Testing the predictive power of seagrass depth limit models

Carlos M. Duarte*, Núria Marbà, Dorte Krause-Jensen, María Sánchez-Camacho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The power of equations predicting seagrass depth limit (Zc) from light extinction (Kz) was tested on data on seagrass depth limits collected from the literature. The test data set comprised 424 reports of seagrass colonization depth and water transparency, including data for 10 seagrass species. This data set confirmed the strong negative relationship between Zc and Kz. The regression equation in Duarte (1991) overestimated the realized seagrass colonization depths at colonization depths < 5 m, while there was no prediction bias above this threshold. These results indicated that seagrass colonizing turbid waters (Kz > 0.27 m-1) have higher apparent light requirements than those growing in clearer waters. The relationship between seagrass colonization depth and light attenuation shifts at a threshold of light attenuation of 0.27 m -1, requiring separate equations to predict Zc for seagrass growing in more turbid waters and clearer waters, and to set targets for seagrass restoration and conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-656
Number of pages5
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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