In Vlorë Bay, on the coast of central Albania, the clear waters shine in the sun, but below the surface they are deserts.
Big brown Algae Scientists warn that forests, a biodiversity hotspot, are steadily shrinking.
This trend has led Albanian experts to participate in Mediterranean programs that seek to undo losses using laboratory-grown versions.
Due to the lack of historical data, it is difficult to quantify the decline of Cystoseira, a genus of brown algae that provides an important habitat for many. Race, Act as a bait as well as an area for spawning and nursery.
But experts warn that they are worried about their disappearance in both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.
“In recent years, the sea forests of Sist Seira, which are most affected by climate change, have been declining sharply,” Ina Nast, a professor of biology at Vlorë University, told AFP.
Accelerating coastal urbanization, agricultural or industrial wastewater emissions, trawl nets, sediment pollution and overfishing also contributed to the problem, she said.
Practices such as harvesting dated mussels with dynamite and drifter and crushing the rocks inhabiting them have also devastated the seabed, said Denada Sota, also a professor at Vlorë University.
Although they are Protected speciesMany restaurants on the Albanian coast still offer dating mussels as a delicacy.
Images taken by scientists in Vlorë Bay show bare rocks with few fish, and are home to only sea urchins that grow as natural predators disappear as victims of overfishing.
Since January 2019, professors at the University’s Institute of Biology have been participating in experiments aimed at recovering brown algae.
Applying the same protocol, about 10 other laboratories in the Mediterranean region are also participating.
This involves Vlora lab scientists growing cells of Cystoseira algae fertilized in an aquarium.
The small algae are fixed to the stone, which is later submerged in the sea to a depth of about 4 meters (13 feet).
“We have to monitor everything on the ocean floor,” said Nast, who regularly dives to inspect the ocean floor and keep track of progress.
A few weeks later, scientists look again at the results of the experiment to see if the algae have built a new home.
It is hoped that this experiment will allow them to develop protocols for the restoration of marine forests.
Invasive species pose another threat to marine ecosystems. Over the years, Albania’s coastline over 400 km (250 miles) has been home to many alien species.
The most important of these is the Caulerpacyl indracea, which is thinned from the meadows of Posidonia, another seaweed essential for biodiversity.
According to Professor Sazimir Bekiraji of the University of Tirana, Kaurelpa (called a mediterranean tumor) introduced from Australia in the 1990s has already been colonized throughout the Albanian coast.
In Calmette on the north coast, he says, a dense colony of Kaurelpa can be found just two meters below, indicating an AFP area conquered by invasive seaweed.
In just a few minutes, his bag was half-filled with dark green algae in the shape of small tufts of grapes.
Experts have identified a total of 40 species of invading plants and animals in the waters of Albania, including the dimly lit spine fish of the Red Sea that are eating up the prey algae forest.
This phenomenon is common to Mediterranean and Adriatic countries, so scientists are urging a joint approach.
“We must work together and act swiftly to find a solution,” said Vlorë biodiversity expert Nexship Hisorokaji.
Bachi Dilmishaji, a fisherman in Vlorë for over 25 years, agrees that the problem is cross-border.
He laments the proliferation of invasive gazami crabs that destroy his nets and attack his catch.
“It’s like Covid,” he laughed. “The great powers have come together to find the vaccine. We must do the same for the planet because the borders cannot save you.”
© 2021 AFP
Quote: The battle to “replant” the Albanian threatened sea forest (September 21, 2021) is https: //phys.org/news/2021-09-replant-albania-threatened- Obtained from marine-forests.html on September 21, 2021.
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Battle to “replant” Albania’s endangered sea forest
Source link Battle to “replant” Albania’s endangered sea forest