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

Munkes, Britta, Schubert, Philipp R. , Karez, Rolf and Reusch, Thorsten B.H. (2015) Experimental assessment of critical anthropogenic sediment burial in eelgrass Zostera marina. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 100 (1). pp. 144-153. DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.09.013.

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Abstract

Highlights:
• We manipulated burial levels and burial durations in a field experiment.
• We found strong effects even at low burial level (5 cm) and short duration (4 weeks).
• Higher shoot mortality, and delayed growth and flowering, lower carbohydrate storage.
• Relative rather than absolute sediment burial levels determined plant survival.
• Management implications of our findings are discussed.

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 (5–20 cm) and burial duration (4–16 weeks) were manipulated. Negative effects were visible even at the lowest burial level (5 cm) and shortest duration (4 weeks), 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.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000366771400028
Keywords: Mortality; Seagrass; Sedimentation; Carbohydrates; Baltic Sea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.09.013
ISSN: 0025-326X
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 10:48
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2017 09:52
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/29774

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