Sedimentary iron inputs stimulate seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) population growth in carbonate sediments

Núria Marbà*, Carlos M. Duarte, Marianne Holmer, Maria Ll Calleja, Elvira Álvarez, Elena Díaz-Almela, Neus Garcias Bonet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The relationship between sedimentary Fe inputs and net seagrass population growth across a range of Posidonia oceanica meadows growing in carbonate Mediterranean sediments (Balearic Islands, Spain; SE Iberian Peninsula, Spain; Limassol, Cyprus; Sounion, Greece) was examined using comparative analysis. Sedimentary Fe inputs were measured using benthic sediment traps and the net population growth of P. oceanica meadows was assessed using direct census of tagged plants. The meadows examined ranged from meadows undergoing a severe decline to expanding meadows (specific net population growth, from -0.14 yr-1 to 0.05 yr-1). Similarly, Fe inputs to the meadows ranged almost an order of magnitude across meadows (8.6-69.1 mg Fe m-2 d-1). There was a significant, positive relationship between sedimentary iron inputs and seagrass net population growth, accounting for 36% of the variability in population growth across meadows. The relationship obtained suggested that seagrass meadows receiving Fe inputs below 43 mg Fe m-2 d-1 are vulnerable and in risk of decline, confirming the pivotal role of Fe in the control of growth and the stability of seagrass meadows in carbonate sediments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-713
Number of pages4
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 10 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Posidonia oceanica
  • carbonate sediments
  • decline
  • iron
  • shoot population growth rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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