Beca-Carretero, Pedro ORCID:, Marín, Clara, Azcárate-García, Tomás, Cara, Claudia L., Brun, Fernando and Stengel, Dagmar B. (2024) Ecotype-Specific and Correlated Seasonal Responses of Biomass Production, Non-Structural Carbohydrates, and Fatty Acids in Zostera marina. Plants, 13 (3). p. 396. DOI

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Seagrasses, which are marine flowering plants, provide numerous ecological services and goods. Zostera marina is the most widely distributed seagrass in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. This study aimed to (i) examine seasonal trends and correlations between key seagrass traits such as biomass production and biochemical composition, and (ii) compare seasonal adaptation of two ecotypes of Z. marina exposed to similar environmental conditions on the west coast of Ireland. During summer, plants accumulated higher levels of energetic compounds and levels of unsaturated fatty acids (FAs) decreased. Conversely, the opposite trend was observed during colder months. These findings indicate a positive seasonal correlation between the production of non-structural carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (SFAs), suggesting that seagrasses accumulate and utilize both energetic compounds simultaneously during favorable and unfavorable environmental conditions. The two ecotypes displayed differential seasonal responses by adjusting plant morphology and production, the utilization of energetic reserves, and modulating unsaturation levels of fatty acids in seagrass leaves. These results underscore the correlated seasonal responses of key compounds, capturing ecotype-specific environmental adaptations and ecological strategies, emphasizing the robust utility of these traits as a valuable eco-physiological tool.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Spatial Ecology and Interactions
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 2223-7747
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2024 11:39
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:31

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