what are the benefits of seagrass meadows

what are the benefits of seagrass meadows
4. 12. 2020 No Comments Novinky

If no map is available and the distribution of the seagrass meadow is not known, some idea of its size may be obtained from aerial photos or a rough map made by using a view box from a boat and recording the extent along the coast of the seagrass bed. As Sandy Hausman reports, it’s the largest project of its kind in the world, offering benefits on many fronts. Seagrass beds supply 50% of the world’s fisheries, an essential income, and nutrition source for millions of people around the world. Once on site, drop the weight with the buoy at the selected depth contour to mark the station and extend a 25 m sampling transect, parallel to shore, unless the slope is negligible (i.e., < 0.5 m in 25 m), in which case, the transect can be extended at a predetermined random bearing from the marker. In all, 12 species of seagrass have been recorded in shallow water between 0.2 and 1.8 m from southwest Johor to Langkawi, the common species being Halophila ovalis, Halophila minor, Halophila uninervis, Halophila pinifolia, and Enhalus acoroides (Ibrahim et al., 2010; NRE, 2015). Rates of net primary production for a few selected seagrasses and seaweeds from various locations. They’re ‘ecosystem engineers’, literally creating the foundations of life. Seagrass meadows are among the world’s least known ecosystems. A net accretion rate of 0.5 mm yr−1 was also observed in Western Australia (Walker and Woelkerling, 1988). Studies evaluating subtidal seagrass in WCPM found a total of 25 abundant fish species, mainly juveniles of Dorosomatidae and Ariidae families, silver biddies, grunters, penaeid prawns, scad, and portunid crabs. At a national level, the ecosy… https://t.co/emi08H7Bcj1 week ago, According to @IPBES, run-off from farms laced with synthetic fertilizer has negatively affected terrestrial… https://t.co/Q4d2HT5UjT1 week ago, While covering approximately 0.1% of the Earth's seafloor, seagrass meadows support a wide range of biodiversity (including endemic and endangered species), stabilize sediment, filter water, provide coastal protection, produce more oxygen than rainforests, and form the basis of the world’s primary fishing grounds. First, seagrass beds reduce the amount of CO 2 in the atmosphere by photosynthesizing and turning CO 2 and water (H 2 O) into oxygen (O 2) and glucose (C 6 H 12 O 6). In the Florida Keys, turtle grass, manatee grass, and shoal grass are the most common types of seagrass. These meadows rival tropical forests and efficient crops as the most productive ecosystems on Earth (Duarte and Chiscano, 1999), and are a source of important ecosystem services to humans, such as support for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and sediment stabilization and coastal protection (Duarte, 2000; Hemminga and Duarte, 2000; see Chapter 12.06). 10.3). In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, citizen-based groups are developing habitat improvement programs to restore their damaged watersheds and seagrasses. The relative importance of one method of nutrient uptake over the other may be dependent upon the availability of nutrients in the sediment or water column. Tidal freshwater marshes and mesohaline salt marshes, and mangrove systems have been found to be major sources of primary production and EAV POC in estuarine systems (Kirby and Gosselink, 1976; Pomeroy and Wiegert, 1981). The number of samples depends on natural variation of the seagrass meadow and should be calculated beforehand (Kirkman 1996). Seagrasses attract many species of fish and shellfish, some of which are only found in seagrass meadows. There are, in fact, a growing number of initiatives around the globe with goals aiming towards providing knowledge and mapping support, ensuring seagrass bed restoration, and seeking policy-based solutions to better protect them. As noted earlier, accretion of recalcitrant root and rhizome material by certain species of seagrass can lead to the formation of seagrass reefs. Pro-active programs to change consciousness of land users and land managers will assist the short-term habitat improvements downstream and help toward sustained improvements. At each transect position, navigate or swim off the shore, following a compass bearing or using the line-of-site poles, perpendicular to shore, to reach the seagrass bed. Many of these gradients involve changes in the growth conditions for seagrasses, which may affect their abundance. An estimated 2.7 million acres of seagrass meadows grow along … As macrohabitats, seagrass meadows provide important benefits to adjacent reef ecosystems by acting as natural filters of sediments and nutrients, and by providing critical feeding, nursery, and refuge habitats for reef fishes and other fauna. This eutrophication process has led to the proliferation of seagrass beds in these areas. In general, it appears that outwelling is more likely to occur in mangroves that have an excess of pore-water nutrients, positive net sedimentation, and a macrotidal range (Dittmar and Lara, 2001). The rates of primary production for a select range of seagrasses are typically within 0.4 to 1.5 g-C m−2 d−1 (Table 3) (Alongi, 1998). Guy M.W. Because of these benefits, seagrasses are believe… This well known pattern of distribution can be used to stratify sampling effort in programs aimed at quantifying seagrass abundance along coastal areas ranging widely in depth. Community and industry training and participation is facilitated by government agencies through environment monitoring (e.g., community Seagrass-Watch programs; citizens beach monitoring programs), and changes in land use (Integrated Catchment Management and Landcare programs in Australia; “Adopt a Beach” programs and watershed associations in the United States). The name seagrass stems from the many species with long and narrow leaves, which grow by rhizome extension and often spread across large "meadows" resembling grassland; many species … (Zieman et al., 1989), Ruppia spp. The fact that seagrass is a rooted angiosperm implies an obvious dependence upon the sediment. Benefits of seagrass meadows. Thirteen seagrass species have been reported, with all but one present on both coasts (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, 2016a). Although there are conflicting reports concerning the temporal and spatial importance of such redox alterations in wetlands (McKee et al., 1988; Alongi, 1996, 1998), it is generally accepted that large amounts of underground biomass have long-term effects on sediment redox and the associated microbial/elemental cycling. 1995). Nursery areas: The relative safety of seagrass meadows provides an ideal environment for juvenile fish and invertebrates to conceal themselves from predators. Similar to coral reefs, seagrass meadows serve as a food source and habitat capable of fostering a diverse group of marine organisms. More than 95 species of benthic and infauna animals and 149 edible fish species were found within the ecosystems (Satapoomin & Poovachiranon, 1997; Sudara et al., 1992). 22.4. Seagrasses are the flowering plants which grow in marine environments. P. oceanica is a long-lived species, with individual shoots and clones that live for decades and centuries, respectively (Duarte et al., 1994; Mateo et al., 1997), and the thick (1 cm) ligneous rhizomes are preserved in the sediments over millennia. But it's what they do in their native habitat that has the biggest benefits for humans and the ocean. Dense seagrass canopies (Figure 5) multiply the surface area available for colonization by benthic, bottom-dwelling organisms by up to 12-fold compared to the bare sediments (Duarte and Chiscano, 1999). (Day et al., 1989; Hillman et al., 1989; Czerny and Dunton, 1995). Along the same lines, seagrass stabilize sediments on the seafloor. Furthermore, Syringodium sp. The habitat complexity within seagrass meadows enhances the diversity and abundance of animals (Gratwicke & Speight, 2005). The overall impacts on seagrass systems from incremental expansions in population and development pressures may be significant and difficult to assess with short term studies. The collision of suspended particles with seagrass leaves causes momentum loss and increased path length (Hendriks et al., 2008), resulting in increased deposition. The program calls for reductions in nutrient input to the bay to reduce both plankton blooms and epiphyte growth so that seagrasses can receive light for photosynthesis. Note that, as a general rule, the deep limit of seagrass is at Secchi disc depth (Dennison and Kirkman 1996). To know more about seagrass beds, learn what’s been done to save them or get involved, follow events such as the World Seagrass Conference or visit the World Seagrass Association and the Project Seagrass websites. However, there are a ton of reasons that show the importance of seagrass as an ecosystem: 1) A protector of the vulnerable. In Tanzania, a decline in seagrass was found to have a negative impact on the livelihoods of women who collect invertebrates, such as clams, sea snails and sea urchins, from seagrass meadows. This has significant effects on the transport and rates of decomposition of POC derived from mangroves. Ines D. Lange, ... Somkiat Khokiattiwong, in World Seas: an Environmental Evaluation (Second Edition), 2019. Coastal Ecosystem Processes. J.L. The best-studied temperate and subtropical/tropical species of seagrasses include Zostera spp. The habitats that seagrasses provide for juvenile Atlantic cod, generate nutritional (food for people) and economic ( job creation) benefits. A range of benefits. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability: Vol. These systems may have profound effects on the biogeochemical cycling not only of carbon, but also of nitrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen in shallow water column and sedimentary environments (Roman and Able, 1988; Caffrey and Kemp, 1990, 1991; Barko et al., 1991). Conversely, below-ground biomass of mangroves is usually about 50% of total forest biomass (Alongi, 1998). It takes up nutrients that would otherwise fuel algae—which, if there’s too much of it, can become a nuisance to people. Adaptive management is recommended for ensuring long-term goals are met (Thom 1997). As early as 1968, Odum (1968) suggested that salt marshes transport biologically available organic matter into nearshore waters where it is subsequently remineralized, thereby enhancing secondary production on the shelf. In recognition of this, the historic United Nations Paris  Agreement of 2015 emphasizes the critical importance of conserving seagrasses and other Blue Carbon ecosystems. If tides are significant in the area, record the time at which the different depth estimates were made, and convert all of the depth measurements to mean sea level (MSL) using the tide table. Seagrass meadows may also be prominent producers of POC in many shallow littoral habitats in estuarine systems of the South Atlantic Bight (den Hartog, 1970; Phillips and McRoy, 1980; Hemminga and Duarte, 2000; Green and Short, 2003). The capacity of seagrasses to trap and retain sediment particles via either of the above mechanisms can decrease water turbidity (thus having a positive feedback effect on seagrass photosynthesis and growth; see van der Heide et al., 2007) while elevating the seafloor to some degree. Mangroves and salt marshes. Seagrass meadows, to this point, have been extremely productive, and their benefits are huge. The depth limit of the seagrass meadow usually runs along a bathymetric contour and can be determined by diving, viewing from a boat in clear waters or using a video camera and some form of depth sounder. The benefits of seagrasses can also be felt on land, as these plants stabilise sediments and protect our shorelines from erosion. was recorded in the vicinity of the Pulai estuary in Johor (Choo et al., 2001; Sasekumar, 2005). Seagrass meadows and patches also serve as refuge to a range of epibenthic organisms that hide from predators in the seagrass canopy, and infaunal species that suffer decreased risk of epibenthic predation within the dense matrix of seagrass roots and rhizomes (Hemminga and Duarte, 2000; Heck and Orth, 2006). Seagrass plants are important food sources for animal grazers including manatees, green sea turtles and aquatic birds. An exception to this is in the deep waters of the Great Barrier Reef where seagrass grows as much as twice Secchi depth and more (R. Coles, pers. R. Ramesh, ... Ahana Lakshmi, in Coastal Management, 2019. It's estimated that 35% of the world’s seagrass has already been lost. These seagrass reefs lead to a coastal topography comparable to that of tropical bays, where a reef located 1–2 m below the water surface occurs a few hundred meters offshore, confining a shallow lagoon between the reef and the beach. Many fish species use seagrass meadows as nursery areas to grow and mature. Meadows can act as substantial sinks and sources of organic carbon, holding vast quantities of it in the soil. Seagrasses are aquatic flowering plants that are found along a broad latitudinal range. Seagrass meadows play a vital role in mitigating climate change and stabilizing the carbon cycle. Yet these underwater gardens are crucial to our survival — they are among the most important blue carbon reservoirs on the planet. Other studies have shown that above-ground production of S. alterniflora is negatively correlated with latitude (Turner, 1976; Dame, 1989) and positively correlated with tidal range (Steever et al., 1976).

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