Opportunity map for subtidal seagrass

Measuring environmental conditions - August 2020

To map which areas in the Wadden Sea are most suitable for the recovery of permanently submerged seagrass, measurements of all kinds of environmental conditions are required. A suitable recovery location is characterized by, for example, clear water so that sufficient light can reach the plant, low water flow rates and low wave heights. During an entire year, environmental conditions are measured at nine locations in the western Wadden Sea: flow speed, water level, temperature and light intensity. This information, together with knowledge from the literature and statistical models, will later be incorporated into the subtidal seagrass opportunity map.

The measurement sensors are attached to metal frames that are strong enough to withstand a dynamic system such as the Wadden Sea. In June the measurement frames were constructed, and placed at various locations in the western Wadden Sea by the research vessel Stern. Every four weeks the measuring frames are visited and maintained by the Wadden Mosaic team. Maintaining and regularly cleaning the sensors is important to prevent the sensors from becoming covered with barnacles and algae.

Research in COVID-19 times
Originally the idea was to go out to sea with the entire Wadden Mosaic team and work on several sub-projects during longer trips. Unfortunately, this is not possible for the time being due to the corona measures, which limits the number of passengers in limited spaces such as boats. Fortunately, adjustments in the plans made it possible to carry out the fieldwork for the seagrass sub-project.

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