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Quantification and classification of the main environmental impacts on a Halodule wrightii seagrass meadow on a tropical island in northeastern Brazil

DOI: 10.1590/S0001-37652012000100005

Keywords: conservation, ecological value, habitat loss, marine habitat.

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Abstract:

multiple stress mechanisms have caused a worldwide decrease in seagrasses, which are vulnerable to environmental and/or anthropogenic pressure. the loss of seagrass meadows of halodule wrightii is reported for the littoral of itamaracá island (northeastern brazil). the present study identified the main anthropogenic factors that negatively influenced over the abundance and distribution of seagrass meadows between july and september 2007 at the jaguaribe and pilar beaches, eastern littoral of itamaracá. anthropogenic impact included the discharge of untreated sewage through fluvial channels, urban and commercial development along the coast, the anchoring of motorized and non-motorized boats, diverse fishing techniques and the dumping of solid waste. the data indicates that the pilar is an environment with a higher impact index (71.43%) when compared with the jaguaribe (57.14%), standing out the number of boats with a central motor, the total number of boats, the presence of shellfish gatherers and coastal urban development. the present study reinforces the need for defining management and conservation measures for this ecosystem, which has high ecological and economic value.

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