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ISBW2008_flumeNuptake.pngStudies on the influence of unidirectional flow on carbon and nitrogen assimilation show that inter and intra specific differences in macrophyte canopy properties can have large effects on assimilation rates.
Furthermore, spatial gradients in assimilation can be observed in macrophyte patches related to gradients in hydrodynamics. This mechanism implies that both canopy (i.e., shoot density, canopy height, etc.) and landcape (i.e., patch size, pattern, etc.) properties of macrophyte species are important in defining their role in C and N processing. Thus, any changes in these properties, such as the distribution of species within the bay, are likely to change ecosystem functioning.



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Project deliverables

  1. Map the benthic habitat with Cadiz Inner Bay and examine temporal variations in the dominant macrophyte populations.

  2. Examine bio-hydrodynamic interactions within each macrophyte species and how they influence particle trapping, sediment stabilisation and mass transfer of nutrients to the benthos.

  3. Create a spatio-temporally explicit model to investigate the consequences of changing benthic macrophyte distributions on the ecosystem functioning (carbon and nitrogen cycling) of Cadiz Bay.

  4. Communicate the findings of the project to the public, local management agencies, and the scientific community.


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Project members


Hompage of the regional government of Andalucia project of excellence P07-RNM- 2516

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Functional diversity of submerged macrophytes: Influence on Carbon and Nitrogen processing (FUNDIV)


IntroductionDeliverablesMembers PublicationsInternal




Submerged macrophytes (such as seagrasses and macroalgae) are an important feature of shallow coastal systems, where they provide a number of essential ecosystem services.


Cymodocea nodosa canopy


Cadiz Bay, SW Spain has large populations of marine macrophytes and is considered an area of Special Community Importance (SCI, ES0000140, 92/43/EEC), however they are under anthropogenic pressure. The surrounding area is highly urbanised, with one of the major local economies being aquaculture, resulting in large amounts of nutrients discharged within the area. It seems highly probable that the submerged macrophytes play a strong role in local carbon and nitrogen cycling within the bay, and presumably help to mitigate nutrient inputs.

><div class="imgfloatleft"><table width="750" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" align="center"><tbody><tr><td><img width="530" vspace="5" hspace="5" height="85" src="grupos-inv/RNM214/fundiv/fundiv-images/canopy-bending-cnodosa.jpg" alt="Canopy_bending_Cnodosa.jpg"/>
Crucial to the understanding of the ecosystem engineering properties of submergd macrophyte species, is their interaction with hydrodynamics.

><ul><li><a href="grupos-inv/RNM214/CV/CV_GP/cv-gp-en" target="_blank">Gloria Peralta (principle investigator)
  • Edward P. Morris
  • Fernando G. Brun
  • Andrés Cózar

    Stucture and dynamics of aquactic ecosystems

    (EDEA; RNM 214)

    ><a href="http:/" target="_blank">UCA-logo-c3

    ><ul><li>Javier Benavente<li>
  • Laura del Río

    Geology and geophysics of marine and litoral areas (RMN 328)

    ><ul><li>Teodora Ortega<li>
  • Rocío Ponce

    Litoral contanimation and oceanography (RNM 144)

    ><ul><li><span style="font-size: small;">Rosa Freitas <span>

    Marine ecosystems and modelling, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Univ. Averio, Portugal


    ><ul><li><a target="_blank" href="http:/">Samuel J. Purkis


    National Coral Reef Institute, Florida, USA




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