Effects of the number of short shoots and presence of the rhizome apical meristem on the survival and growth of transplanted seagrass Thalassia testudinum.
The number of short shoots per transplant unit of Thalassia testudinum had a marked effect on survivorship. Four-shoot units had survivalrates over 85% nine-months post-transplantation, two-shoot units averaged 60%, and one-shoot units averaged 33%. Four-shoot units were also more likely to produce new shoots than one- or two-shoot units. The presence or absence of a rhizome apical meristem had no effect on survivorship of transplant units or the probability of surviving units producing new shoots. However, transplant units with intact rhizome apical meristems produced more new short shoots than transplant units without rhizome apicals. The study indicates that survival of bare rhizome sprigs of Thalassia testudinum increases with the number of short shoots, and more rapid proliferation of new short shoots occurs in units with intact rhizome apical meristems.