Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2019

Journal

Scientific Reports

Volume

9

First Page

19693

Abstract

Seeds of Australian species of the seagrass genus Posidonia are covered by a membranous wing that we hypothesize plays a fundamental role in seed establishment in sandy, wave swept marine environments. Dimensions of the seed and membrane were quantified under electron microscopy and micro-CT scans, and used to model rotational, drag and lift forces. Seeds maintain contact with the seabed in the presence of strong turbulence: the larger the wing, the more stable the seed. Wing surface area increases from P. sinuosa < P. australis < P.coriacea correlating with their ability to establish in increasingly energetic environments. This unique seed trait in a marine angiosperm corresponds to adaptive pressures imposed on seagrass species along 7,500 km of Australia’s coastline, from open, high energy coasts to calmer environments in bays and estuaries.

DOI

10.1038/s41598-019-56202-7

Keywords

Seagrasses, seeding

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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