Inter-specific interactions in seagrass meadows: a microscopic numerical approach.

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Seagrasses are a key element in the Mediterranean sea, and the drastic demise of their population in the last decades has worrying implications for marine ecosystems. Spatial models for seagrass meadorws provide us with a mathematical framework to study their non-linear dynamics and the emergent collective behaviour. These models are crucial to predict the response of seagrasses to different global warming scenarios, analyze the resilience of existing seagrass patterns and optimize replantation techniques. In this seminar, we present the results of a microscopic numerical model, based on clonal growth rules, in which  the interactions among different species have been considered. As a model test case we have considered the seagrass-seaweed interaction between Cymodocea nodosa and Caulerpa prolifera. Our results  successfully reproduce field observations of shoot densities in mixed meadows in the Alfacs Bay (Ebro River Delta). Besides, the proposed model allows us to investigate the possible underlying mechanisms that mediate the interaction among plants.


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Tobias Galla

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