Document Detail

Environmental impacts of dredging on seagrasses: a review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17078974     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Main potential impacts on seagrasses from dredging and sand mining include physical removal and/or burial of vegetation and effects of increased turbidity and sedimentation. For seagrasses, the critical threshold for turbidity and sedimentation, as well as the duration that seagrasses can survive periods of high turbidity or excessive sedimentation vary greatly among species. Larger, slow-growing climax species with substantial carbohydrate reserves show greater resilience to such events than smaller opportunistic species, but the latter display much faster post-dredging recovery when water quality conditions return to their original state. A review of 45 case studies worldwide, accounting for a total loss of 21,023 ha of seagrass vegetation due to dredging, is indicative of the scale of the impact of dredging on seagrasses. In recent years, tighter control in the form of strict regulations, proper enforcement and monitoring, and mitigating measures together with proper impact assessment and development of new environmental dredging techniques help to prevent or minimize adverse impacts on seagrasses. Costs of such measures are difficult to estimate, but seem negligible in comparison with costs of seagrass restoration programmes, which are typically small-scale in approach and often have limited success. Copying of dredging criteria used in one geographic area to a dredging operation in another may in some cases lead to exaggerated limitations resulting in unnecessary costs and delays in dredging operations, or in other cases could prove damaging to seagrass ecosystems. Meaningful criteria to limit the extent and turbidity of dredging plumes and their effects will always require site-specific evaluations and should take into account the natural variability of local background turbidity.
Paul L A Erftemeijer; Roy R Robin Lewis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2006-10-31
Journal Detail:
Title:  Marine pollution bulletin     Volume:  52     ISSN:  0025-326X     ISO Abbreviation:  Mar. Pollut. Bull.     Publication Date:  2006 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-01     Completed Date:  2008-08-29     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0260231     Medline TA:  Mar Pollut Bull     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1553-72     Citation Subset:  IM    
WL/Delft Hydraulics, P.O. Box 177, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands. <>
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MeSH Terms
Alismatidae / physiology*
Costs and Cost Analysis
Geologic Sediments
Oceans and Seas

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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