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Effects of Posidonia Oceanica Beach-Cast on Germination, Growth and Nutrient Uptake of Coastal Dune Plants

August 5, 2013

Seagrass meadows play an important role in marine ecosystems. A part of seagrass production is also exported to adjacent coastal terrestrial systems, possibly influencing their functioning. In this work we experimentally analyzed the effect of Posidonia oceanica beach-cast on plant germination, growth, and nutrient uptake of two plant species (Cakile maritimaand Elymus farctus) that grow on upper beaches and fore dunes along the Mediterranean coasts. We compared plants growing in simple sand (control) with those growing in a substrate enriched with P. oceanica wrack (treatment) in laboratory. P. oceanica wrack doubled the N substrate pool and kept the substrate humid. Plants growing in the treated substrate grew faster, were twice as large as those growing in the control substrate, while tissues were enriched in N and P (Cakile by the 1.3 fold in N and 2.5 fold in P; Elymus by 1.5 fold in N and 2 fold in P). Our results suggest a positive effect of seagrass litter for the enhancing of dune species, highlighting its role for the conservation of coastal dune ecosystems.

 

Del Vecchio S, Marbà N, Acosta A, Vignolo C, Traveset A, 2013, Effects of Posidonia oceanica Beach-Cast on Germination, Growth and Nutrient Uptake of Coastal Dune Plants, PLoS ONE, 8(7): e70607. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070607. Article.

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