Response of seagrass indicators to shifts in environmental stressors: A global review and management synthesis

G. Roca, T. Alcoverro, D. Krause-Jensen, T.J.S. Balsby, M.M. van Katwijk, N. Marbà, R. Santos, R. Arthur, O. Mascaró, Y. Fernández-Torquemada, M. Pérez, Carlos M. Duarte, J. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although seagrass-based indicators are widely used to assess coastal ecosystem status, there is little universality in their application. Matching the plethora of available indicators to specific management objectives requires a detailed knowledge of their species-specific sensitivities and their response time to environmental stressors. We conducted an extensive survey of experimental studies to determine the sensitivity and response time of seagrass indicators to ecosystem degradation and recovery. We identified seagrass size and indicator type (i.e. level of biological organization of the measure) as the main factors affecting indicator sensitivity and response time to degradation and recovery. While structural and demographic parameters (e.g. shoot density, biomass) show a high and unspecific sensitivity, biochemical/physiological indicators present more stressor-specific responses and are the most sensitive detecting early phases of environmental improvement. Based on these results we present a simple decision tree to assist ecosystem managers to match adequate and reliable indicators to specific management goals. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-323
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Indicators
Volume63
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Response of seagrass indicators to shifts in environmental stressors: A global review and management synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this