Seagrass beds provide habitats for fish, prawns and other invertebrates and provide seafloor stability and are found in the littoral and sub-littoral zones along the coast and estuaries. Angiosperms are sensitive to general physical disturbance such as dredging and boat traffic which can destroy the seagrass beds and also increases the suspended sediment in the coastal waters. This method works on the principle that physical disturbance and water quality changes can decrease the extent and density of seagrass beds and may also reduce the number of species found.
The intertidal seagrass tool enables an assessment of the condition of the quality element angiosperm. The WFD requires that the assessment of the angiosperm quality element considers taxonomic composition, abundance and disturbance-sensitive taxa. Note: although seagrasses are the only true marine angiosperms, saltmarsh is also considered as part of this biological element under the WFD. The assessment of saltmarsh is considered in a separate guide.
The draft method statement published in 2008 for the first river basin planning cycle has now been updated for the second cycle, linked below.
The SAILOR tool was updated on 24/05/2016 to version 2.4.