ProjectPhotosynthetic response of eelgrass (Zostera marina) to light conditions in the water column
Zostera marina forms vast meadows along the coasts of the northern hemisphere, such as the ones found in the St. Lawrence estuary. Eelgrass is currently showing a worldwide decline, mainly due to the ever-decreasing quality of coastal waters. Many anthropogenic stressors impact coastal areas, among which are eutrophication and sediment loading. These two perturbations reduce water quality by limiting light penetration in the water column. Z. marina’s response to light in terms of photosynthetic efficiency will be assessed in situ and under experimental conditions. The in situ measurements will take place in the Manicouagan Peninsula, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence estuary, where the eelgrass meadow shows improvements instead of a decline. Eelgrass shoot-tissue response to light intensity will be studied through photosynthetic, physiological and morphological traits of eelgrass shoots.