Monitoring the state of health of Posidonia

Posidonia (Posidonia oceanica) is a marine plant, it differs from algae because it has roots and produces flowers and fruits. It is capable of forming seagrass beds capable of extending over several kilometers and serves as a source of food, shelter and nursery for a multitude of marine species.

The Larvotto Marine Protected Area (MPA) was created to protect the only Posidonia meadow in the Principality and since 1976 the AMPN has ensured that the herbarium remains in good health.

Since 2016, each summer season, the AMPN has been monitoring the vitality of the Posidonia meadow in the Larvotto MPA.

Accompanied by AMPN volunteers, Dr. Heike MOLENAAR takes measurements on the density of leaf bundles in the meadow and the type of growth of the rhizomes. Samples are also taken to be analyzed in the laboratory, particularly for biometrics (size and weight of leaves) and the presence of epibionts (living organisms attached to Posidonia leaves).

Dr. Heike MOLENAAR assessing the health of the meadow with the help of a volunteer, Samuel JEGLOT from NaturDive.

This monitoring makes it possible to ensure that the overall state of health of the Larvotto meadow remains good and to make comparisons with measurements from previous years in order to clarify the dynamics of the evolution of Posidonia in the MPA.