Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail


Thorhaug, Anitra [1], Schwarz, Arthur [2], Poulos, Helen [3], Berlyn, Graeme [4].

The effect of two hurricanes on seagrass beds and associated fauna: Texas and Puerto Rico.

The effects of two different types of hurricanes were measured in east and west portions of the Greater Caribbean Basin in seagrass beds. In Texas from Corpus Christi northward, a series of eight restored seagrass areas planted in 2013 were monitored yearly. When an August hurricane occurred, we monitored three months post-hurricane, measuring blades' abundance, extent, health. We also measured major fauna (fisheries and food-web), and made observations of large animals near plots that were restored, natural, and barren. We observed regrowth of new blades throughout, stabilization of sediment compared to non-restored adjacent seagrass, and recolonization of fish and invertebrates. In Puerto Rico, we measured a second hurricane for six southwestern coastal rivers for seagrass abundance, biomass, health, and ecosystem properties such as presence of corals, salinity, light penetration, marine macro-algae, and temperature, disgorgment from rivers, aerial monitoring of hurricane and normal plumes, and watershed parameters including characterization of major activities. Our investigation showed complete degradation of seagrass beds within the area of the river mouth representing half the "normal" plume. In the riverine plumes after the hurricane, abundance, biodiversity, health, and biomass were reduced to less than 50% of controls. High variability of the intense storm events did not kill the beds, but "reset" seagrass responses by a period of at least three months in which they regrew new blades as environmental conditions stabilized. The seagrass regrew into the former footprint while recolonization of the food web appeared. The barren areas experienced loss of sediment and remained depauperate of fauna.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - Yale University, 1359 SW 22 Terrace, Miami, FL, 33145.0, United States
2 - Southwestern Adventist University, Biological Sciences, 100 W Hillcrest, PO Box 567, Keene, TX, 76059, United States
3 - Wesleyan University, College of the Environment, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, CT, 06457, USA
4 - Yale University, School Of Foresty & Evironmental Studies, Marsh Hall-360 PROSPECT ST, New Haven, CT, 06511, United States

Hurricane effects on Seagrass
Turbidity effects on seagrass
Post-hurricane seagrass regrowth
Animal recolonization of seagrass post-hurricane.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 44, Physiology
Location: 114/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 44002
Abstract ID:983
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2018, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved