Seagrass in the food web of inshore

Seagrass
is a monotypic genus of marine flowering plants and its sole species. They are
native to coastal waters of the tropical Indian and western Pacific Ocean. The
strap-shaped leaves of it arise directly from the rhizomes and can reach one
(1) meter in length. There is surface pollinated with male flowers that separate
from the plant to float on the surface until they reach a female flower where
pollination can occur.

            According to the International
Research Journal of Environmental Science on the Studies on Seagrasses in
Relation to some Environmental Variables from Chilika Lagoon, Odisha, India, the
reason why they conducted the study was because Chilika Lagoon has been studied
from different angle and different aspect by several authors. The seagrasses
from Chilika Lagoon have not been studied so far.

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            The materials and methods use on the
study were seagrass sample and hydrogeological parameters were collected
regularly at monthly interval of time for ten months starting from February
2013 to December 2013. Seagrass were collected using quadrate sampling method
of 1-1 square meter area. The physio-chemical parameters such as air
temperature (AT), water temperature (WT), pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen (DO),
total organic carbon (TOC), total suspended solid (TSS), total dissolved solid
(TDS), and total hardness (TH) were collected during monsoon, post monsoon, and
pre monsoon seasons. Multiple samples were taken from each study site than the
average has been calculated and cited. All samples were brought to the
laboratory of P.G. Department of Marine Sciences, Berhampur University and the
analysis was made using standard methods of APHA 2005.

            On their study they concluded that seagrass
is a vital indicator of coastal ecosystem and serve as spawning and nursery
grounds for a large numbers of fish and invertebrate species which plays an
important role in the food web of inshore ecosystem and provide a critical
habitat for fish diversity. Six genus and 14 species belonging to two families
are known from Indian coast. Despite a recent surge in research activity,
studies on Indian seagrasses are scantly and inadequate.

            Large regions and a major stretch of
coastlines of the country are still unexplored for seagrasses. From the above
discussions, we conclude that the 5 species of Seagrasses inhabits the Asia’s
largest salt water lagoon associating to its rich floral diversity. The lake
also provides suitable conditions for the proliferate growth of seagrasses.
While seagrass meadows are declining globally. The meadows in Chilika have been
expanding showing a very good sign of recovery of its ecosystem.             The meadow which was 20 sq.km in the
year 2000 (before the hydrological intervention), has expanded to after
restoration. Wild life experts are hoping the highly endangered dugong or sea
cow could again visit Orissa’s Chilika Lake. It is a great challenge to wetland
planner and researcher to conserve and maintain a healthy habitat for the sea
grasses. The expanding beds of seagrass growing in the shallow waters could be
a critical requirement for the big marine animal. Thus, it has become
imperative to carry out advanced study to monitor the seagrass meadows of
Chilika, because the seagrasses of Chilika lagoon are valuable for future need.
Now it is facing threat. Hence an appropriate management plan is needed
urgently so as to reserve the biodiversity.

            On the study of Richard K F
Unsworth, Stephanie L Hinder, Owen G Bodger and Leanne C Cullen-Unsworth about
Food supply depends on seagrass meadows in the coral triangle. They conducted
this study to help fisheries and conservation management actions to help
promote resilient ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods, and food supply,
knowledge is required about the habitats that help support fisheries
productivity and the consequences of this for food security.

       The materials and methods used in this
study was the study site, food security, fish usage of seagrass, fisheries
catch, fisheries catch data statistics, household surveys and Market Surveys.

         They discuss that ecosystem
conservation that targets the support of fisheries productivity and food
security requires a clear understanding of the habitats that underpin them.
They provided a novel examination of how a multi-species and multi-gear fishery
in the tropics is supported by the productivity of seagrass meadows. The site
of the present study is typical of coastal and island locations throughout the
tropics, where human communities commonly live in close proximity to abundant
seagrass meadows that form part of a wider coastal seascape. They suggest that
the findings of this study require consideration with respect to fisheries
management strategies throughout the tropics, particularly within the
Indo-Pacific.

            They present interdisciplinary
evidence that seagrass meadows at the center of the Coral Triangle support at
least 50% of the fish based food supply that accounts for between 54% and 99%
of daily protein intake in the area. Given that 68% of fishing activity occurs
within seagrass meadows and not on coral reefs as is widely assumed to be the
case within many tropical fisheries (Unsworth and Cullen 2010), their study
illustrates making assumptions about where fishing activity occurs and the
biological production supporting fishers can lead to inappropriate management
actions being taken.

            And in order to manage these coastal
seascapes an emphasis needs to be placed on management that can truly be
considered to be ‘ecosystem-based’, ensuring ecosystem integrity of all
habitats and the long-term provision of ecosystem services such as food
security. Their research clearly demonstrates that such management needs to
consider how and where fishers fish, and their local fishing preferences and
habitat knowledge.

            On this study they concluded that
Seagrass meadows can provide a major source of habitat for fish of subsistence
and commercial value. This has wide implications for how food supply is made
secure in the long term. Seagrass meadows are under sustained threat from a
range of impacts worldwide, this study provides evidence of the need to
conserve these not just to protect biodiversity but to protect food security 

    According to the Journal of Ethnobiology
and Ethnomedicine about the study on Local Knowledge and Conservation of Seagrasses
in the Tamil, Nadu State of India, the purpose of their study is to assist in
conservation efforts regarding seagrasses through identifying Traditional
Ecological Knowledge (TEK) from local knowledge systems of seagrasses from 40
coastal communities along the eastern coast of India.

            The methods use in this study was
sampling for traditional knowledge of seagrasses within 40 rural fishing
villages, Ethnography, Ethnobotanical Surveys, Identification and Traditional
Ecological Knowledge Consensus Analysis and Seagrass Multivariate
Classification Analysis.

            In study they discussed the
importance of seagrass ecosystems to traditional cultures has been neglected
and deserves stronger recognition and respect. Historically, this resource has
sustained coastal livelihoods for centuries based on their agricultural
(fishing and farming) and medicinal utility. In this study, the locals shared
their belief that a healthy ecosystem supports healthy livelihoods. Elders told
them that the sustenance of life in their communities is dependent upon stable
seagrass habitat, and that it is for this reason that traditionally they have
moved their communities in search of healthy seagrass ecosystems. Seagrasses
are fundamental components of healthy marine ecosystems and the local
livelihoods that rely on them.