It's the end of March as the month for seagrass. I would like to write down a little about how lovely seagrass to be part of our ecosystem. For common people seagrass is unfamiliar thing, though they know it's only grass in the sea. Well, nothing is wrong with the perception. It is grass, same with the grass in the land but it lives in salt water. Then why we need to be aware of this grass?
Seagrass is an ecosystem, part of coastal area between mangroves and reefs. There are so many function of this ecosystem that can't be ignored. One of the most important roles of seagrass is as the main food for endangered species, Dugong dugong and some turtle eat seagrass as well.
As ecosystem, seagrass is the main habitat that serve hatchery, feeding place, and shelter for many species like numbers of important fishes and the rest ocean species.
Beside that, as the climate change issue getting stronger in this millennial time, Duarte and Cebrian in 1996 mentioned seagrass already contributed to reduce by absorbing carbon dioxide then convert it into energy, in the form of organic carbon. It's even larger than tropical rainforest.
Then why again? IF, seagrass disappeared then how Dugong would eat? It will extinct and the rest of food chain in coastal area even in ocean will follow. Fishes, Mollusk or any kind of species that human used to eat will have no shelter, no hatchery and limited food resources.
They will move to other place that could provide them as seagrass has given. Fishermen need to get their resources farther than before and spending more time in the sea even sometimes comeback with empty hand.
As for the climate problem, the earth temperature nowadays already in high level. We might not feel it if we live in tropical area, but it's real when the heat stroke Antartica last February.
NASA recorded the high temperature in Antartica reached 20 degrees Celcius. Two glaciers contained with tons of ice melted and absolutely contributed into sea level rise. What you gonna do if flood everywhere in the land?
Based on Laffoley and Grimsditch (2009), the high productivity in seagrass brings the ability for long term accumulation and storage for organic matter in the sediment. This habitat has significantly mitigate to climate change. So, are you still asking why we need to conserve seagrass?