There is a possibility that deep coastal marine macrophytes will be less critically affected by thermal stress associated with climate change and remain as refugia. Thus, information on them is expected to contribute to conservation of biodiversity in coastal areas affected by climate change. To document the deep-growing Zostera caulescens in relation to the light environment, field surveys were conducted in coastal waters of the central area along the Japan Sea coast of Honshu, Japan, and then the relationship between the light environment and seagrass depth limit was examined. In the coastal waters of Sado Island and Noto Peninsula, the presence of deep coastal communities of Z. caulescens was confirmed in the depth range of 20–25 m. Biomass and shoot density for Z. caulescens, ranging 34.1–51.3 g DW m−2 and 83–112 shoots m−2, were recorded at a depth of 20 m in Ryotsu Bay, Sado Island. For the genus Zostera including the deep-growing Z. caulescens, the relation between the extinction coefficient and seagrass depth limit was described by the fitted regression equation. The minimum light requirement of the deep-growing Z. caulescens was markedly lower than that of the shallow-growing Zostera marina.
Fisheries Science – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 12, 2017
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