High water-temperature tolerance in photosynthetic activity of Zostera marina seedlings from Ise Bay, Mie Prefecture, central Japan


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Photosynthetic activities of seedlings of Zostera marina were successively measured using a gas volumeter for 6 days at seven light (0–400 μmol photons/m2 per s) and 11 water temperature conditions (5–35°C). The seedlings were collected from mature plants (Ise Bay, central Japan), and stored and cultured in incubators accurately controlled at each test temperature. The maximum gross photosynthesis (Pmaxg) was recorded at an optimal water temperature of 29°C after 0 days. After 6 days, Pmaxg appeared at 25°C and most plants cultured at 29–30°C bleached and withered after the drastic increase of light compensation point (Ic). On the contrary, at 5–28°C, the photosynthetic activities either changed little (5–25°C) or recovered after a temporal reduction (26–28°C); seedlings survived and looked healthy after being cultured for 6 days. The recovery was thought to be an acclimation to tolerate higher water temperature. As a result, the critical upper water temperature for Z. marina seedlings was proposed as 28°C. The temperature was consistent with the previously reported maximum water temperature in habitats around the southern boundary of Z. marina in the northern hemisphere.