Oceans Without Limits – A Journey of Discovery
Seagrass is a true flowering plant that grows in clumps and can form extensive underwater beds. The physical structure of seagrass beds provides a combination of food and habitat which allows for high biomass and productivity of commercially important fish species. The seagrass beds in the Indian Ocean region also act as a nursery for species that inhabit adjacent habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves.
Seagrass is a bio-engineer of soft sediment habitats and maintains shoreline stability by preventing erosion of the sediment with its roots and rhizomes which disrupts currents and promotes the settling of suspended sediments and restricts their resuspension. Seagrass may also have a similar effect on suspended microplastic particles and thus increase the amount of microplastic in the sediment in areas inhabited by seagrass beds causing adverse effects within the ecosystem and its fauna.
The aim of our study was to test whether seagrass beds cause an increase in the quantity of microplastic in the sediment in the Indian Ocean where many people are reliant on the sea for both protein and income.
Due to the relevant literature, a higher quantity of microplastic was expected in areas where seagrass is present compared to areas where it is absent
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