Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Decomposition processes of eelgrass,Zostera marina L.

  • 63 Accesses

  • 15 Citations

Summary

In Lake Grevelingen decomposition of eelgrass was studied in the field with the litter bag method from July 1977 till February 1978. After 6 months only 6% refractory matter remained in the bags. Under aerobic conditions the decomposition of eelgrass is completed within one year. The organic fraction decreased from 80 to 55%. Chlorophyll a was always present in the detritus, but with this parameter no decomposition stages could be distinguished. Fragmentation was mainly physical, and a particle size spectrum showed a maximum towards the small pieces.

The POC content was fairly constant, and the N and P content changed during the decomposition. The C/N and C/P ratios increased the first 10 weeks (leaching) and decreased after 10 weeks (microbial colonization). This did not correspond with the three decomposition stages, based on the dry weight loss per day. The C/N ratio does not seem to be a simple index for the decomposition stage in eelgrass.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. BEUNDER, H., 1980. Afbraak van zeegras in het Grevelingenmeer en de rol vanIdotea chelipes enGammarus locusta daarbij. Studentenverslagen, Delta Institute for Hydrobiological Research. D9-1980 (unpubl. report).

  2. BOELE, F. E., 1981. Verspreiding, biomassa en produktie van het macrofytobenthos in het Grevelingenmeer. Studentenverslagen, Delta Institute for Hydrobiological Research, D4-1981 (unpubl. report).

  3. BOLING, R. H. Jr., E. D. GOODMANN, J. A. VAN CICKLE, J. O. ZIMMER, K. W. CUMMINS, R. C. PETERSEN and S. R. REICE, 1975. Towards a model of detritus processing in a woodland stream. Ecology, 56: 141–151.

  4. FENCHEL, T. M., 1973. Aspects of the decomposition of seagrasses. Review paper for the decomposition Working Group. Int. Seagrass, Workshop. Leiden, The Netherlands.

  5. FENCHEL, T. M. and B. B. JØRGENSEN, 1977. Detritus food chains of aquatic ecosystems. The role of bacteria. In: Advances in microbial ecology, Vol. I, M. Alexander, Ed., Plenum Press, New York, p. 1–58.

  6. GODSHALK, G. L. and R. G. WETZEL, 1978. Decomposition of aquatic angiosperms. III.Zostera marina. L. and a conceptual model of decomposition. Aquatic Botany, 5: 329–354.

  7. HARRISON, P. G. and A. T. CHAN, 1980. Inhibition of the growth of micro-algae and bacteria by extracts of eelgrass (Zostera marina) leaves. Marine Biology, 61: 21–61.

  8. HARRISON, P. G. and K. H. MANN, 1975. Detritus formation from eelgrass (Zostera marina L.): the relative effects of fragmentation, leaching and decay. Limnol. Oceanogr., 20: 924–934.

  9. HUNTER, R. D., 1976. Changes in carbon and nitrogen content during decomposition of three macrophytes in freshwater and marine environments. Hydrobiologia, 51: 119–128.

  10. KNAUER, G. A. and A. V. AYERS, 1977. Changes in carbon, nitrogen, adenosine triphosphate and chlorophyll a in decomposingThalassia testudinum leaves. Limnol. Oceanogr., 22: 408–414.

  11. MANN, K. H., 1972. Macrophyte production and detritus food chains in coastal waters. Mem. Ist. Ital. Idrobiol., Suppl., 29: 353–383.

  12. MANN, K. H., 1976. Decomposition of marine macrophytes. In: The role of terrestrial and Aquatic Organisms in decomposition processes, J. M. Anderson, and A. MacFadyen, Eds., Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, p. 247–267.

  13. NIENHUIS, P. H. and B. H. H. DE BREE, 1980. Production and ecology of eelgrass (Zostera marina L) in the Grevelingen estuary, The Netherlands, before and after the closure. Hydrobiologia, 52: 55–66.

  14. NIENHUIS, P. H. and B. H. H. DE BREE, 1980. Production and growth dynamics of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in brackish Lake Grevelingen (The Netherlands). Neth. J. Sea Res., 14: 102–118.

  15. NIENHUIS, P. H., and E. T. VAN IERLAND 1978. Consumption of eelgrass,Zostera marina, by birds and invertebrates during the growing season in Lake Grevelingen (S. W. Netherlands). Neth. J. Sea. Res., 12: 180–194.

  16. ODUM, E. P. and A. A. DE LA CRUZ, 1967. Particulate organic detritus in a Georgia salt marshestuarine ecosystem. In: Estuaries, G. H. Lauff, Ed., Publication 83, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D. C., p. 383–388.

  17. RICE, D. L., and K. R. TENORE, 1981. Dynamics of carbon and nitrogen during the decomposition of detritus derived from estuarine macrophytes. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 13: 13: 681–690.

  18. ROBERSON, A. I. and K. H. MANN, 1980. The role of isopods and amphipods in the initial fragmentation of eelgrass detritus in Nova Scotia, Canada. Marine Biology, 59: 63–69.

  19. SEKI, H. and Y. YOKOHAMA, 1978. Experimental decay at eelgrass (Zostera marina) into detrital particles. Arch. Hydrobiol., 84: 109–119.

  20. THAYER, G. W., D. W. ENGEL and M. W. LACROIX, 1977. Seasonal distribution and changes in the nutritive quality of living, dead and detrital fractions ofZostera marina L. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 30: 109–127.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communication no. 235 of the Delta Institute for Hydrobiological Research, Yerseke, The Netherlands.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pellikaan, G.C. Decomposition processes of eelgrass,Zostera marina L.. Hydrobiological Bulletin 16, 83–92 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02255416

Download citation

Keywords

  • Chlorophyll
  • Particle Size
  • Aerobic Condition
  • Decomposition Process
  • Organic Fraction