Epiphytic algae settle on seagrass fronds, reducting photosynthesis. Gastropod molluscs browse the epiphytic flora, and may also damage or destroy the seagrasses themselves. Other gastropod species are deposit or detritus feeders, or predators. Bivalve molluscs are filter- or deposit-feeders. Seagrass meadows may have a diverse crustacean fauna, including herbivores, detritivores, and predators. Sea urchins may also be important grazing herbivores, often denuding an area of seagrasses. Turtles and seacows (dugongs and manatees) are important herbivores, and by selective grazing appear to ‘garden’ seagrass meadows. Many intertidal seagrass beds provide an important feeding resource for migratory birds.
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