From CIMA (Centro de Investigaciones Medioambientales del Atlántico, S.L.) (Atlantic Environmental Research Center), we want to show you what we do in and out our offices.

On this page you can find a series of small videos called «Things we do in CIMA», which will help us to explain what we do and how we do it. All this to approach the world of marine biology and oceanography.

– «Things we do in CIMA» #22: Lyngbya majuscula:

Seagrass meadows perform a wide variety of functions and essential services for coastal ecosystems, among which are their ability to fix carbon and mitigate the effects of CO2 emissions, their protection function against coastal erosion, by reducing the hydrodynamics and sediment accumulation, and as a nursery for different fishing interest species.

However, despite the importance of the functions they perform in the ecosystems, they are in regression worldwide, with a decrease of 0.9% of their surface each year. This regression is mainly due to human activities, among which are water pollution, increased turbidity and eutrophication, coastal works and direct physical damage to grasslands, such as boat anchoring.

We are currently studying another possible regression factor for these seagrass meadows: Lyngbya majuscula.

Lyngbya majuscula is a potential HAB species (harmful algal blooms) in marine ecosystems and has been increasing in frequency since the beginning of the 21st century. Cyanophyte blooms have caused decreases in seagrass beds biomass, attributable to the reduction of light, although the extent of the decrease is very variable among the species of phanerogams. These light reduction can be a key factor that affects the distribution of these plants. Due to their high light requirement, seagrass beds may be sensitive to the shading of these cyanobacteria blooms. It has also been shown to have adverse effects in humans, with severe irritations of the skin and eyes, and difficulty of respiratory functions.

In the current project, we are studying specific Cymodocea nodosa grasslands in which a massive growth of Lyngbya majuscula was observed in late summer 2019. We are analyzing what causes these blooms in Tenerife and to what extent (and how) they affect the studied meadows.

If you want more information about it, don’t hesitate to read our blog (in Spanish).

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Acción cofinanciada por la Consejería de Economía, Industria, Comercio y Conocimiento y el Fondo Social Europeo (FSE)