Stem stiffness functionality in a submerged canopy patch under oscillatory flow

Seagrass canopies are coastal ecosystems that are able to modify the abiotic environment through their architectural structure. They have different structural parameters, such as plant stem stiffness, patch length and canopy density, all of which determine their overall functionality in modifying the seafloor hydrodynamics within coastal areas. To determine the interaction between hydrodynamics and the canopy structure, a set of laboratory experiments were carried out with both rigid and flexible stems for different canopy densities, patch lengths and wave frequencies. In the upper part of the canopy, flexible plants move with the flow without generating drag or producing turbulent kinetic energy, while rigid plants generate drag and produce turbulent kinetic energy. In the inner canopy layer, both types of plants behave like rigid stems and produce turbulent kinetic energy. A non-dimensional model based on the turbulent kinetic energy, the wave velocity and the plant characteristics is presented to describe the behaviour of flexible and rigid plants under an oscillating flow. Flexible plants behave in a stiffer manner under high wave frequencies than under low wave frequencies, thus making their behaviour closer to that of rigid plant stems. This difference between both canopy structures can explain their distribution in the environment, with rigid canopies being more extended in more sheltered regions while flexible plants are characteristic of more exposed regions with high flow energy ​
Este documento está sujeto a una licencia Creative Commons:Reconocimiento (by) Creative Commons by4.0