While collecting seagrass specimen this month, I observed a significant reduction in the size of eelgrass beds at one of my long-term monitoring sites, Carkeek Park, in Seattle. I also observed sure signs of a wasting disease outbreak where I was collecting in May.
The wasting disease of seagrass has been known to cause catastrophic losses to beds at local and regional scales throughout history. Please read my review paper in Fungal Ecology to learn more.
Here are some photos of what I saw recently affecting shoots, stems, roots and flowers:
I would like to collect samples of any beds that may be affected. This disease can wipe out a large bed in a matter of months, so please contact me ASAP if you see evidence of mass wasting in any seagrass you encounter this summer in Washington, especially Puget Sound.
For more information see: