Coastal seagrass can store more heat-trapping carbon per square kilometre than forests can, which means these coastal plants could be part of the solution to climate change.
Even though seagrasses occupy less than 0.2 per cent of the world’s oceans, they can hold up to 83,000 tonne of carbon per square kilometre, a global team of researchers reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.
That is more than twice the 30,000 tonnes of carbon per square kilometre a typical terrestrial forest can store.
Earth’s oceans are an important carbon sink, keeping climate-warming carbon dioxide from human-made andnatural sources out of the atmosphere. The scientists found that seagrasses account for more than 10 per cent of all the carbon buried in oceans, also known as blue carbon.