Integrating Scales of Seagrass Monitoring to Meet Conservation Needs
- 555 Downloads
We evaluated a hierarchical framework for seagrass monitoring in two estuaries in the northeastern USA: Little Pleasant Bay, Massachusetts, and Great South Bay/Moriches Bay, New York. This approach includes three tiers of monitoring that are integrated across spatial scales and sampling intensities. We identified monitoring attributes for determining attainment of conservation objectives to protect seagrass ecosystems from estuarine nutrient enrichment. Existing mapping programs provided large-scale information on seagrass distribution and bed sizes (tier 1 monitoring). We supplemented this with bay-wide, quadrat-based assessments of seagrass percent cover and canopy height at permanent sampling stations following a spatially distributed random design (tier 2 monitoring). Resampling simulations showed that four observations per station were sufficient to minimize bias in estimating mean percent cover on a bay-wide scale, and sample sizes of 55 stations in a 624-ha system and 198 stations in a 9,220-ha system were sufficient to detect absolute temporal increases in seagrass abundance from 25% to 49% cover and from 4% to 12% cover, respectively. We made high-resolution measurements of seagrass condition (percent cover, canopy height, total and reproductive shoot density, biomass, and seagrass depth limit) at a representative index site in each system (tier 3 monitoring). Tier 3 data helped explain system-wide changes. Our results suggest tiered monitoring as an efficient and feasible way to detect and predict changes in seagrass systems relative to multi-scale conservation objectives.
KeywordsSeagrass Monitoring Multi-scale Eelgrass Measurable attributes Sampling design
Funding for this study was provided by the US Geological Survey, Park Oriented Biological Support Program and the National Park Service, Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network. We thank Fred Short for instruction in the SeagrassNet approach; Fred Short, Jeffrey Gaeckle, and David Rivers for help in establishing our tier 3 monitoring site in LPB according to the SeagrassNet spatial design; Holly Bayley, Lena Curtis, Steve Dwyer, Bev Johnson, Carrie Phillips, Lotte Rivers, Steve Smith, Adam Thime, and Jesse Wheeler for field assistance in LPB; and Brooke Rodgers and Jamie Brisbin for field assistance in GSB/MB. We also thank Andrew Gilbert and Dennis Skidds for expert GIS assistance and tutelage. We are grateful to Carrie Phillips and Megan Tyrrell of Cape Cod National Seashore and Michael Bilecki of Fire Island National Seashore for logistical support, and we appreciate the cooperation of Dawson Farber, Harbormaster and Shellfish Constable for the town of Orleans, MA, in maintaining a long-term tier 3 monitoring site in LPB. This manuscript was greatly improved by the comments of Nancy Rybicki, Melisa Wong, and two anonymous reviewers. Use of trade, product, or firm names does not imply endorsement by the US Government.
- (ASMFC) Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. 1997. Submerged aquatic vegetation policy. ASMFC Habitat Managers Series No. 3, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Avery, W. 2000. Monitoring submerged aquatic vegetation in Hillsborough Bay, Florida. In Seagrasses: Monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management, ed. S.A. Bortone, 137–145. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Borum, J., C. M. Duarte, D. Krause-Jensen, and T. M Greve, eds. 2004. European seagrasses: An introduction to monitoring and management. EU Project Monitoring and Managing of European Seagrasses (M&MS) EVK3-CT-2000-00044. http://www.seagrasses.org/handbook/european_seagrasses_high.pdf. Accessed 6 January 2009.
- Corbett, C.A., P.H. Doering, K.A. Madley, J.A. Ott, and D.A. Tomasko. 2005. Using seagrass coverage as an indicator of ecosystem condition. In Estuarine indicators, ed. S.A. Bortone, 229–245. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Cressie, N.A.C. 1993. Statistics for spatial data, revised edition. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- CRMSW (Coastal Research and Monitoring Strategy Workgroup). 2000. Clean water action plan: Coastal research and monitoring strategy. Washington, DC: Coastal Research and Monitoring Strategy Workgroup. http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS17885. Accessed 8 September 2010.
- Davis, J. 2002. Statistics and data analysis in geology, 3rd ed. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Deis, D.R. 2000. Monitoring the effects of construction and operation of a marina of the seagrass Halophila decipiens in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In Seagrasses: Monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management, ed. S.A. Bortone, 147–155. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Dennison, W.C., G.J. Marshall, and C. Wigand. 1989. Effect of “brown tide” shading on eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) distributions. In Novel phytoplankton blooms: Causes and impacts of recurrent brown tides and other unusual blooms, ed. E.M. Cosper, V.M. Bricelj, and E.J. Carpenter, 675–692. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Dowty, P., B. Reeves, H. Berry, S. Wyllie-Echeverria, T. Mumford, A. Sewall, P. Milos, and R. Wright. 2005. Puget Sound Submerged Vegetation Monitoring Project 2003–2004 Monitoring Report. Olympia: Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Nearshore Habitat Program.Google Scholar
- Duarte, C.M. 1995. Submerged aquatic vegetation in relation to different nutrient regimes. Ophelia 41: 87–112.Google Scholar
- Duarte, C. M., E. Alvarez, A. Grau, and D. Krause-Jensen. 2004. Which monitoring strategy should be chosen? In European seagrasses: An introduction to monitoring and management, eds. J. Borum, C. M. Duarte, D. Krause-Jensen, and T. M Greve, 41–44. EU Project Monitoring and Managing of European Seagrasses (M&MS) EVK3-CT-2000-00044. http://www.seagrasses.org/handbook/european_seagrasses_high.pdf. Accessed 6 January 2009.
- Durako, M.J. 1994. Indicators of seagrass ecological condition: An assessment based on spatial and temporal changes. In Changes in fluxes in estuaries, ed. K.R. Dyer and R.J. Orth, 261–266. Fredensborg: Olsen and Olsen.Google Scholar
- Durako, M.J., M.O. Hall, and M. Merello. 2002. Patterns of change in the seagrass dominated Florida Bay hydroscape. In The Everglades, Florida Bay, and coral reefs of the Florida Keys: An ecosystem sourcebook, ed. J.W. Porter and K.G. Porter, 523–537. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, J.W. Willoughby, and J.P. Gibbs. 2001. Monitoring plant and animal populations. Malden: Blackwell Science.Google Scholar
- Finkbeiner, M., B. Stevenson, and R. Seaman. 2001. Guidance for benthic habitat mapping: An aerial photographic approach. Charleston, South Carolina: US NOAA Coastal Services Center, NOAA/CSC/20117-PUB.Google Scholar
- Fourqurean, J.W., M.J. Durako, M.O. Hall, and L.N. Hefty. 2002. Seagrass distribution in South Florida: A multi-agency coordinated monitoring program. In The Everglades, Florida Bay, and coral reefs of the Florida Keys: An ecosystem sourcebook, ed. J.W. Porter and K.G. Porter, 497–522. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Gobler, C. J. 2008. Brown tide affects Long Island’s marine ecosystem. In I Fish NY, Fall 2008 ed. Stony Brook, New York: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.Google Scholar
- Hall, M. O., K. Madley, M. J. Durako, J. C. Zieman, and M. B. Robblee. 2007. Florida Bay. In Seagrass status and trends in the northern Gulf of Mexico: 1940–2002, eds. L. Handley, D. Altsman, and R. DeMay, 243–254. Reston, Virginia: US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5287 and US Environmental Protection Agency 855-R-04-003.Google Scholar
- Handley, L., D. Altsman, and R. DeMay, eds. 2007. Seagrass status and trends in the northern Gulf of Mexico: 1940–2002. Reston, Virginia: US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5287 and US Environmental Protection Agency 855-R-04-003.Google Scholar
- Hinga, K. R. 2005. Water quality and ecology of Great South Bay (Fire Island National Seashore Science Synthesis Paper). National Park Service Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2005/019, Boston, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
- Howes, B., S.W. Kelley, J.S. Ramsey, R. Samimy, D. Schlezinger, and E. Eichner. 2006. Linked watershed-embayment model to determine critical nitrogen loading thresholds for Pleasant Bay, Chatham, Massachusetts. Boston Massachusetts: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Estuaries Project.Google Scholar
- Jackson, J.B., and D.J. Nemeth. 2007. A new method to describe seagrass habitat sampled during fisheries-independent monitoring. Estuaries and Coasts 30: 171–178.Google Scholar
- Johansson, J.O.R., and H.S. Greening. 2000. Seagrass restoration in Tampa Bay: A resource-based approach to estuarine management. In Seagrasses: Monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management, ed. S.A. Bortone, 279–293. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Kelley, S.W., and J.S. Ramsey. 2008. Hydrodynamic model of Chatham Harbor/Pleasant Bay including 2007 North Breach. Mashpee: Applied Coastal Research and Engineering, Technical Memo.Google Scholar
- Kenworthy, W.J., S. Wyllie-Echeverria, R.G. Coles, G. Pergent, and C. Pergent-Martini. 2006. Seagrass conservation biology: An inderdisciplinary science for protection of the seagrass biome. In Seagrasses: Biology, ecology and conservation, ed. A.W.D. Larkum, R.J. Orth, and C.M. Duarte, 595–623. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Komatsu, T., A. Mikami, S. Sultana, K. Ishida, T. Hiraishi, and K. Tatsukawa. 2003. Hydro-acoustic methods as a practical tool for cartography of seagrass beds. Otsuchi Marine Science 28: 72–79.Google Scholar
- Kopp, B. S. and H. A. Neckles. 2009. A protocol for monitoring estuarine nutrient enrichment in coastal parks of the National Park Service Northeast Region. National Park Service Natural Resource Report NPS/NCBN/NRR-2009/110, Fort Collins, Colorado.Google Scholar
- Krause-Jensen, D., A. L. Quaresma, A. H. Cunha, and T. M. Greve. 2004. How are seagrass distribution and abundance monitored? In European seagrasses: An introduction to monitoring and management, eds. J. Borum, C. M. Duarte, D. Krause-Jensen, and T. M Greve, 45–53. EU Project Monitoring and Managing of European Seagrasses (M&MS) EVK3-CT-2000-00044. http://www.seagrasses.org/handbook/european_seagrasses_high.pdf. Accessed 6 January 2009.
- Kurz, R.C., D.A. Tomasko, D. Burdick, T.F. Ries, K. Patterson, and R. Finck. 2000. Recent trends in seagrass distributions in southwest Florida coastal waters. In Seagrasses: Monitoring, ecology, physiology, and management, ed. S.A. Bortone, 157–166. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Kutner, M.H., C.J. Nachtsheim, J. Neter, and W. Li. 2005. Applied linear statistical models. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Lee Long, W. J., L. J. McKenzie, M. A. Rasheed, and R. G. Coles. 1996. Monitoring seagrasses in tropical ports and harbours. In Seagrass biology: Proceedings of an International Workshop, Rottnest Island, Western Australia, 25–29 January 1996, eds. J. Kuo, R. C. Phillips, D. I. Walker, and H. Kirkman, 345–350. Nedlands, Western Australia: Faculty of Sciences, The University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
- Littell, R.C., G.A. Milliken, W.W. Stroup, R.D. Wolfinger, and O. Schabenberger. 2006. SAS for mixed models, 2nd ed. Cary: SAS Institute Inc.Google Scholar
- Malhotra, A., and M. S. Fonseca. 2007. WEMo (Wave Exposure Model): formulation, procedures and validation. Beaufort, North Carolina: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS #65. http://www.ccfhr.noaa.gov/stressors/wemo/default.aspx. Accessed 15 April 2010.
- MassDEP (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection). 2008. Eelgrass interactive map. Mass DEP Wetlands Conservancy Program Eelgrass Mapping http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/resources/maps/eelgrass/eelgrass.htm. Accessed 22 April 2009.
- McKenzie, L.J., S.J. Campbell, and C.A. Roder. 2003. Seagrass-Watch: Manual for mapping and monitoring seagrass resources by community (citizen) volunteers, 2nd ed. Cairns: State of Queensland, Department of Primary Industries.Google Scholar
- Nixon, S.W. 1995. Coastal marine eutrophication: A definition, social causes, and future concerns. Ophelia 41: 199–219.Google Scholar
- NSTC (National Science and Technology Council). 1997. Integrating the nation’s environmental monitoring and research networks and programs: A proposed framework. Washington: The Environmental Monitoring Team, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, National Science and Technology Council.Google Scholar
- NYS (New York State) Seagrass Task Force. 2009. Draft report of the New York State Seagrass Task Force: Recommendations to the New York State governor and legislature, October 21. http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/seagrass.pdf. Accessed 16 November 2009.
- NYS DOS (New York State Department of State). 2001. Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve comprehensive management plan. NYS DOS Division of Coastal Resources. http://www.nyswaterfronts.com/Final_Draft_HTML/Pdf/Main_Page_PDF.htm. Accessed 10 September 2010.
- OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). 2003. OECD environmental indicators: development, measurement and use. Paris: OECD Environment Directorate. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/7/47/24993546.pdf. Accessed 30 June 2010.
- Orth, R.J., R.A. Batiuk, P.W. Bergstrom, and K.A. Moore. 2002a. A perspective on two decades of policies and regulations influencing the protection and restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Bulletin of Marine Science 71: 1391–1403.Google Scholar
- Orth, R.J., J.R. Fishman, D.J. Wilcox, and K.A. Moore. 2002b. Identification and management of fishing gear impacts in a recovering seagrass system in the coastal bays of the Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Journal of Coastal Research 37: 111–129.Google Scholar
- Orth, R.J., M.R. Williams, S.R. Marion, D.J. Wilcox, T.J.B. Carruthers, K.A. Moore, W.M. Kemp, W.C. Dennison, N. Rybicki, P. Bergstrom, and R.A. Batiuk. 2010. Long-term trends in submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) in Chesapeake Bay, USA, related to water quality. Estuaries and Coasts 33: 1144–1163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pergent-Martini, C. and G. Pergent. 1996. Spatio-temporal dynamics of Posidonia oceanica beds near a sewage outfall (Mediterranean–France). In Seagrass biology: Proceedings of an International Workshop, Rottnest Island, Western Australia, 25–29 January 1996, eds. J. Kuo, R. C. Phillips, D. I. Walker, and H. Kirkman, 299–306. Nedlands, Western Australia: Faculty of Sciences, The University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
- Psuty, N.P., and T.M. Silveira. 2009. Geomorphological evolution of estuaries: The dynamic basis for morpho-sedimentary units in selected estuaries in the northeastern United States. Marine Fisheries Review 71: 34–45.Google Scholar
- Pulich, Jr., W., ed. 1999. Seagrass conservation plan for Texas. Austin, Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife DepartmentGoogle Scholar
- Raz-Guzman, A., and R.E. Grizzle. 2001. Techniques for quantitative sampling of infauna and small epifauna in seagrass. In Global seagrass research methods, ed. F.T. Short and R.G. Coles, 237–252. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science B.V.Google Scholar
- Riegl, B.M., R.P. Moyer, L.J. Morris, R.W. Virnstein, and S.J. Purkis. 2005. Distribution and seasonal biomass of drift macroalgae in the Indian River Lagoon (Florida, USA) estimated with acoustic seafloor classification (QTCView, Echoplus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 326: 89–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sargent, F. J., T. J. Leary, D. W. Crewz, and C. R. Kreur. 1995. Scarring of Florida’s seagrasses: Assessment and management options. Florida Marine Research Institute FMRI Tech. Rept. TR-1, St. Petersburg, Florida.Google Scholar
- Schabenberger, O., and F.J. Pierce. 2002. Contemporary statistical models for the plant and soil sciences. Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Short, F.T., and C.A. Short. 2003. The seagrasses of the western North Atlantic. In World atlas of seagrasses, ed. E.P. Green and F.T. Short, 207–215. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Short, F. T., L. J. McKenzie, R. G. Coles, K. P. Vidler, and J. L. Gaeckle. 2006b. SeagrassNet manual for scientific monitoring of seagrass habitat, worldwide edition. Durham, New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire Publication. http://www.SeagrassNet.org. Accessed 20 August 2010.
- Stephan, C. D, R. L. Peuser, and M. S. Fonseca. 2000. Evaluating fishing gear impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation and determining mitigation strategies. Washington, DC: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, ASMFC Habitat Management Series #5.Google Scholar
- Urquhart, N.S., S.G. Paulsen, and D.P. Larsen. 1998. Monitoring for policy-relevant regional trends over time. Ecological Applications 8: 246–257.Google Scholar
- Virnstein, R.W. 2000. Seagrass management in Indian River Lagoon, Florida: Dealing with issues of scale. Pacific Conservation Biology 5: 299–305.Google Scholar
- Virnstein, R. W. and L. J. Morris. 1996. Seagrass preservation and restoration: A diagnostic plan for the Indian River Lagoon. St. Johns River Water Management District. Technical Memorandum No. 14, Palatka, Florida.Google Scholar
- Watson, D.F., and G.M. Philip. 1985. A refinement of inverse distance weighted interpolation. Geoprocessing 2: 315–327.Google Scholar
- Waycott, M., C.M. Duarte, T.J.B. Carruthers, R.J. Orth, W.C. Dennison, S. Olyarnik, A. Calladine, J.W. Fourqurean, K.L. Heck Jr., A.R. Hughes, G.A. Kendrick, W.J. Kenworthy, F.T. Short, and S.L. Williams. 2009. Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 12377–12381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weiss, M.B., P.B. Curran, B.J. Peterson, and C.J. Gobler. 2007. The influence of plankton composition and water quality on hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria L.) populations across Long Island’s south shore lagoon estuaries. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 345: 12–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Whigham, D.F., A.D. Jacobs, D.E. Weller, T.E. Jordan, M.E. Kentula, S.F. Jensen, and D.L. Stevens Jr. 2007. Combining HGM and EMAP procedures to assess wetlands at the watershed scale—Status of flats and non-tidal riverine wetlands in the Nanticoke River watershed, Delaware and Maryland (USA). Wetlands 27: 462–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wilson, R.S., and A.H. Brenowitz. 1966. A report on the ecology of Great South Bay and adjacent waters. Garden City: Adelphi University.Google Scholar
- Wilson, R.E., K.C. Wong, and H.H. Carter. 1991. Aspects of circulation and exchange in Great South Bay. In The Great South Bay, ed. J.R. Schubel, T.M. Bell, and H.H. Carter, 33–42. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- Wong, K. C. 1981. Subtidal volume exchange and the relationship to atmospheric forcing in Great South Bay, New York. Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook.Google Scholar