A review of seagrass ecosystem services: providing nature-based solutions for a changing world

Mariana Lima, Thaisa Fernandes Bergamo, Raymond Ward, Chris Joyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seagrasses are marine flowering plants, which form extensive meadows in intertidal and shallow water marine environments. They provide a wide range of ecosystem services, which directly or indirectly benefit humans and can be grouped into four broad categories: provisioning (e.g. food production); regulating (e.g. carbon sequestration); supporting (e.g. primary production); and cultural (e.g. recreational, and eco-tourism). This study provides a review of publications focusing on seagrass ecosystem services provision to identify knowledge gaps and improve our understanding of the use of these habitats as nature-based solutions to societal challenges, such as climate change. Results showed that some ecosystem services, namely food provision, carbon sequestration, and maintenance of biodiversity/nursery habitats receive a higher level of focus and attention than others, such as regulation of diseases and social relations, which are rarely, if ever, included in studies. It is clear that in order to fully comprehend the nature-based solution potential held by seagrass ecosystems, studies need to consider ecosystem services as a whole, and also combine and share results across global regions, to better understand the potential impacts of degradation and loss of these ecosystems worldwide. Suggestions include applying novel technologies such as remote sensing and ecological niche modelling to address some of the main gaps in seagrass research, like meadow extent and connectivity within landscapes, to better incorporate preservation of seagrass ecosystems in marine management plans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2655-2670
Number of pages16
Issue number12-13
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2023


  • Seagrass
  • Ecosystem services
  • Conservation
  • Nature-based solutions


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