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 publications online!

Ecohydraulics is a relatively young term bridging the hydraulics community with ecology. Until now, it has mainly focused on river systems, but coastal ecosystems have slowly been given more and more attention due to their undoubted importance. Within the framework of the International Symposium on Ecohydraulics (ISE), which took place virtually in November 2020 due to the pandemic, three Special Issues opened a call for contributions to be published in the Journal of Ecohydraulics.  

Four publications within two of these special Issues bring the SeaArt project to the spotlight to leave its mark on Ecohydraulics. These publications bring forward cutting-edge research in the field of coastal ecosystem restoration and display results of the Sea-Art project available for the broader audience. 

1. Following Jana Carus' and Carmen Arndt's experiments in NIOZ, light has been shed on the role of artificial Seagrass (ASG) in current and wave energy reduction and its connection with seagrass dislodgement and sediment transport. This helps inform restoration strategies planning to use ASG. See more here


2. ASG meadows should be able to reduce current velocity and thus create shelter for growing seedlings. Raul Villanueva and Moritz Thom used state-of-the-art PIV experiments to show the influence of ASG meadows on shelter creation for different current velocities and analyses the structure of the wake behind these artificial patches. See more.

3. The ASG meadows should comprise adequate materials to reduce current and wave energy effectively. Mareike Taphorn, a former student and currently a researcher at LuFI, supported the research on this topic, starting with her master thesis under the supervision of Raúl Villanueva, and afterwards diving deeper to procure a thorough study where she had tested the effect of different materials individually to push forward the design of a proper biodegradable material to be used in future pilot projects. Learn more.

4. Seagrasses are not the only ecosystems protecting our coasts, and it is equally important to know the strengths and weaknesses regarding coastal protection by coastal vegetation. SeaArt coordinator, Maike Paul, who also contributed to all the studies mentioned above, investigated this focusing on salt marshes and describes how seasonality and biomass play a role in coastal protection. Learn more.

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