Linking eutrophication indicators in eelgrass habitats to nitrogen loading and mitigating site characteristics in eastern New Brunswick, Canada

This study used results from a nitrogen loading model together with field survey data in Atlantic Canada to assess linkages between nitrogen loading, tidal flushing and bivalve aquaculture on observed eutrophication indicators in eelgrass habitats. Multivariate analyses revealed positive correlations between nitrogen loading and eutrophication indicators, with distinct clusters of high- and low-impact sites, and the mitigating effects of flushing time and aquaculture. Our results highlight that combining measures of nitrogen loading, eutrophication indicators and mitigating factors can help detect early warning signs and assess eutrophication risk to inform management and conservation of coastal ecosystems before significant losses of seagrass occurs.

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