Angiosperm Monitoring for the EU Water Framework Directive 2013 – 2015: Baseline seagrass surveys of the Montrose Basin, Eden Estuary, Forth Estuary and Loch Ryan
|Title||Angiosperm Monitoring for the EU Water Framework Directive 2013 – 2015: Baseline seagrass surveys of the Montrose Basin, Eden Estuary, Forth Estuary and Loch Ryan|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Foster, R, Davidson, K|
|Keywords||Angiosperm, Eden, Forth, intertidal, Loch Ryan, marine, Montrose, Scotland, Seagrass, SEPA, WFD, Zostera|
Seagrass are marine flowering plants found in shallow coastal areas around the world. Scotland holds 20% of seagrass beds in north-west Europe. They are important for many reasons including supporting various associated species and it is for this reason Scotland has listed them as a Priority Marine Feature. Seagrass are regarded as indicative of a healthy environment and are particularly susceptible to pollution and nutrient enrichment which make them ideal indicator species for reduced water quality. To classify the ecological quality of seagrass within a water body, historical baseline data is compared to the current status of the site chosen. A desk study was carried out to find this baseline data but due to past studies not being completed for the purpose of the WFD, they did not contain the necessary parameters needed to run the UKTAG intertidal seagrass tool. They did, however, provide location information which was used to focus sampling effort. SEPA surveyed 4 sites (Montrose Basin, Eden Estuary, Forth Estuary & Loch Ryan) in order to produce baseline data for future WFD classification. This totaled an area of 2,781,267m2 (~278 ha). Further surveys are needed to provide current data to classify the status of seagrass within the waterbody and also to provide baseline data for other seagrass beds in Scotland.