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 and opportunity to investigate a disease's impact on an ecosystem, the characteristics of pollution-related declines, and finally, how declines from both causes can be diminished or mitigated.
U.S. Department of Commerce I National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration I National Estuarine Research Reserve Program and Coastal Ocean Program
Short, Frederick T.; Burdick, David M.; Wolf, Jaimie S.; and Jones, Galen E., "Eelgrass in Estuarine Research Reserves Along the East Coast, USA" (1993). PREP Reports & Publications. 393.