cost of seagrass restoration

Large scale seagrass transplants. Shelf Sci. Ruiz-Halpern, S., Macko, S. A., and Fourqurean, J. W. (2008). Sherman, C., Smith, T., York, P. H., Jarvis, J. C., Ruiz-Montoya, L., and Kendrick, G. A. New Zealand provides an ideal location to incorporate seagrass restoration with existing shellfish restoration efforts that are a major focus of Māori coastal research (e.g., Mullard, 2018). Bot. Leederville: Oceanica Consulting Pty Ltd. Olsen, Y. S., Sánchez-Camacho, M., Murbà, N., and Duarte, C. M. (2012). Canberra, CBR: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Eng. 3:64. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00064, Thomson, J. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2006.01150.x, Leschen, A. S., Ford, K. H., and Evans, N. T. (2010). doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.10.004. Aquat. The majority of seagrass restoration trials to date have used shoot-based techniques, with at least 46 studies since 1986 (Supplementary Table S1). Auckland: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, 190. (2016). Whilst restoration policy is rapidly being embedded into international agreements (e.g., New Deal for Nature, Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties 15 (COP), and climate change challenges for COP26 Glasgow), it is yet to filter down adequately into Australian and New Zealand state or federal government policies for seagrass restoration. 20, 80–90. Mar. (2018). Restoring subtidal marine macrophytes in the Anthropocene: trajectories and future-proofing. The use of artificial in-water structures to protect restoration trials is not new, and some have been shown to improve survival of both transplanted shoots and seedlings (Campbell and Paling, 2003; Tuya et al., 2017). Biol. 143, 203–211. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.08.010, Sørensen, S. T., Campbell, M. L., Duke, E., and Manley-Harris, M. (2018). Mar. First row left to right: buoy-deployed seeding (© Jannes Heusinkveld), Dispenser Injection Seeding (© Laura Govers). If test plantings are successful at a site, larger-scale restoration may accelerate seagrass recovery. Conserv. Overview of Victoria’s Catchment Management Framework. doi: 10.1002/aqc.3141, Loke, L. H. L., Bouma, T., and Todd, P. (2017). Genetic diversity in threatened Posidonia australis seagrass meadows. Prog. Philos. (2002). costof a seagrass restoration project can be more than five doi: 10.1016/0025-326X(90)90502-Y, Whitlock, R. (2014). Accurate information on historical changes is preferred (but not always available), such as persistence, loss, gain, or recovery of seagrass meadows, and environmental drivers affecting their past, present, and future potential distribution such as light, sediment, temperature, and nutrients. Restor. Extrapolating from the costs of the small-scale trial conducted here, it will cost on the order of $10,000 to rehabilitate one hectare of seagrass. Under current estimates of the economic cost of $41 per ton of CO 2 and 2011 estimates of restored seagrass coverage at the VCR LTER of 1700 ha , the restored seagrass provides an estimated social cost of approximately $7,000 yr-1 or $4.10 ha-1 yr-1 of carbon storage. doi: 10.1111/emr.12028. 81, 123–129. Evol. Seagrass restoration is often deemed too expensive due to a multitude of reasons including but not limited to high labor costs, challenges of propagation, and the need for repeated planting efforts due to losses (Bayraktarov et al., 2016). (2018). Pilot experiments on planting seedlings and small seagrass propagules in Western Australia. Do restored oyster reefs benefit seagrasses? Numerous cautions have been raised when considering assisted migration, particularly in aquatic systems (Ricciardi and Simberloff, 2009, but see Schlaepfer et al., 2009): potential for the species to become invasive (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2008; Mueller and Hellman, 2008, Aitken and Whitlock, 2013; Hancock and Gallagher, 2014) and transfer of pests and pathogens from source locations (Simler et al., 2019). Conservation Status of New Zealand Indigenous Vascular Plants, 2017. Sci. 16, 2366–2375. In Australia, estimates of seagrass coverage are still incomplete, with many regions currently lacking this basic knowledge (York et al., 2017). Adapt. Res. Govers, L. L. (2018). Whakatane: Environment Bay of Plenty. To upscale restoration programs, the involvement and commitment of industry partners, local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and state and federal government agencies are required to establish multi-year to decadal funded restoration projects. Biol. Auckland: Department of Conservation, 90. NIWA Report no. 83, 483–490. Modeling seagrass density and distribution in response to changes in turbidity stemming from bivalve filtration and seagrass sediment stabilization. (2019). The use of these biodegradable products should continue to be explored to improve seagrass restoration outcomes through the challenging establishment phase, although their utility will likely vary with location. 102, 125–137. Among the studies with long-term monitoring, many lack regular monitoring, with a few studies only monitoring at the start and end of the restoration trial (e.g., Connolly et al., 2016). doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0412-1, Smith, T. M., York, P. H., Broitman, B. R., Thiel, M., Hays, G. C., et al. (2019). 2009. Ecol. (2019). Restor. 350, 176–193. Belowground stressors and long-term seagrass declines in a historically degraded seagrass ecosystem after improved water quality. Iron additions reduce sulfate reduction rates and improve seagrass growth on organic-enriched carbonate sediments. Assisted gene flow to facilitate local adaptation to climate change. Biol. 15:20190460. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0460, Jordan, R., Hoffmann, A. Lett. Some of the key ecosystem services provided by seagrasses include coastal protection (Ondiviela et al., 2014; Boudouresque et al., 2016), nutrient cycling (Hemminga and Duarte, 2000; McGlathery et al., 2007), pathogen reduction (Lamb et al., 2017), storage of sedimentary carbon (Macreadie et al., 2014; Serrano et al., 2019), and the provision of nursery grounds for many species that support fisheries (de la Torre-Castro et al., 2014; Tuya et al., 2014; Nordlund et al., 2018b). Spatial patterns of genetic connectivity can inform decision-making and help to prioritize management actions (e.g., Sherman et al., 2016). Mar. 21, 1419–1426. (2008). Contrasting recovery of shallow and deep water seagrass communities following climate associated losses in tropical north Queensland, Australia. Going Forward: What Are the Gaps to Be Filled? doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190914. This method is promising, especially for sites with strong tidal currents, such as the intertidal zone, where hand-casting and BuDS have not been very successful. U.S.A. 106, 12377–12381. Genetic signatures of Bassian glacial refugia and contemporary connectivity in a marine foundation species. Aquat. Ecol. Aquat. Ecol. Eutrophication in shallow coastal bays and lagoons: the role of plants in the coastal filter. Ecol. comm.). doi: 10.1007/s10531-012-0313-3, Serrano, O., Lovelock, C. E., Atwood, T. B., Macreadie, P. I., Canto, R., Phinn, S., et al. (2013). 14, 68–71. For. This knowledge combined with site-specific studies can be used to inform future development and restoration plans in terms of ecological engineering. Incorporating positive interactions in aquatic restoration and conservation. This is important given the differences in the geographical range of some Australian and New Zealand species. (2010). (2017). Shelf Sci. While grassroots restoration efforts are important for upscaling restoration efforts, there needs to be effective communication of the science underpinning restoration to regional managers and community volunteers to improve the likelihood of success. Bot. 448, 173–176. 11, 1472–1488. 169, 207–215. They are facing declines around the world due to global and local threats such as rising ocean temperatures, coastal development and pollution from sewage outfalls and agriculture. 1998) • 1 ac ~ $100K (RKK 2001) • 1 ac (TERFS method) ~ projected at $3.2M (Walker 2003) • 1 ac (staple method) ~ projected at $4.1M (Walker 2003) No one really knows the cost of lost habitat functions… Terrados et al. (2020a). Collaborative designing of restoration programs between researchers, managers, and the various community stakeholders would likely increase restoration success, as each of these groups bring their own unique (though sometimes overlapping) skills and experiences. Bot. Facilitating time on Country and aligning research questions with the land and sea management aspirations of the local Indigenous community can be developed through employment and training opportunities. doi: 10.1126/science.aal1956, Leathwick, J. R., Moilanen, A., Francis, M., Elith, J., and Taylor, P. (2008). Biogeochem 87, 113–126. Valuable lessons are still to be learned from the broader field of applied ecosystem restoration and continued exploration of methodologies will yield improved outcomes for some systems. (submitted). doi: 10.3354/meps12029, Nursey-Bray, M., Palmer, R., Smith, T. F., and Rist, P. (2019). doi: 10.1016/s0925-8574(01)00065-9. January 25, 2018. Bull. Māori Mussel Memory. Ecol. (2018). The seagrass salvage program recovers seagrasses which would otherwise be lost as a result of marine construction (i.e., docks, piers) and transplants the grass to areas of similar habitat where beds are in need of restoration. Land-use planning, wetland protection, and planting of riparian buffers can help restore and protect seagrasses. Aquat. 144, 1644–1654. Population genetic studies in combination with hydrodynamic models have increased our understanding of the role/potential of connectivity in natural seagrass meadow recovery (e.g., Sinclair et al., 2016, 2018; Smith et al., 2018). State Government of Victoria (2020). In contrast, restoration of marine coastal ecosystems (seagrasses, macroalgae, corals, saltmarshes, mangroves) is still a maturing area of science (Wood et al., 2019). (2015). Adaptive genetic diversity of trees for forest conservation in a future climate: a case study on Norway spruce in Austria. Seagrass depth limits. Recruitment and colonisation of vegetative fragments of Posidonia australis and Posidonia coriacea. Fish. 83, 491–499. Well-established volunteer-based programs are often associated with assigning simple, realistic, achievable and locally appropriate tasks (Danielsen et al., 2005), while keeping volunteers and the wider community up to date on the progress or results of the program (Sharpe and Conrad, 2006). 6:455. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00455, Kendrick, G. A., Waycott, M., Carruthers, T. J. 25, 605–617. As such, the benefits of iron addition in combination with this anchoring technique should also be considered as a mechanism for increasing restoration success. can we do it? (2012). Natl. Similarly, plant-soil feedbacks are emerging as an important area in terrestrial restoration projects, where interactions between plants, soil and soil microorganisms can have positive impacts on ecosystem functions. Such approaches can help to broaden the genetic basis of restored populations to overcome risks maladaptation by providing new genetic variants for selection to act on (Prober et al., 2015; Wood et al., 2019). doi: 10.1007/s12237-014-9823-4, Tanner, J. E., Irving, A. D., Fernandes, M., Fotheringham, D., McArdle, A., and Murray-Jones, S. (2014). 13, 499–506. Ser. These environments are particularly susceptible to warming and extreme temperature fluctuations, compared with open coastal environments (Harley et al., 2006). Sci. (2020). Small isolated populations often have similar issues (Kendrick et al., 2012; Reynolds et al., 2013; McMahon et al., 2014). Removing threats, proximity to donor seagrass beds, planting techniques, project size and site selection all play roles in a restoration effort’s success. Int. doi: 10.1071/MF12032, Statton, J., Dixon, K. W., Irving, A. D., Jackson, E. L., Kendrick, G. A., Orth, R. J., et al. Eng. Indigenous cultures have been keen observers and active managers of their natural environment for thousands of years, and have long-held cultural and traditional responsibilities to protect and manage their land and sea country. Rev. Seagrass ecosystems reduce exposure to bacterial pathogens of humans, fishes, and invertebrates. Oceanica Consulting Pty Ltd. (2011). 39, 830–838. “Review of Australian rehabilitation and restoration programs,” in Seagrass in Australia. 6:10280. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10280, Boudouresque, C., Pergent, G., Pergent-Martini, C., Ruitton, S., Thibaut, T., and Verlaque, M. (2016). Ecol. Seagrass wrack has many important ecological functions (Kirkman and Kendrick, 1997; Ince et al., 2007; Del Vecchio et al., 2017), but can also pose problems for coastal managers as its over-accumulation is often viewed as a nuisance by the public and high costs are incurred in their removal (Macreadie et al., 2017). As an extension, understanding seagrass-microbial interactions could allow us to manipulate the seagrass microbiome in order to increase restoration success, given the strong effect the microbiome can have on sediment biogeochemical processes. 217, 1449–1462. Biol. Mar. Significant investment in seagrass restoration or the creation of new seagrass meadows where they were previously not found has been used to facilitate recovery of seagrass meadows in different parts of the world including Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand (e.g., Campbell, 2002; Bastyan and Cambridge, 2008; Orth and McGlathery, 2012; Matheson et al., 2017; Paulo et al., 2019). Aquaculture of Posidonia australis seedlings for seagrass restoration programs: effect of sediment type and organic enrichment on growth. “Empowering indigenous community engagement and approaches in lake restoration: an Āotearoa-New Zealand perspective,” in Lake Restoration Handbook. However, artificial seagrass is often made of plastic, and given the growing awareness of marine plastic pollution (Haward, 2018), its use in restoration is generally undesirable. This method was trialed in the intertidal Dutch Wadden Sea, using Z. marina seeds in 2017 and 2018 (Govers, 2018). A., and Johnson, M. S. (2002). 208, 171–188. Trophic cascades in a temperate seagrass community. Indigenous biocultural knowledge in ecosystem science and management: review and insight from Australia. (2011). Kirkman, H. (1989). Conserv. Biol. —Few seagrass transplant projects have relied on seeds, and those projects using eelgrass seeds have generally found low rates of seedling establishment (<10%). (2012). doi: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2010.08.005. Ecol. The effect of storage condition on viability of Enhalus acoroides seedlings. A three-stage symbiosis forms the foundation of seagrass ecosystems. The technique is also currently suitable for seeds between 0.5 and 4 mm in size, however, the equipment needed can be adjusted accordingly for different seed sizes. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.08.020, Matheson, F. E., Reed, J., Dos Santos, V. M., Mackay, G., and Cummings, V. J. doi: 10.1016/S0022-0981(00)00195-7, Trevathan-Tackett, S. M., Sherman, C. D., Huggett, M. J., Campbell, A. H., Laverock, B., Hurtado-McCormick, V., et al. Campbell, M. L. (2002). 87, 731–744. Restoration success rates are improving globally, and while future failures cannot be ruled out, they will offer guidance for improving subsequent attempts. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00739.x, Hancock, N., and Gallagher, R. (2014). Mar. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200059, Lee, K.-S., and Park, J.-I. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2005.03.005, Plutchak, R., Major, K., Cebrian, J., Foster, C. D., Miller, M. E. C., Anton, A., et al. 53, 567–578. New Zealand seagrass – more threatened than IUCN indicates. Plastic pollution of the world’s seas and oceans as a contemporary challenge in ocean governance. Silliman, B. R., Schrack, E., He, Q., Cope, R., Santoni, A., van der Heide, T., et al. Pretoria: Department of Environmental Affairs. (2019). 21, 3786–3799. doi: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2016.12.003, Dos Santos, V. M., Matheson, F. E., Pilditch, C. A., and Elger, A. 40, 217–225. Nat. 250, 133–167. (2007). Change Biol. 127, 57–61. In turn, scientists can also gain valuable insights into local environmental and socio-economic conditions from regional managers who have on-the-ground experience and knowledge, which could prove to be extremely beneficial to restoration programs. Ecol. Efforts are already being made to make use of this valuable resource, such as during the aquaculture of P. australis seedlings where it was recommended as a low cost and readily available nutritional supplement in restoration (Statton et al., 2013). The specific goal was to develop techniques and infrastructure to fully exploit potential mechanized seed-harvesting capabilities, and to identify optimal conditions for storage and survival of large volumes of harvested seeds. Seagrass in Porirua Harbour: Preliminary Assessment of Restoration Potential. Despite the potential to curb the influence of anthropogenic stressors, rehabilitation efforts on a global scale have seen varying degrees of success. These include tying seagrass shoots to metal frames which are lowered to the seafloor (e.g., Transplanting Eelgrass Remotely with Frame Systems (TERFS), Calumpong and Fonseca, 2001; Wendländer et al., 2020), or to oyster shells (Lee and Park, 2008). Norman Gardens, QLD: Central Queensland University. Aitken, S. N., and Whitlock, M. C. (2013). doi: 10.1111/geb.12713, Smith, T. M., York, P. H., Macreadie, P. I., Keough, M. J., Ross, D. J., and Sherman, C. D. H. (2016). Niche partitioning of intertidal seagrasses: evidence of the influence of substrate temperature. Res. 120, 585–594. Emerging tools and techniques developed within the international seagrass restoration community. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.008, Erftemeijer, P. L. A., and Middelburg, J. J. However, this negates the benefits of self-facilitation (van der Heide et al., 2007). doi: 10.1080/00288330.2016.1265993. Root microbiomes as indicators of seagrass health. It is important to consider how Traditional Owners and the local community are likely to benefit from a collaborative project. However, there is as yet no similar requirement for coastal wetlands (which include seagrass meadows to 2 m below low water). 12:e12605. Insights into the assisted colonization debate from Australia. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2008.00635.x. A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks. However, there is no “one solution fits all” approach to suit the life history traits of all species across all conditions. Hamilton: NIWAR. Seagrass restoration trials started during the first half of the twentieth century, but efforts remained low until the 1970s, with 20–60 trials initiated per decade. Res. Sci. Knowledge sharing can be facilitated through a variety of platforms including formal partnerships and agreements between industry and research institutions to collaborate on delivering restoration projects, workshops that facilitate a broad range of stakeholder engagement and through the development of network communities. Trans. Adelaide: Department for Environment and Water. doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0096-y, Aronson, J., Goodwin, N., Orlando, L., Eisenberg, C., and Cross, A. T. (2020). 45, 91–99. 96, 181–187. HAM2010-023. 76, 175–184. (2005). B., Orth, R. J., Dennison, W. C., Olyarnik, S., et al. Aquat. J. Appl. (2015). 567, 79–93. doi: 10.1890/15-1077, Beck, M. W., Brumbaugh, R. D., Airoldi, L., Carranza, A., Coen, L. D., Crawford, C., et al. Environ. Matheson, NIWA, pers. These are often planted directly into the substrate (e.g., Matheson et al., 2017), however, several anchoring techniques have been used to varying degrees of success. Biol. Projections of suitable habitat under climate change scenarios: implications for trans-boundary assisted colonization. J. Appl. (2012). Part I: a comparison of techniques and associated costs. However, there are opportunities through the coastal development design phases to incorporate ecological engineering, such as building breakwaters to mimic shallow embayments to enhance the settlement of seagrass seeds, propagules or fragments. 74, 77–86. Ecol. For example, some species such as Halophila ovalis, can be found from the tropical waters of Southeast Asia to the temperate waters of Western Australia and New South Wales (Short et al., 2010). Such collaborations with Indigenous sea ranger programs provide a great model to facilitate restoration and assist the existing traditional custodianship of Sea Country into the future. Severe continental-scale impacts of climate change are happening now: extreme climate events impact marine habitat forming communities along 45% of Australia’s coast. J. Exp. Newell, R. I., and Koch, E. W. (2004). Ecol. (2016). These materials can promote the establishment of naturally dispersing seedlings (Tanner, 2015), protect seeds from predation (Orth et al., 2006), enhance survival of restored shoots (Ferretto et al., 2019), and exclude bioturbating animals, thus increasing survival rates (Wendländer et al., 2020). Water clarity and eelgrass responses to nitrogen reductions in the eutrophic Skive Fjord. Identifying knowledge gaps in seagrass research and management: an Australian perspective. (2014). bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/2020.05.06.080127, Martin, V., Smith, L., Bowling, A., Christidis, L., Lloyd, D., and Pecl, G. (2016). —Highlighted the importance of transplant timing, use of fertilizer, labor requirements, and initial success of various transplant techniques. Ocean Technol. Improving mechanical seagrass transplantation. GRID-Arendal: United Nations Environment Programme. Availale at: https// (accessed May 28, 2020). Appl. (2019). FEMS Microbiol. Global analysis of seagrass restoration: the importance of large-scale planting. in Tauranga Harbour from 1959–1996. SeaArt – Long Term Establishment of SEAgrass Ecosystems Through Biodegradable ARTificial Meadows. Seven pearls of wisdom: advice from traditional owners to improve engagement of local indigenous people in shellfish ecosystem restoration. Matheson, F., Wadhwa, S., Taumoepeau, A., and Smith, J. Received: 14 February 2020; Accepted: 06 July 2020;Published: 14 August 2020. The development of science-based restoration tools for seagrass is an essential part of the process supporting NOAA’s conservation, restoration and litigation efforts in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Seagrass isn't sexy, but 'nurseries of the Gulf' are a key part of oil spill restoration Updated Jan 13, 2019; Posted Feb 06, 2015 Seagrass restoration project Clim. Appl. Eco-engineering and management strategies for marine infrastructure to reduce establishment and dispersal of non-indigenous species. “The seagrasses of New Zealand,” in World Atlas of Seagrasses, eds E. P. Green and F. T. Short (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), 134–143. Australian shellfish ecosystems: past distribution, current status and future direction. Nat. Restoration research in Australia and New Zealand has focused on small-scale experimental tests using a variety of techniques ranging from the planting of sprigs (seagrass fragments) or plugs (seagrass cores) to seed-based restoration (Supplementary Table S1; Figure 1).

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