Plant-Microbe Interactions in Seagrass Meadows

Carlos M. Duarte*, Marianne Holmer, Núria Marbà

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Seagrass rhizospheres can form complex networks, typically deploying about half a kilometre of root and rhizome material and an active surface in excess of 1 m2 of root surface per m2 of seagrass meadow. These surfaces release oxygen and organic substrates, which, together with the enhanced sedimentary organic carbon and nutrient inputs associated with seagrass canopies, render seagrass sediments hot spots for microbial activity. Oxygen release through seagrass roots, mostly photosynthetically produced, promotes aerobic metabolism despite the enhanced microbial activities. However, reduced conditions, conducive to sulfate reduction and the accumulation of toxic metabolites, such as sulfides, may develop when photosynthetic activity is reduced or impaired. Seagrass photosynthesis affects both the activity and the metabolic pathways of the associated microbial benthic community, generating a coupling between water column conditions, notably the light environment, and microbial processes in seagrass sediments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInteractions Between Macro- and Microorganisms in Marine Sediments
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781118665442
ISBN (Print)087590274X, 9780875902746
StatePublished - Mar 25 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2005 by the American Geophysical Union. All rights reserved.


  • Interactions between macro- and microorganisms in marine sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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