Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protecting fish nurseries

21.03.2002


A University of Plymouth lecturer and his PhD student are putting Plymouth on the world map for research in a specialist field of marine biology: the importance of seagrass meadows.



Seagrass can grow prolifically in outer estuarine areas and is the only flowering plant fully adapted for life in the marine environment. As well as being home to a wide variety of animal life including fish such as sea horses, its dense beds offer some protection against wave buffeting and the ensuing coastal erosion.

The South West coastline boasts some of the UK’s largest and most important seagrass meadows, so it is fitting that Dr Martin Attrill, Senior Lecturer in Marine and Estuarine Ecology, and his PhD student Emma Jackson are carrying out world-leading research in this field.


Emma, who is in the final stages of her research project, is giving a presentation on the subject at an international conference in Florida from 21-24 March.

Dr Martin Attrill commented: “Plymouth is already known for the excellence of its research in marine science, and I am delighted that Emma will present her research on the world stage. Florida, like Plymouth, is also home to vast areas of seagrass, so our research in this field will be of real interest there."

Although much work has been done elsewhere on the ecological importance of seagrass beds, particularly in the tropics, little had been done in NW Europe until Dr Attrill started the research project with Dr Ashley Rowden (now in New Zealand) and a group of marine biology undergraduate students in 1997. One group of students discovered a large seagrass bed outside Looe that no-one had previously been aware of. Research into seagrass ecology has since become one of Dr Attrill’s areas of special interest, and Plymouth is now the UK centre of expertise on the subject.

Seagrass beds are of commercial as well as ecological interest, since they act as a nursery, feeding area and shelter for many commercially-fished species such as bream and pollack. As Emma explains, her PhD project is part-funded by Jersey’s Department of Fisheries: “The fishing industry is important to Jersey’s economy, and they are keen to do everything they can to protect it. I have been working with them to establish the importance of seagrass beds as nursery areas. The links with the fisheries department has been really helpful. They have their own legislative system, and are able to act quickly to protect the beds, for example by preventing the use of mobile fishing gear.”

Professor Les Ebdon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth, added: “It is research projects like this which bring Plymouth’s maritime connections into the 21st Century, and which are proof of our ability to create a National Centre for Marine Science and Technology in Plymouth. As partners in the MARINEX bid, we hope to build on this tradition of excellence and develop more world-leading marine research in future.”

Tammy Baines | alphagalileo

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>