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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 377:113-122 (2009)  -  DOI:

Photosynthesis and growth in macroalgae: linking functional-form and power-scaling approaches

Carmen B. de los Santos*, J. Lucas Pérez-Lloréns, Juan J. Vergara

Department of Biology, University of Cádiz, PO Box 40, 11510 Puerto Real (Cádiz), Spain

ABSTRACT: Grouping species into functional-form groups and measuring directly their surface area to volume ratio are 2 common approaches to forecast primary production of marine macroalgae. A link between the functional-form model (FFM) and the power-scaling approach (PSA) for a wide variety of marine macroalgae has been attempted for the first time in the present work. To test both approaches, thalli of 44 species of marine benthic macroalgae were collected from intertidal zones adjacent to Cádiz Bay. Metabolic rates, tissue nutrient content, surface area to biomass ratio (SA/B) and specific growth rates were measured for these species. PSA slopes were close to 2/3 power for growth rate, while metabolic rates scaled very close to, or matched, 3/4 power. The FFM descriptive model provided similar results to the PSA when it was transformed to a numerical model through the SA/B ratio. Even though both models appear to be valid, the problems derived from species allocation into morphological groups, and other previous criticisms, make the direct use of SA/B ratios more suitable for representing primary production in macroalgal functional groups in numerical models of coastal ecosystems.

KEY WORDS: Functional form · Cádiz Bay · Marine macroalgae · Photosynthesis · Primary production · Surface area to biomass ratio (SA/B) · Scaling · Specific thallus area

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Cite this article as: de los Santos CB, Pérez-Lloréns JL, Vergara JJ (2009) Photosynthesis and growth in macroalgae: linking functional-form and power-scaling approaches. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 377:113-122.

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