Seagrasses are higher plants (Magnoliophyta) that can adapt to live immersed in shallow seas. El Shaffai (2011) revealed that there are about 60 species of seagrasses worldwide spread in tropical and subtropical waters. Seagrass diversity in tropical waters is very high, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, there are up to 14 seagrass species in an ecosystem. Indonesia alone currently has 13 seagrass species consisting of seven genera, three of which (Enhalus, Thalassia, Halophila) belong to the Hydrocaritaceae tribe. The rest (Halodule, Cymodocea, Syringodium and Thallasodendron) belong to the Cymodoceae tribe.
Seagrass meadows have several functions as nutrient filters from rivers or the sea, wave and current breakers, preventing erosion, and improving seawater quality by helping to settle substrates and stabilize sediments. Ecologically, it functions as a primary producer, habitat for various marine animals, substrate for epiphytic biota, nursery and rearing ground for several types of biota that spend their adult life in this habitat, protecting the surrounding biota from strong solar heat, and nutrient recycler (Rosalina, 2018).
Seagrass meadows are home to many species of benthic invertebrates, resident and transient demersal and pelagic organisms. Some species utilize seagrass beds for food and shelter during critical times in their life cycle, especially during the larval phase. In addition, some other organisms are visitors who come every day to find food (Hitalessy et al., 2015).
Seagrass ecosystem management in Indonesia is urgently needed as part of fisheries management (Nadiarti et al., 2012). Future research should therefore focus on regional differences in vulnerability, especially in disturbance hotspots that form the basis for seagrass protection (Grech et al., 2012).
El Shaffai, A. (2011). Field guide to seagrasses of the Red Sea. Rouphael, A. and Abdulla, A., (eds.). First Edition. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN and Courbevoie, France. 56 p
Grech, A., Chartrand-Miller, K., Erftemeijer, P., et al. (2012). A comparison of threats, vulnerabilities and management approaches in global seagrass bioregions. Environmental Research Letters, 7(2): 1-8.
Hitalessy, R.B., Leksono, A.S., & Herawati, E.Y. (2015). Community Structure and Association of Gastropods with Seagrass Plants in Coastal Waters of Lamongan, East Java. Journal of Sustainable Development, 6(1), 64-73.
Nadiarti, N.E., Djuwita, I., Budiharsono, S., et al. (2012). Challenging for Seagrass Management in Indonesia. Journal of Coastal Development, 15(3): 234-242.
Rosalina, D., Herawati, E.Y., Risjani, Y., et al. (2018). Seagrass species diversity in South Bangka Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands Province. EnviroScienteae, 14(1): 21-28.
Author: Mohamad David Ari Darmawan (Aquaculture, 2018)
Editor : Muhammad Ichwan Firmansyah & Adi