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Community structure and biomass distribution of seagrasses and macrofauna in the Flores Sea, Indonesia
Nienhuis, P.H.; Coosen, J.; Kiswara, W. (1989). Community structure and biomass distribution of seagrasses and macrofauna in the Flores Sea, Indonesia. Neth. J. Sea Res. 23(2): 199-216
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Nienhuis, P.H., more
  • Coosen, J., more
  • Kiswara, W.

    In several locations in the Flores Sea region the community structure and the biomass distribution of seagrasses were studied along transects perpendicular to the shoreline. The share of each species within a sample plot was estimated, divided in above- and below-ground biomass. Statistics regarding substrate coverage, shoot density and leaf-area index were sampled. A standard relation was calculated between seagrass dry weight, ash-free dry weight and organic carbon content. The biotic data were related to environmental factors: DOC and nutrients in the water, salinity, tidal amplitude, sediment composition. A relation was estimated between bottom coverage of seagrasses and standing stock. Further calculations of biomass-production ratios allow a quick and rough estimate of seagrass productivity. Maximum above-ground biomass values (500-700 g AFDW·m-2) together with qualitative data indicate resource (= space) partitioning among the component seagrasses within a community, and suggest a carrying capacity of the reefflat habitat for seagrass density and biomass. A tentative model was constructed, starting from a constant, non-disturbed multispecies vegetation in the lower intertidal and subtidal zone on sand and coral rubble, and moving into several suboptimal situations. The upper shore carries an impoverished, constrained vegetation (irregular tides, desiccation, harvesting). Sediment reworking by animals and physical displacement of sand disturbs the vegetation and favours pioneer species. Muddy habitats bordering mangroves carry monospecific stands showing extremely high biomass (e.g. below-ground Enhalus acoroides 3500 g AFDW·m-2). Thalassia hemprichii and Enhalus acoroides are the most constant species in all habitats mentioned. Macrofauna biomass within the seagrass beds fluctuated widely (maximum values 50-70 9 AFDW·m-2 in mixed seagrass vegetations) and only a weak relation between benthic macrofauna biomass and seagrass community structure and biomass was found.

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