European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

Data set information

| Query EDMED |     

General
Data set name

Eelgrass in Danish coastal waters

Data holding centreAarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
CountryDenmark  Denmark
Time periodFrom 1989 and ongoing
OngoingYes
Geographical area

Danish coastal waters

Observations 
Parameters

Macroalgae generic abundance in water bodies

Description 
Summary

Eelgrass is the most common marine angiosperm in Danish coastal waters where it dominates the vegetation on sandy substrates. Eelgrass plays an important part in coastal areas due to its large productivity and biomass. Eelgrass meadows are nursery areas for fish and invertebrates and the well-developed rhizomes contribute to stabilising the sediment and thereby reducing coastal erosion. Eelgrass grows from the coast and down to maximum depths that depend on water clarity. In the inner parts of estuaries, the deepest eelgrass patches typically occur at a depth of around 3 m, while along open coasts eelgrass typically occurs down to 5-6 m depth. The deepest registrations of eelgrass in Danish coastal waters are found at about 10 m. The cover of eelgrass typically describes a bell-shaped pattern with depth. Cover is low close to the coast where physical exposure generates loss of biomass, and in deeper water where light limits growth. Thus, maximum cover occurs at intermediate depths where exposure is moderate and light levels are still considerable. The monitoring programme in connection with the Action plan for the marine environment includes measurements of the depth distribution of eelgrass as well as of the percentage coverage of eelgrass. Reductions in nutrient loads are expected to reduce the biomass of phytoplankton, thereby improving water clarity and allowing eelgrass to grow at greater depths and obtain higher coverage in deeper waters.

OriginatorsAarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
Data web sitehttp://mads-en.dmu.dk
Availability 
OrganisationAarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
AvailabilityUnrestricted
ContactDorte Krause Jensen (Senior researcher)
Address

Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
399 Frederiksborgvej P.O. Box 358
Roskilde

DK-4000
Denmark

Telephone+45 46 30 12 00
Facsimile+45 46 30 12 11
Emaildkj@dmu.dk
Administration 
Collating centreAarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
Local identifier13032009
Global identifier1123
Last revised2009-03-13