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Botanica Marina

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Volume 48, Issue 5-6 (Dec 2005)


Evidence for vertical growth in Zostera noltii Hornem.

Fernando G. Brun
  • Departamento de Biología, Área de Ecología, Universidad de Cádiz, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Juan J. Vergara
  • Departamento de Biología, Área de Ecología, Universidad de Cádiz, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ignacio Hernández
  • Departamento de Biología, Área de Ecología, Universidad de Cádiz, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ J. Lucas Pérez-Lloréns
  • Departamento de Biología, Área de Ecología, Universidad de Cádiz, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2005-12-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot.2005.059


We report first evidence for rhizome vertical growth (driven by sediment burial) in the temperate seagrass Zostera noltii. The study was carried out in a population of Z. noltii occurring on the intertidal sandflats of Cádiz Bay Natural Park (Spain), an area subjected to episodic events of a high sediment transport driven by wind. In surveyed plants of Z. noltii, rhizomatic vertical growth was observed (9 cm maximum, 6.1±0.31 cm average) with shorter internodes and longer leaf-sheaths (0.74±0.05 cm and 10.1±0.5 cm, respectively) than those recorded for horizontal rhizomes (2.2±0.05 cm and 3.3±0.18 cm, respectively). Mean vertical rhizome growth rate, calculated from reconstructive techniques (0.083±0.003 cm d-1), is half than that estimated for horizontal rhizome growth (0.15±0.008 cm d-1) using the punching method. Vertical nodes lacked shoots, and resumed horizontal growth and shoot recruitment once the meristem reached the sediment surface. Plasticity in this trait allowed Z. noltii populations to withstand moderate burial in this highly dynamic environment.

Keywords: burial; phenotypic plasticity; seagrass; vertical growth; Zostera noltii


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About the article

Corresponding author

Received: 2005-05-05

Accepted: 2005-10-07

Published Online: 2005-12-08

Published in Print: 2005-12-01

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot.2005.059.

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©2005 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York. Copyright Clearance Center

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