Spatial variation in reproductive effort of a southern Australian seagrass

Smith, Timothy M., York, Paul H., Macreadie, Peter I., Keough, Michael J., Ross, D. Jeff and Sherman, Craig D. H. 2016, Spatial variation in reproductive effort of a southern Australian seagrass, Marine environmental research, vol. 120, pp. 214-224, doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.08.010.

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Title Spatial variation in reproductive effort of a southern Australian seagrass
Author(s) Smith, Timothy M.ORCID iD for Smith, Timothy M.
York, Paul H.
Macreadie, Peter I.ORCID iD for Macreadie, Peter I.
Keough, Michael J.
Ross, D. Jeff
Sherman, Craig D. H.ORCID iD for Sherman, Craig D. H.
Journal name Marine environmental research
Volume number 120
Start page 214
End page 224
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-09
ISSN 0141-1136
Keyword(s) Flowering
Heterozostera tasmanica
Reproductive investment
Seed bank
Sexual reproduction
Vegetative growth
Summary In marine environments characterised by habitat-forming plants, the relative allocation of resources into vegetative growth and flowering is an important indicator of plant condition and hence ecosystem health. In addition, the production and abundance of seeds can give clues to local resilience. Flowering density, seed bank, biomass and epiphyte levels were recorded for the temperate seagrass Zostera nigricaulis in Port Phillip Bay, south east Australia at 14 sites chosen to represent several regions with different physicochemical conditions. Strong regional differences were found within the large bay. Spathe and seed density were very low in the north of the bay (3 sites), low in the centre of the bay (2 sites) intermediate in the Outer Geelong Arm (2 sites), high in Swan Bay (2 sites) and very high in the Inner Geelong Arm (3 sites). In the south (2 sites) seed density was low and spathe density was high. These regional patterns were largely consistent for the 5 sites sampled over the three year period. Timing of flowering was consistent across sites, occurring from August until December with peak production in October, except during the third year of monitoring when overall densities were lower and peaked in November. Seagrass biomass, epiphyte load, canopy height and stem density showed few consistent spatial and temporal patterns. Variation in spathe and seed density and morphology across Port Phillip Bay reflects varying environmental conditions and suggests that northern sites may be restricted in their ability to recover from disturbance through sexual reproduction. In contrast, sites in the west and south of the bay have greater potential to recover from disturbances due to a larger seed bank and these sites could act as source populations for sites where seed production is low.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.08.010
Field of Research 060701 Phycology (incl Marine Grasses)
060703 Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology
050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
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