Thalassia testudinum Turtle Grass

Thalassia testudinum turtle grass drawing.jpg

Thalassia testudinum Turtle Grass

Kingdom: PLANTAE
Division: ANTHOPHYTA
Class: MONOCOTYLEDONEAE
Order: HELOBIAE
Family: HYDROCHARITACEAE
Genus: Thalassia
Species: testudinum

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

  • Leaves are flat and linear (strap- like)
  • Leaf blades are 10-12 cm long and 4.5-10 cm wide
  • Rhizomes are scaly
HABITAT
  • Commonly occurs in subtidal waters from low tide to 10 m deep
  • In clear water the species is found in water up to 30 m deep
  • Prefers mud and/or mud substrates in relatively sheltered locations
DISTRIBUTION
  • Distributed in the tropical western Atlantic from Venezuela to eastern Florida and Bermuda


Image Credit: Drawing reprinted with permission from: Phillips, R.C. and E.G. Menez. 1998. Seagrasses. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington D.C.



FWC Facts:
Seagrasses occupy only 0.1 percent of the sea floor, yet are responsible for 12 percent of the organic carbon buried in the ocean, which helps reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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