Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Current Status of Halophila beccarii: An Ecologically Significant, Yet Vulnerable Seagrass of India

Version 1 : Received: 4 August 2020 / Approved: 5 August 2020 / Online: 5 August 2020 (10:33:17 CEST)

How to cite: Mishra, A.K.; Apte, D. The Current Status of Halophila beccarii: An Ecologically Significant, Yet Vulnerable Seagrass of India. Preprints 2020, 2020080126 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0126.v1). Mishra, A.K.; Apte, D. The Current Status of Halophila beccarii: An Ecologically Significant, Yet Vulnerable Seagrass of India. Preprints 2020, 2020080126 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0126.v1).

Abstract

We reviewed the current status of a Vulnerable seagrass, Halophila beccarii from the coast of India using the published data from 1977-2020. We found that the seagrass, H. beccarii has a pan India distribution on both east and west coast. It is abundant in the intertidal silty-muddy region on the west coast, while on the east coast it is found on sandy habitats, with few exceptions of muddy habitat. H. beccarii was found to be associated with mangroves or smaller seagrass species within a depth limit of 1.7m. Low salinity and high nitrate levels were observed for the H. beccarii meadows of the west coast due to its association with mangroves. The nutrient levels in H. beccarii meadows of India were comparatively lower than other seagrass meadows. Most of the research on H. beccarii has focoused on its morphometrics (41%), reproductive (33%) and distribution (29%) along the coast of India. Reproductive traits such as flowering and fruiting varying according to the seasons of each coast due to the influence of monsoon and its associated temperature, salinity and nutrient influx. H. beccarii has a great potential of various bioactive compounds, which needs further investigation. Habitat disturbance, anthropogenic pollution and coastal development are the major cause of declining H. beccarii ecosystems in India. Significant loss of the seagrass was observed from the west coast of India due to increased coastal development activities. There is a significant need in quantifying H. beccarii population trends, impact of climate and anthropogenic stressors, economic values of ecosystem services and the role of ecological connectivity for better conservation and management of H. beccarii seascapes across India. There is a need for integration of research outcomes in policy framing for preventing the decline and further loss of this vulnerable seagrass ecosystem.

Subject Areas

Seagrass; Ocean Turf grass; climax communities; Indian Ocean region; IUCN; Population traits; conservation; management

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