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Potential effects of the invasive species Gracilaria vermiculophylla on Zostera marina metabolism and survival
Martínez-Lüscher, J.; Holmer, M. (2010). Potential effects of the invasive species Gracilaria vermiculophylla on Zostera marina metabolism and survival. Mar. Environ. Res. 69(5): 345-349.
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    ; ; Seagrass decline; Hypoxia; Photosynthesis; Sulphide; Temperature

Authors  Top 
  • Martínez-Lüscher, J.
  • Holmer, M.

    The potential threat to seagrasses of the invasive algae, Gracilaria vermiculophylla was assessed through metabolic indicators under experimental conditions. Net leaf photosynthesis (LNP) and dark respiration (LDR) were measured from leaf segments of Zostera marina shoots under different loads of G. vermiculophylla (control, low 2.2 kg FW m-2 and high 4 kg FW m-2) in mesocosm experiments separated in tanks at four temperatures (19, 23.5, 26 and 30 °C). LNP decreased in the presence of the high density G. vermiculophylla mat (25% on average), being the most severe reductions at 30 °C (35% less in high). LDR did not respond significantly to differences in algal biomass, whereas a progressive increase was found with increasing temperatures (3.4 times higher at 30 °C than at 19 °C). Sulphide in porewater was measured weekly in order clarify the role of sediment conditions on seagrass metabolism, and increased both with algal biomass (29% in high) and temperature (from 0.5 mM at 26 °C to 2.6 mM at 30 °C), but changes in LNP and LDR were not correlated with sulphide concentrations. Seagrass survival rates showed decreasing trend with algal biomass at all the temperatures (from 74% to 21% survival). G. vermiculophylla showed harmful effects on Z. marina metabolism and survival with synergistic effects of temperature suggesting greater impact of invasive species under future higher water temperatures.

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