Photos capture mission to rescue seagrass meadows in the the Baltic

Photos capture mission to rescue seagrass meadows in the the Baltic


Angela Stevenson dives with a bunch of flowering seagrass she has collected

REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

THESE researchers from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Analysis Kiel, Germany, are on a mission to rescue an important marine ecosystem that’s being misplaced to local weather change: seagrass meadows. Seagrass helps the ocean retailer carbon dioxide and is a key supply of meals and shelter for marine life, however a 3rd of European seagrass has vanished for the reason that nineteenth century.

The thought behind SeaStore – the joint seagrass restoration mission involving GEOMAR – is to breed a model that’s extra immune to rising sea temperatures, within the hope this may assist the meadows flourish once more. Flowering seagrass is collected from the Baltic Sea off northern Germany and cultivated within the lab till the seeds are able to be harvested and planted.

A marine scientist for GEOMAR snorkels back to the boat after collecting flowering seagrass to harvest the seeds, in Laboe, Germany, July 17, 2023. Europe alone lost one third of its seagrass areas between the 1860s and 2016, one 2019 study found, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and speeding up global warming. While there are other initiatives to restore the plants worldwide, the SeaStore Seagrass Restoration Project in Kiel, run by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research is one of the first that aims to enable citizens to do so autonomously. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner SEARCH "NIESNER SEAGRASS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES - RC2Y42AEN293

A marine scientist for GEOMAR snorkels again to the boat

REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Up to now, it has been “very profitable… the crops are wholesome and rising nicely”, says GEOMAR researcher Angela Stevenson, proven in the principle picture gathering seagrass. One other researcher could be seen snorkelling within the second picture, whereas the picture beneath that’s of Stevenson at a citizen diving course, the place locals are being recruited and educated to assist with the mission.

Angela Stevenson, 39, a marine scientist for GEOMAR, holds a bundle of seagrass shoots during a two-day citizen diver course in Maasholm, Northern Germany, July 2, 2023. The citizen diver course is part of the SeaStore Seagrass Restoration Project at GEOMAR and is one of the first initiatives to teach and enable citizens to restore seagrass autonomously. Stevenson guided the citizen divers to plant 2,500 shoots during the weekend. "Our aim is to scale it up after this pilot period," said Stevenson. "The ultimate goal is to re-green the Baltic Sea." REUTERS/Lisi Niesner SEARCH "NIESNER SEAGRASS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC21V1AWW2UZ

The pictures beneath present: PhD pupil Isabella Provera on the lab, tubes of samples to analyse the meadows’ growth, a pupil making ready seagrass for evaluation and GEOMAR researcher Tadhg O Corcora finding out samples.

LEFT: Isabella Provera, a PhD student, lifts flowering seagrass after washing it, in the lab at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, July 10, 2023. The collected seagrass remains in a tank at the lab for around six weeks until seeds can be harvested. RTSLVJTQ RIGHT: Seagrass blades are placed in tubes in Gelting, Northern Germany, June 20, 2023. Scientists take samples to analyse the development of a seagrass meadow a year after planting for the SeaStore Seagrass Restoration Project at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. RTSLVJUF

LEFT: Isabella Provera, within the lab on the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Analysis RIGHT: Seagrass blades are positioned in tubes

REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

GEOMAR’s Thorsten Reusch says that, regardless of the hype, to make sure SeaStore isn’t a “massive missed alternative”, extra funding is required to make sure the mission succeeds and to get extra residents concerned in ocean science.

LEFT: A student prepares samples that have been collected from a hand-planted seagrass meadow to analyse length of the blades, weight and root system for the SeaStore Seagrass Restoration Project at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, June 21, 2023. Europe alone lost one third of its seagrass areas between the 1860s and 2016, one 2019 study found, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and speeding up global warming. While there are other initiatives to restore the plants worldwide, the SeaStore Seagrass Restoration Project in Kiel, run by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research is one of the first that aims to enable citizens to do so autonomously. RTSLVJTO RIGHT: Tadhg O'Corcora, 38, a marine scientist for GEOMAR, uses a microscope to look at samples at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, in Kiel, Germany, June 20, 2023. O'Corcora aims to collect 1 million seeds this season for research into planting the seeds and breeding a more heat resistant seagrass for the SeaStore Seagrass Restoration Project at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. RTSLVJUH

LEFT: A pupil prepares samples RIGHT: Tadhg O’Corcora, a marine scientist for GEOMAR

REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

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