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Early warning indicators for river nutrient and sediment loads in tropical seagrass beds: A benchmark from a near-pristine archipelago in Indonesia

Van Katwijk, M. and Van der Welle, M.E.W. and Lucassen, E.C.H.E.T. and Vonk, J.A. and Christianen, M.J.A. and Kiswara, W. and Inayat al Hakim, I. and Arifin, A. and Bouma, T.J. and Roelofs, J.G.M. and Lamers, L.P.M. (2011) Early warning indicators for river nutrient and sediment loads in tropical seagrass beds: A benchmark from a near-pristine archipelago in Indonesia. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62, 1512-1520. ISSN 0025-326X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.04.007

Abstract

In remote, tropical areas human influences increase, potentially threatening pristine seagrass systems. We aim (i) to provide a bench-mark for a near-pristine seagrass system in an archipelago in East Kalimantan, by quantifying a large spectrum of abiotic and biotic properties in seagrass meadows and (ii) to identify early warning indicators for river sediment and nutrient loading, by comparing the seagrass meadow properties over a gradient with varying river influence. Abiotic properties of water column, pore water and sediment were less suitable indicators for increased sediment and nutrient loading than seagrass properties. Seagrass meadows strongly responded to higher sediment and nutrient loads and proximity to the coast by decreasing seagrass cover, standing stock, number of seagrass species, changing species composition and shifts in tissue contents. Our study confirms that nutrient loads are more important than water nutrient concentrations. We identify seagrass system variables that are suitable indicators for sediment and nutrient loading, also in rapid survey scenarios with once-only measurements.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:9992
Deposited On:23 Dec 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:14

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