Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality

Collier, C.J., and Waycott, M. (2014) Temperature extremes reduce seagrass growth and induce mortality. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 83 (2). pp. 483-490.

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Extreme heating (up to 43 °C measured from five-year temperature records) occurs in shallow coastal seagrass meadows of the Great Barrier Reef at low tide. We measured effective quantum yield (ϕPSII), growth, senescence and mortality in four tropical seagrasses to experimental short-duration (2.5 h) spikes in water temperature to 35 °C, 40 °C and 43 °C, for 6 days followed by one day at ambient temperature. Increasing temperature to 35 °C had positive effects on ϕPSII (the magnitude varied between days and was highly correlated with PPFD), with no effects on growth or mortality. 40 °C represented a critical threshold as there were strong species differences and there was a large impact on growth and mortality. At 43 °C there was complete mortality after 2–3 days. These findings indicate that increasing duration (more days in a row) of thermal events above 40 °C is likely to affect the ecological function of tropical seagrass meadows.

Item ID: 32818
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: intertidal seagrass, temperature extremes, photosynthesis, mortality, low light
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Funders: Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: MTSRF 1.1.3
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2014 00:31
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060701 Phycology (incl Marine Grasses) @ 60%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 20%
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