‘Seagrass ecosystems reduce exposure to bacterial pathogens of humans, fishes, and invertebrates’

An interesting new Science article just came out discussing the important ecosystem services seagrass meadows provide.  Click here to read the article. Abstract is below. 

Abstract: Plants are important in urban environments for removing pathogens and improving water quality. Seagrass meadows are the most widespread coastal ecosystem on the planet. Although these plants are known to be associated with natural biocide production, they have not been evaluated for their ability to remove microbiological contamination. Using amplicon sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, we found that when seagrass meadows are present, there was a 50% reduction in the relative abundance of potential bacterial pathogens capable of causing disease in humans and marine organisms. Moreover, field surveys of more than 8000 reef-building corals located adjacent to seagrass meadows showed twofold reductions in disease levels compared to corals at paired sites without adjacent seagrass meadows. These results highlight the importance of seagrass ecosystems to the health of humans and other organisms.

By | 2017-12-01T14:01:51-05:00 February 17th, 2017|Categories: seagrass|Tags: , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Enie Hensel
Broadly my interests lie in exploring the intertwining interactions between top-down and bottom-up mechanisms that have been anthropogenically impacted in coastal ecosystems. Currently, I am investigating how structure complexity and the presence of top predators affect patch reef fish communities in Abaco, The Bahamas.

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