Water-Related News

SCCF Marine Lab finds sea slugs may restore seagrass beds

Recently, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab provided an update on annual seagrass surveys in the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. In the report, staff explained that last year during surveys they discovered dense concentrations of sea slugs called Oxynoe.

"In fact, they were the highest density of that type sea slug ever found," Research Associate Mark Thompson said.

The sea slugs were known to live exclusively on Caulerpa algae, which had overgrown and eliminated the seagrass which had previously been abundant in the western and eastern impoundments of the refuge. The sparse research conducted on Oxynoe suggested that if they reach high enough numbers, they could actually reduce the amount of Caulerpa algae in an area.