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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 675:1-21 (2021)  -  DOI:

Large-scale comparison of biomass and reproductive phenology among native and non-native populations of the seagrass Zostera japonica

Minako Abe Ito1,2,*, Hsing-Juh Lin3, Mary I. O’Connor4, Masahiro Nakaoka2

1Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Akkeshi, Hokkaido 088-1113, Japan
2Akkeshi Marine Station, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Akkeshi, Hokkaido 088-1113, Japan
3Department of Life Sciences and Innovation and Development Center of Sustainable Agriculture, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
4Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Large-scale analysis along latitude or temperature gradients can be an effective method for exploring the potential roles of light and temperature in controlling seagrass phenology. In this study, we investigated effects of latitude and temperature on seagrass biomass and reproductive seasonality. Zostera japonica is an intertidal seagrass with a wide latitudinal distribution expanding from tropical to temperate zones in its native range in Asia, with an additional non-native distribution in North America. We collated available data on phenological traits (timings of peak biomass or reproduction, durations of biomass growth and reproductive season, and maximum biomass or reproductive ratio) from publications and our own observations. Traits were compared among geographic groups: Asia-tropical, Asia-temperate, and North America-temperate. We further examined relationships between traits and latitude and temperature for 3 population groups: Asian, North American, and all populations. Our analysis revealed significant variation among geographic groups in maximum biomass, peak reproductive timing, and maximum reproductive ratio, but not in other traits. Maximum biomass and peak reproductive timing for Asian and all populations were significantly correlated with latitude and temperature. Maximum biomass was highest at mid-latitudes or intermediate temperatures and decreased toward distribution range limits, and peak reproductive timing occurred later in the year at higher latitudes or cooler sites. North American populations showed shorter growth durations and greater reproductive ratios at higher latitude. Different responses observed for North American populations may reflect effects of introduction. Our study demonstrates potential variation among geographic regions and between native and non-native populations.

KEY WORDS: Seasonality · Life history · Latitude · Temperature · Introduced species · Climate change

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Cite this article as: Ito MA, Lin HJ, O’Connor MI, Nakaoka M (2021) Large-scale comparison of biomass and reproductive phenology among native and non-native populations of the seagrass Zostera japonica. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 675:1-21.

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