NCEAS Project 10002

Global trajectories of seagrasses: Establishing a quantitative basis for seagrass conservation and restoration

  • Robert J. Orth
  • William C. Dennison

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group6th—10th February 2006Participant List  
Working Group13th—17th October 2006Participant List  
Working Group12th—16th January 2007Participant List  
Working Group25th—30th October 2007Participant List  

Abstract
Seagrasses are a group of flowering plants that have evolved a unique set of characteristics to live, grow, and reproduce in marine underwater habitats (Les et al., 1997), with key ecosystem services that they provide to coastal areas of the world (Costanza et al., 1997). During the past two decades there has been a significant increase in the number of studies on the distribution, abundance, biology and ecology of seagrasses, including the recent publication of a seagrass atlas (Green and Short, 2003); methods book (Short and Coles, 2001) and research synthesis (Larkum et al., in press). However, the need for a better understanding of seagrasses today has taken on a new meaning and increased urgency. The rate of ecosystem alteration in coastal regions where seagrasses reside is accelerating (Cohen et al., 1997), and these alterations are occurring globally (Short and Wyllie-Echeverria, 1996). The very survival of seagrasses, which have been present for the past 100 million years, depends on their ability to cope with these natural and anthropogenic alterations. The goal of the ┬┐Global Seagrass Trajectories┬┐ working group, and the designated sub-groups, will be to use quantitative approaches to critically evaluate the types of changes that seagrasses are experiencing and evaluate likely causes. A previous qualitative examination of the literature indicates that seagrasses are experiencing loss rates (Green and Short, 2003) which match or exceed those of other threatened coastal habitats, such as salt marshes, mangrove forests, and coral reefs (e.g., Pandolfi et al., 2003), for which there is ample scientific and social awareness. Yet, a global assessment with quantitative data for seagrasses is lacking and is the focus of this effort. Synthesizing available information and conveying them to the broader scientific community and society in an effective way will be a key outcome of this project.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Presentations Carruthers, Tim J.; Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Short, Frederick T.; Waycott, Michelle; Williams, Susan L. 2006. A global crisis for seagrass ecosystems. International Seagrass Biology Workshop 2006. Zanzibar,Africa.
Presentations Carruthers, Tim J.; Williams, Susan L.; Dennison, William C.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Orth, Robert J.; Short, Frederick T. 2007. Could climate change and eutrophication promote Ruppia as the seagrass of the future. Esturine Research Federation meeting 2007. Providence, Rhode Island.
Journal Article Carruthers, Tim J.; Dennison, William C.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Waycott, Michelle; Walker, D. I.; Cambridge, M. L. 2007. Seagrasses of south-west Australia: A conceptual synthesis of the world's most diverse and extensive seagrass meadows. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Vol: 350. Pages 21-45.
Presentations Carruthers, Tim J.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C.; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Waycott, Michelle; Williams, Susan L. 2009. Global trajectories of seagrasses: Understanding multi-decadal seagrass change in relation to species, regions, habitats, and processes of change. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 20th Biennial Conference, 1-5 November 2009. Portland, OR.
Presentations Dennison, William C.; Waycott, Michelle; Duarte, Carlos M.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Orth, Robert J.; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Calladine, Ainsley; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Williams, Susan L. 2007. Global trajectories of seagrasses: A quantitative assessment. Estuarine Research Federation Meeting 2007. Providence, Rhode Island.
Presentations Dennison, William C.; Orth, Robert J.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Short, Frederick T.; Waycott, Michelle; Williams, Susan L. 2009. Closing the charisma gap: How to integrate seagrasses into the public dialogue on coastal ecosystems. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 20th Biennial Conference, 1-5 November 2009. Portland, OR.
Book Chapter Dennison, William C. 2009. Global trajectories of seagrasses, the biological sentinels of coastal ecosystems. Edited by Duarte. C. M. Global Loss of Coastal Habitats: Rates, Causes and Consequences. Fundacion BBVA. Pages 91-108.
Journal Article Duarte, Carlos M.; Dennison, William C.; Orth, Robert J.; Carruthers, Tim J. 2008. The charisma of coastal ecosystems: Addressing the imbalance. Estuaries and Coasts. Vol: 31(2). Pages 233-238.
Journal Article Heck, Kenneth L.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Orth, Robert J.; Williams, Susan L. 2008. Trophic transfers from seagrass meadows subsidize diverse marine and terrestrial consumers. Ecosystems. Vol: 11. Pages 1198-1210.
Journal Article Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Williams, Susan L.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Waycott, Michelle. 2009. Associations of concern: Declining seagrasses and threatened dependent species. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 7(5). Pages 242-246.
Presentations Olyarnik, Suzanne; Orth, Robert J.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Dennison, William C.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Waycott, Michelle; Williams, Susan L. 2007. A global crisis for seagrass. AAAS Meeting 2007. San Francisco, California.
Presentations Olyarnik, Suzanne; Orth, Robert J.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Dennison, William C.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Waycott, Michelle; Williams, Susan L. 2007. A global crisis for seagrass. Bay Area Conservation Biology Meeting 2007. Berkeley, California.
Journal Article Orth, Robert J.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Dennison, William C.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Short, Frederick T.; Waycott, Michelle; Williams, Susan L. 2006. A global crisis for seagrass ecosystems. BioScience. Vol: 56(12). Pages 987-996.
Data Set Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C. 2007. Global Seagrass Trajectories Database Compiled October 2006. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Short, Frederick T.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Dennison, William C.; Waycott, Michelle. 2007. Global seagrass distribution and diversity: A bioregional model. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Vol: 350. Pages 3-20.
Presentations Waycott, Michelle. 2006. Future trends for seagrasses globally. Australian Marine Sciences Association: AMSA 2006 Catchments to Coast, 9 - 13 July 2006. Cairns, Queensland.
Presentations Waycott, Michelle. 2008. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. IMarEST (Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology), 14th August 2008. Townsville QLD Australia.
Journal Article Waycott, Michelle; Duarte, Carlos M.; Carruthers, Tim J.; Orth, Robert J.; Dennison, William C.; Olyarnik, Suzanne; Calladine, Ainsley; Fourqurean, James W.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Hughes, A. (Anne) Randall; Kendrick, Gary A.; Kenworthy, W. Judson; Short, Frederick T.; Williams, Susan L. 2009. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol: 106.
Journal Article Williams, Susan L. 2007. Introduced species in seagrass ecosystems: Status and concerns. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Vol: 350. Pages 89-110.
Presentations Williams, Susan L. 2007. Non-native species in seagrass beds. Estuarine Research Federation Meeting 2007. Providence, Rhode Island.