16.02.2016: Press release – Biodiversity leads to more stable ecosystems

In an article of the Weser Kurier, a daily newspaper for Bremen and Lower Saxony, the question is addressed in how far ecosystems are affected and threatened by human activities and how their stability can be increased. In the framework of the LANCET project, a team of German and Chinese scientists examined seagrass meadows in coastal areas of the tropical island of Hainan, which to a varying extent are affected by aquaculture facilities. The researchers found that with the increasing number of breeding ponds, damage to the seagrass meadows increased. The researchers found a large amount of suspended matter in the ocean off the coast: organic material and sediments from the hinterland, as well as food waste and excrements of the breeding animals from the ponds. These took away sunlight, which is so vital, from the seagrasses. Small algae, which grow as epiphytes on the grasses, had rapidly multiplied due to the oversupply of nutrients. The growth density and the diversity of the grasses decreased, and in heavily polluted sites, seagrasses disappeared entirely. Due to the decline of seagrass meadows amounting to 7% per year, biodiversity is under acute threat in tropical coastal areas.

Read the whole article.

 

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