Production ecology of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in a cape cod salt marsh-estuarine system, Massachusetts

Charles T. Roman, Kenneth W. Able

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Primary production and biomass loss of Zostera marina L. were estimated at two sites within the Nauset Marsh system, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Maximum live leaf-blade biomass at the Nauset Harbor (305 g dry weight (DW) m-2) and Town Cove (199 g DW m-2) sites peaked in mid-August. Maximum leaf-blade productivities, estimated by a leaf-marking technique, were 10.8 g DW m-2 day-1 and 5.5 g DW m-2 day-1, respectively. Leaf-blade production occurred throughout winter, but at much reduced rates (<0.2 g DW m-2 day-1, both sites). Net annual aboveground (leaf blades, reproductive shoots, sheaths) primary production was estimated at 987 g DW m-2 year-1 and 444 g DW m-2 year-1, respectively. Peak rates of leaf-blade biomass loss occurred in early September (Nauset Harbor, 8.5 g DW m-2 day-1; Town Cove, 4.7 g DW m-2 day-1), corresponding to a period of high eelgrass-wrack accumulation on New England shorelines. Annual leaf-blade biomass loss was 577 g DW m-2 year-1 and 303 g DW m-2 year-1, respectively. These loss rates, coupled with leaf-crop turnover rates of 6 crops year-1, stress the role of eelgrass meadows in the support of estuarine detritus-based food webs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-363
Number of pages11
JournalAquatic Botany
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1988

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Zostera marina
marina
salt marshes
saltmarsh
ecology
leaf blade
biomass
towns
primary production
primary productivity
harbor
crop
crop year
New England region
detritus
meadow
meadows
marshes
food webs
food web

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

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title = "Production ecology of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in a cape cod salt marsh-estuarine system, Massachusetts",
abstract = "Primary production and biomass loss of Zostera marina L. were estimated at two sites within the Nauset Marsh system, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Maximum live leaf-blade biomass at the Nauset Harbor (305 g dry weight (DW) m-2) and Town Cove (199 g DW m-2) sites peaked in mid-August. Maximum leaf-blade productivities, estimated by a leaf-marking technique, were 10.8 g DW m-2 day-1 and 5.5 g DW m-2 day-1, respectively. Leaf-blade production occurred throughout winter, but at much reduced rates (<0.2 g DW m-2 day-1, both sites). Net annual aboveground (leaf blades, reproductive shoots, sheaths) primary production was estimated at 987 g DW m-2 year-1 and 444 g DW m-2 year-1, respectively. Peak rates of leaf-blade biomass loss occurred in early September (Nauset Harbor, 8.5 g DW m-2 day-1; Town Cove, 4.7 g DW m-2 day-1), corresponding to a period of high eelgrass-wrack accumulation on New England shorelines. Annual leaf-blade biomass loss was 577 g DW m-2 year-1 and 303 g DW m-2 year-1, respectively. These loss rates, coupled with leaf-crop turnover rates of 6 crops year-1, stress the role of eelgrass meadows in the support of estuarine detritus-based food webs.",
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Production ecology of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in a cape cod salt marsh-estuarine system, Massachusetts. / Roman, Charles T.; Able, Kenneth W.

In: Aquatic Botany, Vol. 32, No. 4, 12.1988, p. 353-363.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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