Event Title

Long-term Trends in Eelgrass Distribution and Coastal Development of the Salish Sea

Presentation Abstract

In the Salish Sea, eelgrass meadows provide structurally complex habitat for a myriad of fish and invertebrate species, supporting marine ecosystems and stabilizing coastal sediments. Seagrasses of all species however, are in worldwide decline as increasing coastal development threatens the function and diversity of nearshore marine ecosystems. Long-term studies of the spatio-temporal dynamics of eelgrass in the Salish Sea are an important step in identifying contributing factors to eelgrass decline, and developing effective conservation and restoration strategies. One such dynamic to quantify are the impacts of coastal development on the distribution and trends of eelgrass ecosystems.

Utilizing a historic aerial photography dataset covering the Southern Gulf Islands, BC over the years of 1932 to 2014, eelgrass beds were mapped using digital image classification methods for selected sites within the region. Through the application of a GIS change analysis, trends in eelgrass distribution were characterized and compared to changes in shoreline development and land use change in adjacent catchment areas. The results of this analysis can be applied to education, conservation, and restoration practices to prevent further eelgrass decline in the Salish Sea and beyond.

Session Title

Habitat

Conference Track

Salish Sea Snapshots

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Snapshot

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Long-term Trends in Eelgrass Distribution and Coastal Development of the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

In the Salish Sea, eelgrass meadows provide structurally complex habitat for a myriad of fish and invertebrate species, supporting marine ecosystems and stabilizing coastal sediments. Seagrasses of all species however, are in worldwide decline as increasing coastal development threatens the function and diversity of nearshore marine ecosystems. Long-term studies of the spatio-temporal dynamics of eelgrass in the Salish Sea are an important step in identifying contributing factors to eelgrass decline, and developing effective conservation and restoration strategies. One such dynamic to quantify are the impacts of coastal development on the distribution and trends of eelgrass ecosystems.

Utilizing a historic aerial photography dataset covering the Southern Gulf Islands, BC over the years of 1932 to 2014, eelgrass beds were mapped using digital image classification methods for selected sites within the region. Through the application of a GIS change analysis, trends in eelgrass distribution were characterized and compared to changes in shoreline development and land use change in adjacent catchment areas. The results of this analysis can be applied to education, conservation, and restoration practices to prevent further eelgrass decline in the Salish Sea and beyond.