Seagrass meadows, Scotland’s natural capital


A recent blog at Save Scottish Seas looks at the value of Scottish seagrass meadows and how citizen science can help to help to discover the location and extent of these habitats.

Guest blogger Richard Lilley from Scottish Seagrass takes us underwater to explore Scotland’s Seagrass Meadows – productive coastal habitats that are an example of the valuable Natural Capital in Scotland’s Seas – and how you can get Seagrass Spotting to help map them!

Natural Capital is often defined as the world’s stocks of natural ‘assets’ which include the land we live on, the oceans we fish, the air we breathe, the water we drink… indeed all living things!

It is from this Natural Capital that humans derive a wide range of benefits (often called ecosystem services) which make human life possible.

Scotland’s Natural Capital is understood to be vast, and a Natural Capital Committee exists to provide advice to the UK government on the sustainable use of natural resources.

But just how vast is it?

Seagrass meadows are just one example of Scotland’s valuable Natural Capital, since they are just one of several productive coastal habitats that exist around our Scottish coast (just think about our maerl beds, kelp forests, and oyster reefs to name a few).

Globally seagrass meadows are becoming increasingly recognised for their ecosystem services – they provide a ‘nursery habitat’ for commercially important fish species, and are also known for their immense ability to act as ‘carbon sinks’ and store vast amounts of carbon below ground.

Read the full blog at Save Scottish Seas.

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