Eelgrass Restoration by Seed Maintains Genetic Diversity: Case Study from a Coastal Bay System

Reynolds, L.K., M. Waycott, K.J. McGlathery, R.J. Orth and J.C. Zieman

Publication Date:

Genetic diversity is positively associated with plant fitness, stability, and the provision of ecosystem services. Preserving genetic diversity is therefore considered an important component of ecosystem restoration as well as a measure of its success. We examined the genetic diversity of restored Zostera marina meadows in a coastal bay system along the USA mid-Atlantic coast using microsatellite markers to compare donor and recipient meadows. We hypothesize that the high genetic diversity in seagrasses restored using seeds rather than adult plants confers a greater level of ecosystem resilience to the restored meadows.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Ecology Progress Series