Variability in Carbon Availability and Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Biometrics Along an Estuarine Gradient in Willapa Bay, WA, USA

  title={Variability in Carbon Availability and Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Biometrics Along an Estuarine Gradient in Willapa Bay, WA, USA},
  author={Jennifer L. Ruesink and Sylvia Yang and Alan C. Trimble},
  journal={Estuaries and Coasts},
Because photosynthesis requires CO2, carbon limitation in aquatic environments could restrict primary production and provide signals in tissue chemistry. We took advantage of spatial variability of aqueous [CO2] in estuaries to examine within-estuary variation in biometrics of intertidal eelgrass (Zostera marina) during peak summer production. As expected from the sensitivity of carbonate equilibria to pH, aqueous [CO2] increased along an ocean-to-river gradient in Willapa Bay, WA, USA. The… 
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The major factor limiting Z. marina in the upper intertidal zone was desiccation stress, which was acute and episodic rather than chronic, and temperature differences across tidal gradients were not found to be physiologically important.
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We examined the relationship between variation in origin of organic matter and benthic secondary production in a shallow, macrotidal estuary on the United States Pacific Northwest coast, Willapa Bay,
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The results indicate that increased CO2(aq) availability may primarily alter the chemical composition of seagrasses, influencing both the nutrient status and resilience of these systems.
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