A typical terrestrial forrest can store up to 30.000 metric tons of Carbon per square kilometre. On the other side of sea level one square kilometre of healthy seagrass meadow can store up to 83.000 tons of Carbon, making it more than twice as effective as a carbon sink.
The other main advantage of Seagrass over a land based forrest is this:
Trees tie the carbon into their structures that are mostly above the ground, which again means that ones it gets cut down and eventually burned the Carbon is back in the cycles and is not stored for good.
Seagrass meadows hold the vast majority of the Carbon in their rhizome, a part that does not die off and grows together with the underground on the long run, building it into meter thick layers that will stay below the surface even if the meadow might die off, making it an exceptionally efficient carbon sink in the future!
So if you do the maths one square meter of seagrass meadow can hold as much as 83kg of carbon!
Already calculations show that about 10% of carbon that gets stored in our oceans ends up in seagrass habitats, even though they only cover around 0,2% of the seabed.
While Seagrass works effectively as a carbon sink it also has other incredible features with it:
- It acts as a coastal engineer holding sediments back that get washed into the ocean but also stabilising the underground to a level where it can balance entire islands and safe them from being washed away by waves and tides.
- And of course Seagrass is a major habitat of biodiversity, acting as a breeding ground for a variety of fishes and other animals that seek shelter from bigger predators.