Decadal changes in the structure of Cymodocea nodosa seagrass at Gran Canaria

We all are aware of the paramount role that seagrasses play along nearshore enviroments. Yet, declines trends in the presence of seagrasses have been worldwide described, what suppose a threat to the services these habitats provide. We performed a comparative decadal study in 21 Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows at Gran Canaria Island to compare the demographic structure between 2003 and 2012. In particular, we aimed at determining whether temporal trends would be predicted by a range of natural versus anthropogenic sources. We demonstrate that during this period, natural influences (sea surface temperature, Chlorophyll-a concentration and PAR light, as well as the number of storm episodes detaching seagrasses) had a low predictive power on temporal patterns in seagrass structure. In contrast, proximity from a range of human-mediated influences (e.g. the number of outfalls and ports) seem to be related to the loss of seagrass. This result highlights promoting management actions to conserve meadows of C. nodosa at the study region through efficient management of local impacts. Feel free to download the paper from the “articles” section.

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