Species Response Curves for Seagrass


This tool explains in general terms how seagrass responds to environmental conditions, specifically to reduced light penetration, which is one of the most severe threats for seagrass ecosystems worldwide. Such information is especially useful if planned infrastructural developments are expected to lead to (temporary) changes in environmental conditions in nearby sensitive ecosystems, e.g. dredging operations near coral reefs, mangrove forests or seagrass beds. The tool may give information on negative ecological impacts that may be expected from infrastructural developments, when and to what extent these impacts are expected to occur, to what extent negative impacts are reversible, and when managers, planners and constructors are to take precautionary measures to prevent irreversible damage. Information is provided on how to develop species response curves using lab and field experiments, and is therefore transferable to other species.

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Theoretical example of a Gaussian shaped
   species response curve.

Type: Method
Project Phase: Planning & Design, Initiation
Type of assessment: Impact Assesment
Purpose: Identifying tolerance levels of species to assess environmental impact from interventions
Field and laboratory experience, ecological knowledge and analytical skills
Relevant Software:
Statistical programme (eg. R)