Seagrass Ecosystem Research Group (SERG)
Inter-disciplinary marine science for seagrass conservation (Eelgrass)
Seagrass Ecosystem Research Group is a joint inter-disciplinary marine research collaboration between marine biologists in Biosciences at Swansea University, Wales and social scientists at the PLACE Institute at Cardiff University, Wales. We are engaged in basic and applied research into the structure, function and resilience of seagrass meadows (eelgrass beds, seagrass beds) within a linked social ecological system and the food security support these meadows provide. Our seagrass research crosses the disciplines of marine biology, human ecology, social science, environmental economics and political governance. Particular current focus in on seagrass and food security.
Seagrasses (often known as eelgrass and submerged aquatic vegetation) are flowering plants that form meadows (or beds) covering up to 600000km squared of the oceans. Seagass meadows exist in sheltered marine and estuarine environments. They are important nursery habitats, harbour significant biodiversity and represent at large proportion of the total marine primary production. they also act as global carbon sinks and make a major contribution to global nitrogen cycling. These ecosystems are sadly being lost at alarming rates globally and research is required to help direct the future conservation of these productive and biodiverse systems. Understanding the key drivers of their biology and their socio-economic values are critical to developing long-term conservation management strategies that promote their resilience into the future.
The research work of SERG is globally focussed and includes biology, ecology and social based projects and surveys running in Wales, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and Indonesia and involves collaborators at a number of internationally leading institutes. Specific sites of interest are Porthdinllaen in North Wales, The Wakatobi Marine Park, Indonesia, South Caicos in the Urks and Caicos and Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers currently conduct research in Zostera marina (eelgrass), Thalassia spp. and Posidonia dominated systems.
****Scientists at SERG have just formed an organisation dedicated to the conservation of seagrass. Its called 'Project Seagrass' -please check us out!!
For information on Marine Biology at Swansea University click here
To keep up to date on our current acvtivities, including our Zostera marina restoration project at Swansea, see our facebook page.
***New Paper Published in Marine Pollution Bulletin on Seagrass meadows as coupled social ecological systems – click here***
To see our new video click here