Method developed to protect threatened eelgrass meadows

Eelgrass meadows i Gullmarsfjorden on the Swedish coast.

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a marine flowering plant that provides a habitat for a wide range of marine plants and animals, including several commercial fish, such as cod. Now an international research group led by researchers from the University of Gothenburg has developed a new method for evaluating which eelgrass meadows are the most sensitive and which meadows have the greatest importance for future survival.

Eelgrass meadows, a highly threatened habitat, have dramatically declined in many places in the Kattegatt and the Skagerrak since the 1980s. The main causes are eutrophication in combination with overfishing and coastal development.

“Protecting and preserving threatened meadows in our coastal areas requires quick actions and management initiatives based on effective scientific methods,” says Marlene Jahnke.

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