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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
- 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
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.
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