About this Research Topic
Awareness of the ecological importance of seagrasses is growing due to recent attention on their role in carbon sequestration as a potential blue carbon sink, as well as their role in nutrient cycling, sediment stabilization, pathogen uptake, and the formation of essential habitats for economically important marine species. In parallel, anthropogenic stressors on a global and local scale (ocean warming, increase in frequency and severity of extreme events, physical disturbances, eutrophication, and sedimentation), alongside the introduction and spread of invasive species, are emerging as real threats that continue to loom over coastal habitats .
Degradation of seagrass communities includes the loss of the associated biota, primary productivity and local fisheries, and increased sediment re-suspension. Such processes will result in severe ecological and socio-economic consequences for seagrass meadows, neighboring ecosystems, and human inhabitants.
Several major fundamental questions in seagrass ecology remain unanswered with respect to climate change. Will the effects of climate change exert diverging effects on different seagrass species? Will ocean warming eventually exceed the adaptive potential of local seagrass species? Will this result in a shift of their biogeographic ranges, leading to a potential loss (or gain) in their distribution? Do abiotic stressors affect seagrass physiology in the same way? Can we suggest new improvements for conservation and management of local meadows that will enhance resilience to the predicted scenarios of change? What are the responses, acclimation potential and resilience of these ecosystems to predicted scenarios?
Considering the predicted climate change scenarios and exponential human pressures on coastal areas, in this Research Topic, we aim to gather articles that compare the responses of seagrasses to anthropogenic stressors and their interactions through species stress resilience microcosm experiments, field studies, and spatial temporal modelling studies, ranging from cellular level to ecosystem processes. Additionally, we also welcome papers that apply integrated approaches to study both temperate and tropical seagrasses, focusing on trait-based approaches including biological, physiological, and biochemical traits of seagrasses, as well as population-level responses and species interactions which may lead to community shifts.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.