Selection of parameters for seagrass management: Towards the development of integrated indicators for French Antilles

Kerninon, FannyPayri, Claude E.Le Loc’h, FrançoisAlcoverro, Teresa Maréchal, Jean-PhilippeChalifour, JulienGréaux, SébastienMège, SimoneAthanase, JulienCordonnier, SébastienRouget, Marie-LaureLorre, EliseUboldi, ThomasMonnier, OlivierHellio, Claire. Marine Pollution Bulletin 170 : 112646 (2021)  DIGITAL CSIC

Seagrass beds are increasingly impacted by human activities in coastal areas, particularly in tropical regions. The objective of this research program was to study seagrass beds characteristics under various environmental conditions in the French Antilles (FA, Caribbean Sea). A total of 61 parameters, from plant physiology to seagrass ecosystem, were tested along a gradient of anthropogenic conditions, distributed across 11 sites and 3 islands of the FA. A selection of 7 parameters was identified as relevant for the monitoring of seagrass meadows in the framework of public policies. They combined “early warning indicators” (e.g. nutrients and some trace metals) and long-term responding parameters (e.g. shoot density) adapted to management time scales. The ecological status of seagrass meadows was evaluated using a PCA. This work is a first step towards monitoring and management of seagrass meadows in the FA.