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Seagrass Podcast: Extras
See Ari’s photos of Àlex Lorente and Posidonia
You can view the Flickr photostream of Submón, Lorente’s conservation group.
Photographer and Spaniard Manu San Félix has splendid photos of the Mediterranean seagrass meadows and their fauna. This slideshow includes an image of a diver against a towering wall, the accumulated mat of seagrass rhizomes.
Google Earth Tour
View a Google Earth tour that shows an ecological faceoff in the Mediterranean between the Posidonia and an invasive algae from halfway around the world.
Posidonia may be one of the longest-lived organisms on the planet. Sophie Arnaud-Haond and colleagues reported that some colonies of Posidonia may be hundreds of thousands of years old.
Damage from ships’ anchors isn’t the only threat to seagrass. Seagrass meadows are cleared to make room for coastal development or fish farms. While seagrass has survived climate change in the past, scientists think the accelerated warming of the ocean may wipe out vast areas of Posidonia and the species that depend on the seagrass habitat.
The roots, or rhizomes, of Posidonia produce a mat that holds the sandy seabed in place, allowing a seagrass meadow to form. These meadows form important nurseries for the larvae and young of many species along coastlines throughout the Mediterranean:
Learn more about these species on EOL:
When fronds of neptune grass decompose they leave behind fibrous veins. Surf and waves then roll the fibers into perfect spheres that wash up on beaches and mystify beachcombers. Botanists call the fiber balls egagropili—the same word used to describe hairballs coughed up by goats!
If you live near a coast, check the website of Seagrassnet.org to see whether you can help monitor a seagrass habitat near you.