until further notice
SourceEcological Indicators, 66, (2016), pp. 190-198
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Temperate seagrass meadows form valuable ecosystems in coastal environments and present a distinct seasonal growth. They are threatened by an increasing amount of stressors, potentially affecting their capacity to recover from disturbances. We hypothesized that their resilience to disturbances is affected by seasonal dynamics. Hence, we investigated the effect of the timing of the disturbance on seagrass Leaf Area Index (as a proxy for presence, or 'visible' status), recovery from disturbance (as a proxy for meadow resilience), and rhizome carbohydrates (as a proxy for longer term resilience) by a series of four disturbance-recovery field experiments spread over the growing season at two sites in Shandong Province, China. During the course of the growing season, we found the highest recovery at the start of the growing season, lowest recovery when Leaf Area Index peaked around mid-growing season, and intermediate recovery when Leaf Area Index decreased at the end of the growing season. Rhizome carbohydrates were not affected by disturbances during any of the four experimental periods and could not explain the low recovery during mid-growing season. The two sites differed in exposure and in the occurrence of incidents like a green tide and storms, which affected recovery. However, general patterns were similar; timing strongly influenced the indicator of meadow resilience and its correlation with presence during the two main seagrass growth phases. Our results emphasize the importance of carefully considering timing in the evaluation of seagrass resilience in temperate systems. Furthermore, our study implies that, to effectively protect seagrass beds, conservation management should aim at avoiding disturbances particularly during the peak of the growing season, when resilience is lowest. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
- Academic publications 
- Electronic publications 
- Faculty of Science 
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.