Seagrass Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography

CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) was contracted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to conduct a literature review and develop an annotated bibliography of information with an emphasis peer-reviewed documents that focused on seagrass restoration, transplantation, mitigation, and recovery. In 1998, Fonseca et al. (1998) compiled a comprehensive annotated bibliography of seagrass information spanning all relevant literature until that time. This document focuses on new papers and findings that span the 16 years from 1998 – 2014. Emphasis was placed on peer-reviewed literature because those meet the Daubert criteria for admissibility in litigation challenges (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.). Documents that contained a seagrass genera currently understood to be native to the United States or its territories were the main focus of this literature review (i.e., Enhalus, Halodule, Halophila, Phyllospadix, Ruppia, Syringodium, Thalassia, and Zostera).

Information found in this literature review was organized into categories that closely followed that of Fonseca et al. (1998). Information was divided into two general categories: seagrass restoration and seagrass recovery. Documents that discussed seagrass restoration included planting seagrass for restoration or mitigation purposes, transplantation experiments, and planting techniques. Accordingly, documents that discussed seagrass recovery included those that assessed recovery after restoration or natural disturbances. In the literature examined, we found that seagrass recovery was either observed after restoration or natural disturbances, or that experiments were conducted to determine the effects of disturbances on recovery of seagrass. These documents provide information for future seagrass restoration projects and offer vital information on the potential recovery of seagrass to disturbances.


Fonseca, Mark S., et al. 1998. Guidelines for the Conservation and Restoration of Seagrasses in the United States and Adjacent Waters. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program Decision Analysis Series No. 12. NOAA Coastal Ocean Office, Silver Spring, MD. 222 pp.


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