Current status and checklist of seagrass in Sri Lanka

Seagrass Checklist Sri Lanka Distribution Conservation.


October 24, 2020


This work provides the revised and updated checklist of the seagrass in Sri Lanka based on primary and secondary information. It is indeed to be an update the list of Seagrass species in Sri Lanka prepared by Abeywickrama and Arulgnanam (1991), which now been nearly three decades back. More than forty (40) published pieces of literature, herbarium sheets in the National Herbarium and author's personal observations since 2011 were reviewed. Sri Lanka belongs to the Indo-Paciï¬c bioregion and 15 species have been recorded so far representing seven genera.  They are Enhalus acoroides, Halophila beccarii, H. decipiens, H. ovalis, H. major, H. minor, H. ovata, H. stipulacea, Thalassia hemprichii, Cymodocea rotundata, C. serrulata, Halodule uninervis, H. pinifolia, Ruppia maritima, and Syringodium isoetifolium with the estimated extend to be 37,137 ha. Halophila beccarii considered as a rare species, and has only been recorded in patchily distributed with few localities in Sri Lanka. Lack of evidences to cross check the identification of H. minor (only recorded in Negombo Lagoon) and H. ovata is a main drawback. The composition and distribution of seagrasses along the coastal zone of Sri Lanka is yet to be established. Therefore, island wide comprehensive and genetic studies could be positively contributed to fulfil the data gaps in future.