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A new method for estimation of Halophila decipiens Ostenfeld seed banks using density separation
Hammerstrom, K.K.; Kenworthy, W.J. (2003). A new method for estimation of Halophila decipiens Ostenfeld seed banks using density separation. Aquat. Bot. 76(1): 79-86. dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0304-3770(03)00018-4
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Density; Gravimetric techniques; Sea grass; Sediment analysis; Seeds; Spatial variations; Temporal variations; Halophila decipiens Ostenfeld, 1902 [WoRMS]; ASW, Florida Straits [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hammerstrom, K.K.
  • Kenworthy, W.J.

Abstract
    Few studies have addressed the spatial and temporal variability in seagrass seed banks. For small-seeded species in particular, seed banks are hard to sample quantitatively because of the difficulty in separating small seeds from sediment. Halophila decipiens is a highly fecund and cosmopolitan seagrass species, occupying niches which other larger-sized perennial species cannot utilize. Although many studies have suggested H. decipiens meadows are annual and depend on seed banks to re-establish, none have quantitatively examined this necessary life history component. To process the number of samples required to adequately address questions of spatial and temporal variability in H. decipiens seed banks, we developed a density separation technique which removes seeds from sediment and allows easier enumeration. Sediment samples were treated with refrigerated Ludox, a colloidal silica. The colloidal silica supernatant and two surface sediment rinses were examined for the presence of seeds. Our protocol removed between 78 and 100% of seeds from sediment, with a mean removal efficiency of 89%. Use of this method increased our sample processing capability from 4 to 20 samples per day.

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