By Deepak ChopraAAP photo/G.
RajendraBengaluru, Feb. 19(PTI)India is now home to more than three million sea grass plants, the world’s second largest ecosystem after the ocean.
A new study has revealed that the country’s biodiversity has soared in the past 100 years due to the country having more than a million species of sea plants.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, also found that sea grass is increasingly being used as a biofuel, which could have a positive impact on the environment.
India has an estimated 300 million sea plants, of which more than 200 million are black-eyed sea grass, a species that has become increasingly popular due to its low cost and sustainability.
The paper, titled “Globalisation, biodiversity and marine biodiversity: A comparative assessment of ecosystem services”, says India is now the second largest species in the world, behind only the Pacific island nation of Niue, which boasts some 800 million sea flowers.
It said that while the number of sea flowers has grown by about 50 per cent since 1960, the number that live on land has declined by about 30 per cent.
This has led to the loss of at least 7,000 species, the authors said, noting that this loss has occurred in areas that were previously considered to be relatively pristine.
The sea grass ecosystem also is a major source of carbon, the paper said, adding that the loss was due to a lack of management and habitat protection.
India is home to the world´s most diverse marine ecosystem, with over a million marine species, including more than 300 marine species of black-footed sea-frogs, blue whales, tuna, sharks and seals.
The country has also a large number of endangered marine species including the deep-sea fish that is threatened by overfishing, the Indian Ocean island of Sulawesi and the deep sea shrimp known as the black sea sponge.