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Botanica Marina

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Volume 61, Issue 5


Shading by invasive seaweeds reduces photosynthesis of maerl from the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain)

Sara P. Cobacho
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Marine Sciences, University of Vigo, As Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain
  • Coastal and Marine Management, University Centre of the Westfjords, 400 Ísafjörður, Iceland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luis Navarro
  • Faculty of Biology, Department of Plant Biology and Soil Sciences, University of Vigo, As Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Nuria Pedrol
  • Faculty of Marine Sciences, Department of Plant Biology and Soil Sciences, University of Vigo, As Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ José M. Sánchez
  • Faculty of Marine Sciences, Department of Plant Biology and Soil Sciences, University of Vigo, As Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-08-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2018-0004


The overgrowth and shading of several alien species along the European Atlantic coast are expected to reduce photosynthesis of maerl, decreasing its growth and fitness. In this work, three shade levels (0, 20 and 50%) were set up under laboratory conditions to simulate different competitive scenarios potentially affecting maerl beds. Live individuals of Sargassum muticum and Undaria pinnatifida were placed over maerl cultures, and the effects of shading were assessed by chlorophyll a fluorescence using a pulse-modulated fluorescence monitoring system. Photosystem II efficiency was measured as the ratio of variable to maximal fluorescence (Fv/Fm) as a proxy for the stress experienced by maerl. According to our data, irradiance reduction results in a small, yet significant, impact on the PSII efficiency of maerl, which could have fitness consequences.

Keywords: biological invasion; fluorescence; light stress; maerl beds


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About the article

Sara P. Cobacho

Sara P. Cobacho obtained her degree in marine sciences from the University of Vigo, Spain. During this period, she conducted 1 year of oceanography studies at the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø. Her interest in coastal issues led her to study a Master in resource management with coastal and marine management as a specialty at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

Luis Navarro

Luis Navarro is senior lecturer at the University of Vigo and has a PhD in evolutionary ecology of plants from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. His scientific interest is currently focused on four main questions: conservation biology of plants, evolution of sexual systems, mutualistic plant-animal interactions and ecological and evolutionary consequences of biological invasions. Transdisciplinary interest has prompted him to investigate the most efficient ways to communicate science to society. He does this by means of videos through the platform Divulgare <www.divulgare.net> that he has created.

Nuria Pedrol

Nuria Pedrol is an associate professor of plant physiology at the University of Vigo. She develops different basic and applied projects on plant ecophysiology, stress physiology and allelopathy.

José M. Sánchez

José M. Sánchez is a senior lecturer at the Departamento de Biología Vegetal at the University of Vigo. His main scientific interest includes the study of plant ecology at the coastline, especially interspecific interactions and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of biological invasions for plants.

Received: 2018-01-24

Accepted: 2018-07-04

Published Online: 2018-08-22

Published in Print: 2018-09-25

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, Volume 61, Issue 5, Pages 453–457, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2018-0004.

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