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Importance of seagrasses: a review for Fiji Islands

Singh, Shalini (2019) Importance of seagrasses: a review for Fiji Islands. International Journal of Conservation Science, 10 (3). pp. 587-602. ISSN 2067-533X

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Seagrasses form large meadows along coastlines of every continent except Antarctica and have an estimated value of 151.4 billion USD in the Melanesian region. Seagrasses provide vital functions such as preventing coastal erosion, improving water quality, capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere. Globally, seagrasses have declined in area by approximately 29% since the beginning of the 20th century, and the rate of decline is speeding up. Scientists attribute seagrass decline to poor water quality caused by pollution in run-off, especially nutrients and sediments that are washed down rivers and into coastal habitats. Seagrass habitats are far less studied than other marine ecosystems like coral reefs, and detailed information about them in the Pacific Islands is lacking. Their nearshore location makes seagrasses highly vulnerable to human-induced disturbances, especially impacts related to human population increase such as urban expansion, water course alteration and increased loading of sediments, pollutants and algal generating nutrients. Therefore, this review wishes to highlight their functions, threats, habitat loss consequence, policy gaps, and raise awareness for seagrasses. Effectively managing seagrass ecosystems in the Fiji Islands requires: significant improvement in awareness of this natural resource and understanding issues such as ecosystem resilience, run-off, and effective catchment management strategies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 21:23
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2020 21:23

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