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Measurement of seagrass production using the C13 stable isotope compared with classical O2 and C14 methods

Mateo, M.A. and Renom, P. and Hemminga, M.A. and Peene, J. (2001) Measurement of seagrass production using the C13 stable isotope compared with classical O2 and C14 methods. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 223, 157-165. ISSN 0171-8630.

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The methods currently employed for seagrass production estimates include biomass, marking and metabolic techniques, the latter including the O-2 and C-14 methods. Both are currently in general use and have generated a great deal of seagrass-production data. In this work, we measured carbon incorporation rates in Zostera marina L. using the stable carbon isotope C-13 as a metabolic tracer. We tried this method in an attempt to overcome the 2 major methodological problems of the O-2 and C-14 methods, i.e. the limitations when measuring low production rates and the hazardous and laborious handling of radioactive isotopes, respectively. To validate the C-13 method we compared it with the classical O-2 and C-14 methods in microcosm experiments. The 2 carbon-tracer techniques were in overall good agreement (C-13 = 0.12 + 1.03 X C-14; R-2 = 0.964, p < 0.001, n = 10). Production rates derived from the C-13 method were on average 1.34 +/- 0.03 (n = 42) times higher than those obtained with the O-2 method (C-13 = 0.99 + 1.15 X O-2; R-2 = 0,788, p < 0.001, n = 42), suggesting that for short incubation lengths (in this study between 0.5 and 4.0 h) the C-13 method provides estimates very close to gross production. The pros and cons of all 3 methods are critically discussed. [KEYWORDS: seagrass production; Zostera marina; stable carbon isotopes; O-2 method; C-14 method; C-13 method Zostera-marina l; saline lake grevelingen; photosynthetic utilization; carbon uptake; phytoplankton; eelgrass; community; growth; light; macrophytes]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11042
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:14 Oct 2013 11:27

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