For Seagrass, Biodiversity Is Both A Goal And A Means For Restoration

2017-11-09T11:19:34+00:00 November 9, 2017|
Turtles were some of the frequent visitors in seagrass meadows. (Credit: Jillian Ooi Lean Sim)

(Click to enlarge) A turtles swims through a seagrass meadow. (Credit: Jillian Ooi Lean Sim)

Coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests work together to make the Coral Triangle of Indonesia a hotspot for marine biodiversity. The system supports valuable fisheries and endangered species and helps protect shorelines. But it is in global decline due to threats from coastal development, destructive fishing practices and climate change.

(From /  by Andy Fell) — A UC Davis study published recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that in the case of seagrasses, biodiversity is not only a goal, but also a means for restoration of this important ecosystem.

The Coral Triangle is home to about 15 species of seagrasses, more than almost anywhere else on Earth. Previous seagrass restoration efforts have primarily focused on a single species.

For this study, the scientists transplanted six common seagrass species at four species-richness levels: monocultures, two, four, and five species. They analyzed how well the initial transplants survived and their rate of expansion or contraction for more than a year. The results showed that planting mixtures of diverse seagrass species improved their overall survival and growth.

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