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Species richness effects on the vegetative expansion of transplanted seagrass in Indonesia
- Asriani, Nenni, Ambo-Rappe, Rohani, Lanuru, Mahatma, Williams, Susan L.
- Botanica marina 2018 v.61 no.3 pp. 205-211
- decline, ecological function, habitat conservation, rhizomes, seagrasses, species diversity, Indonesia
- Seagrass restoration is necessary to provide the critical ecosystem functions that are being lost with seagrass decline. Seagrass restoration of mixed species seagrass beds, especially in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, is poorly understood. Here, we transplanted random combinations of 1, 2, 4 and 5 seagrass species common in Indonesia to determine the effect of multispecies plantings on expansion of rhizomes. We measured seagrass vegetative expansion outside of the transplantation plots after 1 year post-transplantation for 5 months. The expansion rate increased with species richness. This result indicates that a multispecies approach to seagrass restoration in Indonesia would benefit restoration efforts. Further, for multispecies restoration we suggest using five-species combinations because they expanded the fastest of all species richness levels by the end of the experiment (on average 15.4 cm² day⁻¹).