Seasonal changes in rates of rhizome elongation, frond initiation, photosynthesis, respiration, starch content and mortality of rhizome apices were measured for a population of Caulerpa paspaloides (Bory) Greville located off Key Largo, Florida, USA. Maximal growth rates occur during spring and coincide with high photosynthetic production and low mortality of rhizome apices. A secondary period of rapid growth occurs during fall; however, rates are less than during spring. Minimal growth rates occur during winter and summer. Reduced growth during winter coincides with (1) low photosynthetic rates, (2) low photosynthesis: respiration ratios, and (3) reduced frond biomass, indicating that photosynthetic production is limiting. Reserve carbohydrate (starch) is apparently utilized to maintain vegetative growth during the winter. Increased mortality of rhizome apices is responsible for most of the reduction in growth during summer and fall.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science