Seagrass Project in Plymouth Switches Following Low Yield

Published on: 5 May 2022 01:03 PM
by KnowESG

A project kick-started by the National Marine Aquarium to reintroduce seagrass in Plymouth has seen fewer seeds germinate. Seagrass will help fight against climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The £2.5m project saw thousands of seed bags dropped on the sea bed in 2021 to grow 80,000 sq m of meadow in Devon and Hampshire.

Mark Parry, from the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said the seeds were destroyed or buried by tides.

"The idea is that we germinate the seeds in a closed environment where we can tightly control those conditions. "We get a higher germination rate, we allow them to develop their roots and the rhizomes to spread, so the seedlings are more developed and sturdy before they are transplanted into the marine environment," he said.

The researchers used coconut fire matting to germinate the seedlings, which underwent a test at a University of Plymouth wave-making machine before being used in the study.

The university is assisting the aquarium in determining the optimal locations for seed transplantation by employing a wave-making machine to test seedlings under various situations.

Since 1990, the plant, which is located in shallow coastal waters, has been diminishing globally by roughly 7% every year. It also provides a habitat for juvenile fish and vulnerable marine animals such as seahorses.

Source: BBC