Science.gov

Sample records for marine seagrass zostera

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Seagrass (Zostera spp.) as food for brent geese (Branta bernicla): an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganter, B.

    2000-07-01

    Brent geese (called brant in North America) are among the smallest and the most marine of all goose species, and they have very long migration routes between high Arctic breeding grounds and temperate wintering grounds. Like all other geese, brent geese are almost entirely herbivorous. Because of these ecological characteristics they have a high food demand and are strongly dependent on stopover sites to "refuel" during the migration period. Three subspecies of brent geese are distributed around the Holarctic, forming seven populations with distinct migration routes. Most or all of these populations make heavy use of Zostera spp. during migratory stopovers on spring and/or autumn migration. Examples of Zostera stopover areas being used by large numbers of brent geese for several weeks each year are Izembek Lagoon (Alaska), lagoons in Baja California, the German/Danish Wadden Sea, the Golfe du Morbihan (France), British estuaries, and the White Sea (Western Russian Arctic). Brent geese feed on Zostera wherever they can, but they can only reach the plants at low tide or in shallow water. Changes in Zostera abundance affect brent goose distribution, and the "wasting disease" affecting Atlantic Zostera stocks during the 1930s was at least partly responsible for a steep decline in brent goose population sizes on both sides of the Atlantic. While Zostera is of outstanding importance as food for brent geese, the impact of the geese on Zostera stocks seems to be less important - at many sites, the geese consume only a small amount of the available Zostera, or, if they consume more, the seagrass can regenerate fully until the following season.

  5. 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

  6. Science and Management of the Introduced Seagrass Zostera ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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 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. In 2011, Washington State reversed its long standing policy to protect Z. japonica and is developing permits for chemical control of this plant. 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 develo

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Sulfide Intrusion and Detoxification in the Seagrass Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Long distance biotic dispersal of tropical seagrass seeds by marine mega-herbivores.

    PubMed

    Tol, Samantha J; Jarvis, Jessie C; York, Paul H; Grech, Alana; Congdon, Bradley C; Coles, Robert G

    2017-06-30

    Terrestrial plants use an array of animals as vectors for dispersal, however little is known of biotic dispersal of marine angiosperms such as seagrasses. Our study in the Great Barrier Reef confirms for the first time that dugongs (Dugong dugon) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) assist seagrass dispersal. We demonstrate that these marine mega-herbivores consume and pass in faecal matter viable seeds for at least three seagrass species (Zostera muelleri, Halodule uninervis and Halophila decipiens). One to two seagrass seeds per g DW of faecal matter were found during the peak of the seagrass reproductive season (September to December), with viability on excretion of 9.13% ± 4.61% (SE). Using population estimates for these mega-herbivores, and data on digestion time (hrs), average daily movement (km h) and numbers of viable seagrass seeds excreted (per g DW), we calculated potential seagrass seed dispersal distances. Dugongs and green sea turtle populations within this region can disperse >500,000 viable seagrass seeds daily, with a maximum dispersal distance of approximately 650 km. Biotic dispersal of tropical seagrass seeds by dugongs and green sea turtles provides a large-scale mechanism that enhances connectivity among seagrass meadows, and aids in resilience and recovery of these coastal habitats.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Zhijian; Kumar, Manoj; Padula, Matthew P.; Pernice, Mathieu; Kahlke, Tim; Kim, Mikael; Ralph, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. North Atlantic phylogeography and large-scale population differentiation of the seagrass Zostera marina L.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Jeanine L; Stam, Wytze T; Coyer, James A; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Billingham, Martin; Boström, Christoffer; Calvert, Elizabeth; Christie, Hartvig; Granger, Stephen; la Lumière, Richard; Milchakova, Nataliya; Oudot-Le Secq, Marie-Pierre; Procaccini, Gabriele; Sanjabi, Bahram; Serrao, Ester; Veldsink, Jan; Widdicombe, Stephen; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy

    2004-07-01

    As the most widespread seagrass in temperate waters of the Northern Hemisphere, Zostera marina provides a unique opportunity to investigate the extent to which the historical legacy of the last glacial maximum (LGM18 000-10 000 years bp) is detectable in modern population genetic structure. We used sequences from the nuclear rDNA-internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and chloroplast matK-intron, and nine microsatellite loci to survey 49 populations (> 2000 individuals) from throughout the species' range. Minimal sequence variation between Pacific and Atlantic populations combined with biogeographical groupings derived from the microsatellite data, suggest that the trans-Arctic connection is currently open. The east Pacific and west Atlantic are more connected than either is to the east Atlantic. Allelic richness was almost two-fold higher in the Pacific. Populations from putative Atlantic refugia now represent the southern edges of the distribution and are not genetically diverse. Unexpectedly, the highest allelic diversity was observed in the North Sea-Wadden Sea-southwest Baltic region. Except for the Mediterranean and Black Seas, significant isolation-by-distance was found from ~150 to 5000 km. A transition from weak to strong isolation-by-distance occurred at ~150 km among northern European populations suggesting this scale as the natural limit for dispersal within the metapopulation. Links between historical and contemporary processes are discussed in terms of the projected effects of climate change on coastal marine plants. The identification of a high genetic diversity hotspot in Northern Europe provides a basis for restoration decisions.

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Long-term analysis of Zostera noltei: A retrospective approach for understanding seagrasses' dynamics.

    PubMed

    Calleja, Felipe; Galván, Cristina; Silió-Calzada, Ana; Juanes, José A; Ondiviela, Bárbara

    2017-07-20

    Long-term studies are necessary to establish trends and to understand seagrasses' spatial and temporal dynamic. Nevertheless, this type of research is scarce, as the required databases are often unavailable. The objectives of this study are to create a method for mapping the seagrass Zostera noltei using remote sensing techniques, and to apply it to the characterization of the meadows' extension trend and the potential drivers of change. A time series was created using a novel method based on remote sensing techniques that proved to be adequate for mapping the seagrass in the emerged intertidal. The meadows seem to have a decreasing trend between 1984 and the early 2000s, followed by an increasing tendency that represents a recovery in the extension area of the species. This 30-year analysis demonstrated the Z. noltei's recovery in the study site, similar to that in other estuaries nearby and contrary to the worldwide decreasing behavior of seagrasses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Respiratory oxygen consumption in the seagrass Zostera marina varies on a diel basis and is partly affected by light.

    PubMed

    Rasmusson, Lina M; Lauritano, Chiara; Procaccini, Gabriele; Gullström, Martin; Buapet, Pimchanok; Björk, Mats

    2017-01-01

    The seagrass Zostera marina is an important marine ecosystem engineer, greatly influencing oxygen and carbon fluctuations in temperate coastal areas. Although photosynthetically driven gas fluxes are well studied, the impact of the plant's mitochondrial respiration on overall CO2 and O2 fluxes in marine vegetated areas is not yet understood. Likewise, the gene expression in relation to the respiratory pathway has not been well analyzed in seagrasses. This study uses a combined approach, studying respiratory oxygen consumption rates in darkness simultaneously with changes in gene expression, with the aim of examining how respiratory oxygen consumption fluctuates on a diel basis. Measurements were first made in a field study where samples were taken directly from the ocean to the laboratory for estimations of respiratory rates. This was followed by a laboratory study where measurements of respiration and expression of genes known to be involved in mitochondrial respiration were conducted for 5 days under light conditions mimicking natural summer light (i.e., 15 h of light and 9 h of darkness), followed by 3 days of constant darkness to detect the presence of a potential circadian clock. In the field study, there was a clear diel variation in respiratory oxygen consumption with the highest rates in the late evening and at night (0.766 and 0.869 µmol O2 m(-2) s(-1), respectively). These repetitive diel patterns were not seen in the laboratory, where water conditions (temperature, pH, and oxygen) showed minor fluctuations and only light varied. The gene expression analysis did not give clear evidence on drivers behind the respiratory fluxes; however, expression levels of the selected genes generally increased when the seagrass was kept in constant darkness. While light may influence mitochondrial respiratory fluxes, it appears that other environmental factors (e.g., temperature, pH, or oxygen) could be of significance too. As seagrasses substantially alter the

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The impact of extreme weather events on the seagrass Zostera noltii and related Hydrobia ulvae population.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, P G; Raffaelli, D; Pardal, M A

    2008-03-01

    Coastal areas are typically subjected to a range of stressors, but they now face the additional stressor of climate change, manifested in part by an increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. Thus, the Mondego estuary (Portugal) has experienced organic enrichment (eutrophication) issues and these are potentially exacerbated by extreme weather events (floods, droughts and heat waves). In this paper, we explore the impact of interactions of these different stressors on the ecology of the system, specifically on the two key components, the seagrass Zostera noltii and the mud snail Hydrobia ulvae. Extreme events affected different components of the estuarine ecosystem (primary producers and macrofauna) differently. Whilst the floods directly impacted on H. ulvae, by wiping out part of its population, they did not directly affect the biomass of Z. noltii. In contrast, drought events, through their effects on salinity, directly impacted the biomass of Zostera, which had knock-on effects on the dynamics of H. ulvae. We conclude that over the period when the estuary experienced eutrophication, extreme weather events contributed to the overall degradation of the estuary, while during the recovery phase following the introduction of a management programme, those extreme weather episodes delayed the recovery process significantly.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Susceptibility of seagrass to oil spills: A case study with eelgrass, Zostera marina in San Francisco Bay, USA.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Mark; Piniak, Gregory A; Cosentino-Manning, Natalie

    2017-02-15

    Existing literature illustrates inconsistent responses of seagrasses to oil exposure, both in the field and in the laboratory. Here, we add a new study that combined morphometric, demographic and photophysiology assessments to determine the potential oiling impacts to eelgrass (Zostera marina) from the 2007 Cosco Busan event in San Francisco Bay. Shoot densities, reproductive status, and rhizome elongation of Z. marina were examined at sites with pre-spill data, and eelgrass photosynthetic efficiency was measured post-spill. Shoot densities and percent elongation of rhizome internodes formed after the oil spill varied but with no consistent relationship to adjacent shoreline cleanup assessment team (SCAT) oiling categories. Similarly, differences in seagrass photosynthetic efficiency were not consistent with SCAT oiling categories. While thresholds for negative impacts on seagrass in general remain to be defined, conclusive oiling indicators for degree and duration of exposure would be important considerations and need examination under controlled study.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

    Worldwide seagrass declines have been observed due to multiple stressors. One of them is the mixture of pesticides used in intensive agriculture and boat antifouling paints in coastal areas. Effects of mixture toxicity are complex and poorly understood. However, consideration of mixture toxicity is more realistic and ecologically relevant for environmental risk assessment (ERA). The first aim of this study was to determine short-term effects of realistic herbicide mixture exposure on physiological endpoints of Zostera noltei. The second aim was to assess the environmental risks of this mixture, by comparing the results to previously published data. Z. noltei was exposed to a mixture of four herbicides: atrazine, diuron, irgarol and S-metolachlor, simulating the composition of typical cocktail of contaminants in the Arcachon bay (Atlantic coast, France). Three stress biomarkers were measured: enzymatic activity of glutathione reductase, effective quantum yield (EQY) and photosynthetic pigment composition after 6, 24 and 96 h. Short term exposure to realistic herbicide mixtures affected EQY, with almost 100% inhibition for the two highest concentrations, and photosynthetic pigments. Effect on pigment composition was detected after 6 h with a no observed effect concentration (NOEC) of 1 μg/L total mixture concentration. The lowest EQY effect concentration at 10% (EC10) (2 μg/L) and pigment composition NOEC with an assessment factor of 10 were above the maximal field concentrations along the French Atlantic coast, suggesting that there are no potential short term adverse effects of this particular mixture on Z. noltei. However, chronic effects on photosynthesis may lead to reduced energy reserves, which could thus lead to effects at whole plant and population level. Understanding the consequences of chemical mixtures could help to improve ERA and enhance management strategies to prevent further declines of seagrass meadows worldwide. Copyright © 2016

  5. 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)).

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Influence of model selection on the predicted distribution of the seagrass Zostera marina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downie, Anna-Leena; von Numers, Mikael; Boström, Christoffer

    2013-04-01

    There is an increasing need to model the distribution of species and habitats for effective conservation planning, but there is a paucity of models for the marine environment. We used presence (131) and absence (219) records of the marine angiosperm Zostera marina L. from the archipelago of SW Finland, northern Baltic Sea, to model its distribution in a 5400 km2 area. We used depth, slope, turbidity, wave exposure and distance to sandy shores as environmental predictors, and compared a presence-absence method: generalised additive model (GAM), with a presence only method: maximum entropy (Maxent). Models were validated using semi-independent data sets. Both models performed well and described the niche of Z. marina fairly consistently, although there were differences in the way the models weighted the environmental variables, and consequently the spatial predictions differed somewhat. A notable outcome from the process was that with relatively equal model performance, the area actually predicted in geographical space can vary by twofold. The area predicted as suitable for Z. marina by the ensemble was almost half of that predicted by the GAM model by itself. The ensemble of model predictions increased the model predictive capability marginally and clearly shifted the model towards a more conservative prediction, increasing specificity, but at the same time sacrificing sensitivity. The environmental predictors selected into the final models described the potential distribution of Z. marina well and showed that in the northern Baltic the species occupies a narrow niche, typically thriving in shallow and moderately exposed to exposed locations near sandy shores. We conclude that a prediction based on a combination of model results provides a more realistic estimate of the core area suitable for Z. marina and should be the modelling approach implemented in conservation planning and management.

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

    PubMed

    Diekmann, Onno E; Serrão, Ester A

    2012-04-01

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

  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. 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)

  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. 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.

  19. Phylogenetic analyses of Zostera species based on rbcL and matK nucleotide sequences: implications for the origin and diversification of seagrasses in Japanese waters.

    PubMed

    Kato, Yumiko; Aioi, Keiko; Omori, Yuji; Takahata, Naoyuki; Satta, Yoko

    2003-10-01

    Seagrasses are composed of four families belonging to angiosperms and they are thought to become adaptive to aquatic life independently. Zosteraceae is one such family and because of the relatively high species diversity around Japan and Korea coast areas, the family might have arisen therefrom. To elucidate the origin and evolution of Zosteraceae which consists of three genera, Phyllospadix, Zostera, and Heterozostera, 2.8 kb nucleotide sequences of rbcL and matK genes in the chloroplast genome were examined for various species, including cosmopolitan Z. marina and endemic Z. caulescens. The phylogenetic analysis reveals the following three features. First, based on the synonymous nucleotide substitution rate of the rice chloroplast genome, we estimated the divergence times between Zosteraceae and its closest relative, Potamogetonaceae, and between different genera, Zostera and Phyllospadix, as approximately 100 million years (myr) and 36 myr, respectively, suggesting that Zosteraceae emerged somewhere in the period from 36 myr ago to 100 myr ago. Second, two subgenera of Zostera, Zostera and Zosterella, exhibit their reciprocal monophyly and appear to have differentiated from each other approximately 33 myr ago. However, the third genus Heterozostera branched off only 5 myr ago from the stem lineage leading to Zosterella and this seems too recent in comparison with the ancient divergence of the two subgenera. Third, we estimated the most recent common ancestor of subgenus Zostera as 6 myr. In Z. marina four haplotypes were found in the sample and have diversified in the past 1.5 myr. One haplotype is shared by both sides of the Japan Archipelago and its closely related haplotypes occur also in eastern Pacific Ocean. Based on these phylogeographic analyses, we propose a provisional age related classification of Zosteraceae to argue the origin and evolution.

  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

    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.

  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 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

  3. Reproductive strategy of the intertidal seagrass Zostera japonica under different levels of disturbance and tidal inundation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suonan, Zhaxi; Kim, Seung Hyeon; Qin, Le-Zheng; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2017-10-01

    Zostera japonica populations along the coastline of the northwestern Pacific Ocean are declining, mainly due to anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Although reproductive strategy is an important factor in achieving population persistence, changes in the reproductive strategy of Z. japonica under anthropogenic disturbances and tidal stresses are largely unknown. Thus, the duration and frequency of flowering, reproductive effort, potential seed production, and seed density in sediments were measured at three study stations (undisturbed upper, undisturbed lower, and disturbed stations), which were classified based on the levels of inundation stress and clamming activity, in monospecific meadows of Z. japonica on the southern coast of Korea. The flowering duration was approximately six months in the disturbed station, with disturbance due to clam harvesting, whereas the duration was about five months in the undisturbed lower station, and only three months in the undisturbed upper station. The maximum flowering frequency was 25.5% in the disturbed station, which was approximately 4- and 2-fold higher than in the undisturbed upper (6.1%) and lower (12.3%) stations, respectively. A similar trend in reproductive effort was also found among the three study stations. Potential seed production was 7850, 6220, and 1560 seeds m-2 in the disturbed, undisturbed lower, and undisturbed upper stations, respectively. The annual maximum seed density in sediments was also higher in the disturbed and undisturbed lower stations than in the undisturbed upper station, but the densities were relatively low (ranging from 71 to 254 seeds m-2) at all three study stations. It was found that the allocation to sexual reproduction was highest in the disturbed station, followed by the undisturbed lower station, and lowest in the undisturbed upper station, suggesting that sexual reproduction in Z. japonica tends to be enhanced under disturbed and inundated environmental conditions for population

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-08-01

    spring 1985 with Zostera and in late spring 1985 with Halodule. The fertilizer types were applied in 3 dose levels (10, 90, and 170 g/planting unit...Replicate treatments, including fertilized control plantings, were randomly assigned locations on each of the three sites. Release of fertilizer , as well...Phosphorus did not release in any of the experiments. A significant difference was found in population growth between pooled balanced and pooled unbalanced fertilizer treatments in the fall Zostera experiment only.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. Dracograllus trukensis sp. nov. (Draconematidae: Nematoda) from a seagrass bed ( Zostera spp.) in Chuuk Islands, Micronesia, Central Western Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Min, Wongi; Kim, Dongsung; Decraemer, Wilfrida; Rho, Hyun Soo

    2016-09-01

    A new species of free-living marine draconematid nematode, Dracograllus trukensis sp. nov., is described based on the specimens collected from the sediments of a intertidal seagrass bed from Chuuk Islands, Micronesia. Dracograllus trukensis sp. nov. differs from other species of the genus by the combination of the following characteristics: the presence of numerous minute spiny ornamented body cuticular annules in both sexes, eight cephalic adhesion tubes inserted on the head capsule in both sexes, the presence of stiff posteriorly directed setae anterior to posterior adhesion tubes in both sexes, the shape (large, elongated, open loop-shaped in male and large, elongated, closed loop-shaped in female) and position (longer ventral arm extending to the first body annule in male) of amphideal fovea, shorter spicule length (34-42 μm), the presence of sexual dimorphism in shape and length of the non-annulated tail terminus, and number of posterior sublateral adhesion tubes (10 in male and 13-15 in female) and posterior subventral adhesion tubes (8-10 in male and 9-11 in female). A comparative table on the biogeographical and ecological characteristics of the species of Dracograllus is presented. This is the first taxonomic report on the genus Dracograllus from Chuuk Islands, Micronesia, central western Pacific Ocean.

  9. Physiological and Morphological Responses of the Temperate Seagrass Zostera muelleri to Multiple Stressors: Investigating the Interactive Effects of Light and Temperature

    PubMed Central

    York, Paul H.; Gruber, Renee K.; Hill, Ross; Ralph, Peter J.; Booth, David J.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how multiple environmental stressors interact to affect seagrass health (measured as morphological and physiological responses) is important for responding to global declines in seagrass populations. We investigated the interactive effects of temperature stress (24, 27, 30 and 32°C) and shading stress (75, 50, 25 and 0% shade treatments) on the seagrass Zostera muelleri over a 3-month period in laboratory mesocosms. Z. muelleri is widely distributed throughout the temperate and tropical waters of south and east coasts of Australia, and is regarded as a regionally significant species. Optimal growth was observed at 27°C, whereas rapid loss of living shoots and leaf mass occurred at 32°C. We found no difference in the concentration of photosynthetic pigments among temperature treatments by the end of the experiment; however, up-regulation of photoprotective pigments was observed at 30°C. Greater levels of shade resulting in high photochemical efficiencies, while elevated irradiance suppressed effective quantum yield (ΔF/FM’). Chlorophyll fluorescence fast induction curves (FIC) revealed that the J step amplitude was significantly higher in the 0% shade treatment after 8 weeks, indicating a closure of PSII reaction centres, which likely contributed to the decline in ΔF/FM’ and photoinhibition under higher irradiance. Effective quantum yield of PSII (ΔF/FM’) declined steadily in 32°C treatments, indicating thermal damage. Higher temperatures (30°C) resulted in reduced above-ground biomass ratio and smaller leaves, while reduced light led to a reduction in leaf and shoot density, above-ground biomass ratio, shoot biomass and an increase in leaf senescence. Surprisingly, light and temperature had few interactive effects on seagrass health, even though these two stressors had strong effects on seagrass health when tested in isolation. In summary, these results demonstrate that populations of Z. muelleri in south-eastern Australia are sensitive

  10. Physiological and morphological responses of the temperate seagrass Zostera muelleri to multiple stressors: investigating the interactive effects of light and temperature.

    PubMed

    York, Paul H; Gruber, Renee K; Hill, Ross; Ralph, Peter J; Booth, David J; Macreadie, Peter I

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how multiple environmental stressors interact to affect seagrass health (measured as morphological and physiological responses) is important for responding to global declines in seagrass populations. We investigated the interactive effects of temperature stress (24, 27, 30 and 32°C) and shading stress (75, 50, 25 and 0% shade treatments) on the seagrass Zostera muelleri over a 3-month period in laboratory mesocosms. Z. muelleri is widely distributed throughout the temperate and tropical waters of south and east coasts of Australia, and is regarded as a regionally significant species. Optimal growth was observed at 27°C, whereas rapid loss of living shoots and leaf mass occurred at 32°C. We found no difference in the concentration of photosynthetic pigments among temperature treatments by the end of the experiment; however, up-regulation of photoprotective pigments was observed at 30°C. Greater levels of shade resulting in high photochemical efficiencies, while elevated irradiance suppressed effective quantum yield (ΔF/FM'). Chlorophyll fluorescence fast induction curves (FIC) revealed that the J step amplitude was significantly higher in the 0% shade treatment after 8 weeks, indicating a closure of PSII reaction centres, which likely contributed to the decline in ΔF/FM' and photoinhibition under higher irradiance. Effective quantum yield of PSII (ΔF/FM') declined steadily in 32°C treatments, indicating thermal damage. Higher temperatures (30°C) resulted in reduced above-ground biomass ratio and smaller leaves, while reduced light led to a reduction in leaf and shoot density, above-ground biomass ratio, shoot biomass and an increase in leaf senescence. Surprisingly, light and temperature had few interactive effects on seagrass health, even though these two stressors had strong effects on seagrass health when tested in isolation. In summary, these results demonstrate that populations of Z. muelleri in south-eastern Australia are sensitive to

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Quantitative PCR Reveals Strong Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wasting Disease Pathogen, Labyrinthula zosterae in Northern European Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Beds

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23658711

  15. 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

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    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

  17. Entangled effects of allelic and clonal (genotypic) richness in the resistance and resilience of experimental populations of the seagrass Zostera noltii to diatom invasion.

    PubMed

    Massa, Sónia I; Paulino, Cristina M; Serrão, Ester A; Duarte, Carlos M; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie

    2013-10-23

    The relationship between species diversity and components of ecosystem stability has been extensively studied, whilst the influence of the genetic component of biodiversity remains poorly understood. Here we manipulated both genotypic and allelic richness of the seagrass Zostera noltii, in order to explore their respective influences on the resistance of the experimental population to stress. Thus far intra-specific diversity was seldom taken into account in management plans, and restoration actions showed very low success. Information is therefore needed to understand the factors affecting resistance and resilience of populations. Our results show a positive influence of both allelic and genotypic richness on the resistance of meadows to environmental perturbations. They also show that at the low genotypic (i.e. clonal) richness levels used in prior experimental approaches, the effects of genotypic and allelic richness could not be disentangled and allelic richness was a likely hidden treatment explaining at least part of the effects hitherto attributed to genotypic richness. Altogether, these results emphasize the need to acknowledge and take into account the interdependency of both genotypic and allelic richness in experimental designs attempting to estimate their importance alone or in combination. A positive influence of allelic richness on resistance to perturbations, and of allelic richness combined with genotypic richness on the recovery (resilience) of the experimental populations is supported by differential mortality. These results, on the key species structuring of one of the most threatened coastal ecosystem worldwide, seagrass meadows, support the need to better take into account the distinct compartments of clonal and genetic diversity in management strategies, and in possible restoration plans in the future.

  18. Entangled effects of allelic and clonal (genotypic) richness in the resistance and resilience of experimental populations of the seagrass Zostera noltii to diatom invasion

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The relationship between species diversity and components of ecosystem stability has been extensively studied, whilst the influence of the genetic component of biodiversity remains poorly understood. Here we manipulated both genotypic and allelic richness of the seagrass Zostera noltii, in order to explore their respective influences on the resistance of the experimental population to stress. Thus far intra-specific diversity was seldom taken into account in management plans, and restoration actions showed very low success. Information is therefore needed to understand the factors affecting resistance and resilience of populations. Results Our results show a positive influence of both allelic and genotypic richness on the resistance of meadows to environmental perturbations. They also show that at the low genotypic (i.e. clonal) richness levels used in prior experimental approaches, the effects of genotypic and allelic richness could not be disentangled and allelic richness was a likely hidden treatment explaining at least part of the effects hitherto attributed to genotypic richness. Conclusions Altogether, these results emphasize the need to acknowledge and take into account the interdependency of both genotypic and allelic richness in experimental designs attempting to estimate their importance alone or in combination. A positive influence of allelic richness on resistance to perturbations, and of allelic richness combined with genotypic richness on the recovery (resilience) of the experimental populations is supported by differential mortality. These results, on the key species structuring of one of the most threatened coastal ecosystem worldwide, seagrass meadows, support the need to better take into account the distinct compartments of clonal and genetic diversity in management strategies, and in possible restoration plans in the future. PMID:24152760

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Temporal stability in patterns of genetic diversity and structure of a marine foundation species (Zostera marina).

    PubMed

    Reynolds, L K; Stachowicz, J J; Hughes, A R; Kamel, S J; Ort, B S; Grosberg, R K

    2017-04-01

    Genetic diversity and population structure reflect complex interactions among a diverse set of processes that may vary temporally, limiting their potential to predict ecological and evolutionary outcomes. Yet, the stability of these patterns is rarely tested. We resampled eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows from published studies to determine variability in genetic diversity and structure within and between meadows over 5-12 years. The meadows sampled (San Francisco, Tomales and Bodega Bays in California and the Virginia coastal bays) represent a range of life histories (annual vs perennial), age (well-established vs restored) and environments (rural vs urbanized). In all of these systems, neither diversity nor differentiation (FST) changed over time. Differences among tidal heights within Bodega Bay were also remarkably consistent, with the high intertidal being more diverse than the subtidal, and tidal height differentiation being modest but significant at both time points. Historical studies used only a few microsatellite loci; therefore, our temporal comparisons were based on 4-5 loci. However, analysis of the current data using a set of 12 loci show that 4-5 loci are sufficient to describe diversity and differentiation patterns in this system. This temporal consistency was not because of the resampling of large clones, underscoring the feasibility and relevance of understanding drivers of the differences. Because seagrasses are declining at rapid rates, restoration and conservation are increasingly a coastal management priority. Our results argue that surveys of eelgrass genetic structure and diversity at decadal scales can provide accurate depictions of populations, increasing the utility of published genetic data for restoration and designing networks of reserves.

  3. Effects of anaerobiosis on in vivo protein synthesis in the roots of a marine angiosperm zostera marina

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R.D.; Alberte, R.S. )

    1989-04-01

    The roots of the temperate seagrass Zostera marina undergo daily periods of anaerobiosis at night. These diurnal periods of anoxia alter many metabolic processes in the roots including carbon and nitrogen metabolism, amino acid synthesis, and synthesis and levels of ATP, ADP and AMP. To further characterize the effects of anaerobiosis, we determined in vivo rates of protein synthesis by measuring the relative incorporation of {sup 35}S-MET in TCA precipitated protein samples. Results from these studies show that in vivo protein synthesis decreases continuously during 12 h of anaerobiosis and correlates with changes in ATP levels under similar conditions. Furthermore, polypeptide patterns obtained by SDS-PAGE and 2D-SDSPAGE indicate that anaerobiosis leads to differential protein synthesis in the roots.

  4. Comparison of photosynthetic characteristics of the seagrasscongeners Zostera marina L. and Zostera japonica Ascher. & Graeb.

    EPA Science Inventory

    On the Pacific coast of North America two seagrass species in the genus Zostera co-exist; the native species Zostera marina, and an introduced species, Z. japonica. These two species typically occupy separate habitat niches, with Z. marina occupying the lower intertidal and shal...

  5. Comparison of photosynthetic characteristics of the seagrasscongeners Zostera marina L. and Zostera japonica Ascher. & Graeb.

    EPA Science Inventory

    On the Pacific coast of North America two seagrass species in the genus Zostera co-exist; the native species Zostera marina, and an introduced species, Z. japonica. These two species typically occupy separate habitat niches, with Z. marina occupying the lower intertidal and shal...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Sodium-dependent nitrate transport at the plasma membrane of leaf cells of the marine higher plant Zostera marina L.

    PubMed

    García-Sánchez, M J; Jaime, M P; Ramos, A; Sanders, D; Fernández, J A

    2000-03-01

    NO(3)(-) 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 NO(3)(-) transport in the marine angiosperm Zostera marina L. to address the question of how NO(3)(-) uptake is energized. Electrophysiological studies demonstrated that micromolar concentrations of NO(3)(-) induced depolarizations of the plasma membrane of leaf cells. Depolarizations showed saturation kinetics (K(m) = 2.31 +/- 0.78 microM NO(3)(-)) and were enhanced in alkaline conditions. The addition of NO(3)(-) did not affect the membrane potential in the absence of Na(+), but depolarizations were restored when Na(+) was resupplied. NO(3)(-)-induced depolarizations at increasing Na(+) concentrations showed saturation kinetics (K(m) = 0.72 +/- 0.18 mM Na(+)). Monensin, an ionophore that dissipates the Na(+) electrochemical potential, inhibited NO(3)(-)-evoked depolarizations by 85%, and NO(3)(-) uptake (measured by depletion from the external medium) was stimulated by Na(+) ions and by light. Our results strongly suggest that NO(3)(-) 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 NO(3)(-) to that of Na(+) enables the steep inwardly-directed electrochemical potential for Na(+) to drive net accumulation of NO(3)(-) within leaf cells.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Castorani, Max C N; Glud, Ronnie N; Canfield, Donald E; Holmer, Marianne

    2016-11-01

    Eutrophication of estuaries and coastal seas is accelerating, increasing light stress on subtidal marine plants and changing their interactions with other species. To date, we have limited understanding of how such variations in environmental and biological stress modify the impact of interactions among foundational species and eventually affect ecosystem health. Here, we used metabolomics to assess the impact of light reductions on interactions between the seagrass Zostera marina, an important habitat-forming marine plant, and the abundant and commercially important blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Plant performance varied with light availability but was unaffected by the presence of mussels. Metabolomic analysis, on the other hand, revealed an interaction between light availability and presence of M. edulis on seagrass metabolism. Under high light, mussels stimulated seagrass nitrogen and energy metabolism. Conversely, in low light mussels impeded nitrogen and energy metabolism, and enhanced responses against sulfide toxicity, causing inhibited oxidative energy metabolism and tissue degradation. Metabolomic analysis thereby revealed cryptic changes to seagrass condition that could not be detected by traditional approaches. Our findings suggest that coastal eutrophication and associated reductions in light may shift seagrass-bivalve interactions from mutualistic to antagonistic, which is important for conservation management of seagrass meadows.

  20. Production of indoleacetic acid by strains of the epiphytic bacteria Neptunomonas spp. isolated from the red alga Pyropia yezoensis and the seagrass Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Ryuya; Handayani, Midia Lestari; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Takechi, Katsuaki; Takano, Hiroyoshi; Takio, Susumu

    2017-10-10

    Neptunomonas sp. BPy-1 is an epiphytic bacterium isolated from in vitro culture of the red alga Pyropia yezoensis. It uses ethanol as a sole carbon source and promotes the growth of host alga. A related bacterium, Neptunomonas sp. BZm-1, was isolated from leaves of Zostera marina found in the Yatsushiro Sea (Japan). BZm-1 showed 99% 16S rRNA sequence identity with Neptunomonas sp. BPy-1. Similar to BPy-1, BZm-1 grew in artificial seawater (ASW) medium containing ethanol or butanol. When thalli were treated with a multi-enzyme cleaner, the growth of treated thalli was retarded, but the addition of BZm-1 to the medium promoted growth. To explore the benefits of epiphytic bacteria, indoleacetic acid (IAA) production by isolated bacteria was examined under conditions of limited nutrients. Salkowski assays and GC-MS analysis revealed that both BZm-1 and BPy-1 excreted IAA during growth in ASW medium containing glucose or ethanol in the presence of tryptophan. In ASW medium containing tryptophan but lacking a carbon source, neither isolate grow, but produced IAA. ASW medium includes nitrate as the sole nitrogen source. In the absence of carbon source, different nitrogen forms in the presence of tryptophan did not affect IAA production by the two isolates. These findings indicate that IAA production by the two isolates is strictly dependent on tryptophan but less affected by carbon and nitrogen sources. Based on the different origins of BPy-1 and BZm-1, this mode of IAA production seems to be conserved among relatives of BPy-1.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. Results In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica) and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. Conclusions These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence. PMID:21226908

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  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. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. Marine protected areas increase temporal stability of community structure, but not density or diversity, of tropical seagrass fish communities.

    PubMed

    Alonso Aller, Elisa; Jiddawi, Narriman S; Eklöf, Johan S

    2017-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been shown to increase long-term temporal stability of fish communities and enhance ecosystem resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, the potential ability of MPAs to buffer effects of environmental variability at shorter time scales remains widely unknown. In the tropics, the yearly monsoon cycle is a major natural force affecting marine organisms in tropical regions, and its timing and severity are predicted to change over the coming century, with potentially severe effects on marine organisms, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Here, we assessed the ability of MPAs to buffer effects of monsoon seasonality on seagrass-associated fish communities, using a field survey in two MPAs (no-take zones) and two unprotected (open-access) sites around Zanzibar (Tanzania). We assessed the temporal stability of fish density and community structure within and outside MPAs during three monsoon seasons in 2014-2015, and investigated several possible mechanisms that could regulate temporal stability. Our results show that MPAs did not affect fish density and diversity, but that juvenile fish densities were temporally more stable within MPAs. Second, fish community structure was more stable within MPAs for juvenile and adult fish, but not for subadult fish or the total fish community. Third, the observed effects may be due to a combination of direct and indirect (seagrass-mediated) effects of seasonality and, potentially, fluctuating fishing pressure outside MPAs. In summary, these MPAs may not have the ability to enhance fish density and diversity and to buffer effects of monsoon seasonality on the whole fish community. However, they may increase the temporal stability of certain groups, such as juvenile fish. Consequently, our results question whether MPAs play a general role in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning under changing environmental conditions in tropical seagrass fish communities.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Copper treatment during storage reduces Phytophthora and Halophytophthora infection of Zostera marina seeds used for restoration.

    PubMed

    Govers, Laura L; van der Zee, Els M; Meffert, Johan P; van Rijswick, Patricia C J; Man In 't Veld, Willem A; Heusinkveld, Jannes H T; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2017-02-22

    Restoration is increasingly considered an essential tool to halt and reverse the rapid decline of vital coastal ecosystems dominated by habitat-forming foundation species such as seagrasses. However, two recently discovered pathogens of marine plants, Phytophthora gemini and Halophytophthora sp. Zostera, can seriously hamper restoration efforts by dramatically reducing seed germination. Here, we report on a novel method that strongly reduces Phytophthora and Halophytophthora infection of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seeds. Seeds were stored in seawater with three different copper sulphate concentrations (0.0, 0.2, 2.0 ppm) crossed with three salinities (0.5, 10.0, 25.0 ppt). Next to reducing seed germination, infection significantly affected cotyledon colour: 90% of the germinated infected seeds displayed a brown cotyledon upon germination that did not continue development into the seedling stage, in contrast to only 13% of the germinated non-infected seeds. Copper successfully reduced infection up to 86% and the 0.2 ppm copper sulphate treatment was just as successful as the 2.0 ppm treatment. Infection was completely eliminated at low salinities, but green seed germination was also dramatically lowered by 10 times. We conclude that copper sulphate treatment is a suitable treatment for disinfecting Phytophthora or Halophytophthora infected eelgrass seeds, thereby potentially enhancing seed-based restoration success.

  4. Copper treatment during storage reduces Phytophthora and Halophytophthora infection of Zostera marina seeds used for restoration

    PubMed Central

    Govers, Laura L.; van der Zee, Els M.; Meffert, Johan P.; van Rijswick, Patricia C. J.; Man in ‘t Veld, Willem A.; Heusinkveld, Jannes H. T.; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2017-01-01

    Restoration is increasingly considered an essential tool to halt and reverse the rapid decline of vital coastal ecosystems dominated by habitat-forming foundation species such as seagrasses. However, two recently discovered pathogens of marine plants, Phytophthora gemini and Halophytophthora sp. Zostera, can seriously hamper restoration efforts by dramatically reducing seed germination. Here, we report on a novel method that strongly reduces Phytophthora and Halophytophthora infection of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seeds. Seeds were stored in seawater with three different copper sulphate concentrations (0.0, 0.2, 2.0 ppm) crossed with three salinities (0.5, 10.0, 25.0 ppt). Next to reducing seed germination, infection significantly affected cotyledon colour: 90% of the germinated infected seeds displayed a brown cotyledon upon germination that did not continue development into the seedling stage, in contrast to only 13% of the germinated non-infected seeds. Copper successfully reduced infection up to 86% and the 0.2 ppm copper sulphate treatment was just as successful as the 2.0 ppm treatment. Infection was completely eliminated at low salinities, but green seed germination was also dramatically lowered by 10 times. We conclude that copper sulphate treatment is a suitable treatment for disinfecting Phytophthora or Halophytophthora infected eelgrass seeds, thereby potentially enhancing seed-based restoration success. PMID:28225072

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-12-15

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

  6. Seagrass ecosystem services - What's next?

    PubMed

    Nordlund, Lina Mtwana; Jackson, Emma L; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Samper-Villarreal, Jimena; Beca-Carretero, Pedro; Creed, Joel C

    2017-09-20

    Seagrasses, marine flowering plants, provide a wide range of ecosystem services, defined here as natural processes and components that directly or indirectly benefit human needs. Recent research has shown that there are still many gaps in our comprehension of seagrass ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, there seems to be little public knowledge of seagrasses in general and the benefits they provide. This begs the questions: how do we move forward with the information we have? What other information do we need and what actions do we need to take in order to improve the situation and appreciation for seagrass? Based on the outcomes from an international expert knowledge eliciting workshop, three key areas to advance seagrass ecosystem service research were identified: 1) Variability of ecosystem services within seagrass meadows and among different meadows; 2) Seagrass ecosystem services in relation to, and their connection with, other coastal habitats; and 3) Improvement in the communication of seagrass ecosystem services to the public. Here we present ways forward to advance seagrass ecosystem service research in order to raise the profile of seagrass globally, as a means to establish more effective conservation and restoration of these important coastal habitats around the world. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleem, A. A.

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

  13. Carbon Sequestration Within Northeast Pacific Seagrass Beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, B. C.; Hill, T. M.; Gaylord, B.; Kroeker, K.; Sanford, E.; Ward, M.; Ninokawa, A. T.; Susner, G. M.; Calhoun, H. W.

    2016-12-01

    There are clear knowledge gaps in understanding carbon sequestration of seagrass beds in temperate systems. Our ongoing research aims to understand the long and short-term storage of carbon within Zostera marina seagrass environments in Northern California. The objective of this sedimentological research is to quantify the storage of carbon (by weight percent and elemental mass) in seagrass sediments compared to adjacent (non-seagrass) sediments. Our project has targeted seagrass beds of various sizes and shoot densities, as well as seasonal differences, in two estuaries (Tomales Bay and Bodega Harbor, CA) by analysis of push cores. Cores were complemented by estuarine geochemical data from automated sensor deployments (for pH, pCO2, O2, temperature, salinity) and discrete water sampling (pH and alkalinity) with biomass investigations. Push core sediments were analyzed for grain size, carbonate content, total organic matter, and microfossil presence. Results from sedimentological data show that sediment grain size is closely related to carbon burial; seagrass beds that are dominated by fine, mud-sized particles are composed of 7-10% organic material, whereas coarser sediments dominated by sand range from 1-5% organic material. This study highlights the utility of including grain size analyses in all coastal vegetation carbon burial studies. Future work within this project will aim to explore the relationship between seasonal variability and rate of carbon sequestration to further the understanding of carbon sequestration of seagrass on the California Coast.

  14. Production of 16.5% v/v ethanol from seagrass seeds.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Motoharu; Miyoshi, Tatsuo; Kaneniwa, Masaki; Ishihara, Kenji; Nakashimada, Yutaka; Urano, Naoto

    2014-12-01

    Ethanol fermentation on seeds of seagrass Zostera marina was studied. The seeds were collected from the annual plant colony of Z. marina at Hinase Bay, Okayama. The seeds contained 83.5% carbohydrates including 48.1% crude starch on a dry weight basis, which is comparable to cereals such as wheat flour and corns. The seeds were saccharified with glucoamylase (50°C, 96 h) and 103.4 g/l concentration of glucose juice was obtained. The glucose juice was further fermented (23°C-35°C, 15 days) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains NBRC10217(T) and Kyokai 7-go, and ethanol was obtained at a 65.0 g/l (82.3 ml/l) level by monographic double-fermentation and at a 130.4 g/l (165.1 ml/l) level by parallel double-fermentation. Fermented products of seagrass seeds containing such a high ethanol concentration as the present study have potential to be utilized not only for biofuel but also for foods and beverages in the future. Culturing of seagrass seeds as a crop may enable development of a new marine fermentation industry. Copyright © 2014 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    Seagrass beds stabilize bottom sediments, improve water quality and light conditions, enhance species diversity, and provide habitat complexity in coastal marine environments. Seagrass beds are now experiencing worldwide decline by rapid environmental changes. Possible options of seagrass bed restoration are civil engineering works including mounding to raise the bottom to elevations with suitable light for seagrass growth. Reuse or recycling of dredged materials (DM) and various industrial by-products including steelmaking slags is a beneficial option to restore and create seagrass beds. To evaluate the applicability of DM and dephosphorization slag (Slag) as basal media of seagrass beds, we carried out mesocosm experiments and core incubation experiments in a land-based flow-through seawater tank over a year. During the mesocosm experiment, no difference was found in growth of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and macrobenthic community structures between Slag-based sediments and sand-based control experiments, even though Slag-based sediments exhibited substantially higher pH than sand-based sediments. During the core incubation experiment, we investigated detailed variation and distributions of pH and nutrients, and diffusion fluxes of nutrients between the sediment/seawater interface. Though addition of Slag induced high pH up to 10.7 in deep layers (< 5 cm), the surface pH decreased rapidly within 10 days. Concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen were comparable between Slag- and sand-based sediments, whereas dissolved phosphate concentration was substantially reduced by the addition of Slag. The low concentrations of phosphate was likely due to precipitation with calcium under high pH condition. Diffusion fluxes of nutrients from the cores were comparable with those reported in natural coastal systems. It was suggested that the mixture of Slag and DM is applicable as basal media for construction of artificial seagrass beds.

  18. Cadmium effects on oxidative metabolism in a marine seagrass: Posidonia oceanica

    SciTech Connect

    Hamoutene, D.; Romeo, M.; Gnassia, M.

    1996-02-01

    Posidonia oceanica, a seagrass in contact with sediment, is an interesting organism for environmental biomonitoring. In fact, up to now, scientists have studied some pollutant effects on growth rate leaf length, or productivity of this species. In recent years, the topic of metabolism of xenobiotics in plants has arisen. Many of the environmental chemicals are biotransformed by plants in a manner similar to those in mammalian systems. Studies of the influence of pollutants on biotransformation enzymes in posidonia oceanica are of great interest in pollution monitoring programs especially in the Mediterranean sea. In a previous study, we characterized some enzymatic systems involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics in Posidonia oceanica. This study was designed to determine the effects of cadmium on certain biochemical functions in this species.

  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. EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS CONTROLLING THE DISTRIBUTION OF ZOSTERA ZAPONICA IN THE EXTREME UPPER TITAL PORTION OF YAQUINA BAY, OREGON

    EPA Science Inventory

    The seagrass Zostera japonica was introduced to the Pacific Northwest from Asia 50 to 100 years ago. Since its introduction, Z. japonica has spread throughout the Pacific Northwest and now ranges between southern Oregon and British Columbia. Little information is available rega...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, P. L.

    2016-02-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  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.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. Seagrass landscapes and their effects on associated fauna: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boström, Christoffer; Jackson, Emma L.; Simenstad, Charles A.

    2006-07-01

    Seagrasses comprise some of the most heterogeneous landscape structures of shallow-water estuarine/marine ecosystems in the world. However, while knowledge at the molecular, organism, patch and community scale is pervasive, understanding of seagrass landscape ecology is more fragmentary and has not been synthesized. The growth and recruitment dynamics of seagrasses as well as man-made and/or natural disturbances create complex spatial configurations of seagrass over broad (metres to kilometres) spatial scales. Hence, it is important to identify mechanisms maintaining and/or threatening the diversity-promoting function of seagrass meadows and to understand their effects on benthic populations and communities. Although landscape ecology has recently become more integrated into seagrass research, our understanding of animal responses to variability in seagrass landscape structure is still fragmentary. By reviewing the literature to date, this paper evaluates studies on seagrass landscape ecology, testing the general null hypothesis that concepts developed in terrestrial settings can be generalized across landscapes, and (a) presenting definitions and terms used in seagrass landscape ecology, (b) reviewing geographical patterns of seagrass landscape studies to identify possible key regions and target species, (c) evaluating different methodological approaches, (d) describing the spatial and temporal scales used to describe organism responses to seagrass landscape structure, and (e) placing seagrass landscapes into an applied context.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Determining bathymetric distributions of the eelgrass Zostera ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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 here employed large format aerial photography using false color near-infrared film with digital image classification, and the production of digital bathymetric models of shallow estuaries such as those occurring in turbid waters of the Pacific Northwest USA. Application of geographic information system procedures to the eelgrass classifications and bathymetry distributions yielded digital bathymetric distributions based upon a very large number of observations. Similar bathymetric patterns were obtained for the three estuaries surveyed, and approximately 90% of the classified eelgrass occurred within the depth range -1.0 m to +1.0 m (MLLW). Comparison of these distributions with ground surveys of eelgrass lower depth limits indicated that the area of undetected subtidal eelgrass constituted 86% overall accuracy) in each estuary. The pattern of eelgrass in one estuary was distinctly different from those in the other two systems, illustrating the potential usefulness of this technique in exploring causative factors for such differences in estuarine intertidal vegetation distributions. Improved methods for determining bathymetric distributions of dominant intertidal plants throughout

  1. Impacts of docks on seagrass and effects of management practices to ameliorate these impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladstone, William; Courtenay, Glenn

    2014-01-01

    Seagrasses have high conservation and human-use values, but around the world they are being damaged by human activities. Compared to the larger spatial scale at which some human activities affect estuaries and their seagrasses (e.g. catchment disturbance, dredging, pollution, trawling), recreational boating and infrastructure of moorings and docks act at smaller scales. However, the cumulative effects contribute to stresses acting on seagrass beds. This study assessed the effects of docks on the native seagrass Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni in an estuary in south-east Australia and of current management practices designed to reduce dock impacts on this seagrass. A field survey found that seagrass biomass was significantly reduced below docks, and the effects were not influenced by dock orientation. Management practices requiring the use of a mesh decking to provide greater light penetration reduced, but did not eliminate, the reduction in seagrass biomass caused by docks. A modified beyond BACI experiment provided evidence for a causal link between the installation of wooden or mesh docks and reductions in biomass of seagrass. The reduction in biomass was apparent 6 mo after dock installation, and by 26 mo seagrass biomass had declined by at least 90%. Faced with increasing coastal populations, increases in recreational use, and continued pressures from other human activities, alternative management practices that further minimize the effects of docks are needed.

  2. Draft Genome Sequences of Pseudomonas moraviensis UCD-KL30, Vibrio ostreicida UCD-KL16, Colwellia sp. Strain UCD-KL20, Shewanella sp. Strain UCD-KL12, and Shewanella sp. Strain UCD-KL21, Isolated from Seagrass

    PubMed Central

    Lujan, Karley M.; Coil, David A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Here, we present the draft genome sequences for five bacterial strains. These strains were all isolated from seagrass (Zostera marina) collected from Bodega Bay, CA, as a part of an undergraduate research project focused on seagrass-associated microbes. PMID:28360178

  3. Microbial communities in sediment from Zostera marina patches, but not the Z. marina leaf or root microbiomes, vary in relation to distance from patch edge.

    PubMed

    Ettinger, Cassandra L; Voerman, Sofie E; Lang, Jenna M; Stachowicz, John J; Eisen, Jonathan A

    2017-01-01

    Zostera marina (also known as eelgrass) is a foundation species in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide and is a model for studies of seagrasses (a paraphyletic group in the order Alismatales) that include all the known fully submerged marine angiosperms. In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation of the potential importance of the microbial communities (i.e., microbiomes) associated with various plant species. Here we report a study of variation in Z. marina microbiomes from a field site in Bodega Bay, CA. We characterized and then compared the microbial communities of root, leaf and sediment samples (using 16S ribosomal RNA gene PCR and sequencing) and associated environmental parameters from the inside, edge and outside of a single subtidal Z. marina patch. Multiple comparative approaches were used to examine associations between microbiome features (e.g., diversity, taxonomic composition) and environmental parameters and to compare sample types and sites. Microbial communities differed significantly between sample types (root, leaf and sediment) and in sediments from different sites (inside, edge, outside). Carbon:Nitrogen ratio and eelgrass density were both significantly correlated to sediment community composition. Enrichment of certain taxonomic groups in each sample type was detected and analyzed in regard to possible functional implications (especially regarding sulfur metabolism). Our results are mostly consistent with prior work on seagrass associated microbiomes with a few differences and additional findings. From a functional point of view, the most significant finding is that many of the taxa that differ significantly between sample types and sites are closely related to ones commonly associated with various aspects of sulfur and nitrogen metabolism. Though not a traditional model organism, we believe that Z. marina can become a model for studies of marine plant-microbiome interactions.

  4. Microbial communities in sediment from Zostera marina patches, but not the Z. marina leaf or root microbiomes, vary in relation to distance from patch edge

    PubMed Central

    Ettinger, Cassandra L.; Voerman, Sofie E.; Lang, Jenna M.; Stachowicz, John J.

    2017-01-01

    Background Zostera marina (also known as eelgrass) is a foundation species in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide and is a model for studies of seagrasses (a paraphyletic group in the order Alismatales) that include all the known fully submerged marine angiosperms. In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation of the potential importance of the microbial communities (i.e., microbiomes) associated with various plant species. Here we report a study of variation in Z. marina microbiomes from a field site in Bodega Bay, CA. Methods We characterized and then compared the microbial communities of root, leaf and sediment samples (using 16S ribosomal RNA gene PCR and sequencing) and associated environmental parameters from the inside, edge and outside of a single subtidal Z. marina patch. Multiple comparative approaches were used to examine associations between microbiome features (e.g., diversity, taxonomic composition) and environmental parameters and to compare sample types and sites. Results Microbial communities differed significantly between sample types (root, leaf and sediment) and in sediments from different sites (inside, edge, outside). Carbon:Nitrogen ratio and eelgrass density were both significantly correlated to sediment community composition. Enrichment of certain taxonomic groups in each sample type was detected and analyzed in regard to possible functional implications (especially regarding sulfur metabolism). Discussion Our results are mostly consistent with prior work on seagrass associated microbiomes with a few differences and additional findings. From a functional point of view, the most significant finding is that many of the taxa that differ significantly between sample types and sites are closely related to ones commonly associated with various aspects of sulfur and nitrogen metabolism. Though not a traditional model organism, we believe that Z. marina can become a model for studies of marine plant-microbiome interactions. PMID

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Grignon-Dubois, Micheline; Rezzonico, Bernadette

    2012-01-01

    The variability of the flavonoid content of two populations of Z. noltii from different geographical zones, i.e., the Bay of Arcachon and the Bay of Cadiz, was evaluated. Samples were collected in spring and autumn at the two sites, and extracts were prepared by maceration in water. The phenolic content was fully characterized using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), UV and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS), and the concentration of the individual phenolic was determined by quantitative High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode-Array Detection (HPLC-DAD). The two populations show a strong geographical differentiation in their flavonoid content. The samples from Cadiz were dominated by apigenin 7-sulfate, which represents 71% (autumn collection) and 83% (spring collection) of the total flavonoids, whereas the samples from Arcachon were characterized by diosmetin 7-sulfate (85 and 93% of the total flavonoids). Structural elucidation of the individual phenolics was assigned using the complementary information from their spectral evidence. In addition, the results were confirmed by acid hydrolysis of the flavonoid sulfates, and comparison to synthetic standards obtained by sulfation of apigenin, diosmetin and luteolin. The results represent the first experimental evidence of the existence of chemotypes within the species Z. noltii. PMID:27137638

  9. Review: Host-pathogen dynamics of seagrass diseases under future global change.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Brooke K; Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M; Neuhauser, Sigrid; Govers, Laura L

    2017-09-28

    Human-induced global change is expected to amplify the disease risk for marine biota. However, the role of disease in the rapid global decline of seagrass is largely unknown. Global change may enhance seagrass susceptibility to disease through enhanced physiological stress, while simultaneously promoting pathogen development. This review outlines the characteristics of disease-forming organisms and potential impacts of global change on three groups of known seagrass pathogens: labyrinthulids, oomycetes and Phytomyxea. We propose that hypersalinity, climate warming and eutrophication pose the greatest risk for increasing frequency of disease outbreaks in seagrasses by increasing seagrass stress and lowering seagrass resilience. In some instances, global change may also promote pathogen development. However, there is currently a paucity of information on these seagrass pathosystems. We emphasise the need to expand current research to better understand the seagrass-pathogen relationships, serving to inform predicative modelling and management of seagrass disease under future global change scenarios. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Microbial biomass and productivity in seagrass beds.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Röhr, Maria Emilia; Boström, Christoffer; Canal-Vergés, Paula; Holmer, Marianne

    2016-11-01

    Although seagrasses cover only a minor fraction of the ocean seafloor, their carbon sink capacity accounts for nearly one-fifth of the total oceanic carbon burial and thus play a critical structural and functional role in many coastal ecosystems. We sampled 10 eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows in Finland and 10 in Denmark to explore seagrass carbon stocks (Corg stock) and carbon accumulation rates (Corg accumulation) in the Baltic Sea area. The study sites represent a gradient from sheltered to exposed locations in both regions to reflect expected minimum and maximum stocks and accumulation. The Corg stock integrated over the top 25 cm of the sediment averaged 627 g C m-2 in Finland, while in Denmark the average Corg stock was over 6 times higher (4324 g C m-2). A conservative estimate of the total organic carbon pool in the regions ranged between 6.98 and 44.9 t C ha-1. Our results suggest that the Finnish eelgrass meadows are minor carbon sinks compared to the Danish meadows, and that majority of the Corg produced in the Finnish meadows is exported. Our analysis further showed that > 40 % of the variation in the Corg stocks was explained by sediment characteristics, i.e. dry density, porosity and silt content. In addition, our analysis show that the root : shoot ratio of Z. marina explained > 12 % and the contribution of Z. marina detritus to the sediment surface Corg pool explained > 10 % of the variation in the Corg stocks. The mean monetary value for the present carbon storage and carbon sink capacity of eelgrass meadows in Finland and Denmark, were 281 and 1809 EUR ha-1, respectively. For a more comprehensive picture of seagrass carbon storage capacity, we conclude that future blue carbon studies should, in a more integrative way, investigate the interactions between sediment biogeochemistry, seascape structure, plant species architecture and the hydrodynamic regime.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Vegetated marine habitats are globally important carbon sinks, making a significant contribution towards mitigating climate change, and they provide a wide range of other ecosystem services. However, large gaps in knowledge remain, particularly for seagrass meadows in Africa. The present study estimated biomass and sediment organic carbon (Corg) stocks of four dominant seagrass species in Gazi Bay, Kenya. It compared sediment Corg between seagrass areas in vegetated and un-vegetated ‘controls’, using the naturally patchy occurence of seagrass at this site to test the impacts of seagrass growth on sediment Corg. It also explored relationships between the sediment and above-ground Corg, as well as between the total biomass and above-ground parameters. Sediment Corg was significantly different between species, range: 160.7–233.8 Mg C ha-1 (compared to the global range of 115.3 to 829.2 Mg C ha-1). Vegetated areas in all species had significantly higher sediment Corg compared with un-vegetated controls; the presence of seagrass increased Corg by 4–6 times. Biomass carbon differed significantly between species with means ranging between 4.8–7.1 Mg C ha-1 compared to the global range of 2.5–7.3 Mg C ha-1. To our knowledge, these are among the first results on seagrass sediment Corg to be reported from African seagrass beds; and contribute towards our understanding of the role of seagrass in global carbon dynamics. PMID:28489880

  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. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  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. The movement ecology of seagrasses.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-22

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

  18. 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.

  19. Spatial distribution of marine fishes along a cross-shelf gradient containing a continuum of mangrove seagrass coral reefs off southwestern Puerto Rico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar-Perera, Alfonso; Appeldoorn, Richard S.

    2008-01-01

    Despite an extensive study of the fish community off southwestern Puerto Rico, little information is available on the fish spatial distribution along an inshore-offshore, cross-shelf gradient containing a continuum of mangrove-seagrass-coral reefs. We investigated the spatial distribution of reef-associated fish species using a stratified sampling procedure. A total of 52,138 fishes were recorded, representing 102 species belonging to 32 families. Significant differences in mean fish density were evident among strata. Mean densities at shallow fore reefs and deep fore reefs (Romero key) were significantly higher compared to the rest of strata along the gradient. Mean densities of fishes in mangroves and seagrass (Montalva Bay) were comparable to those at shallow back reefs and deep fore reefs offshore (Turrumote), but lower to those inshore (Romero); the lowest fish densities were found in mangroves and seagrass (Montalva Bay) and seagrass (Romero and Corral). At least 17 species, in 7 families, were among the most common in terms of relative abundance representing 76% of the total individuals sampled. A detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) applied to more abundant fish species showed a spatial pattern in density distribution. Three major groupings were evident corresponding to mangroves and seagrass (Montalva Bay), shallow and deep reefs (Romero), and shallow and deep reefs (Corral and Turrumote). A cluster analysis on mean fish densities of the more abundant species revealed a consistent spatial distribution according to biotope by separating the ichthyofauna associated with mangroves, seagrass and that of shallow (back and fore) reefs, and deep fore reefs.

  20. 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.

  1. Colored Dissolved Organic Matter in Sediments and Seagrass Beds and its Impact on Benthic Optical Properties of Shallow Water Marine Environments - Data Analysis and Synthesis, and Student Support

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-09-30

    flux of CDOM off the shallow banks to the deeper waters of Exuma Sound. The CDOM spectral slope also varied with the tidal cycle implying that...We conducted studies of seagrass-carbonate sediment interactions around Lee Stocking Island, Exuma Islands, Bahamas to further examine this problem

  2. 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.

  3. Ecosystem Engineering by Seagrasses Interacts with Grazing to Shape an Intertidal Landscape

    PubMed Central

    van der Heide, Tjisse; Eklöf, Johan S.; van Nes, Egbert H.; van der Zee, Els M.; Donadi, Serena; Weerman, Ellen J.; Olff, Han; Eriksson, Britas Klemens

    2012-01-01

    Self-facilitation through ecosystem engineering (i.e., organism modification of the abiotic environment) and consumer-resource interactions are both major determinants of spatial patchiness in ecosystems. However, interactive effects of these two mechanisms on spatial complexity have not been extensively studied. We investigated the mechanisms underlying a spatial mosaic of low-tide exposed hummocks and waterlogged hollows on an intertidal mudflat in the Wadden Sea dominated by the seagrass Zostera noltii. A combination of field measurements, an experiment and a spatially explicit model indicated that the mosaic resulted from localized sediment accretion by seagrass followed by selective waterfowl grazing. Hollows were bare in winter, but were rapidly colonized by seagrass during the growth season. Colonized hollows were heavily grazed by brent geese and widgeon in autumn, converting these patches to a bare state again and disrupting sediment accretion by seagrass. In contrast, hummocks were covered by seagrass throughout the year and were rarely grazed, most likely because the waterfowl were not able to employ their preferred but water requiring feeding strategy (‘dabbling’) here. Our study exemplifies that interactions between ecosystem engineering by a foundation species (seagrass) and consumption (waterfowl grazing) can increase spatial complexity at the landscape level. PMID:22905115

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. Phytotoxicity of Four Photosystem II Herbicides to Tropical Seagrasses

    PubMed Central

    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/Fm′), 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. The contribution of scarid herbivory to seagrass ecosystem dynamics in the Indo-Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unsworth, Richard K. F.; Taylor, Joe D.; Powell, Abigail; Bell, James J.; Smith, David J.

    2007-08-01

    The functional importance of herbivory is well established within terrestrial ecosystems yet within marine ecosystems, specifically seagrass beds, consumption by herbivores has generally been considered to be of little importance due to its minor contribution to turnover of growth. The present paper challenges this assumption within the Indo-Pacific and shows that scarid (parrotfish) herbivory may have a functionally important role in the export of seagrass detrital material. Estimation of scarid herbivory on dominant Indo-Pacific seagrass species was conducted using a three pronged approach. We estimated: background levels of scarid seagrass bites; in-situ rates of grazing using tethering experiments; and seagrass grazing effect per individual scarid, which was scaled up to estimate the grazing effects of the local scarid population. All research was carried out within the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia. Research found scarid herbivory to be an important process within an Indo-Pacific seagrass bed causing the loss of up to ten times (average, four times) the daily seagrass growth. T. hemprichii was found to be lost at a rate of 0.28 ± 0.08 g DW day -1, while E. acoroides was lost at a rate of 2.85 ± 0.43 g DW day -1. We propose that such high rates of seagrass consumption are the combined effects of seasonally high grazing rates by resident scarids and short-term effects from shoals of juvenile reef scarids. Scarid grazing was indiscriminate between seagrass species and grazing was dependant on seagrass availability rather than nutritional quality. In conclusion, the present research finds scarids to be major herbivores within an Indo-Pacific seagrass bed; they not only take up carbon into the food chain through direct seagrass consumption, but also make an important indirect contribution to the detrital food chain through the export of discarded decaying seagrass material.

  12. 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

  13. Seagrass ecosystems as a globally significant carbon stock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fourqurean, James W.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Kennedy, Hilary; Marbà, Núria; Holmer, Marianne; Mateo, Miguel Angel; Apostolaki, Eugenia T.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; McGlathery, Karen J.; Serrano, Oscar

    2012-07-01

    The protection of organic carbon stored in forests is considered as an important method for mitigating climate change. Like terrestrial ecosystems, coastal ecosystems store large amounts of carbon, and there are initiatives to protect these `blue carbon' stores. Organic carbon stocks in tidal salt marshes and mangroves have been estimated, but uncertainties in the stores of seagrass meadows--some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth--hinder the application of marine carbon conservation schemes. Here, we compile published and unpublished measurements of the organic carbon content of living seagrass biomass and underlying soils in 946 distinct seagrass meadows across the globe. Using only data from sites for which full inventories exist, we estimate that, globally, seagrass ecosystems could store as much as 19.9Pg organic carbon; according to a more conservative approach, in which we incorporate more data from surface soils and depth-dependent declines in soil carbon stocks, we estimate that the seagrass carbon pool lies between 4.2 and 8.4Pg carbon. We estimate that present rates of seagrass loss could result in the release of up to 299Tg carbon per year, assuming that all of the organic carbon in seagrass biomass and the top metre of soils is remineralized.

  14. 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...

  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. Flood related loss and recovery of intertidal seagrass meadows in southern Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Stuart J.; McKenzie, Len J.

    2004-07-01

    The loss and recovery of intertidal seagrass meadows were assessed following the flood related catastrophic loss of seagrass meadows in February 1999 in the Sandy Strait, Queensland. Region wide recovery rates of intertidal meadows following the catastrophic disturbance were assessed by mapping seagrass abundance in the northern Great Sandy Strait region prior to and on 3 occasions after widespread loss of seagrass. Meadow-scale assessments of seagrass loss and recovery focussed on two existing Zostera capricorni monitoring meadows in the region. Mapping surveys showed that approximately 90% of intertidal seagrasses in the northern Great Sandy Strait disappeared after the February 1999 flooding of the Mary River. Full recovery of all seagrass meadows took 3 years. At the two study sites (Urangan and Wanggoolba Creek) the onset of Z. capricorni germination following the loss of seagrass occurred 14 months post-flood at Wanggoolba Creek, and at Urangan it took 20 months for germination to occur. By February 2001 (24 months post-flood) seagrass abundance at Wanggoolba Creek sites was comparable to pre-flood abundance levels and full recovery at Urangan sites was complete in August 2001 (31 months post-flood). Reduced water quality characterised by 2-3 fold increases in turbidity and nutrient concentrations during the 6 months following the flood was followed by a 95% loss of seagrass meadows in the region. Reductions in available light due to increased flood associated turbidity in February 1999 were the likely cause of seagrass loss in the Great Sandy Strait region, southern Queensland. Although seasonal cues influence the germination of Z. capricorni, the temporal variation in the onset of seed germination between sites suggests that germination following seagrass loss may be dependent on other factors (eg. physical and chemical characteristics of sediments and water). Elevated dissolved nitrogen concentrations during 1999 at Wanggoolba Creek suggest that this site

  17. 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…

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. Seasonal variation in growth and biomass of an intertidal Zostera noltii stand in the Dutch wadden sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippart, C. J. M.

    To assess relationships between the life cycle of the seagrass Zostera noltii and light conditions in its habitat, the seasonal dynamics of a seagrass-dominated community on a tidal flat off Terschelling were studied. The main components of this community were seagrass, periphyton and the periphyton grazing mudsnail Hydrobia ulvae. Total biomass of the seagrass stand showed a unimodal curve with a maximum of more than 110 gADW·m -2 in August and a minimum of less than 10 gADW·m -2 in January. Chlorophyll density of periphyton on the seagrass leaves followed a more or less similar pattern, ranging from 0.4 μg chlorophyll·cm -2 in May to more than 3 μg chlorophyll·cm -2 at the end of August. Periphyton biomass was, however, already maximal in May with almost 1.6 mgADW·cm -2 and subsequently decreased to less than 0.6 mgADW·cm -2 in August. The total weight of H. ulvae was more or less stable, varying between more than 150 and less than 400 gDW·m -2, although significant changes were observed within size classes. Light is assumed to be the primary limiting factor for seagrass distribution in the Wadden Sea. The light conditions of seagrass in the study area were influenced by periphyton and mudsnails. Leaf growth rates and biomass development appeared to be related with light conditions in the seagrass habitat. Shading caused by periphyton during the growing season was estimated at 10 to 90% of incident light, resulting in a reduction of about 2 to 80% of the yearly period during which the light compensation point (LCP) of the seagrass is exceeded. The mudsnails were found to be theoretically able to ingest daily 25 to 100% of the standing stock of periphyton and microphytobenthos. It is concluded that shading by periphyton and grazing by mudsnails play an important role in the seasonal biomass development and survival of Z. noltii in the seagrass-dominated community on a tidal flat off Terschelling.

  4. 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 Quintín 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 m 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 Quintín Bay can be used in future change detection analyses to monitor the health of seagrasses in the bay.

  5. 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.

  6. Sediment Properties as Important Predictors of Carbon Storage in Zostera marina Meadows: A Comparison of Four European Areas

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Martin; Deyanova, Diana; Gütschow, Silvia; Asplund, Maria E.; Lyimo, Liberatus D.; Karamfilov, Ventzislav; Santos, Rui; Björk, Mats; Gullström, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are important natural carbon sinks but their efficiency varies greatly depending on species composition and environmental conditions. What causes this variation is not fully known and could have important implications for management and protection of the seagrass habitat to continue to act as a natural carbon sink. Here, we assessed sedimentary organic carbon in Zostera marina meadows (and adjacent unvegetated sediment) in four distinct areas of Europe (Gullmar Fjord on the Swedish Skagerrak coast, Askö in the Baltic Sea, Sozopol in the Black Sea and Ria Formosa in southern Portugal) down to ~35 cm depth. We also tested how sedimentary organic carbon in Z. marina meadows relates to different sediment characteristics, a range of seagrass-associated variables and water depth. The seagrass carbon storage varied greatly among areas, with an average organic carbon content ranging from 2.79 ± 0.50% in the Gullmar Fjord to 0.17 ± 0.02% in the area of Sozopol. We found that a high proportion of fine grain size, high porosity and low density of the sediment is strongly related to high carbon content in Z. marina sediment. We suggest that sediment properties should be included as an important factor when evaluating high priority areas in management of Z. marina generated carbon sinks. PMID:27936111

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Seagrasses are negatively affected by organic matter loading and Arenicola marina activity in a laboratory experiment.

    PubMed

    Govers, Laura L; Pieck, Timon; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Suykerbuyk, Wouter; Smolders, Alfons J P; van Katwijk, Marieke M

    2014-06-01

    When two ecosystem engineers share the same natural environment, the outcome of their interaction will be unclear if they have contrasting habitat-modifying effects (e.g., sediment stabilization vs. sediment destabilization). The outcome of the interaction may depend on local environmental conditions such as season or sediment type, which may affect the extent and type of habitat modification by the ecosystem engineers involved. We mechanistically studied the interaction between the sediment-stabilizing seagrass Zostera noltii and the bioturbating and sediment-destabilizing lugworm Arenicola marina, which sometimes co-occur for prolonged periods. We investigated (1) if the negative sediment destabilization effect of A. marina on Z. noltii might be counteracted by positive biogeochemical effects of bioirrigation (burrow flushing) by A. marina in sulfide-rich sediments, and (2) if previously observed nutrient release by A. marina bioirrigation could affect seagrasses. We tested the individual and combined effects of A. marina presence and high porewater sulfide concentrations (induced by organic matter addition) on seagrass biomass in a full factorial lab experiment. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find an effect of A. marina on porewater sulfide concentrations. A. marina activities affected the seagrass physically as well as by pumping nutrients, mainly ammonium and phosphate, from the porewater to the surface water, which promoted epiphyte growth on seagrass leaves in our experimental set-up. We conclude that A. marina bioirrigation did not alleviate sulfide stress to seagrasses. Instead, we found synergistic negative effects of the presence of A. marina and high sediment sulfide levels on seagrass biomass.

  10. 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.

  11. Local competition and metapopulation processes drive long-term seagrass-epiphyte population dynamics.

    PubMed

    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

  12. Responses of four Indo-West Pacific seagrass species to shading.

    PubMed

    Collier, Catherine J; Waycott, Michelle; Ospina, Ana Giraldo

    2012-01-01

    Seagrasses of the Great Barrier Reef predominantly occur in coastal regions where terrestrial inputs modify water quality and photosynthetic light is highly variable. Responses to shading were tested for Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule uninervis, Thalassia hemprichii and Zostera muelleri. In aquaria, four light treatments - high (66% surface light), moderate (31%), low (14%) and very low light (1%) treatments - were applied for 102d. Stress responses in the low and very low light treatments occurred in the following sequence: metabolic and physiological changes (reduced growth, increased pigment concentrations and photosynthetic efficiency); shedding (leaf loss, shoot loss) and production of new, altered tissue (leaves with reduced length, width and thickness). Complete shoot loss was projected after 76 (Z. muelleri) to 130d (T. hemprichii). Responses were slower in the low than in the very low treatment, therefore, efforts to minimize water quality degradation will be rewarded with delayed impacts to seagrasses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johannessen, Sophia C.; Macdonald, Robie W.

    2016-11-01

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

  14. Dietary preferences of two seagrass inhabiting gastropods: Allochthonous vs autochthonous resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doropoulos, C.; Hyndes, G. A.; Lavery, P. S.; Tuya, F.

    2009-06-01

    The movement of allochthonous resources between habitats can provide important trophic linkages in marine landscapes. In coastal south-western Australia, the kelp Ecklonia radiata is removed from reefs and accumulates in large quantities in neighbouring seagrass meadows. This study investigated the feeding preferences and grazing rates of two locally abundant gastropods, Pyrene bidentata and Cantharidus lepidus, which exhibit inverse distribution patterns with proximity to reefs in seagrass meadows, to determine whether allochthonous kelp has the potential to contribute to the seagrass food web. Using laboratory choice and no-choice feeding experiments, we tested whether detached kelp is consumed preferentially, and at greater rates, by these two species than autochthonous resources (i.e. seagrass, epiphytic red macroalgae and seagrass periphyton). Both species displayed a preference for macroalgae and seagrass periphyton over seagrass leaves. In choice experiments, neither species displayed any clear preference between kelp (fresh or aged), red macroalgae or periphyton (consumption rates ranged between 0.39 and 3.64 mg ind -1 day -1), but consumption rates were always higher relative to seagrass. In no-choice experiments, P. bidentata displayed minimal consumption of seagrass, but consumed fresh and aged kelp, red macroalgae and seagrass periphyton at similar rates (2.00-7.22 mg ind -1 day -1). In comparison, C. lepidus consumed periphyton at far greater rates than any other food source (3.61 vs 0.33-1.10 mg ind -1 day -1). The results indicate that both P. bidentata and C. lepidus showed a clear preference for macroalgae and periphyton over seagrass, but no consistent preference towards any autochthonous or allochthonous algal resource. Reef-derived kelp therefore has the potential to contribute to the food web of seagrass meadows, and subsidise secondary production.

  15. Seagrass species distribution, density and coverage at Panggang Island, Jakarta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahab, Iswandi; Madduppa, Hawis; Kawaroe, Mujizat

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to assess species distribution, density and coverage of seagrass in Panggang Island, within Kepulauan Seribu Marine National Park, northern Jakarta. Seagrass sampling was conducted between March to April 2016 at three observation stations in the West, East, and South of Panggang Island. A total of 6 seagrass species was recorded during sampling period, including Cymodocea rotundata, C. serulata, Halodule uninervis, Syiringodium isoetifolium, Enhalus acoroides, and Thalassia hempricii. All species were observed in the South station, while in the West and East station found only three species (C. rotundata, E. acoroides, and T. hemprichii). While, C. rotundata and T. hemprichii were observed at all station. The highest density was observed for C. rotundata (520 ind/m2) and for T. hempricii (619 ind/m2) in the West station and South Station, respectively. The lowest density was observed in South Station for C. serulata (18 ind/m2), Halodule uninervis (20 ind/m2), and Syiringodium isoetifolium (15 ind/m2). Seagrass coverage of Thalassia hempricii was the highest (43.60%) and the lowest observed at Syiringodium isoetifolium (0.40%). This could be basic information for the management of seagrass ecosystem in the Kepulauan Seribu Marine National Park.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Seagrass ecophysiological performance under ocean warming and acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  4. Seagrass ecophysiological performance under ocean warming and acidification.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  5. Seagrass ecophysiological performance under ocean warming and acidification

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Seagrasses play an essential ecological role within coastal habitats and their worldwide population decline has been linked to different types of anthropogenic forces. We investigated, for the first time, the combined effects of future ocean warming and acidification on fundamental biological processes of Zostera noltii, including shoot density, leaf coloration, photophysiology (electron transport rate, ETR; maximum PSII quantum yield, Fv/Fm) and photosynthetic pigments. Shoot density was severely affected under warming conditions, with a concomitant increase in the frequency of brownish colored leaves (seagrass die-off). Warming was responsible for a significant decrease in ETR and Fv/Fm (particularly under control pH conditions), while promoting the highest ETR variability (among experimental treatments). Warming also elicited a significant increase in pheophytin and carotenoid levels, alongside an increase in carotenoid/chlorophyll ratio and De-Epoxidation State (DES). Acidification significantly affected photosynthetic pigments content (antheraxanthin, β-carotene, violaxanthin and zeaxanthin), with a significant decrease being recorded under the warming scenario. No significant interaction between ocean acidification and warming was observed. Our findings suggest that future ocean warming will be a foremost determinant stressor influencing Z. noltii survival and physiological performance. Additionally, acidification conditions to occur in the future will be unable to counteract deleterious effects posed by ocean warming. PMID:28145531

  6. 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

  7. Seagrass ecosystems reduce exposure to bacterial pathogens of humans, fishes, and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Joleah B; van de Water, Jeroen A J M; Bourne, David G; Altier, Craig; Hein, Margaux Y; Fiorenza, Evan A; Abu, Nur; Jompa, Jamaluddin; Harvell, C Drew

    2017-02-17

    Plants are important in urban environments for removing pathogens and improving water quality. Seagrass meadows are the most widespread coastal ecosystem on the planet. Although these plants are known to be associated with natural biocide production, they have not been evaluated for their ability to remove microbiological contamination. Using amplicon sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, we found that when seagrass meadows are present, there was a 50% reduction in the relative abundance of potential bacterial pathogens capable of causing disease in humans and marine organisms. Moreover, field surveys of more than 8000 reef-building corals located adjacent to seagrass meadows showed twofold reductions in disease levels compared to corals at paired sites without adjacent seagrass meadows. These results highlight the importance of seagrass ecosystems to the health of humans and other organisms.

  8. Peracarid assemblages of Zostera meadows in an estuarine ecosystem (O Grove inlet, NW Iberian Peninsula): spatial distribution and seasonal variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esquete, Patricia; Moreira, Juan; Troncoso, Jesús S.

    2011-12-01

    The Galician rias are singular and complex estuarine systems of great economic importance. Seagrasses are key elements of the ecosystem and favor the maintenance of high species diversity in benthic communities. Nevertheless, the ecological role of seagrass meadows in the Galician rias has been only partially assessed. Peracarid crustaceans are an important component of soft-bottom faunas and have great importance for the structure of benthic assemblages. In this work, species diversity, patterns of distribution and seasonal fluctuations of peracarids (Crustacea, Peracarida) are studied in estuarine sediments colonized by two species of Zostera ( Z. marina and Z. noltii) at the O Grove inlet (Ría de Arousa, Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula). The spatial distribution of peracarid assemblages was characterized by high numerical dominances due to a few species, particularly tanaidaceans. The temporal study at a Z. marina meadow showed a strongly seasonal pattern defined by great fluctuations of the amphipod population, the latter being the dominant group in abundance and number of species. The highest numbers of species and individuals were observed in September, with minimum values in March. Analyses pointed out a high correlation among the granulometric features of the studied bottoms and the faunistic attributes. Nevertheless, the presence of the seagrasses should influence in a major way the hydrodynamic and sedimentary features of the habitat and utterly the spatial and temporal patterns observed in the peracarid assemblage in the O Grove inlet.

  9. 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.

  10. Zostera marina seed burial can be enhanced by Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum: A microcosm study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chang-Jun; Li, Wen-Tao; Liu, Jianying; Zhang, Xiumei; Zhang, Peidong

    2017-06-01

    Seagrass seed bank plays a key role in the regeneration of new vegetation when seagrasses are removed by the natural or man-made disaster. Various factors may affect the development of sediment seed bank. We conducted a microcosm experiment to test the effects of burrowing and feeding activities of Manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum on the burial of Zostera marina seeds in sediments. The effects of lasting time (3-hour, 1-day, 3-day, 7-day, 14-day and 28-day), clam density (0, 2, 4 and 8 clams with shell length of 3 cm in each microcosm) and clam size (shell length of 2, 3 and 4 cm at 4-clam density) on seed burial were examined in plastic microcosm cores (30 cm high × 10 in inner diameter) in a 28-day period. Results showed that the seed burial depth significantly increased with time, the density and the size of clams. No seeds were buried in the sediment in the cores without clams during the whole experiment period. For the 3-cm clams, about 91.61% of the seeds were buried in the sediment at the end of the experiment in the high-density treatment (8 clams at each core); while in the medium and low-density treatments (4 and 2 clams in each core, respectively), about 76.93% and 60.61% of the seeds were buried in the sediment, respectively. For the size treatments, large (4 cm) clams buried 89.56% of the seeds at the end of the experiment, much more than those of medium (3 cm, 76.93%) and small (2 cm, 61.50%) size clams. During the whole experiment period, nearly all of the buried seeds were at a depth of from 0 cm to 5 cm. These results suggested that Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum may play an important positive role in seagrass seed bank dynamics in the field.

  11. Zostera marina seed burial can be enhanced by Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum: A microcosm study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chang-Jun; Li, Wen-Tao; Liu, Jianying; Zhang, Xiumei; Zhang, Peidong

    2017-03-01

    Seagrass seed bank plays a key role in the regeneration of new vegetation when seagrasses are removed by the natural or man-made disaster. Various factors may affect the development of sediment seed bank. We conducted a microcosm experiment to test the effects of burrowing and feeding activities of Manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum on the burial of Zostera marina seeds in sediments. The effects of lasting time (3-hour, 1-day, 3-day, 7-day, 14-day and 28-day), clam density (0, 2, 4 and 8 clams with shell length of 3 cm in each microcosm) and clam size (shell length of 2, 3 and 4 cm at 4-clam density) on seed burial were examined in plastic microcosm cores (30 cm high × 10 in inner diameter) in a 28-day period. Results showed that the seed burial depth significantly increased with time, the density and the size of clams. No seeds were buried in the sediment in the cores without clams during the whole experiment period. For the 3-cm clams, about 91.61% of the seeds were buried in the sediment at the end of the experiment in the high-density treatment (8 clams at each core); while in the medium and low-density treatments (4 and 2 clams in each core, respectively), about 76.93% and 60.61% of the seeds were buried in the sediment, respectively. For the size treatments, large (4 cm) clams buried 89.56% of the seeds at the end of the experiment, much more than those of medium (3 cm, 76.93%) and small (2 cm, 61.50%) size clams. During the whole experiment period, nearly all of the buried seeds were at a depth of from 0 cm to 5 cm. These results suggested that Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum may play an important positive role in seagrass seed bank dynamics in the field.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-09-01

    This study was conducted at Inhaca Island, south Mozambique, and focused on three different seagrass associations, dominated respectively by Thalassodendron ciliatum, Thalassia hemprichii and Zostera capensis. The main objective of this study was to compare the three seagrass associations, in what concerns vegetal and associated infaunal communities biomass. The approach was a nested design, which intended to provide information on seasonal effects and variability at decreasing spatial scales. Nested ANOVA was performed for all biological and porewater parameters and a cluster analysis of different biotic and abiotic parameters was performed. Nutrient concentration was consistently higher during the dry period as well as mean values of organic matter. Consistently lower values of chlorophyll a (chl a) were obtained at T. hemprichii meadow sites and the highest values were found at Z. capensis meadow. Phaeopigments have shown an opposite pattern when compared to chl a, and average values were consistently higher during the dry season. There were no net differences of seagrass standing crop during both sampled seasons, however at meadow level major differences were found, and higher biomass was obtained at T. ciliatum meadow, followed by T. hemprichii. Mean values of epibiota have shown that higher biomass was obtained at T. ciliatum meadow, the remaining meadows presented very low values. Meiofauna biomass showed fluctuations between seagrass meadows, stations and also between seasons. Macrofauna biomass showed clear fluctuations between seasons, being strongly more homogeneous during the dry season and highly variable in the wet season. ANOVA results have shown different significance at the different levels of the analysis, suggesting different spatial and temporal patterns and interactions between parameters. The dendrogram produced two main groups of variables, the first one comprised of OM, phaeopigments, nitrites, nitrates, meiofauna, grain size and chl a. The

  15. Anaerobic Degradation of Marine Algae, Seagrass and Tropical Climbing Vines to Produce a Renewable Energy Source and the Analysis of Their Anaerobic Microbial Communities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    microbial community present in the marine biomass microcosms had a low diversity. in the different marine and terrestrial microcosms, the bacteria that...achieve the conversion of alginate to methane. Although there was a positive isolation of bacteria that can degrade alginate, methanogenic bacteria ... bacteria that dominated was Desulfovibrio vulgaris, but the dominant methanogen depended on the biomass being degraded. Moreover, in the samples analyzed

  16. Oxygen and carbon metabolism of Zostera muelleri across a depth gradient - Implications for resilience and blue carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Angus J. P.; Gruber, Renee; Potts, Jaimie; Wright, Aaron; Welsh, David T.; Scanes, Peter

    2017-03-01

    There is growing interest in the role that seagrasses play as 'blue carbon' stores or sinks, and their potential to offset rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. This study measured primary aspects of the carbon balance (biomass, community metabolism, dissolved organic carbon [DOC] fluxes, seston trapping) across the depth gradient in a Zostera muelleri meadow during the seasonal biomass minimum and maximum. Over the annual estimation, the meadow was neither a sink nor source of carbon, with inputs of seston (∼58% of total inputs) balanced by exports of wrack and DOC. The carbon sink represented by wrack export depends on the nature of the environment where the wrack accumulates; if it reaches subtidal sediments it will largely be remineralised over the annual cycle, whereas between 14 and 26% of the wrack may be preserved if the material is exported to terrestrial environments. The fate of DOC exuded by seagrasses is unknown due to a lack of knowledge about its composition and lability; however, a number of lines of evidence suggest that a large fraction of DOC is mineralised. The net community metabolism (NCM) of the meadow was balanced, indicating that photosynthetic O2 production balanced community respiration and/or the reoxidation of reduced compounds (sulphur and iron) in the rhizosphere. We suggest that a balanced NCM may be the preferred state for Zostera spp. and may limit their occurrence in environments where plants cannot balance the respiratory demand exerted by seston inputs. There was a close coupling between metabolism and biomass, which in turn is forced by antecedent light over the preceding 120 days (the time integration window for antecedent light that best predicted biomass). Increased metabolism with depth and seasonal variation in light is accompanied by a decrease in the above ground:below ground biomass ratio (AGB:BGB). This trend is suggested to be a morphological adaptation that balances the competing requirements of maintaining a

  17. 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

  18. Microbial communities in marine sediments modify success of an invasive macrophyte.

    PubMed

    Gribben, Paul E; Nielsen, Shaun; Seymour, Justin R; Bradley, Daniel J; West, Matthew N; Thomas, Torsten

    2017-08-29

    Invasive plants have extensive impacts on ecosystem function and biodiversity globally. Our inability to manage invasive species stems in part from a lack of understanding of the processes that control their successful establishment and spread. To date, studies have largely considered how above-ground processes control native/invasive plant interactions. Emerging research from terrestrial and wetland ecosystems demonstrates that below-ground processes under microbial control can determine the outcome of interactions between native and invasive plants. Whether sediment microbes modify the success of invasive macrophytes in marine ecosystems is untested, despite marine sediment microbes controlling many ecological processes (e.g. nutrient cycling) comparable to those in terrestrial ecosystems. We first show that sediment bacterial communities differ between the native seagrass Zostera capricorni and the invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia and that those differences relate to functional changes in sulfur cycling between the macrophytes. Second, by experimentally manipulating the microbial communities we show that intact microbial communities in Z. capricorni sediments provide biotic resistance by reducing C. taxifolia fragment growth 119% compared to when they are inactive, and intact microbial communities in C. taxifolia sediments have positive feedbacks by increasing fragment growth 200%. Thus, similar to terrestrial ecosystems, microorganisms appear to indirectly control the success of invasive macrophytes in marine ecosystems.

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of herbivorous birds on intertidal seagrass beds in the northern Wadden Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nacken, M.; Reise, K.

    2000-07-01

    During autumn migration (September to December), brent geese (Branta b. bernicla) and wigeon (Anas penelope) feed on the seagrass Zostera noltii in the nearshore, upper tidal zone leeward of the island of Sylt (eastern North Sea). To graze on leaves and shoots above the sediment and on rhizomes and roots below, these birds reworked the entire upper 1 cm layer of sediment eight times within this 3-month period. In addition, brent geese excavated pits 3-10 cm deep by trampling in order to feed on below-ground phytomass. About 12% of the seagrass beds became pitted to an average depth of 4.5 cm. Using net exclosures, it was estimated that birds removed 34 g dry weight m-2 of above-ground and 28 g of below-ground phytomass. This corresponds to 45% of the phytomass in September. Of the overall loss of phytomass from September to December, 63% was caused by birds. Roughly half of the leaves fell off anyway until December and the other half were taken by the birds. Below the ground, phytomass remained almost constant where birds were excluded, while with birds phytomass of rhizomes and roots was halved. In spite of this strong effect, in the next vegetation period the blade density was lower at former exclosure sites compared to the ambient seagrass bed. The underlying process seems to be a self-inhibition of dense overwintering seagrass by mud accretion. Assuming our experimental results can be scaled up to the entire seagrass bed, we hypothesize that in the sheltered upper intertidal zone, seasonal erosion caused by herbivorous geese and ducks is necessary for the persistence of Z. noltii.

  1. 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

  2. Differences in urbanization and degree of marine influence are reflected in delta13C and delta15N of producers and consumers in seagrass habitats of Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Ylva S; Fox, Sophia E; Kinney, Erin L; Teichberg, Mirta; Valiela, Ivan

    2010-04-01

    Couplings between land use and marine food webs in tropical systems are poorly understood. We compared land-sea coupling in seven sites around Puerto Rico, differing in the degree of precipitation and urbanization, by measuring delta(13)C and delta(15)N in producers and consumers. delta(15)N values were influenced by human activity: the food web from sites near urbanized centers was on average 1 per thousand heavier in delta(15)N compared to undeveloped sites. This is most likely due to wastewater inputs from septic systems relatively near the shoreline. Changes in delta(13)C were best explained by differences in the degree of marine influence. Where terrestrial inputs from a major river dominated, delta(13)C values were lighter, whereas sites further from land and in locations exposed to oceanic currents had heavier delta(13)C values, characteristic of a marine source of dissolved organic carbon. We found no significant effect of precipitation on connectivity in spite of a twofold difference in annual average rainfall between the north and south coast. The results suggest there is some connectivity between land and sea in Puerto Rico, despite high rates of evaporation relative to precipitation.

  3. Comparing biodiversity effects among ecosystem engineers of contrasting strength: macrofauna diversity in Zostera noltii and Spartina anglica vegetations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Ortells, Victor; Ysebaert, Tom

    2009-03-01

    Whereas it is well known that ecosystem engineers can have a large influence on biodiversity, underlying mechanisms are still not fully clear. We try to enhance insight by comparing biodiversity effects of two neighboring intertidal, clonal, ecosystem engineering plant species that modify the physical environmental parameters in a similar way, but with a different magnitude. Macrobenthic assemblages were compared between meadows of the seagrass Zostera noltii, small patches (≤0.5 m Ø) and large areas (≫5 m Ø) of the emergent halophyte Spartina anglica and the surrounding bare tidal mudflat (control). Multivariate analyses revealed that the mudflat benthic assemblage and Zostera meadow assemblage showed highest similarities, whereas the Spartina marsh assemblage showed the highest dissimilarity with these two areas. Whereas the descriptive nature of our study limits interpretation of the data, some clear patterns were observed. For all vegetated areas, species diversity was lower compared to the unvegetated mudflat, and we observed a strong shift from endo- towards epibenthic species, suggesting that increased above-ground habitat complexity may be a main driving process in our system. As there were no clear patterns related to feeding types, food availability/productivity appeared to be of minor importance in structuring the benthic assemblages. Nevertheless, animals were in general smaller in vegetated areas. Patchiness had a distinct positive effect on biodiversity.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Influence of Zostera marina canopies on unidirectional flow, hydraulic roughness and sediment movement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefebvre, A.; Thompson, C. E. L.; Amos, C. L.

    2010-09-01

    Seagrasses develop extensive or patchy underwater meadows in coastal areas around the world, forming complex, highly productive ecosystems. Seagrass canopies exert strong effects on water flow inside and around them, thereby affecting flow structure, sediment transport and benthic ecology. The influence of Zostera marina canopies on flow velocity, turbulence, hydraulic roughness and sediment movement was evaluated through laboratory experiments in 2 flumes and using live Z. marina and a mobile sand bed. Profiles of instantaneous velocities were measured and sediment movement was identified upstream, within and downstream of patches of different sizes and shoot density and at different free-stream velocities. Flow structure was characterised by time-averaged velocity, turbulence intensity and Turbulent Kinetic Energy (TKE). When velocity data were available above the canopy, they were fitted to the Law of the Wall and shear velocities and roughness lengths were calculated. When a seagrass canopy was present, three layers were distinguishable in the water column: (1) within canopy represented by low velocities and high turbulence; (2) transition zone around the height of the canopy, where velocities increased, turbulence decreased and TKE was high; and (3) above canopy where velocities were equal or higher than free-stream velocities and turbulence and TKE were lower than below. Shoot density and patch-width influenced this partitioning of the flow when the canopy was long enough (based on flume experiments, at least more than 1 m-long). The enhanced TKE observed at the canopy/water interface suggests that large-scale turbulence is generated at the canopy surface. These oscillations, likely to be related to the canopy undulations, are then broken down within the canopy and high-frequency turbulence takes place near the bed. This turbulence 'cascade' through the canopy may have an important impact on biogeochemical processes. The velocity above the canopy generally

  7. 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‧.

  8. 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)'.

  9. 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

  10. Modelling seagrass growth and development to evaluate transplanting strategies for restoration.

    PubMed

    Renton, Michael; Airey, Michael; Cambridge, Marion L; Kendrick, Gary A

    2011-10-01

    Seagrasses are important marine plants that are under threat globally. Restoration by transplanting vegetative fragments or seedlings into areas where seagrasses have been lost is possible, but long-term trial data are limited. The goal of this study is to use available short-term data to predict long-term outcomes of transplanting seagrass. A functional-structural plant model of seagrass growth that integrates data collected from short-term trials and experiments is presented. The model was parameterized for the species Posidonia australis, a limited validation of the model against independent data and a sensitivity analysis were conducted and the model was used to conduct a preliminary evaluation of different transplanting strategies. The limited validation was successful, and reasonable long-term outcomes could be predicted, based only on short-term data. This approach for modelling seagrass growth and development enables long-term predictions of the outcomes to be made from different strategies for transplanting seagrass, even when empirical long-term data are difficult or impossible to collect. More validation is required to improve confidence in the model's predictions, and inclusion of more mechanism will extend the model's usefulness. Marine restoration represents a novel application of functional-structural plant modelling.

  11. Modelling seagrass growth and development to evaluate transplanting strategies for restoration

    PubMed Central

    Renton, Michael; Airey, Michael; Cambridge, Marion L.; Kendrick, Gary A.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Seagrasses are important marine plants that are under threat globally. Restoration by transplanting vegetative fragments or seedlings into areas where seagrasses have been lost is possible, but long-term trial data are limited. The goal of this study is to use available short-term data to predict long-term outcomes of transplanting seagrass. Methods A functional–structural plant model of seagrass growth that integrates data collected from short-term trials and experiments is presented. The model was parameterized for the species Posidonia australis, a limited validation of the model against independent data and a sensitivity analysis were conducted and the model was used to conduct a preliminary evaluation of different transplanting strategies. Key Results The limited validation was successful, and reasonable long-term outcomes could be predicted, based only on short-term data. Conclusions This approach for modelling seagrass growth and development enables long-term predictions of the outcomes to be made from different strategies for transplanting seagrass, even when empirical long-term data are difficult or impossible to collect. More validation is required to improve confidence in the model's predictions, and inclusion of more mechanism will extend the model's usefulness. Marine restoration represents a novel application of functional–structural plant modelling. PMID:21821624

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Seed germination in a southern Australian temperate seagrass.

    PubMed

    Cumming, Erin; Jarvis, Jessie C; Sherman, Craig D H; York, Paul H; Smith, Timothy M

    2017-01-01

    In a series of experiments, seeds from a temperate seagrass species, Zostera nigricaulis collected in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia were exposed to a range of salinities (20 PSU pulse/no pulse, 25 PSU, 30 PSU, 35 PSU), temperatures (13 °C, 17 °C, 22 °C), burial depths (0 cm, 1 cm, 2 cm) and site specific sediment characteristics (fine, medium, coarse) to quantify their impacts on germination rate and maximum overall germination. In southern Australia the seagrass Z. nigricaulis is a common subtidal species; however, little is known about the factors that affect seed germination which is a potential limiting factor in meadow resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Overall seed germination was low (<20%) with germination decreasing to <10% when seeds were placed in the sediment. When germination of Z. nigricaulis seeds was observed, it was enhanced (greater overall germination and shorter time to germination) when seeds were exposed to a 20 PSU pulse for 24 h, maintained at salinity of 25 PSU, temperatures <13 °C, in sediments with fine or medium grain sand and buried at a depth of <1 cm. These results indicate that germination of Z. nigricaulis seeds under in situ conditions may be seasonally limited by temperatures in southern Australia. Seed germination may be further restricted by salinity as freshwater pulses reaching 20 PSU are typically only observed in Port Phillip Bay following large scale rainfall events. As a result, these populations may be particularly susceptible to disturbance with only a seasonally limited capacity for recovery.

  15. Seed germination in a southern Australian temperate seagrass

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Jessie C.; Sherman, Craig D.H.; York, Paul H.; Smith, Timothy M.

    2017-01-01

    In a series of experiments, seeds from a temperate seagrass species, Zostera nigricaulis collected in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia were exposed to a range of salinities (20 PSU pulse/no pulse, 25 PSU, 30 PSU, 35 PSU), temperatures (13 °C, 17 °C, 22 °C), burial depths (0 cm, 1 cm, 2 cm) and site specific sediment characteristics (fine, medium, coarse) to quantify their impacts on germination rate and maximum overall germination. In southern Australia the seagrass Z. nigricaulis is a common subtidal species; however, little is known about the factors that affect seed germination which is a potential limiting factor in meadow resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Overall seed germination was low (<20%) with germination decreasing to <10% when seeds were placed in the sediment. When germination of Z. nigricaulis seeds was observed, it was enhanced (greater overall germination and shorter time to germination) when seeds were exposed to a 20 PSU pulse for 24 h, maintained at salinity of 25 PSU, temperatures <13 °C, in sediments with fine or medium grain sand and buried at a depth of <1 cm. These results indicate that germination of Z. nigricaulis seeds under in situ conditions may be seasonally limited by temperatures in southern Australia. Seed germination may be further restricted by salinity as freshwater pulses reaching 20 PSU are typically only observed in Port Phillip Bay following large scale rainfall events. As a result, these populations may be particularly susceptible to disturbance with only a seasonally limited capacity for recovery. PMID:28348932

  16. 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. © 2015 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology Reports published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Dugong grazing and turtle cropping: grazing optimization in tropical seagrass systems?

    PubMed

    Aragones, Lemnuel V; Lawler, Ivan R; Foley, William J; Marsh, Helene

    2006-10-01

    Grazing by dugongs and cropping by green turtles have the capacity to alter the subsequent nutritional quality of seagrass regrowth. We examined the effects of simulated light and intensive grazing by dugongs and cropping by turtles on eight nutritionally relevant measures of seagrass chemical composition over two regrowth periods (short-term, 1-4 months; long-term, 11-13 months) at two seagrass communities (a mixed species community with Zostera capricorni, Halophila ovalis, Halodule uninervis, Cymodocea rotundata and C. serrulate; and a monospecific bed of Halodule uninervis) in tropical Queensland, Australia. The concentrations of organic matter, total nitrogen, total water-soluble carbohydrates, total starch, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, acid lignin, as well as the in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) were measured in the leaves and below-ground parts of each species using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS). Regrowth of preferred species such as H. ovalis and H. uninervis from simulated intensive dugong grazing after a year exhibited increased (by 35 and 25%, respectively, relative to controls) whole-plant N concentrations. Similarly, regrowth of H. ovalis from simulated turtle cropping showed an increase in the leaf N concentration of 30% after a year. However, these gains are tempered by reductions in starch concentrations and increases in fiber. In the short-term, the N concentrations increased while the fiber concentrations decreased. These data provide experimental support for a grazing optimization view of herbivory in the tropical seagrass system, but with feedback in a different manner. Furthermore, we suggest that in areas where grazing is the only major source of natural disturbance, it is likely that there are potential ecosystem level effects if and when numbers of dugongs and turtles are reduced.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Comparison of Fish Assemblages Associated with Seagrass and Adjacent Unvegetated Habitats of Port Phillip Bay and Corner Inlet, Victoria, Australia, with Emphasis on Commercial Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, G. P.; May, H. M. A.; Wheatley, M. J.; Holloway, M. G.

    1997-05-01

    Species richness, abundance and biomass of fishes from seagrass and unvegetated habitats were analysed for sites in the Swan Bay region of Port Phillip Bay, and Corner Inlet, Victoria, Australia. Fish assemblages from intertidal Zostera muellerisites showed greater similarity with a number of shallower unvegetated sites than to subtidal Heterozostera tasmanica. Similarly, subtidal, unvegetated sites in Swan Bay were more similar to subtidal Heterozosterasites than to other, generally shallower, unvegetated sites. Species richness was significantly higher in seagrass beds and showed an increase over the warmer months of the year. Differences in abundance and biomass of fishes between vegetated and unvegetated habitats depended on the location of sampling. In general, abundance and biomass of fish in the deeper subtidal seagrass were significantly higher than in unvegetated habitats of the same depth. In contrast, abundance and biomass were not significantly different between seagrass and unvegetated habitats of the intertidal and shallow subtidal zones when significant abundances of the long-finned goby, Favonigobius lateralis, occurred on unvegetated habitats. As a consequence, species richness would be expected to decrease with any seagrass loss; however, decreases in abundance and biomass of fishes would be greatest with loss of deeper subtidal Heterozosterahabitats. Although juveniles of a number of commercially important species were associated with subtidal Heterozosterahabitats, juveniles of other species of commercial significance were found on shallow, unvegetated habitats. Newly settled juveniles of the King George whiting, Sillaginodes punctata, were associated with unvegetated patches amongst subtidal seagrass in Swan Bay, in contrast with a direct association with seagrass reported from other areas.

  12. Global and local disturbances interact to modify seagrass palatability

    PubMed Central

    Egea, Luis G.; Ortega, María J.; Hernández, Ignacio; Vergara, Juan J.; Brun, Fernando G.

    2017-01-01

    Global change, such as warming and ocean acidification, and local anthropogenic disturbances, such as eutrophication, can have profound impacts on marine organisms. However, we are far from being able to predict the outcome of multiple interacting disturbances on seagrass communities. Herbivores are key in determining plant community structure and the transfer of energy up the food web. Global and local disturbances may alter the ecological role of herbivory by modifying leaf palatability (i.e. leaf traits) and consequently, the feeding patterns of herbivores. This study evaluates the main and interactive effects of factors related to global change (i.e. elevated temperature, lower pH levels and associated ocean acidification) and local disturbance (i.e. eutrophication through ammonium enrichment) on a broad spectrum of leaf traits using the temperate seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, including structural, nutritional, biomechanical and chemical traits. The effect of these traits on the consumption rates of the generalist herbivore Paracentrotus lividus (purple sea urchin) is evaluated. The three disturbances of warming, low pH level and eutrophication, alone and in combination, increased the consumption rate of seagrass by modifying all leaf traits. Leaf nutritional quality, measured as nitrogen content, was positively correlated to consumption rate. In contrast, a negative correlation was found between feeding decisions by sea urchins and structural, biomechanical and chemical leaf traits. In addition, a notable accomplishment of this work is the identification of phenolic compounds not previously reported for C. nodosa. Our results suggest that global and local disturbances may trigger a major shift in the herbivory of seagrass communities, with important implications for the resilience of seagrass ecosystems. PMID:28813506

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS: Sedimentation of fine sediment particles onto seagrass leaves severely hampers the plants' performance in both light and darkness, due to inadequate internal plant aeration and intrusion of phytotoxic H2S. Anthropogenic activities leading to sediment re-suspension can have adverse effects on adjacent seagrass meadows, owing to reduced light availability and the settling of suspended particles onto seagrass leaves potentially impeding gas exchange with the surrounding water. We used microsensors to determine O2 fluxes and diffusive boundary layer (DBL) thickness on leaves of the seagrass Zostera muelleri with and without fine sediment particles, and combined these laboratory measurements with in situ microsensor measurements of tissue O2 and H2S concentrations. Net photosynthesis rates in leaves with fine sediment particles were down to ~20% of controls without particles, and the compensation photon irradiance increased from a span of 20–53 to 109–145 μmol photons m−2 s−1. An ~2.5-fold thicker DBL around leaves with fine sediment particles impeded O2 influx into the leaves during darkness. In situ leaf meristematic O2 concentrations of plants exposed to fine sediment particles were lower than in control plants and exhibited long time periods of complete meristematic anoxia during night-time. Insufficient internal aeration resulted in H2S intrusion into the leaf meristematic tissues when exposed to sediment resuspension even at relatively high night-time water-column O2 concentrations. Fine sediment particles that settle on seagrass leaves thus negatively affect internal tissue aeration and thereby the plants' resilience against H2S intrusion. PMID:28536583

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, Richard L.; Bittaker, Henry F.

    1986-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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 106 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 104 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. PMID:23762030

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Influence of seagrass beds and oyster parks on the abundance and biomass patterns of meio- and macrobenthos in tidal flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castel, Jacques; Labourg, Pierre-Jean; Escaravage, Vincent; Auby, Isabelle; Garcia, Maria Elena

    1989-01-01

    In Arcachon Bay, on the south-west coast of France, the intertidal area is mainly occupied by sandbanks, oyster parks ( Crassostrea gigas) and mud flats covered with seagrass beds ( Zostera noltii). In order to estimate the relative contribution of meio- and macrofauna to the benthic ecology of these tidal flats, seven stations were studied seasonally for a year. Relationships between faunal density and biomass, and external factors such as sediment structure, benthic chlorophyll and seagrass debris were investigated. A comparison was made between bare sands, oyster beds and vegetated sediment in semi-exposed conditions and in sheltered areas. Using a stepwise method of multiple linear regression it was shown that high densities of macrobenthos are mostly explained by high quantities of plant debris. For meiofauna, together with plant debris, other effective variables are involved: silt content, organic carbon, chlorophyll pigments. On an average, a correlation between macro- and meiofaunal abundances could be found. However, this general pattern is modified by the biogenic structure created by the oysters and seagrass. When compared to the adjacent sandbanks, oysters clearly enhanced meiofaunal abundance (from 1130-4170 individuals 10 cm -2) but depressed macrofaunal densities (from 640-370 individuals 400 cm -2). The organic-rich oyster biodeposits probably favour meiofauna by an increase of the trophic resources but do not favour macroinfauna by inducing low oxygen concentrations. Moreover, it is likely that macrofauna is more sensitive to predation than meiofauna both in sandbanks and in oyster parks. For both meio- and macrofauna the highest incidences (7200 individuals 10 cm -2 and 2470 individuals 400 cm -2, respectively) are recorded in seagrass bed sediments. Zostera induces an enhancement of organic detritus and provides a refuge against predation. In terms of biomass, the macrofauna/meiofauna ratio is 25·1 in sandbanks, 1·5 in oyster parks and 4·2 in

  7. A spatial model to improve site selection for seagrass restoration in shallow boating environments.

    PubMed

    Hotaling-Hagan, Althea; Swett, Robert; Ellis, L Rex; Frazer, Thomas K

    2017-01-15

    Due to widespread and continuing seagrass loss, restoration attempts occur worldwide. This article presents a geospatial modeling technique that ranks the suitability of sites for restoration based on light availability and boating activity, two factors cited in global studies of seagrass loss and restoration failures. The model presented here was created for Estero Bay, Florida and is a predictive model of light availability and boating pressure to aid seagrass restoration efforts. The model is adaptive and can be parameterized for different locations and updated as additional data is collected and knowledge of how factors impact seagrass improves. Light data used for model development were collected over one year from 50 sites throughout the bay. Coupled with high resolution bathymetric data, bottom mean light availability was predicted throughout the bay. Data collection throughout the year also allowed for prediction of light variability at sites, a possible indicator of seagrass growth and survival. Additionally, survey data on boating activities were used to identify areas, outside of marked navigation channels, that receive substantial boating pressure and are likely poor candidate sites for seagrass restoration. The final map product identifies areas where the light environment was suitable for seagrasses and boating pressure was low. A composite map showing the persistence of seagrass coverage in the study area over four years, between 1999 and 2006, was used to validate the model. Eighty-nine percent of the area where seagrass persisted (had been mapped all four years) was ranked as suitable for restoration: 42% with the highest rank (7), 28% with a rank of 6, and 19% with a rank of 5. The results show that the model is a viable tool for selection of seagrass restoration sites in Florida and elsewhere. With knowledge of the light environment and boating patterns, managers will be better equipped to set seagrass restoration and water quality improvement

  8. 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.

  9. 15 CFR Appendix C to Subpart H of... - No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zones in Tomales Bay

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zones... OF COMMERCE OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. H, App. C Appendix C to Subpart H of...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Contribution of different functional groups to the diet of major predatory fishes at a seagrass meadow in northeastern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Katsumasa; Hori, Masakazu; Tanaka, Yoshiyuki; Hasegawa, Natsuki; Nakaoka, Masahiro

    2010-01-01

    We examined the variation in habitat use and diet of three dominant fish species ( Myoxocephalus brandti, Pholidapus dybowskii, and Pholis crassispina) in a seagrass meadow in the Akkeshi-ko estuary in northeastern Japan, where broad and dense Zostera marina beds exist, using a semi-quantitative census of the fishes and analyses of their stomach contents. Differences among the three fish species in the temporal variation in abundance of each age class (mainly 1- and 2-year age classes) indicated that the temporal pattern of utilization of the seagrass meadow were different among them. In the semi-quantitative dietary analysis, two prey categories, i.e., taxonomic group (order and suborder) and functional group, were used to explain the variation in prey composition with size-dependent changes. The six prey functional groups were classified based on the ecological traits of the prey, i.e., trophic level, size, and life type (habitat and behavior). Ontogenetic shifts in prey of the three fish species could be fully explained by a combination of the two prey categories, and not by the use of only one category (taxonomic or functional group). The pattern of ontogenetic shifts in prey differed among the fish species and size (age) classes. These results indicate that segregation of habitat (seagrass meadow) and prey group (taxonomic and functional group) is performed among the three species, which may contribute to their coexistence in this estuary.

  13. Converting beach-cast seagrass wrack into biochar: A climate-friendly solution to a coastal problem.

    PubMed

    Macreadie, Peter I; Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M; Baldock, Jeffrey A; Kelleway, Jeffrey J

    2017-01-01

    Excessive accumulation of plant 'wrack' on beaches as a result of coastal development and beach modification (e.g. groin installation) is a global problem. This study investigated the potential for converting beach-cast seagrass wrack into biochar as a 'climate-friendly' disposal option for resource managers. Wrack samples from 11 seagrass species around Australia were initially screened for their biochar potential using pyrolysis techniques, and then two species - Posidonia australis and Zostera muelleri - underwent detailed analyses. Both species had high levels of refractory materials and high conversion efficiency (48-57%) of plant carbon into biochar carbon, which is comparable to high-quality terrestrial biochar products. P. australis wrack gave higher biochar yields than Z. muelleri consistent with its higher initial carbon content. According to (13)C NMR, wrack predominantly comprised carbohydrates, protein, and lignin. Aryl carbon typical of pyrogenic materials dominated the spectrum of the thermally-altered organic materials. Overall, this study provides the first data on the feasibility of generating biochar from seagrass wrack, showing that biocharring offers a promising climate-friendly alternative to disposal of beach wrack in landfill by avoiding a portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise occur if wrack was left to decompose. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Laboratory testing protocol for the impact of dispersed petrochemicals on seagrass.

    PubMed

    Wilson, K G; Ralph, P J

    2012-11-01

    To improve the effectiveness of oil spill mitigation, we developed a rapid, logistically simple protocol to detect petrochemical stress on seagrass. Sections of leaf blades from Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni were exposed to the water accommodated fraction (WAF) of non-dispersed and dispersed Tapis crude oil and fuel oil (IFO-380) for 5h. Photosynthetic health was monitored by assessing changes in effective quantum yield of photosystem II (ΔF/F(m)(')) and chlorophyll a pigment concentrations. Loss of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) was measured using an oil-in-water fluorometer, whilst GC-MS analyses quantified the hydrocarbon components within each treatment. Few significant differences were detected in the chlorophyll a pigment analyses; however, ΔF/F(m)(') appeared sensitive to petrochemical exposure. Dispersing both types of oil resulted in a substantial increase in the TPH of the WAF and was generally correlated with a greater physiological impact to the seagrass health, compared with the oil alone. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  17. A new species of seagrass-boring Limnoria (Limnoriidae, Isopoda, Crustacea) from Japan.

    PubMed

    Yoshino, Hiroki; Watabe, Hikari; Ohsawa, Takeshi A

    2017-02-15

    The marine seagrass-boring isopod, Limnoria rhombipunctata sp. nov. (Limnoriidae) is described from the rhizome of Phyllospadix iwatensis seagrass, in shallow coastal waters off Chiba Prefecture, Japan. L. rhombipunctata sp. nov. is distinguished from other Limnoria species by the unique carinae of pleonite 5 and pleotelson, two branched lacinia mobilis of the right mandible, 3 flagellar articles of antenna 1, and triangular epipod of the maxilliped. Specimens of L. magadanensis, a species similar to L. rhombipunctata sp. nov., are re-examined and compared with L. rhombipunctata sp. nov.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. [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

  2. Are Estimates of Blue Carbon Sequestration by Seagrass Sediments Biased High?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johannessen, S.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal marine sediments bury organic carbon, sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide. Vegetated coastal ecosystems, including seagrass beds, are thought to sequester carbon disproportionately for their size, making it essential to itemize them in global carbon models, and implying that restoration or protection offers the potential to obtain carbon credits. International protocols have been developed to evaluate carbon capture by seagrass beds, based on local or global studies in semi-terrestrial systems. However, these methods generally do not account for the behaviour of marine sediments. Sedimentation rate, sediment mixing, microbial degradation, and the energy of the environment all affect the burial of organic carbon in the ocean. Neglecting these factors tends to overestimate sequestration by seagrasses, and, in addition, results in an incorrect spatial distribution of carbon burial. We will describe how marine sediments process and bury organic carbon; present a direct and reliable method to determine carbon burial, suitable for international Tier 3 reporting; and discuss the implications for global estimates of carbon sequestration by seagrass beds.

  3. Assessing Carbon Storage and Sequestration of Seagrass Meadows on the Pacific Coast of Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postlethwaite, V. R.; McGowan, A. E.; Robinson, C.; Kohfeld, K. E.; Pellatt, M. G.; Yakimishyn, J.; Chastain, S. G.

    2016-12-01

    Recent estimates suggest that seagrasses are highly efficient carbon sinks, storing a disproportionate amount of carbon for their relatively small area (only approximately 0.2% of the global ocean), and that they may bury carbon up to 12 times faster than terrestrial forests. Unfortunately, seagrass meadows are being lost at a rate of 0.4-2.6% yr-1, potentially releasing 0.15-1.02 Pg (billion tonnes) carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Research on seagrass carbon stocks has been mainly limited to areas in the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and Western Australia, and specifically has been very limited in the Northeast Pacific. We aim to characterize the carbon storage and sequestration occurring in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Clayoquot Sound area, off the western coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC). Each of our sites varied in environmental characteristics representative of BC's seagrass meadows, including freshwater influence. Six cores, plus one from a "reference" site were taken from each meadow. Loss on ignition (LOI) and elemental analysis will be used to determine organic C and carbonate content. Additionally, we will use dry bulk density, 210Pb dating and seagrass density data to determine carbon accumulation rates and total meadow carbon stocks to provide a comprehensive picture of carbon storage and sequestration in BC's seagrass meadows. Carbon storage results will contribute to global estimates of seagrass carbon stocks via the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, as well as assist in marine ecosystem conservation planning and help in understanding the value of these ecosystems, especially as a means of climate change mitigation.

  4. Comparison of zooplankton abundance and community in seagrass and non-seagrass areas of Merambong shoal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azmi, Afiq Auji; Yoshida, Teruaki; Toda, Tatsuki; Ross, Othman bin Haji; Cob, Zaidi Che

    2016-11-01

    A zooplankton comparison study of Merambong shoal's seagrass and non-seagrass area was conducted from April 2013 to October 2014. Sampling was conducted monthly at fixed stations by horizontal tows of a 140 µm plankton net. Mean temperature was significantly higher during the south-west (SW) monsoon at both stations. Salinity and Chlorophyll a concentrations were not significantly different between the monsoons for both stations. However, Chlorophyll a concentrations were significantly higher in the seagrass compared to non-seagrass station. Mean zooplankton abundance was 1.32-fold higher in the non-seagrass area (4006.5±1990.5 ind/mł) than the seagrass area (3030.1± 855.6 ind/mł), despite overall higher Chlorophyll a levels in the seagrass station. At the seagrass station, the dominant copepods Paracalanus and Parvocalanus abundances were significantly higher (p<0.01, Mann-Whitney) during the SW monsoon, while Euterpina was significantly lower (p<0.04, Mann-Whitney). The non-seagrass station also showed a similar trend where the dominant copepods Paracalanus and Parvocalanus abundances were significantly higher in the SW monsoon (p<0.02, Mann-Whitney). Higher percentage of meroplankton was recorded during the study period in seagrass area with 11.6 %, 1.5 fold of non-seagrass area.

  5. Non-structural Carbohydrate Reserves of Eelgrass Zostera marina

    Treesearch

    Marianne K. Burke; William C. Dennison; Kenneth A. Moore

    1996-01-01

    The high minimum light requirement of eelgrass Zostera marina L. suggests that this species has difficulty in maintaining a positive carbon balance except under high fight conditions. The carbon balance of Z. marina can be studied by following seasonal changes in non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) reserves, however, little is...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  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. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae Hwan; Kang, Ji Hyoun; Jang, Ji Eun; Choi, Sun Kyeong; Kim, Min Ji; Park, Sang Rul; Lee, Hyuk Je

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae Hwan; Kang, Ji Hyoun; Jang, Ji Eun; Choi, Sun Kyeong; Kim, Min Ji; Park, Sang Rul; Lee, Hyuk Je

    2017-01-01

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

  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. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Eelgrass meadows, Zostera marina (L.), facilitate the ecosystem service of nitrogen removal during simulated nutrient pulses in Shinnecock Bay, New York, USA.

    PubMed

    Zarnoch, Chester B; Hoellein, Timothy J; Furman, Bradley T; Peterson, Bradley J

    2017-08-01

    Seagrass meadows are important sites of nitrogen (N) transformations in estuaries, however, the role of N loading in driving relative rates of N fixation and denitrification in seagrass habitats is unclear. The current study quantified N fluxes in eelgrass meadows (Zostera marina (L.)) and nearby unvegetated sand in trials representing in situ and N enriched conditions. Net N2 fluxes were low or negative under in situ conditions in both eelgrass and sand. Under N enriched conditions, denitrification was higher than N-fixation, and denitrification in eelgrass was significantly higher than sand. Denitrification of water column NO3(-) was more significant than coupled nitrification-denitrification in the eelgrass. Denitrification was likely supported by greater organic carbon and N within the eelgrass sediment compared to sand. Eelgrass meadows in Shinnecock Bay may facilitate the ecosystem service of N removal and retention during short-term nutrient pulses that can originate from groundwater discharge and stormwater runoff. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  2. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Quantifying Seagrass Light Requirements Using an Algorithm to Spatially Resolve Depth of Colonization-Conf Abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Quantifying Seagrass Light Requirements Using an Algorithm to Spatially Resolve Depth of Colonization-Conf Abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. Limited effects of source population identity and number on seagrass transplant performance.

    PubMed

    Novak, Alyssa B; Plaisted, Holly K; Hays, Cynthia G; Hughes, Randall A

    2017-01-01

    Global declines in coastal foundation species highlight the importance of effective restoration. In this study, we examined the effects of source population identity and diversity (one vs. three sources per plot) on seagrass (Zostera marina) transplant success. The field experiment was replicated at two locations in Massachusetts with adjacent natural Zostera marina beds to test for local adaptation and source diversity effects on shoot density. We also collected morphological and genetic data to characterize variation within and among source populations, and evaluate whether they were related to performance. Transplants grew and expanded until six months post-transplantation, but then steadily declined at both sites. Prior to declines, we observed variation in performance among source populations at one site that was related to morphological traits: the populations with the longest leaves had the highest shoot densities, whereas the population with the shortest leaves performed the worst at six months post-transplantation. In addition, multiple source plots at this same transplant site consistently had similar or higher shoot densities than single source plots, and shoots from weak-performing populations showed improved performance in multiple source plots. We found no evidence for home site advantage or benefits of population-level genetic variation in early transplant performance at either site. Our results show limited effects of source population on early transplant performance and suggest that factors (e.g., morphology) other than home site advantage and population genetic variation serve a role. Based on our overall findings that transplant success varied among source populations and that population diversity at the plot level had positive but limited effects on individual and plot performance, we support planting shoots from multiple source sites in combination to enhance transplant success, particularly in the absence of detailed information on individual

  11. Limited effects of source population identity and number on seagrass transplant performance

    PubMed Central

    Plaisted, Holly K.; Hays, Cynthia G.; Hughes, Randall A.

    2017-01-01

    Global declines in coastal foundation species highlight the importance of effective restoration. In this study, we examined the effects of source population identity and diversity (one vs. three sources per plot) on seagrass (Zostera marina) transplant success. The field experiment was replicated at two locations in Massachusetts with adjacent natural Zostera marina beds to test for local adaptation and source diversity effects on shoot density. We also collected morphological and genetic data to characterize variation within and among source populations, and evaluate whether they were related to performance. Transplants grew and expanded until six months post-transplantation, but then steadily declined at both sites. Prior to declines, we observed variation in performance among source populations at one site that was related to morphological traits: the populations with the longest leaves had the highest shoot densities, whereas the population with the shortest leaves performed the worst at six months post-transplantation. In addition, multiple source plots at this same transplant site consistently had similar or higher shoot densities than single source plots, and shoots from weak-performing populations showed improved performance in multiple source plots. We found no evidence for home site advantage or benefits of population-level genetic variation in early transplant performance at either site. Our results show limited effects of source population on early transplant performance and suggest that factors (e.g., morphology) other than home site advantage and population genetic variation serve a role. Based on our overall findings that transplant success varied among source populations and that population diversity at the plot level had positive but limited effects on individual and plot performance, we support planting shoots from multiple source sites in combination to enhance transplant success, particularly in the absence of detailed information on individual

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Seagrass landscape-scale changes in response to disturbance created by the dynamics of barrier-islands: A case study from Ria Formosa (Southern Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunha, A. H.; Santos, R. P.; Gaspar, A. P.; Bairros, M. F.

    2005-09-01

    This study documents long-term changes of a Zostera noltii landscape induced by a natural cyclic event in a coastal lagoon. The barrier-islands forming this system are very dynamic with drifting movements controlling ecological patterns and processes occurring in this area. Changes in the areal extent of the Z. noltii meadows were assessed using historical aerial photographs from 1940, 1980, 1989, 1996 and 1998. Landscape indices such as total patch area (TA), mean patch size (MPS), number of patches (NP), mean shape coefficient of variation (CV) and landscape fractal dimension (D) were calculated for each year and related to an index of disturbance intensity. The spatial distribution of the Z. noltii meadows varied greatly during the studied period and changes observed were related to the disturbance created by the barrier-islands' spatial dynamics. After an artificial inlet relocation the Z. noltii area, number of patches, patch mean size and coefficient of variation decreased. The fractal dimension of the Z. noltii landscape increased by 50% showing that besides a decrease in total area, number of patches, and patch mean area, patch fragmentation was an important consequence of this anthropogenic disturbance. Seagrass natural distribution patterns changed in response to natural and human-induced activities. This study emphasizes the importance of the landscape approach and the historical perspective when studying seagrass changes and the importance of taking into consideration long-term changes in seagrass landscapes to avoid confusion between man-induced effects with natural cyclic events.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Salinity and temperature significantly influence seed germination, seedling establishment, and seedling growth of eelgrass Zostera marina L.

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shaochun; Wang, Pengmei; Wang, Feng; Zhang, Xiaomei; Gu, Ruiting

    2016-01-01

    Globally, seagrass beds have been recognized as critical yet declining coastal habitats. To mitigate seagrass losses, seagrass restorations have been conducted in worldwide over the past two decades. Seed utilization is considered to be an important approach in seagrass restoration efforts. In this study, we investigated the effects of salinity and temperature on seed germination, seedling establishment, and seedling growth of eelgrass Zostera marina L. (Swan Lake, northern China). We initially tested the effects of salinity (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 ppt) and water temperature (5, 10, 15, and 20 °C) on seed germination to identify optimal levels. To identify levels of salinity that could potentially limit survival and growth, and, consequently, the spatial distribution of seedlings in temperate estuaries, we then examined the effect of freshwater and other salinity levels (10, 20, and 30 ppt) on seedling growth and establishment to confirm suitable conditions for seedling development. Finally, we examined the effect of transferring germinated seeds from freshwater or low salinity levels (1, 5, and 15 ppt) to natural seawater (32 ppt) on seedling establishment rate (SER) at 15 °C. In our research, we found that: (1) Mature seeds had a considerably lower moisture content than immature seeds; therefore, moisture content may be a potential indicator of Z. marina seed maturity; (2) Seed germination significantly increased at low salinity (p < 0.001) and high temperature (p < 0.001). Salinity had a much stronger influence on seed germination than temperature. Maximum seed germination (88.67 ± 5.77%) was recorded in freshwater at 15 °C; (3) Freshwater and low salinity levels (< 20 ppt) increased germination but had a strong negative effect on seedling morphology (number of leaves per seedling reduced from 2 to 0, and maximum seedling leaf length reduced from 4.48 to 0 cm) and growth (seedling biomass reduced by 46.15–66.67% and maximum seedling length

  3. Phylogenetic relationships in the genera Zostera and Heterozostera (Zosteraceae) based on matK sequence data.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Norio; Kuo, John; Omori, Yuji; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Aioi, Keiko

    2003-08-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of the plastid (chloroplast) DNA matK gene of Zosteraceae species was undertaken. A molecular phylogenetic tree based on matK sequence data showed the monophyly of Heterozostera tasmanica and subgenus Zosterella and did not support the separation of Heterozostera from the genus Zostera. The tree based on matK supported the monophyly of the subgenus Zostera, and showed that Zosteraceae consist of three main groups: Phyllospadix, which is clearly defined by being dioecious; the subgenus Zosterella and Heterozostera; and the subgenus Zostera. Character-state reconstruction of chromosome number and geographic distribution for our molecular phylogenetic tree showed that 2 n=12 is a plesiomorphic character for Zostera and Heterozostera, that the chromosome number was doubled or tripled in two lineages, and that the initial speciation of Zostera and Heterozostera occurred in the Northern Hemisphere. The matK tree showed the close affinity of Z. noltii and Z. japonica, which have disjunct distributions. Zostera marina, which is the only widely distributed species in the subgenus Zostera, also occurring in the northern Atlantic, was shown to be embedded within other subgenus Zostera species.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    the complex indirect interactions among species, how top-down control in marine reserves can modify seagrass habitat effects.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Communities of Cultivable Root Mycobionts of the Seagrass Posidonia oceanica in the Northwest Mediterranean Sea Are Dominated by a Hitherto Undescribed Pleosporalean Dark Septate Endophyte.

    PubMed

    Vohník, Martin; Borovec, Ondřej; Kolařík, Miroslav

    2016-02-01

    Seagrasses, a small group of submerged marine macrophytes, were reported to lack mycorrhizae, i.e., the root-fungus symbioses most terrestrial plants use for nutrient uptake. On the other hand, several authors detected fungal endophytes in seagrass leaves, shoots, rhizomes, and roots, and an anatomically and morphologically unique dark septate endophytic (DSE) association has been recently described in the roots of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Nevertheless, the global diversity of seagrass mycobionts is not well understood, and it remains unclear what fungus forms the DSE association in P. oceanica roots. We isolated and determined P. oceanica root mycobionts from 11 localities in the northwest Mediterranean Sea with documented presence of the DSE association and compared our results with recent literature. The mycobiont communities were low in diversity (only three species), were dominated by a single yet unreported marine fungal species (ca. 90 % of the total 177 isolates), and lacked common terrestrial and freshwater root mycobionts. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that the dominating species represents a new monotypic lineage within the recently described Aigialaceae family (Pleosporales, Ascomycota), probably representing a new genus. Most of its examined colonies developed from intracellular microsclerotia occupying host hypodermis and resembling microsclerotia of terrestrial DSE fungi. Biological significance of this hitherto overlooked seagrass root mycobiont remains obscure, but its presence across the NW Mediterranean Sea and apparent root intracellular lifestyle indicate an intriguing symbiotic relationship with the dominant Mediterranean seagrass. Our microscopic observations suggest that it may form the DSE association recently described in P. oceanica roots.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Seagrass science is growing: A report on the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop.

    PubMed

    Hind-Ozan, Edward J; Jones, Benjamin L

    2017-08-11

    This conference report describes the programme of the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop, its highlights, areas of growth for the workshop, and potential future directions for the workshop series. The report is written with an eye toward where it fits within the field of seagrass research. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Epiphytic cyanobacteria of the seagrass Cymodocea rotundata: diversity, diel nifH expression and nitrogenase activity.

    PubMed

    Hamisi, Mariam; Díez, Beatriz; Lyimo, Thomas; Ininbergs, Karolina; Bergman, Birgitta

    2013-06-01

    Seagrasses are photoautotrophic, ecologically important components of many globally widespread coastal ecosystems, in which combined nitrogen may limit their production. We examined the biodiversity and diazotrophic capacity of microbial epiphytes associated with the phyllosphere of the seagrass Cymodocea rotundata of the Western Indian Ocean. Light microscopy, 16S rRNA and nifH gene analysis revealed the dominance of cyanobacteria in the epiphytic microbial community. Most phylotypes were related to free-living uncultured benthic cyanobacteria, while some to cyanobacterial endosymbionts of marine diatoms. Novel and potentially diazotrophic species, some of known pantropical distribution, were also discovered. Significant diel nitrogenase activities (acetylene reduction assay) were recorded (up to 358 ± 232 nmol C2H4 g(-1) of seagrass FW h(-1)). The nifH gene expression patterns showed that heterocystous phylotypes may be the dominant diazotrophs during the day and non-heterocystous at night. These data show that C. rotundata is colonized by diverse diazotrophic cyanobacteria species and suggest that these may be beneficial partners of seagrasses in nitrogen-depleted waters. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. PCDDs in the water/sediment-seagrass-dugong (Dugong dugon) food chain on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia).

    PubMed

    McLachlan, M S; Haynes, D; Müller, J F

    2001-01-01

    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) and dibenzofuran (PCDF) concentrations were measured in sediment and seagrass from five locations in or adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. A full spectrum of Cl5-8DDs were present in all samples and, in particular, elevated levels of Cl8DD were found. PCDFs could not be quantified in any samples. The PCDD concentrations ranged over two orders of magnitude between sites, and there was a good correlation between sediment and seagrass levels. There were large quantities of sediment present on the seagrass (20-62% on a dry wt. basis), and it was concluded that this was a primary source of the PCDDs in the seagrass samples. The PCDD levels in the seagrass samples were compared with the levels in the tissue of three dugongs stranded in the same region. The relative accumulation of the 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD congeners in the dugongs decreased by over two orders of magnitude with increasing degree of chlorination. This was attributed to the reduced absorption of the higher chlorinated congeners in the digestive tract, a behaviour that has been observed in other mammals such as domestic cows.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Hughes, A Randall; Stachowicz, John J

    2004-06-15

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Contemporary connectivity is sustained by wind- and current-driven seed dispersal among seagrass meadows.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Lowe, Ryan J; Kendrick, Gary A

    2015-01-01

    Seagrasses are clonal marine plants that form important biotic habitats in many tropical and temperate coastal ecosystems. While there is a reasonable understanding of the dynamics of asexual (vegetative) growth in seagrasses, sexual reproduction and the dispersal pathways of the seeds remain poorly studied. Here we address the potential for a predominantly clonal seagrass, P. australis, to disperse over long distances by movement of floating fruit via wind and surface currents within the coastal waters of Perth, Western Australia. We first simulated the dominant atmospheric and ocean forcing conditions that are known to disperse these seagrass seeds using a three-dimensional numerical ocean circulation model. Field observations obtained at 8 sites across the study area were used to validate the model performance over ~2 months in summer when buoyant P. australis fruit are released into the water column. P. australis fruit dispersal trajectories were then quantified throughout the region by incorporating key physical properties of the fruit within the transport model. The time taken for the floating fruit to release their seed (dehiscence) was incorporated into the model based on laboratory measurements, and was used to predict the settlement probability distributions across the model domain. The results revealed that high rates of local and regional demographic connectivity among P. australis meadows are achieved via contemporary seed dispersal. Dispersal of seeds via floating fruit has the potential to regularly connect meadows at distances of 10s of kilometres (50% of seeds produced) and infrequently for meadows at distances 100 s km (3% of seeds produced). The spatial patterns of seed dispersal were heavily influenced by atmospheric and oceanographic conditions, which generally drove a northward pattern of connectivity on a regional scale, but with geographical barriers influencing finer-scale connectivity pathways at some locations. Such levels of seed

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Daby, D

    2003-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Kleiner, Manuel; Wentrup, Cecilia; Holler, Thomas; ...

    2015-05-27

    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 ofmore » 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. Lastly, CO production from decaying plant material could thus be a significant energy source for microbial primary production in seagrass sediments.« less

  15. Development of threshold values for a seagrass epiphyte ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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 experiments, and have quantifiable impacts on light available to host plants. An extensive review of seagrass epiphyte literature was conducted to determine whether seagrass epiphyte metrics can be used as a biological indicator for nutrient impacts. While a wide variety of epiphyte metrics have been used by authors, epiphyte biomass as biomass per unit seagrass biomass may be the most effective epiphyte indicator. Regression analyses of epiphyte versus seagrass response metrics were used to estimate values representing potential thresholds for environmental concern. Median epiphyte loads associated with 25 and 50% reduction in seagrass biomass, density and productivity are proposed as potential thresholds. Location-specific modifying factors (grazing pressure, seagrass species) that cause variation in response patterns are the greatest challenge to regional scale applicability of threshold values. An extensive review of seagrass epiphyte literature was conducted to determine whether, and under what conditions, seagrass epiphyte metrics could be used as a potential indicator for nutrient impacts in estuarine ecosystems. Location-specific modifying factors (grazing pressure, seagrass speci

  16. Development of threshold values for a seagrass epiphyte ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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 experiments, and have quantifiable impacts on light available to host plants. An extensive review of seagrass epiphyte literature was conducted to determine whether seagrass epiphyte metrics can be used as a biological indicator for nutrient impacts. While a wide variety of epiphyte metrics have been used by authors, epiphyte biomass as biomass per unit seagrass biomass may be the most effective epiphyte indicator. Regression analyses of epiphyte versus seagrass response metrics were used to estimate values representing potential thresholds for environmental concern. Median epiphyte loads associated with 25 and 50% reduction in seagrass biomass, density and productivity are proposed as potential thresholds. Location-specific modifying factors (grazing pressure, seagrass species) that cause variation in response patterns are the greatest challenge to regional scale applicability of threshold values. An extensive review of seagrass epiphyte literature was conducted to determine whether, and under what conditions, seagrass epiphyte metrics could be used as a potential indicator for nutrient impacts in estuarine ecosystems. Location-specific modifying factors (grazing pressure, seagrass speci

  17. [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.

  18. A halocarbon survey from a seagrass dominated subtropical lagoon, Ria Formosa (Portugal): flux pattern and isotopic composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinberg, I.; Bahlmann, E.; Eckhardt, T.; Michaelis, W.; Seifert, R.

    2015-03-01

    In this study we report fluxes of chloromethane (CH3Cl), bromomethane (CH3Br), iodomethane (CH3I), and bromoform (CHBr3) from two sampling campaigns (summer and spring) in the seagrass dominated subtropical lagoon Ria Formosa, Portugal. Dynamic flux chamber measurements were performed when seagrass patches were either air-exposed or submerged. Overall, we observed highly variable fluxes from the seagrass meadows and attributed them to diurnal cycles, tidal effects, and the variety of possible sources and sinks in the seagrass meadows. The highest emissions with up to 130 nmol m-2 h-1 for CH3Br were observed during tidal changes, from air exposure to submergence and conversely. Furthermore, during the spring campaign, the emissions of halocarbons were significantly elevated during tidal inundation as compared to air exposure. Accompanying water sampling performed during both campaigns revealed elevated concentrations of CH3Cl and CH3Br, indicating productive sources within the lagoon. Stable carbon isotopes of halocarbons from the air and water phase along with source signatures were used to allocate the distinctive sources and sinks in the lagoon. Results suggest that CH3Cl was rather originating from seagrass meadows and water column than from salt marshes. Aqueous and atmospheric CH3Br was substantially enriched in 13C in comparison to source signatures for seagrass meadows and salt marshes. This suggests a significant contribution from the water phase on the atmospheric CH3Br in the lagoon. A rough global upscaling yields annual productions from seagrass meadows of 2.3-4.5 Gg yr-1, 0.5-1.0 Gg yr-1, 0.6-1.2 Gg yr-1, and 1.9-3.7 Gg yr-1 for CH3Cl, CH3Br, CH3I, and CHBr3 respectively. This suggests a minor contribution from seagrass meadows to the global production of CH3Cl and CH3Br with about 0.1 and 0.7%, respectively. In comparison to the known marine sources for CH3I and CHBr3, seagrass meadows are rather small sources.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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. © The American Genetic Association 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-06-01

    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 km(2) eelgrass (maximum >2100 km(2)), 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  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. 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.

  18. Mapping Mediterranean seagrasses with Sentinel-2 imagery.

    PubMed

    Traganos, Dimosthenis; Reinartz, Peter

    2017-07-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Draft Genome Sequence of Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus Strain STW2, a Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Degrading and Denitrifying Bacterium from the Rhizosphere of Seagrass Enhalus acodoides

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Juan; Lin, Liyun; Zhang, Yanying; Lin, Xiancheng; Ahamad, Manzoor; Zhou, Weiguo

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus strain STW2, which was isolated from the rhizosphere of seagrass Enhalus acodoides. This study will facilitate future studies on the genetic pathways of marine microbes capable of both polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation and nitrate reduction. PMID:28232431

  3. 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.

  4. Modelling benthic macrofauna and seagrass distribution patterns in a North Sea tidal basin in response to 2050 climatic and environmental scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, Anja; Millat, Gerald; Staneva, Joanna; Kröncke, Ingrid

    2017-03-01

    Small-scale spatial distribution patterns of seven macrofauna species, seagrass beds and mixed mussel/oyster reefs were modelled for the Jade Bay (North Sea, Germany) in response to climatic and environmental scenarios (representing 2050). For the species distribution models four presence-absence modelling methods were merged within the ensemble forecasting platform 'biomod2'. The present spatial distribution (representing 2009) was modelled by statistically related species presences, true species absences and six high-resolution environmental grids. The future spatial distribution was then predicted in response to expected climate change-induced ongoing (1) sea-level rise and (2) water temperature increase. Between 2009 and 2050, the present and future prediction maps revealed a significant range gain for two macrofauna species (Macoma balthica, Tubificoides benedii), whereas the species' range sizes of five macrofauna species remained relatively stable across space and time. The predicted probability of occurrence (PO) of two macrofauna species (Cerastoderma edule, Scoloplos armiger) decreased significantly under the potential future habitat conditions. In addition, a clear seagrass bed extension (Zostera noltii) on the lower intertidal flats (mixed sediments) and a decrease in the PO of mixed Mytilus edulis/Crassostrea gigas reefs was predicted for 2050. Until the mid-21st century, our future climatic and environmental scenario revealed significant changes in the range sizes (gains-losses) and/or the PO (increases-decreases) for seven of the 10 modelled species at the study site.

  5. Accelerating Tropicalization and the Transformation of Temperate Seagrass Meadows.

    PubMed

    Hyndes, Glenn A; Heck, Kenneth L; Vergés, Adriana; Harvey, Euan S; Kendrick, Gary A; Lavery, Paul S; McMahon, Kathryn; Orth, Robert J; Pearce, Alan; Vanderklift, Mathew; Wernberg, Thomas; Whiting, Scott; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-11-01

    Climate-driven changes are altering production and functioning of biotic assemblages in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In temperate coastal waters, rising sea temperatures, warm water anomalies and poleward shifts in the distribution of tropical herbivores have had a detrimental effect on algal forests. We develop generalized scenarios of this form of tropicalization and its potential effects on the structure and functioning of globally significant and threatened seagrass ecosystems, through poleward shifts in tropical seagrasses and herbivores. Initially, we expect tropical herbivorous fishes to establish in temperate seagrass meadows, followed later by megafauna. Tropical seagrasses are likely to establish later, delayed by more limited dispersal abilities. Ultimately, food webs are likely to shift from primarily seagrass-detritus to more direct-consumption-based systems, thereby affecting a range of important ecosystem services that seagrasses provide, including their nursery habitat role for fishery species, carbon sequestration, and the provision of organic matter to other ecosystems in temperate regions.

  6. Accelerating Tropicalization and the Transformation of Temperate Seagrass Meadows

    PubMed Central

    Hyndes, Glenn A.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Vergés, Adriana; Harvey, Euan S.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Lavery, Paul S.; McMahon, Kathryn; Orth, Robert J.; Pearce, Alan; Vanderklift, Mathew; Wernberg, Thomas; Whiting, Scott; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Climate-driven changes are altering production and functioning of biotic assemblages in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In temperate coastal waters, rising sea temperatures, warm water anomalies and poleward shifts in the distribution of tropical herbivores have had a detrimental effect on algal forests. We develop generalized scenarios of this form of tropicalization and its potential effects on the structure and functioning of globally significant and threatened seagrass ecosystems, through poleward shifts in tropical seagrasses and herbivores. Initially, we expect tropical herbivorous fishes to establish in temperate seagrass meadows, followed later by megafauna. Tropical seagrasses are likely to establish later, delayed by more limited dispersal abilities. Ultimately, food webs are likely to shift from primarily seagrass-detritus to more direct-consumption-based systems, thereby affecting a range of important ecosystem services that seagrasses provide, including their nursery habitat role for fishery species, carbon sequestration, and the provision of organic matter to other ecosystems in temperate regions. PMID:28533562

  7. Trace element exposure of whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) wintering in a marine lagoon (Swan Lake), northern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Xu, Shaochun; Zhou, Yi; Wang, Pengmei; Zhang, Xiaomei

    2017-06-30

    Trace element poisoning remains a great threat to various waterfowl and waterbirds throughout the world. In this study, we determined the trace element exposure of herbivorous whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) wintering in Swan Lake (Rongcheng), an important swan protection area in northern China. A total of 70 samples including abiotic factors (seawater, sediments), food sources (seagrass, macroalgae), feathers and feces of whooper swans were collected from the marine lagoon during the winters of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Cd, Hg and As were determined to investigate the trace element exposure of whooper swans wintering in the area. Results showed that there was an increasing trend in sediment trace element concentrations, compared with historical data. The trace element concentrations in swan feces most closely resembled those of Zostera marina leaves, especially for Cd and Cr. The Zn and Hg concentrations in the swan feces (49.57 and 0.01mg/kg, respectively) were lower than the minimum values reported in the literature for other waterfowls, waterbirds and terrestrial birds. However, the concentrations of the other five trace elements fell within the lower and mediate range of values reported for birds across the world. These results suggest that the whooper swans wintering in Swan Lake, Rongcheng are not suffering severe trace element exposure; however, with the increasing input of trace elements to the lagoon, severe adverse impacts may occur in the future, and we therefore suggest that the input of trace elements to this area should be curbed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Effects of nutrient load on microbial activities within a seagrass-dominated ecosystem: Implications of changes in seagrass blue carbon.

    PubMed

    Liu, Songlin; Jiang, Zhijian; Wu, Yunchao; Zhang, Jingping; Arbi, Iman; Ye, Feng; Huang, Xiaoping; Macreadie, Peter Ian

    2017-04-15

    Nutrient loading is a leading cause of global seagrass decline, triggering shifts from seagrass- to macroalgal-dominance. Within seagrass meadows of Xincun Bay (South China Sea), we found that nutrient loading (due to fish farming) increased sediment microbial biomass and extracellular enzyme activity associated with carbon cycling (polyphenol oxidase, invertase and cellulase), with a corresponding decrease in percent sediment organic carbon (SOC), suggesting that nutrients primed microorganism and stimulated SOC remineralization. Surpisingly, however, the relative contribution of seagrass-derived carbon to bacteria (δ(13)Cbacteria) increased with nutrient loading, despite popular theory being that microbes switch to consuming macroalgae which are assumed to provide a more labile carbon source. Organic carbon sources of fungi were unaffected by nutrient loading. Overall, this study suggests that nutrient loading changes the relative contribution of seagrass and algal sources to SOC pools, boosting sediment microbial biomass and extracellular enzyme activity, thereby possibly changing seagrass blue carbon. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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