Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1071/MF19178
Title: Contribution of epiphyte load to light attenuation on seagrass leaves is small but critical in turbid waters
Authors: Ow, Yan Xiang 
Ng, Kai Jun
Lai, Samantha
Yaakub, Siti Maryam
Todd, Peter 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Fisheries
Limnology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Oceanography
Cymodocea rotundata
epiphytes
seagrass-leaf mimic
ZOSTERA-MARINA L
QUALITY
BIOMASS
GROWTH
BAY
PRODUCTIVITY
FLORIDA
ALGAE
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2020
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING
Citation: Ow, Yan Xiang, Ng, Kai Jun, Lai, Samantha, Yaakub, Siti Maryam, Todd, Peter (2020-06-30). Contribution of epiphyte load to light attenuation on seagrass leaves is small but critical in turbid waters. MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH 71 (8) : 929-934. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF19178
Abstract: Quantifying contributors to light attenuation is useful for the management of seagrass meadows. Epiphytic growth on seagrasses can lead to diminished light for the host plant, impairing photosynthesis and growth. Here, we quantify the contributions of the water column and epiphytic load to light attenuation in a Cymodocea rotundata meadow at Chek Jawa, Singapore. Using a modified spectrometer and seagrass mimics (clear polyethene strips) colonised by epiphytes, we determined the relationship between light transmission (400-700 nm) and epiphyte load. Subsequently, we derived the percentage of surface light that reaches the leaf surface (PLL) over a range of epiphyte biomass and water-column light-attenuation coefficients (Kd). Results indicated that the relative contribution to light attenuation by epiphytic biomass was greater in clearer waters (Kd < 0.5) than in turbid waters. As Kd increases, the amount of epiphytic material required to reduce PLL to minimum light requirement (11%) decreases exponentially. At Chek Jawa, the average epiphytic load was 32 mg DW cm-2, which was close to the estimated amount (33 mg DW cm-2) required to reduce PLL to 11% at prevailing turbidity levels. Our findings suggest that high epiphyte load is benign in clear waters, but becomes critical in turbid waters.
Source Title: MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/229249
ISSN: 13231650
14486059
DOI: 10.1071/MF19178
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