The planetary role of seagrass conservation

Unsworth, R.K.F. et al. | Science | 2022 | Peer Reviewed | Review |


Seagrasses are remarkable plants that have adapted to live in a marine environment. They form extensive meadows found globally that bioengineer their local environments and preserve the coastal seascape. With the increasing realization of the planetary emergency that we face, there is growing interest in using seagrasses as a nature-based solution for greenhouse gas mitigation. However, seagrass sensitivity to stressors is acute, and in many places, the risk of loss and degradation persists. If the ecological state of seagrasses remains compromised, then their ability to contribute to nature-based solutions for the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis remains in doubt. We examine the major ecological role that seagrasses play and how rethinking their conservation is critical to understanding their part in fighting our planetary emergency.