Agri Kultuur September / September 2016 - Page 62

Article and photos by Gavin W. Maneveldt Department of Biodiversity & Conservation Biology, University of the Western Cape “God proved his mistrust in man as the guardian of His work by planting His most beautiful garden under the waters of the oceans.” Jacques Cousteau A ll too often when we think about our floral diversity, we think of the land plants and forget about the marine and other aquatic plants out there. Little do most people know that the botanical diversity in the oceans – marine Coralline red algae are almost as hard as rock because they deposit lime into their cell walls. ‘flower beds’ if you like – far exceeds that of the terrestrial environment. In order to fully appreciate the beauty and relevance of marine ‘flora’, it is important to understand not only their place in the global environment, but also to have a greater underGreen seaweeds are rich in carotenoids, which are natural antioxidants.