Effect of artificial seagrass on hydrodynamic thresholds for the early establishment of Zostera marina

J. Carus, C. Arndt, T. J. Bouma, B. Schröder, M. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seagrass meadows have disappeared on many coastal sections due to anthropogenic disturbances, diseases, and/or eutrophication. To facilitate informed seagrass restoration, we i) quantified the hydrodynamic dislodgement thresholds for newly transplanted Z. marina shoots, and ii) tested the effect of artificial seagrass (ASG) as a hydrodynamic protection measure. Experiments were carried out by planting Z. marina rhizomes with living shoots into a sediment bed and exposing them to a range of wave and current conditions in a flume. The use of ASG significantly reduced wave height, as well as current velocity. The applied waves led to the development of ripples whereas currents led to erosion of the sediment bed. The number of shoots that were uprooted and dislodged increased with increasing bed shear stress and erosion. By reducing bed shear stress, the ASG raised the input current velocity threshold, which the transplanted shoots were able to withstand. The present study offers insight into the effect of artificial seagrass (ASG) on wave and current attenuation, as well as sediment erosion and shoot dislodgement. Our results help to inform the setting of hydrodynamic thresholds for the early establishment of Z. marina and to define the improvement of hydrodynamic conditions by ASG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ecohydraulics
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Current velocity
  • bed shear stress
  • erosion
  • ripple formation
  • seagrass restoration
  • wave energy

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