Seagrass habitat conservation is urgently needed •

Seagrass habitat conservation is urgently needed


Seagrass habitat conservation is urgently needed Today’s Video of the Day from EurekAlert stresses the urgency of conserving seagrass meadows, particularly with the ongoing decline of coral reefs due to global warming.

An estimated one billion people rely on coral reefs for food or income, and climate change is an increasing threat to their survival.

As the conservation of seagrass habitat becomes more important than ever before, targeted conservation action is needed to restore and protect seagrass meadows to maintain the many ecosystem services they provide. Combined, these lessons and emerging approaches show that seagrass restoration is possible, and efforts should be directed at upscaling seagrass restoration into the future. This is critical for the future conservation of this important ecosystem and the ecological and coastal communities they support. Seagrass habitat conservation is urgently needed as shown above in the video.

The plants’ roots are anchored in mud, sand or fine gravel, acting to stabilize the seabed and prevent erosion, which has the further effect of helping to stabilise and defend the wider coastline. The leaves are narrow and long, forming a three-dimensional habitat allowing a wide range of species to inhabit the area. Each square metre of seagrass is capable of absorbing 83 grams of carbon per year, and seagrass meadows hold around 15% of the carbon stored in the ocean. This number is particularly impressive considering they make up only 0.1% of the ocean floor. The carbon is stored in the plant, and as the plant dies, the leaves sink to the seabed and decay. The emerging tools now make seagrass restoration feasible for many species and at the large spatial scales needed to restore seagrass meadows and associated ecosystem services. Emerging approaches focusing on holistic and collaborative restoration practices

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Video Credit: EurekAlert

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