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Susana Cabaço, Eugenia T. Apostolaki, Patricia García-Marín, Renee Gruber, Ignacio Hernández, Begoña Martínez-Crego, Oriol Mascaró, Marta Pérez, Anchana Prathep, Cliff Robinson, Javier Romero, Allison L. Schmidt, Fred T. Short, Brigitta I. van Tussenbroek and Rui Santos Effects of nutrient enrichment on seagrass population dynamics: evidence and synthesis from the biomass–density relationships Journal of Ecology 101

Version of Record online: 17 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12134

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Contrasting short- and long-term responses of both biomass and density of seagrasses to nutrient enrichment suggest that the former, positive ones result from nutrient limitation whereas the later, negative ones are mediated by whole ecosystem responses. In general, shoot biomass of seagrasses increase with density and nutrient enrichment enhances this effect. Experimental testing of facilitation processes related to clonal integration in seagrasses needs to be done to reveal if they determine the low incidence of self-thinning and the intriguing biomass-density relationships of seagrass species. The increasing slopes and decreasing intercepts of the species-specific dynamic biomass-density relationships of seagrasses and the decreasing coefficients of variation of both biomass and density constitute relevant, easy-to-collect metrics that may be used in environmental monitoring.

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