Marine Biology Section ©  2020

Marine Biology Société Jersiaise

Seagrass Monitoring

The coast of Jersey has extensive seagrass beds both on the seashore and in shallow marine areas.

Seagrass is also a high biodiversity feature and is a key habitat under OSPAR and States of Jersey Biodiversity Action Species. All seagrasses are sensitive to pollution, smothering and physical disturbance and is used to monitor marine water quality in the UK and Europe.

Intertidal Seagrass

In 2013 the MBS, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, embarked upon a five year monitoring programme of the intertidal seagrass meadows in Grouville, St Catherine’s and St Aubin’s Bays. We adapted a European methodology and have made it  more robust. Every years 600 photographs are taken and computer analysed; sediment and core samples are also taken and analysed.

Offshore Seagrass

The shallow marine seagrass (Zostera marina) meadows are also being monitored. We have researched the diversity of burrowing animals in seagrass areas (see article in Mollusc World). We have also assessed the decline and growth of Jersey’s seagrass areas since the 1930s using aerial photographs.

In 2017 the Section embarked on a seagrass assessment project in conjunction with Project Seagrass. This is a major new project for us and we hope that the results will help us to understand more about the biology of our seagrass meadows and to quantify any threats to their conservation status.

A full report of Jersey’s Seagrass Areas is planned for 2018 as part of the Section’s ‘Year of  Seagrass

St Aubin’s Bay Jersey: intertidal seagrass density in 2016.

Shallow marine seagrass at Icho Tower exposed during a large tide in 2015.