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cost of seagrass restoration

(2008). GRID-Arendal: United Nations Environment Programme. 61, 1123–1133. Assisted colonization is not a viable conservation strategy. To upscale restoration programs, the involvement and commitment of industry partners, local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and state and federal government agencies are required to establish multi-year to decadal funded restoration projects. Mediterranean warming triggers seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) shoot mortality. Doi 10.1111/J.1526-100x.2010.00692.X. Sea surface temperatures and seagrass mortality in Florida Bay: spatial and temporal patterns discerned from MODIS and AVHRR data. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.09.018, Furman, B. T., Merello, M., Shea, C. P., Kenworthy, W. J., and Hall, M. O. Local and regional scale habitat heterogeneity contribute to genetic adaptation in a commercially important marine mollusc (Haliotis rubra) from southeastern Australia. Dos Santos, V. M., and Matheson, F. E. (2016). doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2012.00873.x, Statton, J., Dixon, K. W., Hovey, R. K., and Kendrick, G. A. (2014). Quantitative validation of a habitat suitability index for oyster restoration. Impact of light limitation on seagrasses. The fundamental research that is occurring in New Zealand is required to understand how New Zealand seagrass function and thereby formulate a comprehensive understanding of local seagrass dynamics to successfully implement site specific restoration practices (e.g., Matheson et al., 2017). Matheson, F., and Wadhwa, S. (2012). An experimental study in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. doi: 10.1007/s11027-010-9217-2, Reynolds, L. K., McGlathery, K. J., and Waycott, M. (2012). Climate-related genetic variation in drought-resistance of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Restoration of the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica-temporal variability and long-term success. Pilot experiments on planting seedlings and small seagrass propagules in Western Australia. Aquatic Botany 90(2): 204-208. Nat. (2020). doi: 10.1111/gcb.12988, Wang, T. L., Wang, G. Y., Innes, J., Nitschke, C., and Kang, H. J. The use of novel and potentially more efficient monitoring techniques should also be expanded upon, such as the use of remote sensing or drones (Duffy et al., 2018; Nahirnick et al., 2019; Phinn et al., 2018). 113, 395–409. Change 8, 338–344. Indigenous biocultural knowledge in ecosystem science and management: review and insight from Australia. Open coast seagrass restoration. The cost and feasibility of marine coastal restoration. Root microbiomes as indicators of seagrass health. (2012). Coast. Connolly, R. M., Smith, T. M., Maxwell, P. S., Olds, A. D., Macreadie, P. I., et al. Remote Sens. Victoria Landcare and Gateway (2020). In New Zealand, a national scale inventory of seagrass has recently been collated by the Department of Conservation’s SeaSketch project. Cutting out the middle clam: lucinid endosymbiotic bacteria are also associated with seagrass roots worldwide. Cooke, J. Furthermore, seagrass losses are expected to continue, further exacerbated by climate change impacts. Positive feedbacks in seagrass ecosystems: implications for success in conservation and restoration. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-71354-0_6, McMahon, K., van Dijk, K.-J., Ruiz-Montoya, L., Kendrick, G. A., Krauss, S. L., Waycott, M., et al. Babcock, R. C., Bustamante, R. H., Fulton, E. A., Fulton, D. J., Haywood, M. D. E., Hobday, A. J., et al. Seagrass practitioners, indeed all marine restoration practitioners, can benefit from restoration science and practice that has been developed over decades in terrestrial ecosystems and could be applied in marine environments. Toward a coordinated global observing system for seagrasses and marine macroalgae. (2014). 13, 569–577. doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0096-y, Aronson, J., Goodwin, N., Orlando, L., Eisenberg, C., and Cross, A. T. (2020). These have ranged from small-scale pilot studies (e.g., Irving et al., 2010) to large-scale transplantation trials (e.g., West et al., 1990; Bastyan and Cambridge, 2008), involving both manual and mechanical planting (e.g., Paling et al., 2001), and a wide range of anchoring methods [e.g., artificial seagrass (West et al., 1990; Campbell and Paling, 2003; Matheson et al., 2017), biodegradable pots (Kirkman, 1999), and hooks or pegs (Bastyan and Cambridge, 2008)]. Efforts are already being made to make use of this valuable resource, such as during the aquaculture of P. australis seedlings where it was recommended as a low cost and readily available nutritional supplement in restoration (Statton et al., 2013). Facilitating recruitment of Amphibolis as a novel approach to seagrass rehabilitation in hydrodynamically active waters. Besides collection methods, species-specific studies on seed storage could also enhance restoration opportunities, with seeds being collected and stored for planting during a later more optimal planting season (Marion and Orth, 2010). Sci. Ocean Coast. However, evidence suggests that non-local sources of restoration material may outperform those from local provenance under future climates (Sgrò et al., 2011; Aitken and Whitlock, 2013; Miller et al., 2019a). (2010). A review by van Katwijk et al. Mar. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2017.01.024. Glob. seagrass meadow, Queensland Australia. Rare long-distance dispersal event leads to the world’s largest marine clone. The median cost of seagrass restoration was estimated at USD 106,782 per hectare based on 64 published studies (Bayraktarov et al.,2016), and this can be 10–400 times higher than the costs documented for terrestrial ecosystem restoration (Jacob et al.,2018). 144, 1644–1654. Local Environ. 40, 217–225. We compared seedling establishment achieved by a mechanical seed planter with seeds broadcast on the sediment surface by hand. Lett. 1999. Declines to date have amounted to an estimated loss of 29% of areal extent, or 3370 km2, since records started in 1879 (Waycott et al., 2009). Hewitt, J. E., and Cummings, V. (2013). 7, 393–396. For example, the recent estimated loss of 36% of seagrass meadows in Shark Bay followed extreme temperature events and resulted in declines of various herbivorous species such as green turtles and dugongs, seagrass-associated fish populations, and closure of scallop and blue swimmer crab fisheries (Nowicki et al., 2017; Kendrick et al., 2019). 38, 495–522. Conserv. Change Biol. Ecol. Short, F. T., Carruthers, T. J. R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G. A., Fourqurean, J. W., Callabine, A., et al. (2007). 2008. Pollut. This manuscript was the result of two workshops, one conducted at Deakin University and a second at Department of Environment and Energy, Canberra, that was sponsored by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub. Site specific differences in morphometry and photophysiology in intertidal Zostera muelleri meadows. Freshw. We have now reached a point where ecologically meaningful large-scale seagrass restoration is possible given enough scientific, community, and political support. However, direct injecting of seeds has yet to be trialed for other seagrass species and is likely more labor intensive compared to other seeding techniques such as hand-casting. (2005). Biogeogr. (2019). Ecol. Freshw. 24, 3093–3104. 2009. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.02.020, Bansal, S., Harrington, C., Gould, P. J., and St.Clair, J. Aquat. Restoration research in Australia and New Zealand has focused on small-scale experimental tests using a variety of techniques ranging from the planting of sprigs (seagrass fragments) or plugs (seagrass cores) to seed-based restoration (Supplementary Table S1; Figure 1). Yet, knowledge gaps still exist, which are discussed in the following sections. 26, 1055–1074. Mar. As an extension, understanding seagrass-microbial interactions could allow us to manipulate the seagrass microbiome in order to increase restoration success, given the strong effect the microbiome can have on sediment biogeochemical processes. Res. Report to Gold Coast Waterways Authority. doi: 10.1890/1051-0761(2001)011[1472:rgdiet]2.0.co;2, Winder, R. S., Nelson, E., and Beardmore, T. (2011). An adapted version of this method is currently being trialed for underwater seeding. 71, 1405–1414. 21, 137–149. What we do know from observations of natural recovery processes in tropical Australia (Rasheed et al., 2014; McKenna et al., 2015) is that the life history and reproductive strategies of many tropical species could be well-suited to restoration as they have the capacity for rapid clonal growth once established. Evol. (2015). Innovative techniques for large-scale seagrass restoration using Zostera marina (eelgrass) seeds. IUCN Red List Threat. Biogeographic variation in temperature drives performance of kelp gametophytes during warming. Pollut. J. Appl. Munkes, B. (2018). Aquaculture of Posidonia australis seedlings for seagrass restoration programs: effect of sediment type and organic enrichment on growth. (2017). (2005). Ecol. 96:fiz201. Coast. These are often planted directly into the substrate (e.g., Matheson et al., 2017), however, several anchoring techniques have been used to varying degrees of success. However, artificial seagrass is often made of plastic, and given the growing awareness of marine plastic pollution (Haward, 2018), its use in restoration is generally undesirable. doi: 10.1111/eva.12909, Miller, A. D., Hoffmann, A. These losses, and the associated losses in ecosystem goods and services, can have major ecological, socioeconomic, and political ramifications (Smale et al., 2019). doi: 10.1016/S0025-326X(99)00146-0, Kirkman, H., and Kendrick, G. A. Biol. 15, 227–237. Storm-generated rhizome fragments of Posidonia found within the wrack have also been used successfully for restoration in the Mediterranean (Balestri et al., 2011) and are currently being used successfully to restore P. australis in Australia (Ferretto et al., 2019; Figure 2). doi: 10.3354/meps10916, Moilanen, A., Anderson, B. J., Eigenbrod, F., Heinemeyer, A., Roy, D. B., et al. Mar. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiz201, Martin, B. C., Middleton, J. The impacts of climate change in coastal marine systems. While the EPBC Act does provide some provisions for restoration such as through species recovery plans, these are generally only for threatened ecosystems (of which seagrass is yet to become), and these plans are slow to develop. Ecol. Artificial in-water structures can also be used as anchoring devices to increase the chance of transplant unit survival. Furthermore, marine environments are much more difficult to access and work in compared to terrestrial environments, and the impacts of degradation are not always clearly visible to society (Sinclair et al., 2013). Biol. Volunteers are a valuable resource for seagrass restoration, and there is an opportunity to engage with growing public awareness surrounding marine conservation and willingness to participate in citizen science to supplement current restoration efforts (Martin et al., 2016). Seagrass-watch: community based monitoring of seagrass resources. J. Exp. Ruiz-Halpern, S., Macko, S. A., and Fourqurean, J. W. (2008). Threatened plant translocation case study: Posidonia australis (strapweed), Posidoniaceae. Although survival of transplanted seagrass fragments or cores was low in many studies, promising results are increasingly reported, with transplant units surviving more than 2 years or showing shoot densities similar to naturally occurring meadows (e.g., Bastyan and Cambridge, 2008; Oceanica Consulting Pty Ltd., 2011, Matheson et al., 2017). Seagrass restoration is often deemed too expensive due to a multitude of reasons including but not limited to high labor costs, challenges of propagation, and the need for repeated planting efforts due to losses (Bayraktarov et al., 2016). doi: 10.1111/rec.12877, Gagnon, K., Rinde, E., Bengil, E. G., Carugati, L., Christianen, M. J., Danovaro, R., et al. —Few seagrass transplant projects have relied on seeds, and those projects using eelgrass seeds have generally found low rates of seedling establishment (<10%). 67, 372–381. Lord, D., Paling, E., and Gordon, D. (1999). Ecological impacts and management strategies for western larch in the face of climate-change. Without long-term information, the effectiveness of the restoration methods cannot be assessed accurately, and improvements to the method cannot be made. Biogeochem 87, 113–126. These environments are particularly susceptible to warming and extreme temperature fluctuations, compared with open coastal environments (Harley et al., 2006). 14, 68–71. 15, 168–179. Matheson, F. E., Zabarte-Maeztu, I., Mackay, G., Middleton, C., Oliver, M., and Griffiths, R., et al. The technique is also currently suitable for seeds between 0.5 and 4 mm in size, however, the equipment needed can be adjusted accordingly for different seed sizes. Water clarity and eelgrass responses to nitrogen reductions in the eutrophic Skive Fjord. Consequently, projections of rising sea surface temperatures and more frequent heatwave events pose a significant risk to both natural and restored seagrass populations (Smale et al., 2019). These same principles could be applied to seagrass restoration, following studies to elucidate conditions where settlement and/or colonization can be promoted. It costs about $45,000 to restore an acre of seagrass if you count only the cost of collecting, preparing, and planting the seagrass plugs (Fonseca et al. In Australia, estimates of seagrass coverage are still incomplete, with many regions currently lacking this basic knowledge (York et al., 2017). (2016). Conserv. Restor. Continued seeding until 2010 expanded eelgrass coverage to 1,714 ha of the lagoon bottom (Fig 2). They are facing declines around the world due to global and local threats such as rising ocean temperatures, coastal development and pollution from sewage outfalls and agriculture. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00739.x, Hancock, N., and Gallagher, R. (2014). A lot of the hard work has now occurred, and we should now build upon our collective knowledge, engage with emerging tools, technology, and techniques, and maintain and build our research effort into seagrass restoration in Australia and New Zealand. Mar. Articles. doi: 10.2307/1941597, Orth, R. J., and McGlathery, K. J. Recovery and succession in a multi-species tropical seagrass meadow following experimental disturbance: the role of sexual and asexual reproduction. BuDS deployed in areas with strong hydrodynamics might be less effective as seeds can be washed away at high rates. FEMS Microbiol. Science 355, 731–733. Changes in Abundance of Seagrass (Zostera spp.) Spec. 50, 183–194. These decision support tools are easy to use, and easily adaptable to suit different conservation priorities. support this mitigation. B., Williamson, M. A., Schwartz, M. W., and Rizzo, D. M. (2019). (2018). AoB PLANTS. 30. Kirkman, H. (1989). (2009). Despite the potential to curb the influence of anthropogenic stressors, rehabilitation efforts on a global scale have seen varying degrees of success. Nevertheless, the proposed NPS-FM and proposed National Environmental Standard for Freshwater do provide increased protections for coastal wetlands from activities including disturbance of the bed and removal of indigenous vegetation. Seagrasses are marine angiosperms that grow in the coastal waters of every continent except Antarctica (Cullen-Unsworth and Unsworth, 2016), providing a wide range of ecosystem services to coastal communities (Nordlund et al., 2018a). Ecol. Nat. Improving water quality is key to restoring seagrass coverage. doi: 10.1111/rec.12475, Mills, V. S., and Berkenbusch, K. (2009). Ecological significance and commercial harvesting of drifting and beach-cast macro-algae and seagrasses in Australia: a review. doi: 10.3354/meps10211, Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Hughes, L., McIntyre, S., Lindenmayer, D. B., Parmesan, C., Possingham, H. P., et al. Major gaps in knowledge remain, however, prior research efforts have provided valuable insights into factors influencing the outcomes of restoration and there are now several examples of successful large-scale restoration programs. Mol. For example, restored oyster reefs in the Northern Gulf of Mexico resulted in an increase in seagrass cover which was not observed in nearby areas (Sharma et al., 2016). Hemminga, M. A., and Duarte, C. M. (2000). (in press). Variation in reproductive effort, genetic diversity and mating systems across Posidonia australis seagrass meadows in Western Australia. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.08.020, Matheson, F. E., Reed, J., Dos Santos, V. M., Mackay, G., and Cummings, V. J. doi: 10.1080/13549839.2019.1590325. Further monitoring is required to make informed decisions on where seagrass has been lost, and where it could potentially be restored. Biol. Front. doi: 10.1007/s12237-012-9521-z, Ondiviela, B., Losada, I. J., Lara, J. L., Maza, M., Galván, C., Bouma, T. J., et al. The purpose of this research was to develop methodologies for achieving the full potential for large-scale restoration presented by mechanized eelgrass seed harvesting.

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