Are epiphytes a significant component of intertidal Zostera noltii beds?

Type Article
Date 2009-08
Language English
Author(s) Lebreton Benoit1, Richard Pierre1, Radenac Gilles1, Bordes Monique2, Breret Martine1, Arnaud Christophe3, Mornet Francoise3, Blanchard Gerard F.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ La Rochelle, UMR Littoral Environm & Soc LIENSs, UMR 6250, CNRS,Inst Littoral & Environm, F-17042 La Rochelle, France.
2 : Univ La Rochelle, Ctr Commun Anal, FR EDD 3097, CNRS, F-17071 La Rochelle 9, France.
3 : IFREMER, CNRS, UMS ELA, UMS 3109, F-17137 Lhoumeau, France.
Source Aquatic Botany (0304-3770) (Elsevier), 2009-08 , Vol. 91 , N. 2 , P. 82-90
DOI 10.1016/j.aquabot.2009.03.003
WOS© Times Cited 22
Keyword(s) SEM, Cocconeis spp., Epiphyte diatom, Microphytobenthos, Zostera noltii, Intertidal seagrass bed, Primary producer
Abstract The role of epiphytes in an intertidal Zostera noltii seagrass bed in Marennes-Oleron Bay was assessed in comparison with the other main benthic primary producers (Z. noltii, microphytobenthos) at two bathymetric levels and on a seasonal basis. Assemblage and biomass of epiphytes were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Z noltii and its detrital matter followed a typical seasonal pattern: microphytobenthos was present in large quantities throughout the year representing 21% of the total biomass while detrital matter, above-ground parts and below-ground parts accounted for 65, 9 and 5%, respectively. Only two species of epiphytic diatoms, Cocconeis scutellum and Cocconeis placentula, were observed on seagrass leaves. Epiphyte biomass was very low, representing on average less than 0.001% of that of microphytobenthos or leaves. This low epiphyte biomass is linked with the absence of macroalgae and also with the low biovolume of Cocconeis, which formed a monolayer of cells on leaves. This can be explained by the severe conditions of the intertidal and the high leaf turn-over of Z. noltii leaves. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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