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Saving shores and establishing estuary systems: How restoration can save marine ecosystems.

Hanewacker, A. (2016) Saving shores and establishing estuary systems: How restoration can save marine ecosystems. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Our oceans have always been full of life, providing a seemingly endless source of wealth for mankind. But as the world’s population keeps growing, and as countries become more developed and wealthy the demand for fish and other seafood’s keep growing with it. However this growing demand for seafood has caused fisheries to increase dramatically over the past several decades. Fishing methods as trawling and overfishing in general can come at great costs for the ecosystems that the targeted fish species live in. And thus with increase in seafood catch has come a startling increase in destruction of fish habitats. The growing human population has caused a rise of the oceans temperature as well, due to rising global warming. Overfishing in combination with global warming has caused a lot of damage to our marine ecosystems, leaving a lot of coastal and estuarine ecosystems in a state of deterioration. In order to ensure the survival of these ecosystems we need to make an effort of actively, as well as passively restoring them. Three of the most endangered and overfished ecosystems are seagrass meadows, coral reefs and bivalve reefs. This bachelor thesis aims at providing an overview of the restoration efforts that are being made to these three ecosystems, as well as the efforts that have been made in the past. I have found that in seagrass restoration the number of transplanted plants plays a big part in the success of the restoration. Large scale transplantation combined with the use of newly devised biodegradable grids used in the restoration yield the most promising results. For the restoration of coral reefs it seems to be more important to look at genetic diversity of the transplanted corals. More recently a very promising method of coral restoration, using the restocking of grazing fish species on the reef, has been developed, this holds a lot of promise for the future of degrading coral reefs. In the restoration Chesapeake Bay large quantities of oyster have been transplanted, but it appears that this is not adequate for the restoration of the reefs. It is needed to take a better look into disease tolerance and the new reefs need to be monitored more closely. But more than just restoration is needed to save these ecosystems, we need to take a look at the factors that have caused the decline as well.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:25
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:25

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