CSDMS Summer Science Series II: Quantifying seasonal seagrass effects on flow and sediment dynamics in a back-barrier bay
Seasonal seagrass growth and senescence exert a strong influence on shallow coastal environments. We applied a hydrodynamic and sediment transport Delft3D model that included coupled effects of seagrass on flow, waves, and sediment resuspension in a shallow coastal bay to quantify seasonal seagrass effects on bay dynamics. Simulation results show that seagrass meadows significantly attenuated flow (60%) and waves (20%) and reduced suspended sediment concentration (85%) during the growing season. Although low-densities of seagrass in winter had limited effects on flow and wave attenuation, small changes in winter seagrass density could alter the annual sediment budget of these seagrass ecosystems.