Project title: Seaforest Portugal + Seaforest Cascais
Species: Laminaria ochroleuca, Laminaria hyperborean, Saccharina latissima
Locations: Viana do Castelo, Peniche, Cascais, Sagres
SeaForester is currently coordinating two projects focused on the restoration of kelp forests in Portugal. The projects started almost at the same time in 2019 and are run collaboratively. The teams in charge of the practical work come from different research institutions across Portugal and each is responsible for the seeding trials of kelps at one of five locations (Viana do Castelo, Peniche, Cascais, Sines and Sagres). The project is testing four different seeding techniques using four species of kelps. The green gravel methodology was adopted by the project with the objective of testing how the technique performs in the context of the prevailing oceanographic and environmental conditions of the Portuguese coastline. Experimental plots will be established at three sites in each of four locations in the northern, mid and southern regions of Portugal. The green gravel will be cultivated in closed circulation systems in the laboratories of CCMAR, CIIMAR and IPL for approximately 30 to 40 days upon which the material will be deployed in the field via scuba divers. We expect to implement the first out-planting trials of green gravel, using Laminaria ochroleuca, in mid-October of 2020 to test the general method efficiency. During the second year of the project, two additional kelp species (Saccharina latissima and Laminaria hyperborea) will be used to seed the gravel and be tested at their southern range limit in the north of the country. In Cascais, the practical work will be extended to match the duration of the Seaforest Portugal project.
Consortium partners involved in planting trials: Centro de Ciencias do Mar (CCMAR), Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR), Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (IPL), SeaForester