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Timing and success of reproductive stages in the seagrass Zostera noltii
Alexandre, A.; Cabaço, S.; Santos, R.; Serrão, E.A. (2006). Timing and success of reproductive stages in the seagrass Zostera noltii. Aquat. Bot. 85(3): 219-223. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2006.05.002
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Flowering; Flowering; Fruiting; Germination; Reproduction; Sea grass; Seeds; Zostera (Zosterella) noltei Hornemann [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Alexandre, A.
  • Cabaço, S.
  • Santos, R.
  • Serrão, E.A.

Abstract
    The timing and success of sexual reproduction of the seagrass Zostera noltii was investigated at the Ria Formosa lagoon, Portugal. Thirty plants were tagged and monitored individually through time to determine in situ the development time of each maturation stage, from the emergence of the flowers to the production of seeds. The overall process of flowering and fruiting lasted 47 ± 4 days, during which formation and maturation of the fruits was the most time-consuming stage (27 ± 2 days). Spathe success, i.e. the percentage of spathes that produced seeds, was 22 ± 4% while spathe mortality was 34 ± 6%. A considerable percentage of spathes (37 ± 7%) was lost through leaf detachment, but some of these may still add to the reproductive success of the species by contributing to the species recruitment within the source meadow or elsewhere. Meadow seed production (MSP) of Z. noltii was estimated to be 312 ± 66 seeds m−2, whereas the potential seed production of the studied meadow was 2623 seeds m−2. Under laboratory conditions, 70% of Z. noltii seeds germinated within 26 days, but only 10% reached the seedling stage due to the high mortality of germlings. Fertility, defined as the probability of a seed to originate a new plant, was estimated to be 14 × 10−4, which is higher than what is expected for most seagrasses.

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