The book provides methods for all aspects of seagrass science from basic plant collection to statistical approaches and investigations of plant-animal interaction. The emphasis is on methods that are applicable in both developing and developed countries.
The importance of seagrasses in coastal and near shore environments, and ultimately their contribution to the productivity of the world's oceans, has become increasingly recognised over the last 40 years.
Seagrasses provide food for sea turtles, nearly 100 fish species, waterfowl and for the marine mammals the manatee and dugong. Seagrasses also support complex food webs by virtue of their physical structure and primary production and are well known for their role as breeding grounds and nurseries for important crustacean, finfish and shell fish populations. Seagrasses are the basis of an important detrital food chain. The plants filter nutrients and contaminants from the water, stabilise sediments and act as dampeners to wave action. Seagrasses rank with coral reefs and mangroves as some of the world's most productive coastal habitat and strong linkages among these habitats make the loss of seagrasses a contributing factor in the degradation of the world's oceans.
Contributors from around the world provide up-to-date methods for comparable collection of ecological information from both temperate and tropical seagrass ecosystems.
Part I. Status of Seagrass.
1. Global seagrass distribution (F.T. Short, R.G. Coles, C. Pergent-Martini).
2. Seagrass taxonomy and identification key (J. Kuo, C. den Hartog).
3. Reproduction and phenology in seagrasses (D.I. Walker, B. Olesen, R.C. Phillips).
Part II. Seagrass Research Methods.
4. Standards for seagrass collection, identification and sample design (D.M. Burdick, G.A. Kendrick).
5. Methods for mapping seagrass distribution (L.J. McKenzie, M.A. Finkbeiner, H. Kirkman).
6. Methods for assessing seagrass seed ecology and population genetics (G.J. Inglis, M. Waycott).
7. Methods for the measurement of seagrass abundance and depth distribution (C.M. Duarte, H. Kirkman).
8. Methods for the measurement of seagrass growth and production (F.T. Short, C.M. Duarte).
9. Measurements of photosynthetic rates in seagrasses (S. Beer, M. Bjork, R. Gademann, P. Ralph).
10. Assessing biomass, assemblage structure and productivity of algal epiphytes on seagrasses (G.A. Kendrick, P.S. Lavery).
11. Methods to measure macroalgal biomass and abundance in seagrass meadows (B. Japar Sidik, S.O. Bandeira, N.A. Milchakova).
12. Techniques for quantitative sampling of infauna and epifauna in seagrass (A. Raz-Guzman, R.E. Grizzle).
13. Fish, crabs, shrimps and other large mobile epibenthos: measurement methods for their biomass and abundance in seagrass (G.J. Edgar, H. Mukai, R.J. Orth).
14. Measuring invertebrate grazing on seagrasses and epiphytes (V. Zupo, W.G. Nelson, M.C. Gambi).
15. Methods for assessing the grazing effects of large herbivores on seagrasses (C. Supanwanid, J.O. Albertsen, H. Mukai).
16. Seagrass decomposition (D.I. Walker, G. Pergent, S. Fazi).
17. Measurements of physical parameters in seagrass habitats (E.W. Koch, J.J. Verduin).
18. Sediment geology methods for seagrass habitat (P.L.A. Erftemeijer, E.W. Koch).
19. Measurement of light penetration in relation to seagrass (T.J.B. Carruthers, B.J. Longstaff, W.C. Dennison, E.G. Abal, K. Aioi).
20. Water quality measurement methods for seagrass habitat (S. Granger, H. Iizumi).
Part III. Seagrass Habitat Conservation.
21. Improving seagrass habitat quality (W.Lee Long, R.M. Thom).
22. Seagrass transplantation and other seagrass restoration methods (H. Calumpong, M. Fonseca).
23. Protecting seagrass: approaches and methods (R.G. Coles, M.D. Fortes).
List of Reviewers.