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Contribution of seagrass plants to CO2 capture in a tropical seagrass meadow under experimental disturbance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 7
2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 7, e0181386Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coastal vegetative habitats are known to be highly productive environments with a high ability to capture and store carbon. During disturbance this important function could be compromised as plant photosynthetic capacity, biomass, and/or growth are reduced. To evaluate effects of disturbance on CO2 capture in plants we performed a five-month manipulative experiment in a tropical seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) meadow exposed to two intensity levels of shading and simulated grazing. We assessed CO2 capture potential (as net CO2 fixation) using areal productivity calculated from continuous measurements of diel photosynthetic rates, and estimates of plant morphology, biomass and productivity/respiration (P/R) ratios (from the literature). To better understand the plant capacity to coping with level of disturbance we also measured plant growth and resource allocation. We observed substantial reductions in seagrass areal productivity, biomass, and leaf area that together resulted in a negative daily carbon balance in the two shading treatments as well as in the high-intensity simulated grazing treatment. Additionally, based on the concentrations of soluble carbohydrates and starch in the rhizomes, we found that the main reserve sources for plant growth were reduced in all treatments except for the low-intensity simulated grazing treatment. If permanent, these combined adverse effects will reduce the plants' resilience and capacity to recover after disturbance. This might in turn have long-lasting and devastating effects on important ecosystem functions, including the carbon sequestration capacity of the seagrass system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 12, no 7, e0181386
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Biological Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145908DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181386ISI: 000405649700131OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145908DiVA: diva2:1134698
Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Deyanova, DianaGullström, MartinDahl, MartinBjörk, Mats
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CiteExportLink to record
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