Temporal changes in the abundance, leaf growth and photosynthesis of three co-occurring Philippine seagrasses

N. S.R. Agawin*, C. M. Duarte, M. D. Fortes, J. S. Uri, J. E. Vermaat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The analysis of the temporal changes in shoot density, areal leaf biomass, leaf growth and parameters of the photosynthesis-irradiance relationship of three tropical seagrass species (Enhalus acoroides, Thalassia hemprichii and Cymodocea rotundata), co-existing in a shallow subtidal meadow in Cape Bolinao, Philippines, shows that species-specific traits are significant sources of temporal variability, and indicates that these seagrass species respond differently to a common environmental forcing. Species-specific differences are much less important as source of variability of the temporal change in chlorophyll concentration of seagrass leaves. The results indicate that the temporal changes in photosynthetic performance of these seagrasses were driven by environmental forcing and their specific responses to it mostly, but the temporal change in their abundance and leaf growth was also controlled by other factors. The significant contribution of species-specific factors in the temporal changes of biomass, growth and photosynthetic performance of co-occurring seagrass species in Cape Bolinao should contribute to the maintenance of the multispecific, highly productive meadows characteristic of pristine coastal ecosystems in Southeast (SE) Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-239
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of the CE cooperative research project CI1*-CT91-0952. N.S.R. Agawin was supported by a scholarship grant from The Engineering and Science Education Program (Philippine Department of Science and Technology) and partly from a fellowship from the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional. We thank J. Terrados for his several constructive comments on the manuscript, J. Rengel, H. Dayao, A. Tiquio for their assistance in the field, and P. Rivera, C. Villanoy and R. Rollon for providing climatological data. [RW]


  • Mixed seagrass meadow
  • Photosynthesis
  • SE Asia
  • Seagrass biomass and growth
  • Temporal variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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