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Article

Fragmentation in Seagrass Canopies Can Alter Hydrodynamics and Sediment Deposition Rates

1
Department of Physics, University of Girona, c/Universitat de Girona 4, 17003 Girona, Spain
2
Computer Vision and Robotics Group, Underwater Vision Lab, University of Girona, c/de la Universitat de Girona 6, 17003 Girona, Spain
3
Global Change Research Group, Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA, UIB-CSIC), c/Miquel Marques 21, 07190 Esporles, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123473
Received: 12 November 2020 / Revised: 7 December 2020 / Accepted: 8 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics)
Seagrasses are valuable coastal ecosystems that protect the seabed from waves and currents. They are threatened by predominately anthropogenic activities which are causing their decline in many regions, often converting large continuous meadows into highly fragmented ones with gaps or bare sand interspersed within the meadows. To evaluate the impact fragmentation is having on the meadows’ capacity to attenuate waves, the hydrodynamics in four meadows with different fragmentation were studied by measuring wave velocity and turbulent kinetic energy. In our study area, as gap size increases, both the turbulent kinetic energy and wave velocity increase in the center of the gaps. However, although wave attenuation varied between the different fragmentation levels, no clear trend was found for wave attenuation or the level of fragmentation. Simply put, neither wave velocity nor turbulent kinetic energy presented significant trends with the fragmentation levels of the canopy on larger scales. Therefore, within the spatial and temporal limitation of this study, fragmentation on a landscape scale did not affect the hydrodynamics within the gaps. Furthermore, as with hydrodynamics, sedimentation rates also increased with gap size, but did not show differences at the landscape level with the fragmentation levels of the meadows. View Full-Text
Keywords: seagrass meadows; seagrass fragmentation; wave attenuation; turbulent kinetic energy attenuation; gap; sedimentation seagrass meadows; seagrass fragmentation; wave attenuation; turbulent kinetic energy attenuation; gap; sedimentation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Serra, T.; Gracias, N.; Hendriks, I.E. Fragmentation in Seagrass Canopies Can Alter Hydrodynamics and Sediment Deposition Rates. Water 2020, 12, 3473. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123473

AMA Style

Serra T, Gracias N, Hendriks IE. Fragmentation in Seagrass Canopies Can Alter Hydrodynamics and Sediment Deposition Rates. Water. 2020; 12(12):3473. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123473

Chicago/Turabian Style

Serra, Teresa, Nuno Gracias, and Iris E. Hendriks 2020. "Fragmentation in Seagrass Canopies Can Alter Hydrodynamics and Sediment Deposition Rates" Water 12, no. 12: 3473. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123473

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