A recruitment event of Posidonia oceanica was recorded in the Gulf of Ventilegne (Corsica, Western Mediterranean) in June 2005. One-year seedlings (alive and dead) were found at shallow depth (2-3 m) on a mix of rock and sand substrates. Pattern in the distribution of seedlings was examined over spatial scales ranging from centimetres to hundreds of metres. We also examined (a) whether establishment was preferentially associated with a specific substrate type; (b) the relation between proportional mortality and the density of established seedlings; and (c) the growth characteristics of seedlings. The average density of seedlings varied from 19 to 189 seedlings m(-2), with a maximum of 480 seedlings m(-2). While significant variation was detected at the scale of area (i.e., tens of metres), no difference was found in abundance of seedlings at the scale of sites (i.e., hundreds of metres). Most of the overall variability was, however, at on the smallest scale examined (i.e., among sampling units tens of centimetres apart). No differences were also observed in the establishment probability and seedling abundance between sand and rock substrates. The fine scale analysis of spatial patterns on rock and sand substrates showed a clumped distribution of seedlings. These results indicated that the spatial distribution of seedlings was not random, but organized at small spatial scales within the study sites. Hydrodynamics and micro-scale bottom features appeared to account for such patterning. Proportional seedling mortality was highly variable (ranging from 0.3 to 0.8), and tended to increase with increasing settlement density. A total of 128,000 seedlings were recoded over the 1600 m(2) surface area investigated. Such event reflected conspicuous seed supply and particularly favourable local conditions. This finding contradicts the current statement of low recruitment ability of P. oceanica and indicates that the species can recruit both on consolidated and unconsolidated substrates, at least in the study area.

First evidence of a massive recruitment event in Posidonia oceanica: spatial variation in first-year seedling abundance on a heterogenous substrate

BALESTRI, ELENA;LARDICCI, CLAUDIO
2008-01-01

Abstract

A recruitment event of Posidonia oceanica was recorded in the Gulf of Ventilegne (Corsica, Western Mediterranean) in June 2005. One-year seedlings (alive and dead) were found at shallow depth (2-3 m) on a mix of rock and sand substrates. Pattern in the distribution of seedlings was examined over spatial scales ranging from centimetres to hundreds of metres. We also examined (a) whether establishment was preferentially associated with a specific substrate type; (b) the relation between proportional mortality and the density of established seedlings; and (c) the growth characteristics of seedlings. The average density of seedlings varied from 19 to 189 seedlings m(-2), with a maximum of 480 seedlings m(-2). While significant variation was detected at the scale of area (i.e., tens of metres), no difference was found in abundance of seedlings at the scale of sites (i.e., hundreds of metres). Most of the overall variability was, however, at on the smallest scale examined (i.e., among sampling units tens of centimetres apart). No differences were also observed in the establishment probability and seedling abundance between sand and rock substrates. The fine scale analysis of spatial patterns on rock and sand substrates showed a clumped distribution of seedlings. These results indicated that the spatial distribution of seedlings was not random, but organized at small spatial scales within the study sites. Hydrodynamics and micro-scale bottom features appeared to account for such patterning. Proportional seedling mortality was highly variable (ranging from 0.3 to 0.8), and tended to increase with increasing settlement density. A total of 128,000 seedlings were recoded over the 1600 m(2) surface area investigated. Such event reflected conspicuous seed supply and particularly favourable local conditions. This finding contradicts the current statement of low recruitment ability of P. oceanica and indicates that the species can recruit both on consolidated and unconsolidated substrates, at least in the study area.
2008
Balestri, Elena; Lardicci, Claudio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/122443
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