« Go Slow In Caye Caulker | Main | Meeting The Gentle Giants »
Tuesday
Jun062017

Grass Is Always Bluer On The Other  Tide

 

I love grass. People give me the weirdest look when I tell them I study seagrass, they love the fact that I study the manatees, but very very rarely will anyone say ‘oh very cool, seagrass must be interesting!’

I’ll have you know though that seagrass is way more interesting than you first think. They’re overlooked but if all the seagrass meadows of the world were to disappear over night, it would definitely be noticed, as there would be a detrimental domino effect. Seagrass meadows are linked to not only the cute creatures that live or feed on the grass such as manatees and turtles but coral reefs would suffer, coasts would suffer, and in the long run nature would suffer. Give me 5 minutes of your time and I will prove to you the awesomeness of seagrass and you will feel the respect I do for these peaceful meadows and there is way more to seagrass than meets the eye.

 

In fact, seagrass are angiosperms. This means they are flowering plants and closer related to the lily family on land rather than terrestrial grass. They grow in marine fully saline environments and there are up to 60 known species. The meadows globally cover between 200 000 and 600 000 km2. They are incredibly important to our environment. Not only manatee food. A seagrass meadow acts as nurseries for juvenile fish, feeding grounds for green turtles, dugongs, manatees, fish, birds, sea urchins and cabs. If seagrass meadows didn’t exist then coral reefs would suffer greatly as the meadows traps sediments from runoff from land, they slow water movement down and are one of the best buffers and filters for nutrients and chemical inputs to the marine environment. To put it in a monetary perspective, the nutrient cycling done by the meadows is equivalent to approximately 19 billion euros every year. Everyone always talks and cares about saving he Amazonian rain forest right? One of the main reasons is that the forest is a CO2 sink, meaning that the trees take up the carbon dioxide in the air. Well, the Amazonia rainforest stores around 1.02 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year. Seagrass meadows are also a CO2 sink, except they store up to… wait for it… 17 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year!

Ok, I’m done for now. Love life and love grass.

Grass lover out.

By Dagny-Elise Anastassiou - Belize Assistant Research Officer

Find out more about our Belize projects.

Check out what volunteers in Belize are up to right now!

See more from our volunteers #Frontiervolunteer

Follow Frontier on Twitter and Instagram 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>