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Title: Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) Restoration in Puget Sound: Development of a Site Suitability Assessment Process

Abstract

The restoration of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), a critical ecosystem component and ‘vital sign’ indicator of ecosystem health, is a high priority in Puget Sound, Washington, United States. In 2011, the state set a restoration target to increase eelgrass area by 4,200 ha, a 20%) increase over the present 21,500 ha by 2020. In a region as large and complex as Puget Sound, locating areas to restore eelgrass effectively and efficiently is challenging. We developed a modeling and screening process to identify and test potential restoration sites. The spatially explicit analysis of habitat suitability incorporated information from predictive models of hydrodynamics and eelgrass biomass, shoreline manager input, historical and current eelgrass area, substrate, stressors, test plantings, and monitoring of light, temperature, and survival. We evaluated 2,630 sites from which we identified 6,292 ha of highly to very highly suitable conditions for potential eelgrass habitat, which provides ample area for restoring eelgrass to meet the 20% target. Test plantings were successful at four of nine areas, and indicated significant site-specific data needs to improve predictive capability. We summarized the results of our analysis on maps of habitat suitability for the majority of the ~3,220 km of shoreline in Puget Sound, whichmore » serve as a starting point for restoration site selection and planning. Overall, our approach provides a foundation for identifying and testing potential restoration sites, and highlights information needs and potential management actions to reduce stressors and increase eelgrass cover to meet the challenging restoration goal.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]
  1. EMERITUS PROGRAM
  2. Washington State Department of Natural Resources
  3. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
  4. Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1542069
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-128364
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Restoration Ecology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 6
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
eelgrass model, Puget Sound, restoration sites, Zostera marina

Citation Formats

Thom, Ronald M., Gaeckle, Jeff, Buenau, Kate E., Borde, Amy B., Vavrinec, John, Aston, Lara M., Woodruff, Dana L., Khangaonkar, Tarang P., and Kaldy, James. Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) Restoration in Puget Sound: Development of a Site Suitability Assessment Process. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1111/rec.12702.
Thom, Ronald M., Gaeckle, Jeff, Buenau, Kate E., Borde, Amy B., Vavrinec, John, Aston, Lara M., Woodruff, Dana L., Khangaonkar, Tarang P., & Kaldy, James. Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) Restoration in Puget Sound: Development of a Site Suitability Assessment Process. United States. doi:10.1111/rec.12702.
Thom, Ronald M., Gaeckle, Jeff, Buenau, Kate E., Borde, Amy B., Vavrinec, John, Aston, Lara M., Woodruff, Dana L., Khangaonkar, Tarang P., and Kaldy, James. Thu . "Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) Restoration in Puget Sound: Development of a Site Suitability Assessment Process". United States. doi:10.1111/rec.12702.
@article{osti_1542069,
title = {Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) Restoration in Puget Sound: Development of a Site Suitability Assessment Process},
author = {Thom, Ronald M. and Gaeckle, Jeff and Buenau, Kate E. and Borde, Amy B. and Vavrinec, John and Aston, Lara M. and Woodruff, Dana L. and Khangaonkar, Tarang P. and Kaldy, James},
abstractNote = {The restoration of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), a critical ecosystem component and ‘vital sign’ indicator of ecosystem health, is a high priority in Puget Sound, Washington, United States. In 2011, the state set a restoration target to increase eelgrass area by 4,200 ha, a 20%) increase over the present 21,500 ha by 2020. In a region as large and complex as Puget Sound, locating areas to restore eelgrass effectively and efficiently is challenging. We developed a modeling and screening process to identify and test potential restoration sites. The spatially explicit analysis of habitat suitability incorporated information from predictive models of hydrodynamics and eelgrass biomass, shoreline manager input, historical and current eelgrass area, substrate, stressors, test plantings, and monitoring of light, temperature, and survival. We evaluated 2,630 sites from which we identified 6,292 ha of highly to very highly suitable conditions for potential eelgrass habitat, which provides ample area for restoring eelgrass to meet the 20% target. Test plantings were successful at four of nine areas, and indicated significant site-specific data needs to improve predictive capability. We summarized the results of our analysis on maps of habitat suitability for the majority of the ~3,220 km of shoreline in Puget Sound, which serve as a starting point for restoration site selection and planning. Overall, our approach provides a foundation for identifying and testing potential restoration sites, and highlights information needs and potential management actions to reduce stressors and increase eelgrass cover to meet the challenging restoration goal.},
doi = {10.1111/rec.12702},
journal = {Restoration Ecology},
number = 6,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}