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Seed germination in a southern Australian temperate seagrass

Cumming, Erin, Jarvis, Jessie C., Sherman, Craig D.H., York, Paul H. and Smith, Timothy M. 2017, Seed germination in a southern Australian temperate seagrass, PeerJ, vol. 5, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.7717/peerj.3114.

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Title Seed germination in a southern Australian temperate seagrass
Author(s) Cumming, Erin
Jarvis, Jessie C.
Sherman, Craig D.H.ORCID iD for Sherman, Craig D.H. orcid.org/0000-0003-2099-0462
York, Paul H.
Smith, Timothy M.ORCID iD for Smith, Timothy M. orcid.org/0000-0001-8612-8600
Journal name PeerJ
Volume number 5
Article ID e3114
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher PeerJ, Inc.
Place of publication San Diego, Calif.
Publication date 2017-03
ISSN 2167-8359
Keyword(s) Burial depth
Heterozostera tasmanica
Resilience
Salinity
Seagrass
Sediment
Temperature
Zostera nigricaulis
Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ZOSTERA-MARINA L
PORT PHILLIP BAY
CHESAPEAKE BAY
L EELGRASS
ENVIRONMENTAL-FACTORS
CAPRICORNI ASCHERS
EASTERN AUSTRALIA
RESTORATION
RECOVERY
SCALE
Summary In a series of experiments, seeds from a temperate seagrass species, Zostera nigricaulis collected in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia were exposed to a range of salinities (20 PSU pulse/no pulse, 25 PSU, 30 PSU, 35 PSU), temperatures (13 °C, 17 °C, 22 °C), burial depths (0 cm, 1 cm, 2 cm) and site specific sediment characteristics (fine, medium, coarse) to quantify their impacts on germination rate and maximum overall germination. In southern Australia the seagrass Z. nigricaulis is a common subtidal species; however, little is known about the factors that affect seed germination which is a potential limiting factor in meadow resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Overall seed germination was low (<20%) with germination decreasing to <10% when seeds were placed in the sediment. When germination of Z. nigricaulis seeds was observed, it was enhanced (greater overall germination and shorter time to germination) when seeds were exposed to a 20 PSU pulse for 24 h, maintained at salinity of 25 PSU, temperatures <13 °C, in sediments with fine or medium grain sand and buried at a depth of <1 cm. These results indicate that germination of Z. nigricaulis seeds under in situ conditions may be seasonally limited by temperatures in southern Australia. Seed germination may be further restricted by salinity as freshwater pulses reaching 20 PSU are typically only observed in Port Phillip Bay following large scale rainfall events. As a result, these populations may be particularly susceptible to disturbance with only a seasonally limited capacity for recovery.
Language eng
DOI 10.7717/peerj.3114
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050205 Environmental Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Cumming et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30094151

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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.