Eelgrass Community Ecology

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows are home to a great diversity of species, including fish, crabs, algae, and microorganisms. Eelgrass ecosystems contribute to many important coastal processes that humans rely on, such as carbon storage and coastal protection. Although eelgrass is well studied worldwide, there is little research that investigates the epiphytic microbes on leaf surfaces. Using scanning electron microscopy, we are mapping the surface of eelgrass leaves to visualize the spatial patterns and potential interactions of bacteria, fungi, and diatoms along the surface of the leaf. Additionally, we are cataloging bacterial, fungal, and diatom community diversity on eelgrass leaves, and looking at how diversity changes over time.



Project Initiated September 2020

Current status: Exploratory



Arjan van Asselt, Mark Webber | IMERSS Labs

Emily Adamczyk, Laura Parfrey, Siobhan Schenk | Parfrey Lab (UBC)

Elaine Humphrey | Advanced Microscopy Facility (UVic)


Thank you to Hitachi High-Tech Canada Inc. for providing the Hitachi TM4000 Desktop Scanning Electron Microcope (SEM) for exploratory work on this project.