Affiliations 

  • 1 SeagrassNet, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA 98504, USA; University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA. Electronic address: fredtshort@gmail.com
  • 2 Seagrass Group - TropWater, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
  • 3 Marine Science Institute, CS, University of the Philippines, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
  • 4 The Nature Conservancy, Koror 96940, Palau
  • 5 Department of Fisheries, Tofol, Kosrae 96944, Federated States of Micronesia
  • 6 Sabah Parks, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  • 7 Palau International Coral Reef Center, Koror 96940, Palau
  • 8 Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo, Flores, NTT 86554, Indonesia
Mar. Pollut. Bull., 2014 Jun 30;83(2):408-16.
PMID: 24746094 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.03.036

Abstract

Seagrass systems of the Western Pacific region are biodiverse habitats, providing vital services to ecosystems and humans over a vast geographic range. SeagrassNet is a worldwide monitoring program that collects data on seagrass habitats, including the ten locations across the Western Pacific reported here where change at various scales was rapidly detected. Three sites remote from human influence were stable. Seagrasses declined largely due to increased nutrient loading (4 sites) and increased sedimentation (3 sites), the two most common stressors of seagrass worldwide. Two sites experienced near-total loss from of excess sedimentation, followed by partial recovery once sedimentation was reduced. Species shifts were observed at every site with recovering sites colonized by pioneer species. Regulation of watersheds is essential if marine protected areas are to preserve seagrass meadows. Seagrasses in the Western Pacific experience stress due to human impacts despite the vastness of the ocean area and low development pressures.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.