Sunday, February 18, 2018

Giving seagrass its due

Seagrass meadows play a pivotal role in protecting coasts against rising sea levels.

Seagrass meadows play a crucial role in reducing coastal erosion, making their conservation key for combating rising sea levels due to climate change.
“Seagrasses, as well as mangroves and marsh ecosystems in coastal areas, offer unique services that provide benefits for human beings,” says KAUST microbial ecologist Daniele Daffonchio. Seagrass meadows capture carbon from the atmosphere and store it in coastal sediment, potentially for thousands of years. They also stabilize the sediment against erosion caused by water movement and can trap floating sediment to help build up the coastline.

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Image: Two fisherman place a fishing net on the seagrass bed in preparation for the incoming tide. When the tide goes back out, fish will remain caught on these nets. Seagrasses play a pivotal role in coastal areas, providing several ecosystem services and sustaining local fish populations.
© 2017 Marco Fusi