Since industrialization, gradually increasing manmade activities have caused signifi cant alterations in the structure and function of coastal ecosystems. One prominent mode of human disturbance is the surplus of nutrients (i.e., cultural eutrophication) into waters across the globe (Vitousek et al. 1997, Boesch 2002). Scientists have recognized cultural eutrophication since the early 1970s (Cloern 2001, Boesch 2002), where it has been invoked as one of the major contributors to macrophyte declin e (Duarte 1995, Benedetti-Cecchi et al. 2001, Lotze et al. 2006, Burkholder et al. 2007, Waycott et al. 2009, Schmidt et al. 2012).