Seagrasses, a group of about 60 species of underwater marine flowering plants, grow in the shallow marine and estuary environments of all the world's continents except Antarctica. The primary food of animals such as manatees, dugongs, green sea turtles, and critical habitat for thousands of other animal and plant species, seagrasses are also considered one of the most important shallow-marine ecosystems for humans, since they play an important role in fishery production. Though they are highly valuable ecologically and eonomically, many seagrass habitats around the world have been completely destroyed or are now in rapid decline. The World Atlas of Seagrasses is the first authoritative and comprehensive global synthesis of the distribution and status of this critical marine habitat--which, along with mangroves and coral reefs, has been singled out for particular attention by the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity.
Illustrated throughout with color maps, photographs, tables, and more, and written by a large team of international collaborators, this unique volume covers seagrass ecology, scientific studies to date, current status, changing distributions, threatened areas, and conservation and management efforts for 24 regions of the world. As human populations expand and continue to live disproportionately in coastal areas, bringing new threats to seagrass habitat, a comprehensive overview of coastal resources and critical habitats is more important than ever. The World Atlas of Seagrasses will stimulate new research, conservation, and management efforts, and will help better focus priorities at the international level for these vitally important coastal ecosystems.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
Edmund P. Green heads the UNEP-/WCMC's Marine and Coastal Programme and is coauthor with Mark D. Spalding and Corinna Ravilious of World Atlas of Coral Reefs. Frederick T. Short is Research Professor of Natural Resources at the University of New Hampshire and coeditor of Global Seagrass Research Methods.
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