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Negative effects of warming on seagrass seedlings are not exacerbated by invasive algae

Pereda-Briones, L., Terrados, J., Tomas, F.
Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.141 pp. 36-45
Caulerpa, Lophocladia, Posidonia oceanica, additive effect, algae, biodiversity, ecosystem engineers, ecosystems, provenance, seagrasses, seawater, seedlings, surface water temperature, water pollution
The observed and projected rise in sea surface temperature challenges marine biodiversity worldwide, and particularly in temperate ecosystems dealing with the arrival of novel species of tropical provenance. When the impacted biota are early life stages of ecosystem engineers, the effects of those impacts are of major concern for ecologists and coastal managers. We experimentally examined the individual and potential additive effects of seawater warming and the presence of the invasive algae on the development of seedlings of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in a three-month mesocosm experiment. Whereas the presence of the invasive algae (Caulerpa cylindracea and Lophocladia lallemandii) did not result in detrimental effects on seedlings, warming negatively affected seedling development. Interestingly, the presence of both invasive algae may ameliorate the negative effects of warming.