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Sample records for marine seagrass zostera

  1. Transcriptomic resilience to global warming in the seagrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation species

    PubMed Central

    Franssen, Susanne U.; Gu, Jenny; Bergmann, Nina; Winters, Gidon; Klostermeier, Ulrich C.; Rosenstiel, Philip; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.

    2011-01-01

    Large-scale transcription profiling via direct cDNA sequencing provides important insights as to how foundation species cope with increasing climatic extremes predicted under global warming. Species distributed along a thermal cline, such as the ecologically important seagrass Zostera marina, provide an opportunity to assess temperature effects on gene expression as a function of their long-term adaptation to heat stress. We exposed a southern and northern European population of Zostera marina from contrasting thermal environments to a realistic heat wave in a common-stress garden. In a fully crossed experiment, eight cDNA libraries, each comprising ∼125 000 reads, were obtained during and after a simulated heat wave, along with nonstressed control treatments. Although gene-expression patterns during stress were similar in both populations and were dominated by classical heat-shock proteins, transcription profiles diverged after the heat wave. Gene-expression patterns in southern genotypes returned to control values immediately, but genotypes from the northern site failed to recover and revealed the induction of genes involved in protein degradation, indicating failed metabolic compensation to high sea-surface temperature. We conclude that the return of gene-expression patterns during recovery provides critical information on thermal adaptation in aquatic habitats under climatic stress. As a unifying concept for ecological genomics, we propose transcriptomic resilience, analogous to ecological resilience, as an important measure to predict the tolerance of individuals and hence the fate of local populations in the face of global warming. PMID:22084086

  2. Transcriptomic resilience to global warming in the seagrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation species.

    PubMed

    Franssen, Susanne U; Gu, Jenny; Bergmann, Nina; Winters, Gidon; Klostermeier, Ulrich C; Rosenstiel, Philip; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2011-11-29

    Large-scale transcription profiling via direct cDNA sequencing provides important insights as to how foundation species cope with increasing climatic extremes predicted under global warming. Species distributed along a thermal cline, such as the ecologically important seagrass Zostera marina, provide an opportunity to assess temperature effects on gene expression as a function of their long-term adaptation to heat stress. We exposed a southern and northern European population of Zostera marina from contrasting thermal environments to a realistic heat wave in a common-stress garden. In a fully crossed experiment, eight cDNA libraries, each comprising ~125 000 reads, were obtained during and after a simulated heat wave, along with nonstressed control treatments. Although gene-expression patterns during stress were similar in both populations and were dominated by classical heat-shock proteins, transcription profiles diverged after the heat wave. Gene-expression patterns in southern genotypes returned to control values immediately, but genotypes from the northern site failed to recover and revealed the induction of genes involved in protein degradation, indicating failed metabolic compensation to high sea-surface temperature. We conclude that the return of gene-expression patterns during recovery provides critical information on thermal adaptation in aquatic habitats under climatic stress. As a unifying concept for ecological genomics, we propose transcriptomic resilience, analogous to ecological resilience, as an important measure to predict the tolerance of individuals and hence the fate of local populations in the face of global warming. PMID:22084086

  3. Transcriptomic resilience to global warming in the seagrass Zostera marina, a marine foundation species.

    PubMed

    Franssen, Susanne U; Gu, Jenny; Bergmann, Nina; Winters, Gidon; Klostermeier, Ulrich C; Rosenstiel, Philip; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2011-11-29

    Large-scale transcription profiling via direct cDNA sequencing provides important insights as to how foundation species cope with increasing climatic extremes predicted under global warming. Species distributed along a thermal cline, such as the ecologically important seagrass Zostera marina, provide an opportunity to assess temperature effects on gene expression as a function of their long-term adaptation to heat stress. We exposed a southern and northern European population of Zostera marina from contrasting thermal environments to a realistic heat wave in a common-stress garden. In a fully crossed experiment, eight cDNA libraries, each comprising ~125 000 reads, were obtained during and after a simulated heat wave, along with nonstressed control treatments. Although gene-expression patterns during stress were similar in both populations and were dominated by classical heat-shock proteins, transcription profiles diverged after the heat wave. Gene-expression patterns in southern genotypes returned to control values immediately, but genotypes from the northern site failed to recover and revealed the induction of genes involved in protein degradation, indicating failed metabolic compensation to high sea-surface temperature. We conclude that the return of gene-expression patterns during recovery provides critical information on thermal adaptation in aquatic habitats under climatic stress. As a unifying concept for ecological genomics, we propose transcriptomic resilience, analogous to ecological resilience, as an important measure to predict the tolerance of individuals and hence the fate of local populations in the face of global warming.

  4. Characterization (δ13C, δ15N and TOC/TN) of marine sediments from restored seagrass (Zostera marina) meadows in coastal lagoons of Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egge, N.; Macko, S. A.

    2011-12-01

    Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its neighboring coastal areas has been a major focus of scientific research in the last ten years. The decline of the area is often linked with the explosive population growth and subsequent increases in agriculture and urbanization of the region. In the coastal bays of Virginia, large efforts have been made to restore seagrass (Zostera marina) meadows, which were devastated by a combination of events in the 1930s. As a result of the restoration efforts begun in 2001, seagrass has come to dominate portions of South Bay and Hog Island Bay. Sedimentary characterization (δ13C, δ15N, total organic carbon and total nitrogen) is used to assess sources of organic matter in marine environments. Push cores were used to collect samples from sites that have different records of seagrass cover. Sediments dominated by seagrass contain organic matter enriched in 13C relative to autochthonous algal sources. Within the sediment record there are two regions that show heightened 13C content-one near the surface and another at lower depths. Organic matter enriched in 13C near the surface is from current seagrass cover. Similar characteristics of sediment deeper in the core imply that the area was previously dominated comparable vegetation. Results may be used as a proxy to infer the spatial extent of the historic (prior to 1930) presence of seagrass and guide future restoration projects.

  5. The Genome of a Southern Hemisphere Seagrass Species (Zostera muelleri).

    PubMed

    Lee, HueyTyng; Golicz, Agnieszka A; Bayer, Philipp E; Jiao, Yuannian; Tang, Haibao; Paterson, Andrew H; Sablok, Gaurav; Krishnaraj, Rahul R; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Batley, Jacqueline; Kendrick, Gary A; Larkum, Anthony W D; Ralph, Peter J; Edwards, David

    2016-09-01

    Seagrasses are marine angiosperms that evolved from land plants but returned to the sea around 140 million years ago during the early evolution of monocotyledonous plants. They successfully adapted to abiotic stresses associated with growth in the marine environment, and today, seagrasses are distributed in coastal waters worldwide. Seagrass meadows are an important oceanic carbon sink and provide food and breeding grounds for diverse marine species. Here, we report the assembly and characterization of the Zostera muelleri genome, a southern hemisphere temperate species. Multiple genes were lost or modified in Z. muelleri compared with terrestrial or floating aquatic plants that are associated with their adaptation to life in the ocean. These include genes for hormone biosynthesis and signaling and cell wall catabolism. There is evidence of whole-genome duplication in Z. muelleri; however, an ancient pan-commelinid duplication event is absent, highlighting the early divergence of this species from the main monocot lineages. PMID:27373688

  6. The Genome of a Southern Hemisphere Seagrass Species (Zostera muelleri).

    PubMed

    Lee, HueyTyng; Golicz, Agnieszka A; Bayer, Philipp E; Jiao, Yuannian; Tang, Haibao; Paterson, Andrew H; Sablok, Gaurav; Krishnaraj, Rahul R; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Batley, Jacqueline; Kendrick, Gary A; Larkum, Anthony W D; Ralph, Peter J; Edwards, David

    2016-09-01

    Seagrasses are marine angiosperms that evolved from land plants but returned to the sea around 140 million years ago during the early evolution of monocotyledonous plants. They successfully adapted to abiotic stresses associated with growth in the marine environment, and today, seagrasses are distributed in coastal waters worldwide. Seagrass meadows are an important oceanic carbon sink and provide food and breeding grounds for diverse marine species. Here, we report the assembly and characterization of the Zostera muelleri genome, a southern hemisphere temperate species. Multiple genes were lost or modified in Z. muelleri compared with terrestrial or floating aquatic plants that are associated with their adaptation to life in the ocean. These include genes for hormone biosynthesis and signaling and cell wall catabolism. There is evidence of whole-genome duplication in Z. muelleri; however, an ancient pan-commelinid duplication event is absent, highlighting the early divergence of this species from the main monocot lineages.

  7. Current European Labyrinthula zosterae Are Not Virulent and Modulate Seagrass (Zostera marina) Defense Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Brakel, Janina; Werner, Franziska Julie; Tams, Verena; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina

    2014-01-01

    Pro- and eukaryotic microbes associated with multi-cellular organisms are receiving increasing attention as a driving factor in ecosystems. Endophytes in plants can change host performance by altering nutrient uptake, secondary metabolite production or defense mechanisms. Recent studies detected widespread prevalence of Labyrinthula zosterae in European Zostera marina meadows, a protist that allegedly caused a massive amphi-Atlantic seagrass die-off event in the 1930's, while showing only limited virulence today. As a limiting factor for pathogenicity, we investigated genotype×genotype interactions of host and pathogen from different regions (10–100 km-scale) through reciprocal infection. Although the endophyte rapidly infected Z. marina, we found little evidence that Z. marina was negatively impacted by L. zosterae. Instead Z. marina showed enhanced leaf growth and kept endophyte abundance low. Moreover, we found almost no interaction of protist×eelgrass-origin on different parameters of L. zosterae virulence/Z. marina performance, and also no increase in mortality after experimental infection. In a target gene approach, we identified a significant down-regulation in the expression of 6/11 genes from the defense cascade of Z. marina after real-time quantitative PCR, revealing strong immune modulation of the host's defense by a potential parasite for the first time in a marine plant. Nevertheless, one gene involved in phenol synthesis was strongly up-regulated, indicating that Z. marina plants were probably able to control the level of infection. There was no change in expression in a general stress indicator gene (HSP70). Mean L. zosterae abundances decreased below 10% after 16 days of experimental runtime. We conclude that under non-stress conditions L. zosterae infection in the study region is not associated with substantial virulence. PMID:24691450

  8. Current European Labyrinthula zosterae are not virulent and modulate seagrass (Zostera marina) defense gene expression.

    PubMed

    Brakel, Janina; Werner, Franziska Julie; Tams, Verena; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina

    2014-01-01

    Pro- and eukaryotic microbes associated with multi-cellular organisms are receiving increasing attention as a driving factor in ecosystems. Endophytes in plants can change host performance by altering nutrient uptake, secondary metabolite production or defense mechanisms. Recent studies detected widespread prevalence of Labyrinthula zosterae in European Zostera marina meadows, a protist that allegedly caused a massive amphi-Atlantic seagrass die-off event in the 1930's, while showing only limited virulence today. As a limiting factor for pathogenicity, we investigated genotype × genotype interactions of host and pathogen from different regions (10-100 km-scale) through reciprocal infection. Although the endophyte rapidly infected Z. marina, we found little evidence that Z. marina was negatively impacted by L. zosterae. Instead Z. marina showed enhanced leaf growth and kept endophyte abundance low. Moreover, we found almost no interaction of protist × eelgrass-origin on different parameters of L. zosterae virulence/Z. marina performance, and also no increase in mortality after experimental infection. In a target gene approach, we identified a significant down-regulation in the expression of 6/11 genes from the defense cascade of Z. marina after real-time quantitative PCR, revealing strong immune modulation of the host's defense by a potential parasite for the first time in a marine plant. Nevertheless, one gene involved in phenol synthesis was strongly up-regulated, indicating that Z. marina plants were probably able to control the level of infection. There was no change in expression in a general stress indicator gene (HSP70). Mean L. zosterae abundances decreased below 10% after 16 days of experimental runtime. We conclude that under non-stress conditions L. zosterae infection in the study region is not associated with substantial virulence.

  9. The Genome of a Southern Hemisphere Seagrass Species (Zostera muelleri)1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Golicz, Agnieszka A.; Paterson, Andrew H.; Sablok, Gaurav; Krishnaraj, Rahul R.; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Batley, Jacqueline; Ralph, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine angiosperms that evolved from land plants but returned to the sea around 140 million years ago during the early evolution of monocotyledonous plants. They successfully adapted to abiotic stresses associated with growth in the marine environment, and today, seagrasses are distributed in coastal waters worldwide. Seagrass meadows are an important oceanic carbon sink and provide food and breeding grounds for diverse marine species. Here, we report the assembly and characterization of the Zostera muelleri genome, a southern hemisphere temperate species. Multiple genes were lost or modified in Z. muelleri compared with terrestrial or floating aquatic plants that are associated with their adaptation to life in the ocean. These include genes for hormone biosynthesis and signaling and cell wall catabolism. There is evidence of whole-genome duplication in Z. muelleri; however, an ancient pan-commelinid duplication event is absent, highlighting the early divergence of this species from the main monocot lineages. PMID:27373688

  10. Radiocarbon isotopic evidence for assimilation of atmospheric CO2 by the seagrass Zostera marina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, K.; Kuwae, T.

    2015-10-01

    Submerged aquatic vegetation takes up water-column dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) as a carbon source across its thin cuticle layer. It is expected that marine macrophytes also use atmospheric CO2 when exposed to air during low tide, although assimilation of atmospheric CO2 has never been quantitatively evaluated. Using the radiocarbon isotopic signatures (Δ14C) of the seagrass Zostera marina, DIC and particulate organic carbon (POC), we show quantitatively that Z. marina takes up and assimilates atmospheric modern CO2 in a shallow coastal ecosystem. The Δ14C values of the seagrass (-40 to -10 ‰) were significantly higher than those of aquatic DIC (-46 to -18 ‰), indicating that the seagrass uses a 14C-rich carbon source (atmospheric CO2, +17 ‰). A carbon-source mixing model indicated that the seagrass assimilated 0-40 % (mean, 17 %) of its inorganic carbon as atmospheric CO2. CO2 exchange between the air and the seagrass might be enhanced by the presence of a very thin film of water over the air-exposed leaves during low tide. Our radiocarbon isotope analysis, showing assimilation of atmospheric modern CO2 as an inorganic carbon source, improves our understanding of the role of seagrass meadows in coastal carbon dynamics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Seagrasses are flowering plants which grow fully submerged in the marine environment. They have evolved a range of adaptations to environmental challenges including light attenuation through water, the physical stress of wave action and tidal currents, high concentrations of salt, oxygen deficiency in marine sediment, and water-borne pollination. Although, seagrasses are a key stone species of the costal ecosystems, many questions regarding seagrass biology and evolution remain unanswered. Genome sequence data for the widespread Australian seagrass species Zostera muelleri were generated and the unassembled data were compared with the annotated genes of five sequenced plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Phoenix dactylifera, Musa acuminata, and Spirodela polyrhiza). Genes which are conserved between Z. muelleri and the five plant species were identified, together with genes that have been lost in Z. muelleri. The effect of gene loss on biological processes was assessed on the gene ontology classification level. Gene loss in Z. muelleri appears to influence some core biological processes such as ethylene biosynthesis. This study provides a foundation for further studies of seagrass evolution as well as the hormonal regulation of plant growth and development. PMID:25563969

  12. Science and Management of the Introduced Seagrass Zostera japonica in North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    Healthy seagrass is considered a prime indicator of estuarine ecosystem function. 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...

  13. Sulfide Intrusion and Detoxification in the Seagrass Zostera marina

    PubMed Central

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Gaseous sulfide intrusion into seagrasses growing in sulfidic sediments causes little or no harm to the plant, indicating the presence of an unknown sulfide tolerance or detoxification mechanism. We assessed such mechanism in the seagrass Zostera marina in the laboratory and in the field with scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, chromatographic and spectrophotometric methods, and stable isotope tracing coupled with a mass balance of sulfur compounds. We found that Z. marina detoxified gaseous sediment-derived sulfide through incorporation and that most of the detoxification occurred in underground tissues, where sulfide intrusion was greatest. Elemental sulfur was a major detoxification compound, precipitating on the inner wall of the aerenchyma of underground tissues. Sulfide was metabolized into thiols and entered the plant sulfur metabolism as well as being stored as sulfate throughout the plant. We conclude that avoidance of sulfide exposure by reoxidation of sulfide in the rhizosphere or aerenchyma and tolerance of sulfide intrusion by incorporation of sulfur in the plant are likely major survival strategies of seagrasses in sulfidic sediments. PMID:26030258

  14. EFFECTS OF THE INVASIVE, NONINDIGENOUS SEAGRASS ZOSTERA JAPONICA ON NUTRIENT FLUXES BETWEEN THE WATER COLUMN AND BENTHOS IN A NE PACIFIC ESTUARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since its introduction in the early to mid-20th century, the Asian seagrass Zostera japonica has become established in marine and mesohaline portions of many estuaries in the Pacific Northwest. Z. japonica forms dense patches from 0.3-2.4m above mean lower low water, a zone that...

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

    PubMed

    Olsen, Jeanine L; 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

    2016-02-18

    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 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 genes, 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 macroalgae 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 warming, to unravelling the mechanisms of osmoregulation under high salinities that may further inform our understanding of the evolution of salt tolerance in crop plants.

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

    PubMed

    Olsen, Jeanine L; 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

    2016-02-18

    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 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 genes, 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 macroalgae 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 warming, to unravelling the mechanisms of osmoregulation under high salinities that may further inform our understanding of the evolution of salt tolerance in crop plants. PMID:26814964

  17. A comparative evaluation of biological activities and bioactive compounds of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Zostera noltei from southern Portugal.

    PubMed

    Custódio, Luísa; Laukaityte, Simona; Engelen, Aschwin H; Rodrigues, Maria João; Pereira, Hugo; Vizetto-Duarte, Catarina; Barreira, Luísa; Rodríguez, Hortensia; Alberício, Fernando; Varela, João

    2016-01-01

    This work assessed the antioxidant potential, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition and the in vitro cytotoxic activity of extracts of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Zostera noltei collected from southern Portugal. The total phenolic contents (TPCs), the rosmarinic acid (RA) concentration (HPLC/DAD) and the fatty acid (FA) profile (GC/MS) are also described. Z. marina had the highest TPC, radical scavenging activity against DPPH radicals and copper chelating activity. Z. noltei had metal chelation capacity to copper and iron ions. None of the species was able to inhibit AChE. Both seagrasses had high levels of polyunsaturated FAs. Z. marina significantly and selectively reduced the viability of tumorous neuronal cells. Z. noltei was highly toxic for the three cell lines tested and was selective against hepatocarcinoma cells at the concentration of 100 μg/mL. RA was the main compound identified in Z. marina, but not in Z. noltei.

  18. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for the seagrass pathogen Labyrinthula zosterae.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Nina; Fricke, Birgit; Schmidt, Martina C; Tams, Verena; Beining, Katrin; Schwitte, Hildegard; Boettcher, Anne A; Martin, Daniel L; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Rauch, Gisep

    2011-11-01

    The protist Labyrinthula zosterae (Phylum Bigyra, sensu Tsui et al. 2009) has been identified as a causative agent of wasting disease in eelgrass (Zostera marina), of which the most intense outbreak led to the destruction of 90% of eelgrass beds in eastern North America and western Europe in the 1930s. Outbreaks still occur today, albeit at a smaller scale. Traditionally, L. zosterae has been quantified by measuring the necrotic area of Z. marina leaf tissue. This indirect method can however only lead to a very rough estimate of pathogen load. Here, we present a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) approach to directly detect and quantify L. zosterae in eelgrass tissue. Based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of rRNA genes, species-specific primers were designed. Using our qPCR, we were able to quantify accurately and specifically L. zosterae load both from culture and eelgrass leaves using material from Europe and North America. Our detection limit was less than one L. zosterae cell. Our results demonstrate the potential of this qPCR assay to provide rapid, accurate and sensitive molecular identification and quantification of L. zosterae. In view of declining seagrass populations worldwide, this method will provide a valuable tool for seagrass ecologists and conservation projects. PMID:21777400

  19. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for the seagrass pathogen Labyrinthula zosterae.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Nina; Fricke, Birgit; Schmidt, Martina C; Tams, Verena; Beining, Katrin; Schwitte, Hildegard; Boettcher, Anne A; Martin, Daniel L; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Rauch, Gisep

    2011-11-01

    The protist Labyrinthula zosterae (Phylum Bigyra, sensu Tsui et al. 2009) has been identified as a causative agent of wasting disease in eelgrass (Zostera marina), of which the most intense outbreak led to the destruction of 90% of eelgrass beds in eastern North America and western Europe in the 1930s. Outbreaks still occur today, albeit at a smaller scale. Traditionally, L. zosterae has been quantified by measuring the necrotic area of Z. marina leaf tissue. This indirect method can however only lead to a very rough estimate of pathogen load. Here, we present a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) approach to directly detect and quantify L. zosterae in eelgrass tissue. Based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of rRNA genes, species-specific primers were designed. Using our qPCR, we were able to quantify accurately and specifically L. zosterae load both from culture and eelgrass leaves using material from Europe and North America. Our detection limit was less than one L. zosterae cell. Our results demonstrate the potential of this qPCR assay to provide rapid, accurate and sensitive molecular identification and quantification of L. zosterae. In view of declining seagrass populations worldwide, this method will provide a valuable tool for seagrass ecologists and conservation projects.

  20. Constraining the historic extent of seagrass (Zostera marina) cover in the coastal bays of Virginia using stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egge, N. E.; Macko, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    The environmental degradation of the areas of coastal Chesapeake Bay has been linked with explosive human population growth and subsequent increases in agriculture and urbanization of the region. In the coastal bays of Virginia, numerous efforts have been made to restore seagrass (Zostera marina) meadows. As a result of large-scale, seed-based restorations in South Bay (2001) and Hog Island Bay (2007), Z. marina has come to dominate portions of these bays. In this study, stable isotope and geochemical proxies are used to suggest the historic extent of seagrass within Virginia's coastal bays. Sedimentary cores were collected from sites with different historical records of seagrass meadows, including areas with no seagrass, reseeded seagrass, or naturally occurring seagrass. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses were conducted on freeze-dried, acidified samples and used as proxies of the sources of the organic matter; sediments dominated by seagrass contained organic matter more enriched in 13C relative to autochthonous algal and plaktonic marine materials. Peak 137Cs activity along with 210Pb dating were used to infer the relative age of sediments. Several features are apparent from the preliminary characterization of marine sediments from these locations. The reseeded areas of South Bay and Hog Island Bay have a similar antithetical relationship between TOC (total organic carbon) and δ13C values in the topmost 15 cm of the sediment core; as the TOC increases the δ13C values become more depleted, suggesting that in those samples, seagrass provides only a minimal contribution to the preserved organic matter. Additionally there are large sections of the cores, at approximately 20 cm depth within the cores taken from South Bay, that have significantly lower TOC; this could be a result of the period without seagrass cover. The site with a natural seagrass meadow in Hog Island Bay is unlike any of the other sites analyzed: TOC increases from 0.2% at the surface to 1

  1. Meiobenthic communities of seagrass beds ( Zostera capricorni) and unvegetated sediments along the coast of New South Wales, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, Gustavo; Hutchings, Pat; Gallucci, Fabiane

    2011-01-01

    Seagrass beds have higher biomass, abundance, diversity and productivity of benthic organisms than unvegetated sediments. However, to date most studies have analysed only the macrofaunal component and ignored the abundant meiofauna present in seagrass meadows. This study was designed to test if meiobenthic communities, especially the free-living nematodes, differed between seagrass beds and unvegetated sediments. Sediment samples from beds of the eelgrass Zostera capricorni and nearby unvegetated sediments were collected in three estuaries along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. Results showed that sediments below the seagrass were finer, with a higher content of organic material and were less oxygenated than sediments without seagrass. Univariate measures of the fauna (i.e. abundance, diversity and taxa richness of total meiofauna and nematode assemblages) did not differ between vegetated and unvegetated sediments. However multivariate analysis of meiofaunal higher taxa showed significant differences between the two habitats, largely due to the presence and absence of certain taxa. Amphipods, tanaidacea, ostracods, hydrozoans and isopods occurred mainly in unvegetated sediments, while kinorhyncs, polychaetes, gastrotrichs and turbellarians were more abundant in vegetated sediments. Regarding the nematode assemblages, 32.4% of the species were restricted to Z. capricorni and 25% only occurred in unvegetated sediments, this suggests that each habitat is characterized by a particular suite of species. Epistrate feeding nematodes were more abundant in seagrass beds, and it is suggested that they graze on the microphytobenthos which accumulates underneath the seagrass. Most of the genera that characterized these estuarine unvegetated sediments are also commonly found on exposed sandy beaches. This may be explained by the fact that Australian estuaries have very little input of freshwater and experience marine conditions for most of the year. This study

  2. Effects of salinity on survival of the exotic seagrass Zostera japonica subjected to extreme high temperature stress

    EPA Science Inventory

    Zostera japonica is a non-indigenous seagrass that is expanding along the Pacific Coast of North America. The ecophysiology of this seagrass is poorly studied and management of the species is fragmented. We collected Z. japonica plants from Padilla Bay, WA., Yaquina Bay and Coo...

  3. 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.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. De Novo Assembly and Characterization of the Transcriptome of Seagrass Zostera marina Using Illumina Paired-End Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Fanna; Li, Hong; Sun, Peipei; Zhou, Yang; Mao, Yunxiang

    2014-01-01

    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 abiotic stress in

  5. Cerium Binding Activity of Pectins Isolated from the Seagrasses Zostera marina and Phyllospadix iwatensis

    PubMed Central

    Khotimchenko, Yuri; Khozhaenko, Elena; Kovalev, Valeri; Khotimchenko, Maxim

    2012-01-01

    Cerium binding activity of three different water soluble pectin compounds of different origin was studied in a batch sorption system. The Langmuir, Freundlich and BET sorption models were adopted to describe the binding reactions between metal ions and pectin molecules. The Langmuir model provided the best fit. Within the pH range from 4.0 to 6.0, the largest amount of the cerium ions was bound by pectin isolated from the seagrass Phylospadix iwatensis in comparison to pectin extracted from the seagrass Zostera marina and pectin obtained from citrus peel (commercial grade). The Langmuir constants were also highest for the pectin samples isolated from the seagrass P. iwatensis. The results obtained from this study suggest that pectin is a prospective source for the development of radioisotope-removing pharmaceuticals. PMID:22690146

  6. Science and Management of the Introduced Seagrass Zostera japonica in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafer, Deborah J.; Kaldy, James E.; Gaeckle, Jeffrey L.

    2014-01-01

    Healthy seagrass is considered a prime indicator of estuarine ecosystem function. On the Pacific coast of North America, at least two congeners of Zostera occur: native Zostera marina, and introduced, Zostera japonica. Z. japonica is considered "invasive" and therefore, ecologically and economically harmful by some, while others consider it benign or perhaps beneficial. Z. japonica does not appear on the Federal or the Oregon invasive species or noxious weed lists. However, the State of California lists it as both an invasive and noxious weed; Washington State recently listed it as a noxious weed. We describe the management dynamics in North America with respect to these congener species and highlight the science and policies behind these decisions. In recent years, management strategies at the state level have ranged from historical protection of Z. japonica as a priority habitat in Washington to eradication in California. Oregon and British Columbia, Canada appear to have no specific policies with regard to Z. japonica. This fractured management approach contradicts efforts to conserve and protect seagrass in other regions of the US and around the world. Science must play a critical role in the assessment of Z. japonica ecology and the immediate and long-term effects of management actions. The information and recommendations provided here can serve as a basis for providing scientific data in order to develop better informed management decisions and aid in defining a uniform management strategy for Z. japonica.

  7. Toxic effects of increased sediment nutrient and organic matter loading on the seagrass Zostera noltii.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    As a result of anthropogenic disturbances and natural stressors, seagrass beds are often patchy and heterogeneous. The effects of high loads of nutrients and organic matter in patch development and expansion in heterogeneous seagrass beds have, however, poorly been studied. We experimentally assessed the in situ effects of sediment quality on seagrass (Zostera noltii) patch dynamics by studying patch (0.35 m diameter) development and expansion for 4 sediment treatments: control, nutrient addition (NPK), organic matter addition (OM) and a combination (NPK+OM). OM addition strongly increased porewater sulfide concentrations whereas NPK increased porewater ammonium, nitrate and phosphate concentrations. As high nitrate concentrations suppressed sulfide production in NPK+OM, this treatment was biogeochemically comparable to NPK. Sulfide and ammonium concentrations differed within treatments, but over a 77 days period, seagrass patch survival and expansion were impaired by all additions compared to the control treatment. Expansion decreased at porewater ammonium concentrations >2,000 μmol L(-1). Mother patch biomass was not affected by high porewater ammonium concentrations as a result of its detoxification by higher seagrass densities. Sulfide concentrations >1,000 μmol L(-1) were toxic to both patch expansion and mother patch. We conclude that patch survival and expansion are constrained at high loads of nutrients or organic matter as a result of porewater ammonium or sulfide toxicity. PMID:25064458

  8. Resilience of Zostera muelleri seagrass to small-scale disturbances: the relative importance of asexual versus sexual recovery

    PubMed Central

    Macreadie, Peter I; York, Paul H; Sherman, Craig DH

    2014-01-01

    Resilience is the ability of an ecosystem to recover from disturbance without loss of essential function. Seagrass ecosystems are key marine and estuarine habitats that are under threat from a variety of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The ability of these ecosystems to recovery from disturbance will to a large extent depend on the internsity and scale of the disturbance, and the relative importance of sexual versus asexual reproduction within populations. Here, we investigated the resilience of Zostera muelleri seagrass (Syn. Zostera capricorni) to small-scale disturbances at four locations in Lake Macquarie – Australia's largest coastal lake – and monitored recovery over a 65-week period. Resilience of Z. muelleri varied significantly with disturbance intensity; Z. muelleri recovered rapidly (within 2 weeks) from low-intensity disturbance (shoot loss), and rates of recovery appeared related to initial shoot length. Recovery via rhizome encroachment (asexual regeneration) from high-intensity disturbance (loss of entire plant) varied among locations, ranging from 18-35 weeks, whereas the ability to recover was apparently lost (at least within the time frame of this study) when recovery depended on sexual regeneration, suggesting that seeds do not provide a mechanism of recovery against intense small-scale disturbances. The lack of sexual recruits into disturbed sites is surprising as our initial surveys of genotypic diversity (using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci) at these location indicate that populations are maintained by a mix of sexual and asexual reproduction (genotypic diversity [R] varied from 0.24 to 0.44), and populations consisted of a mosaic of genotypes with on average 3.6 unique multilocus genotypes per 300 mm diameter plot. We therefore conclude that Z. muelleri populations within Lake Macquarie rely on clonal growth to recover from small-scale disturbances and that ongoing sexual recruitment by seeds into established seagrass

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

    PubMed

    Martínez-Crego, Begoña; Arteaga, Pedro; Tomas, Fiona; Santos, Rui

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Martínez-Crego, Begoña; Arteaga, Pedro; Tomas, Fiona; Santos, Rui

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Crego, Begoña; Arteaga, Pedro; Tomas, Fiona; Santos, Rui

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  13. Nutrient dynamics in two seagrass species, Posidonia coriacea and Zostera tasmanica, on Success Bank, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, D. I.; Campey, M. L.; Kendrick, G. A.

    2004-06-01

    Nutrient concentrations and seasonal differences in atomic ratios (N:P) in plant tissue of Posidonia coriacea Kuo and Cambridge and Zostera tasmanica Aschers (formerly Heterozostera tasmanica (Syst Bot 27 (2002) 468) were measured from multiple locations on Success Bank, southwestern Australia, and used to infer nutritional constraints on seagrass vegetative growth, particularly by phosphorus. Posidonia plant tissue at the west site had higher nitrogen than the east site in both summer and winter. Nitrogen concentrations increased in winter, particularly in sheath tissue, but there was little change in root nitrogen concentrations between sites or seasons. Nitrogen concentrations of leaf tissue were all less than median seagrass values reported by Duarte (Mar Ecol Prog Ser 67 (1990) 201). The seasonality in nutrient concentrations in plant tissues suggests greater nutritional constraints in summer, during periods of high growth. Vegetative growth of Posidonia coriacea was more nutrient limited than that of Zostera tasmanica. Translocation of nutrients along rhizomes to the apex may ensure that growing points are not nutrient limited and that growth can be maintained, and was more apparent in Z. tasmanica than P. coriacea. Sexual reproduction placed large demands on P. coriacea through the high investment of nutrients into fruit, resulting in reduced nutritional constraints on successful seedling recruitment by initially providing seedlings with nutrients.

  14. Resolving the spatial variability of sediment geochemistry within a seagrass (Zostera marina) meadow in the coastal bays of Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egge, N. E.; Macko, S. A.; O'connell, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    The environmental degradation of the areas of coastal Chesapeake Bay has been linked with explosive urbanization associated with human population growth and dramatic increases in agricultural activities. Possible impacts of these have been associated with diminishing seagrass (Zostera marina) coverage. Numerous efforts have been made to restore seagrass meadows. As a result of large-scale, seed-based restorations in South Bay (2001) and Hog Island Bay (2007), Z. marina has come to dominate portions of these bays. In this study, a spatially random sampling pattern was used to assess the frequency at which a variety of geochemical characteristics within the South Bay study area were correlated. Initial sampling is within a hectare window; cores were collected in a plot of samples simulated as a homogeneous Poisson distribution. Stable isotope and geochemical proxies are used to suggest the source of organic material within the coastal bays. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses were conducted on freeze-dried and acidified samples; sediments dominated by seagrass contain organic matter more enriched in 13C relative to autochthonous algal and planktonic marine materials. These data have been used to establish the spatial autocorrelation of sediment geochemistry for the surface, as well as deeper sediments. After the initial geostatistical parameter estimation, a random systematic grid pattern has been applied that satisfies assumptions of non-preferential design by randomly locating sampling points within the grid space. The systematic grid thus allows for the representation of the plot as a whole, as well as evaluation of spatial trends within the data. Fitting of geostatistical models will be presented using both conventional and Bayesian Kriging models. Results from this study may be able to be used to evaluate potential for carbon sequestration in these system as well as guide future restoration projects.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. The potential effects of global climate change on the distribution of native and introduced Zostera seagrasses on the Pacific Coast of North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    At least two seagrass species in the genus Zostera occur on the Pacific coast of North America: the native species Zostera marina L., and an introduced species, Z. japonica Ascher. & Graeb. Z. marina occurs along the entire Pacific coast of the United States and Canada. Zos...

  17. Influence of New Zealand cockles (Austrovenus stutchburyi) on primary productivity in sandflat-seagrass (Zostera muelleri) ecotones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohrer, Andrew M.; Townsend, Michael; Hailes, Sarah F.; Rodil, Iván F.; Cartner, Katie; Pratt, Daniel R.; Hewitt, Judi E.

    2016-11-01

    New Zealand cockles (Austrovenus stutchburyi) are ecologically important, intertidal bivalves that have been shown to influence nutrient cycles and the productivity of microphytobenthos on sandflats. Here, we investigated the potential for cockles to impact the productivity of seagrass, Zostera muelleri, and examined interactions between these habitat-defining species where they co-occur. We sampled bivalve densities and sizes, sediment properties, and seagrass shoot densities across the boundaries of two seagrass patches on an intertidal sandflat in northern New Zealand, and measured dissolved oxygen and nutrient fluxes in light and dark benthic incubation chambers in conjunction with a 0-97% gradient in seagrass cover. Although gross primary production (GPP, μmol O2 m-2 h-1) increased predictably with the cover of live seagrass, the density of cockles and sediment properties also contributed directly and indirectly. Seagrass cover was positively correlated with cockle density (ranging from 225 to 1350 individuals per m2), sediment mud percentage (0.5-9.5%), and organic matter content (0.5-2.2%), all of which can affect the efflux of ammonium (readily utilisable inorganic nitrogen) from sediments. Moreover, the cover of green seagrass blades plateaued (never exceeded 70%) in the areas of highest total seagrass cover, adding complexity to cockle-seagrass interactions and contributing to a unimodal cockle-GPP relationship.

  18. Natural expansion and experimental manipulation of seagrass ( Zostera spp.) abundance and the response of infaunal invertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Paul G.

    1987-06-01

    A study of an expanding seagrass bed on the south-west coast of British Columbia, Canada involved documentation and explanation of the pattern of expansion of the vegetation as well as documentation and experimental investigation of the accompanying changes in the distribution of infaunal invertebrates. Expansion followed a major environmental change, improved water clarity initiated in 1969 when a causeway blocked access to the site for silty Fraser River water. The original eelgrass ( Zostera marina) bed expanded landward over 30 m year -1, probably causing more and more water to be retained in the bed at low tide and thus improving its own habitat. More rapid expansion occurred from 1979-1983 after Z.japonica colonized at the landward edge of the eelgrass bed and in a separate intertidal area. Expansion ceased around 1983 coincident with, but probably independent of, further construction. Burrowing shrimp ( Callianassa californiensis) decreased in abundance between 1977 and 1984 in areas where the two seagrasses colonized. Short-term experiment over one summer and fall showed that removal of all shoots allowed adult shrimp and tube worms to colonize the sediment while addition of shoots of Z. japonica by transplanting caused temporary decreases in shrimp abundance. After a few weeks an established shrimp population destroyed the transplants. Among reasonable alternate hypotheses for the decline in Callianassa, the effect of sediment texture can be eliminated, but either direct negative effects of seagrass, i.e. inhibition of the burrowing of adult shrimp or of settlement of juveniles, or indirect effects, i.e. the harboring of more predators of shrimp in seagrass beds, deserve further study.

  19. Influence of the seagrass, Zostera marina L., on current flow*1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, M. S.; Fisher, J. S.; Zieman, J. C.; Thayer, G. W.

    1982-10-01

    A salt-water flume was used to describe the mechanics of current flow around an articial Zostera marina meadow. Shear velocity and roughness height were positively correlated with seagrass surface area, and were positively/negatively correlated with current velocity. Current velocity intrusion into the meadow before diminution and maximum reduction (both at the 2 cm height line) proceed by factors of 1·25 and 2·07 cm into the meadow per cm s -1 of current velocity, respectively. Froude number was correlated with mean bending angle of the canopy as a whole. Maximum bending had occurred with Froude = 1, but most bending had taken place by Froude = 0·4, a velocity of 40-50 cm s -1 in this experiment. The meadow edge is the most dynamic zone of a seagrass meadow in regard to current flow. Bending of the shoot canopy is a mechanism for re-direction of current flow and in-canopy reduction of current velocity. Meadow dimensions may be regulated by scouring processes in different hydraulic regimes. Shoot bending and subsequent in-meadow current velocity reduction are mechanisms that affect self-shading and photosynthetic capabilities as well as providing habitat stability.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  1. Granulosicoccus coccoides sp. nov., isolated from leaves of seagrass (Zostera marina).

    PubMed

    Kurilenko, Valerie V; Christen, Richard; Zhukova, Natalia V; Kalinovskaya, Nataliya I; Mikhailov, Valery V; Crawford, Russell J; Ivanova, Elena P

    2010-04-01

    A non-pigmented, motile, Gram-negative bacterium, strain Z 271(T), was isolated from the surface of leaves of the seagrass Zostera marina which was collected in Troitza Bay (Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean). The new isolate grew between 5 degrees C and 28 degrees C and was slightly halophilic, tolerating environments containing up to 5 % (w/v) NaCl. Strain Z 271(T) was able to degrade Tweens 20, 40 and 80 and partially degrade gelatin, but was unable to degrade casein. Phosphatidylethanolamine (36.9 %) and phosphatidylglycerol (63.1 %) were the predominant phospholipids. The major fatty acids included C(18 : 1)omega7c (43.7 %), C(16 : 1)omega7c (31.1 %) and C(16 : 0) (16.8 %). The main respiratory quinone was Q-8. The DNA-DNA relatedness value of strain Z 271(T) with Granulosicoccus antarcticus IMCC3135(T) was 35 %. The G+C content of the DNA of strain Z 271(T) was 60.2 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic and genotypic characteristics and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain Z 271(T) represents a novel species of the genus Granulosicoccus for which the name Granulosicoccus coccoides sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Z 271(T) (=KMM 6014(T)=CIP 109923(T)).

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Heterogeneity of macrozoobenthic assemblages within a Zostera noltii seagrass bed: diversity, abundance, biomass and structuring factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchet, Hugues; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Lucas, Aurélien; Chardy, Pierre

    2004-09-01

    The macrobenthic fauna community of a 70-km 2Zostera noltii seagrass bed (Arcachon bay, France) was studied by sampling 49 stations systematically. A total of 126 taxa were identified. Cluster Analysis based on χ2 distance showed that in this apparently homogeneous habitat, four distinct macrobenthic communities could be identified. Multiple Discriminant Analysis highlighted the major contribution of the overlying water mass as a forcing variable, and, to a lesser extent, of tidal level and Z. noltii's below-ground parts. Seven stations did not constitute any conspicuous group, and were characterized by a low biomass of leaf (<28 g DW m -2), considered as the lowest value to constitute a Z. noltii community. Less than 24% of the seagrass bed was situated in more oceanic waters and at a quite low tidal level. In this relatively stable environment, the macrofauna community was characterized by a high species richness (mean = 39) and a moderate density and high biomass (12 638 individuals m -2 and 25 g AFDW m -2, respectively). Annelids dominated, particularly the oligochaetes. When physical constraints increased (emersion or brackish water conditions), diversity decreased, abundance and biomass increased. The seagrass bed (55%) was flooded with highly fluctuating waters in term of temperature and salinity, here species richness was low (mean = 27) but abundance and biomass were high (24 384 individuals m -2 and 28 g AFDW m -2, respectively), with a dominance of molluscs. The meadow (7%) was in external waters but at a higher tidal level (2.4 m vs 1.8 m above medium low tide level). This community was characterized by the particularly high density (41 826 individuals m -2) and dominance of oligochaetes (79% of total abundance). Species richness was high (mean = 37) here. A fourth community, extending over 12% of the meadow was dominated by the gastropod Hydrobia ulvae but could not be linked to a specific forcing variable. This study confirmed the almost

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. ABUNDANCE OF SEAGRASS (ZOSTERA MARINA L.) AND MACROALGAE IN RELATION TO THE SALINITY-TEMPERATURE GRADIENT IN YAQUINA BAY, OREGON, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The distribution and abundance of the seagrass, Zostera marina, and the associated macroalgae are described for Yaquina Bay, Oregon, U.S.A. Possible relationships between plant abundance and physical-chemical characteristics of the water column were also explored. Study sites w...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Protecting the hand that feeds us: seagrass (Zostera marina) serves as commercial juvenile fish habitat.

    PubMed

    Bertelli, Chiara M; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2014-06-30

    Although fisheries are of major economic and food security importance we still know little about specific juvenile habitats that support such production. This is a major issue given the degradation to and lack of protection afforded to potential juvenile habitats such as seagrass meadows. In the present study we investigate the role of seagrass in supporting juvenile fish of commercial value. By assessing seagrass relative to adjacent sand we determined the presence of abundant juvenile fish. Nine commercial species were recorded and the most abundant of these were Plaice, Pollock and Herring. We provide the first quantitative evidence of the presence of juvenile fish of commercial value in seagrass surrounding Great Britain. Although the species that we found in seagrass as juveniles are not obligate seagrass users the resources that seagrass meadows offer to these fish provide significant long-term fitness benefits, potentially enhancing the whole population. PMID:23998854

  9. Protecting the hand that feeds us: seagrass (Zostera marina) serves as commercial juvenile fish habitat.

    PubMed

    Bertelli, Chiara M; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2014-06-30

    Although fisheries are of major economic and food security importance we still know little about specific juvenile habitats that support such production. This is a major issue given the degradation to and lack of protection afforded to potential juvenile habitats such as seagrass meadows. In the present study we investigate the role of seagrass in supporting juvenile fish of commercial value. By assessing seagrass relative to adjacent sand we determined the presence of abundant juvenile fish. Nine commercial species were recorded and the most abundant of these were Plaice, Pollock and Herring. We provide the first quantitative evidence of the presence of juvenile fish of commercial value in seagrass surrounding Great Britain. Although the species that we found in seagrass as juveniles are not obligate seagrass users the resources that seagrass meadows offer to these fish provide significant long-term fitness benefits, potentially enhancing the whole population.

  10. Trophic importance of diatoms in an intertidal Zostera noltii seagrass bed: Evidence from stable isotope and fatty acid analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebreton, Benoit; Richard, Pierre; Galois, Robert; Radenac, Gilles; Pfléger, Camille; Guillou, Gaël; Mornet, Françoise; Blanchard, Gérard F.

    2011-03-01

    A current predominant paradigm emphasizes the role of epiphytic algae for invertebrates in most seagrass food webs. However, in some intertidal Zostera noltii beds, epiphyte biomass is very low compared to microphytobenthos and seagrass biomasses. We assessed the role of microphytobenthos in a temperate intertidal Z. noltii bed by combining stable isotope and fatty acid (FA) analyses on primary producers, composite sources — suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) and sediment surface organic matter (SSOM) — and the main macrofaunal consumers. Z. noltii showed high δ 13C (-9.9‰) and high 18:2( n-6) and 18:3( n-3) contents. Microphytobenthos was slightly more 13C-depleted (-15.4‰) and had high levels of diatom markers: 14:0, 16:1( n-7)c, 20:5( n-3). Low mean δ 13C (-22.0‰) and large amounts of diatom and bacteria (18:1( n-7)c) markers indicated that SPOM was mainly composed of a mixture of fresh and decayed pelagic diatoms. Higher mean δ 13C (-17.9‰) and high amounts of diatom FAs were found in SSOM, showing that microphytobenthic diatoms dominate. Very low percentages of 18:2( n-6) and 18:3( n-3) in consumers indicated a low contribution of Z. noltii material to their diets. Grazers, deposit and suspension-deposit feeders had δ 13C close to microphytobenthos and high levels of diatom FAs, confirming that microphytobenthos represented the main part of their diet. Lower δ 13C and higher amounts of flagellate FAs - 22:6( n-3) and 16:4( n-3) - in suspension feeders indicated that their diet resulted from a mixture of SPOM and microphytobenthos. These results demonstrate that invertebrates do not consume high amounts of seagrass and highlight the main role of benthic diatoms in this intertidal seagrass bed.

  11. Comparative analysis of expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries in the seagrass Zostera marina subjected to temperature stress.

    PubMed

    Reusch, Thorsten B H; Veron, Amelie S; Preuss, Christoph; Weiner, January; Wissler, Lothar; Beck, Alfred; Klages, Sven; Kube, Michael; Reinhardt, Richard; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2008-01-01

    Global warming is associated with increasing stress and mortality on temperate seagrass beds, in particular during periods of high sea surface temperatures during summer months, adding to existing anthropogenic impacts, such as eutrophication and habitat destruction. We compare several expressed sequence tag (EST) in the ecologically important seagrass Zostera marina (eelgrass) to elucidate the molecular genetic basis of adaptation to environmental extremes. We compared the tentative unigene (TUG) frequencies of libraries derived from leaf and meristematic tissue from a control situation with two experimentally imposed temperature stress conditions and found that TUG composition is markedly different among these conditions (all P < 0.0001). Under heat stress, we find that 63 TUGs are differentially expressed (d.e.) at 25 degrees C compared with lower, no-stress condition temperatures (4 degrees C and 17 degrees C). Approximately one-third of d.e. eelgrass genes were characteristic for the stress response of the terrestrial plant model Arabidopsis thaliana. The changes in gene expression suggest complex photosynthetic adjustments among light-harvesting complexes, reaction center subunits of photosystem I and II, and components of the dark reaction. Heat shock encoding proteins and reactive oxygen scavengers also were identified, but their overall frequency was too low to perform statistical tests. In all conditions, the most abundant transcript (3-15%) was a putative metallothionein gene with unknown function. We also find evidence that heat stress may translate to enhanced infection by protists. A total of 210 TUGs contain one or more microsatellites as potential candidates for gene-linked genetic markers. Data are publicly available in a user-friendly database at http://www.uni-muenster.de/Evolution/ebb/Services/zostera .

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

    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, 50μM) 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. PMID:27287861

  13. Evaluation of Reference Genes for RT-qPCR Studies in the Seagrass Zostera muelleri Exposed to Light Limitation

    PubMed Central

    Schliep, M.; Pernice, M.; Sinutok, S.; Bryant, C. V.; York, P. H.; Rasheed, M. A.; Ralph, P. J.

    2015-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are threatened by coastal development and global change. In the face of these pressures, molecular techniques such as reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) have great potential to improve management of these ecosystems by allowing early detection of chronic stress. In RT-qPCR, the expression levels of target genes are estimated on the basis of reference genes, in order to control for RNA variations. Although determination of suitable reference genes is critical for RT-qPCR studies, reports on the evaluation of reference genes are still absent for the major Australian species Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni (Z. muelleri). Here, we used three different software (geNorm, NormFinder and Bestkeeper) to evaluate ten widely used reference genes according to their expression stability in Z. muelleri exposed to light limitation. We then combined results from different software and used a consensus rank of four best reference genes to validate regulation in Photosystem I reaction center subunit IV B and Heat Stress Transcription factor A- gene expression in Z. muelleri under light limitation. This study provides the first comprehensive list of reference genes in Z. muelleri and demonstrates RT-qPCR as an effective tool to identify early responses to light limitation in seagrass. PMID:26592440

  14. Growth dynamics of the seagrass Zostera japonica at its upper and lower distributional limits in the intertidal zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    The seagrass Zostera japonica occurs mainly in the intertidal zone and is thus exposed to widely varying environmental conditions affecting its growth and distribution compared to subtidal seagrasses. The growth dynamics of Z. japonica at its upper and lower distributional limits in the intertidal zone were investigated in Koje Bay on the southern coast of Korea to examine the environmental stresses and limiting factors on the growth of intertidal seagrasses. The shoot density and morphology, biomass, and leaf productivity of Z. japonica were measured in relation to coincident measurements of environmental factors at its upper and lower distributional limits and in an intermediate zone of the intertidal area. The mean exposure time to the atmosphere during low tide in the upper intertidal zone was approximately 1.5- and 1.9-fold longer than that in the intermediate and lower intertidal zones, respectively. Shoot density and biomass were significantly higher in the intermediate zone than at the upper and lower distributional limits. Longer emersion leading to a various of environmental stresses appeared to reduce Z. japonica growth in the upper intertidal zone, whereas interspecific competitive interactions related to irradiance seemed to affect Z. japonica growth in the lower intertidal zone. Shoot size, density, biomass, and leaf productivity were lower in the upper than in the lower zone, implying that emersion-associated stresses in the upper zone had a greater detrimental effect on Z. japonica growth than did stresses occurring in the lower zone. The productivity of Z. japonica showed strong positive correlations with air and water temperature, suggesting enhancement of Z. japonica production at higher temperatures. Thus, the predicted increases in air and water temperature associated with global climate change might have positive effects on the growth and extension in distributional range of this species.

  15. Pollen limitation may be a common Allee effect in marine hydrophilous plants: implications for decline and recovery in seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Van Tussenbroek, B I; Soissons, L M; Bouma, T J; Asmus, R; Auby, I; Brun, F G; Cardoso, P G; Desroy, N; Fournier, J; Ganthy, F; Garmendia, J M; Godet, L; Grilo, T F; Kadel, P; Ondiviela, B; Peralta, G; Recio, M; Valle, M; Van der Heide, T; Van Katwijk, M M

    2016-10-01

    Pollen limitation may be an important factor in accelerated decline of sparse or fragmented populations. Little is known whether hydrophilous plants (pollen transport by water) suffer from an Allee effect due to pollen limitation or not. Hydrophilous pollination is a typical trait of marine angiosperms or seagrasses. Although seagrass flowers usually have high pollen production, floral densities are highly variable. We evaluated pollen limitation for intertidal populations of the seagrass Zostera noltei in The Netherlands and found a significant positive relation between flowering spathe density and fruit-set, which was suboptimal at <1200 flowering spathes m(-2) (corresponding to <600 reproductive shoots m(-2)). A fragmented population had ≈35 % lower fruit-set at similar reproductive density than a continuous population. 75 % of all European populations studied over a large latitudinal gradient had flowering spathe densities below that required for optimal fruit-set, particularly in Southern countries. Literature review of the reproductive output of hydrophilous pollinated plants revealed that seed- or fruit-set of marine hydrophilous plants is generally low, as compared to hydrophilous freshwater and wind-pollinated plants. We conclude that pollen limitation as found in Z. noltei may be a common Allee effect for seagrasses, potentially accelerating decline and impairing recovery even after environmental conditions have improved substantially.

  16. Pollen limitation may be a common Allee effect in marine hydrophilous plants: implications for decline and recovery in seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Van Tussenbroek, B I; Soissons, L M; Bouma, T J; Asmus, R; Auby, I; Brun, F G; Cardoso, P G; Desroy, N; Fournier, J; Ganthy, F; Garmendia, J M; Godet, L; Grilo, T F; Kadel, P; Ondiviela, B; Peralta, G; Recio, M; Valle, M; Van der Heide, T; Van Katwijk, M M

    2016-10-01

    Pollen limitation may be an important factor in accelerated decline of sparse or fragmented populations. Little is known whether hydrophilous plants (pollen transport by water) suffer from an Allee effect due to pollen limitation or not. Hydrophilous pollination is a typical trait of marine angiosperms or seagrasses. Although seagrass flowers usually have high pollen production, floral densities are highly variable. We evaluated pollen limitation for intertidal populations of the seagrass Zostera noltei in The Netherlands and found a significant positive relation between flowering spathe density and fruit-set, which was suboptimal at <1200 flowering spathes m(-2) (corresponding to <600 reproductive shoots m(-2)). A fragmented population had ≈35 % lower fruit-set at similar reproductive density than a continuous population. 75 % of all European populations studied over a large latitudinal gradient had flowering spathe densities below that required for optimal fruit-set, particularly in Southern countries. Literature review of the reproductive output of hydrophilous pollinated plants revealed that seed- or fruit-set of marine hydrophilous plants is generally low, as compared to hydrophilous freshwater and wind-pollinated plants. We conclude that pollen limitation as found in Z. noltei may be a common Allee effect for seagrasses, potentially accelerating decline and impairing recovery even after environmental conditions have improved substantially. PMID:27272209

  17. Seagrasses and the Coastal Marine Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Ronald C.

    1978-01-01

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

  18. Effects of current exposure on habitat preference of mobile 0-group epibenthos for intertidal seagrass beds ( Zostera noltii) in the northern Wadden Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polte, Patrick; Schanz, Anja; Asmus, Harald

    2005-03-01

    In the northern Wadden Sea, the extent of intertidal seagrass beds, their plant biomass and shoot density highly depends on local current regimes. This study deals with the role of intertidal Zostera noltii beds as nursery for mobile epibenthic macrofauna and the impact of seagrass bed characteristics on their abundance and distribution patterns. According to their exposure to the main tidal gullies, sampling sites were separated into exposed, semi-exposed and sheltered. Dominant species of crustaceans and demersal fish were studied in respect of their abundances within seagrass beds and adjacent unvegetated areas. Quantitative sampling was performed at day and night high tide using a portable drop trap. In general, species composition varied little between seagrass beds and bare sand. However, the presence of vegetation had a quantitative effect increasing individual numbers of common epifaunal species. Abundances of 0-group shore crabs ( Carcinus maenas), common gobies ( Pomatoschistus microps) and brown shrimps ( Crangon crangon) were highest within sheltered seagrass beds. With decreasing plant density habitat preference of epibenthos changed on species level. By regulating the habitat complexity the currents regime is profoundly influencing the nursery function of intertidal seagrass beds in the Wadden Sea.

  19. Factors Affecting Trophic Control of Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning in Experimental Mesocosms of Seagrass (Zostera marina L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefcheck, J.; Duffy, J.

    2008-12-01

    Nutrient loading of coastal and estuarine waters threatens seagrass communities by promoting the growth of micro- and macroalgae, which then reduce the availability of light and nutrients. However, populations of invertebrate mesograzers are able to mitigate the negative impact of eutrophication through top-down control. We performed a factorial mesocosm experiment to examine the interactive relationships between light, nutrients, and mesograzer presence in structuring experimental ecosystems of eelgrass (Zostera marina). We found that mesograzer presence strongly reduced epiphytic algal biomass in every case, which remains consistent with previous mesocosm studies. We also observed a synergistic light-by-nutrient interaction that enhanced both epiphyte biomass and mesograzer abundance. The timing of this relationship is suggestive of weaker bottom-up control. Unlike previous studies, we found that light alone rarely affected either epiphyte biomass or mesograzer abundance. We believe that this result may be due to a combination of macroalgal shading and persistent grazing. Further processing of primary and secondary producer biomasses and elemental ratios, as well as the completion of feeding assays to gauge mesograzer feeding rates on different types of algae, will serve to reinforce these conclusions and to better define the relationship between these factors.

  20. The ecological importance of the dwarf seagrass Zostera japonica in intertidal areas on the southern coast of Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Sun Kyeong; Kim, Sangil; Lee, Kun-Seop; Li, Wen-Tao; Park, Sang Rul

    2016-03-01

    The intertidal seagrass Zostera japonica, which is distributed in the intertidal and shallow subtidal zones, is exposed to nutrients from over-enriched land-based discharge and storm water runoff before they can be washed out to sea. Despite its ecological importance, only a few studies have examined the ecology and physiology of Z. japonica in northeast Asia. In this study, we investigated the productivity and tissue nutrient contents of above- and below-ground tissues to evaluate the potential role of Z. japonica in carbon capture and as a nutrient sink. The average total, above-, and below-ground productivity per shoot was 0.56, 0.34, and 0.21 mg DW shoot-1 day-1, respectively. Annual leaf production was 1.5 times higher than annual below-ground production. Estimated annual whole-plant carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus incorporation based on shoot production and tissue nutrient contents was 312.8 g C m-2 y-1, 25.7 g N m-2 y-1, and 1.6 g P m-2 y-1, respectively. These values were equivalent to 7.8 × 103 kg C y-1, 6.4 × 102 kg N y-1, and 40 kg P y-1 for all Z. japonica beds in Geoje Bay. This suggests that Z. japonica meadows can incorporate a considerable amount of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the intertidal zone. High N:P ratios of above- and below-ground tissues suggest that Z. japonica growth is probably limited by phosphorus availability in the study area.

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

    PubMed Central

    Konuma, Susumu; Nakamura, Yoshiyuki

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27336306

  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.

    PubMed

    Hosokawa, Shinya; Konuma, Susumu; Nakamura, Yoshiyuki

    2016-01-01

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  4. The effect of oyster aquaculture on seagrass (Zostera marina) at the estuarine landscape scale in Willapa Bay, Washington (USA)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Both seagrasses and bivalve shellfish provide valuable ecosystem services including nursery habitat in estuaries worldwide. Seagrasses are protected by no-net-loss provisions in US federal and state regulations resulting in a precautionary approach by managers that avoids any direct impacts from d...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  6. Development and validation of a habitat suitability model for the non-indigenous seagrass Zostera japonica in North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    We developed a spatially-explicit, flexible 3-parameter habitat suitability model that can be used to identify and predict areas at higher risk for non-native dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) invasion. The model uses simple environmental parameters (depth, nearshore slope, and s...

  7. Quantitative PCR reveals strong spatial and temporal variation of the wasting disease pathogen, Labyrinthula zosterae in northern European eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds.

    PubMed

    Bockelmann, Anna-Christina; Tams, Verena; Ploog, Jana; Schubert, Philipp R; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2013-01-01

    Seagrass beds are the foundation species of functionally important coastal ecosystems worldwide. The world's largest losses of the widespread seagrass Zostera marina (eelgrass) have been reported as a consequence of wasting disease, an infection with the endophytic protist Labyrinthula zosterae. During one of the most extended epidemics in the marine realm, ∼90% of East and Western Atlantic eelgrass beds died-off between 1932 and 1934. Today, small outbreaks continue to be reported, but the current extent of L. zosterae in European meadows is completely unknown. In this study we quantify the abundance and prevalence of the wasting disease pathogen among 19 Z. marina populations in northern European coastal waters, using quantitative PCR (QPCR) with primers targeting a species specific portion of the internally transcribed spacer (ITS1) of L. zosterae. Spatially, we found marked variation among sites with abundances varying between 0 and 126 cells mg(-1) Z. marina dry weight (mean: 5.7 L. zosterae cells mg(-1) Z. marina dry weight ±1.9 SE) and prevalences ranged from 0-88.9%. Temporarily, abundances varied between 0 and 271 cells mg(-1) Z. marina dry weight (mean: 8.5±2.6 SE), while prevalences ranged from zero in winter and early spring to 96% in summer. Field concentrations accessed via bulk DNA extraction and subsequent QPCR correlated well with prevalence data estimated via isolation and cultivation from live plant tissue. L. zosterae was not only detectable in black lesions, a sign of Labyrinthula-induced necrosis, but also occurred in green, apparently healthy tissue. We conclude that L. zosterae infection is common (84% infected populations) in (northern) European eelgrass populations with highest abundances during the summer months. In the light of global climate change and increasing rate of marine diseases our data provide a baseline for further studies on the causes of pathogenic outbreaks of L. zosterae.

  8. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Pseudoalteromonas Strains Isolated from Roots and Leaf Blades of the Seagrass Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    Alexiev, Alexandra; Krusor, Megan L; Jospin, Guillaume; Lang, Jenna M; Eisen, Jonathan A; Coil, David A

    2016-01-01

    Here, we present the draft genome sequences for Pseudoalteromonas sp. strain UCD-33C and Pseudoalteromonas lipolytica UCD-48B. Pseudoalteromonas sp. UCD-33C was isolated from Zostera marina roots and P. lipolytica UCD-48B from Z. marina leaf blades, both collected in Woods Hole, MA. These assemblies contain 4,479,285 bp and 4,592,435 bp, respectively. PMID:26893412

  9. 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

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Feifei; Zhang, Xiaoli; Zhang, Qianqian; Liu, Fanghua

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26209674

  10. Rhizosphere Microbiomes of European + Seagrasses Are Selected by the Plant, But Are Not Species Specific.

    PubMed

    Cúcio, Catarina; Engelen, Aschwin H; Costa, Rodrigo; Muyzer, Gerard

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine flowering plants growing in soft-body sediments of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal zones. They play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals, and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately with both beneficial and unfavorable microorganisms. Although much is known about the microbiomes of terrestrial plants, little is known about the microbiomes of seagrasses. Here we present the results of a detailed study on the rhizosphere microbiome of seagrass species across the North-eastern Atlantic Ocean: Zostera marina, Zostera noltii, and Cymodocea nodosa. High-resolution amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that the rhizobiomes were significantly different from the bacterial communities of surrounding bulk sediment and seawater. Although we found no significant differences between the rhizobiomes of different seagrass species within the same region, those of seagrasses in different geographical locations differed strongly. These results strongly suggest that the seagrass rhizobiomes are shaped by plant metabolism, but not coevolved with their host. The core rhizobiome of seagrasses includes mostly bacteria involved in the sulfur cycle, thereby highlighting the importance of sulfur-related processes in seagrass ecosystems. PMID:27065991

  11. Rhizosphere Microbiomes of European Seagrasses Are Selected by the Plant, But Are Not Species Specific

    PubMed Central

    Cúcio, Catarina; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Costa, Rodrigo; Muyzer, Gerard

    2016-01-01

    Seagrasses are marine flowering plants growing in soft-body sediments of intertidal and shallow sub-tidal zones. They play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals, and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately with both beneficial and unfavorable microorganisms. Although much is known about the microbiomes of terrestrial plants, little is known about the microbiomes of seagrasses. Here we present the results of a detailed study on the rhizosphere microbiome of seagrass species across the North-eastern Atlantic Ocean: Zostera marina, Zostera noltii, and Cymodocea nodosa. High-resolution amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that the rhizobiomes were significantly different from the bacterial communities of surrounding bulk sediment and seawater. Although we found no significant differences between the rhizobiomes of different seagrass species within the same region, those of seagrasses in different geographical locations differed strongly. These results strongly suggest that the seagrass rhizobiomes are shaped by plant metabolism, but not coevolved with their host. The core rhizobiome of seagrasses includes mostly bacteria involved in the sulfur cycle, thereby highlighting the importance of sulfur-related processes in seagrass ecosystems. PMID:27065991

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Towards adaptive management of the natural capital: Disentangling trade-offs among marine activities and seagrass meadows.

    PubMed

    Bas Ventín, Leticia; de Souza Troncoso, Jesús; Villasante, Sebastián

    2015-12-15

    This paper investigates the ecological, social and institutional dimensions of the synergies and trade-offs between seagrasses and human activities operating in the Natura 2000 protected site of San Simón Bay (Galicia, NW Spain). By means of a multidisciplinary approach that brings together the development of a biological inventory combined with participatory mapping processes we get key spatial and contextual understanding regarding how, where and why marine users interact with seagrasses and how seagrasses are considered in policy making. The results highlight the fisheries' reliance on seagrass meadows and the controversial links with shellfisheries. The study also reveals unresolved conflicts among those management plans that promote the protection of natural values and those responsible for the exploitation of marine resources. We conclude that the adoption of pre-planning bottom-up participatory processes is crucial for the design of realistic strategies where both seagrasses and human activities were considered as a couple system.

  14. Towards adaptive management of the natural capital: Disentangling trade-offs among marine activities and seagrass meadows.

    PubMed

    Bas Ventín, Leticia; de Souza Troncoso, Jesús; Villasante, Sebastián

    2015-12-15

    This paper investigates the ecological, social and institutional dimensions of the synergies and trade-offs between seagrasses and human activities operating in the Natura 2000 protected site of San Simón Bay (Galicia, NW Spain). By means of a multidisciplinary approach that brings together the development of a biological inventory combined with participatory mapping processes we get key spatial and contextual understanding regarding how, where and why marine users interact with seagrasses and how seagrasses are considered in policy making. The results highlight the fisheries' reliance on seagrass meadows and the controversial links with shellfisheries. The study also reveals unresolved conflicts among those management plans that promote the protection of natural values and those responsible for the exploitation of marine resources. We conclude that the adoption of pre-planning bottom-up participatory processes is crucial for the design of realistic strategies where both seagrasses and human activities were considered as a couple system. PMID:26589639

  15. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Pseudoalteromonas porphyrae Strains Isolated from Seagrass Sediment.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ruth D; Jospin, Guillaume; Lang, Jenna M; Eisen, Jonathan A; Coil, David A

    2016-01-01

    Here, we present the draft genome sequences of Pseudoalteromonas porphyrae UCD-SED9 and UCD-SED14 (phylum Proteobacteria). These strains were isolated from sediment surrounding the roots of the seagrass, Zostera marina, collected near the UC, Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay, California). The assemblies contain 4,847,456 bp and 4,817,752 bp, respectively. PMID:26988038

  16. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Pseudoalteromonas porphyrae Strains Isolated from Seagrass Sediment

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ruth D.; Jospin, Guillaume; Lang, Jenna M.; Coil, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we present the draft genome sequences of Pseudoalteromonas porphyrae UCD-SED9 and UCD-SED14 (phylum Proteobacteria). These strains were isolated from sediment surrounding the roots of the seagrass, Zostera marina, collected near the UC, Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay, California). The assemblies contain 4,847,456 bp and 4,817,752 bp, respectively. PMID:26988038

  17. Diel trophic structuring of seagrass bed fish assemblages in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unsworth, Richard K. F.; Wylie, Elizabeth; Smith, David J.; Bell, James J.

    2007-03-01

    The faunal communities of seagrass beds throughout SE Asia are highly threatened by continued overexploitation, yet their ecology is poorly understood. Developing a greater understanding of the faunal linkages between seagrass beds and associated coastal habitats can facilitate more informed ecosystem level management. The present study used beach seine netting to sample seagrass bed fish assemblages in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia, to investigate diel migrations of fish into and out of seagrass beds. These fish assemblages were found to be diverse relative to other studies within the region, with many species being economically important to local subsistence fisheries. The abundance, species richness and trophic structure of these fish assemblages changed with time of day indicating that fish populations are in a dynamic state. Mean fish abundance increased by ≈45% from day to night (Day: 8.61 ± 0.13 fish 100 m -2; Night: 15.6 ± 1.4 fish 100 m -2) while mean species richness increased from 6.6 ± 1.9 per seine haul to 11.4 ± 0.2. Increasing abundance and diversity of fish at night suggests migration onto these habitats from nearby habitats such as reefs, mangroves or deep water; and/or increased activity of those fish resident within seagrass habitats. Division of species into trophic categories enabled the trophic structure of changing fish assemblages to be examined. Assemblages were dominated during both the day and night by invertebrate and fish feeders; however, a major diel change in trophic structure occurred in the abundance of omnivores. During the day omnivores were abundant, but they were replaced at night by exclusive invertebrate feeders. We therefore propose that diel changes in seagrass fish assemblages are predominantly structured by food availability, although other factors such as increased night-time shelter provision were also found to be important albeit to a much lesser extent.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  19. Hydrographic and sediment characteristics of seagrass meadows of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, South India.

    PubMed

    Arumugam, Radjassegarin; Kannan, Rengasamy Ragupathi Raja; Saravanan, Kannan Rajasekaran; Thangaradjou, Thirunavukarasu; Anantharaman, Perumal

    2013-10-01

    The aim of the study was to examine the spatial and temporal variations in the physicochemical parameters of seagrass meadows of the Gulf of Mannar, South India using multivariate statistical techniques, namely, cluster analysis (CA) and principal component analysis (PCA), to explore the relationship. There were clear spatial and temporal variations in physicochemical variables of the seagrass meadow of the Gulf of Mannar, but such changes were subjected to seasonal variations especially during monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. The multivariate statistical techniques, viz., CA and PCA helped in the discrimination of islands according to the physicochemical parameters of the seagrass meadows. It was inferred that electrical conductivity, nitrate, particulate organic carbon, and phosphate strongly determined the discrimination of 19 islands, respectively, upon physicochemical characteristics of their seagrass meadows. These results highlight the important role of seagrasses in the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve.

  20. In-situ Phytoremediation of PAH and PCB Contaminated Marine Sediments with Eelgrass (Zostera marina)

    SciTech Connect

    Huesemann, Michael H.; Hausmann, Tom S.; Fortman, Timothy J.; Thom, Ronald M.; Cullinan, Valerie I.

    2009-10-01

    In view of the fact that there are presently no cost-effective in-situ treatment technologies for contaminated sediments, a 60 week long phytoremediation feasibility study was conducted in seawater-supplied outdoor ponds to determine whether eelgrass (Zostera marina) is capable of removing polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from submerged marine sediments. It was determined that all PAHs and PCBs, independent of the number of aromatic rings and degree of chlorination, respectively, were removed to a much larger extent in planted sediments compared to unplanted controls. After 60 weeks of treatment, the concentration of total PAHs decreased by 73% in planted sediments but only 25% in unplanted controls. Similarly, total PCBs declined by 60% in the presence of plants while none were removed in the unplanted sediment. Overall, PAH and PCB biodegradation was greatest in the sediment layer that contained most of the eelgrass roots. Abiotic desorption tests conducted at week 32 confirmed that the phytoremediation process was not controlled by mass-transfer or bioavailability limitations since all PAHs and PCBs desorbed rapidly and to a large extent from the sediment. PAHs were detected in both roots and shoots, with root and shoot bioaccumulation factors for total PAHs amounting to approximately 3 and 1, respectively, after 60 weeks of phytoremediation treatment. Similarly, the root bioccumulation factor for total PCBs was around 4, while no PCBs were detected in the eelgrass leaves at the end of the experiment. The total mass fraction of PAHs and PCBs absorbed and translocated by plant biomass during the 60 week period was insignificant, amounting to less than 0.5% of the total mass of PAHs and PCBs which was initially present in the sediment. Finally, the number of total heterotrophic bacteria and hydrocarbon degraders was slightly but not statistically significantly greater in planted sediments than in unplanted controls

  1. Seagrass as pasture for seacows: Landscape-level dugong habitat evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, James K.; Lawler, Ivan R.; Marsh, Helene

    2007-01-01

    A 24 km 2 seagrass meadow in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, was confirmed as important dugong habitat by a satellite tracking study. Marine videography, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and geographic information systems (GIS) were used to survey, analyse and map seagrass species composition, nutrient profile and patch structure at high resolution (200 m). Five species of seagrass covered 91% of the total habitat area. The total above and below-ground seagrass biomass was estimated to be 222.7 ± 19.6 t dry-weight. Halodule uninervis dominated the pasture (81.8%, 162.2 t), followed by Halophila ovalis (35.3%, 16.5 t), Zostera capricorni (15.9%, 22.2 t), Halophila spinulosa (14.5%, 21.9 t), and traces of Halodule pinifolia. Because seagrass distributions overlapped, their combined percentage totalled >100% of the survey area. The seagrass formed a continuous meadow of varying density. Abiotic variables explained relatively little of the spatial patterns in the seagrass. For all seagrass species, the above-ground component (shoots and leaves) possessed greater total nitrogen than the below-ground component (roots and rhizomes), which possessed greater total starch. Because of the relatively low intraspecific variation in nutrient composition, nutrients were concentrated according to seagrass biomass density. Halodule uninervis was the most nutritious seagrass species because of its superior whole-plant nitrogen (1.28 ± 0.05% DW) and starch (6.42 ± 0.50 DW %) content. Halodule uninervis formed large, clustered patches of dense biomass across the pasture and thus nitrogen and starch were concentrated where H. uninervis was prevalent. This seagrass meadow appears to be utilised well below its potential dugong carrying capacity. The survey and analytical techniques used enabled rapid, economical and accurate quantification and characterisation of seagrass habitat at scales relevant to a large forager.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  4. Dr. Zompo: an online data repository for Zostera marina and Posidonia oceanica ESTs.

    PubMed

    Wissler, L; Dattolo, E; Moore, A D; Reusch, T B H; Olsen, J L; Migliaccio, M; Bornberg-Bauer, E; Procaccini, G

    2009-01-01

    As ecosystem engineers, seagrasses are angiosperms of paramount ecological importance in shallow shoreline habitats around the globe. Furthermore, the ancestors of independent seagrass lineages have secondarily returned into the sea in separate, independent evolutionary events. Thus, understanding the molecular adaptation of this clade not only makes significant contributions to the field of ecology, but also to principles of parallel evolution as well. With the use of Dr. Zompo, the first interactive seagrass sequence database presented here, new insights into the molecular adaptation of marine environments can be inferred. The database is based on a total of 14 597 ESTs obtained from two seagrass species, Zostera marina and Posidonia oceanica, which have been processed, assembled and comprehensively annotated. Dr. Zompo provides experimentalists with a broad foundation to build experiments and consider challenges associated with the investigation of this class of non-domesticated monocotyledon systems. Our database, based on the Ruby on Rails framework, is rich in features including the retrieval of experimentally determined heat-responsive transcripts, mining for molecular markers (SSRs and SNPs), and weighted key word searches that allow access to annotation gathered on several levels including Pfam domains, GeneOntology and KEGG pathways. Well established plant genome sites such as The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) and the Rice Genome Annotation Project are interfaced by Dr. Zompo. With this project, we have initialized a valuable resource for plant biologists in general and the seagrass community in particular. The database is expected to grow together with more data to come in the near future, particularly with the recent initiation of the Zostera genome sequencing project.The Dr. Zompo database is available at http://drzompo.uni-muenster.de/

  5. Dr. Zompo: an online data repository for Zostera marina and Posidonia oceanica ESTs.

    PubMed

    Wissler, L; Dattolo, E; Moore, A D; Reusch, T B H; Olsen, J L; Migliaccio, M; Bornberg-Bauer, E; Procaccini, G

    2009-01-01

    As ecosystem engineers, seagrasses are angiosperms of paramount ecological importance in shallow shoreline habitats around the globe. Furthermore, the ancestors of independent seagrass lineages have secondarily returned into the sea in separate, independent evolutionary events. Thus, understanding the molecular adaptation of this clade not only makes significant contributions to the field of ecology, but also to principles of parallel evolution as well. With the use of Dr. Zompo, the first interactive seagrass sequence database presented here, new insights into the molecular adaptation of marine environments can be inferred. The database is based on a total of 14 597 ESTs obtained from two seagrass species, Zostera marina and Posidonia oceanica, which have been processed, assembled and comprehensively annotated. Dr. Zompo provides experimentalists with a broad foundation to build experiments and consider challenges associated with the investigation of this class of non-domesticated monocotyledon systems. Our database, based on the Ruby on Rails framework, is rich in features including the retrieval of experimentally determined heat-responsive transcripts, mining for molecular markers (SSRs and SNPs), and weighted key word searches that allow access to annotation gathered on several levels including Pfam domains, GeneOntology and KEGG pathways. Well established plant genome sites such as The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) and the Rice Genome Annotation Project are interfaced by Dr. Zompo. With this project, we have initialized a valuable resource for plant biologists in general and the seagrass community in particular. The database is expected to grow together with more data to come in the near future, particularly with the recent initiation of the Zostera genome sequencing project.The Dr. Zompo database is available at http://drzompo.uni-muenster.de/ PMID:20157482

  6. ZOSTERA MARINA IN A PACIFIC NORTHWEST ESTUARY: WHAT FACTORS CONTROL INTERTIDAL DISTRIBUTION?

    EPA Science Inventory

    The impact of four factors (desiccation, macroalgae, erosion, light) on the distribution of Zostera marina was examined across tidal and bathymetric slope gradients. Data detailing seagrass characteristics, including 1 production, macroalgae biomass and sediment characteristics ...

  7. Variability of sedimentary organic carbon in patchy seagrass landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ricart, Aurora M; York, Paul H; Rasheed, Michael A; Pérez, Marta; Romero, Javier; Bryant, Catherine V; Macreadie, Peter I

    2015-11-15

    Seagrass ecosystems, considered among the most efficient carbon sinks worldwide, encompass a wide variety of spatial configurations in the coastal landscape. Here we evaluated the influence of the spatial configuration of seagrass meadows at small scales (metres) on carbon storage in seagrass sediments. We intensively sampled carbon stocks and other geochemical properties (δ(13)C, particle size, depositional fluxes) across seagrass-sand edges in a Zostera muelleri patchy seagrass landscape. Carbon stocks were significantly higher (ca. 20%) inside seagrass patches than at seagrass-sand edges and bare sediments. Deposition was similar among all positions and most of the carbon was from allochthonous sources. Patch level attributes (e.g. edge distance) represent important determinants of the spatial heterogeneity of carbon stocks within seagrass ecosystems. Our findings indicate that carbon stocks of seagrass areas have likely been overestimated by not considering the influence of meadow landscapes, and have important relevance for the design of seagrass carbon stock assessments. PMID:26428624

  8. Variability of sedimentary organic carbon in patchy seagrass landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ricart, Aurora M; York, Paul H; Rasheed, Michael A; Pérez, Marta; Romero, Javier; Bryant, Catherine V; Macreadie, Peter I

    2015-11-15

    Seagrass ecosystems, considered among the most efficient carbon sinks worldwide, encompass a wide variety of spatial configurations in the coastal landscape. Here we evaluated the influence of the spatial configuration of seagrass meadows at small scales (metres) on carbon storage in seagrass sediments. We intensively sampled carbon stocks and other geochemical properties (δ(13)C, particle size, depositional fluxes) across seagrass-sand edges in a Zostera muelleri patchy seagrass landscape. Carbon stocks were significantly higher (ca. 20%) inside seagrass patches than at seagrass-sand edges and bare sediments. Deposition was similar among all positions and most of the carbon was from allochthonous sources. Patch level attributes (e.g. edge distance) represent important determinants of the spatial heterogeneity of carbon stocks within seagrass ecosystems. Our findings indicate that carbon stocks of seagrass areas have likely been overestimated by not considering the influence of meadow landscapes, and have important relevance for the design of seagrass carbon stock assessments.

  9. Small is beautiful: An inverted view of habitat fragmentation in seagrass beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirst, Jane A.; Attrill, Martin J.

    2008-07-01

    An intertidal Zostera marina landscape in Torbay, Devon, UK, was sampled to investigate the relationship between patch size, diversity and infaunal assemblage composition with the intention of defining a minimum Zostera patch size where the infaunal seagrass assemblage becomes distinct from the bare sand assemblage. All Zostera patches were found to support a higher level of biodiversity than the surrounding bare sand. However, the size of the Zostera patch had no impact on the level of diversity; it was just the presence or absence of seagrass that made a difference. The sediment and seagrass variables were not significantly different across the range of Zostera patch sizes, indicating that the environment characteristics were homogeneous within the Zostera patches at the patch scale. Multivariate analysis revealed that assemblage composition did vary between the patch types, although the opportunistic polychaete Capitella capitata was present in all patch types and was the most abundant species overall. The presence of opportunistic species and the homogeneity of the Zostera patch variables may be due to the location of this intertidal seagrass bed, which is relatively exposed compared to the locations of other seagrass beds along the south coast of Devon, resulting in a more dynamic and disturbed environment. Nevertheless, our results demonstrate that even small patches of seagrass comprising a few plants support a higher abundance and diversity of infaunal invertebrates than bare sand, indicating that Zostera patches have conservation value whatever their size.

  10. Pollination in the marine realm: microsatellites reveal high outcrossing rates and multiple paternity in eelgrass Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    Reusch, T B

    2000-11-01

    The mating system was examined in two annual populations of eelgrass (Zostera marina), a marine angiosperm displaying subaqueous pollination. Multilocus genotyping using microsatellite DNA markers allowed the assessment of the pollen source based on single progeny as units of observation. Outcrossing was detectable by the presence of non-maternal alleles at one or more of the loci. In outcrossing cases, three microsatellite alleles were present in unripe seeds, consisting of both maternal alleles and the paternal allele composing the triploid primary endosperm. In ripe seeds, only the diploid embryonal genotype was amplifiable by PCR. Two intertidal populations situated in the German Wadden Sea were almost entirely outcrossing (t +/- SE 0.96 +/- 0.03, N=60 and 0.97 +/- 0.029, N=37). Because of the high polymorphism displayed by the eight chosen microsatellites, representing a total of 69 and 76 alleles, the likelihood of erroneously inferring selfing was small (alpha=0.0026 and 0.0007). In order to study the correlation of paternity, the coefficient of relatedness was determined within sibships. Relatedness (r +/- SE) was calculated as 0.357 +/- 0.059 and 0.343 +/- 0.037, indicating multiple paternities within inflorescences. Small amounts of tissue (< or = 0.1 mg) such as the developing seeds of recently fertilized ovules, were sufficient for PCR-amplification. Hence, PCR-based methods, such as multilocus microsatellite genotyping, allow the detection of pollen origin early in the development of progeny. They will be useful to distinguish postfertilization processes such as selective abortion and germination from other prefertilization determinants of plant mating systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Calafat, Antoni; York, Paul H.; Steven, Andy; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2016-09-01

    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 (Corg) content in terrestrial soils and marine sediments has been correlated with mud content (i.e., silt and clay, particle sizes < 63 µm), however, empirical tests of this theory are lacking for coastal vegetated ecosystems. Here, we compiled data (n = 1345) on the relationship between Corg and mud contents in seagrass ecosystems (79 cores) and adjacent bare sediments (21 cores) to address whether mud can be used to predict soil Corg content. We also combined these data with the δ13C signatures of the soil Corg to understand the sources of Corg stores. The results showed that mud is positively correlated with soil Corg content only when the contribution of seagrass-derived Corg to the sedimentary Corg 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 Corg content, related to a higher contribution of seagrass-derived Corg to the sedimentary Corg pool in these meadows. The relatively high soil Corg contents with relatively low mud contents (e.g., mud-Corg 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 Corg 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 Corg content for scaling up purposes when

  12. Diversity, ecological role and potential biotechnological applications of marine fungi associated to the seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

    PubMed

    Panno, Luigi; Bruno, Maurizio; Voyron, Samuele; Anastasi, Antonella; Gnavi, Giorgio; Miserere, Luca; Varese, Giovanna Cristina

    2013-09-25

    The marine environment is characterized by high salinity and exerts a strong selective pressure on the biota, favouring the development of halo-tolerant microorganisms. Part of this microbial diversity is made up of fungi, important organisms from ecological and biotechnological points of view. In this study, for the first time, the qualitative and quantitative composition of the mycoflora associated to leaves, rhizomes, roots and matte of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica was estimated. A total of 88 fungal taxa, mainly belonging to Ascomycota, were identified by morphological and molecular methods. The most represented genera were Penicillium, Cladosporium and Acremonium. Most of the species (70) were selectively associated with one district; only two species (Penicillium chrysogenum var. chrysogenum and P. janczewskii) were isolated from all the districts. Moreover the capability to produce laccases, peroxidases and tannases by 107 fungal isolated by the different districts of P. oceanica was carried out. These results show that the mycoflora associated to P. oceanica is very rich and characterized by fungi able to produce ligninolytic enzymes and tannases useful to degrade and detoxify lignocellulose residues in presence of high salt concentrations. These fungi, hence, may play important ecological roles in marine environments but can also be very useful in different biotechnological areas. PMID:23410985

  13. SEAGRASS RHIZOSPHERE MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

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

    Seagrasses ...

  14. Determining bathymetric distributions of the eelgrass Zostera marina L. in three turbid estuaries of the eastern North Pacific coast

    EPA Science Inventory

    Improved methods for determining bathymetric distributions of dominant intertidal plants throughout their estuarine range are needed. Zostera marina is a seagrass native to estuaries of the northeastern Pacific and many other sectors of the world ocean. The technique described ...

  15. In Situ Carbon Stable Isotope Tracer Experiments Elucidate Carbon Translocation Rates and Allocation Patterns in Zostera marina L. (eelgrass)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The intertidal seagrass Zostera marina is an important species that provides critical habitat for a number of estuarine species. Despite its widespread distribution, there is limited information on seasonal patterns of carbon dynamics of plants growing in situ, particularly esti...

  16. Development of approaches to predict the distribution of Zostera marina and Z. japonica in Pacific Northwest estuaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    The dominant species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in Pacific Northwest (PNW) estuaries is the intertidal and shallow subtidal seagrass, Zostera marina. Beds of Z. marina constitute a critical habitat, including providing habitat for juvenile salmon. Additionally, the n...

  17. EFFECTS OF MICROTOPOGRAPHIC VARIATION ON MORPHOMETRICS AND SURVIVAL OF THE ANNUAL FORM OF THE EELGRASS, ZOSTERA MARINA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We sampled a disjunct population of the annual form of the seagrass Zostera marina occurring in the upper intertidal zone of Yaquina Bay, Oregon to determine whether there are differences in recruitment, growth, survivorship and morphology associated with microtopographic locatio...

  18. Secondary metabolites of seagrasses (Alismatales and Potamogetonales; Alismatidae): Chemical diversity, bioactivity, and ecological function.

    PubMed

    Zidorn, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Seagrasses are the only higher plants living in fully marine environments; they play a significant role in coastal ecosystems. Seagrasses inhabit the coastal shelves of all continents except Antarctica and can grow in depths of up to 90 m. Because of their eminent ecological importance, innumerous studies have been dedicated to seagrasses and their ecology. However, the phytochemistry has not been equally well investigated yet and many of the existing studies in chemical ecology are only investigating the chemistry at the level of compound classes, e.g. phenolics, and not at the level of chemically defined metabolites. In the present review, the existing literature on secondary metabolites of seagrasses, their known source seagrasses, their bioactivity, and ecological function are compiled and critically assessed. Moreover, research gaps are highlighted and avenues for future research are discussed. Currently, a total of 154 chemically defined natural products have been reported from the about 70 seagrass species known worldwide. Compounds reported include simple phenols derivatives (four compounds), phenylmethane derivatives (14 compounds), phenylethane derivatives (four compounds), phenylpropane derivatives including their esters and dimers (20 compounds), chalkones (four compounds), flavonoids including catechins (57 compounds), phenylheptanoids (four compounds), one monoterpene derivative, one sesquiterpene, diterpenoids (13 compounds), steroids (31 compounds), and one alkaloid. Most of the existing bioactivity studies of seagrass metabolites and extracts have been directed to potential cytotoxic, antimicrobial, or antimacrofouling activity. Antimicrobial studies have been performed towards panels of both human pathogens and ecologically relevant pathogens. In the antimacrofouling studies, investigations of the potential of zosteric acid from the genus Zostera are the most numerous and have yielded so far the most interesting results. Studies on the chemical

  19. Food-Web Structure of Seagrass Communities across Different Spatial Scales and Human Impacts

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Influence of light, temperature and salinity on dissolved organic carbon exudation rates in Zostera marina L.

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Marine angiosperms, seagrasses, are sentinel species of marine ecosystem health and function. Seagrass carbon budgets provide insight on the minimum requirements needed to maintain this valuable resource. Carbon budgets are a balance between C fixation, growth, storage and loss rates, most of which are well characterized. However, relatively few measurements of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) leaf exudation or rhizodeposition rates exist for most seagrass species. Here I evaluate how eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) DOC exudation is affected by a single factor manipulation (light, temperature or salinity). Eelgrass plants were hydroponically exposed to treatments in experimental chambers (separate leaf and rhizome/root compartments) with artificial seawater medium. Regression analysis of changes in the DOC concentration through time was used to calculate DOC exudation rates. Results Exudation rates were similar across all treatments in all experiments. For all experiments, pooled leaf DOC exudation ranged between 0.032 and 0.069 mg C gdw-1 h-1, while rhizodeposition ranged between 0.024 and 0.045 mg C gdw-1 h-1. These rates are consistent with previously published values and provide first-order estimates for mechanistic models. Conclusions Zostera marina carbon losses from either leaf exudation or rhizodeposition account for a small proportion of gross primary production (1.2-4.6%) and appear to be insensitive to short-term (e.g., hours to days) environmental variations in chamber experiments. Based on these preliminary experiments, I suggest that Z. marina DOC exudation may be a passive process and not an active transport process. PMID:22938529

  1. Climate change and ocean acidification effects on seagrasses and marine macroalgae.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marguerite; Bowes, George; Ross, Cliff; Zhang, Xing-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Although seagrasses and marine macroalgae (macro-autotrophs) play critical ecological roles in reef, lagoon, coastal and open-water ecosystems, their response to ocean acidification (OA) and climate change is not well understood. In this review, we examine marine macro-autotroph biochemistry and physiology relevant to their response to elevated dissolved inorganic carbon [DIC], carbon dioxide [CO2 ], and lower carbonate [CO3 (2-) ] and pH. We also explore the effects of increasing temperature under climate change and the interactions of elevated temperature and [CO2 ]. Finally, recommendations are made for future research based on this synthesis. A literature review of >100 species revealed that marine macro-autotroph photosynthesis is overwhelmingly C3 (≥ 85%) with most species capable of utilizing HCO3 (-) ; however, most are not saturated at current ocean [DIC]. These results, and the presence of CO2 -only users, lead us to conclude that photosynthetic and growth rates of marine macro-autotrophs are likely to increase under elevated [CO2 ] similar to terrestrial C3 species. In the tropics, many species live close to their thermal limits and will have to up-regulate stress-response systems to tolerate sublethal temperature exposures with climate change, whereas elevated [CO2 ] effects on thermal acclimation are unknown. Fundamental linkages between elevated [CO2 ] and temperature on photorespiration, enzyme systems, carbohydrate production, and calcification dictate the need to consider these two parameters simultaneously. Relevant to calcifiers, elevated [CO2 ] lowers net calcification and this effect is amplified by high temperature. Although the mechanisms are not clear, OA likely disrupts diffusion and transport systems of H(+) and DIC. These fluxes control micro-environments that promote calcification over dissolution and may be more important than CaCO3 mineralogy in predicting macroalgal responses to OA. Calcareous macroalgae are highly vulnerable to OA

  2. An effective transplanting technique using shells for restoration of Zostera marina habitats.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kun-Seop; Park, Jung-Im

    2008-05-01

    Significant declines in seagrass coverage have occurred in many parts of the world. In recent decades, transplanting projects for seagrass restoration at die-off areas have been attempted, but most current seagrass transplanting techniques are cost and labor intensive. We have developed a new seagrass transplanting method in which oyster shells are used as an anchoring device, and does not require SCUBA diving for sub-tidal planting. Here, we tested the shell method for feasibility and efficiency in large-scale seagrass restoration. Planting units consisting of two Zostera marina shoots anchored to one oyster shell were dropped from a boat to settle on the sediment at the test site. Four transplanting trials were conducted throughout the experimental period (December 2003, January, February, and November 2004) in Koje Bay on the southern coast of Korea. Eelgrass shoots planted using the shell method successfully established at the test areas, and the survival rates of transplants were comparable to those obtained using other common planting techniques. The transplant shoot density declined during the first 2-3 months following transplantation due to the initial transplant shock, and then surviving shoots became established at the sites and produced new lateral shoots after these periods. Plant size and leaf productivity of transplants 7 months post-transplanting were similar to or exceeded those of pre-existed shoots, suggesting that the physiological status of transplants is similar to that of natural population after 7 months. Because the shell method did not require workers to be in the water, the method was cost and labor effective. Additionally, given that shells originate from marine environments, the shell method did not leave any hazardous materials in the transplanting areas after restoration.

  3. The roles of flowering, overwinter survival and sea surface temperature in the long-term population dynamics of Zostera marina around the Isles of Scilly, UK.

    PubMed

    Potouroglou, Maria; Kenyon, Emma J; Gall, Angie; Cook, Kevan J; Bull, James C

    2014-06-30

    Interaction between biotic and abiotic drivers of dynamics is an important topic in ecology. Despite numerous short-term studies, there is a paucity of evidence about how environmental structure modifies dynamics in marine systems. We quantified Zostera marina flowering and non-flowering shoot density annually from 1996 to 2012 around the Isles of Scilly, UK, parameterizing a population dynamic model. Flowering is structured in time and space, with temperature and flowering positively associated at some locations only. We found no evidence that flower production contributes to seagrass density but 'patchiness' was positively associated with flowering in the previous year. With evidence of substantial overwinter survival, findings support the hypothesis that local populations are maintained largely through vegetative reproduction but sexual reproduction may contribute to colonisation of vacant habitat. This long-term study (1) tests validity of shorter-term investigations, (2) quantifies interaction between biotic and abiotic factors and (3) promotes seagrass as a model ecosystem. PMID:24731880

  4. The roles of flowering, overwinter survival and sea surface temperature in the long-term population dynamics of Zostera marina around the Isles of Scilly, UK.

    PubMed

    Potouroglou, Maria; Kenyon, Emma J; Gall, Angie; Cook, Kevan J; Bull, James C

    2014-06-30

    Interaction between biotic and abiotic drivers of dynamics is an important topic in ecology. Despite numerous short-term studies, there is a paucity of evidence about how environmental structure modifies dynamics in marine systems. We quantified Zostera marina flowering and non-flowering shoot density annually from 1996 to 2012 around the Isles of Scilly, UK, parameterizing a population dynamic model. Flowering is structured in time and space, with temperature and flowering positively associated at some locations only. We found no evidence that flower production contributes to seagrass density but 'patchiness' was positively associated with flowering in the previous year. With evidence of substantial overwinter survival, findings support the hypothesis that local populations are maintained largely through vegetative reproduction but sexual reproduction may contribute to colonisation of vacant habitat. This long-term study (1) tests validity of shorter-term investigations, (2) quantifies interaction between biotic and abiotic factors and (3) promotes seagrass as a model ecosystem.

  5. Seagrass tolerance to herbivory under increased ocean temperatures.

    PubMed

    Garthwin, Ruby G; Poore, Alistair G B; Vergés, Adriana

    2014-06-30

    Climate change is acknowledged as a major threat to marine ecosystems, but the effect of temperature on species interactions remains poorly understood. We quantified the effects of long-term warming on plant-herbivore interactions of a dominant seagrass, Zostera muelleri. Growth, herbivory and tolerance to damage were compared between a meadow warmed by the thermal plume from a power station for 30 years (2-3 °C above background temperatures) and three control locations. Leaf growth rates and tissue loss were spatially variable but unrelated to temperature regimes. Natural herbivory was generally low. Simulated herbivory experiments showed that the tolerance of Z. muelleri to defoliation did not differ between warm and unimpacted meadows, with damaged and undamaged plants maintaining similar growth rates irrespective of temperature. These results suggest that the ability of temperate Z. muelleri to tolerate herbivory is not strongly influenced by warming, and this species may be relatively resilient to future environmental change. PMID:23993389

  6. Seagrass tolerance to herbivory under increased ocean temperatures.

    PubMed

    Garthwin, Ruby G; Poore, Alistair G B; Vergés, Adriana

    2014-06-30

    Climate change is acknowledged as a major threat to marine ecosystems, but the effect of temperature on species interactions remains poorly understood. We quantified the effects of long-term warming on plant-herbivore interactions of a dominant seagrass, Zostera muelleri. Growth, herbivory and tolerance to damage were compared between a meadow warmed by the thermal plume from a power station for 30 years (2-3 °C above background temperatures) and three control locations. Leaf growth rates and tissue loss were spatially variable but unrelated to temperature regimes. Natural herbivory was generally low. Simulated herbivory experiments showed that the tolerance of Z. muelleri to defoliation did not differ between warm and unimpacted meadows, with damaged and undamaged plants maintaining similar growth rates irrespective of temperature. These results suggest that the ability of temperate Z. muelleri to tolerate herbivory is not strongly influenced by warming, and this species may be relatively resilient to future environmental change.

  7. Review of nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism in seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Touchette; Burkholder

    2000-07-30

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27559058

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SEAGRASSES, BENTHIC MACROALGAE AND NUTRIENTS IN A PACIFIC NORTHWEST ESTUARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pacific Northwest estuaries are characterized by large tidal ranges (2-3 m) that routinely expose submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) such as seagrass and benthic macroalgae. The dominant native seagrass in PNW estuaries is the eelgrass Zostera marina. However, in recent decades...

  11. Sodium-Dependent Nitrate Transport at the Plasma Membrane of Leaf Cells of the Marine Higher Plant Zostera marina L.1

    PubMed Central

    García-Sánchez, María J.; Jaime, M. Paz; Ramos, Alberto; Sanders, Dale; Fernández, José A.

    2000-01-01

    NO3− is present at micromolar concentrations in seawater and must be absorbed by marine plants against a steep electrochemical potential difference across the plasma membrane. We studied NO3− transport in the marine angiosperm Zostera marina L. to address the question of how NO3− uptake is energized. Electrophysiological studies demonstrated that micromolar concentrations of NO3− induced depolarizations of the plasma membrane of leaf cells. Depolarizations showed saturation kinetics (Km = 2.31 ± 0.78 μm NO3−) and were enhanced in alkaline conditions. The addition of NO3− did not affect the membrane potential in the absence of Na+, but depolarizations were restored when Na+ was resupplied. NO3−-induced depolarizations at increasing Na+ concentrations showed saturation kinetics (Km = 0.72 ± 0.18 mm Na+). Monensin, an ionophore that dissipates the Na+ electrochemical potential, inhibited NO3−-evoked depolarizations by 85%, and NO3− uptake (measured by depletion from the external medium) was stimulated by Na+ ions and by light. Our results strongly suggest that NO3− uptake in Z. marina is mediated by a high-affinity Na+-symport system, which is described here (for the first time to our knowledge) in an angiosperm. Coupling the uptake of NO3− to that of Na+ enables the steep inwardly-directed electrochemical potential for Na+ to drive net accumulation of NO3− within leaf cells. PMID:10712552

  12. Hydroacoustic basis for detection and characterization of eelgrass (Zostera marina)

    SciTech Connect

    Sabol, B.; McCarthy, E.; Rocha, K.

    1997-06-01

    Understanding the distribution and density of seagrasses is important for a variety of environmental applications. Physical techniques for detection and characterization are labor and cost intensive and provide little insight into spatial distribution. optical-based techniques are limited by water clarity - frequently resulting in systematic underestimation of the extent of seagrasses. Active hydroacoustic techniques have shown the ability to detect seagrasses but the phenomenology behind detection is poorly understood. Laboratory and in-situ hydroacoustic measurements are presented for eelgrass (Zostera marina), a common seagrass in the United States. Based on these data, hydroacoustic approaches for wide area detection and mapping are discussed and several are demonstrated within areas of established eelgrass beds in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Modelling suitable estuarine habitats for Zostera noltii , using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis and Bathymetric LiDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valle, Mireia; Borja, Ángel; Chust, Guillem; Galparsoro, Ibon; Garmendia, Joxe Mikel

    2011-08-01

    Predicting species distribution and habitat suitability is of considerable use in supporting the implementation of environmental legislation, protection and conservation of marine waters and ecosystem-based management. As other seagrasses, Zostera noltii has declined worldwide, mainly due to human pressures, such as eutrophication and habitat loss. In the case of the Basque Country (northern Spain), the species is present only in 3 out of 12 estuaries. From the literature, it is known that at least 6 of these estuaries were formerly vegetated by this seagrass. Consequently, efforts to monitor and restore (potential) habitats have been enhanced. Therefore, we aim: (i) to determine the main environmental variables explaining Zostera noltii distribution, within the Basque estuaries based upon the Oka estuary; (ii) to model habitat suitability for this species, as a wider applicable management-decision tool for seagrass restoration; and (iii) to assess the applicability and predicted accuracy of the model by using internal and external validation methods. For this purpose, Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) has been used to model habitat suitability, based upon topographical variables, obtained from bathymetric Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR); sediment characteristics variables; and hydrodynamic variables. The results obtained from the ecological factors of the ENFA (Marginality: 1.00; Specialization: 2.59) indicate that the species habitat differs considerably from the mean environmental conditions over the study area; likewise, that the species is restrictive in the selection of the range of conditions within which it dwells. The main environmental variables relating to the species distribution, in order of importance, are: mean grain size; redox potential; intertidal height; sediment sorting; slope of intertidal flat; percentage of gravels; and percentage of organic matter content. The model has a high predicted accuracy (Boyce index: 0.92). Model

  16. Duration of Temperature exposure controls growth of Zostera japonica: implications for zonation and colonization

    EPA Science Inventory

    At least two seagrass congeners in the genus Zostera are found along the Pacific Coast of North America: native Z. marina L. and the non-native Z. japonica Aschers. & Graebn. Efforts to understand the drivers behind the expanding colonization of Z. japonica have led to interest ...

  17. Keeping tabs on seagrass beds

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhl, D.E.; Sargent, F.J.; Leary, T.J.

    1997-06-01

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

  18. The role of O2 as an electron acceptor alternative to CO2 in photosynthesis of the common marine angiosperm Zostera marina L.

    PubMed

    Buapet, Pimchanok; Björk, Mats

    2016-07-01

    This study investigates the role of O2 as an electron acceptor alternative to CO2 in photosynthesis of the common marine angiosperm Zostera marina L. Electron transport rates (ETRs) and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of Z. marina were measured under saturating irradiance in synthetic seawater containing 2.2 mM DIC and no DIC with different O2 levels (air-equilibrated levels, 3 % of air equilibrium and restored air-equilibrated levels). Lowering O2 did not affect ETR when DIC was provided, while it caused a decrease in ETR and an increase in NPQ in DIC-free media, indicating that O2 acted as an alternative electron acceptor under low DIC. The ETR and NPQ as a function of irradiance were subsequently assessed in synthetic seawater containing (1) 2.2 mM DIC, air-equilibrated O2; (2) saturating CO2, no O2; and (3) no DIC, air-equilibrated O2. These treatments were combined with glycolaldehyde pre-incubation. Glycolaldehyde caused a marked decrease in ETR in DIC-free medium, indicating significant electron flow supported by photorespiration. Combining glycolaldehyde with O2 depletion completely suppressed ETR suggesting the operation of the Mehler reaction, a possibility supported by the photosynthesis-dependent superoxide production. However, no notable effect of suppressing the Mehler reaction on NPQ was observed. It is concluded that during DIC-limiting conditions, such as those frequently occurring in the habitats of Z. marina, captured light energy exceeds what is utilised for the assimilation of available carbon, and photorespiration is a major alternative electron acceptor, while the contribution of the Mehler reaction is minor.

  19. Lugworm ( Abarenicola affinis) in seagrass and unvegetated habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goerlitz, Stefan; Berkenbusch, Katrin; Probert, P. Keith

    2015-06-01

    In Otago, southern New Zealand, the lugworm Abarenicola affinis resides in neighbouring tidal inlets with and without seagrass ( Zostera muelleri). A comparison of abundance, body size and biomass of A. affinis between seagrass habitat (Papanui Inlet) and unvegetated habitat (Hoopers Inlet) showed little seasonal variation of these parameters in each habitat and relatively similar abundances between both habitats. In contrast, lugworm biomass was considerably lower in the seagrass habitat due to the lack of large individuals compared with unvegetated habitat. In the seagrass habitat, there was a significant negative influence of Z. muelleri below-ground biomass on abundance and biomass of A. affinis, indicating that seagrass affected lugworm burrowing and/or feeding processes. In contrast to the unvegetated habitat, where lugworms spread relatively evenly across the intertidal area, lugworms were mostly restricted to the upper intertidal zone in the seagrass habitat. The findings suggest that the extensive seagrass bed in the mid and low intertidal zones of Papanui Inlet limited lugworm distribution in an otherwise suitable habitat. Whereas small lugworms colonised seagrass areas, the largest individuals occurred only in unvegetated sediment and seemed to be more hampered by the presence of seagrass than smaller individuals. The findings highlight negative feedback between antagonistic ecosystem engineers, with the potential of seagrass physical structures (autogenic engineering) to impact negatively on lugworm activity (allogenic engineering).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Identification of seagrasses in the gut of a marine herbivorous fish using DNA barcoding and visual inspection techniques.

    PubMed

    Chelsky Budarf, A; Burfeind, D D; Loh, W K W; Tibbetts, I R

    2011-07-01

    Traditional visual diet analysis techniques were compared with DNA barcoding in juvenile herbivorous rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens collected in Moreton Bay, Australia, where at least six species of seagrass occur. The intergenic spacer trnH-psbA, suggested as the optimal gene for barcoding angiosperms, was used for the first time to identify the seagrass in fish guts. Four seagrass species and one alga were identified visually from gut contents; however, there was considerable uncertainty in visual identification with 38 of 40 fish having unidentifiable plant fragments in their gut. PCR and single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) were able to discriminate three seagrass families from visually cryptic gut contents. While effective in identifying cryptic gut content to family level, this novel method is likely to be most efficient when paired with visual identification techniques.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27592387

  7. Trophic cascades on the edge: fostering seagrass resilience via a novel pathway.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Brent B; Hammerstrom, Kamille K; Grant, Nora E; Hoshijima, Umi; Eby, Ron; Wasson, Kerstin

    2016-09-01

    Despite widespread degradation, some coastal ecosystems display remarkable resilience. For seagrasses, a century-old paradigm has implicated macroalgal blooms stimulated by anthropogenic nutrient, loading as a primary driver of seagrass decline, yet relatively little attention has been given to drivers of seagrass resilience. In Elkhorn Slough, CA, an estuarine system characterized by extreme anthropogenic nutrient loading and macroalgal (Ulva spp.) blooms, seagrass (Zostera marina) beds have recovered concurrent with colonization of the estuary by top predators, sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Here, we follow up on the results of a previous experiment at the seagrass interior, showing how sea otters can generate a trophic cascade that promotes seagrass. We conducted an experiment and constructed structural equation models to determine how sea otters, through a trophic cascade, might affect the edge of seagrass beds where expansion occurs. We found that at the edge, sea otters promoted both seagrass and ephemeral macroalgae, with the latter contributing beneficial grazers to the seagrass. The surprising results that sea otters promote two potentially competing vegetation types, and a grazer assemblage at their boundary provides a mechanism by which seagrasses can expand in eutrophic environments, and contributes to a growing body of literature demonstrating that ephemeral macroalgae are not always negatively associated with seagrass. Our results highlight the potential for top predator recovery to enhance ecosystem resilience to anthropogenic alterations through several cascading mechanisms.

  8. Trophic cascades on the edge: fostering seagrass resilience via a novel pathway.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Brent B; Hammerstrom, Kamille K; Grant, Nora E; Hoshijima, Umi; Eby, Ron; Wasson, Kerstin

    2016-09-01

    Despite widespread degradation, some coastal ecosystems display remarkable resilience. For seagrasses, a century-old paradigm has implicated macroalgal blooms stimulated by anthropogenic nutrient, loading as a primary driver of seagrass decline, yet relatively little attention has been given to drivers of seagrass resilience. In Elkhorn Slough, CA, an estuarine system characterized by extreme anthropogenic nutrient loading and macroalgal (Ulva spp.) blooms, seagrass (Zostera marina) beds have recovered concurrent with colonization of the estuary by top predators, sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Here, we follow up on the results of a previous experiment at the seagrass interior, showing how sea otters can generate a trophic cascade that promotes seagrass. We conducted an experiment and constructed structural equation models to determine how sea otters, through a trophic cascade, might affect the edge of seagrass beds where expansion occurs. We found that at the edge, sea otters promoted both seagrass and ephemeral macroalgae, with the latter contributing beneficial grazers to the seagrass. The surprising results that sea otters promote two potentially competing vegetation types, and a grazer assemblage at their boundary provides a mechanism by which seagrasses can expand in eutrophic environments, and contributes to a growing body of literature demonstrating that ephemeral macroalgae are not always negatively associated with seagrass. Our results highlight the potential for top predator recovery to enhance ecosystem resilience to anthropogenic alterations through several cascading mechanisms. PMID:27167224

  9. A comparison of fish communities of subtidal seagrass beds and sandy seabeds in 13 marine embayments of a Caribbean island, based on species, families, size distribution and functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagelkerken, I.; van der Velde, G.

    2004-08-01

    Differences in fish community structure between different estuaries, lagoons and bays can be very large, and generalisations are complicated by the use of a wide variety of sampling methods. In the present study, fish communities of subtidal seagrass beds and sandy seabeds in 13 marine embayments of a single Caribbean island were therefore sampled using a uniform method. The objective of the study was to determine whether the seagrass and sandy seabed habitats of various embayments are characterised by typical fish assemblages which differ in terms of taxa (species, families), size classes (life stages) and functional groups (ecological species groups, feeding time and diet). This was linked to the hypothesis that differences in fish assemblages between habitats in different embayments are larger at taxonomic levels than at the level of functional groups. A second objective was to determine the most useful discriminating features between the two habitat types. The above hypothesis was rejected, since differences in fish assemblages from different seagrass and sandy seabed sites did not increase from functional to taxonomic level, but from size class to diet/species to family/feeding time to ecological species group. However, the seagrass and sandy seabed habitats could each be characterised by typical fish assemblages which differed in taxonomical and functional group composition, irrespective of differences in environmental and biotic variables between the embayments in which these habitats were situated. The two habitat types could be best characterised on the basis of fish family, ecological species group, feeding time and size distribution. Seagrass beds mainly harboured nocturnally active nursery species (Haemulidae, Lutjanidae, etc.), whose relative abundance was related to vegetation (mainly seagrass) cover. Sandy seabeds mainly harboured diurnally active bay species (Gerreidae, etc.) whose relative abundance was related to cover of bare sand. Similarities

  10. Use of a high-resolution profiling sonar and a towed video camera to map a Zostera marina bed, Solent, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefebvre, A.; Thompson, C. E. L.; Collins, K. J.; Amos, C. L.

    2009-04-01

    Seagrasses are flowering plants that develop into extensive underwater meadows and play a key role in the coastal ecosystem. In the last few years, several techniques have been developed to map and monitor seagrass beds in order to protect them. Here, we present the results of a survey using a profiling sonar, the Sediment Imager Sonar (SIS) and a towed video sledge to study a Zostera marina bed in the Solent, southern UK. The survey aimed to test the instruments for seagrass detection and to describe the area for the first time. On the acoustic data, the bed produced the strongest backscatter along a beam. A high backscatter above the bottom indicated the presence of seagrass. The results of an algorithm developed to detect seagrass from the sonar data were tested against video data. Four parameters were calculated from the SIS data: water depth, a Seagrass Index (average backscatter 10-15 cm above the bed), canopy height (height above the bed where the backscatter crosses a threshold limit) and patchiness (percentage of beams in a sweep where the backscatter 10-15 cm above the bed is greater than a threshold limit). From the video, Zostera density was estimated together with macroalgae abundance and bottom type. Patchiness calculated from the SIS data was strongly correlated to seagrass density evaluated from the video, indicating that this parameter could be used for seagrass detection. The survey area has been classified based upon seagrass density, macroalgae abundance and bottom type. Only a small area was occupied by a dense canopy whereas most of the survey area was characterised by patchy seagrass. Results indicated that Zostera marina developed only on sandy bottoms and was not found in regions of gravel. Furthermore, it was limited to a depth shallower than 1.5 m below the level of Lowest Astronomical Tide and present in small patches across the intertidal zone. The average canopy height was 15 cm and the highest density was 150 shoots m -2.

  11. Seagrass feeding choices and digestive strategies of the herbivorous fish Sarpa salpa.

    PubMed

    Goldenberg, S U; Erzini, K

    2014-05-01

    This is the first study investigating the plant-herbivore interaction between Sarpa salpa, which has overgrazed seagrass transplants in Portugal, and the seagrasses Cymodocea nodosa, Zostera marina and Zostera noltii, which have been considered for restoration. When offered the choice between the three seagrasses in outdoor tanks, adult S. salpa clearly preferred Z. noltii. Testing the seagrasses separately, mean ± s.d. feeding rates ranged from 21 ± 11 g seagrass fresh mass kg⁻¹ fish mass day⁻¹ for Z. marina to 32 ± 9 g seagrass fresh mass kg⁻¹ fish mass day⁻¹ for C. nodosa and 40 ± 11 g seagrass fresh mass kg⁻¹ fish mass day⁻¹ for Z. noltii (temperature = 16° C). Food-processing rate in S. salpa did not differ between seagrasses, and there was no evidence of a regulation of processing rate according to food intake. Seagrasses differed substantially in nitrogen content and C:N, with C. nodosa containing the highest nitrogen content and lowest C:N (2·5 ± 0·1% and 14·0 ± 1·0), followed by Z. noltii (2·1 ± 0·1% and 17·0 ± 1·0) and Z. marina (1·4 ± 0·1% and 26·0 ± 2·0). Food-processing rate in S. salpa and the nutritional value of the seagrasses were not correlated with the observed feeding preference and rate. The study suggests that C. nodosa and Z. marina are less at risk of overgrazing by S. salpa and might thus be preferable to Z. noltii for seagrass restoration in areas with noticeable abundances of this fish. PMID:24684485

  12. Seagrass feeding choices and digestive strategies of the herbivorous fish Sarpa salpa.

    PubMed

    Goldenberg, S U; Erzini, K

    2014-05-01

    This is the first study investigating the plant-herbivore interaction between Sarpa salpa, which has overgrazed seagrass transplants in Portugal, and the seagrasses Cymodocea nodosa, Zostera marina and Zostera noltii, which have been considered for restoration. When offered the choice between the three seagrasses in outdoor tanks, adult S. salpa clearly preferred Z. noltii. Testing the seagrasses separately, mean ± s.d. feeding rates ranged from 21 ± 11 g seagrass fresh mass kg⁻¹ fish mass day⁻¹ for Z. marina to 32 ± 9 g seagrass fresh mass kg⁻¹ fish mass day⁻¹ for C. nodosa and 40 ± 11 g seagrass fresh mass kg⁻¹ fish mass day⁻¹ for Z. noltii (temperature = 16° C). Food-processing rate in S. salpa did not differ between seagrasses, and there was no evidence of a regulation of processing rate according to food intake. Seagrasses differed substantially in nitrogen content and C:N, with C. nodosa containing the highest nitrogen content and lowest C:N (2·5 ± 0·1% and 14·0 ± 1·0), followed by Z. noltii (2·1 ± 0·1% and 17·0 ± 1·0) and Z. marina (1·4 ± 0·1% and 26·0 ± 2·0). Food-processing rate in S. salpa and the nutritional value of the seagrasses were not correlated with the observed feeding preference and rate. The study suggests that C. nodosa and Z. marina are less at risk of overgrazing by S. salpa and might thus be preferable to Z. noltii for seagrass restoration in areas with noticeable abundances of this fish.

  13. Mobile epifauna on Zostera marina, and infauna of its inflorescences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellwig-Armonies, Monika

    1988-06-01

    The faunal colonization of the leaves and inflorescences of intertidal Zostera marina L. and of the ambient water has been studied at the Island of Sylt (North Sea). The abundance of the snail Littorina littorea L. and the isopod Jaera albifrons Leach correlates significantly with leaf surface area. This is not the case with the abundance of meiofaunal Plathelminthes, Nematoda, Copepoda, and Polychaeta. However, they increase significantly with the numbers of generative shoots in the sampled seagrass bunches. Members of these taxa inhabit the Zostera inflorescences, and average abundance increases with the degree of decay of inflorescences. This temporary microhabitat presumably offers food and shelter. Copepods and ostracods dominate in the ambient water. Planktonic calanoid copepods correlate with the amount of sampled seawater, while Ostracoda correlate with the amount of resuspended detritus suggesting that they were resuspended themselves. The study shows that some meiofaunal taxa can rapidly exploit a short-lived habitat such as the Zostera inflorescences. Juvenile polychaetes use inflorescences as a nursery.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  15. Seagrass burial by dredged sediments: benthic community alteration, secondary production loss, biotic index reaction and recovery possibility.

    PubMed

    Tu Do, V; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Blanchet, Hugues; Lavesque, Nicolas

    2012-11-01

    In 2005, dredging activities in Arcachon Bay (France) led in burying 320,000 m(2) of Zostera noltii intertidal seagrass. Recovery by macrobenthos and seagrass was monitored. Six months after works, seagrass was absent and macrobenthos drastically different from surrounding vegetated stations. Rapidly and due to sediment dispersal, disposal area was divided into a sandflat with a specific benthic community which maintained its difference until the end of the survey (2010), and a mudflat where associated fauna became similar to those in adjacent seagrass. Macrobenthic community needs 3 years to recover while seagrass needs 5 years to recover in the station impacted by mud. The secondary production loss due to works was low. In this naturally carbon enriched system, univariate biotic indices did not perform well to detect seagrass destruction and recovery. Multivariate index MISS gave more relevant conclusions and a simplified version was tested with success, at this local scale. PMID:23017949

  16. Seagrass burial by dredged sediments: benthic community alteration, secondary production loss, biotic index reaction and recovery possibility.

    PubMed

    Tu Do, V; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Blanchet, Hugues; Lavesque, Nicolas

    2012-11-01

    In 2005, dredging activities in Arcachon Bay (France) led in burying 320,000 m(2) of Zostera noltii intertidal seagrass. Recovery by macrobenthos and seagrass was monitored. Six months after works, seagrass was absent and macrobenthos drastically different from surrounding vegetated stations. Rapidly and due to sediment dispersal, disposal area was divided into a sandflat with a specific benthic community which maintained its difference until the end of the survey (2010), and a mudflat where associated fauna became similar to those in adjacent seagrass. Macrobenthic community needs 3 years to recover while seagrass needs 5 years to recover in the station impacted by mud. The secondary production loss due to works was low. In this naturally carbon enriched system, univariate biotic indices did not perform well to detect seagrass destruction and recovery. Multivariate index MISS gave more relevant conclusions and a simplified version was tested with success, at this local scale.

  17. Long term changes in Zostera meadows in the Berre lagoon (Provence, Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernard, Guillaume; Boudouresque, Charles F.; Picon, Philippe

    2007-07-01

    The Berre lagoon (Provence, France), one of the largest Mediterranean brackish lagoons (155 km 2), was occupied, at the turn of the 20th century, by extensive Zostera meadows ( Zostera marina and probably Zostera noltii; perhaps over 6000 ha). Subsequently, the lagoon was disturbed by urban and industrial pollution and, from 1966, by the diversion of the Durance River. This resulted in a 10-49-fold and 8-31-fold increase of the freshwater and silt inputs, respectively. By means of digital analysis of aerial photographs for the years 1944, 1992, 1998 and 2004, coupled with ground truth for the last three dates, we mapped the Zostera meadows. The replacement of Z. marina by Z. noltii, the latter species being already dominant in the 1970s, was completed in 1990. In parallel to this substitution, the Zostera beds underwent a dramatic decline. Their depth limit, which was (6-9) m in the early 20th century, withdrew to 3.5, 3, 1 and less than 1 m by 1944, the 1970s, 1992 and 1998, respectively. Since 1998, Zostera must be considered as functionally extinct. The total surface area of Zostera meadows was of the order of 1.5 ha in 2004. In an attempt to alleviate disturbance, the input of freshwater and silt from the Durance River was significantly reduced from the early 1980s and 1990s respectively. Similarly, from the 1970s to the 1990s, urban and domestic pollution was drastically reduced. Despite these steps, Zostera meadows continued to shrink to near extinction. The lagoon has shifted from a system dominated by seagrass beds to a system with bare silt bottoms, which now occupy most of the lagoon. The reasons could be, in addition to continuing nutrient inputs, the resuspension of silt, no longer trapped under the seagrass canopy, during wind episodes, which are frequent in the area, and/or the release of nutrients from the bare silt habitat, which would constitute an indication of a possible hysteresis of the system. However, since 2000, the establishment of the

  18. Experimental assessment of critical anthropogenic sediment burial in eelgrass Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    Munkes, Britta; Schubert, Philipp R; Karez, Rolf; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2015-11-15

    Seagrass meadows, one of the world's most important and productive coastal habitats, are threatened by a range of anthropogenic actions. Burial of seagrass plants due to coastal activities is one important anthropogenic pressure leading to the decline of local populations. In our study, we assessed the response of eelgrass Zostera marina to sediment burial from physiological, morphological, and population parameters. In a full factorial field experiment, burial level (5-20cm) and burial duration (4-16weeks) were manipulated. Negative effects were visible even at the lowest burial level (5cm) and shortest duration (4weeks), with increasing effects over time and burial level. Buried seagrasses showed higher shoot mortality, delayed growth and flowering and lower carbohydrate storage. The observed effects will likely have an impact on next year's survival of buried plants. Our results have implications for the management of this important coastal plant.

  19. An experimental transplantation to select the optimal site for restoration of the eelgrass Zostera marina in the Taehwa River estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jung-Im; Kim, Jeong Bae; Lee, Kun-Seop; Son, Min Ho

    2013-12-01

    To select the optimal site for the restoration of seagrass habitats in the Taehwa River estuary, we transplanted the eelgrass Zostera marina to three potential candidate sites in March 2007 and monitored the transplanted seagrass and associated environmental factors for six months. In all three sites, the transplanted seagrasses exhibited no initial morphological loss due to transplanting stress. The transplanted seagrass communities at sites 2 and 3 showed more than a 180% increase in density over the entire survey period. In contrast, despite a density increase in the first month after transplantation, most of the transplanted seagrasses at site 1 died. This may be due to the large decrease in underwater irradiance reaching the seagrass leaves at site 1 for two months during June and July, which fell below the level of compensation irradiance. The growth rate and size of the seagrass shoots were also larger at sites 2 and 3 compared with site 1. This is probably due to higher nutrient concentrations in the sediment pore water at sites 2 and 3 compared with site 1, although water depth, salinity, and the nutrient concentrations in the water columns from the three sites were similar. Therefore, for the restoration of seagrass habitats in the Taehwa River estuary, sites 2 and 3 were preferable to site 1 as transplantation sites.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raczkowska, A.; Gorska, N.

    2012-12-01

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

  2. Seagrass meadows in a globally changing environment.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Richard K F; van Keulen, Mike; Coles, Rob G

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass meadows are valuable ecosystem service providers that are now being lost globally at an unprecedented rate, with water quality and other localised stressors putting their future viability in doubt. It is therefore critical that we learn more about the interactions between seagrass meadows and future environmental change in the anthropocene. This needs to be with particular reference to the consequences of poor water quality on ecosystem resilience and the effects of change on trophic interactions within the food web. Understanding and predicting the response of seagrass meadows to future environmental change requires an understanding of the natural long-term drivers of change and how these are currently influenced by anthropogenic stress. Conservation management of coastal and marine ecosystems now and in the future requires increased knowledge of how seagrass meadows respond to environmental change, and how they can be managed to be resilient to these changes. Finding solutions to such issues also requires recognising people as part of the social-ecological system. This special issue aims to further enhance this knowledge by bringing together global expertise across this field. The special issues considers issues such as ecosystem service delivery of seagrass meadows, the drivers of long-term seagrass change and the socio-economic consequences of environmental change to seagrass.

  3. Seagrass meadows in a globally changing environment.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Richard K F; van Keulen, Mike; Coles, Rob G

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass meadows are valuable ecosystem service providers that are now being lost globally at an unprecedented rate, with water quality and other localised stressors putting their future viability in doubt. It is therefore critical that we learn more about the interactions between seagrass meadows and future environmental change in the anthropocene. This needs to be with particular reference to the consequences of poor water quality on ecosystem resilience and the effects of change on trophic interactions within the food web. Understanding and predicting the response of seagrass meadows to future environmental change requires an understanding of the natural long-term drivers of change and how these are currently influenced by anthropogenic stress. Conservation management of coastal and marine ecosystems now and in the future requires increased knowledge of how seagrass meadows respond to environmental change, and how they can be managed to be resilient to these changes. Finding solutions to such issues also requires recognising people as part of the social-ecological system. This special issue aims to further enhance this knowledge by bringing together global expertise across this field. The special issues considers issues such as ecosystem service delivery of seagrass meadows, the drivers of long-term seagrass change and the socio-economic consequences of environmental change to seagrass. PMID:24874505

  4. Population-specificity of heat stress gene induction in northern and southern eelgrass Zostera marina populations under simulated global warming.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Nina; Winters, Gidon; Rauch, Gisep; Eizaguirre, Christophe; Gu, Jenny; Nelle, Peter; Fricke, Birgit; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2010-07-01

    Summer heat waves have already resulted in mortality of coastal communities, including ecologically important seagrass meadows. Gene expression studies from controlled experiments can provide important insight as to how species/genotypes react to extreme events that will increase under global warming. In a common stress garden, we exposed three populations of eelgrass, Zostera marina, to extreme sea surface temperatures, simulating the 2003-European heat wave. Populations came from locations widely differing in their thermal regime, two northern European locations [Ebeltoft (Kattegat), Doverodde (Limfjord, Baltic Sea)], and one southern population from Gabicce Mare (Adriatic Sea), allowing to test for population specificity in the response to a realistic heat stress event. Eelgrass survival and growth as well as the expression of 12 stress associated candidate genes were assessed during and after the heat wave. Contrary to expectations, all populations suffered equally from 3 weeks of heat stress in terms of shoot loss. In contrast, populations markedly differed in multivariate measures of gene expression. While the gene expression profiles converged to pre-stress values directly after the heat wave, stress correlated genes were upregulated again 4 weeks later, in line with the observed delay in shoot loss. Target genes had to be selected based on functional knowledge in terrestrial plants, nevertheless, 10/12 genes were induced relative to the control treatment at least once during the heat wave in the fully marine plant Z. marina. This study underlines the importance of realistic stress and recovery scenarios in studying the impact of predicted climate change.

  5. Effects of bioturbation on seagrasses: Implications for management and restoration

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine and estuarine fauna can diminish or enhance seagrass condition simply as a result of their burrowing, excavating, re-working, and feeding activities (e.g., bioturbation). We present the first comprehensive review of the effects of bioturbators on seagrasses and associated ...

  6. 50 CFR 226.213 - Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.213 Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass. Critical habitat is designated to include substrate and water...

  7. 50 CFR 226.213 - Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.213 Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass. Critical habitat is designated to include substrate and water...

  8. 50 CFR 226.213 - Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.213 Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass. Critical habitat is designated to include substrate and water...

  9. 50 CFR 226.213 - Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.213 Critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass. Critical habitat is designated to include substrate and water...

  10. Seagrass ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Gullström, Martin; de la Torre Castro, Maricela; Bandeira, Salomão; Björk, Mats; Dahlberg, Mattis; Kautsky, Nils; Rönnbäck, Patrik; Ohman, Marcus C

    2002-12-01

    Seagrasses are marine angiosperms widely distributed in both tropical and temperate coastal waters creating one of the most productive aquatic ecosystems on earth. In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, with its 13 reported seagrass species, these ecosystems cover wide areas of near-shore soft bottoms through the 12 000 km coastline. Seagrass beds are found intertidally as well as subtidally, sometimes down to about 40 m, and do often occur in close connection to coral reefs and mangroves. Due to the high primary production and a complex habitat structure, seagrass beds support a variety of benthic, demersal and pelagic organisms. Many fish and shellfish species, including those of commercial interest, are attracted to seagrass habitats for foraging and shelter, especially during their juvenile life stages. Examples of abundant and widespread fish species associated to seagrass beds in the WIO belong to the families Apogonidae, Blenniidae, Centriscidae, Gerreidae, Gobiidae, Labridae, Lethrinidae Lutjanidae, Monacanthidae, Scaridae, Scorpaenidae, Siganidae, Syngnathidae and Teraponidae. Consequently, seagrass ecosystems in the WIO are valuable resources for fisheries at both local and regional scales. Still, seagrass research in the WIO is scarce compared to other regions and it is mainly focusing on botanic diversity and ecology. This article reviews the research status of seagrass beds in the WIO with particular emphasis on fish and fisheries. Most research on this topic has been conducted along the East African coast, i.e. in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and eastern South Africa, while less research was carried out in Somalia and the Island States of the WIO (Seychelles, Comoros, Reunion (France), Mauritius and Madagascar). Published papers on seagrass fish ecology in the region are few and mainly descriptive. Hence, there is a need of more scientific knowledge in the form of describing patterns and processes through both field and experimental work

  11. Sexual Recruitment in Zostera marina: Progress toward a Predictive Model.

    PubMed

    Furman, Bradley T; Peterson, Bradley J

    2015-01-01

    Ecophysiological stress and physical disturbance are capable of structuring meadows through a combination of direct biomass removal and recruitment limitation; however, predicting these effects at landscape scales has rarely been successful. To model environmental influence on sexual recruitment in perennial Zostera marina, we selected a sub-tidal, light-replete study site with seasonal extremes in temperature and wave energy. During an 8-year observation period, areal coverage increased from 4.8 to 42.7%. Gains were stepwise in pattern, attributable to annual recruitment of patches followed by centrifugal growth and coalescence. Recruitment varied from 13 to 4,894 patches per year. Using a multiple linear regression approach, we examined the association between patch appearance and relative wave energy, atmospheric condition and water temperature. Two models were developed, one appropriate for the dispersal of naked seeds, and another for rafted flowers. Results indicated that both modes of sexual recruitment varied as functions of wind, temperature, rainfall and wave energy, with a regime shift in wind-wave energy corresponding to periods of rapid colonization within our site. Temporal correlations between sexual recruitment and time-lagged climatic summaries highlighted floral induction, seed bank and small patch development as periods of vulnerability. Given global losses in seagrass coverage, regions of recovery and re-colonization will become increasingly important. Lacking landscape-scale process models for seagrass recruitment, temporally explicit statistical approaches presented here could be used to forecast colonization trajectories and to provide managers with real-time estimates of future meadow performance; i.e., when to expect a good year in terms of seagrass expansion. To facilitate use as forecasting tools, we did not use statistical composites or normalized variables as our predictors. This study, therefore, represents a first step toward linking

  12. Sexual Recruitment in Zostera marina: Progress toward a Predictive Model.

    PubMed

    Furman, Bradley T; Peterson, Bradley J

    2015-01-01

    Ecophysiological stress and physical disturbance are capable of structuring meadows through a combination of direct biomass removal and recruitment limitation; however, predicting these effects at landscape scales has rarely been successful. To model environmental influence on sexual recruitment in perennial Zostera marina, we selected a sub-tidal, light-replete study site with seasonal extremes in temperature and wave energy. During an 8-year observation period, areal coverage increased from 4.8 to 42.7%. Gains were stepwise in pattern, attributable to annual recruitment of patches followed by centrifugal growth and coalescence. Recruitment varied from 13 to 4,894 patches per year. Using a multiple linear regression approach, we examined the association between patch appearance and relative wave energy, atmospheric condition and water temperature. Two models were developed, one appropriate for the dispersal of naked seeds, and another for rafted flowers. Results indicated that both modes of sexual recruitment varied as functions of wind, temperature, rainfall and wave energy, with a regime shift in wind-wave energy corresponding to periods of rapid colonization within our site. Temporal correlations between sexual recruitment and time-lagged climatic summaries highlighted floral induction, seed bank and small patch development as periods of vulnerability. Given global losses in seagrass coverage, regions of recovery and re-colonization will become increasingly important. Lacking landscape-scale process models for seagrass recruitment, temporally explicit statistical approaches presented here could be used to forecast colonization trajectories and to provide managers with real-time estimates of future meadow performance; i.e., when to expect a good year in terms of seagrass expansion. To facilitate use as forecasting tools, we did not use statistical composites or normalized variables as our predictors. This study, therefore, represents a first step toward linking

  13. Sexual Recruitment in Zostera marina: Progress toward a Predictive Model

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Ecophysiological stress and physical disturbance are capable of structuring meadows through a combination of direct biomass removal and recruitment limitation; however, predicting these effects at landscape scales has rarely been successful. To model environmental influence on sexual recruitment in perennial Zostera marina, we selected a sub-tidal, light-replete study site with seasonal extremes in temperature and wave energy. During an 8-year observation period, areal coverage increased from 4.8 to 42.7%. Gains were stepwise in pattern, attributable to annual recruitment of patches followed by centrifugal growth and coalescence. Recruitment varied from 13 to 4,894 patches per year. Using a multiple linear regression approach, we examined the association between patch appearance and relative wave energy, atmospheric condition and water temperature. Two models were developed, one appropriate for the dispersal of naked seeds, and another for rafted flowers. Results indicated that both modes of sexual recruitment varied as functions of wind, temperature, rainfall and wave energy, with a regime shift in wind-wave energy corresponding to periods of rapid colonization within our site. Temporal correlations between sexual recruitment and time-lagged climatic summaries highlighted floral induction, seed bank and small patch development as periods of vulnerability. Given global losses in seagrass coverage, regions of recovery and re-colonization will become increasingly important. Lacking landscape-scale process models for seagrass recruitment, temporally explicit statistical approaches presented here could be used to forecast colonization trajectories and to provide managers with real-time estimates of future meadow performance; i.e., when to expect a good year in terms of seagrass expansion. To facilitate use as forecasting tools, we did not use statistical composites or normalized variables as our predictors. This study, therefore, represents a first step toward linking

  14. A framework for the resilience of seagrass ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Richard K F; Collier, Catherine J; Waycott, Michelle; Mckenzie, Len J; Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C

    2015-11-15

    Seagrass ecosystems represent a global marine resource that is declining across its range. To halt degradation and promote recovery over large scales, management requires a radical change in emphasis and application that seeks to enhance seagrass ecosystem resilience. In this review we examine how the resilience of seagrass ecosystems is becoming compromised by a range of local to global stressors, resulting in ecological regime shifts that undermine the long-term viability of these productive ecosystems. To examine regime shifts and the management actions that can influence this phenomenon we present a conceptual model of resilience in seagrass ecosystems. The model is founded on a series of features and modifiers that act as interacting influences upon seagrass ecosystem resilience. Improved understanding and appreciation of the factors and modifiers that govern resilience in seagrass ecosystems can be utilised to support much needed evidence based management of a vital natural resource.

  15. A framework for the resilience of seagrass ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Richard K F; Collier, Catherine J; Waycott, Michelle; Mckenzie, Len J; Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C

    2015-11-15

    Seagrass ecosystems represent a global marine resource that is declining across its range. To halt degradation and promote recovery over large scales, management requires a radical change in emphasis and application that seeks to enhance seagrass ecosystem resilience. In this review we examine how the resilience of seagrass ecosystems is becoming compromised by a range of local to global stressors, resulting in ecological regime shifts that undermine the long-term viability of these productive ecosystems. To examine regime shifts and the management actions that can influence this phenomenon we present a conceptual model of resilience in seagrass ecosystems. The model is founded on a series of features and modifiers that act as interacting influences upon seagrass ecosystem resilience. Improved understanding and appreciation of the factors and modifiers that govern resilience in seagrass ecosystems can be utilised to support much needed evidence based management of a vital natural resource. PMID:26342389

  16. Combined nutrient and macroalgae loads lead to response in seagrass indicator properties.

    PubMed

    Han, Qiuying; Soissons, Laura M; Bouma, Tjeerd J; van Katwijk, Marieke M; Liu, Dongyan

    2016-05-15

    Excess nutrients are potential factors that drive phase shifts from seagrasses to macroalgae. We carried out a manipulative field experiment to study the effects of macroalgae Ulva pertusa loading and nutrient addition to the water column on the nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) contents (i.e., fast indicators) as well as on the morphology and structure (i.e., slow indicators) of Zostera marina. Our results showed rapid impact of increased macroalgae and nutrient load on Z. marina C/N ratios. Also, macroalgae addition resulted in a trend of decreasing belowground biomass of seagrasses, and nutrient load significantly decreased above to belowground biomass ratio. Although some morphological/structural variables showed relatively fast responses, the effects of short-term disturbance by macroalgae and nutrients were less often significant than on physiological variables. Monitoring of seagrass physiological indicators may allow for early detection of eutrophication, which may initiate timely management interventions to avert seagrass loss. PMID:26975613

  17. Heavy metal spatial variation, bioaccumulation, and risk assessment of Zostera japonica habitat in the Yellow River Estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Lin, Haiying; Sun, Tao; Xue, Sufeng; Jiang, Xiangli

    2016-01-15

    Globally, seagrass habitats are decreasing due to both natural and environmental contaminations by human activities, including heavy metal pollution. To expand the global seagrass detection network, this study reports the spatial distributions of Zostera japonica seagrass habitats in the Yellow River Estuary, China. In addition, heavy metal concentrations of Z. japonica tissue, sediment, and surface seawater were analyzed to determine the bioaccumulation and consequent ecological risk to Z. japonica habitats due to the effects of heavy metals. It was found that concentrations of heavy metals were 1.00-2.03 times higher in seagrass-rooted sediment than in adjacent non-seagrass sediment, except for Mn (with a factor of 0.99). Pb and Hg concentrations in sediments exceeded background values more than the other heavy metals, by factors of 1.74 and 1.24, respectively. Metal concentrations in the surrounding seawater were 2.60-4.63 times higher at seagrass sites than at non-seagrass sites, except for Hg (factor of 0.97). Metal concentrations were much higher in seagrass tissues than in the sediment (e.g., bioconcentration factor of Cd is 30.95). Pb concentrations in water may cause the greatest adverse reactions among aquatic organisms, while As, Cr, Hg, Mn and Cu in sediments may occasionally cause negative ecological effects. Z. japonica showed higher bioaccumulation of Cd and Pb in the above-ground tissues. Among other recent studies of seagrasses from other parts of the world, Cd concentrations are similar to the results of the present study, but Pb concentration in present study is higher than in other studies. In conclusion, Pb and As in the surrounding environment present potential risks to the seagrass habitats of the Yellow River Estuary, China. PMID:26410718

  18. Heavy metal spatial variation, bioaccumulation, and risk assessment of Zostera japonica habitat in the Yellow River Estuary, China.

    PubMed

    Lin, Haiying; Sun, Tao; Xue, Sufeng; Jiang, Xiangli

    2016-01-15

    Globally, seagrass habitats are decreasing due to both natural and environmental contaminations by human activities, including heavy metal pollution. To expand the global seagrass detection network, this study reports the spatial distributions of Zostera japonica seagrass habitats in the Yellow River Estuary, China. In addition, heavy metal concentrations of Z. japonica tissue, sediment, and surface seawater were analyzed to determine the bioaccumulation and consequent ecological risk to Z. japonica habitats due to the effects of heavy metals. It was found that concentrations of heavy metals were 1.00-2.03 times higher in seagrass-rooted sediment than in adjacent non-seagrass sediment, except for Mn (with a factor of 0.99). Pb and Hg concentrations in sediments exceeded background values more than the other heavy metals, by factors of 1.74 and 1.24, respectively. Metal concentrations in the surrounding seawater were 2.60-4.63 times higher at seagrass sites than at non-seagrass sites, except for Hg (factor of 0.97). Metal concentrations were much higher in seagrass tissues than in the sediment (e.g., bioconcentration factor of Cd is 30.95). Pb concentrations in water may cause the greatest adverse reactions among aquatic organisms, while As, Cr, Hg, Mn and Cu in sediments may occasionally cause negative ecological effects. Z. japonica showed higher bioaccumulation of Cd and Pb in the above-ground tissues. Among other recent studies of seagrasses from other parts of the world, Cd concentrations are similar to the results of the present study, but Pb concentration in present study is higher than in other studies. In conclusion, Pb and As in the surrounding environment present potential risks to the seagrass habitats of the Yellow River Estuary, China.

  19. Microbial biomass and productivity in seagrass beds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moriarty, D. J.; Boon, P. I.; Hansen, J. A.; Hunt, W. G.; Poiner, I. R.; Pollard, P. C.; Skyring, G. W.; White, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Different methods for measuring the rates of processes mediated by bacteria in sediments and the rates of bacterial cell production have been compared. In addition, net production of the seagrass Zostera capricorni and bacterial production have been compared and some interrelationships with the nitrogen cycle discussed. Seagrass productivity was estimated by measuring the plastochrone interval using a leaf stapling technique. The average productivity over four seasons was 1.28 +/- 0.28 g C m-2 day-1 (mean +/- standard deviation, n = 4). Bacterial productivity was measured five times throughout a year using the rate of tritiated thymidine incorporated into DNA. Average values were 33 +/- 12 mg C m-2 day-1 for sediment and 23 +/- 4 for water column (n = 5). Spatial variability between samples was greater than seasonal variation for both seagrass productivity and bacterial productivity. On one occasion, bacterial productivity was measured using the rate of 32P incorporated into phospholipid. The values were comparable to those obtained with tritiated thymidine. The rate of sulfate reduction was 10 mmol SO4(-2) m-2 day-1. The rate of methanogenesis was low, being 5.6 mg CH4 produced m-2 day-1. A comparison of C flux measured using rates of sulfate reduction and DNA synthesis indicated that anaerobic processes were predominant in these sediments. An analysis of microbial biomass and community structure, using techniques of phospholipid analysis, showed that bacteria were predominant members of the microbial biomass and that of these, strictly anaerobic bacteria were the main components. Ammonia concentration in interstitial water varied from 23 to 71 micromoles. Estimates of the amount of ammonia required by seagrass showed that the ammonia would turn over about once per day. Rapid recycling of nitrogen by bacteria and bacterial grazers is probably important.

  20. Specificity in Mesograzer-Induced Defences in Seagrasses

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  2. 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?

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  3. Long-term evolution (1988-2008) of Zostera spp. meadows in Arcachon Bay (Bay of Biscay)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Plus; Sébastien, Dalloyau; Gilles, Trut; Isabelle, Auby; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Emery, Éric; Claire, Noël; Christophe, Viala

    2010-04-01

    The spatial variability of seagrass meadows in Arcachon Bay, was studied between 1988 and 2008 using a combination of mapping techniques based on aerial photographs for intertidal dwarf-grass ( Zostera noltii) beds and acoustic sonar for permanently submerged eelgrass ( Zostera marina) populations. The results show a severe decline over the period for both species, as well as an acceleration of the decline since 2005 for Z. noltii. The total surface regression over the studied period is estimated to be 22.8 km 2 for Z. noltii and 2.7 km 2 for Z. marina, which represent declines of 33 and 74% respectively. Environmental data time series spanning the same period were investigated in order to seek the causes for such a decline. The calculated inter-annual trends for temperature, salinity, nitrate plus nitrite, ammonia, suspended sediment and chlorophyll a did not identify any clear environmental change capable of explaining the observed seagrass regression. For instance, no evident sign of eutrophication was observed over the study period. On the other hand, we suggest that the observed variations of ammonia in the inner part of the lagoon are a symptom of the seagrasses' disappearance and thus, a first sign indicating a change of the Arcachon Bay ecosystem towards more instability and vulnerability. Several hypotheses to explain the observed seagrass decay are proposed.

  4. Using modelling to predict impacts of sea level rise and increased turbidity on seagrass distributions in estuarine embayments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Tom R.; Harasti, David; Smith, Stephen D. A.; Kelaher, Brendan P.

    2016-11-01

    Climate change induced sea level rise will affect shallow estuarine habitats, which are already under threat from multiple anthropogenic stressors. Here, we present the results of modelling to predict potential impacts of climate change associated processes on seagrass distributions. We use a novel application of relative environmental suitability (RES) modelling to examine relationships between variables of physiological importance to seagrasses (light availability, wave exposure, and current flow) and seagrass distributions within 5 estuarine embayments. Models were constructed separately for Posidonia australis and Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni using seagrass data from Port Stephens estuary, New South Wales, Australia. Subsequent testing of models used independent datasets from four other estuarine embayments (Wallis Lake, Lake Illawarra, Merimbula Lake, and Pambula Lake) distributed along 570 km of the east Australian coast. Relative environmental suitability models provided adequate predictions for seagrass distributions within Port Stephens and the other estuarine embayments, indicating that they may have broad regional application. Under the predictions of RES models, both sea level rise and increased turbidity are predicted to cause substantial seagrass losses in deeper estuarine areas, resulting in a net shoreward movement of seagrass beds. Seagrass species distribution models developed in this study provide a valuable tool to predict future shifts in estuarine seagrass distributions, allowing identification of areas for protection, monitoring and rehabilitation.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Food Web Structure in Different Environmental Settings.

    PubMed

    Thormar, Jonas; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Baden, Susanne; Boström, Christoffer; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Olesen, Birgit; Rasmussen, Jonas Ribergaard; Svensson, Carl Johan; Holmer, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    This 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 in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and narrower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutrient-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community 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-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage larger, replicated studies to further disentangle the effects of different environmental variables on seagrass food web structure. PMID:26752412

  8. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Food Web Structure in Different Environmental Settings.

    PubMed

    Thormar, Jonas; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Baden, Susanne; Boström, Christoffer; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Olesen, Birgit; Rasmussen, Jonas Ribergaard; Svensson, Carl Johan; Holmer, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    This 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 in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and narrower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutrient-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community 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-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage larger, replicated studies to further disentangle the effects of different environmental variables on seagrass food web structure.

  9. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Food Web Structure in Different Environmental Settings

    PubMed Central

    Thormar, Jonas; Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Baden, Susanne; Boström, Christoffer; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Olesen, Birgit; Rasmussen, Jonas Ribergaard; Svensson, Carl Johan; Holmer, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    This 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 in each habitat. The eutrophicated, protected site had higher biomass of filamentous algae, lower eelgrass biomass and shoot density, longer and narrower leaves, and higher above to below ground biomass ratio compared to the less nutrient-enriched and more exposed site. The faunal community 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-rich site showed a pyramidal biomass distribution of consumers coupled with a more diverse consumer community. The differences in meadow and food web structure of the two seagrass habitats, suggest how physical setting may shape ecosystem response and resilience to anthropogenic pressure. We encourage larger, replicated studies to further disentangle the effects of different environmental variables on seagrass food web structure. PMID:26752412

  10. Patterns and mechanisms of dispersal in a keystone seagrass species.

    PubMed

    Jahnke, Marlene; Christensen, Asbjørn; Micu, Dragos; Milchakova, Nataliya; Sezgin, Murat; Todorova, Valentina; Strungaru, Stefan; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2016-06-01

    Mechanisms and vectors of long-distance dispersal remain unknown for many coastal benthic species, including plants. Indications for the possibility for long-distance dispersal come from dispersal modelling and from genetic assessments, but have rarely been assessed with both methods. To this end, we assessed dispersal of the seagrass Zostera noltei, an important foundation species of the coastal zone. We investigate whether small scale seed dispersal and long-distance propagule dispersal do play a role for meta-population dynamics, using both genetic assessments based on eight microsatellite markers and physical modelling of ocean currents. Such assessments enhance our understanding of the biology and population dynamics of an important coastal foundation species. They are relevant for large scale conservation strategies as they give insights in the maintenance of genetic diversity and connectivity that may enhance resilience and resistance to stresses associated with seagrass loss. PMID:27085058

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Community structure of caprellids (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidae) on seagrasses from southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, A. R.; Guerra-García, J. M.; Maestre, M. J.; Ruiz-Tabares, A.; Espinosa, F.; Gordillo, I.; Sánchez-Moyano, J. E.; García-Gómez, J. C.

    2008-09-01

    The community structure of caprellids inhabiting two species of seagrass ( Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera marina) was investigated on the Andalusian coast, southern Spain, using uni and multivariate analyses. Three meadows were selected (Almería, AL; Málaga, MA; Cádiz, CA), and changes in seagrass cover and biomass were measured from 2004 to 2005. Four caprellid species were found; the density of Caprella acanthifera, Phtisica marina and Pseudoprotella phasma was correlated to seagrass biomass. No such correlation was found for Pariambus typicus, probably because this species inhabits sediments and does not cling to the seagrass leaves. We recorded a significant decrease in seagrass cover and biomass in MA due to illegal bottom trawling fisheries. Phtisica marina and P. typicus were favoured by this perturbation and increased their densities after the trawling activities. A survey of reports on caprellids in seagrass meadows around the world showed no clear latitudinal patterns in caprellid densities (ranging from 6 to 1,000 ind/m2 per meadow) and species diversity. While caprellid abundances in seagrass meadows are often very high, the number of species per meadow is low (range 1-5).

  13. Nitrogen Fixation Associated with Rinsed Roots and Rhizomes of the Eelgrass Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    Capone, D G; Budin, J M

    1982-12-01

    Nitrogen fixation was associated with the rinsed roots and rhizomes of the seagrass, Zostera marina L. Nitrogenase activity (acetylene reduction) was greater on rhizomes compared to roots, and on older roots and rhizomes relative to younger tissue. Compared to aerobic assays, anaerobic or microaerobic conditions enhanced the rate of acetylene reduction by rhizomes with attached roots, with the highest activity (100 nanomoles per gram dry weight per hour) occurring at pO(2) = 0.01 atmosphere. Addition of glucose, sucrose, or succinate also increased the rate of acetylene reduction under anaerobic conditions, with glucose providing the most stimulation. In one experiment, comparison of acetylene reduction assays with (15)N(2) incorporation yielded a ratio of about 2.6:1. Seagrass communities are thought to be limited by the availability of nitrogen and, therefore, nitrogenase activity directly associated with their roots and rhizomes suggests the possibility of a N(2)-fixing flora which may subsidize their nutritional demand for nitrogen.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. The movement ecology of seagrasses

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and 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. PMID:25297859

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Monitoring in the Western Pacific region shows evidence of seagrass decline in line with global trends.

    PubMed

    Short, Frederick T; Coles, Robert; Fortes, Miguel D; Victor, Steven; Salik, Maxwell; Isnain, Irwan; Andrew, Jay; Seno, Aganto

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass systems of the Western Pacific region are biodiverse habitats, providing vital services to ecosystems and humans over a vast geographic range. SeagrassNet is a worldwide monitoring program that collects data on seagrass habitats, including the ten locations across the Western Pacific reported here where change at various scales was rapidly detected. Three sites remote from human influence were stable. Seagrasses declined largely due to increased nutrient loading (4 sites) and increased sedimentation (3 sites), the two most common stressors of seagrass worldwide. Two sites experienced near-total loss from of excess sedimentation, followed by partial recovery once sedimentation was reduced. Species shifts were observed at every site with recovering sites colonized by pioneer species. Regulation of watersheds is essential if marine protected areas are to preserve seagrass meadows. Seagrasses in the Western Pacific experience stress due to human impacts despite the vastness of the ocean area and low development pressures. PMID:24746094

  20. Courage under fire: seagrass persistence adjacent to a highly urbanised city-state.

    PubMed

    Yaakub, Siti Maryam; McKenzie, Len J; Erftemeijer, Paul L A; Bouma, Tjeerd; Todd, Peter A

    2014-06-30

    Due to increasing development Southeast Asia's coastlines are undergoing massive changes, but the associated impacts on marine habitats are poorly known. Singapore, a densely populated island city-state, is a quintessential example of coastal modification that has resulted in the (hitherto undocumented) loss of seagrass. We reconstructed the historic extent and diversity of local seagrass meadows through herbarium records and backwards extrapolation from contemporary seagrass locations. We also determined the current status of seagrass meadows using long-term monitoring data and identified the main threats to their presence in Singapore. Results show that, even though ∼45% of seagrass has been lost during the last five decades, species diversity remains stable. The main cause of seagrass loss was, and continues to be, land reclamation. We conclude that strict controls on terrestrial runoff and pollution have made it possible for seagrass to persist adjacent to this highly urbanised city-state.

  1. Monitoring in the Western Pacific region shows evidence of seagrass decline in line with global trends.

    PubMed

    Short, Frederick T; Coles, Robert; Fortes, Miguel D; Victor, Steven; Salik, Maxwell; Isnain, Irwan; Andrew, Jay; Seno, Aganto

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass systems of the Western Pacific region are biodiverse habitats, providing vital services to ecosystems and humans over a vast geographic range. SeagrassNet is a worldwide monitoring program that collects data on seagrass habitats, including the ten locations across the Western Pacific reported here where change at various scales was rapidly detected. Three sites remote from human influence were stable. Seagrasses declined largely due to increased nutrient loading (4 sites) and increased sedimentation (3 sites), the two most common stressors of seagrass worldwide. Two sites experienced near-total loss from of excess sedimentation, followed by partial recovery once sedimentation was reduced. Species shifts were observed at every site with recovering sites colonized by pioneer species. Regulation of watersheds is essential if marine protected areas are to preserve seagrass meadows. Seagrasses in the Western Pacific experience stress due to human impacts despite the vastness of the ocean area and low development pressures.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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, ethnomedicine, ethnotaxa

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-23

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

  4. Seagrass colonization: Knock-on effects on zoobenthic community, populations and individual health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tu Do, V.; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Lavesque, Nicolas; Blanchet, Hugues; Guyard, Hervé

    2011-12-01

    This study provided evidence that Zostera noltii presence affects macrofauna community structure independently from median sediment grain-size and that the notion of ecosystem health is rather subjective: in the present case, we recorded "good health" in terms of seagrass development, "no impact" in terms of macrobenthic biotic indices and "negative effect" for a given key-population. The occurrence and development of a Z. noltii seagrass bed was surveyed at Banc d'Arguin, Arcachon Bay (France), to estimate the modification of the macrozoobenthic community and of the dynamics of a key-population for the local ecosystem, - the cockle Cerastoderma edule. Even though median grain-size of the sediment decreased only at the very end of the survey, i.e. when seagrass totally invaded the area, most of the macrofauna community characteristics (such as abundance and biomass) increased as soon as Z. noltii patches appeared. The structure of the macrofauna community also immediately diverged between sand and seagrass habitats, without however modifying the tested biotic indices (BENTIX, BOPA, AMBI). The health of the cockle population (growth, abundance, recruitment) was impacted by seagrass development. Related parasite communities slowly diverged between habitats, with more parasites in the cockles from seagrass areas. However, the number of parasites per cockle was always insufficient to alter cockle fitness.

  5. Persisting intertidal seagrass beds in the northern Wadden Sea since the 1930s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolch, Tobias; Buschbaum, Christian; Reise, Karsten

    2013-09-01

    In contrast to the global crisis of seagrass ecosystems, intertidal Zostera-beds in the Northfrisian Wadden Sea (coastal North Sea) have recovered recently. Present areal extent resembles that of the mid 1930s. In spite of an intermittent loss in area by about 60% in the 1970s to 1990s, beds have maintained their general spatial distribution pattern. Aerial photographs from parts of the region in 1935-37, and the total region in 1958-59 and 2005 were visually analysed, and seagrass beds were recorded and quantified with a geographic information system (GIS). Data from direct aerial mapping were added to extend the survey until 2010. From the mid 2000s to 2010, intertidal seagrass areas estimated from these records range between 84 and 142 km2 (10-16% of the intertidal area), while records from the 1970 to 90s merely range between 30 and 40 km2 (3-5%) (Reise and Kohlus, 2008). Despite variation in size, core positions of individual seagrass beds were identified and they shifted very little over the last decades. Most beds occur in the upper intertidal zone and where barrier islands offer shelter against swell from the open sea. While land claim activities since the 1930s have irreversibly eliminated at least 11 km2 of seagrass beds, we suggest that intermittent losses of seagrass area were mainly caused by sediment dynamics and a phase of elevated eutrophication.

  6. Sediment modification by seagrass beds: Muddification and sandification induced by plant cover and environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Katwijk, M. M.; Bos, A. R.; Hermus, D. C. R.; Suykerbuyk, W.

    2010-09-01

    Seagrasses are well-known ecosystem engineers. They reduce water dynamics and sediment resuspension, and trap fine sediments. However, exceptions of this paradigm have been reported. To test whether these exceptions could be related to plant cover and environmental conditions, we investigated sediment modification under influence of seagrass presence in various annual eelgrass ( Zostera marina) beds with varying plant cover and sediment composition. At the relatively wave-exposed, sandy sites, dense vegetation caused muddification (increase in fine sediments and organic content) of the sediments. Sparse vegetation (<35% cover) had no effect, as such confirming the classical sediment trapping paradigm. In contrast, at the sheltered sites with muddy sediments, dense vegetation had no effect on the sediment composition, and in sparse vegetation sandification (decrease in fine sediments and organic content) was recorded. Sandification was never recorded before and was probably related to turbulence enhancement. Both, muddification and sandification are likely to provide a feedback on seagrass performance. Muddification may increase the nutrient input and, depending on the nutrient status of the system, either stimulate or reduce seagrass development. Similarly, sandification may postpone and even prevent extinction of seagrass beds when it occurs in areas that may have become too muddy for seagrass growth.

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. The effects of the polychaete Nereis diversicolor on the distribution and transplanting success of Zostera noltii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, R. G.; Lloyd, D.; Ball, L.; Emson, D.

    2000-07-01

    Loss of saltmarsh vegetation in south-east England is a significant problem for conservation and coastal defence. The losses of vegetation began in the 1930s with the loss of intertidal Zostera marina and have continued more recently. Some preliminary trials at re-establishing Zostera in some estuaries of Essex have not been successful. This paper addresses the hypothesis that the infauna, particularly the polychaete Nereis diversicolor, may restrict natural colonisation by Zostera and reduce the success of transplanting trials. In field experiments, Z. noltii were transplanted into areas where Nereis were common, close to an established seagrass bed and into two other estuaries. The transplants protected from the effects of the polychaetes by netting had a higher survival rate, lower index of root damage and greater biomass at the end of the experiments than those that were unprotected. In laboratory experiments, Nereis reduced the survival of Z. noltii. They were observed grasping the leaves and pulling them into their burrows. These results indicate that herbivory and disturbance by N. diversicolor is responsible, at least in part, for the restriction of the distribution of Z. noltii and may have been important in limiting the success of previous transplanting experiments. A hypothesis is proposed which states that there are two stable states on the upper mud-flats. One state is dominated by plants, including Zostera spp., which prevent colonisation by burrowing infauna, and the other is dominated by infauna which prevent colonisation by plants. Managing these two states could be the key to re-establishing the early successional stages of saltmarsh development.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  10. Material exchange and food web of seagrass beds in the Sylt-Rømø Bight: how significant are community changes at the ecosystem level?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asmus, H.; Asmus, R.

    2000-07-01

    Material exchange, biodiversity and trophic transfer within the food web were investigated in two different types of intertidal seagrass beds: a sheltered, dense Zostera marina bed and a more exposed, sparse Z. noltii bed, in the Northern Wadden Sea. Both types of Zostera beds show a seasonal development of above-ground biomass, and therefore measurements were carried out during the vegetation period in summer. The exchange of particles and nutrients between seagrass beds and the overlying water was measured directly using an in situ flume. Particle sedimentation [carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) constituents] from the water column prevailed in dense seagrass beds. In the sheltered, dense seagrass bed, a net particle uptake was found even on windy days (7-8 Beaufort). Dissolved inorganic N and orthophosphate were mainly taken up by the dense seagrass bed. At times of strong winds, nutrients were released from the benthic community to tidal waters. In a budget calculation of total N and total P, the dense seagrass beds were characterised as a material sink. The seagrass beds with sparse Z. noltii were a source of particles even during calm weather. The uptake of dissolved inorganic N in the sparse seagrass bed was low but significant, while the uptake of inorganic phosphate and silicate by seagrasses and their epiphytes was exceeded by release processes from the sediment into the overlying water. Estimates at the ecosystem level showed that material fluxes of seagrass beds in the Sylt-Rømø Bight are dominated by the dense type of Zostera beds. Therefore, seagrass beds act as a sink for particles and for dissolved inorganic nutrients. During storms, seagrass beds are distinct sources for inorganic nutrients. The total intertidal area of the Sylt-Rømø Bight could be described as a sink for particles and a source for dissolved nutrients. This balance of the material budget was estimated by either including or excluding seagrass beds. Including the

  11. Faunal communities and habitat characteristics of the Big Bend seagrass meadows, 2009-2010.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seagrass meadows are important habitats that serve as nursery, feeding, and sheltering grounds for many marine species. In addition to the ecosystem functions and services they provide, seagrass habitats and associated fauna are commonly observed to have naturally high levels of...

  12. DISTRIBUTION AND QUALITY OF SEAGRASS MEADOWS IN THE PENSACOLA BAY SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract for oral presentation: Seagrass meadows have 22 ecological benefits and have an estimated value of $20,500 per acre in Florida. Seagrass meadows support a variety of marine life that includes macroalgae (148 species), epiphytes (1 13 species), macroinvertebrates (230 spe...

  13. Learning about Coastal Trends: What Is the Story with Seagrass... and How Does It Affect Me?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ksiazek, Kelly; McGlathery, Karen; Reynolds, Laura; Schwarzschild, Arthur; Wilkerson, Carissa; Carruthers, Tim; Gurbisz, Cassie; Woerner, Joanna L.; Murray, Laura

    2009-01-01

    Flowering plants that live underwater in marine and estuarine habitats (seagrasses) are important because they support human food sources, such as crabs and fish, as well as endangered animals, such as turtles and manatees. Seagrasses are now known to be declining globally, largely as a result of increasing pressure from human populations living…

  14. DYNAMICS OF A SUBTIDAL SEAGRASS LANDSCAPE: SEASONAL AND ANNUAL CHANGE IN RELATION TO WATER DEPTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The spatial heterogeneity of a subtidal marine landscape and the areal extent of both monospecific and mixed patches of seagrass species were studied in Tampa Bay, FL. Specifically, we examined the temporal dynamics of seagrass distribution and its relationship to water depth an...

  15. Predictive Seagrass Habitat Model

    EPA Science Inventory

    Restoration of ecosystem services provided by seagrass habitats in estuaries requires a firm understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We explored the application...

  16. Influence of temperature and salinity on germination of eelgrass ( Zostera marina L.) seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Jinhua; Jiang, Xin; Li, Xiaojie; Cong, Yizhou; Zhang, Zhuangzhi; Li, Zhiling; Zhou, Weili; Han, Houwei; Luo, Shiju; Yang, Guanpin

    2011-06-01

    Seagrass restoration as part of ocean ecosystem protection has been launched for many years all over the world, but intensive research on this subject in China has just begun in recent years. Seed broadcasting has been widely accepted as the most potentially useful method for seagrass restoration over large areas. We examined the influence of key environmental factors on seed germination to help promote eelgrass bed restoration. Under anoxic conditions, the influence of temperature and salinity on the germination rate of eelgrass ( Zostera marina L.) seeds was examined at different combinations of four temperatures (4, 9, 14, and 24°C) and nine salinities (5 to 45, increment of 5). The effect of significant interaction of temperature and salinity on germination rate was observed (ANOVA) ( P<0.001). The highest germination rate (83.3 ± 3.5)% was reached in 8 weeks at 14°C and salinity 5. Higher temperature significantly increased the germination rate at salinity 5 ( P<0.001) during the whole observation period except for 24°C, while lower salinity significantly increased the germination rate at 14°C ( P<0.001). Although significant interaction was found between temperature and salinity ( P<0.001), the influence of salinity was stronger than that of temperature for the germination of eelgrass seeds. These results provide useful information for the propagation of artificial seedlings for seagrass restoration in China.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Use of digital multispectral videography to assess seagrass distribution in San Quintin Bay, Baja California, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, D.H.; Tibbitts, T.L.; Morton, Alexandra; Carrera-Gonzalez, Eduardo; Kempka, R.

    2004-01-01

    Apparent threats to the spatial distribution of seagrass in San Quinti??n Bay prompted us to make a detailed assessment of habitats in the bay. Six coastal habitats and three seagrass subclasses were delineated using airborne digital multispectral videography (DMSV), Eelgrass, Zostera marina, was the predominant seagrass and covered 40% (1949 ha) of the areal extent of the bay in 1999. Eelgrass grew over a wide range of tidal depths from about -3.0 in mean lower low water (MLLW) to about 1.0 m MLLW, but greatest spatial extent occurred in intertidal areas -0.6 m to 1.0 m MLLW. Exposed-continuous (i.e., high density) eelgrass was the most abundant habitat in the bay. Widgeongrass, Ruppia maritima, was the only other seagrass present and covered 3% (136 ha) of the areal extent of the entire bay. Widgeongrass grew in single species stands in the upper intertidal (??? 0.4 MLLW) and intermixed with eelgrass at lower tidal depths. Overall accuracy of the six habitat classes and three subclasses in the DMSV map was relatively high at 84%. Our detailed map of San Quintin Bay can be used in future change detection analyses to monitor the health of seagrasses in the bay.

  19. Growth effects of shading and sedimentation in two tropical seagrass species: Implications for port management and impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Benham, Claudia F; Beavis, Sara G; Hendry, Rebecca A; Jackson, Emma L

    2016-08-15

    Seagrass meadows in many parts of the globe are threatened by a range of processes including port development, dredging and land clearing in coastal catchments, which can reduce water clarity and increase sedimentation pressure. As rates of seagrass loss increase, there is an urgent need to understand the potential impacts of development on these critical species. This research compares the effects of shading and burial by fine sand on two seagrass species Zostera muelleri and Halophila ovalis in Port Curtis Bay, an industrial harbour located on the continental margin adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Heritage Area, Australia. The research finds that shading in combination with burial causes a significant decline in growth rates in both species, but that burial ≥10mm reduces growth rates to a greater extent than shading. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for port management and impact assessment. PMID:27269385

  20. Resource utilization and trophic position of nematodes and harpacticoid copepods in and adjacent to Zostera noltii beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vafeiadou, A.-M.; Materatski, P.; Adão, H.; De Troch, M.; Moens, T.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the resource use and trophic position of nematodes and harpacticoid copepods at the genus/species level in an estuarine food web in Zostera noltii beds and in adjacent bare sediments, using the natural abundance of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Microphytobenthos is among the main resources of most taxa, but seagrass-associated resources (i.e. seagrass detritus and epiphytes) also contribute to meiobenthos nutrition, with seagrass detritus being available also in deeper sediments and in unvegetated patches close to seagrass beds. A predominant dependence on chemoautotrophic bacteria was demonstrated for the nematode genus Terschellingia and the copepod family Cletodidae. A predatory feeding mode is illustrated for Paracomesoma and other Comesomatidae, which were previously considered first-level consumers (deposit feeders) according to their buccal morphology. The considerable variation found in both resource use and trophic level among nematode genera from the same feeding type, and even among congeneric nematode species, shows that interpretation of nematode feeding ecology based purely on mouth morphology should be avoided.

  1. Local Competition and Metapopulation Processes Drive Long-Term Seagrass-Epiphyte Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Lobelle, Delphine; Kenyon, Emma J.; Cook, Kevan J.; Bull, James C.

    2013-01-01

    It is well known that ecological processes such as population regulation and natural enemy interactions potentially occur over a range of spatial scales, and there is a substantial body of literature developing theoretical understanding of the interplay between these processes. However, there are comparatively few studies quantifying the long-term effects of spatial scaling in natural ecosystems. A key challenge is that trophic complexity in real-world biological communities quickly obscures the signal from a focal process. Seagrass meadows provide an excellent opportunity in this respect: in many instances, seagrasses effectively form extensive natural monocultures, in which hypotheses about endogenous dynamics can be formulated and tested. We present amongst the longest unbroken, spatially explict time series of seagrass abundance published to date. Data include annual measures of shoot density, total above-ground abundance, and associated epiphyte cover from five Zostera marina meadows distributed around the Isles of Scilly, UK, from 1996 to 2011. We explore empirical patterns at the local and metapopulation scale using standard time series analysis and develop a simple population dynamic model, testing the hypothesis that both local and metapopulation scale feedback processes are important. We find little evidence of an interaction between scales in seagrass dynamics but that both scales contribute approximately equally to observed local epiphyte abundance. By quantifying the long-term dynamics of seagrass-epiphyte interactions we show how measures of density and extent are both important in establishing baseline information relevant to predicting responses to environmental change and developing management plans. We hope that this study complements existing mechanistic studies of physiology, genetics and productivity in seagrass, whilst highlighting the potential of seagrass as a model ecosystem. More generally, this study provides a rare opportunity to test

  2. Seasonality in vegetation biometrics and its effects on sediment characteristics and meiofauna in Baltic seagrass meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jankowska, Emilia; Włodarska-Kowalczuk, Maria; Kotwicki, Lech; Balazy, Piotr; Kuliński, Karol

    2014-02-01

    Seagrass meadows can act as ecosystem engineers, i.e., organisms that modify the availability of resources to other organisms. However, their possible positive impacts depend on the characteristics of the vegetation, and these can vary strongly seasonally. This study assesses seasonal variability in macrophyte taxonomic composition and seagrass biometrics in the temperate Baltic Sea eelgrass meadows. We hypothesize that the anticipated strong seasonality in vegetation cover induces parallel seasonal changes in seagrass engineering effects as indicated by changes in sediment characteristics and meiozoobenthic abundance, composition and diversity. Macrophytes, sediments, and fauna were sampled at two locations in the Puck Bay from vegetated bottoms and bare sands five times in one year. Zostera marina vegetation occurred throughout the year and showed strong seasonality with the highest values of shoot density, leaf length, and biomass in July (202.3 ± 30.0 95% CI shoots m-2) and the lowest in March (55.4 ± 15.0 shoots m-2). POC was significantly higher in vegetated sands, and these effects were evident throughout the study period regardless of variability in macrophyte vegetation. The density and diversity of meiofauna did not differ between the seagrass beds and bare sands even in summer months when vegetation was best developed. The lack of an effect of the seagrass meadows on the meiofauna can be explained by the relatively low shoot density and biomass of the studied seagrass meadows and/or higher macrobenthic predation on the vegetated bottom compared to bare sands. However, both the canopies of macrophytes and the effects of the vegetation on benthic systems could increase substantially over the course of the gradual, natural restoration of the seagrass meadows.

  3. Top-down control of epifauna by fishes enhances seagrass production.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Levi S; Anderson, Todd W

    2012-12-01

    Predators can influence the structure and function of ecosystems by altering the composition or behavior of herbivore communities. Overexploitation of predators, therefore, may lead to habitat loss by altering important top-down interactions that facilitate habitat-forming species. In seagrass beds, top-down control of algal growth by mesograzers appears to facilitate seagrass production. The indirect consequences of higher-order trophic interactions, however, remain unclear. Although predators may limit the beneficial effects of algal mesograzers, it is also possible that they limit the abundance of invertebrates that consume and foul seagrasses. We used experimental enclosure and exclosure cages to explore the direct and indirect effects of microcarnivorous fishes on epifaunal invertebrates, epiphytic loads, and seagrass growth in a natural eelgrass (Zostera marina) bed in San Diego Bay, California, USA. Contrary to expectations, when fishes were excluded, invertebrate abundance increased by 300-1000%, fouling on eelgrass leaves increased by 600%, and eelgrass production declined by 50%. Despite high densities of predators in enclosures, subsequent effects did not differ from ambient conditions. When predators were excluded, however, abundances of epifauna (including tube-building crustaceans and an eelgrass-grazing limpet) increased dramatically, resulting in reduced seagrass production. Our results are supported by several studies of eelgrass communities in the northeastern Pacific, characterized by coastal upwelling, inverse estuaries, and a voracious seagrass-consuming limpet. These strong, positive, indirect effects of microcarnivores on seagrass production contrast with the beneficial mesograzer paradigm, highlighting the need for hypotheses to be tested across a variety of ecosystems with varying biophysical characteristics.

  4. Wave-induced velocities inside a model seagrass bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhar, Mitul; Coutu, Sylvain; Infantes, Eduardo; Fox, Samantha; Nepf, Heidi

    2010-12-01

    Laboratory measurements reveal the flow structure within and above a model seagrass meadow (dynamically similar to Zostera marina) forced by progressive waves. Despite being driven by purely oscillatory flow, a mean current in the direction of wave propagation is generated within the meadow. This mean current is forced by a nonzero wave stress, similar to the streaming observed in wave boundary layers. The measured mean current is roughly four times that predicted by laminar boundary layer theory, with magnitudes as high as 38% of the near-bed orbital velocity. A simple theoretical model is developed to predict the magnitude of this mean current based on the energy dissipated within the meadow. Unlike unidirectional flow, which can be significantly damped within a meadow, the in-canopy orbital velocity is not significantly damped. Consistent with previous studies, the reduction of in-canopy velocity is a function of the ratio of orbital excursion and blade spacing.

  5. The role of current velocity in structuring eelgrass ( Zostera marina L.) meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, Mark S.; Zieman, Joseph C.; Thayer, Gordon W.; Fisher, John S.

    1983-10-01

    Measurements of velocity profiles, bathymetry, and surface sediment characteristics across eelgrass ( Zostera marina L.) meadows yielded information on community development processes and functional attributes of this ecosystem. Height/length ratios of the meadows were positively correlated with tidal current velocity. Low, medium, and high current regimes were separated by surface current velocities of approximately 50 and 90 cm s -1. Z. marina can tolerate approximately 120-150 cm/sec current velocities in the areas studied. Per cent silt-clay and organic matter content of the surface sediments are negatively associated with shear velocity, suggesting that meadows in high current areas are sources while meadows in low current areas are sinks of autochthonous detritus. Current velocity maintains seagrass meadows at different equilibrium levels (relative climaxes). We theorize these different equilibrium levels provide unequal habitat utilization potentials for the associated faunal community.

  6. Genetic relatedness influences plant biomass accumulation in eelgrass (Zostera marina).

    PubMed

    Stachowicz, John J; Kamel, Stephanie J; Hughes, A Randall; Grosberg, Richard K

    2013-05-01

    In multispecies assemblages, phylogenetic relatedness often predicts total community biomass. In assemblages dominated by a single species, increasing the number of genotypes increases total production, but the role of genetic relatedness is unknown. We used data from three published experiments and a field survey of eelgrass (Zostera marina), a habitat-forming marine angiosperm, to examine the strength and direction of the relationship between genetic relatedness and plant biomass. The genetic relatedness of an assemblage strongly predicted its biomass, more so than the number of genotypes. However, contrary to the pattern observed in multispecies assemblages, maximum biomass occurred in assemblages of more closely related individuals. The mechanisms underlying this pattern remain unclear; however, our data support a role for both trait differentiation and cooperation among kin. Many habitat-forming species interact intensely with conspecifics of varying relatedness; thus, genetic relatedness could influence the functioning of ecosystems dominated by such species.

  7. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Vibrio splendidus Strains, Isolated from Seagrass Sediment.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ruth D; Jospin, Guillaume; Lang, Jenna M; Eisen, Jonathan A; Coil, David A

    2016-01-01

    Here, we present the draft genome sequences of Vibrio splendidus UCD-SED7 and UCD-SED10 (phylum Proteobacteria). These strains were isolated from sediment surrounding Zostera marina roots near the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega, Bay, California). These assemblies contain 5,334,236 bp and 5,904,824 bp, respectively. PMID:26893436

  8. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Vibrio splendidus Strains, Isolated from Seagrass Sediment

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ruth D.; Jospin, Guillaume; Lang, Jenna M.; Coil, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we present the draft genome sequences of Vibrio splendidus UCD-SED7 and UCD-SED10 (phylum Proteobacteria). These strains were isolated from sediment surrounding Zostera marina roots near the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega, Bay, California). These assemblies contain 5,334,236 bp and 5,904,824 bp, respectively. PMID:26893436

  9. Quantifying the dispersal potential of seagrass vegetative fragments: A comparison of multiple subtropical species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weatherall, E. J.; Jackson, E. L.; Hendry, R. A.; Campbell, M. L.

    2016-02-01

    Seagrass meadows are threatened by anthropogenic and natural disturbances on both a local and global scale. Understanding the potential for seagrasses to disperse, connecting populations separated by unsuitable habitat is important to assess the resilience of regional populations. This study investigated the relative dispersal potential of vegetative fragments of seagrass from five subtropical species (Zostera muelleri, Halodule uninervis, Halophila ovalis, Halophila spinulosa, Halophila decipiens). Five questions were examined: 1) do vegetative fragments of different species settle at different velocities; 2) does a species morphometric variables influence settling velocities; 3) is a species settling velocity related to the species local distribution; 4) does temperature stress affect settling velocity; and 5) what is the composition and potential viability of seagrass fragments floating in the bay. A proportional distribution index for each species was determined using data from a habitat prediction model. It was found that H. spinulosa settled significantly faster than the remaining species and Z. muelleri settled the slowest. Variables influencing settling velocity included rhizome length, weight and surface area. In both Z. muelleri and H. ovalis settling velocities were significantly greater at higher temperatures (although there was no significant difference between approximately 5 and 10 °C above ambient temperature). H. uninervis was not significantly influenced by temperature. There was a significant negative correlation between species settling velocities and their distribution.

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

    PubMed

    Moreno-Marín, Francisco; Vergara, Juan J; Pérez-Llorens, J Lucas; Pedersen, Morten F; Brun, Fernando G

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication affects seagrasses negatively by increasing light attenuation through stimulation of biomass of fast-growing, bloom-forming algae and because high concentrations of ammonium in the water can be toxic to higher plants. We hypothesized nevertheless, that moderate amounts of nitrophilic macroalgae that coexists with seagrasses under eutrophic conditions, can alleviate the harmful effects of eutrophication on seagrasses by reducing ammonium concentrations in the seawater to non-toxic levels because such algae have a very large capacity to take up inorganic nutrients. We studied therefore how 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Marín, Francisco; Vergara, Juan J.; Pérez-Llorens, J. Lucas; Pedersen, Morten F.; Brun, Fernando G.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication affects seagrasses negatively by increasing light attenuation through stimulation of biomass of fast-growing, bloom-forming algae and because high concentrations of ammonium in the water can be toxic to higher plants. We hypothesized nevertheless, that moderate amounts of nitrophilic macroalgae that coexists with seagrasses under eutrophic conditions, can alleviate the harmful effects of eutrophication on seagrasses by reducing ammonium concentrations in the seawater to non-toxic levels because such algae have a very large capacity to take up inorganic nutrients. We studied therefore how 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. PMID:27035662

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

    PubMed

    Moreno-Marín, Francisco; Vergara, Juan J; Pérez-Llorens, J Lucas; Pedersen, Morten F; Brun, Fernando G

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication affects seagrasses negatively by increasing light attenuation through stimulation of biomass of fast-growing, bloom-forming algae and because high concentrations of ammonium in the water can be toxic to higher plants. We hypothesized nevertheless, that moderate amounts of nitrophilic macroalgae that coexists with seagrasses under eutrophic conditions, can alleviate the harmful effects of eutrophication on seagrasses by reducing ammonium concentrations in the seawater to non-toxic levels because such algae have a very large capacity to take up inorganic nutrients. We studied therefore how 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. PMID:27035662

  13. Comparing the performance of species distribution models of Zostera marina: Implications for conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valle, Mireia; van Katwijk, Marieke M.; de Jong, Dick J.; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Schipper, Aafke M.; Chust, Guillem; Benito, Blas M.; Garmendia, Joxe M.; Borja, Ángel

    2013-10-01

    Intertidal seagrasses show high variability in their extent and location, with local extinctions and (re-)colonizations being inherent in their population dynamics. Suitable habitats are identified usually using Species Distribution Models (SDM), based upon the overall distribution of the species; thus, accounting solely for spatial variability. To include temporal effects caused by large interannual variability, we constructed SDMs for different combinations and fusions of yearly distribution data. The main objectives were to: (i) assess the spatio-temporal dynamics of an intertidal seagrass bed of Zostera marina; (ii) select the most accurate SDM techniques to model different temporal distribution data subsets of the species; (iii) assess the relative importance of the environmental variables for each data subset; and (iv) evaluate the accuracy of the models to predict species conservation areas, addressing implications for management. To address these objectives, a time series of 14-year distribution data of Zostera marina in the Ems estuary (The Netherlands) was used to build different data subsets: (1) total presence area; (2) a conservative estimate of the total presence area, defined as the area which had been occupied during at least 4 years; (3) core area, defined as the area which had been occupied during at least 2/3 of the total period; and (4-6) three random selections of monitoring years. On average, colonized and disappeared areas of the species in the Ems estuary showed remarkably similar transition probabilities of 12.7% and 12.9%, respectively. SDMs based upon machine-learning methods (Boosted Regression Trees and Random Forest) outperformed regression-based methods. Current velocity and wave exposure were the most important variables predicting the species presence for widely distributed data. Depth and sea floor slope were relevant to predict conservative presence area and core area. It is concluded that, the fusion of the spatial distribution

  14. A comparative analysis of benthic nematode assemblages from Zostera noltii beds before and after a major vegetation collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Materatski, Patrick; Vafeiadou, Anna-Maria; Ribeiro, Rui; Moens, Tom; Adão, Helena

    2015-12-01

    Benthic nematodes are widely regarded as very suitable organisms to monitor potential ecological effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances in aquatic ecosystems. During 2008, the seagrass beds of Zostera noltii located in the Mira estuary (SW Portugal) disappeared completely. However, during 2009, slight symptoms of natural recovery were observed, a process which has since evolved intermittently. This study aims to investigate changes in patterns of nematode density, diversity, and trophic composition between two distinct habitat conditions: "before" the collapse of seagrass beds, and during the early recovery "after" the seagrass habitat loss, through the analysis of: i) temporal and spatial distribution patterns of nematode communities, and ii) the most important environmental variables influencing the nematode assemblages. The following hypotheses were tested: i) there would be differences in nematode assemblage density, biodiversity and trophic composition during both ecological conditions, "before" and "after"; and ii) there would be differences in nematode assemblage density, biodiversity and trophic composition at different sampling occasions during both ecological conditions. Nematode density and diversity were significantly different between the two ecological situations. A higher density was recorded before, but a higher diversity was evident after the collapse of Z. noltii. In spite of the disturbance caused by the seagrass habitat loss in the Mira estuary, the nematode trophic composition did not significantly differ between the before and after seagrass collapse situations. Despite the significant differences found among sampling occasions, a consistent temporal pattern was not evident. The response of nematode communities following this extreme event exhibited considerable resistance and resilience to the new environmental conditions.

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

    PubMed

    DeAmicis, Stacey; Foggo, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    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-reaching effects on

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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-reaching effects on

  17. Developing a methodology of bioindication of human-induced effects using seagrass morphological variation in Spermonde Archipelago, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Ambo-Rappe, Rohani

    2014-09-15

    Seagrass is particularly susceptible to environmental degradation. The objective of the study is to develop an effective bioindicator to assess human-induced effects using morphological variation and fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of seagrass. Samples were collected from eight islands situated at different distance from mainland with different human population density and therefore expected to experience different level of anthropogenic pressure. Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, nitrate, and phosphate were measured. Metals were also measured in tissues of seagrass. Metal concentrations in sediment, water, and seagrass did not exceed the quality standards required for marine life. Heterogeneity of FA was found among sites suggesting that there are some factors changing developmental instability of seagrass which is not associated to particular toxicants. This baseline study indicates that the water condition is still natural and shows no signs of metal contamination, therefore it does not cause a detectable stress on morphological variation and FA of seagrass.

  18. Assessing establishment success of Zostera marina transplants through measurements of shoot morphology and growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wen-Tao; Kim, Jong-Hyeob; Park, Jung-Im; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2010-07-01

    Since significant seagrass declines have been reported worldwide, numerous seagrass restoration projects through transplantation have been attempted in recent decades. In this study, Zostera marina shoots were transplanted into Jindong Bay on the southern coast of Korea in November 2006 to assess establishment success of the transplants to a new transplant environment. Shoot density, individual shoot weight, productivity, and morphological characteristics of transplants and reference plants in the vicinity of the planting site were monitored monthly for 13 months. Although shoot size of transplants was smaller than that of reference plants at the start of transplantation, individual shoot weight, leaf width, shoot height, and rhizome diameter of transplants increased rapidly, reaching even higher values than those of reference plants 5 months after transplantation. These results suggest that eelgrass transplants established morphologically 5 months after transplantation. Shoot productivity of transplants was lower than that of reference population during the first 5-6 months following transplantation, but became higher than that of reference population 6 months after transplantation. The higher transplant productivity was likely due to the lower shoot density at the transplant site than that at the reference population. Rapid changes in shoot morphology and growth of transplants indicated that eelgrass transplants had great morphological plasticity and established successfully in the new environment within 5-6 months. In addition to survival rates of transplants, monitoring of shoot morphology and growth appeared to be an effective approach for accurate assessment of the establishment success of eelgrass transplant.

  19. Population structure and genetic diversity among eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds and depths in San Francisco Bay.

    PubMed

    Ort, Brian S; Cohen, C Sarah; Boyer, Katharyn E; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy

    2012-07-01

    The seagrass Zostera marina is widely distributed in coastal regions throughout much of the northern hemisphere, forms the foundation of an important ecological habitat, and is suffering population declines. Studies in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans indicate that the degree of population genetic differentiation is location dependent. San Francisco Bay, California, USA, is a high-current, high-wind environment where rafting of seed-bearing shoots has the potential to enhance genetic connectivity among Z. marina populations. We tested Z. marina from six locations, including one annual population, within the bay to assess population differentiation and to compare levels of within-population genetic diversity. Using 7 microsatellite loci, we found significant differentiation among all populations. The annual population had significantly higher clonal diversity than the others but showed no detectible differences in heterozygosity or allelic richness. There appears to be sufficient input of genetic variation through sexual reproduction or immigration into the perennial populations to prevent significant declines in the number and frequency of alleles. In additional depth comparisons, we found differentiation among deep and shallow portions in 1 of 3 beds evaluated. Genetic drift, sweepstakes recruitment, dispersal limitation, and possibly natural selection may have combined to produce genetic differentiation over a spatial scale of 3-30 km in Z. marina. This implies that the scale of genetic differentiation may be smaller than expected for seagrasses in other locations too. We suggest that populations in close proximity may not be interchangeable for use as restoration material.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Modelling the effects of Zostera noltei meadows on sediment dynamics: application to the Arcachon lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kombiadou, Katerina; Ganthy, Florian; Verney, Romaric; Plus, Martin; Sottolichio, Aldo

    2014-10-01

    A three-dimensional model has been modified to describe the complex interactions between hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics and biological parameters in the presence of Zostera noltei. The model treats seagrass leafs as flexible blades that bend under hydrodynamic forcing and alter the local momentum and turbulence fluxes and, therefore, the benthic shear conditions; these changes cause related changes to the mass balance at the boundary of the bed, in turn affecting the suspended matter in the column and ultimately primary productivity and the growth of the dwarf-grass. Modelling parameters related to the impact of Z. noltei to the local flow and to erosion and deposition rates were calibrated using flume experimental measurements; results from the calibration of the model are presented and discussed. The coupled model is applied in the Arcachon Bay, an area with high environmental significance and large abundance of dwarf-grass meadows. In the present paper, results from preliminary applications of the model are presented and discussed; the effectiveness of the coupled model is assessed comparing modelling results with available field measurements of suspended sediment concentrations and seagrass growth parameters. The model generally reproduces sediment dynamics and dwarf-grass seasonal growth in the domain efficiently. Investigations regarding the effects of the vegetation to the near-bed hydrodynamics and to the sediment suspension in the domain show that dwarf-grass meadows play an important part to velocity attenuation and to sediment stabilisation, with flow and suspended sediment concentrations damping, compared to an unvegetated state, to reach 35-50 and 65 %, respectively, at peak seagrass growth.

  3. Impacts of Groundwater Discharge at Myora Springs (North Stradbroke Island, Australia) on the Phenolic Metabolism of Eelgrass, Zostera muelleri, and Grazing by the Juvenile Rabbitfish, Siganus fuscescens

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Thomas; Freundlich, Grace; Weilnau, Taylor; Verdi, Arielle; Tibbetts, Ian R.

    2014-01-01

    Myora Springs is one of many groundwater discharge sites on North Stradbroke Island (Queensland, Australia). Here spring waters emerge from wetland forests to join Moreton Bay, mixing with seawater over seagrass meadows dominated by eelgrass, Zostera muelleri. We sought to determine how low pH / high CO2 conditions near the spring affect these plants and their interactions with the black rabbitfish (Siganus fuscescens), a co-occurring grazer. In paired-choice feeding trials S. fuscescens preferentially consumed Z. muelleri shoots collected nearest to Myora Springs. Proximity to the spring did not significantly alter the carbon and nitrogen contents of seagrass tissues but did result in the extraordinary loss of soluble phenolics, including Folin-reactive phenolics, condensed tannins, and phenolic acids by ≥87%. Conversely, seagrass lignin contents were, in this and related experiments, unaffected or increased, suggesting a shift in secondary metabolism away from the production of soluble, but not insoluble, (poly)phenolics. We suggest that groundwater discharge sites such as Myora Springs, and other sites characterized by low pH, are likely to be popular feeding grounds for seagrass grazers seeking to reduce their exposure to soluble phenolics. PMID:25127379

  4. Impacts of groundwater discharge at Myora Springs (North Stradbroke Island, Australia) on the phenolic metabolism of eelgrass, Zostera muelleri, and grazing by the juvenile rabbitfish, Siganus fuscescens.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Thomas; Freundlich, Grace; Weilnau, Taylor; Verdi, Arielle; Tibbetts, Ian R

    2014-01-01

    Myora Springs is one of many groundwater discharge sites on North Stradbroke Island (Queensland, Australia). Here spring waters emerge from wetland forests to join Moreton Bay, mixing with seawater over seagrass meadows dominated by eelgrass, Zostera muelleri. We sought to determine how low pH/high CO2 conditions near the spring affect these plants and their interactions with the black rabbitfish (Siganus fuscescens), a co-occurring grazer. In paired-choice feeding trials S. fuscescens preferentially consumed Z. muelleri shoots collected nearest to Myora Springs. Proximity to the spring did not significantly alter the carbon and nitrogen contents of seagrass tissues but did result in the extraordinary loss of soluble phenolics, including Folin-reactive phenolics, condensed tannins, and phenolic acids by ≥87%. Conversely, seagrass lignin contents were, in this and related experiments, unaffected or increased, suggesting a shift in secondary metabolism away from the production of soluble, but not insoluble, (poly)phenolics. We suggest that groundwater discharge sites such as Myora Springs, and other sites characterized by low pH, are likely to be popular feeding grounds for seagrass grazers seeking to reduce their exposure to soluble phenolics.

  5. Mapping seagrass beds and coral reefs in the coastal region of Vietnam using VNREDSAT-1 data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, K. V.; Chen, C. F.; Nguyen, S. T.; Chen, C. R.; Tong Phuoc, H. S.; Nguyen, H. H.

    2015-12-01

    Seagrass beds and coral reefs are two important ecosystems in the coastal zone. They play an important role to protect and shelter various marine organisms. Both seagrass beds and coral reefs could prevent the coastline from erosion. While seagrass stabilizes sediments and acts as a biofilter, coral reefs can control carbon dioxide in the ocean water. Besides, seagrass also provides direct food for many fish and marine animals. Therefore, mapping seagrass beds and coral reefs is very important for coastal management and conservation. In May 2013, Vietnam launched the first satellite for earth observations, called Vietnam Natural Resources, Environment and Disaster Monitoring Satellite (VNREDSAT-1). It is a great opportunity for environmental monitoring in the country using the data from this satellite. The objective of this study is to use the VNREDSAT-1 data to map seagrass beds and coral reefs in the coastal region of Ninh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam, where the seagrass still remains in good a condition. We processed the VNREDSAT-1 image through four steps: (1) Atmospheric correction using Second Simulation of the Satellite Signal in the Solar Spectrum radiative transfer model (6S), (2) Sun glint removal by using Hedley method, (3) Water column correction using the depth-variant index (DII) proposed by Lyzenga, and (4) Image classification using the maximum likelihood algorithm. The mapping results verified with the ground reference data showed a good overall accuracy of 75% and Kappa coefficient of 0.7. The total area of seagrass beds was approximately 323.09 ha, which mainly distributed in My Hoa and Thai An villages. The total area of coral reefs was approximately 564.42 ha, located along the coast and on outer area to seagrass and shoreline reefs. This study demonstrates the applicability of VNREDSAT-1 for underwater habitat monitoring. The results could be useful for natural resources managers to devise strategies for management and

  6. Seagrasses and sediment response to the changing physical forcing in a coastal lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueiredo da Silva, J.; Duck, R. W.; Pereira, M. J.; Catarino, J. B.

    2003-04-01

    The Ria de Aveiro is an estuary - coastal lagoon system connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a channel with a cross-sectional area that has steadily increased over more than one century. Local ocean tides, with amplitudes of 1-3 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 natural channel connecting the lagoon to the ocean evolved during historical times, moving southward and reducing its cross-section. The natural evolution was reverted in 1808 by opening the new inlet channel that has since been protected by breakwaters and deepened by dredging. This controlled evolution has caused an increase in the tidal prism associated with a larger tidal oscillation inside the lagoon. The change in tidal amplitude has important effects on the lagoon ecosystem, which are related to the increase in tidal currents, water level and salinity of the water. The pollution load reaching the lagoon from its catchment area is now, however, more readily flushed to the ocean. Most affected by the change are mudflat and intertidal areas, including the old salt-pans, some showing signs of erosion while others accumulate sediment that is transported in suspension by the strong tidal currents. Important indicators of ecosystem change are the seagrass beds. Until 1980 large areas of the lagoon bed were covered by seagrasses (Zostera, Ruppia, Potamogeton), which were collected in large quantities for use in agriculture. After 1980, the collection declined and the seagrass beds became sediment-covered. This resulted in a large decrease in the area of seagrasses in spite of the decline in the quantity collected. Our results show a pattern in the change of the seagrass populations that can be related to the changes in the physical forcing associated with tidal wave propagation. A parallel change in sediment texture was also observed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. Spatial and diurnal distribution of invertebrate and fish fauna of a Zostera marina bed and nearby unvegetated sediments in Damariscotta River, Maine (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattila, Johanna; Chaplin, Glen; Eilers, Michele R.; Heck, Kenneth L.; O'Neal, Jonathan P.; Valentine, John F.

    1999-06-01

    Fish, epibenthos and macroinfauna were collected in a Zostera marina bed and nearby unvegetated sediments in the estuary of the Damariscotta River, on the mid-coast of Maine. Samples of epibenthic fauna and fish were collected at low tides both during day and night, and samples of infauna at low tides during the day. The mean density of Zostera shoots in the study area was 335 m -2. Abundance and species number of fish were greater at night than during the day and greater in eelgrass beds ( Z. marina) than in unvegetated habitats. Daytime fish collections were dominated by Atlantic silversides ( Medinia medinia), while juvenile winter flounder ( Pseudopleuronectes americanus) dominated night collections. Also Zostera-associated epifaunal abundances and number of species were significantly higher at night than during the day. Mysis stenolepis, Idotea balthica and Littorina obtusata were dominant species in the epifauna samples. Of the total of 37 invertebrate species encountered, only five occurred both in the infaunal and epifaunal samples. Nineteen different taxa were collected from the benthic core samples. The most abundant invertebrate infaunal taxa were sipunculids, the polychaete Nereis virens, and oligochaetes. Infaunal invertebrate abundances and species diversity were significantly higher in eelgrass beds than in unvegetated sediments. The abundance and number of species of benthic invertebrates were also positively correlated to seagrass biomass. Community diversity values ( H') were relatively low but fit well in the general pattern of decreasing diversity towards northern latitudes.

  11. Dependence of eelgrass (Zostera marina) light requirements on sediment organic matter in Massachusetts coastal bays: implications for remediation and restoration.

    PubMed

    Kenworthy, W J; Gallegos, C L; Costello, Charles; Field, Donald; di Carlo, Giuseppe

    2014-06-30

    Using a calibrated bio-optical model we determined that the optical water quality conditions in several nitrogen-impaired embayments and in one unimpaired system were within the range of values known to support eelgrass growth. We also used the model to identify a range of light requirements for eelgrass (Zostera marina). Higher eelgrass light requirements, expressed as a percentage of surface-incident irradiance, corresponded with higher sediment organic matter content. These results corroborated findings by previous studies which indicate a generalized relationship: seagrasses growing in turbid conditions with poorer water and sediment quality have higher light requirements than those growing in less degraded conditions. The mechanistic reason for the variation in light requirements is still not completely explained and cannot be attributed to a single independent variable. Varying light requirement have important implications for eelgrass protection and should be considered when setting restoration targets for eelgrass in water quality and nitrogen remediation programs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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‧.

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

    PubMed

    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)'.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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 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′. PMID:26616444

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

    PubMed

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

    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 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)'. PMID:26616444

  16. Negative effects of blue mussel ( Mytilus edulis) presence in eelgrass ( Zostera marina) beds in Flensborg fjord, Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinther, Hanne Fogh; Laursen, Jens Sund; Holmer, Marianne

    2008-03-01

    The effect of blue mussel ( Mytilus edulis) presence in eelgrass ( Zostera marina) beds was studied from June 2004 to July 2005 in Flensborg fjord, Denmark. The field experiments were conducted at two stations, one with only Z. marina (Eelgrass station) present and one where M. edulis were present in the Z. marina beds (Mixed station). Zostera marina parameters were measured (growth of leaves, shoot density, leaf length, and nutrient content) in combination with epiphyte cover and sediment parameters (sulphate reduction rates, sediment nutrient fluxes, organic content, C, N and P content) to examine possible positive and negative effects of the mussels on eelgrass performance. The fluxes of ammonium from the sediments were stimulated at all sampling dates at the Mixed station, and possibly stimulated epiphyte growth at this station. Further 15N signals in epiphytes from the Mixed station suggested that excretion products from the mussels were important nitrogen sources at this station. Sulphate reduction rates were enhanced at the Mixed station and also sediment sulphide concentrations increased under mussel influence, which may have resulted in sulphide toxicity and decreased growth of Z. marina at this station. The study indicates that for Z. marina beds in Flensborg Fjord the effects of M. edulis in seagrass beds are primarily negative, and raises the question whether this leads to negative effects on the stability and expansion of Z. marina beds.

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

    PubMed

    Lepoint, Gilles; Dauby, Patrick; Gobert, Sylvie

    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. PMID:15556172

  18. Seagrass biofilm communities at a naturally CO2-rich vent

    PubMed Central

    Hassenrück, Christiane; Hofmann, Laurie C; Bischof, Kai; Ramette, Alban

    2015-01-01

    Seagrass meadows are a crucial component of tropical marine reef ecosystems. Seagrass plants are colonized by a multitude of epiphytic organisms that contribute to broadening the ecological role of seagrasses. To better understand how environmental changes like ocean acidification might affect epiphytic assemblages, the microbial community composition of the epiphytic biofilm of Enhalus acroides was investigated at a natural CO2 vent in Papua New Guinea using molecular fingerprinting and next-generation sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. Both bacterial and eukaryotic epiphytes formed distinct communities at the CO2-impacted site compared with the control site. This site-related CO2 effect was also visible in the succession pattern of microbial epiphytes. We further found an increased relative sequence abundance of bacterial types associated with coral diseases at the CO2-impacted site (Fusobacteria, Thalassomonas), whereas eukaryotes such as certain crustose coralline algae commonly related to healthy reefs were less diverse. These trends in the epiphytic community of E. acroides suggest a potential role of seagrasses as vectors of coral pathogens and may support previous predictions of a decrease in reef health and prevalence of diseases under future ocean acidification scenarios. PMID:25727314

  19. Seagrass biofilm communities at a naturally CO2 -rich vent.

    PubMed

    Hassenrück, Christiane; Hofmann, Laurie C; Bischof, Kai; Ramette, Alban

    2015-06-01

    Seagrass meadows are a crucial component of tropical marine reef ecosystems. Seagrass plants are colonized by a multitude of epiphytic organisms that contribute to broadening the ecological role of seagrasses. To better understand how environmental changes like ocean acidification might affect epiphytic assemblages, the microbial community composition of the epiphytic biofilm of Enhalus acroides was investigated at a natural CO2 vent in Papua New Guinea using molecular fingerprinting and next-generation sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. Both bacterial and eukaryotic epiphytes formed distinct communities at the CO2 -impacted site compared with the control site. This site-related CO2 effect was also visible in the succession pattern of microbial epiphytes. We further found an increased relative sequence abundance of bacterial types associated with coral diseases at the CO2 -impacted site (Fusobacteria, Thalassomonas), whereas eukaryotes such as certain crustose coralline algae commonly related to healthy reefs were less diverse. These trends in the epiphytic community of E. acroides suggest a potential role of seagrasses as vectors of coral pathogens and may support previous predictions of a decrease in reef health and prevalence of diseases under future ocean acidification scenarios. PMID:25727314

  20. Seagrass biofilm communities at a naturally CO2 -rich vent.

    PubMed

    Hassenrück, Christiane; Hofmann, Laurie C; Bischof, Kai; Ramette, Alban

    2015-06-01

    Seagrass meadows are a crucial component of tropical marine reef ecosystems. Seagrass plants are colonized by a multitude of epiphytic organisms that contribute to broadening the ecological role of seagrasses. To better understand how environmental changes like ocean acidification might affect epiphytic assemblages, the microbial community composition of the epiphytic biofilm of Enhalus acroides was investigated at a natural CO2 vent in Papua New Guinea using molecular fingerprinting and next-generation sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. Both bacterial and eukaryotic epiphytes formed distinct communities at the CO2 -impacted site compared with the control site. This site-related CO2 effect was also visible in the succession pattern of microbial epiphytes. We further found an increased relative sequence abundance of bacterial types associated with coral diseases at the CO2 -impacted site (Fusobacteria, Thalassomonas), whereas eukaryotes such as certain crustose coralline algae commonly related to healthy reefs were less diverse. These trends in the epiphytic community of E. acroides suggest a potential role of seagrasses as vectors of coral pathogens and may support previous predictions of a decrease in reef health and prevalence of diseases under future ocean acidification scenarios.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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 (< 30 cm s- 1) but converged rapidly among the two shoot arrangements at higher velocities. Shoots arranged in 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

  2. Site-specific success of three transplanting methods and the effect of planting time on the establishment of Zostera marina transplants.

    PubMed

    Park, Jung-Im; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2007-08-01

    Eelgrass, Zostera marina, is the most abundant seagrass species on the coast of Korea, but most large eelgrass meadows have disappeared since the 1970s due to human-induced disturbance. To restore disturbed seagrass habitats in die-off areas, seagrass transplanting has been attempted using various methods. Here, we assessed the feasibility and efficiency of seagrass transplanting methods depending on the sediment type at the planting site. Additionally, the effect of planting time on the establishment of transplant was examined to determine the optimal season for planting. We conducted an eelgrass transplanting experiment from fall 2003 to summer 2004 at three sites with different sediment types using three planting techniques. The staple method resulted in the highest transplant survival rate (77.1-93.8%) at all three sites, but was labor intensive. Transplanting Eelgrass Remotely with Frame Systems (TERFS) method also resulted in relatively a high survival rate (58.7-69.0%) at all sites. The shell method is a newer eelgrass transplanting method in which oyster shells are used as an anchoring device, and does not require SCUBA diving for subtidal transplanting. The shell method resulted in high survival rates in muddy (81.3%) and silty sediments (76.5%), but remarkably low survival rate in sandy sediments (5.0%). The TERFS, and shell methods reduced underwater labor; thus, these methods is suitable for large-scale seagrass restoration. Eelgrass transplants planted in summer had exhibited significant mortality due to high summer water temperatures. Although transplants planted in fall to spring had relatively high survival rates, transplanting and collection of vegetative shoots are difficult in winter and spring. Therefore, fall was suggested as the most effective transplanting season off the coast of Korea.

  3. Growth dynamics of eelgrass, Zostera marina, in the intertidal zone of Seomjin Estuary, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jeong Bae; Lee, Won-Chan; Lee, Kun-Seop; Park, Jung-Im

    2013-09-01

    To examine the growth dynamics of eelgrass, Zostera marina, in the intertidal zone of Seomjin Estuary, Korea, we surveyed environmental factors such as water temperature, underwater irradiance, tidal exposure, and nutrient concentrations in the water column and sediment pore water in relation to the shoot density, biomass, morphological characteristics, and growth of Z. marina inhabiting the upper and lower intertidal zones. The survey was conducted monthly from January 2003 to December 2004. The water temperature of the two areas displayed seasonal fluctuations. Underwater irradiance was significantly higher in the upper intertidal zone than in the lower intertidal zone. Tidal exposure was also markedly longer in the upper intertidal zone than in the lower intertidal zone, whereas tidal exposure was highest in the spring and lowest in the summer in both areas. Water column NH4 + and sediment pore water NO3 -+NO2 - concentrations were significantly higher in the upper intertidal zone than the lower intertidal zone. The eelgrass shoot density, biomass, morphology, and leaf productivity were significantly higher in the lower intertidal zone than in the upper intertidal zone. Both areas displayed a clear seasonal variation depending on changes in water temperature. However, leaf turnover time was significantly shorter in the upper intertidal zone than in the lower intertidal zone, with a higher turnover rate in the upper intertidal zone. Compared to the seagrasses in the lower intertidal zone, those in the upper intertidal zone showed more effective adaptations to the stress of long tidal exposure through downsizing and increased turnover time. These results suggest that tidal exposure, coupled with desiccation stress, can be a limiting factor for seagrass growth in the intertidal zone, along with underwater irradiance, water temperature, and nutrient availability.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  5. Toxicity of reduced nitrogen in eelgrass (Zostera marina) is highly dependent on shoot density and pH.

    PubMed

    van der Heide, T; Smolders, A J P; Rijkens, B G A; van Nes, E H; van Katwijk, M M; Roelofs, J G M

    2008-12-01

    In sheltered, eutrophicated estuaries, reduced nitrogen (NHx), and pH levels in the water layer can be greatly enhanced. In laboratory experiments, we studied the interactive effects of NHx, pH, and shoot density on the physiology and survival of eelgrass (Zostera marina). We tested long-term tolerance to NHx at pH 8 in a 5-week experiment. Short-term tolerance was tested for two shoot densities at both pH 8 and 9 in a 5-day experiment. At pH 8, eelgrass accumulated nitrogen as free amino acids when exposed to high loads of NHx, but showed no signs of necrosis. Low shoot density treatments became necrotic within days when exposed to NHx at pH 9. Increased NH3 intrusion and carbon limitation seemed to be the cause of this, as intracellular NHx could no longer be assimilated. Remarkably, experiments with high shoot densities at pH 9 showed hardly any necrosis, as the plants seemed to be able to alleviate the toxic effects of high NHx loads through joint NHx uptake. Our results suggest that NHx toxicity can be important in worldwide observed seagrass mass mortalities. We argue that the mitigating effect of high seagrass biomass on NHx toxicity is a positive feedback mechanism, potentially leading to alternative stable states in field conditions.

  6. Resource utilization and trophic position of nematodes and harpacticoid copepods in and adjacent to Zostera noltii beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vafeiadou, A.-M.; Materatski, P.; Adão, H.; De Troch, M.; Moens, T.

    2014-07-01

    This study examines the resource use and trophic position of nematodes and harpacticoid copepods at the genus/species level in an estuarine food web in Zostera noltii beds and in adjacent bare sediments using the natural abundance of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Microphytobenthos and/or epiphytes are among the main resources of most taxa, but seagrass detritus and sediment particulate organic matter contribute as well to meiobenthos nutrition, which are also available in deeper sediment layers and in unvegetated patches close to seagrass beds. A predominant dependence on chemoautotrophic bacteria was demonstrated for the nematode genus Terschellingia and the copepod family Cletodidae. A predatory feeding mode is illustrated for Paracomesoma and other Comesomatidae, which were previously considered first-level consumers (deposit feeders) according to their buccal morphology. The considerable variation found in both resource use and trophic level among nematode genera from the same feeding type, and even among congeneric nematode species, shows that the interpretation of nematode feeding ecology based purely on mouth morphology should be avoided.

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

    PubMed

    Collier, Catherine J; Villacorta-Rath, Cecilia; van Dijk, Kor-jent; Takahashi, Miwa; Waycott, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    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.

  8. Seagrass Proliferation Precedes Mortality during Hypo-Salinity Events: A Stress-Induced Morphometric Response

    PubMed Central

    Collier, Catherine J.; Villacorta-Rath, Cecilia; van Dijk, Kor-jent; Takahashi, Miwa; Waycott, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24705377

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

    PubMed

    Collier, Catherine J; Villacorta-Rath, Cecilia; van Dijk, Kor-jent; Takahashi, Miwa; Waycott, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24705377

  10. Drought, Mutualism Breakdown, and Landscape-Scale Degradation of Seagrass Beds.

    PubMed

    de Fouw, Jimmy; Govers, Laura L; van de Koppel, Johan; van Belzen, Jim; Dorigo, Wouter; Sidi Cheikh, Mohammed A; Christianen, Marjolijn J A; van der Reijden, Karin J; van der Geest, Matthijs; Piersma, Theunis; Smolders, Alfons J P; Olff, Han; Lamers, Leon P M; van Gils, Jan A; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-04-25

    In many marine ecosystems, biodiversity critically depends on foundation species such as corals and seagrasses that engage in mutualistic interactions [1-3]. Concerns grow that environmental disruption of marine mutualisms exacerbates ecosystem degradation, with breakdown of the obligate coral mutualism ("coral bleaching") being an iconic example [2, 4, 5]. However, as these mutualisms are mostly facultative rather than obligate, it remains unclear whether mutualism breakdown is a common risk in marine ecosystems, and thus a potential accelerator of ecosystem degradation. Here, we provide evidence that drought triggered landscape-scale seagrass degradation and show the consequent failure of a facultative mutualistic feedback between seagrass and sulfide-consuming lucinid bivalves that in turn appeared to exacerbate the observed collapse. Local climate and remote sensing analyses revealed seagrass collapse after a summer with intense low-tide drought stress. Potential analysis-a novel approach to detect feedback-mediated state shifts-revealed two attractors (healthy and degraded states) during the collapse, suggesting that the drought disrupted internal feedbacks to cause abrupt, patch-wise degradation. Field measurements comparing degraded patches that were healthy before the collapse with patches that remained healthy demonstrated that bivalves declined dramatically in degrading patches with associated high sediment sulfide concentrations, confirming the breakdown of the mutualistic seagrass-lucinid feedback. Our findings indicate that drought triggered mutualism breakdown, resulting in toxic sulfide concentrations that aggravated seagrass degradation. We conclude that external disturbances can cause sudden breakdown of facultative marine mutualistic feedbacks. As this may amplify ecosystem degradation, we suggest including mutualisms in marine conservation and restoration approaches. PMID:26972316

  11. Drought, Mutualism Breakdown, and Landscape-Scale Degradation of Seagrass Beds.

    PubMed

    de Fouw, Jimmy; Govers, Laura L; van de Koppel, Johan; van Belzen, Jim; Dorigo, Wouter; Sidi Cheikh, Mohammed A; Christianen, Marjolijn J A; van der Reijden, Karin J; van der Geest, Matthijs; Piersma, Theunis; Smolders, Alfons J P; Olff, Han; Lamers, Leon P M; van Gils, Jan A; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-04-25

    In many marine ecosystems, biodiversity critically depends on foundation species such as corals and seagrasses that engage in mutualistic interactions [1-3]. Concerns grow that environmental disruption of marine mutualisms exacerbates ecosystem degradation, with breakdown of the obligate coral mutualism ("coral bleaching") being an iconic example [2, 4, 5]. However, as these mutualisms are mostly facultative rather than obligate, it remains unclear whether mutualism breakdown is a common risk in marine ecosystems, and thus a potential accelerator of ecosystem degradation. Here, we provide evidence that drought triggered landscape-scale seagrass degradation and show the consequent failure of a facultative mutualistic feedback between seagrass and sulfide-consuming lucinid bivalves that in turn appeared to exacerbate the observed collapse. Local climate and remote sensing analyses revealed seagrass collapse after a summer with intense low-tide drought stress. Potential analysis-a novel approach to detect feedback-mediated state shifts-revealed two attractors (healthy and degraded states) during the collapse, suggesting that the drought disrupted internal feedbacks to cause abrupt, patch-wise degradation. Field measurements comparing degraded patches that were healthy before the collapse with patches that remained healthy demonstrated that bivalves declined dramatically in degrading patches with associated high sediment sulfide concentrations, confirming the breakdown of the mutualistic seagrass-lucinid feedback. Our findings indicate that drought triggered mutualism breakdown, resulting in toxic sulfide concentrations that aggravated seagrass degradation. We conclude that external disturbances can cause sudden breakdown of facultative marine mutualistic feedbacks. As this may amplify ecosystem degradation, we suggest including mutualisms in marine conservation and restoration approaches.

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

    PubMed

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Marion, Scott R; Lombana, Alfonso V; Orth, Robert J

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Marion, Scott R; Lombana, Alfonso V; Orth, Robert J

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27244652

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

    PubMed Central

    Marion, Scott R.; Lombana, Alfonso V.; Orth, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27244652

  15. DIGITAL IMAGE ANALYSIS OF ZOSTERA MARINA LEAF INJURY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current methods for assessing leaf injury in Zostera marina (eelgrass) utilize subjective indexes for desiccation injury and wasting disease. Because of the subjective nature of these measures, they are inherently imprecise making them difficult to use in quantifying complex leaf...

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  17. Sustainable Management of Seagrass Meadows: the GEOSS AIP-6 Pilot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoro, Mattia; Pastres, Roberto; Zucchetta, Matteo; Venier, Chiara; Roncella, Roberto; Bigagli, Lorenzo; Mangin, Antoine; Amine Taji, Mohamed; Gonzalo Malvarez, Gonzalo; Nativi, Stefano

    2014-05-01

    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. To estimate seagrass meadows distribution, a Species Distribution Model (SDM) can be used. SDM is a tool that is used to evaluate the potential distribution of a given species (e.g. Posidonia oceanica for seagrass) on the basis of the features (bio-chemical-physical parameters) of the studied environment. In the framework of the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) initiative, the FP7 project MEDINA developed a showcase as part of the GEOSS Architecture Interoperability Pilot - phase 6 (AIP-6). The showcase aims at providing a tool for the sustainable management of seagrass meadows along the Mediterranean coastline by integrating the SDM with available GEOSS resources. This way, the required input data can be searched, accessed and ingested into the model leveraging the brokering framework of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI). This framework is comprised of a set of middle-ware components (Brokers) that are in charge of implementing the needed interoperability

  18. Water quality in the Great Barrier Reef region: responses of mangrove, seagrass and macroalgal communities.

    PubMed

    Schaffelke, Britta; Mellors, Jane; Duke, Norman C

    2005-01-01

    Marine plants colonise several interconnected ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef region including tidal wetlands, seagrass meadows and coral reefs. Water quality in some coastal areas is declining from human activities. Losses of mangrove and other tidal wetland communities are mostly the result of reclamation for coastal development of estuaries, e.g. for residential use, port infrastructure or marina development, and result in river bank destabilisation, deterioration of water clarity and loss of key coastal marine habitat. Coastal seagrass meadows are characterized by small ephemeral species. They are disturbed by increased turbidity after extreme flood events, but generally recover. There is no evidence of an overall seagrass decline or expansion. High nutrient and substrate availability and low grazing pressure on nearshore reefs have lead to changed benthic communities with high macroalgal abundance. Conservation and management of GBR macrophytes and their ecosystems is hampered by scarce ecological knowledge across macrophyte community types. PMID:15757728

  19. Genetic structure of eelgrass Zostera marina meadows in an embayment with restricted water flow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munoz-Salazar, R.; Talbot, S.L.; Sage, G.K.; Ward, D.H.; Cabello-Pasini, Alejandro

    2006-01-01

    Genetic structure of the seagrass Zostera marina in a coastal lagoon with restricted water flow, and with heterogeneous water residence times and oceanographic characteristics, was assessed using 8 polymorphic microsatellite loci. Analyses of genetic differentiation (??) and Bayesian clustering suggested that the Z. marina population in San Quintin Bay (SQB) is genetically substructured, with at least 4 genetically different groups: (1) West Head, (2) Mouth, (3) East Arm, and (4) East Head. The greatest ?? value was observed between the most distant sites (?? = 0.095). The lowest values were found among sites closest to the mouth of the coastal lagoon (?? = 0.000 to 0.009). The maximum likelihood approach showed that the sites at the mouth have a mixed pattern of gene flow without a unidirectional pattern. In contrast, there was a clear pattern of asymmetrical gene flow from the mouth towards the West Head. These results suggested that the restriction of water flow at the heads, current pattern, and the distance between sites can reduce genetic flow and promote genetic differences within Z. marina meadows in small water embayments such as SQB. Though the population is genetically substructured and a 14 % decline in cover has been detected, this study did not show evidence of a recent genetic bottleneck. In contrast, mouth sites have experienced a recent expansion in their population size, and also perhaps a recent influx of rare alleles from genetically distinct immigrants. ?? Inter-Research 2006.

  20. Physiological Responses of Zostera marina and Cymodocea nodosa to Light-Limitation Stress

    PubMed Central

    Silva, João; Barrote, Isabel; Costa, Monya M.; Albano, Sílvia; Santos, Rui

    2013-01-01

    The effects of light-limitation stress were investigated in natural stands of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Cymodocea nodosa in Ria Formosa coastal lagoon, southern Portugal. Three levels of light attenuation were imposed for 3 weeks in two adjacent meadows (2–3 m depth), each dominated by one species. The response of photosynthesis to light was determined with oxygen electrodes. Chlorophylls and carotenoids were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Soluble protein, carbohydrates, malondialdehyde and phenol contents were also analysed. Both species showed evident signs of photoacclimation. Their maximum photosynthetic rates were significantly reduced with shading. Ratios between specific light harvesting carotenoids and the epoxidation state of xanthophyll cycle carotenoids revealed significantly higher light harvesting efficiency of C. nodosa, a competitive advantage in a low light environment. The contents of both soluble sugars and starch were considerably lower in Z. marina plants, particularly in the rhizomes, decreasing even further with shading. The different carbohydrate energy storage strategies found between the two species clearly favour C. nodosa's resilience to light deprivation, a condition enhanced by its intrinsic arrangement of the pigment pool. On the other hand, Z. marina revealed a lower tolerance to light reduction, mostly due to a less plastic arrangement of the pigment pool and lower carbohydrate storage. Our findings indicate that Z. marina is close to a light-mediated ecophysiological threshold in Ria Formosa. PMID:24312260

  1. Temporal and spatial dynamics of ephemeral drift-algae in eelgrass, Zostera marina, beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Jonas Ribergaard; Pedersen, Morten Foldager; Olesen, Birgit; Nielsen, Søren Laurentius; Pedersen, Troels Møller

    2013-03-01

    Aggregations of unattached, filamentous macroalgae showed high temporal and spatial dynamics in two shallow and relatively sheltered eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds in Aarhus Bay and the Isefjord, Denmark. The changes in algal abundance were followed in permanent plots at 1-3 days intervals during three different periods of the growth season (May-September). Drift-algal assemblages were present within the 3000 m2 study areas in relatively high and constant abundance (>47% cover) throughout the study period. However, significant changes in average site cover did occur on short timescales (days) suggesting that variability in algal cover may be undetected in monthly assessments. The changes in cover were caused either by algal growth or by physical forces moving large aggregations of algae into or out of the study area. Within plots (1 m2) variability was even higher and algal cover changed regularly between observations (days). Hence, the algae were continuously rearranged within the eelgrass beds; also during periods with no change in average algal cover. The variability in cover of individual plots was negatively correlated to eelgrass cover, suggesting that algae were retained by the eelgrass leaves. This highly dynamic nature of filamentous macroalgal aggregations in eelgrass beds should be considered when evaluating implications of macroalgal blooms for seagrass growth and survival. A frequent relocation of drift-algae at small spatial scale may moderate the formation of poor oxygen conditions within mats and shorten the duration of exposure experienced by individual shoots.

  2. Conversion of Eelgrass into effective building insulation. [Eelgrass-Zostera marina

    SciTech Connect

    Rue, M.L.

    1984-03-23

    To test the suitability of accelerated solar drying of Zostera marina (Eelgrass), a solar heated drying chamber was constructed. Initially, a small pilot unit was assembled to verify the concept. Temperatures well over 200/sup 0/F were achieved with this unit, so a larger version of approximately 50 square feet of solar surface was constructed. The principal used in the construction was as noted on the following description, however, a stationary unit, not floating, was used for the drying tests. It was found that eelgrass could be dried to a form suitable for use in approximately 4 to 6 hours. During that time, the water content of the leaves was reduced from 4 to 5 times their dry weight to equilibrium moisture level. This compares wtih a reported 3 to 4 weeks drying time required of open air sun drying used in the early part of this century. See following chart for a typical drying run. The major problem encountered during the drying cycle was that the eelgrass on the top surface, as it dried, formed an insulating blanket over the grass below. It became necessary to periodically turn over the material for more uniform drying. A slowly rotating drying chamber would resolve this problem on future designs. The paper contains further information on various seagrasses.

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

    PubMed

    Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. Influence of Neighboring Plants on Shading Stress Resistance and Recovery of Eelgrass, Zostera marina L

    PubMed Central

    Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23717532

  5. Decreasing seagrass density negatively influences associated fauna

    PubMed Central

    McCloskey, Rosemary M.

    2015-01-01

    Seagrass meadows globally are disappearing at a rapid rate with physical disturbances being one of the major drivers of this habitat loss. Disturbance of seagrass can lead to fragmentation, a reduction in shoot density, canopy height and coverage, and potentially permanent loss of habitat. Despite being such a widespread issue, knowledge of how such small scale change affects the spatial distribution and abundances of motile fauna remains limited. The present study investigated fish and macro faunal community response patterns to a range of habitat variables (shoot length, cover and density), including individual species habitat preferences within a disturbed and patchy intertidal seagrass meadow. Multivariate analysis showed a measurable effect of variable seagrass cover on the abundance and distribution of the fauna, with species specific preferences to both high and low seagrass cover seagrass. The faunal community composition varied significantly with increasing/decreasing cover. The faunal species composition of low cover seagrass was more similar to sandy control plots than to higher cover seagrass. Shannon Wiener Diversity (H′) and species richness was significantly higher in high cover seagrass than in low cover seagrass, indicating increasing habitat value as density increases. The results of this study underline how the impacts of small scale disturbances from factors such as anchor damage, boat moorings and intertidal vehicle use on seagrass meadows that reduce shoot density and cover can impact upon associated fauna. These impacts have negative consequences for the delivery of ecosystem services such as the provision of nursery habitat. PMID:26137432

  6. Decreasing seagrass density negatively influences associated fauna.

    PubMed

    McCloskey, Rosemary M; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Long-term Changes of a Brackish-water Eelgrass ( Zostera marina L.) Community Indicate Effects of Coastal Eutrophication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boström, C.; Bonsdorff, E.; Kangas, P.; Norkko, A.

    2002-11-01

    The distribution and importance of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) meadows for associated faunal communities in the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea are still poorly known. In these low-saline (5-7), shallow coastal areasZ. marina grows at its limit of distribution, forming mostly patchy meadows. In June 1993, a seagrass locality (Tvärminne, SW Finland) thoroughly studied in 1968-71 was revisited in order to detect possible long-term changes in both vegetation structure (distribution, density, biomass) and benthic fauna (species composition, abundance, biomass, distribution and diversity patterns). The same sampling design as in the 1970s was used in both sparse (<20 shoots m-2) and dense (>150 shoots m-2) Z. marina. In addition, the feeding-efficiency of adult flounder (Platichtys flesus L.) on infauna was measured by counting feeding pits in vegetated and bare sand. The analysis shows that the shoot density had increased in sparse Z. marina, while dense Z. marina patches showed similar biomass values (20 g AFDW m-2) as in the 1970s. In contrast to the vegetation, where little apparent change could be recorded, the total abundance and biomass of zoobenthos has increased significantly between 1968-71 and 1993 in the dense Z. marina patches. These changes are mainly attributed to significant increases of the bivalve Macoma balthica L., mudsnails Hydrobia spp. and oligochaetes. In sparseZ. marina diversity in terms of number of taxa exhibited minor changes over time, whereas in dense Z. marina patches the mean number of taxa has increased from 16 to 20. The vegetation cover was sufficient to reduce significantly the predation effects of flounder on seagrass infauna. This study represents a rare example of long-term persistence of seagrass communities in an area where the negative effects of nutrient enrichment are evident. The faunal changes in the Z. marina community indicate increased food availability, which is associated with positive effects of coastal

  8. Brevetoxin persistence in sediments and seagrass epiphytes of east Florida coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Hitchcock, Gary L; Fourqurean, James W; Drake, Jeana L; Mead, Ralph N; Heil, Cynthia A

    2012-01-01

    A bloom of Karenia brevis Davis developed in September 2007 near Jacksonville, Florida and subsequently progressed south through east Florida coastal waters and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Maximum cell abundances exceeded 10(6) cells L(-1) through October in the northern ICW between Jacksonville and the Indian River Lagoon. The bloom progressed further south during November, and terminated in December 2007 at densities of 10(4) cells L(-1) in the ICW south of Jupiter Inlet, Florida. Brevetoxins were subsequently sampled in sediments and seagrass epiphytes in July and August 2008 in the ICW. Sediment brevetoxins occurred at concentrations of 11-15 ng PbTx-3 equivalents (g dry wt sediment)(-1) in three of five basins in the northern ICW during summer 2008. Seagrass beds occur south of the Mosquito Lagoon in the ICW. Brevetoxins were detected in six of the nine seagrass beds sampled between the Mosquito Lagoon and Jupiter Inlet at concentrations of 6-18 ng (g dry wt epiphytes)(-1). The highest brevetoxins concentrations were found in sediments near Patrick Air Force Base at 89 ng (g dry wt sediment)(-1). In general, brevetoxins occurred in either seagrass epiphytes or sediments. Blades of the resident seagrass species have a maximum life span of less than six months, so it is postulated that brevetoxins could be transferred between epibenthic communities of individual blades in seagrass beds. The occurrence of brevetoxins in east Florida coast sediments and seagrass epiphytes up to eight months after bloom termination supports observations from the Florida west coast that brevetoxins can persist in marine ecosystems in the absence of sustained blooms. Furthermore, our observations show that brevetoxins can persist in sediments where seagrass communities are absent.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

    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 Ωarag 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

    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 effects of CO2 enrichment and its interaction with 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 effect of elevated CO2 levels was mediated by epiphyte proliferation (mostly the cyanobacterium Microcoleus spp.), but not through changes in plant biochemistry or population-level traits. In the low-nutrient meadow, epiphyte proliferation suppressed the CO2 benefits on Z. noltii leaf production and led to increased detritus and decreased organic matter in sediment. Faster and stronger responses to nutrients than to CO2 were observed. Nutrient addition enhanced the nutritional quality of Z. noltii (high N, low C : N and phenolics) and the loss of leaves and shoots, while promoted the proliferation of pennate diatoms and purple bacteria. These changes led to a reduced sediment organic matter, but had no significant effects on herbivory nor on community metabolism. Interestingly, the interaction with CO2 attenuated eutrophication effects. In the high-nutrient meadow, a striking shoot decline caused by amphipod overgrazing was observed, with no response to CO2 and nutrient additions. Our results reveal that under future scenarios of CO2, the responses of seagrass ecosystems will be complex, being mediated by epiphyte proliferation rather than by effects on plant biochemistry. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Fatty acid profiles indicate the habitat of mud snails Hydrobia ulvae within the same estuary: Mudflats vs. seagrass meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coelho, Helena; Lopes da Silva, Teresa; Reis, Alberto; Queiroga, Henrique; Serôdio, João; Calado, Ricardo

    2011-03-01

    Mud snails Hydrobia ulvae occupy different habitats in complex estuarine ecosystems. In order to determine if fatty acid profiles displayed by mud snails can be used to identify the habitat that they occupy within the same estuary, fatty acids of H. ulvae from one mudflat and one seagrass meadow in the Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) were analyzed and compared to those displayed by microphytobenthos (MPB), the green leaves (epiphyte-free) of Zostera noltii, as well as those exhibited by the epiphytic community colonizing this seagrass. MPB and epiphytic diatom-dominated samples displayed characteristic fatty acids, such as 16:1 n-7 and 20:5 n-3, while 18:2 n-6 and 18:3 n-3 were the dominant fatty acids in the green leaves of Z. noltii. Significant differences between the fatty acid profiles of H. ulvae specimens sampled in the mudflat and the seagrass meadow could be identified, with those from the mudflat displaying higher levels of fatty acids known to be characteristic of MPB. This result points towards the well known existence of grazing activity on MPB by mud snails. The fatty acid profiles displayed by H. ulvae inhabiting the seagrass meadows show no evidence of direct bioaccumulation of the two most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids of Z. noltii (18:2 n-6 and 18:3 n-3) in the mud snails, which probably indicates that either these compounds can be metabolized to produce energy, used as precursors for the synthesis of essential fatty acids, or that the snails do not consume seagrass leaves at all. Moreover, the fatty acid profiles of mud snails inhabiting the seagrass meadows revealed the existence of substantial inputs from microalgae, suggesting that the epiphytic community colonizing the leaves of Z. noltii displays an important role on the diet of these organisms. This assumption is supported by the high levels of 20:5 n-3 and 22:6 n-3 recorded in mud snails sampled from seagrass meadows. In conclusion, fatty acid analyses of H. ulvae can be successfully used

  13. Landscape ecology of interactions between seagrass and mobile epifauna: The matrix matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, Jason E.

    2006-07-01

    There is increasing interest among ecologists about how the type of matrix surrounding a habitat patch influences the organisms living in that patch. This question is virtually unstudied in marine systems. In this paper I show that the mobile faunal assemblage in seagrass patches does depend on the surrounding matrix. Faunal assemblages in patches of Posidonia surrounded by sand are different than in those surrounded by Heterozostera, another seagrass, having more than double the abundance of both amphipods and polychaetes. However, the differences are not simply due to spillover from the matrix habitat, but rather are an emergent property of the patch context that cannot be predicted. Posidonia surrounded by sand actually has an assemblage that is intermediate between Heterozostera and Posidonia surrounded by Heterozostera. Differences in habitat structure do not account for this pattern, as seagrass biomass did not vary, and the same result was found in artificial seagrass. The faunal assemblage did not vary depending on the location within the patch (edge or centre) for Heterozostera, Posidonia or artificial seagrass. Patch size, however, did have an effect for Heterozostera, with smaller patches having 2-3 times as many isopods per sample as large, but less than half the number of some amphipod families. These results suggest that the landscape context is as important in marine systems as it is known to be in terrestrial systems.

  14. INTRACELLULAR COLONIZATION OF SEAGRASS ROOTS BY ACETOGENIC AND SULFIDOGENIC BACTERIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The contribution of seagrasses to the stability and fertility of estuarine ecosystems is well established. Loss of seagrasses in recent years to disease and coastal development underscores the importance of understanding the microbial ecology of seagrasses, and the possible roles...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.05) were recorded at bottom covered by the seagrass meadows in both localities and in both sampling months. The relationships between bacteria characteristics and environmental factors (grain size, organic matter, photopigments in sediments), meiofauna and macrofauna densities, as well as macrophyte vegetation characteristics (shoot density, phytobenthos biomass) were tested using 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. PMID:26178839

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.05) were recorded at bottom covered by the seagrass meadows in both localities and in both sampling months. The relationships between bacteria characteristics and environmental factors (grain size, organic matter, photopigments in sediments), meiofauna and macrofauna densities, as well as macrophyte vegetation characteristics (shoot density, phytobenthos biomass) were tested using 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.

  18. Level of contamination by metallic trace elements and organic molecules in the seagrass beds of Guadeloupe Island.

    PubMed

    Bouchon, Claude; Lemoine, Soazig; Dromard, Charlotte; Bouchon-Navaro, Yolande

    2016-01-01

    Seagrass bed ecosystems occupy the most important part of coastal shelf in the French West Indies. They also constitute nurseries for many invertebrates and fishes harvested by local fisheries. In Guadeloupe, coastal fish stocks are declining meanwhile several agroecosystems revealed to be heavily contaminated by pollutants (agricultural lands, rivers, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs). Considering these facts, a study of the contamination of seagrass beds (8000 ha) of the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin (GCSM) bay was conducted on their sediments and marine phanerogams. The analyses concerned six metals (Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, V, Zn), tributyltin, 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), eight polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 38 polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dithiocarbamates (CS2 residues), and 225 pesticide molecules.Overall, the level of contamination of the seagrass beds was low for both sediments and phanerogams. Metallic trace elements were the main pollutants but with higher concentrations recorded in coastal sites, and their distribution can be explained by the proximity of river mouths and current patterns. The level of contamination was lower in plants than in sediments. However, the level of contamination between these two compartments was significantly correlated. The conclusion of this study is that, unlike other coastal ecosystems of Guadeloupe such as mangroves, the seagrass beds in the GCSM present a low degree of pollution. The observed level of contaminants does not seem to threaten the role of nursery played by the seagrass beds and does not likely present a risk for the reintroduction of manatees. PMID:26538258

  19. Level of contamination by metallic trace elements and organic molecules in the seagrass beds of Guadeloupe Island.

    PubMed

    Bouchon, Claude; Lemoine, Soazig; Dromard, Charlotte; Bouchon-Navaro, Yolande

    2016-01-01

    Seagrass bed ecosystems occupy the most important part of coastal shelf in the French West Indies. They also constitute nurseries for many invertebrates and fishes harvested by local fisheries. In Guadeloupe, coastal fish stocks are declining meanwhile several agroecosystems revealed to be heavily contaminated by pollutants (agricultural lands, rivers, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs). Considering these facts, a study of the contamination of seagrass beds (8000 ha) of the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin (GCSM) bay was conducted on their sediments and marine phanerogams. The analyses concerned six metals (Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, V, Zn), tributyltin, 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), eight polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 38 polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dithiocarbamates (CS2 residues), and 225 pesticide molecules.Overall, the level of contamination of the seagrass beds was low for both sediments and phanerogams. Metallic trace elements were the main pollutants but with higher concentrations recorded in coastal sites, and their distribution can be explained by the proximity of river mouths and current patterns. The level of contamination was lower in plants than in sediments. However, the level of contamination between these two compartments was significantly correlated. The conclusion of this study is that, unlike other coastal ecosystems of Guadeloupe such as mangroves, the seagrass beds in the GCSM present a low degree of pollution. The observed level of contaminants does not seem to threaten the role of nursery played by the seagrass beds and does not likely present a risk for the reintroduction of manatees.

  20. Nonnutrient anthropogenic chemicals in seagrass ecosystems: fate and effects.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Michael A; Devereux, Richard

    2009-03-01

    Impacts of human-related chemicals, either alone or in combination with other stressors, are important to understand to prevent and reverse continuing worldwide seagrass declines. This review summarizes reported concentrations of anthropogenic chemicals in grass bed-associated surface waters, sediments, and plant tissues and phytotoxic concentrations. Fate information in seagrass-rooted sediments and overlying water is most available for trace metals. Toxicity results in aqueous exposures are available for at least 13 species and a variety of trace metals, pesticides, and petrochemicals. In contrast, results for chemical mixtures and chemicals in sediment matrices are uncommon. Contaminant bioaccumulation information is available for at least 23 species. The effects of plant age, tissue type, and time of collection have been commonly reported but not biological significance of the chemical residues. Experimental conditions have varied considerably in seagrass contaminant research and interspecific differences in chemical residues and chemical tolerances are common, which limits generalizations and extrapolations among species and chemicals. The few reported risk assessments have been usually local and limited to a few single chemicals and species representative of the south Australian and Mediterranean floras. Media-specific information describing exposure concentrations, toxic effect levels, and critical body burdens of common near-shore contaminants is needed for most species to support integrated risk assessments at multiple geographical scales and to evaluate the ability of numerical effects-based criteria to protect these marine angiosperms at risk.

  1. Temporal patterns in coral reef, seagrass and mangrove communities from Chengue bay CARICOMP site (Colombia): 1993-2008.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime; Batista-Morales, Angélica; Gil, Diego L; Gómez-López, Diana Isabel; Gómez-Campo, Kelly; López-Londoño, Tomás; Navas-Camacho, Raúl; Reyes-Nivia, María Catalina; Vega-Sequeda, Johanna

    2010-10-01

    Few monitoring programs have simultaneously assessed the dynamics of linked marine ecosystems (coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves) to document their temporal and spatial variability. Based on CARICOMP protocol we evaluated permanent stations in coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves from 1993 to 2008 in Chengue Bay at the Tayrona Natural Park, Colombian Caribbean. Overall, the studied ecosystems showed a remarkable stability pattern over the monitoring period. While there were annual variations in coral reefs (coral cover) and mangroves (litterfall) caused by hurricane Lenny in 1999, particular trends in seagrass (leaf area index and leaf productivity) appear to reflect the natural variability in this ecosystem. We suggest that monitoring sites at the three marine ecosystems had in general a healthy development in the last 16 years. Our results are critical to locally improve the management strategies (Tayrona Natural Park) and to understand the long-term dynamics of closely associated marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. PMID:21299095

  2. [Hurricane Paloma's effects on seagrasses along Jardines de la Reina Archipelago, Cuba].

    PubMed

    Guimarais, Mayrene; Zúñiga, Adán; Pina, Fabián; Matos, Felipe

    2013-09-01

    Seagrasses are one of the most important coastal ecosystems since they promote organic matter flow, nutrient cycling, food availability and refuge. Until now, reports on damages caused by storms and hurricanes on seagrass beds are uncommon and highly variable. The seagrass meadows of the East end of Jardines de la Reina archipelago were surveyed from Nov. 29th to Dec. 5th of 2008, in order to determinate the effects from the passing of Hurricane Paloma: a category three storm on the Saffir-Simpsom scale. A rapid field assessment of the affected areas was carried out using the manta tow technique. In six sites, seagrass was quantitatively evaluated using a 15cm diameter core (four sampling units per site) and shoot density was calculated. Remote sensing techniques were used to estimate seagrass cover. To estimate the percentage of affected areas, a Region of Interest (ROI) was first created over a Landsat image. The percentage of seagrass affected within the ROI was estimated through direct georeferentiation of the contours of the damaged area and with a comparison to the total seagrass extension. To find possible explanations for damages, a false colour image was created using the near infrared band, to highlight the differences between emerged and submerged zones. The direction of winds was estimated using ArcGis 9.2 creating circular buffers, from the centre of the hurricane and generating lines tangent to the buffers. Seagrass in the region was dominated by the angiosperm Thalassia testudinum. Regional mean density was 1 321 +/- 721 shoots/m2, a value regarded as high for the Caribbean area. Seagrass meadows were partly affected by sediment accumulation on the shoots of T. testudinum and uprooting rhizomes. The 7.6 km2 disturbed area represented 1% of the total seagrass area. Other sites, closer to the centre of the hurricane, did not show any damages on the marine vegetation. The keys location with respect to the hurricane track was the most likely cause of the

  3. [Hurricane Paloma's effects on seagrasses along Jardines de la Reina Archipelago, Cuba].

    PubMed

    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

  4. Variation in multiple traits of vegetative and reproductive seagrass tissues influences plant-herbivore interactions.

    PubMed

    Vergés, Adriana; Becerro, Mikel A; Alcoverro, Teresa; Romero, Javier

    2007-04-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions have strong ecological and evolutionary consequences, but have been traditionally overlooked in marine higher plants. Despite recent advances in seagrass ecology that highlight the importance of herbivory, the mechanisms that regulate the feeding behaviour of seagrass consumers remain largely unknown. Herbivores have been shown to reduce the sexual reproductive success of seagrasses through direct consumption of inflorescences and seeds, but we know little about intraspecific variation in susceptibility to grazing of different seagrass tissues. We contrasted the relative palatability of reproductive and vegetative tissues of the temperate seagrass Posidonia oceanica in the field, and we assessed the feeding preferences among these tissues of the main consumers of the plant, the fish Sarpa salpa and the urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Moreover, we identified the plant traits that explained the observed feeding behaviour. We provide strong evidence for herbivore selectivity among seagrass tissues. In the field, 70-90% of inflorescences were damaged by herbivores compared to 3-60% of leaves of similar age. In feeding assays, the urchin P. lividus showed over a twofold preference for reproductive tissue at various stages of development. By contrast, we detected no feeding activity on either leaves or inflorescences from the fish S. salpa, which is known to migrate to deeper waters soon after flowering starts and during the period of fruit maturation. Despite being the preferred food of urchins, inflorescences were chemically defended, had higher levels of phenolics and lower nutrient and calorific content than leaves. We experimentally demonstrated that leaf structural defences are the primary factor in determining urchin feeding preferences. Removal of plant structure results in a drastic shift in urchin selectivity towards the most nutritious and less chemically defended leaf tissue, indicating that multiple mechanisms of defence to

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23983266

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  7. Advances in micro-cartography: A two-dimensional photo mosaicing technique for seagrass monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rende, S. F.; Irving, A. D.; Bacci, T.; Parlagreco, L.; Bruno, F.; De Filippo, F.; Montefalcone, M.; Penna, M.; Trabucco, B.; Di Mento, R.; Cicero, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Seagrass meadows are complex ecosystems representing an important source of biodiversity for coastal marine systems, but are subjected to numerous threats from natural and human-based influences. Due to their susceptibility to changing environmental conditions, seagrasses are habitually used in monitoring programmes as biological indicators to assess the ecological status of coastal environments. In this paper we used a non-destructive photo mosaicing technology to quantify seagrass distribution and abundance, and explore benefits of micro-cartographic analysis. Furthermore, the use of photogrammetric tools enhanced the method, which proved to be efficient due to its use of low-cost instruments and its simplicity of implementation. This paper describes the steps required to use this method in meadows of Posidonia oceanica, including: i) camera calibration procedures, ii) programming of video survey, iii) criteria to perform sampling activities, iv) data processing and micro-georeferenced maps restitution, and v) possible study applications.

  8. Chemoreception of the Seagrass Posidonia Oceanica by Benthic Invertebrates is Altered by Seawater Acidification.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Chemoreception of the Seagrass Posidonia Oceanica by Benthic Invertebrates is Altered by Seawater Acidification.

    PubMed

    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

  10. SEAGRASS AND CDOM IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Evidence of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seed dispersal by northern diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) in lower Chesapeake Bay.

    PubMed

    Tulipani, Diane C; Lipcius, Romuald N

    2014-01-01

    The initial discovery in May 2009 of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seeds in fecal samples of wild-caught northern diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) was the first field evidence of eelgrass seed ingestion in this species. This finding suggested the potential of terrapins as seed dispersers in eelgrass beds, which we sampled for two additional years (2010 and 2011). Seeds were only found in feces of terrapins captured prior to June 8 in all three years, coinciding with eelgrass seed maturation and release. Numbers of seeds in terrapin feces varied annually and decreased greatly in 2011 after an eelgrass die off in late 2010. The condition of seeds in terrapin feces was viable-mature, germinated, damaged, or immature. Of terrapins captured during time of seed release, 97% were males and juvenile females, both of which had head widths <30 mm. The fraction of individuals with ingested seeds was 33% for males, 35% for small females, and only 6% for large (mature) females. Probability of seed ingestion decreased exponentially with increasing terrapin head width; only males and small females (head width <30 mm) were likely to be vectors of seed dispersal. The characteristic that diamondback terrapins have well-defined home ranges allowed us to estimate the number of terrapins potentially dispersing eelgrass seeds annually. In seagrass beds of the Goodwin Islands region (lower York River, Virginia), there were 559 to 799 terrapins, which could disperse between 1,341 and 1,677 eelgrass seeds annually. These would represent a small proportion of total seed production within a single seagrass bed. However, based on probable home range distances, terrapins can easily traverse eelgrass meadow boundaries, thereby dispersing seeds beyond the bed of origin. Given the relatively short dispersion distance of eelgrass seeds, the diamondback terrapin may be a major source of inter-bed seed dispersal and genetic diversity. PMID:25072473

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Evidence of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seed dispersal by northern diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) in lower Chesapeake Bay.

    PubMed

    Tulipani, Diane C; Lipcius, Romuald N

    2014-01-01

    The initial discovery in May 2009 of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seeds in fecal samples of wild-caught northern diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) was the first field evidence of eelgrass seed ingestion in this species. This finding suggested the potential of terrapins as seed dispersers in eelgrass beds, which we sampled for two additional years (2010 and 2011). Seeds were only found in feces of terrapins captured prior to June 8 in all three years, coinciding with eelgrass seed maturation and release. Numbers of seeds in terrapin feces varied annually and decreased greatly in 2011 after an eelgrass die off in late 2010. The condition of seeds in terrapin feces was viable-mature, germinated, damaged, or immature. Of terrapins captured during time of seed release, 97% were males and juvenile females, both of which had head widths <30 mm. The fraction of individuals with ingested seeds was 33% for males, 35% for small females, and only 6% for large (mature) females. Probability of seed ingestion decreased exponentially with increasing terrapin head width; only males and small females (head width <30 mm) were likely to be vectors of seed dispersal. The characteristic that diamondback terrapins have well-defined home ranges allowed us to estimate the number of terrapins potentially dispersing eelgrass seeds annually. In seagrass beds of the Goodwin Islands region (lower York River, Virginia), there were 559 to 799 terrapins, which could disperse between 1,341 and 1,677 eelgrass seeds annually. These would represent a small proportion of total seed production within a single seagrass bed. However, based on probable home range distances, terrapins can easily traverse eelgrass meadow boundaries, thereby dispersing seeds beyond the bed of origin. Given the relatively short dispersion distance of eelgrass seeds, the diamondback terrapin may be a major source of inter-bed seed dispersal and genetic diversity.

  14. Evidence of Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Seed Dispersal by Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) in Lower Chesapeake Bay

    PubMed Central

    Tulipani, Diane C.; Lipcius, Romuald N.

    2014-01-01

    The initial discovery in May 2009 of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seeds in fecal samples of wild-caught northern diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) was the first field evidence of eelgrass seed ingestion in this species. This finding suggested the potential of terrapins as seed dispersers in eelgrass beds, which we sampled for two additional years (2010 and 2011). Seeds were only found in feces of terrapins captured prior to June 8 in all three years, coinciding with eelgrass seed maturation and release. Numbers of seeds in terrapin feces varied annually and decreased greatly in 2011 after an eelgrass die off in late 2010. The condition of seeds in terrapin feces was viable-mature, germinated, damaged, or immature. Of terrapins captured during time of seed release, 97% were males and juvenile females, both of which had head widths <30 mm. The fraction of individuals with ingested seeds was 33% for males, 35% for small females, and only 6% for large (mature) females. Probability of seed ingestion decreased exponentially with increasing terrapin head width; only males and small females (head width <30 mm) were likely to be vectors of seed dispersal. The characteristic that diamondback terrapins have well-defined home ranges allowed us to estimate the number of terrapins potentially dispersing eelgrass seeds annually. In seagrass beds of the Goodwin Islands region (lower York River, Virginia), there were 559 to 799 terrapins, which could disperse between 1,341 and 1,677 eelgrass seeds annually. These would represent a small proportion of total seed production within a single seagrass bed. However, based on probable home range distances, terrapins can easily traverse eelgrass meadow boundaries, thereby dispersing seeds beyond the bed of origin. Given the relatively short dispersion distance of eelgrass seeds, the diamondback terrapin may be a major source of inter-bed seed dispersal and genetic diversity. PMID:25072473

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

    PubMed

    Flores Uzeta, Olga; Solana Arellano, Elena; Echavarría Heras, Héctor

    2008-09-01

    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 < or = i < or = 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. PMID:19419024

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27227327

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

    PubMed

    Flores Uzeta, Olga; Solana Arellano, Elena; Echavarría Heras, Héctor

    2008-09-01

    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 < or = i < or = 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27227327

  19. ASSESSING ROOT DEMOGRAPHY AND CARBOHYDRATE DYNAMICS OF ZOSTERA MARINA

    EPA Science Inventory

    To help establish protective criteria for Zostera marina a more complete understanding of the factors affecting the status, condition, distribution and ecophysiology of Z. marina is needed. While Z. marina shoots are readily observed, assessing growth and carbon dynamics of roots...

  20. Biodiversity differentials between the numerically-dominant macrobenthos of seagrass and adjacent unvegetated sediment in the absence of sandflat bioturbation.

    PubMed

    Barnes, R S K; Barnes, M K S

    2014-08-01

    Species composition, abundance and biodiversity of the South African estuarine invertebrate fauna are known to show marked differentials between seagrass beds and adjacent unvegetated sands in enclosed estuarine/marine bays. Such differentials were investigated at four disparate localities in a bay lacking the callianassid bioturbation of other local sites. Here there were no such marked or consistent differences: <50% of differentials were statistically significant, with seagrass showing the lower, not higher, level in half of those. Overall, faunal abundance was lower in seagrass in the ratio of 0.64 : 1, whilst species density was higher but only by 1.13 to 1. Seagrass assemblages at a given locality were more similar to those of the adjacent bare sand than they were to seagrass assemblages at other localities, and likewise in respect of those in the bare sand. This suggests that marked differentials, where they occur, may result not from any supposed favourability of seagrass as a habitat but from the operation of processes within the unvegetated-sediment compartment of the system.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Understanding uncertainty in seagrass injury recovery: an information-theoretic approach.

    PubMed

    Uhrin, Amy V; Kenworthy, W Judson; Fonseca, Mark S

    2011-06-01

    Vessel groundings cause severe, persistent gaps in seagrass beds. Varying degrees of natural recovery have been observed for grounding injuries, limiting recovery prediction capabilities, and therefore, management's ability to focus restoration efforts where natural recovery is unlikely. To improve our capacity for predicting seagrass injury recovery, we used an information-theoretic approach to evaluate the relative contribution of specific injury attributes to the natural recovery of 30 seagrass groundings in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida, USA. Injury recovery was defined by three response variables examined independently: (1) initiation of seagrass colonization, (2) areal contraction, and (3) sediment in-filling. We used a global model and all possible subsets for four predictor variables: (1) injury age, (2) original injury volume, (3) original injury perimeter-to-area ratio, and (4) wave energy. Successional processes were underway for many injuries with fast-growing, opportunistic seagrass species contributing most to colonization. The majority of groundings that exhibited natural seagrass colonization also exhibited areal contraction and sediment in-filling. Injuries demonstrating colonization, contraction, and in-filling were on average older and smaller, and they had larger initial perimeter-to-area ratios. Wave energy was highest for colonizing injuries. The information-theoretic approach was unable to select a single "best" model for any response variable. For colonization and contraction, injury age had the highest relative importance as a predictor variable; wave energy appeared to be associated with second-order effects, such as sediment in-filling, which in turn, facilitated seagrass colonization. For sediment in-filling, volume and perimeter-to-area ratio had similar relative importance as predictor variables with age playing a lesser role than seen for colonization and contraction. Our findings confirm that these injuries

  3. Ion concentrations in seagrass: A comparison of results from field and controlled-environment studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrote-Moreno, Aurora; Cambridge, Marion; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis

    2016-11-01

    Osmoregulation is essential for the survival of seagrasses in marine and hypersaline environments. The aim of this study was to examine ion concentrations of four seagrass species (Posidonia australis, P. sinuosa, Amphibolis antarctica and A. griffithii) after exposure to salinity changes. Plant fragments were placed in a series of aquaria at marine salinity (35) and, after one week of acclimation, exposed for 7 days to salinities between 20 and 70. Cl-, Na+ and total ion concentration increased with salinity in leaf tissue of the four seagrasses species. These results were compared with those of P. australis and A. antarctica samples collected at three locations at Shark Bay, Western Australia where higher salinities occurred, ranging from 46 to 51. Concentrations of K+ and Ca+2 were higher in seagrass tissues from Shark Bay than in those in aquarium trials. Cl-, Na+ and total ions in P. australis and A. antarctica from Shark Bay were lowest at the highest salinity location. The K+/Na+ ratio in the aquarium trials (under ambient conditions) was in the following order: A. antarctica = A. griffithii > P. australis > P. sinuosa and Ca+2/Na+ ratio was: A. antarctica = A. griffithii > P. sinuosa > P. australis. This species order indicates a physiological capacity to tolerate variation in salinity. Furthermore, these ratios were higher in the locality with highest salinity in Shark Bay, indicating acclimation and adaptation of ion concentrations to the salinity regime in the environment.

  4. Nanoparticle-based measurements of pH and O2 dynamics in the rhizosphere of Zostera marina L.: effects of temperature elevation and light-dark transitions.

    PubMed

    Elgetti Brodersen, Kasper; Koren, Klaus; Lichtenberg, Mads; Kühl, Michael

    2016-07-01

    Seagrasses can modulate the geochemical conditions in their immediate rhizosphere through the release of chemical compounds from their below-ground tissue. This is a vital chemical defence mechanism, whereby the plants detoxify the surrounding sediment. Using novel nanoparticle-based optical O2 and pH sensors incorporated in reduced and transparent artificial sediment, we investigated the spatio-temporal dynamics of pH and O2 within the entire rhizosphere of Zostera marina L. during experimental manipulations of light and temperature. We combined such measurements with O2 microsensor measurements of the photosynthetic productivity and respiration of seagrass leaves. We found pronounced pH and O2 microheterogeneity within the immediate rhizosphere of Z. marina, with higher below-ground tissue oxidation capability and rhizoplane pH levels during both light exposure of the leaf canopy and elevated temperature, where the temperature-mediated stimuli of biogeochemical processes seemed to predominate. Low rhizosphere pH microenvironments appeared to correlate with plant-derived oxic microzones stimulating local sulphide oxidation and thus driving local proton generation, although the rhizoplane pH levels generally where much higher than the bulk sediment pH. Our data show that Z. marina can actively alter its rhizosphere pH microenvironment alleviating the local H2 S toxicity and enhancing nutrient availability in the adjacent sediment via geochemical speciation shift. PMID:27003238

  5. Overview on seagrasses and related research in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. INTERTIDAL SEDIMENT TEMPERATURE VARIANCE AS A POSSIBLE LIMITING FACTOR FOR EELGRASSES ZOSTERA MARINA AND ZOSTERA JAPONICA IN YAQUINA BAY, OR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The eelgrass species Zostera marina and Z. japonica co-occur in most Pacific Northwest estuaries; Z. marina is regarded as a native species, Z. japonica as non-indigenous, introduced in Yaquina Bay in approximately 1975. The mean tidal range is ~2 m, extreme ~3m. The vertical d...

  7. Spatial patterns of sub-tidal seagrasses and their tissue nutrients in the Torres Strait, northern Australia: Implications for management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, James K.; Carter, Alex B.; McKenzie, Len J.; Pitcher, C. Roland; Coles, Robert G.

    2008-09-01

    The distribution and nutritional profiles of sub-tidal seagrasses from the Torres Strait were surveyed and mapped across an area of 31,000 km 2. Benthic sediment composition, water depth, seagrass species type and nutrients were sampled at 168 points selected in a stratified representative pattern. Eleven species of seagrass were present at 56 (33.3%) of the sample points. Halophila spinulosa, Halophila ovalis, Cymodocea serrulata and Syringodium isoetifolium were the most common species and these were nutrient profiled. Sub-tidal seagrass distribution (and associated seagrass nutrient concentrations) was generally confined to northern-central and south-western regions of the survey area (Seagrass nitrogen and starch content, the most important nutrients for marine herbivores, were significantly correlated with species and with the plant component (above or below ground). For all seagrass species, the above-ground component (shoots and leaves) possessed greater nitrogen concentrations than the below-ground component (roots and rhizomes), which possessed greater starch concentrations. S. isoetifolium had the highest total nitrogen concentrations (1.40±0.05% DW). However, it also had higher fibre concentrations (38.2±0.68% DW) relative to the other four species. H. ovalis possessed the highest starch concentrations (2.76±0.12% DW) and highest digestibility (83.24±0.66% DW) as well as the lowest fibre (27.2±0.66% DW). The high relative abundance (found at 55% of the sites that had seagrass) and nutrient quality characteristics of H. ovalis make it an important source of energy to marine herbivores that forage sub-tidally in the Torres Strait. There were two regions in Torres Strait (north-central and south-western) where sub-tidal seagrass meadows were prevalent and of relatively higher

  8. Seagrass Herbivory Levels Sustain Site-Fidelity in a Remnant Dugong Population

    PubMed Central

    Patankar, Vardhan; Marbà, Núria

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26492558

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  10. Seagrass Herbivory Levels Sustain Site-Fidelity in a Remnant Dugong Population.

    PubMed

    D'Souza, Elrika; Patankar, Vardhan; Arthur, Rohan; Marbà, Núria; Alcoverro, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26492558

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  12. The concept of population in clonal organisms: mosaics of temporally colonized patches are forming highly diverse meadows of Zostera marina in Brittany.

    PubMed

    Becheler, R; Diekmann, O; Hily, C; Moalic, Y; Arnaud-Haond, S

    2010-06-01

    Seagrasses structure some of the world's key coastal ecosystems presently in decline due to human activities and global change. The ability to cope with environmental changes and the possibilities for shifts in distribution range depend largely on their evolvability and dispersal potential. As large-scale data usually show strong genetic structure for seagrasses, finer-grained work is needed to understand the local processes of dispersal, recruitment and colonization that could explain the apparent lack of exchange across large distances. We aimed to assess the fine-grained genetic structure of one of the most important and widely distributed seagrasses, Zostera marina, from seven meadows in Brittany, France. Both classic population genetics and network analysis confirmed a pattern of spatial segregation of polymorphism at both regional and local scales. One location exhibiting exclusively the variety 'angustifolia' did not appear more differentiated than the others, but instead showed a central position in the network analysis, confirming the status of this variety as an ecotype. This phenotypic diversity and the high allelic richness at nine microsatellites (2.33-9.67 alleles/locus) compared to levels previously reported across the distribution range, points to Brittany as a centre of diversity for Z. marina at both genetic and phenotypic levels. Despite dispersal potential of several 100 m, a significant pattern of genetic differentiation, even at fine-grained scale, revealed 'genetic patchiness'. Meadows seem to be composed of a mosaic of clones with distinct origins in space and time, a result that calls into question the accuracy of the concept of populations for such partially clonal species.

  13. 15 CFR Appendix C to Subpart H of... - No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zones in Tomales Bay

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zones in Tomales Bay C Appendix C to Subpart H of Part 922 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating... of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. H, App. C Appendix C to Subpart H of...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

    The tropical seascape provides food and livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people, but the support of key habitats to this supply remains ill appreciated. For fisheries and conservation management actions to help promote resilient ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods, and food supply, knowledge is required about the habitats that help support fisheries productivity and the consequences of this for food security. This paper provides an interdisciplinary case study from the coral triangle of how seagrass meadows provide support for fisheries and local food security. We apply a triangulated approach that utilizes ecological, fisheries and market data combined with over 250 household interviews. Our research demonstrates that seagrass associated fauna in a coral triangle marine protected area support local food supply contributing at least 50% of the fish based food. This formed between 54% and 99% of daily protein intake in the area. Fishery catch was found to significantly vary with respect to village (p < 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Simone; Guala, Ivan; Oliva, Silvia; Piazzi, Luigi; Pires da Silva, Rodrigo; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2016-01-01

    investigating, derived from the complex indirect interactions among species, how top-down control in marine reserves can modify seagrass habitat effects. PMID:27783684

  16. Bathymetric Lidar Mapping of Seagrass Distribution within Redfish Bay State Scientific Area, Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starek, M. J.; Fernandez-Diaz, J. C.; Singhania, A.; Shrestha, R. L.; Gibeaut, J. C.; Su, L.; Reisinger, A. S.; Lord, A.

    2013-05-01

    Monitoring seagrass habitat, species growth, and population decline is an important environmental initiative for coastal ecosystem sustainability. However, measuring details about seagrass distribution and canopy structure over large areas via remote sensing has proved challenging. Developments in airborne bathymetric light detection and ranging (lidar) provide great potential in this regard. Traditional bathymetric lidar systems have been limited in their ability to map within the shallow water zone (< 1 m) where seagrass is typically present due to limitations in receiver response and laser pulse length. Emergent short-pulse width bathymetric lidar sensors and waveform processing algorithms enable depth measurements in shallow water environments not previously accessible. This 3D information of the benthic layer can be applied to extract metrics about the seagrass canopy. On September 10, 2012, researchers with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) at the University of Houston (UH) and the Coastal and Marine Geospatial Sciences Lab (CMGL) of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi conducted a coordinated airborne and ground-based survey of the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area as part of a collaborative study to investigate the capabilities of bathymetric lidar and hyperspectral imaging for seagrass mapping (standalone and in-fusion). Redfish Bay, located along the middle Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, is a state scientific area designated for the purposes of protecting and studying the native seagrasses. For this survey, UH acquired high resolution (2.5 shots/m^2) very-shallow water bathymetry data using their new lidar system , the Optech Aquarius Green (532 nm) system. In a separate flight, UH collected 2 sets of hyperspectral imaging data (1.2-m pixel resolution and 72 bands, and 0.6m pixel resolution and 36 bands) with their CASI 1500 hy sensor. For this survey the sensors were mounted on a PA-31 Chieftain

  17. Automatic seagrass pattern identification on sonar images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahnemoonfar, Maryam; Rahman, Abdullah

    2016-05-01

    Natural and human-induced disturbances are resulting in degradation and loss of seagrass. Freshwater flooding, severe meteorological events and invasive species are among the major natural disturbances. Human-induced disturbances are mainly due to boat propeller scars in the shallow seagrass meadows and anchor scars in the deeper areas. Therefore, there is a vital need to map seagrass ecosystems in order to determine worldwide abundance and distribution. Currently there is no established method for mapping the pothole or scars in seagrass. One of the most precise sensors to map the seagrass disturbance is side scan sonar. Here we propose an automatic method which detects seagrass potholes in sonar images. Side scan sonar images are notorious for having speckle noise and uneven illumination across the image. Moreover, disturbance presents complex patterns where most segmentation techniques will fail. In this paper, by applying mathematical morphology technique and calculating the local standard deviation of the image, the images were enhanced and the pothole patterns were identified. The proposed method was applied on sonar images taken from Laguna Madre in Texas. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    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 (V1.2.1). SNP loci were genotyped using a single-base-extension approach which facilitated high-throughput genotyping with minimal optimization time. These markers show a wide range of variability among 25 eelgrass populations and will be useful for population genetic studies including evaluation of population structure, historical demography, and phylogeography. Potential applications include haplotype inference of physically linked SNPs and identification of genes under selection for temperature and desiccation stress.

  19. Improved seagrass mapping using linear spectral unmixing of aerial photographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhrin, Amy V.; Townsend, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Mapping of seagrass is challenging, particularly in areas where seagrass cover ranges from extensive, continuous meadows to aggregations of patchy mounds often no more than a meter across. Manual delineation of seagrass habitat polygons through visual photointerpretation of high resolution aerial imagery remains the most widely adopted approach for mapping seagrass extent but polygons often include unvegetated gaps. Although mapped polygon data exist for many estuaries, these are likely insufficient to accurately characterize spatial pattern or estimate area actually occupied by seagrass. We evaluated whether a linear spectral unmixing (LSU) classifier applied to manually-delineated seagrass polygons clipped from digital aerial images could improve mapping of seagrass in North Carolina. Representative seagrass endmembers were chosen directly from images and used to unmix image-clipped polygons, resulting in fraction planes (maps) of the proportion of seagrass present in each image pixel. Thresholding was used to generate seagrass maps for each pixel proportion from 0 (no thresholding, all pixel proportions included) to 1 (only pixels having 100% seagrass) in 0.1 increments. The optimal pixel proportion for identifying seagrass was assessed using Euclidean distance calculated from Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and overall thematic accuracy calculated from confusion matrices. We assessed overall classifier performance using Kappa statistics and Area Under the (ROC) Curve (AUC). We compared seagrass area calculated from each threshold map to the total area of the corresponding manually-delineated polygon. LSU effectively classified seagrass and performed better than a random classification as indicated by high values for both Kappa statistics (0.72-98) and AUC (0.80-0.99). The LSU classifier effectively distinguished between seagrass and bare substrate resulting in fine-scale seagrass maps with overall thematic accuracies that exceeded our expected

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to measure the communities associated with different seagrass species to predict how shifts in seagrass species composition may affect associated fauna. In the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, coverage of the historically dominant shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) is decreasing, while coverage of manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme) and turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) is increasing. We conducted a survey of fishes, crabs, and shrimp in monospecific beds of shoal, manatee, and turtle grass habitats of South Texas, USA to assess how changes in sea grass species composition would affect associated fauna. We measured seagrass parameters including shoot density, above ground biomass, epiphyte type, and epiphyte abundance to investigate relationships between faunal abundance and these seagrass parameters. We observed significant differences in communities among three seagrass species, even though these organisms are highly motile and could easily travel among the different seagrasses. Results showed species specific relationships among several different characteristics of the seagrass community and individual species abundance. More work is needed to discern the drivers of the complex relationships between individual seagrass species and their associated fauna. PMID:25229897

  1. Changes in Seagrass Species Composition in Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Estuaries: Effects on Associated Seagrass Fauna

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to measure the communities associated with different seagrass species to predict how shifts in seagrass species composition may affect associated fauna. In the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, coverage of the historically dominant shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) is decreasing, while coverage of manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme) and turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) is increasing. We conducted a survey of fishes, crabs, and shrimp in monospecific beds of shoal, manatee, and turtle grass habitats of South Texas, USA to assess how changes in sea grass species composition would affect associated fauna. We measured seagrass parameters including shoot density, above ground biomass, epiphyte type, and epiphyte abundance to investigate relationships between faunal abundance and these seagrass parameters. We observed significant differences in communities among three seagrass species, even though these organisms are highly motile and could easily travel among the different seagrasses. Results showed species specific relationships among several different characteristics of the seagrass community and individual species abundance. More work is needed to discern the drivers of the complex relationships between individual seagrass species and their associated fauna. PMID:25229897

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in the Gulf of California:.

    PubMed

    Felger, R; Moser, M B

    1973-07-27

    Discovery of Its Nutritional Value by the Seri Indians Zostera marina occurs in the northern Gulf of California. The grain of eelgrass is harvested in the spring and formed an important part of traditional Seri diet and culture. This is the only known case of a grain from the sea being used as a human food source. Eelgrass has considerable potential as a general food resource for mankind. Its cultivation would not require fresh water, pesticides, or artificial fertilizer.

  4. Influence of microhabitat on seedling survival and growth of the mediterranean seagrass posidonia oceanica (l.) Delile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alagna, Adriana; Fernández, Tomás Vega; Terlizzi, Antonio; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2013-03-01

    Early life history phases are crucial stages limiting species distribution and abundance, thus influencing assemblage composition in marine benthic environments. In seagrass systems the period between seed germination and establishment is one of the most vulnerable phases for plant development. This study analyzes the influence of microhabitat structure, in terms of substrate nature and algal canopy, on the persistence and growth over two years of seedlings of Posidonia oceanica, the dominant Mediterranean seagrass. Long time persistence of seedlings only occurred on microhabitats providing vegetated rocky substrates, with a maximum value of 81% on rock covered by Cystoseira spp. No seedling was found on unvegetated sand and gravel after the first year. Seedling growth resulted increased on rock covered by Halopteris spp. and Dilophus spp. than on rock covered by Cystoseira spp. Results suggest that high canopy onto a stable substrate enhances seedling persistence, probably because these allow the best anchorage by roots while hampering water flow. In contrast, turf algal cover promotes better seedling growth, possibly through higher light irradiance and nutrient availability. Our findings support the view that the understanding of the factors controlling early life processes is a necessary prerequisite for the comprehension of seagrass species distribution patterns, colonization and recovery potentials, which, in turn, can guide sound strategies for seagrass management and restoration.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Juan; Zhang, Yanying; Wu, Meilin; Wang, Youshao; Dong, Junde; Jiang, Yufeng; Yang, Qingsong; Zeng, Siquan

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26096007

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

    PubMed

    Ling, Juan; Zhang, Yanying; Wu, Meilin; Wang, Youshao; Dong, Junde; Jiang, Yufeng; Yang, Qingsong; Zeng, Siquan

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  8. Testing of Zostera marina for physical properties. [Eelgrass-Zostera marina

    SciTech Connect

    Rue, M.L.

    1984-03-23

    The innovative portion of this project is the use of a floating solar drier to process eelgrass (Zostera marina) for building insulation. The use of eelgrass as an insulating material is well documented up to about 50 years ago. At that time it was dried by spreading out on the ground along the shore. This is no longer possible because of the nearly full development of the shore area and the high cost of labor for such activity. It is proposed to build a floating unit that will collect the eelgrass detritus and immediately process the material by drying using solar heat. (An unusual advantage of using a floating drier is that it has the ability to track the sun during the day with a substantial increase in available solar energy). The drier will be constructed of perforated corrugated aluminum sheets with a black absorber coating. A continuous mesh belt will transport the eelgrass through the dryer to a bailer at the far end. The dried material will be transported to shore for packaging and distribution to building material suppliers.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Talbot, Sandra; 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K; Rearick, Jolene R.; Fowler, Meg C.; Muñiz-Salazar, Raquel; Baibak, Bethany; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Cabello-Pasini, Alejandro; 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. PMID:27104836

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

    PubMed

    Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Rearick, Jolene R; Fowler, Meg C; Muñiz-Salazar, Raquel; Baibak, Bethany; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Cabello-Pasini, Alejandro; 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.

  12. Characterizing Manatee habitat use and seagrass grazing in Florida and Puerto Rico: Implications for conservation and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lefebvre, L.W.; Reid, J.P.; Kenworthy, W.J.; Powell, J.A.

    2000-01-01

    The Indian River Lagoon on the Atlantic coast of Florida, USA, and the east coast of Puerto Rico provide contrasting environments in which the endangered West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus experiences different thermal regimes and seagrass communities. We compare Manatee feeding behaviour in these two regions, examine the ecological effects of Manatee grazing on a seagrass community in the Indian River Lagoon, describe the utility of aerial surveys, radio tracking, and seagrass mapping to study Manatee feeding patterns, and develop hypotheses on sirenian feeding strategies in temperate and tropical seagrass communities. In both the Indian River Lagoon and Puerto Rico, Manatees were typically observed grazing in water depths = 2.0 m and more frequently on the most abundant seagrasses present in the community: Halodule wrightii in the Indian River Lagoon and Thalassia testudinum in eastern Puerto Rico. Where both H. wrightii and Syringodium filiforme were consumed in the Indian River Lagoon, Manatees tended to remove more S. filiforme than H. wrightii rhizome + root biomass. Even though 80 to 95% of the short-shoot biomass and 50 to 67% of the rhizome + root biomass were removed, grazed patches of H. wrightii and S. filiforme recovered significantly between February and August. H. wrightii may be both more resistant and resilient than S. filiforme to the impacts of Manatee grazing. Despite the significantly greater abundance of T. testudinum in Puerto Rico, Manatees exhibited selective feeding by returning to specific sites with abundant H. wrightii. They also appeared to feed selectively on T. testudinum shoots associated with clumps of the calcareous alga Halimeda opuntia. We hypothesize that Florida Manatees are less specialized seagrass grazers than Manatees in tropical regions like Puerto Rico. Continued research on Manatee grazing ecology in temperate to tropical seagrass communities will enable better protection and management of these vital and unique

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  15. SEAGRASS DISTRIBUTION IN THE PENSACOLA BAY SYSTEM, NORTHWEST FLORIDA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seagrass coverage in the northern Gulf of Mexico has decreased 20 to 100% in many estuaries since the 1950s. As a result, determination of seagrass coverage and identification of the cause(s) of declines are priority research issues. Aerial surveys of seagrass coverage in the P...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Evidence of Season-Dependency in Vegetation Effects on Macrofauna in Temperate Seagrass Meadows (Baltic Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Włodarska-Kowalczuk, Maria; Jankowska, Emilia; Kotwicki, Lech; Balazy, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Seagrasses and associated macrophytes are important components of coastal systems as ecosystem engineers, habitat formers, and providers of food and shelter for other organisms. The positive impacts of seagrass vegetation on zoobenthic abundance and diversity (as compared to bare sands) are well documented, but only in surveys performed in summer, which is the season of maximum canopy development. Here we present the results of the first study of the relationship between the seasonal variability of seagrass vegetation and persistence and magnitude of contrasts in faunal communities between vegetated and bare sediments. The composition, abundance, biomass, and diversity of macrozoobenthos in both habitats were compared five times throughout the year in temperate eelgrass meadows in the southern Baltic Sea. Significant positive effects of macrophyte cover on invertebrate density and biomass were recorded only in June, July, and October when the seagrass canopy was relatively well developed. The effects of vegetation cover on faunal species richness, diversity, and composition persisted throughout the year, but the magnitude of these effects varied seasonally and followed changes in macrophyte biomass. The strongest effects were observed in July and coincided with maximums in seagrass biomass and the diversity and biomass of other macrophytes. These observations indicate that in temperate, clearly seasonal systems the assessment of macrophyte impact cannot be based solely on observations performed in just one season, especially when that season is the one in which macrophyte growth is at its maximum. The widely held belief that macrophyte cover strongly influences benthic fauna in marine coastal habitats, which is based on summer surveys, should be revisited and complemented with information obtained in other seasons. PMID:25000560

  18. Evidence of season-dependency in vegetation effects on macrofauna in temperate seagrass meadows (Baltic Sea).

    PubMed

    Włodarska-Kowalczuk, Maria; Jankowska, Emilia; Kotwicki, Lech; Balazy, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Seagrasses and associated macrophytes are important components of coastal systems as ecosystem engineers, habitat formers, and providers of food and shelter for other organisms. The positive impacts of seagrass vegetation on zoobenthic abundance and diversity (as compared to bare sands) are well documented, but only in surveys performed in summer, which is the season of maximum canopy development. Here we present the results of the first study of the relationship between the seasonal variability of seagrass vegetation and persistence and magnitude of contrasts in faunal communities between vegetated and bare sediments. The composition, abundance, biomass, and diversity of macrozoobenthos in both habitats were compared five times throughout the year in temperate eelgrass meadows in the southern Baltic Sea. Significant positive effects of macrophyte cover on invertebrate density and biomass were recorded only in June, July, and October when the seagrass canopy was relatively well developed. The effects of vegetation cover on faunal species richness, diversity, and composition persisted throughout the year, but the magnitude of these effects varied seasonally and followed changes in macrophyte biomass. The strongest effects were observed in July and coincided with maximums in seagrass biomass and the diversity and biomass of other macrophytes. These observations indicate that in temperate, clearly seasonal systems the assessment of macrophyte impact cannot be based solely on observations performed in just one season, especially when that season is the one in which macrophyte growth is at its maximum. The widely held belief that macrophyte cover strongly influences benthic fauna in marine coastal habitats, which is based on summer surveys, should be revisited and complemented with information obtained in other seasons.

  19. Genetic diversity enhances the resistance of a seagrass ecosystem to disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, A. Randall; Stachowicz, John J.

    2004-01-01

    Motivated by recent global reductions in biodiversity, empirical and theoretical research suggests that more species-rich systems exhibit enhanced productivity, nutrient cycling, or resistance to disturbance or invasion relative to systems with fewer species. In contrast, few data are available to assess the potential ecosystem-level importance of genetic diversity within species known to play a major functional role. Using a manipulative field experiment, we show that increasing genotypic diversity in a habitat-forming species (the seagrass Zostera marina) enhances community resistance to disturbance by grazing geese. The time required for recovery to near predisturbance densities also decreases with increasing eelgrass genotypic diversity. However, there is no effect of diversity on resilience, measured as the rate of shoot recovery after the disturbance, suggesting that more rapid recovery in diverse plots is due solely to differences in disturbance resistance. Genotypic diversity did not affect ecosystem processes in the absence of disturbance. Thus, our results suggest that genetic diversity, like species diversity, may be most important for enhancing the consistency and reliability of ecosystems by providing biological insurance against environmental change. PMID:15184681

  20. Structural constituents of the seagrass Posidonia australis.

    PubMed

    Torbatinejad, Nour Mohammad; Annison, Geoffrey; Rutherfurd-Markwick, Kay; Sabine, John R

    2007-05-16

    Large amounts of seagrass, Posidonia australis, wash onto beaches in South Australia each year, causing substantial environmental problems. It was of interest to assess the potential for an economic use of this seagrass-such as for animal nutrition. Structural constituents of P. australis (green, freshly deposited, and both washed and unwashed samples from dried deposits on the beach) were examined and compared. Glucose, galactose, and mannose were the dominant sugars (>10 g kg-1 of dry matter) in the soluble fraction of nonstarch polysaccharides in all seagrass forms. The content of the insoluble constituents of the nonstarch polysaccharides was significantly higher than soluble nonstarch polysaccharide constituents (P < 0.01). Data showed that the major constituents of the Posidonia cell wall are cellulose and lignin (190-209 and 145-154 g kg-1, respectively). The crude protein content of Posidonia ranged from 54 to 61 g kg-1. Results showed no biologically significant compositional differences between the four different forms of seagrass tested. Dry, unwashed seagrass, which is readily available in large quantities and easily harvested, may have potential as a foodstuff for ruminant animals.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Use of carbon monoxide and hydrogen by a bacteria-animal symbiosis from seagrass sediments.

    PubMed

    Kleiner, Manuel; Wentrup, Cecilia; Holler, Thomas; Lavik, Gaute; Harder, Jens; Lott, Christian; Littmann, Sten; Kuypers, Marcel M M; Dubilier, Nicole

    2015-12-01

    The gutless marine worm Olavius algarvensis lives in symbiosis with chemosynthetic bacteria that provide nutrition by fixing carbon dioxide (CO2 ) 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 (H2 ) might also be used as energy sources. We provide direct evidence that the O. algarvensis symbiosis consumes CO and H2 . 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 CO2 . Pore water analysis revealed considerable in-situ concentrations of CO and H2 in the O. algarvensis environment, Mediterranean seagrass sediments. Pore water H2 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.

  3. Use of carbon monoxide and hydrogen by a bacteria-animal symbiosis from seagrass sediments.

    PubMed

    Kleiner, Manuel; Wentrup, Cecilia; Holler, Thomas; Lavik, Gaute; Harder, Jens; Lott, Christian; Littmann, Sten; Kuypers, Marcel M M; Dubilier, Nicole

    2015-12-01

    The gutless marine worm Olavius algarvensis lives in symbiosis with chemosynthetic bacteria that provide nutrition by fixing carbon dioxide (CO2 ) 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 (H2 ) might also be used as energy sources. We provide direct evidence that the O. algarvensis symbiosis consumes CO and H2 . 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 CO2 . Pore water analysis revealed considerable in-situ concentrations of CO and H2 in the O. algarvensis environment, Mediterranean seagrass sediments. Pore water H2 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Establishing Research Strategies, Methodologies and Technologies to Link Genomics and Proteomics to Seagrass Productivity, Community Metabolism, and Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A complete understanding of the mechanistic basis of marine ecosystem functioning is only possible through integrative and interdisciplinary research. This enables the prediction of change and possibly the mitigation of the consequences of anthropogenic impacts. One major aim of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action ES0609 “Seagrasses productivity. From genes to ecosystem management,” is the calibration and synthesis of various methods and the development of innovative techniques and protocols for studying seagrass ecosystems. During 10 days, 20 researchers representing a range of disciplines (molecular biology, physiology, botany, ecology, oceanography, and underwater acoustics) gathered at The Station de Recherches Sous-marines et Océanographiques (STARESO, Corsica) to study together the nearby Posidonia oceanica meadow. STARESO is located in an oligotrophic area classified as “pristine site” where environmental disturbances caused by anthropogenic pressure are exceptionally low. The healthy P. oceanica meadow, which grows in front of the research station, colonizes the sea bottom from the surface to 37 m depth. During the study, genomic and proteomic approaches were integrated with ecophysiological and physical approaches with the aim of understanding changes in seagrass productivity and metabolism at different depths and along daily cycles. In this paper we report details on the approaches utilized and we forecast the potential of the data that will come from this synergistic approach not only for P. oceanica but for seagrasses in general. PMID:23515425

  6. Marine botany. Second edition

    SciTech Connect

    Dawes, C.J.

    1998-12-01

    Marine plants are a diverse group that include unicellular algae, seaweeds, seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangrove forests. They carry out a variety of ecological functions and serve as the primary producers in coastal wetlands and oceanic waters. The theme that connects such a wide variety of plants is their ecology, which was also emphasized in the 1981 edition. The goal of this revision is to present taxonomic, physiological, chemical, and ecological aspects of marine plants, their adaptations, and how abiotic and biotic factors interact in their communities. The data are presented in a concise, comparative manner in order to identify similarities and differences between communities such as salt marsh and mangroves or subtidal seaweeds and seagrasses. To accomplish this, the text is organized into five chapters that introduce the marine habitats, consider abiotic and biotic factors, and anthropogenic influences on the communities followed by seven chapters that deal with microalgae, seaweeds, salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs. Two appendixes are included; one presents simple field techniques and the other is a summary of seaweed uses.

  7. Seagrass Identification Using High-Resolution 532nm Bathymetric LiDAR and Hyperspectral Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Z.; Prasad, S.; Starek, M. J.; Fernandez Diaz, J. C.; Glennie, C. L.; Carter, W. E.; Shrestha, R. L.; Singhania, A.; Gibeaut, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Seagrass provides vital habitat for marine fisheries and is a key indicator species of coastal ecosystem vitality. Monitoring seagrass is therefore an important environmental initiative, but measuring details of seagrass distribution over large areas via remote sensing has proved challenging. Developments in airborne bathymetric light detection and ranging (LiDAR) provide great potential in this regard. Traditional bathymetric LiDAR systems have been limited in their ability to map within the shallow water zone (< 1 m) where seagrass is typically present due to limitations in receiver response and laser pulse length. Emergent short-pulse width bathymetric LiDAR sensors and waveform processing algorithms enable depth measurements in shallow water environments previously inaccessible. This 3D information of the benthic layer can be applied to detect seagrass and characterize its distribution. Researchers with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) at the University of Houston (UH) and the Coastal and Marine Geospatial Sciences Lab (CMGL) of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi conducted a coordinated airborne and boat-based survey of the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area as part of a collaborative study to investigate the capabilities of bathymetric LiDAR and hyperspectral imaging for seagrass mapping. Redfish Bay, located along the middle Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, is a state scientific area designated for the purpose of protecting and studying native seagrasses. Redfish Bay is part of the broader Coastal Bend Bays estuary system recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a national estuary of significance. For this survey, UH acquired high-resolution discrete-return and full-waveform bathymetric data using their Optech Aquarius 532 nm green LiDAR. In a separate flight, UH collected 2 sets of hyperspectral imaging data (1.2-m pixel resolution and 72 bands, and 0.6m pixel resolution and 36

  8. Use of a seagrass residency index to apportion commercial fishery landing values and recreation fisheries expenditure to seagrass habitat service.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Emma L; Rees, Siân E; Wilding, Catherine; Attrill, Martin J

    2015-06-01

    Where they dominate coastlines, seagrass beds are thought to have a fundamental role in maintaining populations of exploited species. Thus, Mediterranean seagrass beds are afforded protection, yet no attempt to determine the contribution of these areas to both commercial fisheries landings and recreational fisheries expenditure has been made. There is evidence that seagrass extent continues to decline, but there is little understanding of the potential impacts of this decline. We used a seagrass residency index, that was trait and evidence based, to estimate the proportion of Mediterranean commercial fishery landings values and recreation fisheries total expenditure that can be attributed to seagrass during different life stages. The index was calculated as a weighted sum of the averages of the estimated residence time in seagrass (compared with other habitats) at each life stage of the fishery species found in seagrass. Seagrass-associated species were estimated to contribute 30%-40% to the value of commercial fisheries landings and approximately 29% to recreational fisheries expenditure. These species predominantly rely on seagrass to survive juvenile stages. Seagrass beds had an estimated direct annual contribution during residency of €58-91 million (4% of commercial landing values) and €112 million (6% of recreation expenditure) to commercial and recreational fisheries, respectively, despite covering <2% of the area. These results suggest there is a clear cost of seagrass degradation associated with ineffective management of seagrass beds and that policy to manage both fisheries and seagrass beds should take into account the socioeconomic implications of seagrass loss to recreational and commercial fisheries.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Seagrass meadows are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of increasing coastal development and climate change. The emergence of omics and molecular profiling techniques in seagrass research is timely, providing a new opportunity to address such global issues. Whilst these applications have transformed terrestrial plant research, they have only emerged in seagrass research within the past decade; In this time frame we have observed a significant increase in the number of publications in this nascent field, and as of this year the first genome of a seagrass species has been sequenced. In this review, we focus on the development of omics and molecular profiling and the utilization of molecular markers in the field of seagrass biology. We highlight the advances, merits and pitfalls associated with such technology, and importantly we identify and address the knowledge gaps, which to this day prevent us from understanding seagrasses in a holistic manner. By utilizing the powers of omics and molecular profiling technologies in integrated strategies, we will gain a better understanding of how these unique plants function at the molecular level and how they respond to on-going disturbance and climate change events. PMID:27443314

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Diurnal shifts in co-distributions of sulfide and iron(II) and profiles of phosphate and ammonium in the rhizosphere of Zostera capricorni

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagès, Anaïs; Welsh, David T.; Robertson, David; Panther, Jared G.; Schäfer, Jörg; Tomlinson, Rodger B.; Teasdale, Peter R.

    2012-12-01

    High resolution, two dimensional distributions of porewater iron(II) and sulfide were measured, using colourimetric DET (diffusive equilibration in a thin film) and DGT (diffusive gradients in a thin film) techniques, respectively, in Zostera capricorni colonised sediments under both light and dark conditions. Low resolution depth profiles of ammonium and phosphate were measured using conventional DET and DGT methods, respectively. Porewater iron(II) and sulfide distributions showed a high degree of spatial heterogeneity under both light and dark conditions, and distributions were characterised by a complex mosaic of sediment zones dominated by either iron(II) or sulfide. However, there was a clear shift in overall redox conditions between light and dark conditions. During light deployments, iron(II) and sulfide concentrations were generally low throughout the rhizosphere, apart from a few distinct "hotspots" of high concentration. Whereas during dark deployments, high concentrations of iron(II) were sometimes measured in the near surface sediments and sulfide depth distributions migrated towards the sediment surface. Profiles of porewater ammonium and phosphate demonstrated an increase in ammonium concentrations under dark compared to light conditions. Surprisingly, despite the large changes in iron(II) distributions between light and dark conditions, phosphate profiles remained similar, indicating that adsorption/release of phosphate by iron(III) hydr(oxide) mineral formation and reduction was not a major factor regulating porewater phosphate concentrations in these sediments or that phosphate uptake by the seagrass roots persisted during the dark period. Overall, the results demonstrate that the photosynthetic activity of the seagrass played a significant role in regulating sulfide, iron(II) and ammonium concentrations in the rhizosphere, due to rates of radial oxygen loss and ammonium uptake by the roots and rhizomes being lower under dark compared to light

  12. Alkaline phosphatase activity in Zostera noltii hornem. and its contribution to the release of phosphate in the palmones river estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández, I.; Pérez-Llorens, J. L.; Fernández, J. A.; Niell, F. X.

    Alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) was studied in Zostera noltii Hornem., a sea-grass collected in the Palmones river estuary (southern Spain). The higher activity was found in the leaves, with minor contributions in the stem and the underground parts of the plant. The enzymatic activity showed a two-phase kinetic versus substrate concentration between 5 μM and 25 mM. The influence of some environmental factors important in nature (temperature, pH, salinity, photon irradiance and external phosphate) on the enzymatic activity is discussed. Over an ecophysiological range of these factors, maximum APA was found at 30 0C (22·6 μmol pNP released g dry wt-1 h-1), pH 8·8 (35·6 μmol pNP g dry wt-1 h-1) and salinity 43·8 (27·8 pmol pNP g dry wt-1 h-1). With regard to light, APA and phosphate uptake in shoots were light-saturated and showed similar values for maximum velocity and half-saturation constant. In the range of phosphate concentration tested (0 20 μM), APA was independent of the external phosphate concentration. Finally, as Z. noltii incorporated only 16% of the phosphate hydrolysed from the model phosphomonoester used in the assay, the significance of Z. noltii population in the enzymatic release of phosphate to the estuary was estimated. A minimum of 8·4 nM Pi liberated per day and a maximum of 99·8 nM Pi day-1 was found.

  13. Alkaline Phosphatase Activity in Zostera noltii Hornem. and its Contribution to the Release of Phosphate in the Palmones River Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández, I.; Pérez-Llorens, J. L.; Fernández, J. A.; Niell, F. X.

    Alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) was studied in Zostera noltii Hornem., a sea-grass collected in the Palmones river estuary (southern Spain). The higher activity was found in the leaves, with minor contributions in the stem and the underground parts of the plant. The enzymatic activity showed a two-phase kinetic versus substrate concentration between 5 μM and 25 mM. The influence of some environmental factors important in nature (temperature, pH, salinity, photon irradiance and external phosphate) on the enzymatic activity is discussed. Over an ecophysiological range of these factors, maximum APA was found at 30 °C (22·6 μmol pNP released g dry wt -1 h -1), pH 8·8 (35·6 μmol pNP g dry wt -1 h -1) and salinity 43·8 (27·8 μmol pNP g dry wt -1 h -1). With regard to light, APA and phosphate uptake in shoots were light-saturated and showed similar values for maximum velocity and half-saturation constant. In the range of phosphate concentration tested (0-20 μM), APA was independent of the external phosphate concentration. Finally, as Z. noltii incorporated only 16% of the phosphate hydrolysed from the model phosphomonoester used in the assay, the significance of Z. noltii population in the enzymatic release of phosphate to the estuary was estimated. A minimum of 8·4 nM Pi liberated per day and a maximum of 99·8 nM Pi day -1 was found.

  14. Alkaline phosphatase activity in Zostera noltii hornem. and its contribution to the release of phosphate in the palmones river estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández, I.; Pérez-Llorens, J. L.; Fernández, J. A.; Niell, F. X.

    Alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) was studied in Zostera noltii Hornem., a sea-grass collected in the Palmones river estuary (southern Spain). The higher activity was found in the leaves, with minor contributions in the stem and the underground parts of the plant. The enzymatic activity showed a two-phase kinetic versus substrate concentration between 5 μM and 25 mM. The influence of some environmental factors important in nature (temperature, pH, salinity, photon irradiance and external phosphate) on the enzymatic activity is discussed. Over an ecophysiological range of these factors, maximum APA was found at 30 0C (22·6 μmol pNP released g dry wt -1 h -1), pH 8·8 (35·6 μmol pNP g dry wt -1 h -1) and salinity 43·8 (27·8 pmol pNP g dry wt -1 h -1). With regard to light, APA and phosphate uptake in shoots were light-saturated and showed similar values for maximum velocity and half-saturation constant. In the range of phosphate concentration tested (0-20 μM), APA was independent of the external phosphate concentration. Finally, as Z. noltii incorporated only 16% of the phosphate hydrolysed from the model phosphomonoester used in the assay, the significance of Z. noltii population in the enzymatic release of phosphate to the estuary was estimated. A minimum of 8·4 nM Pi liberated per day and a maximum of 99·8 nM Pi day -1 was found.

  15. Manatees mapping seagrass (USA & Puerto Rico)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. ACETOGENIC BACTERIA ASSOCIATED WITH SEAGRASS ROOTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seagrasses are adapted to being rooted in reduced, anoxic sediments with high rates of sulfate reduction. During the day, an oxygen gradient is generated around the roots, becoming anoxic at night. Thus, obligate anaerobic bacteria in the rhizosphere have to tolerate elevated oxy...

  17. MEASURING INVERTEBRATE GRAZING ON SEAGRASSES AND EPIPHYTES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The chapter describes methods to assess grazing rates, grazer preferences, and grazer impacts, by mobile organisms living in the canopy or in the rhizome layer in any seagrass system. One set of methods quantifies grazing activity in small to medium sized, mobile organisms livin...

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Transplantation as a method for restoring the seagrass Posidonia australis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastyan, G. R.; Cambridge, M. L.

    2008-08-01

    Transplant trials of the seagrass Posidonia australis were carried out after loss of seagrasses following eutrophication and increased turbidity in two marine inlets on the south coast of Western Australia. A pilot study in Oyster Harbour measured survival and growth in situ for 4 years. Long-term survival rates were high (96-98%), providing plants were anchored into the sediment. All unanchored plants were lost in the first winter. Following the success of the pilot study, a more comprehensive program began 3 years later with over 500 transplant units collected from either actively growing edges of nearby patches (plagiotropic growth form) or within established meadows (orthotropic growth form). Transplant units from edges expanded at a faster rate compared to units from mid-meadow but increases in shoot numbers were similar. Growth rates in the first 2.5 years averaged 10-20 cm yr -1 horizontal rhizome extension, depending on the source of the transplant units, and 4-12 shoots per initial shoot yr -1, depending on the initial shoot number of the transplant unit. After 5 years, shoot numbers of individual transplants were similar to shoot densities recorded for natural meadows, >500 shoots m -2. Approximately, 10% of transplants from mid-meadow flowered in the first year, whereas transplants from edges flowered only after 5 years. Transplant trials were also established in nearby Princess Royal Harbour at a site selected to test the effect of disturbance by bioturbation from large sand-burrowing worms or by sediment erosion. Survival was lower than in Oyster Harbour, 75-89% in areas with bioturbation but only 14% in areas where sediments were eroded. Growth was poor, <1-2 shoots per shoot yr -1 with high shoot mortality, and low rates of increase in rhizome length, <5 cm yr -1. In areas affected by worm bioturbation, there was almost no horizontal expansion of plants because rhizomes grew vertically to keep pace with sediment deposition. This study showed that

  20. The bathymetric distribution of intertidal eelgrass Zostera marina L. in three coastal estuaries of Oregon

    EPA Science Inventory

    Distributions of native eelgrass Zostera marina L. within the intertidal and shallow subtidal zones of three Oregon coastal estuaries (Tillamook, Yaquina, and Alsea) were determined by digital classification of aerial color infrared (CIR) orthophotographs. Stratified random surv...

  1. Distribution of intertidal eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) with bathymetry in three Pacific Northwest estuaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Distributions of native intertidal eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and non-vegetated substrates in three coastal estuaries of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) were determined using color infrared (CIR) aerial orthophotography during daylight low tides. Comparison of the digital classif...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Boström, Christoffer; Baden, Susanne; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina; Dromph, Karsten; Fredriksen, Stein; Gustafsson, Camilla; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Möller, Tiia; Nielsen, Søren 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 area of eelgrass in Western Europe.Eelgrass meadows in the low salinity Baltic Sea support the highest diversity (4–6 spp.) of angiosperms overall, but eelgrass productivity is low (<2 g dw m-2 d-1) and meadows are isolated and genetically impoverished. Higher salinity areas support monospecific meadows, with higher productivity (3–10 g dw m-2 d-1) and greater genetic connectivity. The salinity gradient further imposes functional differences in biodiversity and food webs, in particular a decline in number, but increase in biomass of mesograzers in the Baltic.Significant declines in eelgrass depth limits and areal cover are documented, particularly in regions experiencing high human pressure. The failure of eelgrass to re-establish itself in affected areas, despite nutrient reductions and improved water quality, signals complex recovery trajectories and calls for much greater conservation effort to protect existing meadows.The knowledge base for Nordic eelgrass meadows is broad and sufficient to establish monitoring objectives across nine national borders. Nevertheless, ensuring awareness of their vulnerability remains challenging. Given the areal extent of Nordic eelgrass systems and the ecosystem services they provide, it is crucial to further develop incentives for protecting them. © 2014 The Authors. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26167100

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

    PubMed

    Solana-Arellano, Elena; Echavarria-Heras, Héctor; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto

    2008-09-01

    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(-). 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. PMID:19419023

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

    PubMed

    Solana-Arellano, Elena; Echavarria-Heras, Héctor; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto

    2008-09-01

    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(-). 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.

  6. Clonal architecture in an intertidal bed of the dwarf eelgrass Zostera noltii in the Northern Wadden Sea: persistence through extreme physical perturbation and the importance of a seed bank.

    PubMed

    Zipperle, Andreas M; Coyer, James A; Reise, Karsten; Gitz, Eelo; Stam, Wytze T; Olsen, Jeanine L

    2009-01-01

    Genotypic structure and temporal dynamics of the dwarf seagrass, Zostera noltii, were studied in an intertidal meadow that has persisted since prior to 1936 near the Wadden Sea island of Sylt. Samples were collected from two 10 × 10 m plots separated by 250 m from May 2002 to June 2005 and from four 1 × 1 m plots from June 2003 to September 2004. All the samples were genotyped with nine microsatellite loci. No genotypes were shared between the plots separated by 250 m. Genetic diversity was higher in the Wadden Sea than in the other regions of its geographic range. The average clone size (genets) (SD) in the two plots was 1.38 (0.26) and 1.46 (0.4) m², respectively, with a range up to 9 m² and <20% persisted for >4 years. A high genetic and genotypic diversity was maintained by annual recruitment of seedlings despite a dramatic decrease in ramet density that coincided with the severe heat stress event of 2003. Fine-scale (1 m²) analysis suggested that extensive loss of seagrass cover precluded space competition among the genets, while a persistent seed bank prevented local extinction. Long-term persistence of Z. noltii meadows in the intertidal Wadden Sea was achieved by high genet turnover and frequent seedling recruitment from a seed bank, in contrast to the low diversity observed in large and long-living clones of Z. noltii and other seagrasses in subtidal habitats.

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Sedimentation that leads to periodic, and often prolonged, burial events is becoming more common on the world’s coastlines as human populations expand and create urbanised marine environments. Different seagrass species react differently to sediment burial but many species in the southern hemisphere are yet to be examined. How seagrasses react to burial has restoration implications. There is a need to critically assess seagrass transplant propagule responses to periodic (pulse) and prolonged (press) burial events before selecting the most appropriate species, transplant propagule, and transplant site. In my study, mesocosm experiments, coupled with field measurements were used to assess how sexual (seedlings) and vegetative (sprigs) propagules of Posidonia australis responded to pulse and press burial events. Seedlings were highly susceptible to burial (both pulse and press), with no survival at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, rhizome growth in vegetative propagules was stimulated by pulse burial, although press burial events resulted in mortality. The implication for Posidonia australis restoration efforts in areas where burial is periodic, was that vegetative propagules are optimal transplant units, in comparison to seedlings. Press burial however, renders a transplant site sub-optimal for both seedling and sprig transplants. PMID:27526020

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Marnie L

    2016-01-01

    Sedimentation that leads to periodic, and often prolonged, burial events is becoming more common on the world's coastlines as human populations expand and create urbanised marine environments. Different seagrass species react differently to sediment burial but many species in the southern hemisphere are yet to be examined. How seagrasses react to burial has restoration implications. There is a need to critically assess seagrass transplant propagule responses to periodic (pulse) and prolonged (press) burial events before selecting the most appropriate species, transplant propagule, and transplant site. In my study, mesocosm experiments, coupled with field measurements were used to assess how sexual (seedlings) and vegetative (sprigs) propagules of Posidonia australis responded to pulse and press burial events. Seedlings were highly susceptible to burial (both pulse and press), with no survival at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, rhizome growth in vegetative propagules was stimulated by pulse burial, although press burial events resulted in mortality. The implication for Posidonia australis restoration efforts in areas where burial is periodic, was that vegetative propagules are optimal transplant units, in comparison to seedlings. Press burial however, renders a transplant site sub-optimal for both seedling and sprig transplants. PMID:27526020

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Marnie L

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26066515

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Community structure and spatial variation of benthic invertebrates associated with Zostera marina (L.) beds in the northern Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boström, Christoffer; Bonsdorff, Erik

    1997-05-01

    The distribution and bed structure of eelgrass ( Zostera marina L.), and its importance for associated faunal communities in the coastal areas of the northern Baltic Sea are poorly known. The spatial distribution of the fauna associated with Zostera was studied at five localities in SW Finland in 1993-1994. Zostera was common on all localities, but the beds varied in terms of area (1-5 m diameter), density (50-500 shoots/m 2) and blade length (20-110 cm). A total of about 40 species or taxa were recorded. The zoobenthic infauna showed significant spatial differences, and total abundance and species diversity were significantly higher in the Zostera beds than in adjacent bare sand. The total abundance in Zostera ranged from 25 000 to 50 000 ind/m 2 and in sand from 2500 to 15 000 ind/m 2 The mean number of species in Zostera ranged from 5.9 to 8.8 spp ( H' = 1.76-2.54) and in sand from 2.2 to 5.5 spp ( H' = 1.67-2.31). The epifauna in Zostera was numerically dominated by grazing gastropods (Hydrobiidae) and copepods. The epifauna is an important community component, which contributes to the total diversity of the Zostera assemblage. These systems are among the most species-rich components of the shallow soft-bottom ecosystems in the northern Baltic Sea. The mechanisms structuring both the Zostera and the ambient sand-bottom habitats are presented.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Effectiveness and consistency of a suite of descriptors for assessing the ecological status of seagrass meadows (Posidonia oceanica L. Delile)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rotini, Alice; Belmonte, Alessandro; Barrote, Isabel; Micheli, Carla; Peirano, Andrea; Santos, Rui O.; Silva, João; Migliore, Luciana

    2013-09-01

    The increasing rate of human-induced environmental changes on coastal marine ecosystems has created a demand for effective descriptors, in particular for those suitable for monitoring the status of seagrass meadows. Growing evidence has supported the useful application of biochemical and genetic descriptors such as secondary metabolite synthesis, photosynthetic activity and genetic diversity. In the present study, we have investigated the effectiveness of different descriptors (traditional, biochemical and genetic) in monitoring seagrass meadow conservation status. The Posidonia oceanica meadow of Monterosso al Mare (Ligurian sea, NW Mediterranean) was subjected to the measurement of bed density, leaf biometry, total phenols, soluble protein and photosynthetic pigment content as well as to RAPD marker analysis. This suite of descriptors provided evidence of their effectiveness and convenient application as markers of the conservation status of P. oceanica and/or other seagrasses. Biochemical/genetic descriptors and those obtained by traditional methods depicted a well conserved meadow with seasonal variability and, particularly in summer, indicated a healthier condition in a portion of the bed (station C), which was in agreement with the physical and sedimentological features of the station. Our results support the usefulness of introducing biochemical and genetic approaches to seagrass monitoring programs since they are effective indicators of plant physiological stress and environmental disturbance.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Effects of common seagrass restoration methods on ecosystem structure in subtropical seagrass meadows.

    PubMed

    Bourque, Amanda S; Fourqurean, James W

    2014-06-01

    Seagrass meadows near population centers are subject to frequent disturbance from vessel groundings. Common seagrass restoration methods include filling excavations and applying fertilizer to encourage seagrass recruitment. We sampled macrophytes, soil structure, and macroinvertebrate infauna at unrestored and recently restored vessel grounding disturbances to evaluate the effects of these restoration methods on seagrass ecosystem structure. After a year of observations comparing filled sites to both undisturbed reference and unrestored disturbed sites, filled sites had low organic matter content, nutrient pools, and primary producer abundance. Adding a nutrient source increased porewater nutrient pools at disturbed sites and in undisturbed meadows, but not at filled sites. Environmental predictors of infaunal community structure across treatments included soil texture and nutrient pools. At the one year time scale, the restoration methods studied did not result in convergence between restored and unrestored sites. Particularly in filled sites, soil conditions may combine to constrain rapid development of the seagrass community and associated infauna. Our study is important for understanding early recovery trajectories following restoration using these methods.

  17. Extreme temperatures, foundation species, and abrupt ecosystem change: an example from an iconic seagrass ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Jordan A; Burkholder, Derek A; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Fraser, Matthew W; Statton, John; Kendrick, Gary A

    2015-04-01

    Extreme climatic events can trigger abrupt and often lasting change in ecosystems via the reduction or elimination of foundation (i.e., habitat-forming) species. However, while the frequency/intensity of extreme events is predicted to increase under climate change, the impact of these events on many foundation species and the ecosystems they support remains poorly understood. Here, we use the iconic seagrass meadows of Shark Bay, Western Australia--a relatively pristine subtropical embayment whose dominant, canopy-forming seagrass, Amphibolis antarctica, is a temperate species growing near its low-latitude range limit--as a model system to investigate the impacts of extreme temperatures on ecosystems supported by thermally sensitive foundation species in a changing climate. Following an unprecedented marine heat wave in late summer 2010/11, A. antarctica experienced catastrophic (>90%) dieback in several regions of Shark Bay. Animal-borne video footage taken from the perspective of resident, seagrass-associated megafauna (sea turtles) revealed severe habitat degradation after the event compared with a decade earlier. This reduction in habitat quality corresponded with a decline in the health status of largely herbivorous green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the 2 years following the heat wave, providing evidence of long-term, community-level impacts of the event. Based on these findings, and similar examples from diverse ecosystems, we argue that a generalized framework for assessing the vulnerability of ecosystems to abrupt change associated with the loss of foundation species is needed to accurately predict ecosystem trajectories in a changing climate. This includes seagrass meadows, which have received relatively little attention in this context. Novel research and monitoring methods, such as the analysis of habitat and environmental data from animal-borne video and data-logging systems, can make an important contribution to this framework. PMID:25145694

  18. Extreme temperatures, foundation species, and abrupt ecosystem change: an example from an iconic seagrass ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Jordan A; Burkholder, Derek A; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Fraser, Matthew W; Statton, John; Kendrick, Gary A

    2015-04-01

    Extreme climatic events can trigger abrupt and often lasting change in ecosystems via the reduction or elimination of foundation (i.e., habitat-forming) species. However, while the frequency/intensity of extreme events is predicted to increase under climate change, the impact of these events on many foundation species and the ecosystems they support remains poorly understood. Here, we use the iconic seagrass meadows of Shark Bay, Western Australia--a relatively pristine subtropical embayment whose dominant, canopy-forming seagrass, Amphibolis antarctica, is a temperate species growing near its low-latitude range limit--as a model system to investigate the impacts of extreme temperatures on ecosystems supported by thermally sensitive foundation species in a changing climate. Following an unprecedented marine heat wave in late summer 2010/11, A. antarctica experienced catastrophic (>90%) dieback in several regions of Shark Bay. Animal-borne video footage taken from the perspective of resident, seagrass-associated megafauna (sea turtles) revealed severe habitat degradation after the event compared with a decade earlier. This reduction in habitat quality corresponded with a decline in the health status of largely herbivorous green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the 2 years following the heat wave, providing evidence of long-term, community-level impacts of the event. Based on these findings, and similar examples from diverse ecosystems, we argue that a generalized framework for assessing the vulnerability of ecosystems to abrupt change associated with the loss of foundation species is needed to accurately predict ecosystem trajectories in a changing climate. This includes seagrass meadows, which have received relatively little attention in this context. Novel research and monitoring methods, such as the analysis of habitat and environmental data from animal-borne video and data-logging systems, can make an important contribution to this framework.

  19. Responses of bacterial communities in seagrass sediments to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced stress.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    The seagrass meadows represent one of the highest productive marine ecosystems, and have the great ecological and economic values. Bacteria play important roles in energy flow, nutrient biogeochemical cycle and organic matter turnover in marine ecosystems. The seagrass meadows are experiencing a world-wide decline, and the pollution is one of the main reasons. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are thought be the most common. Bacterial communities in the seagrass Enhalus acoroides sediments were analyzed for their responses to PAHs induced stress. Dynamics of the composition and abundance of bacterial communities during the incubation period were explored by polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and quantitative PCR assay, respectively. Both the incubation time and the PAHs concentration played significant roles in determining the microbial diversity, as reflected by the detected DGGE bands. Analysis of sequencing results showed that the Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the seagrass sediments, accounting for 61.29 % of all sequenced bands. As PAHs could be used as carbon source for microbes, the species and diversity of the PAH-added groups (group 1 and 2) presented higher Shannon Wiener index than the group CK, with the group 1 showing the highest values almost through the same incubation stage. Patterns of changes in abundance of the three groups over the experiment time were quite different. The bacterial abundance of the group CK and group 2 decreased sharply from 4.15 × 10(11) and 6.37 × 10(11) to 1.17 × 10(10) and 1.07 × 10(10) copies/g from day 2 to 35, respectively while bacterial abundance of group 1 increased significantly from 1.59 × 10(11) copies/g at day 2 to 8.80 × 10(11) copies/g at day 7, and then dropped from day 14 till the end of the incubation. Statistical analysis (UMPGA and PCA) results suggested that the bacterial community were more likely to be affected by the incubation time than the

  20. Responses of bacterial communities in seagrass sediments to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced stress.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    The seagrass meadows represent one of the highest productive marine ecosystems, and have the great ecological and economic values. Bacteria play important roles in energy flow, nutrient biogeochemical cycle and organic matter turnover in marine ecosystems. The seagrass meadows are experiencing a world-wide decline, and the pollution is one of the main reasons. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are thought be the most common. Bacterial communities in the seagrass Enhalus acoroides sediments were analyzed for their responses to PAHs induced stress. Dynamics of the composition and abundance of bacterial communities during the incubation period were explored by polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and quantitative PCR assay, respectively. Both the incubation time and the PAHs concentration played significant roles in determining the microbial diversity, as reflected by the detected DGGE bands. Analysis of sequencing results showed that the Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the seagrass sediments, accounting for 61.29 % of all sequenced bands. As PAHs could be used as carbon source for microbes, the species and diversity of the PAH-added groups (group 1 and 2) presented higher Shannon Wiener index than the group CK, with the group 1 showing the highest values almost through the same incubation stage. Patterns of changes in abundance of the three groups over the experiment time were quite different. The bacterial abundance of the group CK and group 2 decreased sharply from 4.15 × 10(11) and 6.37 × 10(11) to 1.17 × 10(10) and 1.07 × 10(10) copies/g from day 2 to 35, respectively while bacterial abundance of group 1 increased significantly from 1.59 × 10(11) copies/g at day 2 to 8.80 × 10(11) copies/g at day 7, and then dropped from day 14 till the end of the incubation. Statistical analysis (UMPGA and PCA) results suggested that the bacterial community were more likely to be affected by the incubation time than the

  1. Metabarcoding Is Powerful yet Still Blind: A Comparative Analysis of Morphological and Molecular Surveys of Seagrass Communities

    PubMed Central

    Cowart, Dominique A.; Pinheiro, Miguel; Mouchel, Olivier; Maguer, Marion; Grall, Jacques; Miné, Jacques; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    In the context of the sixth wave of extinction, reliable surveys of biodiversity are increasingly needed to infer the cause and consequences of species and community declines, identify early warning indicators of tipping points, and provide reliable impact assessments before engaging in activities with potential environmental hazards. DNA metabarcoding has emerged as having potential to provide speedy assessment of community structure from environmental samples. Here we tested the reliability of metabarcoding by comparing morphological and molecular inventories of invertebrate communities associated with seagrasses through estimates of alpha and beta diversity, as well as the identification of the most abundant taxa. Sediment samples were collected from six Zostera marina seagrass meadows across Brittany, France. Metabarcoding surveys were performed using both mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I) and nuclear (small subunit 18S ribosomal RNA) markers, and compared to morphological inventories compiled by a long-term benthic monitoring network. A sampling strategy was defined to enhance performance and accuracy of results by preventing the dominance of larger animals, boosting statistical support through replicates, and using two genes to compensate for taxonomic biases. Molecular barcodes proved powerful by revealing a remarkable level of diversity that vastly exceeded the morphological survey, while both surveys identified congruent differentiation of the meadows. However, despite the addition of individual barcodes of common species into taxonomic reference databases, the retrieval of only 36% of these species suggest that the remaining were either not present in the molecular samples or not detected by the molecular screening. This finding exemplifies the necessity of comprehensive and well-curated taxonomic reference libraries and multi-gene surveys. Overall, results offer methodological guidelines and support for metabarcoding as a powerful and repeatable

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  3. An evaluation of acoustic seabed classification techniques for marine biotope monitoring over broad-scales (>1 km 2) and meso-scales (10 m 2-1 km 2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Rein, H.; Brown, C. J.; Quinn, R.; Breen, J.; Schoeman, D.

    2011-07-01

    Acoustic seabed classification is a useful tool for monitoring marine benthic habitats over broad-scales (>1 km 2) and meso-scales (10 m 2-1 km 2). Its utility in this context was evaluated using two approaches: by describing natural changes in the temporal distribution of marine biotopes across the broad-scale (4 km 2), and by attempting to detect specific experimentally-induced changes to kelp-dominated biotopes across the meso-scale (100 m 2). For the first approach, acoustic backscatter mosaics were constructed using sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder data collected from Church Bay (Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland) in 1999, 2008 and 2009. The mosaics were manually segmented into acoustic facies, which were ground-truthed using a drop-video camera. Biotopes were classified from the video by multivariate exploratory analysis and cross-tabulated with the acoustic facies, showing a positive correlation. These results were integrated with bathymetric data to map the distribution of seven unique biotopes in Church Bay. Kappa analysis showed the biotope distribution was highly similar between the biotope maps, possibly due to the stability of bedforms shaped by the tidal regime around Rathlin Island. The greatest biotope change in this approach was represented by seasonal and annual changes in the growth of the seagrass, Zostera marina. In the second approach, sidescan sonar data were collected before and after the removal of 100 m 2 of kelp from three sites. Comparison of the data revealed no differences between the high-resolution backscatter imagery. It is concluded that acoustic seabed classification can be used to monitor change over broad- and meso-scales but not necessarily for all biotopes; its success depends on the type of acoustic system employed and the biological characteristics of the target biotope.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25720186

  5. Integrating scales of seagrass monitoring to meet conservation needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neckles, Hilary A.; Kopp, Blaine S.; Peterson, Bradley J.; Pooler, Penelope S.

    2012-01-01

    We evaluated a hierarchical framework for seagrass monitoring in two estuaries in the northeastern USA: Little Pleasant Bay, Massachusetts, and Great South Bay/Moriches Bay, New York. This approach includes three tiers of monitoring that are integrated across spatial scales and sampling intensities. We identified monitoring attributes for determining attainment of conservation objectives to protect seagrass ecosystems from estuarine nutrient enrichment. Existing mapping programs provided large-scale information on seagrass distribution and bed sizes (tier 1 monitoring). We supplemented this with bay-wide, quadrat-based assessments of seagrass percent cover and canopy height at permanent sampling stations following a spatially distributed random design (tier 2 monitoring). Resampling simulations showed that four observations per station were sufficient to minimize bias in estimating mean percent cover on a bay-wide scale, and sample sizes of 55 stations in a 624-ha system and 198 stations in a 9,220-ha system were sufficient to detect absolute temporal increases in seagrass abundance from 25% to 49% cover and from 4% to 12% cover, respectively. We made high-resolution measurements of seagrass condition (percent cover, canopy height, total and reproductive shoot density, biomass, and seagrass depth limit) at a representative index site in each system (tier 3 monitoring). Tier 3 data helped explain system-wide changes. Our results suggest tiered monitoring as an efficient and feasible way to detect and predict changes in seagrass systems relative to multi-scale conservation objectives.

  6. SULFATE-REDUCING BACTERIA IN THE SEAGRASS RHIZOSPHERE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seagrasses are rooted in anoxic sediments that support high levels of microbial activity including utilization of sulfate as a terminal electron acceptor which is reduced to sulfide. Sulfate reduction in seagrass bed sediments is stimulated by input of organic carbon through the ...

  7. Consumer Depletion Alters Seagrass Resistance to an Invasive Macroalga

    PubMed Central

    Caronni, Sarah; Calabretti, Chiara; Delaria, Maria Anna; Bernardi, Giuseppe; Navone, Augusto; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Panzalis, Pieraugusto; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2015-01-01

    Few field studies have investigated how changes at one trophic level can affect the invasibility of other trophic levels. We examined the hypothesis that the spread of an introduced alga in disturbed seagrass beds with degraded canopies depends on the depletion of large consumers. We mimicked the degradation of seagrass canopies by clipping shoot density and reducing leaf length, simulating natural and anthropogenic stressors such as fish overgrazing and water quality. Caulerpa racemosa was transplanted into each plot and large consumers were excluded from half of them using cages. Potential cage artifacts were assessed by measuring irradiance, scouring by leaf movement, water flow, and sedimentation. Algal invasion of the seagrass bed differed based on the size of consumers. The alga had higher cover and size under the cages, where the seagrass was characterized by reduced shoot density and canopy height. Furthermore, canopy height had a significant effect depending on canopy density. The alteration of seagrass canopies increased the spread of C. racemosa only when large consumers were absent. Our results suggest that protecting declining habitats and/or restoring fish populations will limit the expansion of C. racemosa. Because MPAs also enhance the abundance and size of fish consuming seagrass they can indirectly promote algal invasion. The effects of MPAs on invasive species are context dependent and require balancing opposing forces, such as the conservation of seagrass canopy structure and the protection of fish grazing the seagrass. PMID:25723466

  8. Consumer depletion alters seagrass resistance to an invasive macroalga.

    PubMed

    Caronni, Sarah; Calabretti, Chiara; Delaria, Maria Anna; Bernardi, Giuseppe; Navone, Augusto; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Panzalis, Pieraugusto; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2015-01-01

    Few field studies have investigated how changes at one trophic level can affect the invasibility of other trophic levels. We examined the hypothesis that the spread of an introduced alga in disturbed seagrass beds with degraded canopies depends on the depletion of large consumers. We mimicked the degradation of seagrass canopies by clipping shoot density and reducing leaf length, simulating natural and anthropogenic stressors such as fish overgrazing and water quality. Caulerpa racemosa was transplanted into each plot and large consumers were excluded from half of them using cages. Potential cage artifacts were assessed by measuring irradiance, scouring by leaf movement, water flow, and sedimentation. Algal invasion of the seagrass bed differed based on the size of consumers. The alga had higher cover and size under the cages, where the seagrass was characterized by reduced shoot density and canopy height. Furthermore, canopy height had a significant effect depending on canopy density. The alteration of seagrass canopies increased the spread of C. racemosa only when large consumers were absent. Our results suggest that protecting declining habitats and/or restoring fish populations will limit the expansion of C. racemosa. Because MPAs also enhance the abundance and size of fish consuming seagrass they can indirectly promote algal invasion. The effects of MPAs on invasive species are context dependent and require balancing opposing forces, such as the conservation of seagrass canopy structure and the protection of fish grazing the seagrass.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. Consumer depletion alters seagrass resistance to an invasive macroalga.

    PubMed

    Caronni, Sarah; Calabretti, Chiara; Delaria, Maria Anna; Bernardi, Giuseppe; Navone, Augusto; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Panzalis, Pieraugusto; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2015-01-01

    Few field studies have investigated how changes at one trophic level can affect the invasibility of other trophic levels. We examined the hypothesis that the spread of an introduced alga in disturbed seagrass beds with degraded canopies depends on the depletion of large consumers. We mimicked the degradation of seagrass canopies by clipping shoot density and reducing leaf length, simulating natural and anthropogenic stressors such as fish overgrazing and water quality. Caulerpa racemosa was transplanted into each plot and large consumers were excluded from half of them using cages. Potential cage artifacts were assessed by measuring irradiance, scouring by leaf movement, water flow, and sedimentation. Algal invasion of the seagrass bed differed based on the size of consumers. The alga had higher cover and size under the cages, where the seagrass was characterized by reduced shoot density and canopy height. Furthermore, canopy height had a significant effect depending on canopy density. The alteration of seagrass canopies increased the spread of C. racemosa only when large consumers were absent. Our results suggest that protecting declining habitats and/or restoring fish populations will limit the expansion of C. racemosa. Because MPAs also enhance the abundance and size of fish consuming seagrass they can indirectly promote algal invasion. The effects of MPAs on invasive species are context dependent and require balancing opposing forces, such as the conservation of seagrass canopy structure and the protection of fish grazing the seagrass. PMID:25723466

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Habitat use by fishes in coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove habitats in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Honda, Kentaro; Nakamura, Yohei; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Uy, Wilfredo H; Fortes, Miguel D

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the interconnectivity of organisms among different habitats is a key requirement for generating effective management plans in coastal ecosystems, particularly when determining component habitat structures in marine protected areas. To elucidate the patterns of habitat use by fishes among coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats, and between natural and transplanted mangroves, visual censuses were conducted semiannually at two sites in the Philippines during September and March 2010-2012. In total, 265 species and 15,930 individuals were recorded. Species richness and abundance of fishes were significantly higher in coral reefs (234 species, 12,306 individuals) than in seagrass (38 species, 1,198 individuals) and mangrove (47 species, 2,426 individuals) habitats. Similarity tests revealed a highly significant difference among the three habitats. Fishes exhibited two different strategies for habitat use, inhabiting either a single (85.6% of recorded species) or several habitats (14.4%). Some fish that utilized multiple habitats, such as Lutjanus monostigma and Parupeneus barberinus, showed possible ontogenetic habitat shifts from mangroves and/or seagrass habitats to coral reefs. Moreover, over 20% of commercial fish species used multiple habitats, highlighting the importance of including different habitat types within marine protected areas to achieve efficient and effective resource management. Neither species richness nor abundance of fishes significantly differed between natural and transplanted mangroves. In addition, 14 fish species were recorded in a 20-year-old transplanted mangrove area, and over 90% of these species used multiple habitats, further demonstrating the key role of transplanted mangroves as a reef fish habitat in this region. PMID:23976940

  13. Habitat use by fishes in coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove habitats in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Honda, Kentaro; Nakamura, Yohei; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Uy, Wilfredo H; Fortes, Miguel D

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the interconnectivity of organisms among different habitats is a key requirement for generating effective management plans in coastal ecosystems, particularly when determining component habitat structures in marine protected areas. To elucidate the patterns of habitat use by fishes among coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats, and between natural and transplanted mangroves, visual censuses were conducted semiannually at two sites in the Philippines during September and March 2010-2012. In total, 265 species and 15,930 individuals were recorded. Species richness and abundance of fishes were significantly higher in coral reefs (234 species, 12,306 individuals) than in seagrass (38 species, 1,198 individuals) and mangrove (47 species, 2,426 individuals) habitats. Similarity tests revealed a highly significant difference among the three habitats. Fishes exhibited two different strategies for habitat use, inhabiting either a single (85.6% of recorded species) or several habitats (14.4%). Some fish that utilized multiple habitats, such as Lutjanus monostigma and Parupeneus barberinus, showed possible ontogenetic habitat shifts from mangroves and/or seagrass habitats to coral reefs. Moreover, over 20% of commercial fish species used multiple habitats, highlighting the importance of including different habitat types within marine protected areas to achieve efficient and effective resource management. Neither species richness nor abundance of fishes significantly differed between natural and transplanted mangroves. In addition, 14 fish species were recorded in a 20-year-old transplanted mangrove area, and over 90% of these species used multiple habitats, further demonstrating the key role of transplanted mangroves as a reef fish habitat in this region.

  14. Habitat Use by Fishes in Coral Reefs, Seagrass Beds and Mangrove Habitats in the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Honda, Kentaro; Nakamura, Yohei; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Uy, Wilfredo H.; Fortes, Miguel D.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the interconnectivity of organisms among different habitats is a key requirement for generating effective management plans in coastal ecosystems, particularly when determining component habitat structures in marine protected areas. To elucidate the patterns of habitat use by fishes among coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats, and between natural and transplanted mangroves, visual censuses were conducted semiannually at two sites in the Philippines during September and March 2010–2012. In total, 265 species and 15,930 individuals were recorded. Species richness and abundance of fishes were significantly higher in coral reefs (234 species, 12,306 individuals) than in seagrass (38 species, 1,198 individuals) and mangrove (47 species, 2,426 individuals) habitats. Similarity tests revealed a highly significant difference among the three habitats. Fishes exhibited two different strategies for habitat use, inhabiting either a single (85.6% of recorded species) or several habitats (14.4%). Some fish that utilized multiple habitats, such as Lutjanus monostigma and Parupeneus barberinus, showed possible ontogenetic habitat shifts from mangroves and/or seagrass habitats to coral reefs. Moreover, over 20% of commercial fish species used multiple habitats, highlighting the importance of including different habitat types within marine protected areas to achieve efficient and effective resource management. Neither species richness nor abundance of fishes significantly differed between natural and transplanted mangroves. In addition, 14 fish species were recorded in a 20-year-old transplanted mangrove area, and over 90% of these species used multiple habitats, further demonstrating the key role of transplanted mangroves as a reef fish habitat in this region. PMID:23976940

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

    PubMed

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Župan, Ivan; Vondrášek, David; Petrtýl, Miloslav; Sudová, Radka

    2015-11-01

    Roots of terrestrial plants host a wide spectrum of soil fungi that form various parasitic, neutral and mutualistic associations. A similar trend is evident in freshwater aquatic plants and plants inhabiting salt marshes or mangroves. Marine vascular plants (seagrasses), by contrast, seem to lack specific root-fungus symbioses. We examined roots of two Mediterranean seagrasses, Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea for fungal colonization using light and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. We found that P. oceanica, but not C. nodosa, is regularly associated with melanized septate hyphae in a manner resembling colonization by the ubiquitous dark septate endophytes (DSE) in roots of most terrestrial plants. P. oceanica roots were found to be colonized by sparse dematiaceous running hyphae as well as dense parenchymatous nets/hyphal sheaths on the root surface, intracellular melanized microsclerotia and occasionally also intra- and intercellular hyphae. The colonization was most prominent in the thick-walled hypodermis of the thinnest healthy looking roots, and the mycobiont seemed to colonize both living and dead host cells. Dark septate hyphae infrequently occurred also inside rhizodermal cells, but never colonized vascular tissues. The biological significance of this overlooked marine symbiosis remains unknown, but its morphology, extent, distribution across the NW Mediterranean Sea and absence in C. nodosa indicate an intriguing relationship between the dominant Mediterranean seagrass and its dark septate root mycobionts. PMID:25958075

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

    PubMed

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Župan, Ivan; Vondrášek, David; Petrtýl, Miloslav; Sudová, Radka

    2015-11-01

    Roots of terrestrial plants host a wide spectrum of soil fungi that form various parasitic, neutral and mutualistic associations. A similar trend is evident in freshwater aquatic plants and plants inhabiting salt marshes or mangroves. Marine vascular plants (seagrasses), by contrast, seem to lack specific root-fungus symbioses. We examined roots of two Mediterranean seagrasses, Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea for fungal colonization using light and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. We found that P. oceanica, but not C. nodosa, is regularly associated with melanized septate hyphae in a manner resembling colonization by the ubiquitous dark septate endophytes (DSE) in roots of most terrestrial plants. P. oceanica roots were found to be colonized by sparse dematiaceous running hyphae as well as dense parenchymatous nets/hyphal sheaths on the root surface, intracellular melanized microsclerotia and occasionally also intra- and intercellular hyphae. The colonization was most prominent in the thick-walled hypodermis of the thinnest healthy looking roots, and the mycobiont seemed to colonize both living and dead host cells. Dark septate hyphae infrequently occurred also inside rhizodermal cells, but never colonized vascular tissues. The biological significance of this overlooked marine symbiosis remains unknown, but its morphology, extent, distribution across the NW Mediterranean Sea and absence in C. nodosa indicate an intriguing relationship between the dominant Mediterranean seagrass and its dark septate root mycobionts.

  17. CARBON AND NITROGEN ALLOCATION MODEL FOR THE SUB-TROPICAL SEAGRASS THALASSIA TESTUDINUM AND THE TEMPERATE SEAGRASS ZOSTER MARINA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Our understanding of seagrass physiology is based on crude estimates of production and biomass. To better understand the complex physiological relationships between the plants and the environment we developed a model of carbon and nitrogen allocation in the sub-tropical seagrass ...

  18. Seagrass-sediment feedbacks in shallow coastal lagoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    Shallow coastal lagoons are environments where a delicate equilibrium exists between water quality and sea grass cover. Seagrass cover limits the resuspension of bed sediments thereby favoring a clearer water column. These conditions allow for the penetration of adequate levels of light, which in turn, is fundamental for the survival of seagrass. It is still unclear what role this positive feedback may play in the dynamics and restoration of seagrass communities. Positive feedbacks are often associated with the existence of bistable dynamics in ecosystems. In this specific case a bare and a fully vegetated sediment bed could be both stable states of the system. This study develops a one dimensional hydrodynamic model of vegetation-sediment-water flow interactions to investigate the strengths of positive feedbacks between sea grass cover, stabilization of bed sediments, turbidity of the water column, and the existence of a favorable light environment for seagrasses. The model is applied to Hog Island Bay, a shallow coastal lagoon on the eastern shore of Virginia. The effects of temperature, eutrophication, and bed grain size on bistability of seagrass ecosystems in the lagoon are explored. The results indicate that under typical conditions, seagrass is stable in water depths < 2.2 m (51% of the bay bottom deep enough for seagrass growth) and bistable conditions exist for depths of 2.2 - 3.6 m (23% of bay) where the preferred state depends in initial seagrass cover. The remaining 26% of the bay is too deep to sustain seagrass. Decreases in sediment size and increases in water temperature and degree of eutrophication shift the bistable range to shallower depths, with more of the bay bottom unable to sustain seagrass.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  1. Mapping of the Seagrass Cover Along the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey Using Landsat 8 Oli Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakirman, T.; Gumusay, M. U.; Tuney, I.

    2016-06-01

    Benthic habitat is defined as ecological environment where marine animals, plants and other organisms live in. Benthic habitat mapping is defined as plotting the distribution and extent of habitats to create a map with complete coverage of the seabed showing distinct boundaries separating adjacent habitats or the use of spatially continuous environmental data sets to represent and predict biological patterns on the seafloor. Seagrass is an essential endemic marine species that prevents coast erosion and regulates carbon dioxide absorption in both undersea and atmosphere. Fishing, mining, pollution and other human activities cause serious damage to seabed ecosystems and reduce benthic biodiversity. According to the latest studies, only 5-10% of the seafloor is mapped, therefore it is not possible to manage resources effectively, protect ecologically important areas. In this study, it is aimed to map seagrass cover using Landsat 8 OLI images in the northern part of Mediterranean coast of Turkey. After pre-processing (e.g. radiometric, atmospheric, water depth correction) of Landsat images, coverage maps are produced with supervised classification using in-situ data which are underwater photos and videos. Result maps and accuracy assessment are presented and discussed.

  2. Effects of tidal inundation on benthic macrofauna associated with the eelgrass Zostera muelleri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicastro, Andrea; Bishop, Melanie J.

    2013-01-01

    Processes, such as sea level rise, that alter tidal inundation regimes have the potential to modify the structure of seagrasses and their dense and diverse faunal communities. This study tested the hypothesis that seagrass-dwelling invertebrate communities would vary across a tidal inundation gradient as a result of direct effects of tidal inundation and indirect effects, arising from changes in seagrass morphology across this gradient. First, we conducted mensurative sampling across tidal inundation gradients to assess how above- and below-ground seagrass biomass, and epi- and infaunal invertebrate communities co-varied with depth. Second, we ran a manipulative field experiment, utilising artificial seagrass rhizomes of varying morphologies, to separate out direct effects of tidal inundation on infaunal communities from indirect effects arising from changes in seagrass root morphology. Mensurative sampling revealed that the abundance and taxon richness of seagrass epi- and infauna, and the above- and below-ground biomass of seagrass each increased with depth across a tidal elevation gradient extending from the high intertidal to the shallow subtidal. The manipulative experiment revealed that the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of tidal inundation in determining the distribution and abundance of infauna were taxon-specific. In general, however, the facilitative effects of rhizome structure were more evident at the intertidal compared to the subtidal elevation. Our results indicate that changes to tidal inundation regime will affect seagrass-dwelling macroinvertebrates through a combination of direct and indirect effects. Therefore, future changes in tidal inundation should be taken into account in developing conservation plans for protecting seagrasses and the biodiversity they sustain.

  3. Response of key stress-related genes of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in the vicinity of submarine volcanic vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauritano, C.; Ruocco, M.; Dattolo, E.; Buia, M. C.; Silva, J.; Santos, R.; Olivé, I.; Costa, M. M.; Procaccini, G.

    2015-03-01

    Submarine volcanic vents are being used as natural laboratories to assess the effects of CO2 on marine organisms and communities, as this gas is the main component of emissions. Seagrasses should positively react to increased dissolved carbon, but in vicinity of volcanic vents there may be toxic substances, that can have indirect effects on seagrasses. Here we analysed the expression of 35 stress-related genes in the Mediterranean keystone seagrass species P. oceanica in the vicinity of submerged volcanic vents located in the Islands of Ischia and Panarea, Italy, and compared them with those from control sites away from the influence of vents. Reverse Transcription-Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) was used to characterize the expression levels of genes. Fifty one per cent of genes analysed showed significant expression changes. Metal detoxification genes were mostly down-regulated in relation to controls both in Ischia and Panarea locations, indicating that P. oceanica does not increase the synthesis of heavy metal detoxification proteins in response to the environmental conditions present at the two vents. The expression levels of genes involved in free radical detoxification indicate that, in contrast with Ischia, P. oceanica at the Panarea vent face stressors that result in the production of reactive oxygen species triggering antioxidant responses. In addition, heat shock proteins were also activated at Panarea and not at Ischia. Overall, our study reveals that P. oceanica is generally under higher stress in the vicinity of the vents at Panarea than at Ischia, possibly resulting from environmental and evolutionary differences existing between the two volcanic sites. This is the first study analysing gene responses in marine plants living near natural CO2 vents and our results call for a careful consideration of factors, other than CO2 and acidification, that can cause stress to seagrasses and other organisms near volcanic vents.

  4. Draft Genome Sequence of a Novel Marine Bacterium, Paraglaciecola sp. Strain S66, with Hydrolytic Activity against Seaweed Polysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Schultz-Johansen, Mikkel; Glaring, Mikkel A.; Bech, Pernille K.

    2016-01-01

    A novel agarolytic gammaproteobacterium, Paraglaciecola sp. S66, was isolated from marine samples of eelgrass (Zostera sp.) and sequenced. The draft genome contains a large number of enzyme-encoding genes with predicted function against several complex polysaccharides found in the cell walls of algae. PMID:27103729

  5. CARBON BUDGET FOR A SUB-TROPICAL SEAGRASS DOMINATED COASTAL LAGOON: HOW IMPORTANT ARE SEAGRASSES TO TOTAL ECOSYSTEM NET PRIMARY PRODUCTION?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seagrasses dominate macrophyte biomass in many estuaries. Historically, it has been assumed that because of the large standing stock seagrasses also dominate primary production. We tested this assumption by developing 3 carbon budgets to examine the contribution of autotrophic ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are adversely affected by a wide variety of human activities. In particular, seagrass meadows are negatively affected by impacts accruing from the billion or more people who live within 50 km of them. Seagrass meadows provide important ecosystem services, including an estimated $1.9 trillion per year in the form of nutrient cycling; an order of magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity; a habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and invertebrate species; and a major food source for endangered dugong, manatee, and green turtle. Although individual impacts from coastal development, degraded water quality, and climate change have been documented, there has been no quantitative global assessment of seagrass loss until now. Our comprehensive global assessment of 215 studies found that seagrasses have been disappearing at a rate of 110 km2 yr−1 since 1980 and that 29% of the known areal extent has disappeared since seagrass areas were initially recorded in 1879. Furthermore, rates of decline have accelerated from a median of 0.9% yr−1 before 1940 to 7% yr−1 since 1990. Seagrass loss rates are comparable to those reported for mangroves, coral reefs, and tropical rainforests and place seagrass meadows among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. PMID:19587236

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Seagrasses are marine, flowering plants with a hydrophilous pollination strategy. In these plants, successful mating requires dispersal of filamentous pollen grains through the water column to receptive stigmas. Approximately 40 % of seagrass species are monoecious, and therefore little pollen movement is required if inbreeding is tolerated. Outcrossing in these species is further impacted by clonality, which is variable, but can be extensive in large, dense meadows. Despite this, little is known about the interaction between clonal structure, genetic diversity and mating systems in hydrophilous taxa. Methods Polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers were used to characterize genetic diversity, clonal structure, mating system and realized pollen dispersal in two meadows of the temperate, monoecious seagrass, Posidonia australis, in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. Key Results Within the two sampled meadows, genetic diversity was moderate among the maternal shoots (R = 0·45 and 0·64) and extremely high in the embryos (R = 0·93–0·97). Both meadows exhibited a highly clumping (or phalanx) structure among clones, with spatial autocorrelation analysis showing significant genetic structure among shoots and embryos up to 10–15 m. Outcrossing rates were not significantly different from one. Pollen dispersal distances inferred from paternity assignment averaged 30·8 and 26·8 m, which was larger than the mean clone size (12·8 and 13·8 m). Conclusions These results suggest highly effective movement of pollen in the water column. Despite strong clonal structure and moderate genetic diversity within meadows, hydrophilous pollination is an effective vector for completely outcrossed offspring. The different localized water conditions at each site (highly exposed conditions vs. weak directional flow) appear to have little influence on the success and pattern of successful pollination in the two meadows. PMID:24812250

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

    PubMed

    López-Calderón, Jorge M; Guzmán, Hector M; Jácome, Gabriel E; Barnes, Penélope A G

    2013-12-01

    The Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP) was launched in 1993 to study regional long-term interactions between land and sea, taking standardized measurements of productivity and biomass of mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses. Since 1999 continuous measurements of seagrass (Thalassia testudinum) parameters as well as environmental data have been recorded in Caribbean Panama. Replicate stations were selected near the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro. Sediment cores and quadrants were placed there to estimate biomass and productivity, respectively. Mean values for productivity, standing crop, turnover rate, total dry biomass, and Leaf Area Index were 1.74 gDW/m2/d, 66.6 gDW/m2, 2.62%/d, 1481 gDW/m2, and 4.65, respectively. Total dry biomass (shoots, rhizomes and roots) and LAI of T. testudinum increased significantly during the study period. Mean values for total rainfall, Secchi disk depth, sea surface temperature, and salinity were 3498 mm, 8.24 m, 28.79 degrees C, and 32.26 psu, respectively. Sea surface temperature was the only environmental variable with a statistically significant change, increasing from 1999 to 2010. Correlation between sea surface temperature and 7 testudinum parameters (total biomass and LAI) were both positive and significant. Human population has increased dramatically over the last ten years in Bocas del Toro region, increasing pressure (deforestation, runoff, wastewater) over coastal ecosystems (seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs). Change in the abundance of 7 testudinum may be linked to ocean warming, as a consequence to satisfy plant's metabolic requirements, although other local factors need to be analyzed (reduced grazing and increased eutrophication). A further warming of the ocean could have a negative effect on T. testudinum population, increasing respiratory demands and microbial metabolism.

  9. Effects of Land Use Change on Tropical Coastal Systems are Exacerbated by the Decline of Marine Mega-Herbivores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Land use changes in tropical regions such as deforestation, mining activities, and shrimp farming, not only affect freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, but also have a strong impact on coastal marine ecosystems. The increased influx of sediments and nutrients affects these ecosystems in multiple ways. Seagrass meadows that line coastal marine ecosystems provide important ecosystem services, e.g. sediment trapping, coastal protection and fisheries. Based on studies in East Kalimantan (Indonesia) we have shown that seagrass meadow parameters may provide more reliable indicators of land use change than the sampling of either marine sediments or water quality chemical parameters. Observations of changes in ecosystem functioning are particularly valuable for those areas where flux values are lacking and rapid surveys are needed. Time series of estuarine seagrass transects can show not only the intensity, but also the radius of action of land use change on coastal marine systems. Marine mega-herbivores pose a strong top-down control in seagrass ecosystems. We will provide a conceptual model, based on experimental evidence, to show that the global decline of marine mega-herbivore populations (as a result of large-scale poaching) may decrease the resilience of seagrass systems to increased anthropogenic forcing including land use changes. These outcomes not only urge the need for better regulation of land use change, but also for the establishment of marine protected areas (MPA's) in tropical coastal regions.

  10. Geospatial interface and model for predicting potential seagrass habitat

    EPA Science Inventory

    Restoration of ecosystem services provided by seagrass habitats in estuaries 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 a geos...

  11. MAPPING BURROWING SHRIMP AND SEAGRASS IN YAQUINA ESTUARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Burrowing shrimp and seagrasses create extensive intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats within Pacific NW estuaries. Maps of their populations are useful to inform estuarine managers of locations that deserve special consideration for conservation, and to inform oyster farmers...

  12. Nonnutrient Anthropogenic Chemicals in Seagrass Ecosystems: Fate and Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    Literature reviews have been published for seagrass taxonomy, geographical distribution, species diversity, grazer-epiphyte interactions, morphology, physiology, salinity requirements, and nutrient impacts (Schaffer 1995; Jernakoff et al. 1996; Touchette and Burholder 2000; Borto...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  14. EFFECTS OF EROSION AND MACROALGAE ON INTERTIDAL EELGRASS (ZOSTERA MARINA) IN A NORTHEASTERN PACIFIC ESTUARY (USA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina) in open-coast northeastern Pacific estuaries is primarily intertidal, yet little research has been done on the natural factors controlling its upper intertidal growth limits. This two-year study in the Yaquina Estuary (Newport, Oregon, USA) evaluated the...

  15. Temperature trumps light: Teasing apart interactive factors controlling non-indigenous Zostera japonica growth

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the Pacific Northwest Zostera marina and Z. japonica co-exist by occupying separate elevation niches. We conducted two mesocosm experiments to evaluate light and temperature as factors controlling the disjunct distribution of congeners. The first study tests the hypothesis t...

  16. Laboratory experiments on eelgrass (Zostera Marina L.) decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellikaan, G. C.

    Eelgrass, Zostera marina L., forms large quantities of detritus in Lake Grevelingen. Laboratory experiments with green eelgrass and eelgrass detritus have been performed under aerobic and anaerobic conditions to study leaching and chemical changes of plant matter and surrounding medium. DW losses were less than 30%, demonstrating that field litterbag experiments overestimated the decomposition rate highly. This leads to the conclusion that eelgrass detritus should accumulate in Lake Grevelingen. POC and AFDW decreased during decomposition. PON and POP fluctuated and only C/P ratio in anaerobically incubated detritus showed a clear pattern. C/N ratio behaved rather stable and cannot be used as a valuable index for decomposition processes. Initial contents of Na, K, Ca and Mg in eelgrass differed from literature values. During decomposition Na, K and Ca increased, while Mg remained constant. Leaching of DOC, PO 4, NH 4 and NO 3 was rapid in the first hours of incubation, but leaching products did not change pH. Initial DOC and PO 4 concentrations were much higher in media with green eelgrass than in detritus series; no differences between aerobic and anaerobic series were found. In all series NO 3 concentrations were low. HN 4 and total dissolved N increased in anaerobic incubations. pH remained constant in detritus series, but changed significantly in the green grass series, concomittantly with drastic DOC decreases and DW increases, after 9 to 10 days, especially under aerobic conditions. This indicated high activity and growth of particle associated bacteria or formation of aggregates. A conversion factor of 66% for DOC to POC has been calculated. About 10% of DOC remained in the incubation vessels and will be refractory. In budgets for C, N and P the dissolved fractions were always small (1 to 20%) compared with the particulate fractions. The lost fractions were due to non-recovered, very small particulate matter. High losses for P have possibly been caused by

  17. Plant defences and the role of epibiosis in mediating within-plant feeding choices of seagrass consumers.

    PubMed

    Vergés, Adriana; Alcoverro, Teresa; Romero, Javier

    2011-06-01

    Within-plant variation in susceptibility to herbivory can significantly influence the ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant-herbivore interactions. Seagrasses are marine angiosperms characterised by substantial intra-individual differences in multiple traits, such as nutrients, chemical and structural defences and epibiotic load, all of which can strongly influence herbivore preferences. We quantified the within-plant feeding choices of the two main consumers of the temperate seagrass Posidonia oceanica--the fish Sarpa salpa and the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus--and determined the plant traits that explained their foraging strategies. We found strong within-plant heterogeneity in both seagrass susceptibility to herbivory and chemical composition, but different consumers exhibited contrasting feeding choices. S. salpa preferred the most nutritious and chemically defended younger leaves, suggesting a full adaptation to consuming this macrophyte and a greater impact of this herbivore on the plant. In contrast, P. lividus consistently preferred the older leaves covered by epibionts, probably attenuating the relative impact of this consumer and helping to explain the weak effects usually recorded for this echinoid in undisturbed meadows. Artificial diet experiments showed that morphology and fine-scale structural defences were the primary determinant of urchin feeding choices, with nutrient content and chemical defences being of secondary importance. Epibiosis did not strongly influence fish feeding, but it did have a strong 'shared-doom' effect on urchin consumption. This effect was driven by a distinct preference towards a mixed diet that included both host tissues and their epibiotic community. PMID:21053016

  18. Rapid discrimination between four seagrass species using hybrid analysis.

    PubMed

    Osathanunkul, M; Madesis, P; Ounjai, S; Suwannapoom, C; Jampeetong, A

    2015-04-27

    Biological species are traditionally identified based on their morphological features and the correct identification of species is critical in biological studies. However, some plant types, such as seagrass, are taxonomically problematic and difficult to identify. Furthermore, closely related seagrass species, such as Halophila spp, form a taxonomically unresolved complex. Although some seagrass taxa are easy to recognize, most species are difficult to identify without skilled taxonomic or molecular techniques. Barcoding coupled with High Resolution Melting analysis (BAR-HRM) offers a potentially reliable, rapid, and cost-effective method to confirm species. Here, DNA information of two chloroplast loci was used in combination with HRM analysis to discriminate four species of seagrass collected off the southern coast of Thailand. A distinct melting curve presenting one inflection point was generated for each species using rbcL primers. While the melting profiles of Cymodocea rotundata and Cymodocea serrulata were not statistically different, analysis of the normalized HRM curves produced with the rpoC primers allowed for their discrimination. The Bar-HRM technique showed promise in discriminating seagrass species and with further adaptations and improvements, could make for an effective and power tool for confirming seagrass species.

  19. Effect of Temperature and Nutrient Manipulations on eelgrass Zostera marina L. from the Pacific Northwest, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Global climate change will have a large impact on the three predominate drivers of estuarine seagrass productivity, temperature, light and nutrients. I experimentally evaluate the response of Pacific Northwest Z. marina to interactive effects of temperature and nutrient conditio...

  20. Influence of light, temperature and salinity on dissolved organic carbon exudation rates in Zostera marina L.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seagrass carbon budgets provide valuable insight on the minimum requirements needed to maintain this valuable resource. Carbon budgets are a balance between C fixation, storage and loss rates, most of which are well characterized. However, relatively few measurements of dissolv...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. AUTOMATED PRODUCTION OF SEAGRASS MAPS FROM SIDESCAN SONAR IMAGERY: ACCURACY, VARIABILITY AND PATCH RESOLUTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Maps of seagrass beds are useful for monitoring estuarine condition, managing habitats, and modeling estuarine processes. We recently developed inexpensive methods for collecting and classifying sidescan sonar (SSS) imagery for seagrass presence in turbid waters as shallow as 1-...

  5. PRODUCTION OF PLANT GROWTH PROMOTING SUBSTANCES IN BACTERIAL ISOLATES FROM THE SEAGRASS RHIZOSPHERE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Plants and rhizosphere bacteria have evolved chemical signals that enable their mutual growth. These relationships have been well investigated with agriculturally important plants, but not in seagrasses, which are important to the stability of estuaries. Seagrasses are rooted in ...

  6. Modeling and evaluating the ecosystem of sea-grass beds, shallow waters without sea-grass, and an oxygen-depleted offshore area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohma, Akio; Sekiguchi, Yasuyuki; Nakata, Kisaburo

    2004-04-01

    To investigate the ecological mechanism of sea-grass beds (area 1), shallow waters/tidal flats without sea-grass near the mouth of a river (area 2), and an oxygen-depleted offshore area (area 3), we developed a numerical model, which could represent the biochemical and physical processes of the coastal marine ecosystem comprised of the above three areas. The model can represent the dynamics of coupled cycle of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and oxygen, dividing organic matter into five compartments viz: fast-labile POM, slow-labile POM, refractory POM, labile DOM, and refractory DOM. In addition, this model formulated three bacterial mineralization processes: oxic mineralization, suboxic mineralization, and anoxic mineralizaition. This model was applied to the "Jinno area (Jinno ecosystem)" of Atsumi Bay, Japan, where three types of areas (areas 1, 2, and 3) are all represented. The model reproduced the dynamics of the present field condition of the three areas accurately. From the analysis of the model results, we could indicate the characteristic processes of nutrient cycling in each different areas of an ecosystem. Biological fluxes, driven by suspension feeders, epiphytes and epifauna, were the main fluxes in area 1. Biological fluxes were also the main fluxes in area 2, but were largely driven by suspension feeders. In addition, physical fluxes of re-suspension in area 2 stood out compared to the other areas. Denitrification in area 2 is much larger than in areas 1 and 3. This is because the ratio of suboxic mineralization per all mineralization in that area is higher than in other areas. We also estimated the turnover rate of biological processes and physical processes in each area of the Jinno ecosystem to quantify the characteristics of nutrient cycling in each area. The turnover rate of biological or physical processes was defined as the ratio of the total biological or physical fluxes of a compartment to the mass of a compartment. The turnover rate of

  7. Rapid growth and short life spans characterize pipefish populations in vulnerable seagrass beds.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, K L; Booth, D J

    2016-05-01

    The life-history traits of two species of pipefish (Syngnathidae) from seagrass meadows in New South Wales, Australia, were examined to understand whether they enhance resilience to habitat degradation. The spotted pipefish Stigmatopora argus and wide-bodied pipefish Stigmatopora nigra exhibit some of the shortest life spans known for vertebrates (longevity up to 150 days) and rapid maturity (male S. argus 35 days after hatching (DAH) and male S. nigra at 16-19 DAH), key characteristics of opportunistic species. Growth rates of both species were extremely rapid (up to 2 mm day(-1) ), with seasonal and sex differences in growth rate. It is argued that short life spans and high growth rates may be advantageous for these species, which inhabit one of the most threatened marine ecosystems on earth. PMID:27005315

  8. Knowledge gaps in tropical Southeast Asian seagrass systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Serrano, O; Ruhon, R; Lavery, P S; Kendrick, G A; Hickey, S; Masqué, P; Arias-Ortiz, A; Steven, A; Duarte, C 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. PMID:26979407

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, O.; Ruhon, R.; Lavery, P. S.; Kendrick, G. A.; Hickey, S.; Masqué, P.; Arias-Ortiz, A.; Steven, A.; Duarte, C. 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. PMID:26979407

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

    PubMed

    Tol, Samantha J; Coles, Rob G; Congdon, Bradley C

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Coles, Rob G.; Congdon, Bradley C.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27441123

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

    PubMed

    Tol, Samantha J; Coles, Rob G; Congdon, Bradley C

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27441123

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

    The impact of pond aquaculture effluents on the distribution and performance of seagrasses was examined in NE Hainan, tropical China. Samples were taken along transects in three back-reef areas with different extent of aquaculture production in their hinterland. High δ(15)N in seagrass leaves and epiphytes (6-9‰) similar to values in pond effluents documented aquaculture as dominant nitrogen source in the back-reefs with decreasing impact with distance from shore. Seagrass species abundance, shoot density and biomass were lower and concentrations of nutrients, chlorophyll and suspended matter were higher at nearshore sites with high and moderate pond abundance than at the control site. High epiphyte loads and low δ(34)S in seagrass leaves suggest temporal shading and sulphide poisoning of the nearshore seagrasses. Observed gradients in environmental parameters and seagrass performance indicate that the distance from the pond outlets and size of the adjacent pond agglomeration are major determinants of seagrass degradation.

  17. Seagrass Health Modeling and Prediction with NASA Science Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Habitat suitability analysis of eelgrass Zostera marina L. in the subtidal zone of Xiaoheishan Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jian; Wang, Qixiang; Zhao, Wenxi; Yu, Daode; Guan, Shuguang

    2016-01-01

    We present a GIS-based habitat suitability index (HSI) model to identify suitable areas for Zostera marina L. restoration in the subtidal zone of Xiaoheishan Island. The controlling factors in the model, in order of importance, are Secchi depth, sediment composition, water temperature, salinity, current velocity, water depth and nutrient quality. Specific factor piecewise functions have been used to transform parameter values into normalized quality indexes. The weight of each factor was defined using expert knowledge and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. All of the data thus obtained were interpolated using the inverse distance weighted (IDW) interpolation method to create maps for the entire region. In this study, the analysis of habitat suitability in the subtidal zone of Xiaoheishan Island was conducted for four seasons. According to the GIS-based HSI model, the optimal habitat of Zostera marina L. appears in spring, although habitat remains suitable all year round. On the whole, the optimum site for eelgrass restoration is located in the eastern region, followed by the western and southern regions. We believe that the GIS-based HSI model could be a promising tool to select sites for Zostera marina L. restoration and could also be applicable in other types of habitat evaluation.

  19. Interdependency of tropical marine ecosystems in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, Megan I.; Leon, Javier X.; Callaghan, David P.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Hamylton, Sarah; Brown, Christopher J.; Baldock, Tom; Golshani, Aliasghar; Phinn, Stuart R.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are linked within landscapes by the physical and biological processes they mediate. In such connected landscapes, the response of one ecosystem to climate change could have profound consequences for neighbouring systems. Here, we report the first quantitative predictions of interdependencies between ecosystems in response to climate change. In shallow tropical marine ecosystems, coral reefs shelter lagoons from incoming waves, allowing seagrass meadows to thrive. Deepening water over coral reefs from sea-level rise results in larger, more energetic waves traversing the reef into the lagoon, potentially generating hostile conditions for seagrass. However, growth of coral reef such that the relative water depth is maintained could mitigate negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass. Parameterizing physical and biological models for Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we find negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass before the middle of this century given reasonable rates of reef growth. Rates of vertical carbonate accretion typical of modern reef flats (up to 3 mm yr-1) will probably be insufficient to maintain suitable conditions for reef lagoon seagrass under moderate to high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios by 2100. Accounting for interdependencies in ecosystem responses to climate change is challenging, but failure to do so results in inaccurate predictions of habitat extent in the future.

  20. Population genetic structure of annual and perennial populations of Zostera marina L. along the Pacific coast of Baja California and the Gulf of California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munoz-Salazar, R.; Talbot, S.L.; Sage, G.K.; Ward, D.H.; Cabello-Pasini, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula represents a biogeographical boundary contributing to regional differentiation among populations of marine animals. We investigated the genetic characteristics of perennial and annual populations of the marine angiosperm, Zostera marina, along the Pacific coast of Baja California and in the Gulf of California, respectively. Populations of Z. marina from five coastal lagoons along the Pacific coast and four sites in the Gulf of California were studied using nine microsatellite loci. Analyses of variance revealed significant interregional differentiation, but no subregional differentiation. Significant spatial differentiation, assessed using θ values, was observed among all populations within the two regions. Z. marina populations along the Pacific coast are separated by more than 220 km and had the greatest θ (0.13-0.28) values, suggesting restricted gene flow. In contrast, lower but still significant genetic differentiation was observed among populations within the Gulf of California (θ = 0.04-0.18), even though populations are separated by more than 250 km. This suggests higher levels of gene flow among Gulf of California populations relative to Pacific coast populations. Direction of gene flow was predominantly southward among Pacific coast populations, whereas no dominant polarity in the Gulf of California populations was observed. The test for isolation by distance (IBD) showed a significant correlation between genetic and geographical distances in Gulf of California populations, but not in Pacific coast populations, perhaps because of shifts in currents during El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events along the Pacific coast.

  1. Population genetic structure of annual and perennial populations of Zostera marina L. along the Pacific coast of Baja California and the Gulf of California.

    PubMed

    Muñiz-Salazar, Raquel; Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Ward, David H; Cabello-Pasini, Alejandro

    2005-03-01

    The Baja California peninsula represents a biogeographical boundary contributing to regional differentiation among populations of marine animals. We investigated the genetic characteristics of perennial and annual populations of the marine angiosperm, Zostera marina, along the Pacific coast of Baja California and in the Gulf of California, respectively. Populations of Z. marina from five coastal lagoons along the Pacific coast and four sites in the Gulf of California were studied using nine microsatellite loci. Analyses of variance revealed significant interregional differentiation, but no subregional differentiation. Significant spatial differentiation, assessed using theta(ST) values, was observed among all populations within the two regions. Z. marina populations along the Pacific coast are separated by more than 220 km and had the greatest theta(ST) (0.13-0.28) values, suggesting restricted gene flow. In contrast, lower but still significant genetic differentiation was observed among populations within the Gulf of California (theta(ST) = 0.04-0.18), even though populations are separated by more than 250 km. This suggests higher levels of gene flow among Gulf of California populations relative to Pacific coast populations. Direction of gene flow was predominantly southward among Pacific coast populations, whereas no dominant polarity in the Gulf of California populations was observed. The test for isolation by distance (IBD) showed a significant correlation between genetic and geographical distances in Gulf of California populations, but not in Pacific coast populations, perhaps because of shifts in currents during El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events along the Pacific coast.

  2. USING STABLE ISOTOPES AND MECHANISTIC MODELS TO EXAMINE CARBON RESOURCE PARTITIONING IN THALASSIA TESTUDINUM AND ZOSTERA MARINA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Natural and anthropogenic stress negatively impact seagrass production and ecosystem function. Our goal is to better understand seagrass response to reduced light, nutrient and organic loading at a variety of ecological scales (individual to landscape) in order to help develop p...

  3. Comparing photophysiology of seagrasses in the Pacific Northwest: potential implications for species interactions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Physiological tolerances are a primary control on species interactions mediated through production and growth. We examined how the physiology of native eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and introduced Japanese eelgrass (Z. japonica Aschers. & Graeb) responded to temperature in or...

  4. Comparing photophysiology of seagrasses in the Pacific Northwest: potential implications for species interactions - July 28, 2014

    EPA Science Inventory

    Physiological tolerances are a primary control on species interactions mediated through production and growth. We examined how the physiology of native eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and introduced Japanese eelgrass (Z. japonica Aschers. & Graeb) responded to temperature in ord...

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

    PubMed Central

    Mtwana Nordlund, Lina; 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. PMID:27732600

  6. Meadow fragmentation and reproductive output of the SE Asian seagrass Enhalus acoroides [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermaat, Jan E.; Rollon, Rene N.; Lacap, Cristina Day A.; Billot, Claire; Alberto, Filipe; Nacorda, Hildie M. E.; Wiegman, Frank; Terrados, Jorge

    2004-11-01

    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 of the seagrass meadow was quantified as cover of E. acoroides and all seagrass species present in 20×20 m plots. E. acoroides and overall seagrass cover were correlated positively. The proportion of female flowers of E. acoroides that developed a fruit increased sharply as overall seagrass cover was around 50%. Apparent sex ratio bore no relationship with overall seagrass cover. This threshold-type of relationship suggests that fragmentation of seagrass meadows can have a major effect on the reproductive output of this species. A possible mechanism underlying these results would be a non-linear increase of the efficiency of trapping the surface-dispersed pollen with increasing seagrass canopy density. This provides the first evidence based on real data that fragmentation can affect the population dynamics of seagrass species.

  7. A DIAGENETIC MODEL FOR SEDIMENT-SEAGRASS INTERACTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this modeling effort was to better understand the dynamic relationship between seagrass beds and their sedimentary environment using a diagenetic model. The model was developed and optimized for sediments in the Laguna Madre, TX, which is one of the world's larg...

  8. SULFUR CYCLING IN THALASSIA TESTUDINUM SEAGRASS BED SEDIMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quarles, Robert L., Jessica A. Rivord and Richard Devereux. In press. Sulfur Cycling in Thalassia testudinum Seagrass Bed Sediments (Abstract). To be presented at the SWS/GERS Fall Joint Society Meeting: Communication and Collaboration: Coastal Systems of the Gulf of Mexico and S...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  10. Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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, C. M.

    2015-08-01

    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 emissions from precipitation, seagrass meadows are still strong CO2 sinks as demonstrated by the comparison of carbon (PIC

  11. Phylogeny as a Proxy for Ecology in Seagrass Amphipods: Which Traits Are Most Conserved?

    PubMed Central

    Best, Rebecca J.; Stachowicz, John J.

    2013-