Seagrass Bed

Browse past “In the (Sea) Grass” posts here.

Seagrass beds are extremely productive ecosystems. Providing habitat for an abundance of commercially important fish species, seagrass beds also act as nurseries for many animals until they grow large enough to move into other coastal habitats, such as salt marshes and oyster reefs. Both of the major research efforts conducted by Dr. Randall Hughes and Dr. David Kimbro, their biodiversity and biogeographic studies, have touched on seagrass beds. Acting as carbon sinks, seagrass beds also capture and store carbon for thousands of years. As seagrasses decline, the carbon is slowly released back into the atmosphere and animals relying on the seagrass beds are also at risk.

Saint Joseph Bay seagrass bedSeagrass Beds and Blue Carbon
Dr. Peter MacReadie visits Randall Hughes in Saint Joseph Bay and explains how seagrass beds benefit humans. This ecosystem also acts as a carbon sink. As seagrass beds decline, they release this carbon back into the air, which could have longterm implications for our environment.

Horse Conch on Bay Mouth BarBay Mouth Bar – Where Everything is Hungry
An introduction to Bay Mouth Bar.  This seagrass bed system becomes exposed during a few low tides a month.  It contains the largest diversity of predatory snails in the world.  Their eating each other, and clams, has consequences on a clam’s ability to filter water.  If that water isn’t filtered, it may negatively affect the seagrass bed.

True Tulip Snail eating a Banded Tulip SnailPredator Diversity Loss at Bay Mouth Bar
Loss of predator diversity is becoming a worldwide trend. Comparing recent samplings to those conducted in the 1950’s shows a few changes in the predator lineup of Bay Mouth Bar. Tanya Rogers investigates: are more predators better on the seagrass beds of Bay Mouth Bar?


Meet the species of Bay Mouth Bar.