Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Cymodocea nodosa is found throughout the Mediterranean Sea and extends into the Atlantic Ocean north to mid-Portugal and south to Madeira and to the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, as well as to Mauritania and Senegal on the coast of Africa.
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Distribution in Egypt

Mediterranean region and Sinai.

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Global Distribution

Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic coast of Africa southwards to the tropic of Cancer.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
In the western Mediterranean, Cymodocea nodosa commonly occurs in shallow water (from a few cm to a depth of 2.5 m) but can reach a depth of 30-40 m, usually found in sandy substrate and sheltered sites. This species is a common seagrass in the eastern Mediterranean, frequently occurs in small sandy pockets that accumulate in crevices or small depressions on rocky flats. In beds, occasionally it is accompanied by Caulerpa prolifera, which may reach 20% of the plant cover. This species forms single species meadows in the Mediterranean Bioregion (Short et al. 2007) but also occurs in meadows with P. oceanica (it is out-competed by this species). Cymodocea nodosa provides important habitat for seahorses.

In Israel, Cymodocea nodosa is found on sandy bottoms at sheltered sites. Populations are subject to large seasonal and year-to-year fluctuations in size, on occasion disappearing completely, eventually to renew from the seed stocks in the sediment. Cymodocea nodosa can survive a moderate level of disturbance.

Systems
  • Marine
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Sheltered coastal seashores, sublittoral sandy depressions.

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Depth range based on 6 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2.2 - 3.9

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2.2 - 3.9
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Perennial.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cymodocea nodosa

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cymodocea nodosa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C.

Reviewer/s
Carpenter, K.E. & Livingstone, S.

Contributor/s

Justification
Cymodocea nodosa is common throughout the Mediterranean down the coast of West Africa. The population is thought to be stable although there are local declines reported due to anthropogenic threats. This species is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Cymodocea nodosa is common throughout the Mediterranean. The overall population is thought to be stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Cymodocea nodosa is threatened locally by mechanical damage from trawling and anchoring from boats and coastal development. Eutrophication is also a problem. This species is found in coastal regions where there is a high level of human disturbance. It is however, a relatively resistant species.

In the Mediterranean, this species is threatened due to competition from seaweed species like Caulerpa taxifolia and Caulerpa racemosa. In the eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, increased amounts of domestic and industrial pollutants are impacting the species (Green and Short 2003).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Cymodocea nodosa is protected in various marine parks in different countries of the Mediterranean.
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Wikipedia

Cymodocea nodosa

Cymodocea nodosa is a species of seagrass in the family Cymodoceaceae and is sometimes known as little Neptune grass.[2] As a seagrass, it is restricted to growing underwater and is found in shallow parts of the Mediterranean Sea and certain adjoining areas of the Atlantic Ocean.

Description[edit]

C. nodosa has light green or greyish-green leaves. They are very narrow but may be up to forty centimetres long. Each leaf has seven to nine veins running along its length. The plant produces rhizomes which are only 1 mm in diameter and have leaf scars at intervals.[3] Inconspicuous grass-like flowers are sometimes produced at the end of long stems in the spring when water temperatures begin to rise after their winter minimum. The pollen is liberated into the sea and the seeds remain dormant until the following spring.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This seagrass is found in shallow parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the adjoining parts of the Atlantic Ocean, the coasts of Portugal, Mauritania and Senegal and round the Canary Islands, Madeira and the island of Cape Verde.[1] It grows at depths of down to ten metres in sandy sediments in sheltered locations and needs clear waters for photosynthesis.[2]

Ecology[edit]

C. nodosa grows in meadows on the seabed[5] and is sometimes associated with the other seagrasses, Zostera noltei and Posidonia oceanica and the seaweeds Caulerpa prolifera and Caulerpa racemosa. Although it is adversely affected by mechanical disturbance such as trawling and by pollution, and although it is in competition with other seagrass species, C. nodosa is not considered to be threatened.[5]

In the Canary Islands, fifty-three species of epiphytic algae were found to grow on the leaves and rhizomes of C. nodosa. Many of these were encrusting species of Corallinaceae.[6]

Seagrass meadows have high biological productivity and are rich, biodiverse habitats. Fish species associated with C. nodosa in a coastal lagoon in south east Spain include Atherina boyeri, Pomatoschistus marmoratus, Liza aurata, Liza saliens, Syngnathus abaster and Aphanius iberus. The meadows are an important rearing ground for juvenile fish.[7] Invertebrates associated with seagrass meadows include polychaete worms,[8] amphipods, isopods, decapods and molluscs.[9]

C. nodosa tends to grow in patches. This is because it favours unstable sandy sediments and subaqueous dunes tend to move over time. If the sand accretion is not too fast, the stolons can grow vertically through it, but the seagrass can be overwhelmed by rapid accretion. Patch death was mostly caused by erosion as roots were uncovered, encrusting and drilling organisms increased and plants were swept away. The dune movement cycle tended to take two to six years, which gives the seagrass time to recolonise bare areas. Sand accretion also stimulates flowering and dormant seeds can enable recolonisation when conditions allow it.[10]

The fact that the pattern of C. nodosa growth changes as sand is deposited provides a means of measuring the travel of subaqueous dunes. In the Alfacs Bay in the northwest Mediterranean Sea, it was found that the rate of dune advance averaged 13 metres per year, and that the seagrasses could be used to monitor movement rates ranging from 0.15 metres to 980 metres per year.[11]

The invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia is often associated with C. nodosa. It has an extensive rhizoidal system that anchors it to a sandy substrate. The alga is better able to extract nutrients from the substrate than can the seagrass. A study was undertaken near the island of Elba, Italy, in which slow release fertiliser sticks were added to test plots of the seabed where the seagrass and alga both grew. It was found that although both species responded with increased growth rates, the seagrass was relatively disadvantaged in that increased growth of the alga restricted the amount of sunlight reaching the seagrass whereas the alga was less constrained by limited light.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Asch. Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 2011-08-17
  2. ^ a b Lesser Neptune Grass (Cymodocea nodosa) Archipelagos Wildlife Library. Retrieved 2011-08-17
  3. ^ Boudouresque, C.-F..A.M.a.M.V., 1992. Guide des Algues des Mers d’Europe. Paris: Delachaux et Niestle.
  4. ^ Reproductive phenology of the Mediterranean seagrasses Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Aschers., and Zostera noltii Hornem. Retrieved 2011-08-17
  5. ^ a b Cymodocea nodosa IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2011-08-17
  6. ^ Distribution of the epiphytes along the leaves of Cymodocea nodosa in the Canary Islands Retrieved 2011-08-17
  7. ^ Fish assemblages associated with Cymodocea nodosa and Caulerpa prolifera meadows in the shallow areas of the Mar Menor coastal lagoon Retrieved 2011-08-17
  8. ^ Polychaetes associated with Cymodocea nodosa meadow in the Canary Islands: assemblage structure, temporal variability and vertical distribution compared to other Mediterranean seagrass meadows Retrieved 2011-08-17
  9. ^ Biology of Posidonia Seagrasses: Biology, Ecology and Conservation. Retrieved 2011-08-17
  10. ^ Nuria Marba, Carlos M. Duarte (Jun 1995). "Coupling of seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) dynamics with subaqueous dune migration". Journal of Ecology 83 (3): 381–389. JSTOR 2261592. 
  11. ^ Nuria Marba, Just Cebrian, Susana Enriquez, Carlos M. Duarte (Jan 1994). "Migration of large-scale subaqueous bedforms measured with seagrasses (Cymodocea nodosa) as tracers". Limnology and Oceanography 39 (1): 126–133. doi:10.4319/lo.1994.39.1.0126. JSTOR 2838368. 
  12. ^ A Pilot Study of Nutrient Enriched Sediments in a Cymodocea nodosa Bed Invaded by the Introduced Alga Caulerpa taxifolia Retrieved 2011-08-17
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