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Review

Wave-Energy Dissipation: Seaweeds and Marine Plants Are Ecosystem Engineers

Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, 120 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
Academic Editors: Houshuo Jiang and V’yacheslav Akkerman
Fluids 2021, 6(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6040151
Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 4 April 2021 / Accepted: 6 April 2021 / Published: 9 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Fluid Dynamics)
Ocean waves deliver an immense amount of energy to coasts around the planet, powering high-velocity flows that interact with nearshore marine plants and animals. Although some of these interactions are beneficial, it is often advantageous for subtidal and intertidal ecological communities if wave-induced water velocities can be reduced by safely dissipating wave energy. This function is often fulfilled by seaweeds and marine plants, which thereby act as ecosystem engineers, modifying the environment to the benefit of the community. Recent advances in hydro-mechanical theory help to explain the mechanisms by which vegetation dissipates wave energy, highlighting the role that organisms’ tendency to bend in flow—their structural flexibility—plays in their ability to engineer wave-induced flows. Here, I review these theories and their application to salt marsh plants, seagrasses, mangroves, and seaweeds, focusing on the ways that marine vegetation serves a foundational role in community function. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean waves; wave energy; energy dissipation; marine vegetation; seaweeds; seagrasses; ecosystem engineer; salt marshes; mangroves; rocky shores ocean waves; wave energy; energy dissipation; marine vegetation; seaweeds; seagrasses; ecosystem engineer; salt marshes; mangroves; rocky shores
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MDPI and ACS Style

Denny, M. Wave-Energy Dissipation: Seaweeds and Marine Plants Are Ecosystem Engineers. Fluids 2021, 6, 151. https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6040151

AMA Style

Denny M. Wave-Energy Dissipation: Seaweeds and Marine Plants Are Ecosystem Engineers. Fluids. 2021; 6(4):151. https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6040151

Chicago/Turabian Style

Denny, Mark. 2021. "Wave-Energy Dissipation: Seaweeds and Marine Plants Are Ecosystem Engineers" Fluids 6, no. 4: 151. https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6040151

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