Could seagrass be the ultimate carbon sink?
A team of scientists led by researchers at the Åbo Akademi University in Finland seem to think so – they say of the many kinds of ecosystems able to absorb and store large amounts of carbon dioxide, seagrass is one of the most efficient.
They say meadows of species such as eelgrass have an “excellent capacity” for taking up and storing carbon in the oxygen-depleted seabed, where they decompose much slower than grass on land.
This oxygen-free sediment traps the carbon in the dead plant material, burying it for hundreds of years.
Seagrass grow in waters up to 90 metres deep and are easy to plant – researchers claim restoring one hectare of seagrass would correspond to the carbon sink capabilities of at least ten hectares of dry-land forest.