Preliminary comparison of natural versus model-predicted recovery of vessel-generated seagrass injuries in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Uhrin, Amy V. and Fonseca, Mark S. and Kenworthy, W. Judson (2009) Preliminary comparison of natural versus model-predicted recovery of vessel-generated seagrass injuries in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Silver Springs, MD, NOAA/National Ocean Service, (Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series, ONMS-0)

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Abstract

Each year, more than 500 motorized vessel groundings cause widespread damage to seagrasses in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Under Section 312 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA), any party responsible for the loss, injury, or destruction of any Sanctuary resource, including seagrass, is liable to the United States for response costs and resulting damages. As part of the damage assessment process, a cellular automata model is utilized to forecast seagrass recovery rates. Field validation of these forecasts was accomplished by comparing model-predicted percent recovery to that which was observed to be occurring naturally for 30 documented vessel grounding sites. Model recovery forecasts for both Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme exceeded natural recovery estimates for 93.1% and 89.5% of the sites, respectively. For Halodule wrightii, the number of over- and under-predictions by the model was similar. However, where under-estimation occurred, it was often severe, reflecting the well-known extraordinary growth potential of this opportunistic species. These preliminary findings indicate that the recovery model is consistently generous to Responsible Parties in that the model forecasts a much faster recovery than was observed to occur naturally, particularly for T. testudinum, the dominant seagrass species in the region and the species most often affected. Environmental setting (i.e., location, wave exposure) influences local seagrass landscape pattern and may also play a role in the recovery dynamics for a particular injury site. An examination of the relationship between selected environmental factors and injury recovery dynamics is currently underway. (PDF file contains 20 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Preliminary comparison of natural versus model-predicted recovery of vessel-generated seagrass injuries in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Uhrin, Amy V.
Fonseca, Mark S.
Kenworthy, W. Judson
Series Name: Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series
Number: ONMS-0
Date: 2009
Publisher: NOAA/National Ocean Service
Place of Publication: Silver Springs, MD
Issuing Agency: United States National Ocean Service
Subjects: Ecology
Conservation
Management
Item ID: 2762
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2009 18:51
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 18:26
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2762

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