Eelgrass

Monday, October 9

Sarah Lummis on “Eelgrass Ecosystems:
Understanding Impacts of Climate Change
and Human Activities”

Eelgrass is one of 72 species of seagrass, a group
of flowering plants whose ancestors evolved from
land back into the ocean. Seagrasses are true
angiosperms, and are important nursery habitats
for many fish species in the shallow coastal areas
where they grow. Eelgrass is a dominant seagrass
species along our coasts, forming thick beds in areas
with soft sandy bottoms and providing ecosystem services such as water filtration and sediment stabilization.

Presenter Sarah Lummis will go into detail about three eelgrass ecosystem projects:
• Using an experimental mesocosm system to examine eelgrass ecosystem responses to ocean acidification and increased nutrient loading
• How does eelgrass respond to oyster aquaculture?
• Can we develop a drone monitoring protocol as a cost-effective surveying alternative?

Sarah Lummis is a marine ecologist from UC Santa Cruz working to better understand sustainability in eelgrass ecosystems at a landscape level. She studies seagrass ecosystems, and how the function
and services of these ecosystems will be affected by climate change and anthropogenic impacts to the coast. Recently, Sarah has been collaborating with The Nature Conservancy and Hog Island Oyster Company
to better understand the impacts of oyster aquaculture on eelgrass ecosystems. She likes working on questions at the intersection of science and policy, and is excited to share her results with both resource
managers and local communities.