Posidonia oceanica (Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed)
Species: Posidonia oceanica
- It is the most widespread species of sea grass in Cyprus.
- This grass has seen a 10% decline over the last 100 years.
- It is an important habitat for many species in the Mediterranean and is also endemic to it.
- It has been found to reach depths of 45m and is most commonly found on sand but is also capable of growing on rocks.
- Its shoots can live for at least 30 years and are produced from rhizomes that grow between 1-6cm per year.
- This species is known to protect beaches from erosion, can help mediate the motion of waves and also aids towards seawater clarity.
- It is a monoecious species, which means that both the sperm and eggs are on the same gametophyte (haploid multicellular stage).
- Some species to which it provides habitats include: the spanidae family (Diplodus annularis), the serranidae family (Serranus cabrilla), the labridae family (Coris julius), the scorpaenidae family (Scorpaena scrofa and Scorpaena porzus), sea urchins (Paracentrotas lindius).
- It is grazed on by Chelonian mydas, the green sea turtle and also by the fish, Salpa salpa.
- Boats and trawling,
- Coastal development,
- Turbidity and sand mining,
- Eutrophication from agricultural fertilizers,
- Fish farming