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Declines of Eelgrass in Estuarine Research Reserves Along the East Coast, U.S.A., Part 1: Problems of Pollution and Disease

Author(s): Frederick T. Short, David M. Burdick, Jaimie Wolf, Galen E. Jones

NCCOS Center: CSCOR (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/about/centers/cscor)

Name of Publisher: University of New Hampshire Printing Services

Place of Publication: Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Ha

Publication Type: NOAA Special Reports

Date of Publication: 1993

Reference Information:

Abstract: Eelgrass, Zostera marina L., is a submerged marine vascular plant that provides the basic structure of an extensive and important estuarine and coastal ecosystem. Currently, eelgrass populations around the world are declining dramatically due primarily to two causes: human pollution and a disease. The extensive loss of eelgrass threatens major alterations to the coastal environment and to the waterfowl and fish that depend on these plant communities. However, the eelgrass declines represent natural experiments that provide an opportunity to investigate a disease's impact on an ecosystem, the characteristics of pollution-related declines, and fmally, how declines from both causes can be diminished or mitigated.

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