August Habitat highlight: Seagrass

Our habitat highlight for August is Seagrass!

Seagrass are flowering plants which are found in shallow waters in order to access sunlight for photosynthesis. Seagrass are particularly important in this case because they absorb carbon from our oceans and release oxygen into the seabed via the roots. According to the wildlife trust, seagrass contributes to 15% of the ocean’s total carbon absorption. The roots also stabilize the seabed by firmly anchoring into it. Seagrasses create vast underwater meadows. This creates a barrier of protection for the seabed and its inhabitants by slowing down waves. Seagrass ecosystems are a great habitat and food source for many marine species such as crabs, sea snails, cuttlefish, sea urchins, anemones and seahorses.

Seagrass ecosystems are under threat. According to the Wildlife trust, 18% of the worlds seagrass cover has been depleted in the last 20 years. That is approximately 30,000km2 of seagrass in total. Conservation efforts are being carried out to restore areas of seagrass around the world because seagrasses could potentially be a natural solution to the current climate crisis. According to the Wildlife Trust, seagrasses absorb carbon 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.

For more information and opportunities to help restore seagrass check out the following links:

British seagrass could help tackle climate change - YouTube

Project Seagrass | Advancing the conservation of seagrass through education, influence, research and action

Seagrass Restoration – Planting Hope

[Written by Lucy McNabney]