Mediterranean seagrass growth and demography responses to experimental warming

Ylva S. Olsen, Maria Sanchez-Camacho, Nuria Marba, Carlos M. Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We experimentally examined the effects of increased temperature on growth and demography of two Mediterranean seagrasses Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. Shoots of C. nodosa and seedlings and shoots of P. oceanica were kept in mesocosms for 3 months and exposed to temperatures between 25 and 32 A degrees C encompassing the range of maximum summer seawater temperatures projected for the Mediterranean Sea during the twenty-first century. The response of P. oceanica seedlings to warming was evident with reduced growth rates, leaf formation rates and leaf biomass per shoot. Younger life stages of P. oceanica may therefore be particularly vulnerable to climate change and warming. Leaf formation rates in the shoots of P. oceanica declined with increasing temperature and the lowest population growth (-0.005 day(-1)) was found at 32 A degrees C. Temperature effects on C. nodosa were variable. Rhizome growth increased with warming (0.07-0.09 cm day(-1) A degrees C of warming), whereas other indicators of plant performance (aboveground/belowground biomass, leaf biomass and population growth) appeared to be stimulated by increased temperature to a threshold temperature of around 29-30 A degrees C beyond which they declined. P. oceanica and C. nodosa are likely to be negatively impacted by the effects of global warming over the next century and climate change poses a significant challenge to seagrasses and may stress these key habitat-forming species that are already suffering losses from anthropogenic impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1213
Number of pages9
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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demography
seagrass
warming
shoot
temperature
Biomass
shoots
Climate change
Temperature
population growth
global warming
leaves
seedling
climate change
belowground biomass
biomass
twenty first century
Global warming
rhizome
aboveground biomass

Cite this

Olsen, Ylva S. ; Sanchez-Camacho, Maria ; Marba, Nuria ; Duarte, Carlos M. / Mediterranean seagrass growth and demography responses to experimental warming. In: Estuaries and Coasts. 2012 ; Vol. 35, No. 5. pp. 1205-1213.
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Mediterranean seagrass growth and demography responses to experimental warming. / Olsen, Ylva S.; Sanchez-Camacho, Maria; Marba, Nuria; Duarte, Carlos M.

In: Estuaries and Coasts, Vol. 35, No. 5, 09.2012, p. 1205-1213.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mediterranean seagrass growth and demography responses to experimental warming

AU - Olsen, Ylva S.

AU - Sanchez-Camacho, Maria

AU - Marba, Nuria

AU - Duarte, Carlos M.

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N2 - We experimentally examined the effects of increased temperature on growth and demography of two Mediterranean seagrasses Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. Shoots of C. nodosa and seedlings and shoots of P. oceanica were kept in mesocosms for 3 months and exposed to temperatures between 25 and 32 A degrees C encompassing the range of maximum summer seawater temperatures projected for the Mediterranean Sea during the twenty-first century. The response of P. oceanica seedlings to warming was evident with reduced growth rates, leaf formation rates and leaf biomass per shoot. Younger life stages of P. oceanica may therefore be particularly vulnerable to climate change and warming. Leaf formation rates in the shoots of P. oceanica declined with increasing temperature and the lowest population growth (-0.005 day(-1)) was found at 32 A degrees C. Temperature effects on C. nodosa were variable. Rhizome growth increased with warming (0.07-0.09 cm day(-1) A degrees C of warming), whereas other indicators of plant performance (aboveground/belowground biomass, leaf biomass and population growth) appeared to be stimulated by increased temperature to a threshold temperature of around 29-30 A degrees C beyond which they declined. P. oceanica and C. nodosa are likely to be negatively impacted by the effects of global warming over the next century and climate change poses a significant challenge to seagrasses and may stress these key habitat-forming species that are already suffering losses from anthropogenic impacts.

AB - We experimentally examined the effects of increased temperature on growth and demography of two Mediterranean seagrasses Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. Shoots of C. nodosa and seedlings and shoots of P. oceanica were kept in mesocosms for 3 months and exposed to temperatures between 25 and 32 A degrees C encompassing the range of maximum summer seawater temperatures projected for the Mediterranean Sea during the twenty-first century. The response of P. oceanica seedlings to warming was evident with reduced growth rates, leaf formation rates and leaf biomass per shoot. Younger life stages of P. oceanica may therefore be particularly vulnerable to climate change and warming. Leaf formation rates in the shoots of P. oceanica declined with increasing temperature and the lowest population growth (-0.005 day(-1)) was found at 32 A degrees C. Temperature effects on C. nodosa were variable. Rhizome growth increased with warming (0.07-0.09 cm day(-1) A degrees C of warming), whereas other indicators of plant performance (aboveground/belowground biomass, leaf biomass and population growth) appeared to be stimulated by increased temperature to a threshold temperature of around 29-30 A degrees C beyond which they declined. P. oceanica and C. nodosa are likely to be negatively impacted by the effects of global warming over the next century and climate change poses a significant challenge to seagrasses and may stress these key habitat-forming species that are already suffering losses from anthropogenic impacts.

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KW - OCEANICA L. DELILE

KW - POSIDONIA-OCEANICA

KW - CYMODOCEA-NODOSA

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KW - DYNAMICS

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