Golden R.R.,580 Taylor Avenue |
Busch K.E.,580 Taylor Avenue |
Karrh L.P.,580 Taylor Avenue |
Parham T.A.,580 Taylor Avenue |
And 2 more authors.
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2010
In response to systemic losses of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the Chesapeake Bay (east coast of North America), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) have considered SAV restoration a critical component in Bay restoration programs. In 2003, the CBP created the " Strategy to Accelerate the Protection and Restoration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay" in an effort to increase SAV area. As part of this strategy, large-scale eelgrass (Zostera marina) restoration efforts were initiated in the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers in Maryland. From 2004 to 2007, nearly 4 million Z. marina seeds were dispersed over 10 ha on the Patuxent River and almost 9 million seeds over 16 ha on the Potomac River. Z. marina seedling establishment was consistent throughout the project (<4%); however, restored eelgrass survival was highly dependent on restoration site. Restoration locations on the Patuxent River experienced initial Z. marina seedling germination, but no long-term plant survival. Restored Z. marina on the Potomac River has persisted and expanded, both vegetatively and sexually, beyond initial seeding areas. Healthy Z. marina beds now cover approximately five acres of the Potomac River bottom for the first time in decades. The differential success of Z. marina restoration efforts in the two rivers is evidence for the necessity of carefully considering site-specific characteristics when using large-scale seeding methods to achieve successful SAV restoration. © 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.
Tanner C.E.,St. Mary's College of Maryland |
Parham T.,580 Taylor Avenue
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2010
The use of aquaculture systems to grow the seagrass Zostera marina (eelgrass) from seeds for restoration projects was evaluated through laboratory and mesocosm studies. Along the mid-Atlantic coast of North America Z. marina seeds are shed from late spring through early summer, but seeds typically do not begin to germinate until the late fall. Fall is the optimal season to plant both seeds and shoots in this region. We conducted studies to determine if Z. marina seeds can be induced to germinate in the summer and seedlings grown in mesocosms to a size sufficiently large enough for out-planting in the fall. Seeds in soil-less culture germinated in the summer when held at 14°C, with percent germination increasing with lower salinities. Cold storage (4°C) of seeds prior to planting in sediments enhanced germination and seedling survival. Growth rates of seedlings were significantly higher in nutrient enriched estuarine sediments. Results from preliminary studies were used in designing a large-scale culture project in which 15,000 shoots were grown and out-planted into the Potomac River estuary in the Chesapeake Bay and compared with an equal number of transplanted shoots. These studies demonstrate that growing Z. marina from seeds is an alternative approach to harvesting plants from donor beds when vegetative shoots are required for restoration projects. © 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.