Closer look at seagrass and its benefits

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UNAIR NEWS – Lamun or seagrass in English is different from seaweed known well by public. Seagrass is the only plant from class Liliopsida (monocots) which is able to adapt in the sea especially coastal areas.

It is one of the key factors in ecosystems that act as spawning, feeding, nursing and sheltering various types of coastal organisms. Unfortunately, the seagrass ecosystem has deteriorated throughout the hemisphere due to global warming.

Global warming that occurred in the last few decades has not only affected the life of marine organisms but also has an impact on coastal organisms. This condition not only causes a rise in the air temperature, but also the temperature of the seawater globally. With that background, a lecturer of Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) Dr. Sucipto Hariyanto, DEA and his team revealed the benefits of seagrass and its current condition.

“The sample used for my team’s research, Thalassia hemprichii Thalassia hemprichii (10‒5 cm from base to the tip of leaf) were obtained from the north coast of Lamongan. The experiment was conducted in hydroponic culture system under aquarium conditions at Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department Biology Faculty of Sciences and Technology Universitas Airlangga,” stated the FST lecturer.

Seagrass as one of the main marine resources, he continued, because it is beneficial to the sea ecosystem both ecologically and economically. Seagrass is useful for sediment stabilization, water quality improvement, and carbon and nutrition cycle. It also provides habitat for organisms in coastal areas for spawning, sheltering, and feeding for many species including fish and clams with high economic values.

The alumnus of Universite Paris Xii Val De Marne doctoral program explained further about the ecological, physiological and morphological adaptation performed by seagrass, so it could live underwater, with internal gas transport, epidermal chloroplast, and underwater pollination. The changes in sunlight intensity, the water depth, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere globally and water temperature are continuously responded by seagrass in a tolerance or threat mechanism ended with death,” he said.

Heat stress experienced by Thalassia hemprichii responded by higher significant expression Sod gene was 3.02-fold, Apx gene was 4.93-fold, Cat gene was 1.72-fold, Hsp 70 gene was 1.71-fold and Hsp 80 gene was 2.78-fold while the sHsp gene was down regulated by -2.21-fold, but not significant.

Author : Dian Putri Apriliani

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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