Maria Eggertsen

Maria Eggertsen


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Telephone 08-16 37 74
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A
Room N 311
Postal address Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

About me

I have a large interest in marine ecology, focusing on  tropical near shore areas; how marine organisms, patterns and habitats are interacting and connected to each other and how ecological functions varies with the seascape.



My research looks into ecology of tropical macroalgae and tropical seaweed farming, mainly focusing on the East African region, Western Indian Ocean, but has also brought me to the Pacific Ocean and the Baltic Sea. My PhD project has a dual focus; 1) to identify/investigate (negative) ecological and environmental effects of seaweed farming, for a more sustainable practise in the future, and 2) ecological importance of tropical macroalgal habitats, mainly focusing on fish, as their value as for example nursery habitats.

I am part of the Halling (led by Christina Halling) and Berkström Lab (led by Charlotte Berkström).


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Stina A. Tano (et al.). Marine and Freshwater Research 68 (10), 1921-1934

    Seaweed beds within tropical seascapes have received little attention as potential fish habitat, despite other vegetated habitats, such as seagrass meadows and mangroves, commonly being recognised as important nurseries for numerous fish species. In addition, studies of vegetated habitats rarely investigate fish assemblages across different macrophyte communities. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the role of tropical seaweed beds as fish habitat, particularly for juvenile fish, by comparing their fish assemblages with those of closely situated seagrass beds. Fish assemblages were assessed by visual census in belt transects, where fish were identified and their length estimated, and habitat variables were estimated for each transect. The abundance of juvenile fish in seaweed beds was twice as high as that in seagrass meadows, whereas there was no difference in total, subadult or adult fish abundance. In addition, the abundance of commercially important and coral reef-associated juveniles was higher in seaweed beds, as was fish species richness. Fish assemblages differed between habitats, with siganids being more common in seagrass meadows and juvenile Labridae and Serranidae more common in seaweed beds. These results highlight that tropical seaweed beds are important juvenile fish habitats and underscore the need to widen the view of the shallow tropical seascape.

  • 2016. Stina Tano (et al.). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 183, 1-12

    Marine macrophyte habitats in temperate regions provide productive habitats for numerous organisms, with their abundant and diverse invertebrate epifaunal assemblages constituting important linkages between benthic primary production and higher trophic levels. While it is commonly also recognized that certain vegetated habitats in the tropics, such as seagrass meadows, can harbour diverse epifaunal assemblages and may constitute important feeding grounds to fish, little is known about the epifaunal assemblages associated with tropical seaweed beds. We investigated the abundance, biomass and taxon richness of the mobile epifaunal community (>= 1 mm) of tropical East African seaweed beds, as well as the abundance of invertivorous fishes, and compared it with that of closely situated seagrass meadows, to establish the ecological role of seaweed beds as habitat for epifauna as well as potential feeding grounds for fish. The results showed that seaweed beds had a higher abundance of mobile epifauna (mean SD: 10,600 +/- 6000 vs 3700 +/- 2800 per m(2)) than seagrass meadows, as well as a higher invertebrate biomass (35.9 +/- 46.8 vs 1.9 +/- 2.1 g per m(2)) and taxon richness (32.7 +/- 11.8 vs 19.1 +/- 6.3 taxa per sample), despite having a lower macrophyte biomass. Additionally, the high abundance of invertivorous fishes found in seaweed beds indicates that they act as important feeding grounds to several fish species in the region.

  • 2017. Martin Gullström (et al.). Ecosystems (New York. Print)

    Globally, seagrass ecosystems are considered major blue carbon sinks and thus indirect contributors to climate change mitigation. Quantitative estimates and multi-scale appraisals of sources that underlie long-term storage of sedimentary carbon are vital for understanding coastal carbon dynamics. Across a tropical–subtropical coastal continuum in the Western Indian Ocean, we estimated organic (Corg) and inorganic (Ccarb) carbon stocks in seagrass sediment. Quantified levels and variability of the two carbon stocks were evaluated with regard to the relative importance of environmental attributes in terms of plant–sediment properties and landscape configuration. The explored seagrass habitats encompassed low to moderate levels of sedimentary Corg (ranging from 0.20 to 1.44% on average depending on species- and site-specific variability) but higher than unvegetated areas (ranging from 0.09 to 0.33% depending on site-specific variability), suggesting that some of the seagrass areas (at tropical Zanzibar in particular) are potentially important as carbon sinks. The amount of sedimentary inorganic carbon as carbonate (Ccarb) clearly corresponded to Corg levels, and as carbonates may represent a carbon source, this could diminish the strength of seagrass sediments as carbon sinks in the region. Partial least squares modelling indicated that variations in sedimentary Corg and Ccarb stocks in seagrass habitats were primarily predicted by sediment density (indicating a negative relationship with the content of carbon stocks) and landscape configuration (indicating a positive effect of seagrass meadow area, relative to the area of other major coastal habitats, on carbon stocks), while seagrass structural complexity also contributed, though to a lesser extent, to model performance. The findings suggest that accurate carbon sink assessments require an understanding of plant–sediment processes as well as better knowledge of how sedimentary carbon dynamics are driven by cross-habitat links and sink–source relationships in a scale-dependent landscape context, which should be a priority for carbon sink conservation.

Show all publications by Maria Eggertsen at Stockholm University

Last updated: May 2, 2018

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