Posidonia sinuosa

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_onStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA LILIOPSIDA NAJADALES POSIDONIACEAE

Scientific Name: Posidonia sinuosa
Species Authority: Cambridge & J.Kuo
Common Name(s):
English Species code: Pn
Taxonomic Notes:

This species is a member of the P. australis complex (P. australis Hook.f., P. sinuosa Cambridge & J.Kuo, P. angustifolia Cambridge & J.Kuo) (Campey et al. 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ce ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-23
Assessor(s): Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
Posidonia sinuosa is endemic to western and southern Australia. This species is slow growing and has a long recruitment time of 20 years. There have been major areas of loss across the range of P. sinuosa which have caused significant population declines. Major threats to this species are a decrease in water quality, sedimentation and coastal development. This species is more susceptible to detrimental human activities due to slower growth and less flowering than other Posidonia spp. Over the last 60 years (three generation lengths), the recorded declines in areas of this species suggests a population reduction greater than 30%. Therefore this species is listed as Vulnerable under criterion A2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Posidonia sinuosa is endemic to western and southern Australia. It is distributed from Kalbarri to Eyre in Western Australia and from the head of the Great Australian Bight to Encounter Bay, South Australia.
Countries:
Native:
Australia
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There have been major areas of loss across the range of Posidonia sinuosa due to human activities, which have caused significant population declines. Based on 11 studies during the period between 1990 and 2000, there was a 1.2 % annual decline in  the area  of this seagrass (Orth and Dennison 2007). Over the last 60 years (three generation lengths), the recorded declines in areas of this species suggests a population reduction greater than 30%.

In one area of P. sinuosa's distribution, Cockburn Sound has been subjected to steady degradation since 1954, with the establishment of an oil refinery and the successive establishments of steel works, fertilizer factories, sewage-treatment facilities, and a power station. This has lead to contaminated effluents and increased nutrient loads. Between 1954 and 1978 the meadow in this region reduced from 4,200 to 900 ha (Cambridge and McComb 1984).

Seagrass loss (Posidonia australis and P. sinuosa) in Oyster Harbour between 1962 and 1988 was the culmination of diffuse nutrient and sediment influx from rural catchments (Cambridge et al. 2002).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Posidonia sinuosa is widely distributed in marine embayments and near shore areas on the western and southern coasts of Australia from low water to 15 m depth in sandy substrates. It may form meadows with Amphibolis spp. and typically grows in linear rows up to 50 cm wide, parallel to prevailing direction of water movement (Cambridge and Kuo 1979). This species is slow growing and has a long recruitment time of 20 years.

Posidonia sinuosa has inflorescences born on flattened, leafless peduncles, with reduced, hermaphroditic flowers and filiform pollen. Inflorescence of P. sinuosa are well hidden below the "umbrella-like" meadow canopy at ~10 cm above the sediment. Anthesis and fruiting occurs from August to January (Womersley 1984).

Posidonia sinuosa meadows have a high number of tightly packed shoots with overhanging semi-permanently bent top portions. This species has high leaf density surrounding the flowers which may prevent the pollen from escaping out of the meadow into the overlying water column. This likely leads to greater neighbour to neighbour pollination in this species (Smith and Walker 2002).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats to this species are excessive nutrient inputs, eutrophication, sedimentation and pollution, and dredging and sand mining activities. Coastal developments such as port development are also threatening for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Posidonia sinussa is protected in various Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), in Fisheries Acts, National and Marine Park Acts. There are no specific conservation measures for this species.

Bibliography [top]

Cambridge, M.L. and Kuo, J. 1979. Two new species of seagrasses from Australia, Posidonia sinuosa and P. angustifolia (Posidoniaceae). Aquatic Botany 6: 307-328.

Cambridge, M.L. and McComb, A.J. 1984. The loss of seagrasses in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. I. The time course and magnitude of seagrass decline in relation to industrial development. Aquatic Botany 20: 229-243.

Cambridge, M.L., Bastyan, G.R. and Walker, D.I. 2002. Recovery of Posidonia meadows in Oyster Harbour, southwestern Australia. Bulletin of Marine Science 71(3): 1279-1289.

Campey, M.L., Waycott, M. and Kendrick, G.A. 2000. Re-evaluating species boundaries among members of the Posidonia ostenfeldii species complex (Posidoniaceae) - morphological and genetic variation. Aquatic Botany 66(1): 41-56.

Green, E.P. and Short, F.T. 2003. World Atlas of Seagrasses. University of California Press, Berkeley.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Orth, R.J. and Dennison, W.C. 2007. Global Seagrass Trajectories Database Compiled October 2006. Available at: http://knb.econinformatics.org/knb/metacat/olyarnik.3.6/nceas.

Smith, N.M. and Walker, D.I. 2002. Canopy structure and pollination biology of the seagrasses Posidonia australis and P. sinuosa (Posidoneaceae). Aquatic Botany 74: 57-70.

Womersley, H.B.S. 1984. The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia. Part I. Handbook of the Flora & Fauna of South Australia. South Australian Government Printing Division, Netley, South Australia.


Citation: Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C. 2010. Posidonia sinuosa. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 September 2014.
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