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Patterns and mechanisms of dispersal in a keystone seagrass species

Journal article
Authors Marlene Jahnke
Asbjørn Christensen
Dragos Micu
Nataliya Milchakova
Murat Sezgin
Valentina Todorova
Stefan Strungaru
Gabriele Procaccini
Published in Marine Environmental Research
Volume 117
Pages 54-62
ISSN 01411136
Publication year 2016
Published at
Pages 54-62
Language en
Keywords Black Sea, Clonal plant, Genetic connectivity, Langrangian, Propagules, Seagrass, Seascape, Zostera noltei
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


© 2016.Mechanisms and vectors of long-distance dispersal remain unknown for many coastal benthic species, including plants. Indications for the possibility for long-distance dispersal come from dispersal modelling and from genetic assessments, but have rarely been assessed with both methods. To this end, we assessed dispersal of the seagrass Zostera noltei, an important foundation species of the coastal zone. We investigate whether small scale seed dispersal and long-distance propagule dispersal do play a role for meta-population dynamics, using both genetic assessments based on eight microsatellite markers and physical modelling of ocean currents. Such assessments enhance our understanding of the biology and population dynamics of an important coastal foundation species. They are relevant for large scale conservation strategies as they give insights in the maintenance of genetic diversity and connectivity that may enhance resilience and resistance to stresses associated with seagrass loss.

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