Marine Plants of Tanzania. A field guide to the seaweeds and seagrasses of Tanzania.
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This is a book about the macroscopic marine plants of Tanzania, namely the seaweeds or benthic macroscopic algae and the seagrasses, that are marine flowering plants. Having flourished in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, taxonomic studies then became less popular and the emphasis of biological investigations turned to other aspects of biology. However, after realising how important the conservation of biodiversity is, we are now experiencing a new interest in a more naturalistic approach to biology. But today this “romantic” approach is often fuelled by extensive bioprospection, the search of new drugs and gene conservation for use in transgenic organisms of commercial value. This in itself could justify the production of a new book to stimulate interest in such a diversified group as the marine plants. The paramount importance of marine plants as primary producers, fixing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen in the process of photosynthesis, is obvious. In addition, benthic marine plants provide food, shelter, spawning areas and structural framework for a multitude of animals. In spite of their importance, they have largely gone unnoticed, and remain poorly known in most coastal areas of the world.