University Of Tasmania

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Water motion, marine macroalgal physiology, and production

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 02:04 authored by Catriona HurdCatriona Hurd
Water motion is a key determinant of marine macroalgal production, influencing directly or indirectly physiological rates and community structure. Our understanding of how marine macroalgae interact with their hydrodynamic environment has increased substantially over the past 20 years, due to the application of tools such as flow visualization to aquatic vegetation, and in situ measurements of seawater velocity and turbulence. This review considers how the hydrodynamic environment in which macroalgae grow influences their ability to acquire essential resources and how macroalgae might respond physiologically to fluctuations in their hydrodynamic regime with a focus on: (1) the biochemical processes occurring within the diffusion boundary layer (DBL) that might reduce rates of macroalgal production; (2) time scales over which measurements of velocity and DBL processes should be made, discussing the likelihood of in situ mass transfer limitation; (3) if and how macroalgal morphology influences resource acquisition in slow flows; and (4) ecobiomechanics and how hydrodynamic drag might influence resource acquisition and allocation. Finally, the concept that macroalgal production is enhanced in wave-exposed versus sheltered habitats is discussed.


Publication title

Journal of Phycology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Inc

Place of publication

350 Main St, Malden, USA, Ma, 02148

Rights statement

Copyright 2000 Wiley

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences