Seaweed could be key to saving Great Barrier Reef
It's already well-established that seaweed nutrients contribute to a wide range of health benefits in people. Thanks to its antioxidants, essential fatty acids and phenols, this nutritious sea vegetable goes a long way in fighting off diseases and boosting overall well-being. But scientists are now looking to use these healthy seaweed benefits in a new arena: Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Stretching over 344,000 square kilometers and across 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is not only the world's largest coral reef system but one of the planet's greatest natural wonders. Unfortunately, this underwater beauty faces a major threat known as "crown of thorns," a reef-eating starfish that can be found in waters containing too high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. However, according to ABC News, researchers at James Cook University (JCU) in Queensland, Australia, have now determined that seaweed may be their strongest tool in combating this problem.
"Seaweeds pick up nitrogen and phosphorous to reasonably high levels and they clean the water," Rocky de Nys, a professor at the JCU School of Marine and Tropical Biology, told the source. "That removes the nitrogen and phosphorous so the water can be released and it also provides a product so the seaweed has some value."
In other words, seaweed can be used to clean up the waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef and help eliminate those threatening starfish.
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