Experts found mountains of sugar under grassy meadows

Experts found mountains of sugar under grassy meadows

The scientists made a sensational discovery, made by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, and was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on May 2, 2022.

Thus, experts found mountains of sugar under the grasses of seagrass, a huge amount of about one million tons worldwide.

The concentrations are so high that they were really surprising to the researchers. Normally, microorganisms quickly consume any free sugars from their environment, but now it has been observed that the “sweet” areas remain buried in the sea, according to Phys.

Specifically, scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have found that seagrass excretes phenolic compounds, and they discourage most microorganisms from degrading sucrose.

This ensures that sucrose remains buried under the seagrass beds and cannot be converted to carbon dioxide and returned to the ocean and atmosphere. Experts have shown that seaweed forms lush green meadows in many coastal areas around the world.

From an ecological point of view, these marine plants are one of the most efficient global carbon dioxide absorbers on Earth: a square mile of seagrass stores almost twice as much carbon as land forests and can do just that. times faster.

However, researchers at the Max Planck Institute have now discovered that seagrass releases massive amounts of sugar into their so-called rhizosphere. Sugar concentrations under seagrass were at least 80 times higher than previously measured.

In his opinion, “To put this in perspective: we estimate that there are between 0.6 and 1.3 million tonnes of sugar worldwide, mainly in the form of sucrose, in the rhizosphere of seagrass,” explained Manuel Liebeke. , head of the research group at the Max Planck Institute.

Therefore, “by comparison, the amount is approximately equivalent to that of sugar in 32 billion cans of Cola,” said the expert. The research was carried out mainly off the coast of the Italian island of Elba and at Max Planck.