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January 16 2013

The bottom line: Fish poop helps spread vital seagrass

To spread and regenerate, an important marine plant depends on animals to eat its seeds and poop them out around the ocean, according to recent research.

Seeds from eelgrass, a type of marine grass found around the world, can survive and germinate after being eaten by three types of fish, one turtle and one type of bird, said Sarah Sumoski, a researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and co-author of a study published recently in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

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