Special Issue "Seagrass Ecosystems, Associated Biodiversity, and Its Management"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lina Mtwana Nordlund
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University. P.O. Box 256, 75105 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: sustainability; sustainable development; seagrass; fisheries; social–ecological systems; natural resource management; ecosystem services; transdisciplinary research
Dr. Jonathan S. Lefcheck
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, 647 Contees Wharf Rd, Edgewater, MD 21037, USA
Interests: community ecology; biodiversity; seagrass; invertebrates; fish; grazing; biostatistics
Dr. Salomão Bandeira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo 0100, Mozambique
Interests: marine botany; biodiversity; seagrass structure; seagrass and mangrove restoration; governance
Dr. Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
Interests: blue carbon; biogeochemistry; microbial ecology; seagrass wasting disease; Labyrinthula; microbiome; biochemistry; decomposition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seagrasses are increasingly recognized as being of significant value to nature and society. We now understand that they form critical nurseries for juvenile fishes and invertebrates, are an important component of the global carbon cycle, and increase water quality and protect our shores. Recently, the United Nations declared the decade on both Ocean Sustainability and on Ecosystem Restoration to promote the engagement of researchers and citizens on conserving and restoring seagrasses and other foundational species. Similarly, the Convention on Biological Diversity developed a post-2020 global biodiversity framework to ensure that the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled and has designated seagrasses, corals, mangroves, and other coastal habitats as critical to the preservation of biodiversity. Uniting these efforts—promoting and conserving submersed aquatic vegetation to enhance biodiversity—is, therefore, a key frontier in the coming decade. 

For this Special Issue, we invite submissions that elaborate on the value of seagrass ecosystems for coastal biodiversity with special relevance to governance and management. Topics may include but are not limited to conservation, restoration, fisheries, blue carbon, invasive species, disease, and microbiome. We encourage theoretical or empirical investigations on all aspects of seagrass ecosystem-associated biodiversity, including taxonomic, compositional, functional, and/or phylogenetic, and from all scales, from local to global—and how this biodiversity is relevant for governance and management of seagrass ecosystems. We also encourage submissions of studies concerning governance and management that consider seagrass ecosystem-associated biodiversity as well as the diversity of seagrass ecosystem services. A better understanding of seagrass diversity and the diversity of associated flora and fauna, as well as how seagrass ecosystems are governed/managed, will lead to improved decision making and greater success towards international goals to enhance and restore coastal functioning and biodiversity. We are looking forward to your submission on any topic dealing with seagrass ecosystem-associated biodiversity and its governance and/or management.

Dr. Lina Mtwana Nordlund
Dr. Jonathan S. Lefcheck
Dr. Salomão Bandeira
Dr. Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • seagrass
  • submerged aquatic vegetation
  • seascape, species and genetic diversity
  • invertebrate and fish assemblages
  • microbiome
  • ecology
  • invasive species
  • disease
  • blue carbon
  • fisheries
  • connectivity
  • habitat restoration
  • ecosystem services
  • conservation
  • management
  • governance

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Ocean Acidification and Mollusc Settlement in Posidonia oceanica Meadows: Does the Seagrass Buffer Lower pH Effects at CO2 Vents?
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070311 - 08 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Ocean acidification has been broadly recognised to have effects on the structure and functioning of marine benthic communities. The selection of tolerant or vulnerable species can also occur during settlement phases, especially for calcifying organisms which are more vulnerable to low pH–high pCO [...] Read more.
Ocean acidification has been broadly recognised to have effects on the structure and functioning of marine benthic communities. The selection of tolerant or vulnerable species can also occur during settlement phases, especially for calcifying organisms which are more vulnerable to low pH–high pCO2 conditions. Here, we use three natural CO2 vents (Castello Aragonese north and south sides, and Vullatura, Ischia, Italy) to assess the effect of a decrease of seawater pH on the settlement of Mollusca in Posidonia oceanica meadows, and to test the possible buffering effect provided by the seagrass. Artificial collectors were installed and collected after 33 days, during April–May 2019, in three different microhabitats within the meadow (canopy, bottom/rhizome level, and dead matte without plant cover), following a pH decreasing gradient from an extremely low pH zone (pH < 7.4), to ambient pH conditions (pH = 8.10). A total of 4659 specimens of Mollusca, belonging to 57 different taxa, were collected. The number of taxa was lower in low and extremely low pH conditions. Reduced mollusc assemblages were reported at the acidified stations, where few taxa accounted for a high number of individuals. Multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in mollusc assemblages among pH conditions, microhabitat, and the interaction of these two factors. Acanthocardia echinata, Alvania lineata, Alvania sp. juv, Eatonina fulgida, Hiatella arctica, Mytilys galloprovincialis, Musculus subpictus, Phorcus sp. juv, and Rissoa variabilis were the species mostly found in low and extremely low pH stations, and were all relatively robust to acidified conditions. Samples placed on the dead matte under acidified conditions at the Vullatura vent showed lower diversity and abundances if compared to canopy and bottom/rhizome samples, suggesting a possible buffering role of the Posidonia on mollusc settlement. Our study provides new evidence of shifts in marine benthic communities due to ocean acidification and evidence of how P. oceanica meadows could mitigate its effects on associated biota in light of future climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seagrass Ecosystems, Associated Biodiversity, and Its Management)
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Opinion
Seagrass Meadows Provide a Significant Resource in Support of Avifauna
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080363 - 06 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Seagrass meadows are known to be rich in fauna, with complex food webs that provide trophic subsidy to species and habitats way beyond the extent of their distribution. Birds are an often-overlooked part of marine ecosystems; not only are they crucial to the [...] Read more.
Seagrass meadows are known to be rich in fauna, with complex food webs that provide trophic subsidy to species and habitats way beyond the extent of their distribution. Birds are an often-overlooked part of marine ecosystems; not only are they crucial to the health of marine ecosystems, but their populations are also supported by the productivity and biodiversity of marine ecosystems. The links of birds to specific habitat types such as seagrass meadows are largely not considered except in the context of direct herbivorous consumption. Here, we examine the linkages between seagrass and birds and propose a conceptual framework for how seagrasses may support bird populations beyond their distribution in both direct and indirect pathways. We present evidence that seagrass meadows are globally foraged for fish and invertebrates by coastal birds. They are also targeted by herbivorous wildfowl and potentially benefit birds further afield indirectly as a result of their support for offshore marine fish species at critical times in their life cycle (e.g., Atlantic Cod and King George Whiting). Evidence from the literature indicates that seagrass does provide support for birds, but reveals a field of research requiring much gap filling as studies are globally sparse, mechanistically limited, and small in spatial and temporal scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seagrass Ecosystems, Associated Biodiversity, and Its Management)
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