective quantum yield of photosystem II ({delta}F/Fm') and total chlorophyll concentrations indicated that multiple-pulses had a greater impact than a single pulse. During the first exposure period, samples exposed to Irgarol 1051 had {delta}F/Fm' values as low as zero while controls remained around 0.6 relative units. After the second exposure period, treated samples recovered to only 0.4 relative units. Samples exposed to copper had {delta}F/Fm' values around 0.3 relative units during the first exposure period and while these samples recovered before the second dose, they remained below 0.2 relative units after the second exposure period. Alternate samples were also exposed to one toxicant, allowed to recover and then exposed to the other toxicant. {delta}F/Fm' values indicated that copper exposure followed by Irgarol 1051 exposure was more toxic than Irgarol 1051 exposure followed by copper exposure.

  11. Diurnal effects of anoxia on the metabolome of the seagrass Zostera marina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne; Weckwerth, Wolfram

    2014-01-01

    Environmental metabolomics has become interesting in marine ecological studies. One example is the revealing of new insights in stress response of Zostera marina. This is essential to understand how, at which level and to what extend aquatic plants adapt, tolerate and react to environmental...... stressors. We exposed Z. marina to water column anoxia and assessed the diurnal metabolomic response by GC-TOF-MS based metabolomics identifying 109 known and 217 unknown metabolites. During day time photosynthetic oxygen production prevents severe effects of anoxia on the metabolome (complete set of small...... the applicability of metabolomics to assess environmental stress responses of Zostera marina....

  12. 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

  13. Drivers of sulfide intrusion in Zostera muelleri in a moderately affected estuary in south-eastern Australia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmer, Marianne; Bennett, William W.; Ferguson, Angus J. P.

    2017-01-01

    The seagrass Zostera muelleri Irmisch ex Asch. is abundant in estuaries in Australia and is under pressure from coastal developments. We studied sulfide intrusion in Z. muelleri along a gradient of anthropogenic impact at five stations in the Wallis Lake estuary, Australia. Results showed differe...

  14. 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.

  15. The impact of the herbicide atrazine on growth and photosynthesis of seagrass, Zostera marina (L.), seedlings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Yaping; Fang Jianguang; Zhang Jihong; Ren Lihua; Mao Yuze; Li Bin; Zhang Mingliang; Liu Dinghai; Du Meirong

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Impact of the widely used herbicide atrazine on eelgrass seedlings was studied. → Atrazine presents a threat to eelgrass seedlings growth and photosynthesis. → The impact of atrazine on eelgrass seedlings is much higher than for adult plants. - Abstract: The impact of the widely used herbicide atrazine on seedling growth and photosynthesis of eelgrass was determined. The long-term impact of the herbicide atrazine (1, 10 and 100 μg/L) on growth of eelgrass Zostera marina (L.) seedlings, maintained in outdoor aquaria, was monitored over 4 weeks. Exposure to 10 μg/L atrazine resulted in significantly lower plant fresh weight and total chlorophyll concentration and up to 86.67% mortality at the 100 μg/L concentration. Short-term photosynthetic stress on eelgrass seedlings was determined and compared with adult eelgrass using chlorophyll fluorescence. The effective quantum yield in eelgrass seedlings was significantly depressed at all atrazine concentrations (2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 μg/L) even within 2 h and remained at a lower level than for adult plants for each concentration. These results indicate that atrazine presents a potential threat to seagrass seedling functioning and that the impact is much higher than for adult plants.

  16. Eelgrass Blue Carbon-Quantification of Carbon Stocks and Sequestration Rates in Zostera Marina Beds in the Salish Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, M. D.; Rybczyk, J.; Poppe, K.; Johnson, C.; Kaminsky, M.; Lanphear, M.

    2017-12-01

    Seagrass meadows provide more than habitat, biodiversity support, wave abatement, and water quality improvement; they help mitigate climate change by taking up and storing (sequestering) carbon (C), reportedly at rates only surpassed worldwide by salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems. Now that their climate mitigation capacity has earned seagrass ecosystems a place in the Verified Carbon Standard voluntary greenhouse gas program, accurate ecosystem carbon accounting is essential. Though seagrasses vary in carbon storage and accumulation greatly across species and geography, the bulk of data included in calculating global averages involves tropical and subtropical seagrasses. We know little regarding carbon stocks nor sequestration rates for eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows in the Pacific Northwest. The intent of our study was to quantify carbon stocks and sequestration rates in the central Salish Sea of Washington State. We gathered sediment cores over three bays, as close to 1 m in depth as possible, both on foot and while scuba diving. We measured bulk density, carbon concentration, carbon stock, grain size, and carbon accumulation rate with depth. Results from our study show lower estimated Corg concentration (mean = 0.39% C, SE=0.01, range=0.11-1.75, SE=0.01), Corg stock (mean=24.46 Mg ha-1, SE=0.00, range=16.31-49.99.70), and C sequestration rates (mean=33.96 g m-2yr-1, range=11.4-49.5) than those reported in published studies from most other locations. Zostera marina is highly productive, yet does not seem to have the capacity to store C in its sediments like seagrasses in warmer climes. These data have implications in carbon market trading, when determining appropriate seagrass restoration site dimensions to offset emissions from transportation, industry, and seagrass habitat disturbance. Awareness of lower rates could prevent underestimating the area appropriate for mitigation or restoration.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  19. The interactive effects of the antifouling herbicides Irgarol 1051 and Diuron on the seagrass Zostera marina (L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesworth, J C; Donkin, M E; Brown, M T

    2004-02-25

    The herbicides Irgarol 1051 (2-(tert-butylamino)-4-cyclopropylamino)-6-(methylthio)-1,3,5-triazine) and Diuron (3-(3',4'-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea) are commonly incorporated into antifouling paints to boost the efficacy of the compound towards algae. Previous investigations have identified environmental concentrations of these herbicides as being a threat to non-target organisms, such as seagrasses. Their individual toxicity has been assessed, but they can co-occur and interact, potentially increasing their toxicity and the threat posed to seagrass meadows. Chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv:Fm) and leaf specific biomass ratio (representing plant growth) were examined in Zostera marina L. after a 10-day exposure to the individual herbicides. The EC20 for each herbicide was determined and these then used in herbicide mixtures to assess their interactive effects. Irgarol 1051 was found to be more toxic than Diuron with lowest observable effect concentrations for Fv:Fm reduction of 0.5 and 1.0 +/- microg/l and 10-day EC50 values of 1.1 and 3.2 microg/l, respectively. Plants exposed to Irgarol 1051 and Diuron showed a significant reduction in growth at concentrations of 1.0 and 5.0 microg/l, respectively. When Z. marina was exposed to mixtures, the herbicides commonly interacted additively or antagonistically, and no significant further reduction in photosynthetic efficiency was found at any concentration when compared to plants exposed to the individual herbicides. However, on addition of the Diuron EC20 to varying Irgarol 1051 concentrations and the Irgarol 1051 EC20 to varying Diuron concentrations, significant reductions in Fv:Fm were noted at an earlier stage. The growth of plants exposed to Diuron plus the Irgarol 1051 EC20 were significantly reduced when compared to plants exposed to Diuron alone, but only at the lower concentrations. Growth of plants exposed to Irgarol 1051 and the Diuron EC20 showed no significant reduction when compared to the growth of

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. COMPARISON OF ANNUAL PRODUCTION ECOLOGY OF NATIVE EELGRASS ZOSTERA MARINA AND THE NON-NATIVE DWARF EELGRASS Z. JAPONICA IN YAQUINA BAY, OREGON

    Science.gov (United States)

    When non-native plant species invade a system they often change patterns of primary production. I evaluate the contribution of the seagrass Zostera marina and it's non-native congener Z. japonica to primary production in Yaquina Bay. Few measurements of Z. japonica production e...

  4. MAPPING INTERTIDAL EELGRASS (ZOSTERA MARINA L.) IN THREE COASTAL ESTUARIES OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST USA USING FALSE-COLOUR NEAR-INFRARED AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study describes a hybrid technique of digitally classifying aerial photography used for mapping the intertidal habitat of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in Pacific Northwest USA estuaries. The large tidal range (2-3 m) in this region exposes most of this seagrass community at ...

  5. 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.

  6. Desulfovibrio zosterae sp. nov., a new sulfate reducer isolated from surface-sterilized roots of the seagrass Zostera marina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, J T; Liesack, W; Finster, K

    1999-04-01

    A sulfate-reducing bacterium, designated strain lacT, was isolated from surface-sterilized roots of the benthic macrophyte Zostera marina. Cells were motile by means of a single polar flagellum. Strain lacT utilized lactate, pyruvate, malate, ethanol, L-alanine, fumarate, choline and fructose with sulfate as electron acceptor. In addition, fumarate, pyruvate and fructose were also degraded without an external electron acceptor. Sulfate could be substituted with thiosulfate, sulfite and elemental sulfur. Optimal growth was observed between 32.5 and 34.5 degrees C, at an NaCl concentration of 0.2 M and in a pH range between 6.8 and 7.3. The G + C content of the DNA was 42.7 +/- 0.2 mol%. Desulfoviridin and catalase were present. Strain lacT contained c-type cytochromes. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and the fatty acid pattern grouped this isolate into the genus Desulfovibrio. However, strain lacT differs from all other described Desulfovibrio species on the bases of its 16S rRNA gene sequence, the G + C content, its cellular lipid pattern and the utilization pattern of substrates. These characteristics establish strain lacT (= DSM 11974T) as a novel species of the genus Desulfovibrio, for which the name Desulfovibrio zosterae sp. nov. is proposed.

  7. A tale of two seagrasses: Comparing the science and management of Zostera marina and Zostera japonica in the Pacific Northwest - CERF

    Science.gov (United States)

    On the Pacific coast of North America, at least two congeners of Zostera occur: native Z. marina, and introduced, Z. japonica. Z. marina is protected by State and Federal laws as essential fish habitat. Z. japonica is considered “invasive” and therefore, ecologicall...

  8. Temporal pattern in biometrics and nutrient stoichiometry of the intertidal seagrass Zostera japonica and its adaptation to air exposure in a temperate marine lagoon (China): Implications for restoration and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaomei; Zhou, Yi; Liu, Peng; Wang, Feng; Liu, Bingjian; Liu, Xujia; Yang, Hongsheng

    2015-05-15

    In coastal areas of China, the seagrass Zostera japonica has drastically decreased in the past decades. Swan Lake is an exception, where we found extensive areas of Z. japonica beds. The growth of Z. japonica in the lagoon exhibited strong seasonal variation. The maximum shoot density of 9880±2786 shoots m(-2) occurred in August. The maximum specific growth rate (SGR) of 4.99±1.99%⋅d(-1) was recorded in June 2012. SGR might be a good parameter for assessing the growth status of Z. japonica population. N and P contents in the rhizome were significantly lower than those in the leaf and leaf sheath. Lower C/P ratios suggested P enrichment of the seagrass. The occurrence of Z. japonica in Swan Lake was featured by adapting to the intertidal harsh environments. The transplantation method using sectioned rhizomes would be a potential way for restoration of degraded Z. japonica beds. The establishment of the Rongcheng Swan National Nature Reserve in China has contributed to the survival and expansion of Z. japonica in Swan Lake. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Blue carbon stocks in Baltic Sea eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohr, Maria Emilia; Bostrom, Christoffer; Canal-Vergés, Paula

    2016-01-01

    Although seagrasses cover only a minor fraction of the ocean seafloor, their carbon sink capacity accounts for nearly one-fifth of the total oceanic carbon burial and thus play a critical structural and functional role in many coastal ecosystems. We sampled 10 eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows....... The C-org stock integrated over the top 25 cm of the sediment averaged 627 g C m(-2) in Finland, while in Denmark the average C-org stock was over 6 times higher (4324 g Cm-2). A conservative estimate of the total organic carbon pool in the regions ranged between 6.98 and 44.9 t C ha(-1). Our results...... in Finland and 10 in Denmark to explore seagrass carbon stocks (C-org stock) and carbon accumulation rates (C-org accumulation) in the Baltic Sea area. The study sites represent a gradient from sheltered to exposed locations in both regions to reflect expected minimum and maximum stocks and accumulation...

  10. 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

  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 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Phylogeographic differentiation versus transcriptomic adaptation to warm temperatures in Zostera marina, a globally important seagrass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jueterbock, Alexander; Franssen, S. U.; Bergmann, N.; Gu, J.; Coyer, J. A.; Reusch, T. B. H.; Bornberg-Bauer, E.; Olsen, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    Populations distributed across a broad thermal cline are instrumental in addressing adaptation to increasing temperatures under global warming. Using a space-for-time substitution design, we tested for parallel adaptation to warm temperatures along two independent thermal clines in Zostera marina,

  15. 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.

  16. Seagrass (Zostera marina) Colonization Promotes the Accumulation of Diazotrophic Bacteria and Alters the Relative Abundances of Specific Bacterial Lineages Involved in Benthic Carbon and Sulfur Cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Feifei; Zhang, Xiaoli; Zhang, Qianqian; Liu, Fanghua; Zhang, Jianping; Gong, Jun

    2015-10-01

    Seagrass colonization changes the chemistry and biogeochemical cycles mediated by microbes in coastal sediments. In this study, we molecularly characterized the diazotrophic assemblages and entire bacterial community in surface sediments of a Zostera marina-colonized coastal lagoon in northern China. Higher nitrogenase gene (nifH) copy numbers were detected in the sediments from the vegetated region than in the sediments from the unvegetated region nearby. The nifH phylotypes detected were mostly affiliated with the Geobacteraceae, Desulfobulbus, Desulfocapsa, and Pseudomonas. Redundancy analysis based on terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis showed that the distribution of nifH genotypes was mostly shaped by the ratio of total organic carbon to total organic nitrogen, the concentration of cadmium in the sediments, and the pH of the overlying water. High-throughput sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of bacterial 16S rRNA genes also indicated the presence of Geobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae phylotypes in these samples. A comparison of these results with those of previous studies suggests the prevalence and predominance of iron(III)-reducing Geobacteraceae and sulfate-reducing Desulfobulbaceae diazotrophs in coastal sedimentary environments. Although the entire bacterial community structure was not significantly different between these two niches, Desulfococcus (Deltaproteobacteria) and Anaerolineae (Chloroflexi) presented with much higher proportions in the vegetated sediments, and Flavobacteriaceae (Bacteroidetes) occurred more frequently in the bare sediments. These data suggest that the high bioavailability of organic matter (indicated by relatively lower carbon-to-nitrogen ratios) and the less-reducing anaerobic condition in vegetated sediments may favor Desulfococcus and Anaerolineae lineages, which are potentially important populations in benthic carbon and sulfur cycling in the highly productive seagrass ecosystem. Copyright © 2015

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J. Lilley

    2014-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. APPARENT LACK OF VESICULAR-ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZA (VAM) IN SEAGRASSES ZOSTERA MARINA L. AND THALASSIA TESTUDIUM BANKS EX KONIG

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined two populations of Zostera marina L. and one of Thalassia testudinum Banks ex Konig for presence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM). None of these plants showed any VAM colonization. In addition, we were unable to find any literature references on the presence o...

  5. Potential effects of the invasive species Gracilaria vermiculophylla on Zostera marina metabolism and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Lüscher, Johann; Holmer, Marianne

    2010-06-01

    The potential threat to seagrasses of the invasive algae, Gracilaria vermiculophylla was assessed through metabolic indicators under experimental conditions. Net leaf photosynthesis (LNP) and dark respiration (LDR) were measured from leaf segments of Zostera marina shoots under different loads of G. vermiculophylla (control, low 2.2kg FW m(-2) and high 4kg FW m(-2)) in mesocosm experiments separated in tanks at four temperatures (19, 23.5, 26 and 30 degrees C). LNP decreased in the presence of the high density G. vermiculophylla mat (25% on average), being the most severe reductions at 30 degrees C (35% less in high). LDR did not respond significantly to differences in algal biomass, whereas a progressive increase was found with increasing temperatures (3.4 times higher at 30 degrees C than at 19 degrees C). Sulphide in porewater was measured weekly in order clarify the role of sediment conditions on seagrass metabolism, and increased both with algal biomass (29% in high) and temperature (from 0.5mM at 26 degrees C to 2.6mM at 30 degrees C), but changes in LNP and LDR were not correlated with sulphide concentrations. Seagrass survival rates showed decreasing trend with algal biomass at all the temperatures (from 74% to 21% survival). G. vermiculophylla showed harmful effects on Z. marina metabolism and survival with synergistic effects of temperature suggesting greater impact of invasive species under future higher water temperatures.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Aerial and underwater carbon metabolism of a

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clavier, J.; Chauvaud, L.; Carlier, A.; Amice, E.; van der Geest, M.; Labrosse, P.; Diagne, A.; Hily, H.

    2011-01-01

    Community respiration and primary production were measured in a dense intertidal Zostera noltii bed on the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania (West Africa) under aerial and submerged conditions. Metabolism was studied in situ in dark and transparent benthic chambers. CO2 fluxes in the air were measured over

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  12. Long-Term Field Study Reveals Subtle Effects of the Invasive Alga Sargassum muticum upon the Epibiota of Zostera marina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey DeAmicis

    Full Text Available Invasive species can alter coastal ecosystems both directly, e.g. through competition for substratum and nutrients, and indirectly. Indirect effects may be mediated by creation of dissimilar or inimical habitats, changes in predator and/or prey assemblages, alterations in associated biota, and perturbations of water movement and thermal regimes. Previous studies have shown that invasive algae can modify native habitat architecture, disrupt intricately linked food webs and alter epibiotic assemblages. In the UK, the seagrass Zostera marina supports a diverse epibiotic assemblage, influencing key factors such as sediment dynamics, depositional regime and trophic linkages. Increasing encroachment of the invasive alga Sargassum muticum into seagrass meadows changes the physical and chemical characteristics of the local environment and creates the potential for changes in the epibionts associated with the seagrass blades, threatening the integrity of the seagrass ecosystem. We investigated the effects of S. muticum invasion upon the epibiota of Z. marina in a drowned river valley in SW England seasonally from spring to autumn over four years in an in-situ manipulative experiment, comparing permanent quadrats with and without artificially introduced S. muticum. Epibiota were weighed, identified to the most detailed operational taxonomic unit (OTU possible, and unitary organisms were enumerated. Multivariate PERMANOVA+ analysis revealed significant differences in epibiont assemblages between Sargassum treatments. Linear mixed effects models indicated that differences in epibiota assemblage composition were not reflected as significant differences in mean biomass per sample, or number of epibiont OTUs per sample. We conclude that S. muticum invasion into Z. marina meadows may significantly alter the species composition and abundance distribution of epibiotic assemblages found on the blades of the seagrass. Thus S. muticum invasion could have more wide

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Sediment Resuspension and Deposition on Seagrass Leaves Impedes Internal Plant Aeration and Promotes Phytotoxic H2S Intrusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodersen, Kasper E; Hammer, Kathrine J; Schrameyer, Verena; Floytrup, Anja; Rasheed, Michael A; Ralph, Peter J; Kühl, Michael; Pedersen, Ole

    2017-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS: Sedimentation of fine sediment particles onto seagrass leaves severely hampers the plants' performance in both light and darkness, due to inadequate internal plant aeration and intrusion of phytotoxic H 2 S. Anthropogenic activities leading to sediment re-suspension can have adverse effects on adjacent seagrass meadows, owing to reduced light availability and the settling of suspended particles onto seagrass leaves potentially impeding gas exchange with the surrounding water. We used microsensors to determine O 2 fluxes and diffusive boundary layer (DBL) thickness on leaves of the seagrass Zostera muelleri with and without fine sediment particles, and combined these laboratory measurements with in situ microsensor measurements of tissue O 2 and H 2 S concentrations. Net photosynthesis rates in leaves with fine sediment particles were down to ~20% of controls without particles, and the compensation photon irradiance increased from a span of 20-53 to 109-145 μmol photons m -2 s -1 . An ~2.5-fold thicker DBL around leaves with fine sediment particles impeded O 2 influx into the leaves during darkness. In situ leaf meristematic O 2 concentrations of plants exposed to fine sediment particles were lower than in control plants and exhibited long time periods of complete meristematic anoxia during night-time. Insufficient internal aeration resulted in H 2 S intrusion into the leaf meristematic tissues when exposed to sediment resuspension even at relatively high night-time water-column O 2 concentrations. Fine sediment particles that settle on seagrass leaves thus negatively affect internal tissue aeration and thereby the plants' resilience against H 2 S intrusion.

  17. Oxic microshield and local pH enhancement protects Zostera muelleri from sediment derived hydrogen sulphide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodersen, Kasper Elgetti; Nielsen, Daniel Aagren; Ralph, Peter J; Kühl, Michael

    2015-02-01

    Seagrass is constantly challenged with transporting sufficient O₂ from above- to belowground tissue via aerenchyma in order to maintain aerobic metabolism and provide protection against phytotoxins. Electrochemical microsensors were used in combination with a custom-made experimental chamber to analyse the belowground biogeochemical microenvironment of Zostera muelleri under changing environmental conditions. Measurements revealed high radial O₂ release of up to 500 nmol O2 cm(-2) h(-1) from the base of the leaf sheath, maintaining a c. 300-μm-wide plant-mediated oxic microzone and thus protecting the vital meristematic regions of the rhizome from reduced phytotoxic metabolites such as hydrogen sulphide (H₂S). H₂S intrusion was prevented through passive diffusion of O₂ to belowground tissue from leaf photosynthesis in light, as well as from the surrounding water column into the flow-exposed plant parts during darkness. Under water column hypoxia, high belowground H₂S concentrations at the tissue surface correlated with the inability to sustain the protecting oxic microshield around the meristematic regions of the rhizome. We also found increased pH levels in the immediate rhizosphere of Z. muelleri, which may contribute to further detoxification of H₂S through shifts in the chemical speciation of sulphide. Zostera muelleri can modify the geochemical conditions in its immediate rhizosphere, thereby reducing its exposure to H₂S. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  18. Sediment Resuspension and Deposition on Seagrass Leaves Impedes Internal Plant Aeration and Promotes Phytotoxic H2S Intrusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasper E. Brodersen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available HIGHLIGHTS:Sedimentation of fine sediment particles onto seagrass leaves severely hampers the plants' performance in both light and darkness, due to inadequate internal plant aeration and intrusion of phytotoxic H2S.Anthropogenic activities leading to sediment re-suspension can have adverse effects on adjacent seagrass meadows, owing to reduced light availability and the settling of suspended particles onto seagrass leaves potentially impeding gas exchange with the surrounding water. We used microsensors to determine O2 fluxes and diffusive boundary layer (DBL thickness on leaves of the seagrass Zostera muelleri with and without fine sediment particles, and combined these laboratory measurements with in situ microsensor measurements of tissue O2 and H2S concentrations. Net photosynthesis rates in leaves with fine sediment particles were down to ~20% of controls without particles, and the compensation photon irradiance increased from a span of 20–53 to 109–145 μmol photons m−2 s−1. An ~2.5-fold thicker DBL around leaves with fine sediment particles impeded O2 influx into the leaves during darkness. In situ leaf meristematic O2 concentrations of plants exposed to fine sediment particles were lower than in control plants and exhibited long time periods of complete meristematic anoxia during night-time. Insufficient internal aeration resulted in H2S intrusion into the leaf meristematic tissues when exposed to sediment resuspension even at relatively high night-time water-column O2 concentrations. Fine sediment particles that settle on seagrass leaves thus negatively affect internal tissue aeration and thereby the plants' resilience against H2S intrusion.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Establishing a baseline for regional scale monitoring of eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat on the lower Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogrefe, Kyle R.; Ward, David H.; Donnelly, Tyrone F.; Dau, Niels

    2014-01-01

    Seagrass meadows, one of the world’s most widespread and productive ecosystems, provide a wide range of services with real economic value. Worldwide declines in the distribution and abundance of seagrasses and increased threats to coastal ecosystems from climate change have prompted a need to acquire baseline data for monitoring and protecting these important habitats. We assessed the distribution and abundance of eelgrass (Zostera marina) along nearly 1200 km of shoreline on the lower Alaska Peninsula, a region of expansive eelgrass meadows whose status and trends are poorly understood. We demonstrate the effectiveness of a multi-scale approach by using Landsat satellite imagery to map the total areal extent of eelgrass while integrating field survey data to improve map accuracy and describe the physical and biological condition of the meadows. Innovative use of proven methods and processing tools was used to address challenges inherent to remote sensing in high latitude, coastal environments. Eelgrass was estimated to cover ~31,000 ha, 91% of submerged aquatic vegetation on the lower Alaska Peninsula, nearly doubling the known spatial extent of eelgrass in the region. Mapping accuracy was 80%–90% for eelgrass distribution at locations containing adequate field survey data for error analysis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen B. De Los Santos

    2014-06-01

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

  5. Latitudinal Patterns in European Seagrass Carbon Reserves: Influence of Seasonal Fluctuations versus Short-Term Stress and Disturbance Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Soissons

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows form highly productive and valuable ecosystems in the marine environment. Throughout the year, seagrass meadows are exposed to abiotic and biotic variations linked to (i seasonal fluctuations, (ii short-term stress events such as, e.g., local nutrient enrichment, and (iii small-scale disturbances such as, e.g., biomass removal by grazing. We hypothesized that short-term stress events and small-scale disturbances may affect seagrass chance for survival in temperate latitudes. To test this hypothesis we focused on seagrass carbon reserves in the form of starch stored seasonally in rhizomes, as these have been defined as a good indicator for winter survival. Twelve Zostera noltei meadows were monitored along a latitudinal gradient in Western Europe to firstly assess the seasonal change of their rhizomal starch content. Secondly, we tested the effects of nutrient enrichment and/or biomass removal on the corresponding starch content by using a short-term manipulative field experiment at a single latitude in the Netherlands. At the end of the growing season, we observed a weak but significant linear increase of starch content along the latitudinal gradient from south to north. This agrees with the contention that such reserves are essential for regrowth after winter, which is more severe in the north. In addition, we also observed a weak but significant positive relationship between starch content at the beginning of the growing season and past winter temperatures. This implies a lower regrowth potential after severe winters, due to diminished starch content at the beginning of the growing season. Short-term stress and disturbances may intensify these patterns, because our manipulative experiments show that when nutrient enrichment and biomass loss co-occurred at the end of the growing season, Z. noltei starch content declined. In temperate zones, the capacity of seagrasses to accumulate carbon reserves is expected to determine carbon

  6. Latitudinal Patterns in European Seagrass Carbon Reserves: Influence of Seasonal Fluctuations versus Short-Term Stress and Disturbance Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soissons, Laura M.; Haanstra, Eeke P.; van Katwijk, Marieke M.; Asmus, Ragnhild; Auby, Isabelle; Barillé, Laurent; Brun, Fernando G.; Cardoso, Patricia G.; Desroy, Nicolas; Fournier, Jerome; Ganthy, Florian; Garmendia, Joxe-Mikel; Godet, Laurent; Grilo, Tiago F.; Kadel, Petra; Ondiviela, Barbara; Peralta, Gloria; Puente, Araceli; Recio, Maria; Rigouin, Loic; Valle, Mireia; Herman, Peter M. J.; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows form highly productive and valuable ecosystems in the marine environment. Throughout the year, seagrass meadows are exposed to abiotic and biotic variations linked to (i) seasonal fluctuations, (ii) short-term stress events such as, e.g., local nutrient enrichment, and (iii) small-scale disturbances such as, e.g., biomass removal by grazing. We hypothesized that short-term stress events and small-scale disturbances may affect seagrass chance for survival in temperate latitudes. To test this hypothesis we focused on seagrass carbon reserves in the form of starch stored seasonally in rhizomes, as these have been defined as a good indicator for winter survival. Twelve Zostera noltei meadows were monitored along a latitudinal gradient in Western Europe to firstly assess the seasonal change of their rhizomal starch content. Secondly, we tested the effects of nutrient enrichment and/or biomass removal on the corresponding starch content by using a short-term manipulative field experiment at a single latitude in the Netherlands. At the end of the growing season, we observed a weak but significant linear increase of starch content along the latitudinal gradient from south to north. This agrees with the contention that such reserves are essential for regrowth after winter, which is more severe in the north. In addition, we also observed a weak but significant positive relationship between starch content at the beginning of the growing season and past winter temperatures. This implies a lower regrowth potential after severe winters, due to diminished starch content at the beginning of the growing season. Short-term stress and disturbances may intensify these patterns, because our manipulative experiments show that when nutrient enrichment and biomass loss co-occurred at the end of the growing season, Z. noltei starch content declined. In temperate zones, the capacity of seagrasses to accumulate carbon reserves is expected to determine carbon-based regrowth

  7. Epiphyte-cover on seagrass (Zostera marina L. leaves impedes plant performance and radial O2 loss from the below-ground tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasper Elgetti Brodersen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The O2 budget of seagrasses is a complex interaction between several sources and sinks, which is strongly regulated by light availability and mass transfer over the diffusive boundary layer (DBL surrounding the plant. Epiphyte growth on leaves may thus strongly affect the O2 availability of the seagrass plant and its capability to aerate its rhizosphere as a defence against plant toxins.We used electrochemical and fiber-optic microsensors to quantify the O2 flux, DBL and light microclimate around leaves with and without filamentous algal epiphytes. We also quantified the below-ground radial O2 loss from roots (~1 mm from the root-apex to elucidate how this below-ground oxic microzone was affected by the presence of epiphytes.Epiphyte-cover on seagrass leaves (~21% areal cover resulted in reduced light quality and quantity for photosynthesis, thus leading to reduced plant fitness. A ~4 times thicker diffusive boundary layer around leaves with epiphyte-cover impeded gas (and nutrient exchange with the surrounding water-column and thus the amount of O2 passively diffusing into the leaves in darkness. During light exposure of the leaves, radial oxygen loss from the below-ground tissue was ~2 times higher from plants without epiphyte-cover. In contrast, no O2 was detectable at the surface of the root-cap tissue of plants with epiphyte-cover during darkness, leaving the plants more susceptible to sulphide intrusion.Epiphyte growth on seagrass leaves thus negatively affects the light climate and O2 uptake in darkness, hampering the plants performance and thereby reducing the oxidation capability of its below-ground tissue.

  8. 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

  9. Effects of coexistence between the blue mussel Mytilus edulis and eelgrass Zostera marina on sediment biogeochemistry and plant performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther, H.F.; Norling, P.; Kristensen, Per Sand

    2012-01-01

    The habitat-modifying suspension-feeding mussel, Mytilus edulis, may have facilitating or inhibiting effects on seagrass meadows depending on the environmental conditions. We investigated the effects of M. edulis on sediment biogeochemistry in Zostera marina meadows under eutrophic conditions...... in Flensborg fjord, Denmark. Sediment and plant samples were collected at ten stations; five with Z. marina (Eelgrass) and five with Z. marina and M. edulis (Mixed) and at two unvegetated stations; one with mussels (Mussel) and one with sand (Sand). The Mixed sediment was enriched in fine particles (2-3 times...... significantly reduced at Mixed stations suggesting inhibiting effect of M. edulis on Z. marina. Negative correlations between eelgrass measures and sediment sulphide at Mixed stations indicate that presence of mussels increase sulphide invasion in the plants. A survey of 318 stations in Danish fjords suggests...

  10. Characterization of single nucleotide polymorphism markers for eelgrass (Zostera marina)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferber, Steven; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.; Stam, Wytze T.; Olsen, Jeanine L.

    We characterized 37 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) makers for eelgrass Zostera marina. SNP markers were developed using existing EST (expressed sequence tag)-libraries to locate polymorphic loci and develop primers from the functional expressed genes that are deposited in The ZOSTERA database

  11. Effects of eutrophication and temperature on submersed rooted plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raun, Ane-Marie Løvendahl

    nutrient levels facilitate the formation of pelagic alga blooms which lead to poor light conditions (Nielsen et al., 2002). However, the lack of re‐colonization after reduced nutrient loading for Zostera marina and other seagrasses indicates that other factors influence the pattern. Sedimentation...... in combination with high temperature affect internal oxygen concentrations, growth and survival of aquatic macrophytes. Measurements of internal oxygen levels were made on several north temperate and tropical marine seagrass species exposed to a range of water column oxygen concentrations. The combined effects...... of eutrophication and temperatures were clarified for the temporal seagrass Zostera marina. Furthermore, the direct effect of sediment enrichment with labile organic matter was examined for four freshwater species with different growth strategies (isoetids: Lobelia dortmanna and Littorella uniflora, and elodeids...

  12. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  13. Fish community structures in Zostera and non-Zostera regions of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Zostera capensis Setchell as shelter and food for juvenile fish in South ... (0) Shannon-Weaver index of general diversity (II) where. H = rP)o~P; ..... sea. Van der Elst 1981. sea. Day et al. 1981. sea sea. Wallace 1975. sea. Day et al. 1981 .... The water in the Mngazana estuary is remarkably clear, especially in the mouth area ...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Dwarf eelgrass, Zostera japonica: a malevolent, benevolent, or benign invasive ecosystem engineer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwarf eelgrass, Zostera japonica, is an introduced ecosystem engineering species first reported on the US west coast in 1957. In some US Pacific Northwest estuaries its areal coverage now exceeds that of the native eelgrass species, Zostera marina. Natural resource management’s...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Intrusion of beach-disposed dredger spoil into the Mhlathuze ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sediment intrusion and its impact on the beds of the seagrass Zostera capensis in the estuary were monitored from 1996 to 1999. Fine sediment did enter the estuary from the marine environment and was deposited mainly in its lower reaches, where its settling on the leaves of Zostera resulted in a major die-back. However ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. An examination of photoacclimatory responses of Zostera marina transplants along a depth gradient for transplant-site selection in a disturbed estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen-Tao; Kim, Seung Hyeon; Kim, Jae Woo; Kim, Jong-Hyeob; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2013-02-01

    Growth and photosynthetic responses of Zostera marina transplants along a depth gradient were examined to determine appropriate transplanting areas for seagrass restoration. Seagrass Z. marina was once widely distributed in the Taehwa River estuary in southeastern Korea, but has disappeared since the 1960s due to port construction and large scale pollutant inputs from upstream industrial areas. Recently, water quality has been considerably improved as a result of effective sewage treatment, and the local government is attempting to restore Z. marina to the estuary. For seagrass restoration in this estuary, a pilot transplantation trial of Z. marina at three water depths (shallow: 0.5 m; intermediate: 1.5 m; deep: 2.5 m relative to MLLW) was conducted in November 2008. The transplant shoot density increased gradually at the intermediate and deep sites, whereas the transplants at the shallow site disappeared after 3 months. To find the optimal transplantation locations in this estuary, the growth and photosynthetic responses of the transplants along a depth gradient were examined for approximately 4 months following transplantation in March 2009. In the 2009 experimental transplantation trial, shoot density of transplants at the shallow site was significantly higher than those at the intermediate and deep sites during the first 3 months following transplantation, but rapidly decreased approximately 4 months after transplantation. The chlorophyll content, photosynthetic efficiency (α), and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) of the transplants were significantly higher at the deep site than at the shallow site. Shoot size, biomass and leaf productivity were also significantly higher at the deep site than at the shallow site. Although underwater irradiance was significantly lower at the deep site than at the shallow site, transplants at the deep site were morphologically and physiologically acclimated to the low light. Transplants at the shallow site exhibited high

  4. Rocking the boat: damage to eelgrass by swinging boat moorings

    OpenAIRE

    Unsworth, Richard K. F.; Williams, Beth; Jones, Benjamin L.; Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne

    2017-01-01

    Seagrass meadows commonly reside in shallow sheltered embayments typical of the locations that provide an attractive option for mooring boats. Given the potential for boat moorings to result in disturbance to the seabed due to repeated physical impact, these moorings may present a significant threat to seagrass meadows. The seagrass Zostera marina (known as eelgrass) is extensive across the northern hemisphere, forming critical fisheries habitat and creating efficient long-term stores of carb...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  9. Marine Phytophthora species can hamper conservation and restoration of vegetated coastal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govers, Laura L; Man In 't Veld, Willem A; Meffert, Johan P; Bouma, Tjeerd J; van Rijswick, Patricia C J; Heusinkveld, Jannes H T; Orth, Robert J; van Katwijk, Marieke M; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-08-31

    Phytophthora species are potent pathogens that can devastate terrestrial plants, causing billions of dollars of damage yearly to agricultural crops and harming fragile ecosystems worldwide. Yet, virtually nothing is known about the distribution and pathogenicity of their marine relatives. This is surprising, as marine plants form vital habitats in coastal zones worldwide (i.e. mangrove forests, salt marshes, seagrass beds), and disease may be an important bottleneck for the conservation and restoration of these rapidly declining ecosystems. We are the first to report on widespread infection of Phytophthora and Halophytophthora species on a common seagrass species, Zostera marina (eelgrass), across the northern Atlantic and Mediterranean. In addition, we tested the effects of Halophytophthora sp. Zostera and Phytophthora gemini on Z. marina seed germination in a full-factorial laboratory experiment under various environmental conditions. Results suggest that Phytophthora species are widespread as we found these oomycetes in eelgrass beds in six countries across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Infection by Halophytophthora sp. Zostera, P. gemini, or both, strongly affected sexual reproduction by reducing seed germination sixfold. Our findings have important implications for seagrass ecology, because these putative pathogens probably negatively affect ecosystem functioning, as well as current restoration and conservation efforts. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Influence of neighboring plants on shading stress resistance and recovery of eelgrass, Zostera marina L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla Gustafsson

    Full Text Available Stressful environments may enhance the occurrence of facilitative interspecific interactions between plants. In several regions, Zostera marina occurs in mixed assemblages. However, the potential effects of plant diversity on stress responses and stability properties of Z. marina are poorly understood. We investigated the resistance and recovery of Z. marina subjected to shading (1 mo in a field experiment lasting 2.5 mo. We shaded Z. marina planted in mono- and polycultures (Potamogeton perfoliatus, P. pectinatus, P. filiformis in a factorial design (Shading×Richness at 2 m depth. We estimated the resistance and recovery of Z. marina by measuring four response variables. Polyculture Z. marina lost proportionally less biomass than monocultures, thus having a greater resistance to shading. In contrast, after a 1 mo recovery period, monocultures exhibited higher biomass gain, and a faster recovery than polycultures. Our results suggest that plant species richness enhances the resistance of Z. marina through facilitative mechanisms, while the faster recovery in monocultures is possibly due to interspecific competition. Our results highlight the need of a much better understanding of the effects of interspecific interactions on ecosystem processes in mixed seagrass meadows, and the preservation of diverse plant assemblages to maintain ecosystem functioning.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) on Z. marina seedlings, seed germination and shoot density from 2013-01-16 to 2015-09-11 (NCEI Accession 0156588)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Multiple experiments were conducted to determine the effects hydrogen sulfide had on seedlings and seed germination in the seagrass Zostera marina. One study...

  19. The utilization of false color aerial photography for macrophyte biomass estimation in the Oosterschelde (the Netherlands)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meulstee, C.; Vanstokkom, H.

    1985-01-01

    The correlation between the biomass of sea grass and seaweed samples in a sidebranch of the Oosterschelde delta (Netherlands) and density ratios of this area on color infrared aerial photographs was investigated. As the Oosterschelde will become more divided from the North Sea after pier dam completion, an increase of macrophytes is expected. In an area where the weeds Ulva, Cheatomorpha, Entermorpha, Cladophora, Fucus vesuculosis, and the grasses Zostera noltii and Zostera marina are found, 53 biomass samples of a 0.054 sq m surface each were collected. The relation between covering degree and biomass was estimated. Using a transmission-densitometer adjusted to 3 to 1 mm, densities on 1:10,000 and 1:20,000 scale photographs were measured. A gage line was determined in a density-biomass diagram. The method is shown to be useful for an efficient, accurate biomass determination in the Oosterschelde.

  20. The experimental studies of influence of hydrogen sulfide on species of eelgrass (Zostera japonica and Zostera marina) in Padilla Bay, coastal waters of southeast Alaska conducted from 2013-06-01 to 2013-09-30 (NCEI Accession 0137907)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Two species of eelgrass can be found in Padilla Bay, Washington (Zostera japonica and Zostera marina) and act as a bioindicators of ecosystem health. Many factors...

  1. High mortality of Zostera marina under high temperature regimes but minor effects of the invasive macroalgae Gracilaria vermiculophylla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höffle, H.; Thomsen, M. S.; Holmer, M.

    2011-03-01

    The present study tested for density-dependent effects of the invasive drift macroalgae Gracilaria vermiculophylla (Ohmi) Papenfuss on growth and survival of the native eelgrass, Zostera marina L., under different temperature levels. Three weeks laboratory experiments were conducted in Odense, Denmark, combining three algae densities (control, low 1.9 kg WW m -2, high 4.5 kg WW m -2) with typical Danish summer temperatures (18 °C) and elevated temperatures (21 °C and 27 °C). There was a significant effect of temperature on shoot survival with on average 68% mortality in the high temperature treatment but almost no mortality at the two lower temperatures. The higher mortality was probably caused by high sulphide levels in the sediment pore water (0.6 mmol l -1 at 18 °C compared to 3.7 mmol l -1 at 27 °C). Above-ground growth of the surviving shoots was also significantly affected by temperature, with leaf elongation rates being negatively affected, while the leaf plastochrone interval increased. Relative growth rate was significantly higher at 21 °C than at 18 °C or 27 °C, whereas rhizome elongation was significantly lowest at 27 °C. Elemental sulphur content in the plant tissues increased significantly with temperature and was up to 34 times higher (S 0 in rhizomes) at 27 °C compared to the lower temperatures. In contrast to the temperature effects, cover by G. vermiculophylla did not cause significant effects on any seagrass responses. However, there was a (non-significant) negative effect of algal cover at the highest temperature, where the seagrass is already stressed. The latter results suggest that more studies should test for interaction effects between temperature and other anthropogenic stressors given that temperature is predicted to increase in the near future.

  2. Rocking the Boat: Damage to Eelgrass by Swinging Boat Moorings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard K. F. Unsworth

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass meadows commonly reside in shallow sheltered embayments typical of the locations that provide an attractive option for mooring boats. Given the potential for boat moorings to result in disturbance to the seabed due to repeated physical impact, these moorings may present a significant threat to seagrass meadows. The seagrass Zostera marina (known as eelgrass is extensive across the northern hemisphere, forming critical fisheries habitat and creating efficient long-term stores of carbon in sediments. Although boat moorings have been documented to impact seagrasses, studies to date have been conducted on the slow growing Posidonia species’ rather than the fast growing and rapidly reproducing Z. marina that may have a higher capacity to resist and recover from repeated disturbance. In the present study we examine swinging chain boat moorings in seagrass meadows across a range of sites in the United Kingdom to determine whether such moorings have a negative impact on the seagrass Zostera marina at the local and meadow scale. We provide conclusive evidence from multiple sites that Z. marina is damaged by swinging chain moorings leading to a loss of at least 6 ha of United Kingdom seagrass. Each swinging chain mooring was found to result in the loss of 122 m2 of seagrass. Loss is restricted to the area surrounding the mooring and the impact does not appear to translate to a meadow scale. This loss of United Kingdom seagrass from boat moorings is small but significant at a local scale. This is because it fragments existing meadows and ultimately reduces their resilience to other stressors. Boat moorings are prevalent in seagrass globally and it is likely this impairs their ecosystem functioning. Given the extensive ecosystem service value of seagrasses in terms of factors such as carbon storage and fish habitat such loss is of cause for concern. This indicates the need for the widespread use of seagrass friendly mooring systems in and around

  3. Photoacclimatory Responses of Zostera marina in the Intertidal and Subtidal Zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sang Rul; Kim, Sangil; Kim, Young Kyun; Kang, Chang-Keun; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2016-01-01

    Photoacclimatory responses of the seagrass Zostera marina in the intertidal and subtidal zones were investigated by measuring chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters, photosynthetic pigments, leaf δ13C values, and shoot morphology in two bay systems. Intertidal plants had higher carotenoid concentrations than subtidal plants to avoid photodamage under excess light conditions during the day. The maximum relative electron transport rate (rETRmax) and minimum saturation irradiance (Ek) of the intertidal plants were higher than those of the subtidal plants, whereas photosynthetic efficiency (α) and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) were higher in subtidal plants. The intertidal plants also had significantly greater Stern-Volmer non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) than that of the subtidal plants. These results suggest that the subtidal plants photoacclimated to use limited light more efficiently, and the intertidal plants exhibited photosynthetic responses to minimize photodamage at excess irradiance. The δ13C values of leaf tissues were more negative in the intertidal plants than those in the subtidal plants, suggesting that the intertidal plants used atmospheric or dissolved CO2 for photosynthesis during emersion. Effective quantum yield (ΔF/Fm´) in the intertidal plants decreased more slowly after emersion than that in the subtidal plants, indicating higher desiccation tolerance of the intertidal plants. The intertidal plants also recovered more rapidly from desiccation damage than the subtidal plants, suggesting photosynthetic adaptation to desiccation stress. The photosynthetic plasticity of Z. marina in response to variable environmental conditions most likely allows this species to occur in the intertidal and subtidal zones.

  4. Photoacclimatory Responses of Zostera marina in the Intertidal and Subtidal Zones.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Rul Park

    Full Text Available Photoacclimatory responses of the seagrass Zostera marina in the intertidal and subtidal zones were investigated by measuring chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters, photosynthetic pigments, leaf δ13C values, and shoot morphology in two bay systems. Intertidal plants had higher carotenoid concentrations than subtidal plants to avoid photodamage under excess light conditions during the day. The maximum relative electron transport rate (rETRmax and minimum saturation irradiance (Ek of the intertidal plants were higher than those of the subtidal plants, whereas photosynthetic efficiency (α and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm were higher in subtidal plants. The intertidal plants also had significantly greater Stern-Volmer non-photochemical quenching (NPQ than that of the subtidal plants. These results suggest that the subtidal plants photoacclimated to use limited light more efficiently, and the intertidal plants exhibited photosynthetic responses to minimize photodamage at excess irradiance. The δ13C values of leaf tissues were more negative in the intertidal plants than those in the subtidal plants, suggesting that the intertidal plants used atmospheric or dissolved CO2 for photosynthesis during emersion. Effective quantum yield (ΔF/Fm´ in the intertidal plants decreased more slowly after emersion than that in the subtidal plants, indicating higher desiccation tolerance of the intertidal plants. The intertidal plants also recovered more rapidly from desiccation damage than the subtidal plants, suggesting photosynthetic adaptation to desiccation stress. The photosynthetic plasticity of Z. marina in response to variable environmental conditions most likely allows this species to occur in the intertidal and subtidal zones.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  8. Population genetic structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina on the Korean coast: Current status and conservation implications for future management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae Hwan Kim

    Full Text Available Seagrasses provide numerous ecosystem services for coastal and estuarine environments, such as nursery functions, erosion protection, pollution filtration, and carbon sequestration. Zostera marina (common name "eelgrass" is one of the seagrass bed-forming species distributed widely in the northern hemisphere, including the Korean Peninsula. Recently, however, there has been a drastic decline in the population size of Z. marina worldwide, including Korea. We examined the current population genetic status of this species on the southern coast of Korea by estimating the levels of genetic diversity and genetic structure of 10 geographic populations using eight nuclear microsatellite markers. The level of genetic diversity was found to be significantly lower for populations on Jeju Island [mean allelic richness (AR = 1.92, clonal diversity (R = 0.51], which is located approximately 155 km off the southernmost region of the Korean Peninsula, than for those in the South Sea (mean AR = 2.69, R = 0.82, which is on the southern coast of the mainland. South Korean eelgrass populations were substantially genetically divergent from one another (FST = 0.061-0.573, suggesting that limited contemporary gene flow has been taking place among populations. We also found weak but detectable temporal variation in genetic structure within a site over 10 years. In additional depth comparisons, statistically significant genetic differentiation was observed between shallow (or middle and deep zones in two of three sites tested. Depleted genetic diversity, small effective population sizes (Ne and limited connectivity for populations on Jeju Island indicate that these populations may be vulnerable to local extinction under changing environmental conditions, especially given that Jeju Island is one of the fastest warming regions around the world. Overall, our work will inform conservation and restoration efforts, including transplantation for eelgrass populations at the

  9. Aquatic Plant Control Research Program: The Habitat Value of Aquatic Macrophytes for Macroinvertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-11-01

    seagrass ) and reported that it quickly colonized with algae and invertebrates that were on live plants. Rooke (1986) found considerable dif- ferences...al. (1982) observed that seagrass (Zostera marina) reduced current velocities inside the plant bed, but current velocities were actually higher over...hard-water lakes (Mickle and Wetzel 1978a, 1978b, 1979). Diurnal changes in photosynthesis rates within the boundary layer of macrophyte beds can cause a

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. CO{sub 2}-enrichment effects on eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana (Mert.)P.&R.)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thorn, R.M. [Battelle/Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Sequim, WA (United States). Marine Sciences Lab.

    1996-04-01

    The author investigated the effect of CO{sub 2}-enrichment on productivity of two aquatic plant species (Zostera marina L., Nereocystis luetkeana (Mert.)P.&R.) that form significant components of coastal ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Short-term (i.e., 2-hr) experiments showed that doubling CO{sub 2} resulted in up to a 2.5-fold increase in Zostera net apparent productivity (NAP). Nereocystis NAP was increased 2.2-2.8 fold. In experiments involving seven enrichment treatments, NAP increased with increasing CO{sub 2} between ambient (1.0x) and 2.5x CO{sub 2} in both Zostera and Nereocystis. Nereocystis and Zostera NAP was lowest at highest (i.e., 5x) CO{sub 2} concentrations. In growth experiments, mean growth rate of Zostera increased with increasing CO{sub 2} during one of the two trials. It was concluded that increasing CO{sub 2} in the surface waters of the coastal ocean would predictably result in increased NAP of these two species. These results supplement limited published data showing that shallow estuarine and marine systems are vulnerable to increased carbon dioxide. 25 refs., 3 figs.

  16. Tissue-specific expression of the gene for a putative plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase in a seagrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuhara, T; Pak, J Y; Ohwaki, Y; Tsujimura, H; Nitta, T

    1996-01-01

    A cDNA clone corresponding to the gene (ZHA1) for a putative plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase of a seagrass (Zostera marina L.) was isolated and sequenced. Comparison of the amino acid predicted sequence from the nucleotide sequence of ZHA1 with those encoded by known genes for plasma membrane H(+)-ATPases from other plants indicated that ZHA1 is most similar to the gene (PMA4) for a plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase in a tobacco (84.4%). Northern hybridization indicated that ZHA1 was strongly expressed in mature leaves, which are exposed to seawater and have the ability of tolerate salinity; ZHA1 was weakly expressed in immature leaves, which are protected from seawater by tightly enveloping sheaths and are sensitive to salinity. In mature leaves, in situ hybridization revealed that ZHA1 was expressed specifically in epidermal cells, the plasma membranes of which were highly invaginated and morphologically similar to those of typical transfer cells. Therefore, the differentiation of the transfer cell-like structures, accompanied by the high-level expression of ZHA1, in the epidermal cells of mature leaves in particular may be important for the excretion of salt by these cells. PMID:8587992

  17. Coral Community Structure and Recruitment in Seagrass Meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E. Lohr

    2017-11-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. Characterization of Light and Nitrogen Regulated Gene Expression Pathways in Marine Diatoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-12-31

    DNA and cDNA from the seagrass Zostera marina and marine unicellular chlorophyte Dunaliella tertiolecta, using oligonucleotide primers based on...availability of carbon skeletons from photosynthesis may also function in the modulation of gene expression in diatoms. FCP abundance did not exhibit any

  5. 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.

  6. Multiple stressors threaten the imperiled coastal foundation species eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Chesapeake Bay, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Wilcox, David J; Murphy, Rebecca R; Marion, Scott R; Orth, Robert J

    2017-09-01

    Interactions among global change stressors and their effects at large scales are often proposed, but seldom evaluated. This situation is primarily due to lack of comprehensive, sufficiently long-term, and spatially extensive datasets. Seagrasses, which provide nursery habitat, improve water quality, and constitute a globally important carbon sink, are among the most vulnerable habitats on the planet. Here, we unite 31 years of high-resolution aerial monitoring and water quality data to elucidate the patterns and drivers of eelgrass (Zostera marina) abundance in Chesapeake Bay, USA, one of the largest and most valuable estuaries in the world, with an unparalleled history of regulatory efforts. We show that eelgrass area has declined 29% in total since 1991, with wide-ranging and severe ecological and economic consequences. We go on to identify an interaction between decreasing water clarity and warming temperatures as the primary drivers of this trend. Declining clarity has gradually reduced eelgrass cover the past two decades, primarily in deeper beds where light is already limiting. In shallow beds, however, reduced visibility exacerbates the physiological stress of acute warming, leading to recent instances of decline approaching 80%. While degraded water quality has long been known to influence underwater grasses worldwide, we demonstrate a clear and rapidly emerging interaction with climate change. We highlight the urgent need to integrate a broader perspective into local water quality management, in the Chesapeake Bay and in the many other coastal systems facing similar stressors. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-18

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  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. 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.

  12. The identity of zostera marina var. angustifolia Hornemann (Potamogetonaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, den C.

    1972-01-01

    Since Hornemann (Fl. Dan. 9, 1816, p. 3, pl. 1501) published the name Zostera marina var. angustifolia together with a very poor drawing and the extremely short diagnosis ‘foliis subenerviis’ several interpretations of the identity of this taxon have been given. Some authors regarded it as a

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N Githaiga

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Using Seeds to Propagate and Restore Vallisneria americana Michaux (Wild Celery) in the Chesapeake Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-12-01

    the capacity of the plants to elongate so that the leaves can reach closer to the water surface to gather adequate light for photosynthesis . When...transplant eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in Chesapeake Bay and the Virginia Coastal Bays, In Proc. Conf. Seagrass Restoration: Success, Failure, and

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Has the rapidly expanding invasive dwarf eelgrass Zostera japonica in Yaquina estuary, Oregon impacted the distribution of native eelgrass Zostera marina – a critical intertidal habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Native eelgrass, Zostera marina, occupies a significant portion of marine-dominated intertidal and near-subtidal sectors of many coastal estuaries. In recent decades an invasive congener, Z. japonica, has become established in many Pacific Northwest estuaries. We measured the h...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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....

  16. Modelling Water Level Influence on Habitat Choice and Food Availability for Zostera Feeding Brent Geese Branta bernicla in Non-Tidal Areas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, P.

    2000-01-01

    of water level fluctuations on the habitat use. A second model was developed to estimate the impact of water level on Zostera availability. The first model was successful in demonstrating that fluctuations in water levels had considerable influence on habitat use by the brent geese, i.e. they fed...... on Zostera at low water levels and on saltmarshes during high water levels, particularly so in early spring, and that the switch between habitats occurred within a narrow water level span of ca 30 cm. The second model demonstrated that the switch between habitats could be explained by lowered availability...... of Zostera as water levels increased. By combining the output from the two models, differences between years could partly be explained by differences in Zostera availability in the early spring period (21 March - 25 April), whereas a more complicated situation was detected later in spring (26 April - 31 May...

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Recolonization of intertidal Zostera marina L. (eelgrass) following experimental shoot removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    The recovery of eelgrass (Zostera marina) from physical disturbances is understudied and no attention has been given to the likely differences in damage recovery rates between the continuous lower intertidal perennial meadows and higher intertidal eelgrass patches. In the present...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Zostera marina (eelgrass) growth and survival along a gradient ofnutrients and turbidity in the lower Chesapeake Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, K.A.; Neckles, H.A.; Orth, R.J.

    1996-01-01

    Survival of transplanted Zostera marina L. (eelgrass), Z. marina growth,and environmental conditions were studied concurrently at a number of sitesin a southwestern tributary of the Chesapeake Bay to elucidate the factorslimiting macrophyte distribution in this region. Consistent differences insurvival of the transplants were observed, with no long-term survival at anyof the sites that were formerly vegetated with this species but thatcurrently remain unvegetated. Therefore, the current distribution of Z.marina likely represents the extent of suitable environmental conditions inthe region, and the lack of recovery into historically vegetated sites is notsolely due to lack of propagules. Poor long-term survival was related toseasonally high levels of water column light attenuation. Fall transplantsdied by the end of summer following exposure to levels of high springturbidity (K(d) > 3.0). Accumulation of an epiphyte matrix during the latespring (0.36 to 1.14 g g-1 dry wt) may also have contributed to thisstress. Differences in water column nutrient levels among sites during thefall and winter (10 to 15 ??M dissolved inorganic nitrogen and 1 ??Mdissolved inorganic phosphates) had no observable effect on epiphyteaccumulation or macrophyte growth. Salinity effects were minor and there wereno symptoms of disease. Although summertime conditions resulted indepressions in growth, they did not alone limit long-term survival. It issuggested that water quality conditions enhancing adequate seagrass growthduring the spring may be key to long-term Z. marina survival and successfulrecolonization in this region.

  3. Has the rapidly expanding invasive dwarf eelgrass Zostera japonica in Yaquina estuary, Oregon impacted the distribution of native eelgrass Zostera marina – a critical intertidal habitat? - CERF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Native eelgrass, Zostera marina, occupies a significant portion of marine-dominated intertidal and near-subtidal sectors of many coastal estuaries. In recent decades an invasive congener, Z. japonica, has become established in many Pacific Northwest estuaries. We measured the h...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Effects of algae-mat thickness on survival and growth of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seedlings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jonas; Olesen, Birgit

    A major bottle-neck for eelgrass (Zostera marina) re-colonization is seedling survival and patch establishment as mortality rates among the young seedlings are high even in areas where light conditions and physical exposure should support survival. Since little is known about the reasons for the ......A major bottle-neck for eelgrass (Zostera marina) re-colonization is seedling survival and patch establishment as mortality rates among the young seedlings are high even in areas where light conditions and physical exposure should support survival. Since little is known about the reasons...

  9. 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)'.

  10. 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‧.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Garcias Bonet, Neus

    2016-03-09

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

  15. Seasonal acclimation in metabolism reduces light requirements of eelgrass (Zostera marina)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Staehr, Peter Anton; Borum, Jens

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the ability of eelgrass (Zostera marina) to adjust light requirements to seasonal changes in temperature, light and nutrient conditions through changes in metabolism, pigment and nutrient content. In agreement with expectations we found that rates of respiration and light saturate...... in a future climate scenario, suggested that expected increases in temperature and nutrient run-off have synergistic negative effects, especially in clear waters, stressing the importance of continued efforts to improve water clarity of coastal waters.......We investigated the ability of eelgrass (Zostera marina) to adjust light requirements to seasonal changes in temperature, light and nutrient conditions through changes in metabolism, pigment and nutrient content. In agreement with expectations we found that rates of respiration and light saturated...... a positive carbon balance increased exponentially with increasing temperature but less so for summer-acclimated than for winter-acclimated plants. However, combining EC vs temperature models for whole-plants with data on daily light availability showed that seasonal acclimation in metabolism increased...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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,

  20. Expansion of the invasive dwarf eelgrass, Zostera japonica, in Yaquina Bay, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    The areal coverage of the non-indigenous dwarf eelgrass, Zostera japonica, is increasing in several estuaries on the US West Coast. As a result, regulatory agencies in the states of California and Washington are considering methods of controlling its expansion. Factors relevan...

  1. 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

  2. Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, I.

    2015-08-24

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

  3. 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%.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  10. 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. Genetic evidence for monogamy in the dwarf seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Emily; Small, Clayton M; Saucedo, Hector A; Harper, Cristin; Jones, Adam G

    2014-01-01

    Syngnathid fishes (pipefishes, seahorses, and seadragons) exhibit a wide array of mating systems ranging from monogamy with long-term pair bonds to more promiscuous mating systems, such as polyandry and polygynandry. Some seahorses, including the dwarf seahorse Hippocampus zosterae, have been found to be socially monogamous. Although several seahorse species have also been shown to be genetically monogamous, parentage analysis has not yet been applied to the dwarf seahorse. We developed 8 novel microsatellites for the dwarf seahorse to conduct genetic parentage analysis to confirm that this species is indeed monogamous. Using 4 selected loci and a total of 16 pregnant male seahorses, with 8 collected in Florida and 8 sampled in Texas, we genotyped all of the offspring within each male's brood to determine the maternal contributions to each brood. We found a maximum of 4 alleles per locus segregating within each pregnant male's brood, a pattern consistent with each brood having exactly 1 mother and 1 father. These results support previous laboratory-based behavioral studies and indicate that the dwarf seahorse, H. zosterae, is genetically monogamous. © The American Genetic Association 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Differences between epiphytic assemblages on introduced Caulerpa taxifolia and coexisting eelgrass (Zostera capricorni in Botany Bay (NSW, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Prado

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available A preliminary study was conducted to assess the potential effects of introduced Caulerpa taxifolia (Caulerpales, Chlorophyta on the biodiversity and trophic functioning of seagrass systems in New South Wales, Australia. Epiphytic assemblages growing on fronds of C. taxifolia were compared to those on eelgrass Zostera capricorni (Aschers. leaves in zones where both species were coexisting. The study was conducted at three shallow sites (ca. 1 m depth in Botany Bay during austral spring. Assemblages on both C. taxifolia and Z. capricorni were dominated by epiphytic algae (ca. 65% of the total taxa but results showed significantly greater numbers on C. taxifolia compared to Z. capricorni as well as important differences among study sites. n-MDS ordinations and PERMANOVA analyses confirmed the existence of significant differences in the assemblage compositions of C. taxifolia and Z. capricorni as well as differences between times and sites. SIMPER analysis showed that animal composition made a higher contribution to dissimilarities between habitats compared to epiphytic algae (36% vs. 23% respectively. In particular, filter-feeding organisms, associated with surfaces such as ascidians (5 taxa and bryozoans (2 taxa emerged as important contributing taxa. Hence, our results suggest that introduced C. taxifolia from Botany Bay is a suitable substratum for settlement of epiphytes, at least during the study period, and that observed patterns are due to differences in habitat structure. Further research is necessary to determine the influence of seasonal processes, such as production of toxic secondary metabolites, in other invaded locations of New South Wales.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of salinity and water temperature on the ecological performance of Zostera marina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nejrup, Lars Brammer; Pedersen, Morten Foldager

    2008-01-01

    We tested the effects of salinity and water temperature on the ecological performance of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in culture-experiments to identify levels that could potentially limit survival and growth and, thus, the spatial distribution of eelgrass in temperate estuaries. The experiments ...

  19. Key parameters and processes affecting the re-establishment of eelgrass in estuaries and coastal water

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Canal Vergés, Paula

    and sediment trapping. In the last decades seagrass, in general and eelgrass (Zostera marina) in particular, have been heavily reduced, primarily due to a generalized euthrophication of the coastal waters. In Denmark, a numerous efforts on nutrient reduction and improvement on coastal water quality have been....... As a result it was proven that macroalgae generated SPM affected the light climate by dampening greatly the light availability at the sea bed in shallow coastal waters. An agent based model to simulate opportunistic and slower growing macroalgae species transport in Odense fjord was created. In this model......Seagrass are considered engineering species, and as such, provide numerous “ecosystem functions, services and goods”. Among them, seagrass systems offers structural functionality, shelter and food for a diverse trophic chain, high productivity, slow nutrient turnover, reduced hydrodynamic forcing...

  20. Eelgrass habitat near Liberty Bay: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinicola, Richard S.; Takesue, Renee K.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Restoring Eelgrass (Zostera marina) from Seed: A Comparison of Planting Methods for Large-Scale Projects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Orth, Robert; Marion, Scott; Granger, Steven; Traber, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina) seeds are being used in a variety of both small- and large-scale restoration activities and have been successfully used to initiate recovery of eelgrass in the Virginia seaside coastal lagoons...

  14. Population Genetic Structure of the Dwarf Seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae) in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedrizzi, Nathan; Stiassny, Melanie L J; Boehm, J T; Dougherty, Eric R; Amato, George; Mendez, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The dwarf seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae) is widely distributed throughout near-shore habitats of the Gulf of Mexico and is of commercial significance in Florida, where it is harvested for the aquarium and curio trades. Despite its regional importance, the genetic structure of dwarf seahorse populations remains largely unknown. As an aid to ongoing conservation efforts, we employed three commonly applied mtDNA markers (ND4, DLoop and CO1) to investigate the genetic structuring of H. zosterae in Florida using samples collected throughout its range in the state. A total of 1450 bp provided sufficient resolution to delineate four populations of dwarf seahorses, as indicated by significant fixation indices. Despite an overall significant population structure, we observed evidence of interbreeding between individuals from geographically distant sites, supporting the hypothesis that rafting serves to maintain a degree of population connectivity. All individuals collected from Pensacola belong to a single distinct subpopulation, which is highly differentiated from the rest of Floridian dwarf seahorses sampled. Our findings highlight the utility of mtDNA markers in evaluating barriers to gene flow and identifying genetically distinct populations, which are vital to the development of comprehensive conservation strategies for exploited taxa.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. [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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, C J; Waycott, M

    2014-06-30

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Effect of abalone farming on seawater movement and benthic foraminiferal assemblage of Zostera marina in the inner bay of Wando, South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yeon Gyu; Choi, Yang Ho; Jeong, Da Un; Lee, Jung Sick; Kim, Yong Wan; Park, Jung Jun; Choi, Jae Ung

    2016-08-15

    Tidal current survey as well as geochemical and benthic foraminiferal analyses of sediment cores were conducted in an abalone farm and a Zostera bed to understand the degree to which the abalone farm facilities installed along a channel in a shallow sea affect the benthic environment and ecology. In the abalone farm, Ammonia beccarii-Pseudoparrella naraensis-Elphidium somaense-Rosalina globularis-Trochammina hadai and P. naraensis-E. somaense-A. beccarii-T. hadai assemblages appeared owing to an increase in the total nitrogen content from the biodeposits. The Zostera bed consisted of A. beccarii-P. naraensis-Buccella frigida-T. hadai assemblage owing to the gradual expansion of a brackish shallow-water environment by the rapidly decreasing current speed, and it may have flourished. Moreover, the total sulfur, Zn, Cr, and Cu contents in the sediments decreased remarkably more than those of the pre-abalone farming did, caused by the vigorous activity of Zostera marina physiology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) food web structure in different environmental settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thormar, Jonas Gjaldbæk; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Baden, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    his study compares the structure of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows and associated food webs in two eelgrass habitats in Denmark, differing in exposure, connection to the open sea, nutrient enrichment and water transparency. Meadow structure strongly reflected the environmental conditions...... composition and food web structure also differed markedly between sites with the eutrophicated, enclosed site having higher biomass of consumers and less complex food web. These relationships resulted in a column shaped biomass distribution of the consumers at the eutrophicated site whereas the less nutrient...

  8. 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)

  9. Mapping estuarine distributions of the non-indigenous Japanese Eelgrass Zostera japonica using Color Infrared Aerial Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    This presentation describes a technique for mapping distributions of the nonindigenous Japanese eelgrass Zostera japonica in estuarine ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. The relatively broad distribution of this intertidal plant, often on very soft substrate, makes classical g...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Top-down impact through a bottom-up mechanism: the effect of limpet grazing on growth, productivity and carbon allocation of Zostera marina L. (eelgrass).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Richard C; Kohrs, Donald G; Alberte, Randall S

    1996-09-01

    The unusual appearance of a commensal eelgrass limpet [Tectura depicta (Berry)] from southern California at high density (up to 10 shoot -1 ) has coincided with the catastrophic decline of a subtidal Zostera marina L. meadow in Monterey Bay, California. Some commensal limpets graze the chloroplast-rich epidermis of eelgrass leaves, but were not known to affect seagrass growth or productivity. We evaluated the effect on eelgrass productivity of grazing by limpets maintained at natural densities (8±2 shoot -1 ) in a natural light mesocosm for 45 days. Growth rates, carbon reserves, root proliferation and net photosynthesis of grazed plants were 50-80% below those of ungrazed plants, but biomass-specific respiration was unaffected. The daily period of irradiance-saturated photosynthesis (H sat ) needed to maintain positive carbon balance in grazed plants approached 13.5 h, compared with 5-6 h for ungrazed plants. The amount of carbon allocated to roots of ungrazed plants was 800% higher than for grazed plants. By grazing the chlorophyll-rich epidermis, T. depicta induced carbon limitation in eelgrass growing in an other-wise light-replete environment. Continued northward movement of T. depicta, may have significant impacts on eelgrass production and population dynamics in the northeast Pacific, even thought this limpet consumes very little plant biomass. This interaction is a dramatic example of top-down control (grazing/predation) of eelgrass productivity and survival operating via a bottom-up mechanism (photosynthesis limitation).

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Stranded Zostera marina L. vs wrack fauna community interactions on a Baltic sandy beach (Hel, Poland: a short-term pilot study. Part I. Driftline effects of fragmented detritivory, leaching and decay rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin F. Jêdrzejczak

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of the beach community structure of macro- and meiofauna on the process of beach wrack decay were investigated by means of a simple field colonisation experiment in a temperate, fine quartz sediment, sandy beach at the end of the Hel Peninsula in Poland. 1260 replicate litterbags of three mesh sizes (12 mm, 0.5 mm, 48 µm containing fresh wrack were used to assess the role of faunal and non-faunal components in the breakdown of stranded Zostera marina. Wrack breakdown was determined during a three-year field study. This paper presents the first part of the results of this field experiment, which refer to the effects of fragmentation detritivory, leaching and decay rates. Material was lost from the bags at a rapid rate, with only 22-32% of the original dry mass remaining after 27 days in the field. This degradation was not directly related to the faunal succession of the eelgrass tissue, which proceeded in two distinct phases throughout the study period. Exclusion of macrofauna from the wrack by the use of finer-mesh litterbags (< 1 mm had no appreciable effect on the rate of dry matter loss. Microbial decay, and abiotic leaching and fragmentation are probably the major causes of seagrass weight loss from the litterbags.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Flow velocity and light level drive non-linear response of seagrass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Villazán, B.; Brun, F.G.; Moreno-Marín, F; Bouma, T.J.; Vergara, J.J.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the interactive effects of light (low and high light doses) and flowvelocity (low, medium and high levels) under NH4+ enriched conditions on dynamic and morphologicalvariables of Zostera noltei plants in a 5 wk flume experiment. Our results showed a nonlinearresponse of Z. noltei in

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Mortality rate estimation for eelgrass Zostera marina (Potamogetonaceae using projections from Leslie matrices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Flores Uzeta

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this study is to provide estimations of mean mortality rate of vegetative shoots of the seagrass Zostera marina in a meadow near Ensenada Baja California, using a technique that minimizes destructive sampling. Using cohorts and Leslie matrices, three life tables were constructed, each representing a season within the period of monthly sampling (April 1999 to April 2000. Ages for the cohorts were established in terms of Plastochrone Interval (PI. The matrices were projected through time to estimate the mean total number of individuals at time t, n(t as well as mortality. We found no statistical differences between observed and predicted mean values for these variables (t=-0.11, p=0.92 for n(t and t=0.69, p=0.5 for mean rate of mortality. We found high correlation coefficient values between observed and projected values for monthly number of individuals (r=0.70, p=0.007 and monthly mortality rates (r=0.81, p=0.001. If at a certain time t a sudden environmental change occurs, and as long as the perturbation does not provoke the killing of all the individuals of a given age i for 0 ≤ i ≤ x - 1, there will be a prevailing number of individuals of age or stage x at a time t+1. This nondestructive technique reduces the number of field visits and samples needed for the demographic analysis of Z. marina, and therefore decreases the disturbance caused by researches to the ecosystem. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (3: 1015-1022. Epub 2008 September 30El propósito principal de este estudio es el de proveer estimaciones de tasas promedio de mortalidad de tallos vegetativos de Zostera marina en una pradera cercana a Ensenada Baja California, utilizando una técnica que minimiza los muestreos destructivos para estos pastos marinos. Mediante la utilización de cohortes y matrices de Leslie, se construyeron tres tablas de vida, cada una representando a una estación dentro de período anual de muestreos mensuales (Abril 1999 a Abril 2000. Las edades

  12. Macrophytes as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution in estuarine and coastal environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farias, D R; Hurd, C L; Eriksen, R S; Macleod, C K

    2018-03-01

    The Derwent estuary, in Tasmania (Australia), is highly contaminated with heavy metals with significant levels in both sediments and benthic fauna. However, little is known about metal content in benthic primary producers. We characterized metal content (Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Selenium and Zinc) in twelve species of macrophyte, including red, green, and brown algae, and seagrasses, from the Derwent. The metals, arsenic, copper, lead, and Zinc were detected in all of the macrophytes assessed, but the levels differed between species. Seagrasses accumulated the highest concentrations of all metals; with Zn levels being particularly high in the seagrass Ruppia megacarpa (from the upper Estuary) and Pb was detected in Zostera muelleri (from the middle estuary). Ulva australis was ubiquitous throughout the middle-lower estuary and accumulated Zn in relatively high concentrations. The findings suggest that analysis of multiple species may be necessary for a comprehensive understanding of estuary-wide metal pollution. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of filamentous macroalgae mats on growth and survival of eelgrass, Zostera marina, seedlings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jonas; Olesen, Birgit; Krause-Jensen, Dorte

    2012-01-01

    A laboratory experiment was conducted to assess the effect of filamentous algae mats on the performance of seedlings of the eelgrass, Zostera marina. The seedlings were covered by three levels (3, 6 and 9 cm) of natural (Chaetomorpha linum) and imitation algae mats and it was hypothesized that th...

  20. Differing effects of eelgrass Zostera marina on recruitment and growth of associated blue mussels Mytilus edulis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reusch, B.H.T.

    1998-01-01

    I studied the effects of habitat structure, provided by an eelgrass Zostera marina canopy, on shell growth rate and recruitment of co-occurring blue mussels Mytilus edulis in the Western Baltic Sea. M. edulis in clumps consisting of 10 and 30 individuals were tagged and placed in unvegetated areas

  1. 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.

  2. An economical non-destructive method for estimating eelgrass, Zostera marina (Potamogetonaceae leaf growth rates: formal development and use in northwestern Baja California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Solana-Arellano

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Seagrass beds provide much of the primary production in estuaries; host many fishes and fish larvae, and abate erosion. The present study presents original analytical methods for estimating mean leaf-growth rates of eelgrass (Zostera marina. The method was calibrated by using data collected in a Z. marina meadow at Punta Banda estuary in Baja California, Mexico. The analytical assessments were based on measurements of leaf length and standard regression procedures. We present a detailed explanation of the formal procedures involved in the derivation of these analytical methods. The measured daily leaf-growth rate was 10.9 mm d-1 leaf-1. The corresponding value projected by our method was 10.2 mm d-1 leaf-1. The associated standard errors were of 0.53 and 0.56 mm d-1 leaf-1 respectively. The method was validated by projecting leaf-growth rates from an independent data set, which gave consistent results. The use of the method to obtain the mean leaf growth rate of a transplanted plot is also illustrated. Comparison of our leaf-growth data with previously reported assessments show the significant forcing of sea-surface temperature on eelgrass leaf dynamics. The formal constructs provided here are of general scope and can be applied to equivalent eelgrass data sets in a straightforward manner. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (3: 1003-1013. Epub 2008 September 30.Las praderas de pastos marinos abaten la erosión y aportan gran parte de la productividad primaria de los esteros y son refugio de muchos peces y sus larvas. El presente trabajo introduce métodos analíticos para estimar las tasas medias de crecimiento foliar de Zostera marina L. y sus varianzas. La calibración del método se llevó a cabo utilizando datos de una pradera de esta fanerógama en el Estero de Punta Banda Baja California, México. Las referidas estimaciones analíticas, se basan en medias de longitud foliar y en procedimientos estandarizados de regresión. Dichas determinaciones son por

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Distribution, structure and function of Nordic eelgrass (Zostera marina) ecosystems : Implications for coastal management and conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bostrom, C; Baden, Susanne; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina; Dromph, Karsten; Fredrikssen, Stein; Gustafsson, Camilla; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Moller, Tiia; Nielsen, Soren Laurentius; Olesen, Birgit; Olsen, Jeanine; Pihl, Leif; Rinde, Eli

    2014-01-01

    This paper focuses on the marine foundation eelgrass species, Zostera marina, along a gradient from the northern Baltic Sea to the north-east Atlantic. This vast region supports a minimum of 1480 km2 eelgrass (maximum >2100 km2), which corresponds to more than four times the previously quantified

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-21

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

  8. 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

  9. Free and Bound Fatty-Acids and Hydroxy Fatty-Acids in the Living and Decomposing Eelgrass Zostera-Marina L

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Leeuw, J.; Rijpstra, W.I.C.; Nienhuis, P.H.

    1995-01-01

    Very early diagenetic processes of free, esterified and amide or glycosidically bound fatty acids and hydroxy fatty acids present in well documented samples of living and decomposing eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) were investigated. Free and esterified fatty acids decreased significantly over a period

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. Science, uncertainty and changing storylines in nature restoration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    R. Floor, Judith; (Kris) van Koppen, C.S.A.; Tatenhove, Jan P.M van

    2018-01-01

    Marine areas have been heavily affected by human activities, resulting in current attempts to both conserve and restore nature. In decisions about nature restoration, ecological knowledge plays a crucial role and is closely linked to nature preferences and political views. In this study......, the empirical case of seagrass (Zostera marina) restoration in the Dutch Wadden Sea (1989–2017) is analysed. The impact of storylines and uncertainty perceptions, together with socio-political context factors, on decisions concerning restoration action and research are investigated. This case illustrates...... the difficulties of establishing seagrass fields and the dynamic process in which meaning is attributed to nature restoration. Two basic storylines – authenticity and the ecological function of ecosystem engineers – supported the restoration efforts. Three different episodes are distinguished based on different...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. {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.

  14. FACTORS CONTROLLING ZOSTERA MARINA L. GROWTH IN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN: COMPARISONS BETWEEN SOUTH KOREA AND OREGON, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zostera marina distribution is circum-global and tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions. Consequently, it is likely that populations have adapted to local environmental conditions of light, temperature and nutrient supply. We compared Z. marina growth dynamics over a ...

  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. 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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. The Florida Seagrass Integrated Mapping and Monitoring (SIMM) Program: Indications of the effects of regional climate variability on these vital ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    The SIMM program was developed to protect and manage seagrass resources in Florida by providing a collaborative vehicle for seagrass mapping, monitoring, data sharing, and reporting. We summarize and interpret mapping data and field assessments of seagrass abundance and diversity and water quality gathered by regional scientists and managers who work in estuaries from the Panhandle to the northeast Florida coast. Since 2013, regional reports summarizing the status and trends of seagrass ecosystems have been available on the web. The format provides current information for a wide stakeholder community. Ongoing collaborative efforts of more than 30 seagrass researchers and managers provide timely information on environmental and ecosystem changes in these important systems. Since the first published seagrass assessments in 2009, we have observed large changes in seagrass abundance and diversity in several regions; most but not all changes were likely due to variations in water quality that determine the light available to benthic vegetation. In the Panhandle and the Big Bend, in 2012-2104, increases in the frequency and severity of storms and resulting runoff reduced water quality which in turn decreased the abundance and distribution of seagrasses. The storm pattern resulted from changes in the subtropical jet stream and persisted for 3 years. In south Florida, heat and drought elevated salinities to extreme levels in Florida Bay in 2015; the resulting stratification along with high temperatures caused die-off of thousands of hectares of seagrass in the north central Bay. Extremely wet conditions in southeast Florida in 2015-2016 strained the water management system, resulting in large releases of polluted freshwater to estuaries on the southwest and southeast coasts, reducing light availability and causing large blooms of noxious algae. While other regions have also experienced algal blooms that reduced available light (Indian River Lagoon), seagrasses have

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. Significance of salinity and silicon levels for growth of a formerly estuarine eelgrass (Zostera marina) population (Lake Grevelingen, the Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamermans, P.; Hemminga, M.A.; De Jong, D.J.

    1999-01-01

    Since the early 1980s, the eelgrass, Zostera marina L., population in the saline Lake Gevelingen, The Netherlands, is rapidly declining. An earlier study, in which long-term data on eelgrass coverage in this former estuary were correlated with several environmental variables, showed only one

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Zostera marina root demography in an intertidal estuarine environment measured using minirhizotron technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over the last four decades there have been major advances in our understanding of the biology, ecology and physiology of seagrasses and their interaction with the environment. Despite these advances, there has been relatively little advancement in our understanding of the belowg...

  17. Determination of the distribution of shallow-water seagrass and drift algae communities with acoustic seafloor discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, B; Moyer, R P; Morris, L; Virnstein, R; Dodge, R E

    2005-05-01

    The spatial distribution of seagrass and algae communities can be difficult to determine in large, shallow lagoon systems where high turbidity prevents the use of optical methods like aerial photography or satellite imagery. Further complications can arise when algae are not permanently attached to the substratum and drift with tides and currents. A study using acoustic seafloor discrimination was conducted in the Indian River Lagoon (Florida, USA) to determine the extent of drift algae and seagrass. Acoustic surveys using the QTC View V system based on 50 and 200 kHz transducers were conducted near Sebastian Inlet. Results indicate that areas of seagrass can be identified, and are mixed with a high abundance of drift algae. Nearest-neighbor extrapolation was used to fill in spaces between survey lines and thus obtain spatially cohesive maps. These maps were then ground-truthed using data from towed video and compared using confusion matrices, The maps showed a high level of agreement (60%) with the actual distribution of algae, however some confusion existed between bare sand and algae as well as seagrass.

  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 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...

  20. Comparison of non-indigenous dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) and native eelgrass (Z. marina) distributions in a northeast Pacific estuary: 1997-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study addressed the following question: In a coastal estuary of the northeastern Pacific Ocean with a relatively large areal extent of the native eelgrass Zostera marina, is an expanding distribution of the non-indigenous dwarf eelgrass Z. japonica accompanied by a measurab...

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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....

  7. Seasonal changes in environmental variables, biomass, production and nutrient contents in two contrasting tropical intertidal seagrass beds in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erftemeijer, Paul L A; Herman, Peter M J

    1994-09-01

    Seasonal dynamics were studied by monthly monitoring of biological and environmental variables in permanent quadrats in two contrasting intertidal seagrass beds in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, from February 1991 to January 1992. Datasets were analysed with canonical correlation analysis for correlations between environmental and biological variables. Considerable variation in biomass, production and plant tissue nutrient contents in a monospecific seagrass bed of Enhalus acoroides, growing on a coastal terrigenous mudbank (Gusung Tallang), was assumed to be related to riverine influences of the nearby Tallo River. The variation in seagrass variables at this site could, however, not be significantly correlated to seasonal patterns in rainfall, salinity, tides, nutrient availability, water motion or turbidity. A seasonal cycle in biomass, production and nutrient contents in a mixed seagrass bed of Thalassia hemprichii and E. acoroides, growing on carbonate sand on the reef flat of an offshore coral island (Barang Lompo), was found to be largely determined by tidal exposure and water motion. Exposure of the intertidal seagrass bed during hours of low water during spring tides showed a gradual shift from exposure during the night (January-June) to exposure during daylight (July-December). Daylight exposure resulted in a significant loss of above-ground plant biomass through desiccation and 'burning' of leaves. The observed seasonal dynamics of the seagrass bed on reef sediment contrast with reports from the Caribbean, where the effect of tidal exposure on comparable shallow-water seagrass communities is relatively insignificant due to a small tidal amplitude.

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-09-30

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Reply to Macreadie et al Comment on ‘Geoengineering with seagrasses: is credit due where credit is given?’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannessen, Sophia C.; Macdonald, Robie W.

    2018-02-01

    Macreadie et al (this issue; M2017 Environ. Res. Lett.) challenged the conclusion presented by Johannessen and Macdonald (2016 Environ. Res. Lett.) that global estimates of carbon sequestration by seagrass meadows were too high. Here we clarify our global calculation, respond to M2017’s criticisms and explain how the persistent misunderstandings about sediment dynamics within the Blue Carbon community continue to lead to overestimates of carbon sequestration in seagrass meadows. We point out that, although seagrasses appear to have a local effect on carbon sequestration compared with nearby barren sediments, their preferred substrate (slowly-accumulating, coarse sediment) makes them among the least effective coastal environments for burying carbon. We conclude with a proposal for the development of robust international protocols to quantify carbon burial in seagrass meadows that account for sediment accumulation, sediment mixing and carbon remineralization.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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.

  18. 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...

  19. The impact of extreme flooding events and anthropogenic stressors on the macrobenthic communities’ dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, P. G.; Raffaelli, D.; Lillebø, A. I.; Verdelhos, T.; Pardal, M. A.

    2008-02-01

    Marine and coastal environments are among the most ecologically and socio-economically important habitats on Earth. However, climate change associated with a variety of anthropogenic stressors (e.g. eutrophication) may interact to produce combined impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which in turn will have profound implications for marine ecosystems and the economic and social systems that depend upon them. Over period 1980-2000, the environment of the Mondego estuary, Portugal, has deteriorated through eutrophication, manifested in the replacement of seagrasses by opportunistic macroalgae, degradation of water quality and increased turbidity, and the system has also experienced extreme flood events. A restoration plan was implemented in 1998 which aimed to reverse the eutrophication effects, especially to restore the original natural seagrass ( Zostera noltii) community. This paper explores the interactions between extreme weather events (e.g. intense floods) and anthropogenic stressors (e.g. eutrophication) on the dynamics of the macrobenthic assemblages and the socio-economic implications that follow. We found that during the previous decade, the intensification of extreme flooding events had significant effects on the structure and functioning of macrobenthic communities, specifically a decline in total biomass, a decline in species richness and a decline in suspension feeders. However, the earlier eutrophication process also strongly modified the macrobenthic community, seen as a decline in species richness, increase in detritivores and a decline in herbivores together with a significant increase in small deposit-feeding polychaetes. After the implementation of the management plan, macrobenthic assemblages seemed to be recovering from eutrophication, but it is argued here that those earlier impacts reduced system stability and the resilience of the macrobenthic assemblages, so that its ability to cope with other stressors was compromised. Thus

  20. Contrasting impacts of light reduction on sediment biogeochemistry in deep- and shallow-water tropical seagrass assemblages (Green Island, Great Barrier Reef).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrameyer, Verena; York, Paul H; Chartrand, Kathryn; Ralph, Peter J; Kühl, Michael; Brodersen, Kasper Elgetti; Rasheed, Michael A

    2018-05-01

    Seagrass meadows increasingly face reduced light availability as a consequence of coastal development, eutrophication, and climate-driven increases in rainfall leading to turbidity plumes. We examined the impact of reduced light on above-ground seagrass biomass and sediment biogeochemistry in tropical shallow- (∼2 m) and deep-water (∼17 m) seagrass meadows (Green Island, Australia). Artificial shading (transmitting ∼10-25% of incident solar irradiance) was applied to the shallow- and deep-water sites for up to two weeks. While above-ground biomass was unchanged, higher diffusive O 2 uptake (DOU) rates, lower O 2 penetration depths, and higher volume-specific O 2 consumption (R) rates were found in seagrass-vegetated sediments as compared to adjacent bare sand (control) areas at the shallow-water sites. In contrast, deep-water sediment characteristics did not differ between bare sand and vegetated sites. At the vegetated shallow-water site, shading resulted in significantly lower hydrogen sulphide (H 2 S) levels in the sediment. No shading effects were found on sediment biogeochemistry at the deep-water site. Overall, our results show that the sediment biogeochemistry of shallow-water (Halodule uninervis, Syringodium isoetifolium, Cymodocea rotundata and C. serrulata) and deep-water (Halophila decipiens) seagrass meadows with different species differ in response to reduced light. The light-driven dynamics of the sediment biogeochemistry at the shallow-water site could suggest the presence of a microbial consortium, which might be stimulated by photosynthetically produced exudates from the seagrass, which becomes limited due to lower seagrass photosynthesis under shaded conditions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A.W.D., Larkum, R.J. Orth, C.M. Duarte (eds.), 2006, Seagrasses: Biology, Ecology and Conservation, Springer, ISBN: 978-1-4020-2942-4 (hardback), US$ 99.00, 691 pages.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thom, Ronald M.

    2008-01-01

    The relish of scientists for, and funding of research on, seagrasses probably stems from two sources: seagrasses are a defined taxonomic unit often growing in monotypic stands, making academic study tractable; and, seagrasses are increasingly recognized globally as important components of shallow water systems, and potential key indicators of ecosystem health. The 26 chapters covering ~700 pages provide a long overdue treatment of the state of the science on seagrasses. This book is an honest, thorough and heroic attempt to compile a mass of knowledge by a herd of 80 researcher “cats” representing 15 countries. The chapters “…provide the necessary background on what brought each topic where it is today and indicate where future research needs to go to advance the field to the next level.” Seagrass science is in its infancy, but, as demonstrated, is advancing rapidly. Volumes with recent topical treatments of seagrasses include World Atlas of Seagrasses (Green and Short 2003), Seagrass Ecology (Hemminga and Duarte 2000), and Global Seagrass Research Methods (Short and Coles 2001) are useful compliments to this book.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  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. 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)

  10. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar eSerrano

    2016-03-01

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

  13. 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...

  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. 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, ...

  16. 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...

  17. Community Composition and Transcriptional Activity of Ammonia-Oxidizing Prokaryotes of Seagrass Thalassia hemprichii in Coral Reef Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Ling

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses in coral reef ecosystems play important ecological roles by enhancing coral reef resilience under ocean acidification. However, seagrass primary productivity is typically constrained by limited nitrogen availability. Ammonia oxidation is an important process conducted by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA and bacteria (AOB, yet little information is available concerning the community structure and potential activity of seagrass AOA and AOB. Therefore, this study investigated the variations in the abundance, diversity and transcriptional activity of AOA and AOB at the DNA and transcript level from four sample types: the leaf, root, rhizosphere sediment and bulk sediment of seagrass Thalassia hemprichii in three coral reef ecosystems. DNA and complementary DNA (cDNA were used to prepare clone libraries and DNA and cDNA quantitative PCR (qPCR assays, targeting the ammonia monooxygenase-subunit (amoA genes as biomarkers. Our results indicated that the closest relatives of the obtained archaeal and bacterial amoA gene sequences recovered from DNA and cDNA libraries mainly originated from the marine environment. Moreover, all the obtained AOB sequences belong to the Nitrosomonadales cluster. Nearly all the AOA communities exhibited higher diversity than the AOB communities at the DNA level, but the qPCR data demonstrated that the abundances of AOB communities were higher than that of AOA communities based on both DNA and RNA transcripts. Collectively, most of the samples shared greater community composition similarity with samples from the same location rather than sample type. Furthermore, the abundance of archaeal amoA gene in rhizosphere sediments showed significant relationships with the ammonium concentration of sediments and the nitrogen content of plant tissue (leaf and root at the DNA level (P < 0.05. Conversely, no such relationships were found for the AOB communities. This work provides new insight into the nitrogen cycle

  18. 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,

  19. Grazer Functional Roles, Induced Defenses, and Indirect Interactions: Implications for Eelgrass Restoration in San Francisco Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey T. Lewis

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the individual and interactive roles of consumer species is more than academic when the host plant is a subject of intense conservation interest. In a mesocosm experiment, we compared effects of common invertebrate grazers in San Francisco Bay seagrass (Zostera marina, eelgrass beds, finding that some species (a native opisthobranch, Phyllaplysia taylori; a native isopod, Idotea resecata; and an introduced gastropod, Ilyanassa obsoleta enhanced eelgrass growth through removal of epiphytic algae, as is often predicted for small invertebrate grazers on seagrasses, while one (an introduced caprellid amphipod, Caprella cf. drepanochir had neutral effects. In contrast, the putatively-introduced gammaridean amphipod, Ampithoe valida, had strong negative effects on eelgrass (in addition to epiphytes through consumption, as we had previously observed in the field during restoration programs. We tested whether other common grazer species could influence the effects of the eelgrass-grazing Ampithoe, and found that Idotea induced production of phenolic compounds and limited eelgrass damage by Ampithoe, without affecting Ampithoe abundance. These results have implications for restoration strategies, and contribute to a growing awareness of the importance of trait-mediated indirect grazer interactions through grazer-induced changes in plant traits, providing the first example in a seagrass system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cortés

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves from the Costa Rican Caribbean coast have been monitored since 1999 using the CARICOMP protocol. Live coral cover at Meager Shoal reef bank (7 to 10m depth at the Parque Nacional Cahuita (National Park, increased from 13.3% in 1999, to 28.2% in 2003, but decreased during the next 5 years to around 17.5%. Algal cover increased significantly since 2003 from 36.6% to 61.3% in 2008. The density of Diadema antillarum oscillated between 2 and 7ind/m2, while Echinometra viridis decreased significantly from 20 to 0.6ind/m2. Compared to other CARICOMP sites, live coral cover, fish diversity and density, and sea urchin density were low, and algal cover was intermediate. The seagrass site, also in the Parque Nacional Cahuita, is dominated by Thalassia testudinum and showed an intermediate productivity (2.7±1.15 g/m2/d and biomass (822.8±391.84 g/m2 compared to other CARICOMP sites. Coral reefs and seagrasses at the Parque Nacional Cahuita continue to be impacted by high sediment loads from terrestrial origin. The mangrove forest at Gandoca, within the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo (National Wildlife Refuge, surrounds a lagoon and it is dominated by the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle. Productivity and flower production peak was in July. Biomass (14kg/m2 and density (9.0±0.58 trees/100m2 in Gandoca were relatively low compared to other CARICOMP sites, while productivity in July in Costa Rica (4g/m2/d was intermediate, similar to most CARICOMP sites. This mangrove is expanding and has low human impact thus far. Management actions should be taken to protect and preserve these important coastal ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3: 1-22. Epub 2010 October 01.

  1. 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)

  2. Nuclear microprobe studies of elemental distribution in the seagrass Thalassodendron ciliatum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnabas, A.D. E-mail: alban@pixie.udw.ac.za; Przybylowicz, W.J.; Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, J.; Pineda, C.A

    1999-09-02

    Elemental levels and distributions in various organs (leaves, upright stems, rhizomes and roots) of the seagrass Thalassodendron ciliatum were determined using the NAC nuclear microprobe. Elemental distributions were obtained using the true elemental imaging system Dynamic Analysis (DA). Cl was the most abundant element present in the organs, occurring in all tissues, but present in relatively low concentrations in epidermal cells of leaves and roots. Na, K, S and Mg were also abundant and occurred in all organ tissues. Ca concentration was highest in the leaves, especially in the epidermis. Low concentrations of P were found and its tissue distribution was limited. Although Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Br, Ti and Si were present in relatively small amounts, enrichment of the epidermis with Fe, Ti and Si in all organs, was observed. Fe concentration was the highest in rhizomes while Si concentration was highest in upright stems. The significance of these elemental distribution patterns and the value of the nuclear microprobe in elemental analysis of seagrasses are discussed.

  3. Effect of nutrient enrichment on the source and composition of sediment organic carbon in tropical seagrass beds in the South China Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Songlin; Jiang, Zhijian; Zhang, Jingping; Wu, Yunchao; Lian, Zhonglian; Huang, Xiaoping

    2016-01-01

    To assess the effect of nutrient enrichment on the source and composition of sediment organic carbon (SOC) beneath Thalassia hemprichii and Enhalus acoroides in tropical seagrass beds, Xincun Bay, South China Sea, intertidal sediment, primary producers, and seawater samples were collected. No significant differences on sediment δ 13 C, SOC, and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were observed between T. hemprichii and E. acoroides. SOC was mainly of autochthonous origin, while the contribution of seagrass to SOC was less than that of suspended particulate organic matter, macroalgae and epiphytes. High nutrient concentrations contributed substantially to SOC of seagrass, macroalgae, and epiphytes. The SOC, MBC, and MBC/SOC ratio in the nearest transect to fish farming were the highest. This suggested a more labile composition of SOC and shorter turnover times in higher nutrient regions. Therefore, the research indicates that nutrient enrichment could enhance plant-derived contributions to SOC and microbial use efficiency. - Highlights: • Response of sources and composition of SOC to nutrient enrichment was observed. • Similar SOC sources and composition were observed in the two seagrass communities. • Nutrient enrichment enhanced seagrass and macroalgae and epiphytes contribution to SOC. • High nutrient concentration stimulated the MBC and the MBC/SOC ratio.

  4. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    This study presents the first report on bacterial communities in the sediments of eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows in the shallow southern Baltic Sea (Puck Bay). Total bacterial cell numbers (TBNs) and bacteria biomass (BBM) assessed with the use of epifluorescence microscope and Norland’s formula were compared between bare and vegetated sediments at two localities and in two sampling summer months. Significantly higher TBNs and BBM (PERMANOVA tests, P 

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

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

  13. Morphological and physiological responses of seagrasses (Alismatales to grazers (Testudines: Cheloniidae and the role of these responses as grazing patch abandonment cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Lacey

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, are grazers influencing the distribution of seagrass within shallow coastal ecosystems, yet the drivers behind C. mydas patch use within seagrass beds are largely unknown. Current theories center on food quality (nutrient content as the plant responds to grazing disturbances; however, no study has monitored these parameters in a natural setting without grazer manipulation. To determine the morphological and physiological responses potentially influencing seagrass recovery from grazing disturbances, seagrasses were monitored for one year under three different grazing scenarios (turtle grazed, fish grazed and ungrazed in a tropical ecosystem in Akumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Significantly less soluble carbohydrates and increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in Thalassia testudinum were indicative of the stresses placed on seagrasses during herbivory. To determine if these physiological responses were the drivers of the heterogeneous grazing behavior by C. mydas recorded in Akumal Bay, patches were mapped and monitored over a six-month interval. The abandoned patches had the lowest standing crop rather than leaf nutrient or rhizome soluble carbohydrate content. This suggests a modified Giving Up Density (GUD behavior: the critical threshold where cost of continued grazing does not provide minimum nutrients, therefore, new patches must be utilized, explains resource abandonment and mechanism behind C. mydas grazing. This study is the first to apply GUD theory, often applied in terrestrial literature, to explain marine herbivore grazing behavior.

  14. Morphological and physiological responses of seagrasses (Alismatales) to grazers (Testudines: Cheloniidae) and the role of these responses as grazing patch abandonment cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacey, Elizabeth A; Collado-Vides, Ligia; Fourqurean, James W

    2014-12-01

    Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, are grazers influencing the distribution of seagrass within shallow coastal ecosystems, yet the drivers behind C. mydas patch use within seagrass beds are largely unknown. Current theories center on food quality (nutrient content) as the plant responds to grazing disturbances; however, no study has monitored these parameters in a natural setting without grazer manipulation. To determine the morphological and physiological responses potentially influencing seagrass recovery from grazing disturbances, seagrasses were monitored for one year under three different grazing scenarios (turtle grazed, fish grazed and ungrazed) in a tropical ecosystem in Akumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Significantly less soluble carbohydrates and increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in Thalassia testudinum were indicative of the stresses placed on seagrasses during herbivory. To determine if these physiological responses were the drivers of the heterogeneous grazing behavior by C. mydas recorded in Akumal Bay, patches were mapped and monitored over a six-month interval. The abandoned patches had the lowest standing crop rather than leaf nutrient or rhi- zome soluble carbohydrate content. This suggests a modified Giving Up Density (GUD) behavior: the critical threshold where cost of continued grazing does not provide minimum nutrients, therefore, new patches must be utilized, explains resource abandonment and mechanism behind C. mydas grazing. This study is the first to apply GUD theory, often applied in terrestrial literature, to explain marine herbivore grazing behavior.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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...

  19. Genotype-specific responses to light stress in eelgrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation plant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina Elina; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2015-01-01

    , and their performance during light limitation and 4 wk of recovery was compared to non-shaded controls. In addition to growth and biomass, we investigated storage carbohydrates and quantified the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis and control of oxidative stress. Plants showed......Within mono-specific meadows of clonal plants, genotypic diversity may functionally replace species diversity. Little is known about the variability in performance and plasticity of different genotypes towards anthropogenically induced stressors. In this field experiment we compared light......-limitation stress responses and recovery of different eelgrass Zostera marina genotypes to assess the variability in phenotypic plasticity and gene expression between different genotypes. Replicated monoculture plots of 4 genotypes were subjected to a simulated turbidity period of 4 wk using shading screens...

  20. 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...

  1. Isotopic ratios and elemental contents as indicators of seagrass C processing and sewage influence in a tropical macrotidal ecosystem (Madagascar, Mozambique Channel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Lepoint

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Isotopic ratios and elemental concentrations of carbon and nitrogen were measured in seven seagrass species colonising different tidal flats near Toliara (SW Madagascar in order to determine the potential use of these parameters for assessing C processing and sewage use by tropical seagrasses. Nitrogen concentrations measured in upper intertidal seagrasses near Toliara were almost twice those measured on the tidal flat near a healthy mangrove situated 20 km away from Toliara town. At Toliara Beach, δ15N values were correlated with the N concentrations of Halodule sp., one of the dominant species on the tidal flat. This correlation did not exist for Halophila ovalis, the other dominant species. An increase in N concentrations and δ15N values demonstrates the influence of sewage coming directly onto Toliara Beach on the N cycles of intertidal seagrasses. Nevertheless, this influence seems restricted to the upper littoral zone and was not the main cause of seagrass die-off. On the other hand, at the mangrove site, δ15N values were not correlated with the N concentrations of Halodule sp. or Thalassia hemprichii, showing that natural δ15N variability is driven by other factors than the δ15N of N sources. Moreover, inter-individual variability of δ15N values was greater than inter-specific or inter-site variability, making the δ15N difficult to interpret in the context of human-disturbance influence on the N cycle of tropical seagrasses. δ13C values were close to -9‰, indicating the use of HCO3- inorganic carbon source by the seven investigated species. Contrary to our hypothesis, variation between sites and location on the tidal flat was limited, suggesting limited impact on δ13C values of sewage, emersion duration and mechanisms for HCO3- incorporation.

  2. Investigating seagrass in Toxoplasma gondii transmission in Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and Antillean (T. m. manatus) manatees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrosdick, Heidi M; Gerhold, Richard; Su, Chunlei; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.; Bonde, Robert K.; Chapman, Alycia; Riviera-Perez, Carla; Martinez, Jessica; Miller, Debra L.

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a feline protozoan reported to cause morbidity and mortality in manatees and other marine mammals. Given the herbivorous nature of manatees, ingestion of oocysts from contaminated water or seagrass is presumed to be their primary mode of infection. The objectives of this study were to investigate oocyst contamination of seagrass beds in Puerto Rico and determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii in Antillean (Trichechus manatus manatus) and Florida (T. m. latirostris) manatees. Sera or plasma from Antillean (n = 5) and Florida (n = 351) manatees were tested for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test. No T. gondii DNA was detected via PCR in seagrass samples (n = 33) collected from Puerto Rico. Seroprevalence was 0%, suggesting a lower prevalence of T. gondii in these manatee populations than previously reported. This was the first study to investigate the potential oocyst contamination of the manatee diet, and similar studies are important for understanding the epidemiology of T. gondii in herbivorous marine mammals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, P.

    1997-04-01

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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Development of Multiplex Microsatellite PCR Panels for the Seagrass Thalassia hemprichii (Hydrocharitaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kor-jent van Dijk

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: New microsatellites were developed for the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii (Hydrocharitaceae, a long-lived seagrass species that is found throughout the shallow waters of tropical and subtropical Indo-West Pacific. Three multiplex PCR panels were designed utilizing new and previously developed markers, resulting in a toolkit for generating a 16-locus genotype. Methods and Results: Through the use of microsatellite enrichment and next-generation sequencing, 16 new, validated, polymorphic microsatellite markers were isolated. Diversity was between two and four alleles per locus totaling 36 alleles. These markers, plus previously developed microsatellite markers for T. hemprichii and T. testudinum, were tested for suitability in multiplex PCR panels. Conclusions: The generation of an easily replicated suite of multiplex panels of codominant molecular markers will allow for high-resolution and detailed genetic structure analysis and clonality assessment with minimal genotyping costs. We suggest the establishment of a T. hemprichii primer convention for the unification of future data sets.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma F Camp

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the genus Wittrockiella (Pithophoraceae, Cladophorales), including the descriptions of W. australis sp. nov. and W. zosterae sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boedeker, Christian; O'Kelly, Charles J; West, John A; Hanyuda, Takeaki; Neale, Adele; Wakana, Isamu; Wilcox, Mike D; Karsten, Ulf; Zuccarello, Giuseppe C

    2017-06-01

    Wittrockiella is a small genus of filamentous green algae that occurs in habitats with reduced or fluctuating salinities. Many aspects of the basic biology of these algae are still unknown and the phylogenetic relationships within the genus have not been fully explored. We provide a phylogeny based on three ribosomal markers (ITS, LSU, and SSU rDNA) of the genus, including broad intraspecific sampling for W. lyallii and W. salina, recommendations for the use of existing names are made, and highlight aspects of their physiology and life cycle. Molecular data indicate that there are five species of Wittrockiella. Two new species, W. australis and W. zosterae, are described, both are endophytes. Although W. lyallii and W. salina can be identified morphologically, there are no diagnostic morphological characters to distinguish between W. amphibia, W. australis, and W. zosterae. A range of low molecular weight carbohydrates were analyzed but proved to not be taxonomically informative. The distribution range of W. salina is extended to the Northern Hemisphere as this species has been found in brackish lakes in Japan. Furthermore, it is shown that there are no grounds to recognize W. salina var. kraftii, which was described as an endemic variety from a freshwater habitat on Lord Howe Island, Australia. Culture experiments indicate that W. australis has a preference for growth in lower salinities over full seawater. For W. amphibia and W. zosterae, sexual reproduction is documented, and the split of these species is possibly attributable to polyploidization. © 2017 Phycological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-01

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

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Carbon sources and trophic structure in an eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) bed based on stable isotope and fatty acid analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Jaschinski, Sybill; Brepohl, Daniela C.; Sommer, Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Multiple stable isotope and fatty acid analyses were applied to examine food web dynamics in an eelgrass Zostera marina L. system in the western Baltic Sea. Samples of eelgrass, epiphytic algae, sand microflora, red algae, phytoplankton and main consumer species were collected in June 2002. delta C-13 values of primary producers ranged from -9.6%. for eelgrass to the most depleted value of -34.9%. for the most abundant red alga, Delesseria sanguinea, Epiphyte delta C-13 (-11.3 parts per thous...

  20. 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

  1. Impacts of CO2 Enrichment on Productivity and Light Requirements of Eelgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, R. C.; Kohrs, D. G.; Steller, D. L.; Alberte, R. S.

    1997-10-01

    Seagrasses, although well adapted for submerged existence, are CO2-limited and photosynthetically inefficient in seawater. This leads to high light requirements for growth and survival and makes seagrasses vulnerable to light limitation. We explored the long-term impact of increased CO2 availability on light requirements, productivity, and C allocation in eelgrass (Zostera marina L.). Enrichment of seawater CO2 increased photosynthesis 3-fold, but had no long-term impact on respiration. By tripling the rate of light-saturated photosynthesis, CO2 enrichment reduced the daily period of irradiance-saturated photosynthesis (Hsat) that is required for the maintenance of positive whole-plant C balance from 7 to 2.7 h, allowing plants maintained under 4 h of Hsat to perform like plants growing in unenriched seawater with 12 h of Hsat. Eelgrass grown under 4 h of Hsat without added CO2 consumed internal C reserves as photosynthesis rates and chlorophyll levels dropped. Growth ceased after 30 d. Leaf photosynthesis, respiration, chlorophyll, and sucrose-phosphate synthase activity of CO2-enriched plants showed no acclimation to prolonged enrichment. Thus, the CO2-stimulated improvement in photosynthesis reduced light requirements in the long term, suggesting that globally increasing CO2 may enhance seagrass survival in eutrophic coastal waters, where populations have been devastated by algal proliferation and reduced water-column light transparency.

  2. Burial of Zostera marina seeds in sediment inhabited by three polychaetes: laboratory and field studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delefosse, Matthieu; Kristensen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    The large number of seeds produced by eelgrass, Zostera marina, provides this plant with a potential to disperse widely and colonise newareas. After dispersal, seedsmust be buried into sediment for assuring long-term survival, successful germination and safe seedling development. Seedsmay be buried...... eelgrass seed bank at the ecosystemscale. Some species have a positive effect by burying seeds to shallow depths and thereby reducing seed predation and facilitating seed germination, while other species bury seeds too deep for successful seed germination and seedling development....... passively by sedimentation or actively through sediment reworking by benthic fauna.We evaluated the effect of three polychaetes on the burial rate and depth of eelgrass seeds. Burial was first measured in controlled laboratory experiments using different densities of Nereis (Hediste) diversicolor (400...

  3. Linking Ecological, Environmental and Biogeochemical Data with Multi'omics Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasler-Sheetal, H.; Castorani, M. C.; Fragner, L.; Zeng, Y.; Holmer, M.; Glud, R. N.; Weckwerth, W.; Canfield, D. E.

    2016-02-01

    The integrated analysis of multi'omics and environmental data provides a holistic understanding of biological processes and has been proven to be challenging. Here we present our research concept for conducting multi-omics experiments and linking them to environmental data. Hypoxia, reduced light availability and species interaction - all amplified by global warming - cause a global decline of seagrasses. Metabolic mechanisms for coping with these global threats are largely unknown and multi'omics approaches can be an important approach for generating this insight. We applied GC, LC-qTOF-MS and bioinformatics to investigate the effects of environmental pressure on metabolites present in seagrasses. In a first experiment we assessed the metabolomics response of the seagrass Zostera marina towards anoxia and showed that photosynthetically derived oxygen could satisfy the oxygen demand in the leaves. But accumulation of fermentation products in the roots showed that the rhizosphere was under anoxic stress. In contrast nocturnal anoxia caused a biphasic shift in the metabolome of roots and leaves. This nocturnal reprogramming of the metabolome under anoxia indicates a mitigation mechanism to avoid the toxic effects. A pathway enrichment analysis proposes the alanine shunt, the GABA shunt and the 2-oxoglutarate shunt as such mitigation mechanisms that alleviate pyruvate levels and lead to carbon and nitrogen storage during anoxia. In a second experiment, varying light exposure and species interaction of Z. marina with the blue mussel Mytilus edulis - a co-occurring species in seagrass systems - resulted in treatment specific metabolic fingerprints in seagrass. Light modified the metabolic fingerprint expressed in Z. marina to the presence of mussels, indicating varying physiological responses to mussels in normal and low light regimes. Multivariate data-analysis indicated light exposure as main driver (45%) and mussel presence as minor driver (13%) for the metabolic

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Carbon stores from a tropical seagrass meadow in the midst of anthropogenic disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozaimi, Mohammad; Fairoz, Mohammad; Hakimi, Tuan Mohamad; Hamdan, Nur Hidayah; Omar, Ramlan; Ali, Masni Mohd; Tahirin, Siti Aishah

    2017-06-30

    Seagrass meadows provide important carbon sequestration services but anthropogenic activities modify the natural ecosystem and inevitably lower carbon storage capacity. The tropical mixed-species meadows in the Sungai Pulai Estuary (Johor, Malaysia) are impacted by such activities. In this study, we provide baseline estimates for carbon stores analysed from sediment cores. In sediment depths up to 100cm, organic (OC) and inorganic carbon (IC) stores were 43-101MgCha -1 and 46-83MgCha -1 , respectively, and are in the lower end of global average values. The bulk of OC (53-98%) originated from seston suggesting that the meadows had low capacity to retain seagrass-derived organic matter. The species factor resulted in some variability in OC stores but did not appear to influence IC values. The low carbon stores in the meadow may be a direct result of sediment disturbances but natural biogeochemical processes are not discounted as possible causal factors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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 ...

  10. Rhizosphere O2 dynamics in young Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jovanovic, Zeljko; Pedersen, Mia Østergaard; Larsen, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima often share the same habitat, but R. maritima appears more resistant to environmental stress. We investigated the impact of light intensity and water column O2 concentrations on radial oxygen loss (ROL), in young specimens of Z. marina and R. maritima. Planar......, respectively. These values declined by 71 and 60% in darkness. However, both species were able to maintain ROL as long as ambient O2 levels remained >50% air saturation. The calculated ROL integrated over a 24 h cycle was 48.8 ± 10.6 nmol O2 plant−1 d−1 (n = 3) for R. maritima and 30% less for Z. marina...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The Structure of Genetic Diversity in Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) along the North Pacific and Bering Sea Coasts of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, Kevin; Rearick, Jolene; Fowler, Megan C.; Muñiz-Salazar, Raquel; Baibak, Bethany; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Cabello-Pasini, Alehandro; Ward, David H.

    2016-01-01

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina) populations occupying coastal waters of Alaska are separated by a peninsula and island archipelago into two Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). From populations in both LMEs, we characterize genetic diversity, population structure, and polarity in gene flow using nuclear microsatellite fragment and chloroplast and nuclear sequence data. An inverse relationship between genetic diversity and latitude was observed (heterozygosity: R2 = 0.738, P < 0.001; allelic richness: R2 = 0.327, P = 0.047), as was significant genetic partitioning across most sampling sites (θ = 0.302, P < 0.0001). Variance in allele frequency was significantly partitioned by region only in cases when a population geographically in the Gulf of Alaska LME (Kinzarof Lagoon) was instead included with populations in the Eastern Bering Sea LME (θp = 0.128–0.172; P < 0.003), suggesting gene flow between the two LMEs in this region. Gene flow among locales was rarely symmetrical, with notable exceptions generally following net coastal ocean current direction. Genetic data failed to support recent proposals that multiple Zostera species (i.e. Z. japonica and Z. angustifolia) are codistributed with Z. marina in Alaska. Comparative analyses also failed to support the hypothesis that eelgrass populations in the North Atlantic derived from eelgrass retained in northeastern Pacific Last Glacial Maximum refugia. These data suggest northeastern Pacific populations are derived from populations expanding northward from temperate populations following climate amelioration at the terminus of the last Pleistocene glaciation.

  17. The structure of genetic diversity in eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) along the North Pacific and Bering Sea coasts of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, Kevin; Rearick, Jolene; Fowler, Megan C.; Muñiz-Salazar, Raquel; Baibak, Bethany; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Cabello-Pasini, Alehandro; Ward, David H.

    2016-01-01

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina) populations occupying coastal waters of Alaska are separated by a peninsula and island archipelago into two Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). From populations in both LMEs, we characterize genetic diversity, population structure, and polarity in gene flow using nuclear microsatellite fragment and chloroplast and nuclear sequence data. An inverse relationship between genetic diversity and latitude was observed (heterozygosity: R2 = 0.738, P < 0.001; allelic richness: R2 = 0.327, P = 0.047), as was significant genetic partitioning across most sampling sites (θ = 0.302, P < 0.0001). Variance in allele frequency was significantly partitioned by region only in cases when a population geographically in the Gulf of Alaska LME (Kinzarof Lagoon) was instead included with populations in the Eastern Bering Sea LME (θp = 0.128–0.172; P < 0.003), suggesting gene flow between the two LMEs in this region. Gene flow among locales was rarely symmetrical, with notable exceptions generally following net coastal ocean current direction. Genetic data failed to support recent proposals that multiple Zostera species (i.e. Z. japonica and Z. angustifolia) are codistributed with Z. marina in Alaska. Comparative analyses also failed to support the hypothesis that eelgrass populations in the North Atlantic derived from eelgrass retained in northeastern Pacific Last Glacial Maximum refugia. These data suggest northeastern Pacific populations are derived from populations expanding northward from temperate populations following climate amelioration at the terminus of the last Pleistocene glaciation.

  18. High ammonium availability amplifies the adverse effect of low salinity on eelgrass Zostera marina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villazán, Beatriz; Salo, Tiina Elina; Brun, Fernando G.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change intensifies the frequency and intensity of rainfall events, which increases the discharge of freshwater and nutrients to coastal areas. This may lower salinity and increase nutrient availability and, thus, affect estuarine eelgrass populations. We studied the interactive effect...... of increasing NH4+ levels and low salinity on estuarine eelgrass Zostera marina, grown in microcosm at various combinations of NH4+ enrichment (0, 10 and 25 µM) and salinity (5, 12.5 and 20). Increasing NH4+ had a positive effect on eelgrass performance as long as salinity was kept at ambient level (20). N...... enrichment was followed by an increase in pigments, photosynthesis and various growth variables and a decrease in stored carbon concentrations (sucrose and starch). Low salinity had an overall negative effect on plant fitness; pigment concentration, photosynthesis and growth were reduced while mortality...

  19. 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