Coastal Review website on Duke University Marine Lab Study

| David Randle |

Coastal Review website on Duke University Marine Lab Study & the following provided by David Randle, Managing Director of the Blue Community Consortium & his synopsis of the study is:

  • 2/3 of Sea Grass restoration efforts fail
  • Clam addition was positively associated with multiple metrics seagrass productivity including significantly greater shoot length as well as patch expansion, and belowground biomass
  • Seed patches with clams expanded on average 500% from initial area measurements, whereas, patches without clams did not change significantly in size
  • For seeds, clam additions reversed restoration outplant trajectory from failure to success, while intraspecific facilitation greatly increased expansion rates of adult outplants
  • The “restoration from seed experiment demonstrated that clam addition was associated with greater patch productivity and expansion.  From subsequent CN analyses, we hypothesize that the mechanism for enhanced growth in our seed experiment was greater nitrogen uptake and concentration in newly germinated seagrass seeds and/or seedlings.  The higher nitrogen content in both the leaves and rhizomes may elevate early seagrass growth.”
  • The conclusion of the study states “Our study adds to the growing amount of literature that calls for a new coastal restoration paradigm that systemically includes positive interaction and facilitation theory into designs.”