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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WP7: ASG Performance

The Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK) is participating in the SeaArt project with a Work Package (WP) that aims to test the performance of the newly developed artificial seagrass (ASG) at a 1:1 scale under field condtions. To do so, the results of WP 3-6 will be compiled and form the basis for the final prototype experiments in WP7. Therefore, all partners are involved in WP7 to develop and test the most functional artificial seagrass (ASG) for future in-situ application.

At first, potential field sites will be evaluated based on their exposure to hydrodynamics with the aim to find a suitable spot with a wide range of hydrodynamic conditions. Sites with both low as well as high hydrodynamic forces are favored to test the anchoring forces of the ASG and their suitability to improve environmental conditions to support natural seagrass growth. During the campaign the following parameters will be determined:

  1. The Anchoring forces,
  2. Wave and velocity parameters (to quantify the wave attenuation),
  3. Light intensity (to quantify the impact of ASG on light availability for the growing natural seagrass) and
  4. The impact of ASG on sediment transport.
Figure 1: Schematic drawing of the measuring station and the measuring devices to be used in the field
Figure 1: Schematic drawing of the measuring station and the measuring devices to be used in the field. Picture: FKZ

To conduct the field measurements we plan to set up two measuring stations (see Figure 1) in close vicinity to the coast. To measure the above mentioned parameters a number of measuring devices will be fixed, during the whole campaign and temporally, to the stations. While one measuring station is positioned inside the artificial seagrass meadow, a second station is located outside the meadow and serves as a reference station, with which data from “inside” can be compared to (see Figure 2).

It is expected that the hydrodynamic forces will vary within the seagrass meadow depending on the position relative to the meadow edges. Consequently, we plan to conduct the measurements at different positions as indicated in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Sketch of possible arrangement of measuring stations inside the artificial meadow including potential positions of measuring stations.
Figure 2: Sketch of possible arrangement of measuring stations inside the artificial meadow including potential positions of measuring stations. Picture: FKZ

Finally, the data analysis will clarify how effectively our artificial seagrass will influence the environmental conditions to promote natural seagrass growth, but will also be useful to determine the limits of application under extreme conditions. With the help of these measurements the suitability of the prototype in the field will be investigated so that the ASG can finally be deployed for restoration purposes.

Contact

Forschungszentrum Küste
Gemeinsame Einrichtung der Leibniz Universität Hannover und der Technischen Universität Braunschweig

Moritz Thom, thom@fzk.uni-hannover.de, Phone: +49 511 762-9229

Project partners

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