What is it about?

We investigated the influence of wave energy on the upper depth limit of seagrasses using a novel methodology. We found that the near-bottom orbital velocity of waves is a key determinant of the upper depth limit of seagrasses, with values between 38-42 cm/s being critical for the survival of the seagrass species we studied. Our results highlight the importance of considering hydrodynamics in understanding seagrass distribution and can inform coastal management decisions.

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Why is it important?

Seagrass meadows are important ecosystems that provide numerous ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, habitat for fish and invertebrates, and protection from coastal erosion. Understanding the factors that influence the distribution of seagrass meadows is critical for their conservation and management. This work provides important insights into the hydrodynamics that influence seagrass distribution and can inform coastal management decisions to better protect these important ecosystems.

Perspectives

This publication highlights the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to understanding complex ecological systems. By combining knowledge from ecology and hydrodynamics, the authors were able to identify a key factor influencing seagrass distribution. This work can inform coastal management decisions to better protect seagrass meadows and the valuable ecosystem services they provide.

Dr Eduardo Infantes
Goteborgs Universitet

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This page is a summary of: Wave energy and the upper depth limit distribution of Posidonia oceanica, Botanica Marina, February 2009, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/bot.2009.050.
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