Skip to main content

NECR521 Edition 1 Genetic analysis of Zostera sp. samples from the East of England. A regional case-study of the genetic diversity of Zostera sp. across the UK (NECR521)

There is increasing interest in seagrass restoration across the UK and globally. However, given the decimation of habitat extent in the UK, emerging restoration techniques are heavily reliant on wild seed harvesting and translocation of seed or seedling, sometimes over large distances. Genetic diversity is therefore an important consideration, and more information is required to inform and best manage seagrass restoration moving forward.

Initial work started in 2020 by Project Seagrass used a geographically broad range of samples to identify genetic clusters of Zostera marina around the UK. However, until recently, the East of England was under-represented within this database, with only a single sample collected from Essex. In addition to this regional data paucity, no such genetics data currently exists for Zostera noltii anywhere in the UK.

This project collected samples of both Zostera sp.. Z. marina samples were collected and analysed according to a pre-existing methodology to identify potential geographic limits for the apparently isolated genetic cluster identified in Essex. Z. noltii samples were collected and used to develop methodology using different genetic markers, so that a similar UK database could be developed for this species.

This work contributes to a spatially representative database of Z. marina genetic diversity across the UK, and to a methodology for testing of Z. noltii and the beginnings of a genetics database for this species. This has led to an improved understanding of genetic clusters and diversity of UK seagrasses, which will be fundamental in supporting informed seagrass restoration ambitions moving forward.

Downloads available for this record

File Uploaded
NECR521 Edition 1 Genetic analysis of Zostera sp. samples from the East of England, PDF, 1.2 MB 2024/04/04


This record relates to the location identified by the marker on the map: