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SEAGRASS STRESS RESPONSE MODEL: THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHT, TEMPERATURE, SEDIMENTATION AND GEOCHEMISTRY
Kaldy, J E., P M. Eldridge, AND A. B. Burd. SEAGRASS STRESS RESPONSE MODEL: THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHT, TEMPERATURE, SEDIMENTATION AND GEOCHEMISTRY. Presented at American Society of Limnology and Oceanography meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, February 8-14, 2003.
Our objective is to define interactions between seagrass and water-column and sediment stressors. The model was developed and optimized for sediments in Thalassia testudinum seagrass beds of Lower Laguna Madre, Texas, USA and is composed of a plant sub-model and a sediment diagenetic sub-model. Simulations were developed for a harmful algal bloom (HAB) and dredging event. The HAB was of limited duration and the simulations showed no effect of the bloom on biomass trends but suggested that sediment sulfides could inhibit growth if the bloom duration and intensity were greater. The dredging event resulted in sedimentation of an organic rich layer and reduction of canopy light for a period of months. The simulations suggested that the seagrass could have recovered from the light reduction but residual sulfide effects in the sediments would make the region uninhabitable for seagrasses for up to 2.5 years. These modeling exercises illustrate the importance of subtle geochemical - plant interactions in controlling seagrass response to natural and anthropogenic stressors.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
PACIFIC COASTAL ECOLOGY BRANCH