Quick Facts

Species Type

Native

Size

Blades grow up to 13 inches long

Habitat

Usually found in waters up to 40 feet deep; able to withstand prolonged exposure to low-tide conditions

Range

Found worldwide. Distributed throughout the southern states of the U.S. and is also widely dispersed throughout South America.

Conservation Status

Stable

Appearance

Shoal grass resembles land grass, with stiff, green, strap-shaped blades. Blades of grass grow up to 13 inches long. It produces egg-shaped fruits that are about two millimeters in size.

Predators

Habitat destruction and motor damage pose the biggest threats to shoal grass. Increased sunlight following die-offs of turtle grass has caused a decrease in the light-sensitive shoal grass population.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Reproduction occurs through shoot and seed production and fragmentation (asexual reproduction where an organism splits into pieces).

Did You Know?

  • Shoal grass is known as a pioneer species, colonizing areas that are too shallow for other species to thrive in or on banks that have been damaged.
  • Habitat destruction and motor damage pose the biggest threats to shoal grass. Increased sunlight following die-offs of turtle grass has caused a decrease in the light-sensitive shoal grass population.
  • Shoal grass forms dense meadows, creating important habitat for invertebrates and fish.
  • Because shoal grass sequesters carbon, it plays a major role in counteracting ocean acidification.

Sources and Additional Information