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Seagrass: The Lungs of Ocean

Seagrass ecosystems, often overshadowed by more conspicuous marine habitats, play a vital role in marine ecology and coastal resilience. Seagrasses, the sole marine representatives of Angiospermae, are widely distributed across shallow coastal areas, salt marshes, and estuaries globally. They serve as essential habitats and nursery grounds for diverse marine species, supporting intricate food webs and providing refuge from predators. Seagrass meadows act as filters, stabilizing sediments, improving water quality, and mitigating the impacts of waves and storms on coastlines. Economically, seagrasses contribute significantly to commercial fisheries and nature-based tourism industries. Despite their importance, seagrass habitats face threats from human activities such as trawling, dredging, and pollution. Restoration efforts, including replanting and reseeding techniques, are underway to conserve and restore seagrass ecosystems. Overall, seagrasses emerge as critical "ecosystem engineers" essential for maintaining coastal biodiversity and resilience in the face of climate change and anthropogenic pressures.