Subsidient: Dave Willemsz / Wageningen University
Subsidy: S193.69

Seagrass systems provide numerous ecosystem services and need to be protected for certain risks. Overgrazing by sea turtle populations and invasive species are events that could have severe consequences for these ecosystems. Two Caribbean systems are investigated for this research, both with different factors affecting the grazing pressure present in these areas. An experimental setup was used to quantify the recovery rates of the native species and possible regrowth of the invasive species in both Caribbean areas. Furthermore, green turtle populations estimates and behaviors are determined using netting-surveys, baited-remote video systems and turtle camera systems. It seems that seasonality, predator populations and grazing pressure are key factors for the resilience of native seagrass communities. The green turtle population in Bonaire is now mapped and migration patterns as well as food preference can be studied with the turtle camera systems. Video analysis of the carapace turtle cams showed promising results of this method to determine food preference and sea turtle behavior. For future work, increasing the number of turtle camera systems can have a fundamental role in new discoveries about food preference, diets shifts and migration behaviors.