Inter-Research > MEPS > v509 > p1-13  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 509:1-13 (2014)  -  DOI:

Annual and perennial life history strategies of Zostera marina populations under different light regimes

Seung Hyeon Kim1, Jong-Hyeob Kim1, Sang Rul Park2, Kun-Seop Lee1,*

1Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Pusan 609-735, South Korea
2School of Marine Biomedical Sciences, Jeju National University, Jeju 690-756, South Korea
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The seagrass Zostera marina is genetically considered to be perennial, but annual populations of this species exist as well and are under severe environmental stress in many geographical locations. We investigated why Z. marina in Jindong Bay (Korea) exhibited a typical perennial life history at a shallow site but an annual life history at a deep site. We hypothesized that Z. marina shoots in the deep population die off after fall due to severe light reductions, and that the re-establishment of this population is completely dependent on sexual reproduction. Life histories of these populations were examined by constructing life tables using monthly measurements of shoot recruitment and mortality. In the deep population, new shoot recruitment was only achieved by seedlings, and approximately 95% of the surviving seedlings flowered. No shoots overwintered in the deep population. In contrast, shoot recruitment in the shallow population was primarily achieved by asexual reproduction. High summer water temperatures and subsequent severe underwater light reduction during summer and fall probably led to the high mortality in Z. marina shoots in the deep population, resulting in no shoot survival after fall. The deep population likely exhibits an annual life history strategy to achieve population persistence under repetitive and acute unfavorable environmental conditions. From an evolutionary perspective, the life history traits of Z. marina would define this species as an intermediate between annual and perennial.

KEY WORDS: Annuals · Flowering frequency · Life history · Light reduction · Perennials · Reproductive strategy · Seagrass

Full text in pdf format
Information about this Feature Article
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Kim SH, Kim JH, Park SR, Lee KS (2014) Annual and perennial life history strategies of Zostera marina populations under different light regimes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 509:1-13.

Export citation
RSS - Facebook - - linkedIn