Seagrass beds grow in marine, fully saline environment. Seagrasses have long narrow leaves and grow in meadows which look like grasslands. Seagrass beds provide shelter for young fish and are important as food for many fish species, conch and the Green Turtle. Some fish species that feed on the seagrass raise their offspring in adjacent mangroves or coral reefs. Seagrasses capture CO2 , filter human pathogens and provide coastal protection (including beaches and coral reefs) by stabilizing and trapping sediments and slowing down water movement.
In recent years, invasive seagrasses have taken over living space from endemic seagrasses. Current sargassum influxes are a threat to the seagrass beds and already some area has been lost resulting in beach erosion in some areas.
Data provided by: M.S. Engel, STINAPA
Data analysis by: Wageningen University and Research