Primary Producers

The epiphytic algae of seagrasses are important primary producers in seagrass ecosystems and make a significant contribution to food webs. They can account for over 50% of the standing stock in sea-grass meadows. In Florida, USA, epiphytic algae contributed 62, 50, and 44% of primary production for Syringodium filiforme, Thalassia testudinum, and Halodule wrightii, respectively (Wear et al., 1999). In Papua New Guinea, Heijs (1984) determined that the epiphytic algae on T. hemprichii contribute

A. WD. Larkum et al. (eds.), Seagrasses: Biology, Ecology and Conservation, pp. 441-461. © 2006 Springer. Printed in the Netherlands.

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Ho Hh Hd Sf Tc(l) Tt Ea ZmAa(l)Hw TU Cn Te Ht Hs Pc Pa Ps Po TpAa(s)

Species

Fig. 1. Minimum and maximum life of seagrass leaves. Separate data for leaves and stems are indicated by (l) and (s), respectively. Aa = Amphibolis antarctica (Walker, 1985); Cn = Cymodocea nodosa (Reyes et al., 1998); Ea = Enhalus acaroides (Johnstone, 1979; Brouns and Heijs, 1986); Ho = Halophila ovalis (Hillman, 1987); Hh = H. hawaiiana (Herbert, 1986); Hd = H. decipiens (Josselyn et al., 1986); Hs = H. stipulacea (Wahbeh, 1984); Hw = Halodule wrightii (Morgan and Kitting, 1984); Ht = Heterozostera tasmanica (Bulthuis and Woelkerling, 1983b); Pa = Posidonia australis (West and Larkum, 1979; Silberstein et al., 1986); Pc = P. coriacea (Lavery et al., 1999); Po = P. oceanica (Ott, 1980; Zupo etal., 1997); Ps = P. sinuosa (Walker, 1977; Jernakoff and Nielsen, 1997); Sf = Syringodium filiforme (Zieman et al., 1979); Th = Thalassia hemprichii (Heijs, 1984); Tt = T. testudinum (Patriquin, 1973; Zieman et al., 1979); Tc = Thalassodendron ciliatum; Zm = Zostera marina (Sfriso and Ghetti, 1998).

Ho Hh Hd Sf Tc(l) Tt Ea ZmAa(l)Hw TU Cn Te Ht Hs Pc Pa Ps Po TpAa(s)

Species

Fig. 1. Minimum and maximum life of seagrass leaves. Separate data for leaves and stems are indicated by (l) and (s), respectively. Aa = Amphibolis antarctica (Walker, 1985); Cn = Cymodocea nodosa (Reyes et al., 1998); Ea = Enhalus acaroides (Johnstone, 1979; Brouns and Heijs, 1986); Ho = Halophila ovalis (Hillman, 1987); Hh = H. hawaiiana (Herbert, 1986); Hd = H. decipiens (Josselyn et al., 1986); Hs = H. stipulacea (Wahbeh, 1984); Hw = Halodule wrightii (Morgan and Kitting, 1984); Ht = Heterozostera tasmanica (Bulthuis and Woelkerling, 1983b); Pa = Posidonia australis (West and Larkum, 1979; Silberstein et al., 1986); Pc = P. coriacea (Lavery et al., 1999); Po = P. oceanica (Ott, 1980; Zupo etal., 1997); Ps = P. sinuosa (Walker, 1977; Jernakoff and Nielsen, 1997); Sf = Syringodium filiforme (Zieman et al., 1979); Th = Thalassia hemprichii (Heijs, 1984); Tt = T. testudinum (Patriquin, 1973; Zieman et al., 1979); Tc = Thalassodendron ciliatum; Zm = Zostera marina (Sfriso and Ghetti, 1998).

from 19 to 37% of the total primary production and Silberstein et al. (1986) showed that >60% ofthe total maximum photosynthetic rate of Posidonia australis in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia, could be attributed to epiphyte photosynthesis. On the other hand, Brouns and Heijs (1986) estimated that only 2-9% of the total annual mean above-ground production of Enhalus acaroides was produced by the epiphytic algae.

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