NatureScot Commissioned Report 702: Loch Fleet eelgrass study – the extent and abundance of eelgrass in the Loch Fleet SSSI in 2012
This report investigates a decline in eelgrass abundance within Loch Fleet SSSI. Eelgrass is an important food source for various species of wildfowl, as well as helping stabilise sediment and providing habitat for associated flora and fauna. During 2012 the intertidal areas of Loch Fleet were surveyed to map distribution and abundance of eelgrass. This survey work was compared to existing maps and abundance records and combined with a literature review. The main findings were that both the distribution and abundance of eelgrass has decreased significantly across the tidal basin, with distribution declining by approximately 85%. The possible reasons for this reduction in distribution and extent are discussed and further monitoring work is recommended.
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