To most of us, what is hidden beneath the waves of our coastal environment remains invisible and is little thought about or cared about. Yet seagrass meadows, though hidden from our direct view, contribute valuable ecological services supporting valuable fish nurseries, as food for dugongs and turtles, and as a highly efficient blue carbon sink sequestering carbon.
A new study of the seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Queensland found that a significant proportion of valuable seagrass habitats would be lost without action to offset the affects of climate change. "The area of seagrass habitat was predicted to decline by 17% by 2100 under a scenario of SLR of 1.1 m." said the study.
Lead author Dr Megan Saunders from UQ's Global Change Institute said "Seagrass meadows not only help to slow climate change by sucking up a large portion of the world's plant-stored carbon, but they also benefit livelihoods, food security, fisheries, biodiversity, shoreline protection and other ecosystem services,"