Required Biological and Environmental Conditions

The objective of artificial seagrass is the development of suitable conditions for the restoration and growth of natural seagrass. This work package aims to determine the hydrodynamic and ecological characteristics that favour and support the growth of Zostera marina as well as their natural variation.

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Dimensions for Artificial Seagrass

Observation of the environmental conditions on Work Package 3 provides a starting point towards the development of the Artificial Seagrass. Existing seagrass meadows in the area of interest are important sources of information regarding the environmental conditions needed for the seagrasses to grow and survive.

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ASG Performance

In the first year, hydrodynamic as well as morphodynamic measurements will be conducted using a commercially available artificial seagrass which will be installed in the Large Wave Flume. At the end of the project phase all data from the project partners will be compiled to produce an artificial seagrass prototype.

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SeaArt as a guest in the Netherlands

Two scientists of the SeaArt team were guests at the "Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research" (NIOZ) in the Netherlands for two months during the summer 2018 and were able to use the equipment of the institute for the simulation of wave movements and ocean currents within the scope of a cooperation.

The influence of wave energy on the growth of seagrass seedlings was tested in wave pools. For this purpose, natural seagrass was planted in all basins and artificial seagrass was installed in only half of the basins in front of the natural one. Parameters such as wave height, wave velocity, turbidity and plant growth were recorded.

The wave and current channel was filled with sea water and in the test section a natural seabed was simulated in which individual seagrass plants were planted. Subsequently, different wave intensities and current velocities were simulated, observing the behaviour of the seagrass and determining the threshold value from which plants tear out. In addition, sand erosion was measured in the test track. In this way, it can be determined which current and wave reduction the artificial structure must achieve in order to promote the growth of the natural seagrass. The data collected is currently being evaluated.

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