Seagrasses are the only flowering plants inhabiting marine environment, that flower underwater. They can tolerate high salinity and are an important food source for marine turtles. They also serve as a nursery for juvenile fish. They prefer sheltered environments such as bays and need light to photosynthesize. Seagrass beds are however easily damaged due to anchoring, trawling and propellers. On the second day of the Tropical Marine Biology fieldwork held at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) we surveyed seagrass beds in Baileys Bay. We looked at change in segrass density with depth (a proxy for light) and wave exposure. A second group looked at the impact of boat mooring on seagrass community. The data is now being analysed, but it looks like seagrass is more dense in shallow, sheltered areas. Different types of mooring also influence the seagrass density and the chains seem to have high scour, which creates halos of low density seagrass in close proximity to the mooring.
Area of the survey – Bailey’s Bay location in the Bermuda archipelago.
4 x 100m transects starting at a single point in the most exposed area (entry to the bay).