Exploring possibilities for subtidal eelgrass restoration in the Dutch Wadden Sea

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


Seagrass degradation is an ongoing problem with meadows disappearing completely in lagoons and estuaries around the globe. Seagrass shoots can ameliorate their habitat through self-facilitating feedbacks by reducing hydrodynamic forcing, and their dense root mats increase sediment stability. As a consequence, seagrass reintroduction can be challenging, as unvegetated systems lack these self-facilitating feedbacks. We therefore aimed to test whether mimicking feedbacks of 1) sediment stabilization with root mimics and 2) hydrodynamic stress relief through underwater sandbag shelters would affect survival of transplanted eelgrass shoots in a field experiment at two potential restoration sites in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Our study indicates that site selection is key for restoration success, that a mechanistic understanding of transplant failures is required before attempting large-scale restoration,and that the reintroduction of self-facilitating feedbacks may benefit short-term survival of seagrass transplants in highly dynamic systems.
Event titleNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2024
Event typeConference
Conference number16
Organiser Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
LocationLunteren, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational