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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Effects of pesticides on seagrass beds

  • K. Bester
Helgoland Marine Research54:00540095.10152


In the German Wadden Sea there has been a remarkable decline in seagrass beds. It was the aim of this study to test whether herbicide contamination could be a reason for this. Concentrations of triazine herbicides such as atrazine, simazine and terbutylazine as well as phenylurea herbicides were measured in Wadden Sea sediments within or in the neighbourhood of seagrass meadows. Sediments were thus used as a marker for medium-term contamination of the Wadden Sea. The respective concentrations were examined in relation to the density and status of the seagrass meadows. Preliminary results show that there may be a connection between seagrass decline and herbicide contamination in the parts of the Wadden Sea sampled. A comparison with other contamination is also given.

Key words Wadden SeaSeagrass bedsHerbicidesZostera noltiiSediments