About this Research Topic
Aquatic plants are important ecological components of rivers, lakes, wetlands and coastal to marine environments. They create habitats ranging from seagrass meadows and mangrove forests to free-floating communities in freshwater ponds and lakes. These valuable ecosystem service providers play a major role in the structure and functioning of these environments. For example, they provide food and cover for fish and aquatic invertebrates, help oxygenate the water, moderate nutrient enrichment, and limit erosion. There exists widespread evidence of the global loss and degradation of these systems and an urgent need to halt this loss, necessitating research into the conservation ecology of these species. Water quality, land use change, coastal squeeze and a range of other localised stressors are putting their future viability in doubt. It is therefore critical that we learn more about the interactions between aquatic plants and future global change. Conservation management of environments now and in the future requires increased knowledge of how aquatic plants respond to anthropogenic change, and how they can be managed to be resilient to these changes. This research topic will bring together these themes to aid knowledge development that transcends disciplines, environments, habitats and species. The research topic will encourage submissions on applied as well as theoretical content and embrace inter-disciplinarity.
In this Research Topic we seek to build a collection of articles addressing how aquatic plants respond to their physical and biological environment and the factors influencing their loss and recovery. This includes focus on how top-down and bottom up processes interact to control aquatic plant communities. This is particularly with respect to biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and what aspects and traits of the communities facilitate ecosystem resilience and how these changes influence ecosystem service delivery (e.g. Blue Carbon, fisheries productivity).
This research topic will include submissions on reproduction, connectivity and dispersal with respect to their implications for conservation biology. It will also include submissions on the floral-faunal interactions. We also welcome submissions that relate to indicators and thresholds relevant to ecological assessment and conservation management of these systems. Importantly, aquatic plants are part of linked social-ecological systems and as such their conservation management is as much about understanding human-environment relationships. We therefore encourage interdisciplinary submissions at the edges of conservation biology and socio-economics.
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.