The influence of wave energy and sediment transport on seagrass distribution

Estuaries and Coasts
By:  and 



A coupled hydrodynamic and sediment transport model (Delft3D) was used to simulate the water levels, waves, and currents associated with a seagrass (Zostera marina) landscape along a 4-km stretch of coast in Puget Sound, WA, USA. A hydroacoustic survey of seagrass percent cover and nearshore bathymetry was conducted, and sediment grain size was sampled at 53 locations. Wave energy is a primary factor controlling seagrass distribution at the site, accounting for 73% of the variability in seagrass minimum depth and 86% of the variability in percent cover along the shallow, sandy portions of the coast. A combination of numerical simulations and a conceptual model of the effect of sea-level rise on the cross-shore distribution of seagrass indicates that the area of seagrass habitat may initially increase and that wave dynamics are an important factor to consider in predicting the effect of sea-level rise on seagrass distributions in wave-exposed areas.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The influence of wave energy and sediment transport on seagrass distribution
Series title Estuaries and Coasts
DOI 10.1007/s12237-011-9435-1
Volume 35
Issue 1
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 92
Last page 108
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Puget Sound
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details