Photograph - Photo
Path way overwet land. The path way is constucted of planks., woodwork Canon 5 mk III
These unusual marine flowering plants are called seagrasses because in many species the leaves are long and narrow, and these plants often grow in large "meadows" which look like grassland: in other words many of the species of seagrasses superficially resemble terrestrial grasses of the family Poaceae.
Like all autotrophic plants, seagrasses photosynthesize so are limited to growing in the submerged photic zone, and most occur in shallow and sheltered coastal waters anchored in sand or mud bottoms. Most species undergo submarine pollination and complete their entire life cycle underwater. There are about sixty species worldwide.
Seagrasses form extensive beds or meadows, which can be either monospecific (made up of a single species) or in mixed beds where more than one species coexist. In temperate areas, usually one or a few species dominate (like the eelgrass Zostera marina in the North Atlantic), whereas tropical beds usually are more diverse, with up to thirteen species recorded in the Philippines.
Seagrass beds are highly diverse and productive ecosystems, and can harbor hundreds of associated species from all phyla, for example juvenile and adult fish, epiphytic and free-living macroalgae and microalgae, mollusks, bristle worms, and nematodes. Few species were originally considered to feed directly on seagrass leaves (partly because of their low nutritional content), but scientific reviews and improved working methods have shown that seagrass herbivory is a highly important link in the food chain, with hundreds of species feeding on seagrasses worldwide, including green turtles, dugongs, manatees, fish, geese, swans, sea urchins and crabs.
Some fish species that visit/feed on the seagrass raise their young in adjacent mangroves or coral reefs. Also, seagrass traps sediment and slows water movement, causing suspended sediment to fall out. The trapping of sediment benefits coral by reducing sediment loads in the water.
Historically seagrasses were collected as fertilizer for sandy soil. This was an important use in the Ria de Aveiro, Portugal, where the plants collected were known as moli�o.
In the early 20th century, in France, and to a lesser extent the Channel Islands dried seagrasses were used as a mattress (paillasse) filling, and it was in high demand by French forces during World War I. It was also used for bandages and other purposes.
Currently seagrass has been used in furniture, and woven like rattan
June 21st, 2013
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