As the only flowering plants
growing in marine environments, these meadows are magic: One square kilometer of seagrass stores nearly twice as much carbon as land-based forests, and it does so 35 times faster.
Submerged beneath the waves,
seagrass ecosystems hold colossal reserves of sugar we never knew existed before, with roughly 32 billion cans of Coca-Cola's worth of sweet stuff hiding in the seabed.
Scientists, reported in a study published
in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution that seagrasses release colossal amounts of sugar into their soils
Under the seagrass, sugar
concentrations were unexpectedly at least 80 times higher than previously measured in marine environments.
This happens because seagrasses
produce sugar during photosynthesis. Most of the sugar produced by these plants is used for their metabolism and growth under average light conditions.
Under high light conditions, however,
such as at midday or during summer, the plants produce more sugar than they can store or use, and the excess sucrose is then released into the rhizosphere.
Even though they are carbon
storage powerhouses that can help with our climate woes, they are also some of the most threatened habitats on Earth.