Environment Splendour of the grass

Splendour of the grass

It survived the ‘70s floor covering craze but seagrass is in trouble again due to water pollution, coastal development and climate change.

Popular as a material for floor matting, especially in the 1970s, Seagrass is also an important pillar of many coastal ecosystems. Work at Queensland University of Technology will help keep it that way.

Researchers there created a “statistical toolbox” for local authorities to model and understand the variable growth and distribution patterns of seagrass.

This will help them target activities like dredging to avoid damaging seagrass meadows, which provide shelter, oxygen and food to fish and threatened species like dugongs and green turtles.

Researcher Dr Paul Wu says coastal conservation poses complex problems.

“Real world ecosystems like seagrasses are dynamic and ever changing,” he says.

“Successful implementation of any seagrass management plan requires effective, efficient and timely monitoring and adaptation to changing circumstances.”

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