Nearshore Food Web
The Food Web Depends on Detritus
Decaying salt marsh plants and eelgrass are vital to the food web. At the end of the growing season, bits of dead plants and animals combine with a rich array of microorganisms to form "detritus." Small invertebrates such as worms and snails feed on detritus and are in turn eaten by fish, birds, and amphibians.
Many Species Also Feed on Live Plants
Many species feed directly on eelgrass or salt marsh vegetation. Many of these species are in turn preyed upon by other creatures. The Townsend's vole, for example, feeds on salt marsh plants such as Lyngby's sedge. The Marsh hawk, the short-eared owl, and the great blue heron then hunt the vole.
Eelgrass, Underwater forests shelter marine life.
All About Eelgrass,
Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
What's so essential about eelgrass? Read all about it.