In the eutrophic Veerse Meer lagoon (The Netherlands) large amounts of free-floating thalli from Ulva spp. are present from May to October. In winter however, no algae seem to occur in the lagoon. Sexual reproduction appears to be negligible, as spore formation and germling growth are observed only sporadically. Results of a field survey showed that in winter, viable Ulva biomass is present buried in the sediment of the shallow parts of the lagoon. Freezing experiments demonstrated that the algae are able to survive temperatures of -5 degrees C for 2 weeks when kept in darkness. In spring, the buried Ulva thalli are liberated out of the sediment to initiate a bloom. A field experiment indicates that bioturbation by the lugworm Arenicola marina does not stimulate the release of the thalli. Burial and winter survival can explain the rapid increase in Ulva biomass in spring and suggest that the initial spring biomass is one of the major factors determining the maximal biomass in summer. [KEYWORDS: Dimethylsulphoniopropionate dmsp content arenicola-marina; wadden sea; macroalgae; growth; lactuca; requirements; strategies; waters; form]
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Biology
Journal publication date1998

ID: 195670