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Abstract Detail

Physiological Section

Thorhaug, Anitra [1].

Comparison of restoration of the seagrass genus Halodule in subtropical Atlantic, tropical to subtropical Pacific, subtropical Gulf of Mexico and tropical Caribbean: resilience and recovery.

During the geological period of the uplift of Panama separating Atlantic from the Pacific the genus Halodule evolved into several species. The morphology appears to be very similar between H. wrightii and H.uninervis (den Hartog, 1973; Tomlinson, 1978). Our comparative restoration experiments plus projects occurred with Halodule wrightii in Texas (10 test locations in North Laguna Madre and 3 major sites), in Florida (20 locations in Biscayne Bay, 3 in Fort Lauderdale, and 2 in Jacksonville and 5 major sites), in Jamaica (at 17 areas around the island), and with Halodule uninervis in the Philippines (5 areas in from Manila Bay and Bataan southward to other islands). The methodologies included sprigs (turions) vs. plugs with roots included. The results of these planting were generally between 65 and 90% successful after 12 to 18 months . Results have been monitored over a decade or more showing the restored beds have continually expanded into available space for up to three decades (dependent on planting dates ranging from 1973 to 2001). The large-scale plantings (from 5 to 75 acres per site) have all maintained resilience by each continuing as seagrass beds for years (individually reported). There have been major hurricanes, wind events and tornados, which results to the restored seagrasses will be reported. The individual subsites within the test plot areas (prior to the large plantings) differed depending on the light compensation depth vs planting depth, sediment type, sediment quality, salinity regime, energy level, turbidity and/or light level These factor were important to the growth responses of the Halodule plantings. Little difference was seen between Atlantic vs. Pacific restoration: Halodule responded similarly between the two. A major difference between subtropical and tropical plantings was the late-fall-winter low growth response in the subtropics vs. tropical higher growth rates during late fall and winter.

Broader Impacts:
The amount of degradation and loss of seagrass has been more than 50% in the last five decades, and are very significant as urbanization, industry and soil erosion impacts these near shore critical habitats for fisheries and biodiversity. The techniques, first carried out in large scale by Thorhaug(1974) in Florida for a nuclear power plant damage, and done throughout the developed and newly industrializing world by Thorhaug (1992)(2000)(2009) have improved the abilities to created new seagrass beds in many locations of loss. The comparative studies herein show how specific techniques worked individually in a variety of varying impact situations. The successes indicate promise for further restoration in areas of massive damage.

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1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Greeley Laboratories 375 Prospect St., New Haven, Connecticut, 06901, USA

Halodule wrightii
Halodule uninervis
seagrass restoration
Laguna Madre , Texas
Biscayne Bay, Florida
Kingston Harbor, Jamaica
Jacksonville , Florida
Ft. Lauderdale , Florida
Florida Keys
southeast Florida.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 20
Location: 551B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 20002
Abstract ID:170

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