Leaf production and shoot dynamics of Thalassia testudinum by a direct census method

Beatriz Martínez-Daranas, Pedro M. Alcolado, Carlos M. Duarte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The annual leaf growth and shoot dynamics of Thalassia testudinum were examined in a meadow located near Havana City, Cuba, using direct censuses between January 1995 and January 1996. The net rate of shoot population change, specific shoot recruitment and mortality rates were calculated as the difference between the densities of shoots (tagged or untagged) in consecutive sampling events. The leaf biomass, the daily production, the turnover rate and the rate of leaf biomass loss were also estimated. The estimated mean dry leaf biomass (124.9 ± 9.5 g m-2), daily dry leaf production (3.3 ± 0.2 g m-2 day-1) and turnover rate (2.7 ± 0.1% day-1) were comparable to values previously reported for this species in Cuba and elsewhere. The production of leaves and shoots were higher in spring, declined towards mid summer, and showed the minimum values in January. Shoot recruitment prevailed over shoot mortality from January to March and from July to August, whereas most of the annual shoot mortality occurred between May and July and between August and October. The meadow examined was in close demographic balance along the study period. The results demonstrate that direct census provides reliable estimates of rapid shoot dynamics in T. testudinum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-224
Number of pages12
JournalAquatic Botany
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Cuba
  • Demography
  • Dynamics
  • Leaf production
  • Shoots density
  • Thalassia testudinum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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