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Physiological and morphological responses of the temperate seagrass Zostera muelleri to multiple stressors: investigating the interactive effects of light and temperature

York, Paul H., Gruber, Renee K., Hill, Ross, Ralph, Peter J., Booth, David J. and Macreadie, Peter I. 2013, Physiological and morphological responses of the temperate seagrass Zostera muelleri to multiple stressors: investigating the interactive effects of light and temperature, PLoS one, vol. 8, no. 10, Article Number : e76377, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076377.

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Title Physiological and morphological responses of the temperate seagrass Zostera muelleri to multiple stressors: investigating the interactive effects of light and temperature
Author(s) York, Paul H.
Gruber, Renee K.
Hill, Ross
Ralph, Peter J.
Booth, David J.
Macreadie, Peter I.ORCID iD for Macreadie, Peter I. orcid.org/0000-0001-7362-0882
Journal name PLoS one
Volume number 8
Issue number 10
Season Article Number : e76377
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Understanding how multiple environmental stressors interact to affect seagrass health (measured as morphological and physiological responses) is important for responding to global declines in seagrass populations. We investigated the interactive effects of temperature stress (24, 27, 30 and 32°C) and shading stress (75, 50, 25 and 0% shade treatments) on the seagrass Zostera muelleri over a 3-month period in laboratory mesocosms. Z. muelleri is widely distributed throughout the temperate and tropical waters of south and east coasts of Australia, and is regarded as a regionally significant species. Optimal growth was observed at 27°C, whereas rapid loss of living shoots and leaf mass occurred at 32°C. We found no difference in the concentration of photosynthetic pigments among temperature treatments by the end of the experiment; however, up-regulation of photoprotective pigments was observed at 30°C. Greater levels of shade resulting in high photochemical efficiencies, while elevated irradiance suppressed effective quantum yield (ΔF/FM'). Chlorophyll fluorescence fast induction curves (FIC) revealed that the J step amplitude was significantly higher in the 0% shade treatment after 8 weeks, indicating a closure of PSII reaction centres, which likely contributed to the decline in ΔF/FM' and photoinhibition under higher irradiance. Effective quantum yield of PSII (ΔF/FM') declined steadily in 32°C treatments, indicating thermal damage. Higher temperatures (30°C) resulted in reduced above-ground biomass ratio and smaller leaves, while reduced light led to a reduction in leaf and shoot density, above-ground biomass ratio, shoot biomass and an increase in leaf senescence. Surprisingly, light and temperature had few interactive effects on seagrass health, even though these two stressors had strong effects on seagrass health when tested in isolation. In summary, these results demonstrate that populations of Z. muelleri in south-eastern Australia are sensitive to small chronic temperature increases and light decreases that are predicted under future climate change scenarios.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0076377
Field of Research 060701 Phycology (incl Marine Grasses)
050102 Ecosystem Function
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30076233

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.