The influence of water motion on the growth rate of the kelp Laminaria hyperborea

Louise Kregting*, Andrew Blight, Bjoern Elsaesser, Graham Savidge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The kelp Laminaria hyperborea is a dominant component of the subtidal nearshore ecosystem and is subjected to a heterogeneous wave and current climate. Water motion is known to influence physiological processes in macroalgae such as photosynthesis and nutrient uptake attributed to mass-transfer limitation. The study attempts to establish the effect of water motion on the growth rates of blades and elongation rates of the stipes of L. hyperborea at adjacent wave-exposed and wave-sheltered locations over a 12month period from field observations. The observations were supported by detailed physical and chemical measurements (light, temperature, seawater nutrient concentrations and hydrodynamics) and of tissue carbon and nitrogen concentrations together with δ13carbon. Despite a 30% difference in the root mean square of the velocity (Velrms) between the two survey locations, there was no evidence to suggest that water motion had any direct influence on the growth rates of either the blades or elongation of stipes of L. hyperborea. No significant differences were observed between either environmental or plant physiological variables between the sheltered and exposed locations. Using an integral velocity parameter (Velrms) the present study also highlighted the importance of the tidally induced current component of water flow in the subtidal zone. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume448
Early online date30 Aug 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Currents
  • Growth rates
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Kelp
  • Laminaria hyperborea
  • Waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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