Sweet spots in the sea: Mountains of sugar under seagrass meadows

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology report that seagrasses release large amounts of sugar into their soils – worldwide more than 1 million tons of sucrose, enough for 32 billion cans of coke. Such high concentrations of sugar are surprising. Normally, microorganisms quickly consume any free sugars in their environment. The scientists found that seagrasses excrete phenolic compounds, and these deter most microorganisms from degrading the sucrose. This ensures that the sucrose remains buried underneath the meadows and cannot be converted into CO2 and returned to the ocean and atmosphere. They now describe their discovery in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft