Seagrass meadows whose use is still underestimated as climate change mitigation

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Disasterchannel.co,- You must know that throughout 2021, BNPB recorded 3,092 events dominated by hydrometeorological disasters. The most frequent disasters were floods with 1,298 events, extreme weather with 804 events, and landslides with 632 events.

Hydrometeorological disasters continue to dominate, none other than because of climate change due to global warming. Greenhouse gases continue to increase due to human activities. Ironically, humans are also affected by disasters.

Actually all this will not be made worse if we can mitigate climate change. Talking about global warming, there is one thing that is no less interesting but neglected, that is seagrass. Seagrass or seagrass are higher plants (Anthophyta) that live and grow immersed in the marine environment; vascular, rhizome, rooted, and reproduce generatively (seeds) and vegetatively. Seagrass beds or commonly known as seagrass beds have many benefits, including being primary producers, habitat for biota, stabilizer for the water base, catching sediment and recycling nutrients.

As autotrophic plants, seagrasses bind carbon dioxide (CO2) and convert it into energy which mostly enters the food chain, either through direct predation by herbivores or through decomposition as litter.

Seagrass has the ability to contribute to climate change mitigation, through estimation of organic carbon storage (Corg) because of its potential to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) which can be used as blue carbon storage. This potential should be maximized for climate change mitigation.

Research results from the LIPI Oceanographic Research Center stated that seagrass beds can absorb an average of 6.59 tons C/ha/year or the equivalent of 24.13 tons CO2/ha/year. You can imagine, Indonesia’s long coastline is a habitat for seagrass beds, so it can absorb a lot of carbon dioxide.

In addition, seagrass beds also have a function as a Sediment Catcher and Current and Wave Retainer. Dense seagrass leaves will slow the flow of water caused by currents and waves, so that the surrounding waters become calm. In addition, seagrass rhizomes and roots can hold and bind sediment, so that they can strengthen and stabilize the base surface. Seagrass leaves that function as sediment catchers as well as retaining currents and waves that play a role in preventing coastal erosion.

Seagrass beds capture and stabilize sediment, so the water becomes clearer. When water waves hit seagrass beds, their energy drops, so that the sediment dissolved in the water can settle to the seabed. When sediment is deposited at the bottom, the seagrass root system traps and stabilizes the sediment.

Unfortunately a thousand dear, in fact the condition of seagrass beds in Indonesia is included in an ‘unhealthy’ condition. The existence of seagrass beds in some areas has been degraded due to regional development. I don’t know how long the issue of environmental preservation will always be put aside and end up suffering the fruit of damage. (LS)

Source:

Bedulli C, Lavery PS, Harvey M, Duarte CM and Serrano O (2020) Contribution of Seagrass Blue Carbon Toward Carbon Neutral Policies in a Touristic and Environmentally-Friendly Island. Front. Mar. Sci. 7:1. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00001

Bedulli C, Lavery PS, Harvey M, Duarte CM and Serrano O (2020) Contribution of Seagrass Blue Carbon Toward Carbon Neutral Policies in a Touristic and Environmentally-Friendly Island. Front. Mar. Sci. 7:1. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00001

Photo: lipi.go.id