Ocean seagrass has released sugar equivalent to 32 billion cans of Coke soft drink – Photo: WINGS ENVIRONMENTAL
Seagrasses form the green grasslands at the bottom of many coastal waters around the world, and are one of the most efficient global carbon sequestration sources on the planet.
One km2 Seagrasses store carbon almost twice and 35 times faster than land-based forests SciTech Daily.
The type of sugar that is easy to digest and full of energy
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen (Germany) have discovered that seagrasses release a large amount of sugar in their biosphere. The sugar concentration under the seagrass is at least 80 times higher than in the marine environment.
Dr Manuel Liebeke, head of the research team at the Max Planck Institute, explains: “We estimate that worldwide there are about 0.6-1.3 million tons of sugar, mainly in the form of sucrose, in the rhizomes of the rhizomes. That’s almost comparable to the amount of sugar in 32 billion cans of Coke.”
Easy to digest and full of energy, why isn’t sucrose consumed by the huge microbial community in the seagrass biosphere?
What the researchers found was that seagrasses, like many other plants, release phenolic compounds into their sediments, says author Maggie Sogin.
Red wine, coffee and fruit are high in phenols and are considered by many to be health boosters. Few people know that phenol is antibacterial and inhibits the metabolism of most microorganisms.
In their experiment, the researchers added phenol isolated from seagrass to the microorganisms in the seagrass rhizomes – and indeed, much less sucrose was consumed than without the phenol.
Why do seagrasses produce such a large amount of sugar, which is then only released into their biosphere?
Nicole Dubilier, director of the Max Planck Institute, an expert in marine microbiology, explains: “Seagrasses produce sugars during photosynthesis. In medium light, these plants use most of the sugars for However, in high light, such as at midday or during the summer, plants produce more sugar than they can use or store. They then release excess sucrose. excess to the rhizome. Think of this as an overflow valve.”
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