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HomeLatestGrowing seagrass in Yellow River estuary restoration bid

Growing seagrass in Yellow River estuary restoration bid

© Provided by Xinhua

JINAN, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — The receding tide on the mouth of the Yellow River in Kenli District of the town of Dongying, east China’s Shandong Province, revealed an enormous seagrass mattress on a morning in late September.

Dozens of employees walked forwards and backwards, gathering Japanese eelgrass seeds to be sown subsequent spring. The seeds, which have been concerning the measurement of sesame seeds, weren’t totally mature but, and the employees put them in mesh luggage after which soaked them in water to permit the eelgrass to proceed rising.

“Seagrass seeds are too light and will be easily washed away by the waves when they are fully mature, so collecting them around the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the best strategy,” mentioned Zhou Yi, a researcher on the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zhou Yi, who has been engaged in seagrass mattress analysis for greater than 20 years, visits the particular “grassland” within the Yellow River estuary each second month.

“This seagrass bed is about 30 hectares in size, and most of it has been restored in the past three or four years,” he defined. The Yellow River estuary is without doubt one of the native houses of Japanese eelgrass, and was as soon as the most important Japanese eelgrass mattress in China. It seems infinite and luxurious like grassland on land when the tide is low.

In 2019, Typhoon Lekima destroyed greater than 10,000 mu (about 667 hectares) of seagrass beds, and when Zhou Yi stood at this spot again then his eyes noticed giant stretches of naked seaside.

“Seagrass beds have a similar role to forests on land, supporting benthic organisms such as small fish and crabs and indirectly providing nutrients for a variety of birds,” mentioned Zhou Licheng, director of the scientific analysis middle of the administration committee of the Shandong Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve.

Zhou Licheng added that because of Spartina alterniflora invasions and frequent typhoons, seagrass beds within the Yellow River estuary have been vastly broken, inflicting breaches within the native intertidal ecosystem.

Spartina alterniflora has been recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as one of many 100 most harmful invasive alien species on this planet, and is among the many earliest invasive alien species to be formally acknowledged as a risk by Chinese authorities.

In order to revive the ecosystem, the reserve has since final 12 months cooperated with the Institute of Oceanology and the Ocean University of China, in addition to different institutes, to advertise the restore of seagrass beds.

Growing seagrass underwater is sort of completely different from rising grass on land.

“We have tried direct planting, direct seeding and other methods, but due to the influence of submarine sediment, ocean currents and other factors, the plants and seeds sown can be easily washed away or eaten by marine organisms,” Zhou Yi defined, including that after many makes an attempt, the staff lastly developed a mix of transplanting seedlings and planting “rolled clay balls.”

As the title suggests, the “rolled-clay-ball” technique means wrapping the seeds in soil like making dumplings, including obligatory vitamins, after which utilizing equipment to sow the “balls” on the seashores, based on Zhou Yi.

Over current years, the reserve has launched 4 main tasks together with Spartina alterniflora administration and seagrass mattress restoration. As of the tip of September, the whole space of wetland within the reserve had grown by 188 sq. kilometers, up 12.3 % 12 months on 12 months.

Research has proven that one third of the world’s seagrass beds have been misplaced because of a mix of human actions and world local weather change through the years. Therefore, rising seagrass below the ocean might show a helpful contribution to world marine ecosystem conservation efforts.

On Tuesday, the native authorities of the town of Dongying held a press convention, asserting that greater than 99 % of its troublesome Spartina alterniflora had been eradicated, whereas a complete of 1,500 mu of native seagrass beds had been restored.

“What we achieved is only a start,” mentioned Zhou Yi. “We will explore new ways while observing their results. If this restoration method is proven effective by long-term practice, we will promote it in more places.”