Seasonal Production and Biomass of the Seagrass, Halodule wrightii Aschers. (Shoal Grass), in a Subtropical Texas Lagoon

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A study of Halodule wrightii in a shallow subtropical Texas lagoon was performed to obtain seasonal data on its physiological ecology. Leaf production and biomass dynamics of H. wrightii were intensively monitored along with the underwater light environment at a 1.2-m depth study site over a 21-month period from June 1995 to February 1997. The annual photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) flux of 6,764 mol m−2 year−1 was more than twice as high as 2,400 mol m−2 year−1, the minimum annual PAR required for maintenance of growth. As light intensity declined, blade chlorophyll a/b ratios increased suggesting that the plants were photo-adapting. Seasonal trends were evident in shoot growth and biomass. Compared to other Halodule populations in Texas, H. wrightii in LLM displayed slow growth and low biomass, high leaf tissue N content, and low C/N ratio but high N/P ratio of 38 suggesting that the plants were phosphorus-limited.


Copyright © 2009, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation

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Estuaries and Coasts