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Title

Cover and edge length to area ratio of seagrass (Thalassia testudinum) meadows in coral reef lagoons (Veracruz Reef System, Southwest Gulf of México)

AuthorsTerrados, Jorge ; Ramírez-García, Pedro
Issue Date2011
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 21: 224- 230 (2011)
AbstractHabitat loss and habitat fragmentation are usually correlated while habitat degradation may occur independently of them. Natural and anthropogenic disturbances increase the spatial fragmentation of seagrass meadows with unknown consequences on the vegetative development achieved by seagrass. Cover and spatial fragmentation of Thalassia testudinum meadows in three coral reef lagoons of the Veracruz Reef System,VRS (SW Gulf of México) were quantified by analysing low-altitude images acquired by photographic and digital video cameras from a helium-filled blimp. Spatial fragmentation was quantified as the ratio of the length of meadow edge to meadow area. The number of blowouts (erosive gaps in seagrass meadows) was also recorded. Meadow cover was negatively correlated with the length of meadow edge to meadow area ratio. The number of blowouts per ha of T. testudinum meadow was negatively correlated with meadow cover and positively with the length of meadow edge to meadow area ratio. Wave exposure is probably a main component of the processes determining the cover and spatial fragmentation of T. testudinum meadows in VRS. Low cover and high spatial fragmentation of T. testudinum meadows in VRS are associated with low vegetative development of this seagrass species. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/58046
DOI10.1002/aqc.1188
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/aqc.1188
issn: 1052-7613
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