NOAA Science Helps Portuguese Identify Challenges to Seagrass Restoration
In response to a request from Portugal, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science provided restoration guidance to a project whose goal is to shift parts of the Arrábida Natural Park back to its former seagrass-dominated landscape.
Strong winter storms dramatically reduced both recovering natural seagrass beds as well as beds transplanted in 2007. Lack of fish predators, likely due to overfishing, appears to have resulted in an overabundance of plant-eating fish that graze heavily on the newly colonizing seagrasses. Under such conditions, planting seagrass alone will be insufficient and restoration of the landscape will require restoration of balance to the fish community.