As members of our community are increasingly anxious about imminent dangers to our local waters, we hope this study adds some insight to issues critical to all of us. – Editor
Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most. That’s definitely the case for endangered and threatened seagrass ecosystems according to a new study. Little clams living in the soil of seagrass beds consume toxic sulfides that accumulate in the silty sediments and turn what should be a toxic soup into a healthy aquatic environment where communities of fish, clams and shrimp thrive.by Donna Hesterman, University of Florida
The study, a collaboration between a University of Florida researcher and a team of Netherland scientists, appears in the June 15 edition of the journal Science.
“Seagrass meadows are buffers against pollution and erosion that can damage the coast,” said Brian Silliman, the UF associate professor of biology who co-authored the study. “They also serve as nurseries for a variety of important fishery species and support healthy coral reef communities by absorbing nutrients and reducing turbidity.”
IMAGE CREDIT: Marjolijn J.A. Christianen