Craig Wm Schneider's Seaweed Lab

Anoxic propagule survival in Vaucheria (Vaucheriales, Heterokontophyta) from New England riparian sediments

C.W. SCHNEIDER, PARPAL, A.A., HUNT, C. and RATAN, R. (2008).

Rhodora (in press)


Species of the alga Vaucheria occur throughout the world growing in and on the surface of marine, brackish, and freshwater sediments. This resilient genus has the ability to survive extreme environmental stresses by depositing hardy, dormant “seed banks” of propagules, mostly commonly oospheres, into the sediments. The present study investigates the effect of extended periods of anoxia on the survival of Vaucheria propagules. Sediment samples from a flooded riparian zone in Ashford, Connecticut, a habitat where multiple species of Vaucheria have been known to grow, were placed in anoxic Bio-Bag™ chambers for 15 months. Our results demonstrate that three species, Vaucheria aversa, V. uncinata and V. undulata, are able to survive at least five months of anoxia, with V. aversa and V. uncinata surviving one year lacking O2.

Key words: Anoxia, propagules, riparian sediments, seed bank, Vaucheria