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 range of ecosystem services, which directly or indirectly benefit humans, 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). This study reviews 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 included in studies. It is clear that to fully comprehend the nature-based solution potential of seagrass ecosystems, ecosystem services need to be considered as a whole, and results need to be shared across global regions, to understand the potential impacts of degradation and loss of these ecosystems. Suggestions include applying novel technologies such as remote sensing and ecological niche modelling to address some of the gaps in seagrass research, and incorporate preservation of seagrass ecosystems in marine management plans.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Apr 2023


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