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Timing and success of reproductive stages in the seagrass Zostera noltii Ana Alexandre a,*, Susana Cabaco a
 

Summary: Timing and success of reproductive stages in the seagrass Zostera noltii
Ana Alexandre a,*, Susana Cabaco a
, Rui Santos a
, Ester A. Serra~o b
a
Marine Plant Ecology Research Group, CCMAR--Centre of Marine Sciences, Universidade do Algarve, Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
b
Maree, CCMAR--Centre of Marine Sciences, Universidade do Algarve, Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Received 14 November 2005; received in revised form 23 March 2006; accepted 11 May 2006
Abstract
The timing and success of sexual reproduction of the seagrass Zostera noltii was investigated at the Ria Formosa lagoon, Portugal. Thirty plants
were tagged and monitored individually through time to determine in situ the development time of each maturation stage, from the emergence of
the flowers to the production of seeds. The overall process of flowering and fruiting lasted 47 4 days, during which formation and maturation of
the fruits was the most time-consuming stage (27 2 days). Spathe success, i.e. the percentage of spathes that produced seeds, was 22 4% while
spathe mortality was 34 6%. A considerable percentage of spathes (37 7%) was lost through leaf detachment, but some of these may still add
to the reproductive success of the species by contributing to the species recruitment within the source meadow or elsewhere. Meadow seed
production (MSP) of Z. noltii was estimated to be 312 66 seeds m2
, whereas the potential seed production of the studied meadow was 2623
seeds m2
. Under laboratory conditions, 70% of Z. noltii seeds germinated within 26 days, but only 10% reached the seedling stage due to the high

  

Source: Alberto, Filipe - Centro de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade do Algarve

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine