Seagrass Ecology & Monitoring

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Seagrass meadows are vital coastal ecosystems. They act as erosion control, help to regulate the flow of nutrients and sedimentation onto coral reefs and provide habitats and nurseries for many marine organisms. They also form some of the world’s most important carbon sinks.

These meadows are declining at an alarming rate, with global estimates observing loss of about 30% since the records began in 1879. Furthermore, rates of decline have accelerated from a median of 0.9% per year prior to 1940 to 7% per year since 1990.

More needs to be done to protect these ecosystems and so this course has been designed to make people better informed about the anthropogenic threats they face and to produce research outputs to help progress our understanding and increase our conservation efforts.

This course is designed to give you an introduction to seagrass ecosystems and how to scientifically assessing the health, biodiversity and abundance of different species . The course teaches you how to use real world scientific sampling and survey techniques and certifies you to conduct your own surveys and report data back to the online database.

Although not a universal requirement, if taking this course in areas with coral reef ecosystems, we highly recommend that you conduct the Ecological Monitoring Program first, so that you learn the foundational knowledge required to understand the adjacent coral reef ecosystem

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