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Macroalgae in tropical marine coastal systems
Mejia, A.Y.; Puncher, G.N.; Engelen, A.H. (2012). Macroalgae in tropical marine coastal systems, in: Wiencke, C. et al. (Ed.) Seaweed biology: Novel insights into ecophysiology, ecology and utilization. Ecological Studies, 219: pp. 329-357
In: Wiencke, C.; Bischof, K. (Ed.) (2012). Seaweed biology: Novel insights into ecophysiology, ecology and utilization. Ecological Studies, 219. Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-642-28450-2. xiii, 510 pp., more
In: Heldmaier, G. et al. (Ed.) Ecological Studies. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0070-8356, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Mejia, A.Y.
  • Puncher, G.N., more
  • Engelen, A.H.

Abstract
    Tropical coastal marine systems inhabited by macroalgae can typically be categorized as coral reefs, seagrass meadows, or mangrove forests. The role of macroalgae in these systems is fundamentally different from temperate systems, as other primary producers generally act as the dominant habitat providers. However, macroalgae do provide essential ecosystem services such as the reduction of nutrients, provision of food, and spatial refuge for predator and prey alike. In seagrass beds, they can be highly productive and may help to stabilize pH levels. Their role within mangrove systems is highly variable across regions and their contribution to trophic food webs and nutrient cycling is likely significant. Through competition and grazing, the biomass of macroalgae is reduced in most healthy tropical ecosystems. Macroalgae are a critical component of healthy tropical marine habitats; however, their unchecked growth can lead to complete regime shifts, thereby threatening the stability and welfare of the entire coastal system.

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