Reference : Ontogenic variation and effect of collection procedure on leaf biomechanical properti...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Ontogenic variation and effect of collection procedure on leaf biomechanical properties of Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile
de los santos, Carmen [Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal > > > >]
Vicencio, Barbara [Université de Liege > > > >]
Lepoint, Gilles mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanographie biologique >]
Remy, François [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanologie >]
Bouma, Tjeerd [Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Yerseke, The Netherlands > > > >]
Gobert, Sylvie mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Océanographie biologique >]
Marine Ecology
Blackwell Publishing
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] biomechanics ; leaf age ; non destructive shoot method ; plant ontogeny ; seagrass ; stiffness ; strength
[en] Leaf mechanical traits are important to understand how aquatic plants fracture and deform when subjected to abiotic (currents or waves) or biotic (herbivory attack) mechanical forces. The likely occurrence of variation during leaf onto- geny in these traits may thus have implications for hydrodynamic performance and vulnerability to herbivory damage, and may be associated with changes in morphologic and chemical traits. Seagrasses, marine flowering plants, consist of shoot bundles holding several leaves with different developmental stages, in which outer older leaves protect inner younger leaves. In this study we examined the long-lived seagrass Posidonia oceanica to determine ontogenic variation in mechanical traits across leaf position within a shoot, representing different devel- opmental stages. Moreover, we investigated whether or not the collection proce- dure (classical uprooted shoot versus non-destructive shoot method: cutting the shoot without a portion of rhizome) and time span after collection influence mechanical measurements. Neither collection procedure nor time elapsed within 48 h of collection affected measurements of leaf biomechanical traits when sea- grass shoots were kept moist in dark cool conditions. Ontogenic variation in mechanical traits in P. oceanica leaves over intermediate and adult developmen- tal stages was observed: leaves weakened and lost stiffness with aging, while mid- aged leaves (the longest and thickest ones) were able to withstand higher break- ing forces. In addition, younger leaves had higher nitrogen content and lower fiber content than older leaves. The observed patterns may explain fine-scale within-shoot ecological processes of leaves at different developmental stages, such as leaf shedding and herbivory consumption in P. oceanica.
Agence de l'eau PACA-Corse ; Collectivité territoriale de Corse

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