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Botanica Marina

Editor-in-Chief: Dring, Matthew

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Temperature response in a shallow-water Mediterranean population of Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Caulerpales, Chlorophyta), and a possible strategy of season anticipation

Maria Monia Flagella1 / Maurizio Lorenti2 / Maria Cristina Buia3

1Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Benthic Ecology Laboratory, Punta S. Pietro 1, 80077 Naples, Italy

2Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Benthic Ecology Laboratory, Punta S. Pietro 1, 80077 Naples, Italy

3Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Benthic Ecology Laboratory, Punta S. Pietro 1, 80077 Naples, Italy

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Botanica Marina. Volume 51, Issue 4, Pages 278–284, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: 10.1515/BOT.2008.037, July 2008

Publication History

Received:
2007-10-19
Accepted:
2008-04-29
Published Online:
2008-07-21

Abstract

We studied growth and photosynthetic response of a shallow-water population of the invasive alga Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea off the Island of Ischia (Gulf of Naples, Italy). The effects of temperature on relative growth rate (RGR), light-saturated photosynthetic rate (Pmax), dark respiration rate (Rd) and optimal quantum yield (Fv/Fm) were assessed for thalli collected in two seasons (early winter and early summer). While temperatures higher than 22°C stressed early winter thalli, as reflected in the decrease in growth rates and optimal quantum yields, both increased with temperature in early summer plants. A difference between the two seasonal samples also occurred in the high-temperature sensitivity of respiration rates, which was enhanced in early winter plants. As changes in a number of the traits considered occur in advance of seasonal minima and maxima, C. racemosa var. cylindracea may behave as a season anticipator. The contribution of observed patterns to the colonization success of the alga is discussed.

Keywords: Caulerpa racemosa; growth rate; invasive algae; photosynthesis; temperature

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