Recovery of a cultivation grazer: A mechanism for compensatory growth of Thalassia testudinum in a Caribbean seagrass meadow grazed by green turtles

Alexandra Gulick, Robert Johnson, Clayton Pollock, Zandy Hillis-Starr, Alan Bolten & Karen Bjorndal
Recovery of green turtles (Chelonia mydas), mega-herbivores that consume seagrasses, is resulting in dramatic ecosystem-wide changes as meadows are returned to a natural grazed state. The green turtle grazing strategy, with long-term cultivation of meadows and high foraging site fidelity, is distinct from other terrestrial and aquatic mega-herbivores and may affect seagrass compensatory growth responses. Identifying mechanisms of compensatory growth responses to grazing is essential to understanding the functioning of plant systems under natural grazing...
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