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Hydrobiologia

, 669:21 | Cite as

Responses of two Mediterranean seagrasses to experimental changes in salinity

  • Yolanda Fernández-Torquemada
  • José Luis Sánchez-Lizaso
Primary research paper

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the effects of variations in salinity levels on growth and survival of two fast-growing Mediterranean seagrasses, Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera noltii. We also tested the capacity of C. nodosa to acclimate to a gradual increase in salinity and to discover how it responds to a sharp rise in salinity in combination with other factors, such as increases in temperature, seasonality and different plant-population origins. Several short-term (10 days) experiments were conducted under controlled conditions. For each experiment, ten marked shoots were placed in 5-l aquaria, where they were exposed to different salinity treatments (ranging from 2 to 72 psu). Growth and survival of both species were significantly affected by salinity. A significant effect between salinity and temperature on the shoot growth rate of C. nodosa was also detected, but not on shoot mortality. When C. nodosa plants were acclimated by gradually increasing the salinity level, it was observed that acclimatisation improved tolerance to salinity changes. A different response to salinity variations, depending on the origin of the plants or the season of the year, was also detected. These results indicated that Z. noltii plants tolerate conditions of hyposalinity better than C. nodosa, and that the tolerance range of C. nodosa may change depending on the temperature, the season or the population.

Keywords

Salinity effects Salinity tolerance Desalination impact Cymodocea nodosa Zostera noltii 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was financed by an ACUAMED contract and by an FPI grant (FPI 01 A 002) from the Generalitat Valenciana.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yolanda Fernández-Torquemada
    • 1
  • José Luis Sánchez-Lizaso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine Sciences and Applied BiologyUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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