One hundred priority questions for advancing seagrass conservation in Europe

Lina Mtwana Nordlund, Richard K.F. Unsworth*, Sieglind Wallner-Hahn, Lavenia Ratnarajah, Pedro Beca-Carretero, Elmira Boikova, James C. Bull, Rosa M. Chefaoui, Carmen B. de los Santos, Karine Gagnon, Joxe Mikel Garmendia, Francesca Gizzi, Laura L. Govers, Camilla Gustafsson, Elitsa Hineva, Eduardo Infantes, João Canning-Clode, Marlene Jahnke, Periklis Kleitou, Hilary KennedyStefania Klayn, Tiia Moller, João Monteiro, Nerea Piñeiro-Juncal, Emanuele Ponis, Vasillis Papathanasiou, Dimitris Poursanidis, Riccardo Pieraccini, Oscar Serrano, Ana I. Sousa, Susanne Schäfer, Francesca Rossi, D. Sebastian Storey, Marieke M. van Katwijk, Dave Wall, Emma A. Ward, Robert Wilkes

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Societal Impact Statement: Seagrass ecosystems are of fundamental importance to our planet and wellbeing. Seagrasses are marine flowering plants, which engineer ecosystems that provide a multitude of ecosystem services, for example, blue foods and carbon sequestration. Seagrass ecosystems have largely been degraded across much of their global range. There is now increasing interest in the conservation and restoration of these systems, particularly in the context of the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis. The collation of 100 questions from experts across Europe could, if answered, improve our ability to conserve and restore these systems by facilitating a fundamental shift in the success of such work. Summary: Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services including biodiversity, coastal protection, and carbon sequestration. In Europe, seagrasses can be found in shallow sheltered waters along coastlines, in estuaries & lagoons, and around islands, but their distribution has declined. Factors such as poor water quality, coastal modification, mechanical damage, overfishing, land-sea interactions, climate change and disease have reduced the coverage of Europe’s seagrasses necessitating their recovery. Research, monitoring and conservation efforts on seagrass ecosystems in Europe are mostly uncoordinated and biased towards certain species and regions, resulting in inadequate delivery of critical information for their management. Here, we aim to identify the 100 priority questions, that if addressed would strongly advance seagrass monitoring, research and conservation in Europe. Using a Delphi method, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with seagrass experience from across Europe and with diverse seagrass expertise participated in the process that involved the formulation of research questions, a voting process and an online workshop to identify the final list of the 100 questions. The final list of questions covers areas across nine themes: Biodiversity & Ecology; Ecosystem services; Blue carbon; Fishery support; Drivers, Threats, Resilience & Response; Monitoring & Assessment; Conservation & Restoration; Governance, Policy & Management; and Communication. Answering these questions will fill current knowledge gaps and place European seagrass onto a positive trajectory of recovery.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)587-603
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftPlants People Planet
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum8-feb.-2024
StatusPublished - mei-2024


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