Researchers discovered that world’s center of biodiversity is facing threat of losing an important marine source, according to a study conducted on April 10, 2018.
The risks to seagrass meadows throughout the vast Indonesian archipelago was analyzed by the researchers. This area is known as the center of the world’s biodiversity and the meadows are known as the ‘Prairies of the Sea’. They are highly productive shallow water marine and coastal habitats that comprises of marine plants, and food and shelter required for animals in the sea are provided by these areas. The research conducted by Dr. Richard Unsworth found that around 90% of the seagrass meadows in Indonesia were extensively damaged and degraded over the past five years.
Moreover, solutions to the problems faced by these productive ecosystems are also discussed by the researchers, which includes the importance of community-led conservation action. For instance, in a series of small islands in Eastern Indonesia, seagrasses were threatened by sediment and nutrient run-off from the land due to the degradation of riverbanks. As a result, replanting of riparian vegetation along the rivers as an incentive scheme with local farmers has reduced the flow of these pollutants into the sea.
Dr. Richard Unsworth, who led the study said, “This loss of seagrass is a terrible problem as the habitats in Indonesia have a major significance for daily food supply and general livelihoods. Without seagrass as a fishery habitat many people in Indonesia would not be able to feed their families on a daily basis.” Seagrass meadows are of high ecological value, yet the loss of these systems is increasing in Indonesia. They are not monitored and managed, and this leads to the tragedy of seagrass.