MEPS 345:83-92 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/meps07004

Response and recovery dynamics of seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme and macroalgae in experimental motor vessel disturbances

K. K. Hammerstrom1,*, W. J. Kenworthy2, P. E. Whitfield2, M. F. Merello3

1Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, California 95039, USA
2Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, NCCOS, NOS, NOAA, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA
3Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA

ABSTRACT: Shallow seagrass beds worldwide are being negatively impacted by human activities. Damage by boats includes anchor scars, propeller scars, and hull groundings. In some Thalassia testudinum-dominated systems, vessel damage may persist for years or decades, and even small scars may leave seagrass habitat susceptible to severe erosion by wind and wave-driven currents and storms. Cost-effective techniques for restoration in these erosion-prone systems must include sediment replacement and stabilization to best enhance seagrass recovery. We conducted 2 experiments to address the effects of excavation depth and sediment filling on seagrass and macroalgal recovery into small-scale disturbances such as propeller scars. Recovery in excavations ≥20 cm deep took 2 to 5 yr longer than recovery in shallower disturbances (10 cm). Seagrasses were able to grow in native limestone fill material (diameter 0.6 cm), although the compensatory response of Syringodium filiforme was dampened.


KEY WORDS: Seagrass · Restoration · Damage · Disturbance · Recovery · Thalassia testudinum · Syringodium filiforme


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Hammerstrom KK, Kenworthy WJ, Whitfield PE, Merello MF (2007) Response and recovery dynamics of seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme and macroalgae in experimental motor vessel disturbances. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 345:83-92

Export citation: Endnote - Reference Manager
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -