es ca en fr

Species guide

Neptune grass

Scientific name: Posidonia oceanica

DESCRIPTION:
This plant is a marine fanerogama and therefore has flowers and fruit. Its leaves are tape-shaped with a width of approximately 1 cm and a length of between 30 and 120 cm. Its stalks are rhizomes and are therefore underground, with fibrous leaf remains.

BIOLOGY:
It is a species of great ecological importance; bioth the leaves and the rhizome house different types of beings: those with short lives that settle on the leaves and the older beings on the rhizome such as hydrozoos, briozous, poliquets, ascidia, sponges, epiphytic algae… It is considered a source of great organic material (food) and oxygen production (1 m² of leaves provides some 10 litres of oxygen a day).
Being a plant, its feeding is autotrophous and it therefore produces its own food from organic material and sunlight.
As it is a fanerogama, it has flowers and fruit. Reproduction is preferably by means of seeds.

HABITAT:
It is mainly found on sandy beds, though also on stones, from shallow waters to 40 m. It forms a kind of thick meadow on the bed, less dense at greater depths.

DISTRIBUTION:
It is an endemic plant in the Mediterranean.

STATUS:
The fields of Neptune grass, according to annexe 1 of Directive 92/43/CEE of the Council of 21st May 1992, concerning the preservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora, constitute a natural habitat of community interest and special preservations areas must be designated for its preservation.

CURIOSITIES:
Have you noticed that after a storm small balls appear on the beaches that look like straw? These are leaves of Neptune grass torn off by the strength of the waves.