MEPS 372:1-6 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07714

FEATURE ARTICLE
Effects of sediment sulfides on seagrass Posidonia oceanica meristematic activity

Neus Garcias-Bonet1,*, Núria Marbà1, Marianne Holmer2, Carlos M. Duarte1

1Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB), Miquel Marquès 21, 07190 Esporles, Spain
2Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark

ABSTRACT: Meristematic activity response of Posidonia oceanica shoots was assessed along a gradient of sediment sulfate reduction rates (SRR) and sediment sulfide pools (SSP) to test if meristematic activity could be used as an early indicator of seagrass health. The percentage of nuclei in the G2 phase of the cell cycle was used as a proxy of the cell division rate and therefore of the meristematic activity. The variability observed in the percentage of dividing cells (i.e. those containing nuclei in the G2 phase) in P. oceanica meristems was closely (>80% of total variance) coupled to variability in SSP and SRR. The percentage of nuclei in the G2 phase exponentially declined with increasing SSP and SRR, reaching the lowest values (<5%) when plants were growing on sediments with SSP >0.001 mol AVS (acid volatile sulfides) m–2. These results strongly suggest that the meristematic activity can be used as an early warning indicator of seagrass stress.


KEY WORDS: Posidonia oceanica · Caulerpa spp. invasions · Sediment sulfate reduction rate · Sediment sulfide pools · Seagrass decline · Meristematic activity


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Cite this article as: Garcias-Bonet N, Marbà N, Holmer M, Duarte CM (2008) Effects of sediment sulfides on seagrass Posidonia oceanica meristematic activity. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 372:1-6. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07714

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