The Zostera Experimental Network (ZEN) is a global collaborative network of scientists studying the structure and functioning eelgrass (Zostera marina) ecosystems, the world’s most widespread marine plant.
ZEN is conducting experiments that aim to quantify how resources and grazing interactively affect biomass, production, and trophic transfer in eelgrass beds along natural gradients in biodiversity and abiotic forcing.
In summer 2011 we completed identical factorial experiments manipulating grazers and nutrient loading at each of 15 sites spanning the sub-global range of eelgrass, across concomitant gradients in community diversity and abiotic forcing variables. The project continued with another suite of field experiments in the summer of 2012 to further explore inter-annual and seasonal effects of top-down and bottom-up forcing in eelgrass communities.
ZEN is supported by the US National Science Foundation via a grant to Emmett Duffy, and is currently based at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, USA.