Buried alive: dredging effects on seagrass performance and ecosystem functioning

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Kasper Elgetti Brodersen


Associate Professor


Roskilde University


DKK 4,999,157




Semper Ardens: Accelerate


We will unravel how dredging-induced deposition of fine sediment (i.e., silt and clay) particles on seagrass leaves effects the oxygen conditions in the leaf microenvironment during nighttime, and whether this can lead to anoxic conditions in the leaf microenvironment and thus enable microbial production of reduced toxic compounds and greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide (N2O).


Seagrass meadows provide several important ecosystem services in coastal waters, such as increasing marine biodiversity and mitigating climate change via efficient carbon capture and storage. Yet, seagrasses are currently facing global declines mainly attributed to human activity such as dredging. Dredging activities can thus have negative impact on vital ecosystem functions of adjacent meadows.


We will employ a unique combination of advanced high-resolution measuring techniques for biogeochemical analysis of the seagrass leaf microenvironment, including: (1) electrochemical microsensors and (2) luminescence-based chemical bioimaging utilizing solute-sensitive optical sensor nanoparticles in combination with a luminescence camera system.

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