Year 9 Marine Studies - Seagrass Monitoring

Last Thursday, the Year 9 Marine Studies class worked alongside Marine Biologists, Seagrass Researches and Parks Victoria to record data for a National Seagrass Monitoring Database.

Seagrasses are flowering plants that rely on light to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugar, which is then available for use by other living organisms. These ecosystems support approximately 40 times more animals than bare sand, they provide a nursery ground and shelter for fish, prawns, shellfish and crabs. They support many human commercial activities and provide feeding grounds for larger predators, include marine birds. Furthermore, in nutrient-poor regions, seagrass plants help nutrient cycling by taking up nutrients from the soil and releasing them into the water through their leaves, acting as a nutrient pump. Although they often receive little attention, they are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, Seagrass meadows are being lost due to human activities.

Each semester, students will monitor seagrass meadows in Swan Bay and submit their data to a database, which will assist scientists to form trends and monitor the condition of these areas.

Fiona Scott
Marine Studies Teacher

 

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