Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2-20-2020

Journal

Frontiers In Marine Science

Abstract

Seagrasses provide multiple ecosystem services including nursery habitat, improved water quality, coastal protection, and carbon sequestration. However, seagrasses are in crisis as global coverage is declining at an accelerating rate. With increased focus on ecological restoration as a conservation strategy, methods that enhance restoration success need to be explored. Decades of work in coastal plant ecosystems, including seagrasses, has shown that positive species relationships and feedbacks are critical for ecosystem stability, expansion, and recovery from disturbance. We reviewed the restoration literature on seagrasses and found few studies have tested for the beneficial effects of including positive species interactions in seagrass restoration designs. Here we review the full suite of positive species interactions that have been documented in seagrass ecosystems, where they occur, and how they might be integrated into seagrass restoration. The few studies in marine plant communities that have explicitly incorporated positive species interactions and feedbacks have found an increase in plant growth with little additional resource investment. As oceans continue to change and stressors become more prevalent, harnessing positive interactions between species through innovative approaches will likely become key to successful seagrass restoration.

DOI

10.3389/fmars.2020.00091

Keywords

coastal management, facilitation, positive species interactions, seagrass restoration, seagrass

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Share

COinS