Navigation Links
New study provides global analysis of seagrass extinction risk
Date:5/25/2011

A team of 21 researchers from 11 nations, including professor Robert "JJ" Orth of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has completed the first-ever study of the risk of extinction for individual seagrass species around the world.

The 4-year study, requested by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), shows that 10 of the 72 known seagrass species (14%) are at an elevated risk of extinction, while 3 species qualify as endangered.

The authors caution that loss of seagrass species and seagrass biodiversity will seriously impact marine ecosystems and the human populations that depend on the resources and ecosystem services that seagrasses provide. A 1997 study placed the value of those services at US$34,000 per hectare per year. Seagrasses offer critical habitat for aquatic life, clear the water by reducing wave action, absorb excess nutrients, and reduce shoreline erosion.

The study, in the online issue of Biological Conservation, determines the likelihood of extinction for each of the world's 72 species of seagrass using the categories and criteria of the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.

The IUCN Red List is the most widely accepted method for assessing a species' probability of extinction and its conservation status on a global scale. Red List categories run from "least concern" to "near threatened," "vulnerable," "endangered," "critically endangered," "extinct in the wild," and "extinct."

Placement in a category reflects a species' abundance, reproductive rate, geographic range, and other such factors. A "data deficient" category holds species for which there is inadequate information to assess extinction risk based on distribution, population status, or both. The researchers placed 9 seagrass species (12.5%) in that category.

The researchers listed 48 species (67%) in the "Least Concern" category, including eelgrass (Zostera marina), the most common seagrass in lower Chesapeake Bay. Orth notes, however, that most of these speciesincluding eelgrassare declining in their area of coverage. (Data from VIMS' annual aerial survey shows that eelgrass is absent from one-half of its former range and continues to decline in the areas where it remains).

Orth says that eelgrass was listed as a species of least concerndespite severe declines in Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, and other parts of its rangebecause it is still widespread elsewhere and thrives in less developed and clear-water areas. He cites his team's successful efforts to replant eelgrass in the seaside bays of Virginia's Eastern Shore as evidence of the species' ability to rebound quickly given clear and cool water.

VIMS scientists have been restoring eelgrass to Virginia's seaside bays since 1997. Their efforts have resulted in the largest and most successful seagrass restoration project in the world, with 38 million eelgrass seeds broadcast onto 309 acres during the last decade. As of 2010, these restored sites have spread naturally to more than 4,200 acres.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Malmquist
davem@vims.edu
804-684-7011
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Baylor study finds common fire retardant harmful to aquatic life
2. Happy guys finish last, says new study on sexual attractiveness
3. Genetic study clarifies evolutionary origin of elusive montane red fox
4. A study will enable the survival and growth of the 3 development phases of the European eel
5. 5 UH graduates receive NSF fellowships for further study
6. Study Shows Sutro Biopharmas Biochemical Protein Synthesis Technology Enables Rapid Production and Scale-Up of Biopharmaceuticals
7. New study predicts risk of wetland habitat loss in southern United States
8. Greenhouse ocean study offers warning for future
9. Rigorous study confirms video game playing increases food intake in teens
10. Study reveals need for personalized approach in treatment of AML
11. Study finds therapies using induced pluripotent stem cells could encounter immune rejection problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New study provides global analysis of seagrass extinction risk 
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the ... original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and ... company. Dr. Bready served as CEO of ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , March ... operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and molecular ... of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure for ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario Ministry ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... Ross is the founder of GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , In 2004, ... hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft vs. host ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP as an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property ... international electrical, mechanical and electromechanical patent applications. He has an electrical engineering and ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... RPO division for Adecco RPO, signing the first multi-million dollar, multi-year managed services contract ... are delighted to have Michael join our leadership team,” said John Younger, founder of ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... VIENNA and ... The prize recognizes the innovation capabilities ... innovations that will benefit patients and laboratory diagnostics ... ) , Norma Instruments , ... setting products in the field of hematology, announced ...
Breaking Biology Technology: