The algae in the global occupy a tiny portion of the coastal area, but other than filtering water and providing shelter inhabitants of the seas, they are making a great contribution to the binding of carbon in the air.
Scientists from the International University of Florida for the first time on a global scale have analyzed how much carbon out of the air link coastal marine algae, and demonstrated that the annual seagrass beds and associated lay in the soil for more than 80 tonnes of carbon per square kilometer. For comparison, this figure scaffold is about 30 thousand, and they fix carbon mainly in the form of wood.
Moreover, the scientists found that the algae that grow by just 0.2% of ocean space are responsible for 10% of carbon absorbed by marine life.
According to the results, seagrass beds for hundreds of years lay in the soil absorbed 90% of their carbon from the air. Ability to live algae in the Mediterranean region has led to the emergence of carbon deposits that go deep into the soil for many meters.
In this case, seagrass beds in the world are threatened with extinction. Almost a third of these people have destroyed the undergrowth, mainly due to the deterioration of water quality and dredging. Every year lost about 1.5% of the territory occupied by the algae. Researchers estimate that the destruction of algae leads to an increase in the concentration of carbon in the air, corresponding to 25% of the increase in the amount of carbon due to deforestation.
The main advantage of algae over dolgorastuschimi forests lies in their ability to quickly form a huge green mass, which is able to effectively bind carbon.
In addition to absorbing carbon from the air algae do much more useful. They filter particles suspended in sea water, protect coastal areas from flooding and provide many organisms, including fish fishing habitat. Based on these data, the researchers say that the future of our planet depends on whether we can protect from destruction and restore the riparian thickets of seaweed.