Zostera marina Zosteraceae Eelgrass

Picture 1 Close-up

Zostera marinae 34kb

Description - A green grass like plant with leaves up to about 1cm wide

Habitat - On sandy or gravelly beaches at the low-tide mark of spring tides and below low tide mark

Comments - Eelgrass species are one of the few flowering plants that can grow in the sea. They are very important ecologically because of the great biodiversity that they support. In the tropics they are an important food for turtles, and here for wintering Brent Geese. In the 1930s a disease wiped out large areas of this plant in Europe, but it now seems to be recovering. In the close-up photograph periwinkles can be seen browsing on the leaves. The lilac spots on the older leaves are the red alga Pneophyllum fragile. Eelgrass is widespread around the coast of Guernsey, particularly vigorous beds can be found in the Humps (islets north of Herm)



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