Listening to Seagrass

July 20, 2020

Seagrasses are some of the earth’s most productive habitats producing a significant fraction of oxygen to the atmosphere. The exact amount of oxygen is unknown because present day techniques lack the sophistication to measure oxygen.

A new interdisciplinary endeavor at The University of Texas at Austin that includes mechanical engineering professor Preston Wilson hopes to refine the important oxygen contribution seagrass meadows have by listening rather than looking. Historically oxygen production in seagrass is measured by an optical sensor, which is less than ideal because during the peak growing season it can’t “see” gas bubbles that are continuously being released by the plants.

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