Analysis of the trophic role of Mediterranean seagrasses in marine coastal ecosystems: a review

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Abstract

Seagrasses form high-productivity coastal ecosystems, providing habitats for many organisms, including species of commercial value. They play a significant role as a direct food source for herbivores and enter detrital food webs. In this review the trophic ecology of Mediterranean seagrass ecosystems is revised, with major emphasis on Posidonia oceanica, the most extensively studied seagrass. The major topics are the role of herbivory and detritus, the contribution to littoral fish production, exportation to other ecosystems and their role as vectors of anthropogenic nutrients into food webs, and are discussed by analysing both conventional knowledge and new insights derived from the application of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis. In conclusion, perspectives for future research are highlighted, with particular emphasis on areas demanding further study and on the effects of seagrass decline on trophic organization in coastal environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalBotanica Marina
Volume52
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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