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  Do nutrient availability and plant density limit seagrass colonization in the Baltic Sea?

Worm, B., & Reusch, T. B. H. (2000). Do nutrient availability and plant density limit seagrass colonization in the Baltic Sea? Marine Ecology Progress Series, 200, 159-166.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DF7B-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DF7C-0
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Worm, Boris, Author
Reusch, Thorsten B. H.1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_976547              
2Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445634              

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Free keywords: Zostera marina; patch dynamics; restoration; field experiment; nitrogen; nutrient limitation; facilitation
 Abstract: Seagrasses continue to decline at an alarming rate throughout the planet's temperate regions. After a decline recolonization or restoration starts from small patches of single shoots which then propagate vegetatively. We investigated the effects of plant density within a patch and nutrient resources on growth and survival of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), the dominant seagrass species in the northern temperate zone. We created small (0.5 m(2)) eelgrass patches by planting single shoots in circular plots at high (20 cm) and low (40 cm distance between shoots) density. In a factorial design, the sediment was nutrient-enriched (1) through biodeposition of transplanted mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) (2) by a slow-release NPK-fertilizer or (3) not enriched. The experiment was run over 1 growth period at a relatively nutrient-poor site (<30 mu mol NH4+ l(-1) porewater) in the Baltic Sea. Mussels increased NH4+ concentrations and the fertilizer increased both NH4+ and PO43- in the sediment porewater and the overlying water column, but this had only limited effects on eelgrass shoot growth rates and increase in shoot density, which were high overall (up to 75 mm shoot(-1) d(-1), doubling shoot density every 3 mo). In contrast, increased plant density had clear positive effects on shoot growth, areal expansion of patches and increase in shoot density. These results suggest that nutrient availability is not a major factor in eelgrass patch colonization or survival in the Baltic. Positive interactions among eelgrass shoots appear to be more important than competitive processes, during the early stages of recolonization

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2000-07-14
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: 117452
Other: 1939/S 37598
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Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
  Alternative Title : Mar Ecol Prog Ser
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 200 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 159 - 166 Identifier: ISSN: 0171-8630