Thursday, December 31, 2020
Preventing Ecosystem Collapse: Seagrass
Seagrass ecosystems enable a wondrous diversity of marine life. Seagrass feeds ancient (but currently threatened) animals like green turtles, manatees and dugongs, sea urchins, parrot fish and geese. Seagrass supports major fisheries of pollock and cod and they’re home to seahorses. The ecosystem serves as a nursery ground for hundreds of species of juvenile fish. Seagrass supports clams, scallops, shrimp and spiny lobsters. Recently, seagrass meadows have also been shown to reduce disease that can infect people, coral or fish. So, recent losses of seagrass have generated great concern and motivated restoration efforts world-wide. Still, they are not doomed to collapse. The good news is most of the human factors that have reduced seagrass meadows can be and are being remedied. Furthermore, rising levels of carbon dioxide will benefit their growth and recovery.