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Performance assessment of Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile restoration experiment on dead matte twelve years after planting—structural and functional meadow features

  • Autori: Calvo S.; Calvo R.; Luzzu F.; Raimondi V.; Assenzo M.; Cassetti F.P.; Tomasello A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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Following the restoration of natural conditions by reducing human pressures, reforestation is currently considered a possible option to accelerate the recovery of seagrass habitats. Long-term monitoring programs theoretically represent an ideal solution to assess whether a reforestation plan has produced the desired results. Here, we report on the performance of a 20 m2 patch of Posidonia oceanica transplanted on dead matte twelve years after transplantation in the Gulf of Palermo, northwestern Sicily. Photo mosaic performed in the area allowed us to detect 23 transplanted patches of both regular and irregular shape, ranging from 0.1 to 2.7 m2 and an overall surface close to 19 m2. Meadow density was 331.6 ± 17.7 shoot m-2 (currently five times higher than the initial value of 66 shoots m-2), and it did not show statistical differences from a close by natural meadow (331.2 ± 14.9). Total primary production, estimated by lepidochronology, varied from 333.0 to 332.7 g dw m2/year, at the transplanted and natural stand, respectively. These results suggest that complete restoration of P. oceanica on dead matte is possible in a relatively short time (a decade), thus representing a good starting point for upscaling the recovery of the degraded meadows in the area.