Sensitivity to Natural Events
Like all marine biotopes, eelgrass beds are subject to natural change. Zostera
beds are known to be spatially dynamic, with advancing and receding leading edges, causing
changes in coverage. Naturally-occurring changes can take place at a range of scales, with
effects ranging from small alterations to Zostera coverage or density, to
destruction of entire beds over large geographic areas. This chapter considers the main
naturally-occurring processes known to affect eelgrass beds. Changes induced by human
activities are considered in Chapter V.
Naturally-occurring agents of change can be conveniently divided into
those relating to the physical and biotic environments of Zostera beds.