Nordic seagrass ecosystems

This research training course is an activity of the Nordic Seagrass Network, focusing on the researcher education on seagrass meadows - one of the most common, productive and diverse marine ecosystems in the world.

Seagrasses are at a critical juncture, heavily impacted by human activities and climate change. About 20% of the world's seagrass has been lost in the past 10 years.

The Nordic countries have research traditions dating back to 1870, and also have some of the most extensive data sets and the longest time series on Zostera marina (eelgrass). They represent different, but highly complementary research traditions and expertise on the field.

The Researcher Network Nordic Seagrass Network was funded in 2009 by NordForsk, gathering seagrass research groups from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Estonia. The main objective is to join efforts to understand and protect the valuable resource seagrass meadows represent.

Seagrass ecology suffers from lack of attention in the educational system, and devoted PhD programs are virtually lacking. This is a bottleneck for successful development of this research field in the region.

This research training course covers three main topics:

1) Seagrasses distribution and growth

2) Sediment biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling

3) Biodiversity and trophic interactions.

The main aims are to

  • give students an insight into the current research activities in the field of seagrass ecosystem ecology
  • provide a holistic methodological framework by demonstration of the diverse toolbox available for seagrass investigations ranging from field techniques to statistical modelling
  • give participants an opportunity to interact with and learn from the leading scientist within different fields of seagrass research
  • motivate students to become professional researchers by participating in the Nordic Seagrass Network
Facts about the project
Project leader

Marianne Holmer, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark