Burial duration and frequency influences resilience of differing propagule types in a subtidal seagrass, Posidonia australis
Campbell, M. L. (2016). Burial duration and frequency influences resilience of differing propagule types in a subtidal seagrass, Posidonia australis. PLOS ONE, 11(8), e0161309–e0161309. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161309
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10632
Sedimentation that leads to periodic, and often prolonged, burial events is becoming more common on the world’s coastlines as human populations expand and create urbanised marine environments. Different seagrass species react differently to sediment burial but many species in the southern hemisphere are yet to be examined. How seagrasses react to burial has restoration implications. There is a need to critically assess seagrass transplant propagule responses to periodic (pulse) and prolonged (press) burial events before selecting the most appropriate species, transplant propagule, and transplant site. In my study, mesocosm experiments, coupled with field measurements were used to assess how sexual (seedlings) and vegetative (sprigs) propagules of Posidonia australis responded to pulse and press burial events. Seedlings were highly susceptible to burial (both pulse and press), with no survival at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, rhizome growth in vegetative propagules was stimulated by pulse burial, although press burial events resulted in mortality. The implication for Posidonia australis restoration efforts in areas where burial is periodic, was that vegetative propagules are optimal transplant units, in comparison to seedlings. Press burial however, renders a transplant site sub-optimal for both seedling and sprig transplants.
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© 2016 Marnie L. Campbell. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.