Macroalgal blooms are becoming an increasing problem in coastal regions worldwide and have been associated with a widespread decline of seagrass habitats. It is critical to measure macroalgal bloom (MB) impacts at broad spatial scales since seagrass seascape characteristics can influence feedback processes that regulate the resilience of seagrass ecosystems. We assessed the broad-scale spatial impacts of an MB formed by Anadyomene spp. on the seagrass seascapes in Biscayne Bay (Miami, US) using a multi-scale seascape approach. By integrating field and remote sensing data, our multi-scale approach showed significant reductions in seagrass foliage cover and a seascape structure transformation across the bloom extent. The landscape cover and patch extensiveness declined after the MB peak. Other spatial pattern metrics also showed that the seagrass seascape structure got fragmented. We demonstrated that a persistent MB could transform the structure of seagrass seascapes, hindering the resilience of seagrass habitats.
- Green macroalgae
- Habitat loss and fragmentation
- Macroalgal blooms
- Seagrass disturbance and recovery
- Seascape ecology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science