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Seagrass blues | COSMOS magazine

Seagrass meadows provide homes, food and nurseries for many marine creatures, in particular serving as feeding grounds for dugongs and western rock lobsters (Panulirus Cygnus) and breeding grounds for many commercially important fish species.

They are also important for water quality, filtering water and serving as an indicator of the health of the marine ecosystem, but the health of the meadows themselves has become of increasing concern.

IN A RECENT STUDY, 15 of the 72 known species of seagrasses were listed as ‘Endangered’, ‘Vulnerable’ or ‘Near Threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Seagrass researcher at the University of Technology Sydney, Peter Macreadie says there are multiple factors that make seagrass vulnerable, but the biggest threat is the creation of anoxic dead zones by algal blooms.

via Seagrass blues | COSMOS magazine.

Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=4912

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