School of Science / Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
projects DRESSAGE / Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Habitat Directive / project RECONNECT / Transnational Cooperation Programme Interreg V-B ‘Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020 / European Union / EuroMarine Young Scientist Fellowship Programme 2019
* The response of Posidonia oceanica meadows to global warming of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, where the increase in sea surface temperature (SST) is particularly severe, is poorly investigated. * Here, we reconstructed the long-term P. oceanica production in 60 meadows along the Greek Seas over two decades (1997–2018), using lepidochronology. We determined the effect of warming on production by reconstructing the annual and maximum (i.e. August) SST, considering the role of other production drivers related to water quality (i.e. Chla, suspended particulate matter, Secchi depth). * Grand mean (±SE) production across all sites and the study period was 48 ± 1.1 mg DW per shoot yr−1. Production over the last two decades followed a trajectory of decrease, which was related to the concurrent increase in annual SST and SSTaug. Annual SST > 20°C and SSTaug > 26.5°C was related to production decline (GAMM, P < 0.05), while the rest of the tested factors did not help explain the production pattern. * Our results indicate a persistent and increasing threat for Eastern Mediterranean meadows, drawing attention to management authorities, highlighting the necessity of reducing local impacts to enhance the resilience of seagrass meadows to global change threats.
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