The Impacts of Natural and Anthropogenic Disturbances on Marine Ecosystems

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (13 July 2020) | Viewed by 3828

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre Acropoleos 2, Aglantzia 2101, Nicosia, Cyprus
2. The Cyprus Institute, EEWRC - Marine Environment, 20 Konstantinou Kavafi St, 2121 Aglantzia, P.O BOX 27456, 1645 Nicosia, Cyprus
Interests: natural and anthropogenic disturbances; environmental history; deep-water coral habitats; benthic ecology; coral reef ecology; invasive marine species

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the scenario of a changing world, understanding the role of disturbance—natural or anthropogenic—as a driving force behind biodiversity, communities, assemblages, and entire habitats and ecosystems is more relevant than ever. Mass-mortality events in the marine realm are causing a plethora of effects on various time scales, and are only surpassed by the consequences of man-made activities. Even deep-sea habitats are not spared from ecosystem-scale changes. Coastal areas are particularly affected by disturbances of land and sea origins. The impacts of invasive marine species, for example, have been related to particular disturbances and regimes. It is crucial to study ecological disturbances in order to formulate realistic conservation and management activities. We welcome contributions from all over the world addressing (1) the aforementioned topics in the field and laboratory, as well as (2) the need (or not) to assist natural recovery processes or to increase the resistance of marine ecosystems, and (3) implications for the management and conservation of disturbance regimes and nature. Study cases on the local effects of short- and long-term disturbances will be considered if they have a wider regional relevance.

Dr. Carlos Jimenez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 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 2600 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.


  • disturbance
  • ecological disturbance
  • resilience
  • marine ecosystems
  • climate change
  • pollution
  • human activities
  • invasive species
  • mass mortalities
  • heat waves
  • disease
  • global biological change
  • regional change
  • restoration
  • resilience

Published Papers (1 paper)

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20 pages, 2185 KiB  
Effects of Fine Sediment on Seagrass Meadows: A Case Study of Zostera muelleri in Pāuatahanui Inlet, New Zealand
by Iñigo Zabarte-Maeztu, Fleur E. Matheson, Merilyn Manley-Harris, Robert J. Davies-Colley, Megan Oliver and Ian Hawes
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(9), 645; - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3165
Seagrass meadows are vulnerable to fine sediment (mud) pollution, with impacts usually attributed to reduction in submerged light. Here we tested two non-exclusive hypotheses, that mud particles (<63 µm) impact seagrasses through both (1) the light climate and (2) changes in substrate physico-chemistry. [...] Read more.
Seagrass meadows are vulnerable to fine sediment (mud) pollution, with impacts usually attributed to reduction in submerged light. Here we tested two non-exclusive hypotheses, that mud particles (<63 µm) impact seagrasses through both (1) the light climate and (2) changes in substrate physico-chemistry. We tested these hypotheses in Pāuatahanui Inlet, New Zealand, by comparing seagrass presence, abundance, and health, together with light climate and substrate physico-chemistry at contrasting habitats where (1) seagrass used to thrive but no longer grows (historical seagrass), (2) seagrass still persists (existing seagrass) and (3) seagrass has been present recently, but not currently (potential seagrass). Historical seagrass substrate had significantly higher mud (35% average), bulk density (1.5 g cm−3), porewater ammonium concentration (65 µM), and a more reduced redox profile (negative redox at only 2 cm soil depth) as well as a lower light availability when submerged compared to other habitats, while total daily light exposure differed little between habitats. This suggests that failure of seagrass to recolonize historical seagrass habitat reflects substrate muddiness and consequent unfavorable rhizosphere conditions. Our results provide evidence for the multi-stressor effects of fine sediment on seagrasses, with substrate suitability for seagrass being detrimentally affected even where light exposure seems sufficient. Full article
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