The main objective of this study was to experimentally test non-destructive restoration methods that can lead to the establishment of self-sustaining Cystoseira populations, and to describe the proper success indicators for the different restoration stages. Specifically, it described two techniques using in situ and ex situ recruitment enhancement aimed at restoring populations of C. barbata, and assessed the success and cost feasibility of each.
Site Selection Criteria:
A donor population was selected in an area with low human influence and healthy Cystoseira barbata forests. The area for restoration was selected as a location that historically harboured Cystoseira barbata forests, but these were lost due to low water quality and populations have not returned despite waste treatment.
Cause Of Decline:
In recent decades, the cumulative impacts of human pressures such as habitat destruction, pollution, overgrazing, invasive species and ocean warming, have largely disturbed canopy-forming macroalgae in many areas. Although some giant kelp populations have been shown to recover quickly from local-to large-scale disturbances this is not always the case. Despite not reaching the size of kelp or some other fucoids, Cystoseira species produce a dense canopy creating a “forest-like” assemblage, with unique species growing in the understory. Some Cystoseira forests have severely declined in recent decades. The low dispersal abilities of zygotes have been blamed for the lack of population recovery.
Restoration of a Canopy-Forming Alga Based on Recruitment Enhancement: Methods and Long-Term Success Assessment
Frontiers in Plant Science, Vol. 9.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01832