Temperature Effects on Photosynthesis and Depth Distribution of the Seagrass Cymodocea nodosa (ucria) Ascherson in a Mediterranean Coastal Lagoon: the Mar Menor (SE Spain)


*Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes, C.S.I.C., Camí de Santa Bárbara, sjn, E-17300 Blanes, Gerona, Spain.


Abstract. Seasonal variation of temperature effects on photosynthesis and respiration of Cymodorea nodosa (Ucria) Ascherson was investigated in a 1 m depth meadow in the Mar Menor lagoon (SE Spain). Light-saturated net photosynthesis (Pmax)and dark respiration (R) rates were linearly correlated with water temperature between 10 and 30°C. and 10 and 35°C, respectively, during the year. Water temperature had a similar effect on R rates in August, November, and February, but increased Pmax rates in August vs. those in February, thus promoting a shift of the maximum Pmax/R ratio values from 15°C in February to 30°C in August. P-I curves had higher Pmax values in May and August than in November or February, while Ic values remained relatively constant throughout the year. Whole-plant carbon balances suggested that C. nodosa might not be able to survive in the central basin of the lagoon and that the spatial distribution of this seagrass in the Mar Menor might be controlled by light availability.